Yet another change

I know you’re probably sick of seeing different versions of this room by now and are convinced I have some sort of problem for which I should seek help. Maybe you’re right, but I like to think of myself as an interiors Goldilocks. I test things out until I find what’s just right.

The main issue I’ve always had with this room is that it’s a long rectangle, so it’s been tricky to find a furniture set up that doesn’t highlight that semi-annoying feature and make each end of the room feel like an empty no man’s land. Also, one entire wall is made up of windows, so there’s only ever been one spot we could put the TV. I know you’re probably thinking “Just get rid of the TV!” Yeah, we tried that once, and no thanks. The placement of the piano was a bit odd too because it hid some of the built-ins surrounding the fireplace and made that little nook feel slightly cramped. So a few weeks ago when my piano was moved for a thing that was shot in my house, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to change things up.  Continue reading

Pumpkin muffins

The boys are home from school today, so I don’t have much to say because I’m exhausted. I posted in my stories on Instagram that only a Thursday off from school should be illegal because it’s like tricking the kids into thinking it’s the weekend, but surprise! you still have school tomorrow. Needless to say, everyone was in a great mood today (sarcasm), myself included. I blame it on not making the beds this morning. I told you how I feel about bed making! BUT! I promised a muffin recipe, so a muffin recipe is what you will get… minus all of my annoying chit-chat before it.

I’ve been making these muffins for five years now, and they’re always a hit. I pulled ideas from a few different muffin and bread recipes and somehow came up with something that everyone actually liked. Loved, actually. I don’t know the science behind baking, no, but somehow this worked and continues to work. You really can make any version of these you would like by swapping the pumpkin for a different pureed/mashed fruit and changing up the spices. A banana pear version with ginger was also a big hit around here. Also, these are already pretty healthy-ish, but I’ve also made them with half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour with good results. I’ve also tried making them with all whole wheat flour, but I prefer my muffins not tasting like cardboard.

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Time to hit the books… again

Quite a few years ago when my oldest was just starting pre-school and I was a nervous wreck about it because good lord all the tears, not to mention that I had to literally drag him out of the van into school two days a week, I read something someone posted about how happy she was that school was starting back up again. She posted a photo of herself literally jumping for joy at the bus stop, and I remember thinking to myself that kind of sucked. At that time I couldn’t comprehend how she could be that happy about her kids leaving her every Monday through Friday, but now, four kids into this whole parenting gig and I get it.

I now know she wasn’t jumping for joy because she didn’t love her kids. I believe she was jumping for joy over the return to normalcy, having her routine back where backpacks would be lined up by the front door every night and kids would be in bed at a decent hour. I believe she was jumping for joy over knowing her kids would be doing important things like LEARNING again. I believe she was jumping for joy because she knew her kids would be spending all day with their friends and would have a hard time declaring I’M BORED! with a straight face when they stepped off the bus. And maybe, just maybe, a little part of her was jumping for joy over the few hours of alone time she would have everyday to take care of mundane tasks and herself. And you know what? All of that is okay. Totally okay.
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Character tees and dirty feet

Yesterday I came across the feed of a woman on Instagram that made my jaw drop.  It’s probably one of the prettiest feeds I’ve ever seen, and her kids (as many as I have) were dressed in the most beautiful muted-colored linen clothes, complete with Birkenstocks and straw hats.  My immediate reaction was, “I wish my kids dressed like that!” and then it was, “I bet they never eat hot dogs.”

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The daily dinner struggle

Before I get started, I just want to let you know that these are totally old photos of food I’ve taken over the past year, so boring, right?  I wish I could have made some amazing meal for you, posted the process and the mouth-watering end result sitting on a beautifully decorated table, but I’m in the process of getting my family ready for a trip to Nantucket, so it’s been a lot of Trader Joe’s enchiladas and frozen meatballs the past few days. So here’s an old one for you instead.  I must have had a lot of time on my hands that evening.  Now that I’m made that disclosure, on to the daily dinner struggle.

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The 10 year anniversary trip that just wasn’t in the cards

My husband and I went to the same high school.  He was the hippie looking dude with long hair who was two years older than me that I admired from afar, and I vividly remember meeting him for the first time at a party the summer before my sophomore year.  I remember what I said to him, his reaction, how it was one of those perfect August nights when you catch a whiff of Fall in the air, all of it.  I’m sure he remembers none of this.  If you would have told me then (in 1995) that I would marry that boy 12 years later and we would eventually have four children, I probably would have spit out the Zima I was illegally imbibing. (NOTE: I DO NOT CONDONE UNDERAGE DRINKING. Sometimes we do dumb stuff when we’re teenagers.  I’m just telling the story.) Nothing ever came of that encounter.  He graduated from high school, went to college and I never saw him again. Until…

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I often receive comments on Instagram from people asking how I keep my home so tidy with four boys.  I wish I could say I wave my magic wand or wiggle my nose and poof! everything is put away, the dishwasher has been emptied and my floors are sparkling, but no.  It really just boils down to me not sitting on my butt and staying on top of the mess.

This is not groundbreaking information and I’m not reinventing the wheel, this I know, but maybe you’ll find some helpful tips, or maybe you’ll roll your eyes and wonder why I started this blog up again.  Who knows!

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Back at it… sort of

I say “sort of” because it’s not like I was ever really “at it” in the first place.  Yes, I had a blog before, but no, I never really posted anything on a regular (or semi-regular) basis.  That silly blog had a way of making me feel guilty for not posting, like a fifth child I neglected, so I deleted the damn thing.  I’ll show you, neglected blog!  No more guilt over here!  But then a weird thing happened.  I started to miss it.  Probably because I’m not really loving Instagram as much as I used to, but I’m not here to talk about algorithms or the other weird stuff that goes on there.  A blog just felt like a better, friendlier, less stressful place for me to share.  Share what?  We shall see!

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