10.26.2016

Life is Moving Quickly


So summer  flew by!  My kids were in camps most of the time, and excluding my oldest child, this is what they want.  We spent the end of the summer out at the farm for nearly 2 weeks and it was perfect.  Not any real agenda. We explored the area, we hiked, we had a big end of summer party with our friends.  It was perfect!  It was really hard to leave and come back to reality.  There's just something about that farm that transports me someplace peaceful.  Idyllic.  It's homey.  It's wonderful!

But back in Seattle, we had a nice long weekend and BOOM - back to school for the kiddos.  And here we are, at the end of October and I feel like we are barely getting into a routine.  This is the first time its felt so off track and I really, really don't like it.  The kids have their schedules but me, I feel so scattered.  I'm not on point with my momly duties like I normally am.  Maybe i'm 80% there.  But I'm not upset over it, I jsut fee a little derailed but i'm rolling with it and doing the best I can.

My oldest child started Middle School this year.  He is at a small private school in Ballard.  The school is amazing, he has 14 other 6th grade class mates and there are is a total of 43 middle schoolers.  The school is compassionate, treats the kids as individuals, and the kids are given freedoms and attention that is just not possible in the public school system.  Art studio time is as important as academic time.  Family time outside of school trumps school work.  Children are understood, help is provided, deadlines don't exist and the teachers make time for each child and for parents.  Technology is not a dominant factor for the kids because the belief is they get that all the time everywhere and school should be about being expressive, creative, social and being a good citizen in the school community.  It's such an amazing environment for him and i'm grateful that we are able to give this to him.

The other two kiddos are back at their elementary school.  1st and 5th grades.  And you better believe that my 5th grader acts like the "big man on campus."  It's strange to see him as one of the bigger kids in 5th grade, how he got to be 5' at 10 years old is beyond me.  This could be the average height for 10 year olds these days but I'd never know it seeing as though I've topped out at 5'3" and my husband not much taller! 

We are buried in after school activities right now and as much as I love keeping the younger two busy (because their energies knows no bounds) its really making me tired.  We have soccer, hula, gymnastics, drama club, study club and swimming.  And a couple of these happen a few times per week!  It's a lot.  But they love it.  soccer has an end in sight and its creeping up on us.  Gymnastics will continue forever until little Crash is no longer interested, which I don't see happening for a long, long time!

We wrapped up the VRBO season on the farm and have some long term renters in the house right now.  So no more crazy commuting back and forth to clean the house after messy and sometimes incredibly clean guests!  One thing off my plate.

I haven't seen my trainer since the summer.  It's okay.  I miss the support she provided but right now I have trouble finding the time to do anything that isn't deemed necessary for my family's immediate needs and second I need to keep that extra cash in my pocket because, uhm, private school tuition!  But workouts are doing great.  Food is getting back on track after a crazy free for all summer.  I definitely could do with some buckling down.  I think i'll need to get super strict, drop some pounds and then slowly loosen the reins.  Yes, that's exactly what i'm going to do!  Maybe even get that started this weekend!  YOLO

We did take the kids to CA a couple weeks ago but that will be a separate post.

All in all.  Schools back.  Getting back into the school vibe.  I've joined a carpool.  I still workout like crazy.  My kids are bigger, wiser and smartassier.  Husband works hard for all of us but is still a good dad, albeit stressed out much of the time.  

7.11.2016

Summer Vacation Itemized


  • Kids got out of school on 6/24, ridiculousness!
  • The Middle & Youngest have been in camp everyday since school got out
  • The eldest wanted less camp this year since he's going into middle school in the fall. But today is his first day of camp, he'll only do 3-weeks the entire summer
  • We had amazing weather in May, like sunny and 90 in May.  But summer so far has been 70s and overcast, nearly every single day
  • weather wise, worst summer ever.  I want to wear shorts and tanks and really as little clothes as possible.  i want to lay on the beach, get a tan, wear big hats and sunnies.  but none of that is happening
  • i had so many guests over the last couple of months, mom and dad were the most recent, leaving on Independence Day. 
  • I'm normally not a refined sugar eater, because goals.  But with guests, that sometimes goes out the window.  Now im weaning myself back off and feeling so much better that im doing so.  When i eat refined sugar it is totally obvious, staring at my naked body.  It really makes its presence known.
  • Today all my kids are at full day camp.  my first day home alone since school was in session
  • Current situation:  chest cold.  coughing a lot.  wheezing.  need some expectorant badly.
  • my babysitter moved to the mid-west.  I need a new sitter asap!
  • T is staying out at the country house for the next few days.  he really needed time to relax and destress.  hope he is able to take care of himself while he's out there.
  • scored an incline bench and squat rack for free! al in the same week too.

7.09.2016

The Evolution of my First


We crossed a milestone with my eldest.  This year he graduated from elementary school.  I look at this young man and cannot believe how quickly the time is going by.  He started this past school year excited, anxious and with a great best friend to hang out with.  He had an amazing teacher, who got him, I mean really, really got all of his eccentricies,  his sense of humor, and his insightful, off the wall, and thoughtful moments. I couldn't have asked for a better teacher then the man he had this year.

He had a rollercoaster of a year academic wise.  Not because he struggled due to lack of understanding but more out of disengagement and boredom. He has a large knowledge base and really has surpassed what they have been teaching him in school.  As a result he mentally checked out in many of his subjects.  Which is sad but understandable, especially if you know my kid.  Not to say there weren't subjects that he did like.  He loved Social Studies and his reading class.  He read An Omnivores Dilemma at the start of the school year and really enjoyed and learned a lot from it.  He became much more caring and mindful about what he ate, and where it came from.  He chose to give up many fast food options and processed options which made me happy because it wasn't a decision I had to make for him but a conclusion he drew on his own.  

Now, with elementary school under his belt we are staring down the tunnel of middle school.  He will be entering the realm of private school and we found a great montessori middle school which will surly capture his light.  He spent a day at the school in the fall and enjoyed it very much, so i can only imagine the doors and possibilities the school will open for him.  Really capturing his spirit and eagerness to learn.


Another big moment for Big Red is he turned 12!!!  Officially a tween.  Deep down he's an old soul but still a 12 year old.

I've watched my son grow into a very sensitive, smart, hilarious young man.  He is fiercely independent.  He obsesses about the things he enjoys.  He is a self learner, and will do whatever he needs to do to learn about his passions.  He is quiet when he wants to be.  He is not afraid to be true to himself no matter what the other kids are in to.  He doesn't care what other people think about him.  A trait I couldn't be more proud of.  His sense of humor is off the charts, its definitely not for everyone, and if you aren't paying attention you'll totally miss it.  He is polite.  He is super adventurous.  He is just an amazing young man.  Im so proud of him.  He and I are so different and although he just turned 12 I learn from him every day!

6.20.2016

Weight Loss Journey - May 2016

I've maintained my weight for a year!  That's a huge deal and I feel like I should have a party for it or something.  I had some moments over the holidays and early in the spring when I pretty much said fuck it and wasn't as disciplined as I normally am but c'mon 1)it was the holidays, 2)holiday food and snacks are bomb and in terms of the spring 3)I had back to back visitors and really did the best I could which can sometimes be tough when you're eating out so much.

But May 1 I pulled up my bootstraps, we had no more family in town and i'm back on track.  I was feeling so sluggish for awhile and I totally know it was due to diet and inconsistent workouts but not anymore.  

I would love to drop a 3-5 more lbs for the summer and really be able to rock my swimsuit but not necessary.  I think i'm looking pretty good, im in a juniors small/xsmall and feeling super confident with myself.  It's amazing the confidence i'm feeling because I didn't feel like I was lacking any of it before but with my new lifestyle i don't feel timid about anything.  It's so incredibly freeing!

A few months ago I've totally changed up my workouts to really get the maximum benefit of lifting.  Im working out in a 3 part cycle:  #1 back/biceps, #2 legs/glutes, #3shoulders/chest/triceps.  It's working out great and focusing on these muscle groups have been making an impact on the look of my body and im liking it.  The muscles are growing quick and I do need to be careful when it comes to my legs because those quads grow real fast.  Speaking of quads I've dialed back on the amount of squats I do because the quads were getting a little big (ger then I like) so I'm doing less squats but definitely working the hammys and ass.

But all and all im happy with being able to maintain my weight for a year. I had hiccups as I mentioned but I get back on track and those hiccups have occured around holidays which is reasonable and having visitors on vacation.  

Hoping for a successful summer in terms of weight, and food and workouts!

The Other Hourse

We are 90% done with decorating and moving into our other house.  We've had some people stay in there for some vacation time and I really hope I get some great constructive criticism.  I think the house is looking great.  We just got a hot tub delivered and getting all connected up this Thursday.  The lawn is now being mowed on a regular basis the pasture on the other hand is another matter, and something we will deal with down the road.

3400 sqft is a lot to clean and I really need to come up with a good, efficient system.  The worst part is making the beds.  Really don't enjoy but its a job that has to get done.  

Im really loving spending time out there and am looking forward to later in the summer for some time to really stay out there without having to jet back to Seattle for one thing or another.

We still have little things to do, which is more for us, like buying a larger tv and getting a desk in the office.

Bigger projects include, busting out the wet bar and putting in our shelving unit we have in the garage and destroying the MIL kitchen, downstairs, and turning it into a proper laundry room/sewing room.  Think long countertops, shelves, and space for a chair or two.  Of course we'd also like to  move the extra fridge to the garage to store some back up food for us when guests are staying and we don't want to schlep all our food back to Seattle with us.  All in all it'll be great to have the house for the summer. to get away from it all and hide out if need be.

This is turning out to be one of the smarter purchases we have made.

3.14.2016

Dreaming Part 2

Remember that house I posted in the previous post?  Well, yeah, we put an offer in and it was accepted.

That's all.

3.07.2016

Dreaming

I haven't purchased a home since Los Angeles.  We sold our cute little 1928 Spanish cottage in 2009 and left the state.  Since then we've rented, contemplating all that we learned from home ownership and what we would do or not do differently.  We've also had time to grow our family, grow ourselves and really figure out the needs and wants that is best for us.  

We've talked about our ideal home.  What we'd one day like to purchase to build for ourselves.  Our dream home, so to speak.  As most dream home scenarios go you realize you will never find exactly what you want.  You'll likely have to make compromises somewhere and just accept what you've found.  Building something brings you closer to that reality.  We priced out pre-fabs, we could get really close to what we'd want in the house but would still need to find the perfect location.  So we'd dream, always dreaming, adjusting the dream, day dreaming the dream.  Always.

With all that day dreaming, and with no intention of really doing any serious house hunting, I troll Redfin and/or Zillow, which ever tickles my pickle that particular day.  You know, in case that dream home were to ever pop up.  Year after year it never does.  Maybe I'll come across a house that would be perfect but its in the middle of the city, with no privacy and an outrageous price tag!  Nope.  

That is until 10 days ago.  I actually found our dream home, which we actually refer to as our retirement home.  It's meets 100% of our parameters, and includes more then we even wanted.  But not more in bad way but rather in a "OMG that is totally awesome and we could totally use that/need that...."  We talked about the house over and over and finally made an appointment to see it in person.  Wow!  Exceeded our expectation.  We may actually move forward.  We have questions in with our realtor, yes our realtor.  Crazytown.  My head is spinning.  My heart is anxious.  We are currently selling a house in Hawaii so until that closes, in a week or less, we have to wait.  

I cross my fingers that this house doesn't sell in the next few days, if it does I suppose it wasn't meant to be.  

But really, finding a home that met all our ridiculous dream list items is crazy.  We'll see what happens with all of this.  Wanna see the house?  Sure you do..... And there is so much more (swoon).

2.28.2016

Plans

I'm officially in planning mode.  We have some traveling we'd like to do soon.  Both locally, with mini staycations in the PNW, to nationally, oh like visiting family in HI and on the East Coast, and internationally for real vacation time.  So yeah, planning mode. 

Planning can be frustrating especially when there is no real destination in mind but rather several areas of interest and all of them ranking in similar priority.  We are super easy going when it comes to international travel, we want to explore the world so picking a destination really only ever comes down to a couple of things:

Cost
&
Economic & political turmoil in the area

Really that's it.  See we're pretty easy, not a lot of restraints.  We all hold passports that are ready to go.  Actually, I may be the only hold up as my passport does not look anything like me.  When we recently returned from Canada US Customs had a hard time believing it was me in that photograph.  When asked for a 2nd form of picture ID he still didn't think it really looked like me.  I guess it was a good thing I didn't joke that the girl in the photo was my overweight twin! Anyway, I had some friends look at that 2nd form of ID, because I agree my passport does not resemble me in the least, and they thought it didn't look much like me.  Maybe a relative, like a sister, but not me.  Well, I guess when I renew/update my passport I should probably update my drivers license photo as well.  Anyway, as I was saying we all hold passports, we have no problem taking our kids out of school to experience the world, and we do good with spontaneity.  So deciding to go to, say, Denmark in 6-weeks is no big deal for us.

Really our only vacation don't is pro-actively choosing a tropical spot.  We go to Hawaii so often that the lure of sandy beaches, ocean waters, palm trees and constant sun doesn't entice us as it could entice others.  We will always have that perfection that if we are going gung ho for a family vacation we aren't going somewhere like jamaica, or tahiti.  not for us, not yet anyway. You know, never say never.

Vacations for us is not about seeing all we can see, in terms of things like tourist attractions.  Of course if we went to Paris we'd take the kids to see, at the very least, the Eiffel Tour.  That is iconic and I know they would want to see it.  But the Louvre?  I've been there, I'd love to spend more time there but my kids maybe would find it interesting, definitely my oldest, maybe my middle the little would be able to deal with 30-min tops before she started to run amuck or make off with another family.  We like relaxing, enjoying ourselves with good food, family time together in a park or on a hike, finding a local pool to splash around in and just wondering the town with no constraints in the least.  We do pretty well at traveling with 3 kids and have no worries doing so.  We have some friends that can barely pull their shit together with less but having to have taken the bull by the horns with even only the boys as preschoolers have made us strong when hustling the brood through the airport, customs, crowds what have you.  

So here I am.  Trying to plan a vacation.  I may have better luck throwing a dart at a map and saying "that's the spot.  our vacation locale!"  We have a couple of spots we're honing in on: the mid to northern coast of Portugal and up along the Bay of Biscay with maybe a train ride to France. On the flip side we're also looking at Scandinavia with maybe a little side trip to Berlin.  Ultimately we want our dollar to stretch, we want to live like a local in a smallish village and just enjoy ourselves .  Not to much to ask right?