6.14.2018

Hello, Summer & Our 2018 Summer List

Ahh....Summer. 
It's the most wonderful time of year, especially when you are a teacher :)
 There's just something about Summer...it is good for my soul.
I always say that Fall is my favorite season because I love the pumpkins, the leaves, the comfort food, Fall clothing & boots...but the past few years I have realized that Summer is just good for my soul...I am a different person in Summer....more relaxed, less stressed.
We've been out of  school for 2 weeks now....it was a magical school year.
It was the one and only year that all 3 kids were at the same school.
The one and only year all 3 kids will be in Elementary School at the same time.
Luke isn't smiling because he was sad TK was over & he was going to miss his teacher too much. 
I can't believe Kate is done with Elementary School now.

I wrote THIS post on Kate's first day of Kindergarten.  
This is a portion of what I wrote on that post:
Today she will be walking into her Kindergarten classroom and into other classrooms for the next 13 years.....the majority of her days will be spent at school.
That thought alone puts a lump in my throat.
The time goes by so quickly and it makes me question everything.
Have I done enough for Kate in her first 5 years?
Have I done enough to prepare her for the world around her?
Is she confident enough? Smart enough?
Will she be a friend to those who don't have friends?
Will she stand up for herself and others?
Will be respectful to her teacher?
Kids at school can be mean....Does Kate know how much she is loved by God and her family?
I could go on and on about how scared/nervous/excited/anxious I am for her, but I will just end this with a prayer.
Dear God,
Please calm my heart and Kate's.
Please be with her today and the rest of her days at school and give her confidence in YOU. Help her stand against peer pressure. Empower her to make good decisions.
Surround her with good friends that are positive influences.
Protect her from bullies and those that mean them harm.
Help me as a parent to be even more supportive of her this year.
Give me the words to help build Kate up during her school years and give her the courage to talk to me if she is ever having a problem. Strengthen my discernment.
You are in control and we need to trust you.
Amen.
 
  Kate’s time at Elementary School ended how it started...me in tears. But this time, my tears are tears of gratitude and thankfulness. Tears because God literally answered my prayers I had for her as she entered Kinder. I will keep praying those things for Middle School (and High School)
Next year, she will be with me in Middle School and I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! 
I am so excited....she is READY.

Last week was our first week of Summer and every year, the first week of Summer is the same...I schedule NOTHING. No camps, no trips. 
We need that first week of Summer to CHILL and literally do nothing. 
We need that margin in our life to relax & decompress.
I am pretty sure we were in our pj's for 75% of the week. It was amazing.
We did make our 2018 Summer List! 
 I love making a Summer List with them because it's fun to see what ideas they come up with.
Here is our 2018 Summer List:
We won't get through all the things on our Summer List, but it is fun to try!
Some of the things I am looking forward to that are on the list:
-Road trip to Oregon (I grew up going to Oregon during the Summer, so I am looking forward to doing this with my kids. We are going to Manzanita....any suggestions on what to do? Also stopping in Portland for a 1/2 day)
- Going to see the last 3 California Missions. We have seen 18 of 21, can't WAIT to visit the final 3 this Summer.
-Museum of Ice Cream in SF
- Movie in the Backyard

I am also a mean mom ;) and each day they have to do 20 minutes of reading, 20 minutes of math,  jumping on the trampoline for exercise & make their bed each day.
Here is my summer list of things *I* want to get done this Summer:

1. Finish Claire's 1st year Baby Book.
(I made an awesome book for Kate's 1st year and haven't finished Claire's yet...she will be 10 years old in September and she keeps asking where her book is. YIKES. I am the WORST.)
I haven't even started it & I obviously haven't started Luke's....I am going to MAKE myself make her a book and surprise her for her 10th birthday. #momfail

2. Read a book a week 4:00
Summer is when I do most of my reading. 
Looking forward to keeping my reading streak going this summer!

3. Organize my Christmas Card List/Addresses
I know this is ridiculous, but every December arrives and all my addresses for Christmas Cards are super un-organized. I want to enter them on an Excel spreadsheet and update the addresses of friends who have moved. I know I need to get this done in the Summer when I have time, because I never have time in December.

4. Train for my 5th Half Marathon
 I ran my 4th Half Marathon in May and I just love that distance. I have kept up my running since May and I want to run another Half Marathon this summer.

5. Clean out closets & Finish 40 Bags in 40 Days.
One of the books I want to start off reading is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up...I know this will help me with cleaning out closets!
(Things get crazy & unorganized as the school year comes to an end. I need to claim back our closets & get rid of things that don't fit the kids and/or that we don't wear anymore)
I haven't finished 40 Bags in 40 Days yet, but I want you to know that the 1st week of summer I barely left my house because I was too busy cleaning things out! 
Just last week alone, I  donated over 8 bags to Goodwill and thrown out 6 bags of trash.
Here is one before & after of the kids craft/game closet that was out of control:
 After:
SOOOOO much better!!!
Here is my 40 Bags & 40 Days list & I have highlighted what I have completed:
When I am cleaning out these areas, I do them one at a time.
I take out EVERYTHING in that section and sort through everything.
It makes a HUGE mess. 
I put back only the items I want and I do it in an organized fashion.
The rest of the things that are not put back are put in the donation bag or the trash bag.

+++++++++++++++++++++++
  Do you have a summer list? 
What are looking forward to doing this summer?

6.11.2018

10 on 10 :: June 2018

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}
Here is a peek at our 10th!
Normally on a Sunday I would sleep in, but yesterday I ran a 10k, so I was up at 6:45 am.
I normally don't have breakfast until a couple hours after I wake up (usually a bar when I am teaching) but on race days, I have breakfast right away.
My pre-race breakfast is whole wheat toast with crunchy peanut butter (drizzled with honey), a banana & coffee. I drink water on my way to the race.

 This 10k was at a winery. So pretty!
 After the race. It wasn't my best 10k, it wasn't my worst. I ran it in 51:23, which was a 8:17 pace.
 A couple weeks ago, I turned 39. I decided that I was going to run 1 race a month from May 2018 until my 40th birthday in May 2019. Last month I ran the Mermaid Half Marathon & this morning for my June race I ran a 10k. In July, there is a local 4th of July 5k/10k so I am going to do that, but then I need to figure out what races I am doing for the rest of the year :)

 After my race, I stopped at got donuts for the family!

 Watered my garden & noticed that I have my first zuhccini coming in! YEAH!!

 I also have a couple of green tomatoes. I'll do a one month garden update next week.


I showered and got ready for my niece's high school graduation party. She is headed to University of Oregon this Fall. Not pictured: The amazing tacos from the taco truck they had a the party.
 THIS is the romper I am wearing, I just got it last week and love it. I am 5'9 and wearing a small and it's not too short! It also comes in black floral or blue floral. HERE are my flip flops....the best!

I returned my Red Box movie.....I have been dying to see Molly's Game because I went to college with her & her brother Jeremy at University of Colorado.

I wasn't friends with her, but we have mutual friends. I was acquaintances with her brother because he was on the football team & ski team and I was on the soccer team, so we were in the Athletic Department together. Anyways, the movie was fascinating. I loved it.

 Back home after the party & watching Luke swim.
 He is determined to get dive sticks from the deep end.

 After dinner, the kids decided to bring the pool floats onto the trampoline.
Being a kid in the summer is the best.

 Kids in bed early because they have a big week of VBS... then it was time for Kevin and I to relax in the hot tub!
Enjoying a glass of wine & a red velvet cupcake from my nieces graduation party and reading THIS book.
If you need a book series, I highly recommend this one. This is the 17th book & I have loved them all....you need to read them in order.

So, there you have it...a sneak peek of my day!
Hope you had a great 10th!

6.06.2018

Adios, Cancun!

 At the end of April, Kevin and I headed to Cancun.
You can see the recap for Days 1 & 2 {HERE}
Here is the rest of our trip...Days 3, 4 & 5!
 On Day 3, we had breakfast and then headed out for another group excursion.
 We headed out on a Catamaran/Sailboat to go snorkeling.
The sailboat company was Sea Passion Cancun Sailing. They were great, I highly recommend.
Ready for a fun day!
The water in Cancun is just gorgeous.....
Crystal clear & a beautiful shade of aqua blue
We sailed for about an hour, had brunch on the boat and then we went snorkeling:
After snorkeling, we got to have fun jumping off the boat:
Living our best life in Mexico :)
I mean....look at that water!!!!
This was our group...these are all RF people & their spouses.
We got back to the dock & took a bigger group photo:
This was our boat, there were 5 other boats full of RF people :)
We got off the sailboat right at the docks by the iconic Cancun sign :)
Our day wasn't over yet...RF had rented out Mandala Beach Club for a private party.
It was incredible...they had white lounger beds with beach & pool views.
I mean....is this real life?!?
My friend Lori & I:
Loving  the white sand beaches in Cancun:
The Mandala Beach Club had a full on Mexican feast for us:
The amazing food:
I mean look at all that guacamole!!!!
The food was amazing....
And, so was the staff!
At the beach club, RF gave us a coupon to get a free beach hat.
They are local handmade straw hats:
I love that it supported the local community.
Lori & I in our new hats
 
 And, of course we needed a swing photo!
The biggest beach chair I've ever seen.
 The pool party went on the rest of the afternoon.
Spring Break, Rodan + Fields style ;)
The Mandala Beach Club had several pools, all of them over looking the beautiful water.
We got back to the hotel and got ready for dinner!
That night we had dinner at the hotel, but on the beach at their Casitas. 
It was awesome!
We loved having a private casita!
The table had lights underneath
Cheers to a fun night!
I had the Catch of the day...delicious & so fresh!
The next morning was a free day, so what did we do? 
Rented a private casita on the beach for the whole day!!!
We stayed in there ALL day.
Lunch :)
There was a hammock
I read my book:
And, enjoyed relaxing. A day of doing basically nothing. The best.
Then we got ready because it was our final night & they were having a Farewell Party for us.
 I also have this dress in black. I LOVE it.
The cocktail hour was on the beach & when we walked up we saw this...a line of waiters holding drinks for us :)
Cheers!
The tables were beautiful.
And there was a man playing a guitar!
One of the servers said they have a lot of weddings in this spot.
I used my clutch that I got at the hotel gift store...LOVE it!
We had so much fun this week!
The twinkle lights looked so pretty.
So fun....you should join us :)
I am obsessed with twinkle lights :)
They had performers come out & play music.
They were blowing a horn with a dinner call..very cool
We had to follow them to dinner & head to the hotel ballroom.
It was awesome.
We had to walk along the hotel property to get to the ballroom...it's so pretty.
The ballroom looked amazing:
More good food...
We had live entertainment during dinner.
Amazing dancers:
And, a lasso show!
For dessert....CHOCOLATE CHURROS!!
They were so good!
There was an AFTER party at the hotel after dinner. What a night!
We get back to our room & there were gifts for us! A clutch for me & wallet for Kevin.
So spoiled!

Day 5 was our last day...our flight wasn't until the evening, so we had a mellow day.
Never get tired of the view:
One last walk on the beach:
Then we hung by the pool all day!
More chips & guac, of course.
And, fish tacos....I am still dreaming about these fish tacos.
Time to say Goodbye to the Ritz Carlton, Cancun...
It was an amazing 5 days in Cancun. Kevin and I had a blast and felt so spoiled the whole trip. It was a dream!

In closing, I want to add that this trip wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Rodan + Fields.
I earned this trip through the Lead the Way Program that RF has for all it's consultants & you can earn free items (like this trip!) in addition to earning money & commission.
If you are looking for something that you can work in part time hours from home, then I would love to share more about RF with you. 
I love that we don't have parties, don't keep inventory, and it is all web based. RF has been a game changer for not only my skin, but for our lives. 
You not only earn commission on your sales, but they have amazing programs in place where you can earn incentives like Ipads, Nordstrom gift cards, Tiffany jewelry & Free trips...to name a few!
It is such an incredible opportunity. We are the #1 skin care brand in North America. 
If you are in the US, Canada or Australia, this could be an amazing opportunity for you. 
Australia just launched and it's a ground floor opportunity. 
If you (or anyone you know) might be interested, please email me:
melissa_larson17@yahoo.com
We have some amazing sign up specials this month.
I would love for you (or them!) to join my fun team!

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