Find Good In Every Day

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

Happy Monday! February 28, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 6:50 am

A little beauty and a bit of spring to brighten up your Monday.

Hope you get as much joy as I do when I come home to see beautiful flowers.

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Couldn’t Resist February 27, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:54 pm

I got a new baking tool this week.  The Beater Blade by New Metro Design.  I was so excited about this tool that I could not resist baking something right away.  And since it has been almost a year since I made what I still consider my favorite cupcake of all time, I couldn’t resist diving in.

I found this recipe a year ago when I was looking for something to make for my sister’s baby shower.   I chose to go with a white chocolate frosting instead of the dark chocolate because of the color theme for the shower.  This time I was ready to try it with the chocolate, though.

Almond Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting by Pete Bakes!

Unfortunately the dark chocolate icing turned out really runny and never solidified enough.  Not sure if it was me or the recipe, but to make myself feel better, I’m saying it is the recipe.  So I went with my backup – a vanilla bean almond frosting from goodLife {eats}.

Just reading the recipe, I knew it was going to be good.  And thankfully I had gotten some vanilla beans a few weeks ago in hopes of making something with them, and this was the perfect recipe to try first.  And it was so easy, especially with my new beater blade.  I did not have to scrape the bowl once!  I could not resist this frosting.  I kept licking it straight out of the bowl, and when I put it on the cupcakes, it enhanced the almond flavor so much more.  Seriously this is my new favorite frosting.  To try it with chocolate cupcakes as it was intended is my next step.  I can only imagine.  For now, I’m going to eat yet another cupcake – I just can’t resist.

 

Growing Up (As Seen Through Pictures) February 25, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:32 am

I got tagged!  For those of you outside of the blog world, getting “tagged” means that another blogger recognized you in their blog and in a way “challenged” you to a specific type of blog.  Yesterday, I was tagged by Nain at View From Down Here.  So I accepted Nain’s challenge and went on the search for pictures of my childhood.

This process was luckily easy because after the big Switcharoom, a few things still have not found a home.  And some of those things were my photo albums!  I had a hard time picking pictures because I was hoping to find only ones of myself in an effort to not embarrass anyone else with childhood pictures.  Unfortunately that was not as easy, so I apologize to anyone who is included in the below pictures if you are at all humiliated by them.  Just remember it was years ago; we’ve all be there; and I’m right there next to you!

After finding the pictures, though, I had to scan them in.  After a failed attempt at work, I was resigned to finally fix our scanner at home.  Thankfully it was a lot easier than I had been telling myself over the last 2 years that it has not worked!  Within 10 minutes, I had all my pictures scanned in and ready to go.  Hold on!  Here we go…

I spent the first half of my childhood in Littleton, Colorado.  I loved living there and have such fond memories of our hikes in the mountains (even though at the time, I think I complained a lot!) and our awesome neighborhood.  I was quite the tomboy as you can see from the bowl-cut above.  (Wow!  I just saw Cooper in that picture.  Too funny.  Now that my scanner is working again, I’ll have to do some side-by-side comparisons in another blog.)

I LOVED ESPRIT as a kid.  LOVED it!!  I remember going to the PX on base with my parents, and my sister and I would run straight for the clothes, hoping to find the latest ESPRIT trends.  We were only allowed to get them at the PX because of the discount there.  Otherwise, they were too expensive, so it was quite a treat when I got new ESPRIT clothes.  The picture above was one of my favorite outfits.  The shirt had little tv’s on it, and the pants were striped with film strips.  Gotta love those go-go cuffs too!  My sister took this picture of me trying to be an ESPRIT model.  She did my hair all wacky and “stylized” the area.  I really thought I had a modeling career ahead of me.

Hard to believe that the baby in my arms above is my cousin, Whitney, who is going to graduate with a Master’s degree this spring and head into the working world!  Oh my gosh – where has the time gone?  While we grew up in Colorado, most of our family was back on the east coast.  When we finally moved back east to Leesburg, Virginia, we got to see more of them, which included my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We were close with both sides of my family and often traveled to visit.  It’s one of the reasons I love living so close to our family now so that my kids can grow up knowing and loving their extended family.

Ok, now we’re getting into the humiliation.  (Sorry, Annie!)  Ah, middle school. This was before our first boy/girl dance.  We were excited but super nervous about what that all meant.  The dress I’m wearing was one of those cool ones that was all one piece, but looked like a separate top and bottom.  Yeah – cool, I know!  Looking back, middle school was an ok time for me, although I think I was a bit more witchy than I would like to remember.  We formed a club called BONS, which was “snob” backwards.  And let’s just say that we were pretty snobby.  I hope I made up for the way I treated people later.  So many lessons were learned in middle school.  What am I going to do when Mason is in middle school?  Will it be payback time?  ha ha ha

Now onto high school – the early years.  (Sorry, Kristen!)  Don’t you love that haircut of mine?  Back to the bowl-cut of the first picture, right?  We come full circle.  I really don’t know what I was thinking.  I hate looking at pictures of me from when I had this haircut.  And to top it all off, I also was on my second round of braces – entering 9th grade.  You can bet I loved that!  Still, this picture is special because it was probably one of the last ones my dad was able to take of me with my friends.  He always loved getting posed shots (just like my sister’s model shot above.)  In high school, my group of girlfriends had an annual gift exchange.  I think it started as a pajama gift exchange, but quickly turned into a lingerie gift exchange.  Why girls in high school needed special lingerie is still a mystery to me, but we thought it was cool to go to Victoria Secret and buy satiny panties for each other.  I hosted a few of the parties because I just loved it (and my parents loved hosting parties too), so my dad would get all of us girls together and get some amazing group posed shots.  I was tempted to include one, but it was a lot of girls, and it would include a lot of apologies to them.

When I moved to Portland, Oregon the summer before my junior year of high school, I changed a lot.  I was still rebelling a bit after my dad died during my freshman year, but I knew it was a fresh start for my mom and I.  I regret a few of the choices I made in Oregon, but overall made some great friends and really came into my own there.  The picture above was before our winter dance senior year.  I also used that same dress in my “formal” senior portrait.  Sadly I can’t find my senior portraits right now or else I’d include them.  I loved doing them.  I got to dress in 3 different outfits with 3 different backgrounds – and not just screen backgrounds; they were outside in nature and inside in a gorgeous sitting room.  There seems to be some sort of modeling theme going here, right?  Sorry about that.  I guess I like to pose.  Anyway, I really miss Oregon.  It was one of my favorite places to live mostly because of the beauty that surrounded us (and the second family I acquired there!)

I really have enjoyed this challenge.  Thanks, Nain!  I might even continue it with the college years and the BK (before kids) era with Jeremy.  Like I said, now that my scanner is working, there is no limit to what I might pull out of the past!

 

Recipe Update February 23, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:52 pm

I feel bad for not posting more about the new recipes I’ve been trying…  Oh wait!  Maybe because I haven’t tried anything new!  Ugh – I get one recipe in (actually two, but the second is still an unfinished post because it was so underwhelming), and it is seemingly over.   Ok, so I’m not quitting yet, but life is super hectic right now and adding in a new recipe each week has been just one more level of stress I don’t need.

Between weekend family travel and celebrations as well as Jeremy traveling mid-week a few times and my exhausting work tasks, I just don’t have the energy to pour into new recipes.  I’ve been going with the tried and true – the ones I know will result in a delicious meal that most, if not all, of my family will eat.  We still have Tex Mex Tuesdays (which may have to become Mexican Mondays because Jeremy often travels on Tuesdays and misses this fave.)  We usually do another chicken and rice dish some other weeknight.  Then probably spaghetti or chicken finger salads or something.  We have mostly been eating out for dinner on weekends, which needs to end for budgetary reasons.  So you can see that it is just not happening.  I think my list of recipes to try is now at the bottom of a pile on our dining room hutch.

But honestly, we’re facing a lot of potential change right now, and so we’re really just hoping to get through the next month.  And by April, we’re hoping to have a new lease on life that will probably take some getting used to, but will be good in the grand scheme of things.  I don’t want to go into more detail yet, but let’s just say that Jeremy and I are really hopeful, but cautious about getting too excited about it all.

In the meantime, I’m thinking I will post recipes of some of our favorite things to eat.   Maybe that will breathe new life into these “standards.”  And maybe, just maybe, it will inspire me to branch out more.

 

I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This February 21, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:06 am

I should really put that title in quotes…  “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”  Can anyone name that movie?  Or movies, really.  Can you name the character who says it?  My kids can.  And it’s all because their daddy is a true Star Wars fan.  And not the Clone Wars.  I’m talking true, old school Star Wars.  Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca!  And because Jeremy loves it and can encourage the education of it, my kids love it too.  Quality time with daddy has turned into watching him play Star Wars Lego on Wii.  No, they are not playing it with him – they just like to watch him play.  You can only imagine how awesome Jeremy thinks this is.  “Oh, Robin, I’ll hang out with the kids while you make dinner.”  … playing Star Wars Lego…  “Why don’t you go for a run?  The kids and I will be fine.”  …playing Star Wars Lego…

It started back in 2009.  Mason had two loves – High School Musical and Star Wars.  Then  Cooper started learning of THE FORCE, and it was all over.  He has latched on to Star Wars like Luke latches on to the force to help him destroy the Death Star.  The funny thing is that both kids had never seen any of the movies until just a few weeks ago.  Yet they knew so much about it.

Having so many Star Wars books definitely helps in the education.  And yes, there are two of the Star Wars Fandex in the photo above.  Jen and Scott got us one as a gift not knowing we already had one.  But honestly, it’s been wonderful having two because Mason and Cooper would fight over the one.  (And looking at that picture, I realize there have to be more Star Wars books in this house, but I couldn’t find them all.)  In addition to the books, our house has been infiltrated by Star Wars sandwich cutters, a lunchbox, underwear, clothes, cookie cutters, dishes, and even pancake molds.  Jeremy already had a collection of old movie posters, and our best one was hanging in Cooper’s room before he moved in with Mason.  It’s now hanging proudly in the exercise/multipurpose room.  These are the kind of things that get top billing in our house.

For Jeremy’s birthday, I got him a model Millenium Falcon so that he could have more Star Wars fun with the kids.  It is definitely the spaceship of choice in the Lake household.  Sadly, Jeremy rarely gets to play with it because the kids always have it.  (side note: Mason could never pronounce it and always said “minellium falcon” until just recently.  It was a big day when she finally got it right!)

And now the latest…  Playing Star Wars Lego on the Wii wasn’t good enough for Jeremy.  He had to have the real Legos.  So over the weekend, we all agreed that the Lego X-Wing Fighter “with 6 hard-to-find characters” had to come home with us.  As I write this, Jeremy and the kids are downstairs building this X-Wing.  I can hear Cooper playing with the Lego versions of Han Solo and Chewbacca while Mason plays with Princess Leia and helps Jeremy sort all the little pieces.

I LOVE that they are bonding over Star Wars.  I LOVE that my kids have such an extensive knowledge about all things Star Wars.  I don’t love answering questions from every single page of a Clone Wars book because I have no clue about anything Clone Wars, but it’s hard to find old school stuff these days.  I don’t love when Mason and Cooper fight over the Star Wars toys.  I don’t love when Cooper wants to use my spatula as a light saber.  I LOVE watching this all unfold.  I am a little wary of Cooper’s future, though.  He is getting very serious about the Legos.  He even noticed when Luke and Wedge were wearing the wrong helmets.  (These are 4-inch high pieces, yet he still notices the difference!)  I can just see our future of Jeremy and Cooper downstairs building intricate Lego spaceships, while Mason and I bake cookies and watch High School Musical.  I think Cooper is hooked for life.  And to quote Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

 

Girls Will Be Girls February 19, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:18 pm

I love hearing the squeals of little girls having a good time.  I don’t think I would want to hear it all the time because, let’s face it, squealing girls can give you a headache after prolonged periods.  But every once in awhile, I relish in it.

After we picked up Mason’s friend, Luka, the other day, there was constant giggling in the backseat.  I couldn’t help but smile because it is so important for Mason to play with other girls.  I know she has some girlfriends in her class, but the majority of her time is spent playing with her little brother.  And while he does enjoy a little My Little Pony, Barbies, or watching High School Musical, he’s still a boy and would rather shoot pretend blasters or have light saber fights.

I’m learning that it is important for Mason (and Cooper, for that matter) to have playdates with kids her own age.  Playing with her brother is great, and they do enjoy their time together mostly, but it’s good to have friends outside of family – friends at her own level.  I want to make a concerted effort to get both Mason and Cooper playing with other kids on the weekends when at all possible.  For Mason, I am hoping it builds her confidence and opens up new opportunities for her.  She’s currently not interested in taking classes or joining a sport unless it includes me or Cooper, and that’s just not possible at her age.  Classes or sports for her age are all drop-off, and so I’m hoping that by being around other girls, she’ll realize they are taking classes or playing a sport, and maybe she’ll become interested in it as well.  Because at this age, it is usually about what your friends are doing.  I want her to at least try things – then she can determine what she loves and wants to pursue at an older age.   I just want her to be active and not miss out on anything that she might end up loving.

Until that happens, I’ll enjoy her girl time on these playdates and happily listen to the squealing because girls will be girls.  And girls just want to have fun!

 

Old at 33 February 17, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:17 pm

It all started when Mason, with her youthful naiveté, said to me, “Mommy, you have a big butt.”  Lovely.  Then a few days later she said, “Why do you have all those bumps on your face?”  (bumps = wrinkles)  Really?  Then while hanging out with my sister and mom, my own mother stares at my head and says, “Ooh…  You’ve got a lot of white hairs, don’t you?”

Ok, I get it!  I’m catching what you’re throwin’ down!  I’m looking old at the ripe-ol’ age of 33.  Yikes!

I understand the butt comment – my fanny is larger than Mason’s seeing as I am 28 years older, 2 feet taller, and 100 pounds bigger than her.  When looking at me in our house with no other woman to compare it too, my fanny probably does look big.  I’m ok with that.    I’m healthy, exercise regularly, and feel confident in who I am (most of the time.)

The wrinkle bump comment is ok too.  (The verdict is still out on whether wrinkle or bump sounds less harsh.)  I have been through a lot in my 33 years.  Moving a couple of times, father dying at a young age, college stress, relationship stress, giving birth to two amazing kids, then raising these two amazing (most of the time) kids…  These are the kind of things that give you wrinkles.  I can’t change that, nor would I.  I am who I am because of the life I have lived.

It’s the white hairs that are the most upsetting.  And not that my mom pointed them out – just the fact that they exist.  My dad grayed at an early age.  He had salt and pepper hair well before he turned 40.  I guess I got this from him.  Thanks, Dad!  When the first white/gray hairs started to pop up, I plucked them out as fast as I could.  I know “they” say that pulling them out will only cause 3 more to grow in its place.  That may be true, but I think my white hairs are coming in at a faster rate than that math would predict, so there is more to it.  And the trouble is that I’m stressing about the white hairs popping up that I’m sure this stress is causing more to grow in.  It’s a double-edged sword!

I’ve debated getting highlights to hide the white hairs.  I’m not in a position to pay that kind of money every 5-6 months, though.  I’ve tried pulling them out, but that’s not the answer either.  I don’t think I would mind if I “grayed” at an early age.  There is something sophisticated about it.  I think the kicker is just the process to get there.  How long will it take until they fully take over my head?  What kind of stress will I go through during this process?  Those are the kinds of questions I ask myself every morning and every night when I look in the mirror.  I’m feeling old, and I’m only 33!  Maybe I need to go buy a young-looking short skirt and some hot top so I can feel young again.  Oh wait…  I can’t do that…  I have a big butt!