They’re all three in school and now I must do allthethingseveryday

The day has come.  They’re all three in school.  It has happened:

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So now I have all day to get things done.

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When I thought about having all three kids in school, I had the same optimistic view that a lot of stay-at-home moms or work-at-home moms have.  They’re gone.  I have ALLDAY to do ALLTHEHTINGS.  I can drink coffee and work out and do laundry and run errands and talk to myself the whole time because they’re gone ALLDAY.  I thought I’d really ramp up the photography business.  I really hoped I’d have a small studio space in Granger.  I planned to take runs with the dog.  And then 2014.  I have no client base here & no child care to lean on to do sessions.  I don’t even have a business with which to even consider a studio space.  I’m still figuring out my physical limits with exercise, but I’m pretty sure running is out.

It’s a new house and a new place.  I’m trying to make a plan.  I haven’t yet fallen into the trap of feeling like and complaining that it seems like they’re not gone long, “…it seems like I turn around and they’re coming home!”.  They’re gone for quite some time.  And I do talk to myself a lot.  But I haven’t mastered the art of planning out what needs to be done each day.  I feel like I should be doing all the things all the time all day all at once.  If I’m paying bills, I feel like I should be throwing in a load of laundry.  If I’m cleaning, I feel like I should be out running an errand.  If I’m out grocery shopping, I feel like I should be walking the dog.  And so on.

I’ll get it under control.  I’ll make organized lists.  And I’ll also celebrate having some time to myself.  I do drink coffee in the morning, and I’ve been reading “Out of the Spin Cycle” by Jen Hatmaker.  I’m loving taking that time to get things straight in my head a little.  I posted this verse on Instagram.  Yes, I posted a Bible verse.

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

Matthew 12:34-35

If I’m not heading to a real life job every day when they’re at school, then it’s part of my job to get myself together so I’m not real mean when they’re home.  If I’m still pissy because the kitchen island is still cluttered with dirty dishes and artwork and things that should really be thrown away, I’m pissy with them.  This is hard to remember when they’re arguing with each other and with me for what seems like all afternoon.  Some days, my list should really just be “make a list for tomorrow”.

Nana Linda - A list does help!

Amy @ MomAdvice - This is such a tough transition, at least it was for me. Even when the kids head back to school, I am usually in a funk for a month because of the silence. Which I want, but then I don’t. I also had an enormous bucket list that I still have not worked through (or ever will). I have big expectations, but deliver on few.

I am just a text away. I wish though that we were sitting at a kitchen table together having coffee and celebrating our FREEDOM together.

Love you!

Nancye50 - I’m almost out of that month funk and…I’ll make that list tomorrow!

all things new and different

Since we’ve moved, we’ve been total homebodies.  I think we’re all loving it aside from the occasional moments of stir-craziness and feeling the effects of overdoses of time together.  We barely get going before 10am.  We probably only leave the house every other day.  So there are a lot of words building up in my head, which I kind of like too.  And I’m drawn to writing a little bit as well.  I’d love to blog more regularly once they go to school and I have all the time in the world for all of the things.  That’s going to be great.  The only bad part will be when I actually don’t have any time for any of the things.

It was interesting to go back and look at my last post from January 10th.  Before the cruise.  Before getting sick.  Before the hospital.  Before Crohn’s and everything that’s come with it.  I hope that having the mental wherewithal to sit and write this today is a sign that I’m climbing back up.

This year has, without a doubt, been the hardest of my life.  It was hard when we were in Granger with my friends carrying me (right up to the end when Andy and Amy literally had to carry my body but that’s a story for a different day) and then so much harder once we got here.  I had days in Indiana when I felt bad, but until the last few weeks, I was having more bad days than good.  This move has been the single hardest thing I’ve ever done; even harder than when Bradyn was a baby and that was freaking hard, man.  I hope I’m climbing back up.

One of my favorite things about where we live is that to the right is Omaha with all of the exciting things a city has to offer and to the left is Elkhorn with all the fantastic things a small town has to offer.  The library is very small.  This means a trip to the library is even easier than before.  The kids are easily learning where their books are and Bradyn is confidently using the computer to look up books and even place holds on items.

Ellie gravitates to three different kinds of books:  easy reader books that she convinces Lulu to check out & will read to her, graphic novels (comic book style books) and extremely advanced novels way beyond her grade level.  I know that I can’t push her in one direction or another because she will give me a look that says, “To hell with you and all of these books.” & walk away not having checked anything out.  So she’s currently flying through Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and “about to read” some giant book about a wolf.

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Nana - So glad to see my Bird back. Love you.

Kate - So excited to see you blogging again..it’s my favorite!!!

our project ten: january 2014

Wow, a busy fall season really knocks me off course on these personal projects.  That sucks.

Today ended up being the kids first day back since December 20.  We had frigid temps and a ton of snow which resulted in three snow days and allowed us to ease back in with a 2-hour delay today.  It was a great break and I didn’t mind being snowed in too much.  It was actually kind of relaxing and refreshing to not be pulled every which way.  I did savor a little solitary time today though (about an hour once it was all said & done).  I thought some thoughts, hosted a playdate for Baxter, finished a cup of coffee and ran to Target.

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I took the girls “princess dress” shopping yesterday in preparation for a Disney cruise we’ll be taking.  They were so much more interested in the stuffed animals.  Here’s Max from Little Mermaid having a snack:

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I’ve been trying to get pictures of the (very black, with black fur and black eyes; hard to photograph) puppy so this one suddenly thinks camera time is treat time.

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She grew up a little during her very short school day today.  Ouch.

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Oh yeah.  We are.  The Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  The weather prevented us from starting when we’d hoped.  Now we’re faced with timing it around weekend trips and vacation.  I’m still excited to get started though.  January is good for that.  Blind optimism and going all-out.

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The Karaoke Queen.  We gave her Bradyn’s old (really, really old) iPod for Christmas and she couldn’t be more thrilled.  It doesn’t really have enough battery power for Netflix (thank goodness) but will play music.  She gets pretty into her jam sessions which is endlessly entertaining.

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Happy 10th, Happy Friday, Happy Weekend!

Please continue on to see what my friend Kirsty was up to this month in, get this, FINLAND!  http://kirstylarmourblog.com/2014/01/project-10-january-2014/

Amy Greenlee - What great pics Nancy…the Fletcher had never looked so regal!! Happy Friday

Project 10 January 2014 » Kirsty Larmour Photography – Abu Dhabi Lifestyle Photography - […] really truly was magical – and until then head on over to see a day in the life of my friend Nancy… until next month, Kirsty […]

Andrea - Oh my gosh, I love your daughter’s expressions!! So cute!

Kirsty - Awwwwww fabulous – so happy to see you here again!!! Happy New Year – and PS the ipod jamming is the cutest!

our project ten: october 2013

Ellie has been sick.  A lot.  She’s missed more school than any of my kids ever have.  Like, ever.  I really hate it.  Last week it was croup and this week it’s a “fever virus”, of which I’ve heard before but never had to deal with.  It super-sucks to see your kid feeling well for a few hours and then suddenly extremely sick.  My friends have had to talk me down more than once when her temperature spiked & Lulu has been getting lots of rides to and fro.

So yesterday, when I couldn’t talk Ellie into any type of “treat” from anywhere, I resigned myself to cooking at home.  I had the ingredients for the Sprouted Kitchen “Baby Spinach Frittata With Sweet Potato Hash Crust”.  I’d bought the ingredients twice when the Blooming Foodies group was on the breakfast assignment.  Didn’t get it done until yesterday.  It was so good that I even saved some for Brian.

Taking pictures of food is funny.  It’s easy and crazy-hard all at once.  Most of all, I’m enjoying slowing down, pushing some clutter out of the way and composing a picture while I’m cooking or before I eat.  It makes it a “thing”, something better than taking bites of a PB&J every time I walk past it sitting on the counter.  My kids were not invited to help.  My kids were not invited to try it.  I gave up on having any sort of productive morning, put on some music and made myself something good to eat.  So there.

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Later in the afternoon, she was feeling better and asked to paint her nails.  Since Lulu is “that kid”, Ellie’s never been allowed independent access to nail polish & has never painted her own nails.  She went to a (the best ever) slumber party last weekend & the goodie bag (aside from being a special handmade pillowcase) had real nail polish in it.  So sure, paint your nails.  In the bathroom upstairs.  Toes only.  After I trim them.  Wait.  Need to get my camera.  Okay, GO!

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And dinner:  deli chicken & noodles, OJ, vitamins and Juice Plus.  Please Dear Baby Jesus, keep the other ones healthy.

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I’m including the patio in every shot I can because…fall.  What’s after fall?  Winter.  Just.  Winter.

Now please keep surfing to see my friend Kirsty’s very interesting day in Abu Dhabi:  http://kirstylarmourblog.com/2013/10/project-10-october-2013-abu-dhabi-lifestyle-photographer/

 

Amy Allen Clark - That frittata looks so good, Nancy! I am so sorry that Ellie has been feeling so poorly! I hope she is on the mend soon. I love your pictures though!

October 10-10 Project | Kathryn Rose Images Photo JournalKathryn Rose Images Photo Journal - […] my lovely friend Nancy over at Oh Lulu to see her 10-10 […]

Kirsty - Oh gosh what a week? Hope she’s on the mend now and it doesn’t get passed round. But that fritata looked SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good – I may have to ask for the recipe – I reckon my girls would love it.

pumpkin spice granola [sprouted kitchen]

In a strange, kind of impulsive turn of events, I’ve joined a food photography group at The Bloom Forum. We are starting with the very pretty cookbook The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte.  In an ongoing effort to prepare healthier meals for my family, I’ve purchased a few cookbooks and browsed a million pinterest links.  Let me tell you this, if it’s ugly, I don’t want to even consider trying it.  Give me a good-lookin’ casserole over an ugly salad any day of the week & twice on Sunday.  I’ve enjoyed watching fellow photographers dabble in food photography.  I’ve also enjoyed watching Amy of momadvice.com master the art of photographing her dishes. So this sounded like fun.

The first assignment I was part of (and am about a week late posting) was the “morning starters” section.  I chose Pumpkin Spice Granola and the sweet potato crust fritatta that I haven’t made yet and will have to re-buy the ingredients for.

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I’m all for letting kids help in the kitchen.  I shared one jar of this scrumptiousness with a friend on her birthday & Brian and I ate the rest as cereal.  I made another batch today & even added chocolate chips and the kids weren’t fans.  They seemed confused as to why I’d offer them a bowl of dry cereal as a snack.  It had chocolate chips in it!  Not marshmallow turds shaped like horseshoes but chocolate chips for pete’s sake!  Fools.

Amy Allen Clark - How did I miss this? Your granola sounds DIVINE!! I am so excited to see all of your food photos!!

Nancye50 - Thanks Amy, it was yummy!