More of That, Monday

Hello friends!  Happy Monday to you...from our neck of the woods, we are enjoying a GORGEOUS spring day, finally!!!  It's sunny, warm (50's) and there is no snow in our forecast!!  To say we are thrilled is a major understatement!  Minnesotans have been waiting and waiting for this weather to arrive and we are all celebrating.  I'm not even a baseball fan, but I do know it's the Twin's home opener today and boy did they get a perfect day!  An outdoor stadium in Minnesota is a gamble but when the weather cooperates??  It makes total sense to me  :)  I'm sure there are some happy fans enjoying an afternoon at the ballpark today!

We're getting our ducks in a row over here, after being away last week over Ava's Spring Break.  Today I am re-charging, so to speak, and looking at another week away very soon! Before you get any ideas that we are vacationing fools, I should let you know that this past week we enjoyed a "stay-cation" right here in the Metro, while we housesat for a girlfriend of mine and in a few more days we'll be spending some time at my parents house while my sister and brother in law are in town.  No tropical locations for us this year, but very fun nonetheless!!  That's one perk of condo living, it's pretty easy to come and go when you don't have lawn care or snow removal to worry about!  I've got a bunch of things I'm thinking about today, and as I'm sitting here with my feet up, I decided to share some of those thoughts in a "I'd like more of that on this fine Monday" kind of post.  Just because I feel like it.  

For example...

1. I'd like some more of the things that make me laugh these days... an afternoon at a movie that tickles my funny bone.  We took the kids to see the Muppets Movie, mostly because Trav and I just needed a light afternoon and we knew they'd think it was silly.  And it was, but sometimes a little more silly, is really an necessary addition to anyone's day!  Life is serious and there are things that feel heavy sometimes, but really it just feels good to laugh too!  We've been doing a lot of laughing lately and I think that's medicine for the soul.  But I could always use more of it!

2. I'd like to be more of this kind of friend.  An intentional one who writes notes.  And communicates love with intentionality.  I used to be so much better at this, a few years and a few kids ago, but I want to make more of these kinds of gestures.  It's always worth the time and effort.
 This is how my dear friend greeted us when we arrived at her house to spend a week with her little dog, Maddie.  Isn't she the best??  Super creative, always thoughtful and one of a kind.  We love her.  And we felt very welcomed!  Thinking there are other people in my life who need some of this from me.

3.  Impromptu treats with my kids.  I'll take more of those, please.
 Sometimes paying the bills carries a weight with it that turns you into a "no" Mom.  In an effort to make sure all the ducks are in a row, I can very easily forget that there are little people who don't need to hear about when we pay the mortgage but who just need to be little and enjoy the perks of childhood.  Like stopping for ice-cream with your Mom in the middle of the afternoon.  So easy, so simple and such a delight for all of us.  Doesn't need to be all the time, but it was a good reminder for me to not always be so concerned with the "responsible" things in life...this is why God gave me a husband who isn't just like me!  I need to make sure I invest in memory making with my kids too.  Nothing says "let's make fun memories with Mom" like blue, cotton candy ice-cream with sprinkles!  We need to do more of this.  Maybe not weekly though or I'll have way more than extra baby weight to worry about...

4. Wow, do we need more date nights together!!!  We were able to get away for a little shopping and dinner to celebrate Trav's birthday last week and it was so, so great.  Just so nice to be together and to spend time without the little people we love  :)
We haven't been out very much at all lately, life just got in the way, but I am reminded each time that we need to do it more often.  We love to eat out, that's all it takes for us to get our tanks filled and it's always fun to try new places.  By the time we got to the restaurant I thought I might cry I was in so much pain from walking around the mall, but as it turned out just sitting down and catching up, laughing and sharing a great meal was a really good distraction.  We need more date nights.  Maybe the more kids you have, the more you need them??  Ha!

5. Speaking of food...I need more summer stir-fry and summer cooking in my world!  When you live in a cold weather climate, winter cooking means lots of soups and stews and baked know, all that comfort food that keeps your bones warm??  I love that kind of cooking but about this time of year I get a major itch for things on the grill, salads, cold dishes and things that are fresh.  
 So many of my favorite things involve peppers and onions.  I was making fajitas the other night and started thinking of all the stir-fry dishes I am craving.  I can't wait to cook some lighter fare these days.  We need more of that!  And more olive oil too!  Like seriously, I think I need some more at the store, we're out :)

6.  We need more...
 ...time at the park!!!  You didn't seriously think I was going to say SNOW did you????  This was last Thursday after a warm week when a crazy storm blew in and dumped 8 inches of snow all over our green grass.  Ok, brown grass.  But still.  We went from almost no snow, to 8 inches.  It wasn't a welcomed sight here.  It was pretty, I will admit, but not welcomed.  However, the sight of this little guy with a "shub-ell" is extremely welcomed.  And loved :) He was the best part of the snowfall!  But we are ready and waiting for GREEN GRASS and many park dates again!!
 By the way, his sister and her shovel were also adorable, but I didn't get a picture of her.  I don't know why.  She was pretty darn cute in her pink rain boots and leggings too!

7.  Family dates at Starbucks.  Who knew??  I could use more of these.  It would be nice if we engaged "with" the kids, but we were without internet last week (it was down at the house we were staying at) and I just wanted to get Trav's birthday post up.  And pay some bills.   So, this is how we did that...
2 kids and 2 ipads.  I'm not saying it was great parenting, but I am saying that it bought us a few minutes to get our stuff done!  
A little reading, a little blogging and some peace and quiet.  I'm sure we were judged, we were definitely the parents who employed the "ipad babysitter tactic" but whatever.  Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do!  Perhaps we need some more of that down the road :) I mean come on, Carter knows allllll of his shapes due to the Toddler Teasers app!  That's legit learning, right??

8.  Girls day out with my main girl.  Oh man, do I love her!!  
This age is golden right now!  In 2 weeks Ava turns 5 and as we are finding out, she is so much fun.  She's always been fun, but this age in particular is so great!  She talks constantly and the thoughts of an almost 5 year old are fascinating.  Seriously entertaining too.  We spent a little afternoon together last week and got our hair cut.  We both needed a fresh shape-up and it was so sweet to go to my stylist friend together.  Part of Ava's birthday gift from us this year is a date night with Mommy and Daddy to spend some quality time with our girl, but also to do a little shopping.  She is all about dresses and shoes and we really don't ever go to the store for that stuff.  We usually save clothes shopping for holidays or special events, so we are excited to have some time to spend with her and on her!  I can't believe she's 5 already, well almost 5.  Time is flying and I'm looking forward to more and more girl dates together!

9.  Snuggles from this guy...I LOVE HIS HUGS and while he's still compliant, I'm asking for more and more of them.
He's all boy and so wild, but that tender place in his heart...we're always tapping into that.  Carter's a lover for sure and we adore that about him.  I'm happy to report that our BIG boy is 100% potty trained now!!!  He did so great, it went way faster and much, much easier than I could have ever dreamed.  We seriously can't believe how well he did, but we're proud of him!  It's so hilarious to see him running around in big boy undies now, another sign that he's growing up, and all the more reason to get more of those hugs while he's offering.  I took him in for his 3 year well check today (6 months late, I might add) and he's doing great.  Hard to believe how fast time goes...

10.  These three. 
We had as sweet week together on our little "stay-cation" and lots of family time.  Everything about it was good.  The benefit of all these years in student ministry??  We know how SHORT this season of being little is, how quickly the years go while they're under our roof.  We have both been talking so much lately about spending these years well and intentionally.  So many things pull at families these days, trying to take everyone in different directions.  Some of it's good and healthy, some of it isn't.  We can't imagine a day that we won't care about their lives or not want to be a part of their future.  Parenting is intense for a season, but it lasts for a lifetime in many ways.  We want to invest heavily in our family time now so that later we'll have a great foundation for them to cherish and launch from.  Trav turning 40 sent us both down a reflective path these last few days and gave us some further clarity about what we want to be about.  Lots of things that are important to us, but our little family is a big priority for both of us.  And I'm so glad.

So there you have it.  Ten things I'd like some more of on this Monday afternoon!  I didn't add sunshine to my list and that's ONLY because it's actually forecasted this week!!!!  Like more than one day of it!!!  Praise the Lord and Hallelujah!!  These Minnesotans are ready to receive, I'm just sure I'm vitamin D deficient this year.  Bring it on!!  

But what about you, my kind blog friends?  What do you need more of today??

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