Last week I took the kids to see their Great-Great Aunt Dorothy. We go every week. This week, she was playing bingo when we arrived. Shelby pulled up a chair and started playing with her and her housemates. The look of love on Dorothy face just melted my heart. Shelby is 84 years younger than Dorothy, but they share a connection that defies age. Dorothy lights up when she sees Shelby and the feeling is mutual.
As Dorothy approaches 100, I have made it a goal of mine to ask her as many questions about her life. I love to listen to her stories, as she’s lived a pretty amazing life. The more I know about her life, the more I want to record her stories for Shelby and generations to come. This layout was inspired by that desire. It’s a comparison of Dorothy and Shelby … they are actually a lot a like, even though there is such a gap between them. I used a premium template from Simple Scrappers for this layout and one of Just Jaimee’s storyteller kits.
She’s 94 years old. She loves breakfast the best, especially eggs + bacon. She lives at an assisted living center across town. She has a master’s degree in education + taught English. She loved to travel. Reading is her favorite thing to do. She digs Greek mythology and minored in it as an undergrad. She was a newspaper reporter before she taught school. She loves Werther’s Original hard candy. She has a crush on Montgomery Clift. She adores Shelby.
She’s 10 years old. Ditto. She loves eggs with really juicy yokes. She lives at home with us (me, Dad and Cooper). She’s in the fifth grade + excels in reading, writing and art. She loves to travel as well. Same for her: she always reading. She’s fascinated by Norse mythology, especially Thor. She wants to be a voice-over artist when she grows up. She’s partial to Kit Kats. She has a huge crush on Luke Hemmings. She adores her Aunt Dorothy.
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I’m wearing my new U of A hat all the time. I’ve been wanting this hat for ages and since we were on campus last weekend, I was able to pick one up at the bookstore.
I’m nursing sinus + allergy issues, along with a crazy tweaked neck and back that’s causing me all sorts of pain. It’s been painful enough to bring me to tear (think shooting pain into the head). I tearfully went to see my doctor and he prescribed some muscle relaxers, physical therapy and lots of stretching.
I’m basking the the joy of a brave choice. I submitted three painting to be considered for the Arizona Biennial 2015. Even if I’m not selected, this was a big step for me and I’m excited to continue to look for opportunities to share my art.
I’m reading The Lowland for my book club, as well as “The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money.”
I’m looking forward to going to an awesome retreat next week. I’m excited to learn, grow, connect and of course, relax.
I’m still following a gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free diet. Some days, it’s super easy to stay on track. Other days. all I can think about are cookies and ice cream. I need to get back on track looking for new recipes and creating a weekly family meal plan.
I’m eating a ton of kale. It’s my new, favorite veggie. I eat it at nearly every, single meal (this morning I had some in my scrambled eggs). Can you overdose on kale?
I’m loving the sunshine and perfect weather we’re having here in Arizona. We’re had awesome flip-flop weather.
I’m planning Shelby and Cooper’s birthday party. They’ve agreed to have a joint swim party, as long as they each get their own cake. Cooper wants a Skylanders cake and Shelby wants to forgo the cake and serve ice cream sundae cups for her sweet treat.
A few months back, I wrote an article for Parenting about how to hire a nanny and what not to do. The article went live on their web site a few weeks back and I wanted to share that here as well. It’s a super informative story, but it also kind of funny since it shares the mistakes Mike and I made early on when hiring our first nanny.
How to Hire a Nanny and What Not to Do
Mom shares nanny horror story and what she learned to do—and not to do—when hiring a caregiver
After the birth of my second baby—a sweet little boy—my husband and I decided to hire a nanny to help with him and our 5-year-old daughter. I was returning to work full-time, and my job included a great deal of travel.
We scoured caregiver websites without luck, and friends and family referrals yielded no candidates. In desperation, we placed a Craigslist ad and found Holly in short order.
She had a college degree, childcare experience and was well spoken. She aced our very brief interview and seemed to have a rock-solid resume. She was a mom herself, which in my mind meant she had to be loving and kind. Within a day of meeting her, we had hired her to care for our children.
I posted the picture about on Facebook earlier this week with the caption:
No. I don’t get it all done. I just manage to hide it well. P.S. There is another load to be folded, but I ran out of laundry baskets and it’s still in the dryer. #mylife #ihatelaundry
The crazy part was that this post got my comments than anything else I’ve posted in ages. All the pretty photos of my kids or my art work got some likes here and there … and maybe even a few comments. But this photo struck a chord with tons of people, enough so that they commented on it. It’s real. It’s the truth. It’s not pretty, but it’s life.
I don’t get it all done. None of us do. But that’s okay. As one of my friends commented: life is about choices. We can choose to do the laundry or we can choose to snuggle on the couch with our kids. We can choose to do the dishes or we can choose to make art. We all have choices. I hate laundry.I always have. Laundry was my chore as a kid and folding clothes for a family of eight totally sucks. I do laundry because I have to, but I never, ever do it in a timely manner. I’m always behind and it’s always piling up. I hide it in my bedroom, so no one ever sees it, but it’s there. And like other commenters said, at least it’s clean, right? My kids aren’t going to die if they have to dig through a basket of clean clothes to get the shirt they want.
Here’s the thing: this getting it all done mentality is crap. There are lots of times we just can’t get it all done and that’s okay. I’m trying to constantly remind myself that we go through seasons: busy seasons, slow seasons, sick seasons, happy seasons, creative seasons, sad seasons … and in those seasons our focuses are different. Right now, I’m focused on my kids, my art and squeezing all the goodness out of each day. Laundry doesn’t fit well into this season, so it’s going to sit on the back burner. Maybe a season will come along where laundry is king (I doubt it), an then I’l embrace it.
For now, I want to be honest and real. I want people — me included — to stop sharing just the really pretty, awesome stuff and share the really, nitty gritty moments of life. It’s all good. It’s all important it. And it doesn’t make us any less if we have piles and piles of unfolded laundry.