Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29th....Really?

The summer is going by fast and furiously.  Let me back up...most of the time, actually, my days are REALLY long.  Some moments last an eternity.  But looking back I wonder where exactly did the month of June go.

Here's a recap:
*I actually got to read a ton of great YA books---and a couple of good grownup books, too--including my annual taste of Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich's newest release.  Yippee!
*I have worked a bit on my genealogy.  Not as much as I would like, but still...
* My last grandparent passed away and my brothers and I chose to honor her by conducting the ceremony ourselves.  Very proud of all of us, actually.
*the big clean-out that happens every summer is in progress.  This is where I rummage through all my crap and decide what stays and what goes and attempt to reorganize my world before the manic pace of the school year descends once again.
*Natalie has attended art academy, vacation bible school, played with friends, gone swimming, ridden her bike, worked on her summer reading through the public library, and magically gotten out of most of her big clean assignments.  ;)  that is one talented girl.
* I'm still sane after spending 24-7 with my children with rare breaks of adult conversation as my hubby finishes up grad school.
*took my darling Girl Scouts to the oh-so-fabulous Children's Museum of Houston.  What a blast!
*have made a few new recipes including some scrumptious Pig Cake from The Pioneer Woman's blog.  Words do not do it justice.  It is just that good.
*Did I mention no real adult interaction to speak of?
*worked on my incessant drive for perfection from myself and the need to strive, strive, strive moving along on the hamster wheel that life can so easily become.  I'm a work in progress---but am relaxing a bit.

Okay, so I'm feeling better about life.  Maybe I've done more than I thought.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What I'm reading now

What a wonderful summer it has been so far for reading!  The soaring temperatures make most everything feel dreadful, so what better way to beat the heat than to sit in my comfy chair in the AC under the fan with a lovely glass of sweet iced tea and a delightful book.

The girls enjoy reading time, too...and we've already made our way to the public library to sign Natalie (my 8 year old) up for the summer reading program and get our first bagful of books.

Here's what I've been reading so far:

Jennifer Donnelly's book, while not a new release, was new to me.  I fell in love with the characters--they are so real, so easy to relate to, even with the historical setting.  Of course, the whole based-on-a-real-life-murder-mystery element is right up my alley.  I have to admit that at first I was a bit confused by the quick change in timeline, but once I got into the groove I couldn't put the book down.  In fact, the story haunts me.

Oh, but I loved this book!  First of all, the time period is one of my favorites---set right before the second World War in Europe with royalty.  Luscious!  This book is second in the Montmaray Journals, with the first being A Brief History of Montmaray. I was swept into their world and wasn't quite ready to give it up when the book was over, so I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.  This book is filled with intrigue and great tidbits of real history which are melded perfectly together.  Oh, but I would love for this to become a perfectly done mini-series from HBO (they seem to do them quite well) and I would DVR it and watch it again and again as I tend to do with the Jane Austen movies.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Days drifting away...

It's only the beginning and yet I'm already having to work on being really in the moment rather than seeing my summer slip away.

Yep, that's the kinda gal I am, I suppose.  A planner.  A do-er.  A more-interests-than-I-possibly-have-time-to-complete kinda gal.

I really, really wish I was a spontaneous, totally live in the moment girl sometimes.  I kept thinking I might turn into one, but at 41 I'm beginning to come to grips with who I am vs. who I sometimes want to be.  Sort of.

Lately I've read a book or two that have really spoken to this element of my personality.

One of them, The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison, felt like a series of conversations with a long-distance, but long-time friend.  Now, I've owned this book for a while but have been so caught up reading YA lit for my work (okay, my pleasure, too) that it has remained in my to-be-read stack for quite some time.  I finally allowed myself some grown up reading time---feeling a little like I was cheating  on my YA loves----and I loved it.

After re-reading Eat,Pray, Love followed by The Gift of an Ordinary Day, I have these questions floating in my head:

  • What does it really mean to accept yourself and love yourself where you are? Not any trite answers...I mean, how does one really get to that place and stay there?  Is that even possible?
  • How do you improve yourself while at the same time carving out time to meditate, think, and be? 
  • How do these two ideas fit together? I mean...accept yourself AND improve yourself?  Really?
'Cause here's the thing...I'm a striver by nature.  I'm from solid Puritan stock from way back.  Seriously.
 I  believe in the American Dream and my parents instilled an incredible work ethic.  For all of these things I am grateful.  And yet..

I feel in my soul a need for quiet meditative/reflective time.  I know in my heart that my life is filled with many blessings: a great family of origin, a wonderful husband, two adorable kiddos, a job that makes my heart sing, an awesome church and friends and activities that are fulfilling. 

I also know that I have master's degree debt to be worked off, Girl Scout activities to plan, a perpetually messy house and more than a few pounds I'd like to lose. 

But, I did leave work on time yesterday and got a pedicure before picking up my youngest.  I didn't have an appointment.  I just walked on in.  

*a side note here to mention that it has been over 2 years since my last real pedi--I was preggo with baby girl when I got it, and the fella at the nail salon was cussing me in Vietnamese for my horrid heels...but honey, my feet do look gooooood today!  ;) *

Let's call that a start.

visit for more info on The Gift of an Ordinary Day.

Read on, gentle readers.  Read on.

Mrs. S

Friday, June 3, 2011


It's the end of the school year and we are all tired.  I get that.  I'm tired, too.  Yet, I still send out fairly pleasant emails detailing the annual turning-in-all-the-crap-you've-checked-out-from-the-library plans.  I specifically put "please dust off all equipment before returning" instructions in the mix. Now, in my mind, this is an obvious thing. Like when you read the back of shampoo bottles and it says "do not put in eyes" or "do not ingest".  Yet, these instructions are on the backs of potions of all sorts because people do this stuff.  Really.  

Imagine my shock and awe when a *truly* very lovely teacher who shall remain nameless sends 2 students down with this bag.  Did I mention the bag is not tan, nor khaki, nor cammo in color, but rather is BLACK.  Yes, you heard it here.  It is was a black bag. 

I was speechless, and believe you me that is REALLY saying something.  And then, I wasn't.  I think howls of animal-like pain were heard all over the tri-state area.  ;)  I wish I could say this was the only example from this year, but friends, you know it ain't so.  

Yep, it's shocking...but people do this stuff.  Really.  

Mrs. S