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..

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A weekly update

I have not blogged in a week

Want to know why?

Nobody wants a blog about a spread sheet, an action register, dishes that need to be cleaned or have been cleaned – ditto with laundry and all other things.  Just know that all those things have happened

We  did actually go to a fun thing last weekend!  We went down to a lovely little event about 3 hours away.  It was small enough I think I talked to everyone there and totally enjoyed the experience.  We actually went because Niamh was getting a children’s fighting award and she was super excited for the recognitation.  It is hard to totally love camping events because the fun is always bookended with packing, setting up/taking down, and laundry to recover.  This event was on the damp side.  Great weather in the day but the dew was soaking so every hem, cuff and shoe were soaked.

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Last week I felt virtually corporate with all the meetings and follow-ups but I think that was the biggest planning week for the campaign and after labor day it is rolling out and my job is to make sure other people do the jobs.  I’m really really lucky that the heads of the groups all seem motivated and talented so my job is going to be fun.   The meeting yesterday though had me awake at 5am thinking about everything so I’m back on the work super early routine so I can do my volunteer work and my paid work and last of all my house work (ha!).  With the kids in school, I am actually making headway on the project list but never as fast as I wish.

Today we have girl scout plans, tomorrow more meetings, Thursday a school board meeting and Friday plans to visit friends.  The weekend is supposed to be a ‘holiday’ but we have no big plans.  We might do a dance practice and that will be new and different…

That is what is going on over here while the kids are all enjoying school!  They are enjoying it by the way, totally love most of the stuff and even ok that the school is still mid construction so not as easy to get around as normal.

I need to get back to the lists.  We had hail damage so next up is finding someone to do siding and roofing – yippie!

More important, the second day of school

My kids started school yesterday.  All of them.  I’m going to let that sink in because there are people reading that probably remember when I had 3 under 5 and the thought of school was like a distant mirage…

On one hand, I’ve gotten pretty used to having them around – managing the fights and redirecting the energy to something useful.  Them going to school now is like I’m actually losing some helpers!  I can totally understand the LIttle House books that have 7-year-olds staying home to mind the kids so parents can work in the field.  The right 7-year-old, that is a true consideration.

 

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Niamh is actually happy to go to school, her face is because we insisted she brush her hair and wear shoes.  She also couldn’t find her shoes, shoes she was told to find the day before… so had to wear different ones

 

On the other hand, I really like the routine of school.  It isn’t just that they are ‘gone’ it is that there are predictable times.  I can work with any schedule really but the summer was all about constant change schedules and being spontaneous is fun for a while but I’m happy to know that at 8:40 we walk out the door and at apx 3:45 they will be back.

 

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Zoe was up and dressed at 7am, she loves her custom backpack

 

I have had kids in school for years so I have been easing into this but last year Fiona was 3 days a week, so, that first day didn’t feel odd but the second – this feels weird.  Don’t worry, I’m not at loose ends, I have project lists both big and small and this week my goal is to get all of the things I’ve been letting slide get done.  Massive piles of laundry, finding the garage, putting away the bits and pieces of summer.  Next week I need to look at what is in storage and figure out how to not undo all the staging but also live in the house in winter.  Finally, there are a few bigger projects for the house I need to research and actually do.  I assigned Lars some youtube homework to learn how to do a few little things we need for a minor bathroom redo.

 

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Fiona can spell her name really, but, is very focused on doing a lowercase ‘a’ and therefore forgets about the rest of the word.  She gave up the quest for a sabertooth tiger backpack when she fell in love with the $12 emoji backpack.  Thank goodness for impulse love.

 

The other reason for the title is that the first day has so much energy that it can’t help but be good.  The second day of school is much more telling.  Zoe and Fiona loved everything, Niamh is still not so sure since 4th grade has some more changes but she will get it.  I am really glad they are generally positive, it will make the rest of the year easier if they like to go to school.

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and now I can’t deny it, I’m not a stay at home mom – I’m a housewife!  I need to go wife the house some 🙂

 

Using my degrees – all of them

When I was little in elementary school we were presented the standard options for jobs; Teacher, Lawyer, Doctor, Fireman.  I spell badly, don’t really like blood or fire so I put myself on the lawyer track.  Funny enough, that early ‘you will be’ declaration never really left even when I knew by my teens that there were infinite varieties of other jobs and as a college graduate I looked at all the jobs I had never heard of and now as an adult I do a job that didn’t even exist then…

Before college, I had thought about what I would do with my law degree and I had the dream of doing international relations.  I looked at schools that had that as a major and there were two and both schools got off my lists for different reasons and at 18 I dialed it back from international relations just to the more general political science.

In college, I took the general government/pre-law track that was Political Science.  I figured that a solid knowledge of government and politics would do me well even if I didn’t go into law (because even as a freshman I had a suspicion).  I double-majored in History, a very natural double major and ironically minored in English because it is less about spelling and more about reading and by being a bad speller I’m actually a really good reader because minor errors never bother me so I can read translations and older versions of English and be just fine.  During college, I worked at a law firm in NYC and while I had a great time there and didn’t even mind the work, the partners and associates that told me every day to “save myself” and “don’t do this!” while probably half joking were a cautionary tale.  The fact they also slept in their offices, had food in their desks because they didn’t leave, and had extra suits in their closets actually were more telling and I wanted a life a tad more than a law career.

I graduated with honors, but in reality, the thing that matters is that I graduated since nobody since then has ever cared that I had a nearly perfect GPA.  With a degree doors opened and I took one that led me into purchasing and logistics and I really loved my time organizing and streamlining and getting things at perfect as possible for the different companies I worked with.  The ‘dream’ of law and politics went into the background as I had real word situations to work on.  My international relations came true in the form of overseas supplier and customers and knowledge of law is woven into all business so I’m glad I had a foundation.  I went on to my MBA and learned even more about how systems of business work and how to use what I know to make a company better or more effective.

In the back of my head, I have always loved law and politics but had put it on a shelf because of ‘real life’.  Until now… This week I accepted the Campaign Manager position for a local levy and bond and I’m officially in the world of politics.  I like that my hard hours of study about political demographics and parties are paying off because I know exactly what the analyst is saying about the best way to run this campaign.  I think I’m in this position not because of my undergrad level of knowledge of politics but probably because of the MBA that is basically a masters in being bossy and orginized – both things that make a good campaign.  I feel like I’m jumping into the deep end but there is a team that believes in me so I owe it to my self to have the same level of self-confidence.

I’m working on a campaign for a thing, not a person.  Technically I’m working to get money so our kids and schools can have a fighting chance.  I’m willing to give up my time so my kids and their peers can have a class under 30, supplies without begging, and the support staff to let the teachers teach not do everything else.  The budget in our district has been cut yearly, jobs lost, programs cut, but still, the school performs.  There is something special that keeps the teachers and administration keep working and doing a great job.  I can’t imagine what they would do if they were fully funded!

This is a sprint of a campaign, only 2 months, but there is a team and a plan and guess what – I get to lead it!

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3 reasons why

Summer Limbo

We are in the last week, the very last week of summer.

I’ve mentioned that this was a super short summer because they are shifting the year so that next summer can have extra time for construction.  It’s a good plan really, but, I can’t say I like short summer and I’m not wild about extra long summer next year either….

 

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The literal haze of summer.  Looks like I’m living in a white dome

 

Anyway, we are in that hazy post vacation time limbo.  There isn’t really enough time to start something new and after 2 weeks away from tv, the kids want to zone out to all that Netflix has to offer.  I’m 3 loads of laundry into the unpack process, that is about half way for unpacking because some of what we brought came home clean so it just needs to be put away.  The car needs to be thoroughly cleaned since carpool is coming up.  Aside from the events I talked about last time I wander around wondering what to do next because I can’t really start any of the 105 projects I want to start until kids are in school.

For the record, we put our impulsive decision to sell our house and move on a more realistic track.  We will still move but probably next May.  The plan is to list our house in March at the START of the season while kids are still at school making showing far easier.  This means we are reversing a few of the staging things for living but nowhere near all.  Our books and fabric and extra stuff will live in storage, but, project #1 is going to be to get our winter stuff back.  We are still house hunting and if the perfect one comes up we have basically figured out a way to get a downpayment without selling our house first but it’s complicated and I would prefer to sell ours and buy the next the normal way.  We know better what we want in the next house too so all for the good, little time wasted in round one.

However, the house thing creates a different sort of limbo too.  The process isn’t over, just delayed, so a percent of my brain is still working on how to improve the house to show, keep the house ‘show empty’ by resisting new purchases.  All projects go through a cost benefit with the hope that we get the money back in sale.  On the positive, I am going to put working out back on my list but even though I didn’t work out much over the summer my eating habit changes and general moving activity shaved a few pounds off and I’m nearly 10lb down from last year.  It was a happy surprise to have things fit better.

So we might not have a normal schedule this week we still have to feed the kids and breakfast time is now.  The highlight for today is a playdate for Niamh, back to school supply shopping for kids and art in the park tonight.  I also hope to get more done on the unpack but yesterday I also got the kitchen clean and baked so I have good momentum for the week.

Back!

It was a really nice 2 weeks disconnected from the majority of the world and reconnecting with friends and family.  This year was easier than others because A. kids are bigger and when everyone uses the toilet everyone is more happy.  and B. I brought a nanny who was a perfect addition to camp and helped me make sure the kids were taken care of.  Because of A and B I was actually able to do a few fun things for myself like go see friends and sit and chat/sew and I also got to go to a day long fiesta that started with a tournament, continued with a happy hour, picked up the kids for a court (like get awards not sue others) and sent them back again while husband and I got to go to see a friend in a vigil and then a surprise for Lars at another court.  It crossed my mind to worry about the kids but I knew they were all ok even though I was gone most of the day.

This, like most SCA events, is not really vacations like with the relaxing and the sight seeing but I love that it is an enclosed microcosm.  I can walk everywhere I want to go, I never have to worry about what is for dinner, I know 1 in 10 people I pass and that itself is marvelous after living so far from people I grew up with so I never know anyone locally ‘forever’ like I do at Pennsic.

I still didn’t get to any classes and I missed half the battles because there was still plenty of work to be done.  I co-ran the camp and there was always something to work on not to mention cleaning up after my children (and self) so our living in a 12×16 tent was not a pigsty.  Even with a nanny kids need parenting (and nannies need breaks) so while friends were going out for things I was getting kids asleep but this year, once they are asleep they tend to stay that way so I was able to go out later while Grandparents kept an ear on sleepers.

The weather was a top reason why this was such a nice year.  It rained epically 2x but other than that it was truly pleasant.  Not too hot, not too cold, and the sun was not blinding most of the time.  Frogs might have been living in our camp, but, I’ll take this weather anytime.   We also met some new and fun people and that always makes things better to add new stories to compliment the old standbys.  Finally, the absence of any true problems absolutely contributed to the positive year.  There were no breakdowns, or drama, or even much bad temper from the camp, and the children generally behaved too.  Nobody got hurt and I didn’t even notice too many cases of ‘wine’ flu.  The sad exception was one person who arrived getting sick and really had a bad week but we did what we could for her and to her absolute credit she did the best she could.  I hope this didn’t ruin future pennsics for her….

Travel was actually really good.  We hit the road at 12:30ish EST and got to our house at 11:59 CST.  We only stopped for gas, I made food as we went, and we did dinner take out.

Today I got up to bring Nanny home (not delivering a kid at midnight) and we need to unpack and get back to real life.  I spent an hour or so going through email and in the next week I need to;

  • get our front bumper replaced – it was hit before we left but the body shop didn’t have time before Pennsic
  • school shop for all the things
  • attend a back to school night on Wednesday
  • attend a VoteYes meeting, also on Wednesday, did I mention I’m running a campaign?
  • attend art in the Park event Tuesday that the Mom’s club is running
  • school board meeting Thursday
  • final moms club summer social on Friday

and that is just this week!  Next Monday kids go back to school so I also hope to fit in a fun thing or two also.

Also, apparently while I was not looking at news, the news got crazy.  I’m not sure if I should be more concerned with NKorea pointing things at us, or, internal political crazy.  Maybe dig a bunker needs to also be on my list…  I’m going back in my cozy bubble of post vacation happy, pre busy week prep, and last week of summer bliss.