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Friday, April 13, 2012

Facing fears

Some of my friends who blog have a feature they call "'Fess up Friday," where they. . .well, choose something to admit to their readers. Now, I'm not fool brave enough to tackle that regularly, but there has been something on my mind for quite some time now.

Next month, I'll celebrate a "milestone" birthday.

I'm not one to lament the passing of time or to shrink from admitting my age, but there's something about this one. So last summer, I started thinking about what I'd like to be doing differently when May 22 rolled around. I came up with 2 items:
1. Be in better health.
2. Learn to swim.

And I have to say I've done well. Lost 30 pounds, cholesterol level is down and I'm off the meds (well, except for the thyroid stuff, which -- like the poor -- will be with me always).

So this week I started swim lessons. You have to know that, while I don't think I'd actually drown, I wouldn't be much above the "survived" mark. And my in-laws like to sail, so I thought I'd take a little pressure off The Husband, who will admit that, before most of our sails, I cheerfully remind him to decide which of us he loves most -- me or the kids -- because he can't possibly save us all if something happens.

Thankfully, class has been much better than I imagined. It wasn't me and a bunch of 12-year-olds; everyone else in the class was a bona fide grown-up. I wasn't the scardiest girl in the class, either. The instructor is the same lady who taught Boy #2's class last spring, so she's familiar. And I'm doing it so far!

I've tried very hard not to pass my fear of water on to my children, which was especially hard when Boy #1 attempted to drown himself during his first round of swim lessons a few years ago. (Misplaced confidence is a continuing theme with him.) But this takes it up a level. I think it's valuable for my boys to see me face -- and conquer -- my fears, so we've been talking a lot about what scares us and how we can approach those things.

And who knows? One of these days, you just might see me jumping off a diving board. Just not this week. . . .


Monday, April 9, 2012

Lousy at this

I certainly don't need to tell y'all this, because you already know: I'm awful -- A.W.F.U.L. -- at keeping up with the blog. But can I blame it on the kids? They haven't been supplying their normal plethora of foolish and/or adorably cute childness for me to share. So there.

But there are a couple things to pass along, so here goes.

1. I'm frugal. Not cheap, because you won't find generic pasta or sauce here at The House (we're Barilla-philes through and through), but frugal. So The Husband and I made yet another a vow to have regular date nights this year. We signed up some friends we could swap kids with so they could have regular date nights, too.

And. . .it's working! We've actually been out at least a month all year long. [Yes, I know it's only early April. What's your point?]

One of our favorite new places is Smashburger. It's sort of a healthier version of Five Guys. Plus they've got sweet potato fries, which endears them to me quicker 'n one of my boys can ask for more Legos. And chicken (on the menu, not something my children ask for).

They're currently running a deal where, if you give them your personal info, they'll send you a coupon for a free sandwich when you buy one. They've got this fresh Mex sandwich that's really good done with chicken. I highly advise it.

So sign up, grab your honey, and go have yourselves a frugal date night. And be sure to get a card, too; after you've been there a few times, they'll give you more free food. You can't lose.

2. Spring break was lovely. The boys are learning to play together for increasingly longer periods of time and without too much drama. We mostly stayed home: had friends over one day, then visited the new Legoland Discovery Center and Tanglewood Farms.

The Legoland place was a lot of fun, really! My favorite part was being clever enough to ask the person minding the queue if we really had to stand in that long line when we'd pre-purchased our tickets. We did not.

We spent 5 hours building Lego creations of all sorts, riding their fun little rides, seeing 2 different 4-D movies, meeting the local Brick Master (who really was delightful), eating in their cafeteria and repeating. They've built amazing replicas of some of Atlanta's most recognizable buildings, even though a few of them stumped me and The Husband. But the Boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are willing to go back.

Tanglewood Farm is a petting zoo that's all miniature farm animals -- teeny cows and horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pot-bellied pigs, chickens and the sweetest, softest little alpaca you've ever seen. The baby lambs and calves were about as big as puppies -- so darling!

3. Birds like us. Thankfully, I am NOT reporting that Earl is back, but he seems to have been training other breeds to take up where he left off.

I believe the one bothering our windows most recently is an Eastern Towhee; he's not as persistent as Earl, and seems to prefer to flutter against the window, rather than peck the bejesus out of it. For this, I am grateful. I'm still trying to remember where we put the bird netting last fall, but I'm grateful.

So that's about all that's been going on here at The House. We're glad that spring seems to have returned -- after being skipped over for an early blast of summer.

I'm feeling very prideful this morning that, cooking Easter dinner, I was able to make the house smell almost as good as my Gramma's house on a given holiday. If only I'd had dozens of cousins and other relations show up. . . . Hope y'all had a wonderful Easter! He is risen!