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February 2016

dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
There is so much GOOD in this day.

  • 4th circuit court of appeals repealed the gay marriage ban in Virginia yesterday.

  • I got some excellent news at work (that I will share when I can!)

  • I have a kick-butt workshop planned for tomorrow that draws heavily on new techniques I'm learning about incorporating social media in classrooms for engagement!

Dreams are coming true over here.

And now, I go home to cook my sweet family dinner!
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
Working from home on a Monday is the best ever.  Especially when the temperatures are way below normal and a light breeze is feathering the wind chimes and I can enjoy a cup of coffee on our glorious porch.

We slept until 7:45 today! On a MONDAY! Nicole has to be at work at 8:30 and I typically sign in around 8:00.  Monday is normally a distance run for me, too.  Sleep was waaaaay more needed, I think.  Brenner wasn't even interested in rousing when Nicole went in to get them (and I stumbled downstairs to start some coffee - a cup of which Nicole never got!).

We had such a beautiful weekend.  Multiple trips to the river and walks through the neighborhoods.  Nicole and I even got to go to the grocery store together without kids ;)  Funny how that starts to feel like a special event!

We took the kids to Touch a Truck, too.  It was HOT.  There was absolutely NO shade at this giant park with all the trucks.  Brooks really hated all the loud sirens related to the police vehicles (many, many police vehicles) and Brenner seemed to love the hoopla.  We did take a second to run under the water that the hook and ladder truck was spraying to cool down.  I was the only adult willing, so the kids and I had a blast running through the water together.  Memories!

I have some serious wanderlust.  I know that we will be going to Orlando in October, San Fran in November, Texas for Thanksgiving... and I'll probably be tired of traveling THEN, but now... I am seeing all my friends go on their annual beach trips and dying for some PTO and an escape with me sweet little family.  Even if we just stay home and take an extra day down at the river... maybe, maybe.

dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
I love work from home days.  I have some pretty ambitious goals for the day, I hope I can keep to them.  And Nicole is picking me up for lunch with the kids today, so I have a midday break to look forward to.  And coffee.

It poured last night.  Heavy, relentless rain.  We are three inches below normal for this time of year, so we needed it.  I love falling asleep to the rain on the wrap-around porch roof outside our bedroom window.  Another reason I am glad to be on the front of the house, even if sometimes the noise up there can be worse (especially if you try to snag a midday nap and all the block kids are out playing!).

With all the rain, I was a little surprised that none of the low water bridges I typically cross on my runs were flooded out or closed.  And it was nice and cool, too.  After seven miles on Wednesday, it was torture to drag myself through 3.9 miles today... but I somehow survived.  I wonder if there will ever be a time when dangling the carrot of a warm shower and hot coffee as a reward will not be enough carrot to make me go?  I am dreading switching my runs back to afternoons for the fall and winter months... but it seems so much safer than running alone in the dark, right? Right.  Maybe I'll start going Tuesdays to the Pub Run event and Thursdays on my own and save my Saturday mornings for my long training days.  That half marathon isn't going to run itself. But it does mean giving up my sleep in day... choices choices.

We are going to a Touch a Truck event tomorrow!  They have it every year, but this is the first year the boys have shown any interest.  One year it rained, too.  So we didn't go.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny and 91 degrees WITH humidity.  I'm already melting just thinking about it.
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
A late afternoon rainstorm! I am curled up in my chair by the open window of my gorgeous purple office, soaking up the sound of rain on the tulip poplar.  Will the desert dweller in me never tire of the sound? Is it always going to feel like rain is a gift to be admired? I hope so.  There is such little magic to be found in the world today with all the hustle and bustle.

I love my little sanctuary.
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
I should really be productive.  But all I can think about is camping, tubing, fireflies, sunshine, thunderstorms, grilling out, laughing, warm skin, cool sheets, long runs, hot showers, and holding a good book.  Forget Spring Fever.  I have *Summer* fever!
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
This is the first Monday run I've missed in two months.  I just couldn't do it this morning.  I went to bed kind of late last night and woke up this morning drained and decided to give myself a break.  It's finals week, I am overwhelmed by work and I might just give myself the whole week off of running to make sure I practice enough self care, get enough rest, and breathe a little.

I still feel like I am dragging and like I might need MORE coffee than normal to make this day go.  I left the house while everyone was still asleep.  Sad. I hate missing the chance to hug my little guys.  And on my way in to work, BBC was playing an interview with Eric Clapton's baby-mama about the day their 4-year old fell from the 53 floor of a New York high-rise apartment building (Tears in Heaven) and I nearly turned around and drove home to kiss them.

It's a gray and drizzly morning.  These first days of summer are usually amazing.  Long long days, firefly nights, heat and haze.  Also, mosquitoes.  Unhappy about the persistence and tenacity of those little pests.  I think we have been invaded by the Asian Tiger Mosquito in this area.  They bite through your clothes!  There is not enough bug spray in the WORLD.

I am anxious to go camping.  We are talking about maybe going to weekend after the 4th of July... Adults only.  It would be *wonderful*.  My six-week classes start hot-on-the-heels of this semester, though - no rest for the weary.  We got an email from our Academic Advisors this week that stated that summer classes are optional and you would be okay not taking classes... so I had a moment of hope wherein I thought I would take six glorious weeks off... and emailed him to clarify.  He stated that I COULD take the summer off, but I would need to make up the credits by taking THREE classes somewhere in the next two semesters to graduate on time. Never mind.  Keep on, brave soldier. These classes are going to be fin, anyway - one is the building of and philosophy behind MOOCs and the other is "Evaluative Measurements" - okay, so that one doesn't sound that fun.  Sigh.  At least it's only a 6 weeker?

We took the kids to their first movie this weekend.  Brooks loved it and sat through the whole thing.  Brenner announced that he was "A little bit all done" about 45 minutes in and wanted to leave.  He and I wandered around target and petsmart together for an hour or so while we waited for the rest of the family.  I wasn't really in to the How to Tame Your Dragon movies, so I don't feel like I missed out on seeing the end, but what I DID see was visually wonderful and I liked where the story was going.  Nicole's recap was good enough for me!

Happy Monday, folks.
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
Time to sign up for my first 10K!  I ran 6.04 miles this morning and still had a little in the tank when it was time to stop.  I mean, I was grateful to stop, but I could have kept going if I *wanted* to... ;) I could have totally run the last two tenths.  I didn't even have to get mean with myself to finish, either.  My legs carried me like they run that distance every day.

You know what I love about running?  There is always a horizon.  Another goal to hit, another milestone to make.  It is all about you, too.  You don't have to go for distance, or speed, or consistency - you can choose one, choose all, choose your own goals and then the only person you have to compete with is YOU.  It is a mind game, a mental struggle, a strength builder in your heart, mind, and legs. And then there are run days like today when I remember when I couldn't run for TWO minutes and I ran non-stop for 63 minutes today.  An HOUR and three minutes of consistent movement. ME.  Who am I??  I felt pretty awesome.

I get to see the sun rise over the mountains while breathing in morning air laced with honeysuckle and summer.  While most of the world is sleeping, I am moving and moving HARD.

And I've lost 25 pounds and have all these awesome leg muscles.  That's a nice perk, too.

Ah, weekend.  You elusive thing, you.  Can it be quittin' time already?
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The best thing about a toddler sleepover at Nana's house? The morning after: no rush, no cares, no hurry to provide breakfast... Just coffee, me, and the cool morning on the porch.

Is it really June 1st? I just had to get a sweater to throw over my pajamas.

Nicole is fishing and I haven't said a word since I got up. Bliss.

dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
The boys are settling in to their new routine at Nana's nicely.  Meaning, they are now napping at her house in a big bed rather than walking home for nap at our house.  There has been a change with Nana's roommate situation and the roomie is back in Delaware... maybe permanently.  So, now the Very Old Dog cannot be left alone for large chunks of time and Nana cannot bring the boys home for nap.  Which is fine, really.  The goal was always to get the boys comfortable sleeping/napping over at Nana's house.  So, this is in all accounts a good thing.

But like all change, it's kind of rough.  And combine that with taking the pacifiers away this weekend, it's a miracle they are still napping at all. All this to say that yesterday's nap didn't officially start until 3:00 PM(ish for Brenner, a little earlier for Brooks).  Nana called Nicole at her quittin' time and told her not to come get the boys because they were still sleeping.  Nicole and I cleaned the kitchen together, folded the laundry and decided to head to Nana's at 5:30.  Boys STLIL sleeping!

So, Nana sent us out to dinner!  She said she would cook for the boys and we were given an unexpected date night.  Mexican food, complete with a margarita for me! (That's why I save up those run calories, man!)  Nicole and I had an invigorating conversation wherein I celebrated my new energies and passions about work and the work that I am doing, the possibilities of the future, and all the good things that have happened since last year this time (even though getting laid off was awful).

When we got back to Nana's house after taking a nice stroll downtown, the boys were up and fed.  They were playing happily and everyone was having such a good time hanging out... and it was obvious that the boys were going to be up late... and I had class to attend at 8:00...

I ended up walking home by myself at 7:30.  Coffee in hand, spring in my step, happy kids and happy family behind me.  I walked over the bridge to a gorgeous view:

Life. Is. Good.

This weekend the boys are going to try their first sleepover at Nana's house, too.  We have a kid-free NIGHT.  OMG.
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
I love it when Brooks looks up at me and says, "Mama, I am a very happy boy!"

I kind of feel like that this morning.  I am golden-tan and it isn't even June yet.  I spent a weekend playing outside, getting things done, running through sprinklers, playing at parks, stomping through rivers, lounging on riverbanks, cooking and baking.  My soul is brimming with all the good that early summer has to offer: blooming lilies, wild mulberries, honeysuckle, late afternoon thunderstorms. There has been so much life and light in my house that (even over the din of toddler whining) the laughter, good food, and sense of family prevails.

Lest you think everything is sunshine and roses, we took the boy's pacifiers away this weekend.  At nearly 3.5,  Two bits of parenting advice:

  • If you use Pacifiers, try to get rid of them before three.  The emotional attachment is intense. The reasoning of a 3.5 year old? Not that great.

  • The Paci Fairy sucks.  Just cut a hole in the paci and let the kid decide it's broken and throw that sucker away.  Paci Fairy my left foot.

Obviously, we went with the "Paci Fairy" approach.  We talked about it, we decorated a box and made pictures for the Paci Fairy, we put alllllll the pacifiers in the box for the fairy to take to the little babies who need them, went to bed Friday night SUPER excited, woke up to treats and a gift certificate to the toy store.  YAY.  Best. Day. Ever!

Took the kids to the toy store.  Brenner picked something different than Brooks. (Fiasco.)  Ended up packing away nearly ALL the toys over the resulting meltdown AND having to go back to the toy store to get Brenner the exact same thing Brooks got.  (Lesson learned. We pick everything from now on and they are getting the same thing, darnit.)

Then it was time to go to bed on Saturday.  No Paci Fairy coming.  No Paci.  Cue 2.5 hour meltdown. (Including Brenner calmly stating, "I wish I had never given the Paci Fairy my paci." followed by a BIG sigh.)

And then nap Sunday.  Meltdown.

And bedtime Sunday night? More melting down including Brenner saying pathetically, "Mama.  Go get my paci from the little babies!" Brooks, by the way, hasn't been that articulate about the whole experience.  He's really just shrieking and wailing through bedtime.

Brenner did NOT nap on Monday, Brooks eventually gave up and passed out.

Bedtime last night was MUCH better, but now Brooks wants to be up at 6AM where before he would self soothe with his paci and hang out in the bed until 7:00-7:30.  In fact, today was the first paci-free day that Brenner slept past 6:30.  It was nearly 7:30 when I left the house and he was still out.  Brooks, on the other hand, was up at 6:05.  I'm already up, but I run three mornings a week right now... so that is REALLY going to mess with Nicole the Night Owl if she has to start getting up with the kids at 6AM.

No. One. Was. Happy.

But overall, life is awesome. Funny, right?
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
I met up with the running group on Friday and was gratified by the fact that I didn't suck. Not only did I NOT suck, I was actually the best runner in the group. They universally asked me to come back because they liked the push of keeping up :) That made me feel like a superhero, just a little bit. It was an easy/light run for me, too! I enjoyed the camaraderie. Now I feel like I need to seek out someone better than ME so that I can feel that same push!

Then I went to work and was blown away by the results of my service project.

I belong to two Employee Networking groups and was just recently asked to join the second one (Professional Women's Inspiration Group) as a Core Leader of the group. I am the youngest, the lowest salary band, and the one with the least tenure at the company in this group of high-powered women executives. Every year my company does a week of service. I volunteered to go to the food bank with my team, but my Women's group wanted to do something, too. I suggested we collect gently used professional wear to donate to a cause I love (I know the girl who started it). The cause was a Women's Closet used by a Domestic Violence Shelter in the area to help women escaping terrible situations find some interview and professional clothes to get them out in the workforce again.

At the last minute, everything fell apart. No one was in town, no one had time to help me publicize, my week blew up with meetings. I had a few volunteers to man the table when I wasn't able to be there and without them, I'd have died. Friday, when we went to pack and sort, we had trouble getting it all to fit in my SUV. Like, we had doors that we thought wouldn't shut. I am bursting with donations thanks to the generosity of my fellow women and the volunteers. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would initiate and then be a part of something so magnificent when I threw the idea out there casually two weeks ago.

Monday: I will get the joy of delivering all of these beautiful shoes, purses, skirt and pant suits, blouses and slacks to women who truly, truly need them. I nearly cried and I hugged SO many people that I'm sure I looked foolish. I cannot even process the magnitude of my gratitude.

Today: Local Colors. I love how diverse this little city is. I ate from the Greek tent (the kids TORE UP some spinach puff), the Egyptian Tent, and wanted to go back to Iraq but didn't get the change. Mother-in-Law did Colombian, Mexican, Syrian, and something else while Nicole and Marie stuck to Korean, Japanese, and ... I can't remember. We all sampled and ate. Norway's cakes were the best. The boys LOVED the traditional dancing... especially the Belly Dancer. They wanted her to come back again and again. I think we're in trouble.... or maybe it was the fact that she was dancing with swords? (I hope it wasn't her outfit!!)
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
I am so everliving tired. I mean, I woke UP tired. Which is funny, because my fitbit says I basically slept like the dead last night. Not a toss, not a turn. I believe it. It felt that way when I woke up... and I felt like I could have slept several more hours except that I had to deliver a presentation at work for another organization and had to get up and look *nice* today. Sigh. I asked Nicole to bring home coffee and I should be doing school work... but, instead, I wanted to reflect on our wedding day before I lose it all in a haze of speed, time, busy life, and rat race.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday and she has been the first person who said, "Tell me all about it!" And when I started talking about it, I was surprised by the things I was saying and how much of it I wanted to remember that I'd already forgotten. Elopements are kind of crazy, so whirl-windy and fast. I hardly had any time to think about the wedding, really.

Here is what I want to remember:

Getting everyone ready that morning was hectic, I was the last one. As I put on my dress, I was suddenly struck with butterflies. Really nervous butterflies! Nervous and scared! I was totally unprepared for that. All the time leading up to the wedding, it was just "making things official" and "paperwork-y"... and then that one moment of seeing myself in my dress and realizing that even though it was out 13th anniversary, this was the day we were legally getting MARRIED hit me like truck. Nicole joked with me about cold feet!

Brooks told *everyone* that "We're getting MARRIED!". The front-desk person. The cab driver. Everyone. (Even afterwards - "We got married today!"

When we arrived at the park, the officiant took Nicole and I aside and ran through the ceremony format briefly. He talked about how we were going to recite our vows, the part where we say I Do, and how we were going to exchange rings. That was another moment that boggled me - I looked at Nicole and she held my hand - we were really getting MARRIED. What on earth was happening? Why was I so nervous and excited and scared and happy and bewildered? He told us just to look at each other, that there was no need to look at him, just look at each other, be in love, make these promises to each other and let the moments be for US.

As we said our vows, I remember wiping a tear from her face and feeling a knot in my throat, tears brimming in my eyes, too. We took vows to each other in 2007 and I barely remember through the haze of that busy wedding day what it felt like. This was like a jolt to my soul, hearing the words, repeating the words, hearing her promise herself to me and then watching the officiant hand us our LEGAL marriage certificate. I was completely unprepared for the emotional impact it would have on me, on us. It was like this weird parallax frame snapped in to place and suddenly I went from seeing double to one, firm, picture.

I can't really describe how a legal marriage is any different than what we had before (especially since we are still waiting to hear what Virginia is going to do about the repeal/appeal of our marriage ban) but I do know that standing in the midst of those azaleas on that sunshiny morning as we restated our commitment to one another in a legally protected and recognized marriage ceremony, my spirit was changed. I am grateful that we did it and I am so grateful that after all these years, I can still look her in the eyes and see tears of love from her and feel my own tears in my eyes and a full heart of love for her and our family, too.
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
Mothers’ Day is hilarious.

The first two, we tried. We did. This year, we didn’t. And it was WONDERFUL. I mean, we bought cards for each other and one from the kids to each Mom, but then we didn’t even make them out or give them to each other. No gifts, no cards, no fancy breakfast, no brunch out… just peace and togetherness. We slept until 8:00 AM (thanks, boys!) and then had a leisurely morning snuggling. Got dressed and Nana came over and we all went into the backyard where Nicole planted tomatoes and the kids ran through the sprinklers and Nana and I chatted on the Adirondack chairs in the shade.

Then while the kids were napping, Nicole and I both enjoyed the copious amounts of sunshine from the comfort of our wrap-around porch. For me that included a glass (or two) of white wine while I painted my toenails. Lovely. I let myself indulge a little this week, straying a bit from the diet plan to accommodate wine, chocolate, and some desserts – I mean, you only get (legally) married once… or once-ish, for some? … Meh. Whatever. I did NOT say no to elegant meals in DC, tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, apple pie cupcakes or chocolate … not all at once, of course.

We did make a bigger deal of Mother’s Day for Nana, though. Since it is her first Mother’s Day with us (actually, second – we spent last Mother’s Day up in Maryland with her!), we invited her over for dinner last Thursday to celebrate her on her own. Since we have a standing “Family Dinner” on Sunday with a larger crowd, we wanted to make sure she got her cards and gift in her own special time.

I am back on my wagon today, though. And last week I sort-of invited myself to join a women’s running club that meets on Fridays at the park near my house. They are friends and friends of friends, so I sent a message to the one I know the best asking her if I could run with them. One of them said this Friday is a 4-miler! Yikes! I don’t know if they are kidding or not (since some of them just started running again after taking time off to have kids, etc), but just to be safe, I ran 4.2 miles in 46 minutes this morning just to make sure I can keep up with them. I was pretty darn proud of myself!

I am chairing a charity service project this week at work, collecting donations of professional wear and accessories for victims of domestic abuse trying to get back into the workforce. I am also volunteering at the food bank tomorrow. I love that I work for an organization for which service work is valued and we have a weeklong service week each year to give back. I am also teaching several resume classes at area shelters in the coming months related to this outreach. It is exhausting, dizzying, and exciting and right up my alley. I thank heavens for this new role that allows for these opportunities every day. It certainly made coming back to work after a week off MUCH more palatable!

The boys have had a blast with Nana. She kept them for us last week so that we could get stuff done around the house and have some ‘us’ time, too. Friday, she borrowed my car and took them to the park, the city market, out to lunch, to the boutique candy store AND topped the whole trip off by stopping at the fire station and asking the firemen if they had time to give the boys a tour. They got to climb up in to the fire truck and everything. Nana is SO their hero.

I still wish they would watch less TV< but someone (on here?) gave me a tip and I signed up for’s daily suggested activity email. The email is targeted to your child’s age and they are super easy to do. Today’s was to give the children a white piece of paper and a black piece of paper. They were to draw Daytime activities on the white sheet and night time things on the black sheet (in white crayon). Easy peasy! Now I can get the email and send the materials to Nana the next day. It’s helpful for a busy mom who works full time to have these things thrown at me rather than have to search for activities for them. I love it.
I have so much more to say about our first week married. But I have gone on enough already. More soon!
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
Here are things I love right NOW:

1) Working away in my purple office with the windows open!! Oh, yeah!  This place is every bit the nest I wanted.  I just need to add some art to the walls, find the perfect reading chair and I am SET.

2) Taking our kids on a hike today.  We made it all of 2000 feet into the woods around the Cove, but hey.

3) Vacation!

4) Being legally married and the subtle shift in my consciousness that this little legalization has created in my heart.

5) Freshly mowed grass, pretty potted plants, porch sitting, and sunshine.  I'm already getting tan lines!

6) Running three and a half miles is EASY.  Who is this person that I've become!?
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
The first thunderstorm of the season was early early this year.  This morning was the first *morning* thunderstorm.  Also early this year.  Thunder rumbled as I went to bed and crashed as I woke up.  The birds were still singing at 1:30 AM, confused by the pink, luminescent sky. It was like a page out of Wonderland, only I was desperately trying to sleep and completely confused by the songbirds.

This is what my desk calendar said this morning:

Ironic, yes?

Saturday is our 13th anniversary!  I often joke with Nicole that when she asked me out on that date 13 years ago (Today), she never knew we'd still be dating all this time!  She then routinely quips that she wouldn't change a thing and we both remember what it was like to fall in love in May all those years ago.  Sneaking off, ditching class to lay in the sunshine on blankets in meadows full of wild flowers.  I will never forget how my life stood still, turned 180 degrees and how much I/we grew through that summer, living together on a spur of the moment decision because we couldn't bear to be parted and the chain of events that built up the strong relationship that we have today.  I cannot imagine my life without her.  Even at its worst, life with her is better than anything I would be able to dream on my own.

I love to stand on our front porch and watch her dig in the dirt, planting flowers with the boys playing in the yard.
I love that she painted my office until the wee hours of the morning and seems to love the fact that I love it so much.
I love that she does her level best to run the house while I work late on work and even later on grad school.
I love that she sings silly songs to the boys and that they now sing silly songs to us and each other.
I love that watching her be a mom has been such a joy-bringer for my heart.
I love her compulsive desire to go fishing ... like ALL the time.
I love the way she looks at me when she is up to no good or thinking devious thoughts.
I love the way she grills the perfect steak and serves it with the perfect red wine on date nights.

She is pretty phenomenal, I say. 
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)

My second morning run was a success!  I didn't even have to stop at all today. I ran my 5K with relative ease.  How amazing it is to have all that energy to attack your run!  I also forgot my cell phone charger at work, so I was phone-less all weekend (except for necessary texts/calls) and didn't have my music or run tracker this morning.  I thought I would be miserable running without my tunes, but I kind of enjoyed it.  Paying attention to my breathing, hearing the roaring of the river as I crossed back and forth over the bridges, birdsong.  It was nice.  Really nice.  I might run without earbuds more often!

I don't think I mentioned that a week ago there was a shooting on my usual run route?  The victim was an older man who survived the attach. A place I pass by all the time.  The man said he was walking by himself that there was a paranoid/suspicious looking guy walking behind/in front/near him.  The guy just turned and shot him.  They can't find any connection, it appears to be random.  Great. Gunman on the Greenway, right?  That was another major impetus of switching my runs to the morning.  I figure gunmen are lazy and probably aren't up at 6:00 AM, but I will say that I am really hyper-vigilant these days as I run.  I hate to say that this act has caused me to live in fear because I don't want to give the gunman that kind of control... but I always run alone and now I'm running along in the pre-dawn.  Nicole says I should carry mace, and that's a good idea... but if someone has a gun there is very little I can do at a distance to protect myself.  If they want me dead badly enough, unfortunately I am a moving target.  It is scary to think about.  But I don't think running in a group would help THAT particular issue, either.  I don't think it matters HOW many people go with you if there is a crazy out there determined to shoot people...

I don't like what it has done to my zen-time.

It is rainy today and the kids are at our house with their Nana.  I told Nicole this morning that we might really have to explore the option of summer camp, especially for Brooks.  He is desperate to play with other kids.  He is missing the interaction terribly.  What an extrovert!  Brenner would happily stay home and look at books, play with his toys, watch movies, or just snuggle.  Every kid Brooks saw this weekend he said, "I want to go say henno to them!" (Henno = hello)  And say Henno we did.  He played with the kid up the street, the kids across the street, a gaggle of kids at the park... he inserted himself in to EVERY social situation he could find... and when he couldn't FIND one, he created it!  It made his introverted Mama tired on his behalf.

So far things with Nana appear to be going well.  I think they are watching more TV than I want them to.  Nicole and I are probably going to have to be very proactive at providing crafts and stuff for her to do because she will probably just let them watch TV if nothing else is planned.  Nana has been doing a LOT around the house, but we still don't have time to keep up with all the clean laundry she is piling up! Nicole and I both have next week off and one day we are going to CLEAN.  Yep.  I may also schedule a massage because Nicole wants to fish every day.  I might as well get in a little relaxation, too!

Our DC trip this weekend is shaping up nicely.  I can pay in advance for premium parking at the zoo and that will save us a lot of time.  My schoolwork and work deadlines are INTENSE this week as I prepare to be out... so I've been a little bit frayed. And sleepless: Nicole's chest cough has made it hard to sleep in our room.  Sigh.  I picked a fight at 5:30 AM after being awake since 4:00 AM with her coughing.  Not a good start to the week and definitely not a good look for me.  I apologized after working out all my tension and issues on my run.  Another reason not to listen to music: Soul searching time is free.

Hope you all had lovely weekends!

dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
Some mornings the sunrise is so beautiful it threatens to break my heart.
dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)

Today I worked from my new office for the afternoon for the first time. It is still sparse, but the painting is done. I had Nicole carry up one of the dining room chairs for me to sit on. The bookshelf is still empty, and there is nothing on the walls other than the decorative painting we did... but my desk is assembled and I have a view to die for. I am excited about adding to it here and there for the long term to make it my own little space for crafting, writing, working, and reading.  An introvert's paradise!

I always feel like I have so much more to say and
then I open the editor and stare at the blank screen until I cannot possibly know what to say anymore.  Life continues apace, I guess.  Spring is in full swing, zyrtec seems to have quelled my allergy frenzy enough that I can enjoy time outside with the boys, Easter has come and gone.

We are taking a trip up to Washington, DC for our anniversary.  I mentioned this, I think?  We are staying near Georgetown and out of most of the hustle and bustle with modest plans to see just the zoo and the Natural History Museum before we return. Quick Friday to Sunday trip ... with toddlers!  I hope they handle it all pretty well.  They may not get a nap on Friday, which may be courting disaster at the Natural History Museum, but we shall see.

For those of you with older toddlers, when did they stop napping? I'm thinking that the boys are pretty close, but I don't know for sure.  I'm certainly thinking that they will not be napping all that reliably by the time we go to Disney in October. They will be nearly four then.  Yikes! Where have the years gone?

Did I mention that I have quite a view? The pretty white dogwood! And the other window looks out onto the lush tulip poplar.  I honestly feel like I am working in a tree house!

dreamsrundeep: (Good Day)
The wind is sweeping out the April Showers from yesterday... with a vengeance! I thought I would blow away today. I was already so tired when I woke up that my eyes drooped as I tried to get ahead on more school reading... and I ended up allowing myself to snuggle back down on the couch and get 45 minutes more sleep. Nicole and I have both been just so tired lately. I think it is time for a vacation! We have the first week of May off, so we're just coasting along until then.

The first week of May (May 3rd) is our 13th anniversary. We have a weekend trip to DC planned and then a whole week off afterward to adventure. Camping with the family? Couple trip to Asheville while Nana keeps the boys? So many options! Every time we start to talk about it, life interferes. Sigh.

I had to give myself a pep talk this morning to get through the pile of stress and anxiety I'm feeling. I am causing it all myself, nothing is going to kill me and if I look objectively at the pile of work - it is all under control. All will be well. All will be well.

It is almost Dogwood time! The buds are opening ever-so-slowly. I've promised Brenner that the whole tree will be pink and he just shakes his head in disbelief and says, "Wow. Wow, Mama."

We've been cooking up a storm, too. Trying a LOT of new things. I made pork and cabbage potstickers a couple of weeks ago - you should have seen Nicole and I folding wonton wrappers and figuring out how to cook them in the skillet! And lots of other asian stir-frys. I've found a recipe for veggie fried rice that I love and made that last night with our teriyaki pineapple chicken thighs. Who knew I would love cooking so much?

I'm 2 pounds from my goal weight and it is dropping fast. My running is picking up and improving and I'm sitting on a stability ball at work to maximize my core strength. I feel amazing (aside from just run-down-tired-from-no-vacation) and strong. This is probably the best shape I've been in since high school. I want to find time to lift weights. Maybe I should try to squeeze that in ... with grad school, my running schedule, cooking, Mom-ing, and working full time.

dreamsrundeep: (summer feet)
Yesterday was the first day since I changed my eating habits in January that I felt deprived of something. I had plenty of healthy, yummy food. Dinner wasn’t even altogether ‘healthy’, really. But I REALLY wanted French fries, cake, hamburgers… my cravings were all over the map. It would have been funny had I not been so cranky about it. Maybe I should have just given in! But we have some big things coming up and I am THIS CLOSE to my goal weight for the first time in six years. So, I persevered, albeit cantankerously. Results are nice. So are cheeseburgers. This weekend, CHEESEBURGERS! :D See, I believe in moderation … ;)

It snowed and snowed and snowed yesterday and the wind-chill this morning was in the single digits. It is March 26th. I am still waiting for “out like a lamb”. There was swirling, blowing snow all over on my commute in this morning.

Yesterday, as the snow pelted down, Nicole and I made the choice to go get the kids so they wouldn’t get stranded up the babysitter’s hill and I met them at home for naptime. I ended up taking a nap while they napped… and it was a GOOD nap after a sleepless night… but I ended up regretting it twice: 1) When Brenner woke up before I was ready and forcefully pulled me out of a deep sleep into full-on Mommy Mode (didn’t help the crankies) and 2) when I tried to go to sleep last night and tossed and turned for most of the night. And Brooks has been going through a phase where he isn’t sleeping that well (up two or three times a night), so Nicole and I are exhausted. As we cradled coffee mugs this morning like caffeine addicts, we blearily looked at each other and kept saying how nice it would be to have a day to just sleep. A WHOLE day.

We have the first week of May off and are talking about taking a grown-up trip to the lake to rest. Maybe!