Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quiet Back To Chaos



It's nap time and all of the littles that I watch are fast asleep. After a busy morning outside they were exhausted and fell asleep quickly. I ate my lunch and am currently enjoying a cup of coffee fresh from the Keurig. It's smooth and still hot. I realize that this is one of the last days (for awhile) that I'll be enjoying hot coffee. I'll likely be drinking it cold in a matter of days....and not like iced coffee. No, warm coffee that has gone cold from sitting too long and warmed up in the microwave multiple times before it's gone.

I sit in the silence happily while the tapping of the keyboard fills the room. I have music playing in the background in multiple rooms of the house. Despite relishing in the quietness of my days, I still need some noise happening around me. It helps me focus and I find it oddly calming. Silence still bothers me, but I've come to appreciate the calmness of our days.

It's nearing the end of the school year and the summer crowd will slowly trickle in throughout the next couple of weeks. Three years ago I was on the opposite end of this. My life went from chaos to quiet (read about that here) when my middle started school full time, numerous kiddos went off to preschool, and I started a new "batch" of daycare kids. I was worried how I would fare with the quiet when I was so used to chaos. In those three years my house has been full, but not insanely full (as summer will bring). Still moments of chaos, but not complete chaos.

These last three years have been full of change. Babies being born, babies turning into toddlers, and now preschoolers. All three of my minis in school full time. I've become accustomed to this new quiet. The kind of quiet that signals my own children aren't home and rummaging, creating messes wherever they go. The kind of quiet that guarantees me some kind of break throughout the day. These days are fairly predictable: breakfast, playtime, snack, playtime, lunch, reading, naps, playtime, snack, playtime. The days are busy, but have an overall calmness that I've come to appreciate.

I find myself hoping that the big kids will want to watch a movie or a show in the afternoons this summer so I can at least sit down for a few minutes each day. Don't get me wrong, I still thrive in chaos, but I've learned to thrive in a little bit of calmness too. I'm taking full advantage of these last few quiet(er) days before the days are full of kids running in and out of the house from sun up to sun down, stomping feet sounding through the house, and these little things that I've come to enjoy will be distant memories.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend

I typically opt for a weekend getaway for Mother's Day weekend (Omaha, Wisconsin Dells, Chicago are among the most memorable getaways), but since we had spent the previous weekend in Minneapolis, there were things we needed to do around Des Moines. We began our weekend with pajama Friday (which continued into Friday night) and sugar cookie cake bars.

Here's the delicious, simply recipe: https://iwashyoudry.com/fluffy-sugar-cookie-cake-bars/

Saturday morning the minis and I dropped Hubs off at work and headed to the Des Moines Children's Museum for our volunteer shift. It had been a few weeks since we've had a Saturday morning shift. The minis loved the new toys and exhibits, while I got to put together a fairy garden. We all had a great time!




A quick run to the Theatrical Shop to pick up stage make up and new tights for the upcoming dance recital. We could spend hours in this costume shop, but we really had to get going this visit because....Mama had a concert to get to! When a friend called me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted a spare ticket he had, I jumped at it. While I'm not a big Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs, or Jason Aldean fan, I do love a good concert. Plus, anytime I can drink from a mason jar (even if it was plastic) is an added bonus. It was such a fun night!



We seemed to be the only two not wearing plaid. I'm so incredibly lucky that all of my closest people are ones I have known most of my life. 

As much as I love busy weekends, it can get tricky being on the go for two days straight. I'm privileged enough to have my groceries delivered right to my kitchen once (or twice) a week. Sometimes finding the time to be home can be the struggle. Unfortunately for me that meant a delivery early Sunday morning and no one in our house stopped me from waking up. So, instead of sleeping in (which is kinda my favorite thing to do when I can), I was up bright and early. Thankfully I had these little faces and fresh coffee to help.


I surprised the minis with Ho Hos in the grocery delivery. A lunchbox staple in my day and this was the first time my (almost) ten year old had one. They were big fans.


Since I was up, I got some food prepping done for the week: cucumber salad, cookie sandwiches (for daycare birthday's), fruit salad, baked zucchini, and sweet potato and quinoa casserole. I love being able to open up the refrigerator and find healthy, ready to go sides and meals.



The one thing I really wanted to do for Mother's Day was go to Reiman Gardens in Ames, Ia to see the new Wind, Waves, and Light sculptures all around the gardens. Heavy rains and thunderstorms pushed back our visit until later in the afternoon, but it was nice to have some relaxing time on the couch reading. I love a good, spring time, Iowa thunderstorm!


Our first stop of the afternoon was a plant sale. We came home with various types of peppers for our vegetable garden and milkweed, wildflowers, and grasses for our butterfly and bee garden. I may have to try this out with an old pair of the mini's jeans because these were just the cutest!


We had my in-laws come with us for a fun Mother's Day outing! I can't believe we have never been to Reiman Gardens exploring before! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on their future exhibits and events because we had a wonderful afternoon.






The sculptures were so neat!







I had hoped for cute, or at least decent, photos of my minis and me together, but didn't exactly succeed....






Surfin'

Butt crack baby. I couldn't help but take this picture!

Elizabeth and Grandma Sheaffer

So it's Mother's Day, yet somehow my husband manages to get a decent picture with the minis. Of course he does.





The gnome was kind of a highlight for these three.







I skipped out on the butterfly garden and hit up the gift shop instead. My finds included a few little toys for the minis, a flowerpot coffee mug, and a coffee smelling candle.


After Reiman Gardens, we stopped by to see my mom and snap a few pictures.





I love that it started as a cool, rainy day and ended warm and sunny. At the beginning of the day I had some crabby minis who were unhappy with me for waking up early because they didn't get to serve me breakfast in bed (oops), but by the end of the day they were happy and excited about where the day had taken us. We ended the day grilling on the patio. 

While it wasn't a part of our epic road trips that I prefer, Mother's Day weekend was simple and nice.