Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ten

Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years. ~ Ausonius

I need a reminder like the quote above, today. My baby turned double digits on Thursday. And he is SO proud to count those years and show us all that they matter. "I'm 10. I'm so old now."

The night before his birthday Bennett was wired. He wanted to open presents. He wanted to go to school to pass out treats. He wanted to sleep in my bed. Then he didn't. He was on the floor. He was on the bed. He was wearing a sleep mask. And then, finally he was on the couch and settled in. I guess sometimes you just get what you want. And what Bennett wanted was to be up early enough to open his presents before his dad left for work (6:30am) and his brother left for school (6:45am). Bennett doesn't get up until 7:15am. Sleeping on the couch puts you right in the middle of all the morning noise.  

What a sweet boy.

After the early morning wake up call presents were finally opened - a Cubs blanket and the ever-coveted 10 year old gift - the mini iPad. If you own an Apple product of any kind I implore you not to give Bennett your contact information unless you want to be inundated with emoji texts. 😂 🎉 👽🙈🙄 And he also really wants the Bitmoji app. We're holding out on that as of yet!





Of course birthdays breakfasts are the traditional M&M pancakes and bacon. 🥞 🥓 This tradition really started with my brother and his family but we love it. 



While Bennett was at school, I contemplated life with two pre-teen boys - who and what are they going to become, watched the littles laugh with abandon and then reflected on how my boys were becoming more self aware and laughed and acted with less reckless abandon, and I made a cake. Somehow 'cake' has become my thing. I do love a good piece of cake. All of the kids want a special cake for their birthday. This years choice for Bennett was a Cubs cake. I am no professional, but I think it turned out pretty good. It was supposed to have baseball seems running through it but I ran out of room. Maybe next time. 



After school, you would have thought I was throwing a party. I might have too many kids! ;) Pay no attention to Bennett's annoyed face. I took quite a few pictures that day. 

Attendees - Harrison, Bennett, Drew, Miles, Jake, Annabelle, Apollo, Rocco, Emma, Rocky, Felix, & Evelyn

The day ended with a surprise visit from Grandpa and Grandma Wilcke (I forgot to get pictures), a trip to the ball park to watch Harrison play baseball, Orlando's Pizza and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I'm a lucky mama and I try to appreciate that everyday. I have a kind, caring, goofy yet responsible kid. I know he will turn out to be 'one of the good ones' someday. He's one of the good ones now. Even today as I was typing this and telling B that he would be missing his baseball game today if he didn't eat his pasta salad I love him more than words can describe and I appreciated his failed resolve to "NOT EAT THIS STUFF." He sat here for over an hour. **Sigh** But he got it done and he didn't die like he thought might happen. 




Birthday Interview - Bennett, age 10

What is your nickname?
   ~ The Mongoose
What is your favorite color?
  ~ Blue
What do you want to be when you grow up?
  ~ Baseball player
What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
  ~ Go out to eat at Hu Hot and Ohanas
Who is your best friend?
  ~ Fritz 
What makes you happy?
  ~ Baseball
What do you like to learn about?
  ~ Math
What is your favorite book?
  ~ The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
What makes you sad?
  ~ losing a friend 
If you had $1,000 what would you do with it?
  ~ buy a computer
Where would you like to go on vacation?
  ~ Chicago
What is your favorite food?
  ~ Corn on the cob and shrimp 
What is your favorite thing to do?
  ~ play baseball and watch the Cubs
If you had one wish, what would it be?
  ~ To be a billionaire baseball player for the Chicago Cubs

Dream big, 10 year old. You've got the whole world at your fingertips.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Learn to Row

Crew has always interested me. My cousins were in crew in high school and I was always jealous that we didn't have that opportunity in my area. I love to canoe and kayak. I've dreamed of owning kayaks but dread the hassles that come with that - transporting them to and from the water - too heavy for me to get on the van - I want singles but don't want to own a trailer - where do I store them, the living room? Anyway, several years go I noticed that Des Moines had a rowing club. I looked into it, but the times were not conducive to my life. Didn't work for me so I shelved it. Then last year, some of my friends got me back into thinking it was a possibility. After I completed my 40 at 40 list I looked into the classes that my friends had done. Bingo! I signed up for the 'Learn to Row' class with the DMRC (Des Moines Rowing Club).

My class was today and it was wonderful. Fortunately the weather was perfect and the classmates were just like me - newbies. We started out on the Erg's. This is the correct term for a rowing machine. I just had to Google that name because I will never remember that. Who can remember a silly name like erg?

I had never used one before and it seemed pretty easy. I was over confident. It wasn't too complicated but it was very easy to get out of rhythm and if that happened when you were on the hull (boat), the oar would smack your knees. Lots of little pieces to remember. Then we learned all about nautical terms and things that our coxswain (leader of the hull). Again, lots of little pieces to remember. One thing that I will remember forever is that the bow of the boat is the back of the boat. I can remember this because single hulls have a protective 'ball' on the bow. This offers a little protection when hitting the dock accidentally and me giggles because even boats have balls.

Finally we went to the water. I found the experience very rewarding and can only imagine the spirit of comradeship you would find after having a successful outing on the water. Staying in rhythm with your teammates is much harder than you think it should be. And when one person is off it can effect how the boat sits in the water which in turn can effect how your oar enters the water which can then effect your own rhythm. I would love to sign up for their Novice Program but it will not work in my budget nor my schedule this year. I'm definitely going to keep it on my future bucket lists. As for learning how to row, I feel as if I have succeeded in that. Check one off!


The List

 ~ whole30
 ~ 30 days of yoga
 ~ run a 5k
 ~ read a classic novel (Jane Austen)
 ~ blog 4 or more times a week
 ~ sing karaoke
 ~ volunteer
 ~ take a writing class
 ~ finalize our will
 ~ one week of vegetarianism
 ~ get another tattoo
 ~ cross-stitch 19 bookmarks for Christmas
 ~ go geocaching
 ~ pay for a house cleaning the week of my birthday
 ~ combine past 401k’s
 ~ attend a religious service (Hindu, Muslim, Judaism…) different from my own
 ~ watch 5 documentaries
 ~ ask for forgiveness
 ~ send 40 postcards/letters
 ~ become proficient at a Zumba class
 ~ dye a bright color strip in my hair
 ~ watch 40 of the AFI top 100 films (0 of 40)
 ~ watch all seasons of Breaking Bad
 ~ solidify a plan to take the GRE and apply to grad school
 ~ donate blood
 ~ paint the porch
 ~ subscribe to The Week and read it cover to cover
 ~ purge 1/4 of my closet
 ~ visit 4 Iowa waterfalls
 ~ go hiking at 5 state parks (Ledges, Backbone, Pikes Peak, Maquoketa Caves, & Effigy Mounds)
 ~ paddle board
 ~ take the boys horse back riding
 ~ learn to row (join DMRC)
 ~ try Tai Chi
 ~ create a playlist of my 40 favorite songs
 ~ fly a kite
 ~ organize drawer of pictures
 ~ go on a picnic with a basket, bottle of wine and glass glasses
 ~ learn to bake whole wheat bread 
 ~ take time to meditate

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

40 at 40


Sally: [Crying hysterically] And I'm going to be 40!
Harry: When?
Sally: Someday!
Harry: In eight years!
Sally: But it's there! It's lie a big dead end!

When Harry Met Sally - a movie that I could watch over and over. Alas, Sally's eight years are up for me. In 6 short months I will be 40. All of me is vacillating between 'No big deal, just a number' and AH! What have I done with the last 40 years?' and '40 is the new 30.' All of these things are true and untrue and all of them matter.

To help guide myself through this year I have decided to come up with a 40 at 40 list. I would like to think that I will be able to achieve completing my list by October 22, but realistically I am not sure. But at the end of this process, I think that what I hope to achieve most is to become more of a goal setter/goal conquerer.

The List

 ~ whole30
 ~ 30 days of yoga
 ~ run a 5k
 ~ read a classic novel (Jane Austen)
 ~ blog 4 or more times a week
 ~ sing karaoke
 ~ volunteer
 ~ take a writing class
 ~ finalize our will
 ~ one week of vegetarianism
 ~ get another tattoo
 ~ cross-stitch 19 bookmarks for Christmas
 ~ go geocaching
 ~ pay for a house cleaning the week of my birthday
 ~ combine past 401k’s
 ~ attend a religious service (Hindu, Muslim, Judaism…) different from my own
 ~ watch 5 documentaries
 ~ ask for forgiveness
 ~ send 40 postcards/letters
 ~ become proficient at a Zumba class
 ~ dye a bright color strip in my hair
 ~ watch 40 of the AFI top 100 films (0 of 40)
 ~ watch all seasons of Breaking Bad
 ~ solidify a plan to take the GRE and apply to grad school
 ~ donate blood
 ~ paint the porch
 ~ subscribe to The Week and read it cover to cover
 ~ purge 1/4 of my closet
 ~ visit 4 Iowa waterfalls
 ~ go hiking at 5 state parks (Ledges, Backbone, Pikes Peak, Maquoketa Caves, & Effigy Mounds)
 ~ paddle board
 ~ take the boys horse back riding
 ~ learn to row (join DMRC)
 ~ try Tai Chi
 ~ create a playlist of my 40 favorite songs
 ~ fly a kite
 ~ organize drawer of pictures
 ~ go on a picnic with a basket, bottle of wine and glass glasses
 ~ learn to bake whole wheat bread 
 ~ take time to meditate 

I'm excited to begin this journey and I am excited to blog again. Part of blogging is knowing that my kids will have some semblance of a baby book that they will be able to look back on.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22

It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment. ~ Naomi Williams, Body, Mind and Spirit

I am thankful for having all of the Christmas decorations out and up. I know it is too early, but we have a busy couple of weeks coming up and it does make the house feel extra special!

Christopher is thankful for getting our Christmas tree up.

Harrison is thankful for finally getting to watch The Hunger Games with my mom.

Bennett is thankful for my kindle. I like to play video games.

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has escaped the kingdom of night. ~ Elie Wiesel


I am thankful for changes in seasons even if they do come a little early. The excitement felt by the kids is very contagious.

Christopher is thankful for making it home safe from work today.

Harrison is thankful for snow!

Bennett is thankful for snow, snow, snow!

Miles is thankful for the first snowfall.

Annabelle is thankful for Christmas. And love. No... I am thankful for Thanksgiving because that is where we get our love. From being thankful.

Rocco is thankful for snow. I don't know that I have ever seen anyone so excited for snow!

Emma is thankful for Annabelle because she is happy.

Felix is thankful for his 'One-Spots.' He has one by the front door, one by the back door, one under the kitchen table and sometimes he creates one by the bookcase by sliding the table out and sitting behind it. And every time he sits in one of his spots, he smiles. Adorable. Truly!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little,  and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.The Buddha


I am thankful for my mom. She is a strength I may never know. <3 div="">
Christopher is thankful for pizza at the office today.

Harrison is thankful for puppets. I liked the demonstration today at school, it was fun.

Bennett is thankful for being able to play with Miles after school everyday. He is fun.

Miles is thankful for winning my basketball game last night.

Annabelle is thankful for God and Jesus.

Rocco is thankful for my playground at school.

Emma is thankful for my dad. His name is Nate.

Felix is thankful for pickles. Specifically my bread and butter pickles. 


Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~ G. B. Stern

I am thankful for Felix. There is nothing better on a dreary Monday morning than a 14 month old running into the kitchen saying "Be! Be!" and giving you a great big leg hug!



Christopher is thankful that Harrison is feeling better today.

Harrison is thankful for basketball. It is a fun and active sport and I am proud of the good passes I made tonight.

Ella is thankful for her family. "I just really like my life." I melted...

Bennett is thankful for time. I loved doing my art and am glad I had time.

Miles is thankful for doubling their food goal at school. Now more kids who need food this winter will have it.

Annabelle is thankful for pajama day on Thursday.

Rocco is thankful for Payton and for Payton letting him pet her.

Emma is thankful for Rocco because I play with him.

Buddies

Felix is thankful for stuffed animals. It seems like he is always caring one around!


Thankfulness 2014

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15

"When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad...
you should do what I do...
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more...
oh, ever so much more...
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!"

~ Dr. Suess

I am thankful for an afternoon date with my little babe. The Cyclone girls couldn't pull out the win but we had a great time regardless! #iowastatecyclones

ISU vs Drake at the Knapp Center

Christopher is thankful for DA BEARS, again... :)

Harrison is thankful for Percy Jackson movies. Not as good as the books but I still love them!

Bennett is thankful for popcorn at the game.


Thankfulness 2014

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 14

When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. ~ Anonymous


I am thankful for the good in the world. What happened in Paris yesterday should break people's spirits, but I have the hope and security in knowing that the citizens of the world will find peace and love. I believe.

Christopher is thankful for: "10 - 0. 'Nuff said."

Harrison is thankful for cozy blankets, a comfy couch and good tv. (He's a little under the weather.)

Bennett is thankful for his basketball shoes. I love them.

Thankfulness 2014

Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13

“Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich



I am thankful for my father-in-law. Happy birthday to a wonderful man who supports us and loves us everyday.

Christopher is thankful for the long week being over.

Harrison is thankful for Grandpa. Happy birthday to you!

Bennett is thankful for Fridays.

Thankfulness 2014