Sunday, November 23, 2014

Keeping it Together

IMG_0598 Sunday photo web

It's been a week.

Mostly unremarkable, but I am going into hibernation mode. I do it every winter and the snows came fast and furious this year and I am already starting to fall apart.

Every morning when my alarm goes off at 5:45 am, I want to cry. Sometimes I actually do. Getting myself to work by 9:00 am is a feat of superhuman proportions. I have no desire to clean, to read, to blog, to sing.

Unfortunately, my desire to eat is stronger than ever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Epic Vacation: Day 13

Long time readers are dropping dead right now. Yes, the last time I tried to finish up blogging about this dang vacation was in December of 2013. Maybe something about all the new snow makes me want to reminisce, or maybe I'm just tired of trying to come up with new content and this seems easier.

Either way, I'm actually writing a post about our Epic Vacation!! Day 13 marks the halfway point, so don't get too excited, because I'll probably be blogging about this vacation for 100 more years.

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The Three Musketeers waiting to get off ship

So. Day 13 found us docking in Skagway early in the day. We ate breakfast and got off the ship with all the kids but the two little girls, Sophia and Estee.

I was fascinated by all the graffiti art that was on the cliff near the pier. So fascinated that I took way too many photos!

Skagway Graffiti 1 webSkagway Graffiti 2 webSkagway Graffiti 4 webSkagway Graffiti web

I mean, check out that skull! So cool!

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Bria and her cousin Brayden walking off the dock, towards the railroad.

The first thing we saw as we moved off of the dock was the railroad, famous for its role in the Klondike gold rush.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Thankful Receiver Bears a Plentiful Harvest -- Free Thanksgiving Printable

This year's Thanksgiving printable is a little late in coming--how is Thanksgiving already next week? I chose this quote by William Blake (who is one of my ancestors, so he holds a special place in my heart):

"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest."

I love the message of being grateful for all we are given, because we will then--and only then--recognize how plentiful our blessings truly are.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Instant Winter

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Today's Sunday photo, brought to you by snow boots and lots and lots of snow.

This week, winter began.

And we were totally unprepared.

The Maestro and I had purchased new snow tires since our previous set was finished after its fifth (very long and hard) winter last year. We also had to buy a new snowblower, because the previous hand-me-down snowblower we had finally gave up the ghost. Last winter, we sent it out for repair three times, and it just never worked properly anymore. It was a much better use of our money to buy a brand-new one.

Even though we made these preparations, the snow tires weren't delivered until Monday afternoon and the snow had already started. The snowblower wasn't even delivered until Wednesday afternoon, so we had to scoop and shovel our way out of 20+ inches of new snow.

Before the snow started on Monday (we had received a winter storm warning earlier, so we knew it was coming), I had to first cancel Chloe's orthodontist appointment in Marquette (2 hours away). The weather was clear in the morning, and I probably could have made it down there okay, but I was terrified of the drive back. I told the receptionist I was afraid to drive down and she said that everyone was--basically they would be having a very slow day at the office!

So, instead of going to the ortho, The Maestro and I tried to beat the snow and purchase some other much-needed snow gear for the girls. Sophia needed boots, Chloe needed a hat and snow pants, Bria needed gloves and a hat, etc.

We didn't beat the snow.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Finding Balance in a World of Extremes


It's something I contend with every single day of my life, and something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Time, work, family, exercise, food choices. It's all a big struggle for me.

I find myself wishing I could just quit my job. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it takes me away from my home and family, and I am often at a loss as to how to keep my work balanced with my family life. However, quitting my job would only bring an entirely new set of circumstances in which I would probably struggle to find balance.

I have observed that I am not alone in this. I see my husband and children struggling with the same things when it comes to balancing the hundreds of choices that are presented to us each day. We live in a world where it seems that the extreme choices are preferred.

Where's the balance?

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Host a Stress-free Thanksgiving Dinner

Are you worried about hosting Thanksgiving Dinner? Here are nine tips to help you organize ahead of time so Thanksgiving Day is completely stress-free!

Did I really just say that? Stress-free?

Believe it or not, I think it's possible, and I've actually even done it many times!

I love Thanksgiving, and my favorite part about it is throwing the party. I love making a beautiful table and baking pies. The Maestro loves cooking gourmet meals. What could be more perfect than hosting Thanksgiving?

While it is definitely possible for Thanksgiving to be stress-free, it does take a few weeks of planning, so we'd best start now! (Is Thanksgiving really in only two weeks and two days?)

If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner, hopefully you've already invited guests by now, so we'll skip that step (even though I admit that things got away from me this year and I did the inviting really late myself!). But solidifying the guest list is only the first step--here are 9 more steps to ensuring that your Thanksgiving Dinner goes without a hitch and that the day itself is enjoyable and not stressful!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Broken Bones, Christmas Clothes, and Family Fotos

This week has been a little crazy.

First, if you look closely, you'll notice Chloe is broken again.

On Halloween night, Chloe slipped on the ice while trick-or-treating. (Yes, there was ice and snow on Halloween.) Her knuckles were bleeding, so I band-aided her up and figured that was what was hurting, and the next day I didn't even see her or her hand since I left to Green Bay before dawn and got home around midnight. Last Sunday, she showed me her fingers and one of them was pretty swollen, so I taped them together and iced it. I told her we'd be heading to the doctor on Monday if it still hurt and/or looked bad.

Monday after school, her whole hand had started bruising, though the swelling had gone down. I think it's funny that I had JUST written a post about what to do if you think your child may have broken a bone, because I knew she'd broken something. This is the fourth time for her. Time to invest in copious quantities of bubble wrap and keep her unbreakable this winter!

Since I knew, I wasn't too surprised when the x-ray came back showing a fracture. Sigh.

She broke it way down low, so that's why she gets a huge cast/wrapping. We'll head for a follow-up this week and see what the actual prognosis is. Fun times!