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April, where have you gone?

As with most things in this world, my time and desire to stop and write something here on my little spot seems to ebb and flow. I was wondering this morning in the shower about why that is the case. And the best I could come up with is that we've just been busy lately.

Case in point: as I'm getting ready to prepare my monthly statements for April, I'm discovering that it will go down in the books as my busiest month since turning my professional energies full time to my wellness business 3 years ago. I've taught more classes, in more places, to a wider audience than ever before. Wow! Which is awesome and eye opening at the same time. Awesome to know my services are so well respected. Eye opening to the fact that while I love doing what I do, doing it at this intensity for any length of time isn't going to work physically for my body. I've known this for a while. But the recent flair-up of my sciatica, which I'd been able to keep pretty well in check for a while with changing how I teach (teaching without always demonstrating...which isn't as easy as it sounds, especially when you are USED to doing as you teach. I think this is also the reason I'm finding 5 extra pounds settling themselves in areas I would rather they didn't. The re-opening of Dairy Barn, our local summer sweets shop, has not helped that matter either!), has really driven the point home. I'm finding myself looking forward to my slower summer work schedule more than ever. Mainly with hopes of hurting less and having more energy (physically and mentally) to do fun things outside with the girls once the weather warms up....and dries out! (It's a good thing my work schedule is going to be a bit lighter because our social calendar is PACKED for June and July!) The unfortunate side of a slower schedule is less income, which affects our family and my stress level in a whole different way. (It's admittedly much easier for me to deal with the physical aches of a busy work schedule than the mental stress of financial struggles.) I wish that wasn't the case, but am thankful less summer work coincides with the ease of summer outdoor entertainment options and produce from the garden. I guess it's just one of the compromises I make (fluctuating income) for the freedom of being my own boss and setting my own schedule. (For the most part.)

I have more I'd like to say about this topic, but maybe I'll save that for a later post. One when hopefully I'll have a bit more information to share about the future direction of Happy Daisy Yoga and Jennifer Mavin, Wellness Consultant.

So what have we been up to?

While spring has been mostly cool and wet thus far, we did have a couple of warm dry days which allowed us to clean out flower beds, mow the last of fall's leaves, and mark off our new backyard veggie garden plot. This being our 6th spring in our house it's fun to see the well established flowers coming up stronger and thicker than ever. I'm hoping to be able to split a few perennials up this year to spread around into bare spots. (Budget friendly gardener that I am.) My lavender bushes seem to have made it through another winter (even though technically we're a zone were they shouldn't) and the little hydrangea bush I planted at the end of last season (an end of the year clearance buy) has new growth on it as well. The hostas which we relocated last year have grown like crazy this past week with the cool, moist days and the bleeding heart has gone from a few sprouts to a full blown bush with flowers in only 10 days. The rate at which that thing can grow in only a day's time always amazes me. I'm very excited to finally have a "real" space for our veggies this summer, though there's still a lot of work that needs to be done before the garden is ready for seedlings. I'm eagerly awaiting a few dry days...

The end of school is nearing for Lexi. Last week was the spring music concert for her school. A concert for which I have little photographic record since my camera's memory card decided to freak out and insist it was full even though it wasn't. We have since made peace, though doesn't do me much good since I can't go back in time. As usual the concert was cute and provided much comic relief. Lexi had a short solo on This Old Man, being responsible for verse 4 and the old man's playing of knick-knack on her door. She did a good job of standing up to the mic and clearly singing her full verse, even though she admitted afterwards she was a lot more nervous than when they practiced earlier in the day without an audience. Grandpa Bob was able to drive up for the evening which was such a nice treat as he treated us all to dinner before hand and the girls to lots of hugs and kisses before heading back to KC the next morning. In addition to her weekly gymnastics class, Lexi's summer softball team has started practicing one night a week with her twice a week games getting underway the week of Memorial Day.

Brea is busy being 3. Seriously, that in itself is busy...and on days like today when she's not been able to go run off steam outside for a couple of days, it's also exhausting! So far today I've had to adopt from her 2 dogs and 2 babies; we've cleaned out the entire Play-doh toys bucket (which then resulted in the vacuuming of millions of tiny pieces of dried play-doh off the kitchen floor) in search of a new can of soft doh and her favorite roller and cookie cutters; and now apparently I am her baby who is suppose to be taking a little rest while she runs the animal shelter set up in her room (the pretend play of choice after watching Hotel for Dogs this weekend). I'm glad Lexi will very soon be walking through the door!

Scott has been busy with both his jobs lately. The job market in Des Moines seems to have picked up a bit, which keeps him busy during the day. The cool wet weather has kept him busy at his second job renting movies and games. Yesterday Scott's office had a booth at a large job fair in DSM and Scott was "lucky" enough to get a few moments of air time on KCCI's 5:00 news cast. We unfortunately we weren't watching, but you can catch a glimpse of his shining face on their website in both this and this video clip. (Don't might miss him.)

I think that about catches me up on the general news of our family. My brother is set to finish up his bike tour tomorrow. We are looking forward to his arrival here in Iowa in about 3 weeks and are so happy he'll be spending his summer here in Grinnell. We are also getting set to welcome a canine visitor, Baden, who will be spending his summer with us here in Iowa. Saturday Scott will be playing volleyball in the USVBA regional tournament in Des Moines while the girls and I run around trying to find suitable flower girl shoes for the wedding which they will be a part of at the end of May. I am also excited that Tiny Circus activities are gearing up for the summer and look forward to the many friends that will be returning to town over the next month as a result. We have several summer visitors coming in June, a visit to Nebraska to make ourselves, summer art camp, and in amongst all of that I need to find time to train for my third RAGBRAI in July. Like I said before...our social calendar for June and July is already looking pretty busy. Luckily with the return of the sun and the colors of summer, I'll be more inclined to update our activities through photos...another hobby that's been neglected as of late. *sigh*

And now I realize our busy isn't going to be getting any less so over the next few's just going to change shape. The one constant in life...change.



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.