Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dirt: We Are Almost There

My life the last few weeks has been a little bit weird with me getting used to working and the girls getting back in a routine.  We are almost there. I am getting my feet under me and with the exception of dogs marking rugs and me having to mop and disinfect my entire room and bed, I am getting things done in the evenings when I get home.
The girls are staying busy with school, homework and extra circular activities.One is playing two sports AND singing in a choir AND holds a student government office AND has a social life. My head spins. The other one is almost as busy, but middle school holds you back just a little. So at least she does not have to be driven hither and yon.
Steve and I had a conversation the other night that we have gotten to that spot where we are alone as much as we are with our kids. Weird. But a good weird. 

This weekend is our last outdoor concert weekend. The summer was a great one for music. 
 We have tickets to see the Lumineers in October. I feel September will be a little drought like musically. Although I am hoping to get tickets to see Dwight October 3rd, which is almost September. That would be awesome. I love him, mostly because he's great, but also because my Memaw, who died when she was just 13 years older than I am now, thought he was hot.
That is all it takes for me.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

InstaFriday: Three great things of my week

First full week of real job work in almost 15 years. 
Loved it. 

First week of school for the girls. Homework (at least 2 hours every night...the odd years are tough) and swimming are back full swing. Parties and fun times are being had. Life is back.

Thee  great things happened this week. My Daddy's birthday was Monday and while I did not get to see him then, I did celebrate with him on Wednesday. There are few people that impact a girl like their Daddy. I got very lucky. Mine came into my life when I was two and stayed. Supportive and fun, he has always been a big influence in my life. I love music, I believe because I listened to him play guitar as a little girl.  I owe him a lot.

Daddy at 14

 The second great thing was I got to see my favorite uncle in the world. 
Of course, I forgot to take a picture of us. To busy living the moment.
He and my aunt live on a ranch in Texas. They lead pretty cool lives with dogs, deer and soon, horses on their property. He is intense and whip smart, which makes for great conversations, that I get too few of. She is funny and intense. They are a great pair.

The third? Well, I danced in the rain to some of the happiest music I have heard in a long time.
Loved it. Needed it. 
The band Leagues came and played free at our summer concert series and of course, it rained. 
Steve and I danced in front of the stage. With little kids and grown ups getting down around us. 
Best feeling in the world. 
Loved it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cooking: Sunday Plan Day

This weekend has been a fairly low key affair.
Cleaning, cooking, homework and laundry took up most of the weekend. Steve and I went to hear music twice outdoor in downtown.
 We are so lucky to have that opportunity in our very pretty city.
I found a new musical love/girl crush in fellow Nashvillian Holly Williams. 
I literally am obsessed with her music and store.

Steve and I tag teamed grocery shopping and our bare cupboards are almost full.
We went to the Chattanooga Market today and I loaded up on tomatoes and what I fear are the end of the peaches. I am making a peach upside down cake today as celebration of my new job and the girls going back to school.
This afternoon, as well,  I am make a huge batch of meatballs for the week and to freeze. 
My goal is to make something on Sundays to eat on Monday and freeze for the week after. 
That way when I am working and we have a swim meet or dance performance, we can pull something easy out of the freezer and still have a home cooked meal.

We will see how that works. Best laid plans and all. 
I'm pretty excited about it all, though.
Casa Swann It's Officially the School Year Menu

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dirt: School started, again

Well,it happened.

School started. 
Despite my foot dragging and deep sighing, my wistful thinking and my child's hopefulness that it would not actually happen. School started Wednesday.

This is the first year we were not ready. 
The first year that I wasn't annoyed by cries of boredom. 
The first year I waited until the day before to even look at what we needed for school, much less buy a thing. We went shopping for school supplies at 2pm the day before.

Still, it is  nice to have them back in the swing of things. I started a new job and it is nice not to have to worry about what they are doing and try to arrange transportation and what not. 

Time marches on and they are back in school.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cooking: A menu means routine or vice versa

My love/hate relationship with kids going back to school continues.
Hate the hassle of getting everyone out the door. Love that food I buy lasts more than 15 seconds.
Hate that my kids social lives trump mine. Love that my kids have social lives and are not bugging me to create fun for them. Hate the nagging "do your home work" "bring home all the pieces of your uniform" and the ever popular "check the lost and found for your uniform". 
Love a schedule. 
Uniforms change colors as they move up

Along with a schedule comes meal planning. Cooking and eating never take a vacation at my house (we actually cook on vacation), but sometimes we are a little more "fly by the seat of our pants". 
Sometimes I run out of food (*Ahem ALL SUMMER).

Back to school means back to a menu. 

Here's this week's:
 Casa Swann Momma's Gotta Job/ 
Girls Gotta Get Some Learnin' Menu
  • Pulled chicken sandwiches/ oven fried okra/ baked sweet potato fries
  • Tomato pie with bacon/ sauteed kale
  • Red Beans and Rice/ Sausage
  • Grilled chicken and veggie flat bread sandwiches

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Whatever: The list is back

August is here. My least favorite month of the year. This dates back to being a child. My birthday aka The National Holiday is in early September, so August is a brutally long month. Also, school starts in August. ALL school, elementary, high school, college...I loathed it all. Summer ends in August for most people and I love Summer. Like it is my job.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cooking: Seriously good salad

Kale is a mainstay of the Swann diet.

I love that I can buy it and it stays fresh for days.
We all love that it is  not "spicy" or " harsh" or any other word that has described food at our dinner table. Also, it is incredibly good  for you.
I plan on planting a winter garden with kale this year.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gratituesday: Momma got a message

I am so excited I can barely stand it. 
Someone gave me advice over a year ago to be open to new things. 
That is not a common feeling of mine. I tend to be wary of things. Some call it controlling, I call it cautious. I married the opposite of cautious and it has been a grand adventure.

But I digress. 
In my effort to be open to new things, I have started saying "YES". Yes to volunteering for a fundraising event. Yes to my daughter's request we try a new church. Yes, to a new hair color that I have toyed with for months. Yes to new friends and being "friends"  on Facebook with people. 
Yes, to a new job opportunity.

Yes, yes, yes. 

I saw a Facebook post by a mother of friend of Ellie's whom I have gotten to know a little from dropping Ellie off at their house and sitting and watching her daughter and mine play lacrosse.  She is a friend of a friend, an acquaintance. 
The post was really a help wanted ad looking for an administrative assistant for a business she was starting with her partner.
I contacted her immediately without even thinking about it. After we spoke on the phone, I arranged to meet with them both. Their enthusiasm was contagious.

Long story short, I have been working a few hours here and there and start next Wednesday. 
Open and YES! have led me to a new job, one that uses my skills. One that I am excited about. 
One that I am really looking forward to starting.

I cannot thank said advice giver. She has brought more into my life than I could have ever thought possible. The lesson I take away is this " God puts people in your life for a reason. He speaks through them, uses their skills for His purpose and blesses them for being open. All we have to do is be open as well to hear His message for us. " 

I am so grateful for Sunshine Girl and her "be open message", for my new bosses and their enthusiasm and for my husband, the original adventurer in my life.