Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm Baaacck!!!

And just in time for my Lenten discipline!  I think I'll just go ahead and it a point to try to post more in the coming weeks.

I spent last weekend in Allentown visiting MR at college and she reminded me how much I used to enjoy keeping track of my life and our family on the blog but life gets busy with work, kids (even ones that are increasingly independent), parents, and church activities and you get out of the habit in spite of the best intentions.  This time last year, my mom was in rehab for two broken hips, MR was finishing up her senior year and Will was playing lots of lacrosse and Marc's mom was in the nursing home and growing weaker.  What a difference a year makes.  Marc's mom has been gone almost a year, my mom is home with Dad and they have great help, Mary Rollins is at college in Pennsylvania, and Will just recently got his driver's license, a car and a part-time job.  These days I don't even feel like I'm living the same life I was a year ago.  I have weird gaps of free time that I haven't had in oh...18 years or so.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Mary Rollins

Today's a big day at our house.  Mary Rollins turns 18.  Technically, she's already turned 18 by the time I write this because she was an early in the wee hours of the morning baby.

While I think it's a given that all parents love their children, I also really like Mary Rollins.  She's grown into one of my favorite people. 

Here's a few things I especially like about her:

1.  She reads classic literature for fun
2.  She values grammar
3.  She's always even-keeled and even when she gets the occasional attack of bad humor, she'll laugh about it later and will always apologize.
4. She never complains or whines. 
5.  She's never been a typical teen-ager
6.  She always has a positive outlook on life
7.  She practices thankfulness
8.  She likes anything that I cook at home

I'm a lucky mom. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Monday Thursday

Monday Thursday.  I used to think that was what Maundy Thursday was called when I was a little.  I know better now.  I love the Maundy Thursday service and remember going to my first service when I was an acolyte as a teenager.  I loved the quiet, the dark, the growing bareness as the alter is stripped.  In more recent years, our service has included foot washing.  Back in the days of our Christ Church youngish moms' Monday morning Bible Study, we discussed our comfort and/or discomfort with foot-washing.  I  both like it and am made uncomfortable by it which is generally a good tip I've found for learning something.  In the words of Carl Jung, "there is no coming to consciousness without pain."  Or at least a little discomfort. 

I am sad to miss the Maundy Thursday service tonight. I'm accompanying Mary Rollins to Cincinnati to see one of her BFFs dance in Giselle.  As much as I truly love ballet, Giselle is not my favorite.  The story is weird and while most ballet stories are a bit odd (hello Franz from Coppelia falling in love with a doll) Giselle's really weird and creepy to boot!  But, I'm going to try to watch it with new eyes tonight and hopefully even keep my eyes open.  I fell asleep for a few moments last time I saw Giselle.  Did I just publicly confess that? 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dug's diet...

I had to make a run to Costco late yesterday to buy Dug's puppy food before we leave for Spring Break.  I've been getting the Kirkland brand based on a friend of a friend's research that it was a really good, affordable puppy food.  Dug's going to camp for a week while we are gone and the floors are sanded and sealed at the house.  All he has to bring is his own bed and his own food.

I was going to transfer the dog food from its original bag into an unlabeled container because I felt a little bit badly that I don't feed him artisanal, hand-crafted naturally organic dog food and I suspect that the boarding farm where he'll be staying might judge me.  I said this to Marc when he asked if I wanted to leave Dug's food in the car for the trip to the farm. 

To which he said, "Are you kidding me?  This is a dog who drinks toilet water, eats cat poop and insulation and is currently chewing on a PVC pipe.  This food is the best thing he puts in his body all day long!"

Good point.  The food will be going in its original container.  Judge away.
I wonder if that stuffed animal had any nutritional value

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Connie and I moved into our fabulous new office a couple of months ago.  We even hung the pictures we hadn't put up since Sotheby's opened 5 years ago.  I cleaned out my desk, took files home and took a vow of tidiness.  

And already, here I am back at desk mess.  I must be genetically programmed to work with the clutter method.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

not so perfect...

Sorry for all the posts in one day.  I've actually written some of today's posts on proceeding days, I just hadn't gotten around to actually hitting the "publish" button because I felt like I needed to proofread them before I published.  My Lenten discipline is going to go awry though if I try for perfection so today I'm giving up on perfection and just going for done. 

Funny how that works isn't it.  Perfectionism is probably the biggest stumbling block to accomplishment.  Sometimes things don't have to be perfect, they just have to done. 

Do you have things you feel like have to be perfect?  Does perfectionism ever hold you back?

Two sides to a story

Maybe Lenten blogging is really any every other day discipline.  Seriously, every day...not easy.  At least not pushing the publish button.

I don't think I've appropriately shared enough about Dug unless you follow #dailydug on Instagram.  As many of my philosophies of living/theology come from canine sources, I feel I must tell you about Dug who is the cutest dog in the world.  Honestly, that Boo, World's Cutest Dog, is pretty darn cute but not as cute as Dug.  Here's what I've learned from Dug:

1.  Labrador Retrievers will eat anything.  ANYTHING.  Just name something.  I bet a Labrador Retriever (and probably Dug) has eaten it or at least chewed on it.

2.  I really could run faster.  I've always thought that, I just needed to run with a friend who didn't want to talk to me.  Dug is the best running partner ever.  He never asks deep, philosophical questions
while we're running.  He only stops for the occasional pee or poop. And, I've shaved an average of 30 seconds off my mile pace thanks to him.

3. There is only one kind of Labrador Retriever, although there are two portrayals of Labrador Retrievers.  There is Marley and there is Isis (you can only know who Isis is if you watch Downton Abbey.  If you don't watch Downton Abbey, I think there's something wrong with you. or your television because  the only reason to not watch Downton is that your TV is broken -- I'm pretty certain you don't even have to have cable to watch PBS stations -- so we're all clear on who Isis is, right?).  Marley, as we know, was a bad dog, much-beloved by his owners, but clearly bad.  Isis, much beloved by Lord Grantham, never does anything bad except allow herself to be kidnapped by Thomas.  What is the difference between Marley & Isis?  A crate, I suspect.  A crate and how you tell the story.  Some days, Dug is like Isis.  Some days, Dug is like Marley.  More accurately, most days Dug is like Marley.  Why is that?  Because that's the way we tell the story.  Like whether our cup is half empty or half full, Labrador retrievers are either Marley or Isis. 

Here's the link to how Dug helped us fill out our NCAA Bracket. 

Dug and the bracket

Dug as Isis
Dug as Marley


When I was in high school and college my parents didn't want me to work.  They always said that my priority at that time in my life was being a student.  As parents, we've said the same thing to Mary Rollins that we haven't really wanted her to have a job because making good grades and doing ballet were more important than having a job.  There's plenty of time in life to work and if/when you do work in college, make it something that you can translate into future employment goals.  

I wouldn't say that we've implied quite the same message for Will.  I'd be okay with him having a job.  He likes spending money in a different way than his sister does and I think the working world is going to be harder for him, or at least different and he'll have different expectations for himself.

Sometimes I think I'm a bit sexist in my outlook or perhaps it's that I believe his self-worth is going to be more tied up in his work.  Women have the luxury of perceiving themselves as successful, contributing and valuable without that self-perception being connected to workplace success.  It's one of the ways I identify in my head that we really are not living in a post-feminist society.  Our culture (and I wouldn't limit that to just American culture) doesn't value men as much who don't excel at supporting their families financially.  I'm not saying that's right, just saying that's how it is!

With a few short sabbaticals, I've always worked since I graduated from college.  I had about a year that I did some free-lance writing after Will was born and a year that I took off between being the part-time interim coordinator of Greek Life at Transy and then being the full-time Greek life director.  After Mary Rollins was born I worked part-time and honestly, I haven't worked a normal 8:30 to 5 schedule since April 28, 1996.  I've been very lucky that I had skills and abilities that allowed me to work around my family's needs.  Leaving higher education for real estate was both easy and hard but ultimately it was a decision I haven't regretted.  In fact, I like to imagine that I'll still be a Realtor years from now although, I sort of imagine that I'll want a younger partner when I'm 80 (like Will Mathews...scary I just realized Will will be 48 then). 

So that's it for today.  Expect me to still be a Realtor for a long

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bracketology 2014

Will and I have approximately 3 hours left to complete our NCAA tournament bracket.  To my knowledge we haven't even started except that I know we are doing one with Kentucky winning and one with Florida winning.  We always have a Kentucky one because we're a hopeful people and it's worth $5 unless, ahem and god forbid, Kentucky isn't in the tournament.

Cute story for the day, my dad called me a little while ago to say that he'd filled out his bracket and had his $5 and what did he do with them now.  Apparently, I'd dropped some papers off for my dad to fill out and accidentally mixed our office bracket in with them.  Being the obedient father that he is, he completed all of his paperwork including the bracket.  Naturally, I told him I'd be right over to pick it up!  So, he's got his Bluegrass Sotheby's bracket done but not me!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Parent bragging alert

I've been going back and forth the last 12 hours about whether or not to post some very exciting news on Facebook because you really can have too much parent bragging.  I'm posting it here instead where it's okay to brag because I do believe the limited audience will, in fact, be interested.

Yesterday Mary Rollins logged on to her Muhlenberg College financial aid award site and discovered that in addition to her Tuition Exchange award she was also receiving a very nice Dance Scholarship.  Hurrah!  She mailed her audition DVD before Christmas and we were thinking that with the generosity of her other scholarship and the fact that she was early decision and already committed to the Mule School that even if they really liked her dancing she certainly didn't need the funds to attend but nonetheless, isn't it fantastic when hard work literally pays off? 

If we weren't previously enchanted enough with Muhlenberg, today that enthusiasm is over the top.  While I can definitely wait for the girl to head off to college, it's comforting to know that she'll be at a school that seems to really value all that she has to offer. 

Go Mules! 

Harder than it looks...

Writing on the blog every day, is turning out to be more challenging than I anticipated.  Years ago, my mother said that computers were just a fad.  It turned out that she was right.  Not in the way she anticipated, as she thought we'd all go back to using typewriters, but in that now, I don't spend much time actually in front of a computer with a keyboard at my fingers.  Most of the time, I'm on my phone or maybe iPad and sitting down at my computer is a luxury.  Communicating these days is all done on the fly and not nearly as slow and thoughtful a process as sitting at a computer used to be for me.  Eating's kind of the same way isn't it?  How often do we just eat on the run rather than taking time to actually sit down at a table and enjoy a meal?  Maybe you do it a lot.  Me, I manage dinner and the occasional lunch with a friend. 

I know you can blog from mobile apps and I've done it before but it's not nearly as pleasurable and the end result probably bears a lot more typos and DYACs (Damn You Auto Correct).  I love tap tap tapping with all five of my fingers rather than just using my thumbs.

I did actually have lunch with a friend today.  It was nice.  I practiced a combination of Lenten Friday and WWMRE which fit together nicely.  Boy, was it easy to decide what to eat...the meatless sandwich that came with a side salad. Although, I'm currently violating WWMRE and having WWW(ill)E and partaking of candy that I brought him from Wales that we found cleaning out the pantry for the kitchen renovation he had forgotten to eat.  Candy never goes bad, right?  And, Dug's keeping me company.  He's really worn out because I made him run 5 miles with me this morning, then chase some ball this afternoon and go for another mile walk.  He's a much better dog when he's exhausted.

Happy Friday! xoxo

(oops, I did in fact write this on Friday and forgot to post it)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Doesn't it seem like everyone is always talking about some new diet or eating lifestyle?  "I'm only eating paleo," "I'm gluten-free'" "I'm on a low-carb diet," et cetera, et cetera.  I know you know what I mean.  And, there must be dozens and dozens of apps to help you track what you eat and how many calories you've burned, et cetera.

I decided last year to give up weighing myself for Lent.  I used to weigh myself every morning compulsively and if I was a couple of pounds hoo...and if I was a couple of pounds down...woo hoo.  Every day it seemed like it was one or the other and I realized I spent way too much valuable time thinking about how much I weighed when my clothes fit perfectly/reasonably well and that was all that really mattered.  My work, spiritual life and ability to drive my children places in the car are not in anyway impacted by whether I weigh 126 pounds or 129 pounds.  However, having clothes that fit on my body does have some importance as I can't afford all new clothes and smocks are just not appropriate Realtor attire.  And so, last year, along with fashion and shopping, I gave up my scale.  I have not looked back or down since (except for twice last month and I remembered immediately, why I stopped weighing myself). 

Around the same time, I also decided I was no longer interested in playing any sort of "food games" with myself.  However, I totally respect and honor those people who for their own reasons do make important and healthy food choices.  For me though, I just want to eat fewer processed foods, more whole foods and less meat.  I thought I did pretty well, overall, and while I haven't quit eating French fries, my only New Year's resolution was to stop ordering them.  So, beware if you order French fries with your meal and you're eating with me -- you'll lose some of them.  I realized yesterday though that I could and should do better with my eating but how???  And, then the answer came to me:  going forward I will only eat foods that I think Mary Rollins would eat or follow the WWMRE plan.

Mary Rollins is perhaps the most reasonable and balanced eater I know.  She's not quite a vegetarian, so you can take her to any restaurant and she'll find something that she'll enjoy but she chooses meatless when it's an option.  She has great willpower but will enjoy a sweet treat or something decadent on occasion. To me, she's the ultimate food role model!

Here's how yesterday went on my new food choices plan:

And so, I did NOT have Chick Fil A for lunch even though I was starving and it was right there!  As it turned out, I was also by Trader Joe's and needed a couple of items so I went there and got a nice wrap sandwich with pesto and roasted pepper which was very good tasting and very good because my house was full of lots of very nice contractors working on the new kitchen.  I checked later with Mary Rollins and she approved of the sandwich from Trader Joe's in place of the faro.  Plus, I think she ate the faro later for a snack so everyone was happy.

Last night for dinner, we had a lasagna I made in the Ninja, asparagus I made in my steamer and a salad I made in a bowl.  I knew I was safe eating all those items because I knew that Mary Rollins would eat them.  Now, here's the conundrum:  I knew Mary Rollins would eat them because I had made them for dinner and she always eats what I make for dinner!  It's like the chicken and the egg, which came first!


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