Category: at home

Relaxed and happy

We had a fabulous Independence Day weekend. My sister and her fiancé came to visit for a few days, and it was awesome. We went dress shopping for her wedding dress, shopped our hearts out at the local outlet mall, and had fun at the kids’ swim lessons. Yesterday we spent the morning at the beach and then came home to smoke ribs (Will did, anyway) and celebrate the day. Such a great relaxing weekend!




This next week is the start of a new, official training season for me! I signed up for the Another Mother Runner 13.FUN challenge/training plan. I’m doing the run/walk option because the last thing I want is to get injured and/or lose more motivation. I’m excited to see how it goes!

My Homemaker Bête Noire

Oh man, you guys. I need some help.

Since we’re among friends, I will freely admit that I have lots of shortcomings in the homemaker area. As in, I really don’t excel at it. I hate cleaning, I organize people and schedules better than clothes and dishes and laundry, and I can’t decorate a home to save my life. I see Pinterest boards of beautiful homes and rooms (here’s my dream board) and wonder how people come up with these ideas.

I want this to be my living room:

Pinned from Four Generations, One Roof

In reality, I have this – the laundry couch and the “what, you want to actually SIT here?” couch:

The Laundry Couch
The Laundry Couch
Wait, you want to SIT here?
Wait, you want to SIT here?

I’d love for the kids’ playroom to be this:

clean playroom that is not at my house
Pinned from

But right now we have this:

When children run amok
When children run amok
At least the window blows out some of the messy detail
At least the window blows out some of the messy detail

I’ve tried and failed at various organizational methods, so now I’m going to try again. Because like I said, no change means you stay in the situation you’re already in.

Fact: Five people live in this house. There will always be laundry.
Fiction: Laundry has to immediately be put away, wrinkle-free, and on color-coordinated hangers.
Deal with it, Erin: put the laundry away so people have a place to sit.

Fact: Children are messy and not naturally inclined to organize their toys.
Fiction: Children cannot be taught to clean up their messes.
Deal with it, Erin: Someone has to teach them and build cleaning up into their daily schedules. And they’re learning by watching, so you better clean up along with them.

Fact: Most of my days are spent away from home.
Fiction: I get a pass on cleaning when I am home, because I’m tired.
Deal with it, Erin: It’s not fair to hope someone else will magically take care of all the messes. It’s also not fair to get all crazy and upset every few weeks because you’ve let the messes spawn.


I have some other ideas of things I could do with organization systems, but right now it’s boiling down to this:

  1. Get rid of some crap and junk in the playroom. Okay, around the house in general. Look into toy rotation, too.
  2. Spend at least 10 minutes a day cleaning up, with a little more on the weekend.
  3. Get one storage tote for each child (maybe even the grown-ups) and label it “Next.” Next season, next size, whatever makes sense for the person. Then put all the other ones away.

How do you tame the household chaos you can’t stand?

I’m a wimpy runner

Yes, I will confess: I’m a wimpy runner.

Back in November? Still a wimpy runner.
Back in November? Still a wimpy runner.

I’ve been following Jeff Galloway’s runDisney training plan for the Disneyland Half (PDF file) in August. I’m not running the race, but I thought it’d be a good guide for the summer months. It’s not horribly strenuous either, which gives me the chance to catch my breath with all the other stuff that happens with small children and summers! It’s basically 30 minutes twice a week, then a slowly escalating long run on weekends. It’s actually kind of perfect for a busy mom/working girl schedule.

But here’s the thing: the plan has been completely hit or miss for me. Not because of Jeff’s design, but because I wimp out sometimes.

Like this week: I started getting those tickles in my throat on Monday night. You know, the kind that warn you that either allergies or a summer cold are on the way?

Tuesday morning, I woke up at my scheduled run time. It was 5:30 a.m., and it was already 75/76F and around 90% humidity. The throat tickle had gotten worse overnight, and I was stuffy in the head. Could I have gotten up to run? Sure. Would it have made me feel better? Maybe.

I just didn’t want to go. So I turned off the alarm, waited for my back-up standard waking time alarm, and snoozed a bit more. A more hardcore runner would have sighed, suited up, and gotten out there. Me, the wimpy runner? I enjoyed the extra 45 minutes of sleep.

Of course, looking back on that decision four days later, I feel it was probably the right call! I’ve been knocked flat by a virus that has me on the verge of a sinus infection and/or an upper respiratory infection, complete with hacking cough that keeps me up all night.

I’d like to think it was my stellar body intuition that got me to stay in bed and rest Tuesday morning, but I’m pretty sure I’m just a wimp. 😉