Through the Lens Thursday: View

We had a four day weekend for Thanksgiving last week, and this was our view for three of the four days, basically.


We had a lot of family time, and some of it was quality. Thanksgiving didn’t quite go as planned, and Friday…well, Friday I had a lot of that cranky mood cabin fever that I get on the weekends sometimes when we’re all very much together. But, things turned around Saturday and Sunday….we even discovered our love of family Scrabble.


And then the kids went back to school and the outside world stopped raining and sleeting and thawed out. Because of course.


Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that I’m doing again this year.

Next week’s prompt is PACKED. (Only a few left for the year!)

Through the Lens Thursday: Sign

A sign:

sign4 iso200 f3.2 1-60

A sign that, after a week or so of nice weather, winter is returning:

sign iso200 f3.2 1-60

A sign that I’m in denial about that:

sign3 iso200 f3.2 1-60

A sign that my friends love and know me well:

sign3 iso800 f3.2 1-50

A sign that my kids will do anything to delay getting ready for school:

sign2 iso800 f3.2 1-50

A sign that my cat needs more attention (or likes girl talk in the mornings):

sign iso800 f3.2 1-50

What signs do you see this week?


Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is TABLE.

Project 365: Week 10

March 2

I went from running the Disney World half to training for another half marathon in April, and I’m not gonna lie….I’m getting a little burnt out. I’ve still got almost five weeks until the next one, and I just want to get it over with at this point. I did the Mamavation 5K on Sunday….I planned to run 8 miles, but I had run 8 miles for at least three weeks prior, and just couldn’t do it. I ran 4 miles instead.

5k sunday

March 3

Ivy helped me out with some food photography Monday. (And if you haven’t seen the muffnuts I made, check them out and make them immediately).

foodie monday

March 4

The kids celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday on Tuesday by wearing red and reading a lot of his books and eating cake.

seuss tuesday

March 5

Wednesday was all about the floopy hairdo.

floop wed

March 6

I was hard at work on the computer all afternoon Thursday while the kids played together in Erv’s room upstairs (where a lot of the toys are). Apparently they were also hard at work, though, too because when I let the big two in after getting off the bus, I saw this display on the stairs. Quite impressive, really.

stairs thurs

March 7

Erv, has been “reading” a lot, and it’s about the only time that he’s quiet and not destroying a room (or stairs, as seen in the previous photo).

reading fri

We also went out to lunch, the grocery store, and a spontaneous trip through the car wash.

car wash fri

March 8

We went to a craft party on Saturday to celebrate a couple of birthdays in our family. There was roller skating, and (obviously) crafting, and a lot of eating, and even basketball in the community room. Can you tell I’m ready for spring?

essie mama

Let It Go, Winter. #iPPP

I think this winter has done me in. I woke up Sunday in a foul, foul mood and never came out of it. Even after sending everyone upstairs and getting on the treadmill (which usually turns a woke up on the wrong side of the bed day around), I still didn’t want to talk to anyone. So of course, that was when everyone wanted all of the attention.

Anyway, Monday wasn’t much better. It’s been below freezing here since Saturday, the heater is cranked up, and I just don’t want to get out of bed.

The littlest one has all but given up naps. Plus, he’s turning three THIS MONTH. I can’t say I’m thrilled about either of those things, if I’m being honest.

So. What can I do except throw a pity party and invite everyone over for cake? I guess I can try to look for some good things that are happening.

One good thing about freezing temperatures are that I usually take a shower in the morning and my hair freezes on the way to and from school drop off. It’s obnoxious and uncomfortable. BUT, it also eliminates almost all of the frizz that normally plagues me. So even though I desperately need a trim, my hair doesn’t look half bad. Until I pull it back and get on the treadmill anyway.


What else? Well, according to Weather Whiskers, it IS supposed to warm up this week. (Please join me in crossing fingers that there’s no snow Wednesday. Please.)


Though my sweet boy is getting older without my permission, he’s also been really funny lately. He’s found his personality and his imagination, and it’s quite entertaining. One of the things that cracked me up this week was when he’d come into the room and say “Oh uh, hiya, mama!”

Screenshot 2014-03-04 09.40.52

Angela shared this video Tuesday morning, and I freakin’ teared up. I’m not even kidding. I love Jimmy Fallon and the Roots SO SO SO MUCH, and then add in one of the winter anthems in our house? That includes a whole lotta BELTING OUT? AWESOME. I watched it twice. At least. I’ll probably watch it again tomorrow morning. Or when the girls get home from school. Or both.

We’ve eaten a lot of cake lately, but we’ve also been baking. Hubs was kind enough to make gluten free pastries for us, and then I made little donut muffins the next day. Yeah, some cinnamon and sugar will cheer anybody up. Am I right?

And when they were done, I had a food photography protégé. (I will be sharing the recipe. Oh yes, I will.)

Ivy photog

Last but not least, my dry winter skin is so, so happy to be pampered by real French soap again.


How is your winter going? Have any good winter news to share? (Like, that’s it’s almost over??)

The Angelas (of Jumping With My Fingers Crossed and Angela Amman) and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week. All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera. Link up below, and don’t forget to visit some of the others!


Project 365: Week 9

It’s March now, but you can’t tell from looking outside.

Feb. 23

I honestly have no idea what we did last Sunday. I have a feeling it wasn’t much. This was the one and only picture I took, apparently, while Ivy and I were hanging out on the couch.


Feb. 24

Every day, these two.

skeet 2

Feb. 25

This girl…I wish I could be half as cool as her sometimes.


Skeeter Kitty keeps the challenge in blogging, yo. And also the warmth.


Feb. 26

You know when it’s 9pm and everybody’s in bed and you’re in pajamas and you realize that you haven’t taken a picture even though you’ve taken a picture every day for well over a year and then you promptly forget that you haven’t taken a picture until the next morning? Yeah. That.

Feb. 27

Oh, Thursday.


Feb. 28

We had lunch with a good friend and her son (hey, Liz!), and then ended up at the Toy Store.

toy store

Friday nights are exciting around here. Minecraft all around!


March 1

Yesterday, Ivy came home from her first sleepover and Henry went to another one at his best friend’s house. The rest of us stayed home and waited for the ice and snow storm (that wasn’t nearly as bad as they said it would be). I drank a lot of coffee out of my new mug.

owl mug

Project 365: Week 8

We had five full days of school this week, with no parties, and it felt like the longest. week. ever.

Feb. 16

After all of the fun we had on Friday and Saturday, we took it easy on Sunday (when I say “took it easy”, I mean, I did a million things to get ready for the upcoming week and nobody left the house). The girls shared a pair of roller skates and a box of tutus.

roller olympics

Feb. 17

Epic Flock of Seagulls bedhead,


and Skeeter kitty love.


Feb. 18

I help in the preschool class almost every Tuesday, and Essie has her show and tell day on Mondays. But, occasionally we forget something, and she makes it up on Tuesday (which I like because I get to watch her “present” it).

show and tell

It was a gorgeous day when almost all of the snow had melted, but there was still enough with which to make snowballs.


Feb. 19

A certain older brother has been leaving his Lego laying around lately, and a certain younger brother really likes to play with them when the older brother is at school.

lego thief

Feb. 20

Class picture day was finally rescheduled after the long week of snow days a couple of weeks ago.

class pics

Feb. 21

The preschoolers talked about the letter N this week, so they finished up with pajama day on Friday (you know, nighttime?).

pj day

Feb. 22

I didn’t actually take any pictures Saturday…I had a jewelry party at my house and was busy getting it ready. But, my mom took Ivy to her Daisy Scouts International Festival (her troop was Germany), and took a lot of pictures.


Project 365: Week 7

We actually did some fun stuff this week!

Feb. 9

The big kids went with daddy to see the Lego movie while I stayed home with the little one. But the first showing sold out, so they hung out at the library for a while until the next one. (Photo by hubs)


Feb. 10

There’s so much awesome to be had with 3D glasses.

glasses 2glasses

Feb. 11

A popular breakfast (gf donuts and bacon) meant that the kids ate fast and we had time to do hair before school. Usually, we barely have time for ponytails.


Feb. 12

The toddler has been…shall we say….argumentative lately? Really, it’s lucky for him that he’s so cute.

erv pickup

Feb. 13

The snow started to melt! Finally, after, like, two weeks! And because it wasn’t ridiculously cold, the youngest three went outside and had a blast.

erv snow 3essie snow faceivy snow 6

Feb. 14

Valentine’s Day! I was a room mom for the morning preschool class (and for the first time, in charge of activities/games….eek). Then in the evening, we dropped the kids off at our church, where the confirmation class was babysitting for a donation, and went out for SUSHI.

Ervin also got to eat some of his sister’s treats that she couldn’t eat because they weren’t gluten free. She’s such a good sport about all of that, it’s amazing.

erv v day

Feb. 15

The girls and I decided to go paint some pottery. It was fun (and there was only one ceramic princess casualty)!

potterytown reflection

How was your week?

Love and Sunshine #iPPP

In case you weren’t aware, Valentine’s Day is Friday. So, in honor of that, I thought I’d share how I show my love.

(Every mom is different. I do things that other moms wouldn’t dream of doing, and vice versa. No judgment.)

1. Superhero surgery.


2. Hugs and kisses before bed.

3. Love notes in the lunch boxes.

4. Playing the Kidz Bop version of “What Does the Fox Say?” at least once a day.

5. Dancing with the toddler to a singing Valentine’s Day toy’s version of “Sugar, Sugar” every night.

How do you show your love?


Do you know who else showed her love this week? Kim at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something spread some love and sunshine to me and a few other bloggers buried in the snow. She answered some questions and then asked us some. Here are my answers:

  1. If Jane had 3 apples and John had 78 nails, how many layers of clothing are you wearing (how is the weather in your neck of the woods?)? I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt, a short sleeved shirt, sweatpants, socks and slippers. When we went out earlier, I also had on a down coat and fleece gloves. It’s chilly here.
  2. What is keeping you sane during these long winter months? THAT is an excellent question. Bedtime?
  3. If you were on a boat with a box of chocolate and your Mother In Law, who would you throw overboard? SNORT. If I thought the chocolate would still be edible in the water, I might throw myself over.
  4. What’s in your underwear drawer besides underwear? I don’t actually have an underwear “drawer.” I have a plastic shoebox tote. And all that’s in it is underwear and random swimsuit tops.
  5. Do you trust yourself with sharp objects near your face? (as in, do you pluck your own eyebrows? Do you have any eyebrow horror stories?) I do. I actually hate tweezing a million times more than waxing, but I don’t leave the house much without kids so I can get them waxed. So, I tweeze when the take-no-prisoners rearview mirror says it’s time.
  6. I am terrified of dead bodies, spiders, and the dentist. What are you scared of? Falling. And scorpions.
  7. Does your husband cut up the back of your legs with his long toenails when you sleep? This one is purely a “See Shawn, all of these blogger’s husbands take care of their feet”. Just say yes. He would if I let him touch me with his feet.

Robin at Farewell, Stranger and I want to see your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite phone photos of the week. All you need is a blog post containing at least one photo from any phone camera. Link up below, and don’t forget to visit some of the others!

I’m sad to let you know that this will be Robin’s last week with iPPP. Go show her some love, and help me welcome Angela of Jumping With My Fingers Crossed and Angela Amman when you come back next week.


Through The Lens Thursday: Dull

I bought some Citi Blocks for the kids and I love the colors. I also love the light that comes in the kitchen windows early in the day. Also, the pink bag was from my January trip to Disney. It’s still not put away, but it’s unpacked, so….progress? Also, the blue thing in the forefront is a snow suit.

dull ISO 400 2.8 1-40

Two things about this: 1) I order a lot of stuff online, and I had unpacked some diapers and wipes, leaving me with a stack of cardboard to go out to the garage for recycling. For some reason, it was fun to sit on. 2) Can you hear the train noises he’s making?

dull ISO 400 3.5 1-60

This one is appropriate because of the Valentine’s Day bear. But, the truth is that Essie brought it downstairs after probably finding it packed away in the basement. That happens a lot.

dull ISO 400 2.8 1-60

Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year.

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt: WINDOW


Project 365: Week 6

The longer I do this during the winter the less interesting my life feels.

Feb. 2

We sort of watched the Super Bowl, but when the halftime show came on, some of us were really, really interested.

super bowl

Feb. 3

I didn’t get to my long run last weekend (I usually do it on Sundays), so I had to make it up on Monday afternoon. Better late than never, right?

6 miles

Feb. 4

The first snow day! It started snowing around lunchtime and didn’t stop. It was also really cold so we stayed inside and made snow ice cream.

1st snow dayice cream

Feb. 5

The second snow day!

And the day I made the kids let me take a picture of them in their footie pajamas. Worth it.


And then my mom came over to hang out with them, and I went outside to shovel snow. And more snow. And some more after that (I’m still sore). She brought her iPad and cuteness happened.

movie togetherside by side

Feb. 6

The third snow day. And the first day that the girls actually started fighting.

Also the day Henry’s Spy Adventure kit came in the mail and occupied him for an hour.

spy adventure

Feb. 7

Back to school! Where the snow drifts were taller than the children (only in the formerly grassy areas, of course).


Feb. 8

I spent the day in KC for Blogging Concentrated, which was awesome and chock full of information. I’m working on a brand new project, and had so many questions (and asked them, for sure). Also, everything from snacks to lunch to dessert was gluten free. AWESOME.