Friday, July 31, 2015

summa, summa, summa

Thankfully, Wednesday turned out to be a much better day!  Patrick ended up getting some version of what the kids had so he was home for the day.  Because he was here as "back up" I let James babysit and went school supply shopping by myself.  The quiet time was just what I needed.  I also got all their basics (I will take them with for backpacks, lunch boxes and all of that) in record time and even scored Nick a new to us bike at Goodwill for $9.99 on the way home.  It would have cost more than that to fix his current bike so I was happy and he loves it because it has a kick stand. :)  His latest trick is riding out of the saddle.  He thinks he is pretty cool.  ;)

Thursday was also very good.  I ran that morning and ran two + miles straight for the first time in a couple years.  I also had my fastest mile to date, clocking it at 10:55.  :)  That was fun!  After that I got ready, took the kids to swimming and then met Heidi and her kids at a beach in Madison for the afternoon.  James and Ruby both passed their swim test so they could swim out to this raft and go off the diving board.  They loved that and did it over and over.  Ruby refused to take the test for the longest time so I was thankful when she finally tried and even passed.  It was just over 90 yesterday but we had a spot right in the shade and it was perfect.  Loved yesterday.

I only have 13 more days alone with the kids before school starts.

I am totally counting.

Today I haven't been feeling the best so we shall see what the weekend holds.  Patrick is feeling better so he can take over if I go down. 

Ebay has been ridiculous, in a good way.  I had over $200 in sales just yesterday and today.  Crazy!!  It is awesome.  :)  I am super thankful as we have new brakes to pay for and a trip to Duluth next week.  And those school supplies and clothes and shoes and, and, and.  It can be overwhelming, no?  Anyways, I had a goal to list everything I had for summer and have almost done happy.  After next week I will start listing fall, which might even be a little late.  Summer stuff is still selling, though.  Like us, I bet lots of people have vacations still coming up in August.  As I was typing this my phone cha-chinged.  Someone just bought a $29 tank top.

 Woot!  I wonder if blogger will add emoticons??

I will leave you with some pictures from camping last weekend.

Ruby & Jacob at the campground river:

 James at the top of a small section of falls.  I cropped Patrick out but he was nearby, waiting for him.  James and I got stuck on a rock in fast water just up from where he was in this picture, later on in the day.  We were both kind of scared and thankfully a nice couple helped us get out of the river.  I felt awful about it and so thankful we were okay.  (James got caught in current first and then I did when I grabbed him.) Seeing this photo, later on, made me feel better because I do not think we were in danger of dying.  The water was fast with lots of big rocks but also the distance we would have gone down the river was pretty short.  I think we may have gotten banged up and a little scared but would have survived. 
 Me, right below where James was in the above photo.  There was a sandy spot where you could dig your feet in and let the water wash over you.
 Nick & Jacob:


 Annie & Ronan got this ridiculously awesome raft:  so. much. fun.

 I'm not going to lie.  For a few minutes I thought I had discovered a new species.  Turns out it takes a long time (around 90 days) for a tadpole to become a frog.  This was maybe 7" long so that is going to be one BIG ASS frog.  I stared at it for a long time and once, when I bent closer, it moved and I legit screamed.  HAHAHAHAHHAHA.  Stephanie, Wild River Explorer.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

hit a wall, moving on

I hadn't worked in 4 days, exercised in 5.  I have been feeling sensitive and kind of sad. 


James and Ruby were each sick for a day (Monday & Tuesday) but they both seem to be feeling better today.

Hopefully today is back to normal?  Feels like it might be.  I am working now and while I didn't get to run this morning (rain & lightning) I am going to the gym or a bike ride later. FOR SURE.  Oh wait.

I didn't even like the movie Inside Out that much.  HAHA!  I did like talking about it with the kids after, though.  :)  Okay, it was a very cute movie but that's what a mood I was in yesterday.


1. We have made it through 7 weeks of summer!  I only have 3 more weeks after this one, the 4th one we will be in Door County!

2.  Ebay has been fantastic.  Last week was unexpectedly good and I stocked up on shipping supplies (poly mailers, tissue, labels & tape) and bought a new camera.

3.  I love our patio. Sitting on it makes me happy. 

4.  I can't wait to clean out our basement and get all of my inventory organized again.  I am in the mood to get rid of stuff!  Love when that mood strikes.

5.  I am not excited for summer to end, just excited for what comes next.  (solitude. quiet.)  giddy is actually a better word. 

6.  Making a vow to wear my summer faves that I haven't worn yet.  Soon it will be back to gray and black every day.  :)

 Okay, just popped in to say hi and get my head straight.  Today is a new day! I am thankful for it!  :)


Friday, July 24, 2015

so much for that!

This summer journal got away from me, didn't it?  dang it!  I had such high hopes for myself.  :)

We are cruising through our summer.  James finished College for Kids and that felt SO good for both of us.  In a way it felt like summer finally started.  happy sigh.  We are finding a good balance of doing fun stuff by ourselves and with friends and just staying home.  James is happy to not have to come along on every errand run and I even left Ruby home with him one afternoon last week.  They did so well (our neighbor was home, just in case) and I was very proud of them. 

Last weekend we went camping with our friends and it was pretty eventful.  It was 90 degrees, my friend's RV blew a tire, her and I got upset with eachother (for about 5 minutes but still!), rainstorm with lightening, Nick got sick and threw up for most of Saturday.  BUT.  We still had fun.  How does that happen?  :)  You take it where you find it, I think.  We ended up loving our new tent.  I thought we'd be jealous of the RV but weren't, at all.  It amazingly didn't feel too hot with the breeze and the swimming, we stayed dry (the lightening had us worried for a few minutes), I was so proud of our kids (I went up alone with them on Friday and they were SO good while I was setting up the tent and James helped me a lot.).  We were so happy to see Patrick after he was done with work.  We all had fun.

This week my sister and mom came over to plan camping, we saw Heidi and her kids again for a little digging and the beach.  We went to Little Amerikka yesterday with Annie & Wendy and all the kids.  We've had a couple fun date nights (Patrick planned the last one...loved that!) and seen a few movies.  Minions, Spy (HAHAHA!), and (blush) Magic Mike.  :)

I'm still plugging away at the couch to 5k.  It's good.  kind of.  :)  It's good that I'm doing it, is what I mean. 

Now I have to go do stuff because we leave for camping again in a couple hours!  Eau Claire this weekend and I get to see one of my favorite friends!  Can't wait!


pics next week.  promise.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

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oh geez.  How am I supposed to remember all of that????  :)  I never will but let me try.

Last Wednesday.  I know I met Wendy in the morning to run and noticed the time for one of my miles was 12:01.  Felt good about that.  That afternoon we went for a bike ride to the park and the kids busted up our old smoke detecors.  That kept them occupied for quite a while.  James has BIG plans for some of those parts.  (not the radioactive parts.)

On Thursday Patrick was home!  Yay!  We met my sister at the park that afternoon.  And had a cocktail.

On Friday I ran with Wendy and got 11:33 for one of my miles.  Yay! Then I came home and had breakfast, got ready.  Patrick was home again so I took the opportunity to go to the dig.  I "met" my mom there but we hardly saw each other.  :) 

On Saturday we decided to skip the bbq we were considering and just hang out as a family.  We went on a gruelling bike ride (it was unintentional) and then got ice cream.  After a nap we left for the fireworks in a nearby town.  It was really fun.  Annie & Ronan came and we had a good time.  The kids want to go back to that park, maybe today?  I love this picture of all the kids resting on Patrick.

 On Sunday everyone slept really late so I worked in blissful silence for TWO HOURS.  So nice.  Later I went and did tons of shopping (groceries and such) and then came home and sat on the patio and read a book for an hour.  Lovely evening.

It felt good to catch up on my ebay work as I kind of slacked off last week.  I ended up having a decent week, though, and am ahead of my goals for this week, listings wise.  I am about to go select my next group of clothes to list.  I think it will be dresses.  :)

Monday was a good run first thing and then a lot of crap.  I'm glad it's over.  My eye was twitching yesterday.  It normally only does that at Christmas and tax time.  :)  Today feels better, I hope it is.  Nick is a major PITA these days.  ugh.

I did take a selfie after my run yesterday as I felt so good.  I laughed because hours later I felt as though I had been dragged through the mud.  hahaha.  Also, too bad I can't walk around with my arms raised all the times...look at that collar bone!!  hahaha.

My kids are salivating for their morning minecraft allotment.  I must go.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Good morning.  How are you?  I am sleepy.  I am always sleepy lately, it seems.  I could always go for a nap.  I think I need to go to bed earlier.  I get up at or (not on purpose) even before 5:00 most mornings without having changed my bed time.  I think it's catching up to me!  My goal this week was to make sure and shower/put on a little make up every day.  Maybe next week it will be to go to bed earlier. :)

Alright, let's see.  Monday was date night!  It was also just a Monday and when I woke James up his first words were, "I'm not going!"  I sweetly said I was leaving to meet Wendy and I'd be home in 45 minutes (right before he leaves.)  I got home and he was up and ready and had eaten.  whew.  :)  He found his class last week a little boring so I was nervous these next two weeks would be a battle but he came home and said he really enjoyed sign language, his class for this week.  I'm so glad.  They had to wear their tees on Monday for a group photo.  I love him in red.

Monday morning Wendy told me her husband googled how to teach a kid to ride a bike and found this method where you take their pedals off and it worked really well.  Monday afternoon I did that and took Nick over to a little grassy, hilly area behind our house to practice.  HERE is the method I used.  That first day he rode the bike up and down the little hills, just balancing himself.  We were over there for about a half and hour and he loved it.  He would coast down one side and then "motor" up the other side and do it again.

Yesterday we went back to the same spot with just one pedal on.  I told him to rest his foot on that pedal and do the same thing he had the day before, just coast.  It took him a couple tries and then he was fine with it and wanted the other pedal on.  I put it on and a couple more tries and he was pedalling.  Boom.  It just felt natural for him to pedal when he was slowing down so he did it.  The slope helps them start, the grass keeps them's kind of brilliant.  After a few runs of grassy pedalling he wanted to go on the sidewalk.  HE DID IT.  It was just so cool.  He was so happy.  My little Nick.  He rode his bike a lot last night, up and down the sidewalk.  He had one wipe out and after he told me he was "pretendin" he was in a race.  :)  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo  Here he is showing his little buddy what he learned:

Okay, back to Monday.  :)  After practicing with Nick, my mom came and I left.  Patrick is working on a big project this week so he had to go back to work but I went and picked him up and we had dinner.  We ate at Dickey's, which is a BBQ chain, but it is pretty new to this area.  It was really good!  I was STUFFED but my dinner was only around 600 calories.  Patrick took a little snooze after and then I dropped him off and headed home in a huge rain storm.  It was a quick night but a really nice one.  

Tuesday was the big bike learning day and we also went for a bike ride to the park (with Nick in the trailer).  It was a really good day, beautiful outside. 

I'm happy because today is Patrick's last day of work for the week.  His break = a break for me, too.   Ahhhhhhh. 

It is Wednesday and I have only listed 2 items so far.  Gah.  We had printer troubles on Monday (turns out the USB was unplugged and we both somehow missed that?) and yesterday there was good light so I took photos.  Hope to get some listing done today.  Have a good one!


eta: exeter park photo just showed up in my email, 2 days later? 

Monday, June 29, 2015

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I can't believe so many days have passed!  Last week felt very busy and I'm going to try my hardest to make this week a little calmer.

Let's see, last Tuesday.  I mowed the lawn and the kids played outside a lot.  After playing in our pool,

Ruby and Brennan got to go to their friend's house to swim in a real one.  James is re-reading Harry Potter this summer so they watched the first movie over.

On Wednesday I met Wendy to run, we met my sister at Exeter park to play in the river,
 (insert river photo here that will not send from my phone)
Later I met some friends out for a beer and put make up on for the first time in what felt like forever.  Documented with a selfie as it felt momentous.

On Thursday there was a Joyce Meyer devotional that really spoke to me (they usually do, honestly) but I forgot to copy it.  :(  It was basically about accepting others how they are and loving them, not trying to change them.  Think more about how you can change yourself.  Good stuff for marriage and lots of relationships, I think. 

Thursday night James was going to a birthday sleepover and we had a big discussion about him skipping college for kids the next morning.  I first said we paid a lot of money for it (we did) and I felt he should go.  Him missing was like throwing $35 away, we calculated.  He said that was like one ebay sale for me.  I said something like "If I had an ebay sale now THEN you would know it was from God." Then Patrick said he felt it would be okay and I kind of was one day.  So I told James he could go.  Then he felt bad about the money and couldn't decide.  So I told him REALLY, no guilt, just go.  And then, AS I LIVE AND BREATHE, my phone cha-chinged and I sold a bra for...34.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I gasped and told James he was not going to believe this.  When I told him he jumped up and said, "I'm going!!!"  :)  It was so cute.  I feel like that was God showing James that he cares about every little part of his life.  That He loves him.  so sweet.

How crazy is it that God shows us love through ebay????????????????  :)  perfect.

So he went to the sleep over and stayed late in the morning and had a great time.  Later I dropped him and the birthday boy off to fish for a while:

Friday afternoon we went over to my friend Carolyn's house to visit and snuggler her new little baby boy.  Another friend and her son came too and their were neighbor kids over and I think the total was 11 kids??  Crazy town.  James, Matthew & Cole played chess for quite a while.  They are 3 peas in a pod.

On Saturday I got up and worked and cleaned and then went to Dig & Save!  Yay!!  It was so fun.  I hadn't been there by myself in almost a month.  happy sigh.  I stayed a long time and then got groceries and went home and napped for an hour.  (old) Then we went to Annie & Ronan's for Eli's birthday!

We stayed until 11:00 (so glad I got that nap) and ate delicious food and drank delicious drinks and had a fire.  It was such a fun night.

On Sunday Patrick had to work, Ruby was at grandma's for most of the day (she had slept over) so the boys and I just hung out.  We played catch, Old Maid, practiced riding a bike (Nick), colored, read, slept a little, James went to a friend's house.  It was a good day.

Now it's Monday again!  I figured out my June totals yesterday and felt really good about it.  I worked 40 hours in June (well, the last 4 weeks) and averaged $32/hour!  Yay!  I will stop talking about that now, in such a specific way, because I feel like I'm bragging.  I hope it doesn't seem that way.  I do feel proud of that, though.  I find it validating.  I don't ever tell people in real life how much I make but it feels like quite a few people don't take what I do seriously.  I consciously work on not downplaying it myself, but it's hard because it sounds so random.  :)  My goal for the fall (it would be amazing!) to keep up that hourly rate but double my working hours to 20/week.  More of that time will be spent shopping and more listing so we will see.  I would love to be making double what I am now...our bank account would love it, too.  :)

Happy new week, my dear ones!!  xoxoxox

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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It's been a while!  I (sadly) woke up at 5am on my day off from meeting Wendy at 6.  sigh.  I wish I could sleep in!!!  What does it take?  Maybe drugs would work?  :)

I'll get right to it.  Last Friday was about 100 years ago.  I don't remember much but I did sit on the patio and read for a while.  James kept popping up in the window to chat with me:

 That night James had Matthew stay over and our neighbors had a fire.  The kids played outside until really late and ate a lot of smores.  Patrick showed them was so bright.  There were also sparklers. 

On Saturday my darling husband started mounting the hardware for our suspended ceiling in the m.l.l. 

He worked on it most of the afternoon while the kids played.  Ruby and I colored for a long time.  Matthew stayed until 4pm...they had a nice cycle going of Minecraft, Legos, Outside, Repeat.  After I dropped Matthew off I left for a while.  I needed some kid free time and it was very nice.  I went to a couple goodwills and got some groceries.  I found one linen outfit to sell (FLAX) and a really nice pair of high Sorel boots for myself for $6.29.  (yay!) 

(mine don't look quite that good but a little scrub up and they will be just fine.  I like them because they are so tall.)

These Yasso bars we like were on sale at Target so I stocked up.

I also got some Michelob Ultra Cider to try and we LOVE it.  Our favorite drink this summer are the Cayman Jack margaritas (delicious):
but the cider is a delicious alternative when they are all sold out.  (and half the calories, too!)

Related:  Last Monday I had an ICE cold Michelob Ultra beer with our pizza and it was SO good.  Having it that cold made such a difference.  Yum. 

On Sunday we had a quiet morning and then went to the Mallards game that afternoon with Annie and Ronan and the boys. 

It was super hot so we left a bit early and went to a nearby little beach where everyone (except James and I) waded and played in the water.  Then we came home, the kids showered, and Ruby went back out to play with her friend until I dragged her in at 9:30.

Yesterday we had major rain and 75mph winds.  Our neighbor's trampoline blew into the yard next door and was hung up on that deck.  :(  It damaged the other house a bit and was pretty bent up but I see this morning that Chris fixed it.  After the torrential rain stopped I went out to help Rachel get it back in their yard and it was too heavy for the two of us.  Right as Rachel was saying, "If we just had one more person..." our other neighbor Noelle came out of her house.  :)  Her daughter came out too and with the 4 of us we got it over the fence and staked that sucker down.  The kids just played all afternoon while I cleaned up the house and got ready for date night. 

My mom came at 5 and I stopped at one thrift store (golf balls for James and 3 books for Ruby) and then met Patrick at Chipotle.  I inhaled my was so good.  Then we laid on a blanket and watched a show together on his iPad and then went for a bike ride.  It was a really nice, relaxing night. 

Summer, so far, is both exhausting and relaxing. 


Nick things: He calls Patrick & I "bosses."  Sometime in the past I had told him that we were the bosses (bossi?) in our family and now he refers to us as well as other adults as the bosses.  hahaha, cracks me up.  He also still says punch fruit for fruit punch.  "Wiwwy?" for really?  Oh, and Wuby.  (he has made great strides in his speech but still has some mispronunciations.)  (love it.)



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