The Griswold’s

The weather is finally starting to cool off! The leaves are changing into amazing fall colors and our tiny town looks like a post card for mountains in the fall. Except our house. Our house looks like the leaves have come alive and attacking our yard  getting ready to suffocate our house.

We’ve tried staying up on them. Its impossible if you have a day job to keep the leaves cleared. You can try in the morning only to come home to more leaves just to repeat this process 2-3 times a day. No thank you! So we are waiting till they all fall to do it all at once. Actually we are waiting till this weekend so we can start putting up Christmas lights. I don’t know if Pat knows this yet. But that’s my plan.

When Pat and I first got together he did some lights. Nothing special. I’d say sorry but I’m fairly certain he doesn’t read this. Not testing him, just saying.

When we bought our house… he turned into Clark Griswold and went nuts. Our bird house is 100 years old so we don’t have outlets like you would need to actually be Clark. But Pat was determined and for our first Christmas in our first house we had cords coming out of every window in the house. We had at least 6 blow ups and every studio, garage, tree was covered. It was amazing.

Our second year in the house I was pregnant. Well Rylan was born on the 16th but leading up to that I said no lights because I didn’t want the cords. I didn’t realize he would take it as a challenge to see how many lights he could put up without having to use cords through the windows. Again, it was amazing.

I believe last year I threw a fit over the lights. I say that like I forgot… I for sure threw a fit over the lights. We had waited too long in my opinion to put them up and I didn’t think it would be worth it. I said no. I didn’t want any lights. So when I went out-of-town and came home to lights the week before Christmas instead of being excited…I cried.

Here’s why I cried. I had said no I didn’t want the lights up. Rylan was almost 2 and not listening very well. I had a melt down thinking that no one listens to me about anything. Feeling like my opinion didn’t matter and that the rules that I set in place with Rylan or the house all only mattered to me. It was dramatic and ridiculous but it was how I felt and I can’t even say I don’t still feel that way a little bit.

This year I’m determined to enjoy the lights. Its thanksgiving weekend and I want to join him and his excitement over the lights. I think we may have ruined a few blow ups but we will make it work. I keep telling him I’m going to help this year and I can’t tell if he’s ready to let me help or planning to do it while I’m at work. Fingers crossed right?

We used to have a place in our town where you could get out and walk around and see different light displays. It was magical. I want our house to be that house one year. It’s a long way off and I have a lot of work to do on our back yard so that it doesn’t look like a scary kidnapping trap but once we get it done it could be so great.

We could have candy cane lane, and snowman village, and new age crap with minions and movie characters, even a whole section for the vintage plastic light up molds.  I have big visions for it but we’ll see. This will be my first year of actually helping and quite possibly my last.

So my minimalist ideas and goals go straight out the window when it comes to outside decorations. I wish I could decorate inside but I can’t. We do a tree but other than that you could walk in our house and not know if its December or June!

In other news I have given up on the book Fall of Giants. I loved it and feel like it’s a great read if I had the time to devote to it. I’ll pick up again after the new year but right now I’m needing an easy mindless read I can put down for weeks and pick it up and not be confused or have to retrace the last two chapters. So I’m reading nothing. Well I’m reading note for the Les Mills classes I’m teaching but that’s all I have time for a this moment.

I finished the  series Gilmore Girls. Holy freaking crap!!!! I adore that show and am so said its over. Although I’m not devastated because if you’ve seen the end you know that there is no possible way someone could end an entire show that way. If you could you are an A hole. That’s right producers I’m calling you out. Add more episodes or forever be categorized as a dick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard is Hard

Rylan is less than a year old and I’m trying to get her down for a nap while visiting my sister-in-law in Chico.

She’s flopping around and trying to talk and crawl away and is refusing to nap. I get frustrated and finally give up and take her to the stroller because I know that works. I’m frustrated and don’t have the energy to force it.

I come out of the room huffing and puffing and go to take her outside. My sister-in-law asks what happened and I start to tell her.

She laughs. “So she’s not crying or fussy, she’s just….awake?”

Me: “well yeah but its annoying I know she’s tired and going to get cranky and she needs to nap.”

I get why she’s laughing. It sound ridiculous when I hear it back to me. Later over a glass of wine we talk about it. She makes me feel better by reminding me that even though Rylan is a great baby and I have no idea how easy I have it, my hard is hard for me.

So while she can handle things and has infinitely more patience than I do, to me… this is hard.

Fast forward to Rylan being almost 3 and still I know how lucky I am.

She listens well and reasons for the most part. She argues at bed time and I want to pull my hair out. I’m sure there are a million moms that would look at our bed time routine and laugh at how frustrated I get. But its hard to me.

We all have no clue what going on in each other life and its so easy to look at every situation and say how you would do it differently. But you know what? It might not work. We all have to do what we know how to do and make changes where we need to in order to make things work for us.

For instance my hard right now (aside from bed time) is a kitten. Who would have thought that something that weighs just over 1 pound can make want to drink. Given, it was 3 weeks old when we were gifted it.

Gifted is a strong word. It was a trash can kitty my cousin found and my Aunt asked if we wanted it. I didn’t. At all. My darling, sweet, animal loving husband was supposed to be the bad guy and say no… he didn’t say no.

We’ve had it a week and its slowly getting better. Not going to lie, the first couple days I was cussing out my aunt dreaming of dropping it off on their doorstep knocking and running away.

The ONLY saving grace was how happy this damn kitten made Rylan. I mean they are buds. Rylan will sit and watch her iPad and this stupid kitten will cuddle on her back and sit in her lap and just snuggle. The smile on my kids face made me realize I couldn’t drop her off at the fire department. Wait is that kittens too?

So my point is everyone’s hard is hard. It doesn’t matter if we laugh at it and dismiss it or fully understand we could not handle that its hard. We all have support systems you just have to find yours. Find your people, your tribe, the one you can open up to about locking the kitten in the bathroom and turning up the radio so you can’t hear it cry. Thankfully my tribe is pretty big. They all understand me.

They also laugh at the fact that now that the kittens getting older and getting a personality she’s turned into a total little psycho.

I’ve had to delete 3 paragraphs from her stepping on my keyboard and throwing me off. In case you are wondering why she’s still living with us here are a few pictures.

 

 

Riding the Dragon


Me: I hate this kitchen!

Husband: Why whats wrong with it now?

Me: nothing it’s just a freaking mess! How did it get so messy we weren’t even here this weekend!

Husband: well it’s not even that bad. Its been way way worse, and it was like this when we left I don’t understand why it’s suddenly so bad.

He’s right. On our quest to become minimalist the kitchen has been cleaner than normal lately. I could do without him being right once in a while. But I take this as a sure sign that I’m changing as a person. The fact that some fruit, a bottle of wine, and the groceries that I just bought, on the counter is sending me over the edge. I’m turning into a cleaner person.

OR… The much more likely explaination is I have PMS. DUN DUN DUN *cue dark music and thunder clouds*

I have always had PMS ever since I was a teenager. If I have to explain what it is you are reading the wrong blog post! I’m not saying I get it every month. But once in a while there’s a month like this one that scares my husband, my mom, the dogs, and even myself just a little.

I can’t be alone in having little things send me over the edge. Little things like a dirty kitchen counter making me want to move. My husband not writing back fast enough results in a series of WTF texts and passive aggressive messages including but not limited to “its fine forget it I can go to the grocery store later. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do”.

I can’t be alone in thinking for 1 week that the world should revolve around me. That’s right the whole world! How dare people have other lives and not wait around for me to want to do something. Only to cancel on them at the last-minute because I want to be around people but don’t actually want to be around people. How can people not know that?!

I can’t be alone in being COMPLETELY irrational and out of control of my emotions. Its like seeing a red light and knowing, logically, that I need to slow down and stop yet I hit the gas anyway. I know its wrong, I know I’m not making any sense and that whatever I’m feeling/saying will be different in a week, but it doesn’t matter. I have no control of the irrational things I’m thinking/doing.

This is where getting rid of things can be a good thing. Its good timing when you’re irrational to throw away everything and get rid of anything that is in your way or doesn’t change you mood. Which is everything because there is no help for this mood!

People will tell you “exercise and get rid of caffeine”. Ummm what? Don’t drink coffee? I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore. That’s the worst idea ever! When you are the most tired and need all the help you can get…. don’t take it.  Exercise really does work. I also know this to be a fact. However, when I’m in the middle of a mood swing and some one suggest exercise, they better start running themselves because I want to throat punch them.

Did I mention I have PMS right now?!

I also have to say that getting yourself to exercise during PMS should be worthy of an award. Or at least a gift card. People say gift cards are thoughtless but let me just tell you… give a Day-o or Sephora gift card to a woman with PMS and she will switch moods like a toddler who just got their way.

To the women who think you don’t get PMS…. Yes you do. I’m sorry but its true. Its okay don’t be sad. Even if you truly think you don’t get it. You just don’t realize it. Again, it’s not your fault. Chances are your PMS has taken over your thought process and the bitch is lying to you. You are forgiven. Or maybe you really don’t get it and I just think you do because I have PMS and think you get moody when really its me.

See this whole thing is just one giant tornado of irrational thoughts and snarky comments. This is my disclaimer to anyone dealing with me this week.

I’m sorry.

 

Traditions

 

In a world that’s rapidly falling apart and dividing itself, there are still a few things I find comfort in.

  • My morning coffee.
  • The fact that Rylan will argue over bedtime.
  • Nana will get us pajamas for Christmas.

It’s the little things in life.

When I was growing up we always had traditions. Thanksgiving was celebrated with Nana the Sunday before so that she could have everyone there. No excuses. For Christmas it was always Christmas Eve. That one is a touchy subject so we’re just going to breeze by it for now. Sorry mom xoxo.

The holidays have always been a really big deal in my life. Example: Nana used to own a Santa costume and would pay someone to dress up and come to the house Christmas Eve. It was magical. Even the year it was Granny Doris and I realized Santa wasn’t real. I was older than I care to admit!

So as the weather starts to cool off, the leaves start to change, and bedtime is now getting earlier, I’m starting to think about the holidays. Rylan is going to be 3 years old this December and I want her to grow up with the same traditions that I had. I also want to make our own traditions with her.

Which leads me to my question: How do we find time for all these traditions? How do we make new ones while respecting the ones we hold close to our heart? How do we blend traditions with our in-laws? When do you throw you hands in the air and go on vacation for the holidays instead?

I tried suggesting that we make it a destination Christmas this year. After some thought and discussion Nana informed us that we won’t be vacationing for Christmas this year. Or as long as she’s alive. Clearly she values the traditions and I respect that.I had to laugh at the fact that Nana vetoed not only this Christmas but every foreseeable Christmas after that.

I’d like to bring back Santa so if anyone has a Santa suit let me know!

My cousins and I actually have started our own tradition of taking family pictures every Thanksgiving. I was doing them myself with my professional camera but that took a crap on me this year so I’m not sure what we’ll do. I don’t really want to pay for professional pictures but am considering it as gift to all of us.

Other than that I don’t even know where to start! I have this constant tug of war going on in my head. Its like tiny bad mom saying “ugh who has time for that? Aren’t the holidays stressful enough?” then a tiny Martha Stewart slaps her across the face with a homemade, one of a kind stocking and says “because traditions are wonderful and it gives us something to look forward to and pass down to our kids so they can remember us when we are gone”.

I’m afraid tiny Martha wins. I want that. I want Rylan to grow up with the same happy memories I had. I want her to remember things from Nana and Granny. It’s special that she’s gotten so much time with her Great Grandparents so why wouldn’t we want to emphasize those traditions?

So its my goal to prioritize the traditions we have already and along the way make new ones. Of course I’ll have to put my own spin on things so maybe instead of having new pajamas we all have onesies and look ridiculous together. Maybe make a signature cocktail to have at Christmas dinner? I’ll keep thinking.

We used to go in Nanas room and re-wrap gifts we had given her in years past because she never even opened them. It took her longer than she cares to admit to catch on to that!

I’m just blessed I have the family that I do and the in-laws that I do. Everyone has a sense of humor and gets along and truly loves life. And fun. And cocktails. Rylan is pretty lucky too.

I’m aware I didn’t solve any of the my questions so if anyone has suggestions let me know!

 

Capsule Wardrobe CHAOS


I’m a typical girl. I like clothes. I liked clothes better when I was a size 2, but that’s besides the point. I still love clothes but at my current size I like black, slimming clothes that look good over spanx.

When I was in high school that was my favorite thing to do with my mom.  Not just because she paid. Although now that I’m on a budget its a major bonus when mom offers to take me shopping.

My grandma is a clothes whore too. We’ve established that’s where we get it. Nana buys a new outfit for every event no matter how small and its carried on with my mom, me, and now with my daughter. Nana buys Rylan a new outfit for everything and its wonderful.

I still love clothes and for a long time I’ve struggled with wanting to look cute and refusing to buy larger clothes. I’m still working on myself, but for the time being I’ve decided to try out a capsule wardrobe.

I love the idea of knowing everything in my closet looks good together and looks good on me. It also fits in perfect with my new quest for minimalism. So let the journey begin!

Here’s the thing I’m running into. I don’t know where to start. I can pin capsule wardrobe pins all day long but unless one of them is going to send me the whole wardrobe for free I’m stuck with just looking at the pins for ideas.

I look at my closet and am so overwhelmed. I have clothes everywhere and I don’t know what fits and what doesn’t and why nothing matches. Which means I just wear the same thing over and over again. By the same thing… I mean workout clothes. While I do try to work out as often as possible wearing workout clothes daily is for sure false advertising.

So I’ve decided to start small. Currently I’m going through everything I own. I’ve thrown out everything I know doesn’t fit, (like the size 23 inch waist jeans, are you freaking kidding me?! I didn’t fit in those before I had Rylan!) and am wearing pieces one by one and putting them in a separate section of my closet.

My thought process is I want versatile things I know fit and look good on me. Those pieces stay. Anything else gets send to Thred Up or thrown away.

I’m choosing to wear it for a full day before deciding if it gets to stay because you just never know. I look at pieces in my closet and think “yes I’ll wear that it looks good” then I wear it and halfway through the day remember that it rides up and I hate it, or that it’s not comfortable when I’m holding Rylan or chasing her around. Or the worst, when it looks good at home but then I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or store window and thing “holy crap, that’s the definition of a mom outfit” before realizing its ME.  Those get tossed out. Immediately.

From there once I have my base I’ll start purchasing good quality things I know will fit and will make multiple outfits. I’m really looking forward to being able to put any outfit in my closet together and know it till fit and look good.

While on a budget I’ll be crazy selective in what I purchase. But I’ve also decided that once I get the basics down I’ll restart doing stitch fix occasionally. I loved doing it before but have stopped because I cancelled ALL subscriptions while we are getting out of debt.

But a girl needs clothes! So this is an added journey to go along with the minimalism quest. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall of Giants 

Book club!!!!! 

I just recently started this one. I’ve had it on my nightstand For literally a year. It was given to me by a friend and I have not been able to start it. 

For some reason last week I picked it up and haven’t been able to put it down! 

Again I’m not a historical fiction book lover but after The Nightingale this one is equally as entertaining. 

It’s very Downton Abbey. If you liked that book this is a good read. At least so far. I’m only 100 pages in but it’s made me take a break from watching The Real Housewives and that’s always a good thing! 

I’ll post my review under the book club tab when I’m finished but maybe give me a month cause this thing is MASSIVE. Also it’s a trilogy so we’ll see after this one if it deserves the other two. 

LITERALLY Sick of Summer


“I want to punch you” my sister-in-law Jen says to me one day while I’m whining about being  a parent.

“I know, I know, we have it really good I’m just saying this is way harder than I thought it was going to be”. I try to justify myself.

My sister-in-law is the best. I scored big time! I’m not just saying that incase she’s reading this either its the truth. Anyone who knows her can vouch for that. Anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

She’s also totally justified in wanting to punch me for complaining. My husband and I live in our home town where we were born and raised.  When we first met I lived on “family hill”. My grandparents live right next to my parents, and I lived 3 houses down. My husband lived on “family court”. Lived in his parents down stairs close to his aunt and uncles houses but also one street over from my  aunt and grandpa. I swear our town is not as po-dunk as I’m making it sound.

Anyway when I went back to work after Rylan was born I was blessed with not having to find child care. Rylan was with my mom on Wednesdays, Thursdays my grandma and mother in law would share the day, Fridays she was with my dad. I’m shocked my sister-in-law still talks to me actually.

Jen lives in Chico and while she has family there (aunts and cousins) they all work full-time and don’t have the luxury of taking entire days off during the week to help her. So yeah, she’s allowed to hate me.

Friday of this week I got a sore throat. Like couldn’t talk, kind of sore throat. It quickly escalated to a runny nose and into body aches, hot and cold flashes, and an 80 yr old smokers cough.

I was pretty bummed it hurt so bad to talk because I was really looking forward to calling my best friends and singing Phoebe’s rendition of “Smelly Cat” in my sexy sick voice.

Not only did I have it but Rylan got it too. Which meant our weekend and the first Sunday football of the season was spent in bed being taken care of by my husband. Thanks to the TV in my room I got to watch my Raiders win. Thanks to DayQuil and Alieve I didn’t have to watch my Niners lose. I beat my other sister-in-law in fantasy so, you know, glass half full.

But come Monday Rylan and I were both sick and my husband had to go back to work. Never had I wanted to parent less in my life. I finally got a glimpse of what Jen deals with on a regular basis. Rylan couldn’t go to school because she was sick, my parents were both at work, Pats parents were both in Chico (well-played Jen haha), and I wanted to die. Not to mention no one wants to babysit a sick kid.

Of course my kid is sick but also has energy to run from her bed room to the living room, grabbing a bite of food, then back to her room to watch her show on her iPad. Yes she got it all day because I was dying. No mom shaming or Karma’s going to bitch slap you with my cold/flu.

Any way we survived on power aid, Dora the explore an over the counter medication. Oh and an offensive amount of essential oils. If you even walk by our house right now you might sneeze, feel, relaxed, and have your mood lifted all at the same time! Maybe give it some time though we were all just sick.

So ending the summer with the worst cold in history and sending Jen my sincerest apologies and promises to help more in the future. More trips to Chico, more taking her kids when I can, more nights out without the kids when she’s here. That last one just makes sense with so many babysitters in town we can have some much needed fun.

Side note: looking for cute sister-in-law quotes or pictures on Pinterest to add on here…. there aren’t any! They are all so mean! Once again bragging about how blessed I am. But thank you Jesus for two great sister-in-laws that don’t make me post horrible thing about them. So you got a picture of Rylan and her cousins instead.