January 8, 2017

Today I turn 40.

Turning 40 years old feels like... nothing I was expecting, mainly because it doesn't feel like anything. My bones don't creak, I feel no different than any other day, or year from the past twenty or so years, really. Isn't it one of those milestones where it's supposed to feel like a big deal? I think I'm just the kind of person who doesn't feel the big deals. The little deals... now that's another story.

Because I've been blogging forever, I can look back to the post from when I turned 30:

Apparently I didn't have a lot to say. Those pictures, though. 

I do remember turning 30, I remember that night because we went out to Buffalo Wild Wings in Valpo with the kids and had a fun family meal, and Jeff gave me a ring.

Probably the most stuff and adventures of my life so far happened in the last ten years, for sure. The biggest lesson being to expect only the unexpected. That's what my thirties and motherhood has taught me. And that journey brought me here, to realize living in this moment right now, these breaths are the only guarantee, and unexpectedly that is how to really feel alive.

Marking my 40th, we were snowbound in Oregon at home and thankfully Jeff thought to get a cake and take me out for a really nice dinner the night before the storm hit, and I ordered a Sage Sapphire Collins and then a lemon drop, and after dinner we went shopping at Target to stock up for the storm. We bought puzzles and a retro Sorry game, and a bunch of other random things. He gave me an Apple Watch aka Inspector Gadget Spy watch that I weirdly like a whole lot, and we came home and watched Wheel of Fortune with Ivy and Gray snuggled in our bed.

We spent all day yesterday in our snow globe as the biggest flakes and flurries fell around us. We put together a puzzle, watched movies while I knit, went sledding, and I made a big pot of minestrone for dinner.

This morning I opened more gifts and then we put away the Christmas decorations. Tonight I'm excited the Golden Globes decided to show up for my bday. We are about to dig into the cake.

It's a new year, new decade for moi, and all I can envision is a lot of beautiful open space with plenty of room to roam.

December 31, 2016

On The Eve

It's New Year's Eve and we are anxious to close out a very full 2016, heavy from the weight of so many downs and ups and downs. I'm certain that 2017 will carry much of the same -- thankfully we won't have to struggle through selling a house and the not knowing when we will be together under the same roof again.

Yesterday I was a chaperone for Carter's Robotics competition in Portland. On the way home, as four teenage boys slept and I drove in dark silence, I experienced for the first time what it's like to drive a kid to Portland, or anywhere out of town really, and not involve a hospital visit. It felt really wonderful. And kind of like a promise, like more of this feeling is still to come.

So there will always be a weight but the weight is lifting and shifting.

I have a few goals for the new year in mind, like taking photos of the kids, reading more, and knitting every day, and learning to play the piano again. I'm no longer a fan of words of the year but kind of like the idea of the phrase Search Party. I'm going to keep searching, opening my eyes, and I need to make it more of a bright party with lights and less of a dark appointment.

I always start with hope and end with hope, may that never end.

December 17, 2016

Snowbound and a Gift Guide

We are going on hour 72 of not being able to leave our house due to snow and ice. Jeff was able to get his car back into the garage yesterday but mine has been down at the bottom of our road since Wednesday. It might actually get above 32 degrees later this afternoon and maybe the snow will finally start to melt away, but no guarantees.

Thankfully I keep our pantry and freezer STOCKED. We are eating like queens and kings but might run out of milk by tomorrow. Breakfasts have been chocolate chip waffles and hashbrowns and today I made some pretty good biscuits and gravy. If there's enough milk tomorrow morning I'm going to bake coffee cake. The other day it was looking bleak and like we might never get out of here so I did place a giant Prime Pantry order. Here's hoping UPS can make their rounds safely today... we have quite a pile of delayed deliveries to receive!

As far as keeping busy, we have enough books to read to last all of winter break and we've been watching every holiday movie while I knit socks and I can make plenty thanks to my yarn buying obsession. All in all it's not a bad gig.

There's been a little bit of boredom, though, for sure. In my head I was compiling a realistic gift guide, if you have some hard to buy for people left on your list, you can find these in stores or get them in time if you have Amazon Prime. So here you go:

Buxom Freezes Over 15 mini lip collection (on sale for $45 at Sephora)
I bought this for myself before the holiday season and it's been like a gift every day. They are delightful and happy-making. I think you can get these at your local Ulta or Sephora if you don't have time for online.

Crane Travel Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier ($20 at Target) 
Here's something super practical but also a life changer. We are adjusting to a drier climate now that we are no longer living on the ocean. Bloody noses and stuffy noses and coughs all night long no more! I found these at Target in the pharmacy section but they're also on Amazon and probably anywhere that sells humidifiers. You just fill up the cup and mist away! I carry mine around the house with me and then have it on my nightstand when I go to bed. The boys have one in their room and it has helped tremendously.
Mystic Emoji Ball, $14.99 on Amazon
What to get the kid who has everything and didn't put anything on his Christmas list other than candy and you need more things for him to open so that everyone has an equal amount? This looks fun. I hope he likes it.
Hammond's dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, $6.95 at your local fancy grocery store
These dark chocolate peppermints look like chocolate covered almonds but instead of almonds it's peppermint candy and so so so so so good. As soon as we can drive our cars again I am going straight to the grocery store and buying all they have. BIG mistake only buying one bag, Steph! Perfect stocking stuffer or gift for anyone sweet on your list.

Ugg Ansley slippers, $100 with free super fast shipping at Zappos
These have been on my feet since receiving them for Christmas last year. Unless Ivy is wearing them, which happens a lot and so she might have a certain pair in leopard print coming her way this Christmas morn... I found hers on a super sale at Ugg on Cyber Monday, many high end local department stores carry these, and also Zappos has free next day shipping if you are in a hurry. They are worth every penny.

Okay that's all for today. Must get back to my knitting. There's a few more items I would like to add but I don't want to ruin any surprises that are currently under our tree. One week 'til Christmas!