Thursday, July 28, 2022

Back from DC

I had a fast and furious, but great trip to DC! I was barely there for 24 hours. In hindsight, had I known other sales people were going to be there, I would have flown out on Tuesday morning so I could get more time with them and hear some of the other content at the symposium.

My travels all went smoothly, though. My return flight was delayed by about an hour, so I landed after 9pm which makes for a long day, but overall it was a smooth trip! And I lucked out and had an empty middle seat between me and the person by the window on both flights! Woo hoo!

I got to my hotel around 6pm on Tuesday night. I stayed in a Hilton that was right off the Mall so a great location! I walked down to a waterfront area and had dinner at great Mexican restaurant. I enjoyed some ceviche for my meal and a margarita! Yum!

I didn't have to present until around 10 on Wednesday, so I had plenty of time for a run on Wednesday morning. I ran about 3.5 miles and enjoyed seeing some of the monuments! DC is so pretty. 

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

WWII Memorial

After my run I quickly got ready. Here I am before leaving for the other hotel where the conference was held. I look a little red in the face since it was quite humid on my run - although not all that different from the humidity we've had here in MN lately. For this presentation, I opted to wear a classic black dress with a statement necklace. I am SO DONE with business suits so never wear them anymore and when I work with a wardrobe consultant in the future, one thing I want to focus on is getting more work/presentation-appropriate dresses. I think business suits are not flattering and are very uncomfortable. I love this dress I am wearing so much. It's machine washable and great for travel as it does not wrinkle. I got it over 10 years ago at Ann Taylor and wish I had it in like 3 colors!

I presented at Women's Symposium that was hosted by Merrill Lynch for its female financial advisors. How pretty was this backdrop with their logo? 

I did 2 back-to-back breakout sessions on navigating the fixed income markets and they went really well. I practiced for hours and all that work paid off. I only had about 35 minutes for each breakout which is not much time when there is a lot of content to cover, but that's why I had to practice so much! I got lots of questions and people stayed behind after each session to ask more questions and to get the tickers/account numbers for some of our products so that is a good sign. One of my sales colleagues sent a really nice note to my boss saying I did a great job. It feels braggy to share that, but I really appreciate that she provided feedback on me. There was a Merrill Lynch person in my 2nd breakout who stayed behind and said she wants to partner with us to build a lunch and learn campaign for their advisors using our content so that was cool to hear. So I think I can and likely will be traveling more going forward. But I need to figure out how much I would be comfortable with. I'm thinking a max of once/month and ideally no more than 2 nights away from Phil and the kids. We'll see how it all shakes out, though. 

I got back to our house around 9:45 last night so it was a long, but good day. Both boys were excited to see me this morning - and Phil was very happy to see me when I got home last night! It feels good to be missed!

Now I have another somewhat busy weekend on deck. On Saturday night, I'm going to the Brandi Carlile concert! It's not like me to go to 2 concerts 2 weekends in a row, but I've been planning on going to this Brandi concert since last fall! She is my all-time favorite artist and I think I've seen her 7+ times? I'm going with 3 good friends! Then on Sunday a friend from Charlotte (hi Lori!) that I met through blogging 10+ years ago is going to spend the night with us at the tail end of her trip with some other women. So I'll get to spend Sunday afternoon/Monday morning with her! We saw her on our babymoon trip to Asheville in 2017 as we had dinner with her the night before we flew back to Minneapolis, but this will be her first time meeting our kids. She ADORES kids so I know she's excited to see them, too. 

The last several weeks have been a bit stressful and hectic, so I am very much looking forward to a quieter start to the month of August!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Alanis + Day Off + DC-Bound

Happy Tuesday! I am coming off what felt like a busy weekend and heading into a busy week. I can't believe this is the last week of July. I know that is such a cliche thing to say but the month really has flown by. 

We had a nice weekend and spent lots of time outdoors. We had 2 birthday parties to attend, but skipped the library and gymnastics on Saturday since Paul's voice was a bit hoarse. I tested him for covid just to be sure he did not pick up a new variant. His test was negative! Phew! He could have worn a mask at gymnastics but he's not great at mask-wearing so I decided to just skip gymnastics since the optics of bringing a kid w/ a hoarse voice to an indoor class is not great. Plus I wouldn't want him to spread whatever he has to the other kids in class. I felt comfortable bringing him to the outdoor park parties since he is around these kids all the time and likely caught whatever little bug he has from one of them. He had a blast running around with his friends. And he really enjoyed the birthday cupcake/cake. After not liking cake, he now likes it but isn't a huge on frosting. 

Besides the kids activities, I had the Alanis concert on Sunday night which was really fun! She put on a great show! Her first album, Jagged Little Pill, was released in 1995, so 2020 was the 25th anniversary. But that tour got cancelled, hence the reason for a 25th anniversary tour on the actual 27th anniversary of the album. She did not really talk at all to the audience, though. I'm used to more interaction/commentary from the artist but that must not be her thing! The band Garbage opened for her and the lead singer talked about how she's been opening for Alanis since 1997 which is pretty crazy! 

We got home from the concert around 11:30 and I had trouble falling asleep so was very glad I had the foresight to take Monday off. I helped get the boys off to school and then went back to bed at 7 and slept for 2.5 hours! Besides being up late, we had some early mornings over the weekend and Will took extremely short naps (only 40 minutes on Sunday - sob!). So clearly my body needed more sleep. I still fit in a run since it was a cooler day so running mid-morning was still comfortable. And then I spent most of the afternoon working. I spent a solid 2-2.5 practicing the presentation I will give tomorrow. But it was nice to practice my presentation without feeling pressured to keep up with email. I'm feeling pretty good about the presentation but I will be very glad when it's behind me. 

I head to the airport shortly for my flight to DC. Hopefully my flight is on time/not canceled! I present in the morning so don't have a ton of margin in my schedule. When I booked my flights, I thought I was presenting mid-afternoon. Had I known I was presenting in the morning, I would have booked an earlier flight. Oh well. Fingers crossed all goes smoothly. 

It will be a whirlwind trip as I fly back tomorrow night. So I'll barely be in DC for 24 hours. But I wanted to minimize the time away from the kids. I am looking forward to not being woken up by a child during the night tonight, though! I used to sleep poorly in hotel rooms but since having kids, I tend to sleep really well! 

Send me all your good wishes that my breakout sessions tomorrow go well! 3 of my sales colleagues will be there so I feel added pressure to impress them! I'm sure no one will judge me as harshly as I judge myself though! Such is the life of a perfectionist...

Friday, July 22, 2022


And just like that, it's Friday. This week went by faster than usual, I think because my work days were especially busy. Here's what's going on in my world!

The book I'm reading is Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron. This is a memoir by the sister of Nora Ephron. I just started it but so far I like the writing style. She deals with some heavy topics as she discusses the death of her husband and sister from cancer. Then she reconnects and starts a relationship with someone from her past and gets diagnosed with cancer. So this is obviously a heavy book. 

The high of my week was going to a brewery with 2 women I met through the mom's group I joined when Paul was born. 2 had to cancel at the last minute but I am glad 3 of us were able to get together. We've been in each others' lives for over 4 years now. It's been wonderful to have friends with kids that are the same age! I don't/can't drink beer so had a delicious mojito-flavored hard seltzer!

The low of my week was feeling super annoyed with myself on Wednesday. I had a mid-day client presentation and planned to wear my sear sucker blazer - but it was too hot to wear it when I was getting ready and in our rush to get out the door a bit earlier so I'd be downtime plenty early for a 7:45 client call, I forgot to grab it! I was able to get an inexpensive one at the downtown Nordstrom Rack for $35 so it all worked out. But I was annoyed with myself that I needlessly spent money! That said, it will be good to have another blazer, especially since I seem to be doing more big meetings and presentations lately.

A recipe I made was this cashew chicken stir fry with basmati rice. I forgot to take a picture, though, but it was delicious although I used too many veggies so it was a little light on the sauce. 

A show I am watching is How to Change Your Mind on Netflix which is a show based on Michael Pollan's book about the use of mushrooms/psilocybin to treat mental health conditions. My book club read the book years ago and I DNF'd it because I was just bored and I am honestly not very open-minded about things so wasn't really sold on the use of psychedelics. We've only watched one episode so far but it's interesting and I've had some good conversations with Phil about it. 

For workouts I ran on Monday, Thursday and this morning, and will run again tomorrow. I usually don't run 3 days in a row, but my neighbor/running partner has been off work this week and has had more availability so I'm taking advantage of her ability to run 3 days in a row!

The best money spent was on that blazer, I guess, but I'm still annoyed with myself that I was kind of forced to buy something thanks to my forgetfulness!

My plans this weekend include kind of a lot! We have no plans tonight. Tomorrow morning I'll run with my neighbor and then the boys have gymnastics. On the way home from gymnastics, we will stop at a park for a birthday party for Paul's classmate. Then we have another park birthday party to attend on Sunday morning. I don't mind these park parties, though. We'd be going to a park anyways in most cases! Then on Sunday night, I am going to see Alanis Morisette in concert with my neighbor/running partner! I'm so excited! We were both huge fans of her, like most people in our age cohort! She will perform Jagged Little Pill - I can still sing the lyrics to nearly all of the songs! It's going to be a really fun night out! I took Monday off since I know it will be a later night. It will be good to have a day at home on Monday because I found out this week that I need to present at a women's finance concert in DC on Wednesday so I fly out Tuesday afternoon. I'm guessing another presenter backed out or something that is short notice to go to DC and give a presentation! I will present at 2 back-to-back break-out sessions about the fixed income markets... cue my anxiety - big presentations are not my favorite!. With the crazy market environment at least this is plenty to talk about!! 

Did you have any low points this week? What are your weekend plans?

Monday, July 18, 2022

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Happy Monday! We are in the midst of a heat wave here, so it's feeling kind of Florida-like! Our high today is 100 and the humidity is pretty high. Keep in mind that our air temp can get as low as -15F, and even colder with the windchill. So well over a 100-degree range of temps in a year. Nuts, right? We tried to be outside as much as we could over the weekend! Here is how we filled out time.

On Friday, our friend came over for dinner. We went for a little stroll/scoot after dinner to get some of Paul's wiggles out. After Will went to bed, we played our favorite little kid game - First Orchard. It's more expensive than other little kid games - $30 - but the fruit is made out of wood and everything is very durable. It's a cooperative game so you all win or you all lose, which can be nice for young kids who are still working on accepting that they won't always win. It's a good way to work on colors and counting so I'd HIGHLY recommend it. And it's a FAST game - unlike games like hi-ho cherry-o or chutes and ladders that can go on forever! 

On Saturday morning, Phil got our car serviced early so we could head to the library when it opened at 9. After the library - where we checked out 28 books!! - we headed to gymnastics. Our Saturday mornings are pretty full, but it's nice to have some structure to our days. We don't "have" to go to the library every weekend but we've usually read everything we've checked out by then so need to get more books! 

Will took a depressingly short nap, despite our busy morning. 45 freaking minutes. He should be sleeping around 2 hours at this age! We had plans to meet up with my friend and her 2 kids at a splash pad so headed out. Paul LOVED the splash pad. It took Will a good hour to warm up to it but he eventually enjoyed the bubblers. 

On Sunday morning, I took Will to swimming lessons. They did their assessments and said he can move onto the 3rd baby level which kind of surprised me! Paul had to take 2 sessions of each level before he made it to level 3! We are going to take a little break from swimming lessons now that Will is in gymnastics. I want one weekend morning free to do things like go to the zoo. 

When I got home, Phil headed out to swim and I took the boys to a farmer's market and park. They got a donut to share and I had some yummy GF banana bread. It was SO HOT, though. Both boys had beat red faces and Paul was dripping with sweat so we didn't stay at the park for long. 

Luckily Will took a bit longer nap - 90 minutes, which is about as good as it gets for him. Paul and Phil headed to Phil's mom. I decided to keep Will indoors since he seemed to get SO HOT when we were outside that morning. Let me tell you - those 4.5 hours between when he woke from his nap and went to bed went very slow at times! But I was encouraged that he picked up a few books to page through! He has not been nearly as interested in reading as Paul was at this age, but hopefully he'll start to have more interest.

And that was a wrap! Paul and Phil were home by 7:30 and I was in bed by 8:30 reading. Will slept until 5:55 this morning and Paul slept until 6:20! Maybe/hopefully we are turning a corner on the early mornings?? That would be wonderful.

How was your weekend? Is it really hot where you live? I like summer but would love some days in the 80s with lower humidity!

Friday, July 15, 2022


Happy Friday! Thanks for all of the kind and encouraging comments on my goals post! Several of you noted that I hadn't mentioned my promotion. I found out about it during my trip to AZ in February. I knew it was likely coming but it was nice when it came through! I've been with my company for almost 7 years (my anniversary is later this month!) and wasn't sure when/if I would get promoted since I try not to travel if I can avoid it since having kids. I thought that might preclude me from getting promoted but luckily it didn't!

Now onto what is on my mind this week!

The book I'm reading is Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. It's set in Alabama in the 1970s and is about a black public health nurse who administers birth control shots to young patients as a term of their welfare benefits - and it gets worse from there. It's based on a true story and has been a total page turner for me. But it is a very heavy topic. 

The high of my week was going out to dinner with a college friend. 4 of us were supposed to meet up for dinner but 2 had to cancel. But it was still wonderful to see one of my friends and to be out of the house during bedtime! 

The low of my week was nothing in particular really! I mean sleep stuff continues to be a battle, but now that we are keeping Will in his crib until 6, it's not so bad - as long as he doesn't wake up Paul. If Paul is up early, there is no convincing him to go back to bed!

A recipe I made was chicken tikka masala with cauliflower and peas in the Instant Pot. We make this about every 6 weeks since Phil and I both love it!

A show I am watching is David Letterman's new season of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. So far we've watched 3 and thought they were "just ok." But it's entertaining enough. We finished up Ted Lasso which I loved, although I didn't like the way one of the characters changed from the previous season. Maybe that is real life but he went from being one of my favorite to least favorite character. I made a comment about him after the show ended and Phil commented on how attached I get to tv characters, which is totally true! When Phil does Paul's bedtime, I watch season 2 of Emily in Paris. I don't love the show but I watch it for the Paris vibes/views!

For workouts I ran on Tuesday and this morning and hopefully will fit a run in this weekend. I had early client calls several days this week, so it was harder to fit workouts in this week. But check out this view from my run on Tuesday! It was a gorgeous morning. I'm so lucky that I get to run by water - I can run by a creek or a lakes in our neighborhood!

The best money spent was on my dinner out with my friend! 

My plans this weekend include having a friend over for dinner tonight. We will grill shrimp and pineapple kebabs and will serve them with an Asian rice. On Saturday, Phil is getting our car serviced early in the morning, and then the boys and I will go to the library when it opens at 9 and then to gymnastics. After nap/quiet time, we will meet up with a friend and her kids at a splash pad. On Sunday Will has swimming lessons and Phil will take Paul to his mom's in the afternoon. I'll be home with Will and will probably take him to a wading pool or something like that since it's going to be in the 90s!

Bonus photos:

Coloring at the library last week

Will is finally getting more into swinging!! That look of pure joy on his face is so wonderful!

Our blueberry loving boy. Will doesn't have a lot of words, but he can say cheese! It's funny what kids pick up. 

What was the high of your week?

Monday, July 11, 2022

Half-Way (Goal-free year) Check In

We are about a week past the half-way point of 2022. <Insert cliche comment about how fast the first half of the year went.> As the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. That statement feels especially true in the young-kid years of life. It's been several years since I've made goals for myself - at least 3! But as an upholder and enneagram 1, I HATE setting goals and then not achieving them. For some, setting aspirational goals they might not achieve is motivating. For me, it's so defeating when I don't achieve something I set out to do that it's best for my mental health to give myself a break. Maybe by 2023 I will feel ready to set some goals. I will be setting some goals for the 2nd of 2022 in this post, but they aren't really "stretch" goals - they are things I know I can and will achieve, barring getting covid again or something like that. 

However, just because I didn't define a list of goals at the start of the year doesn't mean I haven't achieved anything. I've just given myself flexibility to work on what makes sense! I did choose a word for 2022 - connection - so that is something I have really focused on each month.  

I recently participated in a half-way point review through the patreon community of Best of Both Worlds so I thought I'd share some of the reflections from that!

What went well/what have I achieved?

- I was a guest on the Best of Both Worlds podcast!

- Will got tubes in early January which made a huge difference in his health. He's only had one ear infection since getting tubes, and it was right after surgery. He had a raging ear infection when they did the surgery so we weren't surprised he still had an infection after getting tubes. 

- I was promoted in March to managing director at my company!

- Our family traveled to AZ in February to see my sister and her family. 

- I've been off social media since early December 2021 and this continues to be the right decision for me. It's hard to imagine going back on social media. It's a net negative contributor to my happiness. 

- We've been out and about so much which feels so good after 2 years of doing very little. We've gone to a museum, new-to-us parks, the library, and the zoo to name a few. 

- I've seen a lot of friends and family! My focus on connection has been great. Each month I make a list of people to connect with, either virtually or in person. 

- I finished the Morning Meltdown on Beach Body which was a 100 workout program. It took me 6 months since I didn't do it straight through and combined it with lots of running but it was an excellent program!

What didn't work well/was challenging?

- Sleep. Ugh. Despite Will not getting ear infections, he's been through a few sleep regressions and Paul went through a long, difficult stage of fighting bedtime. 

- We were sick SO MUCH, including 3 of us getting covid. It felt like there was rarely a week in the first 4 months of year when someone wasn't sick. Paul had 2 stomach viruses and we all had countless colds. This is out of my control since my kids are in daycare but oof does it suck. 

- I wasn't able to run a 10 mile race in May like I had planned to. It was hard to fit enough runs in after returning to the office in March, I was sick all the time, and then I got Covid the week before the race. 

- There have been positive aspects to returning to the office, but it was challenging. 3 days a week feels like a little too much for me so I am shifting down to 2. The hardest part is getting home at 5-5:15 and being able to eat dinner at 5:30 (our kids are hungry and can barely make it to 5:30). 

What needs to change/what do I want to accomplish in 2nd half of 2022:

- I'm going to drop down to being in the office 2 days/week. This will make it easier to get meals on the table and it will be easier to fit more workouts in. 

- I will be focused on a sales campaign at work related to the asset class I specialize in. So I expect to be more busy and I want to do more client meetings/engage more with our sales force. 

- I will run a 10k race during Twin Cities Marathon weekend. I have no time goals - I just want to finish and be happy. The 10k distance is so doable and not a stretch goal; I could run one tomorrow if I wanted to. But that is what I need out of running right now since I am stretched in other areas of life!

- I need to find a new Beach Body strength training program. I tried the MBF program but didn't care for how repetitive the workouts were so I'm still looking for the right next program. 

- Now that bedtime is going better for Paul, I'd like Phil and I to go on one date/quarter. I'm setting a low bar there. I know some do monthly or even weekly dates, but once a quarter is a good starting place for us. 

- I want to go on a Caribbean getaway with Phil in December. We need to figure out dates and book something soon. My parents have graciously agreed to watch the boys at their lake home while we are gone. Phil and I have not spent a night away from the boys together since Paul was born so we really need some quality time away together in a warm climate! 

- I also want to book a spring trip to the Gulf coast of Florida in the spring. This is the last year that we won't be beholden to a school schedule which is crazy to think about!! 

- I want to continue to focus on connecting with others by making a list of who I want to connect with each month. 

How was the first half of 2022 for you? 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

What We Read in June

June was a so so reading month for me. I read 7 books which is the least number of books I've read in a month - but still pretty darn good. It was a busy month, too. We were out of town 2 weeks and I had Paul home with me for the first 10 days of the month since he tested positive for covid on June 1st. 

What I read:

This first set of books are my favorites. I gave The Diamond Eye and How the Word is Passed 5 stars - the other 2 got 4-star ratings. How the Word is Passed was my June book club book and we had a great discussion around it, especially since the host for the month was a social studies teacher before moving into an education leadership role. The Diamond Eye is based on the true story of a Russian female sniper from WWII. While Paris Slept was another WWII book but it was mostly focused on the ramifications of a decision after the war was over. The Sentence was the first Erdrich book that I read and liked. It is set in Minneapolis and much of the book takes place after the George Floyd killing so it was an emotional read and brought back memories of the summer of 2020. 

The next set of books were pretty good (The Golden Season) to just ok (the other 2 fall under this category). I had issues with the main character in One Italian Summer but kept reading it for the descriptions of Italy. 

I abandoned one book in June - The One by John Marrs. It was raved about on 2 book podcasts so I decided to pick it up. It's about finding your "perfect match" through a DNA swab. But early we meet a character who is a serial killer and I was just not up for that. 

Paul's reads:

Paul is going through a super hero phase so many of his favorite books last month were about Batman and Superman. We also really enjoyed the Dodsworth books which is about a mouse and a duck that visit different cities - we read about their travels to Paris, London, Rome and Tokyo.

The hidden gem of the month that I picked up during one of my borrowing sprees was Leopold's Leotard. We read this one many times. It's about a little boy who has to dress up like a bee for a dance recital. The costume is very uncomfortable so he keeps taking pieces of the costume off and by the end, he is dancing naked. Of course that was hilarious to a 4yo boy! I would have been fine reading this only one time! Paul gets 4 books before bed and on several nights he wanted it read twice and would give up another book to hear it a 2nd time. 

Did you read anything great in June?

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Holiday Weekend Highlights

We had a really nice holiday weekend here in Minneapolis. The weather was really nice for most of the weekend - it rained a bit on Saturday morning when we were at the zoo and then Monday morning was kind of a washout, but besides that it was great outside and we were out and about a lot. Sleep was the low point - Will was awake between 4:45-5:30 every day (although we left him in his crib until close to 6) and he took incredibly short 1-1.25 hour naps. He should be napping 2+ hours so an hour is way too short, especially combined with early wakings. But... I had to wake him up at 6:30 this morning to get him ready to go to school so maybe (please please please) we are turning the corner on sleep? Insert all the praying hands and fingers crossed emojis. 

Here are some of the highlights from the weekend!

Vaccines! The boys both got the first dose of Moderna on Friday afternoon. It was... unpleasant. Both screamed and Paul thrashed around so much that it was hard for the nurse to give him the shot. Next time I will be sure to bring Phil with. But they had no side effects and once the shot was over, the crying immediately subsided for both. 

Post-vaccine sucker
The zoo! We went to the zoo on Saturday morning when it opened for members and stayed for about 2 hours. This is as long as we can stay at this stage since Will gets really tired around 11 and we run the risk of him falling asleep in the car if we are out and about too long. We rented a double stroller which worked well. This time we saw some new-to-use exhibits, like the tropical exhibit which was a hit with both boys. 

The beach! After Will's swimming lesson on Sunday - which ended up being a private one-on-one lesson since we were the only family that showed up - we headed to the beach to hang out in the sand/water while Phil did the swim course. Paul enjoyed the water and Will played and experimented with eating sand. Yuck!

Parks! We went to 3 different parks - one each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For one of the park visits, we went with friends as part of a play date. 

Friends! Besides the playdate on Saturday, we went over to Phil's high school friend's house for a get together. They live on a lake and are the most amazing hosts. Paul helped me make some GF brownies (which turned out great). Paul did really well on the lily pad - he really seems to be warming up to the water so hopefully I can get him back into lessons this fall or winter. 

Helping me make brownies. He got to sample the melted chocolate.

The couple that hosted us has a little boy who is 4 months younger than Will so Will had a blast playing with his toys. I love his "senior picture" pose in the playhouse below! Ha!

Each day of the weekend had one "bigger" outing so it was the right amount of things to do for us. I know some will read this and think - you did ALL OF THAT IN 3 DAYS? But being out and about keeps us sane! Especially at Will's stage. It is very hard to entertain him in the house! But you'd think with all of this activity and time outdoors he would have slept more than usual? But nope. 

We have a really busy week on deck. Tomorrow we'll host my aunt, uncle and cousin for dinner on their way to the airport, on Friday we are getting together with some of Phil's college friends and then on Saturday we are hosting some of Phil's family. It's kind of a lot for one week, but after barely seeing people for 1.5-2 years, we are relishing the ability to see family and friends. And there is comfort in knowing we don't have to worry about covid since most of us have had it and Phil seems super immune! 

How was your holiday weekend? 

Friday, July 1, 2022

Holiday Weekend TGIF!

Happy Friday and happy Canada Day to any Canadian readers! We have a 3-day weekend head of us with the 4th of July falling on Monday. The weather is looking awesome so I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead. Here is how our week shaped up!

The book I'm reading is The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb, which I am really enjoying. It's about a Black violinist whose priceless Stradivarius violin is stolen. So it's part mystery but more so a coming of age story of a Black man in the predominantly white world of classical music.

The high of my week was going to book club on Wednesday night. We discussed How the Word is Passed which was an amazing book and made for a great discussion. The member who hosted it has a pool, which is a rare thing in Minnesota! It was a gorgeous, warm night so most of us got in the pool after dinner. 

The low of my week was working on getting Will to sleep past 6. The first day he woke at 4:45 and cried on and off until 6 when we got him up for the day. It's gotten better since then but he is still waking around 5:30-5:45. Hopefully he learns to sleep longer soon!

A recipe I made was seared ahi tuna with Asian rice. I was hoping to have asparagus with this but it went bad! We skip the sesame seeds and green onions on the tuna and green onions in the rice since it's not worth the effort for fancier presentation. The boys obviously did NOT eat this. We get the tuna from the freezer section at Aldi and it is so good! 

A show I am watching is still Ted Lasso! We only watch one episode/night so we are slowly working our way through this show. That is the only show I am watching these days. This is low tv season for us since we are outside as much as possible!

For workouts I only managed a short run on Thursday morning as I had to take Paul to the dentist Monday morning and was in the office Tues-Wed. Thanks for the perspective others shared on my post on Wednesday. I know I am far too hard on myself! I did a beach body workout this morning and will hopefully run Saturday morning but we'll see how things shape up. 

The best money spent was on enrolling Will in a tot/parent gymnastics class at the same time as Paul's Saturday morning gymnastics class! I was trying to figure out what we were going to do with Will during Paul's class as having him with me while we watched Paul did NOT work out last weekend but I also didn't want Phil to have to take him grocery shopping... but then I realized a tot/parent toddler class opened up at the same time! It's only $40/month and will be good for his gross motor development. I mean I wouldn't have sought out a gymnastics class for Will, but having him in a class that is pretty cheap is better than Phil taking him grocery shopping or me trying to corral him during Paul's class.

My plans this weekend include taking the boys to get their first vaccine dose this afternoon!! They will get Moderna and we are very excited about this. I know vaccines are a controversial topic but we trust the science. I asked our pediatrician if we should hold off since they recently had covid and she said to get it as soon as we can since the virus is always mutating and future variants could be worse. Besides that, we plan to go to the zoo as a family on Saturday morning. On Sunday Will has swimming lessons and then we will probably go with Phil for his swim at a local lake if the weather cooperates. That is it for plans, though. We'll be outside lots since the weather looks great! We are missing out on a big family gathering at my parents at the lake but the beginning of the month is Phil's busiest time of the month so we can never take time off around the 4th. But it's kind of nice to stay in Minneapolis as it's quieter since many go to lake cabins. 

Bonus photo:

Oscar usually has little to no interest in me but snuggled on me when I was reading after work one day when Phil and boys weren't home yet.

How are you spending the holiday weekend? What are you reading these days?