Friday, April 19, 2024

Checking In

When I last left off, I was heading to New Jersey for a work trip. I was supposed to fly back late Thursday night (6:45EST flight out of Newark) but the sales person I was traveling with told me I absolutely needed to change my flight and fly back mid-day on Thursday since I have things going on back home with my grandma’s passing. I felt some guilt because that meant I missed a lunch on Thursday that I was supposed to help with/speak at, but in the grand scheme of things, getting back at a decent time yesterday (mid-afternoon) was more important than meeting with another batch of financial advisors. 

My trip was overall good/fine. I felt so discombobulated since I was on vacation last week and then jumped right back into travel while working through feeling of grief over my grandma’s passing. Note to self: do not travel the week after being on vacation. I had a very tenuous grasp on what meetings we were doing while I was in NJ. I'm kind of along for the ride on these trips as the sales people are planning everything but I usually have a better idea of who we are meeting with/what the cadence of meetings will be, etc. I came into the trip really exhausted because I saw the text about my grandma passing away at 12:30 am on Sunday night and then laid awake for over 2 hours, so that did not help matters.

But the meetings went well and people were generally really engaged and asked a lot of great questions, which is what I prefer. Plus a couple of the events were "women in finance" events and it's kind of nice to be in a room with women only since that's a rarity in the finance industry. The low of the week was when I had a call with an advisor who wanted to sell one of our funds and he told me and the other female sales person: "equities are like men - they are straight forward and easy to understand. Bonds are like women - they are so confusing and have 17 different emotions and just don't make sense." It was a good thing we were on the phone and not on zoom - otherwise he may have seen smoke coming out of my ears. 

When I got back on Thursday, both boys were coming down with colds - so much for the healthy stretch we had enjoyed. My grandma's funeral is tomorrow afternoon so Paul and I will drive up tomorrow morning if he’s feeling well enough. We decided to have Taco stay behind with Phil, even before he started to come down with a cold. He gets tired so easily and getting off his schedule is tough. And I know I won't be able to be "present" at the funeral if he's there because, well, toddlers... A couple of my older nieces are wonderful with Paul and Paul is just so easy to have around. He's so excited to see his cousins, too, so hopefully his cold symptoms improve. All of us siblings will be together for the first time since January 2020 so there is a silver lining to celebrating the passing of a loved one. 

Today I have about 6 hours of meetings so it will be far from a ‘light’ Friday. But in a couple of weeks, I have a lovely shouldless day to look forward to, and it’s coming on the tails of 3 weeks straight of work travel so is so very necessary! Hat tip to myself for scheduling that. I am trying to schedule them quarterly. 

How was your week?

Monday, April 15, 2024

Weekend at home + heavy heart

Our re-entry has been great. When we pulled up to our house on Thursday night, Paul spoke for us all when he said: ‘home, sweet, home’. Traveling is wonderful but it’s a good feeling when you return and feel happy to be back. Here were some happenings from the weekend.  

- On Friday I got a steroid injections from a PA at my rheumatology clinic. I have been on 20mg of prednisone for well over a week and my flare wasn’t improving. Injections aren’t pleasant but they do the trick. It was difficult to eat or cut things up for the boys so an injection was necessary. I changed my weekly injectable meds a couple of months ago. Fingers crossed this new cocktail of drugs does the trick. But now I have a new flare in a different joint of the same finger - hopefully the oral steroids I will stay on for the next week or so will help with it… otherwise I will be back for another steroid injection.

- I went for a beautiful 4 mile run on Saturday. Spring is springing so I made sure to pay attention to the budding trees and things that are starting to bloom. I also did a CG workout on Sunday. I am almost done with her iron series which I have really enjoyed.

- Taco has been using the potty sporadically recently so we decided to focus on potty training again and he did AMAZING! He’s been pooping in the potty for the last couple of months (sorry if that’s TMI) and was finally figuring out the peeing aspect. I am so glad that we are done with pull ups during the day!! He only had one accident the whole weekend - it happened on Saturday while we were outside for a long stretch. It would have been ideal to stay close to home while training but it was too beautiful outside to stay in! 

- Phil helped a friend put their docks in and took Paul with so I was on my own with Taco on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous so we spent a ton of time outside. Who would have thought the warmest weather (mid-80s!!) of the week would be in Minnnesota! We played outside, said hi to the geese and went to the creek and park. 



The geese! No toys out yet which Taco was bummed about.

He was really representing Minnesota sports teams that day! 


- the boys and I walked/scooted up to Starbucks on Sunday am for a latte for me and cake pops for them. The weather was gorgeous again. 



- we visited another park after swimming lessons/nap time. The park was PACKED and people were not monitoring their kids so it was kind of chaotic. Real talk: it ended on a sour notes with me carrying Taco out after he threw wood chips at me… That’s toddler life for you. Impulse control is non-existent. 

Taco oddly loves to push a merry-go-round full of kids!

- Throughout the weekend I received regular updates on my grandma. She was alert and had a lot of visitors in the early part of the weekend but became unresponsive late Saturday night. She peacefully passed away last night. I take comfort in my belief that she is free from pain and reunited with the loved ones in the great beyond. 

Now today I fly to New Jersey for work and return late Thursday night although I imagine I will be flying back earlier than planned depending on the timing of her funeral. 

So I enter this week with a heavy heart because goodbyes are hard even when they are expected and you are prepared. But I am also so grateful that my grandma got to witness so much of my life - she met my husband and children and we had such a close relationship up to her death with no words unsaid. And what a gift that is. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

5 on Friday: vacation edition

We got back from Florida late last night. Here is a 5 things Friday style recap of our trip, written from the airport while we waited for our flight back last night!

1. The weather was unfortunately a bust. We knew it was a little risky to come to the panhandle area in early April but hoped it would be fine. It was cloudy, extremely windy, and on Wednesday there were tornado warnings. But we made the most of it. Of course the weather will be gorgeous after we leave, go figure!


Another ‘challenge’ of the trip was that Taco slept in a big boy bed for the first time and wow, we are NOT in a rush to move him out of his crib. We moved Paul into a big boy bed after he dropped his nap and we will do the same with Taco. It could have been worse but he was up during the night most nights and was up early a couple of days.

2. We stayed in a 3 bed/3 bath condo in Fort Walton Beach that had a pool so we alternated between the beach and the pool. The pool area was protected from the wind most days so that was nice. But the beach was the main draw for us Minnesotans so we spent a lot of time there. The beaches were pristine with sugar sand. We would love to see this coastline when there aren’t 15-30+ mph winds!!

The first morning was calm! We enjoyed breakfast on our balcony.

I went for a walk each morning. 


I love this pic of the boys walking on the path to the beach. After the first morning we learned that they need to wear swimsuits when on the beach. They both got soaked the first morning!



Checking out a pretty blue jellyfish


3. The weather was the worst on Wednesday so we went to a local science center that totally exceeded our expectations (Emerald Coast Science Center). They had so much hands on stuff to do so everyone from age 3 to 76 had a great time! Other outings included checking out a walking trail to a little bay where we saw a great blue heron and lots of turtles and walking the pier where we really got up close and personal with a heron. 


The boys enjoyed playing at the robotics stations


Paul was very excited to get close to this heron

Another heron in its natural habitat

4. We ate breakfasts and lunches in our condo and ate out most nights, except our first and last night when we got take out for dinner. The adults enjoyed lots of fish and shrimp.


5. It was a good getaway but we are definitely not in the prime stage for travel yet. The wheels really fell off on Thursday when Taco was up during the night and then woke for the day at 5:30 am. And then our 6:45 flight (which was pushed back twice in the last couple of months) got delayed until 8:30pm. Taco was in full meltdown mode and needed a rescue nap in the car, woke up and fell back asleep on me in the car while Paul played at a park.



Phil and I talked about how each year will get easier as Taco gets older. Paul was a total delight on this trip at age 6 and has been a great traveler since age 4. So a year from now, things should feel easier. But even though this isn’t an easy stage for travel, I still feel it’s worth it to go places and do things. The change of scenery is good for everyone and we enjoyed the time with my parents. 

Totally amazed by all the buttons! The pilots were so friendly.

. . . . 

Unfortunately while we were away my grandmother fell and fractured several bones including her sacrum. This fall resulted in her taking a turn for the worse and she will be entering hospice care today. It was a hard time for my parents to be away. They were on the phone quite often checking in on her, talking to doctors and nurses, and making decisions with family about next steps. Given her level of pain, we are hoping that the end comes soon for her. She has a very strong sense of faith and has been ready to meet her maker and to be reunited with my grandpa, her daughter, and other loved ones she has lost for years now. She has had a full, wonderful life and would have celebrated her 101st birthday next month.

I am extremely close with my grandma as her and my grandpa lived just down the road when I was growing up. I saw her in February when she was having a good day. Every time I saw her in the last several years, I knew it could be the last so I made sure to leave no words unsaid. She knows how much I adore her and how much I treasure all the memories I made with her and my grandpa. So I feel at peace with her passing and hope she doesn’t linger for long. 

That’s a heavy way to end a vacation post so I will close with two more pictures of the beautiful beach!




Wednesday, April 3, 2024

What We Read in March

My reading was all over the place in March but ended on a good note. Overall I would say my reading year has been kind of ‘meh’? I’ve read some good books but not many are knocking my socks off. But hopefully things improve from here.

Best books:

Why yes, my best books of the month does include a book set during the winter holidays - Three Holidays and a Wedding. I had hoped to read it in December but it didn’t become available in time from the library. It’s a romance set in a year (2000) when Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan all coincided with each other. It was a cute/fun read. The Road to Dalton was a quiet novel about the intersecting lives of the residents of a small town in Maine. It definitely falls firmly under character-driven but that is my jam. Family Family was a great novel about adoption. I would actually recommend reading the author’s note before reading the book (the author and her husband adopted their daughter). I especially loved the quirky main character, India. The Collected Regrets of Clover is about a death doula who is focuses on helping her patients leave this world in peace but uses her job to avoid dealing with her own issues. It’s kind of a coming of age story.


Not so successful:

I didn’t exactly dislike either of these books, they just didn’t meet my expectations. Banyon Moon is a debut novel that had great promise as it was a multi-generational story about a family from Vietnam. But ultimately it took on a bit too much IMO. Dixon, Decending is a fictional telling of 2 black brothers climbing Mount Everest. Much of the book takes place off the mountain as the elder brother struggles to process and accept happened on the mountain. It was good but not as good as I was hoping. 


Paul’s reads:

We finished the first book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series which Paul enjoyed. He received books 2-4 from a friend for his birthday but we took a pause on that series in favor of a Roald Dahl book. We are about half through James and the Giant Peach, which is a weird little book. I read it as a child but have no memory of it. I’m always shocked by how children’s books start - like in this one, on the first page, James’ parents get eaten by a rhino that has escaped from the zoo… Um what?? I guess Paul’s already a bit conditioned for that kind of start since Disney also loves to kill off a parent in the opening scene. 

Have you read anything great lately?

Monday, April 1, 2024

Easter weekend

Our long weekend was really nice all in all. I had been fighting a cold all week so the quiet day at home was just what I needed on Friday. Phil and I got take out poke bowls for lunch rather than eating out. I took a long nap and finished ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ on Apple. I really liked it even though they took some liberties with the adaptation. 

I slept almost 10 hours on Friday night as Taco magically did not yell for me from his crib before I woke on my own around 7:20. I slept so hard that night - and had the craziest dreams so Phil had to put up with lots of sleep talk and such. I shouldn’t have needed 10 hours of sleep considering I napped the day before but I did. 

I am not sure why I am so very tired lately - maybe my iron levels are low (I have a history of anemia), maybe it’s my RA (I have a flare right now in my right hand so I know my RA isn’t under super great control), or maybe it’s the pace of life with hectic work days and regular work travel? Or having young kids when I am not in fact ‘a young parent’? It’s probably a combination of the above but wow I am wishing I was one of those people that had lower sleep needs. 

Saturday morning featured a library visit. Paul quietly read a book, Taco, um, was a bit more boisterous.


After a failed attempt at a nap for Taco, we went to my MIL’s for an early Easter celebration. Long term readers might recall that Oscar the cat now lives there pretty much full time as she’s not big on kids… She would never do anything to them but she is happiest in a quiet, peaceful environment. It was good to see her. 


The boys both got to do their own egg hunt in Nana’s basement. 


Taco of course got some Mickey toys!


There were some moments of quiet and peace…


But mostly it’s was very wild and loud so we left shortly after dinner. 

Sunday was a quieter day. The boys were happy with their Easter baskets but I failed to get any pictures of them digging through the goodies. Paul and I met another family on our block at church. There was an Easter egg hunt after church which Paul loved! Phil and Taco went on a long stroller walk while we were at church.

Taco took an extra long nap that afternoon (which I napped during), we FaceTimed with my parents and just kind of puttered around the house. It was very loud at times but such is life with a 3 and 6yo! I made ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and asparagus for dinner - the boys would only eat the ham but at least they ate something!

We ended the night by playing with the new game Paul got from the Easter Bunny - Gobblet Gobblers.

Paul has the best body language/expressions when playing a game!

Phil and I both have a busy week of work - and then we head to Destin, FL with my parents next Sunday! We are very excited for the getaway. I just need to get through this busy week… although I might have to take my laptop on the trip because the coworker I thought would be around to help my new hire in my absence is also going to be gone all week. She said she can log in to help him as needed. But I feel bad stranding the new guy as a lot of quart-end stuff needs to get done while I am gone. It’s not an ideal week for me to be gone but it seems like there are no ideal weeks so I will just hope all goes ok, and probably have my laptop along as an insurance plan.

How was your weekend? When you take a vacation, can you fully disconnect from work? I try to but it’s hard to disconnect when gone for a longer trip like this. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

TGIF

Today is an especially happy Friday because we are not working but the boys both have childcare! Woot woot! I am looking forward to a quiet day at home with Phil. Then later today I will read a book to Taco’s classroom which I am excited about - I’m going to read ‘The Circus Ship’ which is one of my favorite picture books! Here is how my week shaped up. 

The book I am reading this week is Family Family by Laurie Frankel. This is the 3rd book I have read by this author and I think it will be my 2nd favorite of the ones I’ve read. It had mixed reviews but I am enjoying it. The theme of the book is adoption. Here is a passage I highlighted (which is similar to the kind of passages I loved in ‘This Is How It Always Is.’

“This is what parenting is, India. Solving impossible-to-solve problems while also experiencing deep crises of faith while also being kind of annoyed while also never getting enough rest. These problems only ever go away by changing into different equally impossible problems. This is how it always is for all parents, no matter how you came by your children.”

The high of my week was book club on Wednesday. 9 of us were able to make it and we discussed ‘I Have Some Questions For You.’ The reviews were mixed but we had a great conversation about the book. I had a cauliflower crust GF pizza that was so good, I had to ask if the waitress was sure it was GF! 

The low of my week was really nothing in particular. I want to say the snow and cold was the low but the boys have been giddy with excitement over the snow so it’s hard to truly hate it when they love it so much!!

Taco is a huge fan of shoveling! I mean he’s not effective but it entertained him while I shoveled!

A show we finished watching is the second season of Full Swing on Netflix. I didn’t like it as much as the first season as it was so focused on the Ryder Cup which is something I don’t care about at all. 

For workouts I considered the shoveling I did on Monday and Tuesday ‘strength training’ since I was lifting deep, heavy snow! Yesterday I left work around 3 to fit in a treadmill workout. I did a combo of running with intervals of walking at 3mph at a 12 incline - so kind of a play on the popular 3/12/30 that many bloggers do. I get too bored with a full 30 minutes of walking at a steep incline so I like to mix in running (at no incline). Today I will do a CG workout and will probably do 2 more on Saturday and Sunday!

The best money spent was on things for the boys’ Easter baskets. They are getting stainless steel water bottles, water shoes for our FL trip, and some peanut butter eggs. I also ordered a game for Paul and Taco will get headphones for the flights to/from FL. 

My plans this weekend include enjoying a quiet day today! Phil and I will probably go out for lunch somewhere. On Saturday we will hit up the library in the morning and then we will go to my MIL’s after naptime to celebrate Easter. She has 30 eggs to hide for each boy! It’s nice to go out there on Saturday - then we don’t have to rush home to get back before Taco’s bedtime. Sunday will be a quieter day. Paul and I are going to church with another family on our block and then it will otherwise be a pretty quiet, low key day. 

How was your week? What are you reading and watching these days?

Monday, March 25, 2024

5 things Monday + Snow

I did not get a chance to write a 5 things Friday post last week since I was bogged down with work travel. So here is a 5 things Monday post instead! 

1. First things first - After unseasonably warm weather recently, winter reared its head again. We got around 6” of wet, sloppy snow on Friday morning - most of which melted by the end of the day on Friday. Then another system moved in on Sunday. It won’t be around for long as it’ll be in the 40s by Easter. But we’ve had about as much snow in the last 3 days as we did all winter. Welcome to ‘spring’ in Minnesota. The kids were THRILLED. Paul went sledding with a friend and Taco summoned his inner dog and rolled around in/ate the snow. I went down the sledding hill a few times, too, which was super fun.


2. We knew the weather would turn on Sunday, so we made the most of Saturday and were out and about a lot. First, coffee and cake pops at Starbucks, then a stop at the library where we ran into friends and I ran into a client that we just won a huge mutual fund allocation from. After lunch, Paul had a birthday party gathering at a movie theater (Kung Fu Panda 4) - his first movie theater movie ever and my first since 2019! Phil had plans with his high school friends so he took Taco to his friend’s house (Paul and I would have gone if Paul wasn’t invited to a birthday party). After the movie we met up with friends at an indoor golf simulator place that a friend owns and then went to a brewery for dinner afterwards. So basically we did ALL THE THINGS!! 

Cake pops and a latte for mom to start the day!

3. My work trip last week was for an offsite. It was nice to meet so many people in person for the first time. But wow the days were long - I was out past 10 both nights so when you factor in my bedtime wind-down process, I was up until 11 which is so late for me. I envy people who can just come home, put on pjs and drop off to sleep. Even when I am exhausted I need a transitional period of reading to fall asleep. 

4. I usually take Paul to swimming lessons on Sunday afternoon but I felt so tired so asked Phil if he could go so I could lay down when Taco napped. He happily obliged. I napped and it felt so good but I feel like I am digging myself out of a massive pit of exhaustion, probably due to back-to-back weeks of travel and too many long days/late nights last week plus a really full day on Saturday.

5. This is a short week for us since Phil and I both have Friday off for Easter - but the boys have school! This rarely happens so we will enjoy the heck out of it and hopefully go somewhere fun for lunch. I’ll end the day by reading a book to Taco’s classroom which will be really fun. 

How was your weekend? Is it springlike where you live?

Monday, March 18, 2024

Weekend recap

Fake spring is moving on and we are back to more seasonal temperatures, which still aren’t bad (in the 30s). But us seasoned midwesterners knew better than to count on that weather sticking around for good.

First up: a dentist update. We made it through the cavity drilling process but it wasn’t pleasant. Paul wouldn’t take the laughing gas despite my strong recommendation that it would be helpful. But oh well. It was just on the outer surface of 2 of his molars so he didn’t need novocaine. Here’s hoping we don’t have to go through this again for a long time!

We enjoyed the mild weather on Friday as we knew colder weather was morning in and spent a good chunk of time outside after dinner. The boys scooted and played with stomp rockets and chalk. 


Paul and his cat drawing which I think is so cute! It has shrug emoji vibes which is one of my most used emojis.

On Saturday we hit up the library in the morning and then Paul’s school friend party was in the afternoon from 3-5. He had 3 boys and 2 girls over. I was so grateful that it wasn’t all boys - the girls offset some of the boy energy. It was LOUD at times but he had fun and everyone enjoyed putting their LEGO set together. But wow kids are honest. One little boy told me the juice boxes tasted disgusting and another little girl said ‘is this all there is for snacks?’ (I had cheesy popcorn, string cheese, and club crackers plus cupcakes for dessert.)

Store bought cupcakes for the win!

Phil took Taco to his mom’s because we knew he’d want to hang with the older kids and would get in the way. He got lots of 1:1 attention from nana so everyone wins. 

Sunday was a windy, blustery day. We did nothing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They talked about it at school so Paul asked about setting a leprechaun trap and I feigned ignorance because I had zero interest in doing anything. I am just not that fun mom that gets into minor holidays. My parents didn’t either and I don’t feel like I missed out? It’s one of those ‘you do you’ kind of things. In the morning, I took the boys to an indoor playground after my CG workout since it wasn’t nice outside so Phil could have some quiet time in the house to himself. He’s got more solo parenting ahead this week so I wanted to give him a solid break. The boys had a blast!




Post nap and swimming lesson, we loaded our RAV4 with a load for goodwill. It felt SO GOOD to get this pile of accumulating goods out of our house. It was mostly clothes and surplus gifts from Christmas that we just don’t need/weren’t playing with. 

Then I did a bunch of meal prep while sipping a glass of white wine. Meal prep is one of my favorite chores. I love chopping veggies. I listened to a podcast while doing it. Part of what I prepped was pasta sauce with blitzed veggies hidden in the sauce which is a household favorite and a rare meal that everyone enjoys. The boys had theirs on pasta, I had mine on spaghetti squash. 

This week will be a repeat of last week with me traveling Tues-Thur but then I get a break from work travel until after our spring break trip. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 15, 2024

5 things Friday

I’m drafting this post from the airport on Thursday night as I wait at the gate for my now twice-delayed flight home. So instead of landing at 6:30 and making it home for bedtime, I landed at 8 and missed it all. Le sigh. Here’s how the week shaped up.

1. We enjoyed some really unseasonably gorgeous weather earlier in the week. One benefit of springing ahead is having more sunlight in the evening. The boys went scooting after dinner 3 nights this week. Everyone is happier when we can get outside! Yes their helmets match their scooters but no, this was not planned! Taco just moved into Paul’s helmet and Paul got a new one that coincidentally matches his scooter. And of course Taco is wearing a Mickey shirt! We have no short sleeved Mickey shirts so I probably need to get some for spring/summer.

2. I had a very busy but productive trip to Chicago. I did some lunch and learn sessions with our sales people, went to a celebratory HH for people who were promoted/passed their licensing exams, and had a lot of meetings with people I work with. I also met up for dinner with the daughters of Phil’s cousin. They are in their 20s but were up for hanging out with me! We talked for 2+ hours straight. These girls are part of the family that we spend Christmas Eve with every year. Their parents are Taco’s Godparents so even though they are technically extended family, I kind of think of them as close family. One of the girls teaches yoga sculpt at core power yoga so I am hoping to take a class next time I am in Chicago! That was one of my favorite classes when I had a CPY membership. 

3. Today starts with 7:30 dentist appointment for Paul. We found out he had 2 cavities when we saw the dentist in February. Le sigh. I guess he has my bad dental genes (we still brush his teeth so I don’t feel like we did anything wrong, just bad luck/genes I guess). We go to a pediatric dentist so am going to trust that they will figure out how to get my sensitive boy to sit for the drilling process… I will report back.

4. Paul’s little birthday party with 5 school friends is tomorrow afternoon. Since I’ve been gone much of this week, I feel pretty ill-prepared to host anything. But I am telling myself that 5-6 year olds don’t expect much. I’ll have snacks, we’ll put a cute Lego set together and we’ll have cupcakes for the birthday treat, per Paul’s request. Hopefully it all goes off without a hitch! 

5. We don’t have any other plans this weekend, thank goodness. I’m definitely feeling worn out from my busy week of travel. And I do it all over again next week with a 2 night trip to Charlotte. Here’s hoping I get some good nights of sleep and come out of the weekend feeling rested.

How was your week? Was the weather beautiful?

Monday, March 11, 2024

5 things on a Monday

Happy Monday! We had a nice weekend with some fun social gatherings, the highlight of which was meeting Kae! More on that below! I usually do 5 things posts on Friday but am switching things up and starting with 5 things on my mind on Monday! 

1. Good stuff first! I got to meet up with Kae on Sunday morning since she was in town for a soccer game! We met up for coffee and talked for about 90 minutes and just barely scratched the surface in terms of what we could have talked about! I love it when I can turn URL friendships into IRL ones! We also exchanged some bins of clothes - I took some kids clothes off her hands and I passed along some of my fave pre-kids clothes that I have accepted will never fit again. Womp womp. Hopefully our paths will cross again soon! If she lived local, she would totally be in my core group of friends since we are so similar/have a lot in common. But we are dreaming of planning a trip to Nova Scotia to see Elisabeth some day!

Excuse the fact that I look like a bit of a slob! Also wow, Kae has legs for days!

2. Whelp, I gave up on using the disqus comment form. Last week they stopped sending me comment notifications and I could not figure out how to fix it so I went back to the blogger comment form and I think I have a version employed that won’t result in a bunch of anonymous comments. It seems like I needed to select ‘full page’ for the comment form type. And if you are commenting on my blog from your phone, you need to click ‘view web version’ (highlighted below). Then you will get a better comment form than the stupid one that forces you to comment as anonymous (at least on the iPhone, it seems). Why does blogger suck so much? Probably because it’s free. The thought of moving my almost 16 year old blog to Wordpress sounds like a horrible headache so I will probably keep putting up with things like this annoying comment form issue!


3. Daylight savings time started yesterday. I despise this stupid practice of manipulating time that was put into place during a time of war to conserve fuel. But here we are in 2024, moving clocks back and forth. I’m envious of my sister in AZ because she does not have to put up with this. But post-kids, I prefer losing an hour to gaining an hour. I just wish we could stay on DST! 

4. Now a bit of a work rant/conundrum. Work continues to be kind of insane. I have 2 trips this month (Chicago and Charlotte - again (was there last month)), then 2 in April (NJ and Cleveland), which come on the tails of our FL trip and then I have 2 trips in May (Napa and Dallas area), but the May Napa trip is the week after the back-to-back April+spring break travel which means I am traveling 4 weeks in a row (one trip being a fun one which is different)… I try to limit my travel to twice a month (it has slipped from once a month because of the volume of requests) but I did not put 2 and 2 together and realize the May Napa trip was right after the April trips… but I don’t know what I could have said no to. I only have 1 trip in June (to Seattle) and then I am really hoping to not travel much during the summer. My heart is kind of racing typing this all out. On top of that, I am doing so many calls on days that I am not traveling so I am above capacity (and have other work to do when I am not on calls/traveling)… Gah. My new hire is fully licensed now so he can start to take on some calls which will help. But ay yi yi.

5. I’ll close with a more fun topic of what we’ve been watching lately. On Friday, we finished ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ which is a book Phil and I had both read. You guys, it took us 6 nights to watch it! Why must a movie be 3.5 hours long! Who has the time  - and the attention span - to watch something that long. All in all we thought the film was ok but felt they could have cut A LOT and still done justice to the story. Now we are watching the latest season of ‘Full Swing’ which is a golf docuseries about golf. Oddly, professional golf is one of my favorite sports to watch on tv. I find it so soothing and you don’t have to watch every shot - you can kind of dip in and out. Plus the whole LIV/PGA situation makes it extra, well, gossipy/juicy. I’m fully team McIlroy. He is such a nice, humble guy and the Irish accent makes him extra likeable. 

How was your weekend? Do you loathe the time change as much as I do? Do you watch/follow golf?

Thursday, March 7, 2024

What We Read In February

Here we are, a week into March, and I’m just getting around to recapping my February reading. Oof, February reading was a big, fat MEH. I read 6 books and only enjoyed 2 of them. 

My reading:

I did have 2 successful reads. The Whispers by Ashley Audrain is her sophomore novel. Similar to her debut, The Push, it focuses on the dark side of parenting/motherhood. At a bbq, the neighbors overhear a mother screaming at her child - months later, he falls from his 2nd story window. Is the mother involved/to blame? I didn't like this as much as The Push as it read a bit more like a gossipy Liane Moriarty book, but I still found it enjoyable/interesting. Traveling Mercies was another "faith exploration" book for me. I enjoyed Lamott's musings on faith. She doesn't exactly strike me as a stereotypical Christian if that makes any sense? Not that all Christians are cut from the same cloth. But she's liberal/progressive and she seems like someone that liberally swears, for example. So it was very different from the other "faith exploration" books I've read. 


And then there were the meh books. My Brilliant Friend was the Cool Blogger Book Club selection for February. NGS does a great job of hosting an online book club and her questions added to the reading experience - but I just plain did not like this book and won't continue in the series! But that's what makes books interesting - they can illicit such diverse responses/reactions! Shiner had promise but it was such an uneven reading experience. Parts of the book felt like a 2-star read, others felt like a 4-star read. I thought I might round it to a 3, but the ending didn't redeem the book. It's set in Appalachia and is about the family of a religious fanatic (he uses snakes in his services to give you an idea of what I mean by religious fanatic). You, Again was a modern day retelling of When Harry Met Sally. I shouldn't have read it because, like Nicole (Hi Nicole!!), I'm of the opinion that that work of art can't be approved upon. Lastly, Days at the Morisaki Bookshop was a weird little book set in Japan. It had promise as it's about a struggling 20-something that goes to live in a bookshop with her uncle (living in a bookshop sounds like a dream) but it was just a little too weird for my liking. 


The boys' reads:

Paul and I finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (he loved it and we enjoyed watching the 1960s Gene Wilder book adaptation) and we also read a Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot which is #16 in the series. It's kind of strange to start towards the end of the series but it didn't seem to impact the reading experience - we started there because he received this book for Christmas. I told Paul that this was basically a retelling of my childhood experience with sports as Greg, the protagonist, is NOT athletic but is required to try basketball. Like me, the only basket Greg makes is for the other team!! We have since started the first book in the series and I can already tell the series improves with each book because Greg is kind of a jerk in book 1. 

How was your month? Tell me it was less meh than mine!!!