Monday, February 3, 2014

The moon. It's a crescent.

These boys are growing faster than I can keep up with, especially when it comes to vocabulary and just knowing things in general.  As always, car conversations are my fave.  

Kiernan: Hey Mom.  There's the moon! Right there, straight ahead!

Me: Yeah buddy.  That's the moon.  It's pretty isn't it?

Kiernan: Yeah.... (silence)  Hey Mommy.  I have a question. 

Me: Ok bud.  What's your question?

Kiernan: The moon looks like a crescent. 

Me: That's right Kiernan!  The moon is shaped like a crescent!

Kiernan: Yeah.  I know. 

So cocky.  And  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New beginnings.

I miss this space.

My absence here mostly stems from lack of time and a bit from lack of inspiration to write.  Actually, maybe less of a lack of inspiration to write and more from a head full of things to write about and an inability to get anything out of it.  Part of me feels like I have so much to write about that it's all too much to catch up on.  But then again, this is my space.  My tiny little corner of the web.  And that means that I get to make the rules.

So I've decided to sit down and let my fingers fly over the keyboard and just see what sails out of them.

It's been 4 months since we left Florida.  In some ways it has flown and in others it seems like we're just frozen in place.  While we are so fortunate and so grateful to have a space here in Brian's parents' home, we're itching to get back into a place of our own.

The good news is that we found one.  We're under contract and hopefully closing this week.  For now we're planning and dreaming and imagining ways to make it perfect for our little family.  I'm making lists and packing boxes while Brian works 18 hour days and the boys maintain their normal level of chaos.  It's just another day in paradise, and we can't wait to continue the chaos in our new home!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

That stride.

This summer Brian and I signed up for a race in our town in FL - the full marathon for him and the half for me.  So I ran once or twice and then moving chaos began and I just kinda fell off the wagon.

Then last week I remembered that I have to run 13.1 miles in a little over 3 months.  Oops.

The first few runs were slow and painful and .... jiggly.  One of the worst things about running when you're overweight is all of the jiggling.  But that's just part of the process.  So I pull on all kinds of compression work out gear and hit the treadmill.

Tonight's run was different.  Tonight I hit that stride.  That stride that almost makes you feel like you could keep running for forever. 

I know.  It sounds batshitcrazy.  But I'll never forget when I felt that feeling during my training for my last half marathon.  It's weird and surreal and incredible.  There's no science to it.  No telling when, or even if, it will come.  Sometimes it just does.  And it pulls you through and makes you feel amazing.  

It's that feeling that has me excited for my next run.  Weird?  Yes.  Necessary?  Yes.  Awesome?  Yes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

I'm flying ... north.

If you follow me on Instagram or if you know me in real life, you may have been waiting for this post.  I know.  You've been on the edge of your seat.  Or you know, probably not.

Either way, I have some news ...

I know.  Crazy, right?

So, we've actually already landed back in the Mitten.  In fact, it's been about 6 weeks now since we said goodbye to the Sunshine State and headed north.

To make a long story short, Brian's company is expanding to SE Michigan and as Program Manager, Brian was definitely included in the move.  It all happened pretty quickly, and before I knew it 2 months had passed since I last sat down to write anything in this blog at all.

While we wait for Brian's company to find a permanent spot for their new location and try to decide where we ultimately want to live, we're staying with Brian's parents.  They live in a big house with lots of space for us and they've been incredibly accommodating.  We're so blessed to have a place to land while life works itself out.  Don't get me wrong, squeezing 4 adults, 3 kids, and 5 dogs into one house, no matter how big it is, is not without its' challenges.  But we're making it work and focusing on the positives while working out the kinks.

Now that we're a bit more settled, I look forward to taking the opportunity to sit down and let some thoughts out of this crazy head of mine every once in awhile!  Since about 4 minutes after she stopped crying happy tears about our move, my BFF has been nagging me about changing my blog name to "I'm Flying North".  But it's staying "South" for now.  Even though we literally moved back north, writing is so cathartic for me that I feel like I've taken a bit of a vacation after I click "Publish".  So while "I'm Flying South" started as a very literal description of life, it has transformed into a figurative description.

Well, that and it'd be too much work to change the blog name and I already have enough shit to do.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sloppy Joes ... Slop, Sloppy Joes.

I vividly remember the first time that I made Sloppy Joes for Brian.  He took one look at them and said "What's this?"

He didn't understand why someone would make homemade Sloppy Joes from scratch when Manwich exists.  Growing up in a household where most things were made from scratch, I had no idea that Manwich even existed.

When Brian told me that he preferred the Manwich, I wasn't shocked.  This is the same man that prefers Jiffy Blueberry muffins to homemade muffins with fresh blueberries.  Prego to homemade spaghetti sauce.  Chewy Chips Ahoy to homemade chocolate chip cookies (that one I can't blame him for .... I'm not great at chocolate chip cookies).

I don't take it personally.  I know it's not about my cooking.  It's just what he's grown up with and what he prefers.  And really, it works out well for me because the prepackaged stuff is just less work.

But lately, I've been more focused on feeding my family fewer prepackaged foods ... and after almost 7 years of marriage, I'm more comfortable saying "Hey, sorry you don't like it as much, but it's better for you.  So suck it up buttercup."

I've had a hankerin' for some good, hearty Sloppy Joes lately, so I turned to the Pioneer Woman's Sloppy Joe recipe for a starting point.  Of course, I used what I had and adapted as needed and holy sweet peppers was it a hit.  Hubby loved it, I loved it, the boys ... well, they all took bites.  They're in an annoying food-strike phase.

Yep, that's a paper plate.  We're fancy ya'll.

Sloppy Joes
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2.5 pounds ground beef
1 (large) onion - diced
1/2 green pepper - diced
5 mini sweet peppers - diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)
2 cups ketchup
3/4 cups beef broth
1/4 cups water
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp honey mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Worcestershire to taste - maybe 3 tbsp?
salt/pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook beef, peppers, onions, garlic powder & garlic salt until meat is browned.  Drain grease.  Add ketchup, beef broth, water and stir.  Add brown sugar, chili powder, honey mustard, red pepper flakes, and Worcestershire.  Stir well.  Taste test and add salt, pepper, more Worcestershire, garlic ... whatever sounds good.  I'm very much a go-with-the-flow kinda cook.  Let it simmer for a bit to let the flavors really kick up.

Throw nice big spoonful onto a nice hearty bun, and add a slice a cheese if you're an addict like me.  De-lish.  I think I may see an end to our Manwich days.  Or at least a decrease in them!

Friday, August 23, 2013

July 2013.

No, you're light years behind on life.  

Whatev.  I'm doing the best I can.  My kids are alive and well and I'm not willing to give up writing my monthly updates, so I'll just continue to write them a few months late :D

Brian was gone for the first part of July.  The boys and I stayed busy, as we always do when he's gone.  I must admit though, that this trip was more difficult than some of his other trips.  I mean, the day the Brothers managed to climb the counter, retrieve the finger paints, and paint the kitchen floor was .... especially challenging.  Thank you little baby Jesus for washable Crayola products.

They boys were just very very very clingy.  Most of my days were spent snuggling, with 1- 3 of them piled onto my lap.  This part, of course, was just fine.  The problems arose when I'd try to get up to cook or clean or you know, attempt to empty my bladder.  Full blown fits of rage would erupt from 3 angles.  I mean, how why couldn't I make them food while they sit on my lap???  Apparently, I am not a good enough Mom.  O_o

One of my saving graces while Brian is traveling is my friend Lisa.  The boys love playing with her 2 year old son L and her almost 1 year old daughter A.  We have play dates, go on outings together, and watch each others' kids so that we can each get some alone time.  It's funny, but we both agree that when we're watching each other's kids, life almost gets a bit easier, even though we have more kids.  I think it's the novelty of having friends over that chills them all out a bit and makes them less Mommy-focused and needy.  It's a beautiful thing.

Bri returned home on the 10th and jumped right back into Daddy-duty as he always does.  One of the boys' favorite things to do is to play on the big climbing wall/slide that Brian makes out of Brennan's mattress and box spring.  It's good exercise for them and pretty low maintenance entertainment for us!

Brennan and Brian got some extra quality time together during some of the Brothers' naps.  They painted together and Brennan decided to paint a butterfly mask for Daddy ... which it was on Daddy's face.  He also insisted on going for a run with Daddy.  They ran around the neighborhood and Brian was overjoyed that Brennan wanted to go and that he was actually pretty good.

Brian enjoyed some alone time with the Brothers while Brennan and I had a little weekend in Michigan.  When we came back, it was back to chaos as usual.  Kiernan got himself a nice battle wound.  He was trying to watch through the window while Brian mowed the lawn and slipped and cracked his eyebrow open on the windowsill .  He didn't care that there was blood running down his face.  All he wanted to do was "ride tractor!!!".  Brian and the boys worked on my new table too, trying to get it nice and smooth so that I don't have to chisel food out of the cracks on a daily basis.

We are taking full advantage of beach season.  The boys are obsessed with surfing, and are actually getting pretty good at body surfing - especially Kiernan.  All 3 of them rode some pretty good waves this time around.  It's so much fun to watch them!

Check out these gorgeous pictures of my sweet baby.  His eyes get me every time.  His Goldfish-caked smile isn't half bad either.

I've said it a million times before, but we are so lucky to have friends who love to play with our kids.  Brennan had a blast splashing in the waves with our friend Kyle.

True to his personality, Mr Beckett is the cautious beach bum.  He likes the water, and he'll body surf, but he really prefers to be with and adult while he's in the water.  And really, playing in the sand is his favorite thing to do.  

Also true to his personality, Kiernan has absolutely no fear when it comes to the water.  The photo on the left was taken right after he took a wave on the body board and rolled under the water.  Brian and I are always right there, but he managed to stand up on his own before we could even help him.  And it didn't really phase him at all.  He just runs straight into the waves and we have to make sure to keep up with him.  That said, he is getting much better at listening.  The photo of him looking at the camera while Brian and Brennan head out into the water was taken while I called his name and told him to stay with me.  

So that's July.  Who wants to take bets on whether I get August finished before August is actually over?

Ha.  Ha.  Hahahahahahahahahahaha.