Family Friday (vol. 134): Well, Bring it Q2

I texted Mark today saying that I feel like I’m failing at work and at home. Failing might be the wrong word, but it’s a constant string of fires. Mini crisis after mini crisis. This week I got to thinking that maybe my calling is in healthy meal delivery to busy people/families. Maybe being more creative would feed my soul. Or not working full-time. I don’t know, but I’m doing a bit of soul searching at the moment. I have no idea what that means, but life feels a bit overwhelming at the moment.

We’ve been trying to soak up winter fun as much as possible. Last weekend we went snow tubing — a first for all of us. It was fun and quite the workout climbing back up the hill while dragging a giant tube. On our way home, we were all hungry, and stopped by a bar for lunch in a nearby town and found a new burger joint we love. They have a killer Bloody Mary, too! It was a fun little family outing and perhaps the first time we had a meal out as a family of 4 that wasn’t unpleasant. There was no where’s the food? I’m hungry. I’m bored. Can I watch your phone?

Now that COVID is behind us (miss my reel?), we’re back to trying for weekly dates or at least a few times a month getting out without the girls. Two weekends ago, we went to the local beer fest (outside!) with our friend Jess for some day drinking (your girl can’t hang quite as well as she used to!) and last weekend to a Notre Dame hockey game. We ended up leaving after the second period to get some dinner (no food in the stadium on account of COVID) only to find the roads a mess and Chilis being the only thing open for carry-out. A Quesadilla Explosion Salad by 9:30pm hit the spot!

This weekend, we’re going to see a play – American Son. We’ve got a pizza dinner date before the show. Good thing. We grabbed a drink last night while the girls were at a dance and pizza party and missed out completely on eating when the restaurant’s POS system when down and the kitchen got backed up with orders. Hangry Nicole should be avoided – Mark has had several run-ins with this reminder recently. Sunday, we’re going to a big Super Bowl party with all our friends and their kids — I’m bringing carnitas, guacamole, and rice for about 40 people. Sunday will be busy and church may or may not happen. That’s a lot of mouths!

I’ve also got to prep for Shea’s Valentine’s Day party on Monday. I volunteered to be in charge of the craft which are these super cute bags to hold all their valentines. A bit more time and expense than I was expecting, but I think the kids will love them!

Shea got braces a few weeks ago…while Piper was home with COVID and it was this biggest dump of snow this season (about 10-12 inches in 12 hours). Lots of people have asked why so soon and knowing very little about teeth and orthodontics, I know that our dentist first mentioned her crossbite 6-12 months ago to which we didn’t react and call the ortho. At Shea’s last cleaning, at age 7, the dentist strongly urged this time to get her to an ortho sooner rather than later. So, we made the appointment and had a 2 month wait or so.

An hour and a half and $4,500 later, my girlfriend left with braces. Kind of. She has the front brackets on, spacers in the back making room for the bands, and impressions were taken. She will need her jaw widened and the crossbite fixed over the next 12-14 months and the hope is her adult teeth will have adequate room to come in (hopefully straight). Later may be a bit of cosmetic fix, but the ortho assured me that moving a jaw at age 7 is a heck of a lot easier than after puberty. I left feeling confident with the plan! I think the timing really depends on what’s going on in the mouth – that was my biggest take away. But she has done so well with the braces and not a single complaint. She has also gone a full 9 days without sucking her thumb. Why is this bittersweet for me?!

The girls have been quite a joy lately. Piper is so loving and she hugs all of my friends when she sees them. They love it. I got THREE texts this week about Piper hugging and being so loving. She’s still trying to figure out who she’s going to marry (#facepalm), but the girl is so incredibly loving, fun, and easy-going. Shea is maturing every day and says really cute things. Two recent favorites: 1) getting on the bus one morning this week, I did my usual departure words of “I love you, be kind, have a great day!” and Shea turned around, gave me a kiss through her mask on my cheek and said, “I hope you have a good day, too, mom!”. It’s the little things. 2) I was walking them into dance and I’d forgotten to take off my blue light glasses and Shea said, “Mom, you still have your glasses on! They look really cute with your outfit!” I chuckled. My tortoise shell glasses did, in fact, go well with my brown suede boots, black pants, and leopard print sweater. 😉 They are also SO kind to Harlie, our old lady bulldog. Shea calls Harlie her “bestie”! She’ll ask, “Mom, where’s my bestie!?” if she can’t locate Harlie right away in the house. It’s cute 🙂

This week was the second week of belt testing so we should find out Shea’s rank next week…BUT she has been ALL about soccer lately. I will need to find a soccer option for her soon.

Have you been watching the Olympics? I wish I’d have been watching more. I finally downloaded an app to help alert me as to when my favorite events are on. They tend to be at times I’m either working or sleeping, sooo…bummer. I did see Shaun White’s last run, though – all the emotions!

I’ve been really into books lately. The Push was a quick thriller that I think any mom would find a page turner. Hidden Valley Road was a non-fiction read for my book club that was about a family of 12 children, 10 boys and 2 girls (the 2 youngest of the 12) and 6 of the 10 boys had/have schizophrenia. It’s hard to say a book with that content is “good” but it was interesting for sure!

I recently made The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – they really were amazing!

I’m getting super excited for Bora Bora coming up and we just booked Cancun with friends for November. The girls’ school is expecting ~700 at their variety show in a few weeks and their dance recital in May will have a similar number. In many ways, it’s feeling like a big shift towards normalcy and post-pandemic life and seeing the number of positive cases plummet these last few weeks has been a relief.

Be sure to tune into the podcast tomorrow – the guys will be on! I think Mark did a really good job on his interview about marriage and how not to build resentment. Don’t forget to drop a review on iTunes. Loves ya for it!

I have no idea what to make next week. Nothing sounds good. Help! Any recent favorites? Bonus if they’re kid-friendly and weeknight easy!

This Friday update is now a Saturday morning update, but I’ll be back with a recipe post as soon as I have a weekly menu planned 😉 Have a great weekend!

Be well,

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