Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Diary of a Newlywed

I found this in my files today, and it made me laugh.  I was a 19-year-old newlywed when I wrote this, and I love the innocence and optimism I had.  It shows me that nothing much has change.  I struggle just as much now with keeping house now as I did then.  At the time, we lived in a 400 sqft apartment. (Although now I struggle a lot more with snacking).

November 15, 2002 It’s funny, the way I thought I would be living away from Mom.  I was sure I would be a TV junkie, and eat too much, get fat, etc.  But really, I only eat at meal times, except when Kevin is snacking with me, and I only watch TV when he turns it on.  I may watch a little at other times, but I’m not obsessed with it like I had feared.
I’m actually quite happy with my life.  I have a wonderful husband, who tries to do what makes me happy, or even just more comfortable, even if it does not come naturally.  I have a sweet little apartment that feels like home.  Though I long for a house, I’ve really got quite enough to handle right now as I learn to keep house. 
Learning to keep house.  That is hard!  I go to work, then come home and don’t feel like making supper, much less tidying the linen closet or sweeping the floor.  I am trying to get on a schedule, but I haven’t the energy, because I know that if I make a schedule, I will constantly feel guilty for not following it or getting behind.  There are really few things that need to be done, but I feel like I have to do them all by myself.  It’s not like Kevin refuses to help, he just really doesn’t know what is required.  I don’t think he knew that bathrooms need to be polished occasionally.  When we got married, the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned since he moved in and I did it.  True, it was only a month, but still.

You would think that after 12 years I'd have figured out the whole housekeeping thing.  But then I have tripled my square footage (more if you count the basement) and doubled my family size since then.  I still struggle with asking for help, from either Kevin or the kids.  Although both kids are getting really good at washing dishes.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who is still battling the same things for the past decade!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Fairy Party Feature

After having successfully pulled off two very different fairy parties for my daughter over the past three years, I'm feeling a little like an expert on it.  Especially since one of my photos and fairy projects are featured in a fairy party web magazine!  Although browsing through all the other great ideas linked squashes the "expert" idea . . .

Check it out here.  I particularly love the "lost things" scavenger hunt idea, which would have fit in perfectly with the woodland fairy party.

If you missed my fairy party posts, find them here:

Woodland Fairies for a five-year-old

Rainbow Magic Fairies for a seven-year-old
We are winding down summer these last two weeks before my BABY goes to kindergarten!!!  He turned five on Monday, and we're having a Planes-themed party for a few of his friends on Friday (while also babysitting four kids for two or three days . . . why not, eh?  I told their parents that I don't guarantee they'll get any sleep.)

Tell me about your summer in the comments.  I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Backyard Book Swap

Some people are gifted in the art of throwing spontaneous last-minute parties.  My friend Julie is one such person.  I am not.

Julie sent me a message yesterday inviting me to a book swap party.  For that night.  She had texted me the day before, but I hardly ever even look at my archaic flip phone, so I didn't see the message.

I thought of staying home, because I'm tired, and cranky from the heat wave, and cluelessly trying to prepare for a camping trip.  But I said yes instead, and I'm glad I did.

Ever punctual, I was the first to arrive at Julie's cute little house.  She and her sister were doing last minute snack prep, and had a gorgeous table set up under the apple tree outside, complete with a linen tablecloth and gold-edged cloth napkins.  Classy.  The temperature was perfect, the breeze (and slight haze of smoke from forest fires) kept the bugs at bay.

Each person—there were seven of us— brought a few books to recommend, lend, or give away.  We shared why we liked the book, then the ones to lend were placed in one pile, and the ones to give away in another and we selected the ones we wanted to read.  No one came to blows this time, but anything could happen when you get a bunch of women in a group who are passionate about literature.

My contributions:

My three  books unintentionally shared a garden-ish theme.  Since I couldn't lend out my favourite book (The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery—the only copy I own is a falling-apart first edition), I brought another by the same author.  Kilmeny of the Orchard.  A short, sweet romance written from the POV of a male college student about the fascinating woman he meets in an orchard.

The Rose Garden, by Susanna Kearsley is a book I bought solely because I liked the cover.  I thought it would be some kind of romance, and the back mentioned an old house, so I bought it.  It is a romance, but it is so much more than that!  It has a unique twist with history that had me reading every one of the author's other books (all of which have an historic twist, but all done in a different way).

I read Forgotten Garden two years ago on vacation in the mountains.  This year we're going to the same place on vacation, so I bought another of Kate Morton's books.  I loved the switch between 1900s and present day, and the barest hint of supernatural/paranormal (that I kind of wish was explored more fully in the book).  This book is a best seller for a reason.  I did take a few chapters to really get into it.  But once in, I was hooked.

These are the books I came home with, both from the keeper pile.  I kind of have a lot on my plate to read and/or write and/or edit already, so I chose these two because I've been wanting to read and reread them anyway.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Weekend Links

I hardly slept last night, then I had to get up early to drive my mother-in-law to the airport.  So as I've been sitting here half-awake, I've found some really great links.  Enjoy!  I'd love to know if you found these as interesting as I did.  Let me know in the comments!  Also, I've been playing with my blog design and widths.  If it doesn't look right for you, please let me know.

10 Things Happy Moms Don't Do - I just may have to read this one every day.

Colbie Caillat's "Try" - Beautiful song, and beautiful women.

And speaking of women.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Wake Up The House

Do you have a morning ritual?  I've been having a really hard time waking up since school ended.  It's not so hard getting out of bed, but actually feeling awake, in spite of the coffee, has been a struggle.  Perhaps I need to exercise more . . .

One of the things I do to help  myself feel awake, is opening all the curtains and blinds on the main floor.  Well, almost all.  We're having a bit of a heat wave right now, so I left the fairy photo booth backdrop up to help block the afternoon sun in the western windows.

It truly is a pity we don't have any east-facing windows.  The one time of day that I like the summer sun streaming in would be early in the morning.

Speaking of summer, I've pretty much been failing at it so far.  First, there was birthday party prep.  Granted, the party itself was pretty cool.  Then there was "my mother in law is coming to visit" prep.  Lucky for me, I'm pretty sure she doesn't judge me for my housekeeping.  I have a (couple of) great mothers in law!  Then there was work.  I'm done that now, as of last night.  But basically, the only fun thing I've done with the kids was go to the beach with them yesterday...and that was at my mother in law's suggestion (Yes, I did don a swimsuit and go in the water...up to my waist).

It's a good thing the kids have such a fun Daddy, who buys them skateboards and takes them out to practice while I hibernate with the laptop and the air conditioner.  This heat is making me grouchy.  [Wow, I got a little off topic here!  I won't be winning any "most organised blogger" awards, that's for sure]

So how's your summer going?