#DSFWeeklyRewind… 10/15/17

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Hi, friends! We are trying something new this week. Instead of having coffee, I am joining my friend, Tara, over at Daisy Smiley Face for her new linkup #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude.

This has definitely been a week of “put that song on replay.” It started with my camping trip with the scouts. This was our largest group yet and we had many newbies. It was fabulous. I always love going there in the fall because of the weather and the colors. Last weekend did not disappoint. My normal life is full of traffic and cities, so getting away to country and nature can be a magical elixir. Something about a campfire fixes everything. I forget how beautiful the sky is until I am out  in the middle of nowhere and I see a symphony of stars… so many more than I can normally see in my neck of the woods. Of course, the trip was also great because we are growing strong girls. I love seeing young girls try new things, have new experiences, and build bonds with one another.

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Monday was my 18th wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe. I mean, time is funny with things like that. In ways, it seems like shorter (how can I be old enough to be married that long?!) and in other ways it seems like longer (it is hard to remember my life before). If our marriage were a person, that person would be a legal adult! Able to vote and everything (well, not drink. I’m not that old yet). Playlist: Grow Old With Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter (our wedding dance song).

The part of my week that I would “skip” would be (no surprise): work. Work has gotten busy again in an exhausting pull-my-hair-out kind of way. We are also preparing to move our offices on November 3rd. I need to start decluttering (I have a lot of junk I don’t want to move) and organizing (stuff is everywhere!).

*cue the upbeat, happy music* Highlight: a surprise package from a friend. My good friend, Violet, sent me a care package of Harvest Mix!! This is Cadbury mini eggs cleverly redesigned and repackaged for fall. Bravo, Cadbury! Violet is such a sweet and thoughtful friend.

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GRATITUDE:

  • I am thankful for nature. I am thankful for the way time slows down and means more when you take the time to slow down and do meaningful things. At camp, we exposed girls to new things (horse-riding, flag ceremonies, dutch oven cooking) and gave them some new memories (spider cabins). We felt the warmth of the fire and marveled at the starry sky.
  • I am thankful for purpose. In a chaotic world that I sometimes feel is losing it’s moral center, I am making a difference in the lives of young girls (including my two daughters).
  • I am thankful for love
  • I am thankful for friendship. I am so lucky to have caring, thoughtful friends in my life.
  • I am thankful for chocolate
  • I am thankful for the LA Dodgers, who beat the Chicago Cubs in game 1 of the NLCS last night. I’ll be even more thankful when the Cubs are eliminated.
  • I am thankful that there are only 7 days until the new season of The Walking Dead!!

So, head on over to #DSFWeeklyRewind to check out the deets and participate. Tell me about your week and what you are grateful for!

Monday Minutiae

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I know this has been my first post in a while. Trust me, I know. I’ve missed Friday Fictioneers and Weekend Coffee Share the last couple of weeks. Most days I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a tornado and the debris flying around me has names like work, drive, kids, school, scouts, housework, laundry. When I do get the odd spare time, I tend to opt for sleep lately. But the longer I’m away from my blog, the harder it is to get back. So, this is a catch-up post. Be forewarned: Random mind nuggets ahead.

Fall is my favorite season. I love crisp air, brilliantly colored leaves, sweater weather, and fire pits. What I don’t love? How the spiders tend to be everywhere in September and October before they disappear into the abyss for the winter. It has been hot this month so far but that hasn’t deterred the little creeps. We were coming home the other evening and a wolf spider was in the garage. He was sitting right by the door like he owned the place. If I see him again, I may have to burn the house down.

I am super bummed that baseball season is coming to an end. Well, regular season is coming to an end. My STL Cardinals are likely not going to make the playoffs. Again. For the second year in a row. Cardinal Nation is frustrated and upset. We are not used to such mediocrity. What’s worse? The Chicago Cubs, who I detest with the intensity of a thousand suns, are in town for a four game series. It is quite probable that the Cubs will clench the central division during this series. In St. Louis. On our turf. The thought makes my stomach turn.

I am excited for the return of new fall tv shows… especially This Is Us and The Walking Dead. I need something to take my mind off of the absence of baseball.

I’ve recently fallen down the rabbit hole of podcasts on Spotify. And a wonderful rabbit hole it is. This has given me a whole new mode of entertainment during my daily drive. I got addicted to “Alice Isn’t Dead.” Also on my list: “Welcome to Night Vale,” “99% Invisible,” “Homecoming,” and “Dear Sugars.”

A blogging friend (hi Johanna!) tipped me off to the existence of Cadbury harvest mix. These are Cadbury mini eggs in autumn wrapping! I looked for them immediately but couldn’t find them anywhere. Now I have proof that they exist and are in Target stores. The Target website tells me that they are in my local stores so I am on the hunt. Wish me luck. I have been saying for a long time that Cadbury needs to take a page out of the M&M (and really every other candy company that wants to make a buck) playbook and market the mini-eggs for different seasons and holidays. Cadbury for the win!

My mom and I spent hours on Saturday making a cake for our girl scout troops’ ceremonies. Hours. We thought about throwing in the towel several times and I was sure it was going to be a huge pinterest fail. I am proud of the end product, though. But man, was my hand cramping after writing all of those names!

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The ceremonies went well. We have two troops and one is split level. It is a lot of work but in the end it is worth it. In the chaos that our society has become, we are trying to be a positive influence on these young girls. Tomorrow’s women.

Until next time!

 

First Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee… 7/23/17

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Welcome! Come on in out of the heat. It is not even 10am and it is already eleventy billion degrees. We have had an oppressive heat wave here in the Midwest this week. In St. Louis we hit a record high yesterday (or maybe it was Friday? The hot days melt together in my brain) with an air temp of 108. And we have high humidity so it felt higher than 108. You can take several showers a day and still feel like a sweaty mess.

Given the heat, you may want to skip the coffee in favor of a cooler drink. We also have leftover birthday cake from my daughter’s celebration yesterday. She is 9 years old. It is hard to believe. I know it is cliché, but time really does fly, especially with parenthood. Her actual birthday was Tuesday and we had a small celebration that day. But since I had to work that day, we delayed the big cake/ice cream/presents party until yesterday.  She wore a couple of her presents all day (new leotard and tights and a hello kitty backpack). I also gave her some cash so we will probably hit some stores today.

We were in a minor car accident last weekend. Thankfully, minor is the key word. No one was injured and my car is driveable. There is damage, however, and since we were not at fault I have been dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. We are finally moving forward and I will drop my car off for repairs on Wednesday and pick up my rental car. My driver’s door is messed up and it makes a loud pop sound when I open it so I will be very happy to get that fixed.

Tomorrow is our go-live date for our new software system at work. We are ill-prepared and I expect tomorrow to be a complete dumpster fire. I have two meetings this week (one at 7am and one at 4:30pm), neither of which I really want to attend. I will be arriving late on Wednesday after dropping off my car. And I am leaving early on Thursday to go to my older daughter’s middle school orientation. My coworker is also on vacation. Overall, I think it will be one of those “praying for Friday” kind of workweeks.

I have been improving with my running in both speed and distance. I have to keep a close eye on my back and the pain has been status quo (but not worse, which is good). I think the running hurts my hips more than my back anyway. As long as I don’t see a significant increase in joint pain, I keep going.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to our lovely host, Diana at Part-time Monster! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 7/8/17

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Welcome, coffee friends! Look at me having coffee on Saturday (I’m usually a late Sunday person). I’m glad we could meet again. It is ridiculously hot today, so we may want to choose cooler beverages. We will definitely be staying inside in the A/C.

It has been a relatively quiet week at my house. I enjoyed an extra day off for the Fourth of July. We watched the fireworks display at our local park but otherwise had a restful holiday. I also worked a half day Thursday and had the day off Friday. Yay for short workweeks! Thursday I took my daughter to the doctor for school-required vaccinations prior to entering 8th grade. Eighth grade. It is hard to believe. Where does the time go? And my baby is entering 4th grade! It will be her last year of elementary school.

My days off went well because now I have a coworker than can handle things in my absence. I cannot adequately describe the peace of mind that gives me. I did answer several emails from home, but otherwise she could deal with patient results and phone calls and such.

I went for a nice run yesterday on my treadmill. You might remember that I am slowly getting back into running after a lengthy hiatus due to back injury. Yesterday I did well. I did about 20 minutes of running with one 10 minute interval. This may not sound impressive to a seasoned runner but for me it was incredible progress. I even got a pressure bruise on the bottom of my second toe. This happens to me a lot when running.

The TV is currently tuned to Titanic. I enjoy that movie so. Rose is getting rescued out of the water after the ship sinks. Why couldn’t Jack fit on that big slab of wood with her? Poor frozen Jack.

We could talk commiserate about the Cardinals again. It is same old, same old…. bullpen, pitching, field errors, baserunning snafu’s, yada yada yada. We are still below .500. They did win today, though. I love them, but man are they killing me this season.

I participated in Friday Fictioneers this week. Please check out Farewell Fireworks.

So catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (next week back to Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 7/2/17

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Welcome! It is so great to see you. I am sorry that I have missed our coffee dates for the last several weeks. Life happened. Come on in and I’ll grab us some beverages.

The Cardinals are on the television. You don’t mind, do you? They are losing right now. We’ve had a couple of good games lately, we beat the Washington Nationals the first two games of the series. Tonight is not starting out well for us. We need to win as we need to gain some ground on the Cubs. I could go on and on about our dismal bullpen and our inconsistent lineup but I will spare you. Please excuse me if I start yelling at the TV during our talk.

Things at work are going well. Our new counselor is settled in and working out great. It is a relief to have someone else to share the workload. Our schedule has also been light since she started, allowing for some time to catch up. Overall, my stress level has been much reduced. I haven’t brought work home on the weekends in weeks.

Do you have any plans for the 4th of July? I have to work Monday and I am only off work Tuesday the 4th. We have no real plans. Our town has a firework show in the park Monday night. We might go to that, we might not.

Big Brother started this week. It is my summer guilty pleasure. I also watched The Mist, a new series on Spike TV based on a Stephen King story.  I tend to have high hopes for King adaptations (even after The Dome fiasco). I think I need to lower my expectations.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 5/7/17

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Welcome! I missed you last week. I’m glad you come make it today. We are finally enjoying some warm, beautiful weather so maybe we could forgo coffee for a cooler drink. It’s a nice day to be outside so maybe we can go out on the deck.

We’ve had some major flooding here and many roads have been closed. Some areas had to evacuate. I even had to stay home from work this past Wednesday because the interstate was closed (and all of the routes around it were closed). It rained for days, I’m so sick of rain. Luckily, we’ve been clear for a couple of days and the rivers have receded a bit. Unfortunately, the flooding caused us to have to cancel our camping trip this weekend. The roads into the property are under water. We are so bummed. We most likely won’t be able to go again with the scout troops until fall.

We were able to do our lock-in last weekend at the Magic House (STL Children’s museum). We took twelve second/third graders. It was a blast, the girls loved it. Other than sleeping on the floor, the moms loved it, too.

Work was super busy this past week and it didn’t help that I missed a day due to flooding. The new counselor starts tomorrow. Light at the end of the tunnel!

The school year is rapidly coming to a close. The girls only have nine and half days left! Both of my daughters have Transition Day tomorrow. That is where they go visit their classrooms for next year and meet their new teachers. I’m also looking forward to the third grade field trip next week to the Science Center/IMAX theater.

My STL Cardinals are on a winning streak and today we swept the Atlanta Braves (after a grueling 14 inning game). We are now tied for second in the NL Central with THE CUBS. That’s right, Cubbies, we’re coming for you!

I participated in Friday Fictioneers this week. Go check out Room 215.

Catch me up! What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

I will leave you with a little glimpse of cat harmony, enjoying today’s lovely weather…

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Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 4/9/17

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Good morning! It is so nice to see you. Please ignore the messy hair, pajamas, bleary eyes and dark circles. The theme here today is: exhausted. It is pretty warm here today so maybe we will forgo hot coffee for a cooler beverage. We could even sit outside, though it is windy today.

How was your week? Anything exciting happen? Catch me up.

I had a long week. I spent most of the week stressing about my genetics presentation (Inheritance Patterns) which took place on Friday at 7am. It was for our maternal-fetal-medicine fellows (post-residency fellowship). I get so intimidated because they are doctors. Specialists even. I worried about making the material too easy or too difficult, I aimed to make it relevant for them. What I always forget is that while they are budding MFM gurus, their genetics knowledge is pretty basic. Afterwards, they told me that my level was on point and that the presentation was very helpful. It was a hit. I have to give them another lecture in two weeks so it is time to start stressing about the next one.

Friday afternoon, I took my daughters to a women’s college three hours away for a Girl Scout STEAM event. STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. We stayed in a hotel Friday night and the event was 10am on Saturday. It was fun day with demonstrations and hands-on activities. One of their favorites was a biology lab where they got to use microscopes and touch some critters (frogs and snakes, mostly). My younger daughter even held salamander eggs (which are trapped in a big ball of jelly goo). We also did a genetics workshop so that was right up my alley! We also had perfect weather to walk around the beautiful campus. As a woman of science with two daughters it was definitely a day of girl power. I may write a separate post about it.

We drove three hours home last night, arriving here around 10pm. Combine that with the super early morning on Friday and that explains my bleary eyes and dark circles. We have another busy day today so I need to get to it.

Oh, and I wrote my Friday Fictioneers piece this morning. Check it out here.

Have a great week!

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 4/2/17

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I know, I know… I’m late for coffee. The linkup has already closed. That’s okay, we can still grab a quick cup before Sunday fades away.

Exciting news… baseball season opened today! And my beloved Cardinals just beat the Cubs! Couldn’t have had a better team to beat for the home opener. Suck on that, Cubs.

Our girl scout troop volunteered at an Autism Awareness 5K run/walk yesterday morning. It was early and chilly, but we showed up to support this cause. These are the community events that I love to be a part of. The 5K wound up raising $3,000 for local schools/programs that provide services for individuals with autism.

We saw Beauty and the Beast this afternoon. It was everything I hoped it would be and had some visually stunning parts. Good job, Disney. We also rented Arrival last night. This one had a slow segment in the middle but at the end when I finally figured out what was going on… wow. Very timely message, that one.

Friday night, I walked into my daughter’s bedroom to find this little gem…

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That is TWO cats on the bed… side by side, content and happy! This made my heart do a happy little flip. That is Charlie the Tabby and Precious the White as Snow. Who is missing? The problem child…

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This is Gracie the Torti (also known as Doesn’t Play Well With Others). She is making progress, too but she is not as accepting as her two sisters.

If we were having our quick cup of coffee, I would lament about my busy week ahead. I have a Reproductive Endocrinology fellow starting a two week rotation with me and I have a presentation for the OB/GYN fellows on Friday. At 7am. Presentations at 7am should be illegal. My daughters have a STEAM event on Saturday at a college three hours away.  I fear that I may be late for coffee again next weekend but I will try my best to make our date.

I participated in Friday Fictioneers again this week. Check out Adrift.

So, catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/26/17

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Welcome! I’m so glad we could meet for coffee this week. I missed you last time. My apologies, life gets overwhelming at times. Come on in and have a seat. We’ve had some rainy, dreary weather this weekend. The temperatures have been moderate, though, so you can choose a hot or a cold beverage… whatever you’d like.

Since this is virtual and you can’t actually see my humble abode, I will tell you that we got a new front door. You would have to know what my old door looked like in order to realize why I am so excited. It was old and in bad shape. I’ve been wanting to replace it since we moved in. Now I have a brand new, modern beautiful door. It took my husband and my dad an entire weekend to install it. It has a glass panel so it lets in more light, a fact that I am still getting used to.

We’ve been quiet busy here with school and work and scouts. We spent most of the day yesterday peddling girl scout cookies. We did well but unfortunately still have some left. The end of the season is near, so we need to sell them so that we can get our full profit.

We have a busy April coming up. (sidenote: how in the everloving hell is it almost April?!!) We are planning a trip to South Carolina for Easter to visit family. We also have two other overnight trips for scouts in April. Our weekends are booked. On the one hand, I love being busy. We have some wonderful experiences planned for my girls. When I am busy, I feel productive. I feel alive. On the other hand, the packed schedule can become overwhelming. As an introvert, I need a lot of downtime that is quiet, peaceful and restful. Things can feel chaotic when I don’t get that time.

Operation Reduce the Sugar has been going surprisingly well. No more soda, I am drinking water 100% at work. I also drink water mostly at home, though I have had a little juice here and there. My work lunches have been healthier as well with more fresh fruits. My weakness is candy and cookies. We got rid of the candy in the house. If it’s not here I can’t eat it, right? The cookies are a different story but I have cut down on them. Confession: I did buy a bag of Cadbury mini eggs at the store last week in a moment of weakness. They are still on my nightstand unopened. That is willpower, friends. My rationalization is that they are seasonal (I can only get them for a short time) and 100% deprivation usually doesn’t work. Moderation is the key, right? As long as I don’t scarf down the entire bag in three days it is okay, right?

I did a little writing this week. I submitted a piece for Friday Fictioneers. Check out Isolated.

So, catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/12/17

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Welcome! Come on in out of the cold. Yes, our erratic weather has struck again. After some very warm spring-like days, we have hit low temperatures yet again (but luckily avoided the snow). Hopefully this will be the last bit of winter. We can enjoy some warm beverages today.

My house is quiet this morning. We have a bonus kid today (older daughter had a sleepover last night) so the kids are occupying each other. They were up quite late last night, though, so I am tired today. Add in daylight saving time (I loathe spring forward!) and it is a recipe for zombie-level fatigue today. The Walking Dead is on tonight so maybe that is perfect.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been an uneventful week. Uneventful is actually good. Work and school made the week pass quickly. There have been two promising changes at work. First, someone has been assigned to help me call out screening results, relieving me of some of my overwhelming workload. Second, we may have an interested candidate for the other counseling position. Yes, the counseling position that we have been recruiting for for a year and a half. I really hope she takes the job because it would help me immensely. Fingers crossed.

If we were having coffee, I would also update you on the Kitty Chronicles. Precious, the new cat, has become quite the lovebug. She is so sweet. The cats are getting along better, there have been fewer scuffles. More and more, they can be near each other with no problems. Things are not perfect, but the house is much more peaceful.

I have also made the decision to try to quit sugar. You give me that look. I know, I understand. My sugar addiction is like a level 100 critical. I am not saying it will be easy. I am going to cut out soda (goodbye daily Mountain Dew) and my beloved high-fructose-corn syrup-laden Hawaiian punch (it deeply pains me to type that). I will drink more water. I will eat better. I went to the store last night and bought fresh fruits and nuts. I will cut out the candy (this may be the hardest part). I will exercise. These healthy changes will hopefully help me to look and feel better.

I wrote a flash fiction piece for Friday Fictioneers! It has been so long since I participated. Please check it out here.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.