Monday, April 11, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring 2016

After Lu's choir performance.

Last week Lu had her first choir concert performance at school. Yayhoo!

It was really fun to be there and see her sing--especially because she was a kiddo who NEVER liked to sing in public (until this year). The whole Meehan gang came out to support her and it was a great night.

Next on our list: 7th grade Family History Oral Presentations.

I have to say, it kinda cracks me up to see just how many middle school homework lessons cover biology vs. environment topics. 

I guess I'm just more aware of it because our family came together via adoption, but it's cracks me up when the girls bring home science handouts that ask them to see "how many physical traits they share with their family members" . . . 

uh, that would be VERY FEW. VERY. FEW.


Oh well. 

It's still fun to see how bonded our family can be in spite of our distinct/unique physical traits. 

Kinda gives me the reminder that the whole of humanity has bonds--no matter the genetic material we share.

PS: Prayers for Belgium after the terrorist bombings yesterday (LDS missionaries were among the injured. They are going to be okay, but that definitely connected us in a different way to yesterday's news.)

Lu, Bam and Papaya.

The 7th grade choir.

One positive about being petite: front row billing.

Harriet had a cold for the last two weeks. Actually had to go on an antibiotic. She is feeling great now.

Lu is way into chocolate this Spring Break. She and Papaya dipped these.

Hard to know how much longer the Leprechaun will visit our growing kids, but for now he keeps on keepin' on.

We had traditional corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day--along with Irish Soda Bread. (Which I love, but really, no one else does. Translation = 3 lbs of extra weight gain that week. 'Smarvelous.)

Take 2: Bam's hair with the pink. (Curled.)

Lu's cat, Obi Wan, is the MOST NUTTY cat I have ever seen. He regularly sits like this. What in the honk?

Beautiful Bam.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Marching On (Cheesy, I know)

I have to be honest, 2016 began with about as much stress as 2015 ended. So much for New Beginnings!

But all is well and we are learning how to move forward in the middle of hard things. (And these are hard things relative to other hard things. I'm sure we will look back and say "that wasn't so bad.").

So March is a great month because it is filled with sunshine and rain. We're slowly edging into warmer weather and we are WAY excited about that.

And now, for some pics.

Papaya's birthday.

Papaya's new kitty: Phoebe.

Bam's new hairdo.

Harriet--pre-Spring haircut.

Papaya's BFF, T-Girl, with Phoebe.

Zu and Lu's Spring obsession: volleyball.

Papaya, Jr., Bam, and Zu all painted their rooms in March. Woo!

Monday, February 15, 2016

(Trying) To Slow Down

Jay and Lauryn in a snow cave in Provo Canyon.

I've mentioned this before, but 2015 was such a long year for us that I've been really searching and listening for ways to SLOW DOWN.

At first what I thought I really needed was to SIMPLIFY my life (or take up drinking--LOL), but for some reason the idea of SLOWING DOWN is really what is striking a chord with me.

And so as Janae would say, "My Great Brain Project" this year is to learn everything I can about how to slow down.

(Psst: For those of you who haven't heard about the Great Brain Project:

Janae's kids have an annual project at their elementary school where they pick a topic--any topic--and learn all they can about it. It may be a favorite insect, a country, a profession . . . ANYTHING! It's really cool. So cool, that Janae started doing them herself. My favorite Janae Great Brain Project was a quest to learn about gelato--and then find "the best one" in town. Cool, right?)

Okay, my point!

I know it's dangerous to try to make too many changes or radical shifts in life if they aren't sustainable.

And I'm not sure how this will all play out over the coming months.

But I do know this: there are a few habits I can incorporate into my life that will make measurable positive changes. For me. For Dave. And for our family.

So far, I'm trying to learn as much as I can about myself AND other people who have made an effort to slow down.

Here are some of the take-aways that seem doable and inspiring  to me so far:

1. Listening to The Minimalists podcast from time to time.
These two authors have some great tips about living a more intentional and meaningful life: Less stuff and more experiences. (PS: I find this kinda ironic, but my attention span is so short that I often find myself NOT having time to listen to the full thing.) Listening from time to time helps me to stay motivated to find joy and purpose in the every day.

2. Meditating for 10 minutes every morning.
I'm using the App "HeadSpace" and it is a good fit for me. (I don't have any affiliation with them, but I liked their 10 day "jump start"--which is free--and then decided to subscribe.).

3. Listening to the Slow Your Home podcast (again, time to time).
This Australian couple is in the process of blogging and podcasting about their family's journey to slow down. They have some great guests who've encouraged me to read certain books and make small tweaks to my daily schedule. For example, if I can do something in one minute, I do it right then. (Like washing a mug vs putting it on the counter or waiting for the dishwasher to be filled.)

4. Blogging more frequently.
It's important for me to write every day and the blog has always been a good place for me to that. As part of my SLOW DOWN goal I am trying to be more intentional about blogging.

5. Decluttering.
It's taken us 25 years of marriage, but we FINALLY see that there's so much clutter and unnecessary-ness to many of the things we've added to
our home/lives over the years. I think I mentioned this on the blog before, but beginning mid-January we started a 30-day project to de-cluttering our lives. The goal was to get rid of one item on Day One and two items on Day Two . . . and so on . . . until we'd hit 465 items.

Shockingly, we hit 465 items by about Day 20.

Just to give you an idea of what we mean:

we've tried to get rid of anything that doesn't have a purpose OR bring us joy.
In other words, the mismatched drinking glasses, books we won't read or have electronic copies of, the waffle iron we haven't used in 4 years, apps we didn't use, FACEBOOK, the spices we bought 10 years ago but never used, the clothes we haven't worn in 18 months, lamps we don't like, random plastic EVERYTHING, the extra 6 springform pans I bought on sale, chords that don't belong to anything . . . and on and on and on.

I think we have been to the thrift store and community dump at least 8 times each, and I can't begin to tell you how much my brain loves the extra ROOM. Wow. I had no idea how much space these things were taking up (literally and metaphorically) in our lives.


So that's what's going on here. Funny that slowing down actually requires some action, but I think in the end it will be all worth it. A little extra work now for a lot of extra space and time in the near future.


And now, some of this week's pics.

Making pizzas for Family Night. Jr. works at a pizza place, so of course his has 50 pepperoni on it.

Our latest obsession: pistachios.

Papaya and Bam have still been able to spend time with our favorite little person.
Papaya did her hair this week. I don't even know how to do a reverse French braid. I'm cracking up.

Bam and our favorite little person walking the dog--and cat.

Some of the decluttering--pillows, skillets, utensils, food scale . . .

Treats from our neighbors. YUM.

And more!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Things That Crack Me Up

This year Dave found the "Baby Jesus" in our King's Cake.
Every year, around Mardi Gras, we buy a King's Cake from our local grocery store. We don't understand much of the history behind it, but we know it has something to do with lent and Mardi Gras, and the Three Kings, and Jesus' birth.

Legend has it that you hid the baby Jesus in the sweet roll cake and whoever finds it in their piece has good luck . . . and buys next year's cake!

This year Dave found our Baby Jesus. It was pretty hilarious.

A pic of the whole King's cake.

And now, for some of the other things that crack me up this week:

Jr. has been saving a lot of his pizza-making money. This was one of his first big purchases: a console that fits on his phone so he can play games using the console. Teenager-move, right? (Don't worry, he has a long term savings that he isn't allowed to touch, so these purchases are in the "okay" area for him.)

Dave and the kids the Saturday before the Superbowl, creating a Meehan Family square sheet thingy with their Grandma Mary, Gpa Rory, Uncles, Aunts, and cousins. It was a lot of fun. Everyone Skyped in their picks. (And Camry and Kaya both won!)

We were looking for CityKitty the other day for a LONG time. Turned out she was sleeping in the mop bucket in the laundry room. Talk about Hide-n-Seek!

The other night I woke up at 4am and asked Dave if he would heat up the "Homemade Heating Pad" for me. My back was really hurting. He was half asleep. I was half asleep, and so I yelled from our room (to him in the kitchen): "it's in the junk drawer, has corn or rice in it, and you micro for 2 minutes."

And at about minute 1 I started to smell popcorn and butter. And I heard popping. Like, a lot of popping.

I was sure Dave had ruined the homemade heating pad.

Turns out I was wrong.

After 2 minutes went by, Dave walked in and said "Here's your popcorn."

"Huh? Why would I put popcorn on my back, Dave?"

He said "I was thinking the same thing."

Oh man! We are losing our hearing. Help us.

We've been continuing our goal of getting rid of things we don't NEED or that don't bring us JOY. (Part of the Minimalists' Podcast challenge.) We are at Day 30 and we have parted/donated with 465+ items.

And finally, Happy Valentine's Day!