Saturday, May 17, 2014

Resolutions Report Card

While it’s officially spring, it’s been crazy hot and dry this week, causing numerous wildfires throughout San Diego County. While the rest of the country seems to be basking in their first rays of spring sunshine, we’re battling scorched plants and worse. Thankfully the fires haven’t gotten that close to us yet, so our focus has been on staying cool and trying to keep our sad little plants alive through the heat. This focus on the outdoors (and the seasonal gardening section at Target) has reminded me of my somewhat neglected New Year’s resolutions. That’s because one of my main resolutions was to plant something, ideally something edible, each season. I haven’t failed entirely in this as we did plant a persimmon tree, strawberries and a couple gardenia bushes this winter, but as I’m nesting inside the home, gardening has hardly been my focus of late. 

So, with this admission and self-inflicted kick to the backside, I’m evaluating the progress, or lack thereof, of all of my supposed New Year’s resolutions. Below is my self-graded Resolution Report Card.

Keep a Thankful Jar: C
Ok, so I haven’t done diddly squat with this yet. But, I have things in my head! That counts for a something, right? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened so far this year that I’m super thankful for, and may even someday soon get put into a jar, so we can remember all our blessings come New Year’s Eve 2014. Or, maybe I’ll just keep a list; that seems more realistic…
  • I’m Pregnant! Yup, that’s right, prego with #2. Super blessed and all seems to be going and growing smoothly J
  • New Job! Lots of changes afoot here. This new gig is more hours, but allows me to work from home and realize a full-time salary. Since we’re expecting #2 per above, these are both great perks. Plus, I can now officially put on my resume that I’m a writer! Pinch me, the dream is alive!
  • Husby Promoted! I know, it just keeps on coming! It’s a miracle our heads aren’t still spinning from all the changes that took place in January and February.
  • Influx of 2T and 3T clothing for Lil’ O from gal pal Jay, my sister-in-law and a wonderful grandma in my church community. I even called Ms. E over to share in the bounty of 3T goodies as there’s no way Lil’ O can possibly wear all of these awesome items.
  • Birthday visit from Meema and G’pa. The Ohio grandparents came out for about 10 days around Lil’ O’s birthday to soak in some sunshine and celebrate with us. It was such a joyous time!
  • It's a girl! We decided to find out the sex of the baby this time around and the verdict is that we’re expecting a girl. We’re so excited to meet her!
  • Maternity clothes from a lovely, fashionable neighbor. I don’t need much, but am of course pregnant in the warmer months this time around when most of my previous maternity wear is geared toward winter, so some super cute, new-to-me pieces are a total score!

Plant Something (Edible) Each Season: B+ 
As I mentioned above, we did plant things this winter, so we haven’t failed yet. Those plants are even still (mostly) alive! I have a plan of the plants we want to plant this spring, and we’ve got a few new edibles planted in the past few weeks, but I don’t have much of a plan beyond that yet. Hopes are high, but I need to find a local nursery that’s better stocked than our local Home Depot and the heat is already taking a toll on the grass and some of the things planted this winter. Gardenias, I’m especially looking at you! The one positive, I suppose, is that Lil' O and Knute do really enjoy when we bring the watering can or hose out for some manual plant watering.

Allow Myself More Grace: B 
Happy to report that I’m doing ok here. Trying not to be quite so Type A and hard on myself, but to shrug a bit more off and let things go. There is a toddler pretty much running this house after all. I’m still striving, but if things slip I’m working to just say “oh, well” instead of beating myself up over whatever it may be. Progress, solid progress.

Did anyone else make New Year’s resolutions and even moderately stick to them? I’d love to hear more about your goals and progress, remembering of course that self-grace must be doled out heartily. No guilt trips!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Girls’ Weekend Getaway in San Antonio

Last weekend I ran away and met up with a great friend for a weekend of tourist attractions and relaxation. This was my first time leaving the fam that wasn’t for work, but sometimes staying sane, balanced and happy as a mom necessitates taking a step back. At least, that’s a lesson I’ve been learning. I’m much more patient with my little man when I’ve had some time to myself and feel taken care of. Knowing this and recognizing that I’m soon going to get even less me time thanks to Baby #2, a weekend getaway was sounding ideal. With Husby’s blessing, I connected with one of my best friends from college, who I hadn’t seen since her wedding about five years ago (yikes!) and is also now the mom of a toddler, and we planned our getaway.

The Destination
We decided to meet in the middle to maximize our time together and keep it truly just to us girls. She is in Maryland and I’m in Southern California, so “the middle” truly meant the middle of the country for us. My friend, I’ll call her Babe since that’s her go-to nickname for her gal pals, had really wanted to visit San Antonio, but missed her chance a few years back, so we decided that would be our destination. I’d last visited in middle school with my family and remembered the city fondly, especially the lovely River Walk. Plus, the layout of the city allowed us to stay in the downtown area and walk to nearly all the sites.

The Sites
Before arriving in Texas, it was hard for us to connect by phone thanks to the time difference and our respective work and family demands. So, we each did some research on what we wanted to see while in San Antonio and compared notes the week before we departed. Thankfully, we both mainly wanted to see the tourist attractions downtown. That made it easy.

The one place I wanted to see, but was too far for us to visit during our brief weekend trip is the new San Antonio Culinary Institute of America campus. I love the CIA campus near Napa, so would have loved to see this newest location, but it wasn’t in the cards. Next time I’m in San Antonio perhaps. ;)

Still, we did manage to see the River Walk; the Alamo; Hemisfair Park, including a trip up the Tower of the Americas; La Villita; El Mercado; San Fernando Cathedral; and King William Historic District; mostly traveling by foot, but also including a bus tour around the downtown. We both remarked on how liberating and strange it was to see only what we wanted versus also working in a trip to sites like the Children’s Museum and scheduling around naptimes. Ah, the life of moms! The one glitch in our sightseeing travels, and the reason for some especially festive photos, is that we went to San Antonio in their final week of three-week Fiesta, their biggest party of the year that stretches throughout the city and is supposedly bigger than Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Not exactly what this prego had in mind! But, we made the most of it, both braving and trying to avoid the crowds. So, now we’ve not only experienced San Antonio, but also conquered Fiesta!


The Balance

Me and Babe!
Babe and I were both gone from our families Friday through Sunday, returning in the evening, so we could maximize our time together, not miss too much at home and take off minimal time at our respective works. Because we met in the middle, we had nearly all of Friday afternoon and into the evening to catch up. Then, we had all of Saturday and Sunday morning for sightseeing before we headed to the airport. It was so lovely to have the time to reconnect with my friend and to recharge. Beyond the weekend of fun, since I was traveling solo, I could also do things like indulge in a book during the flight (versus entertain or hold a little one on my lap). It’s the little things. Upon my return home, Husby noted that he thought it was the ideal amount of time, from his perspective, for me to be away. I agree. I got to see explore a new city and reconnect with my friend, but also didn’t feel that I missed all that much at home, especially thanks to numerous texts and pictures throughout the weekend from Husby, or at work. Lil’ O didn’t even seem to mind my absence. He was just a bit extra glad to see me Monday morning.

Success all around. And, ah, we had such fun!