September 27, 2011

The Days Fly By

 *Oh my word....this shows you how tired I've been lately. I just realized that I posted the same set of photos twice. Just deleted them. Teaches me to read my own blog sometimes. Oy....'nother cup of coffee please.

I actually have no business being on my blog right now, but the boys are happily playing. Sammy is actually singing. It's so sweet. The words..... "pretty, pretty please do you ever feel like your nothing? you are something, you are perfect to me".
 I have so many thoughts right now....but just one emotion {maybe two}. I have that lump in my tummy feeling of love. Actually, love and thankfulness. I am so very thankful. Our life may not look perfect. Our home may not be what it was 2 years ago. But it is filled with love and laughter. I have days where I feel overwhelmed and probably wouldn't win the best mommy award. I have days where I'm trying to figure out why we are here {in NJ} and if we should stay or move on. I'm still processing all the changes in our life.

We went into Hoboken on Sunday. It's a quick drive and we were craving the best pizza ever{Grimaldi's} We didn't realize that a music & art festival was in full swing. We discussed getting rid of all of our furniture {some things we've had for 20 yrs} and starting fresh in Hoboken {renting an apartment in a high rise, overlooking the water}. I was tempted....Greg was totally serious. Who knows? These are the experiences and adventures that help us not be so homesick. A simple 15 minute drive into Hoboken will energize us a bit.....a glimpse into a different life.

One thing that made me laugh....while walking through the festival, I stopped at a vendor. Greg and the boys wandered in a different direction. In the 10 minutes we were separated, Greg became fast friends with a young man tending one of the booths. In that 10 min., Greg learned that the young man's girlfriend was the runner up for America's Next Top Model, his roommate was the winner, where they lived, how much their rent was, where all the models hang out. He just supplied all this info to Greg. I have a feeling that he was new to the area and probably a bit homesick himself....just looking for a friendly face to talk to.

Where am I going with all this? Well, I began typing knowing where this was headed and have quickly fallen off course. Bottom line, I've learned many things here in NJ. I've learned to not sweat the small stuff so much. I've learned to enjoy the present and be hopeful for the future. I've learned to embrace and enjoy change.

I've learned to leave early for the Y, because it's hard to find a parking spot.....and to bring lots of quarters for the meter. Yes, I've learned all about metered parking.

I've learned that we like to do things a little off course. Instead of taking piano lessons...we choose drums {and conga, and rhythm instruments}. I've learned to keep a rugby ball in the car because you never know when a quick game of catch may happen. I've also learned to keep an extra change of clothes in the car because if they decide to wade through the little river....they will inevitably slip and get wet. I've learned that just because the ocean looks beautiful doesn't mean it's clean. Wish I didn't learn that lesson.
I've learned that one day may be hard, but the next may be wonderful. Recently, I was feeling a bit worried about something with the boys. Then, straight from worries were calmed and I was rejoicing. I'm learning to pray again. I had been slacking in that area. I'm learning who I am. 

So very thankful.

Oh.....and I've learned that a simple Keurig machine can make 
my mornings go so much smoother.

September 20, 2011

Want to know something?

I'm going to let you in on a few of my secrets. Not too scandalous, but totally real.

When the boys run upstairs to go play....I sometimes run for my stash of potato chips. I have a weakness for my chips. Add some french onion dip and I'm one happy gal. Speaking of the boys playing....lately they seem to have gotten louder. I hear Beanie Babies flying around, jumping , and tons of laughing. I get a little nervous that my neighbors may call to complain. I hate having to tell my boys to "try not to be so loud". They get into some elaborate "plays" and discussions that I overhear {so loud that I can't help overhearing!}. Love it. Sometimes they come out of their room all sweaty and panting for water. We {hugely}miss having our old basement and yard, but the boys are making the best of our situation.

Remember my little friend? Well, we love her, but I was still thinking of a Keurig. When I learned that the K is BPA free I decided to grab one. Greg and I both are very happy with this purchase. So easy. Such a time saver. The only problem is that I am now drinking way more coffee. Fall has arrived....perfect timing.

 I haven't been writing about our homeschool life....or about friends, family , etc.{ Feel free to ask me anything you want}. Yes, we still homeschool and we still have friends and family. For various reasons, I've just decided not to write details about those things. Though, I think I did a bit more in the past. Maybe in the future I will share and write about those things {like I used to, on my old blog} For now,  I'll stick to random thoughts, adventures, and food, etc.  And why am I babbling about this?? I don't know, thinking out loud. I've realized that I'm not sharing a big portion of our life. I'm sharing about a few things, but there is a bigger picture.

We didn't go into NYC last weekend. We went to Ikea instead.  I don't want to go into the city until I have a camera. I'm obsessively bargain shopping for a simple point & shoot. Greg keeps telling me to just buy one. I'm getting close...and then we'll go into the city. This Saturday?

Right before bed the other night Ross cut his toe on a basket. He came into our room and asked for a bandage. I quickly covered the cut and we went to bed. About 10 minutes later he comes to us saying that his toe stings. I took a closer look and saw that he had a giant piece of wood stuck in his toe. Hello! How did I miss that? We soaked, poked, and wiped tears as Greg worked to get the wood out. There were moments where we thought we'd be running to the ER. Thankfully, Greg got it out....and all is well. That same boy has lost 4 teeth within the last 2 months! One tooth fell apart before it was ready....which involved a trip to the dentist for an extraction. He's been a trooper through it all.

                              {the beach, post Irene....sadly, it's pretty yucky}

September 15, 2011

It's a Love / Hate Thing

Not really hate.....that's such a strong word, isn't it? I guess love/ dislike would be better? I've had some thoughts about our move from our hometown to our new reality. I have to tell you, most days it all seems very surreal. Our life here is very different than our life back home. Our routine has completely changed. And, truth be told, we've changed. 

Time for one of my pro/con lists.....

*Though I am shy at heart, when we first moved here I pushed myself to be outgoing. In the past year, I've become a bit more cautious, a bit less trusting. Working on being less of a doormat {wink to my dear friend Tiffanie}

*It has taken me a while to process the change from a house on 5 acres, to a townhouse/apt surrounded by concrete. The boys have adjusted far better than I have. I miss my space, my hardwood floors, my deck. Gosh, I'm almost hyperventilating while thinking about it. There are so many things that I DO like about our new "home". It's all just very different. Very different.

*Love the food and shopping available around every corner.....dislike how ridiculously expensive living near NYC is {the houses are at least triple the price from back home}

{We've had our eye on this house. It's for sale and had really tempted us to lay roots here. It's close to the road and on the smaller side , but we were intrigued. Then we saw the price tag....$1.3 million!! Umm, we'll pass......}

*Love that we have so many choices.We have so many different directions we can go. Each weekend we try to do something different. On the flip side, I miss our weekends hanging out in our backyard. I wrestle with that.

*Love meeting so many different types of people.....wish we had a home to entertain
and decorate and make our own and.....

*We thought the doctors would be better.....that's been disappointing {miss our old dr's!}

*Love the homeschool laws.....miss the familiarity of homeschooling back home....but like finding our new groove here.

*Love running into Jet's players while out walking in our complex.....I mean, that didn't happen back home. I think it's funny that this old gal gets starry eyed over big football players {Greg thinks it's funny, too}.

*Still professing my love for Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

*The boys have accepted NJ as their new home. They said that they now have 2 homes. We are so glad that they have embraced this new life. They asked if we could go into NYC this weekend.....I love that they have that option.  I often wrestle with my desire to be back home vs here.

*Love that the boys are taking drum lessons from a real rocker. He's wonderful with the boys. Let me remind you that we live in an apartment. We'll be switching to his house soon....I'm sure my neighbors will be happy about that. The drum teacher had the boys jamming to Earth, Wind, & Fire. So neat.

*Greg loves his job. We are thankful just for the fact that he has a job. Having one that he enjoys is frosting on our cake.

Moving has brought many great experiences. We've grown individually and as a family...of course, we are still growing {and learning}{and simplifying!}. It's a wonderful journey....and I am so very thankful.

BTW-I'm reading a new book. It is so good!  Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman. She's a fellow people pleaser. I was hesitant to read it because....I'm not really what I would call a good girl. I'm surprised how much I am relating to what the author writes.  I just finished reading Against the Tide by Nancy Missler {surprisingly gleaned much from this book}

Also, BTW-The flooding has dried up, but our complex playground is a disaster. Such a mess.

September 8, 2011

Come on......{Irene}

It feels like forever since I've been here. I was walking around our "Hurricane Irene dirt-ified, flooded beyond use, good 'ol complex playground" tonight and thought I should check in .The morning after the storm, the playground was completely under water. Though the wind was still super strong dozens of residents were lined up just staring at our large play area. It looked like a lake, but with basketball hoops peeking out.

We've kept in touch via the phone, email, or forgive me for repeating myself.
                                       {Poor fish.....Greg snapped this at work}

I'll start with Irene....then maybe go back, probably jump a little forward....but hopefully be able to update you {at least a bit}.  In a nutshell, waiting for the big hurricane was a bit nerve wracking....not sure what to expect.....and then we basically slept through it all. Which was good. We woke to our power still on and not much damage. We soon found out that Irene did more damage than we saw from our windows. We learned we were on "boil water alert", and then Greg started receiving emergency calls from work.

Just outside our complex there were big, beautiful trees down, water everywhere, and the hum of generators in use. Each day that we venture out we find more damage, more water, detours galore, and businesses with their power still out. We are so thankful that our power never went out, but we feel sad for those who are still recovering. Even our church was flooded. As the water dries up, garbage and muck is left behind....everywhere. It's amazing how things have changed so quickly. But.....there have been many sunny days, plenty of bottled water in the stores, and smiles on people's faces.

Had to end on a happy note because it was sounding a bit gloomy.....which it's not. Dirty....yes. Gloomy....not so much. But, I guess it's all in how you look at things, right?

We drove out to Staten Island on Saturday. Oh my word, the things we saw washed up on shore made us gag {we were on the boardwalk and walked on the beach}. Oops, there goes my happy ending....wait, this great little Staten Island pizza shop gave us a free pizza....that's happy....and yummy.

Ok, I have used way too many words. I was hoping to share more, but memories of Irene sort of took over my brain....I took pictures, but my camera is now broken :(   I love this song {in the video}. Kept singing it before "she" swung by......
{yes, the song is "Eileen" not "Irene", but it sounds close}
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