Things to Do - This Untamed Life, Mornings

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Late last Sunday night, T woke with a fever. So he skipped school on Monday, too sick to even watch much TV. Luckily, his two best friends kept him company.

Most days, the dogs drive me insane, but moments like this make it all worth it. By Tuesday T returned to his normal self. But the dogs stayed on the couch.

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!! Now click on over to This Untamed Life to check out how the rest of the group's mornings went.


Things to Do - Grateful List (August 2014) & Cherish This Day

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August seems so long ago. I don't usually list the things for which I'm most grateful - our health, our life, our family (wow, that came out cheesy) - but I never forget how important they are.

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!! Don't forget to check out this week's amazing on Cherish This Day.

* I know it's cheesy but I can't stop singing Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass
* Listening to the XX's Coexist & Bleachers
* Reading Alice Munro's The Progress of Love (esp. Miles City Montana)
* Watching Boyhood
* Watching Maleficent at the Cinema Drafthouse on a rainy day
* Watching Stage Coach (yes, old John Wayne movie) and 180 Degrees South for family movie nights
* Watching the Up Series on Netflix
* Attending the Band of Horses concert/ballet at Wolf Trap (thank you, Colleen for awesome tickets!!)

* Slow cooker red beans and rice (via Cooking Light)

* The National Building Museum's big maze (which is now gone)
* Winterthur, DE
* Walking 7.21 miles on a rainy day at Great Wolf Lodge
* Attending a great (i.e. extra innings) Nationals' Game as a family (though F read a book the whole time and P asked about quarterbacks)
* Hiking at Potomac Overlook Park (we saw the overlook!)
* Trapeze class in Yards Park
* Ziplining with P and F at Harper's Ferry Adventure Park (though check-in was a mess)

* T arting like crazy
* Happy hour at Dori's before the Arlington County Fair
* New library books (for everyone) on a lazy day
* A lazy weekend without any tv (we needed this)


F - going to the county fair, a great family, a nice house to live in and food to eat, going to the zoo, back to school shopping

P - the Building Museum's maze, ice cream at the fair, going to the playground, making popsicles, going on dog walks, eating junk food at the baseball game, taco night, watching Project Runway, my new backpack, my new bow and arrow, going to the adventure park (but not the lines to get in)

T - a nice house to live in and food to eat, my new gun [from the fair], ice cream, my magic wand [from Great Wolf Lodge], MagiQuest, making popsicles, going to the baseball game, that the girls let me in their room if I study with them


Things to Do - 12 in 12 (September 2014)

Fridays are fun . . .

friday (2 of 12)

8 am - This is how the morning begins.

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8:30 am - F and P received a bag of hand me downs that included these awesome shoes. After a fight to figure out who owned the kicks, they've decided to alternate wearing them. Friday was P's turn.

friday (3 of 12)

8:45 am - Walk the children to school. The girls run ahead while T (sort of) waits for me.

friday (4 of 12)

9:30 am - Walk the dogs while reading this week's New Yorker.

friday (5 of 12)

11 am - Meet up with a good friend to check out the National Gallery's Andrew Wyeth exhibit, followed by lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian's Mitsitam Cafe (so so good). Turns out there are benefits to days without children.

[1:30 pm - 3 pm - Stream Click Away for free at home. Sue Bryce is amazing.]

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4 pm - Spontaneous happy hour in a friend's backyard. Apple-ahh-Ritas are so bad they're good.

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5 pm - Still happy houring.

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6 pm - When you're in second grade, pure magic equals friendship with a fifth grader.

friday (9 of 12)

6:30 pm - Walk home from happy hour. Can you tell we've been watching American Ninja Warrior lately?

friday (10 of 12)

8:00 pm - Neighborhood party. I love South Arlington.

friday (11 of 12)

9:00 pm - Party still going. DC Taco Truck + Mariachi band + T's friends buying him his first set of Pokeman cards = a super fun night.

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10:30 pm - T passed out on the couch as soon as we came home. So I carried him to our bed (I can no longer lift T into his loft bed on my own). P bounces around my room, unwilling to let the night end.

Now click on over to Where the Watermelons Grow and Not-So-SAHM to see how their Fridays went.


Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Random Links


For the past two weeks or so I've had almost no desire to take photos. Such apathy tends to come in swings, so I know to ride it out, but still I always feel a little lost when I don't have my camera (even when I don't necessarily want to have my camera). I often think that cameras and phones are the cigarettes of modern age - always keeping our hands busy, assuring that we never look bored.

Anyways, earlier this week the kids and I took the dog for a long walk. I brought the camera along, not really sure I would use it. Luckily the old normal me returned and I started taking hundreds of photos. I was shooting on manual, while the dog - constantly in pursuit of squirrels and rabbits - pulled like crazy on the leash. The kids kept moving at faster and faster speeds. So none of the photos are particularly stellar, but still I'm a little in love with this set as they really capture where we are right now - fight, run, hug, repeat. Over and over. While the sky turns a brilliant shade of red, surrounding us all.

Now click on over to Cherish This Day to check out this week's wonderfulness.



* 15 Contemporary Short Story Collections from Female Authors. Totally worth a bookmark.

* Lately, our whole family can't stop playing this game, (thanks Julia's Bookbag for the suggestion).

* And I can't stop listening to this album. It's more addictive than candy.

* These GIFS (using historical photos) are pretty incredible.

* How Gatsby Went From a Flop to the Great American Novel.



Things to Do - Boyhood (the Movie) and Random Childhood Memories

Have you seen Boyhood? Richard Linklater spent 12 years filming the movie using the same actors. It's sort of crazy to watch a kid actually grow up on screen. Once the movie delves into the teenager years I started to wonder how much Linklater planned the main character's personality years ago, and how much the director changed the script as he watched the actor grow up. Despite the novelty of a film that took over a decade to make, the movie is also notable for the moments it links together. Rather than birthdays, holidays, and the types of events adults are likely to remember, Linklater concentrates on the smaller moments - moving to new schools/places, conversing with a cute girl on a bike, time spent with a mostly absentee father.

After watching the movie for date night, Dan and I opened a bottle of wine and tried to piece together our own earliest memories. One of Dan's friends told us that children rarely remember much before age 7, so lately I'm a mission to dive back further. After a few drinks (okay, maybe more than a few), I hazily started to recollect watching TV with my parents in the basement (my bedroom was upstairs and our only television was downstairs, so every night I dreaded being left alone at bedtime). So every once in awhile my parents would let me stay up late, watching TV with them - my dad enjoyed Benny Hill and some random beauty pageant show - despite my mom's insistence that such viewing was inappropriate (my father reassured her that I was too young to remember anything).

Everyone remembers Benny Hill, but it took some googling to bring back the $1.98 Beauty Show, which manages to mock beauty pageants while simultaneously degrading the women at an even deeper level. As Dan best phrased it, "when it comes to nostalgia for the past, everyone brings out the best stuff and manages to erase stuff like this." Prime time, we're talking prime time. (Not that the Bachelor is any better). Turns out the $1.98 Beauty Show aired from 1978 to 1980, so all my memories of the show predate my 5th birthday.

Have you ever Youtubed anything from your preschool years? It feels surreal to see such a random and vague memory in full color. Disorientating. At one hand, there's a satisfaction that comes with learning that your recollection is real, but so many other puzzle pieces are left out that you feel as if you're grasping for something out of reach. For example, where was the couch in the basement? I can't quite picture it. Nor can I recall our other furniture from the time. I remember the TV occupying the space where the bookshelves are now. But weren't the bookshelves always there? Everything outside the realm of Youtube seems to be lost forever, whereas the women on the $1.98 Beauty Show will continue to carry their rotten vegetable bouquets throughout time. It's odd to think our children (especially mine) will grow up with so many more old memories easily accessible. How will this change how they perceive time itself?

What about everyone else - what is your earliest memory?


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