Snoozing & Snuggles

We have come down with our first cold of the season. A little hoarse, a runny nose, and the saddest little cough you ever did hear, which ends in the softest little cry. Actually, let me back up. I don’t think we all have a cold. Emerson caught a virus and now has croup – as self-diagnosed by me.
Yesterday’s weather fit our moods perfectly: rainy, grey & moody. We hunkered down inside while we sipped juice, watched Peppa Pig, and had a mess of a time cuddling. Have you ever had a snotty toddler demand you give her a kiss? Ummm… thanks, but no thanks?
Anyway, today you can find us cuddling on the couch, sitting in a steamy bathroom or quietly reading our books while our bodies fight to get back in tip top shape. The hubster is also feeling a little under the weather, and me? Well, I’ve been so incredibly congested anyway that I honestly can’t even tell if I’m sick with a cold or not. *shrug* I’m just gonna keep on chuggin’ along.

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I grew up about a mile away from an apple orchard. Don’t let that last sentence fool you… if your mind is anything like mine you just pictured rolling hills and cows getting loose. Nope. I grew up in your basic suburban neighborhood; small to mid-sized ranches, enough of a yard to play but not so much that you couldn’t see directly into your neighbors house once the lights were on.  Yes, it was your average middle class neighborhood that just so happened to be down the road from an apple orchard. 
Anyway, one of my favorite memories about the fall, and perhaps the truest signal that the glorious days of summer were indeed gone, was the air’s aroma. Come late September when the leaves glowed crimson, the ground turned damp and apples were abundant, the air would smell like cider. It was subtle, mixed alongside the earthy wetness, of dewy grass and crisping leaves… but there were certain undertones of apples and cider. That, to me, is fall. 

While the air certainly doesn’t smell like cider here in Baltimore, it surely hasn’t let me down this fall. We’ve packed our days full of festive activities. We’ve run through hay mazes, jumped in a corn box, pet various farm animals, and even spoiled ourselves with some apple cider donuts – we may or may not have eaten half a dozen right after we bought them… just sayin’. 
Yes, city life certainly has advantages over a quiet suburban town. In my ideal world I’d have it all; amazing foliage, apple cider in the air, a plethora of fun activities… but still warm enough not to need a coat! (A girl can dream right?) Well, until that day, I think I’ll just have to settle for turning up the heat and eating another donut. 

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The soft lap of the waves, the way the air clings to my skin, humidity amplifying the curls my hair usually suppresses by the burden of length. The feeling of cool tile beneath bare feet. The ease of slipping on a simple dress and feeling put together.  I sit here out on the balcony, warm and calm, appreciating the stillness of nap time.
White puffy clouds are rolling in with hints of grey, teasing us with questions of rain. And this. This is inner peace. My life is full, my heart is happy, my soul is calm. This vacation is one of little plans. We plan to enjoy the pool and each other’s company. We plan to eat good food and sip our drinks. We plan to explore wherever or travels take us. We planned to not plan and it has been liberating.

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Playground Hopping

One of these past fall days was utterly gorgeous. While we had errands to run in the morning, I made sure to whisk us off to the zoo after her nap. Unfortunately, Claire-bear and I arrived with only twenty minutes of zoo time, so instead of taking 15 minutes to walk to the animal section, we decided to use all twenty minutes and play on the zoo’s playground instead. 

When the 4 o’clock shuffle came, and everyone was politely escorted out, I just couldn’t bear to go home just yet. One Cliff bar later, which Emerson quickly decided we weren’t sharing, and a quick text to the hubster to see if he wanted to grab an early dinner, we packed up into the car for a super quick drive to a playground at the surrounding park. 
We climbed, slid, and even attempted monkey bars once or twice. The air was warm and sweet, with just enough of a breeze to remind you it isn’t summer anymore. The sky was bathed in a golden light that the evening autumn sun brings. 
When we had to leave the current playground, we were still waiting on a reply text to confirm plans. Not ready to give up on the dream I had whipped up 60 minutes prior, we headed to, you guessed it, another playground.  This one was within walking distance to campus. We ran, jumped and climbed as we patiently awaited dinner confirmation. 
Three playgrounds and two hours later, we finally got in touch with the Hubby. When all was said and done, dinner plans were just not going to work out. Emerson and I packed up and headed home. 
Even though the afternoon did not pan out anything like I imagined, it helped me realize that sometimes the best days are the ones that don’t go according to plan.
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Hello Again

I had some annual blood work done not too long ago. And once a year I am the lucky participant in a 2 hour glucose tolerance test. You know that nasty “fruit punch” flavored sugar water they make you drink when you’re pregnant? Yea, I get to do that once a year. I know, I know! Try to contain your jealousy!

Well, normally I’m always borderline failing this test. Then, at home when I check my blood sugar levels, they seem to be alright. Thus far, I’ve managed to squeak by without needing to check much. Well, the time has come where I have flat out failed. *cue violins*

While checking my blood sugar, and possibly adding in insulin to my routine, is not something I am particularly looking forward to, I am looking forward to the possibility of finally having an answer as to why I’m really struggling with weight gain. not your average problem.
With this Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes, CFRD for short, under control maybe I can start packing on the pounds again, and stop looking like a lanky, awkward high schooler and start looking like the young adult I am!

So old friend, while I’m not super thrilled to see you, I guess you can stick around for a bit.
(You read that I’m all about cheesy puns right? It’s just that they’re so bad they’re gouda.)

 source /  source
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Little Things

A little love, a few flowers, a hug, a simple thank you or act of kindness can certainly go a long way. Here are the little things I’m enjoying lately. 
1. Fresh flowers. I’m a sucker for fresh flowers. I recently spoiled myself and grabbed a bouquet for 3.99 when we ran to Trader Joe’s for some frozen goods. I split the bouquet for 3 vases and snipped some greenery off of our front bushes to help fill out the thinned bouquet. I’m not sure what it is about them, but they put a smile on my face every time I see them.

2. Free flowers: And just when you thought there was nothing that could beat fresh flowers? Free fresh flowers. The lot behind our house is a crummy garage that gets frequently overgrown. However, the other day I noticed these awesome flowers springing up. I went out there armed with my scissors and went to town. The icing on the cake? When I put them on the dresser I was so aghast with the state of the dresser top that I felt the dresser was unworthy of receiving the flowers. You better believe I cleaned that shit up. Now, not only do I have fresh flowers in the bedroom, but the bedroom is now clean! The gift that keeps on giving.

3. My little engineer. This girl and her alarming new ways to scale the furniture. Emmie’s always been a fan of being on the couch, but luckily was too short to climb up herself. Well, she’s still too short, but her smarts make up for the height she lacks. She’ll push, carry, tug anything over to the couch and test it out to see if it can be used to scale on up. This usually happens in less than a minute. While part of me is terrified, it’s pushed aside as the proud Momma barges through. My Claire-bear thinking through problems and finding creative solutions, and not giving up when one doesn’t work? Yup, I’ve got Proud Momma Syndrome.

4. The “Mama” stage. Boo boos? Mommy’s hugs are best. Hungry? Mama’s snack is delicious. Woke up cranky? Momma snuggles fix that. Need a midnight snuggle? Only Mom will do. Mother dearest is cooking and can’t pick you up? Mom leaves you with Dad to go upstairs to get dressed? End of the world.  Yes, we are certainly in a Mama stage. I’ll take my extra snuggles while I can.

5. Konmari-ing my clothes. I just finished this book, and finished tidying up my clothes in the method she describes. Afterwards, I finalized my capsule wardrobe. Just looking at my closet brings me inner peace. I’m finally excited to get dressed in the mornings. 
6. Random kindness. Emerson and I were enjoying a Starbucks treat, people watching, when an expectant mother was experience some cart malfunctions. She had her toddler in the seat, with some cases of water underneath, and a couple of big plastic bins in the back. Well, one little bump and everything went wrong all at once. Water fell off, bins and other items fell overboard and toddler started crying. Two different gentlemen ran over and immediately started picking things up. One carried the bins and one pushed the cart, all the way to her car and helped her load it up while she consoled the crying boy. Moments like this restore my faith in humanity. They didn’t know each other, but those men didn’t even think twice about sacrificing their time to help someone in need out.  While it’s easy to get caught up in all that is wrong in the world, moments like this one remind me that there is still so much love, so much kindness, to give and receive. 
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Autumn Light

We turned on the lights, and closed the blinds for the evening. The darkness outside seemed to accentuate the tiredness of my body. Warm thoughts of curling up in cozy PJ’s, resting after a long day, crept into my head. A simple glance at the clock… what the… it was only 7pm. I still had at least two more hours before my husband would deem it appropriate to go to bed.

One of the things most taken for granted in the warm summer months is that precious extra light. As the earth starts to tilt on her axis, and the sun’s ray fall short upon us, I’m reminded of that extraordinary gift. While the sun is starting to retire earlier these days, we’re still trying to soak up as much of it as we can.

Afternoons are filled with a golden glow that you can only find this time of year.  Sweet, warm breezes turn crisp and earthy. Short sleeves are traded for long ones, and sweaters are donned. The choir of cicadas is traded for the rhythmic crunch of leaves underfoot.

Fall is indeed in full swing, and you know what? I couldn’t be happier. While my fingers may start feeling cold, my heart will still be warmed by Autumn’s light, and that’s enough for me.

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