Versaries

Two things can be predicted pretty darn consistently. The day that I plan as my product shoot day will be ridiculously cloudy even for South Bend standards, and any week that is bound to be a hefty work week will be the same week the kids come down with an illness. Poor guys.  I really need to take advantage of this predictability by doubling up on the salad for them preemptively since they do actually enjoy salad. (I'll tell you my secret ways). 

Yesterday morning I was wavering between putting my best foot forward and half-way napping through an intense headache cuddled on the couch with Ryan while Elise raided the bottom half of the Christmas tree. The ten minutes of half-sleep were well worth the indecently naked tree. Laundry was started, we baked oatmeal cookies, we had a tea party (otherwise known as cookies and milk elsewhere), I only mildly used my scary voice a few times, Elise attempted to sabotage the family business by crushing the one lone glass ornament that was supposed to be thrown away in my scanner (!!! thankful she didn't get cut), the apartment was then thoroughly vacuumed while the boys played/trashed the guest room, and by the time noon rolled around my patience threshold was gone with the wind. It wasn't even a particularly rough morning, but some days are just days, italics needed. Chris had mentioned he was going to be home for lunch by noon (such a luxury! we are very grateful to live close to school) so I was watching the door as if it were a oven with cookies in it. Well, an oven with a window unlike ours, ha. 12:01, 12:02 ... 12:07 ... 12:32 ... the angry things I was going to spurt out upon his arrival were multiplying by the minute! Don't mess with a mom's reprieve! The reproachful look I would toss his way was selected out of my mean look arsenal. 

Finally I heard the door to the apartment building open, then a few seconds later our door opened. I turned around from the sink flashing my chosen look as I saw his head first pop in ... followed by a single rose. 

Oops! My mediocre blue steel changed to a sheepish blush. 

We got engaged seven years ago today. What a day, italics evoking a different emotion than above. I insisted we make an anniversary trip to the Grotto citing that we might not be here next year, and my heart is heavy imagining that we won't be able to just swing by the locale of our engagement like it ain't nothing at all.

So happy engage-aversary, Christopher Blake! This is my gift to you, a blog post, since I have been ignoring your encouragements for months. I hope there are only a few tpyos.  

Anne-cidently

^^^ These barely relate to the post, but I like them.

For the past month and a half plus (so basically for the past two months), Chris has been inundated daily with the latest and greatest news about my newest friend Anne. I've even looked forward to it being my turn to do bedtime for the kids because I would get to spend more time reading. I don't know how I didn't read these books when I was growing up, but I can tell you that I truly believe if I had read them during my formative years rather than the trash I had in my reading stack, I would cringe less when I think about middle school and high school. What if I had had a literary role model like Anne Shirley rather than Scarlett O'Hara (although I don't think Gone With the Wind qualifies as trash), the Sweet Valley High twins, the subsequent Babysitters Club books, some characters in actually trashy books I won't name and some characters from unfavorable Judy Blume books? Anyway, to say that I adore her and L. M. Montgomery is an understatement. 

And I only started reading it because I randomly saw a free Kindle copy on Amazon. I'm so thankful to whatever algorithm caused that happenstance. 

The past few days I've been lamenting to Chris that I was on the last book, Rilla of Ingleside. I was crying not only because of the events in the book, but also because each page I read brought me closer to the end of the series.  Chris asked if it was like I was kind of losing a friend to which I replied with an emphatic, "YES." 

I finished the book yesterday with a sob, and today I thought about starting to read the Chronicles of Avonlea that was included in the Kindle bundle I had downloaded. Whenever one of the books in the bundle ended, all I had to do was swipe to the left on my iPad and lo and behold, there was the next book. The table of contents had reported that Anne Shirley was mentioned in the short stories Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea, but I just didn't know if my wailing heart could be placated by stories of her hometown when I was missing her as the main character. Until then, I had avoided any Internet search while reading the series because I wanted to be as surprised as possible considering I already knew who she married just because of pop culture. But now I was finished with the series and the known story was safe from being spoiled so I googled, "Is Chronicles of Avonlea worth reading?" thinking I would dive down a rabbit hole of Green Gables message boards. Instead, however, I went down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and had to blink a few times when I noticed that there were actually EIGHT books in the series rather than six. Had I been deceived by the convenience of the swipe of an e-bundle??

I had. A fact that I'm both pleased about and peeved about. I'm pleased because I thought I had said goodbye to a dear character when really two books remain. What a pleasant surprise! I'm peeved in the same way that I'm peeved Ryan and Elise were born in South Bend, IN but Conor was born in Mishawaka, IN. The lack of order kills me! 

Anyway, the library has the books on hold for me, and Chris already knows to buy me one of these pretty Anne books a year so Elise Anne and I can be all set when the time is right. 

Okay off to do some work. And I'll have to remember to blog soon about Confession last night! 

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Band groupies

^^^Our feelings post this season's opener. But! You can't stop our fanaticism! ;)

(And he insists that this is the way your ears should be when wearing a helmet ...) 

Every Monday we get to join Chris' program for dinner before they have class. Not having to cook dinner is the best way to start a week. Way back when Chris started the MDiv, Ryan, Conor and I began a tradition. After Conor and Ryan have displayed their lack of decorum for a sufficiently humbling amount of time, the kids and I depart to explore campus during the golden hours. Some days we just stay on God Quad climbing trees, some days we go to the park, some days we feed the ducks, all days it is like herding cats and, in the fall, during the greatest sport season of all, we often follow the sound of the marching band until we find their practice.  

Last Monday, we biked to dinner, then the boys biked to the student center ahead of us girls while Elise got her steps in. I made good on my promise to visit the candy wall, and then we were off to find the park via the band. Groupies, we are!

We followed the echoes until the sound treasure was found and the boys slung their helmets to the ground and ran to the gate of the stadium just in time to watch the last of the sousaphones descend down the tunnel. Last year, Elise was less than a month old and tucked away (sleeping or crying) in the ring sling while we would make the hurried hunt toward the band. This year, she reacted a little differently:

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I guess the sound of the fight song played live puts the boys in an emotional state incapable of anything other than barking, but never fear, they do know the words: 

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Not to be outshone by their little sister, the boys demonstrated what can happen when you live your life with a Notre Dame football soundtrack. 

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I'm in complete denial that this might be our last year here. 

A+ for the day

^^^ Captured by my sister-in-law after the boys came into the kitchen letting us know they were now ... cheetahs. 

I'm horrible at returning library books. We have quite a few books in our collection that started out being free and ended up very expensive. One of these prized books for which I paid fines and then for the replacement book in order to be able to use my library card again is this baby. I think I checked it out at the beginning of 2015 when Ryan and I used to do "preschool" for 20 seconds to 20 minutes a day. He would trace the sandpaper letters while I narrated, "Diagonal," or, "Across," or "Up," and tried not to fall asleep from pregnancy fatigue. 

Normally the length of silence directly correlates to the immensity of destruction at the hands of toddler youth. As of late, as we move ever so slowly yet ever so steadily toward having children at the age of reason, silence in this apartment has extended to either mean catastrophe or cuteness (well, cute according to me, the woman who birthed them). This is the scene I peeked in on last week:

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But don't let me forget ... I have library books due on Friday. 

7 Quick Takes

1. Chris and I just got back from a wedding of one of his classmates, and we did not have a single child with us thanks to these guys. The Nuptial Mass was stunning and incredibly meaningful, the couple was beaming with joy, and upon arriving home, our apartment was full of zzzzzz's (including Elise!) and much cleaner than when we left at 2pm. And the laundry was done. What is this life! 

2. We are finally switching phone plans to Republic Wireless. Do any of you use them? I had been planning on ditching the smart phone world once this phone finally breathed its last double-tap (it's currently held together by Scotch tape, and you have to know how to patiently tend to its stubborn ways ... I don't know if I looked incredibly thrifty or incredibly careless. Okay, okay, I know it's the latter), but then we found out that Republic only works with smart phones. This phone just arrived today, and now I will no longer have to ask people to repeat themselves 777 million times. Now onto finding a phone case that is built like a tank. 

3. Chris hasn't had voicemail on his dumb-phone for a couple of years now which pretty much sounds like heaven to me. I CANNOT WAIT to no longer have the weight of the sole voicemail holder off my shoulders.

4. Thank you for all of the love on my post about PPD/A. Solidarity makes my mom world go round. 

5. I'm reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time ever because I downloaded a free Kindle version on Amazon (although I can't find the free version to link to, sorry!), and it is such a fun read. Just me Kat, living under a rock since 1989. It's a fun change up from Shop Class as Soul Craft, which is a good read, buuuuut The Awakening of Miss Prim recommended by Christy is next!

6. We are thinking it is close to time that Conor kick the whole thumb-sucking thing to the curb. Any tried and true tips are very appreciated! 

7. Love this

Extra: photos from the boys riding down the hill behind our building after our Sunday bike ride last week. 

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Have a wonderful weekend! 

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