In honor of turning a whopping 32 years old, here is a list 32 random things:

Ten Things I Did on My Birthday:
1- Slept in.  Matt got up with the kids while I slept, finished a book I was reading, and got ready for the day.
2- Watched Dylan play t-ball.  Well, actually I chased Aaron around the sports complex while occasionally checking in on how Dylan was doing.
3- Attempted to take the kids to the Leesburg Air Show.  The line for the shuttle was TOO long.  So we found a place nearby to watch and were planning on just hanging out there until a cop chased us off (he was really nice about it).  Then we tried to go to a different spot, but Aaron fell asleep, so we just came home.  Maybe next year we'll make it.
4- Aaron took a nearly 4 hour nap.  So we all had a nice relaxing early afternoon.
5- Made Halloween decorations with Dylan.
6- Started a new book and realized about one paragraph in that I had already read it.  oops.
7- Got into a car small accident.  Not even enough to qualify as a fender bender.  But it still sucked.
8- Went out to a seafood restaurant for dinner with Matt.  We've been wanting to try it for a long time.  Finally made it, and the food was great!
9- Attempted to go clothes shopping.  I need all new pants and I keep putting off buying them.  But since we were out without the kids I tried to find some.  I was unsuccessful.  Not sure what to do about that now, maybe I'll just invest in some belts instead.
10- Had a custom hat made for Dylan.  Using his "Weird Dylan" logo that he came up with (based on a Weird Al logo).  It turned out great and Dylan loves it.

Five Random Things about Turning 32:
11- I still feel like I'm 18 in my mind most of the time.  When I stop to think about it, the fact that I'm married with two kids seems surreal... like I'm just playing a game.
12- I have some gray hairs... I think.  They might be really blond, which is possible, because I do have some really blond hair mixed in with my nearly brown hair.  But I have some that seem really really really blond, like white.  But the woman who cuts my hair insists that there's no gray.  I'm not sure if she's just trying to be nice or not.  Honestly, it doesn't really bother me if there is gray because at this point I can pass it as blond.  So while I may not always feel my age, I definitely notice I'm aging.
13- I definitely have wrinkles.  Nothing to do about that, so moving on...
14- I feel more confident in who I am now than I did when I was in my early 20s.
15- I'm starting to notice how out of the loop I am... with music, TV shows, pop culture, trends.  Mostly because I just don't have the time and can't be bothered to go through all of that.  And why not?  Because I'm old and I have other more important things to do.  Which is fine.  Except the music part, I'm still interested in finding good new music (the good part being important there).s

Five Things I Wish I Did Everyday, and Should Be Able to, but for Some Lame Reason, I Don't :
16- Wake up early in the morning, before the kids, and spend some quiet time enjoying my coffee and catching up on TV that I like to watch
17- Go for a run or workout in some way
18- Write a daily blog post
19- Shower
20- Go to bed by 9:00 so I get enough sleep

Five of My Current Favorites:
21- Food Indulgence: whip cream on my coffee
22- Room in my house:  Dylan's, because it is so like him
23- Kids TV show I don't mind watching:  Phineas and Ferb
24- Saying: "The days are long, but the years are short"
25- Ways to spend my free time:  reading

Five Things I'm Extremely Grateful for even though I Take Them for Granted:
26- My family, my family, my family
27- Being healthy enough to run around with my kids
28- My children's health and happiness
29- Getting to eat delicious food, all day everyday
30- The complex systems that are in place to make things like running water and electricity possible

Two Things I'd Like to Accomplish While I'm 32:
31- Run 5k in less than 30 minutes
32- Go on a kid free vacation


Aaron at One: The back of his head

He is constantly running off, wanting to explore and experience everything.  I'm usually following closely behind hoping that I'm within reach if (and when) he needs help.  So this is pretty much how I see Aaron these days.


The Chocolate War, both book and real life... kinda... not really

Before I was a parent, and even back when Dylan was still teeny tiny, I told myself I would not participate in those "have your kids sell our stuff to their family and friends" fundraisers.  No wrapping paper, chocolates, cookies, popcorn, whatever.  It is just one of those things that as a non parent I knew to be annoying, I'd much rather just donate some cash and call it a day.  So far we've managed to avoid anything like this, but I knew it would eventually catch up to us.

And it has.  The second week of school Dylan brought home some catalogs and order forms for a PTA fundraiser.  And I considered participating.  Because I want to support the school, and I want to be involved (I even joined, and I went to the first PTA meeting).  But I kept hearing this little voice in the back of my head going "oh come on Jess, you're not really going to do this are you? remember how you really feel about it."  So I'm not.  I'll happily support the school in other ways though, I just don't want to sell people crap.  Especially since Dylan is too young to be responsible for any of it.  If he wants to do it when he's old enough to own it, that's fine.

Ironically (or perhaps more accurately it's "coincidental" though I feel a little bit of irony is involved), I finally got around to reading The Chocolate War this week.  So now I feel like I'm not selling this stuff in solidarity with Jerry.  Luckily I don't have to worry about cruel mob mentality over my decision though I'm probably not disturbing the universe as much as he did either.


Self Portrait: bathroom mirror

I also tried a couple shots with my film camera... though it will be a while before I have those results (film is a good way to practice delayed gratification by the way).  But here are my instant digitals...


A few of my favorite things

Fall Edition:

I love fall.  Mostly because it means the heat and bugs of summer are behind us.  I'm not sad to see that go at all.  Other things I enjoy about the fall:

1- It means winter is coming.  I love winter.  LOVE it.  Especially when we get a lot of snow.  The more the better.

2- Cooler weather means I enjoy being outside.  A lot less sweating and misery on my part.  It's fun to be outside, running around with the kids.  This year has been especially fun so far with Dylan playing t-ball and Aaron able to run around and play outside.  Definitely keeps me moving.

3- Leaf piles.  As much fun now as they were when I was a kid.  I don't even mind raking because jumping in a big pile is so much fun.  And we have a massive amount of trees in the backyard so we get some pretty big piles.

4- Cinnamon.  The smell of fall to me.  Cinnamon with apples, cinnamon with pumpkin, getting the house to smell like cinnamon.

5- The return of comfort food.  I love all the fresh, light, bright tastes of summer, but by the end of the season I'm ready for the warmth and satisfying comfort of fall/winter food.  On the menu for lunch today... baked acorn squash with cinnamon and brown sugar.  Chili for dinner.  mmmmmm

6- The good holidays.  I mean, I know there are good holidays during the rest of the year, but the really good ones start in fall...  Halloween (not my favorite, but a favorite for a certain 5 year old boy in this house), Thanksgiving... all leading up to Christmas.  Plus, there's my birthday right at the beginning of fall.

7- Beautifully colored trees.  One last bright burst of color before everything turns drab for the winter.

8- Return of TV shows.  Even though I no longer watch much TV I'm excited to see new episodes of the ones I do watch.  Currently:  New Girl, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, HIMYM.  Sadly though, no more Happy Endings  :(

9- Dylan's back in school, which forces some routine back into our lives.  The break from school and chores during the summer is nice (I kind of force myself to enjoy it), but I really thrive on routine, so I am happy to have things fall into rhythm again.  Plus, this year Aaron naps while Dylan is at school so I usually get enough of a break in the middle of the day to eat lunch and get a few things done in peace and quiet.  It helps that Dylan loves school :)

10- Warm cozy clothes.  Bring on the sweaters, the darker colors, layers, curling up with blankets.  I'm looking forward to all of those.  And trying hard not to stress out too much about the fact that I need to replenish about half of my fall/winter wardrobe this year due to things no longer fitting.  Not the worst problem to have (especially since it's because I lost weight), but I just hate shopping, and now I never have time for it, so it's even harder.


Aaron at One: Coloring

Aaron has started to show an interest in drawing and coloring.  His interest lasts for a good 10 minutes before he just wants to eat the crayons and rip the paper.  We'll have to try water paints soon and see how that goes.


General Boy Silliness

Last week we took Dylan to play some arcades after dinner.  He picked out a fake mustache with his collection of tokens when we were done.

Then Aaron had a turn...  He wasn't really sure what to make of it.

And a sweet moment with dad...


Dylan's First Day of Kindergarten

He got on the bus after an early lunch, he was the only kid at our stop, which is right in front of our house.  That part went really quick, I snuck in a quick hug and then took a couple photos as he marched his way to a seat.  He sat next to the window and waved bye to Matt, Aaron, and me.  And here is what I can piece together of the rest of his day.

He sat next to his friend Eric on the ride to school and on the ride home.  When he got to school the teacher wasn't waiting for him right at the bus, so he started walking towards the main door and met her there.  While at school they went to the library, Dylan got to be the leader, he thinks for the walk to the library.  He got a sticker for "being the best sitter" during library time.  He learned "about how books work" during this time.  They read a story about a kid who did not take care of his or her books, it involved peanut butter, jelly, and ice cream getting all over his or her books, which is not a good thing.  His teacher sang a song that the kids made up for her.  It wasn't funny, and it may have been about how two kids ran into each other and hurt their heads and had to go to the hospital.  Which really happened, but not today and it didn't happen to anyone in his class.  For his milk break he chose plain milk over chocolate.  They went outside for a bit during which time he played hopscotch and threw broken pieces of chalk to break them even more.  There was also a giant tic-tac-toe square while they were outside, but someone had already played that so he couldn't.  While playing hop scotch he threw two 8s, a 9, and a 10.  There are rules about not climbing things and not opening the gate.  The same rule from preschool is true in kindergarten:  keep your hands to yourself.  There's a kid in his class  named Logan, which is cool because it's like Logan's the place.  There's a kid in his class who spoke Spanish and the teacher asked her to speak in English instead.  He sat at table number 3 and has his own cubby with a whale on it.  The teacher gave them new stickers with their bus numbers on it because that made it easier for them to see.    When I asked if he remembered to give his teacher the envelop with his milk money he said "no, but she found it and said that she would put it in a safe place."  He finally remembered the name of the second teacher in his class.  When another mom asked him if there were more boys or girls in the class he had no idea.  On the ride home from school the bus driver said that she would give a prize to the kid who was the fastest, and one of the kids all the way in the back said "what's the prize?"  [story ended there]  He saw his friend Nick on the bus, he sat all the way in the back (Nick is older so I'm not surprised that he was sitting in the back of the bus).

He got off the bus with one other slightly older girl.  All smiles and gave me a HUGE and tight hug.  It was perfect.