And that’s why I love you….

All my posts have typos.  It’s the one, overwhelming Type-B personality trait that often appears.  I rarely use spell check.  Actually, on this latest version of WordPress Genesis 2.1.2 I don’t even have a spell check function.

Sorry Mom. But it’s the truth.

 

The emails I receive from family and friends alike, correcting my spelling and grammar, always make me chuckle.  For whatever reason, typos don’t bother me. And they should.  I know this, especially since I am always talking about Typa 1 this and Type A that. I just don’t always walk my talk people, but you already knew that.

 

And just because you were so sweet to take the time to correct my use of words (Uh hum, Shea), I think I’ll have to keep “shin” as “chin.”

 

Because if there were no typos, what on earth reason would you have for writing me?  Typos ensure me at least two phone calls a day- one from my Mom and the other from Mr. Robinson.

 

Thanks to Shea, let it be known that chins are actually shins and I want to seize the moment, not cease the moment.

 

shea text

And we wonder where B get’s her Britton’isms from?

 

Just in case you were on the edge of your seat wondering what became of the Fitbit? My new one arrives next week.

 

Fitbit Flex via Grateful Simplicity

Meme, you wanted to know what a Fitbit looked like? Here you go….

 

(Want to win a free Fitbit Flex?  It’s easy- details can be found HERE.)

 

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It started with the Fitbit…

It started with the Fitbit. I lost it.

Technically, the word missing is more like it. The electronic pedometer is somewhere in my house, I just don’t know where.  I went on a long walk yesterday afternoon (6,000 steps to be exact) and it It fell off my wrist last night as I was running around chasing a 2,3, and 4 year old.  Which is fine, because I woke up with terrible chin splints this morning.

 

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself.  Let me back up a bit.

 

Changes.

We’ve had some news and exciting changes in our family earlier  this month.  I’ve accepted a short term, full time position which has me working outside the home for the first time in 9 years (my black ‘work’ pants from 2005 had enough dust on them to warrant a permanent relocation at the Goodwill). It was an opportunity that I knew was perfect for me and our family and couldn’t be more thrilled (and grateful) for this time. It happened rather quickly but we’ve managed to find childcare coverage for three kids, with short notice, smack dab in the middle of the summer.

 

Miracles never seize.

 

So there’s that.  Then throw in my missing fit bit (I’m telling you this has me so upset- not being able to track my lack of sleep patterns and daily mileage), and chin splits, and it’s still a pretty good Monday. (okay, the truth is I am competitive at heart and can’t stand the thought of my #maclaygirlsweekend friends surpassing me.)

 

Okay, where was I? Oh, so I am sitting at my new desk today, fitbit-less, when my sweet friend Gannon who has volunteered to pick up my children from their respective camps, calls and says, “I’ll take them swimming too so you can have some time to yourself this afternoon.”

 

Time to myself?

Magic to my ears.

 

I worked a little late because I wasn’t quite sure where I would go for 90 minutes footloose and fancy free.  Then I started dreaming thinking of Homegoods so I packed my bags, shut my office door (which locks automatically), and walked skipped out to my car.  Only I didn’t make it halfway to my car before realizing that  while I had packed my bags, only one was on my shoulder.  My purse with my car keys was inside my office. Which meant my office keys were also inside my office.  No car, no purse, no office keys.  Not going no where.

 

Responsible new employee, that’s me.

 

So now I am standing in an almost empty parking lot, most everyone has gone home, without a purse, car keys, wallet or office keys.

 

I called my mom and asked her to come pick me up. Thank goodness for Mom’s that never stop carpooling their 37 year old children.

 

She drove me home and I used her keys to get inside my house, only to realize I can’t find my spare keys to my car.

So tonight, as I sit here typing this too long of a post, I am without car keys. But that’s okay because my car is still sitting in the same parking lot space it has been in since 1:00 pm this afternoon.  Which works too because even if I did have the car keys, to drive the car to my office, I couldn’t get in because I have no office keys to my office door.

 

I am so looking forward to tomorrow morning. Mr. Robinson has the ultimate carpool route!

 

Okay, enough of my blabbing and onto something a little more visually stimulating.

 

If you need a cute gift (or one for yourself) my friend Darby made this hat for Britton. Trucker hats are the hats to have now. Especially with this 111 degree Florida heat!

it started with the fitbit via grateful simplicity

 

Who, incidentally, is still cooking up a storm. And thankfully so.

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These buttered rosemary rolls are heaven in a skillet. Try them, you will thank me later.

 

 

And finally, I snapped a lot of photos at the (small) Kuersteiner reunion last Wednesday but this one is my favorite.

 

the boys via Grateful Simplicity

 

Whit looks like he is single and ready to mingle.

So there you have. That’s all I got for ya.  I can’t take it anymore, time to search some more for that darn fitbit.

#maclaygirlsweekend

Nothing says cool like a good #hashtag. So I am told.

A little distracted this week, but here are some photos from our annual high school girls weekend that was happening one week ago tonight. Although we can’t be certain on the number of years, we believe this was the 9th annual high school girls weekend get together.  The first took at St. George Island. Britton was the only baby and was about 2 years old (she turned 11 this month).   You know, back in the day when you couldn’t stand the thought of leaving your beloved child for more than 12 hours.

 

Fast forward and we now have roughly 12 children and 12 dogs between us.  Gladly, we shed our ever increasing responsability for one weekend a year to come together and celebrate our long lasting, ever strong friendships.

Once again, I am thankful that neither Facebook, Twitter, texting or Instagram was around when we were in school.

Case in point.

 

high school girls weekend 2-1

 

the d-1

 

 

This year, friends came with door prizes (Christmas in July).

 

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A surprise senior video turned DVD compliments of Shea (and Mrs. Arden!)  Wish someone had told us, back then, that we weren’t as cool as we thought we were.

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Thank you Danya!

 

It was the usual suspects  acting out again this year.

Danya (aka the bachelorette) pretending still can still take shots (clearly, that ship has sailed).

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Us trying to get a decent group photo using a self -time on the hood of a mid-size SUV (no one ever wants to be on the end.  Why is that?).

 

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group pix  gone wrong-1

 

group pix -1

 

 

Game night (purchase the app ‘Heads Up!‘ for immediate entertainment for the whole family!)  As you can see, it’s wild times.  Maybe this explains why everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:00 am every morning.

game night-1

 

 

 

I mean we are seriously wild. Watch out.

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So there you go. The inside scoop on our Moms go Wild high school girls weekend.  Don’t say I never share anything exciting on this ol’ blog!

Sunday Night Thoughts — in bullet points

Sometimes I think in bullet points. The byproduct of a Type A. Today is one of those days.

 

  • My girl can cook (and plan!).  I mean, she can really whip up a meal.  I’ve always been creative at shifting my responsabilities onto others (just ask my little sister).  But I even impressed myself tonight when I asked the girls to come up with their favorite meals and then create a meal plan for the week.  They ate it up- no pun intended.  Both Britton and Kenley created 10+ dinners and lunches complete with side items, vegetables and a couple of desserts thrown in for good measure.  They opened up all of their favorite cookbooks, spread them across our large kitchen table and went to work.  B took it a step further and put together our Monday- Friday meal plan this week (2 of Britton’s meals, 2 of Kenley’s meals and 1 meal that they both agree on).  She then created a meal by meal grocery list on my iPhone, went with me to the store, came home and cooked the entire meal (using a recipe she found online) while I put the groceries away.  Oh, and she made the most delicious pie for dessert.  Please tell me this isn’t a phase. Could it be that I have a cook living with us? Oh please say it’s true!! Britton fried some cube steak in sunflower oil that could be served in a restaurant it was so good.
b hands-1

She is anti-camera these days so here you have a lovely close up of knuckles (with a mighty cute background.)

 

 

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Kenley is no fool- she knows that food always taste better when you don’t have to cook it yourself.

 

  • Annual high school girls weekend happened this past weekend (middle school girls weekend if you want to get  technical). Lots of laughs, talks of poor vision and achy knees, old days and silliness that can only be found amongst long-time girlfriends.  Let’s just say, if you don’t have the “My Talking Pet” app you are missing out. {More photos to come}
grateful simplicity

Seaside, FL

  • I am not as indispensable as I thought.  Mr. Robinson survived, and thrived, Wednesday-Sunday while I was off the clock.  There were a couple of oh-no phone calls but I must say, he did a knock out job with his children and I even came home to a spotless house (swoon) and three happy children.  Thank you, Mr. R!

raynes baseball-1

 

  • Time for me to sign off.  I know this because my handy dandy fit bit flex tells me just how much I am not sleeping.  In the past 2 weeks the most amount of sleep I have gotten on any given night is 7 hours.  Seeing that my alarm clock is set for 5 hours and 10 minutes from now, it’s good night time.

girls weekend sunset-1

 

How to keep your home organized

Anyone that knows me knows organization is my love language.  No really, it is.  Followed closely by ‘acts of service.’  Lists, schedules, and routines keep my little world in check giving me a feeling that all is right in the world.  It’s a mental thing, I know.

Rarely do I write a ‘life style’ post and there’s a reason for that.  I can hear the little  pot voices cackling, “whatever black kettle.”

I say-  hush up.

My mom, sister, and Courtney like to make fun of my highly organized ways.  The schedules I create, the monotony of my process, and the label maker that I have come to love.  Few things make me more happy than having a smooth running house.  I’ve recently taken on an endeavor that he my out of the house for the majority of the day so I’m having to ramp things up ’round here when it comes to keeping this place in check.

Take it with a grain of salt, but here are my tips on how to keep your home organized.

 

how to keep a home organized via grateful simplicity

Laundry

It all starts here. If there are clothes, clean or dirty, strewn around it makes for a chaotic home.  Knowing (and seeing) that you have to fold, sort, dry gnaws at you so why not just knock it out?  I do one load of laundry a day. Every day. Most days there is more than one load, but consistently washing and drying one load per day keeps me on the right track.  I also keep three labeled, cloth boxes {from the Walmart} for each child.  As I find hair bows in pockets and books lying in the hallway I can toss them into their boxes (which they empty on Fridays) without having to run to their rooms or create more piles of ‘stuff to put away.’  It also helps that my girls are responsible for putting away their own laundry. Britton is tall enough to hang up any of her clothes that need to be hung as well. Which- is most.  I find that hanging as many things as possible keeps them in birds eyes views so she knows exactly what she has (and they don’t end up in a big wad in the back of her dresser drawer).

 

Meal Planning

This seems like a no brainer but it’s often usually hard to implement.  It’s not the shopping or cooking that’s difficult– sitting down and actually planning the meals each week is my biggest challenge.  Particularly when you don’t get home until late afternoons- whipping up a meal at 5:30 with hungry kids at your heels ain’t exactly fun. One great tip I found was to create meal plans and sync them to  my phone.  The ingredients and recipes are all on my iPhone so there are far less instances of me standing in the butcher section of Publix with a blank stare on my face.  You can find the instructions on how to do this HERE.

At the very least, for the past couple of years I have started consciously keeping my pantry fully stocked so that on any given night I can whip up a home cooked meal.  The Pioneer Woman has a nice printable stocking up pantry list that I started with.  My freezer, on the other hand, stays on the empty side.  For whatever reason, I am not a big fan of the frozen foods.  Chicken breasts and pie crusts are the only frozen items that I try to keep on hand.

Baking probably falls within in this category as well and it only took one 10:00 pm run to the grocery store so I could bake the forgotten Friday snack I volunteered for back in August for me to realize that not only do I need to have a stocked pantry, but I also need a decent supply of baking ingredients as well.  Britton is the baking drawers biggest fan.  She digs through the drawers and comes up with all kinds of cookies and cakes (she baked her own birthday pie last week and it was delicious!!)

 

how to keep a home organized via grateful simplicity

Prepare the Night Before

We’re smack dab in the middle of summer but this rule still applies even when the tardy bell isn’t ringing at 8:30 am.  The night before I always get backpacks ready, set out lunch boxes and thermoses, lay out school/church clothes, put anything I need by the door (purse, dry cleaning, bags, etc), and set the coffee maker (thank you, K).  Because despite all these preparations, I’m still running around like a chicken with her head cut off in the mornings so ain’t nobody got time to stand around the coffee maker waiting for it to brew.

If I’m not too tired the night before, I also try to unload the dishwasher because inevitably dirty breakfast dishes can fill our my large farmhouse sink in a matter or minutes.  And who wants to come home to a sink full of unwashed plates?  Foe me, the time invested in doing some of these things the night before pays off the next morning.

 

Think Ahead

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to “run to Target” to purchase a plastic birthday today in my haste to get to a birthday party on time.  While I’m not the best at heeding this advice, I try my darndest to do this one.  Planning ahead- this means birthday presents for children, friends, teacher appreciation, Christmas (last June I started on my Christmas shopping and was done by Thanksgiving).  Online shopping might just be the best thing, second only to DVR.  Etsy has become my favorite go-to market place for anything unique and long lasting.  The only catch is I have to plan ahead since items are often handmade and require lengthier shipping times.  Again, this isn’t a problem so long as I plan ahead. Remember, do as I say not as I do.

how to keep a home organized via grateful simplicity

Wake Up Early

Don’t laugh- I’m not a morning person either but my days run smoother when I set my alarm clock to rise long before my children ever do.  Waking up and having some alone time to slowly sip my coffee, read a devotion, check my email, and do some work beats the alternative which is waking up and immediately scrambling to start the day- packing lunches, preparing breakfast, rousing oversleeping children.  No thank you.  By setting my alarm clock just a little bit earlier, even 15 minutes, it helps set the  tone for my day.

So there you have it… And that will only be one penny.  How to keep your home organized.