Organized Living: Catch It All

Any time I flip through a magazine or catalog, I always sigh when I see neatly organized “catch all” or mud rooms. I love the idea of having a place to house all the stuff needed for activities, school and life.

This is our finished catch all and I love it. It makes clean up easy (ok, slightly easier) because everyone can put their bags, gear and or reminders in one space. Plus there’s not back packs and soccer balls every where. Or at least in theory.

This bench is an antique that has been in our house since I was little. It sort of floats around rooms, but it always works. The mirrors and the baskets are Target. And the shelf is courtesy of Peter and his amazing carpentry skills.

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I love the baskets. They make storage so pretty. And yes, having a crap basket is totally necessary.

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One organized living solution that keeps my sanity is to have a bag for each activity. Swim, dance, soccer, softball – all of them get a bag. Then at the end of each game or practice, all the crap goes back into the bag. That way there’s at least a fighting chance of finding soccer balls and TWO shin guards.

And that orange bag? Is a life saver! It has pockets surrounding the inside and the wide opening means everything is easily accessable. It’s called The Game Day Tote from Simply Steph’s Monograms on Etsy. Tell her I sent you when you order yours.

Need ideas for your mud room? Head on over to Pinterest and get ready to lose a few hours. All you need is a little space and some imagination – now get organized!

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Rockin’ and Rollin’ 2016

When you live near the Rock and Roll Marathon route, you can either try to get around the marathon, run it, or find away to enjoy it! We chose the last option and joined our friends, the B Family, for their annual water station. They are literally on the route so they are blocked in – which is a great excuse to hand out water and turn it into a party.

We rode our bikes over to their house and realized that this was a well oiled machine. Tables with cups and a system for filling and then refilling the water jugs was in place. Not to mention a great spread of breakfast and bloody marys for the volunteers. It wasn’t long until the first few runners came by, then the big waves came. It was so neat seeing the various kinds of runners – everyone was working hard. The sweetest thing was that so many runners not only slowed down, but some stopped to take the water from the kids and thank them for being there to cheer and hydrate. It was so cute to see the excitement on the kids faces.

Cutest helpers ever

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The waiting

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Someone has to drink the champs and bloodies

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Working hard!

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Towards the end, the kids handed out little candies too. It was a very sought after position

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Congratulations to everyone that ran! And thank you to all the runners who took time to say thank you, you made a lot of little kids very happy!

Hanging Memories

When we were first married, we had the skinniest, fake Christmas tree. It was this sad little thing, but it was in the budget. I added big strands of garland to it to beef it up and disguise the fact that we didn’t have many ornaments.

See what I mean? (And yes, that is snow outside! Kind of miss that. For like a second.)

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Every year since, I have bought an ornament with the year on it and popped our Christmas card picture into it. It’s so fun decorating the tree  and pulling out those sweet memories. The little faces, furry faces and younger faces  – all of them holding a little story of what life was like when they were created.

I’ve got the process down to a science now – as soon as I upload our Christmas card picture, I have one printed on ShutterFly in wallet size. Then I order the yearly ornament from Pottery Barn. I love the simplicity of the frame and how they are just a little different each year.

I think the part I love the most is when Auggie walks around the tree and exclaims “There’s me! There’s you, Baylor! There’s all of us!!”. It’s perfect.

And now that we have legit school pictures, I think we might need to start a new tradition with those…

So the Christmas tree this year is a bit better than that first tree…we had a very Griswold moment picking it out, getting it home and then getting it to stay upright. I still have sap on my hands.

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The one that started it all

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And finally the newest addition

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Dear Home Buyer

Dear Prospective Home Buyer,

Yea! You’re home shopping. Good for you. So fun. Just wanted to point out one thing to you; you know that cute house you just called and asked if you could have a last minute showing? Yeah, there’s a family that lives in that house. I know! Who knew. Well, that family is busy. Like crazy busy. And when they have to show their house, they have to spend an extra hour or so stashing kid stuff and vacuuming dog hair and making it look like they don’t live there despite the fact they do and pretty much losing their minds to make sure the house looks amazingly unlived in.

So, when you schedule that last minute showing the one thing should never, ever do? Is not show up to said house showing. And you should definitely not not call when you know you’re not going to show up. And then when the realtor calls you and says WTF, you should absolutely not not apologize and then reschedule for the weekend. Because when you schedule a last minute showing and then you don’t show and you don’t call you risk pushing the mother of the previously mentioned family over the edge. And when she gets pushed over the edge, she’s going to hunt you down and give you lice. And make you step on Legos. And while those things don’t sound awful, they are. They’re annoyingly awful. Much like cleaning and stashing and straightening and then fleeing a house for NO ONE TO SHOW UP.

Anyway, best of luck on a new house! Keep your eyes peeled for Legos!

Beth

The Mac Attack

We all know I was not such a big fan of getting a dog. I love dogs, don’t get me wrong. But a 4 year old, a 1 year old AND a puppy?? It was a recipe made for a nice little rehab in Tucson.

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Flash forward almost two years and I’ll give you one guess who this dog loves the best (I mean, besides Auggie). That’s right, yours truly. And secretly…I really love him too. I even kicked a kid out of the jogger for him.

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And I’ve learned a lot about Labs. Like the fact that they have iron stomachs and can eat anything. Literally anything. I’ve picked up more poop with remnants of things that should never go into a dog, let alone come out of a dog. I’ve discovered that he’s eaten liquid ant bait, twice. And not so much as a vet visit. BUT. And there’s a big but…Labs have horrible skin. I realized the first summer we had him, he itched all the time. Like ALL THE DAMN TIME. It was loud. It was annoying and it made for extra dog hair everywhere.

After consulting friends, the Wag ‘N Wash and the internet, I found a great blog that recommended a brand of treat/vitamins called Cloud Star. They have a blend that is great for skin, especially Lab skin. After changing his food to totally grain free, adding coconut oil to his meals and trying to get him to drink water with nothing really working on the problem, I was skeptical to try the treats. But much to my surprise, they really worked! His fur was shiny, the scratching and itching was way down and the shedding seemed better too. Mac seems to be happy about it too.

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You know, just having a lazy Saturday, watching the Masters

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Do you have any good dog skin tricks to try? Let me know – there can always be less hair around here!

Little Whispers

I’m so grateful for little whispers from Heaven. The little messages from Mamie that let me know she’s still here. Still sees her Baylor. And that knows we talk about her, pray for her, think of her, and say her name every day.

From the moment Baylor was born, Mame would tell Baylor when you are a little bigger, you can walk down to my house and we’ll make biscuits with butter and grape jelly. We’ll put chocolate milk in tea cups and we’ll have a party. 

When I got Baylor’s snack schedule for January, I nearly fell over my own feet reading it. Today is Baylor’s snack day and her assigned snack was biscuits, butter, grape jelly and milk. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh, cry or both.

Thanks Mamers. We miss you and love you too.

See Peter Run

A HUGE congratulations is due to Peter for finishing the 2015 Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon yesterday! He finished just over 2 hours (which he is supremely unhappy with, because he’s him) with minimal injuries; a large blister, sore muscles, etc.

The kids and I biked a few miles down the road to cheer him on as he ran by and then we went on to the finish line. It was a crush of humanity, but we miraculously we found him to congratulate him. And in true dad form, he immediately handed over his medal to the munchkins.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The race started out in the 50’s and the high was in the low 70’s. Perfection!

IMG_2836I drug him with me to yoga this morning to get him stretched out. He grumbled the entire way there but by the end, he was making plans to work in a class a week. I’m hoping he doesn’t find a yoga competition to sign up for next…!