Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Little Things.

Random little things that are making me smile today...

*Layla asking for piggy tails for the tenth day in a row.  She says she likes them because "piggy" is in them

*A day off.  I normally only work three days a week and I've been working extra these past couple of weeks.  I love my job, but love having a day off to get crap done.  To not have to put on makeup or nice clothes.  To get my hair colored because my daughters keep pointing out my grays.  

*A new playlist to run to.  I have recently gotten into Spotify rather than Pandora and the other day created my first playlist on it made specifically with songs I like to run to.  This morning when I woke up at 6 am I was unusually excited to throw on my running shoes and get out in the dark, cold morning.  I was sore from a yoga class the other night, but could have ran double what I usually do because of my new playlist.  Gotta love a mix of Prince, Mackelmore, and JJ Grey & Mofro.

*The next step in this parenting thing.  This week Ava's class had the puberty talk.  You remember the one...gym class, they separate the boys from the girls and everyone watches with a mixture of fascination and embarrassment.  I've already chatted with Ava about this because after my own lack of communication regarding these things from my childhood I want to be totally open with my girls.  Last night we continued the conversation and I love hearing her perspective on this whole growing up thing.  As much as I want to keep them my baby girls, seeing them grow up is pretty cool.  

*Looking forward to a night away.  I love having things to look forward to.  Whether it's an upcoming vacation, a weekend, a date night.  Something to get excited about.  This week Matt and I are going to Missoula for a concert.  This has many things to get excited about...time with my favorite guy, time in one of my favorite, weird towns, getting a break and of course having a Cold Smoke at my favorite brewery.  

*Seeing this...

I know with all the technology of today, print is going out of style.  But, I love magazines and get such a thrill seeing my writing in a publication.  It makes me feel like a real, legit writer.  Love it.  

*Spring.  Yes, I know I'm redundant when it comes to this.  But warm weather makes me ridiculously happy.  The grass is beginning to turn green.  There are talks of 70-degree weather.  We've been able to eat meals outside on our patio.  Spring is making its appearance all over and that means summer is right around the corner.  Even the snow storm from this past week can't bring me down.  Hello to my favorite time of year.  

Happy day my friends.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Break.

Today we wrap up Spring Break.  It wasn't a vacation to Mexico with friends like the days of college.  It wasn't a family trip to Florida like we've done in the past.  It was the girls, myself and whole lotta beautiful sunshine.  Over Spring Break, spring sprung...
Or would it be sprang?  Hmm.

Anywho.  Matt went to Michigan to visit family and because I had to work the girls and I stayed behind.  He did suggest taking the girls with him but the thought of a week without all of them literally broke my heart...I didn't think I could handle a full week without Matt and my girls.  Sure, a weekend to myself would have been blissful.  I could have easily filled my time with yoga classes, reading, writing and a quiet, clean house.  But, a week?  No way. So, he made his way on his own to the cold Midwest and left us to the lovely Bozeman weather.  We did just fine.  

We filled our days with hikes and strolls...

I can't quite remember a spring break here when the weather was this glorious.  Sunshine and warm air just begging for us to be outside.  Hinting at what is to come.  Longer hikes up big mountains, camping in the middle of nowhere and pulling the paddle board off the garage wall.  

We squeezed in cousin time, bike rides and picnics on the warmest of days and the museum and movies on the chilly ones...
(Man, I love this crew.)

And, someone lost her very first tooth...
It was quite entertaining.  Little miss was sleeping with me and, wait a minute, I'll let her tell, it's her story after all...

We slumber partied each night in my room.  I realized last time that all three of us sleeping in our bed was too much.  This time we took turns.  Much better for all.

We brunched with friends and I spent my evenings catching up on chick flicks.  I watched, for the first time, Love Story...quite possibly one of the saddest classics ever.  Spoiler alert...I didn't know she died...what the heck?  

Yes, our Spring Break was simple and lovely.  However, we missed Matt terribly.  Things are never quite the same around here when he's gone.  When the girls were babies and he would be gone for work I missed him because I needed him here to lighten the parenting load.  Now, the girls are easy and our days without homework, lunches and schedules are no problem.  Now, we just miss him.  I spent one afternoon accidentally wrapped up in my old journals from college.  The times of us falling in love, our stories and adventures.  I am so grateful to have documented those and for two hours I went back to being 20 - 23 years old and relived it.  The carefree days of being out of your parents home for the first time and no real responsibilities.  Yet everything seemed so very dramatic and stressful.  The school load mixed with working full time.  The navigating of new friendships.  The fighting and making up of an intense new relationship together...where one day we were friends and the next we were head over heels in love.  The searching for who you are and what you were going to do with your life.  I read my dramatic 20-something self and felt so happy to be in my late 30's.  Settled, content and no longer searching.  Instead feeling at peace and so very happy with my life.  Feeling no regrets for the paths taken and excited for what the future still has to bring.  Feeling happy to have found Matt so young and to have gone through the journey together.  Happy to have written it all down. Happy that I have chosen to continue with writing so I can one day look back at these memories I jot down and relive the moments.  With our family.  And I will smile as I did with my old journals.  Knowing what a happy life it has been.  

And...it was hilarious finding the diaries of my early youth.   Reading to the girls about when I was 10 years old and all I wrote about was what jerks my sisters were and how I kissed a boy named Tim.  Yes, they got a kick out of those ones.  Even better was I tore out the few pages I had written on in all those diaries and gave the remainder to them.  To which they each promptly went to their rooms, and began their own diaries.  Complete with hiding them in their underwear drawers.  The tradition of documenting our history continues.  

Hope your weekend and your Spring Break was happy.  Enjoy the sunshine.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Defines Us.

Writing hasn't been flowing easily like it usually does.  I'm not sure why.  It's been an up and down couple of weeks.  I call it my winter slump, but suspect it may be more than that.  I recently had some un-kindness thrown my way.  For the most part I handled it in a way I felt good about...making sure true friendships stayed true and letting go others.  I  wish it would just leave my mind, but still it lingers.  I was excluded from something because I have children.  I can't say that's ever happened.  Sure moms in general can be judgmental in your decisions...breastfeed vs. bottle-feed, spanking vs. timeouts, working mom vs. stay at home mom and on and on.  One can feel excluded because of parenting choices made, but I always feel strong in my decisions.  However, being excluded simply because I am a mom hasn't happened before.  It got me wondering, why?  I often think I am not a person defined by being a mom.  I'm still my own independent self  just with two extra people to love and take care of.  Upon further reflection I realized that thinking I'm the same person is crap.  Of course I'm different now that I've had kids.  My life is different, my outlook on the world, my attitude.  And this is a good thing.  I believe I have grown in so many ways, I have turned into the person I always wanted to be.  I think more about how I handle things because I constantly have two little girls soaking  it up.  I want them to be kind, grateful, peaceful, happy people and I get to be the one to teach them about the world.  What a responsibility.  So, of course I'm a different person.  Before I only had to be responsible for making sure the cat got fed.  As I look back on the past 10 years of parenting it's hard to remember what pre-children even looked like.  I thought about this last night as we were getting ready for evening showers and bedtime.  I couldn't recall what nights used to look like. I believe it probably went something like this- Matt and I would get home from work, have a fabulous meal of something like Hamburger Helper and then maybe watch some television and then bed.  Yea, we were pretty lame.  Not that kids made our life glamorous.  Evenings during the early parenting years were hard.   I would not-so patiently wait for Matt to get home.  Ready for a small break from holding crying babies or screaming toddlers.  Trying to get dinner ready in between kissing boo-boos and changing diapers.  Knowing there was no reprieve in sight because who knew if they would sleep that night or not.  Not glamorous by any means, but it evolved into something fulfilling.  Comfortable nights full of life and energy that couldn't be there without the girls.  Last night as I was having these thoughts I got a glimpse of how great all this is...an adorable, naked Layla came running down the hall with my tea saying "mama you forgot your tea".  As she jumped in the shower, I smiled knowing how special this parenting thing is (and feeling grateful no hot tea was spilt on her, yowza that would have caused tears).  I don't judge anyones decision to not have children.  We all pick our paths in life for own reason.  I respect friends of mine who have picked the no kiddos plan.  Their evenings look different, but different is good.  So, yes I am defined by being a mom.  But, I'm also so much more than that.  And, since the girls have been into tween music on Pandora....as Taylor Swift would say..."Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, I'm just gonna shake it, shake it off".  

I'm hoping that getting that off my chest will ease the writing block I've had.  In the meantime I'll get back to what this blog was all started for and let it flow.  To keep memories of the girls childhood and our lives where we are right now.  The simple things that make me smile.  Things like a two hour lunch with my sisters and my yummy nephews, the only ones left that aren't in school...
When it comes to looking for friends who always have your back and love you know matter what, sisters are where it's at.  

Speaking of sisters, I love seeing the conversations and bonds these two have as they grow...
Walking ahead of us on a Saturday stroll...lost in their own world of make believe and what's going on with their lives.  Occasionally I overhear/eavesdrop on these chats and my heart fills with such happiness that we were able to give them the gift of each other.  Don't get  me wrong, fights are a daily occurrence around here.  But, there is always love.

Lazy weekends with nothing going on are the norm this time of year.  Before the hustle and bustle of cramming things in during the summer we have the calm of winter.  I like where they lead us.  After a hike, heading downtown, buying the kids off with hot cocoa so we can have an afternoon beer (parents of the year!) and simply enjoying being together. Even better when you give a 7 and 9 year old your phones and they begin to explore the world of selfies...


Because I'm a mom there are many things different now.  Things I do differently, stuff I don't get to do like I used to.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the entire world.  

Happy day to ya.