shoulda, coulda, woulda

I was out a few weeks ago with some friends, one of my rare Girls Night Out, and my friend said something that made me freeze my thoughts. 

It was about the word Maybe.  She said whenever her parents said "maybe" it always meant no or that it wasn't going to happen.  Oh man.  Did that ever hit home.  I will freely admit to things that I won't be doing.  I own it.  But I'm also the Queen of Maybes.  Maybe we'll do "X" someday.  It never happens.  It's my way of making my wishful self, seem more like my reality.  Living vicariously via "maybe".  Maybe I'll take belly dancing classes again....  Maybe I can take some more Spanish classes at the college... Maybe we'll get bikes and go on family bike rides. 

Maybe maybe maybe. 

And it's become an easy default to say to the kids.  I really don't want to say no, because honestly, these are things I really want to do and there is actually a chance that we would do it, given the right circumstances.  But unfortunately, the circumstances don't seem to be right. ever.  So we don't go, don't see, don't do.  But when I say yes to things, it does happen.  I'm totally committed.  We're in.  I just need to figure out how to transition more of the maybes into yeses.

My new mission is to figure out my Mission, my Life Path.  To start living intentionally.  I've heard this phrase time and time again, all over the blog world-- from Evangelical, homeschoolin' homemakers to super crunchy, tree huggin' eco-warriors.  Basically, it means to figure out your intent; your mindset is devoted to self-awareness, growth and understanding. A purposeful application of intention to create the reality you wish to live.


I think I get so caught up in just getting through the day, I forget how to LIVE during my  days.  I get into the "just 'cause" mode.  Just 'cause we are hungry.... just 'cause I need to get this project done.... just 'cause we need to make an appearance. No whys or hows, just cross it off the task list.  

I haven't totally figured out what my intent is yet.  I kinda started this last year with our eating habits; eating more wholesome, organic, local foods and less junky, processed food.  But I didn't apply this thought process to the rest of the areas in my life.  I know, Babysteps. It really makes sense though. Family goals and personal goals.  What the heck we want out of life and how we want to get there.  This is my personal homework.  

What is my intent?  How do I want to live my days? What type of person do I want to be? What's my role? How am I going to make this all happen?  

So who else wants to join me?  Come on Loyal 7 (and you lurkers, I know you're there from my stats!)  We can meet up next week and share.  Anyone... anyone?

photo credit: Lady-bug via flickr creative commons


What I learned. snow edition.


My entire livelihood has been dependent upon snow.  BigBoy has been out of school for two straight weeks. This will most likely be our snowiest season ever.  I've become quite the stalker on weather.com and NOAA's weather.gov.  I've basically reverted back to more homeschool-like days/activities. we've kept busy. tried to enjoy the extra time together. and we've all been learning everyday.  including me.

I've learned:
I'm not a weather wimp, just a bundle-up wimp.
It's too much for me to deal with getting a 3 y.o. outside (after spending 45 minutes to locate and put on all the needed cold weather items) to find out she wants to go back inside after 10 whole minutes.    Truth be told, she's not that into hanging out, playing in the snow.  All she really wants is to officially be "playing outside in the snow" (i.e. touch some snow and go) so she gets the coveted Hot Cocoa with marshmallows.

I'm really AM a planner at heart.
Snow days are no big deal if I actually know about them ahead of time.  Week 1 was miserable.  We found out about not having school the night before at around 6 p.m.  Week 2 we figured the week was a wash with snowdays and guess what? we had fun.  and the days were slightly organized. and we didn't go crazy.


Sassy looks fabulous in Elton John-esque glasses. 

I miss tweeting on Twitter.

Messed up granola bars still taste fabulous.

I might not need to spend so much time at the grocery store. 
Grabbing only what we really needed from the store has been an eye opener.  Milk, eggs, bread (seriously) plus lots of produce. And that's really about it. A few beans/lentils here and there.  Granted, we have a freezer full of stuff, lots of pantry staples, but still.  Given the time and lack of children, I would have spent more.  I am waaay under budget for this month. We do eat better when I can spend more time focused on it, but I think I can come up with a better happy medium.

Math and Science is way more fun when you get to eat your lesson.  

Kahlua is d'lish with snow cream.

I've made some pretty wonderful friends. 
This would have been miserable to deal with alone with two small kids.  But we have great friends here now.  People who make up my support network.  Our neighbors, other parents, BigDaddy's co-workers. all of us get through these things because we pitch in, join forces and see our way to the other side.  We help each other with kids, shoveling, trips to the store, phone trees for yet another cancellation.  It takes a village...honestly.

So here I am once again. Will we? Won't we?  Officially we have a two-hour delay, but according to my sources, we should be getting more snow.  If the bus actually shows up, I'm taking off as soon as it leaves my walkway.  Sassy and I have a postponed lesson on economics today. A field trip to Target.

p.s. this post is dedicated to @marciamarcia, who likes picking our brains to see what we're learning. :)


Snowpocalypse 2010

We survived Snowpocalypse 2010!  BigDaddy made it to Philly safe and sound and the munchkins and I didn't totally freak out after being snowbound all weekend.  Hooray!

It's really amazing how much a community can shine in these moments.  My neighbors rock. My town rocks. My IGA rocks!  They were totally re-stocked and ready to go on Saturday. Saturday, people! For being in the Kinda Country, we really scored in the neighborhood department.  I had people calling to check on me and the kiddos, Menfolk shoveling out my driveway for me, and friends to keep me company and to enjoy the gorgeous aftermath with.  

Friday the kids and I, okay mainly just me, did a series of silly photos to keep us entertained as the storm gained ground.  I was stuffy and sleepy with stuffy and hacky kids. In a snowstorm.  Yeah Me! So in addition to raiding the craft box, baking, watching movies and playing wii, I played with dolls. In the snow. You can see the stream here.  Belle is still MIA, but if the Search and Rescue Team comes up empty handed we should find her by the end of the month.

BigDaddy comes home today and I'm excited for all of us to enjoy our Winter Wonderland together.  I don't think BigBoy will be back to school until Thursday, that's what I'm banking on anyway.  It's closed for today and we should be getting more snow tomorrow morning.  I'm thinking I might even try out some new recipes for you guys as we have more down time.  I need to get back into the kitchen and start experimenting again.  One neighbor is making homemade yogurt now.  Another gave us homemade marshmallows.  really ladies? They are totally raising the bar and I'm not too happy about it.  I need some great skills.

Today I'm attempting Mexican Hot Cocoa Mix.  Maybe that's my niche... all things Mexican. I AM a Mexi-Germ after all.  I can represent! Although, it's not something I've mastered and I'm actually better at Jewish cuisine. hmm... back to the kitchen drawing board.

Stay warm, dry and toasty!
~ lunzy


Hunkerin' down

It's deja vu all over again....

BigDaddy traveling for work.
searching for the sleds.
crazy people at the grocery store.

It isn't enough that BigBoy has been out of school this past month more than he's been in school-- or so it seems.  Or that he hasn't been in school one.single.day.this.week. Nooooo.  We need to bust open the can of weather whoop ass and snow 18-28 inches in the Valley.  Just when BigDaddy needs to travel out of town. of course.

But this time I'm ready. 

I fought off the hordes of senior citizens pushing their mini-shopping carts at Kroger and stocked up with 10,000 boxes of Kleenex, coffee, eggs, bread, milk and organic baby carrots.  Toss in some generic flour for making play-dough, crafty things for constructing valentines, a few games of Candyland and Sorry, a recipe for homemade granola bars and some Kahlua for MamaBear. I'm ready for Mother Nature to take over our lives yet again. 

Or so I thought.  We all woke up sick this morning.  of course.  good thing I beat Ethel to the 10,000 boxes of Kleenex. 


Wordless Wednesday

I'm jumping in on the Wordless Wednesday blog posting.  Since my week has been snow, snow and more snow.  And no school.  Technically, this isn't wordless.


Going with the Flow

This is really classic lunziness.

I started this post last week. All about starting up with routines.  That, deep down, I'm really a routine girl.  How our family really thrives with routines in our lives, though we seem to fight them. How the holidays turned our days upside down... um, over a month ago...and I needed to gain some order.

But then life got in the way again.

This time, I blame it on school.  or the lack thereof actually.  We had a teacher workday on a Friday, followed by a totally unforeseen canceled day of school on Monday, followed by a 2 hour delay on Tuesday.  Oh, and throw in a neighbor who was having a scheduled C-section on that Tuesday, so we had a few extra munchkins running around the house on those days. And did I mention that it's winter? so it's c.o.l.d. and it's been raining, so it's muddy now. which means for the most part, all indoor play for the moment. and it's really, really, cold.  I did mention that right?

So yeah.  My routine boot camp was put on the back burner. sigh. The munchkins are going stir crazy with cabin fever and I feel like this house is a never ending to-do list scattered with a selection of crackers and dirty socks. 

I need Flow. Back in college I took this General Ed class in recreation, Challenges of LeisureDoesn't that just scream Southern California college course? And something that has always stuck with me is the theory of Flow-- "a state where attention, motivation, and the situation meet, resulting in a kind of productive harmony or feedback" (from my friends at wikipedia.org)  Gotta get me some of that Flow. Structured flow, but flow, all the same.

I am moving full steam ahead. kinda.  I want our lives to run smoother. And having some sort of routine is key. I know this. I really do. But I fight it for some reason. Like suddenly everything will get done even if I don't plan it.  Like if I don't run the dishwasher at night before we go to bed, the dishes will still miraculously be clean when I need them the next day.  Or if I don't pick up something on the floor, someone else will do it for me.  Or if I move something from one inconvenient spot to another inconvenient spot, it will suddenly be a GREAT spot.  

Now I'm not going all Flylady on you again. Because, it just doesn't work for me. It's a bit too structured. I get all bent out of shape and totally throw in the towel. And the reality is my life just doesn't work that way.  Like it or not, my life is at the mercy of BigDaddy and the cursed beloved volleyball program.  Our weeks, days, minutes are always changing due to his work.  Toss in snow/flood days and we've got a non-stop party. What I CAN do is create little habits to move things along. yes. THIS is what I need to incorporate more of.  Bite sized pieces to fill in the gaps.  I really like SimpleMom's post about starting your day off with doing your least favorite to-do list item first, your "frog" of the day. It's also fun to inform everyone that you are going to "eat your frog"--be right back.  I also got out a blank weekly planner worksheet to jot down the things/appointments/activities that ARE regular and make sure BigDaddy and I are on the same page.  These are non-negotiable, in PEN! (or google calendar), and we need to plan around them.  Working out, craft time with Sassy-- stuff like that is included, as is a weekly vb meeting for us in his office.  Are we official or what?

Last weekend I spent most of the day in my jammies, totally anti-routine behavior, but I feel like I got so much done.  I finally did a meal plan again and started some of my batch cooking.  Made a big ol' pot of turkey stock from leftover holiday carcasses that have been hanging out in my freezer.  Later in the week I made tons of cream of turkey soup- a good base for lots of meals. I doubled up on pancakes and french toast, so those are ready and waiting in the freezer to go into rotation for hot breakfasts during the week.

I spent a LOT of time getting my coupons organizers, well, organized. I needed to get them up to date-- trashing expired ones, clipping my piles of newer coupon inserts, and scanning the sales circulars/ deal  blogs.  Since I had my meal plan set (based on main items already in our freezer or pantry,) it was easy to come up with what else I needed and see what items were cheap, especially with coupons.  Of course Big Daddy made fun of me since I couldn't just "run to the store" because I had no idea what items I needed to get at which store yet.  I needed my piles separated.  I still don't have my "system" for this, but it's getting easier and I'm saving enough to make it worthwhile--even if it's still a bit haphazard.

I'm also playing hardball with our budget now that the holiday frenzy is over and our spending is pretty consistent again.  I've been following the advice of SimpleMom can you tell I just love her stuff?? and using pearbudget along with a FREE checking account and multiple FREE savings accounts with INGdirect.  I cannot tell you how much I'm loving it.  I'm not a numbers person at all and I stress over doing our budget because I always feel like I'm missing something, or added something up incorrectly.  But I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good and we are already saving money, bills are paid early and even I can understand what I'm doing.  hooray!

I feel like I'm off to a good start, but the Aries in me isn't satisfied.  I want it all NOW and in perfect order. I keep reminding myself it all about the baby steps.  It's a process. blah blah blahdidy blah.  Of course I'll share what I'm doing and what I find along the way with my Loyal Seven.  If you have any tricks up your sleeve, send me a note in the comments.  It's fantastic getting comment love, just as long as it's not about some amazing work-from-home business that will make me thousands of dollars.

photo credit: anjan58 via flickr creative commons.  I found it looking for "flow" pics and just fell in love with it.  Isn't it lovely? Until it's warm enough to have my morning coffee with the horses again, I think it might be my new happy place.


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