Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Saturday 7

1. Last Saturday, we went on the first of our "Year of Dates" that I made Justin for Valentine's Day. March's date was watching a March Madness game at Buffalo Wild Wings. Saturday worked best for our schedules/babysitter so Justin picked the game he most wanted to see (since I don't have an opinion). It was actually kind of awkward to sit at the table for over an hour while we waited for the game to finish - long after our food was gone. We tipped the waitress well . . . After the game, we cashed in the free movie tickets Justin won on a radio show and went to see McFarland. It was actually a really good movie! We stopped at Meijer afterward and didn't get home til midnight! We are getting way too old for that. Haha.

2. I got Lena's cold this week. I am such a baby when I'm sick. I did pretty much nothing all week. A lot of lounging and reading and napping and whining. I managed to make dinner most nights, I kept up with laundry, but I didn't do any cleaning beyond that. By Thursday night, I had almost no voice left. Lena kept bringing me books to read her and I kept whispering, "I'm sorry, honey. I can't read tonight." She was so flabbergasted. I never say no to reading! I felt great on Friday, but woke up today nauseous with a pounding headache that I haven't been able to shake. And Lena woke up today with another fever, after over a week of being fever-free! She doesn't have any other symptoms, though, other than taking a long nap, so I'm hoping it's just that last stinkin' eye tooth trying to poke through. Lucy coughed til she puked Monday night, but has been fine since then. (Aren't you so happy you have my family's health update? Ha.)

3. This week, I read Sparkly Green Earrings (Melanie Shankle), The Choice (Suzanne Woods Fisher), When Lightning Strikes (Brenda Novak), The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins), Made to Last (Melissa Tagg), and From a Distance (Tamera Alexander). Wow. I didn't realize how many that was until I wrote it all out. Haha. Sparkly Green Earrings was a Christian memoir about motherhood. Hilarious and fun. The Choice was an Amish book. I don't think I've read an Amish book since high school (when I binged on them and read every one ever written). I actually really enjoyed The Choice, though. (The Kindle version is free right now!) I still love those Amish people.

4. I got this in an email this week:
It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Lucy to t________ Christian School.  We are delighted to have your daughter join our community.  All indications tell us that Lucy will be a great addition to our school!
(Sorry about the censorship. I'm suddenly becoming wary of posting too many personal details on this public blog. Most of you know the school I'm talking about.)

Woohoo! So basically, as long as she doesn't bite someone or foam at the mouth during the social readiness test, I think she's in. ;-)

5. We're really struggling to keep to the budget this month. As of Thursday, I had $25 left for groceries. So I went to the much acclaimed Aldi's for the first time ever. Meh. I was impressed by some of the prices, but for the most part, their prices are the same as the sale prices I get at Meijer. It wouldn't usually be worth the drive, but since I was already going to be on Alpine, it worked out. I still spent $24.13, so I have 87c to last us til April. Time to start making some cheap meals!!

6. So in case you haven't seen it, here's the article that took facebook by storm this week: What Would My Mom Do? (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside). So amazing. So what I've been trying to tell myself for months (years?). I had a glorious childhood. I felt loved and nurtured and appreciated. But my parents did not play with us 24/7. My mom was a stay at home mom, but she didn't feel it necessary to entertain us all day every day. And we didn't think any less of her as a result. We used our imaginations, we watched TV, we wrestled with each other, we made up ridiculous games, we played outside (and stole corn from the farmer's field - not recommended). I know my kids are still a little too young for such a complete lack of supervision, but I need to constantly remind myself that it's fine for them to entertain themselves. I also need to remind myself that I don't need to worry about what other people think of me. I'm so paranoid that people are going to judge me for how much TV my girls watch, how little I play with them, how often I say, "Not right now. Go play." (I'm not really sure who these imaginary all-knowing people are, but I fear them nonetheless.) I need to just get over it and live my life.

7. My head hurts too much to think of a seventh. Instead, enjoy this hilarious picture:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book #13: The Girl on the Train

Amazon Link
I decided I wanted to read a book on the bestseller list. This one looked interesting and was recommended by the librarian at our library. I was intrigued that it was billed as a "psychological thriller." I don't think I've ever read anything of that genre before. I'm not sure I will again.

I will say it was well written. It was gripping and intense and made me want to keep reading. But it was so dark and depressing it made me want to run right back to safe arms of inspirational fiction. I figured by "psychological thriller," it'd be something to make me think. But in reality, I think it just means the characters were all a little psychotic. And getting embroiled in their lives made me feel a little psychotic too. The main character is a depressed, divorced alcoholic who has blackouts whenever she gets really drunk. So she's always a little confused and off-kilter. Subsequently, I felt a little confused and off-kilter throughout the whole book as well. I'm sure it's a mark of a good writer that Hawkins can make me feel that way, but I didn't really enjoy it. And I'm depressed enough on my own, I don't need to read about anyone else's depression too - fictional or not!

When it comes down to it, I think the thing that bothers me the most is that there was no redemption. *Spoiler alert* The main character starts out depressed, unemployed, lonely, and drunk most of the time. Then there are murders, affairs, lies, and deception. By the end, the murderer is revealed (I was admittedly surprised), and Rachel manages to get her drinking under control, but she's still lonely, unemployed, and stuck in her depressed crazy brain. At least in my fluffy Christian books, there's resolution and redemption.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book #12: Sparkly Green Earrings

Amazon Link
I finally read something that's not inspirational fiction and get to count it toward my 30 Before 30! This book was recommended by one of my favorite bloggers, so when I came across it in the library's e-book collection, I quick snapped it up.

I loved it. It was hilarious and real and inspirational. Honestly, it was nothing earth shattering. It wasn't deeply theological or eye opening. But it was a fun, easy, relatable read. I loved how she talked about the Bachelor and Pinterest and was honest about how much she missed sleeping in after having her daughter. Haha. I identified with so much. She has a book about marriage and a brand new one about friendship coming out soon. I'm pretty sure those will make it on my "to-read" list as well!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Saturday 7

1. This was the first half of our week:
Sick. Sick. Sick. Coffee. Haha.
Lena started coughing last Saturday, was up all night that night with a fever, and was miserable by Sunday morning. She had a consistent 101/102 fever for three days. I told myself if she woke up with a fever on Thursday, I'd take her to the doctor, but she woke up fever free and finally started to turn the corner! She's the weirdest kid, though. When she's sick, she sleeps less. Which just makes her more miserable. We spent a good three days snuggling and watching TV. I love the snuggles, but I'm so glad she's finally feeling better! Justin and I both have mild colds, but Lucy seems to have bypassed it. *knock on wood* Lucy having a cough is the worst thing ever, because coughing makes her puke. Blech.

2. Last Saturday, I went to Maurice's all by myself and tried on 26,000 pairs of jeans. My sister bought me a pair for Christmas that I love and wear so much (ahem, every day) that they're already ripped to shreds. So I decided to bite the bullet, take advantage of their Buy One, Get One 50% off sale, and just go by myself a few pairs. I got two pairs that fit great and ordered a third one because they didn't have my size in stock. My mom picked them up for me yesterday and I'm so frustrated with them! I bought the exact style/size/cut as the one that fit me really well, only in a lighter wash. And the lighter wash ones are way too big! I don't understand!! I'm going to try to shrink them. Otherwise, I guess it'll just give me license to start gaining some weight. :-) (I also bought a pair of mint colored shorts that are actually semi-long! Yay for mom-shorts!)

3. Have y'all seen this article?
104 -year old woman who drinks 3 cans of Dr Pepper a day outliving the doctors who tell her to stop
5 people shared this article with me on facebook, and at least 3 others tagged me in the comments on the original facebook article. Lol. I love that everyone knows me so well! I also love the spirit of this article. Take that, you stupid doctors who say Dr Pepper will kill you! Take that, health fanatics! Drink up and be happy. ;-)

4. I didn't do great with my reading hiatus. I went a couple days without reading anything but Curious George and Fancy Nancy, but then I kind of didn't know what to do with myself. Part of my reasoning was that I don't spend much time with Justin because of reading, but the honest truth is I don't spend much time with Justin because he goes to bed at 9:00 every night. We usually don't get Lucy in bed 'til 8:45 anyway, so it's not like I'm missing out on hours of meaningful conversation and quality time together. Lol. I finished the Alaskan Courage series, and read Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren  (dumb) and The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund (really liked it).  So at least that's progress. 3 books in 7 days as opposed to 7 in 7. I just got a few more for my Kindle. 2 of them are not inspirational fiction. *Gasp* Stay tuned to see if I actually read them . . .

5. Can we talk for a minute about mattress stores? Has anyone else noticed the recent outcropping of mattress stores on Alpine? I heard someone say there are 11 of them in a 3 mile stretch. I've noticed at least three brand new ones go up in the past couple of months. And has anyone ever seen a customer in any of these new stores? I never have. They're always completely empty. Why are there so many stores??? How do they stay in business??? What are they a front for??? I think I need to call the news channels about this. There is something seriously shady going on.

6. Tuesday night, Justin's grandparents had a party to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. I ended up staying home with Lena because she was so miserable, and I hate that I missed it. I've written before about how I'm much closer to Justin's grandparents than my own. (Although most of mine are dead anyway.) I seriously want to be Justin's grandma when I grow up. She is amazing. She is just one of the most generous, loving, gracious people in the world. And when Justin came home from the party on Tuesday with this, it just made me love her even more:

There are four pages front and back of verses she has chosen/prayed/memorized over her kids and grandkids. Here are ours:

How awesome is that? I think I'm going to start doing it for my kids, too. It's not going to take up four pages yet, but it's awesome to think that someday it might. (Although I'm going to have to get crack a lackin' and have some more babies, then encourage my kids to have a lot of kids . . .)

7. I can't think of a seventh. Enjoy this silly Lucy anecdote from the week instead:
Sadie (to Justin): Lena did pretty well today. She was happy until like 7:45, then she hit the wall.
Lucy (alarmed): Which wall did Lena run into??

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Saturday 7

1. We signed up for the library's new program last Thursday. It's called "1KB4K" and the idea is to read 1,000 books to your kids before they start kindergarten. I'm pretty sure we've already done that multiple times, but now we can get rewarded for it! After every 100 books you read, you get your name on a banner at the library. And after 1,000 you get a tote bag or something equally ridiculous. Lucy is gung-ho about it. We started last Thursday (like 9 days ago, not 2 days ago), and she only has 14 books to go to reach 100. Lena hit 100 a few days ago, but her books are so much shorter than the ones I read to Lucy. I'm sure the novelty (ha, pun) will wear off soon, but I'm loving all the reading while it lasts!

2. Speaking of reading . . . it's pretty much all I do anymore. I've become a binge reader. I've read 9 books in the past 10 days. I honestly have to stop. It consumes soooo much of my time. And while I try to read while the girls are in bed so I don't totally ignore them, I end up totally ignoring Justin. I've been reading a series by Dani Pettrey (Alaskan Courage). I have 1.5 more books to go, and once it's done, I'm cutting myself off. Reading hiatus. It's not like I'm getting rewarded for my reading. I don't have an awesome tote bag waiting for me at the end of it all . . .

3. One day this week, Lucy was pretending to read a book and kept saying, "Shut up!" Justin finally told her we don't say those words and she got furious, running up to her room crying. A few minutes later, she came downstairs and handed Justin this:
He said, "Is it a monster?" She responded. "It's me. I'm very mad at you." Lol. Yay for artistic self-expression? 

4. We finally had some warmer weather this week. Yesterday, we hit the high 50s, which is practically tropical! I took the girls outside, we tromped through the mud, Lena went down the slide 6,000 times, Lucy collected sticks and rocks. I sat in the sunshine like a fat cat. It was glorious. 

We went to Rockford for dinner when Justin got home, and the whole town was walking around downtown. It's hilarious how we all pour out of our homes like ants from a hill the second the temperatures become bearable. That's what being cooped up for 6 months of soul-crushing cold does to people!! One of my friends posted this picture on facebook, though. It's sadly so true:
Oh, Michigan . . .
5. Lucy and I did a little Kindergarten testing prep this week. I had her draw a picture of our family. (Is it worrisome that she never gives any of us arms? Haha.) Then I had her draw a triangle, square, rectangle, circle, and oval. She wrote her alphabet (all caps - she can identify lowercase letters, but never writes them), wrote the numbers 1-10, then counted as high as she could (50 - although I know she could do more if she tried). And I made her read me one of her little phonics books. The big test is Tuesday. Hopefully she cooperates. I'm really not as terrified of her failing as all my talk about it implies. It's just big and new and on my mind. Since all I ever do these days is read, I'm really reaching to come up with 7 points . . .

6. My depression was really bad this week. Especially Thursday. It's so frustrating when there's no reason for it. I can't blame it on hormones, the weather finally turned warmer and the sun was shining pretty much every day, my car is running, we have money in our bank account, Justin is a peach, we even got out of the house a ton this week. Playdates and errands and library runs. There was no reason for the depression to come clawing at me again. I woke up with it Thursday morning. Sick of waking up so early with Lena. Sick of the girls whining at me to play with them. Sick of cleaning and cooking and being responsible. I just wanted to sleep and eat and read all day. By myself. I started to panic about the sameness of my life. Every day I wake up at the crack of dawn with Lena, every day I battle with myself about how much screen time I let the girls have and how few vegetables they eat and how much of a failure I am. Every day I do a measly amount of cleaning to keep the house in a bearable condition, make something for dinner, try to figure out how to fill the day. Every day I berate myself for my apathy toward God, my inability to "choose joy," my inability to "snap out of it." I read all evening, then force myself to go to bed so I can wake up and do it all again tomorrow. On Thursday, I begged and pleaded with God to take the depression away, to make me whole again, to fill me with joy. And I braced myself for Friday. Justin usually has Fridays off, but he didn't this week, and I knew that could be a major trigger for me. But I woke up Friday without Thursday's desperation. Lucy woke up asking to do a science experiment, so that gave me something to focus on. We did science experiments via Pinterest, then Lucy wanted to do my hair and make-up. So we gave each other makeovers. Then she wanted to read books, which I never turn down. Her suggestions filled up our morning and the warm weather invited us to fill our afternoon playing outside. Justin came home and said, "Let's go to Rockford for dinner." so I didn't have time to wallow that evening. God totally answered my prayer. He filled my day and stabilized my emotions. 

7. I hate ending on a [literally] depressing note, but don't have much else to share. So instead, enjoy this picture that has already been on facebook and seen by most of you:
My brother and sister-in-law finally posted their wedding pictures on facebook. I was so happy with how this one turned out!! How cute are we? ;-)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Saturday 7

1. This week marked 2 years of living with my parents. Lena was 6 weeks old when we packed up our entire house (in one week) and descended on my parents. If I didn't constantly feel guilty about mooching and making life more difficult for my parents, I'd be happy to live here forever. Although I wouldn't mind another bedroom or two . . . and no, that's not a pregnancy announcement. Haha.

2. I've been trying to be more consistent about making the girls eat what I prepare for dinner. (I wonder how many times I've written that . . .) It is not going well. Most nights they go without dinner. I usually cave and let them have fruit if they're not going to eat what I make. But this week, I decided to break out the baby carrots. I made Lucy take one bite of dinner, then if she decided she didn't like it, she had to eat 3 carrots (with ranch - I'm not a monster!). After her carrots were gone, she could have fruit or a sandwich. Lucy has gobbled them down with abandon each night
Lena has a harder time eating them (she still doesn't have all her eye teeth/molars), but tried her best. Yay for vegetables!

3. I'm pretty sure I accidentally read a "Harlequin Romance" this week. I found it on my Kindle and the description seemed innocent enough. I didn't recognize the author, but the cover photo wasn't a typical romance book cover. It was just a picture of a woman. Her bosom wasn't exposed, her dress wasn't torn, there was no man with wind-swept hair clutching her with his shirt ripped open. It started off pretty dumb. They had to get married because of a ridiculously unbelievable scandal. He hated her because he thought she duped him into the marriage. She hated him for hating her. Then one day out of the blue he decided to forgive her and be nice and they immediately fell in love and everything was wonderful. And theeeeen, I had to start skipping pages. Whoa. I didn't expect that. Haha. There wasn't much of a plot beyond that. There were a few minor difficulties that were resolved within pages. The character development was awful. I never felt attached to the characters. I guess I can now safely say I'm not missing much by skipping the "romance" section of the library.

4. I did read one good inspirational fiction book this week: Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin. She's one of my favorite authors (Eve's Daughters is one of my all time favorite books. Also loved Hidden Places and All She Ever Wanted) but I've never read this trilogy that she wrote early in her career. I didn't love Candle in the Darkness as much as some of her other works, but it was still beautifully written and a captivating story. And when I just went to link to it on Amazon, I noticed the Kindle edition is free today! Go check it out!

5. On Thursday, we attended the Christian school open house. A little background in case you're new around here: Justin and I both attended the local Christina school all our lives - from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I loved the Christian school atmosphere and flourished there. And after much deliberation (and half a year of trying homeschooling - ha!), we've decided we want our kids to have the same opportunity. At least while we can afford it. For now, because of selling our house and living with my parents, we can afford to send Lucy to Kindergarten. We're just going to have to take it one year at a time beyond that. Anyway, the open house wasn't too exciting. We signed Lucy up for Kindergarten testing and got to meet the teacher. I didn't have Mrs. Ellsworth in Kindergarten, but my little sister and all 5 of our nephews did. Everyone loves her and I'm so excited for Lucy to have her as well.

6. I have no fears about Lucy's academic readiness for Kindergarten, but I'm slightly terrified about her social readiness. She's extremely attached to me. And she can be quite willful. Haha. I'm so nervous that I'm going to send her in to testing and she's going to cry and cling to me and refuse to answer any of the questions I know full well she can answer correctly. I guess time will tell! And I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks priming her. Haha.

7. Well that was kind of a lame entry, but that's my life. All I did this week was clean, play, read til all hours of the night, then take a nap the next day and feel grumpy all evening. Winter is making me crazy. We're supposed to have some 40* temps next week. Hopefully spring arrives before my sanity is completely lost.
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