Friday, June 29, 2012


Hello, dear ones. Today is Friday and I am still in my jammies at 10:39. I need to shower soon but first a quick blog and a second cup of coffee.

An aside: I wish I didn't like coffee so much, or at least liked it black. My coffee is usually around 80 calories a (large-ish) cup. If I splurge and have 2 that is a lot of empty calories. (Well, not empty as I do derive lots of pleasure from it which must count for something.) It's something to ponder...if I took in 150 calories less every day, I would lose 2lbs. a week.  sigh.  How sad. 

Anyways.  My mom is going to see my seester and her newly expanded family today and I am very jealous. 

Instead of packing my carry on, I am sitting here with a toddler behind me pulling on my forehead.

Moving on.  Here is Nicky crashed out the other day:
On Monday, which seems like 15 years ago, we had a big get together for a friend who is moving far away for a very long time.  It was really fun to see everyone and all our kids together.  They made a mud pie (see yellow bucket below) and it got grosser and grosser by the minute.  At one point Nicky ate a soggy pretzel out of the bucket and that's when Heidi stepped in and dumped it out.  Ewwwwww.  He is still alive so no harm done.
There is a new play structure and James was quite proud to make it to the top:
Some of our 1,000,000 kids:
My feet after they ran for 20 minutes.  I am proud of them but also looking ahead to 25 minutes in a few days!  Hoping for a cool morning.

There is talk of doing a night time 5K here in town in a couple of weeks.  I might be up for it.  If anyone would consider doing it too, let me know.  (Kari, I'm looking at you!)  :)  Find more info here.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

the best news of all

The best news I have for you is that my sister had her baby!!  Elijah Thomas was born yesterday afternoon, quite quickly, and mama and baby are doing wonderfully.  My heart feels so thankful that he is out and healthy and that she can enjoy her body without a baby in the middle of it anymore.  So happy for her and Ronan!!!  I want to squeeze him so bad.  He has a tiny squishy face and I am (impatiently) waiting for MORE PICTURES.  :) 

Nicky is lying naked on the rug playing with his trucks.

What did you think I was going to say??

Okay, he might be playing with that a little, too.

It is dang hot outside but we are not dealing with floods or fires and for that I am so grateful.  I am also very grateful for our A/C.  Amen.

I just suggested to Nicky that it was time for a diaper and he slithered right under the couch.  ha!  Turkey.

Wendy and I ran this morning and it was so hard.  It was 77 degrees at 6am, very humid, and our 5min - 8min - 5min runs felt SO hard.  ugh.  The day before yesterday we ran 20 minutes.  IN A ROW.  That was so fun.  It was a cool morning and it felt really, really good.  We both think that whoever wrote the couch to 5K program is a genius.  We love to talk about how awesome we are.  :)  Not really but kind of...just in the sense that we can't believe we are doing this.  I am so thankful Susan suggested it to me.  The rest of the week is supposed to be hot and humid so I'm not sure what will happen.  We are scheduled for a 25 minute run next Monday...I hope it's a bit better by then.

Life is good.  I am enjoying summer a lot so far but pretty exhausted, too.  Most things feel so much easier with Nicky this summer, as compared to last, so I think I am just saying yes to everything and I know I can't keep that up forever.  Summer school ends next week and I think the change up will be good.  I hope I can catch my breath and figure out a slightly slower routine for us.  I cannot believe it's going to be July already!  Today we are just staying home and I honestly cannot wait.  (ask me how I'm feeling by 6pm.)  ha!

I will shut up now and show you some pics from last week.  Picnic Point, always a favorite spot of ours. 

 Duckling crossing:

 Ruby built this compound all by herself.  I love how she added some landscaping:

 James climbed out to this rock for a picture,
 and then every other kid (except Nicky) climbed out to pose with him.
 Don't worry...I won't show you all of them.  :)


Thursday, June 21, 2012


Hello, friends and family. How are you doing? I am well.  Well, I am still behind but doing my best to ignore that and have a good week.  :)  I'm hoping I can get caught up this weekend.  I've only done TWO listings this week which makes me feel kind of sad.  My good stuff is piling up and I hope to have a super listing session this weekend.  I am fine with dishes and decent on laundry but my house is kind of a mess.  I was gone yesterday afternoon (hallelujah!) and didn't do my normal pick up before bed that I usually do.  Eh.  Who cares?  It's summer!

Some exciting news on the ebay front:  I made Top Rated Seller!  (you can click here to see my shiny top seller badge right by my feedback score) This is very good news as my listings will show higher in the search results now and I get a 20% discount on my final value fees!  Yay!  I never told you, I don't think, that that negative feedback got removed a while back.  I'm still not sure if ebay did it or she did but it was just gone one day!  I'm sure I'll get another one eventually but I'm glad I don't have one over that situation.
Below was Nicky on Tuesday.  I was so exhausted from waking up at 4am and running in the super heat and humidity that I could barely deal with this situation.  He might have stayed up there for a while.  :)
Here he is before his haircut on Tuesday afternoon:
And here is Ruby after:
We are all in love with Ruby's new shorter hair.  I love it because you notice her tiny little perfect face that much more.  I love her face.  If she was here I would kiss her right now.

(but will gladly wait until summer school is over at 11:50.  haha.)

So yesterday the babysitter came at 1:30 and I got out of Dodge.  It was glorious.  I thrifted for a while and then met Patrick for dinner.  We decided we are going to do that every Wednesday...either dinner out or a picnic or walk or something.  Why not?  Then he came home and I thrifted a bit more and came home around 9 to a quiet house with all the kids in bed.  so very nice.

Now I just need to sell some stuff so I can do it again next week!  :)  I am running another sale tomorrow and trying something new:  bigger discount (40% off), no free shipping, and no accepting offers.  What you see is what you get.  We'll see how it goes.  It's hard to accept offers when you are already giving free shipping and stuff is on sale...I would need to mark it up a lot more to make it worth it.  If this doesn't work I will try that next.  It's nice to be able to play around with things.  Everyone keeps talking about how crazy busy fall and winter are (well, through Christmas) so I am kind of excited.  :)

I ran this morning and it was so beautiful out.  It finally cooled off a little and I was feeling so good that I ran through 2 walking breaks, ending up going for 7.5 minutes straight.  My longest one ever!  It was fun.  So much better than that sick heat on Tuesday.  ugh.  We were also freaking out about the 8 minute run scheduled for next week and now I don't feel worried anymore.  (unless it is hot.)  I definitely need one of those little water belts, though.  I am a drinker when I exercise and I hate having to stop and get my water.  I could try the Camel Back my sister left for me, too.  I will do that first since I have it already.  Glad I worked that out.  :)

Well, I suppose I should get back to my baby.  He wants to go OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE.

My seester is due today. Oh, man.  Due dates suck.  It does mean we are super close to new baby heaven, though.  I can. not. wait.

Finally, please say a prayer for my hometown.  Duluth was hit by devastating flooding yesterday and it's just been unbelievable.   :(  You can see some pictures here


Monday, June 18, 2012

check out my behind

I'm behind on laundry.
I'm behind on dishes.
I'm behind on groceries.


It's been a busy few days and my house is tore up from the floor up.  I spent the last hour packaging and printing shipping for my 16 ebay & etsy sales I had over the weekend (woot!) and am now going to plant my behind on the couch for some coffee even though I am behind on all of the above. 

Here are some pictures:

 the back of my van, for the rest of the summer:

 7am.  Do you know where your DS is?
 Lego Fest on Saturday:
 Ruby came along:

 Crabby Patty anyone?


Thursday, June 14, 2012


James' friend was supposed to come with us right after lunch but her mom forgot to tell her babysitter and her babysitter said NO!  So we are waiting until they are back from the pool and then the sleepover fun will begin.  We're heading to a park for the afternoon.  I offered to take my kids to the pool, too, but the big ones both said NO!  :)  Fine by me. 

I took Nicky to Madison this morning for breakfast (above) and some thrifting and then to the car dealership to drop off the title for our old car and get some $$.  It took F O R E V E R to get it but it was totally fine because they had 2 kid size mini coopers for Nicky to play in.  He was in heaven and we finally got our check so it was all good.  Because we left early I didn't do any of my morning chores so it was nice to get caught up now before we leave again. 

Tonight I have to go to my neighbor's jewellery party and I'm hoping to get out of there by 8pm so I can walk before dark.  Tomorrow is another run day and I'm looking forward to it already.  I don't feel ready to make the transition to running more than 3x a week but I'm always a little sad when it's not a run day.  Isn't that odd?  I did lose 3lbs but not any more than that.  I am holding steady, pretty much back where I was, but would like to lose more.  That does mean eating less or exercising more and that's hard to commit to.  :)

I got Nicky's shirt at the dig and I couldn't love it anymore.  All of the snaps have different sea creatures on them.  so. cute.  I took it off of him before lunch so it wouldn't get stained.  I hardly ever do that.  :)

Time for the neighbor girl to get home!  Let the party start!!


Oh, this passed between Ruby and I the other morning:

S:  How did you sleep last night, Ruby?
R:  (leans in and whispers)  Naked!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

run, forest, run

Here we are, mid-week already.  Beginning next week, I will have a babysitter coming at 1:30 on Wednesdays.  What a nice way to break up my week!  The kids are excited...James even said he wished they could have a babysitter 2-3 days a week.  Ha!  Me, too!  :)  Not really.  (not yet.)

Here's Ruby the other day trying on her goggles for the first time.  They sucked.  James admonished me for purchasing them at the dollar store and told me you get what you pay for.  Whatever.  He's obviously been hanging out with his Dad too much.  But in this case, it pains me to admit, the little bugger is right.  We're going to have to get them some Speedo goggles next time we get to Target.

Here is Nicky yesterday morning.  We hung out on the patio scootering, folding laundry and dancing to the Avett Bros.  It was pretty fun. 
After our dance party we got the kids from summer school, went to swim lessons and then hit a nearby state park with a great play structure.  We finally headed home at 3pm.  Yawn.  I was so sleepy from sitting on my butt and talking with Wendy all afternoon.  :)

The other night Wendy and my neighbor Rachel met me at the track to do my C25K workout with me.  It was really fun to do it with other people.  This morning 4 of us met at 6am and did it again.  This is the week of 3 minute runs and we even added another one on at the felt really good.  Next week it jumps to 5 minutes...eek!  It doesn't sound like much, 3 minutes, but when I say I just ran for 1/4 mile...that is A LOT for me.  Today I ran (jogged) for a mile, total.  I don't know if I've ever done that IN MY WHOLE LIFE.
What a good way to start the day.

Now I need to call about refinancing (again...didn't we just do this??) and get some laundry on the line.  I had one whole ebay sale yesterday!  woot!

Oh, and James will want to remember someday how he went to a ballgame with his friends last night and afterwards their parents took them all to the local bar for a burger and some pool.  He was on cloud 9 when he got home.  so cute.


Monday, June 11, 2012

lovey lovey birthdays

It's Monday!  The first day of summer school!  This morning I was wondering to myself why on Earth I signed anybody up for 8:00 anything.  Then I got home and remembered.  Ahhhhhh.  Just me and Nicky!  It will be a nice way to break up our days for the next 5 weeks and both kids had a lot of fun today.

After summer school I picked them up and we had a quick picnic lunch at the playground before their swim lessons at 12:30.  After swimming I took all 3 of them to open swim and it went so well.  I was worried about this aspect of summer life as it was really hard telling them no to the pool so often last year.  I think we'll be there a lot more this year.  Nicky loved the kiddie pool and got around in there no problem.  James and Ruby went back and forth between the shallow end of the big pool and the kiddy pool and I had no trouble keeping my eye on all of them.  (My mother just clutched her heart and thought about what she needs to tell me next time we talk.)

Nicky didn't get down for his nap until nearly 3pm so he is still sleeping.  I'm going to let him go until 5:00 and then get him up.  Everyone is up later in the summer anyways and he still seems sleepy by 8:30.

As far as ebay, I made myself a summer goal of putting up 4 new listings a day.  This number seems totally manageable to me for some reason, probably because I can get it done in about 24 minutes...the length of one kids tv show.  :)   I use another 30 minutes or so when I get the chance to do packaging and listing maintenance and it should be a nice pace for summer.  (I can do this assuming I have all my pics taken but if I spend an hour on the weekend I can get them all taken, no problem.)  Sales have definitely slowed down a bit but I've been reading that this is the case for lots of sellers.  I still sold nearly $400 last week so I was really happy.  I ran a sale and that really seems to bring in the buyers and I don't end up selling things for much less than I wanted to anyways.  I appreciate those little $15 sales...I think they're called bread and butter.  :)  I might run sales every weekend when ebay seems to be busier.

Patrick news:  He has lost nearly 30 lbs now and is feeling good.  He also has rock hard muscles and I wonder how men can do that so quickly???  He got his new car last week and is soooooo happy.  It's really cute, a new Hyundai Elantra, and is rated really highly so it should last us a long time. 

We took it out on Saturday, just the two of us.  We saw Snow White and the Huntsman (loved it!), had dinner and went for a walk.  When we got home James asked to sleep over at the neighbor's house and we stayed out in the yard until dark with Ruby & Nicky so Ruby could try and catch fireflies.  (no luck)

On Sunday it was my birthday!  I love birthdays.  I started the day by making my cake with Ruby & Nicky.  I made a coconut cake with lemon-coconut frosting.  OH MAN.  It was so good.  When Patrick got up I made him taste the frosting and he immediately suggested that we have "morning cake."  :)  So we did!  I went upstairs to get ready and he frosted the cake and put some candles on it for me to blow out.  After cake & card opening, I left for the day.  In the new car.  All by myself.  happy sigh.  I shopped and shopped and had lunch and shopped some more.  Then I met them for church and we went home and grilled out for dinner.  And then had more cake.  A perfectly delightful day.

I went to Kohl's that morning and couldn't believe how many cute clothes they had there...and all in my size!  I am SO used to shopping at thrift stores where you might find a few cute things in your size each trip...not racks and racks!  It was kind of funny.  I needed bras (got 2) and shorts (got 2 at old navy) and then used some birthday money my mom sent to buy some new shirts.  She wanted to see them so here a few of them are:

I don't have any purple or orange shirts in my shirt collection so I was extra happy to find these ones.  :)  (oh my shirt collection is out of hand but I don't even care.  95% of them are thrifted.)

And finally, here are some other pics:
Nicky's sweet little face:

 We had an awesome time at the park last week with Heidi and her kids.  It was beautiful, shady, we had chairs to sit in, all the kids got along (except for when Nicky was throwing sand), and a dumptruck came with a fresh load of sand.  He drove away and they attacked.  It was so cute.

 Me before a run/walk last week.  It's so beautiful in the mornings.  Except this morning.  :(  It was raining when I was supposed to do my first week 3 workout.  Luckily it's not too hot so I can go tonight after dinner.  The work out this week is warm up for 5 minutes, run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 min, walk 2 min, repeat series, cool down for 5 minutes.  3 minutes seems like a long time but I think I can do it.  (I go slooooooow.)
 Patrick driving his new car:



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