Find Good In Every Day

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

The “Good” From My Weekend October 25, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:19 am

As I start another Monday wishing it were still Saturday, I have to use the highlights of my weekend to fuel me through another work week.  Luckily we have another awesome weekend ahead of us in Charlottesville for some family, fun, friends and football.  But until then, I’ll reflect on how much I loved the past few days.  These are my highlights.

1.  Mason and her friend, Luka, quietly reading books together until 9pm when I finally told them to go to sleep.  They then slept until 6am when they got up again to start reading again.  First sleepover was a success.

2.  Waking up Saturday knowing the day was barely planned and loving the excitement I had for the unknown.  (I’m usually quick to plan our day away, so this was a rare feeling.)

3.  Cleaning out our basement and donating a bunch of stuff we didn’t need anymore.  (There is still a lot more to clean out, but we got it started, and it feels great.)

4.  Walking with my family, my mom and her friend down to the National Park Seminary.  It was a beautiful fall day, and I just love walking through the history there.

5.  Happening upon David Bromstad from HGTV’s Color Splash talking in Downtown Silver Spring at the Fenton Street Market.  He was just as cute and down to earth in person.

6.  Finding an adorable Christmas gift for Mason at the Fenton Street Market from The Littlest Bean.  (Her Etsy shop does not show the cute resin flower ring that I got Mason, but I was very tempted by the corsage bracelets too.)

7.  Having an ongoing in-depth conversation with Jeremy throughout the weekend about our future.  (More on that to come soon.)  I’m so grateful to have an amazing husband with whom I can share similar goals, dreams, and reality.

8.  Starting to see the light go off in Cooper’s head that using the potty is necessary for Santa to understand he is a big boy and would therefore bring him big boy toys.  (Yes, I’m already using the Santa threat for good behavior.)

9.  Mason telling us at breakfast Sunday morning that she was not going to cry or whine all day and then actually following through on that until about 5:30pm when the effects of a long day with no nap took hold.

10.  Hearing our friend, Anna, yell “Hi Buzz!” when Buzz Lightyear came flying down onto the ice at the Disney on Ice – Toy Story 3 show.

11.  Baking my favorite blondies recipe.  Yummy!

12.  Playing football and soccer with the kids in the backyard.  I love that we’re finally getting to use it!

13.  Firming up plans for a weekend getaway with Jeremy for my birthday.  3 weeks and counting.

I think that is it.  Honestly, it was an awesome weekend full of unexpected joys.  Exactly what I needed after a few long weeks and overplanned weekends.


Expectation Adjustment October 19, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:45 am

Another weekend where an adjustment needed to happen.  It was not for my attitude this weekend, but more for my expectations.  Actually Jeremy and I have been talking a lot about adjusting our expectations lately – mostly to do with the kids and how we expect too much of them for only being five and two.  And we’ve been expecting too much of our lives – in essence wanting things to be perfect all the time or wanting to make changes too quickly.  We’ve been adjusting our expectations together, so it was another joint effort when our planned weekend started looking different from what we were expecting.

For the second year in a row, we had planned to go to the Shenandoah Hot Air Balloon and Wine Festival as a way to “celebrate” Mason’s birthday.  Last year, it was rainy and cold, so we cancelled at the last minute.  This year, the weather looked better, so we decided to give it a go.  I had booked campsites at one of the few places around Winchester, VA that allowed reservations.   Jeremy and I got there first early Saturday morning and were shocked to realize it was not even close to the kind of camping we had expected.  In Jeremy’s words, it was “tailgating with tents.”  It was basically an RV site, with only a few options for tent camping.  The sites were maybe 40-50 feet wide and right up next to each other.  The entire “campground” (I use that term loosely) was right off a major road, and we could see the cars whizzing by from where we set up camp.  There were no trees to buffer us from others, no woods from which to gather firewood, no “roughing it.”  At first, we weren’t sure what to do and considered bagging the whole camping thing and just making it a long day at the festival.  But we snapped out of it and decided to make the best of what we were given.  It was going to be an adventure!

Jeremy starting to set up camp. Note all the RV's behind him. It was tight quarters.

The rest of the gang showed up a bit later.  Nana, Papa, and Kristin and then Meema and the kids.  After getting everything set up, we headed off to the festival, ready to have some fun.  We had planned to hang out for the day, enjoy the festival, and then see the sunset launch of the hot air balloons before heading back to the campsite for dinner.  Once we got to the festival, though, we all had to make an adjustment in our expectations.  There were no balloons in site, and word on the street was that the winds were too harsh to allow any launches that day.  Even though we were disappointed, we still wanted to make the best of it all – balloons or not!

A pumpkin carved to be a car! Big hit!

The kids area had a couple of inflatables, a petting zoo, a hay bale maze, and a great view of a horse farm below. We spent a lot of time there!

There was a fire truck exhibit with a lot of old school fire engines. And we caught the tail end of the classic car show as well. I won't bore you with all the pictures Jeremy took of those!

We enjoyed some yummy food (ribbon fries, anyone?), a hay ride through the beautiful countryside and around the Long Branch stables, which were amazing, and looking at the wares from various vendors.

I'm still kicking myself for not buying this hat for Cooper.

Even though the wind died down a bit during the day, it was still too much for any balloons to launch, so we left earlier than expected and headed back to camp.  Since we hadn’t planned to be at the campsite a long time, we had not brought much for the kids to play with.  Luckily (?) the campground was only a 1/2 mile away from a Wal-Mart.  We stopped there on our way home and got the kids some toys.  (Side note – I had not been in a Wal-Mart for several years prior to this.  OMG – it was huge!  Gigantic!  Bigger than a Costco!  It ALMOST sucked me in.)  Again, not how we had expected to spend our afternoon, but it all turned out fine.  And we were all having a lot of fun!

We had a delicious spaghetti dinner and then s'mores by the fire to end the night.

The only expectation I could not adjust was the cold factor.  I expected it to be cold, and boy, was it ever!!!!  It was easily only 40 degrees in the middle of the night, if not colder.  The kids were all snuggled all warm in their sleeping bags, while Mommy and Daddy froze in their cots.  Ok, Daddy didn’t, but he didn’t sleep because he was just uncomfortable.  I, on the other hand, froze my *!# off and only got a few “naps” in during the night.  Never again will we camp in October!

The morning could not come soon enough.  I was thankful when our alarm finally went off at 5:45am.  We were planning to get back to the festival grounds early to catch the sunrise launch.  Winds had died down, and we were hopeful balloons would actually take off.  Off we went, watching the sun rise over the Blue Ridge Mountains, seeing farms pop up along the horizon as the darkness gave way to the morning light.  We ate our breakfast within the hay maze waiting to see balloons come through the trees.  We waited.  We waited.  We waited.


And then more!

All in all, the weekend was little of what I expected, but it was fun nonetheless.  We created great memories and kept up our sense of adventure!  Things don’t always turn out the way we expect or want them too.  But if you can adjust those expectations along the way, things might just be even better!


FIVE October 14, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:41 am

5 years have passed since I lay in the operating room awaiting the news of my first born’s gender.  A girl!  Tears filled my eyes.  Tears filled Jeremy’s eyes.  We hadn’t cared what the gender was, but when we heard it was a girl, it felt so right.  Our last-minute name entry of “Mason” seemed perfect – like it was the only name this little baby girl could have.

M is for Merry.  Mason loves life.  She loves to smile and make others smile.  She is often making jokes and doing silly things to get a laugh.  And her own laugh is music to my ears.  It is one of my favorite sounds.

A is for Artistic.  Mason loves to draw.  Her new favorite thing is to trace pictures, and she is really getting better at drawing recognizable images.  The girl comes home from school with about 25 pictures every single day.  (Don’t worry, we’re keeping a lot – probably too many!)  I can’t wait to see how she grows through her art.

S is for Sensitive.  Mason feels things very deeply.  The good side of this is that she truly feels the pain and the joy of others.  Her inquisitive questions showcase her sensitivity and compassion.  Her hugs are deep and meaningful, as if she understands you and is channeling her understanding through her arms.  I am in awe of this side of her.

O is for Observant.  This links into her sensitivity, but Mason picks things out like no one else.  She uses this skill while reading I Spy books or just picking things out on the road as we drive around town.  She observes things so many others don’t see or pick up on.  She observes life, and I think that will serve her very well as she gets older.

N is for Nurturing.  As the first-born, it is almost innate in Mason to be nurturing.  She loves taking care of her brother, and now her new cousin!  She is sweet and gentle with her dolls.  (And she nurtures a cookie like it is the last one left on this earth!)  This nurturing side has helped her get over her fear of dogs and cats to the point where she now pets them with care and love.  I know this is a characteristic that will stay with her forever.

I have said before how proud I am of my daughter and how much I love her.  It is because of all that she is and all that I  know she can become.  Mason, at 5 years old, you are already wise beyond your years.  The future is bright – full of happy memories and lots of love!  Happy Birthday, sweetie!


Perspective October 12, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:18 pm

I should have posted this last week, but it usually takes me a few days to get perspective on my October 7th experiences.  October 7, 1992 will always be a “special” day in our family.  It was the day my dad died in a WV Air National Guard training mission.  It’s been 18 years.  18 years?  Seriously?  Where does the time go?

For the majority of the past 17 October 7th days, my day has gone on as most other days do.  I have gone to school or work.  I may have watched the video of pictures we have to celebrate my dad.  I have definitely talked to my mom and sister.  I have received emails or phone calls from friends who remember that day as well – sending their love or reminding me of a fun memory of my dad.  There have been a few October 7th days where I have taken the day off to truly celebrate my dad.  We’ve visited spots where we spread his ashes all those years ago.  We’ve visited the crash site.  We’ve been to a memorial at the Air National Guard.  I’ve just taken time to bask in his memory.

On this 18th anniversary, though, we got to attend a special dedication to my dad and his crew.  We almost didn’t even hear about it.

About 6 weeks ago, I got a call from a woman who started the conversation with, “Is this Robin Lake?  The Robin Lake who lost her father in an Air National Guard crash?  In 1992?”  Of course, I answered yes.  Turns out they had been searching for members of our family for 2 weeks, and when they finally found my married name, they had been calling other Robin Lakes for a couple of hours before she reached me.  (Can you imagine getting that kind of call if you weren’t me?  Must have been weird.)  The woman was so glad to reach me and so glad to hear that I was in the area.  She said another man would be calling me soon to give me more details about an upcoming dedication they wanted us to attend.  Another man did call me, got my address as well as those of my mom and sister, and gave me the details of the dedication.  The WV Air National Guard had finished building and moving into their new operations building, and they had the old memorial to my dad’s crew moved to the new building and wanted to re-dedicate it.

There was no doubt in any of our minds’ that we would attend this dedication.  What a special way to celebrate and honor my dad and the rest of his crew who lost their lives that day in October 18 years ago.  Even better was that Jeremy and the kids joined me, my mom, my sister, Scott and Hayes.  The whole clan was going!  The actual service was touching.  A couple of men who are still at the Guard after 18 years recalled their memories of each person on the crew.  The chaplain said a prayer, and they did a full flag and trumpet thing (wish I knew the real word!) to dedicate the memorial’s new location.  We then joined the rest of the families and service men and women inside for some refreshments where we met up with an old flying buddy of my dad’s and a few others from his time at the Air National Guard.  Sadly, we had to leave before we could get a tour of a new C-5 plane, but the kids did get to see one out on the runway as we left.  (Gosh, those planes are huge!!!!)

In reflecting back on that day, I am still in shock it has been 18 years.  I am awed at the impact my dad and his crew made on the WV Air National Guard and those who service it.  I am blessed that my kids and husband got to experience this dedication and see how special he was.  My heart is full of wonderful memories from friends and family.  The only downside is that we have to do all this at all – that October 7th is a day in our memories.  A day we will never get to take back.  A day that changed my family forever.  A day that always forces me to have a little perspective on the world and my place in it.


Attitude Adjustment October 5, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:45 am

When I got ornery as a little kid, preteen or teenager, my dad always said the same thing.  “You need an attitude adjustment.”  Well, last week, as a mom, a wife, and an employee, that is exactly what I needed.  Since I didn’t have my dad to tell me that, I had to do it on my  own.

After a week of my bad attitude, I could tell it was affecting everyone.  I’ve had these weeks before.  The kind of weeks where it seems like everyone or everything is against you.  The littlest mishap can seem like a huge slap in the face.  By Wednesday, I had fought with Mason countless times.  I had been sad enough for Jeremy to have to ask on a couple of occasions what he could do to make me happy again.  And I had given up on disciplining Cooper out of sheer exhaustion, and he truly needed some boundaries set again.  Just one of those weeks.

Jeremy left for a guys weekend on  Thursday, and I was dreading the weekend ahead with the kids.  I decided to cancel our trip to Raleigh, which I was really sad about, but knew was best for my sanity.  (I knew I could not manage a 6 hour drive with 2 kids late at night to then turn around 36 hours later and do it again back home.)  So what was I to do with 2 kids for an entire weekend?  First things first – I needed an attitude adjustment!

I woke up Friday morning and told myself to put a smile on my face.  Step one!  A smile is contagious.  Maybe if I had a smile on my face and a pep in my voice, the kids would too.  It worked.  The three of us had a great time at breakfast, and I dropped them off at school without any big struggles.  So far so good.

Mason had a half day on Friday, so I took her shopping.  We had a great time together – just us girls.  We got her a party dress for her birthday party this weekend and did some shoe shopping for me.  Such fun.  That evening was pizza and movie night.  We finished watching Mighty Ducks 3, which the kids loved.  We were even cheering them on at the end – “Quack!  Quack!  Quack!”

We woke  up Saturday  morning with no plans.  It is very rare for this to happen, so I was in heaven.  I made some chocolate chip muffins and cleaned a bit.  Again, smiles were still coming.  My attitude adjustment had fully taken effect, and I was loving this special time with the kids.  The day included a haircut for Cooper, toy store visit, neighborhood picnic, and a birthday party (that I had totally forgotten about since I thought we would be out of town – luckily I ran into the mom at the picnic, and she said it was cool if we still came.)

I went to sleep on Saturday night with a smile on my face.  It is not often that I get to just take the day as it comes with no plans.  It’s quite refreshing!  And I know that if I had not had the attitude adjustment, the day would have gone much differently.  I won’t go into detail, but imagine a day with few smiles and absolutely no patience.

Sunday was a new day, and we got to meet up with Meema, Jen and Hayes for a farm tour in Virginia.  The pictures below showcase the experience.  What a treat!

We started off at a pig and turkey farm. This pig was HUGE!

Meema got a day full of grandkids and loved it!

The piglets were adorable. The smell - not so much.

Pumpkin Patch was next. Mason got to cut her own pumpkin off the vine.

Of course, Cooper had to have a turn too. He chose a white pumpkin.

Hayes was hardcore! He loved his tattoo - can't you tell?

A wagon ride was the perfect way to end the adventure.

After our day of farms and excitement, we headed back to DC to pick Jeremy up at the airport.  I could not wipe the smiles off their faces, and I knew the weekend had been a success.  All thanks to my attitude adjustment.  Thanks, Dad.


Imagination October 4, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:21 pm

To the untrained eye, these gloves might just look like some old kids’ gardening gloves that once had a picture of Diego on them.  To Cooper, these gloves are many things.

They are football gloves so his hands don’t get hurt when he plays football.

They are goalie gloves for when he plays soccer.

They are race car gloves for when he is driving his super fast race cars.

They are gardening gloves for when he wants to help Nana pull weeds.

They are hockey gloves so his hands don’t get cold when he skates on the ice.

The fact that he actually only uses the gloves for a couple of the above-mentioned activities is beyond him.  These gloves are anything he can make them, and I love that he has the imagination to change their use on a daily basis.

I can’t wait to see what purpose they will serve tomorrow.