KerryAndGabe.com

site updates and random thoughts
About Us Blog Books Games Movies Music Photos Trips

The Sunday Somethings, 16nov14

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Crafty days with Paula and Michelle! Yesterday, I got started on our Disney scrapbook and did some sewing.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about Christmas!

Something I’m hoping: I hope the weather cooperates for our trip to Ohio and Kentucky coming up.

Something happening around the house: Gabe fixed the dishwasher!!! He thought of one more thing, and it worked. Hooray!

Something I’m reading: I finished Goldfinch, which I found to be a bit tedious. I enjoyed the first half better than the second. I read The One & Only, the newest by Emily Giffin. I was disappointed in that one! I also finished The Lavender Garden, which I liked better than the other two. It would have been a decent book club read, but it didn’t blow my socks off or anything. I’m now reading Kiss and Spell, the 7th book in the Enchanted, Inc. series. It’s light, fluffy, and enjoyable. Just what I needed.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Red Seas Under Red Skies. Since the last post, he’s also read The Republic of Thieves, Prince of Fools, Annihilation, and Lock In. He’s now reading City of Stairs.

Something I’m watching: We’ve been enjoying The Walking Dead and The Amazing Race. Gabe is keeping up with a few other shows, but we aren’t watching too much at the moment. Our family went to see Big Hero 6, and we LOVED it! I also saw Gone Girl with book club peeps. It was interesting to see that movie after reading the book and knowing a bit about what was going to happen. The movie was pretty true to the book, for the most part.

Something I’m playing: Gabe has started playing games regularly on Monday nights. So far, they have played Caverna, Terra Mystica, Snowdonia, Concordia, Bruges, Glass Roads, Ra: The Dice Game. We have had a couple of dinner and games sessions with friends and played Quixx, Linko, and Walnut Grove. We had a games night, and I played Snowdonia, Splendor, Linko, Hey! That’s my fish! and Telestrations. Gabe started over playing Zelda: The Skyward Sword. We realized we didn’t get too far in that one!

Something I’m creating: I’ve been creating all kinds of things! Since the last post, I finished the WWDC book (and several of my coworkers also wanted to order a copy). I finished the Key West book from the girls trip in May. Audrey and Melisa ordered their copies! I started the Disney Cruise book from our trip back in February. I’m glad to finally start on that one, even if it is a bit daunting. I’m worried I’m not going to be able to fit it all in one book! I created our holiday cards, and I’m hoping to send them out just after Thanksgiving…but we’ll see if that happens. I did some sewing yesterday, again. I made pillowcases out of fabric that Maddie picked out for both kids. I also made a few surprises.

Something about the grownups: I love my crafty days with Paula and Michelle! We just had one yesterday, and I felt like I accomplished quite a bit. Gabe has been enjoying his board gaming nights. He’s getting to play some quality games. They are meeting about every other week. We had fun with the block party, especially the after party at the fire pit. We also had a great time with neighbors on Halloween. We enjoyed that it fell on a Friday this year, and the neighbors had another fire going as well as some fireworks. Good times. Gabe and I celebrated our 8th anniversary, and we had a great dinner at Maximillians. We went to a “romantic” movie and saw John Wick (haha). I had fun finally building the Lego Haunted House that I’ve had for 2 years, and Gabe put together the Ghostbusters car…an awesome combination. For the past several weeks, some of my coworkers and I have started having a shorter lunch and taking a long walk. The weather has been beautiful, and the trails around our campus are awesome. I’ve been walking 2-3 miles during lunch every day. I’ve also been tracking my foods and calories with myfitnesspal. I needed a little bit of a healthy reboot.

Something about both kiddos: After Maddie and I participated in the Chocolate 5k, we had a pile of Ghirardelli chocolates in different flavors. Our family held a taste test challenge with eleven varieties of chocolate. Cullen’s favorite was Intense Dark, Maddie’s was Dark Chocolate Truffle, Gabe’s was Toffee Crunch, and mine was Dark Chocolate Mint. Gabe’s least favorite was Hazelnut, mine was Sea Salt Caramel, and Maddie and Cullen both hated Dark Chocolate Mint. My favorite moment was when Cullen tasted that one and exclaimed, “That tastes like toothpaste!!!” He was horrified. I’m glad to know that Dark Chocolate Mint is safe from predators in my household (Gabe hates it, too.). The kids had fun with Halloween! We went to more houses this year, but we still covered a very small fraction of our neighborhood. Considering that they trade most of their candy to the Halloween witch, they don’t really need to gather all that much. Each kid picked out ten pieces of candy to keep, and the witch took the rest of it in trade for small Lego sets. The kids designed their own jack-o-lanterns again this year. Maddie’s was a simple smiley face, and Cullen’s was a simple frowny face. Their imperfect designs crack me up.

Something Maddie is doing (6.5 years old): Maddie had a marathon challenge at school where we had to complete 26 miles over the course of a month and a half or so. The kids could walk or run the 26 miles, and Maddie completed it! It was a challenge mostly for us to find the time to get in some mileage. Maddie and I did a local Chocolate 5k, and I was so impressed that she ran the entire way. I couldn’t believe it! The day before, she participated in Walk to School day, and she almost didn’t make it less than a mile…so I was worried about how well she’d do over 3 miles. She was so proud of herself, so maybe we’ll be doing some more 5ks in the future. Maddie was a beautiful Elsa, and somehow I was able to bobby pin her blonde wig enough so that it would stay on during trick or treating. We weren’t sure how that was going to work! She will get another chance to wear the Elsa dress when I take her to see Disney on Ice later this year. It’s Frozen themed, and she doesn’t know that she will be going yet. Maddie’s class had “Pumpkin Day” on Halloween, and I volunteered. This was a combination event with the other first grade classes, and they rotated to different stations in the different classrooms. I helped with a station where the kids brainstormed descriptive words for pumpkins. They then had to complete a worksheet with some of these descriptive words and measure a pumpkin in different ways (height, circumference). I thought it was a pretty smart move for the teachers to do something different on Halloween since the kids were going to be too excited to pay attention to regular instruction! They aren’t allowed to do anything specific for Halloween. Maddie had been wiggling a loose tooth for over a month, and it FINALLY fell out on November 3rd. Well, more accurately, I gave it a final yank. She was so excited to lose her first tooth! The tooth fairy came and gave her a whole dollar (yeah, our tooth fairy is cheap). She didn’t much like having the tooth yanked, but it was so loose that night at bedtime that I was seriously afraid that she might swallow it in her sleep. She lost one of the front ones on the bottom, and the one next to it is loose now. I imagine it will take some weeks before she loses it, though. It feels like her top front teeth are starting to get a little loose as well. I volunteered for Literacy Lunch and read some books to Maddie and three classmates. Gabe volunteered for Literacy Lunch once as well. He also volunteered for Otter Time, which is at the end of the day and involves helping kids with various academic areas and enrichment. Maddie is doing pretty well with piano, but it is hard to motivate her to practice at home. You’d think I was torturing her when I sit down with her at the piano. She does seem to enjoy it, so hopefully the practice will become less torturous. She’s doing fantastic with swimming. We are hoping that she will be moving up to the next level and new challenges soon, but she’s still benefitting from the current level. She continues to improve, and we haven’t seen her stagnate in this class yet. Twice a week has really helped her, and she seems to love it. Maddie is tracked out and she went to her favorite art camp this week where they did Inuit art. She is going to the same art camp next week and will also be going to a new Lego and Technology camp during this track out.

Something Cullen is doing (4.5 years old): Cullen still often wakes up before the rest of the family. These days, he doesn’t tend to sneak too many snacks as he has in the past. Sometimes, he does get his “breakfast toast” (which is what he calls his organic breakfast pastries). Frequently, he plays the iPad. He will play his usual games, and he’s also figured out how to access his list on Netflix. One morning, I came out and he was playing the iPad. He had been banned from the iPad for a few days, so I said, “Cullen, you know you’re not supposed to be playing the iPad.” Then, I noticed a couple of men walk through the backyard. “Gabe, there are men in the yard, and I don’t know what they are doing.” Cullen says, “They told me what they are doing!” Um, what? Yep, that’s right. Around 6:30am, the guys tasked with aerating our lawn knocked on the door and he answered it. By himself. When they asked where his parents were, he told them that his parents were sleeping. Within a couple of days, we had installed a double cylinder lock and keep the key out of reach. Cullen was an awesome superman for Halloween. He especially loved running to make his cape fly behind him (I didn’t break it to him that the cape didn’t really fly like he was envisioning). He ran out of steam before Maddie with trick or treating and was ready to return home. His class had a Halloween parade that morning…our last preschool fall parade! The parade was with all of the Children’s House classrooms, and Gabe counted at least 12 Elsas and 19 superheroes. Our kids didn’t exactly pick unique costumes this year. Cullen was sent home with a fever two days before Halloween, but thankfully he recovered quickly and didn’t have to miss all the fun! Cullen had two other opportunities to wear his Halloween costume. His Kindermusik class wore costumes on their class before Halloween, and he went to a costume party for one of his best buddies in preschool to celebrate his birthday. I love when the kids can get more wear out of their costumes! The fake muscles cracked me up. When he put on his costume the first time, he had trouble with the stiff upper part with the muscles. He said, “I need someone to help me with my bras!” Um, not exactly son. Cullen went with me to vote. He was excited to accompany me, and I explained the process to him. When we left, he said, “That’s it? That wasn’t very fun? Why did we do that?” And then after I explained how important it is and our civic duty and all that, he asked, “Did we win?” Cullen had several more Lego classes, and they finished up the session. Cullen went to another birthday party where he played mini golf and rode in a go-kart. Cullen loves music class, and he has a talent for it as well. They are learning all about different percussion instruments and rhythms. He’s doing pretty well with swimming and has a lot to learn. I’m curious to see how he does when we go to Great Wolf Lodge (soon!).

Something I am struggling with: You know, the usual. Writing these posts. It gets tedious when I neglect it for a month!

Something I’m looking forward to: In the next month or so…we have more swimming and music lessons. Thanksgiving. Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio and a trip to Kentucky. Dinners and lunches with friends. Book club. Doctor’s and dental appointments. Art camp and Lego technology camp for Maddie. Our annual holiday poker tournament. Putting up our Christmas tree and decorations! Sending our holiday cards! Annual Christmas date with Audrey. Disney on Ice for Maddie and me. Rudolph play for the family.

Something captured: Elsa and Superman

The Sunday Somethings, 16feb14 and 09feb14

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: A weekend of playing games! I wasn’t sure how the weekend was going to work with the logistics of the kids, but Gabe and I both were able to play quality games last weekend.

Something I’m thinking: I’m glad that it didn’t snow last weekend and make a mess of the gaming weekend…

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping we’re done with snow for the year. Two big snow events is more than we can handle in the south. We now need to make up 5 more days of school, and the make up days are running low. I’m wondering if they are going to add time to our daily schedule versus make up the days.

Something happening around the house: Twice this month, we’ve been stuck in the house all together for several days waiting for snow to thaw.

Something I’m reading: I finished The Returned. The book wasn’t all that great, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the show. I’m now reading the third book of The Demon Cycle, The Daylight War.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Sand, and now he’s reading Pandora’s Star.

Something I’m watching: We’re keeping up with Hart of Dixie, The Walking Dead, and Downton Abbey. We’re also watching Elementary and Sleepy Hollow, but I think we’re behind on those. We are still recording S.H.I.E.L.D., but we are about 10 episodes behind on that one. Oh! And we went to see The LEGO Movie yesterday, and we all loved it!

Something I’m playing: Gabe and I have sadly been playing Candy Crush (as have the kids). I swore I wasn’t going to play that game, but here we are. We played a ton of games last weekend. Gabe played Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Bora Bora, Amerigo, The Cave, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Spyrium, and Geistesblitz 2.0. I played Shitenno, Village (with 5 players, but without the expansion parts), Village (with 5 players and the expansion), Glass Road, Rampage, Belfort, Lords of Waterdeep (with expansions), Lords of Waterdeep (without expansions), Bora Bora, and Spyrium. Lords of Waterdeep was our favorite game of all the ones we played.

Something I’m creating: I did a few more pages in our 2013 photobook. I have come close to finishing it before the cruise…something I was hoping that I could do so I’d be ready to work on the cruise book when we got back!

Something tasty: Snow cream! When it snowed heavily this week, we put out a bowl and made fresh snow cream. We all thought it was tasty (except for Cullen who liked it well enough but didn’t rave about it like the rest of us).

Something about both kiddos: We knew the winter storm was coming, so I think that we bought two of the last two sleds in the area on Monday. We got two of the saucer type. We ended up with over 6 inches of snow before it turned to sleet, and the next day we got even more snow (though I don’t think it added too much to the pile). We had more than enough snow to sled on the road. The kids had so much fun! Their first time sledding was a success. Then, we went next door for dinner to celebrate our neighbor’s birthday. We had a fun snow day. I was glad that the school system cancelled schools ahead of the storm, as that prompted me to work from home. We heard so many stories of people taking hours to get home or having to stay in hotels for the night. We were thankful to be safely home together. The kids were excited to make snow cream and especially liked the mini chocolate chips and sprinkles mixed into it. The kids loved being in the hotel for the games weekend. I can’t wait to see how they like the cruise ship! We all had fun with Cullen’s birthday party. We invited two of Cullen’s classmates to see The LEGO Movie and go out to dinner. We already want to see it again. That’s definitely one we’ll have to get on DVD. The kids had a good Valentine’s Day. Both celebrations were postponed on Friday. Maddie had hers on Saturday, and Cullen’s will be tomorrow. We gave them a sweet Teddy Bear Valentine’s Lego set that they put together in the morning. We also had heart shaped pink pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and we ended the day with heart shaped chocolate chip cookies. Both kids are doing great with playing video games and have gotten better at playing Mario 3D Worlds. They also love watching us play, if we can stand the constant commentary from them. “Get the bell! Don’t fall into the lava! Daddy got dead!” The kids were both home for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They did a pretty good job entertaining themselves so that Gabe and I could work.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie’s 6th birthday is this week. At first, she was disappointed and thought it was “not fair” that we have to drive on her birthday. She has since embraced it. I mean what other kids get to drive to a Disney cruise on their birthday?? Maddie had one dance class from her hip hop / tumbling class, but they missed another one due to the winter weather on Thursday. She’ll miss both of the make up classes due to vacation. She also missed her last two rollerblading classes of this session. We wanted to sign her up for more rollerblading since she could sign up for the advanced class this time. Unfortunately, we’d miss too many of the classes for this session. We’ll have to try again for the summer sessions. Maddie is officially tracked out (after her Saturday make up day), and she’s going to art camp for a few days this week before our vacation.

Something Cullen is doing (4 years old): Cullen had fun with his birthday party and especially enjoyed getting presents from his friends. Cullen has been going to sleep each night in our bed, and then he gets carried to his room once he’s asleep. This has become quite the bad habit! We are going to have to do a reset on this after vacation. Cullen has been playing a lot with Legos, especially the minifigures. He also loves the Ninjago spinner game.

Something I am struggling with: I’m feeling like I’m not prepared for our cruise, but I know a lot of that is due to not needing to do all that much to prepare for cruising. So much of it is already mapped out for you! I’m debating whether we want to do an excursion on St. Maarten. Originally, we had decided against it, but I’m thinking we might want to do a tour.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been working on the 2014 photobook, and we’re about to go on a Disney cruise! Two things on my goals list.

Something I’m looking forward to: Our Disney cruise!!!! Gabe has a dinner with a friend, I have lunch with a friend, and I have a rescheduled hair appointment. Maddie’s birthday is also this week. Big week for us!

Something captured: Silly kids at dinner last night.

The Sunday Somethings, 08dec13

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: Legos! I’m glad that the kids enjoy them as Gabe and I are also having fun with them. All four of us built things this evening. The kids also each have a Lego advent calendar.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about Christmas gift ideas for friends and family.

Something happening around the house: We put up our Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving. I love it. I love seeing the ornaments each year. Gabe also put up some of our outdoor lights. I love all of it!

Something I’m reading: I finished the second book of The Demon Cycle. I started and finished Out of My Mind (in one evening). That one is this week’s book club selection. I loved it. I also started and finished The Selection, and I enjoyed that one well enough to continue the series.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished The Daedalus Incident and started Blackout by Connie Willis.

Something I’m watching: We’re watching The Amazing Race finale at the moment. This weekend, Maddie and I saw our neighbors perform in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I had my annual Christmas date with Audrey and saw The Grinch musical on Saturday. This morning, we saw a production of Frosty the Snowman. All three were great! What a wonderful weekend of live entertainment. Since my last update, we took the kids to see Frozen and saw Catching Fire. Frozen was cute, and the kids enjoyed it. We thought Catching Fire was great!

Something I’m creating: I’m still working on the 2012 photobook. I’ve been making progress, little by little.

Something tasty: Audrey and I ate at Revolution before The Grinch, and we did the 5-course tasting menu. Tasting menus are fun! I wouldn’t have ordered anything we had on my own, so it was a great experience to try some new things. The cocktails and wine helped, too. Oh, and we had a lot of Chex Mix that I made for Thanksgiving. YUM! I can’t wait to make more for Christmas. We took them to the movies that weekend to see Frozen. We all had a good time at the movies.

Something about both kiddos: We finally were able to visit Chad and Kristin’s farm when we had Thanksgiving with Chad’s family. It was fun to see their goats and chickens and the barn that they built. We also were able to see where their new house will be built soon. Over the holiday weekend, we made gingerbread houses. The kids also had a snow-themed book club. The kids also started another session of rollerblading (for Maddie) and soccer (for Cullen). I thought we’d be taking a break from the sports lessons, but both kids wanted to take another session. We took them to see Frosty the Snowman this morning. They seem to enjoy the plays, and we’ve already gotten some tickets for plays next year.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): We were so proud of Maddie at her drama and arts camp. She was nervous about trying a new camp, but her usual art track out camp wasn’t open the week of Thanksgiving. We thought it was a great time for her to try the drama camp since the 3-day version doesn’t have a real performance at the end. They did perform a play after the first two days for themselves, and I got to see the video. It was hard to hear her speaking some of the time, but other times she did great. She told me that we wouldn’t have to “make” her go ever again. What she meant by that is that she loved it and would happily go for a full week. She went to another week of art camp last week. The camps have been so good for her. We are loving the year round school schedule. She went back to school on Thursday, and her classroom was in a new location. She did so well with that transition. We’re starting to get the hang of this kindergarten thing.

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): Cullen has been addicted to Gabe’s iPad lately. We have had to limit his time for sure. He loves playing all the Lego games, especially Ninjago. He still loves everything Ninjago and runs around the house, using whatever he can find as a ninja weapon. He sang the holiday songs to me today as a preview for his holiday concert.

Something I’m looking forward to: Cullen’s holiday concert at preschool is this week. It’s his first one, so it will be fun to see how he does! I have book club, the kids have sports lessons, we have dinner and games with friends, our holiday poker tournament is next weekend, and we have Disney on Ice next weekend.

Something captured: The kids at Frosty this morning with their new buddies.

The Sunday Somethings, 10nov13

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: It was several weeks ago now, but I love our anniversary tradition of going to a fancy restaurant that neither of us have experienced. I also love that we have a photo from each one!

Something I’m hoping: I hope that our nephew continues to heal swiftly from his awful, scary car accident. He has a long road ahead of him, and we have been thinking about him constantly in the past two weeks.

Something happening around the house: Our roof is finished! We still have to work with insurance and the roofers to get all the payments squared away. We also have a little interior part of the project left from the water leak last year.

Something I’m reading: I finished Steelheart, and I loved it! I look forward to reading more in that series whenever it gets released. I read Bad Monkey, which is one of our upcoming book club selections. I struggled to get through it, but I was stubborn and finished it. I didn’t enjoy it. Next, I read Once Upon Stilettos which is the second book in the Enchanted, Inc. series. I read the first one a while ago, and I don’t know why it took me so long to read the second one! I rather enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next one. It is a light, fluffy sort of read, and that’s exactly what I needed. Next was a quick read, Ajax Penumbra. I’m not sure I like the trend of authors putting out mini-books as spin offs from their series or other novels. I enjoyed reading it well enough, and it had a lot of fun little bits. Overall, it was just too short and sweet for me to rate it too highly. I’m now reading the first book of The Demon Cycle, The Warded Man. I’m liking that one so far!

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished Emperor of Thorns. He also read Steelheart, and now he’s reading The Daylight War which is the third book of The Demon Cycle.

Something I’m watching: Wow, I have been pretty slack on my Somethings… I can’t believe that I haven’t written since before our anniversary. On our anniversary, we saw Gravity, and we were both captivated. I thought it was fantastic, and it’s very likely that it will end up being our favorite theater movie of the year.

Something I’m playing: I’m not sure what else we might have played in the past several weeks, but last night for our small, rescheduled, last minute games night I played Dungeon Pets and Forbidden Island. Gabe played Kingdom Builder and Forbidden Island.

Something tasty: Chicken and waffles from Beasley’s! Yum!

Something I’m creating: I polished off the October 2012 Disney book and started the 2012 family memories photo book. I can’t wait to finish that one. I find the trip albums to be a lot easier to organize than the general photobooks (now that I’m not doing them chronologically – no way to fit everything into one book if I don’t group things into categories!). I guess by the time I finished the 2012 family book, it will be time to do the 2013 book! One day, I might catch up… I also have two more trip books to do from 2013.

Something about both kiddos: The kids both enjoyed another kid book club. October’s kid book club had a Halloween theme, and we had a fun costume party to celebrate. Activities included decorating a small pumpkin, some outdoor games, turning each other into toilet paper mummies, guess the body part (wow that sounds odd out of context – things like grapes represented eyes, cauliflower for brains, and they body parts were hidden from view to touch and guess what they were supposed to represent and later what they really were), and a Halloween themed votive jar. We also had lunch with monster mac ‘n’ cheese, mummy dogs, and sugar cookies. The kids are still doing rollerblading and soccer. The lessons seem to be dragging on forever this time. We will probably be doing different things after this session. Cullen still wants to take violin, and Maddie wants to do gymnastics with Sophie. The kids and I missed Daddy while he was out of town visiting with his family after our nephew’s accident. He was gone for four days. We tried going around the table at dinner Friday night, indicating one thing at a time that we were thankful for (and we were not allowed to repeat anything that had been said previously). It was fun to see what the kids would say. My favorite that Cullen said was, “I’m thankful that Daddy is going to let me play his iPad after dinner.” That was some nice wishful thinking! Maddie came up with some great ones like “love,” “electricity,” and “trees.” She was thankful for trees partially because of the pretty fall colors and the giant leaf pile in our front yard. But she also was thankful to trees because they give us oxygen and because we can make paper out of them and she loves to draw. Our thankful dinner was a good variation on good/bad. I took the kids to see the live Dora show last Sunday while Gabe was gone. I thought it was the worst production out of the series in terms of entertainment value for adults, but the kids enjoyed it. Fortunately, both kids agreed that they don’t really like Dora as much anymore, so I doubt we’ll be going to any more live Dora productions. I got some cute photos of the kids wearing their Christmas/Santa outfits. Also, while Daddy was out of town, we went to a birthday party with a camping theme and a fun magician. The kids were highly entertained by the magician! It was fun to see all the kids so happy. They both love Zoe’s kitchen. Maddie likes the grilled chicken and fruit and Cullen likes the chicken and cheese kid roll ups and fruit. It’s a good, newer restaurant that we’ve added to our rotation. We had a fun Halloween! Maddie was Sofia the First, and Cullen was a stormtrooper. We went trick or treating with our neighbor’s grandson and the grandson’s cousin. We had a great time sharing the fun with them, and the four kids were adorable. The kids designed their own jack-o-lanterns this year, and they turned out to be quite cute. We were running out of time to carve the pumpkins, but I’m glad that we made some time to do it after all.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Things seem to be going pretty well for Maddie at school, and we are pleased to see that she’s showing her teachers some of the things that she can do. Apparently, she started a book making trend in her classroom. Maddie loves making little books! She’s still very interested in art projects and writing. She’s doing very well with her reading. She does some independent reading at school, but it’s hard to get her to read to herself at home. She does enjoy reading to us, so that is good! I look forward to her doing more reading while curled up on the couch with a book (or a kindle!). I know I spent countless hours reading in my childhood! We had a good meeting with Maddie’s teacher and AG coordinator, and they will be providing services within her classroom and outside of the classroom. I’m very pleased with their response so far! We had a play date with one of her classmates. He lives in a neighborhood behind ours, and we can walk through the woods to get to his house. I’m glad that Maddie is making friends! Of course, it may have backfired a little bit since Maddie got in trouble a few times the following week due to extra socializing with her new friend! Maddie had a birthday party to attend at a bounce house for one of her preschool friends. She enjoyed seeing some of her old friends! She also got a massive goose egg on her forehead after colliding with a friend. Ouch! It showed up immediately as a huge bump and bruise. It was a bit scary! The bruise is still healing and going through various stages of purple, green, and yellow. I hope it goes away soon!

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): Cullen is making friends in his class, and we are so happy. He talks about playing with Austin on a daily basis. They seem to be two peas in a pod. He’s gotten into Ninjago as a result and is all about spinning around like crazy and using anything he can find as a ninja weapon (the other day, it was a toilet brush). Cullen did have a bad experience with a classmate’s birthday party. None of the kids acknowledged him or wanted to play with him, though many of the kids were not from his class. I think that made him a bit sad. Cullen and Maddie got into a fight while Gabe was out of town. I was trying to talk to our nephew on the phone, and within three minutes they were screaming at each other. They hit and pushed each other, and when I found them Cullen’s face was all bloody. He had hit his nose on the fireplace, I guess? It was scary for me as I wasn’t sure where the blood was coming from or whether a trip to the Urgent Care or ER was needed. Fortunately, he looked much better after I cleaned him up. Cullen had his first fall parade at preschool. He was such a happy boy parading around with a teacher who was dressed up as Princess Leia! We saw some big smiles out of him as he paraded around the circle. While Gabe was out of town, Cullen woke me up one night with a wet bed and wet pajamas. I got him cleaned up and replaced his pajamas and sheets with fresh ones. About 10 minutes after I put him to bed, he appeared downstairs and tried to climb into my bed. I told him that he needed to get back to his room. He said, “no, I’m scared.” I said there was no reason to be scared and that he needs to go to his bed. He replied, “but I think there’s something scary in my room!” “Cullen, there’s nothing scary in your room, I was just there, and everything is fine.” “I think there’s a long-necked animal under my covers!” “Um, you think there’s a giraffe in your bed??” I went up to check for giraffes and tuck him back into bed. When I declared the bed to be giraffe free, he said, “Maybe I didn’t actually see it. Maybe I just used my imagination.”

Something I am struggling with: Apparently, Gabe and I don’t get out much. On our anniversary, we attempted to leave the fancy restaurant without paying our bill! The waiter had to flag us down in the parking lot to let us know that we kinda needed our check. How embarrassing! We then took an “interesting” route to the movie theater, showed up to the movie quite early, and proceeded to accidentally walk into the last five minutes of gravity before realizing that the previous showing wasn’t finished yet. Maybe we need more practice going out!

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been keeping up with my photos pretty well, even with the barrage of October photos. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of deleting more than 75% of the photos that we take.

Something I’m looking forward to: Maddie is tracked out until after Thanksgiving! She’s going to art camp again for 2.5 of the weeks, and then a new camp for the partial week of Thanksgiving. The kids both have dental appointments on Wednesday, and we have an appointment to renew Maddie’s passport. We have a picnic and play date with a couple of Cullen’s classmates planned. Gabe has his trip to Cincinnati with his mom to see the Bengals play.

Something captured: The kids with me at the Dora show last weekend.

The Sunday Somethings, 07jul13

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: I got to play two good quality games at yesterday’s games night!

Something I’m thinking: Staying up too late and eating too much junk food may have been the root cause of my constant headache today.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that Maddie’s first day of school goes well. Maddie and I are both nervous about it!

Something happening around the house: Ugh, ants. The morning of July 4th, we had an infestation in the pantry. I guess it was about time to clean out the pantry of some things, anyway, but it sucked to have to throw out food we were planning to eat! Then last night, one of our friends pointed out that we had a few ants in the kitchen. It turned out that we had more than a few, and they were parading through the living room to the kitchen with a stop by the kids’ table. It was already late when they were discovered, and I had to make sure all the snacks were put away, ants were destroyed, and all surfaces were destickified. I hope that’s the last that we will see of the ants this year, but somehow I think that it won’t be.

Something I’m reading: I finished the 2nd Molly Fyde book and started book 3.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished the 4th Molly Fyde book. He started and finished The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. He’s now reading Blood Song by Anthony Ryan.

Something I’m watching: We surprised the kids on Friday with picking them up early and meeting Aunt Kristin to see Despicable Me 2. We all had a great time! I thought it was a fun one.

Something I’m playing: I played Terra Mystica and Le Havre last night. Both are pretty long games, and I enjoyed them! I was glad to have the opportunity to play two games like that. Gabe played Ginkopolis, La Boca, Pandemic, and Gotcha. We’re still playing Letterpress on the iPhones. Gabe also started playing Mario for the Wii U again. We didn’t get too far when we first got the game.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been working on my 2011 photobook. I’m getting close to finishing it up! I have a few more holiday events and then the “Hall of Fame.” I’ll be so glad to have that finished. It’s weird to see photos of the kids from two years ago. They sure have grown a lot!

Something tasty: My friend Marie’s no bake treats. YUM.

Something about both kiddos: They have been begging to watch Star Wars for a while. I’m not even sure what appeals to them so much about it. We watched a little Return of the Jedi. When Princess Leia saved Han Solo from the carbonite and took off her disguise, Cullen said, “awww, that’s nice! I thought she was a pig guy!” They both seemed to enjoy it. I guess we might have to get the series on DVD. We got some new paints, and the kids are having fun with painting. Both kids really enjoy art projects. We got together with friends to celebrate Miranda’s birthday on July 4th. She’ll be turning one this week. Otherwise, we didn’t do too much for the holiday. Often, we’ll take trips, but we didn’t know if Maddie’s first day might be Monday, so we decided to stay in town (and work on Friday). They both loved seeing Aunt Kristin on Friday.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): She started taking showers by herself which is a milestone for us as much as it is for her! She’s very excited about it. She’s doing a decent job of getting clean, too. Meanwhile, Gabe and I are rejoicing that our duties have decreased for the nightly bathing rituals. She’s doing pretty well with teeth brushing, too. Maddie finally brought home her USA map – that was great! I’m not sure if she’s excited about going to kindergarten. I think that she is, but she’s more nervous than excited at the moment. She is very excited about what’s going to happen after her first day with ice cream after school and then a special Mommy day on Friday. Maddie’s been coloring a scene of her and her brother at the beach. They are relaxing on beach towels next to an ice cream cart. I think she really wants to go to the beach!

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): He’s very into swishing around swords and punching the air and “byewing” things (um, however you would spell the sound that shooting lasers in a movie would make). Poor little boy is coming down with a cold or something and spent most of the day with a very raspy voice. He was frustrated that he couldn’t talk the way he wanted! Cullen was less than thrilled about the fireworks that neighbors were setting off on July 4th. He woke up and came out of his room and said, “That’s not a good time to do fireworks…when you’re sleeping!” Cullen had a routine follow up visit with the ENT. It was just a continued follow up for his tubes. Unfortunately, one of the holes has not closed up on its own and his ENT believes that he needs surgery to close the hole. He didn’t feel it was an emergency, so we will probably give it some time before we pursue surgery.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’m working on my photobooks, woo!

Something I learned: If you’re trying to make red, white, and blue jello with the white layer as cool whip, you need to do something with that middle cool whip layer. Otherwise, it’s just going to float to the top and look like a mess. Oh well, at least it still tastes the same!

Something I’m looking forward to: Both kids have sprinkler day on Wednesday, and I think their classes will be together for it. They will be sharing the playground for Maddie’s last 3 days, so they are excited about that. Maddie’s last day is Wednesday, and she will be going to kindergarten on Thursday (her staggered entry day). On Friday, Maddie and I are going to have a “special day.” She has requested to go to lunch at the Shiny Diner and to Pullen Park. We’re going for ice cream when I pick her up on Thursday, too. I’m looking forward to seeing how the first day will go and celebrating with my little girl! I also have my first PTA meeting tomorrow (before Maddie even starts school!). I’ve volunteered to help with the PTA’s website.

Something captured: I can’t believe she starts this week.

The Sunday Somethings, 02jun13

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Something I’m reading: I finished reading The Girl of Nightmares, and I would read more in that series, if there were more in the series. I don’t know if there will be in any more, though! I started and finished Gone Girl in one day. I couldn’t put it down! It was captivating, but I was disappointed by the ending. It seems like most people I’ve talked to feel similarly. I started and finished Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. Cute story! I was also amused that there was a part from Max Brenner (where we just went in NYC), and they even mentioned the chocolate syringe (Maddie and Cullen’s favorite part!). I’m reading The Snow Child for June’s book club.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished reading The Desert Spear. He started and finished both Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. I’m glad that he enjoyed those! He’s now reading Old Man’s War. He decided pretty quickly after reading the sample that he wanted to read the whole thing!

Something I’m watching: We took the kids to see Epic, which was cute. It’s not something I’ll need to own or see again, but it was a good outing. Cullen seemed to enjoy it well enough. He was scared in a few places. Maddie says she didn’t like it. I think it was too intense for her in too many scenes. I did crack up at the beginning when she said, “It’s like nature alive!” Now Gabe is creeping me out with Cabin in the Woods.

Something about both kiddos: The kids have been into old episodes of the original Strawberry Shortcake cartoon from the 80s. They are both mesmerized by it. Hooray for free streaming videos on amazon prime! We had a family slumber party in our room last night and watched an episode of Strawberry Shortcake before reading stories and getting the kiddos to sleep (then we read our own books and tried to sleep). The next time that we have a slumber party, the kids are getting carried to their own beds for the remainder of the night. The adults didn’t get much sleep with all the snoring and teeth grinding and kicking and whining when one kid whacked another in their sleep, etc. The kids were pretty excited about the special night, at least. They also enjoyed our movie outing to Epic (even if Maddie says she doesn’t like it). The kids have been having fun playing in hippo pool 2.0. The old one lasted two summers, so this is the best $20 we’ve spent twice! The kids get so much joy from playing in the water. They get together so well about 95% of the time. They have some pretty aggressive physical fights the other 5% of the time. Last Monday before we left my parents’ house, the kids made bird costumes from this month’s kiwi crate. They had a lot of fun running around as birds and gathering food and sticks to make nests. We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see Aunt Kristin’s baby goats at the farm, but the kids had a great time visiting with Kristin on Friday afternoon as she was in town. Both kids are getting back into a Lego phase, and we built some of their kits this weekend.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie had strep throat AGAIN this week, so she’s on another course of antibiotics. Poor girl. This time, she was not quite feeling herself in the morning, but she didn’t have a fever, so we sent her to school. She was sent home with a fever, so we scheduled her an appointment…sure enough, strep again, as we suspected. Maddie was able to go to her swimming lessons this week. She made a little progress this week at her last two lessons from this session. She starts a new session on Tuesday. Hopefully, she won’t have to miss any of her lessons from this bunch. The week that she missed was not good for her confidence! Even her instructor was left wondering how she passed level 1 last week, even though we know she needs to be in level 2.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen has been a bit stubborn and demanding lately and very…three! He likes to say, “no. never!” when you ask him to do something or stop doing something. He likes to screech and throw tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. He’s not letting Maddie boss him around as much lately, so that is probably a positive development. He has been making up stories for me at bedtime. Some of them are pretty clever (and others are mundane stories about things our family has really done). He will also make up songs. He’s got a few dances that he likes to do as well, including his “stomp dance” that he started after downing a syringe of chocolate in NYC. He cracks me up. I think that his teachers are enjoying him.

Something I am struggling with: I can’t seem to get motivated to get some work on my photobooks, and I’m still quite far behind…with one more to do now with the NYC trip. I need to write up my trip reports for the blog, too, before too long. Those help me quite a bit when making the photobooks!

Something I’m looking forward to: Both kids have class pictures this week. I hope they turn out well! We also have Maddie’s preschool graduation and her kindergarten orientation (as well as a day when she gets to visit the school and meet teachers). Big week, and we’re only about a month before the start of kindergarten for Maddie. Yikes! I’m off to San Francisco for WWDC next week!

Something captured: This is another one from last weekend at Nana and Papas, after putting together their bird costumes.

The Sunday Somethings, 05may13 and 12may13

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: I had a wonderful Mother’s Day with a good mix of kid time and kid free time. What a great weekend!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about our upcoming trip to NYC! The kids are excited.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that the weather will be wonderful while we’re in NYC as we have some outdoor plans (but we can always find indoor alternatives, at least!).

Something happening around the house: We bought a new kiddie pool (which happens to look just like the old one), and we had our first pool day of the year. It was warm during the day, but it was still a tad too cold for the kids to be in for too long!

Something I’m reading: Since the last somethings post, I started and finished The Sociopath Next Door (May book club), Julie and Julia, The Age of Miracles (July book club), and Mockingbird. I was disappointed in both The Sociopath Next Door and Julie and Julia but enjoyed them both well enough. I loved The Age of Miracles and Mockingbird! I just started reading Room, which has been on my list for a while.

Something Gabe is reading: He finished Elantris and started and finished The Martian.

Something I’m watching: We watched the Amazing Race finale last Sunday, and tonight is the Survivor finale. We’ve been watching Game of Thrones now that I’m done reading the books. I went to see 42 today with a girlfriend and thought it was funny that I went to see a baseball movie on Mother’s Day without Gabe! I loved it.

Something I’m creating: I’ve been taking a lot of photos, inspired by my photography class.

Something tasty: We’ve been trying a lot of new recipes, focusing on lower fructose to see if that helps Gabe feel better. We are missing some of our staples, but we are enjoying some new things!

Something about both kiddos: I wish I wouldn’t get lazy and skip a week here and there because it’s hard for me to remember everything that they did in two weeks! The kids missed their rollerblading lesson last week due to Maddie’s strep throat, and yesterday was their final session and the medal ceremony. The kids were losing their motivation for rollerblading lessons, so we’ll take a break from it for now. They still seem to want to rollerblade, so hopefully we can do it some at home now that it is warmer outside. The kids are loving play outside more after more than a week of rainy days.

Something Maddie is doing (5 years old): Maddie had strep throat AGAIN. This may be her 5th time now…at least her 4th. She’s following in Mommy’s footsteps. I can’t tell you how many times I had strep throat when I was growing up, though I remember getting it when I was in middle school (not preschool!). What can I say…she’s advanced! Maddie had her third book club meeting on Saturday. We are having so much fun with the kiddo book club! This month’s book was the Magic Tree House Dark Day at Sea. Each kid made an octopus, and every tentacle was at a different art station. I loved seeing the creativity of each kid! The weather was awesome on Saturday, and the kids had so much fun with water outside. Maddie made a heart necklace for me in her classroom with her fingerprint. She told me that she made a necklace for me on the day she made it (5 year olds aren’t the best at keeping secrets, ha!). Maddie is now officially riding her two wheeled bike. She made an amazing transition this week. I’m so proud of her! She finished her level 1 preschool swimming lessons and started level 2 this week. She’s loving the swimming lessons, too! Maddie is pretty comfortable on her rollerblades as well. We had teacher appreciation week, and Maddie wrote a letter to each teacher. She did a great job, but it’s a struggle to get her to actually sit down and do it! She came up with both what she wanted to say and how to spell everything. I loved her letters.

Something Cullen is doing (3 years old): Cullen told me, “Mommy! I made you something special!” on the day that he made my Mother’s Day gift. I said, “That’s great, Cullen! But be sure you don’t tell me anything about it since it’s supposed to be a surprise.” He quickly said, “That’s all I know about that!” He then followed it with a sing-song voice, “It’s not an annnnnnnngeellll!” The next day, he told me it wasn’t a necklace. It turns out that he made me an angel necklace. So sweet, and I love how he thought he was being sneaky by “not” telling me! Cullen is still a little timid on the rollerblades but has made a lot of progress. He was showing off for his favorite instructor (the only female of course) at the end today, and skated backwards a pretty good distance. Cullen also made letters for his teachers. I wrote out what he wanted to say to his teachers, and he wrote his letters quite well. At bedtime one day last week, Cullen said, “Mommy, you are the best Mommy in the whole wide world.” He then leaned over and gave me one of his signature sweet kisses. I love his sweet kisses! And then three minutes later, I wouldn’t give into a bedtime stalling demand. He said, “you…you…you are some kind of peepee head!”

Something I’m looking forward to: I have another photography class tomorrow, a division picnic lunch at work, and a haircut. We have a seminar about the kindergarten transition. And we’re going to NYC!

Something random: We went to see Greg Proops on Friday, and it was great! It’s been a while since I’ve been to a comedy show. We should definitely do it more often.

Something captured: My only request for Mother’s Day each year is a photo of me with the two kiddos! This year’s is my favorite so far!

Best of 2012

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Now that we’re well into 2013, it’s time to reflect on 2012, right? It’s a challenge to even remember last week much less all of last year, but I’m going to give it a try…

Best Restaurant: Considering how little we go out to interesting restaurants these days, this is always a tough category for me. We make sure to go out each year to somewhere new and fancy on our anniversary, but most of the rest of our meals tend to be at boring kid friendly places. I’m going to pick Draft. Sadly, it closed at the end of the year for reasons unrelated to its popularity. We went with friends before a concert in February and again with Gabe’s parents just before they closed their doors. YUM!

Best Book: I actually read quite a few great books this year. The candidates for the “best” of the year were Ready Player One, The Kingkiller Chronicles, and the Wool series. It’s hard to compare the three because they were different, but since I’m forcing myself to pick one “best,” I’d have to pick The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I highly recommend all of the finalists from this year, though! And I can’t wait to read the next one in The Kingkiller Chronicles as well as the Wool series (by Hugh Howey). I really did have a tough time choosing between the two.

Best Vacation: I might as well rename this category to “the major vacation that we took this year.” Of course, our best vacation this year was our big trip to Disney World! We had been looking forward to it for a long time, and it was great (though exhausting). We’ll do it again in a couple years! We did have a good number of wonderful shorter vacations this year, too.

Best Movie: This one is difficult for me because when I look at the list of movies that we saw in the theater, nothing stands out clearly above the rest. I guess I would pick The Avengers.

Best TV Show: My favorite show this year was Hart of Dixie.

Best Music: I don’t pay attention to the newest music these days, but we went to a fantastic concert in July with Kristin and Chad. We saw Roger Waters perform The Wall in its entirety. That was quite an experience! I wish we had had better seats, but it was still great to be there.

Best Board Game: Our favorite new game this year was Village. We need to add this one to our collection!

Best Lighter Game: I really enjoyed Riff Raff which I played at TBGT. I haven’t been able to find it for sale anywhere.

Best Party Game: We have had Cranium Hoopla for years, but I finally played it at TBGT. It was a perfect game to play with family and friends! We had fun with it on Thanksgiving with Gabe’s family, with my family at Christmas, and with friends at New Year’s. Fun game!

Best Video Game: I guess this one has to go to NintendoLand since it’s one of the only video games that we played this year. I look forward to playing more of the Wii U. With all that free time that I don’t have…

Best iPad Game: Gabe and I both spent quite a bit of time playing Mystery Manor on our iPads at the beginning of the year. It was fun while it was lasted!

Best Kids’ Game: We played a lot of kids’ games in 2012, and my favorite of those is Catan Junior. It plays somewhat similarly to the real game, and I love this intro to Eurogames for the kids. They are loving it. The kids ask to play “the pirate game” often.

Best Toy (for Maddie): My favorite toy of the year for Maddie is her Olivia’s House Friends Lego set. It’s awesome! It’s a dollhouse made of Legos. FUN!

Best Toy (for Cullen): Cullen was very into the wooden trains this year, and we all enjoyed them. We had fun making huge layouts, and they got some motorized trains for Christmas. Good times!

Best Maddie Moment: My favorite Maddie moment was riding in the front car of Goofy’s Barnstormer when she put her hands way up in the air. She was so happy. It was a wonderful experience! Loved it!

Best Cullen Moment: Cullen and I spend quite a bit of time together, and we have so many special moments together. He’s so sweet, especially every night when we go through his bedtime routine. We had a lot of great moments at Disney, too. I think that my favorite may have been when Cullen told Rapunzel that he would protect me from the dragon. He was so sweet with Minnie Mouse and the princesses!

Best Reunion: I didn’t think I’d be able to think of one this year for “best reunion,” but then I realized that Audrey and I reunited our travel relationship! We had a wonderful time at Disney in April. Hopefully, we’ll be able to take some more trips together in the future.

Maddie is 4.5!

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

I can’t believe that Maddie is four and a half (or was on August 20th!). Time for another letter to Maddie! (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 28jul12

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Something I’m thinking: Well, it’s Wednesday. I was thinking about waiting until Sunday, but I decided that Wednesday was better than not at all.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping the ants will go away soon. We have had a terrible time with them this year.

Something happening around the house: The dolls are having a perpetual tea party on the ottoman. Why not?

Something I’m reading: I finished Divergent in time for book club, and then I finished Moonwalking with Einstein (for August’s book club meeting). I’m now reading Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent.

Something I’m watching: We saw both The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises (both in the same night!). We had a great time while the kiddos had a great time with the sitter (one of Cullen’s teachers). I love hearing stories about the adventures that they had while we were gone (both from the sitter and from the kids).

Something I’m playing: Mystery Manor. Gabe is phasing out of Valor.

Something tasty: Jelly Bellies, though I have had to eat a pitifully small number in any given day as I’m paying attention to the foods that I’m eating. I am allowed some little treats here and there, though!

Something Maddie is doing (53 months old): We had Maddie’s yearly conference today where we mostly discussed her progress and the types of things that she will be doing as a “graduate.” I can’t believe that she will be a graduate so soon! They will be challenging her more in the next year. Hopefully, she will be motivated to try more challenging and new things. She is such a perfectionist, and I think she’s afraid to try something new until she knows she can master it. We have seen this again and again with her. She seems to be completely clueless about something, and then all of a sudden she’s mastered it. Maddie does a lot of coloring at school. She rarely goes out of the lines and uses color effectively. Gabe printed out a bunch of coloring pages from the Disney website from their favorite shows, and Maddie tends to color the characters with the correct colors from memory. She makes “books” at school by coloring and writing letters and names on little stapled, folded over sheets of paper. Maddie also likes setting up tea parties for her dolls and us. It’s adorable.

Something Cullen is doing (30 months old): Cullen had a few good days since my last update, but he isn’t going to be getting his Spider-Man car any time soon. We can’t seem to make more than 2 accident free days in a row, though he has had many days without accidents at school. We had his 30-month conference at school this week, and his teacher does not seem to be at all concerned about his potty training progress (or lack thereof). She still feels he has plenty of time between now and preschool, and we should focus on all the wonderful things that he is doing. He received a glowing progress report, especially in the area of communication. We also learned that he sometimes tattles on other kids in the class. His communication amazes all of the teachers and us. Every night, after I read him books, he wants to “read” a book to me. Sometimes, he is able to “read” the book word for word (obviously, he’s memorized it). Other times, he repeats key phrases on every page. In one case, he used the pictures as a guide and made up his own story. I’m enjoying both reading to him and having him read to me! Bedtime has been a little smoother on most nights in the past couple weeks. Cullen has been very interested in playing with the trains in the bonus room. We have a huge layout set up in there, using almost all of the track that we have. It’s impressive. The whole family has been having fun with the wooden train set! He also loves lining up and organizing matchbox cars.

Something I am struggling with: I am using My Fitness Pal on the iPad and iPhone to track the foods I’m eating. The tracking process alone has motivated me to make better choices. I’ve already lost a little weight, too.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Gabe and I signed up for a Zero to 5K training program at work. The next step will be to get appropriate clothing for the gym.

Something I’m looking forward to: We haven’t had much going on in the first half of this week, but the rest of the week is full of plans. We are celebrating a friend’s birthday with dinner tomorrow. We have dinner and games on Friday with friends. We are going to a games day on Saturday, and on Sunday, Maddie and I are celebrating being big sisters with one of her friends who just become one.

Something captured: Cullen and I on the carousel this past weekend.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey