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Week long weekend

Yesterday was Monday, my well-documented love of Monday persists.  It is the day to put things back together or start new things.  The kids happily went off to school because, for them, this is a 3 day week.  They have Thursday through Monday off for Minnesota’s best made up holiday – MEA (?) weekend.  It is a conference, I think, maybe hunting opens?  I’m not even sure but I am just glad that random school vacations don’t mean career limiting moves.

I’m cramming what I normally do all week into 3 days but I’m also plotting what we can all do together.  Sometimes they are fantastic at helping, sometimes I don’t get anything done.  We will have to see…  I can say my goal is to get all the winter and summer stuff swapped and maybe, just maybe, make it so a car could park in our garage.  Aim high you know.

The title works a little for last weekend too.  While not actually a week long, Lars left for an event in way far away South Dakota (11 hours and an entire time zone away) on Friday morning.  I had Friday solo and decided to take the opportunity to do one of the local hikes that I had been meaning to do for years.  There was a set of difficult people on facebook (politics.. ugh) so a few hours outside taking pictures of fall leaves was just what I needed.  I did try and do something responsible by replacing the lightbulbs in my laundry room fixture and I say try because while I did get them replaced I did it wrong and actually broke the fixture…  oops put that problem on the shelf for Monday…

My solo weekend was well planned to NOT be particularly solo.  Friday we had a long wished for sleepover with one of Zoe’s friends.  It was more work than it should have been, who thinks bringing logs from the backyard into the bedroom is a good idea? Saturday morning was not up to par for sleepover fun because we all had early things to do, she had a soccer game and we had a vote yes event.  The event went well, there was a great playground but don’t you know it Fiona fell and smashed her face.  Not the best exit queue but gets the others going. img_4243

The kids were a bit terrible with fighting on Saturday after we got home and my nerves were on edge from dealing with yahoo trolls on the internet, so I was a bit shouty and separated them all but had a light at the end of the tunnel – we had an afternoon outing planned with our old daycare friends.  They arrived after lunch and we all went out to the girlscout haunted camp event and it was really fun.  The kids pulled it together and were happy and cooperative and Jon is one of those friends that it feels like no time passes.  We left the camp due to rain but had been there for 4 hours already! They stayed for some pizza and it was a fun cap to the day.

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Sunday everyone actually slept in, making up a bit of sleepover sleep debt.  They also played together like it was their job.  So well that I called a friend to watch them so I could grocery shop because they didn’t want to leave their game.  I needed to tidy and shop because Lars’s cousin was coming to town and we have not seen her (in person) for 6 years or more.  Vacation Mom also saved the day by whisking in and talking them all swimming so I could get in a quick workout and finish the cleaning.  Everyone needs an extra mom friend on hand!  Lars got home just after his cousin arrived and the visit was fantastic. We got all the family info and played a game and had a lovely dinner.  She even showed us how to use snapchat, I can’t wait to totally figure it out but it really works well as a kid distractor. The kids were good and while they ducked a few of their standard Sunday chores I’ll take it for their generally great behavior.

It was a long 3 days, I needed my Monday yesterday.  Instead of just getting ahead though I decided it was time to fix all the lighting issues in the house.  That is a story for tomorrow where hopefully I have a happy ending to the saga but let’s just say if you want some customer service, just drop a giant fluorescent bulb in the store.

 

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Since money has now changed hands, we are actually in contract to build a house!

We are moving about 5 miles away, up one exit on the highway, and on the other side of 35.  It has been an interesting few months looking at all the houses and going back and forth between existing home or building.

  • existing homes usually have a better house to ‘stuff’ value, like, for the same price as a new construction you ALSO get an outbuilding or a finished basement or a larger house.

Problem is, every house we liked was on land that we didn’t like and vice versa.  We also have pretty strict location limits because I want to stay in the district and keep close enough to the school to avoid changing.  What we found was good land in a good location for a good price that came with a builder.  The builder seems decent and we liked the model homes we toured and he is also very local and is willing to listen.  When I asked for a more energy efficient house he told me that modern techniques were very sound and he uses good materials.  That isn’t what I was getting at exactly but the fact that he listened when I talked passive solar and flipping the house layout to take advantage of winter sun gives me hope that this can be collaborative.  He also thought our carport idea was cool too, I do like them so far…

A timeline at least has a start now, finish in the spring.  Hope to sell this house in early spring to make a smooth transition.  Between now and then I’m going to be talking to some solar contractors and figuring out the world of solar farming.  The land is 4 acre (1.5 hectare for my metric friends) and very sunny – currently a corn field.  I wish there were some trees, but, we can plant those.  Step one was talking to our energy company and they don’t do it personally and pointed me at local companies that do.  I would love to make our house run on just the energy we produce but I need to learn the ways and hows of it.  It will be a fun project I hope!

That is the big news of the month.  All the other things are a bit crazy.  I’m behind on Halloween costumes, vote yes campaign is doing well, kids are all good, Lars is on a diet so is working out a ton, he has a goal to bike to Duluth (180ish miles) in the spring so he is biking a lot.  I choose busy nearly every time over bored!

October already?

My time hop has been reminding me that it is time to plan Halloween.  No grand family theme this year, we are not even positive what Fiona wants to be yet.

Niamh in her years’ long love of the Greek gods would like to be Artimus.  Easy!  I can just make garb, add a few accessories, and possibly a “Hi, my name is” badge.

Zoe would like to be a police officer.  I am not sure why but she does.  She now super wants to do it once Lars volunteered to be a criminal that she can chase and arrest.

Fiona is still quite unsure and we might just go to the store and look around.  I think she should go as Dorothy so Prima can be her accessory but she has never even seen the movie.

Overall they are on the easy side and I’m glad because this campaign takes up quite a bit of time.  I am enjoying it overall, the planning is going well, people are responding positively.  The proof will come on election day though and I seriously hope we made the impact I feel like we are making.

Finding time to get a good post is proving impossible so I’m going to try short ones for a bit and see if that is easier.  who knows!

Such a week

Wow

My week was crazy – how about yours?

You know when sometimes you are super busy and all of a sudden another major thing comes up?  That happened to Lars and I this week.  It is actually a really good thing, just something I needed to change my days and nights to work around.

Do you think appliances know when you are too busy and decide they want attention too?  Yes, that was us.  Sink refused to be a sink, it preferred to be a water holder.  So so glad that the fee for a plumber won’t cause too much stress and now our sink is back to draining like it is its job.

How about when you get a request to be a volunteer in your child’s class in August and you pick a random day in the future and sign up.  Yup, that was this week too!  It actually worked out really really well because I’ve been gone so often for VoteYes meeting that I needed some time focused on the kids so I did class work for the morning and then had 3 lunches in a row.

I also got to talk to a few people in the schools in person, saving myself tons of emails so it was a win-win day.

The VoteYes campaign is like a full-time job.  The kickoff went really well, it is always good to do public speaking in front of a group that you know agrees with you.  We did plenty of ‘trusting the emergent process’ because some details were not planned until the day of but things just kept evolving and I’m glad we could roll with it.  For some reason, in my head, I put that kickoff as a goal and didn’t really put too much thought into the next day.  Just like a due date for a baby – on the day after their birth you realize they were so much easier in than out.  Yup, now I’m the proud manager of a ‘live’ squawking and needy campaign.  I had a minor panic attack about handling it all and then realized that I do know this word ‘delegate’ and lucky for me a few of the others were just sitting there waiting for me to hand them their piece of the action.  I’m still busy, I will be for weeks, but I don’t feel like I’m doing it alone (because I’m not!).  It is still a volunteer group so I am dealing with the nuances of that but that is nothing new to me.  At least it is understandable when life etc gets in the way for volunteers, it is maddeing when it happened at work (and boy did it happen)

Not to devolve into weather, however, we are in a heat wave so we are doing this all in 90 degrees…  Today we are apple picking because that is what you do in late September!  I guess we are just doing it in shorts.

There is more to share, I just don’t have more time now.  Zoe has a birthday party and I’m still trying to keep the house clean-ish so delivery of child and gift is next on the list and then exciting exciting bathroom and sheets day.

For me, busy is happy so I’m *overjoyed* right now.  (ps. I can only handle this level of joy so long, hopefully, I can last another 5 weeks)

Checking in

Hi again

Yes – still here.  When I realized yesterday that I had not even called my mom in a week I know that I’m behind in communication.  I’ve definitely been doing things though, I feel like I’m living a dual life – the mom/wife/friend part and the voteYes campaign leader.  Working them around each other is a trick, but not harder than any working mom and maybe easier because I really do believe in this cause.

VoteYes – I have a meeting 2 evening a week and various impromptu meetings in the day to plan.  Like any meeting, I leave with a giant list to get done or follow up.  Good thing I have experience with projects because this one is just like many other.  There are really good people I’m working with and people that I need to pry info out of and people that turn on a dime.  Once you get the feel for whats going on predicting isn’t that hard but it is a job that will eat all the time if you let it.

The biggest thing that I’m loving about running a campaign is that I’m finding out about a whole new world that has been around me the whole time.  I’m meeting all sorts of people and learning about what they are doing to help the town or the city or the world.  I joke that I’ve bought into a social-positive investment fund where people who love schools meet people who love the police and people who love sidewalks and parks.  I never thought that I would be having a conversation about how to help our town while floating on what may be the coolest water craft for 100 miles.

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On the home front; I’m actually on top of laundry!  That is like my litmus test for how things are going and with some extra time in the day and some self-motivation, the house things are actually getting in order.  I’m chunking the garage into 1/2 hour forays and attempting to keep a running list of what needs to  be done.  The positive for staging our house and having half the ‘stuff’ in storage is that it is actually pretty easy to get everything put away.  The negative is that I miss that stuff and need it!  I have a date that I’m actually looking forward to with vacationMom to reorg the storage unit so we have access to what we might need and then we go out for sushi.

Kids; I feel that I’ve outsourced my kids.  They are at school and loving it.  There are complaints but nothing out of the ordinary and they hop out of the car joyfully every morning.  I can see each of them growing more into themselves.  Niamh is a blend of extremely independent but still, needs us.  Zoe is seeing more and more of the big picture.  Fiona is getting to the point where she knows how things are going to go and that fits are not really getting her anywhere.  With jujitsu 2 nights a week, they have more dad time than ever and good thing because that is when I’m sticking my voteYes meetings.  They are also still a little crazy.  Fiona finally checked the family bucket list of ‘cut your own hair’, it isn’t the worst but she does have a bit of a scissors compulsion.  She is also enamored with tattoos and likes to make them on herself with a sharpie.  Again, could be worse, she is at least drawing stuff you recognize.  img_4121

SCA; with everything else I’m not sure how, but, we are more active than we have been in years!  Lars took on a new group of students, all are awesome people (who also come with spouses and families we like too) that I’m happy to have around so half to support them and half motivated by them we are doing more again.  It certainly helps that the kids are getting so much better at managing themselves at an event AND we have our borrowed teen who we bring with and she is the 3rd set of eyes.  The SCA is also a drama fest at times, I don’t love all the things that get tossed around on facebook but a dynamic group is made of lots of types of people.

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A bunch of our SCA crew took on valley fair and it was great!

Workout; Thanks to vacation mom we are actually doing a couple workouts a week.  Right now I’m running to the Y.  Might as well while the weather is nice, and, we still live close enough.  I’m not lifting as heavy as I was, its a process, and I’m happy to have the company doing it too.  We are also doing a great little arms workout, we will see if we have results someday.

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Moving; on semi-hold still.  This weekend talking to builders while also taking the opportunity to spruce up our siding thanks to some fun hail in July.  I am glad we are in a state that won’t see a hurricane ever, hail is nothing in comparison!  I think we are also getting a roof?  Talking to insurance…  Always a fun topic and great for my adult points for the week.

Prima; The dog is still a dog, she is still a mini and loves to be treated like a stuffed animal.  The kids carry her, she sleeps in my lap, she comes to school every morning and is adored by many many children.  She isn’t the best at learning stuff, we are currently working on sit.  On the bright side, she can’t jump high enough to get onto the furniture so that is a plus all around.img_3927

That is about it for this week.  I’m so busy all day I fall asleep almost instantly!

 

 

I love time hop and ‘memories’ on FB

Yes, we should all live now and all look to the future but I really love seeing what we have done.

Today memories on facebook popped up a picture of me at a wedding from 5 years ago.  I was 3 months post-Fiona birth, I had just started staying home full time.  The wedding was for my husbands BFF who was marrying a woman I kinda knew.  We had been living in MN for long enough that while he and Lars were still great friends, they had each grown different social groups and this wedding was an exercise for me in meeting 90% new people and seeing a few faces I knew from when we lived on the east coast.

Looking through the pictures today, 5 years later, soooo much has changed.  The obvious ones I didn’t need Facebook or Time hop to show me; there are pictures of my girls at 0, 3 and 5 – the youngest in those pictures is the same age as the oldest was.  I’m in better shape now, Lars didn’t have a beard, every adult looks a shade younger….

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Niamh; 5 Zoe; 2

The really cool thing about this string of pictures is that now I’m WAY closer to so many more people in those pictures.  When the couple ended up moving here to MN from NJ we got to know them again and that cascaded into finding relationships with people in those pictures that I probably never would have seen again.  I didn’t even know the brides parents at the wedding, now I’ve had Thanksgiving with them 2x and seen them for a handful of other events.  People in the crowd I remember having a passing acquaintance with are now people I’ve hung out with every day for a week multiple times, or, just ended up friends with them on Facebook and ‘know’ them now.

There are sad parts too.  There are at least 2 sets of people in those pictures we just don’t ever see.  Their lives went a different way and there were a few bad interactions such that it isn’t really worth the effort to repair or keep up.  I’m a little sad by that, but, I still feel the positive balance since I have grown to know so many others because of this wedding.

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It was actually an extra big memory weekend because that first wedding will always be linked to the other wedding of friends from here who married a month after, and, this weekend was their first son’s baptism.  There was the same great feeling of actually knowing people that are in someone else’s family.  I can’t claim real friendship with some of their friends because they are from their past and they live far away now, but, I have seen them often enough to be happy when I see them now and I’m really glad I know them at all.  They represent our ‘new’ friends, people we completely met after we moved and had no link back to the east coast.  New is a relative term though because I’ve known the both since before Lars and I were married, since before any children.  At one time we saw them every weekend and now with kids things changed but we still see them pretty often.

This is kinda a sentimental review of the weekend but it works.  We also went to the zoo, and to keep with the theme, we sat there and reflected how awesome it was to go to the zoo with zero gear.  No stroller, no bag of snacks, we didn’t need to keep track of any lovie and we didn’t need to keep our eyes glued to them since they are really great at playing in an area and coming back when to check in.  Our Zoo is basically half playground with animal exhibits interspersed but that is fine by us – a great way to spend a few hours on a gorgeous late summer afternoon.

Today is Labor Day.  A random holiday that a least has very little traditional hoopla for me so generally enjoyable.  There is no school and I had no real plans but my oldest daughter must have been learning all the while; she created a party for the day.  She actually gave good thought to inviting people for her sisters too so it is a massive group play date. She text invited everyone (I did confirmation and follow ups).  She has a treasure hunt she wants to do and a menu and if I could get her to actually tidy the house for guests this would be almost no work for me.  I see that in my future though, there will be parties in my house that I’m a guest at.  To limit the ‘fun’ I put a 2-hour limit, if things go longer when parents come back for their kids that is fine, but, baby steps into the party planning.

I hope your weekend, holiday or not, was great and don’t poo-poo the memory apps, you never know what will pop up.

ps. here are a few other pictures from Aug/Sept 2012, I did a few photo shoots that month..

With Love Kate

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