Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Early Anniversary Date

Last Tuesday my mother-in-law drove over to visit and stay with the girls while Kyle and I drove to the state capitol to attend a Lucero concert. Our anniversary isn't until the 20th, but a mid-week date with dinner and a concert seemed like the perfect way to celebrate 11 years.

The ceiling at Eagle Monk Brewery in Lansing
I laughed at the "decorating" – functional.
A "selfie" in front of the Capitol building
Quite a pretty view for a Thursday night

Really, a great Tuesday night with my husband. The two hour drive home at 11:30pm was a little much for this 9:30pm bedtime girl, but well worth it. Thanks, Jessica, for staying with our girls.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday miles

Back to the North Country Trail this week. If I had to choose a favorite place to run, this would be it. So far, Amy and I have explored three legs. Last Friday it was a 5.1 mile stretch that we ran as an out/back. The weather was a perfect 52˚. The two hours we spent talking, running, tripping and laughing flew by. I know the terrain had something to do with it, but running with Amy makes it pretty great too.

Last week = 20.75 miles
2014 = 662.75

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

I baked three batches of these muffins this week. They've been devoured by my sweet little anything-pumpkin-loving girls. We're packing them in lunches, eating them for breakfast, and begging for them as a snack. (I swear I'm throwing in some veggies and fresh apples before Ellie and Josie start getting an orange tinge to their faces.)

Pumpkin Muffins

1-1/2 cups unbleached flour or GF baking mix
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
Raw sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 325˚F.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin (or use muffin papers.) Combine all the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients (sugar through pumpkin), then add to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fill muffins cups and sprinkle each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon of raw sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.

Printable version here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday miles

Gorgeous 54˚F Sunday miles.
Last week = 13.5 miles
2014 = 646

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday photo

Just when you feel sad about your youngest child growing up too fast, you realize that as long as she drags her Fuzzy downstairs with her each morning, she's still your little girl.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Frugal Lisa Friday

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
$550…that's how much we saved this summer by not hiring someone to watch the girls while I worked. I won't sugarcoat it and say it was easy. It wasn't. I know they watched too much TV and spent hours building Mind Craft worlds, but it all worked out. I tried my best to balance the "brainless" time with daily homework, 20-minute reading breaks and crafts here and there. Thankfully, Ellie and Josie are two creative little girls, and most of the time they were playing together in the basement building cardboard box houses and obstical courses. There were also many, many days spent playing outside – swimming, riding bikes, building forts.

Really, when I reflect back at the past three months, this has been my favorite summer by far. I enjoyed my two hours of quiet time before anyone else was awake (that was usually when I got most of my work done.) We ate dinner on the deck whenever we could. The girls had "slumber parties" in each other's rooms at least once a week. Despite the juggling act that was work, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Actually, I would have paid $550 for our girls to experience a summer at home, doing what sisters do best.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Last weekend of the summer.

Relax – that's all we did last weekend.
Grandpa Kirker came up from Texas last Thursday and spent Labor Day weekend with us. I'm kind of exaggerating when I say all we did was relax. Kind of.

Worked a little. Visited on the deck while enjoying a good bottle of wine. Went to bed early.

I ran a 5K while the rest of the crew stayed home playing Barbies or drinking coffee. (Depending on their age.) After lunch we drove to Ludington for a late afternoon snack on Hamlin lake followed by dinner in Pentwater. We took the long way home and went to bed early. Again.

After making biscuits and gravy for breakfast, I went for a long run while Kyle and Jim worked on a project outside. We grilled steaks, steamed corn on the cob and roasted potatoes. The girls played in the sprinkler. We went to bed early. Not kidding.

Grandpa Kirker insisted that he didn't mind hanging out with the world's most boring family all weekend. (Actually, I think he enjoyed the down-time.) We enjoyed his company, and are all well-rested!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Super girls…

These two had a SUPER day at school yesterday.
They enjoyed a SUPER nice afternoon at home.
We had SUPER spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
A SUPER Tuesday was had by all.

Can you tell what SUPER heroes they are?
Ellie is Supergirl.
Josie is "Diana Prince"
(AKA Wonder Woman in disguise.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First day of school – 2014

As of 8:30 this morning, we have a first grader and a third grader. Impossible to wrap my head around this. How did they get so big, so fast? The biggest thing running through my head is the idea that I'll have four uninterrupted days per week to work (I'll still have my niece on Fridays.) I haven't worked without a child next to me in nine years. Nine! Kyle insists that by Thursday, I'll have adjusted just fine.

We, of course, had to have our annual stand-in-front-of-the-school pictures…

Then we walked together to class. (Josie told me in the car that I wasn't allowed to cry in her classroom. I waited until Kyle and I were in the car.)
Josie, on the lookout for her locker

Peanut couldn't be bothered to stand still for a picture. Too much to take in!

And so another school year begins. I'm ready. It was a long summer, trying to juggle kids and work. But, we did it! I know we're all ready for routine again. Homework…not so much!

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