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We love Duluth.  We love our home, our street, the people we share life with, and this amazing lake just minutes away!  Fridays Ry is off so we took off after lunch yesterday on a family outing.  We picked up new t-shirts for church, got Jameson a super duper needed haircut, had dinner at our favorite burger stop, and then sat by the lake throwing rocks and letting Mabel just run.  It was a perfect summer night!!

Other snaps this week:

-Jameson is smart beyond his years, but when he tells me I’m “sartastic” I can’t help smiling.  Thank goodness.. there is still a boy inside that teenager.

-foster baby E (that we keep only one day a week) turned one this past week.  He is a little radiator when we cuddle, so I knew this blanket was the perfect gift.  And due to the size he can use it for years to come.  I know..  Lucia and Colette still use their blankets.

-smell this dish soap that Ry picked up on our last Target run.  I love washing dishes.. I love it more when the soap smells divine!

-this bean salsa will be on our menu every week this summer.  So good.  Even the kids eat it.  Inhale it.

My in-laws come into town this next week and the kids are making agendas of all the fun to be had with Grandpa and Nana.  It feels like a good week to family vacation and slow down..

Happy weekend friends.  What are you up to?

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After a few years contemplating.. I got my first tattoo this week.  So far I would say it’s perfect.  I wanted something small and symbolic of the journey of being a mom.  Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?  Like a warriors fistful of arrows..”  (found in Psalm 127)

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Turns out getting a tattoo does hurt.  The pain reminds me I’m strong and was able to do this incredible thing in giving birth three times (something I had great anxiety about as a younger woman).  I wanted the tattoo on my forearm so that I would see it as I extend my hands to our kids.  So I see the tattoo often!  Lastly- it’s a permanent reminder to see them as a gift.  Undeserved.  Three of the best gifts ever.

Other snaps this week:

-I’m eating this cereal with sliced bananas again this morning.   So good.

-After months of living with a super cracked iphone screen, my hubby took the whole thing apart last night to replace the screen for me.  I got this replacement kit.  It looked about as complicated as performing open heart surgery.  But it worked!

-I’m making a library list to reserve things ahead of time for our run there this week.  Anything I should add?  Both the girls loved this one.  I’m starting this one this week.  The cover got me.

-Isn’t spray sunblock one of the best things ever invented?  If you’re shopping just don’t get this one.  I bought it for Ry for his Memphis trip.  Just being a good wife ya know.  So he sprayed himself down and headed out with the teens looking like a smurf.  It looks like you put a layer of slightly blue desitin on and is that hard to get off.   We found out when Ry brought the left over sunblock home and we packed it for our family beach day over the 4th.  It especially stuck to Ry’s beard.  Sexy.  It must be something in the “mineral” ingredient.  Here is a much better one we now have on hand.  The girls love the smell of it.

The sun is shining here in Duluth and the kids and I are headed out shortly to work on our tans.  Yard work included.  Happy weekend friends!

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What little thing makes your day start better?  For me it’s making my bed.  If our room  is tidy, my life feels tidy.  It makes a big difference!  Because at the end of long days if I can retreat to our space it is a wonderful thing.  This week I’ve rotated letting one of the kids sleep with me each night that Ry has been gone.  Eight nights.  It’s a tradition that they always remember.  Speaking of our space.. some time ago I mentioned we were switching bedrooms with our girls.  Well it’s done- it has been for awhile.  Check back later this week to see a few more pics if you’re interested!

“What’s your favorite coffee?”  I get asked that often working at a coffee shop super part time.  I like strong coffee.  I like it a little sweet with real cream.  I recently found this Starbucks one at Target and will be back for more.  For sure.  Throw it over ice with a bit of half and half.. and you’ll smile.

I fell in love with a print this week that may just find a home in our bedroom.  Clearly I’m missing my hubby. Badly.

We’ve spent hours outside today.  It was 73 degrees sunny and never too hot.  Duluth perfection.  While Jameson was at a playdate the girls and I visited Home Depot for more bird seed, potting soil, Miracle grow, and I walked through aisles dreaming of all the projects I could start..  I’ve been mowing and weeding while the kids jump on the trampoline, swing, and eat popsicles.  The only thing that could top off a perfect evening is my hubby coming home- and he is on the way.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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IMG_3549My hubby left early yesterday morning.  I have a vague memory of him kissing me goodbye.. it was from that point on I couldn’t get back to a real sleep. Anyone else have problems sleeping that only get worse when you have to sleep alone?  I’m a ruined woman. So Ry is gone for the next EIGHT days (sigh) and I’m in charge.

Other snaps this week:

-We shared three meals (with plans for a fourth tonight!) and community is good.  Weeks ago when we were taking our road trip to Ohio I told Ry one of my only summer goals was to spend as much time outside as possible and share that time with friends, family, and neighbors.  Check.  So blessed by all the relationships we have.. which makes this week not nearly as lonely.

-Anyone else a little nuts about having spreadable butter?  Hmm.. just us.  We got this jewel this week and butter has never tasted so good.  Yes, it totally works!

-I’ve doubled pages read in my latest book and keep thinking of how to establish better habits.  I have a couple areas in my life that stand out boldly.  One of which is establishing a better habit of working out.  When I read the part in Gretchen’s book about having self knowledge to understand why the habit formation may not be working- I am 100% an obliger.  “Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations.  They go to great lengths to meet their responsibilities, they make terrific colleagues, family members, and friends.  But it’s difficult for them to self-motivate.”   Which means I need to develop a system to be accountable for my inner focused expectations.  But where to start? Accountability.. with a partner/system.  A deadline.  Maybe new work-out clothes?

-I’m keeping the kids up in reading daily and Lucia (being the extrovert she is), loves to read to me at night.  She doesn’t want to read quietly – she needs an audience!!  Her current favorite series and how pleased she is with herself is almost too much for my heart to handle.

Enjoy the sunshine.. it’s the weekend!