“This is Halloween! This is Halloween!”

The fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  Not only is it starting to get cooler out (usually) and the leaves are changing making the colors here in my neck of the woods beautiful but it’s the season that really makes me think about family and spending time with them.  Up until a few years ago, that just meant having adults to spend that time with but as I watch the munchkin grow, this season takes on a whole new meaning for me.

(It wasn’t THAT cold but she did want to wear her hat and gloves to the pumpkin patch)

Continue reading ““This is Halloween! This is Halloween!””

“It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere”

I was at the Jimmy Buffett concert with a few friends the other night and having a great time so that inspired the name of this post although it’s content has nothing to do with the concert or the song per se.  I’m talking about something I’ve implemented here in the Messy household that seems to be helping.  I’m hoping it’ll stick and it has to do with 5:00pm.

Continue reading ““It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere””

Finding Balance: The Ultimate Quest for Failure

I have been out of the blogging game for a few months as my life has gotten even crazier and messier than before.  Shortly after my last post we entered the settlement of the new house, a full 6 months before I was mentally prepared to do it (which also was in danger of being postponed), then the fixing of the house, and the moving of the house.  All while still working full time and trying to be the mom to a toddler.

Continue reading “Finding Balance: The Ultimate Quest for Failure”

Domestic Bliss….right?

For a long time I’ve wanted to have a family and be an “adult”.  I’m not sure why because this adulting thing is for the birds but it was on my list of things to do so here I am doing it to the best of my ability (which is questionable some days but everyone seems to be alive and in some way thriving).  I also have a very distinct memory of me as a kid playing outside on a brisk Fall afternoon and running up the back steps to come inside, presumably for dinner and being smacked in the face with some smell of food cooking and it just is one of those moments that sticks out.  At my parents’ house they have a vent fan over the stove that vented into the outside and just happens to be right outside the back door.  Nothing special or magical from my childhood and very “basic”.  For some reason the juxtaposition of the cold Fall air and the warm smell from the kitchen has cemented itself in my memory and become the template for a quintessential (see all those vocabulary words I’ve stuck in here?!?!) Fall afternoon.  And because of this memory I have always associated Fall with family, comfort, and home.  Now with a child of my own it’s a different perspective but still the same, the magic is really in the small stuff. Continue reading “Domestic Bliss….right?”

Favorite Lifestyle Apps

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a paid advertiser/blogger of any kind.  I’m just a mom trying to do her thing so this post may seem like one giant advertisement but these are truly some of the most helpful apps I have found to make my life easier, better, happier, etc…. Continue reading “Favorite Lifestyle Apps”

When it rains it pours…

This entry may be a little less fun and more serious but bear with me.  It’s been a whirlwind of a week, it is my last week before officially heading back to work (tomorrow! eek!) and it was originally set up to be an easy relaxing week but as per usual there have been a few wrenches thrown into that.   Continue reading “When it rains it pours…”

Time Saving Tips Pt. 1

Everyone wants to save time doing the required stuff so they can spend time doing the fun stuff, whether you’re a mom, dad, living the single life, or whatever.  When you’re “adulting” there are some things that are required which aren’t always glamorous but if we can make those things take less time then we have more time for the fun stuff. Continue reading “Time Saving Tips Pt. 1”

Where Have I Been?

You may or may not remember from the introductory post I did a while ago that I was in graduate school working on my masters of science in biology and since my last class (biostatistics) ended I hunkered down and started studying for my comprehensive exam which was a 4 hour test on 10 classes over the course of the past 4 years.  Between still working full time, having an energetic toddler, and studying for comps I decided to take a hiatus from writing.  After I finished my exam I had to spend the next 11 days down at Mississippi State University running from lab to lab completing the capstone portion of my masters.  It was a grueling almost 2 weeks but I finished my program and was informed last friday (July 7, 2017) that I passed the comprehensive exam and I’m pretty confident that I’ll pass the capstone class.  Now I’m just waiting on the official word that I am a MS degree holder.  While that is good news I definitely had some adventures when this Yankee city girl ended up in the wilds of Mississippi. Continue reading “Where Have I Been?”

No Tech Tuesday Rescheduled Until Further Notice

I can’t feel guilty about all the things I do wrong or only half-right, I have to do the best I can from moment to moment, all I can do is try to get it right the next time.

I am a tech person, I like tech, I use tech, my life is wrapped around tech in some way shape or form.  I still use hand-written paper calendar and to do lists but I also have a gazillion lists on my phone (some I even share with the Mr. through the Wunderlist app), my calendar is digital on my phone (the Mr. is supposed to look at it but that doesn’t often happen), all the phone numbers are now in the phone (I have learned exactly 3 new phone numbers since getting a cell phone almost 20 years ago), and of course the social media aspect of things.  I was on myspace when it was big (who else remembers the drama of when you could rearrange your top 8??) and now facebook, I also use twitter and instagram but there I’m generally more of a lurker/stalker type but I love my tech.  I regularly check my fitbit, I use my laptop for practically everything; I find there are a lot of things I can do now that I never would have dreamed up and a lot of things that I don’t have to do now because of the tech.  Who balances a checkbook anymore?  I look at the online statement and move on!  But the point of this rambling paragraph is that I love technology.  It’s here to stay so we might as well learn to harness it’s power for good instead of evil and deal with it.

That being said, however, I also realize that it is becoming so ubiquitous that it can be a problem.  I have seen the damage it can cause when children are actually addicted to it; every day there are articles out there about the ‘heroin-like’ addictive nature of technology for our children and I can see that.  Obviously some of these articles are clickbait and their headlines are more attention grabbing that some of the science would suggest but there does seem to be a link between phones, screens, and the pleasure sensors in the brain; potentially similar to gambling.  The Mr. loves his phone as well so I had a brilliant plan to implement “No Tech Tuesday” and today was going to be our first attempt.  The rules were simple, from the time the Munchkin got home from the sitter’s we wouldn’t use any tech until she went to bed.  It would be about 2-2.5 hours of time that would just be all face time, all quality time of doing something together.  I thought we would go to the park (since the Munchkin is walking she enjoys parks now), make dinner, play in her room and then she would go to sleep and it would have been a blissful 2.5 hours of quality family time!

Enter in real life, what happens when you’re making plans?  As I was driving home from work with my carpool buddy I started thinking about how I felt like today hit me like a ton of bricks, what could I cook, the Mr. is at the other house working on stuff for putting it on the market and how long would that take, how long would it take to cook something, am I going to pick the Munchkin up right away or am I going to go home first and take these god-forsaken heels off, is it too damp and chilly to go to the park, and so on…you know, the litany of thoughts that start running through your head whenever you have a quiet moment to think.  I decided I wanted to go out to eat, I didn’t feel like cooking and wanted to go to our local haunt which is basically a low key bar, I would even go so far as to call it wannabe gastropub.  

We get to the bar, sit down to eat, order drinks so the Mr. and I both need to log our beers into UnTapped (which by the way got me a badge and a toast from the brewery), the TVs are playing ESPN and they’re everywhere, a friend starts texting me about an issue she’s having (communication and connection, doesn’t count right?!?!) and then it just devolved from there.

Moral of the story?  Don’t make plans!  I am going to continue to try for some no tech time at some point during the week but I’m a mom trying to do the best I can and usually my best is far from perfect.  I can’t feel guilty about all the things I do wrong or only half-right, I have to do the best I can from moment to moment, all I can do is try to get it right the next time.  Here’s to a successful No-Tech Tuesday next week!   

Snow Days – Then and Now

If you’re in the northeast corridor today you probably have a snow day that you are dealing with, either you’re lucky enough to have a snow day or you’re lucky enough to have to deal with everyone else’s snow day either way you’ve been dealing with storm Stella since this past weekend.  Of course this is not an officially named NOAA storm but it’s a Weather Channel named storm (I believe this is a marketing ploy for hashtags…but I’m not above using it).  Of course here in the Philadelphia region Stella has gone from a Nor’easter that’s going to hammer us to more of an icy nuisance of a storm which probably is worse logistically but more annoying because it’s less fun to play in ice than it is to play in snow and now that I have a kid playing in snow has become cool and allowable again since people tend to frown on adults (As Jo March puts it “roll around like dogs” or something to that effect, my memory and google-fu is escaping me on the direct quote).  But snow days have morphed in the course of my life:

  1. Kid – Woohoo day off from school!  Playing in the snow!  Nothing to do!  (Remember I was a kid before the digital age really took over so teachers weren’t able to assign work if we weren’t in school 🙂 ).
  2. Teenager – Woohoo day off from school!  But I’m going to stay inside where it’s warm and I’m going to be lazy.
  3. College Student – Eff mother nature, still gotta go to school, walk across campus in the snow, but sledding on lunch trays in our free time!
  4. Adult in office job – Eff mother nature, still gotta go to work, drive with all the other idiots in the snow (the idea of working from home was just starting when I was in an office job so it was either take time off or go to work, unless I had a lot of data entry to do that I could do at home and bring in the next day) and no one wants to go out for lunch because it’s a wreck out….can we order lunch in?
  5. Adult as a teacher – Woohoo day off from school!  That I have to make up in June…but I’m still home unexpectedly so I get to catch up on bingewatching whatever show I’m on or movies, snuggle, nap, snack, maybe even get some work done around the house that has been lacking but day drinking!
  6. Adult as a teacher with a kid – Woohoo day off from school!  That I have to make up in June but I get to spend the day with the Munchkin (and coincidentally the Mr. had off too but he’s out snowblowing right now).  An extra day of hanging out with her and trying to get grad work, blog post, ordering for the Munchkin and Mr. birthday party, animals, and everything else dealt with while she’s napping.  Oh yeah and day drinking (snow day mimosas have become our staple around here) but somehow I’m still exhausted and almost want to go back to work!

Through the course of life snow days change and depending on where you’re at in your life you may enjoy them or you may hate them but mother nature has a way of always winning out.  Be safe and have a good day no matter what you’re up to today!