Sleighriding fail?

Upstate New York has received nearly two feet of snow in the last 14 days. Lots of snow, lots of cold weather. Last Sunday when we got out of church, it was snowing like mad. The beginning of the week continued with a few snow flurries and seasonable temperatures. 
Saturday the temperature was incredibly warm. At 9am, we grabbed our snow gear, sleds and snowshoes for some winter fun around our yard before the craziness of the day began. We showshoed around the yard for a bit, threw snowballs then went sledding down my moms hill. It was so warm, even I was sweating and had to take my coat off. 

Since the weather was amazing and it’s a three-day weekend, I decided we needed to find a much bigger hill to sleigh ride down on Monday. The day before, the temperature reached a balmy 60 degrees! Crazy for February!

Again, we got all our snow stuff together and this time loaded it all into the car and headed for the big hill. Super excited, we pulled into the parking lot (the hill is actually a well known hiking spot) and…


Serious disappointment. There was barely any snow left. We almost didn’t even get out of the car. We sat and pondered the hill for a few minutes while eating the snack we brought. 

Eventually the excitement from the last two days of anticipation got the better of us and we braved the muddy parking lot, icy path and climbed to the top. The first run down, we both got stuck on grassy patches and thought sleighriding was over. 

Adjusting our path down the hill some, we managed to squeak in a piece just wide enough and steep enough to propel us over the grass and continue down the hill. This area was actually quite icy but that was perfect! We slid even further down on the grass and though it wasn’t a hill, it was still super fast and super fun. 

Initially, this was a total mom fail. I’m glad we convinced ourselves to give the hill a try. We had a blast, giggled a lot and made some good mom-daughter memories. 

Gratitude 

This week has been a struggle. A battle at every turn with lack of patience at home with the little one and my sweetheart, a battle to focus at work, stomach issues, lack of self confidence, stress over our upcoming trip, and on and on. If I had written this post yesterday, I would have struggled to with counting my blessings. Today is a little better but the blues and other nonsense is still hanging on. Regardless, I live in a country that has so much more than others. Even on my worst day, I still have more than most people in the world. 

Today, I am grateful for:

  1. My family-I love them all no matter what’s going in in our lives 
  2. Unseasonably warm weather
  3. Sun shine
  4. My Friends 
  5. Having a job that tolerates even my most unfocused, unproductive days 

I am looking forward to:
Today: getting outside after work

This week: a satirsday morning not yet full of commitments 

In the future: our trip to Disney is less than 1 week away!! (Still so many things to accomplish. I sound way more excited than I feel.)

Blessings to you all. 

Confessions 

I promised Adventures of a Real Mom wouldn’t be all big happy smiles and a clean house. That isn’t at all what my real life looks like. So I thought once a week I’d try to share something in my life or house that is far from perfect. (Trust me, I’ll never run out of material!!). I know this is long and may not seem like a fail at first, but stick with me and see if you find several Real Mom fails along the way. 

Today, I’ll share the story of my foyer. My foyer has always been a pretty plain area. Nothing special. The front door is a big metal door original to the house from the early ’80s. I’ve struggled with this area since I bought the house. It’s so boring but I wasn’t interested in spending much money or time on this area because in my house, it’s a very little used space. Unless there is a rare guest, we all use the downstairs door that leads to the driveway and vehicles. 

Now that my daughter is having friends over more often, that means the occasional parent coming to the door and inside the foyer to pick up their children. I figured it was time to tackle this little space. Last summer is started to slowly work on it. 

First, there were two enormous boxes containing window treatments I had ordered a year before (yes, they say there for over a whole year).  The guys graciously installed the blinds to get them out of the way. Second and completely unplanned, while at Walmart, I found a nice tall tapered planter and a few bunches of artificial bamboo and other plants. Off to a nice start, anyway, and I was happy enough with that for a few months. 

The banister and stair rail are original and have certainly seen better days. I love Rustoleum Caninet Transformations and still had some leftover from another project. One rare Sunday, I knew everyone would be out of the house so I decided to tackle that. A few days before I stripped off the old paint. When the weekend arrived, I painstakingly painted everything trying desperately to get the little margin between the wood and carpet but not get any on the carpet. I was able to remove the stair rail and painted that up as well. Since there was nowhere to keep a wet painted tail and associated hardware, it sat on a shower curtain in the front lawn for a few days. I squeezed in a few minutes here and there to get a second coat and top coat on. I thought it would be a much quicker project but I always underestimate. 

The one wall along the stairs going up had a nasty, greasy handprint on it which had also been around for a year or so. I had tried several cleaners to remove it but all I did was lighten it a little and start removing paint. One day I got ambitious and painted the wall. Again, leftover paint from something else and way more time than anticipated. But, I love the buttery look and it changed the whole feel of the space. 
Yay! A mostly freshly painted area! And just in time for the holidays. I love a deviated banister for the holidays. I just feels so festive! We’ve been decorating ours for several years now but it’s always a pain. The greenery dies, looks ugly and there’s long white pine needles on the stairs. This year I found decent fake garland at Joann’s during their Black Friday sale. I also found an adorable light up Christmas sign. It took a little while and finagling but the banister, sign and new fake holiday stems look awesome! I was so proud I just wanted to stay in this tiny space forever! The only few square inches in my house that were not a disaster. 

Minor fails along the way (huge boxes and greasy handprints for years…). But now let me share one little secret about myself. I love getting decorations put up around the house, especially Christmas decorations but I despite taking them down. The house looks so bare and sad once the Christmas tree is down, the lights are off and gifts are put away. This is where my real life and Mom fail really happens…today is February 23rd and still the same Christmas garland, Christmas sign and Christmas stems are in the foyer. I even decorated right over the Christmas garland with a Valentine’s string of hearts!! 

Honestly, I’m a little afraid to take the decorations down. Winter is dark, cold, and dirty when the snow melts. There’s no green plants anywhere. It’s utterly depressing!! Maybe once the weather improves I’ll be able to force myself to take down the Christmas garland. 

Gratitude 

Happy Valentine’s Day! And Happy Birthday to my sweetheart! 

It’s a bright and sunshiny day. Perfect for celebrating love or a birthday! Although a little more warmth would be welcome, I’m grateful for sunshine on my skin. 

Today I am grateful for going in to work a little late and giving my sweet girl her Valentine’s Day gift when she woke up; thankful for class parties; my sweethearts birthday; and for very successful Valentine’s bake sales to benefit a sick child. 

This week I am looking forward to hockey practice, sewing class and a big birthday dinner. 

In the near future, I am looking forward to our Disney vacation! It’s coming up so quick. I just can’t wait!!

Wishing you a sweet Valentine’s Day!!

More snow!

I just love the peacefulness and beauty of fresh snow, covered trees and pristine piles of it everywhere!

Thankfully for me, 10 inches of glorious snow fell late last week. Yesterday, we got nearly 6 more inches! Although I love when snow is ubdisturbed, I love it just as much when there’s tons of kiddo footprints, snow angels, sled tracks, forts (in our case, snow restaurants…haha!!) and doggie footprints everywhere. 

When the sun shines through the snow covered trees, I can hardly resist taking tons of photos. The light is always amazing! 

So, here’s a few photos I took in my neighborhood as I left for work this morning. 

Enjoy!

Jelly Roll??

Jelly Roll, anyone?? 

No, I’m not hungry and I’m not even baking. I’ve decided to sew my first quilt! A Jelly Roll quilt, that is. 

I have always been in awe of the beauty and talent it takes to create your own quilt. Ever since my eight-year-old was only a few weeks old, my mother, daughter and I have attended the biannual quilt show held by our local quilting guild. It has become a tradition for the three of us, with even more meaning this year since Ms. T just sewed her first quilt this past summer. Every year I  desperate to bring home all of the quilts and purchase every inch of fabric in sight! They are all stunning!! 

So why does a busy, already over-extended, working mom decide to make her very first quilt, you ask? The answer: her mother. My mother is retired, talented with a sewing machine and has plenty of time for quilting and dreaming up hair-brained schemes, decided it would be great if three generations of our family entered quilts into the next show. That’s where I come in because my mother is in the process of making a quilt, the little one already completed hers over the summer so that leaves me. Thankfully there’s 18 months until the next quilt show.

From a quick Pinterest stroll, it looks like the Jelly Roll style is simple enough for my skill level and quick enough for my attention span. (I have a tendency to work very furiously on things for a few weeks then run out of steam. I have many sewing and craft projects partially completed.) I’m pretty confident in my ability to sew the infinite number of strips together but definitely apprehensive about the batting, back, actual quilting of the top and adding the border. I’m glad there’s an abundance of Pinterest tutorials and YouTube videos. 

Of all my searching, the Missouri Star Quilt Company seems to have the best videos for me. I also like their selection of fabrics. 

If you have any tips or tricks creating a Jelly Roll quilt, I’d love to hear them. 

Wish me luck!! I’ll update and post photos as I go along. 

Full Snow Moon

My daughter loves looking at the stars, the moon, identifying planets and constellations. Recently, I came across a sweet book called Walk When the Moon is Full by Frances Hamerstrom. The book chronicles twelve adventures of a brave mama and her two children every full moon.

Ms. T and I decided to read the book each month on the full moon and then create our own adventures. Listen to all of the night sounds, witness the beauty of our surroundings bathed in moonlight.

Last month was our first full moon. It was quite chilly and either of us was super into freezing our tushes off so we sat in the front seat of the car reading the first chapter of Walk When the Moon is Full and checking out the trees and sky. Although it was not quite the same adventures had by the family in the story, it fit our mood at that moment. I had so wanted to wander the neighborhood that night but I was tired and cold and Ms. T was happy enough in the jeep. Sometimes as a busy mama, plans change and you roll with it. No looking back or regrets.

Tonight, I am hoping to bundle in our snow gear and spend at least 10 minutes outside under the moonlight. Probably with our little dog in tow.

In addition to it being the Full Snow Moon at 7:33 pm Eastern Time, there is a also penumbral eclipse at 5:34pm. I had no idea what this type of eclipse was but according to The Old Farmers Almanac, a penumbral eclipse is “a very subtle kind of eclipse which may appear darker than usual”.

On top of those two fun lunar events, tonight will be the closest pass of a comet to Earth since 1983. The Comet 459 will be visible in the eastern sky around 3 am Saturday. Look for a blue-green object with a tail. Although I would love to see a comet this close, I’,m not sure I’ll be getting up at 3 am. We’ll see.

For more information, check out the Old Farners Almanac Full Snow Moon

You can order your own copy of Walk When the Moon is Full at Amazon. 

Enjoy the full moon!

Gratitude

Life goes by amazingly fast. Most days it’s easy for me to forget to stop and be thankful for the zillion blessings in my life. On the difficult days, it can be a challenge to remember and see those blessings in front of me.

Join me in taking a moment to reflect on the blessings God has given us.

1. Time at home with the family during yesterday’s snow day.

2. Beautiful snow and photo opportunities.

3. Friends and family to play with and have a nice evening.

In addition to counting blessings, I wanted to add little something. My best friend and I did this while we were pregnant with our little girls and it has stuck with me. Again, in the fast pace world of motherhood, we an sometimes get stuck doing the same thing and forget to look ahead. So, here are a few upcoming things I’m looking forward to in my life:

Today-It’s Friday! No work for the next two days! Also picking up my little girl from my sister-in-laws house (school was cancelled again today!)

This week-My dear friends son is turning two years old. His birthday party should be full of toddler smiles and giggles.

In the near future-Family trip to Disney!