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Archive for the ‘“In My Life”’ Category

Listen. I know, Flashing Cursor. I realize I’ve been MIA from this blog for months. I am aware I used to take great pleasure in writing about all the ways my children outsmart me on a daily basis. All the ways they made me feel so loved and then so completely useless and then wait, nope, there’s the love again~ often in one breath. After briefly considering canceling my hosting when it came up for renewal a month ago, I decided I would give it another year and see what I had left in me for this space. I really don’t know. But for now, I am here and I promise not to make any promises about how often I’ll check in, because that seems to just guarantee I’ll never write again.

So this is what I can tell you now… In less than 2 hours, my two giant children will join the household for the summer. This is maybe a little scary and maybe a little awesome. I like having all my chicks with me for the most part. I love lazy days, jammies til noon, lunch when…ever, beach and park trips, art supplies strewn about the table and intricate figurine set-ups taking over my gardens. It makes me smile, it makes me sigh. It makes me miss being a kid.

Like all parents, I don’t enjoy the whining, tattling or the incessant arguing but unfortunately, it comes with the territory of multiple kids. We’ll get through, I know, but I definitely don’t have to be excited about it. Mostly I am nervous about Rowan’s insane dance schedule over the next two weeks. She has summer dance and nationals practice that leaves her at the studio from 10:45- 5:30 or later most nights. Then I have to kiss my little guy’s sweet cheeks enough to last me 9 whole days without him while we’re in Florida. {Clearly I did NOT think this through. I’m already panicking and searching for plane tickets for him, shhhhh don’t tell Bill. He’ll think it’s funny when Ez shows up in my carry-on, right?} The longest I’ve been away from Ezra is overnight. I’m legit freaking out right now.

But! If we can make it through June, and the first 4 days of July, we’ll be in the clear to laze around and enjoy Summer at our new house. It seems amazing to me that I didn’t write about such a huge life change when I have multiple {really, like DOZENS} of posts devoted to poop on this blog. I wish I could detail the simultaneously dawn-out saga/whirlwind this whole process has been, but the most important thing to know is that we are all so very, extremely happy to be in a beautiful new home that is just the perfect fit for us. Hopefully more on that to come {if I can get my shit together, so again, no promises}.

For now, I will leave you with these two…

Who completely OWNED 2nd grade and Kindergarten.. with nary a yellow or red light between the two for an ENTIRE year, like WHOA.

Who completely OWNED 2nd grade and Kindergarten, with nary a yellow or red light between the two for an ENTIRE year, like WHOA. So proud of them!

And these two, who melt my heart, pretty much on a daily basis…

I think lucky is the word I'm looking for. Yep.

I think lucky is the word I’m looking for. Yep.

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I have taken more photos this January than all Januarys combined since I got my first DSLR five years ago. I much prefer shooting in natural light because of the way our house faces and the window situation~ It really makes for absolutely dismal choices when trying to get the photos I want. So beyond a special occasion, my camera normally keeps the shelf pretty warm until April or so. I had big plans to brave the cold this year, to get out and shoot some beautiful, snowy Minnesotan scenes, however, it has been below zero nearly every day since Christmas and I know I was born and raised in this state but I’m sorry, I’m just not that hearty. So I had to suck it up and work on indoor shooting and I have to say, it’s forced some great practice out of me. Working with the light I have has been challenging, and I only get 1-2 good shots out of every 30 I take, but I’m learning and slowly getting more comfortable and confident about where to position my subject and getting more intuitive about what placement will get me the right shot.

I know I will be MORE than ready to get outside once the temps creep up into the 20s, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve learned and love that My 365 Project is keeping me motivated to get out my camera, whether it’s my Canon or my phone, and capture the life around me.

Here is my full January set, and these are a handful of my favorites…

2.9.1day28aday21bday26a2.9.2day28c2.9.42.9.3

 

 

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Thirty days and we’re DONE. It was a long, late-night road but I managed one post a day for thirty {one!} days and yes I am drinking a celebratory beer at 5:30 whatofit?

Truth be told, I know that I’ve outgrown this space as a writer, but I love looking back and reading about what life was like with three year old Rowan and one year old Keaton so I know one day I’ll be grateful I stuck with it, even minimally so, to record Ezra’s first years on planet Earth.

It gets harder and harder to share Keaton’s stories and it’s damn near impossible for me to navigate through Rowan’s because I know these words will one day affect them. When I was making all the choices and calling all the shots from what activities/shampoo/cereal/books/clothes/etc they consumed, I felt like their story was my story, but that line is getting awfully blurry now so if this blog seems like The Ezra Show, it is not because my older two babies don’t continue to make me laugh, learn, bang my head against the wall and love to the fullest every day, it’s because they are beginning to lead their own way, to tell their own stories and I need to back off a little bit.

11.30.3

11.30.2

This blog is so so tiny. Only a handful of people outside of my family still read it and that is the way I’ve designed it because I just want to be careful about who consumes how I write my children. To be truthful, I’m really not worried about ruining their lives, they have a healthy sense of dry humor and they know how much I love them. What I want is for them to one day appreciate that their mom is a human being instead of a cranky robot who just says NO and CLEAN THAT SHIT UP all the time. And these pages will hopefully show them this and for that I’m very grateful.

11.30.1

I’d write more but, Internet? I am hosting over twenty people tomorrow to celebrate {TO THE MAAAAAAAAAXXXXX} Keaton’s birthday. Year five of NaBloPoMo is done. A big thanks to those who cheered me on through facebook comments and likes and to those who hid me, I solemnly promise I’ll quit incessantly linking here because even though I’m proud of my family and think it’s good for me to share my writing to keep me practiced {in curse words, if nothing else}, I don’t like bombing the newsfeed everyday just so you all can see what mess I’ve gotten myself into this time. So! I’m going to finish this beer and scrub a floor or two. Or maybe just sit on the couch and snuggle with my babies in front of the newly decorated tree. Who’s gonna look at my floors anyway? {Answer? Now everyone probably will because I just told them they’ll be really dirty. This is why I’m terrible at the Internet.}

Now here, let me leave you with a picture of a baby and a candy cane to start the Christmas season:

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11.28.1

Jammies, parade and couch snuggles all morning. I like the food as much as the next guy, but this, THIS, is the best part of Thanksgiving.

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There are a few memes going around facebook right now that are bombing my feed. One is the “share x amount of things about yourself others may not know”. I’ve really liked reading everyone’s posts but haven’t participated as a service to my facebook friends because, look, everyone that clicks on my blog already knows way more about me then they ever wanted to. And besides! I bestowed the Internet with ONE HUNDRED things a few years ago so I feel like I’ve sort of covered this already.

The other meme is one that gives you a correlating animal or fictional/non-fictional character based on your Myers Briggs test score. I have taken this test a number of times over the years and my results are a little complicated so I never know how to correctly label myself. {Also, this turned into a giant time-sucking wormhole for me today, which I felt bad about until I thought of all the hoards of you out there obsessively playing Candy Crush. I’ve never touched that game, meaning I have at least 10,000 unused time-wasting hours that most of the general public has already used up.} {Also: Now I want to download Candy Crush. Dammit.}

Anyway! Here’s my Myers Briggs Results Extravaganza!…

I or E {Introvert or Extrovert}: I am roughly 60-65% Introvert each time I take the test and I find this a fairly accurate assessment. I like talking. In general {I talk to Ezra, the cats and myself all day long} and with other people, and also feel a desperate need to keep conversation running smooth {read: silences during conversations give me facial tics} but people as a whole? Exhaust me. I much prefer to communicate by writing {god bless the almighty Text} and for me hanging out at home reading or relaxing is preferred over social interaction or recreation 90% of the time.

S or N {Sensing or Intuition}: I will score 51% one way, 49% the other way and then it flip-flops the next time I take it so I’m pretty much equal parts Sensing and Intuition when I take in information. I gather info by paying attention both to the physical world around me and by analyzing theories through my feelings and thoughts. Again, I think this is accurate which is why taking these tests is hard for me because the answer to these questions never seems clear to me and I curse the absence of a BOTH button. But! Because I know myself pretty okay {and assessing my very reaction to this conundrum} I most often identify as N, Intuition.

T or F {Thinking or Feeling}: Samesies, always within a percent or two of 50/50, using equal parts Thinking and Feeling when I make decisions. Also again, I find this very accurate. I think this trait gives me both balance once a decision is made but a healthy dose of conflict as I try to figure things out as I never know which part of me to trust. Should I go with the facts or my gut feeling? It’s a push/pull sort of thing but I tend to err on the side of Feeling.

J or P: I am not messing around here, I am always {literally} 99% Judging which means I like structure and definitive answers/decisions ALL OF THE TIME. If you are my husband you are nodding your head up and down very vigorously in agreement right now. I do NOT like wishy-washy bullshit and I seriously think my great trial in life is to accept that sometimes there is no answer. Which is stupid, THERE SHOULD ALWAYS BE AN ANSWER. Here. I’ll make one up so I can sleep tonight. I get that sometimes you just need to wait and see but gahhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. I can’t handle it. I’m 100% certain that in the end it won’t be my genetic predisposition for cancer or heart disease that takes me out, it will be not knowing the definitive answer to something vaguely important. I’ll just KEEL OVER. Cause of Death? Not knowing if the home was serving mashed peas or carrots for lunch, RIP, CHRISTY.

So! I’m one of the following based on how I’m feeling when I take this test: ISTJ, INTJ, ISFJ or an INFJ. I’ve taken it every 2-3 years since I was about 18 and I always get the same-ish results, so I’d say it’s fairly accurate for me. I have only taken the “real” test twice, once in high school and once in college.  {And fun fact! I actually scored extrovert in high school which was accurate at that time in my life since everything when I was a teenager was based on social standing and how well you interacted within peer groups, but at the heart, I am not an extreme, but a solid Introvert.} The other times I’ve taken the test it’s been one of the many free online versions floating around out there.

Now. Since I go off the label I get most often, I normally identify as a INFJ, a part of the sub-group entitled “Idealists” and given the moniker, “The Counselor”.  Swinging back around to the internet memes, this is the {fascinating!} list of what I learned about me today…

My spirit animal is: A Tiger. Which is total bullshit because we all know my spirit animal is Monkey Jane. I guess it’s still in the cat family so there’s that.

My super hero equivalent is Batman. {He is listed equally on the internet as an INFJ and a INTJ and since I can claim both I’m using him.}

My LotR character is Galadriel, which makes sense because Cate Blanchett herself is an INFJ and I’m preeeeeety sure they’re the same person. Have you noticed Cate Blanchett age? Yeah. Me Neither. I call ELF.

Tiana is my Disney Princess. Of course she is! She is the best. Some say Pocahontas, {but I say I would never make out with Mel Gibson, even if we were both cartoon characters} others say Cinderella {I do like her shoe choice so this one might work}.

Jean Valjean. SWEET. I wouldn’t have taken those candlesticks though. OR WOULD I? Maybe Myers Briggs knows me better than I know myself…

My Harry Potter character is Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin or Lily Evens depending on which chart you use. I chose Dumbledore cause AWESOME.

Obi-wan Kanobi from Star Wars. My street cred with Keaton is gonna go waaaaay up when I tell him this.

Lisa Simpson. Yep.

Game of Thrones: Varys. Soooo I’m super conniving… and creepy as hell… huh.

Walking Dead: Dale. Man! I’m lame. And *spoiler!!!!* super dead.

Aslan. All powerful cat suits me just fine.

Mythical creature: Wizard. I’ll take it, but would have preferred vampire or unicorn.

Jesus. He’s typed a number of ways but INFJ is always one of them and since I’m pretty sure he and Aslan are the same person this all makes perfect sense to me.

The Hunger Games: Rue. There I am, super dead again.

Fox Moulder from the x-files. I don’t know, he was kind of a sucker and sort of irrelevant since it’s 2013. {Ah crap, don’t tell Bill I said that, it might be grounds for divorce according to our imaginary prenup.}

Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey and whenever I read/say Mr. Bates I hear it in Anna’s voice and it’s creeping me out Mr. Bates Mr. Bates Mr. Bates AHhhhhh!!!!!

Dr Doofenshmirtz. Ohmygod I’m putting this one on my resume.

Other facts: INFJs are the most likely to have high IQs, be shy, to read a buttload of books and love to write. Also more likely to suffer from OCD, narcissism and depression.

Real Life INFJs…

Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Ron Paul. WHAT?! I don’t think this list is accurate.

Dostoevsky. Ghandi. Plato. Thaaaat’s more like it.

Congratulations, Internet!! You now know even more pointless shit about me! Since I’m prone to narcissism this couldn’t have been wholly unexpected but just know I’ll probably feel mild to moderately depressed about it later.

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One of the high points of the room swap was freeing up space in our room for my desk. My mom bought me this desk as a college graduation gift. It was a light in an otherwise pretty shitty time, considering my dad died the last week of classes, just two weeks before the graduation I would not attend due to the circumstances. We went out shopping for it together the following spring, when we had all found just a little bit of footing. I spotted it, covered in old, delicate looking doilies and china knickknacks in the back room of a cavernous antique shop in St Paul. It was {and remains} a turn of the century piece, beat to hell, covered in scratches and stains. I loved it immediately and absolutely, for no explicable reason other than it was solid and it had hope, and gave some of that hope to me. It was to be a place to gather thoughts, to form ideas, to write, to sit down at to use my degree. {Ha!} Or you know, house errant Barbie shoes and Lego heads. {Oh life, you are a funny thing.}

When I brought it home to our apartment on the second floor of a St. Paul Victorian, I placed it in my very own writing room. A room with a circular cutout alcove lined with windows, scratched wood floors and paned french doors. {This is where I ironically point out that when it was just Bill and I we had more bedrooms then we do now with three kids.} It was my office and I cannot tell you how much I loved that room. I’m sure I am romanticizing the shit out of that place but oh, it was so me and I felt more like myself in that room than I ever have before that time or since. For one year it was mine and then… well, it was time to be a grown-up, to build equity {so. much. ha.}, to raise our kids in the tree-lined suburbs, in homes free of giant shards of lead paint just hanging out in the corner of every windowsill. I knew we had to go but still, poor Bill had to drag my 5 months pregnant body kicking and screaming from that room in the city back to our hometown where we created the most wonderful little people on planet earth but man, this place has never been, nor ever will be mine. It has always been a place for my kids, a sacrifice for my family and it’s served its purpose and then some. But that room, with my desk, was home and when we move on from this place I’ll know I’ve found the right house when I feel that again, in whatever form it may take.

Due to our growing family, and shrinking usable space, the desk ended up in our open loft and Bill took it over to work at for his freelance projects for a number of years but then he got a work laptop and the desk has sat, mostly unused for months until last night. It may seem insignificant but this is the first time since shortly after having kids that I have my own space in a room with a door. A door that I can use to shut my {lovely! sweet!} loud-ass offspring out of my room with. Even though it’s nothing fancy. Even though I haven’t cleaned the last 10 years’ worth of junk out of the drawers yet. And even though I can still hear said offspring banging around on the other side, a measly four feet away, it just makes a difference, a big difference. Now I have a place to put my computer {which has been taking up a corner of the kitchen table for the last forever}, my camera {previously housed precariously on the top of a tall bookshelf in the living room}, a journal and whatever books I’m currently reading, which right now are Understanding Exposure, Click magazine, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban {with the kids before bed} and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. It is a happy place, a hopeful place and mine. All mine.

11.17.1

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11.12.2

11.12.1

You watch their chicken-scratches turn into letters, into words, into sentences, into stories. You listen as they repeat words you read from books, memorize them, then clumsily sound them out themselves- going from a pained emphasis on each letter until the realization of what they are speaking takes on meaning and ta-he-e becomes “the” and ba-aaa-laa-laa becomes ball. You see the clothes that once piled up at their ankles and folded down over their fingertips travel up their legs, their arms until they are too snug and tight to force down their growing limbs. I am a witness to it all, but still, every year the results of picture day sort of shock me when I see all that mysterious, sneaky growth that took place right there in front of me.

*All photos taken by Lifetouch Photography except for the two lighter backdrops of Keaton which were taken by Elizabeth Westerhaus Photography.

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