Find Good In Every Day

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

Giving Thanks November 28, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:30 pm

Even though Thanksgiving is over, I still want to give thanks for all the wonderful things in my life.  I am truly blessed with my family, friends, job, and home.  There has been a lot of good happening lately, and I’m very grateful for it all.

I'm thankful for my mom for hosting 14 people at her house. I love that we are all close enough (in distance and feeling) to do this every few years.

I'm thankful for the turkey duo (smoked and roasted) and all the other wonderful food we enjoyed on Thursday.

I'm thankful for the little bits of extra sleep and relaxation we have enjoyed over this long weekend.

I'm thankful for the delicious treats we have enjoyed and the fact that Jeremy and I have given each other time to exercise and burn the treat calories.

I am truly thankful for these 3 "turkeys." The laughter, love, Christmas spirit, and new adventures we have enjoyed this weekend have been moments I will cherish forever.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I See The Lights! November 24, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:18 am

I don’t remember a lot of extraneous Christmas decorations when I was young.  We had a well-lit tree, some knick knacks around the house, and maybe a year or two of outside lights lining the house, but that’s about it.  I was fine with all that.  The holiday spirit was still alive and well in our house.

Now I get much more “in” to the holiday spirit.  I don’t know when it started – whether it was when I had kids or when we got a house of our own…  But I love getting new Christmas decorations.  They put me in such a good, jolly mood.  If only I had the space to store it all.  It’s probably good we have a small house with little storage space; otherwise, I would go a bit overboard with my Christmas decorating.  Holiday pillows, hand towels, candles, wreaths, plates, glasses – it’s no wonder the Christmas industry is a year round one!

All that being said, I still get weary of Christmas decorations that make their way out right after Halloween.  Uh, what about Thanksgiving?  What about finishing up the fall season?  (There are completely different decorations for Thanksgiving and Autumn!)  Our town had wreaths on the light posts 2 weeks ago.  Target has had the Christmas section of the store for weeks already.  It’s a bit crazy!

So when Jeremy was eager to get lights up outside last weekend, I was very concerned.  I had already stated that the Christmas season should not start until Thanksgiving is officially over.  I didn’t want to be the house that walkers-by rolled their eyes at over the “too early” decorations.  But we had help lined up, and because it’s nearly impossible to get anything done with the kids around these days, I felt we had to take advantage.

As of Sunday night (4 days before Thanksgiving), we had lights up outside.  Mind you, this is the first year we have ever done lights outside, so it was a big undertaking – learning how many strands we needed, how to perfectly space out the lights on the leaf-barren trees…  But it’s done.  And heck, it even inspired Jeremy to install our landscaping lights that have been sitting in the basement for months.

The white lights twinkle. They sparkle in the damp night.  At dusk every evening, I relish in the beauty outside in our yard.  And I realize that it isn’t necessarily all about Christmas to have these lights up.  It makes me feel warm and cozy like crisp fall days.  It makes me give thanks for our small quaint house that is filled with love and laughter.  These are the feelings of Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for these lights for helping me slow down and take a deeper look at everything around me.  Because once the Christmas tree goes up this weekend, we will dive headfirst into the Christmas season and slowing down will not really be an option.  I see the lights, and I’m thankful for them and all they represent this week.

 

Taking a Risk November 19, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:57 pm

We’ve done it.  We’ve taken the risk we’ve been evaluating for months.  Asking ourselves…  Will it work?  Is it weird?  Is it necessary?  Will it backfire?

Mason and Cooper sleep side by side in matching antique sleigh beds.

I’m happy to report that so far things are going well with Mason and Cooper sharing a bedroom.  It implied a few other changes at the same time.  Cooper got a true big boy bed.  The two kids go to bed at the same time now as well.  Before we would put Cooper to bed first and let Mason stay up a bit later.  Now they both are in bed by 8pm each night.  (Sadly, they are still up at 6am!)  They brush teeth together, get PJ’s on together, and we all read books together.  And honestly, they love every minute of it!  So far….  We know there will be moments.  We know one of them will keep the other up at times.  But Mason has taken on the big sister role very well at bedtime – urging Cooper to stay in bed or go to sleep or be quiet…

Cooper is eager to get into his new bed every night.

We also had to move all the toys into the new playroom.  As enticing as jumping on the two beds is, we encourage them to play in the playroom.  It contains the mess for the most part, and allows us to all be in there together if we want.

Plenty of space for playing.

The other incentive of this was to offer a true “guest bedroom” to our guests.  The playroom will serve that purpose since our air mattress will fit nicely in the middle.  Now our guests are not stuck out in the living room for all to see.  They have their own space to sleep and can even close the door.  Can’t wait to try it out!

The Lake House is accepting reservations!  Call now!

 

Another Mason Story / Snacktime Conversation November 16, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:20 am

Scene: Sitting at the table, eating an apple with Mason and Cooper.

Mason:  Mommy, I want to go out to dinner with you tonight.

Me:  Sorry, sweetie, but this is a grown-up dinner.

Jeremy interjects right as Mason starts pouting:  Mason, but we’re going to have tons of fun while she’s gone!

A smile starts to emerge on Mason’s face.

Jeremy continues:  I thought we could watch the Tinkerbell movie AND eat dinner in the living room.  And then, maybe we could make popcorn.

Mason’s eyes almost pop out of her head; she is so excited.  She puts her apple down to pump her fists and say, “Yes!”

Mason:  Daddy, I have an idea.  How about movie popcorn ‘slash’ party?!

…..

Did my daughter just use ‘slash’ in a sentence?  Where did that come from?  And how did she learn to use it properly?  I was impressed.  (And jealous of the movie popcorn/party filled evening)

 

Love In The NW November 8, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:48 pm

No, I won’t get too mushy about how this trip to the NW was my chance to reconnect with my husband (although it was.)  And I won’t go on and on about how I fell deeper in love with him as we trekked through the NW (although I did.) 

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Starting our vacation off on the Portland Waterfront.

No, in this blog, I will talk about other types of love.  Love for a town, a lifestyle, a setting, an old friend…

I had not been in Portland for 5 years (almost to the date!)  After living in Portland for my last two years of high school, I fell in love with the area.  I’ve always said I would move back there in an instant, and I even get weekly emails of homes for sale in Lake Oswego.  (More on why I’ll be cancelling that service later.)  What I love about Portland is the love of nature that everyone seems to have.  You can honestly be at the beach or in the mountains for some skiing within an hour.  The entire city is set up for bike riders.  And despite the rain, people just love being outside there.  It’s refreshing and slow-paced  – very different from the pace of the DC suburbs!

When this plan to go on a work trip with Jeremy was hatched two weeks ago, I was thinking that the trip would be a good chance for us to determine if we would move there.  But as our plane was flying at cruising altitude above Nevada, Jeremy and I realized that we just couldn’t do it.  At least not now.  The idea of having to go through the air travel hassle just to see our family (or for them to go through it) was just too much.  We decided that IF we ever move, it would have to be within driving distance of our family.  Granted some driving distances might be cut shorter with air travel, but the option to drive had to be there.  Not so much in the NW.  So when we touched down in Portland, my mindset was already changed.  I was not on a scouting trip; I was on a true vacation, and I was going to enjoy our trip as any tourist would do!  What a relief! 

We walked all over the city, enjoyed Voodoo Doughnuts, shopped at the Columbia store, drank lots of microbrews, ate local and organic, visited Powell’s…  Life was good.

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Jeremy eating a "No Name" (my favorite)

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My turn! Lip smacking good!

Even better was that we got to spend time with my old friend, Jenny, and her boyfriend, Ian.  They took us to a very nice restaurant, Tabla, and we got to see their house and neighborhood.  Good times.  Jenny even took the morning off the next day to spend more time with us.

The Chinese Garden takes up a whole city block!

The Chinese Garden takes up a whole city block!

I was truly inspired at the Chinese Garden.  It was a beautiful place and not because there were beautiful flowers everywhere like other gardens.  It was beautiful because of the ornate design of the buildings and walkways mixed with the simple natural elements of lush green trees and plants. 

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Just look at the rock design of this walkway!

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I'm trying to figure out how to implement this in my backyard.

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I got a little carried away.

After lunch at a local microbrew pub, Deschutes, Jeremy and I made our way up to Tacoma.  We were in awe the entire drive as we got to see Mt. Ranier from so many different points along the way.  Amazing!  Very sad I never got a picture of it.

Our hotel in Tacoma, The Silver Cloud Inn, was beautifully set right on a pier, so from our window, we looked right out onto water.  The color of the leaves was amazing, and I definitely was not able to capture it with my camera.  But I tried!

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Our hotel from the waterfront path.

In Tacoma, we definitely enjoyed a more relaxed life.  No rushing to get anywhere; just meandering around town.  This was so different from most of our vacations because we usually have everything planned out – what to see, what to do, where to eat.  But not this time.  We just kind of went with the flow. 

Unfortunately going with the flow caused some disappointment.  We found out at the last minute that the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium was closed on Tuesdays starting November (it was November 3rd!).  I learned that the Museum of Glass was closed as I walked up to it ready to enjoy a good two hours to myself while Jeremy was at his work meeting – big disappointment! 

But going with the flow also taught me that we don’t have to keep everything to a precise schedule.  After Jeremy’s meeting, we realized we had enough time to get to Theo Chocolate in Seattle for their last tour of the day. 

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Organic Free Trade Chocolate = Yummy!

We learned about the organic free trade chocolate industry, the health benefits of chocolate, and best of all, got to taste a lot of it!!  Not a bad way to end a vacation.  All in all, I think our mini vacay was a lot like an “organic” vacation.  No preservatives, no harsh chemicals – just us in a natural state enjoying life as it should be.

 

Week of Halloween November 5, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:46 pm

It’s great that there are so many activities planned for the time around Halloween.  It really makes you feel better about the time, energy, and/or money you put into your kids’ costumes.  Luckily for us, this year was a “reuse” Halloween.  Mason wanted to be Snow White again (with a twist), and a friend offered us a lion costume that was the perfect fit for Cooper.  Yay!

We started off the Halloween festivities with Boo at the Zoo.  We had tickets for Saturday night – the only sold out night of the weekend.  And, as luck would have it, the only rainy night of the weekend.  Driving down to DC in pouring rain, we just kept telling ourselves that we’ll have fun no matter what.  We had come prepared!

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After sitting in the car for 10 minutes, the rain slowed down to a drizzle. Time to get in line.

 Luckily as we found our friends, the rain stopped.  We all got in line and headed through the gates.  We got extremely lucky because the rain had scared off a lot of people, so it was fairly tame and quiet for the first bit.  It was warm enough that we didn’t have to worry about jackets over costumes, and umbrellas were replaced with treat bags.

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We let Cooper out of his "cage" (aka - stroller) and let him get a good look at the real lions.

More treats came later in the week when Mason had her Halloween party at school.  Because it was Community Helpers week, she decided to go as a doctor (another reused costume!).

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Under her sweater is a "Stanford" shirt. She was channeling Gabriella from HSM.

Spider cupcakes for Mason's class party.  I was told no one liked the licorice legs.  At least they looked cute.

Spider cupcakes for Mason's class party. I was told no one liked the licorice legs. At least they looked cute.

Finally, it was the real Halloween.  Mason went to dance class as a doctor (much easier to dance in), and then dressed up as Snow White for our trek into Silver Spring and then around the neighborhood.  We were a bit nervous about the neighborhood trek because our street is not known for lots of trick-or-treaters.  We have not partook in the festivities in our neighborhood over the past few years, so we decided to keep it local on Linden this year.  Despite the rain, the kids were troopers and really got into it.

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Meema joined us for the festivities as well.

That is until some dogs came running out of one house and scared Cooper right out of his lion costume!  The neighbor felt so bad, he was pushing candy down our throats.  We lost momentum after that and headed home.  The kids counted up their loot and got a treat for their hard work as Snow White and the lion.  We all had to be up early anyway for our ride to the airport so that Jeremy and I could get our vacation started!  More on that to come.