Friday, July 31, 2009

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 4

1. When it comes to working out, I rather enjoy this heat. I've been sweating like no other in my work outs this week and it feels so amazing. Unless I'm sweating, I don't feel like I'm working out. Love it! Yea for hot weather! The flip side is that while I'm not working out, I find myself munching to distract myself from the heat. BAD!

2. I've really enjoyed going to more and more parks this year while nannying. It's so nice to have so many so close, but it's also a bit discouraging at times. Sadly from time-to-time I run into things I would rather not have the kids be around. I've had to break up a fight, stop kids from swearing and calling each other inappropriate names, and for the first time this week, I was called a four letter word by another mom (I was accused of staring at her. I had glasses on so I'm not really sure how she knew what I was looking at, never mind the fact that the playground was behind her). It seems like kids are not given many expectations anymore for how to behave and when they are, they are not nearly high enough. Children will rise to our expectations and we rob them of so much growth by selling them short. I wish adults would also place higher expectations on themselves and realize the kind of example they are setting.

I know I'm preaching to the choir because those of you who read this aren't name calling at the park, etc. I just needed a moment to vent!

3. Welcome home from Kenya, Brita! It was nice to see Brita and a lot of familiar face this Wednesday. Our young adult women's group changes things up on the last Wed. of every month and hangs out with the guys too. Not only do we have the obvious addition of guys, but we usually have married couples join us (it might have a little something to do with the free daycare...) . This week we had a BBQ and ice cream sandwiches. We were supposed to play softball too, but with the heat, most people thought it would be a bit much. Maybe next time! Next week is just the girls again...possible bonfire back at my house. I have to figure out if we can work around the fire bands. Either way, there will be s'mores and probably some ladder golf! Come join us!

4. A string of weddings is approaching! Christian and Caroline, Mike and Julianna, Andrew and Daniella, Jeremy and Ricki....I can't wait! I'm starting to feel in wedding mode too because I've been busy planning Julianna's bachelorette party this week. My quirkiness definitely comes out when I get to start planning and organizing. Let's just say I have a full google spreadsheet of notes for the bachelorette weekend....and it's color coded too. :) If only I could apply this same happy energy to cleaning and organizing my downstairs, life would be even better!

5. Georgia turned 2 yesterday! Happy Birthday! It's been so fun to watch her learn and grow. She is the only one of my nanny kiddos I have been with since birth. :) I love my job!

6. I spent time this evening in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I've been blessed enough to make it to Adoration twice this week. It never ceases to amaze me how overwhelming the feeling of peace is when you sit face-to-face with Jesus. I can literally feel it in the air. The second you walk in the room, whether you can see Him or not, you know something is different. The Eucharist is such a beautiful gift that speaks so clearly of the love Jesus has for each one of us. I pray that every heart in the world will burn for Jesus.

7. My summer of playing games continues. Marc just kicked my behind in darts. We played four games and he won all four. I'm pretty competitive and do NOT like losing. And still, I really enjoy spending time chatting and playing games. I did get my fair share of winning in Banagrams last night too! Who wants to have a game night soon? :) I'll play anything...except Halo. And even then you might just be able to convince me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Summer Should Look Like!

Veronica & Madeline running through the "Sprinkle Ball"

Madeline, Eleanor, Georgia, Veronica

Every kid deserves a popsicle when it gets this hot! (unless of course she throws a bad enough tantrum that you have to leave the somebody did on Monday. I won't name names, but you might want to look to the youngster who is turning 2 tomorrow!)

I tried to get them all to look at me with the "How many fingers am I holding up look?" I guess it only kind of worked this time.

Later in the day, Britta and I were standing in the middle of the sprinkler while the kids played with the other toys. It was amazing.

And here are some pictures from the Sounders game that was so much fun!!! We were lucky enough to have Lara join us in an empty sit next to us. :)

Lara, me, Marc

Marc & me. We still like each other despite our differing views on sports and sportsmanship. I'm just saying, sometimes you have to pull a jersey or two.

Lara & me. Yea!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 3

1. Fun week with the kiddos. This morning Eleanor and Georgia did "a cuddle bunny" with me for almost a whole hour. It was their idea. :) For those of you wondering what cuddle bunny is, it's when we snuggle up on the couch with tons of blankets. It's one of my favorite activities since I have to get up so early morning. I feel a little bad if I initiate it, but if it's all them, I'm more than happy to oblige. :) I have also been reading he Narnia series to Veronica and Madeline. It's so fun! When our chapter finishes and it's time for naps, I sometimes scan ahead when I can't remember what happens next. :) I've also been having great conversation with Veronica about Jesus and our own behaviors. :)

2. I started training my mom and sister this week. :) We lift with all of my stuff downstairs and I quite enjoy playing the training. :) The upper body work out went well, but legs was great. They could barely finish. Love it!! I was really impressed with mom too. (Stacey, you did well too.)
Here is my mom post-workout:

3. I've recently discovered whole wheat hamburger buns that are ultra-thin. Brilliant! Less carbs, less calories, and the burger tastes way better. I recommend looking for them at the store next time you are grilling up burgers. Sorry, I have no other information for you. Perhaps I'll look into it. :)

4. I just got back from Dante's to celebrate Caroline's birthday. Happy Birthday Caroline! I was pretty tired tonight, but it was good to get out and see lots of friends. I really like them.

5. Speaking of friends, Marc is going to be moving into a house with 6 others guys in Sept, 3 of whom I went to college with, which I think is really fun. :) (Am I allowed to take a quick take from someone else's life and play it off as my own? How exactly does this quick take thing work? Is it my page, my rules? Or do I need some standard do's and don'ts? Anyone? )

6. Marc is kicking my bum in our 25 pound weight competition. I have work to do!! My week went very well he better watch his back. :) (Hi hunnie...)

7. I'm going to the Sounders game tomorrow!! Can't wait!! I feel like I'm kind of a bad soccer fan and pretty out of touch. I just don't know how I used to be so good at keeping up on sports. Anyways, tomorrow I'll get to be a real fan (but with out any cool Sounders!). Should be fun. Marc and I are going early with Lara to hang out and grab a drink and then we will hopefully get to meet up with my cousin Jessica and her family. Go Sounders!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Weekend Fun!!

I love summer. For some reason I haven't felt like I've gotten outside very much the last couple of summers. This summer I finally feel like I'm out and about. I think it helps that the nanny kiddos are all down to one nap these days. But I even feel like I'm having more of a summer on the weekends and it's really great.

I feel that I was able to find a good balance between relaxing, having fun, and getting things done this weekend. Highlight of checked-off to do list items: I finally cleaned up all of the stuff in front of my fireplace that has been there since I moved back home. Horrible, I know. It was mostly pictures, but since I feel the need to update my frames, I haven't put them up. So they are tucked away neatly in some storage bins until I can check off "print pictures and update frames." It looks so much nicer now! And I have complete and full access to my punching bag!

Marc came down on Saturday for Sunday Family Potluck Night. We had to adjust the schedule a bit this weekend. The lemon theme was fun, food was delicious (Marc and I made lemon garlic bread...mmmm), and I also had a great time playing games: ping-pong tournament, ladder golf, and dominoes. My dad, Marc, and I were up pretty late playing dominoes. We tried a new game and I couldn't win one stinkin' round!! So I kept asking to play one more game, one more game, just one more game. Finally I won a round, came super close to winning the next round, which would have given me the game, and lost the game again. But I got one round. :) I also won ping-pong with my dad, but didn't do so hot on ladder golf this time. I've been improving though!

I also ran a few errands that morning including going to the Federal Way Farmers Market. It was my first time there; I went for fresh produce and am quite pleased with the outcome of my trip. :) Yea for spending less money and having fresher food!

On Sunday after Mass, breakfast, and a little downtime, Marc helped me pick up a really comfy chair from my cousin's wife's mom. She is so generous and sweet and fun. I just love her. Thank you Cinda!! And thank you Marc for helping me pick up the chair! I missed out on a nice armoire a year ago because I didn't have a truck to use or anyone to help me.

After pick-up of the chair we headed down to Lake Tapps. I've really been wanting to go on a picnic and it was such a beautiful and perfect day for it. Lake Tapps is such a fun place and I absolutely love the view of Mt. Rainier. I had so much fun!!

And oh, my favorite grab of the weekend (that maybe I shouldn't have spent money on):

Jessie Steele - Summer Lemons

Friday, July 17, 2009

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 2

1. My family had its first "Summer Sunday Potluck Night" this week. Each week will be themed by whoever is providing the main dish. This last Sunday: American BBQ. This Weekend: lemon, every dish must have a lemon ingredient. I'm in charge of next week and will most likely be going with Mexican. We had a really fun time hanging out, "potlucking", and playing games (I got my butt kicked in Monopoly Jr, but won my first Ladder Golf game!) I'm really looking forward to our weekly dinners. :)

2. Sunday was actually a really fun day last week. Not only did I go to Mass and get to have potluck fun, but a friend organized a touch-football game. I haven't played in a really long time (and my muscles reminded me that just because I'm working out doesn't mean I'm in shape to play sports). I had so much fun!

3. Sun is so nice, especially when you are a Nanny. I spent yesterday at the Zoo and today at a park with a really fun water feature...lots of water squirters and fountains and things. Georgia actually didn't freak out too much as she does with the "Sprinkle Ball" (sprinkler ball) in her backyard. It was enjoyable for everyone. :)

4. I have a fairly free weekend this weekend. I had a free weekend last weekend. Weird. Really weird. I don't know how to handle myself. Last weekend was really productive as I could finally check a couple of things off my massive to-do-when you have time list, but this weekend I kind of want to actually do nothing. I'm pretty sure I'll cave and get stuff done though, which is really for the best.

5. BfL Update: Week 4 has been pretty great. I got a little snacky yesterday, but overall I'm feeling good and having fun. :)

6. I really like being an Aunt and living so close to family (and in some cases that would include living WITH family). Jaden and Riley were here when I came home from work today and they are both so cute. Riley is still super tiny and she sleeps like a frog. Adorable! Jaden and I had fun playing with "Riley" and "Jaden," his new koala and zebra finger puppets I got him from the zoo.

7. I've been super tired this whole week. I'm not really sure why. I know I was busy, but I'm not sure with what as it was super hard for me to come up with 7 quick takes. I feel like maybe this "take" is cheating, but I'm gonna run with it. I'm just tired. I've had to take lots of naps. I want to take one now, but I think I'll just try to stick it out and head to bed early.

Friday, July 10, 2009

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 1

It's official. I'm playing quick takes Friday. :) My goal: to actually keep it quick! ..and to actually post on Fridays.

1. Happy belated 4th of July! I love the 4th of July and felt a special need to celebrate our country this year. And I mean I really wanted to authentically celebrate this year, not just do any 'ol 4th of July party. I'm not entirely to pleased with a lot of things going on right now, but I do believe in what our country stands for and the more we remember that the better off we will be as it helps us to get back on track. So this is what my day looked like: Mass, protest at planned parenthood (it was the first Saturday of the month anyways, but I absolutely loved that it fell on the 4th of July so that we could stand up for the freedom not just of some, but for ALL), a couple of hours with Marc, BBQ at my cousins house (and I'm talking BBQ...5 different kinds of meat on the grill for over 4 hours!!), and a get together at the St. Hilaire's! We watched their pyrotech neighboors fireworks, the show in Bremerton, and could also see the Gasworks fireworks all from their house. Mostly I had a great day because I spent it with my amazing family and friends who I value and share values in common with (I did miss the Seattle group though!). (And I go not making it quick....I now want a wii and wii fit :) so fun!)

2. Christopher West was in town Tuesday night to speak on the Theology of the Body. This is a theology that is near and dear to my heart and I do not believe I would be where I am in my faith or my life if it were not for these teachings given by Pope John Paul II that I first came into contact with my junior year in college. Thank you, Lord! It was a really fun night and inspired me to start digging in deeper again with that subject. I bought two books: Theology of the Body Explained and Heaven's Song: Sexual Love as it was Meant to Be. I'm currently having a hard time putting down the latter and am thus neglecting all the other books I'm in the middle of reading. It's so beautiful!

3. Wednesday night after a really fun women's group dinner out, I stopped at the D'Angelo's house to catch up. I was amazed when they showed me this video Mrs. D'Angelo's cousin Danny made with Patrick and his two boys. Professional!! It's really them singing and playing. So cool! ...bummer! It's not on you tube, just facebook. Sooo, if you happen to be on facebook, you should look at my profile and watch the video. :) It's the song Lovebug by the Jonas done by the "Bonus Brothers." So cute!

4. I turned 26 on Thursday, July 9th! Thank you Lord for a wonderful 25 years. I am so blessed! And for that, I must also thank all of you who are in my life. Thank you! Thank you! I have so many amazing people in my life to keep me on track, hold me accountable, encourage me, and to live life to the fullest with! We had a great family dinner at my house w/ Marc and Julianna, two of my closest friends. It was great to spend time together and my mom made Delicious homemade calzones and a peach berry cobbler. I guess at 26 I'm still spoiled. My nanny families also had cards, cupcakes, and of course, sang me happy birthday and gave me lots of hugs both yesterday and today! :) (And oh, Marc put my ladder golf game together! We started working on it last summer right before his three trip series to the ER with sore throats. It never got finished. It is now! It was a great addition to my day! You should come over and play with me.)

5. I got to work out at home this evening with out having to give up the intensity of not having all of the gym at my disposal. Marc has cleaned up my old work out bench, put it back together, and since we found a bar and some weights on the side of the street for free a few months back, it actually make sense to use it! (I got the bench my freshman or sophomore year in high school for Christmas because I wanted to bench at home and I never got a stinkin' bar to go with it!! I know.) I also got some 15 lb dumbbells for my birthday from my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad! And thank you Marc for doing so much for me!! Ultimately I would like to get rid of the gym and not have to pay to work out. I feel like I'm on my way to that goal! And as a quick BfL Update, this has been my best week. I feel on track, in the groove, and my body is feeling a bit back to normal. My eating has also been much better this week! Next week's focus: get enough sleep!?

6. I'm excited to go out to Planned Parenthood tomorrow morning in Federal Way to protest again. Tom Curran is getting a group together because they are testing out new equipment to web cast prayer vigils on Saturdays. Last week was their first test run with the St. Vincent's group in Federal Way and Blessed Sacrament in Seattle. I know they are doing this for several reasons, but I like it best because it gives interested people on opportunity to check out protests/prayer vigils who are a bit nervous about going out for the first time because they don't know what to expect.

7. Marc and I bought tickets to DC today! We will be going over there in January for March for Life. Anyone want to join us? Tickets are cheap right now! We will be staying with one of very good friends from way back in first grade who lives in Virginia. I can't offer you the same housing arrangements, but we would love more marching/traveling buddies!! I'm really excited to finally get to go to a DC March. There was over 300,000 people there last year - incredible! I'm also super excited to visit Jill since she is way across the country and I don't see her nearly enough. I've been trying to come up with ways to visit her for awhile now. I'm a big fan of trips with multiple destinations/purposes. This time it's finally working out!