Monday, September 26, 2016

Saturday 7

on a Monday. That's about right, isn't it?!

1. Rachel and I finished our hike last weekend in great spirits. I only got two small blisters, which for me, was great. Side note: I really need to get better hiking shoes ...but I'm in denial. ;) I tell myself I'm still just breaking them in (because I just got them last spring) which is SO RECENTLY but they have put in over 40 miles if they're not broken in yet, I'm not sure they ever will be. I think the problem is that the boots are great, but they are lightweight and not meant for hiking over boulders and rock trails for hours and hours. Oh well. The hike itself was fabulous (although we ended up on a detour that added 3-4 miles unexpected miles to our trek) and the rain that was supposed to happen all day Sunday didn't show till Monday so we were very pleased about that. 22 more miles down and many more to go!

2. My twin nieces turned 6 last week and I took the girls down to Philly for their ballet-themed party. They had so much fun ... it's just so fun to see all the kids growing up! They all play together so well.

3. Hallie started horseback riding lessons. She took a half-hour lesson to start and came home proclaiming that she is already ready to move up to hour-long lessons. haha. She's riding my sister's horse Cappy, who is a kind old gentle horse, perfect for learning. And he still loves jumping, so that's a bonus!

4. I've been having issues with all of our appliances (dishwasher, microwave, oven) for the past few months but was in denial (is this a theme!? I think I just hate spending money.) Anyway, I finally decided to have Sears come out and repair the dishwasher and oven (the microwave somehow miraculously started working properly again) and it's been fantastic. As the main person who uses these items, and as the only person who really knows/ notices when they are not working properly, its soooo nice to have everything working as it should!

5. I kind of want to try yoga. Do any of you reading this do yoga? I've been realizing lately that I am not as flexible as I used to be (although maybe it's just the hike working itself out, lol) ... anyway, I thought yoga might be the thing I need to fix it. I've never tried it before so I'm a little intimidated. I probably will not do anything about it and just be stiff, haha. Not sure I realistically have time to throw at flexibility/ yoga classes right now.

6. Will started his first "real" job last weekend-- he's washing dishes at the cafe down the street on Saturdays. He came home after 5 hours totally exhausted, lol.  He is excited to be earning $$ and is a hard worker, so I'm sure he will do great!

7. Next week Dan's parents come to visit (yay!!) and Dan and I are heading to California for the weekend (yay!!!) This is a 15th and 16th anniversary trip rolled into one. I'm sure we will have a great time. :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Saturday 7

I know, I know-- I'm a day early in a trend that has had me consistently late for months. I've also been up since 5, so things are all kinds of weird around here. ;)

1. Tonight I leave for 18.6 miles on the AT. We've done all the mileage close to us so now we are driving about an hour (I know, that's still really very close!) to drop one car, then 40 minutes to drop the other and set up camp at the trailhead. Two days and relatively low mileage means more lounging by the campfire at night and lazier mornings. I like. ;)

2. Four weeks in to the school year and it's going amazingly well. Everyone's adjusted to the new routines like champs! I'm really happy with how everything is going so far. It's so nice when things just work and it's not a fight everyday!

3. I walk with my friend several mornings each week (before the kids are up!) and now when we walk, there is steam coming off the lake every day... this means the lake is losing heat and that summer is almost over. I was sad about this but the kids were very excited because that means fall (and fall means Christmas is next!) 

4. Today is Dan's and my 16th anniversary! Who could have known all those years ago when those 18 and 22 year old kids said "I will" that we'd be here 16 years later?! I'm so grateful for the life we have built and for so much about who Dan is. I feel very lucky!

5. Hallie's been asking to start taking horseback riding lessons, so I called my sister's instructor, and ...we are a go! I hope she likes it and sticks with it... It's a great life skill! I haven't ridden in years but I think that it's still something that could come in handy one day... if the world falls apart. haha

6.  The kids are so into building fires in our back porch fireplace right now. I think we are on day 4 or 5 of daily fires! There's something about fall weather that makes sitting by a fire so cozy. Dan had court in Philly yesterday (which is across the street from Reading Terminal Market, an enormous indoor farmers' market) and he brought home a bunch of goodies for dessert last night. So we all ate caramel apples and pastries while sitting around the blazing fire. All the heart eyes!! 

7. I've been having the younger kids make their own lunches every day. At first they were resistant but now they think it's a great adventure. And it frees me up to get other stuff done, so win-win. More independent kids and more free time later for everyone when the big kids get home! :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Saturday 7 (x3)

Somehow the last three weekends have gotten away from me and I haven't even stopped to write anything down! Back to school is always a crazy stressful hectic fun exciting time... but I'm not sure I can blame it entirely on that! At any rate, here's some of what we've been up to for the last 3 weeks. (I write a lot about the stuff that takes up most of my days {homeschooling, kids sports/etc. practices, time spent at the lake...} so today I'm going to try to write about the other "invisible" things that make up daily life around here!

1. I started bullet journaling last week. I read this article: and just decided to jump in. So far so good. I still use google calendars though. :)

2. I made a new year's resolution last year to work out (loosely defined as breaking a sweat for 30ish minutes) 3x/week this year. I can't say I've made it 3x every week, but I'd say I've done 2-3 most weeks... and that's pretty good for someone who sticks to exercise habits like ...nothing ever. -___- I'm an all-or-nothing "train for a triathlon or half marathon then do jack squat for the next 6 months" girl for sure. So I'm pretty proud of the consistency even if the results of all my efforts are negligible. (Why does food have to be so goooooood.... ;) haha)

3. I've been going through 8 years of homeschooling material and listing what I don't need online. It's so nice to clean out my shelves and get rid of stuff... especially stuff that other people can use! Speaking of homeschooling, (while I love the education and experience that my older two kids are getting at our local public charter school, and wouldn't change a thing about it!) homeschooling does have its perks. This morning it was cold (in the 40's) after a long spell of hot weather, and Tristan asked to build a fire in our back porch fireplace. After he used up the few logs we had left out there, he got out his quad and a rope and is currently out there dragging logs out of the woods so he can keep the fire going. I guess we'll start school a little later this morning. :)

4. We're getting a new fridge today. (I am inordinately excited about this.) I've been looking at them for awhile, as several times this summer we've really needed the extra fridge space. I found the model I'd been looking at for an amazing deal last week (yay labor day sales!) and I'm so happy to not only have a new fridge but to have our old one moving into the garage so we will have overflow space... for every week when I get home with enough food feed the army that is my family!

5. Upcoming fun: Dan's and my 16th anniversary is Friday. However, the only weekend my friend Rachel and I could make work for our biannual hiking trip this fall was this one, so Dan graciously offered to let me go anyway! Very excited to get back out on the trail again. We are planning to do 18.5 miles if all goes well. Then in October, Dan's parents are coming for a weekend so he and I can get away! We haven't been away overnight in about 18 months, so that will be fantastic. The following weekend, we are meeting up with some of our old friends from our first church in St. Louis for a camping weekend in Ohio. We haven't seen each other since we were all newlyweds, and now we have 10 kids between us! Should be a great time. :) And finally, my sister in law Liz and I are hoping to do a backpacking trip together at the end of October. We've been trying to plan something for a year, and it looks like it might finally come together! We're hoping to do Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Which would be a dream come true/bucket list/amazing birthday present to myself! Speaking of which, I turn 35 in a couple months... yikes.

6. The kids had a four-day weekend over Labor Day, and it was so perfect. We went camping for two nights and played at the lake, sat around a bonfire with neighbors and friends, and played manhunt way into the evening. I'm so grateful for our community and friends here. We have so much to be grateful for!

7. My sister Anna got engaged a couple weeks ago and we are sooooo excited for her! We are hoping to get down to Guatemala to see her and meet her fiancé Kennet in December. Yay for love and summer weddings ...and travel to warm places in winter! (haha)