Sunday, October 30, 2016

When [I've So Far] Had [36] Years to Live

I am 36 today.  Writing that is crazy.  Because it doesn't seem possible.  36 is closer to 40 than 30.  Ha!  And, mentally, I still feel like I should be 22.  But I am not.  I am 36.  And that isn't a bad thing. (Just a weird one!)  Oh, the title is from a song that I will always love and which will always be special to me.  I can't remember the first time I heard it.  But I can remember the first time I heard about it.  You can listen to it here.  I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever watched that video...  I'm a little teary-eyed.

Anyway...  I've been reflecting a lot on 36 years.  The things I wish I'd have done better.  The things I'm glad I did.  The things I wish I hadn't done at all. 

I have had a full -- and blessed -- 36 years.  There has been sorrow and pain.  There has been fun that I still smile and laugh about now.  There has been joy beyond measure.  Aren't these the things that make up life, after all? 

I think of trips back and forth between Washington and Alabama.  I think of working at a funeral home.  I think of throwing loud objects in the library at almost closing time.  I think of brand new babies in my arms.  And little arms that wrap around me and little voices that call me Mommy.  I think of 80s games, and 80s movies.  I think of quilting in the back of a library.  I think of going under a library building, of rats in a library, of Marvelous Monday Meals.  I think of rain forest forts, and "island-jumping," lifeguards I crushed on as a 15 year old girl, and being asked out at that same age by a young GI.  I think of stickers (the in-the-grass-kind), theme parties, and holding hands with someone I love.  These -- and so many more memories -- just make me smile.  Some of them even make me laugh.  Truly, my 36 years have been blessed.

I do have regrets.  I wish I'd have been kinder.  I wish I'd always built others up -- especially those I love the most.  I wish I would have never caused anyone to feel like less (even if I never did so intentionally, I have come to realize that there were times I did).  I wish I'd have apologized easier and loved more.  I wish I would have been more humble.  I wish I'd have kept my mouth shut sometimes -- and spoken up at others.

And I don't intend this to be a sad, depressing thing.  Turning 36 is not that ;).  But the thing is, I can improve.  I can do all those things I wish I had done.  I can't go back and do them then.  But I can go forward.  And be better.  After all...

Every day's a new day.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall Farm Day!

Yesterday we went to Fall Farm Day.  It was so much fun!  We had been looking forward to it pretty much since May...  I knew it would be awesome, and it was!  And we didn't even manage to get to everything (naps must go on, you know ;)).  But all the things we did do were so great.  We will go every year, for sure!

So here's some pictures of the fun day we had yesterday.

We started out by looking at old-timey tractors!  And one of the couples there with 2 tractors invited the kids to touch them and sit on them, so they did!  And they loved it.  Corbin thought he was pretty cool stuff, and his little grin just kept shining.  This boy!
 The sun was in my face with Corbin's pictures, and I never got a really good one (and actually got 2 really bad ones where I just took a picture of the tractor :/...).  But you can kind of get an idea about how happy this little man was.
Lynnaea's picture was a much better one!  Plus, she cooperates better than Corbin does ;).

While we were looking at the tractors, a lady saw us and invited us to the big corn box.  Oh my gosh.  The kids loved this beyond words.  We stayed there 30 minutes the first time and probably 15 minutes on the way back for leaving.  We could have spent all morning there, and the kids would have been fine with it!

But we didn't...  Because, well...  I wanted to see other stuff!  We headed over to the syrup making shack.  but we got side-lined by the 4-H Club and their chickens.  So fun!  The kids even got to touch several, including a baby chick!  Check out Corbin's dimples when he's petting the chick!

We tried to watch a demo of them picking the peanuts with a machine...  But the kids got antsy before the cranked up the machine and we had to just give it up...  Sigh.  But we did check out some syrup stuff (though we didn't get to watch the whole process) and we tasted cane juice that had been fresh pressed and I bought some cane syrup.  Which Jeremy thought was beyond cool when he got home and I told him about it.  I know he was bummed he couldn't be there, because we really had been looking forward to this since May! 

By this point, it was time to eat.  So we did....  Food vendors.  Always a good thing for a foodie ;).  Then we did our obligatory family picture (thanks to Audra for always being a good sport and taking our little picture!) and Lynnaea was a sunflower :).

And then we let the kids play at the corn pit again.  And then it was time to go.  And, in case you were wondering...  It's still warm in Alabama!  After a morning at Fall Farm Day, my face was red like this :).

I know we go and do a lot!  Especially lately, with Jeremy's work schedule...  But there are also days when we just hang out at home.  Like Friday.  I went to the mall to have my eye check-up for the contacts.  2 weeks without any problems!  woohoo!  I'm so so so excited and grateful that this was an easy-fix problem.  I love having contacts I can wear!  Anyway, so my dad watched the kids while I did that.  Then we had lunch.  And then the kids played outside with water... 
So yeah, not everyday is a crazy whirlwind of activity ;).  But it is fun when it is!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Outage 1 Week 2

In a way, this was a short week... Jeremy had today off.  And I'm not sure when his next day off is.  But it was nice he had today off.  I was able to go to Book Club, lunch with a friend, and get some shopping done sans kiddos :).

But we've been filling the other days with fun activities!  Here's a re-cap!

Monday we went to Sam's Club for a few things.  Yes, that's a fun activity ;).  Especially when you always end it with a frozen yogurt!
It was also National Angel Food Cake Day :).  I found a website that keeps me up to date with all the weird (and not-so-weird) "holidays" each month, and we've been having so much fun with it!  So, since they didn't have a pre-made Angel Food Cake at Sam's, and since I didn't want to stop anywhere else, I decided to see if I could manage to make home-made ones!  And I did :).  With Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting!  YUM!
We had family night, in which we used the paper bag puppets Lynnaea helped me make earlier in the day to talk about scripture stories of people blessed for choosing the right.  And Corbin made a duck face.  Hahaha.  He also tickled the ivories for us a little bit.  It's his new thing ;).
And then, as our family night treat, we ate our delicious cupcakes!  They were amazing!  Jeremy just loves posing for my crazy pictures....

Tuesday brought story-time fun with Miss Kristin and fire safety week!  Woohoo!  The kids started by shooting out fire.  Then, after a couple stories, they colored fire hats.  Which may or may not have a strong resemblance to a Pope hat (I am unsure of what the official name for it is)...  You decide ;).  By the way, Corbin pretty much hated wearing this.  It was ripped and laying on the floor seconds after this picture was taken.
Wednesday was both National Fossil Day and National Farm Day.  And we lived it up!  It was a FULL day of fun for us.  We started out by making fossil sugar cookies.

We snacked on those yummy cookies while reading The Berenstain Bears: Dinosaur Dig.  Just a fun little way to talk about fossils :).  Then, after nap, we went back to Aplin Farms to celebrate Farm Day!  We went with some friends, so that made it double the fun!
 Corbin and Lynnaea milked pretend cows (Lynnaea's picture didn't transfer over for some reason...).
We rode a tractor (trailer) out to the pumpkin patch and sunflower field.  We got a pumpkin and a sunflower :).  Lynnaea loved posing with her sunflower.  

We did more farm animal petting and then let the kids have fun on the inflatables.  Unlike the Headland Harvest Day, Corbin loved it this time...  He totally got in with the big kids! 

He was beyond proud of himself.  Haha.  And then, of course, we posed for the obligatory picture and then headed home where I made cheese and kale quesadillas.  Which Corbin loved.  And Lynnaea turned her nose up at because of the green.  And I let him hang out on the counter while I cooked.  It was a fun day :).  And now on to new adventures starting tomorrow!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Outage 1: Week 1

Well, we've survived our first week of our first outage.  Woohoo!

Let me just say, Jeremy working 12+ hours a day and leaving around 5 every morning and getting back around 7 at night... It's not the most fun.  But, it's the state of things, currently.

So what do mommy and the kiddos do?  Whatever we can!

We go a lot!  So here's the activities we enjoyed this week :).

Tuesday was story-time.  We love story time!  We check out a ton of books, enjoy stories read by Ms. Kristin plus a fun craft (Corbin gets his own to destroy...), and mommy gets to visit with Kristin when it's all done.  This particular Tuesday, I was even told that I should apply for a job opening they have coming open.  Flattering to be thought of, but I am a mama.  I will be staying home with my kiddos for as long as possible :).  Then we went to Chick-Fil-A, just because we could.  But we brought it home to eat, because I'm not such a fan of those play places anymore...

Wednesday we had our HIPPY meeting (pre-school stuff).  So Grace came over and brought us our new curriculum.  Then, because my friend Donna had emailed me and told me that I should go out to Troy Dothan for their homecoming picnic -- since I was an alumna and I once worked there...  Well, we did!  We headed out there and the kids got on the bouncy things (I think they were intended for much older people, but the kids loved it anyway.  Well, Lynnaea tried the really high slide once and flipped, and she decided she was done with that.  LOL.)  But we had lunch and even ice cream.  What's not to love about that!?!
For the record, I helped both kids eat their ice cream.  Not that I needed it...  But they certainly didn't need that much!  Haha.  We got home and they napped for 2 hours.  At which point I woke them up, because we had a play date planned.  Plus I wanted them to actually go to bed that night...  They were obviously worn out!

Thursday, we decided to go to Aplin Farms and try to get a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch.  Well, that was a failed endeavor.  They don't do morning runs out to the pumpkin patch unless you're with a group.  Unless it's a weekend day.  Sigh.  But it wasn't a total bust.  The kids got to play in the sand pit (I really don't like sand, but hey...  it's for the kids ;)) and pet the farm animals and swing and such.  So it was still a good trip!

It is next to impossible to get a decent selfie with two kids...  Sometimes it magically works out.  Other times...

And then, after nap, since we hadn't managed to get a pumpkin, we decided to go to the pumpkin "patch" closer to home at a local church that has one every year. 
See what I mean about the group selfie?  Granted, I don't own a selfie-stick.  Nor am I likely to.
Corbin beating a pumpkin.  He looks pretty happy here, but let me just say for the record that he really dislikes that monkey backpack, now that he knows what it's for...  I have started using it on him when we go out to places I know I don't want him to be able to get far from me...  Seriously, this kid would have gotten to the street, I guarantee it, without that monkey backpack and its tail ;).

On Friday we met up with some friends at the Botanical Gardens and looked at their "scarecrows."  It was really a fun thing to do!  So much creativity and fun ideas.  Lynnaea was excited to see this "Princess Elsa" and also the princess and the unicorn (or cornia as she calls it...).

 Corbin was, again, highly displeased with the backpack situation.  But you see the pond of water, and I know my son...  I'd have had to go in after him....  He liked the fish and turtles too much!

And here's the "cornia" scarecrow.  And you see that every once in a while I did give Corbin a backpack break...  Until he ran off again.
 Here are the 3 of us.  Can you tell Corbin is thrilled to be wearing that monkey again?  Monkey on his back.  Hahaha.
I took a nap with the kiddos on Friday.  I needed one.  And then we spent the rest of the day at home.

Saturday, though we hadn't originally planned to, we decided to go to the Headland Harvest Day.  Jeremy was working, and the kids wanted to get out, so why not?  While there, I paid too much money for 2 arm bands so the kids could go in the bouncy house things unlimited.  Lynnaea's was worth it.  Corbin's... not so much.  He wanted to go in, and then fussed and wanted out as soon as he was in.  Oh well, you live, you learn!

 So mostly, Corbin and I hung out in the shade watching Lynnaea...
 We took a snack break...  And ate lunch there (I think I have come to a point where fair-type food is no longer appealing :(...)  And then Lynnaea bounced again one more time.  And then, to help ease her out of the whole thing, we went and got balloons for both kids. 

We strollered back to the car.  Corbin didn't even make it to his car-seat awake (although he was still gripping his balloon firmly...).  It was a warm day.  But it was fun.  Just something to do.  Then Grandpa came for dinner.  I planned my talk for church today about Developing Christ-like Attributes, and today was church.  Jeremy was off today (yay!) but goes back to work tomorrow.  So we'll plan another week of activities!  I should see if there are some cool ones going on, since it's Columbus Day and all ;).

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm trying to cut back on refined sugars?  So I've been trying out new "healthier" recipes.  The other night, I made a single-serve "healthy" brownie.  It was... gross.
I posted this on facebook and got a couple people asking me if I had high-lights in my hair...  No.  Not unless you count the silvery-gray ones that happened against my wishes... ;).  Also:  If you're looking for a decent healthy dessert...  don't try that brownie!