stream of consciousness. and stream of photos.

Oh, hey there. It’s been awhile.

So I’m not a fan of the word busy. And I’m really not a fan of people saying they’re soooooo busy. But dang it, you guys. We’ve kinda been soooooo busy around here (I just rolled my eyes at myself while I typed that. Ha.).

I feel like I could write and write and write. But the kids are already asleep and I have a fresh pint of Phish Food waiting for me in the freezer and 10 more episodes of OITNB waiting for me on Netflix–so a quick recap will have to do for tonight.

I’ll get back into the swing of this writing thing sooner or later.

. . .

A few months ago my girlfriends and I started our own property renovation and rental company. It’s something we’ve been talking about doing for a really long time–and this spring the stars aligned for us. It’s been so much fun–and so much work.

We’re renovating the cutest little old house right across the street from Southside School. We’ve been working our tails off for two months–ripping up carpet and tearing down wallpaper and mudding and sanding and painting and painting and painting some more. It’s really, truly been a labor of love.

Here’s a little sneak peek. Isn’t she lovely?!

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the drawer handles are sitting on top of the counter. waiting patiently for us to get our acts together.


and this white statuary hexagon tile. just as beautiful as the lavender and lily of the valley growing in her side yard.

We named our first house Southside Sally–and she’s *almost* done. She has a new kitchen and a new bathroom– and we managed to preserve all her original 1920’s charm. We’re just so in love with her. She’s going on the market next week if you know anyone who would love her as much as we do.

. . .

School’s out for the summer. Here’s our last day of preschool photo, 2016.


And my oldest had his kindergarten assessment that very same week. Look at this kid. I hope he’s always this excited about school.


I’m soaking in every single minute of my last summer with two babies. We took turns writing out our summer bucket list.


And so far, so good. We’re nailing it.

Actually we lost the actual list. But my kids have good memories. Boom

. . .

We made it through our first season of T Ball. Phew.

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our socks never match. never ever.

My kids are way too young and disorganized for organized sports. But we did our best. And the snacks at the end of all the practices and games made it all worthwhile. There’s nothing better than a bag of mini Oreos paired with an ice-cold Hi-C Flashin’ Fruit Punch. Am I right? Yessss.

 
And now we’re crying our way through our first season of “swim team”. But I’m bribing them with Cocomero on the regular.


So we’re going to be just fine. Mother of the Year, indeed.

Hey, at least they love their new goggles.

photo creds: our favorite maddie

. . .

Four words.

Hot. Mustard. Is. Back.


Hot Mustard + Sweet and Sour + Nuggets = Nirvana.

Sometimes I want to drink it out of the little container after I finish dipping my nuggets. If you love it like I love it, you feel me. Yum. Enough said.

. . .
Is anyone else watching O.J. Made in America?


You should be. I burned through all five episodes of this ESPN documentary last weekend like it was nothing. So good. And so sad. And still so relevant.

We’re on to Orange is the New Black now–also so good–but you already knew that.

. . .

OK, I’m ready to call it a night. I’ll be on WCIA Current again tomorrow at 9am discussing this post. And no, I won’t be wearing a swimsuit. Ha. See you there then, ok?

stream of consciousness. and stream of photos.

Oh hey, Sunday. You want to be sunny and 80 degrees? Ok, then–go on with your bad self.

Seriously, how great is the weather this weekend? I just love it. We’ve been outside all day everyday–all weekend long. Very dirty little feet and very heavy eyelids by 7pm over here. Spring–I just can’t get enough of you

Is this sunshine making anyone else want to slip on their garden clogs and start digging in the dirt? Ya, buddy–you know I love a good backyard garden and a flower crown made out of cilantro more than anything–more on that in the next few weeks.

For now we’re just digging all kinds of other stuff. Like some serious park play.

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Last year they couldn’t climb half the play structures by themselves at our park. This year they’re doing it with their eyes closed. Slow. Down. Time.

Here’s a few more park-play pics from last week–courtesy of Nanny Pat.

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. . .

The other night I came home from class to two little boys who couldn’t stop talking about how their babysitter “turned on her Facetime and turned them into dogs”. Wait, what?!

So I texted her to ask how to do it from my phone–yes, I’m old. She laughed (I think with me, not at me. Ha!)–and told me all about Snapchat–again, I’m so old.

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How cute is that little puppy though? And Johnny with a ‘stache? Yessss, sir.

(Photo credits, Dr. Kate.)

. . .

The kids’ birthday party circuit. We work it. We live it. We love it.

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Cupcakes and candy and juice boxes–what’s not to love?

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Oh, and a real lizard at our buddy’s birthday party this weekend. Ya, so now we want a lizard. Special thanks to that buddy’s mom–she’s lucky she’s one of my favorites–ha.

. . .

Shorts. I’ve heard boys go through a phase where they only want to wear athletic shorts.

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We’re there now–plus all Cardinals stuff all the time for Johnny. And Batman for Dean, of course. My kids may never wear pants again though. They say they “run faster” in shorts. Alrighty, then.

. . .

Last but not least–this.

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Our buddy isn’t feeling so well–and we’re all banding together for him. Want to support him too? Stop by Art Mart for a wristband or one of these cool prints made by local artist (and my old friend), Kelly Hieronymus.

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All proceeds from the sale of both benefit the Davis McKay Leukemia Foundation. More info, here. Get well soon, Davis. We love you, your bro and your mom and dad very much.

. . .

Let’s wrap it up–so I can get back outside. Enjoy this sunshiny Sunday, Chambana. XOXO.

stream of consciousness. and stream of photos.

Oh hey, Saturday. I’ve been waiting for you.

We’ve had a pretty solid week over here. One of those weeks where the days go fast–and slow. And you’re busy–and not busy. I love those kinds of weeks. I’ve been soaking it all in. Because you know me–I love a good yin with my yang.

I have plans for some deeper blog posts very soon. But today I’m feeling like nice and easy is the way to go. And some light, bright photos too. Because spring.

Enjoy. And happy (spring forward) weekend. XOXO.

. . .

Kona Ice stopped by our house this week. So basically this means summer is here. Yesssss.

I got so excited when I saw the truck roll up–I ran out into the street. With no bra. Still in my pajamas. At 4pm.

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What can I say? I love that Tiger Blood. It’s the best shaved ice flavor of all the shaved ice flavors. And I also love my old buddy, Wes Hanner who owns Kona Ice Champaign. Because he was a perfect gentleman and pretended not to notice my sweet chariots, swinging low. Mad props to you and your Tiger Blood, Wes.

. . .

This. This right here. This is my new jam.

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It’s a London Fog–a sweetened earl grey tea latte with some vanilla. Yum. My girlfriend Brook told me all about these  last weekend and now I can’t get enough. I’ve been making two (sometimes three, don’t judge) a day. Try one. You’re welcome.

. . .

We’re into all things dinosaur right now. We found a cool dinosaur bone excavating kit and an even cooler dinosaur egg that hatches in water at Art Mart this week–both priced under $5.

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“Billy” the dinosaur finally hatched after the longest 68 hours of Deano’s life.

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And he’s been carrying him around the house like that since. He even made him a little bed out of washcloths–right next to his bed. Um, yikes. We should probably get a dog.

. . .

Gymnastics class is over for the season. We had a great session. It was *technically* our first organized sport–and we survived. Ha.

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They had a blast. And I had a blast watching them do their thing. Until next winter, CGA.

. . .

And House of Cards. All night, every night this week. There’s a little bit of Francis all of us. No? Just me? Alrighty then.

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The Underwoods. How I’ve missed you both–especially your wardrobe, Claire. And Neve Campbell? Get out of here with that. This may be my favorite season yet.

. . .

Oh, and one more thing. Tune into WCIA’s Current this Thursday morning at 9am. I’m going to be on live with Cynthia Bruno talking all things hatandhermarkers.com–and maybe trying to fold a fitted sheet. It should be good, so good. Boom.

the first snow day.

I just tucked two sleepy boys into their warm, cozy beds.

And I have a husband–and two DVRd shows (Better Call Saul and The People vs OJ Simpson, don’t judge) all queued up–waiting for me downstairs. But I want to post this blog entry right now, because I want to remember it forever.

. . .

Today was our first official snow day. The boys only go to preschool every other day–and this year’s one and only snow day happened to fall on a school day for them. So I called into work–and we really did it up right.

I cranked the Christmas Spirit and decided to leave the flannel sheets on the bed for another week.

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My house smelled like Christmas Magic.

I had three cups of coffee this morning. Three. Boom.

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That’s butter and coconut oil floating on top–in case you were wondering. It’s the only way to go with your cup–or three–of joe.

We hunkered down and watched the blizzard roll in over our pond. We watched and listened to the wind blow and blow–until all our windows were completely snow-covered.

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Someday I’ll miss having a backyard full of plastic crap. Someday.

We jumped on the bed–for an hour straight.

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Look at them. It was like I’d told them they’d won something. So happy–they both peed their pants a little. That’s when you know you’re having the time of your life. I do that too sometimes–when life gets really good.

We made snow ice cream.

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And if you’re going to tell me you aren’t supposed to eat snow because of air pollution or whatever–just don’t. We had 1/2 cup. It rocked. We’re still alive. End of story.

Daddy made it home a little early and we all cuddled up in our bed. And napped.

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Sweet, sweet snow day naps. I love you.

Sweet, sweet snow days. I really love you.

. . .

It was a really, really good day–this first snow day of ours. Only a few melt-downs (no pics of those, sorry) in between Legos and Imaginext and four games of Monopoly.

There was way more good than bad happening around here today–for this mom and her Marker boys. And I soaked it all in.

I’m leaving it all here–so I can come back and visit whenever I need to. Or they need to.

I hope there was way more good than bad happening around you today too. And I hope you all enjoyed the snow day of 2016. Until next year, blizzards. XOXO.

 

10,000 views…wait, what?! and the big, bad house decluttering series.

My blog hit 10,000 views this week. Wait, what?

Ya, it did. In six weeks, 10,000 people have peeked at this little virtual scrapbook of ours. And that blows my mind.

I watched it happen from my phone Thursday morning as I hid in the corner of the CGA lobby.

When the little ticker hit 10,002 I texted Danny. And then my mom and my aunts–and then my buddies. Because I was excited. But then I felt uneasy–embarrassed almost. Because that’s just how I roll. And because I just don’t get it.

I love writing. And I love this creative outlet. But I have no idea why people are reading my blog–or why they keep coming back. My buddy Seth nailed it the other night when he said he was “inexplicably unsure of what was driving traffic to my site”. Haaaaa, oh my. Take that, excitement! Right in the feels. He kills me. But yes–word, Seth. Word.

We joked that it was probably the husband bashing–or maybe that people like to know I’m actually a real mess. Or maybe the big hair–they just love the big hair. Who knows.

I don’t know why you come here to visit. It’s none of my business, actually. I like to think it’s because you like my writing–and me. And I like to think some of you can relate to me–to our life.

Whatever the reason I’m glad you’re here–and I hope you keep coming back. You’re allowing someone who was feeling a little irrelevant–to feel relevant again. And I appreciate you for that. I’m going to tuck away the uneasiness and embarrassment today–and own my excitement. I think it’s ok to do that–at least for a few hours. Ha.

. . .

Next month I’m planning to write a four-part series all about decluttering and deep-cleaning the house–two of my favorite things to do. Feeling the urge to do either with me? Come on back this Monday and follow along.

Go ahead and get a jumpstart this weekend by taking down all your Christmas decorations. I know I’m not the only one still celebrating all things Christmas magic.

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And yes, we Saran-wrap our tree with the decorations still on it–and store it this way in our unfinished basement. It’s really one of the best ideas ever. Try it. You’ll thank me next December.

Happy Weekend.

stream of consciousness. and stream of photos.

Every once in awhile I feel the need to write about nothing at all–to just get some random thoughts out of my head and onto my computer screen. This is one of those days. Plus some pics. So you don’t get bored.

. . .

I fell–hard–on my run Monday. I was running on the road–trying to stay off the icy snow-covered sidewalks–and I tripped on a raised piece of concrete in front of a construction crew pouring the foundation of a new house in our neighborhood. I really crashed and burned. My left knee is so bloody and bruised–and swollen. I’m treating it with my hippie oils, but it’s seriously so gross. If you don’t like blood, guts and gore– scroll really fast past this pic.

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Bad right? And now I’ll probably never be a teen model.

. . .

When my Grandma Eleanor died last fall I took a package of little fish Dixie cups from her kitchen. She’d pour juice in them for the boys when we’d go visit and they loved drinking anything out of their *real* cups. I remember there were hundreds in the package when I brought them home from her place that day. The boys have been using them for a little drink of water every night before bed.

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Johnny used the last little fish Dixie cup yesterday–and it took my breath away.

. . .

The floor underneath the chairs where my kids eat is disgusting. It’s always covered in little pieces of food–right now it’s fried cauliflower rice from last night–little pieces of fried cauliflower rice are e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. I could vacuum every day and night though and that floor would still be disgusting–and I would be worn out. So I just leave it there and clean it all up on Fridays. But I feel like anyone who comes over in the meantime probably frowns upon my housekeeping skills–I’m looking at you mom (and you mother-in-law). Ha.

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Oh–and they probably frown upon that Christmas tree still hanging out in our hearth room too. Whatever. I can’t help myself–I just really like twinkle lights.

. . .

I took the boys to gymnastics class at CGA this week. It’s the first organized sport we’ve ever attended–and they loved it. Winter days at home with little boys can be rough on a mom–so this was a welcomed excursion. Their coach was incredible and made them both feel so awesome and confident in their newfound tumbling skills. And they both fell asleep in the minivan on the way home–for the win-win-win.

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And would you look at these Puma jumpsuits from Nanny Pat? I can’t even.

. . .

And last but not least–Red Velvet Oreos are back. My girlfriend Molly dropped a package in my mailbox Sunday at 2pm–I love her so hard for that. They were *all* gone by 4pm.

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We did eat them with some pears–so I feel good about that mothering. Ha. They are so dang delicious. Go get some now.

. . .

Ok, that’s it for this week’s stream of consciousness. And I feel better. What’s on your mind this week? I’d love to hear all your random thoughts too.

Oh and PS…remember these fly beauties? Want to win them? Yesssssss.

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They could be yours. Hop on over to Stella and Dot this weekend and place a little order to be entered to win. I’ll announce our winner Monday. Happy Weekend.

oh hey, 2016. and a postscript.

My master bathroom is the cleanest it’s ever been.

I made my own non-toxic cleaning spray and scrubbed all the tile and grout in our shower with an old scrub brush. I scrubbed the bathtub too–and the toilet. I even steam cleaned the bathroom floor.

I cleaned out the cabinets under our sinks and all the vanity drawers I’d been neglecting since we moved in–eight years ago.

I filled a big trash bag with expired cold medicines, almost empty lotion bottles and old make-up I’d tried once and never used again.

If it didn’t spark joy–I tossed it. And it felt amazing.

This January 1st, I decided I was going to deep-clean one area of my house each day over the next thirty days–and maybe even blog about it.

Recipes for non-toxic cleaning sprays! Posts about cleaning out closets and the best places to donate all your old clothes (including those Lucky jeans from college–I know I’m not the only one who hoards old jeans)! Pantry, fridge and freezer organization! Tidying up your linen closet (mastering the art of folding a fitted sheet–I can’t do it, just thought I’d post a link)! 30 days to a Crap-Free House–One Day at a Time! Boom!

And then we started watching Making a Murderer on Netflix.

It’s now January 5. And I’ve spent all my free time this past week hating Manitowoc County. If you aren’t watching this show, start tonight. It’s so good–and so sad. And so very scary. Enough said.

. . .

Maybe I’ll do that Crap-Free House blog series in February–really ease into that whole New Year’s Resolution thing. 29-days is a better length of time to de-clutter a house anyway. And maybe I’ll get around to my Hair How-To blog post soon too–because apparently inquiring minds want to know!? Ha.

2016–I’m excited for you. I’m looking forward to traveling–and also looking forward to just hanging out with my Markers at home. I’m looking forward to some good food–and really putting my kitchen (especially after it’s deep-cleaned and organized!) to good use. I’m looking forward to fun times with family and friends–and lots of laughter.

And writing. I’m looking forward to writing.

It’s going to be a good year. I’m looking forward to living it.

Cheers to all of you–wishing you a Happy 2016. XOXO.

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PS. This one starts kindergarten in the fall. Anyone else looking forward to soaking up every last moment with their soon-to-be-gone-all-day kid this spring and summer? Anyone? If you are, let’s hold hands through the process, OK? Thanks.