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Showing posts from 2014

Riding the relocation roller coaster

I wrote this email to my "7 for 7" group at church. We have been reading a book titled 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (Jen Hatmaker, 2013) and examining how we can be more conscientious about our own life excesses, both personally and as a church group. Reading this book has coincided with my own yearning to change my setting and habits -- and has helped tremendously as we ready our family for our relocation to Maine:

So, just as I pulled into the driveway Tuesday evening, after our fun little apple cider party, I received a text message from the owner of the condo we were planning on renting in Gorham, Maine: "We've received an offer on our house. Really have to consider it." Mind you, we had already signed the lease, set the date with our movers for November 3, and enrolled our kids in Gorham schools. I almost threw up.

Long story shorter, they did decide to sell the house...pretty much right out from under us.

But you know what happened? I didn't …

The Big Move

We're about to do something big and scary and exciting and amazing: In less than two weeks, we're moving to Maine. Because I have a fabulous new job. Can you believe it? After years of being unhappy and frustrated in my Delaware job, I have been hired to an excellent position at one of the premier publishers in our field -- and they've asked me to move to Portland, Maine, where the office is located. Many people have looked at me funny when I say this is a dream come true, but I've longed to live in Maine since I was a child scrambling the rocky coastline of Acadia National Park with my brother. New, better job; beautiful small-city for a hometown; fresh air and space for my kids to flourish; a fresh start for us all. It's a super-mega dream scenario.

I'm terrified. Yet there has only been one afternoon when I lost my nerve, sobbing when I realized how much it's going to cost us to sell our home in Delaware. My smart, practical husband said, "I'll …

One week a veggie

Today marked one week into our vegetarian experiment. And altgough it's not been simple, it's been easier than I'd expected. Mostly, I think, because we're all pretty easy-going about the rules. What's nice is we the opted in -- even the kids -- so it seems we're all trying to stick with it, but it's no big deal if we don't stay 100% veg. So that seems to take some pressure off, and actually makes it less tempting, I think, to eat meat.
I spent the first couple days obsessing over recipes, then realized around Wednesday that nobody here really cares how long I spend in the kitchen as long as their bellies are full. So I stocked up on some frozen "alternative meat" products like vegetarian chicken nuggets (which taste better than the scary "real" chicken nuggets), veggie sausage and beef crumbles.
I had some trouble by Thursday too feeling like if I ate one more grain product, I would cry. I also don't think I was eating enough …

The Vegetarian Experiment, Day 1

We're just back from the Newark (DE) Farmers Market, where we bought one of everything. I spent a lot more money than I'd intended, but I wanted to be sure we have enough of the grainy staples, as well as some new spices, nuts, and vinegars. And of course, cheese. I think my entire family (myself included) is clinging to cheese as the great hope in this vegetarian experiment. We now have an entire crisper drawer full of cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack, more cheddar, American slices, and goat cheese. Also ricotta cheese, for the yummy vegetarian lasagna recipe I hope to make tonight, and cottage cheese because I love it no matter what you say it looks like and because I don't get enough calcium.

I'm nervous about this vegetarian thing today...mostly because I feel a lot of pressure to make fabulously delicious food so my family doesn't whine and moan about the lack of animal protein. And I don't want them to be hungry (even though we're all in need of a lit…

The pull to simplify

This winter was brutal. Not just because of the neverending snow days (10! Our kids had 10 snow days! And a handful of late openings, which wreak even worse havoc on routines), but also because of the evening schedule, my daily work load, and the pick-up in my travel dates. I was a miserable cuss by February. 

I felt like there was not nearly enough of me to go around. Always torn between my home and work responsibilities, I had a horrible time managing my time, focusing on tasks, and getting things done -- in the office and at home. I was working all day, regardless of whether the office was closed because of snow, and I was logging on after the kids were in bed because the list of tasks was just growing and looming. I wasn't getting enough sleep, and I was waking up feeling even more tired than I had at bedtime. Burning the candle at both ends, my mom used to call this. 

I became short-tempered. I became sad. I became frustrated. Around mid-March, during a snuggle session with our…

Potty brain

I know important things are going on in the big world today, but major things are happening in my little world: Zippy is on day two of wearing underpants to preschool. Oh. My. Heart. Big boy underpants! I'm giddy with excitement. 
He told us Monday “When it’s a new calendar, I’m going to wear big boy pants.” So yesterday, May 1, was the start of the new calendar, and Honey put him in his Batman undies (with a bag full of clothes for preschool). He made it to 4:00 without any incidents…then well, accidents happen and I’ll spare you the details. But the point is, he did it. And even better: The accident at the end of the day didn't upset him. My little trooper will not be deterred! This morning he got out of bed, peed in the pot, and put on his Ninjago undies. He also shook his tushy for each of his family members, giggling about the red ninja on his butt.
Friends, I'll be honest: Potty training has brought me to the brink. Right up to the edge of my tolerance, my temper, an…