Thursday, August 29, 2013

Random Thought Thursday

  1. Today is IU's first home football game. I really hope we have a winning season this year.
  2. Today is also Nick's very first cross country meet. I'm nervous for him but also so proud of how hard he's working.
  3. Yesterday, Nicklas went with me on my morning run. Since he runs a faster pace, I asked him to ease up and stick with me. As we were jogging along - me huffing and puffing - he says, "This is what we call a conversational run." I'm so glad he felt like he could converse while I just had to focus on breathing.
  4. My goal for this school year is to attend at least one of each of the 24 IU sports events. I've put all the fall sports in my calendar. 
  5. I'm especially looking forward to attending my first field hockey game ever.
  6. Other goals I created for myself this year have been going well. I've been running a 3-4 times per week and I've been listening to more NPR and Pandora and less iPod music. (I'm trying to be more healthy and cultured. It's the little things!)
  7. Seeger is really in to the Origami Star Wars books he's been reading. They all come with directions on how to make the different characters out of origami and over the weekend, he made all the ones he had directions for. The Chewbacca is my favorite. It's so cute! I'll have to post some photos.
  8. The class I'm teaching on campus doesn't start until the second 8 weeks this semester. This has never been an issue but for some reason, all my students this year are confused and keep contacting me to figure out the start date. 
  9. Each year, I volunteer to type up the student directory for Seeger's school. I have it printed and the PTO sells it to families as a fundraiser. It's tedious (there are over 500 families) but I've been on top of it, plugging away a little bit each day, so it's been much more manageable. I want to get it completed soon because I also volunteered to lead the school fundraising campaign. (I felt pressured in to it because I was originally approached to be PTO President and there is no way I'm taking that on. The fundraiser seemed like a happy medium.
  10. So things are going really well on the personal and professional areas of my life but things with extended family members are not so well (illness and drama and frustrations and all sorts of family related issues are popping up right and left.) I'm doing my best to manage expectations and move forward in the best way possible. I don't expect everything to be perfect all the time so I am very thankful for the good things I have going on right now. I'm feeling very grateful for my life.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why My Weekend Was Awesome

1. Attended the Bloomington North football game with the family.
2. Ran on campus with Nicklas and the Polack.
3. Finished a quilt top.
4. Made an awesome dinner.
5. Operation Clean-the-Garage was a success.
6. Saw a movie with some friends.
7. Caught up on Project Runway (and shared some tears with Tim Gunn).
8. Seeger chose to go grocery shopping with me and the Polack (instead of staying home alone).
9. Nicklas had a study session with a friend.
10. Helping Seeger with some art projects.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top 10 Things I've Learned in the Last Four Hours

(It's 7:30 am and I'm at work early today, having been woke up at 3:30 am by smoke detectors going off in my house.)

Top 10 Things I've Learned in the Last Three Hours
  1. Smoke detectors will go off even when there is no smoke being detected.
  2. When smoke detectors go off in my house, it's very difficult to get them to stop.
  3. Smoke detectors that are hard wired to a house make it hard to determine which one of the eight is actually malfunctioning.
  4. My dog does NOT like smoke detectors.
  5. It takes several minutes of incessant and loud beeping from eight smoke detectors to wake Seeger up at 3:30 am.
  6. Smoke detectors that hard wired to an electrical system can't be turned off by the circuit.
  7. When Nicklas is awoken at 3:30 am, he thinks it's time to drive to Florida for a vacation.
  8. Smoke detectors can be very annoying.
  9. According to Google, smoke detectors can be activated by bugs, dust, or humidity.
  10. When I'm awoken by smoke detectors at 3:30 am and I spend 30 minutes trying to deactivate them, it's nearly impossible for me to fall back asleep.
Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Best and Worst

Mike's worst - has to go back to work tomorrow
Nick's worst - tomorrow is Monday
Natalie's worst - Seeger hurt himself while cooking
Seeger's worst - same as mom
Mike's best - productive but relaxing day
Nick's best - relaxing day
Natalie's best - playing dominoes with the boys
Seeger's best - cooking

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Random Thought Thursday

1. School for the kids has been underway for over a week now and I love being back in to a routine.
2. I have a cold sore on my lip; the first I've gotten in a long time. It's very annoying.
3. Nicklas is doing great in cross country. I'm so proud of him. He has been going to every practice and running on the weekends and working hard at getting better. He's not always able to "run with the pack" but I think he'll make it there soon. Oh, and his time continues to improve. Yay, Nicklas! I can't wait to experience my first cross country meet.
4. Speaking of running, I've been trying to keep up with my own running. Nicklas, the Polack and I started a couch to 5K program and we made it to week 7 (of 8). Now that school has started and Nicklas is running during cross country practice, I'm left on my own to run. I didn't think I would stick with it but I have been and I'm proud of myself. I want to keep it up so that I can continue to run with Nicklas once the cross country season ends. (Of course, he's already faster than me so I'm not sure how that will go.)
5. I felt bad for Seeger last week; I was so focused on Nicklas and his first day of middle school. Seeger's first day just wasn't a big deal. (Not that he even noticed the lack of attention.) Last night was the parent night at his school so I was finally able to meet his teacher. I'm very excited about all the great things he's going to learn in fourth grade.
6. Life is really, really good right now. I feel organized with my personal affairs, I'm busy at work (but not too overwhelmed - yet), I've gotten to enjoy some wonderful family time with the Polack and the boys, and I have awesome friends who are so supportive and giving.
7. I decided to tackle something from my 50 before 50 list over the weekend and it didn't go well. I bought a pattern to make a dress and after cutting it out and putting some of the pieces together I realized there was no way it was going to fit me. I'm super bummed because I was excited about the project and I LOVED the fabric. I basically had to scrap the project or start over. I decided to scrap the project for now. I'll still attempt making a handmade article of clothing but I need some time to recover from the disappointment of my first attempt.
8. The Polack and I signed up for Netflix so that we could watch season 4 of Arrested Development. (Which we did and it was pretty good.) I'm excited because there are so many other things I want to watch on Netflix BUT as a family, we're always so busy and we can barely keep up with the shows we DVR that I think there's no way we'll really get our use out of Netflix.
9. After all our trips and vacations this summer, the thought of driving more than an hour in the car is very unappealing. It will be a long time before I'm ready to plan anymore trips.
10. The temperature has dropped to the 70's this week. It's been awesome and there's an autumnal feeling in the air. I can't wait for football season to start.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Best and Worst

Seeger's worst - taking out boxes
Nick's worst - worked on the wall for so long
Mike's worst - everyone is so exhausted from working on the wall
Natalie's worst - thinks the dress she's making might be too short
Cherry's worst - Cindy is still in the hospital
Seeger's best - electronics time is awesome
Nick's best - running this morning
Mike's best - the wall is done
Natalie's best - the wall is done and got to watch the Madison Scouts practice
Cherry's best - in Bloomington, doing things with the family

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Day of School

School started early this year and with all the traveling we did this summer, I didn't feel nearly as prepared as I usually do. Nevertheless, we were all excited for the first day of school. (Actually, I can't promise that Seeger was excited. My homebody still needed a few weeks of chill time, I think.) Nicklas started middle school this year so the first day felt like a really big deal to me. He was nervous but handled everything like a pro. Nicklas has been so happy and positive and talkative lately (THANK YOU CAMP TECUMSEH!) and he's actually been listening and taking in the advice the Polack and I have shared on how to get through middle school.

Entering middle school seems like such a big deal to do me so I took lots of photos of Nicklas in the morning. As usual, he was the first one up in the morning (when will that change, I wonder?) and I found him in front of the TV, watching SportsCenter.

He requested homemade waffles for his breakfast (NOT frozen waffles!)

Seeger also wanted waffles.

Here is Nicklas getting his cross country gear ready to pack in his backpack.

And here he is getting his cello ready to put in the car.  (He's graduated to a full size cello; it's HUGE.)

Seeger is all ready for his first day.

Nicklas with his new backpack.

A group shot; I had to force them to put their arms around each other.

Nicklas putting his cello in the car.

Nicklas asking me why I'm taking so many photos.

Nicklas hugging his dad goodbye.

Nicklas asking his dad to make his mom stop taking photos.

Nicklas rolling his eyes at me.

Dropping Nicklas off at middle school! He's getting his cello out of the car.

Nicklas walking away without even a look back at me. 

A sad mom who has realized she has a middle schooler.

In all seriousness though, his day went pretty well. He had trouble with his locker and had to get a help a few times but by the second day, he was able to open his lock on his own. His first cross country practice was Monday and he said it was really, really hard but his teammates were so encouraging and supportive that he felt really good about his performance. I think he's going to stick with it and I'm so incredibly proud of him.

Here are some letters the boys had to write to their teachers. I loved reading both of them and I'm so happy they were willing to share.  Here is Seeger's letter to his teacher about himself. (I left the misspelled words.)
Seeger's letter:
I like vidio games and candy, while I dislike homework on the first day. My favorite siries of books is "The Heros of Olympus." My dad is a teacher and my mom is a worker at the indiana university school of HYPR. My brother is a student in middle school. I also have a dog named Freddy. I can drum and have been taking lessons for about a year. If you rewarded me with goodies every time I was awsome, I would have lifetime goodies.

Nicklas was supposed to write a letter to himself about what he wants to accomplish this school year. (I copied his mistakes and bad grammar.)
Dear Nick,

This is your past self. I first want to say hello; how are you doing? I know that alot has happend in the last 9 months. School wise I hope you are achiving your academic goals at having a 3 in every class and have done your cross country goal of not walking in any races.

Out of school, here are my goals I hope others met. I hope the Tigers won the world series. I hope IU football made a bowl game and IU basketball make the 2nd (3rd?) round of the NCAA tournament.

So you, that's it really. Was Thor 2 good? how about Captain America 2? I hope you enjoyed them and any other movies you watched. So yeah, see you. Win a race for me.

Sencerly, Yourself

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

July Recap

This post is lots of photos and little words. July was spent vacationing. We were barely in Bloomington during the month, instead taking advantage of our last month until school starts on August 7 (today!). The first week of July was spent up north. We visited with my dad, went to Shipshewana, and spent time at Lake George.

Seeger and Nicklas fishing at Papa's...

A rainy day - spent at Shipshewana...

The Polack and Nicklas swam across the Lake one morning. I snapped a quick photo right before I drove them across the Lake to drop them off...

Almost halfway home...

Making progress... See the big house in the middle? We were headed to the house just to the left of that one.

They made it!

Total time... (Distance unknown.)

More fishing...

Enjoying the Lake George Boat Parade. There were over 14 participants this year!

In the middle of the month, we attended the Lafayette Jefferson High School 20 year class reunion. It was a great time. Friday night, people gathered at the Neon Cactus and Saturday was the reunion and after party (again at the Neon Cactus.) The Polack enjoyed catching up with his class mates and I knew several people so it was fun for me too.

The reunion organizer got the Kubatski boys mixed up, thinking Mike was Matt (his brother).

After the reunion, we packed up the car and headed to Washington DC. I had a week long conference and the boys came with me to hang out and visit the nation's capital.

Nicklas has decided he wants to run cross country in middle school this year so we've been doing the Couch to 5K training program. We kept up with it in DC. It's much more fun to run in Memorial Mall than our little neighborhood in Bloomington.

We happened to be there for Screen on the Green when they were showing E.T. (Seeger LOVED the movie!)

My conference was one block away from the White House.

While I was conferencing, the boys visited tons of sights. I would join them in the late afternoon. We took the Metro everywhere. 

My cousin and her partner happened to be in Bethesda the same week as us. So we made the trek over the river to have dinner with them.

More running!

One day, I met up with the boys and we walked around the Tidal Basin, taking in the Jefferson, FDR, and MLK Memorials. We finished with the Washington, Korean, and WWII Memorials. It was a long walk but I'm glad we did it. (Seeger and I were very tired; the Polack and Nicklas could have kept exploring.)

On another day, I met up with the boys and we headed to Arlington Cemetery. I had never been and I'm so glad we went and were able to witness the Changing of the Guard. What a moving ceremony. We also saw JFK and the Eternal Flame.

DC was great and the boys packed in a lot. They did a personal tour of the Capitol Building (complements of our State Representative), visited Ford's Theater, went to the National Zoo, toured National Geographic, went to a Nat's game, and ate at Ben's Chili Bowl. Nicklas loved the visit and was lamenting about not getting to do everything. He's ready to enroll in Georgetown so that he can live in DC.

After that trip, we headed back to Lafayette to drop the kids off for their week at Camp Tecumseh.

Then the Polack and I journeyed to Nashville for our wedding anniversary trip. It was the Polack's year to plan and he did a great job. We visited Third Man Records.

We toured the Belmont Mansion.

We ate some incredible Thai food at the famous Smiling Elephant.

We came across this awesome modern vintage store.

We visited Yazoo Brewery....

And Rodizio (A Brazilian Steakhouse)....

Broadway Street...

Rocket Fizz....

We also did a food tour and pub crawl...

And we visited the Johnny Cash Museum.... (I totally want to rewatch Walk the Line now!)

We finished the Anniversary Trip with a Zip Lining tour (over Barbara Mandrell's former mansion!) and a stop a quilt shop. It was a great getaway with the Polack, celebrating 14 years of wedded wonderfulness. I seriously love this man.

Our official anniversary is today (August 7) and we spent the morning getting the boys off for their first day of school. Tonight will be focused on hearing about their days and drum practice and cross country and other daily routine activities. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

We've built a wonderful life together.