Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November 21

Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.

I am thankful for Annabelle. I told my families that I would be ending my 'career' as a stay-at-home mom/childcare provider in June. Annabelle has gotten wind of this and it has put all of our interactions in a new light for her. Today, she was invited to go to her friend's (Maggie) for the afternoon and she really wrestled with whether or not to spend the day with me because our days are numbered or to go to her friends. Bless her sweet heart. I am more than grateful for my time with Annabelle (and her brothers) and I know that we will continue to make time in our schedules for special girl dates. I love her sweet nature and kind heart. I will forever be grateful that I had a hand in influencing her future.

Christopher is thankful for

Harrison is thankful for getting to see the movie Wonder. It was such a good movie and I really enjoyed it.

Bennett is thankful for getting to go to SkyZone with Parker and Miles.

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20

Be grateful for all you have, but never settle for less than you can be

I am thankful for the dish washer. I spend a lot of my day doing dishes because I use so many more than once a day for the littles. I try to use the dishwasher at the right time so that I have the clean dishes when I need them. That often seems like more work than it is worth. But, when I do remember, it is so so nice to just put them in there and voila, they are clean. For me this is a luxury and one I do not take for granted.

Christopher is thankful for

Harrison is thankful for the nations National Parks. They are beautiful and I love that our country protects them and the animals that live in them.

Bennett is thankful for his buddy Sam. We got to go to a movie, Justice League and then play together this afternoon. It was fun.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Cardinal and Gold

We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being. ~ Iyanla Vanzant

I am thankful for our long awaited trip to the Des Moines Art Center.  There is a new, interactive exhibit and it was worth the wait. (I didn't want to fight the crowds when it first opened) The exhibit is called Drawing in Space and two artists and one artist collective came in to the center and created art using tape. The boys favorite is pictured above. The piece is created using packing tape and is really quite amazing. Check it out before it is gone on January 21.

Christopher is thankful for a one day work week.

Harrison is thankful that he got to see Georges Niang tonight. (Niang, former ISU player, plays for the Warriors G League, the Santa Cruz Warriors and they were in town to play our Iowa Wolves. It was ISU Alumni night and we had a great time.)

Bennett is thankful to go to the Iowa Wolves game.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

November 18

You gotta look for the good in the bad, the happy in your sad, the gain in your pain, and what makes you grateful not hateful. ~ Karen Salmansohn

I am thankful for the Fall Farmer's Market. The boys and I sampled many good treats and I got three people checked off of my Christmas list! Thank goodness for 'buy local!'

Christopher is thankful for pain meds. They help me to walk.

Harrison is thankful for caramel apples. They are delicious.

Bennett is thankful for getting to go to the farmer's market. I got a dutch letter and they are awesome.

Friday, November 17, 2017

November 17

I am grateful for what I am and have. My Thanksgiving is perpetual. ~ Henry David Thoreau

I am thankful for pie pumpkins from my mom. I'm getting them roasted and in the freezer for use in pumpkin bread all winter long.

Christopher is thankful that it is less than a week away from Thanksgiving.

Harrison is thankful for the end of the school week. Welcome to the weekend and ready for a break.

Bennett is thankful for seeing my friends at school today. They are nice.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things.  ~ The Secret

The kids are struggling a bit with the thankfulness. We are getting some repeats and some answers are giving with no real thought behind them because they have more important things to do than take a couple minutes to think about what they are grateful for. Also, sometimes they are searching for just the right answer and then they get frustrated. That's not what this exercise is supposed to be about, obviously. So starting today, I am going to give them a prompt question. They can choose to answer that question or choose something else they would like. We will see how this works!

Prompt: What smell are you grateful for?

I am thankful for chai tea latte. I have recently been making them at home and they are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up yet they are also make me feel cozy and warm.

Christopher is thankful that college basketball started last week.

Harrison is thankful for the smell of fallen leaves because it make me think of autumn.

Bennett is thankful for the smell of flowers. They smell good.

Emma is grateful for the smell of cinnamon. It is my favorite smell!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 15

Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful thorns have roses. ~ Alphonse Karr

I am thankful for sunny days spent at the skate park. In reality, I am trying very hard to be thankful for sunny days at the skate park. I don't like skateboarding... I rearranged a couple of things so that I could take Bennett, Miles, Drew and Jake to the skate park this afternoon. They love it and I think they could be there forever. They work so hard at trying out new things/tricks and I admire their commitment. And it was cute watching them when another, older skater came over. They are not obnoxious but they do hover a little and eventually got to know him and asked him some questions about 'how he did that'. I love their gumption and courage. So I guess I don't have to work that hard on being thankful for skateparks. :)

Christopher is thankful that the work week is half over.

Harrison is thankful for no clubs this afternoon. I am sad Mock Trial is over, but it is nice to have a free afternoon.

Bennett is thankful for early outs. We got to go to the skatepark.

Miles is thankful that we went to the skatepark today. I wanted to work on my skateboarding moves.

Annabelle is thankful for her culminating event. I am glad that it went well.

Rocco is thankful for seeing Rocky. I like that we are friends.

Rocky (with prompting from Rocco) I am thankful that Rocco is my best friend. I love playing with him.

Felix is thankful for going downstairs. I love to go downstairs to play Legos with Rocco and my best friend Rocky.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 14

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius  

I am thankful for Christmas decorations. It's so silly. I love Thanksgiving time. The thoughtfulness, the food, the getting together of family. But this year, I have just been so any to get out my Christmas decorations. I haven't, yet, but I didn't buy a new banner at a cart fair last week and I bought a new Christmas pillow and cute little bird with a red plaid hat yesterday at TJ Maxx. And I have all of those things displayed already. Just a sneak peak into the joy and warmth of the season. Now maybe some snow ❄️ ⛄️?

Christopher is thankful that Beth made more turkey meatballs.

Harrison is thankful for math. You can't go wrong with math.

Bennett is thankful for school. I learn in school and learning is fun.

Miles is thankful for piano. I am so ready for my recital.

Annabelle is thankful for piano. I memorized my song and I feel that I am prepared for my recital.

Rocco is thankful to be going to piano. I can show Mrs. H how good I have been doing.

Felix is thankful for his bear gloves and his library books. Grrrrrrr.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust

I am thankful for Rocco Nash. There are way too many great things to say about this sweet boy, but it really all comes down to one word - kind. Today was a prime example of this. In the van on the way home from school, Brave by Sara Bareilles came on the radio.  Rocco listened to the song and then told us all how he has a shy friend in his class that has trouble when it comes time for her to share. "This song would be perfect for her. She just needs to be BRAVE!" I love his kind, little heart and am so grateful that I get to be part of his life.

Christopher is thankful that Bennett was able to get in to see Dr. Plew for a follow up on his toe.

Harrison is thankful for Fact Trackers in Battle of the Books. They are very useful for remembering facts and since I had all of mine up to date got me a candy at club today!

Bennett is thankful for water. It tastes good and keeps me healthy.

Miles is thankful that he won his basketball game this weekend. Now we have a winning record!

Annabelle is thankful that they practiced for presentations. I feel very prepared for Wednesday and that feels good.

Rocco is thankful for cleaning. Cleaning is fun and I like to do it.

Emma is thankful for music. I love all different types!

Rocky is thankful for food. I loved our turkey meatballs for lunch today.

Felix is thankful for his dad. My dad is the best and I love him. He plays with me.

Happy Birthday to my Father-in-law, Greg. I've never seen 71 look so good!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 12

I am grateful for the challenges that helped me grow into the person I am today.

I am thankful for for relearning how to knit. Jamie Seitz had a Knit-o-rama party today and it was really fun getting together and I am now started on a Christmas gift!

Christopher is thankful for for soup season.

Harrison is thankful for the air that we breath. Oxygen is important for my survival.

Bennett is thankful that Drew invited me to the skate park today. We went to one that we haven't been  to before and it was fun. Miles came too!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11

Do not spoil what you have by despiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. 

I am thankful for some new Frankoma pieces I scored on Craigslist. I'm not a huge Craigslist shopper and this was a 'pick up at our home' transaction so I made Chris go with me in case it was a scam/murderer. Luckily, that was not the case. HA! And to tag another thankfulness on - Christopher for keeping me safe. :)

Christopher is thankful that it didn't rain today like it was supposed to.

Harrison is thankful for rollerblading. I like to get going really fast and we also got to play the dice game.

Bennett is thankful his brother let him go with to the rollerskating rink. I had a great time.

Annabelle is thankful for gymnastics. I love Saturday's because I get to go to gymnastics and I really love gymnastics. (She told me this on Friday and made me promise to post it today. Love her.)

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 10

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. ~ Maya Angelou

I am thankful for a girls night out. Beaverdale Holiday Boutique and then drinks.  

Christopher is thankful for Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza.

Harrison is thankful for Mock Trial. The trial was today and we did a good job. I can't wait to do it again.

Bennett is thankful that Apollo came over and showed him his remote control car. It was fun!

Miles is thankful that it was the last day of school for the week and that he can do free stuff on the weekend also he is looking forward to his basketball game! (composed and typed by Miles Paul)

Annabelle is thankful for projects. I got a lot of work done and I am ready for my culminating event on corn on the 15th.

Rocco is thankful for Mr. Potato Head. I made a funny tomato head. (He meant potato lol😉)

Emma is thankful for her coat. It is blue and fuzzy and soft.

Rocky is thankful for Giovanni. He is the best and plays with me.

Felix is thankful for his drawing. It is the best. It is a picture of mom and dad and my sister and me and my brothers.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9

I'm so grateful there's a you in this world.

I am thankful for clean sheets. Today was sheet changing day and I switched all the beds from regular sheets to flannel sheets. I love clean sheets and I love flannel sheets. Thank goodness for clean flannel sheets!

Christopher is thankful that at least there is no snow with this cold we are having

Harrison is thankful that he got to go to the Iowa Wild game today for Leaders of the Pride. It was a great game and the Wild won, 5 - 3.

Bennett is thankful for shrimp. I love it, it's delicious. 🍤

Miles is thankful for basketball practice today. I just like it, it's fun - stop asking me why! (LOL)

Annabelle is thankful that it is going to be Thanksgiving. I get to see all of my family and that makes me happy.

Rocco is thankful that he can do things for himself. (He was proud of himself for getting his own water and I praised him for his self-sufficiency.) I like to know I can do it myself!

Emma is thankful for Evelyn. She tries to do things that I do but sometimes she can't and I get Beth to help. I like it when she says something funny, like when she howls during What Does the Fox Say.

Rocky is thankful for his mom. I love my mom and she loves me too.

Felix is thankful for cats. I love Frances and Addison.

Evelyn is thankful for pigtails. Annabelle thinks I look adorable!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 8

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

I am thankful for my plants. Sometimes I don't think they are worth it because they are just 'another thing' to deal with, but I really love the way they look and the unseen benefit of helping to keep our air clean in the winter months. And often times, when I stop to take the time, I love care for them. It's relaxing. Also, I get a giggle every week because I water them on Wet Wednesday or Thirsty Thursday.

Christopher is thankful that Scott got to work on time today. I didn't have to start the day by myself today.

Harrison is thankful for a good Mock Trial meeting. I am ready for Friday.

Bennett is thankful for a delicious dinner. This is great, Mom.

Miles is thankful for Wednesday's.

Annabelle is thankful that she got to go to Maggie's after school. We cleaned up her neighborhood as the "Non-Litterbugs" and played on the trampoline and pretended to be cats.

Rocco is thankful that he got to go on another field trip. We went to WHOTV and I learned so much about how people get their news.

Emma is thankful for Beth. You do nice things to me like helping me when I have problems.

Felix is thankful for Annabelle. I love it when new go to the pool. Ashworth Pool. We do cannon balls and swim and and fun.

Evelyn is thankful for the play kitchen. She loves to cook the play food and then eat the play food!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 7

Gratitude is one of the most medicinal emotions we can feel. It elevates our moods and fills us with joy.

Harrison got invited to participate in SCIBA (South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association) Middle School Honor Band this year. 7th graders are nominated from their middle school band by their directors. Harrison and 4 of his classmates were nominated and they practiced together along with approximately 100 other musicians today at Ankeny Centennial High School today. Their performance was this evening and it was absolutely wonderful. I love watching him play and I love that he loves to play. I try and stay in the moment, but sometimes it's hard to wait for things like pep band and especially marching band in high school. Today, in the moment, I am so thankful that Harrison has had the opportunity to see what a large concert band not only sounds like but what it feels like to be part of an impassioned group of musicians.

Christopher for Harrison's concert.

Harrison is thankful that he had a great day at SCIBA and had a wonderful concert. I even made two new friends!

Bennett is thankful he got to go to Harrison's concert. It was really good.

Miles is thankful for piano. Piano is fun and I am working on the Russian Folk Dance by Beethovan and City of Stars by Justin Hurtwiz.

Annabelle that I filled out my brownie pan at school. It gives me the opportunity to bring a comfy item to school on Friday.

Rocco is thankful for his cousins (June & Jett visited last night). They are awesome.

Emma is thankful for her little brother. He arrived yesterday at 1:18pm and weighs 9 lbs 10 oz. His name is Harrison Glenn. 💙

Rocky is thankful for his mom. She is the parent helper today and will take me to school and I love her.

Felix is thankful to come to my house. I love Beth's house days!

Evelyn is thankful for twirling. She twirls and twirls and twirls. And then laughs and laughs and laughs.

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6

'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding. ~ Alice Walker

I'm not usually a big fan of the 'Monday's, meh' phenomena. To me it has always been another day of the week with its own ups and downs. Though lately I have been feeling like we need more three day weekends. This weekend has been so nice with almost nothing to do and no where to be. I guess I will really be ready for Thanksgiving break. 🦃

I am thankful for pumpkin pie. Bennett has been begging me to make one and I am so glad I did.

Christopher is thankful for chili. (also, his wife is a good cook)

Harrison is thankful that he finished his book. That's 4 down and 36 more to go for Battle of the Books!

Bennett is thankful that his toe has been fixed. A few months ago, Bennett cut his toe nail too short. This lead to an ingrown toe nail and two months of me thinking it would heal up on his own. I finally called a podiatrist and she said that the side of the nail needed to be cut out and the root killed. The procedure was this evening and was gruesome to watch but it already looks so much better. He had a granuloma over the nail as well that needed to be cut off. And Bennett obviously feels better.

Annabelle is thankful for math. We did fact fluency for the first time this year and it was fun.

Rocco is thankful Harrison, Bennett, Beth and Chris. I love that they are part of my family.

Emma is thankful for the baby doll Daisy. I love playing with her; she has cute eyes and she moves however I want her.

Rocky is thankful to play downstairs. I love Legos.

Felix is thankful for jumping. That boy loves to jump!

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

It's been a pretty gloomy start to November. The temperatures continue to be below normal and the sun has only peaked out a couple of times. Today is windy, chilly and drab. I am holed up at Smokey Row, taking time to get ahead in this blog, meal plan for the week and just get out of the house. I like the 'no home' distractions of a coffee house, the smells, the mix of people and the different reasons they are here and honestly, the boys started playing monopoly yesterday and I have a strong aversion to being in the house when they start that up! Ugh, that game is the worst. Harrison has my hate-to-lose edge and Bennett tries so hard to best his brother at everything and when he fails, he starts messing around and dropping the dice on the floor and saying things like 'I rolled a 3' when really he rolled a 5 but that would have put him on Harrison's hotel and... that game drives me nuts.

They all surprised me and brought a game. Family ❤️ 

I am thankful for leggings. I think this is a ridiculous thing to be thankful for, but I love putting them on and being comfortable all day long. And it took me a couple of years, but I am finally comfortable wearing them out of the house, mainly because I found some shirts that work well with them. I'm also grateful I have the resources to have options such as this.

Christopher is thankful for Sundays.

Harrison is thankful that he is ready for his band concert. The way to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice.

Bennett is thankful for scooters. I think they are fun to do tricks on.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November 4

This is a wonderful day. I've never seen it before. ~ Maya Angelou

It's game day! I personally struggle with my football fandom. I grew up in a football loving family who watched Monday night football and celebrated BIG when the Bears won the Super Bowl in '85. And I mean big. We learned the Super Bowl Shuffle, wore Jim McMahon headbands and got to stay up for the whole game - on a school night! Walter Payton was and is still is one of my idols. I love football. But then there is science. And CTE. And violence perpetrated by men. And the fact that the NFL is a not for profit company. What kind of messed up s*#^ is that?? But yet, I still get dressed on Saturday and Sunday mornings with my favorite teams in mind. And right now, my absolute favorite team is the #15 in the nation Iowa State Cyclones.  ðŸˆ❤️ 💛❤️💛🏈 #bestkempfsecret

Update ~ they lost 16 - 20 to West Virginia. Ugh.

Today I am thankful for my friends. I have gotten to see almost all of them in the last week and it has been a bright spot in my year. While thinking back on my relationships, I realize that the work that I have put in to finding and keeping my friends is so worth it. There are thousands of books and articles written on the values, benefits and joys of friendships. Obviously they are all spot on. P.S. Bad Girls Christmas is hilarious - even more so with friends.

Christopher is thankful The Ohio State (didn't) came to town. Iowa 55 Ohio State 24

Harrison is thankful that we can park two cars in the garage. Me ~ that's what you are thankful for?!?! H ~ Yeah! It's a good thing!

Bennett is thankful for the series The Flash on Netflix. We finished season 1 and it is really good.

Friday, November 3, 2017

November 3

Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. Notice them.

TGIF! It's hard to believe we are 3 whole days into November. The jack-o-lanturns and witches have been put away and the turkey decorations have made their presence known.

Our morning walk was full of leaves. The kids really took notice of all the different sizes. And a long stop was made so that we could roll around in all the fun. 🍁

Today I am thankful for my littles. They have kept me laughing all day long.

"I'll pay for the hotel. Cause Mama's got all the dollars." ~ Emma
"I had a dream last night I had an eyeball on my butt. It could see my farts." ~ Felix
"What's a nightmare?" Me - Ummm, its a dream you don't like very much. When have you had a nightmare? "(shoulder shrug) About 5 years ago." ~ Felix
"This is my juice (brought with him this morning). It looks like pee but it's not." ~ Rocky

Christopher is thankful that it Pagliai's for dinner!

Harrison that he was very productive in his student council meeting. We made signs for Combat Hunger.

Bennett is thankful for waffles. They keep me from starving. (he has a lot of first world problems)

Miles is thankful that it is Friday. I get to spend more time with my family. (heart melt)

Rocco is thankful for field trips. I just learn so much when I am on them.

Emma is thankful for her dad. He turns on lots of good music for me like Ariel, Moana, Emma's playlist, Earl Scruggs, & Willie Nelson. He plays all kinds of music.

Rocky is thankful for Halloween. I got a lot of candy. (this is repeat from Wednesday and I usually make them think of something else, but his eyes were so happy thinking about his costume and the candy that I let it slide 😁)

Felix is thankful for getting presents. I got gum and guns for my birthday! I really like gum.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November 2

Be grateful for all you have, but never settle for less than you can be.

The weather has been fabulous for cozy sweaters and thick socks. This has not been conducive to outdoor play. But, (staying on theme) thankfully there seems to be a calm with the wind and a slight rise in temperature. The sun even peaked out for a while and the kids played outside after school. They needed that outdoor time!

Today I am thankful for the moon over downtown Des Moines at 6:00pm tonight. It was huge and with the hazy clouds it looked like a planet out of Star Wars. I was driving or I would have gotten a picture.

Christopher is thankful for half days at work.

Harrison my new hair cut. I really like it!

Bennett is thankful reading. I am at a really good part of my book. (The Fourth Stall)

Miles is thankful that he had school today.

Annabelle is thankful for P.E. I beat other teams 4 times and scored 3 hoops.

Rocco is thankful for friends playing with him at recess.

Emma is thankful for mommy. She does nice things for me.

Rocky is thankful for cherries. I LOVE cherries!

Felix is thankful for the kitties. I love the kitties.

Evelyn is thankful for books. She spent 10 minutes today putting 4 board books on the table and then going from chair to chair reading different ones set at the different spots.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Thankfulness season

When asked if my cup is half-full or half empty, my only response is that I am thankful that I have a cup. ~ Anonymous

It's my favorite time of year again. Thanksgiving. It just warms my heart. As a history major/historian/educated person I understand that the true story of the original Thanksgiving is much more complex than what we celebrate today. And while I teach and share that with my children so that they continue to know the histories and truths we as a society sometimes gloss over, I also teach them that traditions are important and taking time to be thankful and grateful for what we have is important.

Today I am thankful for Harrison. We spent the evening shopping for new clothes and shoes. He has an honor band concert coming up and his first Mock Trial competition and he has grown 2 or 3 inches since he last wore pants! I know that I am biased but Harrison is the most wonderful combination of kind, funny, considerate and sarcastic. He is a joy to be around and makes me laugh like I am a teenager again.

Chris is thankful that it was just a tiny bit warmer today.

Harrison is thankful for a great Mock Trial practice. I have my cross-examination all done, my closing is awesome and I'm ready for any question they ask me as a witness. I've got this!

Bennett is thankful for take-out. Because we NEVER get it and I really love take-out.

Emma is thankful for her Ariel doll from her birthday cake. I love it because it's Ariel.

Rocky is thankful for Halloween. Because it makes me happy.

Evelyn is thankful for blankets she can put over her head and wear like a cape.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


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.