Friday, July 10, 2020

Take 343

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
We went on vacation! Sorry for simply disappearing last week... but getting our family to vacation was... a lot of work. LOL. We went for the third time to an airbnb in Denmark and it didn't lose any of its charm this time around. It's the longest vacation we've ever had as a family unit, and it was very very nice.

--- 2 ---
Vacationing with kids has all of the charm that you might expect... and some of the inconveniences, too... but I was for sure charmed by the presence of a bucket full of "Wasserschnecken" (water snails) on our deck... trying desperately to escape. 
--- 3 ---
Check out this sweet ice making bowl... their only problem? It should be square. Freezers aren't round... and neither should any device for holding food in the fridge or freezer... I've stood by this for years... inefficiency be gone. LOL.
--- 4 ---
This week I've been enjoying some alone time with Clancy... before the kids are on "Summer Break" with us for 3 weeks. A nice transition week between family vacation and being back "on" for kids' activities for 45 hours per week. So, I vowed to nap (and I did!) and watch some guilt-free TV (and I did!). I watched Remember the Titans this week and got to reflect on how well trained I've been by the football camp of my in-laws. You see, I married into an amazing family... and very quickly signed up for a crash course in football. Specifically: college football. More Specifically: Notre Dame Football. I giggled to myself as the coach on the opposing team in the movie called for a penalty against the quarterback. "WHAT??" I thought to myself. And smiled big as the ref replied with, "Are you kidding me, Coach??" That's right. The last time I watched this my name wasn't Couch. And I had no idea how ridiculous that request for a penalty actually was. LOL. And now I know!

Thanks, family!
--- 5 ---
Did you know that you can Shazam a song (let it "listen" and it will give you the artist and title of the song)... but even better, it will give you the lyrics in real time so you can sing along??? Mind blowing!
--- 6 ---
I went down a road I've never been on before... I'm calorie counting. Of course, I just went out for Chinese for lunch... and I'm not really interested in thinking about those calories... but I'm here to report that just like everyone says: it works. But I'm also here to report that it's absolutely downright depressing how *few* calories we need to consume daily. My favorite homemade cookies--any of them. Chocolate, cream cheese, etc. None of them fit into a calorie counting day when you're eating well to provide for a nursing baby. Le sigh.
--- 7 ---
In the world of mothering, sometimes childhood songs just pop in my head... Here's a doozy for you... Aunt Laurie, do you remember singing this in the van with hand motions??? What a crazy song... LOL. Goon?!? I honestly looked it up to see if the world remembered it exactly like I did... which is crazy. Little Bunny Foo Foo. How ridiculous! And silly. And fun. Thanks for loving us, Aunt Laurie! Car rides with you were always fun. (Especially when we pretended to be on a rollercoaster ride sitting with Rob's walker in front of us.) :)

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Take 342

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
I know it's cheating a little, but I so enjoyed seeing everyone's more than precious Father's Day photos... and I couldn't not share one of my own. Brian, thanks for being such a wonderful Papa to our kids. They are such a lucky bunch!
And yes... so happy to start the journey again with our third! #swoon
--- 2 ---
For Father's Day, Brian picked sushi for dinner and it was the first time we've had sushi since before Clancy... It was a win! The kids did pretty well, too. :)
It was the simplest variety... but hit the spot just perfectly.
--- 3 ---
Speaking of things that haven't happened since before Clancy, I went on a run! Oh you know me... I don't "RUN"... I just walk with an occasional slow jog thrown in to keep life spicy. Status: I didn't die. And it felt good... after I was done. #BabyStepsAfterBaby

[No. I haven't gone back out, yet. LOL.]
--- 4 ---
Brian installed our pergola and then we got around to buying some vines to climb it... We planted 3 clematis and then the final front prominent post with jasmine. Prior to planting this jasmine, I really had no idea what jasmine was... but woo-eee! That sweet thang bloomed a couple of weeks later and it's diiiiivine to sit on the patio and smell the sweet scent wafting through our garden. I love it! 
--- 5 ---
Our Kitchen Aid paddle attachment has been cracked and in danger of spreading that hard white enamel stuff into our cookies... so I finally got around to replacing it with a new version--it has a rubber edge so that you don't have to scrape the bowl!
After two batches of cookies, I'm totally sold! Love it. 
--- 6 ---
I splurged and watched Steel Magnolias last night. It was a night alone for me and I was all in for a chick flick. Girls. If you don't know this movie and need a whole new batch of one-liners to keep yourself laughing... PLEASE. Watch this movie. I mean really?! --

"I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!"
"I can't talk about it..." 2 women in unison, "Of course you can!"
"The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize!"
"Oh Sammy's so confused he doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt."
--- 7 ---
In other areas of adding laughter to your life... during "Internet Church" a few weeks ago we happened across a closing song that Brian didn't know and yes. I knew every single word... So we looked it up and found this entry on Wikipedia... much to our delight:

"Shine, Jesus, Shine" (also known by its first line, "Lord, the Light of Your Love") is a Christian praise song written in 1987 by Graham Kendrick.[1]
The song was voted tenth in a 2005 survey of the United Kingdom's favourite hymns by the BBC's Songs of Praise programme.[2] However, Damian Thompson, editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald, called Shine, Jesus, Shine "the most loathed of all happy-clappy hymns".[3] 

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Take 341

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
In case you missed it... I shared my thoughts here on recent events in the US. Thanks for listening, and thanks for joining me in our regularly scheduled post of the trite and ridiculous.
--- 2 ---
In Germany, if you're an American who needs to update their passport (or just get one--like our baby), you have to go to Berlin. It's a 3 to 4.5 hour drive or 2.5 hours by train. Our first trip to the Embassy in Berlin was when we had two kids and we took the train. We left the house before 6 am and returned after 9 pm... with two kids who had to be peeled out of their car seats. We were thoroughly exhausted. 

This time, we drove. We woke at 3:15 in the morning and returned by 3 pm... spending almost 8 hours in the car. Hilariously, the kids bounced back juust fine. We, on the other hand, again, were thoroughly exhausted. But it's done! 

Highlight of the day: Scoring a little bit of time at this awesome park:


Other highlight of the day: When Papa confused the kids croissants with ours and we got the Nutella filled ones... HAH. (YES!)
--- 3 ---
For a fresh side dish, I liked this pasta recipe. (I don't recommend fresh garlic. Next time we'll use garlic powder.)
--- 4 ---
We learned a new word: Preponed. As in... the opposite of postponed. *Shock and awe* Seriously! This word exists! It's from Indian English and Miriam Webster has categorized it as "Words we're watching". Brian and I had to travel all the way to Germany to come across a word that means to move a deadline forward... and Yes. The first time this ever happened to us was with the German government... because yes. They created a deadline... and then moved it forward. LOL. #WhoDoesThat
--- 5 ---
I went to the grocery store this week and realized... this is a really rough year for the lipstick industry. I've used lipstick once since March. Once. #Masked
--- 6 ---
It is, however, a fantastic year for resin. I had never heard of resin before the pandemic... Now every other suggested video on Facebook for me is some ridiculous resin project. I'm genuinely curious how hard it is to work with. 
--- 7 ---
Happy last day of Spring

Monday, June 15, 2020

Speaking Up



Hi, Friends.

I've sat down a few times now, attempting to write whatever this post is supposed to be... and have found my efforts to be lacking. But I guess perfection isn't really the goal.

It's been 3 weeks since I posted anything here. It's been 3 weeks since George Floyd was murdered. And I want to say something. But I'm afraid it'll be the wrong thing... But I won't be silent or complicit. Black Lives Matter. We have a major problem of racism, inequality, and injustice. I know whatever I say here certainly won't be perfect. But at least it will be something.

I know I'm not alone. I'm sickened. I'm sad. I'm sorry for my own part in racism. I'm so grateful to have expanded our circles to include so many wonderful and diverse friends in the last few years. Nothing can replace that joy. 

But I also want to say: What the heck is our President doing? Why is he saying such awful things? What kind of world is it where racism and a pandemic are met with political divides? I mean, I'm very far from understanding politics on the whole... but I'm sad. I'm sad that we can't have honest conversation. I'm sad that we've dug our heels in and can't put ourselves in each other's shoes. I want us all to react like George Floyd was our son, our brother, our father. But I'm not seeing it. In some places, I'm not seeing compassion and love. I'm seeing people refusing to love because such-and-such or so-and-so is too this or not aligned with that. But it's also true that in other places, I am seeing compassion and love. It's not all hopeless. And I'm holding on to that.

I love the moment in Little Women when Beth defends Marmee to Jo. I can't remember the actual words, but it's something along the lines of, "Marmee fights in her own way." And it's true. Marmee worked hard to give her daughters freedom and purpose in a world where the "Woman's Place" was defined to the kitchen and having babies. Marmee was brave. And she stayed home with her four daughters. I thought of this as I stayed home and sent Brian to a Black Lives Matter protest at the US Embassy in Hamburg. I was fighting in my own way. Cooking dinner, nursing the baby, and showing Mr. Rogers to my daughter. I'm fighting in my own way, too.

The "tone" of this blog has always been the ridiculous and insignificant things of life. And hopefully you'll stick with me as I continue in this vein of... unimportant banter. Our life is full of the ordinary. And yes, this blog is ordinary and will continue to be so. But please know that I'm also striving to be Marmee. Striving to fight in my own way. And that means that I wanted to write this post for you. And that I want you to know that I'm still swimming in all of it, trying to find ways to listen, learn, and help. I'm really glad that there are places to continue learning about anti-racism, justice, equality, and how to support the good work. And I hope that you can do that, too. At the same time, I wanted to invite you to resume our totally ridiculous banter with me... and hopefully find some much-needed laughter and joy. 

Sending my love.