Really cool self-tests

On this BCC website, you can take a test to see how well you are able to determine fake smiles versus genuine smiles, how musical you are, how well you are able to determine people’s personalities based on their facial expressions, your level of moral judgment, among many other topics.  It is very fun and interesting!

Click here to try them!

What I’ve been up to

This week we had a heat wave pass through, and for some reason I had all kinds of energy to do things both indoor and outdoors.  Today the weather cooled down, and I want to lie down and read a book or take a nap.

I’ve been cleaning out our house, taking things to be donated, and selling things on Craigslist.  I did the same thing last July, just because I was in the mood for it.  What is it with July and my desire to clean out?  Beside that, the colon cleanse is underway, too.

I am super excited for my trip to Denmark, which is now less than a month away.  I just can’t wait, and I love this feeling of being excited almost as much as I like the actual exciting thing happening.  I am already dreaming about going there again, next time with my children and husband. Having this trip ahead of me is a reward of sorts; it gives me the ability to tolerate much more work than I normally do without feeling like I am giving too much.  I don’t normally take a lot of time off from my motherly duties, but next month I will be getting 11 days in a row!

Jezzie is getting old and really slowing down.  Going up and down stairs is becoming hard for her, and she is sleeping more and lying around a lot. She’s my sweet old lady.  It’s hard to think of life without her.

The girls are loving our new driveway and it has given them a nice shady place to play.  They have had a lot of fun with sidewalk chalks and water balloons and riding bikes and scooters on it.  It’s good to have them outside so much.  One of our neighbors’ houses sold, and the new owner is doing a total makeover to the house and yard, then plans to sell the house again.  It has been fun to see the transformation, and best of all, we now have a tall cedar fence lining the back part of our yard, thanks to them.  We like what the transformation does to our property value and also that it gives us some motivation to get our own yard cleaned up.

We are going camping again soon and I am excited for that, too.  We all love camping, and I love that we’ve found something we can do as a family that brings us together like that.  Plus, it’s a very affordable way to vacation, and a fun way to explore new places.

I am starting to look forward to the new school year and the newness it brings.  I am thinking about what I will do with Anna in our last year together before she starts Kindergarten, and in my last year as a full-time mom at home.  It’s a time to cherish, that is for sure.

My schooling begins in October, and while I have gone back and forth on my decision, I am pretty firmly set on going through with this plan.  Alan and I have talked at length about the pros and cons, and in the big picture of life, we think it’s the best decision to go through with it.  I am looking forward to it.

I sold our Ergo baby carrier today and am in process of selling my cloth diaper stash.  It hurts a little bit, but I am ready to move on.  Those baby years went quickly, and I really know what people meant all those years ago when I was a new mom: “Babies grow so fast. Enjoy it!” I took the advice and I enjoyed it, and now I am enjoying what I have in the present moment, which like babyhood, will go quickly, too.

Camping!

We spent two nights at campsite 3 in the primitive campground at Lake Elmo Reserve.  It was glorious.  While it was still close to the city and we didn’t quite get away in the fashion that I prefer, it was relatively quiet and also convenient, as well as surprisingly beautiful and lovely overall.

 

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A magical day

We spent the last day of our vacation on the South shore of Lake Superior, with good friends, sunshine, and a beach all to ourselves.

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After nine glorious days of quiet northland peacefulness and fresh crisp air, coming home to our city home was difficult. I have a deep longing in my heart to move past this city life we’ve had for the past decade and move near Lake Superior.   Alan shares the same longing, and that happens to be quite convenient.

My children are different people when they play in nature’s playground.  They share.  They cooperate.  They imagine.  They don’t ask for Netflix.  Away from the stimulation of city life, I can sit still and think of nothing but what I see and feel in that very moment.  I feel calmness–a foreign and immensely pleasant sensation. Other than the slowly rising tide, time at this beach stood still.  It was beautiful. It was magical.