Friday, May 27, 2016

Project 52 - Week 11

Project 52 - Week 11

A few weeks ago, Molly stayed up late coloring all the pages in her coloring book. The next morning she told me that she wanted me to hang them up on her bedroom wall for her. I was more than happy to do so. I just love the color and messiness here. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016

Project 52 - Week 10

Project 52 - Week 10

Molly has been obsessed with drawing and writing in her special notebook for weeks. She's writing letters, drawing pictures and telling us amazing stories. 
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Baby Food, Life and Death and Wool Are This Week's Links From Around the Web


What to Feed Your Baby: Formula, Breast Milk and Beyond I had such a great time writing and shooting this article for ParentMap. It really brought me back to the girl's introduction to solid foods. I loved that part of babyhood.

Life and Death in Yellowstone National Park In college, I worked in Yellowstone and it was a defining moment for me. I learned about the awesomeness of nature. I learned about the stupidity of humans. I learned how to fear and honor the earth.

Unearthing The Secrets of New York's Mass Graves This article was so well-written and compelling that I keep going back to it and not only because I am a bit morbid and obsessed with death.

The Truth about Shearing Beautiful!

For LGBTQ Methodists, Church “Discipline” Feels Like Discrimination There is a revolution growing in my church and while the world church isn't ready to accept it, I'm thrilled to see the movement growing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

On Fitness


For the past few months, I've been struggling with my fitness. Last year when I discovered barre3 and started taking the classes, it was AWESOME and I loved it. Then I started to not love it as much but I still liked it because it worked with my lifestyle. After completing the barre3 challenge in January, I made a goal to keep working out at least 4 times a week. I did ok with that goal until Scott went away in April for 10 days. I totally slacked off! 

Along the way, I started listening to a new podcast, The Shameless Mom Academy. I noted that the podcaster had a gym in Seattle and it sounded good. Then I friended her on Facebook because I'm a stalker. A few days later she posted about her Little Black Dress Transformation project. I quickly messaged her to ask about it. I hemm'd and hawww'd for a few hours and then signed up. And I'm so glad I did! 


Today is the start of my second week on the four week program. We do three boot camp classes a week with two additional workouts outside the gym. We'd been given a meal plan to boost our nutrition and daily encouragement from Sara. The boot camp classes are hard but so do-able. I feel like a total bad-ass at the end of them. I've been making Scott feel my 'guns' and he said he's impressed. I'm in love with working out again. This morning, I woke up before my 5:15 a.m. alarm and bounded out of bed. I wanted to get to the gym to work out hard and today was a doozy! The workout is only 45 minutes which is perfect! I'm home by 7 a.m. and most of the time everyone is still snoozing so I hop in the shower, get breakfast and am ready to great them when they come stumbling out of their rooms. 

So far I'm re-learning (constantly re-learning this) that I need to eat more veggies and that I need to plan my meals ahead. I just can't flow through life or I will eat crap. The two weeks before I started this program, I was feeling so lethargic and was having a Starbucks Chai almost every afternoon to make it to dinner. I went to bed tired, woke up tired and after only a week, I'm not feeling this way. Yes, last Monday, I went to bed at 8:45 p.m. and slept for 9 1/2 hours but now I'm sleeping 7 hours or so. I'm bounding out of bed. I'm feeling energetic and most importantly, I'm happy!  

I'm going to conquer this goal and get fitter along the way! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Project 52 - Week 9

Week 9

On Mother's Day, we headed to the Farmer's Market and explored Ballard to our hearts content. We found art on the walls, had delicious treats and even flew a kite!

Kite Flyer

Monday, May 09, 2016

2016 Garden


My garden has already changed so much since it was featured on NW Healthy Mama back in April. A few weekends ago, I gathered plants for my spring planting, finally got a trellis for my peas and did some mad weeding. I also ripped out the kale plants from the winter. The chickens had eaten their fill of kale and the plants went to seed when the weather warmed up so quickly.


I planted the carrots in early January and they are looking quite big so I'll be harvesting them soon. Luckily my kids love carrots so we'll be devouring them quickly. 


I planted some beans, corn, zucchini, squash and peppers a few weeks ago and they are all growing so fast. I have low expectations for the corn but thought it would be fun for the kids. I had some extra space in the garden bed and so threw caution to the wind. This year, I also bought a few more tomato plants than usual. I love tomatoes and I'm hoping for a hot summer for strong tomato production. 


This past weekend, I was gifted some sunflower plants from my Buy Nothing group and thinned out my herb garden area. That is one area of the yard that goes from mellow to OVERgrown so quickly.


The sage continues to be overgrown and gigantic with bits of mint sprinkled it. The thyme has really taken off with our Spring heat. Yum! 


My pear tree is looking good. I have a great water irrigation wrap for it that I plan to get on sometime this week. 

overgrown blueberries

One area of the yard that I need to take care of is the blueberry, tagberry and strawberry area. The weeds are growing like mad and I haven't had a chance to get out there and clear some space for these poor plants. They are looking gorgeous with tons of flowers which is giving me great hope! 



The chickens are still doing well and were even given the chance to roam the garden a bit while I did a big clean out of their coop. It's on my list to get them a much better run built. I have all the supplies and plans done, I just need to get it done. I currently have a bird net over their janky run as they quickly learned how to fly out and go on adventures. I'm not comfortable with free-range chickens in my neighbor's yards so bird net it is! 

What are you growing in your garden this year? 

Friday, May 06, 2016

Project 52 - Week 8

Project 52 - Week 8

Molly came home from school on Monday with a paper cape and a flashy decorated mask. I asked her to pose for me as a Sassy Superhero.
Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Screentime, Preschool Crafts and The Little Things Are This Week's Links From Around the Web


Screentime is a feminist issue This article is so well written and makes amazing points.

Why Typical Preschool Crafts Are a Total Waste of Time When Molly started at her new preschool this year, I was surprised at the art that came home with her. It was unstructured and messy and so Molly. I quickly realized that the art she had made at her previous school was way too structured. Molly adores creating and is really thriving while making some crazy art.

The Little Things It is really amazing how the little things can break you because at the end of the day, it is the pile up of the little things that build into a huge pressure cooker.

Mini Tacos! I'm so putting this on the list for Molly Cooks! nights.

Smile at a Baby! This reminded me of all the times I've flown with my kids.
Tuesday, May 03, 2016

April Book Report


I read A LOT of books this month. Seriously, I was a reading machine. I read seven (7) books which brings my yearly total to 22 books in 2016. I am really enjoying that my love affair with reading has been rekindled.

The first book I read in April was The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen. At first glance, this book reminded me of Room (which by the way, I LOVED). I dove in with a bit of apprehension since I read Room before I had children so I wasn't as affected by it. I was a bit worried about this one and it was crazy difficult to read. The premise is a family who lives in a basement. You don't know many details and what you learn is slowly doled out by the narrator, the 6 year old son who has always lived in the basement. I loved finding out why the family lived there and how they got to that place. It was simply amazing.

I initially started reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery a while ago with Molly but she lost interest so I decided to finish it this month. I've never read the books even though I was crazy devoted to the show. In fact, I need to watch the show again. Maybe Molly would like that. This is a total classic and one that every woman should read. Anne is the best.

I kept seeing The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes on people's Instagrams and decided to read this one next. It was simply breathtaking. It's the story of a woman left behind in WWI in France, her portrait and a woman in modern times who owns that portrait. The story goes where you least suspect and is beautifully told.

After all that heavy reading, I decided I needed a lighter novel next. I snagged A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan for some ChicLit reading but discovered a topic that was a bit too close to home. The narrator is a middle-aged woman with kids who works part-time for a magazine. When her husband decides to go into law practice for himself, she steps up and into a bigger role at a new company. Her life becomes more stressful and shenanigans follow. Luckily for me, Scott is not going into business for himself and so therefore, I get to keep on part-time work and full-time family joy.

I love books about knitting and I love Clara Parkes. Unfortunately I didn't love Knitlanda by Clara Parkes. Piece by piece it was good but for some reason this book didn't grab me like her other one. I do always enjoy books about travel and yarn so it was still a good read. I still love Clara Parkes though and will have her next book in my cart as soon as it comes out.

Molly's preschool has a book club for parenting books. I've been meaning to read Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson for years and when this was announced as the book, I had a solid reason to read it. I feel like this has changed my parenting. I was already on the Positive Discipline train but now I'm driving the train, yelling CHOO-CHOO! The kids are happier. I'm happier. Scott is happier. READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE KIDS. IT IS AWESOME. THE END!

The last book I read was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I loved Moyes other book and quickly reserved all her other books at the library. This is a tale of a girl who becomes a caregiver to a quadriplegic. Her time with him changes her life and the story is so compelling.

I loved almost all the books I read this month and am excited for all the other books on my To Be Read list. I think I read so much this month due to Scott being gone for 10 days and my Social Media Free week. It's amazing how much reading you can get done when you aren't refreshing Facebook.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links
Monday, May 02, 2016

Monthly Goal Check-In (April)


Seriously I just barely checked-in for March and now it is time to check-in again with how I did on my goals in April. I did great on some goals and terrible on others. 

1.  Workout 4 times a week - Scott was gone for 10 days in April which meant that before he left, I worked out 5 times a week. Then he left town and I did nothing, absolutely nothing. I am starting a really cool program on May 9th called Sync Fitness's Little Black Dress Program. I'm excited and scared and excited. Until then I'll be taking some more Body Pump classes at Community Fitness. I love that class! 

2. Complete Whole30 in January 

3. Keep purging the house with the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Plan - This month I sorta tackled the car and laundry room and did nothing else. I did manage to keep the house clean and picked up while Scott was gone which I consider a huge accomplishment. I also did the dishes every night. Big Accomplishment here! 

4. Complete Four (4) Day in the Life Challenges and participate in at least ten 10 on 10's - I completed this month's 10 on 10 and really enjoyed it. I have two more Day in the Life Challenges to go and 7 more 10 on 10s. 

5. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I made some great progress on this goal. I worked on the questions to swatch #1, #2 and #3. I'm using an index card system to keep track of what needs to be done. I'm also knitting a swatch a day for 100 days to get perfect swatches for this goal. 

6. Grow a kick-ass Garden! I made even more progress on this goal. I plan to talk about everything I did on Thursday in detail. I was also featured on NW Healthy Mama for my Ballard Garden. 

7. Read for 15 minutes a day- I have read every single day so far this year! I'll have my April book report out tomorrow.  

8. Volunteer with two organizations and include the girls - Due to Scott's travel, volunteering was light this month but I have my first bedside follow photography session in the NICU at Swedish First Hill in about a week. My PEPS evening group starts on May 12th and I need to get another time scheduled for the girls and I to volunteer at Mary's Place again. 

9. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - No progress here!

10. Get back to Blogging on a more regular basis and focus more on my writing - I have been writing almost every single day. I took a Social Media break this month for a week and my writing really took off. I plan to do that more often. 
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