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...

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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.

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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." 

Honey and Beans.

Honey came to visit last week! We had such a great time- I felt like I was in heaven with both Honey and Bennett in town to talk to and help out! We went to gymnastics, we had dinner downtown at Smack Shack, she took Holden to see Beauty and the Beast, we got our nails done, she took the kids to see Boss Baby while Bennett and I went on a date, and then on Sunday, we worked out in the yard thinking it was spring. IT SNOWED TODAY. BARF.

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This picture doesn't really do the dress or her look justice...she kind of looks like she is working a brothel here, but in real life, it's adorable and she couldn't be more pleased with how fancy it is. Especially with the gold sparkles around the bottom- just like in the movie.

Oh and then on Saturday morning, Holden and I went with Kelley and Elsa to this cute little fairy garden workshop at a greenhouse in nearby Shakopee. It was SO much fun. The girls had a blast and so did we. Holden is obsessed with her fairy garden.

And then, as mentioned, Bennett and I got to go on a date Saturday night. We drove out to Wayzata (because we thought it was spring) and had dinner by the lake. Such a lovely view and a great time together.

It was such a nice weekend and exactly what I needed after the weekend before. Thank you HONEY. COME BAAAAAAAACKKKK!

Scottsdale, Part II.

Sorry for the lapse in frequent blogging- I have had a lot on my mind and even more on my plates- so it's waned a bit but I will get back on the regular. 

Suffice it to say that the kids favorite part of our trip was driving these janky little race cars at the putt putt golf place called Cracker Jax. Their smiles were a mile wide.

I think they look so much alike in this picture! Little light brown haired sweeties...

And of course this guy wanted to ride!

The Truth...

I'm telling myself it's because I just spent a week of non-stop interaction with my children, but the truth is, today felt like the longest day ever. Bennett is in Atlanta for a combo work/guys trip they rescheduled from last year...so I've been home alone with them and parts of the day were fine and parts of the day felt like torture. If I'm honest.

And it makes me feel guilty that I feel that way- but the truth is that I do. Or at least I did today. My patience is low. And my kids, together, require a lot of patience. Maybe all kids do. I don't really know. But I sometimes feel like I will just lose my ever loving mind if I have to repeat what I just said, ONE. MORE. TIME.

And maybe I also just have a hard time with free time. With them at least. I feel like I have to entertain, the entire day. And it's partially because I want them to be happy and having fun, and yet the truth is, it's partially because I don't know how to be still here. And then I can't remember if I don't know how to be still anywhere or if I just learned to keep busy here as a way to feel less lonely.

But I do know that the thought of having three more hours at home before bedtime caused me to think of about a million things we needed to go do. Stupid things. Dropping library books off at a closed library even though I told them we would go to the library tomorrow when it's open to rent books. Going to Target to buy coloring books that we don't really need. Getting a car wash. Going the long way to the car wash. Stopping to get my water bottle that I left at the park tomorrow.

I don't remember feeling this way in Austin. But maybe I did. Or maybe I'm constantly trying to busy myself because I am so uncomfortable and even unhappy when I'm not. And maybe that's my location. Maybe that's me and how I've changed. Maybe it's having children - and one in particular that you feel like you always have to be ON with because you know that the second you're not- things go off the rails. 

I'm not trying to complain. I told myself all day to shut up and stop feeling sorry for myself. Because listen, I know...I just got back from vacation, my kids are healthy, and we can pretty much entertain ourselves whenever/however we need to. I just don't know if it's normal to wonder if or when you will ever relax and be still again. And that's just me telling the truth.

Thanks for Everything, Scottsdale.

Sorry I didn't blog last week...I was super busy getting my new boss up to speed while also preparing to be out of office for a spring break trip to Scottsdale with the Bennett 4. We just got back last night- and it was just a heavenly trip. I even wish we had stayed a little longer- which is odd for me- as I am actually a pretty big homebody. 

We had so much fun, hiking, swimming, playing putt putt. The kids had such a blast and we did too. Here are a few pictures!

The resort had six pools. SIX. The kids could not even handle it.

The first morning we were there, we decided to go hiking. I used to hate hiking- but I've realized that I don't hate it so much anymore. At least not hiking with kids- because they always tire out before I get bored. I can enjoy the scenery and being out in nature for a while, but mainly to me it just feels like meandering around pointlessly...and I'm not very good at that. 

Also, I've always been kind of down on the state of Arizona...but I changed my mind this trip. I'm not sure if it was the time of year that made the difference- the air was beautiful and everything was blooming...or the fact that I now live in Minnesota and the heat and sun gave me new life- but either way- I'd like to go there again.

This trip, maybe plus Austin, has made me realize I'm almost ready to live somewhere warm again. The good news is- almost every/anywhere is warmer than here.

Those are her dad's socks, they went all the way up to her knees!

It was about a mile from the car to the trailhead...so by the time we got there, Holden's little legs were already pretty tired. We made it a bit further than I thought we would...

So somebody gave her a ride...lucky little princess.

But nothing feels better than a swim after a hot hike in the Arizona mountains.

Later that night we went for dinner and enjoyed some milkshakes afterwards! More to come.

Adventures in Corporate America.

Well, I didn't mention this because my mind was still spinning, but the Thursday before I left for Austin, my boss was let go, and then on Friday, HIS boss (the CMO) was let go, and well let's just say that they basically re-organized everything at the very top levels. And guess who will be my new boss? My new boss, DRUM ROLL, is one of the key people I referenced before, that has taught me that not everyone is gonna like me. Yup. 4th boss in two years and this one hates my guts coming in. So there you go.

I'm not really upset about it honestly. I was at first, but then I got over it. FIRST, I had a series of things happen that made me feel way worse than my dumb job situation. People can be so very disappointing. And then SECOND, I got over feeling bad about those things, mainly because you can't change how people treat you. You can only change how you deal with the way people treat you. I spent a lot of time actually thinking about something Ahmad had been talking to me about while I was in Austin...he was talking to me about how when you're right with God and you are focused on the real things, you realize that it doesn't matter what happens to you. It doesn't matter how people treat you. Because you're good. It's not about any of that. It's about the journey and how you move through it. And I don't know if any of that makes any sense- but it doesn't matter what happens at work- what happens is what is meant to happen. And I am good either way. 

So I'm just being me. And if that works- great. If it doesn't- then that's fine too.

Anyway. We had a GREAT weekend...we had Davis' school carnival Friday which the kids LOVED, we took Davis to get a big kid haircut on Saturday (don't tell Great Clips), we got a new dishwasher (very exciting, I know) and then the kids had Parents Night out Saturday evening so Bennett and I went and had a great dinner downtown. Then today- we didn't have a single item on our agenda so we just palled around, playing, doing some things that needed to be done, went on a bike ride, and then tonight I went to a workout, which felt great.

So, I'm actually headed into this next week without a bit of weight on my shoulders.
Not my circus, not my monkeys. :-)

 

Guest Blogger.

It recently occurred to me, that my blog would only benefit from some added, global, perspective. So I invited my sister, Nikki, to be a guest blogger so she can showcase her stories and pictures gathered around the globe to my readers (my grandparents). So please this guest post from Nikki...tales from Morocco (part one)!

I am honored to be a guest blogger today on my favorite blog, The Bennetts! While by now you’ve heard all my stories about my trip to Morocco earlier this year, I am excited to share some photos of this incredible place. We spent the first days in Marrakech, wandering through the tight narrow streets and alleys of the Medina (which is the historic part of what is now a large and thriving city).

We visited one of the oldest schools in Marrakech, and I loved all the carving and tile that you could see on every surface.  

We talked with some snake charmers in the main market square:, but I wasn’t real sure about getting too close:

More to come from Nikki and Morocco, next week! Have a great weekend.

 

 

Shit. Damn. Hell.

Well the highlight of my weekend in Austin was seeing Lyle Lovett play at the Continental Club. The highlight of Davis' weekend was picking up some choice new words at school. :-/ I guess this is the down side of having older kids in your classroom...

But I'm not concerned (yet) because he is well aware that they are bad words, and he just wants to understand why. And of course, try them out a few times. So, we made a deal on the way to gymnastics tonight and I let him try out the words- and then we agreed we were done with them. We'll see how this tactic works. 

He is the sweetest kid, though. And he looks like he grew a foot while I was gone. And Holden has picture day tomorrow and is insisting on wearing the dress she wore to the Beauty and the Beast gala to school for pictures. Oy vey.

Anyway...I'm back from Austin and what I should really be saying "Shit. Damn. Hell." about is the fact that on Friday morning, before I left, my boss was let go. And his boss (the CMO of Best Buy) was let go. And many others on top of that. So I'm on my 4th boss in two years...and I'm just sort of exhausted by it all. Blah. So I was like "See you losers later- I'm going to Austin..."

I got to see some people I haven't seen in a long time...first Stacey and Ahmad, who I worked out with for two days a week for three years straight. MAN I've missed them. Ahmad is like my brother from another mother. It was so good to catch up with them. It was like I never left.

I also got to have dinner with Nikki one night...and hear all about her travels over a few margaritas...

But the crowning glory of the weekend was seeing Lyle Lovett perform at the Continental Club. Man he can sing. 

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And he even brought Joe Ely up with him on stage as a surprise guest. 

Not a bad Monday night if you ask me. I'm pretty lucky. I also spent one night hanging out in downtown Austin with my gal pal Ellie, from Minneapolis...she was there for the same "conference" and I got to see my buddy Oscar and Courtney, B and Weston, have drinks and shop a little with my mom, and then I even had lunch with Brooke before I left. I've been dying to try Josephine House. So cute. 

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And as you can probably guess by the sound of it, I didn't stop from the moment I landed on Friday evening until the morning I left on Tuesday. I was beat.

Going home makes you realize all the things you miss. And also all the things you don't. And I'll be damned if that isn't the loneliest feeling of all.