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09 November 2014

I'm going to be a total lamesicle and do something I've been meaning to do ever since Phoebe was born (procrastinator por vida) and take a little breather from the blog for a few weeks.


who cares?

Probably no one! At all. And it's probably some unwritten rule that announcing blog breaks is like the biggest faux pas of them all but c'est la most clueless vie.

I was sitting on our bed with my sweet baby butterball of an insomniac (I won't name names but see above photo) last night when I looked up and even in the poor lighting saw fat layers of dirt built up on all five blades of the ceiling fan and so I think it's time to think about doing some deep cleaning and maybe start exercising again now that Phoebe is 6.5 months old and my postpartum excuse well has run more than completely dry. The gym down the road offers free childcare and I know they'd be so thrilled to have the opportunity to watch four docile little angels a few fun times a week, right?

I just need to catch up on some important things like ceiling fan cleaning and cold/wrinkled nine day old laundry folding and polishing off these last 10 days of Whole30 (aka chopping/cooking my life away, jk - sort of). I also need to reconfigure the day to work blogging in now that Julia isn't napping anymore and my window of quiet time has pretty much vanished.

which is totally fine and a lot more enjoyable than I feared but can I get an amen for her new early bedtime? And how about an alleluia too?

I know there are millions of humans and moms that are significantly busier than I am doing important things so I really should be able to crank out some fluffy blog posts during the week but right now I feel like nothing is getting even a sliver of the time and attention it deserves (the blog, the kids, the Simon, the housework, the meals, etc etc .... this list is in no particular order, I swear) so I'm just going to play catch up on the other areas for now. I'll still be hanging out over here though! Because I can only handle so much productivity in my day.

Aren't you so happy I took the time to overtype about this?

Me too.

But I'll be back.

Here's Theo waving at the neighbors and looking to me for an explanation as to why they are paying zero attention to him.

Story of his third born little life.

And even if you don't miss me ...

... I'll be missing you.

this mother's helper

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06 November 2014

I've been hemming and hawing and pathetically agonizing over getting a tablet for longer than one should hem, haw, or agonize over any sort of screen purchase. Me and decisive go way back. So when Samsung offered to send their new Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK to the Camp I hesitated because I didn't want to be a super selfish tablet b (we don't need another screen, by any means) but since they offered to give one away to one of you fine readers ... I couldn't resist. {scroll to get straight to the giveaway and skip photos and rambles}

Theo couldn't either. Approximate size of smart phones these days, right?

I think he's seen me talk on the phone twice in his whole life {why talk when you can be super social and text?} but I guess those blips made quite the impression.

We've had a regular NOOK for quite some time and I'm a huge fan but Simon has a sneaky little habit of starting (and finishing) books that I'm already reading so having two (I claimed the fancier one, selfless spouse of the millennium) is nice because we don't have to perfect the art of sharing anymore.

And if I'm being brutally honest I have to admit that a tragic and recent death in the family by the name of Julia's Nap (RIP, I miss you every day) has cut into my blogging time significantly (quit blogging, Grace! I know! One day, I promise!) and she is happy to have the Galaxy Tab 4 read to her while I Dear Blog it and the other kids sleep in the afternoons.

We are still exploring different kid-friendly apps but if anyone tells her that you can watch kid shows on the NOOK ... consider yourself dead.

Not kidding.

She may or may not be under the impression that it can play and only play Mom's special adult show .... the ever exotic Gilmore Girls. That has come in extra handy because Simon has been needing the computer at night for work stuff and I like to pop into Stars Hollow in an effort to sharpen my intellect and culture myself a bit.

the one where Richard Gilmore is a shadester and arranges an interview for Rory at Yale and Lorelai is like, "on no you DID NOT." warm fuzzies abound.

You don't need one but you can want one and one of you will win one. Entering the giveaway is easier than pie. Just visit the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 page and leave a blog comment back here with your favorite feature and make sure your email address is included and bad-a-boom, you're done.

Thanks in advance! Happy clicking!

giveaway closed - congratulations to Jenn Anne for winning :)

my petite little reading rainbow

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05 November 2014

The other day I thought to myself, "wow! I've read so many books in the past few months!" and then I tried in vain to pat myself on the back and eventually sat down to tally them up and ... six. I have read six. So, I thought wrong or my memory is extra awful these days - who knows.

But! All six of them were pretty good so I thought I'd share the love in case you're in the market for something to read from the candy genre. I tend to (slash always) read to unwind or escape during naps or at the end of the day. I should get into something a little more heady one of these days. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.

1. The Expats - recommended by my sweet sister-in-law this book deviates a bit from my usual nosedive into all things easy and breezy. I'll admit I got a little bit confused at parts so sometimes I'd have to read back through the pages trying to figure out if I missed something. My blonde roots don't lie. Anyway, It was probably the closest to a thriller (hmm unless Gone Girl counts) I've read in a long time and the change of pace was really nice.

2. The Husband's Secret - I suspected I would love this and I suspected correctly. I zipped right through it and enjoyed how well the epilogue tied everything together so nicely afterwards. I highly recommend this to all.

3. What Alice Forgot - Even though I knew the premise and the ending before I started this book I still really loved reading it. And now I'm petrified that I'm well on my way to becoming a raging b of a wife and mother. Mostly kidding. But - five more stars for this one.

4. Beautiful Ruins - I was SO excited to read this because it seemed right up my alley but it took about half the book for me to get into it. But I'm glad I stuck with it because the uphill climb was worth the downhill ride in the second half. That was a dumb thing to type. This isn't devourable but definitely enjoyable.

5. Yes Please - I grabbed this on a whim at the airport last Friday and finished it on my flights down to Florida because Amy is great. I loved that this book was hilarious and self deprecating but also serious at the appropriate times. I found the entire thing to be fascinating and appreciated how honest she was about her rise to fame. I'm sure it's not for everyone but I'd highly recommend it to all of my friends.

6. Family Pictures - and I grabbed this on Sunday on my way back to St. Louis and finished it on the flights because it was easy and a good story. Jane Green is good at that sort of thing and I was so thankful for the distraction from my perch in middle seat 22b where I was sandwiched between two people with no respect for the unspoken personal bubble of space on airplanes.

And on my list to read next:

Big Little Lies

The Rules of Inheritance

and ...... what else? Tell me.

If you want.

And now I'm off to hunt down some sort of magical Whole30 friendly personal pan pizza to celebrate my great reading success.


getting to know me

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04 November 2014

Being SUPER original here ... like always.

Or self indulgent.
Or narcissistic.
Or vapid.

Or maybe all of the above. But I thought I'd post a little "31 things about Grace!" on my 31st birthday in July but that did not happen. So, I'm just a little tardy to the party with the list. Your excitement is palpable, I can feel it. 

These have probably all been revealed in one post or another or another at some point over the last few years but I've never been known for my originality.

So, here you go.

on a run out to the big trashcan in the driveway with Theo.
no, I'm never overly cautious or hat dramatic about 50 tepid degrees.

Also, I can totally hear my mom saying, "those glasses are too big!!" and for once, I just might agree.

Okay, let's go.

1. I'm super shy
2. unless I'm drinking.
3. I have four brothers
4. and two sisters.
5. I'm the oldest (so responsible! so mature!)
6. When I worked in DC I asked Newt Gingrich how to spell his name (to take a phone message)
7. Still cringing. (I was flustered!)
8. These were my two front teeth when I was 8:

9. Praise the good Lord for orthodontia
10. I spent Easter of 2003 in Jerusalem - it was beautiful and a little bit terrifying
11. I was homeschooled during 3rd-7th grade
12. Never say never but I don't plan to homeschool our kids (but, never)
13. However, I do have a small shrine in my home set up to honor homeschooling families because: you're amazing. Truly.
14. Ever since I read her book, I've had regularly recurring dreams that I'm best friends forever with Mindy Kaling. She should be sufficiently creeped.
15. I played violin when I was younger
16. I was hired for $10 (that was far too generous, in retrospect - really) to play at a wedding. Just me and my violin. It was not pretty and I turn bright red at the mere memory.
17. I hate red wine and all beer.
18. My fifth birthday party was held at a cloistered Carmelite monastery.
19. My favorite book is Gone with the Wind
20. My favorite candy is Swedish Fish
21. My favorite dessert is raisinless carrot cake
22. My favorite meal is a poached egg with toast and a sinful amount of butter
23. I'm almost always cold
24. I once called my parents home from a night out because our sitter was watching the forbidden MTV. They were thrilled.
25. My favorite tv shows growing up were The Waltons and The Brady Bunch
26. I took this test and I'm an INFJ
27. Simon and I were born in the same hospital and delivered by the same doctor
28. My confirmation name is Cecilia
29. I was a cheerleader in middle school and I still thank the merciful Lord that I chose to retire my skirt and shell before high school because my skills were nil, or less.
30. I worked at Hot Dog on a Stick and Eddie Bauer in high school
31. I'm a planner but not a doer, it's a beautifully efficient combo.

Wake up.
It's over.

If you have a blog and do a similar post - I'd love to see it. Or if you have any more exciting (you do!) factoids about yourself .... I'm allllllll eyes, as always. 

we're gonna party like it's 2005

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03 November 2014

A few months ago my friend Colleen invited me and several other college friends down for a weekend at her grandparents place in ...

Naples, Florid.

You've never heard of it?

Everyone was quick to jump on the invite but I was like, "eh." I mean, I do have a weirdly high standard of living and am accustomed to some pretty palatial surroundings ...

... but Simon was so kind and generous and switched call weekends with someone and gladly volunteered to watch the kids over Halloween and the dreaded DST (oh, have you not happened upon the parental complaint heard round the net? wink) so, twist my arm.

And I guess our digs weren't awful ...

... touring the grounds while Grace dabbled in a bit of photo journalism, aka snapped phone photos for her professional website, aka her mom blog.

It would do.

But, really. It was such a wonderful weekend and I was completely spoiled and did not deserve a single second of the fun or the glorious, GLORIOUS uninterrupted hours upon hours of sleep.

Here we have the three married ladies on the trip. They were affectionately dubbed, "the washed up old hags" of the weekend by the non-marrieds of the crew.

... and Saturday night {formerly known as} live. Please tell me you can tell that I curled Colleen and Caitlin's locks (the ladies to my left, your right)? Because I did.

After dinner on Saturday, Colleen got my dancing shoes' hopes up by really talking up a super fun bar across the street that. She claimed it was great for dancing.

Imagine my surprise and delight when we strolled in to find this wild scene ... 

... this is fun, hear it roar.

We waited it out and watched as a crowd of very spry 50-70 year olds got down to the kind of music that you typically hear the first hour of a wedding (We Are Family, lots of Michael Jackson, etc) and bug-asked the deejay if she might indulge us in a current ditty or three to which she said, "look at the crowd I'm working with ... " fair enough.

But eventually she delivered.

A real bride. Not a day late costume, I eavesdropped on her conversations to make sure.

The girls were super supportive of my Whole30 lifestyle and even let me tag along on their trip to a little shop by the name of, "Serious Cookie" ... I can still smell every single one of them.

Day 14. I will survive.

The one teeny tiny little snag was the apparent cold snap that Naples was experiencing. It was mostly gorgeous and sunny but the wind did flare a few times ...

We went for a walk on the beach and encountered this seagull unable to take flight because of the crazy gusts and when he/she finally got up the wind carried the helpless gull backwards and far, far away.

I hope there was a happy ending there.

Back at the Camp, St. Simon weathered "11834349048 fights" (his words) and took the kids trick-or-treating around the block and did loads upon loads of laundry, and left 3943984209348 Crock-Pot recipes open on the computer for me to find when I got home. Not on purpose, I'm sure.

The time spent with friends and our friendships that transcend time and moves and marriages and kids was way too short but the time away from Simon and the kids was way too long so I think it all balanced itself out in the end.

And no, I would never ever do it again. ;) 


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