Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

On My Mind March 25, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:18 pm

It’s only Tuesday, but there is so much on my mind this week.  I thought I’d do a little brain dump for fun.  (Remember, it’s cathartic for me!)

  • The Spring Real Estate season has started.  Oh my!  It’s already busy, and it will only get busier.  I’m trying so hard to find this work/life/family balance, but most realtors talk about just putting your head down and charging through the spring.  There’s time for balance in the summer!
  • Guess what?  I still hate homework time.
  • Cooper’s lacrosse season starts soon, and I can’t wait.  I think we have a lot riding on this – whether he’ll love it or hate it and whether we’ll meet new people and find some new friends.
  • It’s Taco Tuesday at our house!  (We better watch out for President Business!)
  • I love getting up every morning and watching The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon while I walk/run on the treadmill.  What better way to start a day than to be laughing and exercising?
  • My Disney countdown app says only 5 days left until Disney Awesomeness!
  • Jeremy and I haven’t been to a wedding since 2007, and this year we’ll be going to at least 2.  First one in New Orleans this weekend.  I. Can’t. Wait.
  • Why do I feel so guilty taking a vacation?  Oh right – see the first bullet above.
  • Mason got her haircut last week, and it was a bit shorter than she was expecting.  It was the first time I’ve had to console her about her hair before going to school.  I’m sure it won’t be the last.  (In my opinion, it looks great!)
  • On the other hand, Cooper refuses to let us cut his bangs any shorter than to just below his eyebrows.  I guess he’s trying to get into the lacrosse guy frame of mind.
  • Wasn’t the Spring Equinox last week? So why am I still cold?
  • On the bright side, we have flowers blooming in our yard!

Hoping all my loyal readers are doing well. What’s going on with you?  Feel free to brain dump in the comments below.

 

 

Catch Up Through Instagram March 13, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 6:41 pm

I’ve been pretty absent on this here blog the last few months.  I’m trying to get back into the swing of things – not only to keep up the “online journal” of our lives for those few family and friends that actually read this, but also because it’s really beneficial for me to write.  Sure, I could actually keep a real journal (and have one sitting in my nightstand ready for just that!), but I feel it would be a lot of negativity, which is probably why I haven’t started it.  This blog was started to embrace the positivity.

While I’ve been absent here, I have been steadily active on Instagram.  I love just using pictures to illustrate my life and all the good things in it.  So for those of you not on Instagram, here are some of my favorite pics from the past few months as a way to catch you up on what we’ve been up to here in Rhode Island.

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I decided my closet was too full of stuff I never wore.  It nagged me every time I opened the doors.  So one day in February, I decided to start from scratch.  I pulled everything out of the closet (and I mean everything!) I got rid of anything that didn’t fit, was out of style, or was old and ragged.  I would say I got rid of a least 1/3 of this pile and tons of shoes!  Then I put what was left back, and it was so cathartic.  Now when I open my closet, I don’t feel stressed or worried that what I pick won’t look good.  What I have left is worth wearing.

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We took a quick trip down to Maryland to celebrate Jeremy, Kristin and Papa’s birthdays.  Somehow I managed to persuade convince the gang to go to my favorite restaurant, Matchbox!  And Meema and Jerry even joined us.  It was a wonderful family lunch with delicious onion straws, pizza and sliders.  Yum!

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Movies have been a big part of our long cold winter up here.  We saw Frozen twice, and I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD next week. (Thank you Amazon Pre-Order!)  But the real family favorite was The Lego Movie.  We also saw it twice – once with friends and then again in Maryland with the family.  Such a surprising ending that, of course, made me cry.  I’m such a sap.  “Everything is awesome!”

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Jeremy has been wanting a “garret” in the garage since we moved in.  The rafters are so high that it feels like wasted space up there.  Since I couldn’t comfortably give him the green light for a play area in that space, he realized storage was his only hope.  We had to clean out the attic for new insulation to be put in, so we decided to put it all back in the garage instead along with our seasonal outdoor decor and patio furniture. The whole process took about 3 hours and $50.  Those are the kind of projects I like!

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The kids had their Winter Break the week of President’s Day.  Thankfully Nana was able to come and watch the kids during the day while Jeremy and I worked.  Weather wasn’t great, and we had to take both cars to work most of the week, so the kids and Nana were stuck at home a lot.  To get us all out of the house and having fun, I took an afternoon off and enjoyed some Duckpin bowling with the kids.  The bowling alley we go to is so old school.  So old school, you keep score with paper and pencil.  So old school, there are only about 10 lanes.  So old school, it is simple, easy and fun!

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This picture was taken in my favorite chair in my favorite room.  We have a corner of windows in our living room, and on sunny days, the chair in that corner gets so cozy and warm.  It was the perfect place to snuggle with Cooper for a little bit.  I am loving his age right now.  He is still a little lovey, but also maturing and growing and learning.  I wish he could stay like this forever.  I asked him if he could, but he said he has to get older every year on his birthday.  Bummer!

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And just from today, here are the kids doing the tree pose before their yoga class.  They’ve been taking some enrichment classes before and after school this winter.  Yoga seems to be the favorite.  Mason is also taking hip hop, and they both take tennis.  Their last yoga class is next week, and I get to participate!  I’m excited to learn more and have a little “namaste” time together.

So there you have it.  My Instagram update!  I’ll try to do this more.  I love sharing our daily life pictures and also giving a little more background to the stories and memories built from these moments.  I hope you’re finding good in your days as well!  Feel free to share below.

 

 

State of Mind March 12, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:59 pm

My heart broke a little last night at dinner.  We were having a quick dinner of hot dogs and leftover pulled pork sandwiches with chips and applesauce.  Certainly not a gourmet meal or even a very healthy one.  But Jeremy had a meeting to get to, the kids had had playdates in the afternoon, and it was just that kind of meal.  Mason turned to me and said, “I feel like we’re poor.”  I asked her what she meant.  She didn’t know – just felt poor.  I asked her, “Are we happy?”  She said yes.  I asked, “Are we together?”  She said yes.  I looked her straight in the eyes and said, “If we’re happy and we’re together as a family, then it doesn’t matter how much money we have.”

This is one of those times when I need to practice what I preach.  Real estate obviously has its up and downs financially throughout the year.  So Jeremy and I need to always be aware of budgets and what money comes in and goes out.  We’ve probably been more verbal about it to the kids than in the past – letting them know  when we can’t eat out as much or have to plan extraneous purchases.  We’ve been talking about it as a learning lesson mostly.   We want our kids to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees; that we have to work hard to earn the money we spend; that saving money for future needs is really important.  (I think financial responsibility has to start early – even with just a simple allowance and piggy bank.)  So while I know Mason understands that money is tight, I was really shocked that she thought we were poor.  It could be a sense of comparison – we do live in one of the wealthier towns in Rhode Island.  It could be seeing Mommy and Daddy stressed – as much as we try not to let that out to the kids.   Who knows where she got this feeling, but I want to do whatever I can to help her understand that money isn’t everything.

First I need to remind myself of the same thing.  Money IS NOT everything.  Sure it bought us a good house in a good neighborhood.  Sure it buys us our clothes to stay warm and food to stay nourished.  Sure it allows us to go on fun vacations every once in a while.  Sure it lets us treat ourselves at times.  We are extremely thankful for all of that!  But we can still be happy without a lot of money at our disposal.  I often feel poor financially due to the careers Jeremy and I chose, but I am rich in so many other areas of my life: my kids, my husband, my family, my friends afar and near…   We chose the jobs we have because we love them.  We chose them for quality of life, for more time with our family.  So I shouldn’t complain.  I should just remind myself of the riches I get from picking my kids up at the bus stop each day, from the people and experiences we have met through our careers, from the time we spend together as a family and the memories we make.  Wealth is a state of mind, and I am rich beyond my years!

 

The End Is Near March 11, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:14 pm

Let’s hope the end of winter is near.  I’m not sure I can take much longer.  I loved this NPR article about the stages of winter.   We used to be so excited to see snow.  Especially in New England where we embrace the winter (or are at least trained to since it lasts so long!)  We started with eagerness and excitement when we saw the first flakes.

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We were happy to go outside and play in the snow at first.  The kids begged to go sledding.  It wasn’t TOO cold to enjoy a little time out in the winter air.  All in all, it was actually fun.  The first snow days off from school are even exciting and welcomed parts of winter.  We watched movies, baked cookies (lots of cookies) and thought of it as quality family time.

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After the first pleasant snows, it started to get really cold and nasty.  Playing outside was not even an option.  We were stuck inside with each other, and the fun of it had worn off.  The kids were going crazy on their snow days and dreaming of warmer weather.  I was going crazy too being at home so much.

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It was a hibernating winter.  People stick to themselves, stay inside and don’t socialize much.  It’s a hard time, especially when you’re not even at work much.  Work is often a release for me because I’m in a different environment, talking to different people and breathing different air.  But when I couldn’t travel much due to snow days or bad weather, I didn’t get that release as much.  It made for long days, longer months.  I finally forced the kids and I to get out one day even though it was almost dark.  We needed to appreciate the snow again instead of hating it.  It was soft powder underneath all the ice!

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Thankfully we had a break this past weekend.  50′s on Saturday.  So of course we had to get outside.  It’s odd riding bikes with snow around.  Or hitting the baseball around with down jackets on.  The kids even enjoyed some tennis in the driveway.  Much needed relief!

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The forecast is showing 4-8 inches of snow expected for Thursday.  We’re going from the upper 50′s today to the 30′s on Thursday.  For some reason, I don’t mind it so much.   There is hope.  Lily of the Valley is blooming in my yard.  The big snow piles in parking lots are melting away slowly but surely.  Spring is a rebirth, and I know that as people, we’ll be having a rebirth ourselves – coming out of hibernation, showing more skin, socializing with neighbors.  We’ll be ready.  Spring may seem far away when snow is in the forecast, but no matter what, we’ll be ready.  The end of winter is near.  I can feel it.

 

 

The Highs and Lows of Homework February 25, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:11 pm

“I hate homework!” I hear that sentiment almost every day.  Sometimes it is from Cooper, sometimes Mason.  Really, it should be me saying it every single day.  Because really?  I do hate homework.

It causes such stress in our house – for all three of us.  (Jeremy luckily gets out of the homework hell every day since he is still at work.)   Here is why I hate homework:

1) Cooper usually thinks he doesn’t have homework.  (Not sure why he still thinks that after 6 months in kindergarten, though.)  So when I tell him it is time for homework, he throws a tantrum.

2) Mason’s homework consists of a half sheet of paper with math problems on them that she could do in her sleep; spelling words that require little to no assistance; and then 10 minutes of reading.  This is basically what she was doing in kindergarten in Maryland, so forgive me for being unimpressed.

3) Part of Cooper’s homework has been to cut out pictures of objects that start with the letters of the week.  The only magazines I get are adult women magazines.  G is for Garnier.  P is for Pantene.  S is for Sleep Number.  It’s just not working for my 6-year-old son.

4) When the kids have playdates right after school (which is often since their best friends ride the bus and they concoct elaborate plans to persuade  the parents to let them play together), we’re doing homework at the witching hour making the experience 10 times worse!

I could probably go on… (and feel free to share how much you hate homework below),  but I’ll stop for now and try to find the positive.   I love seeing Mason get excited about math.  She LOVES it and loves challenging herself.  I feel so proud when Cooper reads me a book full of sight words.  It’s exciting to see Mason get engrossed in the book she’s reading.  And I especially love when Cooper asks Mason for help (even though she is quick to give it without being asked!)

Most of the time our homework hour is pretty rough.  And how will it be in a few years when that homework HOUR becomes HOURS?  I cringe at the thought of it.  If anyone has any tips, I will certainly take them!

For now, we’ll ride on the homework roller coaster of highs and lows and just hope that tomorrow is better.

 

Sophisticated (?) Dining Room Makeover February 7, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:40 pm

One more room down!  We’re well on our way to getting all the wallpaper removed from this house.  Because the dining room is a major “flow” room (you go through it to get anywhere), I felt it was the best choice for my next project.  So again, I started in the afternoons and evenings – removing strip by strip of wallpaper.  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  First, here is what it looked like when we bought our house.

Luckily only wallpaper above the chair rail!

Luckily only wallpaper above the chair rail!

We removed the carpets before we even moved in, so that we could enjoy the beautiful hardwood floors.  Originally, this room was not on the top of our list for renovation.  The wallpaper wasn’t offensive and was actually similar to our decorating color palette.  But after an unfortunate spill in the bathroom right above, the ceiling had stains on it.  I always noticed them, and soon this became a top priority for me.

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The in-between stage of using it for what it was intended – eating, socializing, homework, chatting, celebrations, etc.

So back to the “during phase…  It was about two weeks of afternoons and evenings getting all the wallpaper off.  This particular wallpaper was almost like vinyl.  So we pulled the top layer off first to then be able to steam the backing and scrape it off.  The kids loved pulling the top layer off.  And Jeremy’s height proved helpful again.

I had a little bit of help with the wallpaper this time around.

I had lots more help with the wallpaper this time around.

The hardest part of this process was getting around that air conditioner you see in the picture above and below.  It was so hard to get in the corner – with my scraper, with a paintbrush, with anything.  That air conditioner was my nemesis this time around.  (Although the glue was pretty awful too!)

I was determined not to use tape, so slow and steady for me!

I was determined not to use tape, so slow and steady for me!

Finally a primed room!

Finally a primed room!

After painting the ceiling and priming the whole room, we were ready to go.  I started painting the bottom Friday after work.  And since I was in the mode and had all the paint out, Jeremy and I decided to just go ahead and finish that section and add an additional project…  The stairs down to the basement.  They are right off the dining room, so by painting the stairwell the same color (Benjamin Moore’s Old Prairie) as under the chair rail, we’re keeping the color flow.

The basement stairwell was gross, so new paint for that as well!

The basement stairwell was gross, so new paint for that as well!

We were up until midnight, but it was so worth it.  Going down the stairs to the basement is much more pleasant now.  A new light switch and the paint make all the difference!  Even though we were sore from all the glue scraping, priming and painting, we had to push through the next day.  Not only was Jeremy’s birthday coming up, but we were having people over for the Superbowl, so I definitely wanted it done by then.

Luckily we had a little more help.

Luckily we had a little more help.

Another whole day of painting above the chair rail (Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter), and voila! A finished room.  Then it was time for the finishing touches.  New curtains (IKEA), a new rug (Ballard Designs), and moving some pictures around.  We are so happy with the result, although we feel it is a little more sophisticated than any other room we have.   What do you think?

Officially done!

Officially done!

This picture shows the true color better.  And our new rug....  some of you may be surprised knowing our style.

This picture shows the true color better. And our new rug…. some of you may be surprised knowing our style.

Whoops - how did this picture get in here?  Just proof of how much use this room (and table) gets!

Whoops – how did this picture get in here? Just proof of how much use this room (and table) gets!

Overall, my new favorite room in the house.

Overall, my new favorite room in the house.

It was a tough redo (on our arms and shoulders), but so worth it in the end.  Can’t wait to have many more breakfasts, dinners, celebrations, game nights, homework triumphs, holidays and conversations in this room.  Come on over and join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Post – Part 3 (and final) February 5, 2014

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:48 pm

Yes, it’s February.  Yes, it’s way past Christmas.  And yes, I’ve been slacking on posting lately.  I do apologize, but hope I can make it up to you with a few posts over the next few weeks.  I have lots on which to catch you up!

But back to good ole December…  You know…  Early winter when we hadn’t gotten much snow; the kids hadn’t missed any school for snow days, and the temperature hadn’t dropped into the single digits.  Ah… the good ole days.

So after a wonderfully relaxing Christmas at Nana and Papa’s, we headed out to West Virginia to see Meema and the rest of my family.   Jen, Scott, Hayes and Rhys joined us, and we got to celebrating yet another Christmas.  When all the cousins are together, craziness ensued, and this was no exception.

Meema loves having all her grandkids together!

Meema loves having all her grandkids together!

Rhys definitely wanted to get in on the action.

Rhys definitely wanted to get in on the action.

 

We had to get outside while we could!  Family walks are the best.

We had to get outside while we could! Family walks are the best.

Family pictures are pretty good too (when everyone looks at the same time!)

Family pictures are pretty good too (when everyone looks at the same time!)

The action finally got to him.

The action finally got to him.

After all the fun outside and in Meema’s cool kid-focused basement, it was time for more presents.  We had so much to be thankful for this year.  I am always amazed at my sister’s ability to give truly thoughtful gifts.  And Meema spoils the kids (and us) with lots of fun stuff.  But I love just watching everyone open their presents.  We are a “one-at-a-time” family so it takes a little longer, but it’s definitely worth it!

Hayes tried so hard to be patient waiting for his next turn.

Hayes tried so hard to be patient waiting for his next turn.

And Mason loves being the "gifter" making sure everyone has one to open for their next turn.

And Mason loves being the “gifter” making sure everyone has one to open for their next turn.

Best Gift Ever!  This is for Meema's porch.  And yes, it is a necessary reminder.

Best Gift Ever! This is for Meema’s porch. And yes, it is a necessary reminder.

After presents, a delicious dinner, long and tedious bedtime routines, the grown-ups finally got to settle down with a beer or glass of wine.  Much needed after the long day.  By Sunday it was raining and the husbands had to head home.  Scott left around lunch to get back for work while the rest of us went bowling.  Good rainy day fun!  Sadly, Jeremy left late Sunday night to get back for work.  His flight was majorly delayed, and I was thankful to have Meema join me on the long drive to BWI and for Jen to get my kids to bed.  Another long day!

One of my favorite parts of being a realtor is the flexibility.  It is the main reason I took the job.  It means I can work from anywhere and still enjoy trips, time with my family, and extended holidays.  Since the kids didn’t have to be back in school until January 2nd and real estate slows down a bit, we decided to stay with my mom for a couple of extra days.  That allowed us more time with Meema, Jen, Rhys and Hayes and some time to see a few old friends.  A cold day at the playground with Annie and kids, a quick hang out with the Hucks and a yummy lunch with the Goldsteins.  We were in the car a lot, but worth it.

Forever friends.

Forever friends.

We spent our New Year’s Eve away from Jeremy, but I think he enjoyed his time alone testing the kids’ new Skylanders game at home.  Meanwhile, Mason, Cooper, Meema, Jerry and I ate Tommy’s Pizza while watching “Super Buddies.”  (I must love my kids a lot to have watched two of the “Buddies” movies with them!)  We had an 8pm midnight for the kids and then the grownups watched “New Year’s Eve.”  A chill night, but there was no need for anything grande.  I was eager to be able to start heading home and back to our routine the next day.  Surprisingly, we hit no traffic on the way home on New Year’s Day.  I was a little bummed we had to get straight back to work and school the next day, but Mother Nature must have heard my woes because she dumped a major snowstorm on us the next day causing the kids’ school to close early and to have a snow day on Friday.  Much needed rest (and celebration for Coop’s birthday!)

We loved our visit with everyone and loved our three Christmases.  Who knows how many more years we’ll be doing that, but for now, it works.  We’re just grateful that our families are so awesome and that we can still travel to see them fairly easily.   We’re keeping old traditions alive while also making new ones, and that is the perfect mix for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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