Quick Pics.

It's been so long since I've posted- I'm so sorry dear readers. I will get back on my regular schedule next week. Today is pretty busy too so I will just share some quick pics with you!

Holdy Bear watching her brother play soccer last night. And he scored! It was a great game for Davis- all around.

Roses, just growing and doing what they do on the side of our house!

Music at Lake Harriet.

Painting the gazebo in their skivvies!

Father's Day Robe Pic!

Love to you all!

Summer Cues.

You know it's the end of school and the beginning of summer when a) soccer starts, b) the waterpark opens, and c) the Edina Art Fair rolls around! I LOVE SUMMER in MINNESOTA. :-)

Fashionista.

You have no idea what level fashionista we have on our hands with miss Holden Eloise. Sure, I get it, many little girls like to wear dresses and they begin to care more about selecting their own outfits...but Holden's obsession with fashion goes far beyond these typical things.

1) She has her own very distinct look. It's all about layers. If she could- she would wear leggings underneath a skirt, paired with a cute top and a cardigan or sweater layered over it. And that works most of the year- but it's actually (FINALLY) hot here and wearing leggings and layers of sweaters (sometimes wool) don't make the most sense. But she loves it, insists on wearing it, and she really does look cute.

And yes, sometimes she insists on carrying not one, but TWO purses. 

2) She gives me fashion advice. Seriously- my closet is in the basement and I usually fix her a bowl of cereal to eat while I go down and get dressed...and inevitably, she either comes down to see what I'm thinking about choosing, or she waits for me to come up, and she says "Come here- let me see what you're wearing..." and then she takes it all in and either gives a nod of approval or says something like "I'm not sure about those shoes..." And the craziest thing is that more often than not- she is RIGHT!

3) Choosing clothes is really the only time we consistently argue. She has her go to outfits that she would like to wear each day- and when they are not available, weather appropriate, or what I would like her to wear to a certain event- it is a SHOWDOWN. Girlfriend is opinionated and stubborn. We started laying clothes out the night before so we didn't start each day with an argument- and that helps- but now she realizes she can change her mind. OH LAWD GIVE US STRENGTH with this one.

4) She had a total meltdown the night before graduation because she didn't feel she had the right dress for graduation. For real. Real alligator tears over it. And perhaps I am encouraging it because I let her pick out a new one- but I do get that a girl wants to feel just right on her special day. 

Ever the adventure with miss Holden Eloise.

1st Day of Summer.

So, Davis broke his finger slamming it in the car door (and had to get five stitches) on the first day of summer. And it's certainly not the end of the world- but it's a bummer because I know both he and Honey had planned to go swimming quite a bit this week while she is here- and he can't swim for 10 days. At least it's not a cast- that's what I keep telling him. He'd miss the whole dang summer. 

So anyway- we spent all of Friday night at the Children's Hospital emergency room. And while it was pretty long and boring- the staff was incredible and he got to watch Pete's Dragon and then play on the ipad while they gave him stitches. He was such a trooper.

Not the best way to start the summer, but not the end of the world, either.

Cap & Gown.

We have a little graduate on our hands! Holden Eloise graduated from Primrose on June 1st. It was really the cutest ceremony- they walked up to the stage with "Pomp & Circumstance" playing and they sang a few songs, the teachers spoke (and cried- how sweet are they?!?!) and then the kids accepted their diplomas. Holden was SO proud. Especially because Honey was there to watch. 

She got a new outfit for the event- so she very quickly took her cap & gown off after the ceremony. She is SUCH A FASHIONISTA!!

Holden & Bennett Ohme.

Holden and her favorite teacher, Ms. Kurtz.

Holden and her best bud, Oliver. How cute are they? Every time he sees me he says hello and asks how I am doing. He also tells his mom (and Holden) that he is going to marry Holden one day.

Me and My Girl. 

The four of us! Its nice to have my mom here- we never have family here for events like this...and it's also nice to get a picture of the four of us...where we're all looking at the camera. :-) So proud of our little graduate!

Call the Watchtower.

The only thing bad about a long weekend is a super short week at work when you get back! But man, we had the best weekend. On Friday after school, Holden and Davis asked our neighbor boys to come jump on their new trampoline with them- that trampoline is actually the best investment I've ever made in my entire life. Davis wakes up and jumps in the morning before he gets dressed, then he jumps again after he gets dressed and eats breakfast, and then he jumps again when we get home after school. And they are so proud to have friends come jump on it. Holden likes it too- but not with the same fervor as my Mexican Jumping Bean, Davis.

Anyway- we had the boys over Friday, then Saturday Holden and I went to the farmers market with my friend Jackie for tomato plants. It was a beautiful morning and we had a blast.

Then Davis had jiu jitsu where he earned his first stripe on his belt. Will share pictures of that later. Then he had tutoring. And then we went downtown and they got haircuts. Before:

And After:

Looking sharp, am I right? And then Saturday night, Kelley, Elsa and baby Jack came over to play outside (jump on trampoline) and have dinner. Bennett grilled for everyone and we had the best time sitting on the patio, drinking wine, and watching the kids jump. It was an awesome evening. Since Bennett travels so much- I always try to invite my girlfriends (and kids) to do things when their husbands are traveling- as I know it gets tiring and lonely. 

Then Sunday we had the Frends over for the first time- and that was even more fun. They have two boys- Griffin is the one in Jiu Jitsu with Davis and then they have a younger one named Maddox. It was my first time meeting their mom, or spending any time with them as a family and I loved the mom- Kristan. We already have a wine date in mid-July. We have a lot in common, having moved here from other places, and each having boys with ADHD, etc, so I honestly felt like she was a fast friend. I love it when that happens.

And then Monday we went to Stillwater, MN! But I will tell you about that later.

Oh- so the reason I titled this "Call the Watchtower" is because all of the sudden when my phone or ipad or anything electronic, really, isn't working- Davis says "You better call the watchtower..." and I have no idea what he is talking about, but I nod and go along with it because I love it. HA!

More to come!

Thursday.

I couldn't think of a clever title today- so we're just going with the day of the week. This has been a great week, kind of tiring with Bennett gone since Saturday, but a fun week nonetheless. The highlight of the week was Davis' variety show. He got up on stage and sang a solo in front of a packed gym- and he was nothing short of incredible. I really couldn't even believe it myself. The crowd went nuts and even they were clearly surprised that this 7 year old had both the courage and talent to pull that off. I will post the video after uploading it- but seriously- it was incredible and I was beaming. He has been walking on cloud nine ever since. I've never seen him so proud of himself- and I think we were all surprised by the situation.

Now, last night, at soccer was a completely different feeling. First of all- it's a team of rowdy seven year olds and God Bless those coaches because they are so rambunctious and aggressive, you can hardly get them to listen and follow directions for five seconds. And then you have Davis- who is having the time of his life, wrestling with his teammates, sticking grass up his nose to make people laugh, squeezing out other people's water bottles, kicking balls that aren't his, the list goes on and on...and I was getting SO frustrated. Mainly because if you can get him to pay attention for five minutes, he's actually pretty good at soccer...

And I realize how much I like soccer by how frustrated I get while he is dinking around throughout the field vs. following the ball and trying to score. It's a real roller coaster ride with that kid. Good thing I love him so much. :-) Here are a few pictures from his game...

That's D in the back. I kept confusing him with another kid on the team while they were playing. HA!

I can't believe it is already Memorial Day weekend! It really just snuck up on me. We don't have big plans this weekend- which is nice! I'm excited to just hang around. The forecast says there will be rain, which is such a bummer, but I hope it's wrong. :-) Have a great weekend!

 

Plugged In.

Bennett left for Vegas on Saturday for his big annual conference...this time last year all my best gals came from Texas to spend the weekend with me and go to the Beyonce concert. Last weekend when we were all together, we all agreed that it was without doubt, one of the best weekends of our lives. This year, this weekend, I was at home with the kiddos and it rained the WHOLE weekend. Not just sprinkled, but really RAINED.

Anyway- I've had such a good weekend, with such a positive feeling. I'm really thankful. Yesterday, Holden and I took Davis to tutoring in the morning, and then we took him to his new friend, Griffin's, birthday party. While he was there, a friend of his called and asked if he could come over and play in the afternoon. Might not sound like a big deal, but two invites, in one day nonetheless, is unusual and so exciting. He was so happy about it, but I was maybe TWICE as happy FOR him. 

After his second play date, we went to the Y and I ran for a bit and then we swam. Then today, a gal on my team at work came over with her little girl, and we hung out and played, and then later today, we went over to the Ohme's for an hour or two to play and hang out.

And I just realized that I'm starting to feel plugged in. And it feels really nice.

Summer Soccer.

I signed both Holden and Davis up for summer soccer this year- I have missed the deadline every other year- you have to sign up way back in March for May...and keep in mind, it's still snowing in March, so there are no visual cues to let you know it might be time to sign up for soccer. ANYWAY- they have done soccer before- but through the YMCA and this year, we signed up through the Edina soccer association...which I think will be really fun because they organize teams by school, so we will hopefully get to know more parents and families. 

Holden's first game was Tuesday- she is on the Alligators. She was SO excited about it, packed her bag the night before, included two hats, her soccer uniform, two snacks, a full water bottle, and a couple "stuffies" (stuffed animals) to watch her play. Then we got there and she was tired out walking TO the field, and I was nervous it would be just like last year where she didn't really want to play and the coach had to hold her hand the entire game. But she did play and she even scored! Sure, it was on her own team...but it was a goal nonetheless! :-) Luckily, she was not the only one to score on her own team.

Anyway- she had a great time and I just LOVE watching soccer...so I enjoyed it a ton. If I had a choice of sport for my kids to love- it would be soccer. Davis was supposed to play last night, but his game was rained out...

Here are some pictures of Holden and the Alligators.

She was a bit OVER IT in this picture- but I did get her back in the game...Holden does NOT like to get sweaty and it was a VERY humid day due to all the rain.

My gals.

I had the very best weekend in San Antonio with my closest girlfriends from Austin (except Kirsten- who is from Fred and lives in SA). It was a beautiful weekend- the grass is still green in texas, the skies are blue, and so was the pool at the hotel we stayed in. We laughed, we cried, we talked, we drank Salty Dogs, and we just had the best time.

I call this a Courtney sandwich...that's Courtney B on the left and Courtney L on the right. Between the 7 of us, there were actually THREE Courtneys. But more is definitely better than less when it comes to these Courtneys. Oh and that's Carrie in the middle.

From left: Brooke, Kirsten, ME, Courtney B.

Close-up!

Me and Courtney B.

What a great weekend! I also got spoiled when D and I returned home yesterday, on mother's day! Pretty lucky!

 

 

 

San Antonio!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here- but I'm headed to San Antonio tomorrow after work for a girls weekend with Kirsten and my gal pals from Austin. Last year they came here, the year before we went to Hyatt Lost Pines, and this year, we will be living it up in SA.

Small twist to this is that I am bringing little Davis so he can spend the weekend with my mom and Nikki in Fred. This means he will also get to see my grandparents. He is SO excited. And we've already started talking to Holden about how she will get a chance to do the same thing later this summer.

Can't wait for a weekend of laughing with my friends! More Monday.

Deep Portage.

There are a lot of things I know a lot about- and a lot of things I sort of find out about as they happen. One of the things I didn't know about ahead of signing Davis up for the Continued Progress program at his school two years ago, was that as part of this program, his CP Family will go on a camping trip every year in May. Great surprise, but one that required planning, as neither Bennett nor I felt confident that Davis would be successful if one of us didn't go with him. So, sweet Bennett decided to move his work trip to Detroit and go on this three day, within the work week, camping trip with Davis to Deep Portage. How nice is that? 

The best part is that you could just tell how thrilled little Davis was upon hearing the news that his dad was going. There is no one he loves or admires more- and it made him so happy and even so thankful to hear his dad was going to go along. Melt my heart.

So they left yesterday morning...

And I've gotten a lot of pictures since they've been gone...

Doesn't he just look so tiny here? He does to me...

dp4.jpg

Davis is having the time of his life. Bennett told me he scored the game-winning point in volleyball last night and that everyone was cheering for him...and he said it was his favorite day ever.

And let me just say- that it's been pretty nice to have the house to ourselves, just me and Holden. It's unreal to wake up to silence vs. someone literally jumping on you, or sticking his finger in your ear, or shouting at you from the backyard...

So we're all enjoying ourselves. :-) I miss them- but they will be back tomorrow.

Cinco De Drinko.

Sorry to leave you with such a sad post last week- I went back and forth about writing it- but the truth is, though I do share this blog, the main purpose of it is for me to be able to look back and see how I felt about things as they happened...so in that case, these things are very important to document. 

Anyway- this will be an uplifting post as it's all about a Cinco De Mayo party we hosted Friday night. This is our third annual Cinco De Mayo party- and it's starting to carry quite a reputation. Last year, we moved in in April and then turned around and had the party on May 5th and we were putting boxes away and hanging lights right up until the doorbell rang. This year, we did a few more projects but they were more cosmetic and fun- things like changing the numbers on the house, hanging a new front porch light, and making Bennett work on the gazebo.

We had about 25 people show up and we had enchiladas and all the sides catered from the only good taco place in town- which is an authentic taqueria housed in an old gas station. Bennett made two flavors of margaritas and we also had every mexican beer under the sun. The best part of the whole thing was the weather- we couldn't have ordered more beautiful weather. It has been so rainy lately so the fact that the sky opened up and was the color of a bluebird peppered with cotton white clouds and butter yellow sun- was such a pleasant surprise. And it hit the 80s in the afternoon. It was such a beautiful day.

So we had the party and my pals at Best Buy made up a large constituency, though we also had a few friends come from Edina (neighborhood/school/etc) and then a few friends from my previous agency job in downtown Minneapolis...but there was one couple that I invited that we barely knew. Mark and Karen. Their son goes to Davis' school and then I realized that the guy that looked so familiar to me at work was his dad, Mark. So we've chatted here and there and even had their son over for a play date but nothing really more substantive than that. But I could sense that Karen was super fun and I wanted to get to know her. So I invited them to the party.

And I told all my friends that they had to take turns talking to them because I was so worried about them being awkward and having no one to talk to...

Well, little did I know that they would be staying until 2:00 am, being the life of the damn party. We had SO much fun with them- and I couldn't have been more right about Karen. She was hysterical. And Mark wasn't a dud either- he was funny- when Karen let him get a word in edge-wise. She is tall, loud, stylish, funny, fiery, and smart. And at the end of the night I asked if we were best friends.

Murphy and Justin stayed till the end, Sofya and Dennis stayed till the very end- and our new best pals, Karen and Mark stayed till the end...and during conversation, we found out that Mark is coaching Davis' soccer team, and Holden and their littler son Reid will be in the same class next year. So here's to a summer of fun and new friends.

Stupidly, I didn't take any pictures of the people at the party- I was having too much fun...but I DID snap a few pics of the cinco de mayo flair.

cinco1.jpg

Nikki sent me the papel picado- so bright and festive.

And can you believe that with all the festivities I didn't even get drunk or have a hangover the next day? I made an early decision to drink beer rather than margaritas and that really saved the situation. I knew with how potent (or stanky, as my friend Kelley says) the margaritas were, I would end up taking a left turn too early in the party, so I just stuck with Coronas. I'm so mature these days. 

And where were the beans? Well- I got this fabulous idea to book them a hotel room at the waterpark hotel and ask Jenny to take them (along with Elsa, her niece) for an overnight. It was the BEST IDEA EVER. We had fun, they had fun, all around win win. They are so spoiled...

In other fun friend news- the Frends (Jiu Jitsu friends) invited Davis to Griffin's upcoming birthday party. Good things happening with the friend situation here- I'm thankful!

Mentors.

I've had two real mentors in my life...both women that I met through work at GSD&M in Austin. And when I am talking about a mentor, I truly mean someone that isn't family or friend, that takes an interest in you, coaches you, has your back, and pushes you to become a better version of yourself based on the experiences they've had and their ability to see your situation from a distant, yet invested, viewpoint. 

My first mentor was named Maureen Barry. And she was my boss's boss's boss when I was just starting out- I was probably 24/25. But she thought I was smart and funny and she gave me many more opportunities than I should have had at the time.

There was another younger gal on my team, and the two of us were pretty squeamish at the time about trying unusual, or even just new-to-us, food. Between that and the fact that she was always introducing us to phrases like "Reading the tea leaves" or "Soup to Nuts" we got quite a kick out of each other. She was married to a woman named Kate, who also worked at GSD&M, and so the six of us would go on foodie outings to try new foods together. We tried Ethiopian, we tried Greek, we did French, German, Indian, etc. And while yes, we tried many foods together, it was less the food and more the conversation that always made it so eye opening and enjoyable. Picture two young couples, boy/girl, 24-26 years old, and a lesbian couple in their late 40s, gallivanting around town together. We had such a good time. Perhaps the best times were when Maureen and Kate would have us over for drinks before we went out to dinner. We laughed, we listened to music, we tried new drinks, we smiled. 

Kate and Maureen threw us a shower at their house when we had Davis. And it got to the point that whenever they had parties- even though the guest list was mainly made up of older, more senior people in our ad agency- Davis and I were always invited. 

Maureen and I were quite a pair working together. We could not have been more opposite. She was 20-25 years older than me and very often teased about what an entitled millennial I was. Because she could never imagine saying "no" to a project because it didn't fit her interest or seem like the right step in her career. She was very much in the mindset that you do what you are asked and you don't ask questions. So you can imagine that as much as we laughed together- we also sparred a bit too. And that is a big part of why we became so close. I think in many ways we learned quite a bit from each other. I learned the value of honesty, integrity and hard work. How people matter. How you don't take the short and shady route to get to the top of something. You take the honest and open road that honors the people around you- even if it makes your trip longer. And I think she also learned from me that it's okay to have your own interests in mind- it's okay to look out for yourself, say no, and even direct your own career.

When she and Kate got married- they went to Toronto because gay marriages weren't recognized in Texas. I made each of them matching bracelets of natural pearls that they wore for their wedding. 

Maureen taught me a lot about love too- and being open minded. She is quite possibly the most conservative gay person out there. In my naivety- I thought gay people were a certain way. All very out there. All very liberal. She and Kate blew every stereotype apart for me. 

I asked her once if she believe she was born gay. She looked at me, and I'll never forget her face, and she said with shock, disappointment, and a load of sarcasm "No Sam. I chose this." And I instantly knew what she meant. She had grown up in conservative upstate New York and struggled with who she was for most of her life. It was the most incredibly naive thing for me to suggest that all that pain and such a hard path was just a choice. 

Anyway. Maureen is my mom's age. And she is dying. She is dying of cancer that has spread throughout her whole body. And I've known she has had cancer for the last year- I keep up with her through my friend Stacey, and through my other mentor Jeanne. Because when I call Maureen- she won't address it. She has never mentioned it to me and I have never been able to bring myself to ask. 

She had a clean cat scan this past fall. She was in remission. 

And then she went back in January- and they told her it has spread to many different areas of her body. She is on a medical trial program that has no guarantees and has reduced her to a shadow of herself. I didn't know it was that bad. Or maybe I did. But I couldn't realize it was that bad until Kate posted a picture of them returning home after a day of treatment in San Antonio on Maureen's birthday.

She treated it like a birthday picture. Thanking everyone for the well wishes- with flowers and balloons in the background. But I knew what it was. It was her way of showing people how much time there was left. 

And there isn't much time left. And the thing that struck me more than anything- was how many years she spent worrying about things and stressing about her job or the promotion she didn't get. And none of it mattered.

I called Jeanne while I was in LA and I sobbed to her like a child. And I asked probably three different ways if she believed that Maureen understood what was happening- if she had come to terms with it- and she told me that she hadn't- and that she didn't know if she would. That even as she is about to go on disability and hospice- she is emailing people at night about work. Asking questions and making plans. Because she took a new job in the last year- and doesn't want to let anyone down. She says, even as she is doubled over in pain, that she feels she is cheating them- the company that hired her, that is owned by a dear friend of hers fully knowing what would be coming.

I cannot wrap my head around it. I feel as though I have been ignoring it for the last year. Because I have such a hard time dealing with things like this. And my heart breaks for her. And everyone that loves her. And I cannot stop thinking of that quote "The trouble is- you think you have time..."

Make each day count.

 

Weekend Fun.

Princess Belle and I went grocery shopping...

Holden's little buddy Oliver came over - they are standing in a hallway stairway into the attic that Honey helped her turn into a playroom. He thought it was super cool. They were the sweetest little friends to each other- he has such a big crush on her- it reminds me of Davis and Sloane. We sat down for lunch and he looked at her and said "Sorry I didn't bring you flowers..." HA!

We walked down to the creek to throw rocks...Oliver wore a ninja costume and Holden carried two purses. At one point he looked at her and said "Holden- let's run. Get your mom to carry your purses!" LOLOLOLOL.

And Davis also had a friend over- little Griffin from Jiu Jitsu. So what do you think they did together? 

WRESTLED! DUH! 

And then on Sunday, D and I took care of a few things- went to IKEA, stopped at Target, and got D a big kid haircut.

Feeling pretty fresh...

And Holden and I had a tea party with her new IKEA tea cups and plates. Yes, maybe she did wear the same shirt two days in a row. You pick your battles!

Headed to LA tomorrow! Adios for now...

Star of the Week.

Davis was the star of the week this week- and I didn't realize how nervous I was about his presentation today until it was over. He did a GREAT job. I have it all on video- so I will download and add to the blog- but basically, he had to stand in front of the room and tell people all about himself. Bennett started prepping with him last night and he did an awesome job. I was so proud. 

Have a great weekend!

A Frend for Davis.

Let me tell you a story about two boys I know. One is 7 and one is 37. They are two of the sweetest, most loyal, most FUN boys the world might ever know...but they have both had a bit of a tough time socializing and making friends here in Minnesota. They both think more profoundly than their years might suggest, and they both love more deeply than typical people expect. 

The older one has talked for at least a year about getting involved in something like a workout group or jiu jitsu or something that would push them physically and also might help them make a friend or two. The younger one wants to do whatever the older one does. 

So about two months ago, both boys joined the Alliance Jiu Jitsu gym about five minutes from our house. And after the first few classes, the younger one began talking about a boy named Griffin, and the older one talked about Griffin's dad, Andrew. As the weeks went by, it became quite clear that perhaps both sets of boys had more in common than a casual encounter might suggest. 

Griffin is six and lives in the Cornelia neighborhood in Edina. But he lotteried into a school called Highlands to get into the Continued Progress program. His parents tried for that program because he struggles with ADHD and they hoped a smaller school and a less traditional program might be just the thing. He has had a hard time making friends at school or finding his groove, so another thing they decided to try was jiu jitsu.

As you know, Davis is seven and lives in the Minnehaha Woods neighborhood in Edina. But he lotteried into a school called Highlands to get into the Continued Progress program. His parents tried for that program because he struggles with ADHD and they hoped a smaller school and a less traditional program might be just the thing. He has had a hard time making friends at school or finding his groove, so another thing they decided to try was jiu jitsu.

Andrew and his wife moved to Minneapolis for Andrew's work just over six years ago. They are from California and they have no family in town. They are just getting used to the long, cold, dark winters, but have a hard time thinking of leaving the area because the schools are so great and the place is tailor made for families. They've struggled over the last few years with their son's diagnosis, finding the right doctors, finding the right meds, and maybe even most exhaustingly, watching their son cry when he isn't invited to a birthday party, or feeling like crying when he is invited because you just don't know how it will go.

As you also know, Davis is 37 and he moved to Minneapolis for his job just about four years ago. He is from Texas and he and his wife have no family in town. They are just getting used to the long, cold, dark winters, but have a hard time thinking of leaving the area because the schools are so great and the place is tailor made for families. They've struggled over the last few years with their son's diagnosis, finding the right doctors, finding the right meds, and maybe even most exhaustingly, watching their son cry when he isn't invited to a birthday party, or feeling like crying when he is invited because you just don't know how it will go.

Perhaps the strangest thing of all of it is that the older boy I know, who is tender hearted and struggling to find his fit here, said to me the other day "Well, I guess God finally got tired of waiting on me to get my act together, and he literally dropped a friend right in my lap. Sam- their last name is Frend."

 

Hot Time in the Cities.

When you live in Minnesota and the temperature rises above 65- your kids want to understand why they can't go swimming. This weekend was so lovely- after much rain- we had two very sunny days above 65 and we enjoyed as much of it outside as we possibly could.

The lighting in this picture is not so good- but we have made some changes to the front of our house. We took down the bronze plaque with our street numbers on it and put up some silver more modern numbers...my mom and I spray painted our mailbox (from bronze to white) and this weekend Bennett replaced the tacky bronze exterior light with the cute white pendant light you see here. I wish I had done a before and after- because it is quite a big difference- but you will just have to trust me.

We've been cleaning up the backyard- and Bennett has finally resumed work on the Gazebo. I'm not sure what prompted his speedy work this weekend- might have been my threat to his life- or the weather...but either way- it's getting done before our Cinco De Mayo party. I fixed the leg of my vintage planter and moved it out to the sunniest spot in our yard so we can grow tomatoes. We tore down one vine thingy (see it lying in the background) and then I worked like a dog trying to wrap what remains of the other vine (Davis cut one side off- yes, seriously) around the top of the other vine thingy. It was like braiding a giant's gnarly tangled hair. 

We are also going to plant a little raised garden. Holden is so excited about it.

Speaking of Holden- poor girl probably got the worst haircut of her life this weekend. It was our last haircut at Great Clips. RIP Great Clips. It went from this- see above...to this- see below:

And this isn't even the worst angle- if you look from the side- you can see how janky and uneven it is all the way around. It's a good thing she is so cute. If I got that haircut as an adult- I would quit my job and hide until it grew out.

Anyway- we had a great weekend and I will post more pictures of the gazebo as it comes along! More later...

Boredom.

They say that boredom is for simple-minded people who cannot entertain themselves with interesting thoughts. And that makes sense to me. But I also find myself bored more than most- I think. And I'm challenging myself to figure out if that is because I am simple-minded or because I need a change. 

For me, boredom isn't really about activity. Although that certainly can help. But boredom is more about mental stimulation- or the lack thereof. I find it very hard to find motivation if something is uninteresting or even just easy and repetitive. 

As I write the word repetition, I realize that is a source of boredom for me too. Just doing the same thing over and over- can just feel like misery. However, at the same time, I do find comfort in routine. Like I could be a freelancer, but I enjoy the rhythm of work hours and the consistency of the team. 

And of course, thinking of team, I'm talking about work, but really a huge driver or stimulation for me is the people I am around. And aside from my immediate team and a few friends I've made here- I find the place to be pretty vanilla and boring. I think part of that is Minnesota and part of that is working on the corporate side vs. the creative ad agency side. The vibe is entirely different. And since I measure my enjoyment by amount of side splitting laughter- the people around me are key. That's why work has been so important to me, and a key part of me thriving here. It's been hard as shit- I've never dealt with MORE work and more office and corporate politics- or been more physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. And it's also been super hysterical working with my immediate team. Jackie makes me laugh SO hard. Sofya is a stitch. And everyone I have been able to hire on my team is super smart. And has an interesting perspective. But that is a microcosm.

So I'm realizing as I write that my work has a huge impact on my state of mental stimulation and sense of boredom. And I can feel that changing as new things have happened at work. My job is fine- but it's just not as challenging or new anymore. In fact- it's just getting easier. So maybe it's time for something new when it comes to work. Or maybe it's the midwest- and I have just happened to find a good spot in a sea of quiet, stoic, minnesota nice-ness- and maybe it's time for a new flavor.

Or maybe I just have to re-frame my situation. I try to challenge myself and say "You have all the control in the world of your days and nights and the things you choose to do and think and maybe you got so focused on work and kids that you forgot to keep trying and doing new things- and you just need to re-frame your situation."

But you know what is a really hard thing about being an optimal adult? Knowing whether it's time to make a change and decision or knowing that you simply need to change your perspective. It's just the toughest. On the one hand- the grass is never greener on the other side- but on the other...moss doesn't grow on a rolling stone.

Anyway- this is just one of the things on my mind lately. But I do have some things I am looking forward to in the next couple weeks...that should help break up some boredom.

1) Shoot in LA- I have two in the next couple months- one in the first part of may- one in the first part of June. It's always nice to get out of the corporate scene and focus on the creation.

2) Cinco De Mayo party- It was a huge success last year so we are "anniversary-ing" it this year- that's what people say in corporate america- it's so silly...and I know it will be fun when it happens but I'm kind of dreading it right now. I do that a lot. It's because I'm an extroverted introvert.

3) Girls weekend- I am going to San Antonio to see Kirsten mid-May, and then a bunch of girls are joining us from Austin for a resort weekend.

OH and next Friday a bunch of us from work are going to a meat raffle on Friday afternoon. It's a thing here. Bars and parties have meat raffles and it's not even a joke. So I could leave with a sausage link or a ham or who even knows!?!?!?!?! Pretty excited about that.

Okay gotta go. Love and like ya.

Hop Hop Hop.

The easter bunny came and the kids were SOOO excited. Sweet little Davis climbed in our bed and said "If Holden doesn't get any eggs- I'll give her some of mine. And I'll give you some and daddy some and all of our family."