Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Tonight Ainsley and I had our first pottery class.
We'd tried to get in last session but didn't get placed in the lottery.  She was so excited to try again this spring and though I was weary of the late timing (goes until 8:30!) and already full afternoon (Louise has ballet just before it across town) I obliged.
I am so so glad I did.

It's two hours of time with my girl, just us two, doing something we both love, making and getting messy.  She bounded down the stairs in a floor length skirt, necklace and dress shoes, ready to go.  I insisted she go change because we were going to get DIRTY.  For once she actually listened and we headed out for our night.
The class is essentially an open studio time, with instructor Chris, a twenty something ceramist who's as chill as they come. We were surrounded by 8-12 year old girls and their mom's, all who had taken the class before.  The doted on us both, especially Ainsley, showing us the ropes and helping us along.
For me it's a chance to make again.  I really really loved pottery in college.  I'm glad to get to do it gain.
For Ainsley it's a chance to learn something new, to create and use her imagination, her two favorite things.
For us it's a special time together without siblings or distractions.
I'm really really thankful for this class with my girl.  I know it's going to be a really good thing.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Meal Plan 3/9

Oh goodness the food.  We're still all a bit sick which makes cooking so very interesting.  After vowing to not get take out this whole month we caved TWICE this last week just because I felt that pathetic.  But yay for cheap fried rice and burritos.

This next week I'm all geared up and after two Costco trips last week and a giant Trader Joe's run this morning I think we're finally caught up and ready.  We have family coming this next weekend so with 9 mouths to feed for an extra 5 days I had my work cut out for me.  I know to leave some wiggle room for meals out and treats but wanted lots of big batch easy good food to keep us having fun and full.  I hope it works!

Dinners just for us 5 this week::
Zucchini Pancakes and Bavarian Sausages
Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Sautéed Greens and Garlic Bread
Leftover Lentil Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie and Man's Dish
BBQ Chicken with Rice and Roasted Cauliflower (TJs has a new BBQ sauce with siracha and roasted garlic, I'm excited to try it out!)
Tuna Melts, Tater Tots, Cooked Carrots

Big dinners for when family is here::
Crock Pot Asian Chicken, with Rice and Vegetables
Sunday Roast with Mashed Potatoes
Top Your Own Pizzas
Hot Dogs and Baked Beans and Homemade Macaroni
Ian's Homemade Spaghetti with Salad and Garlic Bread

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

New Table, Ready for Spring!!!!

I'm writing this from our new dining room table while Felix eats an egg to my left and the girls are watching the end of Totoro straight ahead in the living room.  Everyone was up at 6, including me.

After months and months of complete health we've all been sick in some way the past two weeks and it's catching up with me.  The cold, the sick, not seeing friends other than in passing.  It's been the pits.

Still March is feeling hopeful.  At the end of the month we travel to Florida for 8 glorious days.  Next week there are predicted highs in the 50s! Just yesterday we were discussing our spring garden.  Louise is desperate for a plum tree (poor disappointed girl!) and Ainsley just wants some place for her fairy friends to visit.  I am hopeful for a bit more sun in our small backyard plot thanks to the village FINALLY trimming the boulevard trees that have been overgrown for years.
I know in a matter of days the last of the coughs and runny noses will leave us and in their place will be warmth and outdoor time and lungs full of fresh air.  I can't wait.

The girls are obsessed with Monument Valley.  It's such a neat beautiful app.

Some of these photos are from a bit back.  I finally got Ian's phone photos on here and wanted to make sure I shared them.  He takes some of the best portraits of the kids.  I love them!

Perhaps the most notable thing in our lives right now is our new dining table.  
I'll start with a couple of photos of the kids crafting on our old table for contrast.

Do you see that gaping crack down the middle where the leaves just wouldn't connect anymore?  We got our dining table when we were first married from Ian's parents.  It looked so cute in our first apartment and felt so grand with the TWO leaves we could put in when company came.  It was just right for us, classic, sturdy, vintage to say the least.  Perfect.

Oh my goodness, our first apartment!

Then we had three kids and used it every day all day long and it just never worked well in our dining room with our giant old rickety wooden floor register that we had to work around.  If we have more than two extra people over for dinner it just doesn't fit us all.  
I've been looking very sporadically but honestly didn't know which direction to go.  I was willing to save up to get something nice that would last us forever., but am truthfully too cheap to shell out full price for just about anything. I've gotten good at putting big wants on the back burner and since the table was still technically functioning we made do.
Then on a whim I checked craigslist last Friday and there it was.  The perfect table, in Oak Park, for $400.  I jumped on it.  Ian went with our empty van on Saturday to pick it up.  We lugged it all inside and it's absolutely changed my life.

Sadly I have yet to get a great photo of it, but these will have to do for now.

I can lay out an ENTIRE sewing pattern and fabric on it.  We all fit! With so much room to spare.  The benches are absolutely ideal.  The kids can't drag them around the house like they could the chairs and they love sliding on them and laying on them.  When we have our family friends over (who also all have at least two children) we'll fit!  It fits so perfectly in our dining space and miraculously blends perfectly with all of the other wood in our house.  We'll have it forever. It's just so perfect. (I can't think of another word for perfect right now or I'd try to switch it up I promise)
I'm in love.

So, lots of good things really.  Being sick gave me time to watch lots of Gilmore Girls and the Great British Baking Show we gave me all kinds of feel good feelings and made me want to move to rural England, again.  I am so ready for spring, SO Excited for the warm up predicted for this next week.  My dad gave me new running shoes for my birthday and they are all ready to go once the sidewalk ice finally melts (seriously they've been ice covered for ALL of February!!!).
We talk lots about seasons in our house and I stand firm that I love them.  I love the beginning of them, and I LOVE the end.  I'm always so ready for the next one to come.  
Spring we're ready for you!!!