Five Minute Friday – Break


I’m participating in this week’s Five Minute Friday.  This week’s word is “break”.  Here we go:

Break…I need one.  Badly.  As I type this, my 6 yo daughter is whining from the bath that she wants to get out.  My house is a total disaster.  My husband is eating ribs that he made on his smoker while almost burning up the smoker.  He is saying to leave her in there because she has been so whiny today.  His frustration and her whininess feed off of each other.  Our puppy is out back, but she will soon be in and mauling everyone and everything in sight.  I talked to my  mom today who is in hospice and she was crying.  My life is currently exhausting, frustrating and completely overwhelming.

I know this is just a temporary thing.  I know that my mom will not be here forever and I have to appreciate the time I have with her.  I know that my daughter will grow up and instead of whininess, we will get attitude and slammed doors and silence.  I will miss these days, not because of what these days were (I will never miss that), but because they will have gone by and people will leave us or change.  But, when you’re in it, it is really hard to appreciate that.  So, I keep trying to remind myself that this, too shall pass, and I will wish for these days back, despite the difficulty and the sadness and the frustration and the mess.

But, for now, I would just like a break.

—-> That’s it, five minutes is up.  What about you?  Consider joining Five Minute Friday and sharing your five minutes of thoughts with us!

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thought Sundays

Well, tonight’s thoughts are mostly on the coming week ahead.  I’m going back to work, my DD is going back to school and I’m wishing we had another week.  But, I’ve had some other thoughts as well…

First off, parenting is hard work, even with only one child.  I see parents with multiple children and think they must be crazy.  I mean, who would go through it with one and rationally decide and even PLAN to have another, let alone go through it again with a second and do it yet again.  But, there are many out there who not only make that choice, but then seem to handle it with grace and a professionalism that can only come with experience.  I’m impressed by them.  I’m inspired to do better by them.  I’m sometimes intimidated by them.  But, more often than not, I’m just confused by them.  So, hat’s off to those of you with more than one child!  You deserve some recognition!

Second, Mister Rogers is my hero.  Seriously.  The guy was perfection.  I miss him.  I get to revisit some of him in Daniel Tiger with my DD (and she loves Daniel Tiger and has learned a ton from it), but I sometimes make her watch the old episodes with the real Mister Rogers.  The 70s lighting and such does not interest her like the cartoon, but it makes me wistful, and thankful.

And speaking of the 1970s, was Mister Rogers the only person being a good parent back then, or are we all just crazy now.  Read this from Mamapedia and let me know what YOU think…

I really, really wish we had named our puppy Snakefinder because of the PetSmart commercial.  I just love the way it rolls of the tongue and it sounds tough, but ridiculous, all at the same time.

The Heart and Sole Walk on Saturday was a pretty good time.  They had these little “Selfie” signs for pictures, but I think we may have been the only one using them for such purposes.  The heart specific ones were particularly poignant for us:

Heart and Sole Walk 2015

Well, those are some of my Stray Thoughts for this Sunday.  Where are your stray thoughts going?

If we were having coffee today…


I found this meme a while back on Study.Read.Write. and I have not followed up on posting on it regularly.  But, I love the premise, so I’m going to go ahead and post for a second time today (!).  Two posts in one day, talk about unprecedented!  So, grab a cup o’ joe and join me at the table!

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how much I wish I was rich or had investors who would give me some money to start a coffee shop here in Chico that had a kid’s play place – kind of like this place, which isn’t too far from us.  I really need to get some work done and I really need some coffee right now, but none of the coffee shops in Chico have much to offer a six year old.  So, here I sit.  It is probably better this way because it saves me money and allows me to get stuff done around the house, but I still think it would make a ton of money if it opened here.  So, there is my retirement plan.  I might ask if you know any investors I could hit up – or if you have some extra cash laying around yourself.  I guarantee it would be a money maker.  I can’t count the number of times mothers in the mothers club have talked about where to go for coffee and a play date.  McDonald’s just doesn’t cut it, but it is one of the only choices to keep smaller kids entertained.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I’m dreading going back to work on Monday.  Really.  Dreading it.  I’m not usually like this after a week off, but this time I really enjoyed my time off and I can see it extending well into the future and not becoming a disappointment to me.  Of course, not having an income would become a disappointment to me, so I’ll be going back to work for sure.  :)

If we were having coffee today, I would talk about how I’m torn between wanting to be more physically fit and just not having the motivation to do what needs to be done to make that happen.  I did a one mile fun walk this morning with my DD that was done in coordination with a 5K fun run and I really want to do 5Ks, but I HATE running.  I always have.  I used to swim competitively and I always felt like I was built for water sports, not those on the ground and running was a particularly painful enterprise for me.  But, now I have a bad shoulder thanks to the 20+ years of competitive swimming so I need to find some other form of exercise.  My schedule really kills my ability to take classes since it is constantly changing, so running seems like the simplest and most reasonable alternative.  But, it is running.  5Ks are always so much fun and seem so social.  I would love to be able to do that short amount of running and run in one once a month or so.  So, I might ask you if you had any advice for me to stick with a couch to 5K program.  I also might ask if you had advice about good shoes because that has also been a sticking point for me in the past.  I have a decent pair of Sauconys now, so I feel like I might have what I need in the short term.  Hmmmmmmm…

At this point, I would probably say I should get back home to grade and clean and grade and watch more of the Murder She Wrote marathon on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.  I would ask if you have some time next weekend for coffee again, as this was really a nice break…


Six Word Saturday – Spring Edition


Spring Break, warm weather, too short.

This week has been BLISS!  It hasn’t all been just sitting around the pool reading and drinking coffee, but there was definitely some of that, as witnessed above.  But, it is weeks like this that make me wish at times that I did not have a job…or two.  I have done some grading and I’m closer to being caught up, although I will have to make a push on that today and tomorrow to finish it up completely.  But, I’ve been able to spend time having fun, get things done around the house that have been hanging over me FOREVER (can anyone say laundry? cleaning up the back yard a bit? taking the donations to the thrift store?).  I still have quite a bit to do, but I’m feeling like I have half a grip on things now (instead of hanging on by my fingertips, which is where I’ve been for the past couple of months).

It isn’t all peaches and cream around here, but small improvements relieve a lot of my stress and then I can focus on the issues and tasks that need to be dealt with.  Which is a lot, but the list is getting smaller.  Slightly smaller.

Today, my DD and I are walking in a 1 mile fun walk for our local hospital’s heart center.  There is a 5K too, but she felt like that would be too long, so we’re doing the shorter one.  It should be fun. I’m meeting up with someone new from a Meetup group I just joined, so that is a little stressful, but I’m sure it will be great.  There will be lots of fun stuff to do afterwards and then we can come home and relax and I can get some more things done.

Tomorrow, I’m volunteering at DD’s Sunday School, where we haven’t been in a couple of months.  With flu season, my travel schedule and my mom’s illness it just hasn’t been in the works.  But, hopefully we’ll get back this week and make it a more regular part of our weekly schedule now.  DD loves Sunday School and church is always a welcome respite during the week for me.

Then, Monday…dreaded Monday.  Spring Break is over and I’m back to the work grind.  But, hopefully without the pile of grading hanging over my head and with a better plan for dealing with the stuff coming in from students and a plan for my classes for the rest of the semester.  That may be a bit much to hope for, but hey, hope is all about optimism, right?

What’s your Saturday looking like?

Participating in Six Word Saturday at Show My Face!

Five Minute Friday – REAL


I am participating in Five Minute Friday over at Heading Home again (feels like forever since I’ve last been here and I’ve missed it).  Today’s prompt is “real” – so, here goes:

Well, I feel like sometimes “real” is something I just want to escape.  Real life has been a bit rough lately for me.  But, unlike when we were little, we’re stuck with it.  I mean, I can escape for a little while sometimes but the “real” is always there, hanging over my shoulder, tapping me and telling me I’d better get back to it or it might do something awful.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of good about the “real” too.  I love that I “really” have a 6 yo daughter who has survived some amazing medical issues and is healthy and happy.  I love that I “really” have a marriage that I can be proud of (most of the time, let’s be “real” – no marriage is perfect).  And I love that I have a “real” job that still allows me to go to college (I teach college).  :)

But, the “real” also has brought my Dad’s death and my mom’s illness and my siblings’ troubles.  It has brought my daughter’s medical issues, which will be ongoing throughout her life.  It also brings hardships on my friends and their families.  But, maybe this part of the “real” is necessary for us to appreciate all the good parts of the “real”.

There are changes I want to make in my life to make improvements in myself and for my family.  But, a lot of what I have is “real” good.  It is a work in progress and as long as we make progress, we’re in good shape.


Will you join me for a five minute write?  Link up over at Heading Home!

Thumbs Up Thursday: Vacation Edition


Well, I have SO failed on my 31 posts in 31 days mission.  But, maybe I’ll try again in April.  We shall see.

I just got back from a mini-vacation (two days) and we had a great time.  So, I’ll relate today’s Thumbs Ups to items related to my vacation:

1) TAKING VACATION!  We aren’t really the vacationing type of family.  We try to do one major vacation a year with Bean, but we often fail in that effort and end up doing some short trips or visiting family and not really doing anything “special”.  We’ve done two vacations that I would call total successes – one with my in-laws to Lake Almanor and one to Oregon.  Both were really a lot of fun.  But, they are stand outs.  And I love to travel and do family trips.  So, we did a mini-vacation this Spring Break.  We drove just an hour to our destination (which made it easy to do and not waste a lot of time driving) in Redding CA and we stayed in the Oxford Suites and we used my DD’s gift from our in-laws (annual passes) to visit Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum three times while there!  We also swam in the hotel pool two times, ate breakfast at the hotel each morning and then meals out the rest of the time (which, unfortunately weren’t great, but hey, I didn’t have to do the dishes).  We played Candy Land as a family a couple of times (we bought the nostalgia version at the Museum gift shop and it is awesome).  Overall, it was great and I am so thankful to have time together and away from home and just to relax.  I didn’t open my laptop while there (which is incredibly unusual for me and I’m proud of myself for that), which means I will need to do some catch up on grading and blogging and email, but that’s okay.  It felt good to just vacation.  I read over half of the book that I’m currently reading (The Girls of August) and it was blissful.

2) TURTLE BAY EXPLORATION PARK.  This isn’t a new place to us, but there is always something new to discover there.  If you’re ever in Northern California and can make it to Redding, CA, consider visiting this place.  It is best for people who love animals or plants and/or who have children between the ages of 2 and 12 (about).  There are a ton of things to do in the area – the Exploration Park includes a museum that has two exhibitions showing.  Sometimes there are fun ones (like the candy one we visited today) and some are more artistic (like the other current exhibition which is a photography show featuring Northern California landmarks), but they are always interesting.  We had a great time all three times that we went this weekend.  Our favorites are the Lorikeets, my DD loves the play area and water feature and the animal show during the summer months is great, learning fun!

Motivational Monday – Spring Break Edition

pi joke

A little humor in honor of Pi Day this weekend.

Well, motivational Monday is upon me once again.  And once again, I am feeling a little lacking in motivation.  I am thankful it is Spring Break and I have no instructional duties for a week as I have a TON of grading to get caught up on and it would be nice to go back to school with it all graded and entered in the grade book and prepped through the end of the semester, which is actually spiraling towards us at break-neck speed it seems.  So, I guess I’m kind of motivated to do that.  I am also motivated (sort of – I’m feeling a bit ambiguous about my motivations versus my must-dos, but in the end, if I can converge those two things it would be great) to get all the laundry caught up and get the house somewhat clean and organized.  Oh, and I HAVE to clean up the backyard because the dog comes in with stickers all over her every time she spends any amount of time out there because of all the weeds.  So, yeah, my Spring Break is basically booked up.

But, I am also motivated to spend some quality family time doing things that are fun this week.  So, tomorrow we are heading an hour and a half north of us to Redding, CA to stay a couple of nights in a hotel (which, in itself would be enough for my DD) and go to Turtle Bay Exploratory Park (one of our favorite family outings, which we have annual passes to thanks to my in-laws) and maybe find a couple of other touristy things to do (although playing in the pool and reading and relaxing sounds like enough things to do for me).

Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing pretty good in that area.  I’ve already read three books since the beginning of the year, which is really good for me during the school year.  I’ve stayed off of Candy Crush at night and read instead and I’ve been motivated to finish books!  I’m excited about re-establishing my reading habits and I’m motivated to get as many books read this year as possible!  So far, I’ve read Inferno by Dan Brown, The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian and Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenblaum.  I am currently reading The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons which seemed like a good read for Spring Break.

I think that motivation sometimes stems from desperation (the procrastinator’s way) and some of my motivation will be coming from that (laundry, grading, etc.), but other motivation stems from desire and that will be my motivation to read and spend quality time vacationing with my family.  So, I’ve definitely got some motivation going on this week.

What about you?  What is motivating you this week and what are you motivated to do?