Sunday Brunch

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Yesterday was Dave Matthews and the house to myself while I cooked a big brunch.

Yesterday was strawberries and cream cheese stuffed french toast  and fresh blackberries with lime and honey (my favorite and only way to eat them).  And also bacon.

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Yesterday was a hike, and a nap (or a 15 mile run, if you’re Silas–I took the nap route, obvs) and family dinner.

Yesterday was cloudy and cool and lovely.  Rare for Arizona, but some of my favorite weather.

Let’s have yesterday once more, please.  Shall we put it to a vote?

 

—-

Hope you had a lovely weekend filled with lovely food, as always.  What lies ahead for you this week?  I have to admit that I have a serious case of Monday melancholy.  Time to go watch cat videos.

And speaking of cat videos, if you haven’t seen Dubstep Cat….DO IT.  You’re welcome.

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Anatomy of a Friday Morning

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For the last several days, I’ve been a bit of a…oh, what’s the word…cranky bitch.

So today, in spite of the ongoing irritibility and general “I’m done with life and all I want to do is watch Season 2 of Veronica Mars and eat Chewy Sprees until I can’t feel my tongue anymore”-ness, I decided to have some caffeine, woman up, and take this day by the horns.

The boys chopped strawberries.

20140328_081538and ate them.

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I cooked up some delicious apples…and burnt them a bit.

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There were spilled smoothies

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and nests made.

20140328_091552(Desmond’s face…)

We had German apple pancakes (pancake?) for the first time

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and let me just say–delicious.  In fact, the child who whined for about 15 minutes straight that he didn’t “want apple pancakes!” ended up eating twice as much as I did.

Food really does make everything better sometimes.

 

——

I hope your Friday is delicious and your weekend is even more so.  I’m thinking of making some sort of chorizo pizza tonight…

 

 

 

Life Lately, Bullet-Pointed

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We’ve been making much use of the Nutri-bullet my mom got us for our birthdays.  We’ve had a Ninja for a few years and it’s great, but not so good for making single-serving smoothies, or things like hummus, salad dressings, etc.  I have an old food processor that I’ve been using for the smaller jobs but it left many undesirable chunks in the finished product.

Speaking of birthdays, Silas turned 28 yesterday!  We went to see Divergent and ate a billion Chewy Sprees during the movie.  I couldn’t feel my mouth afterward.  (Divergent was definitely not his pick but he said it wasn’t as cheesy as some of the other YA-type movies he’s been forced to watch.  I say, two thumbs up and I really liked who they picked for Tris and Four.)

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We found a few new parks (and the library!! best day ever), and, first impression? Everyone here is so friendly.  I’m already having a much different experience than I did in our last place.  Women have gone out of their way to talk to me and a few have even given me their numbers and said we should meet up.  FRIENDS, YOU GUYS.  FRIENDS.

We were only in our last house for about 8 months but I never really ended up making any friends.  I was really lonely (mostly my fault, I guess) and felt so isolated.  Here, we live close to everything and it seems like people are just extra-friendly, even at the grocery stores.  I’m really grateful.

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I’ve gotten lazy as my hair has gotten longer, and haven’t been trying as many new hairstyles as I did when I was desperately growing it out.  I used one of Kate’s tutorials today, and it turned out super cute.  Not that you can tell from the fuzzy picture.

 

Well, that’s all the nonsense I have for you guys today.  Heather out.

Peace.

 

 

 

Never Ever Change Your Name: A Cautionary Tale

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[Look at how blissfully naive we were.]

So remember how I told you I was going to get a new drivers license on my birthday?

WELL LET ME JUST TELL YOU HOW THAT WENT.

Long story short, I will be driving on an expired license for the next few weeks.

Long story long…buckle up, kids.

So after driving around a bit, I finally found the DMV (MVD…whatever) and waltzed in.  Oh, look!  I thought.  There’s no one in line!  This won’t take long at all.

HA.  (That’s foreshadowing, in case you didn’t know.)

I was informed shortly after arriving that I would need my birth certificate to verify my identity.  Okay, no problem.  I don’t live too far away, I’ll just drive back and get it.

When I got back, the line was wrapped around past the bathroom.  Fast-forward 40 minutes, and I had made it through the line, gotten my photo taken, and was waiting to be called up.

Number B115 to window 8.  B115, window 8.

At last, my time had come!  I could see the end in sight.

Except.

“Well, the problem is that the names on your birth certificate and your drivers license don’t match.”

Well, duh.  I got married 6 years ago and changed my name.  It hasn’t ever caused me any problems before.

“Well, my social security card has my married name on it…” I offered, hoping that would seal the deal.

“Mmm, yeah…we’re actually going to need to see the certified copy of your marriage certificate, to prove that the person on your old license is the same as the person on your birth certificate.”

Huge sigh.  Drive back home.  Find marriage certificate.  Drive back.  (At this point, my wee morning headache has turned into a more massive one, and I’m so hungry I feel I might throw up soon.)

“Yeah, um…this isn’t a certified copy.”

I stared.  You have got to be kidding me.

“Well, it’s the only copy I was given.”

“Yeah, you’re going to need to call the courthouse in Utah and order a certified copy.”

%$#@!

Oh, and she didn’t mention that that little piece of paper would cost me $40.  And that unless I wanted to shell out another $20 on top of that, it would take a few weeks to get here.

So the moral of this story: don’t ever change your name and no one will have any reason to question your identity.  (Although I obviously obtained a license before without any problems, so what is your deal, Arizona?)

But on to happier things.

I did eventually get some food, and I did not vomit all over a DMV employee (although how poetic would that have been?).  Aaaand, the hair salon was able to squeeze me in!

 

Before:

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After:

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I LOVE IT.  I’ve been growing out the pixie for 15 months and had this sort of accidental ombre look going on, and it was time for a change.  I love it so much and I probably cannot afford to maintain it, unless I can figure out how to trim my own bangs and dye my hair at home without screwing it up.

I think next time I want to put in a teal streak…

 

——

Any DMV or haircut stories?

 

 

It’s Mah Birthday

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[Celebrating 25 by forcing Hobbes into a selfie.]

Unfortunately there will be no partying or sipping of Bacardi, as the 50 Cent song suggests.

But, my parents are coming over to watch the boys and later have a birthday dinner with me, and I am going to spend the morning at the DMV getting a new driver’s license.  So that is something now, isn’t it?

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[Siah was having NONE OF IT.]

I’m also hoping to squeeze in a haircut if they can get me in today (not likely but miracles still happen, right?).  Getting my hair done happens pretty rarely (as my straggly ends will attest), but it is one of my favorite ways to treat myself.  Plus I have a Groupon.

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Have a lovely March 18th!  I’m pretty fond of it.

Be Back Soon!

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Right now I’m swimming in boxes.  My lovely parents graciously offered to take the boys for a couple days so that Silas and I could do the moving and unpacking.  It has been a much more arduous and time-consuming process than we expected it to be.  I swear it’s never taken this long to get settled into a place before.

Yesterday we learned that twelve Krispy Kreme donuts and two lattes is too much for two people.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, we ate it all…but we regretted it.

Speaking of regret, I am once again deeply regretting my decision to keep all of our dry goods in glass jars.  We seriously have more than two dozen of them.  Let’s make a short list of things you should avoid having if you are going to be moving every year or so:

Glass of any sort–it’s time to retire your mason jars and wine glasses and accept the life of a plastic-cup toting nomad.

Fragile decorations, including decorative mirrors–you know what makes for a lovely living space?  Fabric.  Just drape it over everything and stick it on the walls.  It’s easy to pack, not breakable, and not heavy.

And speaking of heavy–Just get rid of all of your furniture.  Bookcases, dressers, bed frames, dining sets–throw them all out.  All you really need are a few cushions in the living room and a mattress on the floor of your bedroom.  Embrace that minimalistic, eastern aesthetic.

Get into weightlifting. We somehow managed to get everything in and out of the truck by ourselves, but not without great struggles on my part.  I am definitely the weakest link.

——

We’re going to need a couple of days to settle in, but I will be back soon with words of wit and wisdom.  Or pictures of my cats.  You know how it goes.

8 Things I’ve Learned on My Intuitive Eating Journey

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1.  Perfection is a myth.  Tonight we had pizza and I wasn’t hungry at all but I was super cranky and irritable and pissed about everything…so I ended up trying to numb my feelings with 5 pieces of pizza.  Every time I think I’m past this, it happens again.  I may never fully overcome it, but it happens much less frequently than it used to, and that is how I measure progress.

2.  How not to respond to a binge or overeating episode: Taking a bunch of laxatives or other medication, going on a 2-hour run, swearing to all deities that you will not eat a single thing for the rest of the week, going on a liquid fast, mentally berating yourself and wondering when you are ever going to get your shit together.

3.  How to respond to a binge or overeating episode: Don’t freak out.  Seriously.  Acknowledge that it happened, acknowledge that you are sickeningly full and miserable and in pain–and realize that you will feel better tomorrow.  I try to go to sleep as soon as I can (as many of my binges happen at night), because by now I know that nothing is going to help the awful sickness pass but time.

4.  Food can be comfort, love, and an emotional painkiller.  Finding something to replace it is really hard.

5.  Talking about it helps.  Hiding your shame and pain and feeling like a worthless excuse for a human being with no self-control does not.  You need support.*  Find someone–a counselor, a friend, a family member, or an online support group–that you can talk to when you’re feeling shitty and all you want to do is eat your way into of a vat of chocolate frosting.

6.  You are not the only one.  You are not the only one who has ever eaten an entire pizza or package of Oreos by yourself.  You are not the only one who has pulled food back out of the trash and eaten it because you were like a (wo)man possessed and could not think of anything else.  You are not the only one who struggles.

7.  It is not about a lack of willpower.  You are not a weak person who just needs to suck it up and work harder.  You are someone who is dealing with something that others who toss “eat less, move more” at you may not understand.

8.  It gets better.  It can.  It does.  It will.

I promise.

——

*I am not qualified in any way to offer advice or counsel, but if you need someone to talk to and be on your team, I am always here.

Slowing Down

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My mind is so full right now.  I’ve been in full-on Plan and Change Everything About Myself and My Life mode and I can feel myself starting to burn out, slowly.  I don’t want to collapse and crash and lose all of this momentum and goodness I’ve been building up, so I need to take a little break.  I need to chill out for a bit, to occupy myself with something light and easy and unrelated to my life.  Maybe I’ll veg out and watch tv tonight, because even reading right now feels like it would crowd my thoughts too much.

Do you ever get like that?  Do you ever get so inspired or interested in something that you readreadread everything you can get your hands on about it and think about it constantly, and then at the end of the day you feel like your mind is swirling with words but none of them are making sense anymore and it’s just so crowded and busy in there and you just need to escape it all and not think for a while?

I don’t mean to make this sound more dramatic than it is.  Good good good things have been happening, and I have lovely plans for a bright future.  It’s just…a lot.  A lot of ideas, a lot of words, a lot of thinking.

Lists and sketches and more lists.

And yet, in spite of all my excitement and the mental chaos that is currently occupying my headspace, today was a day of really peaceful moments.

There was a morning walk, lunch out with Dad, lots of stories.  There was Tesla starting a load of laundry for me (by himself!) and both boys doing their own dishes, and using sharp, real knives to chop fruit for breakfast with no injuries.  There was me, finally slowing down for a moment, and letting them help.

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I made tortillas today, and the boys helped me roll the dough into balls.  The dough was the perfect consistency; slightly tacky without being too sticky, and moldable without being too airy or too dense.  It was practically mess-free (which is good for people like me who are still easing into the “messes are okay” mindset), and the boys, as always, loved helping and contributing.  I showed them how to form the little dough masses into balls, and they were bursting with pride when they showed Silas their creations.

I don’t lead a terribly busy life, in terms of outside commitments.  The busy, rushed feeling in my day is usually self-imposed, and my jumbled, scattered thoughts and need to do things just right and checklist of things I want to get done are setting a tone and pace for our daily life that I don’t really like.

As I’ve been thinking and planning lately, I’ve realized (once again), that I really need to slow down.  To slow down and read a story or play rather than trying to tick off all the boxes on my mental agenda.  To slow down and see my kids, and really be with them.

I’m not going to do the “childhood is short, so treasure every moment!” bit, because it is and it also isn’t.  I just want to feel peaceful, and peace isn’t something you rush toward at full speed.

Peace, to me, is a quiet, focused, present mind.  Peace is dealing with things as they come, and not regretting past mistakes or anxiously trying to avoid future ones.  Peace is that elusive centered, tuned-in feeling.

Peace is slowing down.  I can do that.

I think.

 

—-

Well, this is not at all what I had in mind to write about today, but these are the words that came pouring out.  If they made sense, good, if not, you’re a saint for reading anyway.

Love to all of you.

 

 

New Beginnings

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[p.s. the beer box has drinking glasses in it, since it came with these handy little inserts to hold them in place and hopefully keep them from shattering everywhere.  just so you know.  we’re not wasting valuable moving trailer space on cases of cerveza ;)]

Okay, so here’s the latest on the apartment saga (because I know you are all riveted): the place that I thought I’d found fell through.  I did the application, paid the fees…and then got a call the next day that “Ohhhh…well, it looks like somebody else has already taken it…”

I’m not going to lie, I dissolved into tears right there on the phone.

Later, Silas asked me if I had asked the leasing specialist if they had any other options for us and I was like, “No, I was CRYING TOO MUCH TO TALK TO HER.”  

Anyway.  So I once again started searching around, calling places…and on Sunday morning, one of them called me back!  They had a 3 bedroom (a 3 bedroom!!! thus far we’d only looked at 2 bedrooms) in [the upper upper end of] our price range, and it was available right now.  So we went to view it, and medium story short, if everything goes smoothly we should start moving in this week!

Even though this place isn’t nearly as nice as the one we almost got, I had a really good feeling as soon as we arrived yesterday.  It feels comfortable, quiet, safe…and right.  So, fingers crossed.  (And I’m sure your fingers are all crossed just because you’re sick of reading about my moving drama.)

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So now I’m drowning in lists…I need to get a new driver’s license (after 3 years in Arizona…it’s time.  I still have my Utah one that I got when I was 19 and it expires next week), cancel utilities at the house, set up utilities at the new apartment, return my pile of library books (but not before I write down all the titles so I can check them out at our new library, wherever it may be), etc etc.

Moving always inspires me. (Fun fact: this is our 7th move since we got married almost 6 years ago.) I succumb to the arrival fallacy and think that everything is going to be so much better with a fresh start.  I start making all these plans–I’m finally going to have daily, weekly, and monthly chore schedules, meal plans, scheduled learning time with the boys every day, we’re going to cut out all screen time completely (ha!)…basically, I’m going to be amazing and on top of everything.  Even though I haven’t managed to do any of that for the last 6 years, moving to a new place will bestow upon me great powers of organization and motivation!

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I know from past experience that most of these plans won’t stick, but that doesn’t stop me from making them.  Right now I’m in the beginning stages of drafting up a loose curriculum for homeschool (which I’m hoping to start with the boys this year…they both have late birthdays so I’m going to hold off on starting them in Kindergarten, which gives us the perfect opportunity to give homeschooling a shot).  And any of you who know me in real life are probably laughing your asses off that I am going to attempt homeschooling.  But hush yourselves and let me try.

I am also planning to make quiet time bins for Tesla, since he is moving away from taking naps (but I still needneedneed them), as well as chore lists for myself and the boys, a morning and evening routine chart, a flexible weekly meal plan…

Silas just shakes his head when I go through these phases, but I think by now he has learned to just sit back and watch.  You see, when I’m on, I am ON.  But these spurts of brilliance and energy are usually short-lived.  I realize this, but I guess I hope that if I draft up some loose routines, they will be able to carry me through the times when I’m…less able.

So here’s to dreaming and planning and schedules and routines and order and cleanliness.  Here’s to new beginnings.

—–

What gives you the “must improve everything right now” bug?  Is it strictly relegated to December 31sts and major life changes or do you get antsy with the change of seasons?

It’s Birthday Month!

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March is full of birthdays around here.  We have 5 March birthdays in my family, including Silas and myself.  I also have at least 8 friends with birthdays this month.  

So basically, cake.  That is what that means.

Today I made lemon pound cake with blueberry filling and lemon cream cheese frosting [pictured above] for my mom’s birthday.  My cakes may be ugly, but they taste mighty fine.

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Blueberry compote.  Yes.

I actually made two cakes, because we didn’t think there would be enough for everyone.  But when you’re eating a two-layer pound cake with filling and cream cheese frosting…you get full pretty quickly.  So we had an entire cake left over.

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I hadn’t baked in a while, so it was fun to cake it up today.  But those suckers took me all morning to make.  I might be done for this month.  Silas and I can stick some candles on a pizza or something.

 

—–

What is your favorite birthday cake (or treat, if you’re not a cake person)?  Honestly, I love a classic yellow cake with a good chocolate frosting.  It’s the best.