Friday, August 17, 2018

driving into the weekend with a smile...

Happy Friday! It was a very nice week here, different, as Brian and I are continuing to get use to our new life. We are definitely together more, if that could even be possible and I what I am finding is we are laughing a lot at us. That's a good thing, right? This weekend is going to be very quiet and then, I'm going to be busy. We are watching our Ava on Monday and I am working
Wednesday - Friday at one of the middle schools. Not teaching, but helping our new sixth graders with first week issues so that means I am starting another school year. Funny, as I never thought that would happen. Hope all enjoy our promised beautiful weather over the next two day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

thirty six weeks and counting...

Look at this beauty at 36 weeks pregnant. She is glowing and gorgeous and continues to work and get things finished at home so everyone is ready for Baby Girl. My heart is full when I see this lady...such a wonderful woman and business woman and daughter and wife and mother. We can't wait to meet Nugget Number Three who, by the way, has a bow and swaddle that matches her mom's new robe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

tuesday "to dos"...

Yesterday, I detailed the house as over the weekend I did some furniture moving and reorganizing once again. I think things are where we want them now and our apartment is almost the way we want it. I am still needing to buy a new, living room chair and bedroom lamps and one area rug. Anyway, I love top to bottom cleaning as "shimmering" should be part of my name. I love things shimmering which is no surprise for those that know me. Today was for a walk to the post office and library and bank and Fruitful Yield. Getting things done on foot is my new normal and now, it is reading and pool time before dinner which will be light as it is hot, hot, hot outside.

Monday, August 13, 2018

currently in love with...


...Posh Peanut. I have been looking for something special to buy Sarah and Baby Girl and found it at this amazing site. The outfits and accessories are simply beautiful and when the outfits arrived at the H's home, the quality did not disappoint. Each item was well made, super soft and the colors and patterns were amazing. This is my new "go to" when it comes to  both a baby and new mom gift.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

good sunday afternoon, all...

Another wonderful summer week was enjoyed by us. Brian and I did much more meal planning and cooking which was a good thing. We like eating in much better than out, but I feel like we are still not in a good routine when it comes to dinners in our new home. Oh well, we are getting better. We also had much pool time which we love, Brian golfed and we watch golf and on Saturday, our sweet kids treated Brian to at wonderful retirement dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants...Pazzi Di Pizza. The food did not disappoint, the company was lovely and Matthew had some questions for Brian which forced him to reminisce on his career which was fun. I'm looking forward to a quiet week as I only have one appointment so it is all about doing things to that are good for my mind, body and soul. Not bad, right?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

five more weeks baby girl...

...we just need you to stay put for five more weeks!

Monday, August 6, 2018

summer in our new home...'s been all about the pool and I love it!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

a lovely weekend...

Such a sweet weekend in Elmhurst...
reorganized our apartment to utilize space that is more familiar now, daily afternoon visits to the pool, coffee at Courageous Bakery, dinners at home and a Sunday lunch at Gibson's with Sarah to celebrate her before Baby Girl arrives. (I'm really loving Gibson, all, which is dangerous.) Here's to a good week!

Thursday, August 2, 2018


What a different August this will be for me! This is the first August in 27 years that I will not begin a new school year with my fellow teachers. Bittersweet? More than likely, but I cannot begin to tell you how stress-free I have felt since my month in Oregon. My mind is noticeably calmer throughout my day. I find myself enjoying walks more as my mind is not busy, busy, busy and "not doing" is okay. It is a time that I will just stop and think about options and then move on to plan the next part of my day or not move on. It's different, yes, things are much simpler. I am looking forward to figuring out where we are financially now as money is important and us making a fall plan. We want to do a short get-away when the colors begin to turn. Enjoy August, all, as summer is still in full swing.

Monday, July 30, 2018

short term goals....

I have a few goals for the month of August as I transition into my "new normal" and all revolve around bettering both my physical and mental health. I am going to begin my new routine today and will...
  • wake up and visualize my day.
  • practice yoga before exercising..
  • walk 10,000 plus steps daily.
  • increasing both fruits and vegetables in my daily diet.
Hoping to feel different on August 31 and just a little lighter!

good monday morning....

Nick's Sunday morning view from his tent in Oregon.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

a weekend of celebrating...

I wanted this to be a special weekend for Brian so we did a lot of celebrating. Saturday was our big evening at Gibson's and it did not disappoint. We sat outside on a lovely evening enjoying the ambiance and service and amazing food. Our surprise was Moet from the H's which brought tears to our eyes...Sarah is so kind and made our night more special than it already was. Here is to us and the next chapter in our  book:  The Story of Us.

Friday, July 27, 2018

and it's over...

My husband is now officially retired. Gone is all of the stress of his job and today, Brian begins the next chapter of his life. Wishing him good health and happiness and peace as he begins his next journey with me buy his side.

when was the last time...


…you stopped, closed your eyes and felt the sun warming your face. I have seen my G doing just that a number of times and I thought, "How very precious. He is being mindful."
Maybe today is the day to stop and be present. Namaste!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

middle of the week break...

Wednesdays are going to be our "G Day" and yesterday was the first time we picked up Graham from school in our car which is now equipped with our very own car seat. The pick up went well, G did not collapse on the floor and tell me he wanted him Mom to pick him up, and we spent two hours at the pool. Graham and Brian loved it, both swam and played and when Sarah arrived, she took a dip as well before a lovey, light pasta and salad dinner. A middle of the week "G Day" is perfect because, well, it's the middle of the week and that's when everyone is ready for a change. Looking forward to next week already...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

day two of a new routine...

After a nice start to my week (I walked 5 plus miles, joined the library, planned two meals and read by the pool yesterday.),  I am ready for Day Two. I decided to try yoga two days a week as I need to improve my flexibility and muscle tone so that is happening on Tuesday and Thursday and today went well. I am going to change the video, however, as I want to return to one that will help me master the positions. In addition, I decided to eat yogurt, fruit and granola for lunch daily to lighten things up. My fruit intake is horrible so I want to increase my consumption as well decrease the amount of processed food  I eat. That's a good thing, right?I am determined to be mindful of sticking to these few new routines and habits through August to feel better inside and out. A good goal as I begin my retirement.

Monday, July 23, 2018

it's monday...

Today is the first week that I am home and it's going to be quite which is welcome. Last week was for getting settled, a mani/pedi that was overdue, a hair cut and color and cooking and buying wine and food for a little "sprinkle" I had for Sarah on Saturday. It was my first get together in our new home and it was just perfect. We had eight women and two men and one little one and it was very comfortable in our small place...Brian said it was quite intimate which is what I wanted. I had flowers everywhere and some pretty decorations. I served appetizers and fruit and wine and sparkling drinks. It was so fun entertaining again and the ladies were all just adorable...each and every one of them are sweet and hold a special place in my heart. Now, I'm ready to tackle a new week that will entail getting back into a routine that will include morning exercising and healthy eating. That will feel good...enjoy your week, all!

Friday, July 20, 2018

i'm back...

Hello, hello, hello! I'm back from my month "retirement gift to me" and boy, was my time in Oregon wonderful. It was beautiful and calm and quiet and I was able to spend four weeks with Nick which was long overdo.
 I stayed in a lovely, one bedroom apartment on the Dechutes River. I would literally walk out my door, down my stairs, down a sidewalk, cross Reed Market Road and then I was at the river. Nick and I ate weekday meals together at my home-away-from-home ( It gave us quite time to catch up and he was able to enjoy most, no all, of his favorites!) and we would treat ourselves on the weekend to a variety of local cuisines. Weekends were also for  longer ventures to see waterfalls, kayak on lakes at the top of volcanoes and  hike both high desert or lush, green trails lined with Ponderosa Pines or volcanic rock.
I spent Monday through Friday days alone hiking the Dechutes River Trail near my place, going into town to lunch or shop or have a beer at a brewery. We dined with two of Nick’s friends a few times to share stories and I was happy to see that they are his family in Oregon. DJ and Michelle  truly listen to him and process with him and give advice when Nick needs to make major decisions.
When Brian arrived, our day trips got a bit more exotic. The three of us took a ski lift to the top of Mt. Bachelor to have lunch one day and ventured to Crater Lake where we hiked and stopped a scienic viewing areas and enjoyed a small picnic as we fed a chipmunk and looked at the blue, blue lake below us. That day was one for the records.
My time in Oregon never felt long as being with my guy daily was a treat. He is remolding his life which is hard work and living like few of us do. Nick does not spend time on social media or in bars. He hikes all the time, runs up a butte to exerise, will kayak  a lake alone and then set up his hammock to relax and read. He is learning to hunt which is difficult, it's about finding the prey, not the kill and often eats and naps on a rock when he travels far on foot before he returns home. Fishing happens all the time; fly fishing, and when he does it; it is quite beautiful to watch. The line gently flows back and forth through the air until it lands on the water to rest. His life is one that works for him.
Nick misses family but does not want to come back to Illinois. He talks about his next move, Montana is always mentioned, and saving to buy a small place to settle down. He will soon be taking some classes as he is working now to become a liscenced electrician in Oregon and in a year, Nick will be be in a better place.
As for me, I am now settled in back home. My life will be quite different when August arrives but that is okay; it was time to make a change and I did. I'm looking forward to  Baby Girl arriving in September and Baby ? arriving at the end of January. Brian will be retired at the end of July as enough is enough and we will enter the next chapter in our lives together.
Although I am teary writing this post, my heart is happy. I have three loving children, a wonderful son and daughter-in-law, two grandbabies, two on the way and a husband who is my everything.  I am lucky!💕💕💕

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

happy monday from bend...

Friday began with me picking up Brian from the airport and we were non-stop all weekend. The three of us spent an afternoon at East Lake and dined in the courtyard of McMenamin's on Saturday. Sunday was a once-in-a-lifetime day. We took a ski lift up to the top of Mt. Bachelor for lunch, stopped and hiked at Dillon Falls, went to Crux Fermentation Project (One of Brian's favorite places!) and then ate at a pasta place in Old Mill. To say that I was tired when evening came was an understatement.

Friday, June 29, 2018

happy friday...

My week was wonderful in Bend; filled with hiking and walking and exploring on my own. I wanted it to be slower for Nick after work as he looked tired and I don't want him to feel he needs to entertain me. Spending quiet time together and sharing a meal is more than enough. Today is for picking up my husband in Redmond as I begin the second half of my month trip. (I can't believe it is half over; nooooooo!) Looking forward to a wonderful weekend with my two guys in the Pacific Northwest.

prepared to tackle the new week...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to be here with my guy. Not seeing family for over six months is hard and being in Bend has allowed me to really understand Nick's life. I know where he lives now and have met some friends and have seen where he goes for exercise and peace and tranquility. Nick is a special one (Well, all of my kids are special to me!) and I am loving my time with him in beautiful Oregon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

deschutes river trail...

Today was my second day hiking the Deschutes River Trail; a hiking trail walking distance from my apartment. How lucky is that? It is a beautiful hike that is about 3 plus miles next to the flowing river. Quite pretty, very peaceful and a great workout as there are multiple hills.

Monday, June 25, 2018

greetings from the pacific northwest...

Hello from Oregon! I cannot believe I have already been here for nine beautiful days. This was what I wanted to do for myself when I finished my teaching career; come to Bend for a month. I wanted to enjoy all that nature has to offer in the Pacific Northwest with Nick and that is just what I have been doing. Each day has been a glorious adventure. I've hiked, enjoyed breweries and wine bars, ate in a few great dining establishments (I've cooked six out of seven day, however, making Nick some  real homemade meals.), gone to lakes on the top of volcanoes to fish and kayak, visited many waterfalls and The Blue Pool. I've enjoy time alone and time daily with Nick which has been wonderful. I've tried to stay off of my phone and computer as I want enjoy what I am surrounded by each and every day; be more mindful and immerse myself in books. I guess I am working on eliminating chaos in my life, finding calm. That is what my trip is about; finding calm for me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

i love wednesdays...


...and smiling cowboys!
Seriously, could this little guy be any cuter or more excited about dressing up for school? G thinks he is a farmer as it was Farm Day at school. Not quite, but you do have your tractor with you so it's okay. Hey, working parents do their best!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

essential oils...

Sacred Arrow

I'm somewhat obsessed with essential oils and diffuser jewelry from Vitality Extracts.  I just received my Energy Oil, Inner Peace Oil and Angel Rose Roll On which smells like roses, of smells so pretty. Also, I'm currently wearing a few diffuser bracelets...simple bracelets made with volcanic rock beads which absorb the oils and allow you to smell the scent through out the day. Always seeking calm and balance...right?

Monday, June 11, 2018

good monday morning...

I cannot believe I have not been off of work for one week yet! Yikes, it feels like I have been home for days as my days go slowly by; it is nice. Brian has been crazy busy at work so I have had much alone time which again, is nice. I've, of course, been productive with my time; all boxes are gone and the car is empty and a few more pictures were hung and a few drawers reorganized. Despite downsizing by 1000 square feet, we have more than enough room and I can still purge some things that I have not touched since we moved in. I absolutely love how simple our lives are now, walking everywhere and living close to my loves. It is wonderful being able to see more of our family, that is something that I was missing and, oh, and being able to watch my little ones on a moment's notice. That is special.

Friday, June 8, 2018

and the last few days were for...

  • early run/walks and
  • Starbucks and
  • store returns and
  • bank work and
  • a hair cut and color and
  • a cleaner run and
  • a wine pick-up at Coopers Hawk and 
  • time with my Elmhurst friends and
  • gift buying and
  • almost finishing all of my "fine tuning" at 255.
It is soon time for me to pack for the next adventure. Looking forward to Oregon.