Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A Week in Review (July 9-14)

A Week in Review (July 9-14)

Watched: The LEGO Batman movie.  I didn't really like it like I did the regular Lego movie.  It just wasn't as funny to me.  Jack liked it well enough.  I made the funky photo to send to Nick while messing around with the filters on the Facebook app.

Read: I was able to finish up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.  This book totally pulled me in. It's lengthy at almost 400 pages, but it just flew by. I felt like I was reading a People magazine that spanned the decades. However, it takes you deeper to look at the complex reasons that motivate peoples actions. I would highly recommend it!  Next, I began Columbine which was the book selected for my online book club.  I found this book a little disjointed and repetitive. However, I did enjoy getting to know all the accurate facts about the tragedy that occurred at Columbine. It's scary to think that boys with a typical high school experience could carry out such horrific acts with such calculation and excitement. While it's a non-fiction piece, the author still carries some pretty strong biases that come across in the narrative. It did make me interested in reading Sue Klebold's book.  Next, I started Dirty.  I found it as a recommendation from Audible.  I didn't get very far into, but it's pretty raunchy.  I am hoping a good story line develops out of it.  I decided I didn't like Dirty for bedtime and so I picked The Hike. I only read a couple chapters before I fell asleep and it is weird!  I found this book from the same list as Dirty. I'm really questioning those choices now. 

Listened: To a good chunk of the book, Columbine, on audiobook.  With Jack being gone large chunks of Sunday and Monday and trips to and from football camp, I had more time than normal to listen to a story.  The narrator did a great job of keeping you intrigued in the story.  I am glad that I had all the time because I think I have like four books to read in the next three weeks.  Not sure I will get it all done, but I will do my best!

Made: Menu list for Jack and I.  With the heat of summer and Nick not coming home, it's easy to just snack all day and not make real meals for Jack and I.  So I put together a long list of things that I thought would make decent two people dinners and went grocery shopping for them.  We will check off the list and once they are done, I think I will cook the same things again.  I got like 10 things on there, so I think that's pretty good.  I am sure we will also take a few fast food breaks while Nick is gone in Utah.

Felt: Thankful for my breaks from Motherhood.  Nick left Sunday morning for 11 days in Utah.  Shortly after Jack woke up, we headed to Canon City to have him stay the day with my in-laws.  They brought him back Monday around three, which gave me time to finally finish the picture project that I have been working on since we moved to Utah.  Tuesday and Wednesday there were short breaks for football camp.    Tuesday he spent the afternoon hanging out with his friend Landon.  Friday he was invited to spend the evening with a friend at his house.  It felt good to recharge with some alone time.  We both miss Nick like crazy.

Planned: Short PTA Meeting to get things in order so that we could request committee chairs of the positions that we needed.  However, we had a lot of discuss and before we knew it, 3 hours had passed and I had to cut the meeting short so that I could get Jack home to bed.  It didn't work out very well because he was still pretty amped and didn't fall asleep until almost 11.  However, we got a good bit of information discussed and I feel like this year is going to be amazing!

Loved: Pro Football Camp.  Jack really enjoyed getting to meet the players and hear their stories.  I loved that he got to hear about how people who actually made it to the NFL had been undrafted and overlooked.  There was a lot of stories about resilience and determination.  While I try to talk about those with Jack, I think him hearing it from people who he really idolizes was awesome.  One of the players, Anthony Trucks, also competed on this season of American Ninja Warrior.  He is the first NFL player to successfully complete the course.  We are looking forward to seeing how he does in the city finals.  Crossing our fingers that he makes it.

Here are the pics for the week:

A page from my album.  All the pictures had to be cut down, glued onto 4x6 cards, and then organized chronologically.  It's no wonder that I have put it off.  I am glad to say that they have all been scanned in and placed away for future looking at!


The night before camp all the players were available for autographs at local Bar and Grill.  A good friend took the pictures and texted them to me so I got to sit out on the patio chatting and avoid the crowds!








They also did day of camp signings.  These are two giant Giants lineman.


Jack and Anthony Trucks, the American Ninja Warrior




My hubby surprised me with these beautiful flowers.  Good to know that he misses me.  I sure do miss him too.






Sunday, 9 July 2017

A Week in Review (July 2-8)

A Week in Review (July 2-8)

Watched: Fireworks from the Sky Sox baseball game on July 4th night.  I didn't really think it would be very crowded and so we headed over at the top of the 7th inning.  It was a good thing we got there when we did because we had to drive around several parking lots before finding one that was open.  Then it seemed like it took forever for them to finish up the two innings.  The show was awesome and we did have a really good view of it.  Everyone did a pretty good job with traffic too and we were able to make it back home in pretty decent time.  Next year, the 4th will be quite a bit harder with it being on Wednesday.

Read: I finished up Everything, Everything.  I thought that this was a decent story. It was pretty formulaic and didn't really have any big shocks or reveals innit. However, I was interested to see what would happen to Maddy. It's a very quick read and could make for some lively discussion with the right group of people.  Next, I started The Bell Jar.  This had been on my To-Read shelf for quite some time.  It is set in late 40's/early 50's.  I was able to accurately date the song because the Frank Sinatra song Sunflower was mentioned as being a top hit.  A quick google search revealed that it was released in 1949.  If my Kansas friends haven't heard it before, they should totally give it a listen.  You can hear on YouTube, HERE.  What an intense book. I felt that first half kind of dragged on, but the second half really picked up. This book would have resonated with me in my mid 20's rather than my late 30's. The visual image of depression being like a bell jar that you are trapped really hit home for me. If you want a graphic novel from someone who truly understands the pain of depression, I'd recommend picking this book up. If you are wanting a book that shows you that can overcome depression, pick a different book.  The next book due back at the library is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I started that.  I started it on Friday, so I don't have a lot to say about it.  To squeeze all my books in, I really need to get it read in a week.  I hope it's a quick read and I have a review for you next week.

Listened: To Jack, my brother and his friend laugh and squeal with joy and fear as they shot Roman candles at each other.  Jack loves this tradition.  He definitely has more fun with it than he does with any firework you can buy from a stand.  Nora got her fur singed by excitedly trying to catch the "balls".  She also got a little aggressive with my brother trying to get the stick.  We decided she had to stay inside for the rest of the night and she was pretty bummed about that.

Made: Time for a friend.  Even though we trying to cram in a lot of things into our Saturday before Nick left, we had a friend ask if we could help her out by watching her kids for a couple hours.  They had to go running errands with us, but they really enjoy anytime that they can be around Jack.  It was funny running errands as a family of 5 with me envisioning this is what I thought I wanted when we first got married.  I think I could learn to love the chaos!

Felt: Bad about miscommunications with Mom and Lee.  We had invited them to come down for the 4th and watch the fireworks with us.  I knew we would be leaving Alliance just in time to make it home in time to see the shows with them.  Sadly, they thought we were going to be home earlier in the day and drove up to visit us before we home.  I hated that they made the drive only to find an empty house.  Next time, we will be more clear.  Luckily, we were still able to find a time that Jack could go and visit before they left the area again.

Planned: Nick's honey-do list before he left town for the month.  It wasn't anything too intense, but I wanted to make sure we had a lot of that done before he left.  During our almost 16 years of marriage we have fallen into a pretty good routine about who takes care of certain household chores.  It's not that I can't do some of them, it's just that I would rather not.  And some of them it would take me a lot more time to figure out than it does Nick.  It's awesome to have a partner who compliments me so well, but I really do miss him when he leaves.

Loved: Lazy days with my boy.  We didn't have any real plans for the remainder of the week and so we just did it doing nothing.  I mean, really, nothing.  We played games, stayed in our PJs, and just enjoyed each others company.  We hadn't really done anything like that so far this summer and it worked out nicely.  I was looking through the countdown app on my phone and realized that towards the end of the week we hit the point where we had been on summer break longer than we have left of summer break.  Who knows how much will cram into the second half, but I am sure it will be awesome!

Here are the pics for the week:

Tio, in his humorous out for the the 4th.  Happy Birthday 'Merica.


Family photos from the 4th






Jack wanted a picture with Nora on the drive home.


I think Nora was pretty determined not to move from this spot.  He threw the pillow on her and still she laid there, unmoving.  


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A Week in Review (June 25-July 1)

A Week in Review (June 25-July 1)

Watched: Them draw three vials of blood for a physical.  It's been years since I have gotten a physical, but I decided to go a friend rather than a Walgreens for my well check for work.  I had to get a tetanus/whooping cough shot.  It wasn't painful that day, but I woke up feeling like my arm was dead.  Wowzers!  Glad you only have to go through that every 10 years.

Read: I finished up Beartown.  Not my favorite book by Backman, but one that will leave me thinking for quite some time. Some people will tell you this is a book about hockey. It's so much deeper than that. It's about small town life, parenting, friendship, societal issues, and competitive sports. I would recommend to anyone as it is an above average book. Some may notice that it took me longer to read than my normal four star book. This is due in large part to being summer and not because of the quality of writing.  Next I started Everything, Everything. It seems to be a fairly easy read and I think I will be able to finish it up next week. 

Listened: Giggles from Katie all day during our trip to Elitch's. We had to use our Bring-a-Friend passes and so she came along. Instead of screaming on rides, she giggles and it's hilarious.  We spent a few hours in the amusement park, waited out a rain shower during our lunch in the parking lot, spent a couple hours in the water park, and then closed the park down back out in the amusement park.  We are so lucky that she came into our lives.  She brings a ton of joy to it!

Made: A quick drive to Canon City to see the campsite that Lee and Denise have found and to see their new camper.  They had a basketball hoop so Jack was happy to shoot hoops on it.  He found another kiddo to play with and even got a game going with Lee and Nick.  They cooked us up a nice dinner that included Denise's yummy potato salad.  At the end of the night, we drove into the Canon City's downtown and visited a cute little park that was right along the Arkansas river.  Jack was still in the mood for games and so we played adults vs Jack at Tic-Tac-Toe.  Jack won three of the games, but Papa Lee got him to a stale mate.  It was the best we could do!  

Felt: Thankful for the bonus week that kept Nick home even though he should have been in Utah.  Luckily, one of this clients needed him here for a public meeting and so he had to reschedule his trip. It let us spend more time together before he leaves for the month in Utah.  Neither Nick nor I are looking forward to his absence.  It will be interesting to see how we fill our time.  I am sure it will be busy, as always.

Planned: All the things I would take for the trip to my mom's and just kind of laughed at myself.  I definitely pack more for a four day trip to her place than I do going for a week most other places.  Somethings are things I am taking to her because I can get them so much cheaper here, other things are things we enjoy playing together, and yet others are because I want to make sure I am prepared for most scenarios.  I am so glad that we live close enough to have under a six hour drive between door steps!

Loved:  All the time that we spent with my family.  I didn't get nearly enough sleep, but I spent a lot of time chatting with my brother and mother.  I got to spend time watching Jack kick butt at chess.  He loved having lots of different people to play.  We played some neighbor, did some swimming, played some corn hole, grilled out a lot, and played through a whole Mario Sports Mix basketball tournament.  I am excited that we still have two fun filled days to go!

Here are the pics for the week:







This is what he picked out to wear for the trip up.  Comfy and cozy on cool June day.




Monday, 26 June 2017

A Week in Review (June 18-24)

A Week in Review (June 18-24)

Watched: Jack go nonstop at the College Basketball Experience in downtown Kansas City.  I had seen several post and I thought it sounded like something Jack might enjoy.  It was so much better than I thought it would be though.  He couldn't believe there was such an amazing space set up for just basketball and basketball games!  If you have kid who enjoys shooting hoops and you have several hours, I totally recommend by stopping by there.  It is a lot of fun.  Jack loved it so much that he even convinced Nick to take him back there for a couple hours on Saturday afternoon.

Read:  I didn't finish up Beartown but I made pretty good progress on it.  It's a pretty intense book.  It has hockey as a back story with it, but I think any family who has participated in any competitive sport will identify with.  Also, if you are from a small town, I think there are parts of the story that you could really understand.  I am pretty sure that I will finish it up next week.

Listened: Jack and Joe reconnect some more at what I think is becoming our annual trip to Worlds of Fun.  We are so blessed to have someone like Joe as role model for Jack.  He is such a polite and gracious young man!  And a young man he has definitely turned into.  I put their pictures, which were taken about 11 months apart, side by side and wow what a difference!  They did ride the Rip Cord again and both seemed to enjoy it a little more than last year.  Jack was finally tall enough to not have any restrictions so that made things better for everyone.  Who knows that next year's picture will look like.

Made: Trip a quick trip to Wichita to spend some time with the cousins and Aunt Valerie, Grandma Denise, and Papa Lee.  We woke up early on Thursday so that Jack wouldn't miss a thing and got into town around 10:30.  First we got a tour of the cousin's new home and then we headed over to visit Aunt Valerie and Grandma Denise.  It was Quentin's birthday so made plans to help celebrate him.  First we ate at Braum's and then we headed to the park to play large size chess.  It was pretty hot, so they were excited that swimming was on the menu next.  After swimming, everyone went to dinner together.  After Quentin opened his presents with his mom, they all came over and stayed the night at Valerie's.  The next day we ate more Braum's and visited the park and Exploration place before heading back to Kansas City.  It was a busy couple of days but it was worth it.

Felt: Bad.  I didn't really plan anything for Father's Day.  Everything that I wanted to do for him didn't really make financial sense or we didn't have time for.  We usually do a camping trip but his work has made that impossible this year.  Jack found these hilarious lights on Amazon on the Saturday night before Father's Day so we ordered him one of those.  It's shipping from Hong Kong so we won't see it for a month or so, but it will be interesting to see how it works out.  I told him that he gets a pass next Mother's Day too.  We spent actual Father's Day driving to KC, but made it in time to have dinner at Fogo De Chao for him.

Planned: On going to Microcenter to pick up a new computer because we have been having some issues with our old one.  I was just planning on picking up another lower end PC.  I should have known better.  Nick has been craving the switch to Apple and so we ended up getting a Mini Mac.  It's a tad bit slower in the processor than I am used too, but I think it will be fine.  It's going to take a little bit to get used, but I am sure in a few months time, it will just be second nature.

Loved: Being at the wedding of our old neighbor girl.  When we left for Utah, she had been dating Joey for about a year.  It seemed like they made each other quite happy.  About a year ago, he finally proposed.  I am excited for their sweet little family.  He has really stepped up and been an excellent step-father to Ava, as well.  She was stunning.  I didn't take any pictures because I didn't want to get into the professionals way.  Luckily they released a sneak peek so I am sharing it with you.  We took a selfie so I posted that too.  Jack couldn't understand why I was crying to much.  I told him it's because before I know it he will be the one up there saying his vows.  It doesn't seem like very long ago I was watching Sarah kick around a soccer ball in the back yard.

Here are the pics for the week:

The Father's Day gift Jack found
 


The College Basketball Experience


Worlds of Fun photos


Man has Joe changed a lot in the year
 

He was so zonked he had to put down the arm rest and zone out.  Joe slept until 2pm the next day!


The nine-year-old club who all love Braum's Birthday Cake Ice Cream

  



Wedding Selfie
 

A Week in Review (June 11-17)

A Week in Review (June 11-17)

Watched: All of my Days on the days they were actually recorded. It probably doesn't sound like a much, but it's a rare treat during the summer. I also squeezed in a couple New Girl episodes. I think I'll be ready for it to go live next season.

Read: I finished up The Best of Adam Sharp. I read this book because one of my dear friends had such a huge dislike for it. I always think it's interesting to read what causes a strong reaction in others. I can see why she didn't like it, but I enjoyed it. Like the narrator, I have an emotional connection with music and song lyrics. I also understand how your relationship can feel flat after so many years. It's easy to wonder on the "what-if's". This book isn't anything like The Rosie Project, so don't read it expecting the same thing.  Next, I started Beartown. It had one of the most intriguing starts that I have seen in recent years. I didn't get very far, but I am really enjoying it.

Listened: To a bunch of voices drone on and on so that I could finish up the clock hours that I need to be able to work at preschool. It feels good to have something done for the busy school year ahead. Sure wish I could get working on the yearbook and the like too.  We've scheduled a PTA meeting, so I'll probably have plenty to work on soon.

Made: The trip to the North Pole to see my dear friend Jody and her family.  They were vacactioning in the area and we hadn't hooked up.  Luckily Jack didn't have camp on Friday and her family was free so we met there for several hours of fun.  Even some of her older ones came and they also had a good time messing around.  We took a selfie and I'm horrible at those, but I am glad to have captured the memory with her!  I wish we both weren't such busy people.

Felt: Bad for giving Jack the idea of working on his vertical by leaping onto the picnic table.  When he was going up, he leapt into banging his shins pretty hard against the front of the table.  The bruised up right away and he thought he was broken. Luckily our neighbors got home about that time so I called them over to distract him.  It worked pretty well, but he still wanted more ice when they left.   I thought it was funny that his face was so dirty that the tears left a streak on his face.

Planned: On my week without Jack home for most of the days.  He had basketball camp down at Colorado College again this year and really enjoyed it.  We picked up one of his friends on the way there and his mom brought them home.  I worked pulling weeds in the yard each day, working on my photo project that I started years ago and still haven't finished, and just taking it easy preparing for Nick's upcoming crazy schedule.

Loved: That Lee and Denise were able to stop by for a quick visit on Saturday.  We spent some time chatting, eating at Hu Hot, and then launching a rocket.  Of course, the rocket got caught by the wind and went into a far away field.  I really thought they were on a fool's errand looking for it, but the managed to find it.  Nick walked into some grass that caused his allergies to flair up majorly.  They are staying in Canon City for parts of the summer and we will look forward to them being closer!

Here are the pics for the week:

You can tell it's summer!
 

Jack and Coach JJ


Quite the introduction, right?


My good friend Jody and I

Monday, 12 June 2017

A Week in Review (June 4-10)

A Week in Review (June 4-10)

Watched: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul with Jack on Tuesday before we headed home from KC.  We just had an awkward amount of time to kill and the movie filled it perfectly.  I am surprised to see it rated so poorly on IMDB.  I thought it was pretty funny and was a family friendly version of National Lampoon's Vacation.  It was hard to see Alicia Silverstone looking so old as the mom!  I'm sure I look just like I did when she was starring in Clueless.  Not sure why she is looking older.  Must have been good make-up artists.  ;)

Read: I finished up The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir.  This book was probably more like a 3.5 for me. The beginning was phenomenal and drew me. Towards the end, I felt she started getting pretty cyclical and didn't really know how to conclude the story. You can definitely feel her passion and pain on the pages of the book.  Next I tried to start Still Life, which is the beginning of my online book club series, but I just couldn't get into it.  I started The Best of Adam Sharp, but it isn't really drawing me in either.  

Listened: Giggles as Kate and Jack spent the afternoon hanging out.  They have so much fun together.  They spend about 10 minutes being awkward and then it's right back to normal.  We took her to Chuck E Cheese and then out for ice cream at Syla's and Maddy's.  I handed them my phone for some reason and they took some hilarious photos and videos.  I posted one of Jack that I thought summed them up pretty well.  So thankful for their friendship.

Made: A friend cook for me.  I really enjoy his food and thought it would be fun for the kids to just all be able to hang out without having to worry about the constraints of a restaurant. He was going to attempt to pay for it and I just couldn't let that fly!  We headed to the store while Nick stayed and hung out with the boys.  It was a delicious dinner and a great afternoon.  I wish we didn't live so far away so we could see them more often than once or twice a year.

Felt: After our fun day of seeing my friend Sarah for lunch and hanging out with Kate, we went over to the Zinn household for dinner.  Beth and I set out on the back deck and chatted while the kids hung out inside.  They played lots of Wii and talked.  At the end of the night, we had mom's and kid's Mario Kart race.  It was pretty funny to see all the different level of racers.

Planned: On dividing our Thursday at Elitch's between both the water park and rides, but we decided to just spend the whole day at the water park.  The water was a bit chilly, but it was warm enough that you could still get in.  Jack and I went right to the thrill water rides and did those all without waiting for a tube.  That was a pretty rare treat.  I decided to take my phone with me on the lazy river and got some pretty fun pictures.

Loved:  Our impromptu night with our friends at an escape room.  We failed to escape because we missed a step in the literal directions that we are all skipping over because it just didn't seem an essential step.  We also refused to ask for hints because we are stubborn like that.  They took a fun picture of us at the end.  Then we went out to Iron Bird for beer, pizza, and pretzels.  It was an excellent night and just what we needed!

Here are the pics for the week:

Love this face!
 


The goofs outside of the ice cream shop


Just what was he doing?  I think he was showing off his muscular thighs.


Lazy River Selfie


Still Headless!
 

Oh somehow the story of the giant water balloons didn't make my week recap.  But Jack and I had a competition to see who could get more water in a regular balloon and then release it on the other.  Nick wasn't game expect for helping with the filling and carrying.
 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Week in Review (May 28-June 3)

A Week in Review (May 28-June 3)

Watched: Jack show compassion for his friend who decided he wasn't a fan of thrill ride. We had a bring a friend ticket that expired in May and so we asked his friend Oliver if he would like to come with us. He just decided that those rides didn't look like fun so they had to find other rides that were a good combination for the both of them. I think they both enjoyed the ball pit area the most. Luckily it was a cooler day so it wasn't too stifling in there. 

Read:  I made more progress on The Fact of a Body.  I didn't quite finish it up, but I'm sure I will have by next week. It's a very intriguing story. 

Listened: To great discussion on so many topics with my book club. They are a lot of fun and there are so many different topics discussed.  I'm always thankful for them. Sadly July is too busy for everyone so we will take almost two months off.  

Made: A girl feel successful during her rescue because she found a baby bird on her lawn. She couldn't find any nearby nest and did research that you could put them in any nest. Jack had discovered it during a tree climbing expedition. We left for our out of town so I don't know how it is doing, but I hope well. 

Felt: Grateful that we were able to see so many of our neighbors on such short notice on Saturday night. We weren't sure when we would be coming in so we didn't really schedule any plans ahead of time. We still ended up being able to see four sets of our neighbors. Guy and Laurie built a beautiful oasis that sat us all very comfortably. We stayed out there until midnight just swapping stories and reliving memories.

Planned: A much more exciting Thursday than the park and weather allowed for. When we first arrived, many of the rides were shut down due to staffing issues and or maintenance.  After lunch, we headed back into the water park. The water felt like it couldn't melt an ice cube and after everyone but me took one lap, lightening was apparently in the vicinity causing everyone to have to leave the water.  We waited like a half hour for it to pass, it never did. We had to debate if we wanted to play at the park for three additional hours or try to get on the road to beat traffic. We settled on heading home and stopping for frozen yogurt. 

Loved: That we are lucky enough to be able to travel back to KC to visit friends while Nick is working.  The drive is long, but its primarily covered by the company so it's hard to pass up.  I'm hoping we get a least one more company covered trip in this summer.

Here are the pics for the week: