Thursday, March 22, 2018

My Big Girls

Last Sunday after church, Sydney, Lorelei, and I went to Walmart, via Starbucks. Sydney ordered a kids' hot chocolate, Lorelei a blueberry muffin (her favorite is the lemon loaf, but they were out), and I got a boring latte (I thoroughly enjoyed my boring latte, it's just that Starbucks keeps getting fancier and fancier with their drink concoctions).

After our sugar fuel, we headed to Walmart. I don't go to Walmart often. It's 10+ miles away (so far!), and it's the only Walmart in what feels like a large radius, so it gets USED. But a Walmart outing felt necessary last Sunday, even though it was CrAzY. Thankfully it was just the big girls and me, otherwise I would have walked right out. All Walmarts are always crazy-busy (let me hear an "Amen!"), but combined with it being a Sunday, a couple of days after pay day, and our particular store in the process of getting completely rearranged (just imagine trying to find the Tostitos, only to realize one of the employees has just loaded every single bag onto a cart headed to their new location clear across the store!), it was MADNESS.

But, again, doable madness with Sydney and Lorelei. Only once or twice did I have to whisper-shout, "It would be easier shopping with Ford and Ruthie right now rather than you two!"

Really, though, they're fun. Usually. You can't stay mad at those little faces for long.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Already?

This week has felt busy, which I suppose explains why I blinked and it's already Wednesday night.

Tonight at dinner Ford said, "If you eat lots of candy your muscles will shrink..."

Chet and me: "That's right, Buddy."

Ford: "...and then you will turn into a baby."

He has some hilarious, mixed-up notions about the passage of time.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, March 19, 2018


Lorelei's birthday is October 17th, so Saturday was her special evening to stay up later than her siblings. So far, she's chosen to do crafts each time her "month day" rolls around:

Grammy (Chet's mom) sends the kids seasonal crafts, and they are Lorelei's FAVORITE THING EVER. A couple of days ago I thought the Easter craft box that Grammy had sent was looking bare, and discovered Lorelei was hoarding her favorite items (90% of the crafts) in her room.

What happens to the completed crafts, you ask? Behold:
Lorelei finds a place to display them on the wall. This is her desk area, and it's perfectly curated. Personally, I find it a little stressful, but she's good about rotating and tossing things out on a regular basis. So I let it go, and let her do her thing.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pajama Day

Today was a pajama day. And mostly a "play" day:

It was also a rainy day, and a day when we had nowhere we needed to be. So, naturally, what's the point of changing out of pajamas?

Actually, Ford, on his own accord, changed into clothes around 9 a.m. Sydney and I dressed around 1 p.m. Lorelei and Ruthie never got dressed.

When Chet came home from work (around 5 p.m.) Lorelei looked at me, startled. "Is Daddy home for lunch?" 

Me: "No...he's home for the evening."

Lorelei: "But I'm still in my pajamas!" 

Me: "Yep."

Lorelei (thinks for a few moments): "Well, I'm not going to get dressed now, because that would just be a waste of an outfit. But I'll put on fresh pajamas for bed."

And that's what she (and Ruthie) did.

(Full disclosure: Chet actually thought I was still in my pajamas when he got home from work, but I informed him in a slightly icy tone that these were, in fact, "real" clothes. Hmph.)

Hopefully you eased into the weekend as comfortably as we did!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Chet's and My Christmas and Birthday Presents

Chet and I both have January birthdays, which actually comes in handy if there is something we specifically want that's too pricey for JUST a Christmas or JUST a birthday present.

This Christmas/birthday Chet wanted a mountain bike. He bought a great used one on eBay with his money.

This year I wanted a cordless vacuum.
It's the materialistic light of my life.

(I don't have a picture of Chet's bike. I'll have to snap one when I finally get around to taking a picture of our garage shelving project.)

After pooling our gifted funds, we had some money left over for Chet to get some accessories for his bike, and I was able to complete a picture wall in our house. Here is the picture wall when it was still in the planning stages:
The sideways pictures were a little creepy, but I wanted to make sure I liked the frame layout before buying the (not cheap) map prints I had my eye on.

The finished product:

The pictures of the kids are pretty silly, but super recent, so that's good. I always order from Mpix, preferably when they are having a sale. They do great work, and their prices are relatively low. I plan to update the kids' pictures each year (stay tuned to find out if it actually happens!).

The right-hand column are maps of each of the cities the kids were born...
Sydney...Jacksonville (FL)
Lorelei...Biloxi (MS)
Ford...Gulfport (MS)
Ruthie...Alexandria (VA)

I lucked out that Lorelei and Ford happened to be born in different hospitals a town apart, because that wasn't at all the plan.

I mostly love the picture wall because I was able to use frames I already had on hand -- the last thing on earth we need is another picture frame to enter this house (or a blanket -- we've got loads of blankets too).

Chet's hollering at me to come watch TV now...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Little About the Marathon

I wasn't sure what I was going to talk about when I sat down to post something just now, but my aunt commented on my last post and asked how long it takes me to run 14 miles.

First of all, the marathon I'm running is May 6th down in Laguna, CA. My friends Sarah (our next-door-neighbor in Mississippi) ran her first marathon in October and bestowed all of her (great) advice on me, so that has helped. I'm following a training plan that has me running 3-4 times a week, with long runs on the weekends.

On AVERAGE I run at a 10-minute-per-mile pace. So if I have to run 4 miles, it takes me about 40 minutes. All of this running practice has helped me to run slightly faster than when I started, so I'll tentatively say more often than not I run each mile faster than 10 minutes. So really I could probably run 4 miles in about 37 minutes. Anyway, last weekend I ran 13 miles, and I did it in 2 hours and 5 minutes. I felt great!

But this past Sunday...

Running 14 miles didn't feel great. I walked 3/4 of a mile in my 10th mile, and seriously considered just walking home, but sucked it up and finished the last three miles (slowly). I finished in under 2.5 hours, but not easily. I blame feeling terrible on this:
This was Ruthie's birthday cake from Costco (so you can imagine it's size), and Chet and I weren't shy about eating it. (Costco makes AMAZING cakes, which is why we acquired such a humongous cake for our family alone -- there was no party. The cake is no longer with us; I was simultaneously sad and relieved to bid it farewell.)

[Some of you know I swore off sweets ("desserts" is perhaps a better term) for 2018, largely because I wanted to eat as well as possible while training for the marathon. I have a gigantic sweet tooth, but there's no denying that I feel a lot better when I'm not eating sweets. However, for the week of Ruthie's birthday, I let myself eat her cake. Sigh.]

I've noticed though, that even when I haven't been eating cake for a week straight, that some runs are better/feel easier than others, for no apparent reason. In saying that I could be referring to pretty much any aspect of life, so I have no idea why I'm so surprised.

My favorite thing about training for this marathon is the alone time. It's SO HARD to get time to yourself when you're parenting small children, and I like that I'm doing something challenging while having a break from the constant demands requests from my young people. I listen to audiobooks and podcasts while running -- whatever I'm in the mood for in the moment (usually nothing to "heavy" or that requires loads of concentration).

Hopefully that didn't bore anyone to death! On to Wednesday!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Good Weekend and Monday

How was your weekend? Your Monday?

As predicted, I breathed nary a breath of fresh air on Saturday until 5:15 p.m., and only then because the commissary (grocery store on base) was closing in 45 minutes. Prior to that I did in fact help Sydney and Lorelei conquer their lego explosion/deep clean their room.

Ford accompanied me to the grocery store, and afterward we let the children eat chicken nuggets in the living room while watching a movie (which, of course, excited them to no end).

The time change was not kind to us, so we missed church Sunday morning (the time change, combined with the dense fog advisory, hardly left us with a choice). Chet convinced me to shift around some shelving in the garage and laundry room, so that provided an unexpected (but fun!) early Sunday project.

A little after noon I went for my long run (14 miles!). It was a little more rough than last week's run (I blame Ruthie's birthday cake).

Sunday evening we were fed by our generous neighbors, and let the kids enjoy the "extra" hour of outside play.

Today Ruthie went to the 2-year old class at the Child Development Center for the first time and did great. I was the only one nervous about it; she hardly skipped a beat.

The older kids and I tackled some learning and chores at home, and then Sydney and Lorelei rode bikes to their weekly piano lesson.

All in all a productive day! It's supposed to rain the rest of the week, so I'll have to rely on this cheery throw pillow to remind me that spring/summer is indeed around the corner.

Oh, and I found this picture Ford snapped of Ruthie from earlier this evening:
Ha! Her mother should wipe her face...