Sweetness and belated Halloween pictures

I love my little family. I love waking up to the sweet voices of my girls.  I love that they sleep in bunk beds and giggle together after the lights go out.  I love that Alan is strong and stable and reliable.  I love that he is building a shed out of old pallets.  I love that Anna is in preschool and Mia is in school, and that they are so happy there.  I love that right now, I am sitting in a cafe by myself with a cup of decaf miele and my laptop.

Here are some pictures from Halloween.  They wore matching costumes for the second year.  That’s so cute.  I love them.

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A new chapter.

I started tonight.  I had my first class as a graduate student! It was great.

I am happy and excited to begin this new chapter and look forward to everything that sits ahead of me.  I have so much to learn and so much growing to do.

My first class has only 6 other students in it.  I am thrilled.  The small number of people in class put me at ease, especially since we have to make presentations–and my greatest fear until now has been public speaking.  Speaking to 6 people is hardly public speaking, so this is a good way for me to ease into it.  I am determined and fully expect to get over my anxiety with public speaking asap–it has been a pretty obnoxious problem for me and I am ready to let it go.  So, so ready to let it go…

Up unti now I worried that I was making a mistake by investing so much time, energy and money into this; after all, I could do a lot of other things instead of getting this degree.  But after tonight, I am completely sure that this is the right path for me to follow.  I love this stuff.  I may as well make a career of it.

So happy.

What I am obsessed with at the moment

It’s interesting to look back at the various things I’ve been obsessed with over the years and how many of them have actually stuck around.  They seem to come and go with the wind. I guess it’s just a part of who I am to be curious and explore all kinds of different things.  Sometimes I think it’s pretty exhausting and wouldn’t mind being less curious.  My curiosity pulls me out of my present life and into a different world.  My kids get ignored, chores don’t get done, and so forth–but the drive to discover these things is so strong that I can’t fight it.  I have to satisfy my curiosity or I will go nuts.

The last week I have spent many hours reading about astrology, and more specifically, about astrolocation.  Astrolocation is a theory that suggests that based on the location of the planets at the time and place of your birth, there are certain places in the world that impart energies onto us that are either beneficial or not beneficial.  Some places are neutral.  I am obsessed with this.  Of course I want to try this out and live somewhere for a while that has a beneficial impact on me, because I always want to try something new.

The other place my mind has been is on our finances.  I have had a strong drive to get a grip on them and pay off our debts–something I have been wanting and even planning to do for a long time.  Somehow I’ve always wanted it but not made it happen.  Now I am feeling a drive that I have not felt before and with Alan on board, I think it’s possible.  It means letting go of some luxuries for a while and not buying stuff unless we truly need it.  It means putting everything else on hold and putting debt payoff as the top priority.  Our goal is to be paid off 18 months from January 2014.

Another thing that’s on my mind is that I hate being told what to do.  It’s a recent realization I have about myself.  Whether what I am being told to do is right or not, I hate being told.  I want to figure things out for myself.  I am trying to get better at this and being more humble and open when I am told what to do–I really don’t know everything even though sometimes maybe I think I do, which is ridiculous.

I also realized in the last couple of weeks why I have a blog.  It’s because I love to communicate.  I love to listen to others and I love to have others listen to me.  Even if it’s just my blog listening, it’s something I am driven to do.  That is ok.  I can keep it going or I can stop, but if I stop, then I will need another outlet, anyway.  So I may as well keep it going.

On an unrelated note, I desperately need/want a huge chunk of quiet and alone time in my own house.  Like maybe every single day for a long time.  Noise and demands are driving me nuts, and I have been so crabby today.  I wish I were more stable and tolerant sometimes.  I wish people would clean up after themselves and be mindful of how they affect this space that we all share here.  That would be really nice.  In that regard, I suppose I could be a lot better at being mindful of how my emotional state affects all the people who share this space.

Fall vacation

Fall has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember.  This fall has been the longest and most beautiful and pleasant fall that I can remember. We spent MEA weekend in Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls, and it was a treat.

On the way there, we stopped and visited Michelle and her family at their new farm.  My girls are still talking about the animals, and “Whitey” in particular–the cuddly white farm cat.

My family came up for one evening to celebrate Daja’s 34th birthday, and we ate at a fantastic restaurant, The Vegetarian.  It was top-notch food–such a pleasant surprise for a small-town restaurant.

For small towns, Taylors Falls and St. Croix Falls have a progressive feel.  They have lively downtowns with interesting shops and cafes, and even a real bakery that still makes cake frosting out of real butter. These, as well as the natural beauty, really appealed to Alan and me and we think we could be very happy living here on a nice piece of land.  We put this on our list of places we would love to live someday, maybe even in the number one spot for now.

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