DON'T MISS OUT!

Ordinary Days

I am attempting to get into a rather regular schedule with every facet of my life and sometimes I feel like I am failing miserably. Cleaning, exercising, planning, cooking, painting, walking, friends, kids stuff, appointments-you would think it would be easier with no little guys at home, but it seems like sometimes I am a kite in the wind with no weight at the end of the it.  Maybe it's the constant changes this year, but I am getting there-I WILL get there where I can accomplish what I want to and need to with a calm consistency.  I used to fall right into some sort of schedule when school began-not so this year.  But 2020-in more ways than Covid-has been "a year".

My sweet little twin who is always right next to me and has been for 8 years now.  As much as we can be.  

I painted this table for a friend and it was a fun project. I am all caught up in my projects right now and that feels good.

When I'm alone in the evening, Sammy and I sometimes take a ride to watch the sunset.  He loves it - the breeze on his face and all the attention he gets at the park.  Sammy is 13 now and slowing down-he sleeps a lot and can't hear a thing but he still chases the kids like he did when he was a puppy.

Sweet little girl with the crazy blond hair.

Or the scary dog face.

Sent Matt off to school in covid-land, that's what college campuses are right now aren't they?  And those college kids just want to be there, and I get that.  Little risk for them to get really sick, get it over with, and stay there, don't come back home with it. 

Our back to school tradition at the apple orchard that doesn't involve apples, just donuts, is the best.

Cuties.  I remember each of them watching the bus leave as babies, with their older siblings on board. 

I'll always love this photo even though we all look a little weird.  I love being a mom more than anything in the whole world. Nothing has bought me more joy.  I think it was easier than ever back then before social media and too much advice and ideas and comparisons and being pulled by too much information. 

One kids favorite birthday present of all time.

The birthday dress Grammy sent.  

A small simple party with close friends to celebrate Janey turning eight.  

She wanted the same exact shoes in one size larger and was so excited when they were delivered.

We went to the bookstore to buy one book and take lots of photos for books to "order" from the library.  I wish I could just buy them all.  I think that is one thing I need to do before I die.  Go to a bookstore and just splurge.  Like twenty books all for me brand new and fresh one summer.  Whatever looks good.   Wouldn't that be a dream come true?  

September night sky.

Lots of birthdays in August and September.   Phew, it's always so busy these months and although it's easier when they are older, I always feel like "I did it!" when it comes to the end.  26, 24, 21, 17, 12, and 8 as of today.  

Apple Pie Dump Cake


I had never heard of a "dump cake" until a bunch of them showed up in my feed on Pinterest and thought I'd give one a try.  Such an easy dessert to whip together at the last minute for your family (I halved the recipe below) or to bring to a family gathering or potluck.  It seems there are SO many versions of these dump cakes.  The one that I chose and adapted is very simple.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things, summer edition!

HOME:

I did a "how I clean" series on my Instagram stories and shared some of the things I used and many of you had questions about the vacuum I was using.


Shark Navigator Deluxe Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor with Anti-Allergy Seal (NV42), Champagne

Shark Navigator Deluxe Upright-$149.99

My vacuum.  I used to have a Dyson and loved it but it broke.  I bought a cheaper vacuum and it is an actual improvement on the Dyson.  I love that all the pieces and parts can come and part and be cleaned.  There are a couple of filters for dust that can be washed in soap and water, all the hose attachments can be removed and this vacuum sucks the living daylights out of my carpets.

I have tried the more expensive version of this Navigator (it's called a Lift Away-I garbage picked it) and I didn't like it as much as this older model.


Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloths-$10.99

These clothes will last a lifetime and are worth it.  I also LOVE these microfibers.  I have the ultra cheap ones but always reach for these because they are thicker and just work better.

Thinking, Playing, Reading


Thinking:


I usually link to a good essay or enlightening post from the internet in my "thinking" section but I've chosen to spend this summer just focusing hard on what I know to be true and quieting the outside world even more.  Not that it's "bad" at all-so many intelligent opinions and shared experiences and knowledge but sometimes I feel it's good to take a break and listen to our souls-what we already know is true, and what we have already learned - and to trust in our own experiences and those face to face serendipitous conversations with real people.

Blueberry or Raspberry Lemon Muffins


These muffins are easy and delicious.  If you don't have lemon extract, use vanilla, and if you don't have half-and-half cream use milk.  I almost always put all the dry ingredients and wet ingredients into my mixer at once to make it easier, but add fruit last and just mix gently. They will still be delicious!