Monday, May 24, 2010

Separate Lives

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how drastically different my life is compared to that of my husband. He works late and is gone a lot. Which means I work late and single-parent a lot. Our work involves very separate things. And though we live under the same roof, we spend very little time together under that roof.

Mark's job involves the next big thing in the tech industry.
My job involves the next big thing in Gavin's diaper.

Mark accumulates sky miles.
I accumulate high piles...of laundry.

A couple weeks ago Mark had a chance encounter with Snoop Dogg.
A couple weeks ago I checked out the children's book Stray Dog.

For Mark, there is always another meeting, presentation, or conference call.
For me, there is always another feeding, play date, or trip to the mall.

Mark gets to buy the iPad, Kindle or other techy things for "research purposes".
I get to buy diapers, groceries or cleaning supplies for "household purposes".

Mark is always connected to his computer or phone.
I am mostly disconnected while I stay at home.

You get the picture. I guess I am just surprised by what little interaction (especially one-on-one) we have at this stage in our lives. I once heard a woman--mother of four whose husband traveled a lot--say that she made lists throughout the day of things she wanted to discuss with her husband. When he'd call to check in or return home from a business trip she'd go down the list and talk with him. At the time I thought, "How sad that she and her husband can't have a regular conversation without pulling out her paper and pen."

Then the other day I was going through stacks of papers, organizing things, and trying to make plans. And I realized there were a lot of things I needed to discuss with Mark. Calendar items...long-term goals...just plain "guess what the kids did today" talk. And the thought occurred to me to make a list. Yikes! Has it really come to this? Yes. Yes it has.

But if it's any least we're both focused on the future. We're working hard to create successful products/children someday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dinner is Served

Apparently I've been all kinds of productive lately. First crafting, now cooking. It's really quite miraculous, the feat you are about to witness. I have been reading and thinking a lot about healthy eating lately. And all that thinking motivated me to try out some new recipes--all healthy ones.

Now to any other joe this might seem like the norm. Prepare a well-balanced meal for your family every night? Of course! But things have gotten very laxed around this house. Generally I don't feed my family garbage, but I'm not the type to "watch what I eat" either. Most nights I consider it a success just to get food on the table, no matter if it's grilled cheese sandwiches or cold cereal. But for the past week or so I made a concerted effort to prepare only healthy dishes for my boys. And here is some evidence of those efforts.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw and Avocado Lime Dressing
(Yes, even the dressing was healthy)

Dijon Crusted Pork Tenderloin With Artichokes and Fresh Fruit

Gourmet Rotisserie Chicken and Potatoes, Roasted Corn and Fresh Cherries
(This dinner was compliments of our weekly farmer's market. I love the chicken and that corn is to die for!)

Grilled Steak with Quinoa Salad

Italian Chicken Vegetable Soup

Kashi Roasted Vegetable and Margharita Pizza with Fresh Fruit
(This one was a shortcut meal from the freezer, but it was delicious!)

Yes, preparing a good healthy meal each night is work. Especially when you've got a 10-month old suction-cupped to your leg at all times and a restless toddler in the background. But I think my efforts were fruitful. It felt good to be eating right. As felt good to know I was feeding my family a well-balanced meal AND it felt good to eat well. I highly recommend it.

But tomorrow night I think it's cocoa puffs for dinner. You're welcome Owen.

Monday, May 17, 2010


We recently held a weeknight church meeting on the topic of Provident Living. We focused on topics ranging from gardening and budgeting to storing food in our pantry. Going along with the theme, I decided to create a display table showcasing some ways to repurpose or refashion clothing. It's something I've seen a lot on the web lately and I thought it would be fun to share some ideas to reuse clothing, which seems so disposable sometimes.

There are some great ideas out there, but I didn't have a lot of time to sit and do projects. So I chose some simple ones that took anywhere from 10 minutes to a single afternoon to complete.

This one was the easiest by far. Seriously, it took just a few minutes to turn this t-shirt into a fun summer tote.

Another simple idea is to turn a cardigan into a pillow cover. So easy and so cute. No messing with a zipper or other closure. The cardigan does it for you!

I love this idea of turning a man's sweater into a boy's sweater vest. My friend Marissa shared this one with me and I couldn't wait to get my hand's on one of Mark's old sweaters to try it out. Unfortunately Mark isn't really a sweater guy. He had nothing for me to work with so I ran to the thrift store and picked this one up. Not too bad for a couple dollars.

And my favorite refashion has to be this one. Using a man's dress shirt to make a girl's shirt dress. This particular dress shirt was a favorite of Mark's. It used to be his dad's and was passed on to Mark, who wore it out almost completely. There was a hole near the collar and the underarms were faded. But he just couldn't get rid of it. Sentimental shirt turned shirt dress.

Now we don't have a little girl....but if we ever do I think she might just look adorable if we paired that shirt dress with one of these sweaters. They were purchased awhile back at Anthropologie just in case we ever had a girl. Too cute!

There are so many possibilities out there for reusing clothing and other items. I was pretty inspired by these little projects and hope I can find time to do more.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Training Wheels

I think I was six or seven before I learned to ride a bike without training wheels. So I was pretty impressed tonight when I saw this!

Just three years old! No running alongside his bike, helping him balance, then letting go while he wobbles around a bit. Smooth sailing from the get go! But how did he do it?

Well I suppose it started about a year ago when we got him a Skuut balance bike. He rode that thing around until he was able to cruise at top speeds with his feet off the ground. Then we bought him a regular pedal bike. He didn't take to the pedals very easily at first. He got frustrated because he couldn't go as fast as he could on the Skuut. So we decided to put training wheels on while he got the hang of it.

Then tonight the training wheels came off for the first time. And just like that, he rode like a pro.