Archive for the 'Madisonia' Category



New year, a little late

I’ve made a new vow to myself to try to make things easier on me and those around me. And to not apologize for it so much (I was about to start out by saying, “I know my life isn’t so hard, but it feels like . . . blah blah blah. But I’m not going to do that.).

To that end, I’m trying a few new things. Some self-care. This is taking a couple of forms at the moment. The big one is letting go of the idea that taking the easy route is somehow bad. Yes, we can forage for dinner from the ingredients in the fridge, but we can also order in and that’s a-ok. Yes, I can go to the store and buy some flowers, but ordering a monthly subscription of flowers from Bouqs has already made us so much happier than any flowers from Trader Joe’s ever did. And the smaller ones are doing things like making my bed more often than not, doing a little gentle yoga most days, and trying to say no more often. Well, that last one isn’t small. But it’s a very big work in progress.

And then I’m trying to make things a little easier on AO. Although he loves to cook and is the best chef I know, there is never enough time in the day for him to get to all of the cooking projects done that he wants to do. And he often ends up being very hard on himself for being too tired to have an interest in making meals every night. So, I thought we should try something new that could give him a well-earned break and maybe even allow me to help out in this area. I mean, we all know that I’m not going to actually cook cook, but I can probably handle putting things on a plate or following a recipe with pre-measured ingredients. Maybe. We’ll see.

So, to that end, this week we have pasta meals coming from Big Mouth Pasta and next week we are trying out a four-week subscription to Pasture and Plenty. I love that these are both local businesses and that the ordering processes couldn’t have been easier. I’m really excited to see how this works for us and I feel really liberated at letting go of the idea that we have to do this all for ourselves. Because there’s no medal for doing it all.

Stay tuned to hear about the meal stuff!

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New experiences

Molly didn’t have school today because winter break began. And now that she’s a kindergartener, we have more options to send her to programming in town on days the schools are closed. So today she went to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s day camp program. She wasn’t super psyched about it, but she was a trooper and tolerated the idea. But when I picked her up after 5 and she was one of only two kids left, I kinda panicked. I asked her, “How was your day?” She said, “Awesome!” She and the remaining girl – who had to be at least 8 — gave each other hugs and discussed if they were returning for future days. When M heard the girl was coming back on Jan 2, she asked if she could, too. As we were leaving, I asked her to tell me some specifics about the day. She said, “It was too amazing to talk about.”

A Madison tradition

I was sad to read this news today, but despite my mom’s misgivings on Rocky’s pizza, I’m grateful for the tradition. And like a good Madisonian, Aaron now has Mollybear hooked on it.

So much to be grateful for

Lately, I’ve spent so much time in a state of utter stress and terror. I’m scared about national affairs and changes at work have created a new normal that’s lead to a lot of tension and feelings of fragility and confusion. What I really need to do is concentrate more on the home front and the things that I can control. I know I’ve spoken and written and thought these words a million times over, but it’s really, really, REALLY time to put them into action and try not to obsess over all of the noise.

I’m not saying that I could ever stop caring about politics or my job and just go through the motions or tune out, but I need to get WAY better about being able to separate them from the most important things in my life – my family and friends and my own well-being – or I’m not going to have anything left for those most important parts. And that would really be a shame. For me. Because, let’s face it, I’m not going to be able to make any of the changes that I really want to make in the world if I don’t take care of those most important parts first. And, if I’m honest, the real changes or the real effects I want to realize are about those parts. I want to be a good mom, wife, daughter, friend, niece, cousin and Madisonian before I want to be anything else. I want to advocate for my loves first, and then I’ll have the energy and confidence to take on something else.

For now, baby steps.

And that baby step over the past week took the form of a new front door. And it could not have made me happier.

You see, our front door was a problem from the get-go. While it was an unoffensive, and even probably somewhat charming, red, it was totally ill-suited to the house. I’ll show you.

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Can you tell? Let me get you closer. (Also, you can see the new door propped against the side of the house there on the right side of the picture.)

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You see the problem now, right? Oy. It’s got this weird, pseudo-prairie-style stained glass thing going on. What the hell is this door doing on my house? It. Drove. Me. Bananas. For. Years. Three, to be exact. Actually, it’ll probably drive me crazy in my dreams for a lot longer than that. Anyway, we finally bit the bullet and hit Home Depot to order a new door. This was a mistake because of a number of reasons, but we learned again that HD is great for many things, and is a mistake to do business with for numerous other things. Anyway, we ended up canceling their delivery service and using one of our favorite local handyman service folks and we saved hundreds of bucks.

And then we got this sweet gem.

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Holy bananas. What a palpable change, amirite?!? Sorry about the ThredUp bag in all the shots. More on that someday, if you want.

Now, we had to paint it. And you know me, I couldn’t wait a second, so I got going right away. Door went in Monday morning, the first coat went on on Monday night. Oh, a word on the paint. We had originally picked Sherwin Williams’ Electric Lime for the paint, but the paint gurus at Sherwin Williams nixed it, telling us that it would fade in the sun on our north-facing exterior door. Rats! But we appreciated the advice, of course. This is why I love going to the professionals at the paint store. Anyway, we quickly moved on to Exuberant Pink, which we had also used in the kitchen (and it’s still there, but now it just barely peeks out above the subway tile around the window – I think it’s a fun pop and I like how it plays off of the front door, which it sits directly behind). It’s taking about seven hundred coats to get it on there properly, but we love it.

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And then the finally piece went on this morning . . . A knocker I bought a year ago, I think. And I’ve just been waiting for a new door to put it on.

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So, I know it’s a small thing. It’s just a new door in the world. But to me, it’s long-awaited vision, now realized. And it’s a door that just makes me so happy.

Summer goals (local edition)

Can’t wait for summer!! I have a zillion things in mind for us, but one of them is that we tool around town on our bikes and explore Madison’s landmarks. We’ve obviously seen a lot of these, but looking at them as landmarks may change our perspective. Plus, I think it’d be a fun thing to do with Bear. Introducing her to art and history and preservation in her own backyard. Yahoo!