Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Italian Plums....

So I guess  you could describe me as a feast or famine sort of blogger this summer!  It feels good to be back in a routine this week with Lauren having a full week of school and we can tweak our schedules to work nicely around the morning and afternoon bus stop.  Yesterday I had a few hours of total peace and quiet with a delightfully clean house while Evan was napping and Lauren was at school.  I really got how good this whole full day school thing is gonna be!  What I'm trying to say here is, I have no excuses for not blogging! 

This is my pal Nancy and her daughter Morgan at the famous
Donut Hole in Grand Marais, MN during our June vacation...
She may kill me that I posted a picture of her and that donut!
However, I think you look great Nance!

My friend Nancy started a blog called Everything Except Cooking and she's been posting like a good little (new) blogger and she really inspired me to get back on the horse, or the wagon, or what have you!  She is also having a fun photography challenge which you can read about here. What I find hilarious is the girl doesn't cook but she canned peaches last week!  Honey, if you can CAN peaches you can cook!!!  I cook my brains out but am scared to can!  (go figure!!!) 

So in the spirit of Nancy's photo challenge, I'm posting some pics of the beautiful Italian plums I just got at the market.  And it is very apparent that I NEED to do that challenge!  There just doesn't seem like enough time to do all these things!  I want to start working on ancestry.com too but seem overwhelmed.  Nancy's blog reminded me to "just shut up and write."  Don't over think it.  Put something down (from the heart) and move on!  Thanks Nance!

Okay, so what about that little flower icon/button on my camera?  What about a super close up?  I need help!  But I did put these in natural light and that helps!

Is it crazy that I have serious thoughts about what my retirement will look like?  Projects galore and a lovely beach house...How does one carve out time for oneself when you have kids?  Other than my daily exercise and blog I can't seem to fit anything more in!  I shouldn't complain.  I feel like I have a rich and FULL life!!! I am thankfully thick in the middle of a great book.  I've been off the book thing this summer (couldn't find anything that I could really sink my teeth into!  The Help ruined me!)

Happy Monday friends!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We BOTH Survived!

This little blossom went to Kindergarten today! 
And this little blossom (along with Mom) had a fantastic new experience that helped us both grow as individuals!  I keep telling Lauren the feeling of being scared or excited or anxious is really just a feeling inside ourselves telling us that "you need to grow and expand and learn new things today."  That's the beauty of motherhood.....you just make it up as you go along and you realize that's all you can do.  You wake up and do your best and show up and love.  These life lessons I am receiving from the kids are amazing!!! hahahha

Today proved to me that (THUS FAR!!!)  I've done (we've done??  should I include Dad in here???) a pretty good job so far in my preparation to put Lauren on the path to success.  It really does take a village.  That is pretty cool when you think about it~all the people that go into forming-shaping-growing-up your child.  Today was amazing.  Some little red head I know is snoozing away......ready for Day #2 of Operation Kindergartner.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baby you're a FIREWORK!

Evan keeps saying "I growing up.  I go on school bus too."

The day has come.  My little freckle-faced, red-headed baby girl will walk to the bus stop tomorrow morning and ride a bus to school, spend all day there (without me) and eat lunch and learn and make friends and ride the bus home where I will greet her  at that same bus stop.  I will admit that many days I longed for this day to hurry up and get here.  Now it's here and I'm not quite sure how to feel.  (She's my first to leave the nest~even if it's only for the day, 5 days per week)

Seriously, Class of 2024?  How can that be?
How old does that make me in 2024?  Um, yeah, no....

After three solid years of pre-school I know she's ready.  She needs more than I can give her.  She needs more learning (please let Kindergarten be more than pre-school!!!  I don't want another stinkin' bear to color and decorate with her interests for the bulletin board.  She's over it and so am I.)  She needs more.  period.  I am delighted to send her off on this new journey but there is that mom thing inside me that just can't believe that life moves this fast.  How can I be 40 years old and just have a Kindergarten?  Hell, she should be in middle school!!!!!  (Note to self:  you chose to WAIT to have your kids.  Deal with it!)

"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away....."

I can't help but remember those very first moments alone with her in the hospital room after giving birth.  I was over-joyed that I had my girl.  I was overwhelmed with love and emotion and such a fierce, immediate sense of protection for this being that was mine.  Yet now she will board a bus and go to school and there are forty million things I can't shelter or protect her from.  I have to let go, even if it's just a tiny bit.  We are both on a new path together.   I am certain the most learning this year will be with me.

Mrs. Svendsen.  (Trisha Svendsen to be exact!)
Is this woman 25?  OMG!  And she has FIVE kids!
I need a private meeting with her to go over aging strategies!

Mackeben Mountain Lions Forever!!!!
I love you Lauren.  You are smart and funny and wonderful.  God speed.  You are gonna rock!
(Please note Lauren's gangsta pose!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August Already?

Since I've been blogging so VERY LITTLE this summer, it only seems appropriate that my blog titles just point that out!!!  Here we are in August already!  My "Summer of YES" has been a crazy wonderful whirlwind, one that I wouldn't trade, but I may enjoy the respite Fall will bring.  My lovely Lauren starts Kindergarten August 25 and it seems crazy that I'm not at the helm of understanding how everything will work.  Aren't parents always supposed to be at the forefront?  I am kind clueless about many aspects of this new venture, yet I'm happy that I have a confident child ready to take on this new path.  Me:  "Are you excited for Kindergarten?"  Lauren:  "How can I be excited if I haven't done it yet mom?"  "I'll be excited after I do it."  I think we will both feel better after open house!  The school bus scares me more than anything but we all did it and survived so I need to let go!

For those of you following my Mom's stem-cell journey:  We couldn't have asked for better results!!!!  The stem-cell transplant coordinator said that a successful stem cell was 5% of less of the cancer remaining in your system and Mom has .05%!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HELLO!!!!!  Who could ask for more that THAT?????  We will see her doctor at Northwestern next week for a full run-down of all her follow up tests that she received in Marinette, but we are grateful, happy and in celebratory mode!!!!!  Thank you for all your love, support, prayers and kindness.  We couldn't have done it without you!!!  We love you all!

I turn 40 on Thursday and aside from needing a mammogram, (HA!) I feel better than ever before!  I almost feel like something monumental should occur, but the older I get the more those kind of "fireworks" type of events just aren't realistic or needed.  I plan to celebrate the event via a blog posting of "a letter to my younger self"  so stay tuned!  Haven't you always wanted to write one of those?  I've come so far, changed so much and generally like myself so much more! 

Life is good and I am thankful!  I also CANNOT wait to see the movie The Help!  That book was fantastic.  Here's to a nice segue into Fall~my favorite season of all.  Cooler weather....transitioning to sweaters and loving all those school supplies!

Here is a recap of Summer '11 just by taking a quick peek at all my photos:
missing teeth
riding bikes
kiddie cocktails
swimming in pools, lakes and rivers
alpine slide
veggies from the garden