Look for the Good

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Early wake up call, lugging heavy bags, standing in line and cramped quarters. That’s how I started my day, so you wouldn’t expect me to say, “man, do I love flying!” And for the most part that’s true, but there is good in everything, you just have to look for it.

Starting with our seats on the plane. Joe & I didn’t get to sit with each other but we were both near a little boy who was experiencing his first flight. Watching his excitement & joy (and a bit of nervousness) as the wings left the ground was awesome! Our view of the morning sunset over the Chicago skyline was the cherry on top. Will would have loved all the beautiful colors.

I also love the time to reflect in silence and write. Between the kids, the hubby, the animals and work – I’m never alone, not even to shower or go to the bathroom – so moments like this are non-existent and I appreciate them!

The thing to be most grateful for is our final destination, as we are on our way to Huatulco, Mexico for the next 5 days. Once again my parents (mom, really) are keeping the kids so that we can spend some quality time together. Some might say we are selfish & don’t prioritize family, but I completely disagree. Sure, I’ll miss the kids and know they would love to come with, but I think the best thing we can give them is two parents who love each other & take time to focus on just us. We’ll take them on trips when they are bigger and besides, who doesn’t love Grandma Camp?

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Winter Block

Unlike my last invigorated post about Funemployment, lately I have found myself feeling blocked in all aspects of my life. I don’t have the energy or motivation to move anything forward – including this blog. I hate missing an entire month without posting and yet somehow that’s exactly what happened in February. Granted, I’ve been busier than normal, but when it comes right down to it – I just had nothing to say.

So, tonight as I sat here trying to figure out how to turn things around, I looked back to my February 2014 blog post. While I managed to at least write something, the parts that were related to me (and not the kids) were definitely lacking – which leads me to think, maybe it’s the season.

One year later, I’m once again sick of the wicked winter temperatures and could definitely use an escape. So just like then, today we booked our next adventura (see what I did there?). In just a few weeks we’ll be sipping cocktails in Huatulco, Mexico. I’m so excited to spend some kid-free quality time with the hubby and see another part of the world we’ve yet to explore.

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Other life updates -
Babies! At the beginning of the month our life was filled with lots of tiny baby bundles. Our great friends welcomed their second son Everett. We spend a lot of time with them, so we are pretty pumped to get in some quality snuggling in the very near future!

On top of that, I’m an aunt again and this time to identical TWIN girls. My brother is now the only male member of his house full of 6 women (7 counting the dog). Pray for him! In all seriousness, the day of delivery and their entire pregnancy could not have gone any better. The girls were born happy & healthy and weighed around 7 lbs. each, can you imagine? My sister-in-law is an amazing and beautiful person and this process just further highlights that.

Speaking of their family – my niece (their first born) turned 9 this past week. How that is even possible, I’m not sure! It feels like just yesterday that I was driving to La Crosse to meet her. She was such a beautiful baby and somehow she has managed to turn into an even more beautiful little lady. She is sweet, kind and considerate and we are grateful to have her in our lives.

Our little family has had some fun adventures too. A few weeks ago, we took the kids to FullSizeRenderanother men’s Badger basketball game. For the most part, they both did a great job and per the usual, were ecstatic to see Bucky – Will screamed his name every single time we caught even a glimpse of him (even during a free throw, in which the rest of the arena was silent). We also took them to the Overture to see a live production of Sid the Science Kid. I thought it might be too young for Ella to enjoy, but she surprised me and when I asked her what her favorite part was- she responded, “the entire thing.” Joe and I even got a date night, as we attended the annual American Advertising Federation 2015 Addy’s. In addition to having some kid-free time, Kella took home a few different awards – so overall it was a great night.

Everytime I think there is nothing to say, I look back on the time and realize there is always something worth writing down to remember!

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Funemployment

JUP-SpaWomanAAs my last post vaguely mentioned, I decided that there was no better time to quit my job. I wasn’t in love with the role and life is too short to spend every day doing something you’re not happy with. That means I have been enjoying some funemployment for the last two weeks. Going in I envisioned my time off looking something like this ——->

I have a hard time doing nothing, so of course I have been keeping a journal of the things I’m accomplishing each day. On Day #1, I allowed myself to just sit on the couch, to drink my coffee and fill my brain with a ton of things I wanted to do with my time.  I made a list (duh) and felt energized to get things done!

Day #2 Will was running a fever so we stayed home together. While we were playing in the office (read, Toy Room) I decided I could no longer take the chaos and decided to purge and reorganize. Man did that feel good after it was done. Day #3 I was lucky enough to grab lunch with a dear friend at my favorite pizza joint, Porta Alba. This is no joke – if you live in, around or near Madison, you MUST go there. (Side note: I always order the Vegitariana pizza and it’s to die for!) This sounds so cheesy, but it was nice to spend time as just the two of us. Normally we have our kiddo’s & husbands in tow, making conversation more challenging.

Day #4 started with a visit to my hair stylist, who is one of the most talented & caring people I know. I love visiting her and this time was extra special because I learned she is expecting her first baby! I was then off to another great lunch date with three very close friends. I’ve decided that I’m never finding a job and will become a lady who lunches.  I haven’t figured out how to pay for those lunches but that’s not of importance! I spent the rest of the afternoon evaluating insurance plans (yuck)! Since that was no fun (understatement of the century) I decided to pick Ella up from school early and finally make our closed terrariums. Let’s hope they are as low-maintenance as they say!

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Day #5 I decided it was time to get down to business. Yes, I still had a lunch date with an old coworker, but I also cleaned and purged more of the house. Day #6 we had no school or daycare so it was me & the kiddo’s again. Ella was invited to a friends house for a playdate and had a blast. Will and I decided we would go for donuts, visit the pet store and grab lunch with dad. Day # 7 started out with some pampering, as I decided to give myself a manicure I saw on Pinterest. I then spent the rest of the day doing some real “work” for Kella Design.

Day #8 yet again included a lunch date with a great new friend. It was so much fun to chat with her and it turns out we both have something in common, we’re raising an extremely challenging and spirited 6 year old little lady! I can’t tell you how nice it is to find someone who can totally relate to what it’s like to parent someone like Ella. The constant struggle to “get her under control” all while trying to not squash her “spirit.” Day #9 was originally jam packed with meetings, but of course my OCD-self was starting to feel stressed that I hadn’t accomplished enough of the projects from my list, so I cleared my schedule. The morning started with some baby shower planning (my brother & SIL are expecting twins!!) and then quickly moved to house projects. We have been in a process of painting ALL of the trim in our house and had yet to tackle the trim in Ella’s room. This is when I was quickly reminded why I don’t normally paint my nails. So much for the manicure! I then did laundry, cleaned and purged the kids bedrooms and made an amazing dinner (again).

That brings me to Day #10, today! Ella has early release and she’s decided that she wants to spend it with mom. Turns out that no matter how much fun she had at her playdate, she’s extremely jealous of Will’s one-on-one time with mom. So we’re repeating the same day that Will & I had.

The days haven’t gone exactly as I planned and they definitely do not look like the peaceful spa image, but I have enjoyed them nonetheless. After looking at the journal, I feel like I have done a good job at balancing my time with a little pampering, a lot of productivity, projects crossed off the list, some great homemade meals and quality time spent with family & friends. I’m not entirely sure how much funemployment time I have left, but yesterday we got a healthcare bill in the mail and as Ella opened it she said, “wow, that’s a lot – mom, you better get back to work and make some money!” So I plan to continue to fill the days with as much as I possibly can because I’ll likely not get a chance like this again.

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Let It Go

No. Even though you’ll often hear this tune playing in our house, car, sleep (I swear) – I am not referring to the insanely popular song sung by Elsa from Frozen. I am however talking about the only resolution I’m making in 2015.

Let it go. Everything! My job, my house, my kids & my marriage. Don’t start to panic, I haven’t lost my mind. I don’t mean that I’m literally letting go of those things (with the exception of my job), but I am working to let go of the small things tied to those important parts of my life.

I’m focusing on being grateful for the things our home already provides instead of seeing the “flaws” I want to fix. It doesn’t always have to look immaculate and magazine-worthy. Toys can be seen laying around and there might be some dirty dishes left on the counter. It doesn’t matter, let it go!

I will try to yell less. I know this is going to be a challenge, but I really want to find a way to make this happen because it’s not healthy for any of us and frankly – our kids deserve it. There is no way they are going to stop running, fighting, yelling and I don’t expect them to miraculously listen – but that’s what we signed on for and again, as long as they are not hurt – it doesn’t matter, let it go!

keep-calm-seriously-in-this-house-17I think if I can follow through on my first two goals, my marriage will improve as well. We are always so stressed because we are doing too many things at one time. Less home improvement projects will allow for more focused time to spend with the kids. Hopefully that added attention will eliminate some of the battles we’re constantly fighting on a daily basis. Lower standards for my children will provide less stress and hopefully less yelling and you know what they say, happy wife = happy life, right?

The year of 2014 was good to us, but I’m confident that 2015 will be even better. I will do my best to keep calm, even while living in this house amongst the inevitable chaos.

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Sensational Six

In 6 short days our little lady will turn 6. How is that even possible? It seems like just yesterday we were spending our Thanksgiving in the hospital, holding the thing that had made us more thankful than we ever knew possible.

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And at the same time, we’ve accomplished so much. For starters, she’s still alive and let’s be serious – that’s all that matters. But really, in a limited amount of time she’s learned to:

I know I’m biased but she is truly an amazing little human. Since she was born I’ve worried about what type of person she might become and whether or not we could instill the right values & morals to be proud of. I’ve joked that we’re prepared to struggle until she turns 26, but after that she would make an amazing adult. While there are definitely days that we struggle – it’s not necessary to wait until 26 because she’s already a pretty sensational 6 year-old.

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