Happiness is…

Yes, that’s right. ¬†Happiness is my plain old bed, well actually the room. ūüôā ¬†I couldn’t help by smile and be happy when I walked into my clean bedroom this afternoon and saw the sun shining on the bed.

In keeping with the keeping things picked up going on downstairs, I spent sometime yesterday (and Saturday), picking up, dusting and vacuuming the carpet. ¬† The results make me happy. ¬†I do not have the prettiest bed room, but when it’s picked up, it’s not the worst either.



Thursday was a yucky day.  My stomach was in knots, my head was racing, and was hurting a little more each hour.

In the early morning light Zach came to kiss me goodbye, like he does every morning. ¬†He sat on the bed next to me, leaned down and gave me a kiss, followed by “I love you.”

“Do you really?” ¬†Crap. ¬†Why did I just say that?

What ensued was a quick (less than five minute discussion) on why I was upset, which left Zach feeling like a horrible husband and probably extremely frustrated at me and me feeling like a lousy, selfish wife.  Neither of us was happy.   What a great start to the day!

We didn’t have time to really talk and I knew that when I brought it up. ¬†It wasn’t urgent, life threatening or anything, just a slight irritation. ¬†So why did I bring it up?

Maybe it’s because I have a filter problem. ¬†I have a tendency to state what I’m thinking with little thought to the consequences. ¬†Some would say this isn’t true, but it very much my problem with my husband. ¬†It is extremely difficult for me NOT to tell him something that is bugging me or something I’m excited about. ¬†Secrets are pretty much non-existent around here (at least from my side of things).

Many times this isn’t such a bad thing. ¬†It keep our communication open and free. ¬†No guessing and being unsure. ¬†But in cases like Friday, it just causes lousy days for no reason. ¬†Thankfully, lousy days don’t lead to lousy nights and weekends.

After twelvish hours of thinking about it (Zach had school after work, so I didn’t get to see him/talk to him for too long), I was able to apologize and fully mean it, Zach forgave me, we talked and moved on. ¬†How horrible would it be to live without forgiveness?

The Power of Smell

“Why don’t you like it?”

“I just don’t like the smell. ¬†It smells horrible to me. ¬†What makes any smell bad?”

I find it frustrating when I’m asked to explain something that is near impossible. ¬†How do you convince a person that something they think smells good, smells horrible to you. ¬†It doesn’t smell like garbage or a poopy diaper. ¬†It isn’t moldy or anything that would normally be bothersome, but there is something about the smell I just can’t stand. ¬†Kinda like the smell version of cotton balls for me (or fingernails on the chalkboard for others).

This, until recently, unidentified smell came about whenever I ran the dishwasher. ¬†I’m always home when the dishwasher is run, so this is big issue for me. ¬†It has been months upon months, and I was to the point where I believed it was just the way it was always going to be, until I read a blog.

A friend mentioned a specific kind of dishwashing detergent that she uses because she loves the smell. It made me think.  What if it is the dishwashing detergent that is my smell issue.  So, the other day as I loaded the dishwasher and got it ready to go, I smelled the detergent and guess what?  Yep, that is the nasty, disgusting smell the permeates my house every time we run the dishwasher.

This has become a “hot” topic at our house because Zach really likes the smell of the detergent and doesn’t want to change it. ¬†And we both like it’s “power,” but I finally decided, Zach is hardly ever home when I run the dishwasher, so does it matter if he likes the smell? ¬†No. ¬†And who is to say we can’t find another kind that smells fine and works just as well?

So today I bought a new dishwashing detergent…I can’t wait to try it out!

A Clean House

My mom is a cleaner Рshe sees something out of place or some dirt and she deals with it.  As I look back I realize she was always moving, doing a little of this, a little of that, but we never really noticed that she was doing these things.  She also had a policy that before we did anything on the weekend we cleaned the house РI remember rushing around dusting things because I really wanted to go shopping, eventually I was responsible for the downstairs, although I was able to slack a bit because I was the only one using the downstairs.

You’d think I brought those routines into my adult life, but the opposite seems to be true. ¬†I breeze over clutter, I rarely do good deep cleaning. ¬†And until recently the kitchen was ALWAYS a disaster. ¬†Zach isn’t any better, in fact, I might have learned some of my lazy ways from him. ūüôā

When Isaac was born the house became worse. ¬†Two adults, one baby and two big dogs – our 1300 square feet seems to always be a disaster…toys, blankets, socks and shoes, cups, dishes, and even random bits of food in the most random of places. ¬†I make this sound like my house is a dirty mess and in some ways it is, but it’s definitely not hugely dirty, just not spotless.

My mom always said, don’t go to bed with dishes in the sink, it’s such a better start to the day with a clean kitchen – and it is so true.

Since Zach is student teaching we’ve been eating at home a whole lot more – this means that my tiny kitchen needs to be kept functional, no dishes in the sink or on my two feet of counter space. ¬†We’ve been doing a good job of this. ¬†We run the dishwasher every night and during lunch (sometimes breakfast), I quickly put all the dishes away. ¬†This means that as we use dishes, they can go directly into the dishwasher instead of the sink or counter. ¬†It’s amazing how clear and uncluttered I feel with just this tiny space being orderly.

Another area that I’m really bad about is picking up the front room and the TV room. ¬†These are Isaac’s main play areas and get so messy. ¬†Most of the time I just step over things and move on. ¬†At the end of the day I’m exhausted so picking up toys is the least of what I want to do, but you know what? ¬†Tonight, as a family, we picked up the whole house in less than 15 minutes (minus the bedrooms). ¬†The kitchen is picked up, the dining room is picked up, the living and tv room too! ¬†All toys, books, magazines and papers have been returned to the correct place.

15 minutes to bring organization to my life. ¬†I think I can spare 15 minutes a day. ¬†And, with the house picked up tonight, dusting and the floors won’t take long tomorrow, then the house is clean. ¬†Yeah we have the bathrooms too, but Zach’s a bit of a perfectionist with those and it takes him hours, so I might have to wait to work those into the schedule. ¬†Baby steps, right?

I’m realizing I always try to do it all and when that wears me out I quit it all. ¬†Maybe now that I have the kitchen down, I can add picking up in and eventually it won’t be such a chore to keep a clean house, it’ll just come naturally.

A little of this, a little of that

All day I’ve been thinking about what to write. ¬†I do this often. ¬†And seriously, most of the time I have at least two or three good blogs composed in my head, just waiting to be put to type, but by the time I get around to typing, I’ve forgotten what they were. ¬†I honestly don’t understand how memory works…I can remember it all day, compose, rework, modify my idea and then it’s gone, all gone. ¬†So much like when a computer crashes.

Maybe that is why I like records. ¬†I write for the record. ¬†I photograph for the record. ¬†I video for the record. ¬†I even use my calendar to record seemingly meaningless data. ¬†Maybe it’s all to keep from forgetting.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite memories of the day:

Years ago I took this photo for our Christmas card.  We framed one and put it on the wall and it fell down a while ago so, it has been sitting on the floor.  Isaac has recently taken to laying on his belly in front of it, chin in his hands and feet in the air, just staring at it.  After a while I asked him what he was looking at:

Isaac: Dexi-dog and a Guinness.

Me: What are they doing?

Isaac: Fasting.

I cracked up laughing.   The kid says fast instead of run, but understands how to put an -ing on the end?  Crazy.

A little while later he was playing. ¬†He talks a lot when he is playing and I love to just listen to him. ¬†Today it was: “thank you the family and friends. Amen.” ¬†Aww…our nightly prayer is sticking.

Later, this evening, Isaac was drinking water and he decided to spit it on the floor. ¬†We’ve had this problem many times, he thinks it is funny because the dogs will follow him around and lick it up. ¬†I told him that wasn’t okay and that he needed to go get a towel to clean it up. ¬†He disappeared for several minutes and then suddenly:


Me: Good.  Are you going to bring it down to clean it up?

Isaac: YES MAMA!

I think it’s great how he likes to add people’s names to the end of things he says so you know exactly who his conversation is directed to.

A Good Night

Three happy boys running around Р1, 2 and 3 (okay, in 3 weeks, but close enough).  Friends.  Parents.  Grandparents.

I love having a friend whose sons are on either side of Isaac’s age. ¬†It makes getting together so much fun, and I know it’s only going to get more fun (as was evident from tonight). ¬†They are going to fight, they are going to get hurt, but I can also see them investigating, playing and share some of the best moments in life together.

And how much more relaxing is it for me, as a parent, to go somewhere where I don’t have to worry about entertaining my child or if he is okay. ¬†Play and adult conversations in the same room….five pair of adult eyes watching the three little ones….this makes pure enjoyment.

Add in good food and you have the makings of a perfect night.  Thanks Jess (& Fam).

Project 365 Update

Today I have spent much time updating my Project 365, so I’m computered out and Isaac wants cookies.
All day he has wanted cookies. ¬†I told him we didn’t have any and he went to my baking cupboard where I keep my mixing bowls and flour and said “chocolate chip cookies.” ¬†Man, that kid is too smart for me. ¬†I’m a slave to my kid and must go make chocolate chip cookies.


I tried not to show my concern as the three customer service staff rushed around looking in various places. ¬†I overheard a conversation between two of them reading a description. ¬†Oh great! ¬†They’ve lost it. ¬†What happens when they lose a ring? ¬†Does it ever happen?

20 minutes we wait. ¬†Isaac, of course, doesn’t want to sit, so we wander the store, we go to the bathroom and finally when I think we are on the verge of a major breakdown….”Jennifer?”

Oh, thank goodness!

I walk to the counter where she presents me with my ring. ¬†Oh, how I’ve missed it!. ¬†Three whole days! ¬†I felt so naked without it…how such a tiny thing can make you feel so whole. ¬†And now it is beautiful…cleaned and polished and oh so sparkly. ¬† I feel like I’m getting married tomorrow, instead of having been married for almost seven years.

Last week, I was snuggling on the couch with a blanket when my ring got caught. ¬†Basically, the top of one of the points of the prongs that holds the diamond fell off. ¬†While it still seemed stable, I didn’t want to risk losing the diamond…and the ring is always under warranty to be fixed in cases like this, so we took it in. ¬†They offered to polish up Zach’s as well, but he felt too naked in the five minutes he had it off for them to clean it, so he decided against it.

So happy to have my ring back and not feel so naked!

The Future

I don’t feel like writing today and I’m wondering about my sanity in making the decision to write every day for the whole year….that might be a little much. ¬†I am enjoying the results…I don’t feel as dumb.

I finished a book today. ¬†Julia Child’s My Life in France. ¬†I’m kinda stuck in the 50s and 60s as a result. ¬†It’s rare that I read a book that puts me into such a recent time period that was actually so different from our own time. ¬†I didn’t love the book, but I found it so interesting the lifestyle she lived. ¬†She began her adventure into cooking near 40 and that became her lives passion.

Julia is very well known for her cook books and cooking shows – all things that took place after 40. ¬†It’s gotten me to thinking….I’m only 30. ¬†What does my future hold? ¬†I’m sure at 30 Julia didn’t expect that her passion and what she would be well known for would be cookbooks and TV shows….in fact, I don’t even know if the concept of a TV show was something that was even a possibility when she was 30.

So while I might be feeling old and like I’ve “lived” life, I guess I’ve got a LOT of life left in me.