Sunday, January 30, 2011


This weekend in one word.....  basketball.

We all went to Maddie's game on Friday night.  I left that game feeling so good, so grateful, despite the big loss.  Once your kids reach a certain age, there are some things you have no control over.  Friends - one of those things.  Sure, you continue to model, you support their decisions, but you can't pick their friends.  As I sat at her game and watched her good friends walk in, I was filled with gratitude.  They are all so comfortable in their own skin, there is none of the teenage drama, they are old souls.  This group will be there for her, and she for them, no question in my mind.

Saturday morning - ESPN was in town.  Not so much my thing, but when you are a mom and all of your kids are so excited, you get on board.  I was in for all the "hoop"la.  Simon, the youngest, go to be the ball boy Saturday night and some really good people had a Simon watch party at their house.

And Sunday, PJ's and Words with Friends.  This boy, our oldest, he is an in my PJ's, get comfortable, be at home guy.  When he was in Kindergarten he would get home from school and run upstairs to change into his PJ's for the afternoon.  One day I was picking up their room and couldn't find his PJ's anywhere. When he got home that day, ran upstairs and came down in them, I asked where they had been.  His answer: "On me, I don't take them off to go to school, I just put my clothes on over them."  

I hope you weekend is "comfortable".  We're looking for more snow this week.

Monday, January 24, 2011

the mess

My family was here on Sunday - they were all crammed into that little room with the wood stove, visiting, laughing and probably making plans.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently about my family.  How we are close, how B. loves to be with them as much as I do, how he often initiates contact with them.  She said something that really rang true.  She said that she had vacationed with her husband's family once and after it she told him that it was really wonderful how his family was willing to go through the "messes" and come out on the other side.  That is true about my family, we go through the "messes".  Going through the  "messes", I think that's what makes the people a family.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A sign

Do you ever get that pit in your stomach?  That feeling of impending doom?  I have had that for about 3 days and it is so unsettling.  Today I read something that gave me some clarity, I was able to take a deep breath AND B and I got to go to dinner at one of our favorite places, just us.  I have been looking for a sign all day, something to say that "all is well".  I ordered a glass of wine, he got a beer.  Doom lifted.

                                      Have a nice weekend, I hope "Ale is Well" with you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Colour Week

There is a group on Flickr - Winter Colour Week.  Today was white, tomorrow is blue, etc.  I love looking at all the photos that are submitted, I could spend hours.  This is the "white" that I threw in there.... it is the lobby at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Tonight was our annual New Year's dinner with a group of friends, and the big reveal for the annual "group trip".  It was our year to plan it, we kept it very simple this time.  We'll spend the weekend on the Plaza, tour here - eat here - and music here.   It helps us know that warmer weather is coming our way!  I hope there was some clinking glassware in your weekend.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friendship Ball

I have this friend, she is like family to all of us.  We met our Freshman year in college and had lived in the same town until 8 years ago.  So you know how you have your friends from "back then" and then you change, grow up, mature, become a spouse, a parent.... did I mention mature?  You acquire new friends, you change and so your friends change, too.  Well she and I have remained friends through it all, so she knew me when, knows me now and has known me in the between.  Your family has to stick it out, they don't have a choice... friends, not so much.  Her huband got a job at (as she and I call it) the WFMC... World Famous Mayo Clinic.  Hard to pass that up, right?  So they moved and she and I started alternating this silver friendship ball at Christmas.  The gift has to fit in the ball and if you have it, you get to hang it on your tree for that Christmas and then send it at your leisure.  It arrived in the mail today :).   My whole family knows about this ball, immediate and extended, it's kind of a big deal.  But then again, so is this friendship.  We talk several times each week, we miss each other something terrible, we try to get together at least a couple times each year.  It is hard, hard, hard to not be there when she is aching, when she is scared, when she is homesick.  It is wonderful to get to be the one to hear the great stories because I wasn't there to see the first horse show, the first Cross Country meet, the dinner party with new friends.  We all need somebody to tell our stories to, someone we can call and brag and know that the other person is just as happy as you are.   So, I'll pack up this friendship ball, keep it safe in our Christmas stuff and next year I'll hang it on our tree and the kids will all say, "Oh - you have the ball this year?"

And one other thing she does... she gives me these Margaret Furlong ornaments each year for my birthday.  They don't make them anymore, so she has to get on eBay each year and find one that I don't have.  Also, she calls me every single year and asks me which ones I have.  Here is the one from this year.

It's a little bit weird when you start having things, collections, that you want to make sure your kids know are important so they won't get rid of them "later".  This ornament collection is one of those things.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

grade card pie

One night when the twins were in 1st grade, I made chocolate pudding pie for dessert.  It was not planned, but it happened to fall on the night they brought home their first report card from school.  We asked them the same thing we ask them each time... "are you proud of this?"  "did you try your hardest?".  They both were very proud and had worked hard, so we called the pie "grade card pie" that night to celebrate.  The next 9 weeks came and went and when they knew it was getting close to report card time, they both asked if they got grade card pie... so the tradition began.  Tonight was grade card pie at our house, the only thing that has changed is that we now have three kids - well we have 2 teenagers and one inching very close to that - so we need 2 grade card pies, one chocolate and one butterscotch.  In case you're curious - we have celebrated with grade card pie 38 times.... so far!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Apple Tree....

If it's true what they say, that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, then I really need to keep exercising, start eating better, getting my rest, etc.... because those two - the one on the upper right and the one on the lower left?  Well, those are my trees -  my mom and dad - tubing!  I'm not allowed to say/post /hint/ellude to or even talk about ages....  but trust me when I tell you, I am really going to have to step it up if this apple isn't going to fall far!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

Originally uploaded by LeslieMc5

Happy snow day... I think the Principal in this house was just as excited as the kids.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

sick day

It hit him at midnight.  He is sipping Sprite this afternoon.  Poor little guy.  Don't you think it is amazing, when they are sick it makes you realize how full of life they are when they are well.   He must be a big source of our excitement around here, because it is awfully quiet with him down and out.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


glass of wine and this view, perfect way to end the evening.

Don't you think this weekend feels a little empty compared to the last two?  The weather claims there is snow on the way, so we'll spend time getting a lot of wood in the house.  I'll go to the store and stock up and then the kids plus one guy will be putting all their eggs in the snow day basket.....  we will probably get a dusting.  Sometimes I think the anticipation and prep is just as much fun.
Last night we went to Heather's book signing and opening, she is an inspiration.  After that we got to go for a drink with some people we don't get to spend a lot of time with, it was spontaneous - those always end up being some of the best times.  I'm reading this book right now, so far I really like it.
Enjoy your weekend, I'm planning to spend a little time by the woodstove with my Kindle.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a reminder

Originally uploaded by LeslieMc5
All day the pre-schoolers bring the little things to show me, and every time they are in awe of what they have found... it's a good reminder for me.... every time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

back to school

He was the only one who had to go back today and that was not easy!  He wore his new kicks, hooked on his new pancake keychain and talked a lot about how much he was looking forward to tacos for dinner tonight (code for "I can't wait to get home").  But he went, and when he got home, his big sister had baked him some chocolate chip banana bread.

And the keychain - I get these for their stockings every year from Urban Outfitters.  They are little boxes with breakfast food in them, you don't know what you get until you open the box.  This year he got the stack of cakes with syrup - good one.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

gearing up....

We are trying to tie up the loose ends and get back on some sort of schedule around here.  They write great thank you notes, I always ask to read them before they send them. I don't ever correct them, I think the people receiving them would want them just the way they are.  We also got rid of all the leftovers, time to start eating right again.  And our dog, Mac... we are even getting him out on his walks at his regular times.  It is hard to say goodbye to the break, but it feels good to get back in a routine.  I have heard a couple of people mention Spring Break....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Today - inside

Today - outside