Friday, July 12, 2013

‪#‎HappyMoments‬ A 30-Day Challenge, Day 30

So, today is the last day of the challenge.  The weather was questionable for the pool or spray park, but perfect for the mountain of laundry that accumulated during the past week or two.  A day of laundry wasn't fun, but it freed up our weekend so we can have a lot of fun as a family and make nice memories.  Plus, since I washed it all, RJ gets to put it all away...what else could be happier?!?

I agreed to 30 days of happy moments but I didn't think that I would be able to do it.  Overall, I'm kind of cranky, cynical, sarcastic, and generally miserable (yet I have friends, family and colleagues who like me, so what does that say?!?)  In 30 days I was reminded of what I knew but often forgot: life is about working to live, not living to work; most of the things we worry about aren't really important and we should let them go; and being on the treadmill with 50-60+ hour weeks, year after year, is unhealthy and we all need a sabbatical from our job so we can relax and re-energize. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

#‎HappyMoments‬ A 30-Day Challenge, Day 29

We started the day off with house chores and rewarded ourselves by going to the movies.  A local theater shows a different older kids flick each week for a whopping $1.00 per person.  This week was "Hotel Transylvania" and it was the perfect activity for a day with questionable weather.  And it was a decent movie - animation for kids, but humor for adults.  It was Adam Sandler - he's just a big kid so a good time was had by all.

We had lunch with grandma and grandpa and a quiet dinner at home with RJ.  Tonight was the car show in town so we walked over to check it out.  The kids saw a number of their classmates and they enjoyed catching up.  RJ and I also saw a number of our childhood classmates (life in a small town) and we enjoyed catching up and meeting their children.  There were a number of beautiful vintage cars...far more exciting and sexy than my practical mini-van.  My favorite though was an early-model electric car.  It wasn't shiny or sexy, just practical and trying to make the world a better place...kind of like me.  RJ drooled over the Camaros and the kids followed him and loved the Camaro that looked like Bumblebee from Transformers.  We stopped at Vanilla Bean and the kids had cones.  Their cone-eating skills are improving, but there is still work to do...I'm sure they won't mind the practice!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

‪#‎HappyMoments‬ A 30-Day Challenge, Day 28

We are told that it takes 28 days to develop a good habit or break a bad one.  28 days of blogging and I'm addicted! 

Today was a day with many happy moments.  E, the eternal early bird, was ready to play at 6:30am so we gathered a bunch of card games and played Old Maid, War, and Go Fish until the boys woke up.  It was nice to play such simple games in the quiet of the morning.

Although we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, we don't worry about celebrating on the exact day.  It was quite a surprise to have an Edible Arrangement delivered to the house today as an anniversary gift from J, C, and E (I have a feeling that they got a little help from Grandma and Grandpa).  It was a nice treat after dinner, and RJ and I were even able to get a piece or two of fruit.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

‪#‎HappyMoments‬ A 30-Day Challenge, Day 27

Today was basically a 'groundhog day' of yesterday.  The kids rode bikes and went to the spray park while I stayed home, washed dishes, dealt with the contractor and tried to write.  I made some headway and I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  All in all, it was a productive day and with tomorrow also dedicated to writing, I think I'll be able to send my draft to my advisor soon and
put this seemingly endless part of the doctorate behind me.

RJ had golf plans, so it was just the four of us for dinner.  I was hoping to either take the kids to the outdoor movie in Fanwood or on a walk to DQ for a treat, but a peek outside showed that both wouldn't end well.  I had treats in the freezer so the kids picked their favorite and we headed outside to enjoy.  I should stop taking pictures of the kids when they eat ice cream...I always think I'll get a picture of them looking happy or excited, but I always get one of them looking like they are in a deep meditative state.  Maybe that's the secret of life - sit down, relax, eat an ice cream cone, and the knowledge of the universe will come to you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

‎#HappyMoments A 30-Day Challenge, Day 26

This is becoming a summer of "Childless Monday's."  Like last week my Dad took the kids, today for their swim lesson, playtime at the pool, and then an afternoon of typical indulgences by grandparents - too much TV, candy, and general spoiling, so I could write and be productive around the house.  Like most writing days I've planned, the day was hijacked.  Our contractor was back in full force and ready to work, so it was a noisy day of hanging drywall, digging for concrete footings, getting measurements for stairs, and singing.  A lot of progress was made today and I'm excited for the week's plans - painting the bathroom and installing the subfloor and tile, painting the family room, and pouring the footings for the deck.  I'm hoping the project will be completed before our vacation so we can enjoy the rest of the summer in our updated family room and yard.

J and E have dominant personalities and monopolize much of my time.  C was feeling a little unappreciated and ignored so we spent extra time together this morning and before bed playing games, reading books, and just hanging out.  C was definitely much happier when he went to bed and I was too.

A friend reminded me that today is a new moon, a time to build new things and be spontaneous.  RJ and I sat down the with kids and wrote a bucket list for our summer, as this summer is different than our previous summers, and we are embracing the change, spontaneity, and enjoyment of the simple things in life.  We're hoping to have a new blog up tomorrow to chronicle our summer of fun.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

#HappyMoments A 30-Day Challenge, Day 25

As the proverb goes, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Well, no work and all play make Cara and RJ people who have a sloppy yard and no food.  So we worked today and our summer of fun took a hiatus for the day.  J visited Grammy and RJ did four hours of yard work in the blazing heat, but now the bamboo planted by the previous owners is at bay, the weeds are gone, the neighbor's ivy is detangled from our fence, and moth balls have been disbursed to deter the groundhog, aka Fatty, to resume habitation under our shed.  C and E accompanied me to Costco and Shoprite and a good time was had by them only.  I cleaned out the fridge, juiced the remaining fruit from last week for tomorrow's breakfast, baked chickens, and tried my hand at mango margaritas.  The margaritas were a little meh, so I don't think they will be the signature drink of our new deck...but they were a good use of our too ripe mangoes and new bottle of Jose Cuervo.  Today is one of those days that I must remind myself that a hectic day at home (with errands - yuck!) is better than even a good day at work.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that today was a special day for RJ and me.  Thirteen years ago I was given to RJ by my father and RJ decided to cleave to me and not his mother...kind of funny/weird/outdated/misogynistic when you break it down that way.  Anyway, thirteen years of joy and sorrows of marriage, three kids, two jobs, an apartment and two houses, five cars, a masters degree, a PE license, half a doctorate, LEED accreditation, two hurricanes, two surgeries, five grandparents and one parent laid to rest, laughing, crying, yelling, and worrying, and there is no one else I would want to accompany me on this journey. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

‎#HappyMoments A 30-Day Challenge, Day 24

Do you remember the jingle, "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet" - either from the '70's or the more modern version?"  We had that kids of day today, except it went something like "baseball, hot dogs, reuben sammies, and Toyota." 
We took the kids to see the Somerset Patriots and we had a great time.  The stadium was virtually empty so it was like we were watching own personal baseball game being played.  E danced with Sparkee and C was even willing to give Sparkee a 'high five' which is something since he has a fear of amusement park characters. 
After the game we cleaned up and took the kids to Goodman's Deli in Berkeley Heights.  RJ and I have been on a quest for good deli, specifically reuben sandwiches, since Jackie Cooper's in Edison closed a few years ago.  It was not the Goodman's of Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth, and although it wasn't bad, I don't think we'll make our way back again. 
I can't speak for RJ or the kids, but I know that I will sleep well tonight thinking of the good times we are having and the happy memories we are making.