Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Time!

My oldest Son w/ PopPop
I love Summer! Now don’t get me wrong, the other seasons have their good points too, but I think I bloom in the Summer. My family has strong summer traditions. We begin with a week on Long Island with my parents. Just me and my two boys, my husband joins us towards the end for a long weekend. It’s a great time of bonding with Grammy and PopPop. My two little guys are spoiled with brownies, piled high with whipped cream! Plus go-kart riding and mini golfing, tours through the local fire station – PopPop has been a volunteer there for over 50 years. My boys know the engines inside an out, just like I did! This year was an extra treat for my oldest, (he’s 12), PopPop took him to the rifle range and they bonded together over 22′s and targets!
Now he’s off to Scout camp with his Dad this week, while me and my little man (he’s 10) hang out together. He started Summer Day Camp while I go to work (3 days of the week). We have plans for free Slurpies (7-11), swimming at the community pool, watering our neighbors plants, renting movies, and watching WipeOut!
At the end of July we take a week to vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine. We visit GrandPaul there and just relax, unwind, check out the tide pools, gather shells, look for beach glass, watch the ocean, visit lighthouses, have lobstah races in the kitchen and then indulge in a lobstah dinner! Kennebunkport holds a special place in our hearts, since that is where my husband and I married 14 summers ago!
In August, I will be preparing for a new journey. We’ve decided to home school my oldest through his Middle School years. So I have a classroom to prepare. We are all very excited and a tad bit nervous. But we are considering this a family adventure!
Now, if I happen to win a beautiful floral Kitchen Aid Mixer from the Pioneer Woman… I see freshly baked banana bread, muffins, and cookies cranking through the kitchen daily!
Happy Summer to you and everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I just read a wonderful blog by Karl Staib -

10 Ways to Simplify Your Work Day

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I reflected on each of Karl's steps and wrote down how I already use the step or how I will incorporate it into my day going forward.  It felt so great to acknowledge what I already know and learn some new tips to make my days better!

Here's my list:
1. Clear away the clutter
    I always clear my desk at the end of the day so that I come in to a fresh clear space everyday.  This has worked for me for years, but I have to admit that as a part-time working Mom sometimes I can’t always finish what was in my “inbox”.  So, about 15 minutes before ending my work day, I take stock of the projects left and put them in an organized order to tackle in the morning.

2. Pomodoro Technique
    I give myself periodic breaks, especially before I “switch gears” to tackle a new project or task.  I didn’t know there was a term for this. Very interesting.

3. Short List
    I’m not a list person.  I’m trying to work on this, especially when I balancing between my part-time job, family, and running by own home-based business. A short list sounds a lot more manageable – thanks!
    Recently I read the story about “your frog”: the item on your list that you procrastinate doing.  Figure out what your “frog” is and put it at the top of your list, get it done first thing and just watch the energy flow for the rest of the day!

4. Give in early
    So true, some days!  It’s better to call it a day, or evening and just relax and go to bed.  You’ll have so much more energy the next day to tackle things.  I think the short list might work here too, write down what you didn’t finish and still need to accomplish so you can put your mind at ease.

5. Single-task
    I actually put this into effect today.  I wrote my list and took each item as a single task and plugged away all day, one task at a time – and checked them off as I completed them.  What a sense of satisfaction!

6. Say “no”
    That’s a hard one. I’m a helper and take on task upon task and request upon request – just keep adding to my mental list!  But then I’m not accomplishing my tasks.  I must remember: one task at a time (single-task) and say, "I’ll get back to you in 10 minutes or an hour." Or sometimes I ask the person requesting something to put it in an email to me so I can add it to my to do list.  By the time they do that, I’m usually free to give it all my attention and schedule it as necessary. 
    One thing I’ve run into, when I have practiced the statement “as soon as I finish this, I will give you my undivided attention” is it keep coming back at me.  I exercised the “if I could have 15 minutes to finish my task at hand, then I can give you my undivided attention,” line with my boss, and he keeps throwing back at me, trying to make me feel guilty about how I didn’t give him time, even though he agreed when I asked. It’s a double-edge sword, but I’m sticking to it!

7. Start with tea!
    I so love this!  I am a tea lover – I start and end my day with a cup of tea.  Just the warm mug in my hands is so soothing and calming.  It clears my mind and is so comforting.  This is my favorite step!

8. Don’t check email.
    This makes sense.  Just today I had an early meeting and then the day just went from this to that. It wasn’t until late afternoon before I checked email, and I got so many things done today.  But most days I do need to check email for proofs from printers, newspapers, etc. But I try real hard to look only for those and leave the “fun” stuff for later in the day when I have more time for that.

9. Limit your goals
    This is good advice.  Sometimes I get so excited about new things I want to do for my home business or plans for the family that it overwhelms my part-time regular job and vice versa and then I feel so burnt out and disappointed that I got nothing accomplished.  So I’m always reminding myself to be more realistic and take my time. "Enjoy the journey to your destination!"

10. Repeat the same phrase
    My husband and I ask our boys what their favorite part of the day is every night before bed to reinforce the positive and end our day on a happy note. It’s time for me to do something similar for my self and acknowledge those accomplishments too.  A gratitude journal is what I thought I would start. 

So thanks to Karl for creating such a simple list to simplify my day!  I’ve just taken in and created a personal list for myself.  It took this simple list to organize myself, appreciate what I already do, and acknowledge changes that I can make to improve my day.  Again, thanks!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Yesterday, we picked up my son Kyle's new eyeglassses. When he put them on for the first time, there was so much wonderment! "Mom, I can see that school bus up ahead!", "Mom, I'm taller! I feel 5 feet tall, or maybe 6 feet tall!" His Dad asked him how his new glasses were working today, "Awesome, Dad!"

As a Mom, I feel a bit guilty for not getting him to his annual check up sooner. Insurance makes it so hard to find a doctor you feel comfortable with and that accepts your insurance. But, moving forward... we've now found a wonderful eye doctor and my son has discovered a whole new world of "Wonderment"!

In just one day, his step is more confident and he's smiling a lot more. I can't wait until he comes home from school today and tells me all the "new" things he has seen today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow and More Snow!

I'm up late, anticipating our next snow storm. We already have about 30" inches of snow now, with another 10" anticipated. Incredible! I haven't seen this much snow since I was 12 years old, spending Easter in Presque Isle, Maine with my Aunt and Uncle. That Easter I saw 6 feet of snow! My brother, sister and I had the best sled and snowmobiling rides ever. I'm expecting my two boys, Kyle and Tyler, will have that type of memory this year in Northern Virginia.

We went sledding today and I actually took a ride down the hill too. That's what triggered the memory of all that snow in Maine. I'm not sure I've had a good sled ride since then. Today was the first time my husband and I went sledding together! Incredible again! How many times he has taken the boys out sledding and I haven't joined them. Watched, but not joined them. So today I did. Good family fun! I think we'll do it again tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Funny Farm

As I'm setting up my first blog today, the movie "Funny Farm", with Chevy Chase comes to mind. Particularly the scene where he finds out his wife not only wrote a book, but has been given an offer to have it published! Well, my husband loves to write and he has been published in many local newspapers. Plus, he loves to take photographs and has even one contests from many of them. Then there's me... I love reading what he writes, sometimes I even give him ideas, and sometimes I have so much inside my head that I want to write too!

So, here I am. I am challenging myself to express my hidden thoughts and ideas to paper (or computer screen)! My husband, Brad, is my inspiration. What will I write about? Oh, I don't know, maybe a book I'm reading, or something my two boys did today, or my view about family... maybe a poem, maybe I'll make something up. Whatever it is, I'm going to have fun doing it and I know my husband will be my main advocate and supporter! He'll be surprised by this, but proud too. It may encourage him to start his own blog and write down the stories he makes up with our boys before they get older and the stories soon forgotten.