Find Good In Every Day

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

Just What The Doctor Ordered May 31, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:15 pm

There is a reason why doctors urged sick patients to go to the ocean back in the day.  The sea air does wonders for a stuffed up nose!

A morning at the beach is just what we needed – physically and mentally!

North Beach, MD - Memorial Day Weekend 2011

 

We left our happy mark on the world that day!

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Did I Win? May 27, 2011

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

I grew up mowing my family’s lawn in Leesburg, Virginia.  It was a pretty big yard.  The back was huge, on a slight hill, and near the end of my days there, had a fallen weeping willow that was difficult to maneuver around.  Despite the difficulty and time it took to finish, I loved it.  Yes, I loved mowing the lawn as a teenager.  And while my love for it might have had a small part to do with earning $6 each time, I actually really enjoyed the rhythm of it.  I loved making the lines in the yard perfect.  I loved the solitude of it.  I loved the finished product.

I used a Honda gas-powered mower back then.  We also had a push-reel mower, but that was more for my dad when he had the time to mow the grass.  That was his mower, but I hated that thing.  I just never felt like I had the muscle power to truly get a good cut.  I was much more partial to the gas-powered mower and the self-propelled feature to get me up the hill.

Fast forward 12 years.  Jeremy and I bought our first house.  Being the environmentally friendly guy that he is (and proving he is more like my dad every day), Jeremy was only interested in a push-reel mower.  I agreed – an homage to my dad.  How hard could it be with our small yard?  The answer?  When the grass gets really long because you didn’t realize how fast it could grow in a week, it’s REALLY hard.  I hated mowing the lawn with our push-reel mower.  While Jeremy had said he would do the mowing, I had a more flexible schedule, so I could mow the lawn on weekday afternoons therefore I was doing it more often than not.  It was not easy.  It was not fun.  But I did it to get it done.  I hate a un-mowed lawn, especially when it affects my curb appeal.

The first time I mowed the lawn when I was pregnant with Mason, I quickly realized that it was not going to be a good idea to continue.  You see, to push the mower through the long grass, I often use my stomach in addition to my arms.  A full-body push!  Not good for Raindrop growing in my belly.  (That was our nickname for Mason when she was in my belly.  Cooper got the nickname of Snowflake since he was going to be a winter baby.  I digress.)  Luckily we lived across the street from some great people who had a gas-powered mower.  Whenever the neighbor would see me struggle with the push mower, he would offer his gas mower.  I quickly took him up on the offer.  And then I took him up on it every time I mowed.  It just created such a nice looking lawn.  Straight lines, even cuts…  It was heaven!  I had the code to their locked shed so I could borrow the mower even when they were away.   I even went as far as to sneak around to mow the grass.  Jeremy would tell me he was going to mow the lawn on the weekend, but I would sneak home early from work and use the neighbor’s gas mower before he could do it with the push mower.  I was obsessed!  I wanted the straight lines.  I wanted the easy rhythm.  I wanted the satisfaction.

We have lived in our house for seven years.  Our nice neighbors moved away after year three.  So for the past four years, I have had to use the push-reel mower because there was no other option.  Through all of this, you can only imagine my conversations with Jeremy.  “Why can’t we just get a gas-powered mower?”  There was some whining, much complaining.  (If only the kids knew how much whining I did!)  The push-reel mower got the worst of it, though.  If there was a hidden camera taping me while I used the push mower, you would die laughing watching what transpired.  Cursing, kicking and throwing the mower, jumping up and down in frustration…  Oh, it was not pretty.

About 2 weeks ago after an especially tough run at the front yard, I had had enough.  The blades have not been sharpened once in seven years.  The foam handle is falling apart.  I told Jeremy that I was not going to mow the lawn again until he sharpened the blades and fixed the handle.  Basically the mower needed a makeover, and I wasn’t touching it until that was done.  I put my foot down!

Last weekend, Jeremy bought an electric mower.  I had not requested this nor demanded it.  This was all his doing.  He said it was a compromise.  I see it as a victory.

p.s.  The yard looked amazing after he used the new electric mower.  Heck, I think it looked even better than what a gas-powered mower could do! 

p.p.s.  While I have not used the new mower yet, I can only imagine that mowing the lawn will bring me the joy and peace I had all those years ago.

 

Glorious May 23, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:07 am

Glorious!  That is how I’m describing my Monday morning.  While it is hard to go back to work today after a wonderful weekend, I still woke up refreshed, ready to take on the week, and ready to run.  So run I did.  It was a beautiful morning – a little cloudy and humid, but still nice.  The smell of honeysuckle wafted to my nose as I made my way down to the trail.  I rarely saw anyone passing by, which normally would add some fear to my run, but this morning, the solitude was welcome.  I did see some deer and what looked like a small blue heron, though, which was amazing.  The last half mile was torture, and I wanted to quit.  I was sore after all the weeding and mulching I had done Sunday morning.  I was tired (because who isn’t at 6:00 am Monday morning?)  But I pushed through.  And I even beat my personal best with my mile pace!  By the time I walked the rest of the way home, I was feeling awesome and so proud of myself for getting out and getting ‘er done!

I’m still home with my poor sick Cooper, but I’m hopeful the doctor will allow him to go to school today.  I want to get into work.  I want to cross more things off my list.  I want to show off my new Title Nine skirt.  A girl’s got priorities.  (Just kidding – I really do want Cooper to feel better for feeling better’s sake.)

So here I am on Monday morning, motivating myself through my day – trying to motivate you to have a wonderful day as well.  It’s all in the attitude.  Here are some images cheering me up this morning.

Taking a break on our hike to the Washington Monument near Boonsboro.

Our family pic from the top of the Washington Monument.

There's the real view that we couldn't quite capture with our iPhone self-family portrait.

We took the kids to their very first Orioles game. Surprisingly Mason had a blast, and Cooper barely got into it. I'm blaming the sickness, though.

We also got to celebrate my mom’s upcoming retirement with a bunch of people from her school on Friday night.  It was great to see how much she is admired, appreciated, and loved by them all.  I know they will miss her, but I’m really looking forward to her retirement and seeing her more!

As you can tell, we had a great weekend.  I’m still on my weekend buzz.  I hope you are too.

I’m participating in Nain’s Motivation Monday.  Check out what is motivating her and link up if you want to share!

 

Ramblings May 18, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:24 am

I’m experiencing writer’s block.  This seems to happen when life is stressful, sickness takes over, or I just feel like I have nothing to report.  A little bit of all of that is happening now, so I apologize for the lapse in posts.

Because I’m trying to fight off strep throat now that Jeremy is officially diagnosed…

Because Cooper is definitely 3-years-old and testing my patience every single day…

Because my work is going through some major changes, and I’m at the center of it all…

Because life is just par for the course right now…

You are going to get ramblings.  I’m going to try my hardest to make sure that these ramblings are all positive – the little things that are making me smile each day.

1.  Whenever Cooper sees a sign warning of deer crossings, he immediately calls out, “Watch out for deer, mommy!”  He does the same thing for pedestrian crossing signs, “Watch out for people, mommy!”  The other day he noticed a sign near a playground and said, “Watch out for see-saws, Mommy!”  When he is that darn cute, it’s hard to hold a grudge for the full-blown tantrum he threw earlier that day.

2.  Mason had her kindergarten “orientation” a couple of weeks ago.  She was very nervous about it knowing that she would have to be by herself with teachers and other kids for a bit while we turned in all the forms.  After talking her through it a lot, she finally came down the morning of and said that her saying for the day was going to be, “I can do this!”  She passed with flying colors and said it was her favorite part of the day.  She is now officially excited for kindergarten, and so am I!

3.  On Mother’s Day, I got to spend the day with my wonderful family including my mom and sister.  I love being surrounded by women I love and admire!

4.  I also got to see my nephew, Hayes, last weekend.  He is getting so big!  He is crawling now, and it is only a matter of time before he’s walking.  And just 1 month until he turns one!!

5.  Summer vacations are scheduled.  We have so much to look forward to.  A weekend at Deep Creek with awesome friends.  A week in New England including a stint in Boston and several days on the Maine coast.  A weekend at Massanutten to celebrate my mom’s retirement.  A weekend in Ohio to celebrate Jeremy’s grandmother’s 80th birthday.  Lots of fun all around!

Ramblings are fun!  I don’t have to have any overall theme to my post, and I get a lot of information out there.  Don’t worry, though…  I won’t be doing this too often.  I just needed a little boost to get my writing going again.  Thanks for your patience.

 

Mile High Fun May 10, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:34 pm

Getting time away is a luxury for me. Jeremy and I try to schedule a couple of weekends by ourselves a couple of times a year. I get a girls night out every other week or so. But I have never traveled by myself without either the kids or Jeremy in about… Ummm… Never!

So when a high school friend of mine from Oregon expressed interest and availability to join me for a girls’ weekend, I jumped at the chance.

Since my friend, Jenny, still lives in Oregon, we decided on Denver as the most interesting midway point. Having grown up (ages 1 to 9) outside of Denver, I was eager to go visit. I don’t think I had been there since 1993 when we went to spread some of my dad’s ashes up in the mountains. So it has been a really long time!

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Jenny and I with Denver skyline behind us

Jenny and I had decided on dates, booked flights and a hotel a couple of months before going so when the day finally came to leave, I couldn’t quite believe it. But there I was flying alone all the way to Denver, trying to focus on my book rather than the bumpy ride. After landing and greeting Jenny at her gate, we were off, ready to start our girls’ weekend.

The cool thing about Denver is the awesome public transportation. We didn’t need to rent a car – we just relied on the public buses to get around, to and from the airport and even all the way to Boulder for a day!

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We spent a lot of time on Denver buses!

The most liberating thing about the weekend (besides not dealing with my daily routine from home) was that we had really not planned much at all. We had reservations for one night’s dinner; we knew we wanted to get to Boulder (to see my friend, Cory, and to shop at my fave store, Title Nine); and otherwise we just wanted to hang out and explore. And so that’s what we did!

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Outside REI flagship store

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REI store from across the water

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Mountains from Boulder's Pearl Street

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Lovely tulips that I knew Mason would love to see. (Her favorite colors!)

Oh! And did I mention that I got to relax?? I finished 2 books while on this trip and renewed my love of reading. I’m hoping to keep it up now that I’m home despite our crazy schedules.

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Jenny and I had a great time exploring, relaxing, eating, bus riding, and hanging out. But, as I expected, I started missing Jeremy and the kids rather quickly. I think my true wall hit by the second morning when I didn’t have them all cuddling (or squirming) in bed with me like I do most Saturday mornings. So by Sunday I was more than eager to get home and get my hugs!

It was awesome to get away! And it was wonderful to spend time with Jenny since our separate lives and long-distance friendship have not allowed us to truly hang out in years. Girls’ weekends are necessary. And while I know my next one won’t happen for quite some time, I know now how important they are to my sanity. And luckily Jeremy knows that too!

 

Easter Loveliness May 5, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:24 pm

Ok, so as you remember we had done Hershey Park the day before Easter and got home zonked and ready to chill.  Luckily filling Easter eggs with candy and money is a pretty brainless activity!  I had baked the cake we would be eating on Easter the night before, but I decided to wait to frost it until Sunday so that we wouldn’t have to worry about storing it overnight.  I was super excited about it, though…  Take a peek at the batter…

After a decent night’s sleep, we awoke to a beautiful sunny day.  Thank goodness!  Let the day’s festivities begin.  I’m thinking it might be easier to chronicle the day in pictures, so here we go.

I didn't get pictures of the kids hunting for and eventually finding their baskets, but here is what they looked like. Thanks Easter Bunny!

I started icing the cake while the rest of the gang digested yummy chocolate chip pancakes. Thanks Papa!

Then it was time to color the eggs.

Say "Easter!"

We were all smiles outside. Hot and humid - just what Easter should be, right?

What Easter would be complete without a kazoo parade?

Cooper was having none of it. Stop, I say!

He was more interested in his new orange ball and looking cute. (Note, I said "looking," not "acting!")

Finally time for some family photos.

We got at least one kid to smile!

After a delicious meal, we were ready to dig into the cake!

And dig in, we did! Pretty sweet, but delicious, if I do say so myself. Needless to say it was a very FULL day!

 

Catching Up May 4, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:54 pm

Oh my goodness!  Has it really been this long since I wrote a post?  I apologize to you all.  It has been mayhem around here, and I did a bit of travel, so that added to my lapse in writing.  I’ll be doing a couple of picture heavy posts now to catch you up on our lives.  In the midst of all the mayhem, there has been a lot of good.

Warning: All pictures below were taken with my iPhone, so please excuse the less than perfect quality.

We started off Easter weekend with a trip to Hershey Park.  The threat of rain all week had me apprehensive if we would even make it, but thanks to the gusto spirit of my in-laws, we decided to brave the weather.  And I’m so glad we did!

Our first stop was Chocolate World (along with hundreds of other people trying to stay warm on a rainy, cloudy day).

While the rest of the crowds created their own candy bar, we easily found a seat and started decorating cookies.

Mason decorated her own bunny cookie and thankfully shared. Yummy!

The adults went for the cookie pizza. Chocolate "sauce", brownie and peanut butter cup topping, and white chocolate "cheese." Luckily we had the rest of the day to walk that one off!

After our time at Chocolate World, we were ready to get out to the cold and hit some rides.  We started off small and eventually worked our way up to the bigger rides.  Sadly, I have lost my ability to do crazy loop-d-loop roller coasters, inverted coasters, super fast and 90 degree drop coasters.  But thankfully, my father-in-law is more than happy to stay behind with me and the kids while Jeremy, Nana and Kristin do the crazy stuff.  So while we waited for the wild ones to return, the kids played some Whack-A-Mole, Basketball, drove Race Cars and Historic Cars, and went all the way to the top of Kiss Tower.  My kind of speed.

Mason getting her first driving lesson.

We finally met back up with the rest of the gang.

Certainly not Mickey Mouse, but the iconic Hershey Kiss is still pretty cool.

Easily the favorite ride of the day for EVERYONE! Yes, it is a kids' ride, but they allow one adult. And it's always the adult that is laughing and screaming the loudest! If only I could post video of this...

An airplane AND a blaster... Cooper was in heaven and rode this one a few times!

While the true dare-devils, Kristin and Nana, tried their hand (and stomachs) at the launch coaster, the rest of us (Jeremy included – he had had enough for the day) played in yet another kid area of the park.  Hershey is great for kids AND adults.  There is the perfect mix of kid-friendly rides and adult-only rides, which is why we love going there.

This carousel might have been a bit too small for our growing kids. And don't you love Mason's silly faces every single time I take a picture? I wonder if she'll hate it when I'm showing these to her boyfriend in 25 years?

By the afternoon, the sun had come out, and we were all wishing we had places to store our jackets.  It was beautiful!  We were losing energy, but still had enough to all do one coaster together a family.  It was Cooper’s first roller coaster ride.  We were all scared of how he would do.  Jeremy (his riding partner) said his eyes were wide open the entire time, and he was unsure how it was going to end as it could have gone either way.  But as we pulled back into the station, he was all smiles.  I can’t wait to do Disney with him next spring now that he is ready for bigger rides.

A trip to Hershey Park is not complete without riding the Wild Mouse.  Despite its appearance as a kid-friendly ride, it is most definitely not!  There were so many people trying to get their kids in line and getting turned away, not understanding.  If only they had ridden it – then they would understand!  The turns, the quick drops…  It’s awesome!  I do know Mason will love it when she grows just a few more inches.

After a day full of fun, we were ready to head back home and get ready for the Easter Bunny’s arrival.  You can bet that we’ll be back there at least one more time before the fall – or maybe even in the fall.  Mason has already put in her request to celebrate her birthday at Hershey Park in the Dark in late October!