Catching Up, Journal-Style

It’s been so long I thought I’d swipe a neat idea from Mary of Better than Eden (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! And laziness.) and catch you all up on what’s been happening by breaking it down into categories. Here we go!

Outside my window…

Do you need to ask? It’s the Polar Vortex returned with a vengeance, people. 11 degrees when I dropped Margot at preschool this morning. Ah, January, the month of my birth.

Thankful for…

Healthy kids, especially my chubsy boy, and a sweet and helpful husband. Thankful for these moments of peace in my day when I can regroup and even blog a bit.

Thinking about…

My latest Irish dancing venture, a long-awaited (by me, anyway!) class for adults! Since deciding to go ahead and send Margot to the local Catholic school (if she gets in!) on top of paying a monstrous amount of school taxes to our local district, Paul gave me the green light to take another night of the week to teach dance and make a few extra bucks to put towards next year’s tuition. I have been wanting to teach adults ever since I started teaching here in NY, but for a number of reasons I haven’t been able to make it happen until now. Lets hope all those adults who’ve been pestering me about this come out of the woodwork and join the class!

From the Kitchen…

I made a delicious beef stew for the second time the other day (more as an excuse to buy a bottle of red wine than anything!) and I highly recommend it. I used this recipe with all of Corrine’s alterations (hers is the first review at the bottom, labeled “Most highly rated helpful review.”) I realize that makes it a little complicated to follow and that I should just write out the entire altered recipe and put it in a book, but will I? Probably not. Just try it, and make sure you have some crusty bread to mop up the sauce with. Yummy!


Oh, so much in progress! Right this very second I have a cardboard “M” sitting in front of me that I’m decorating to go with Ruthie’s letter “R,” which I made when she was a baby. The girls are sharing a room now and I’ve been wanting to make Margot a letter of her own so I can hang both letters up over the girls’ beds. It will look better when there are two twin beds instead of one twin and one crib-turned-toddler bed, but Mommy never gets to the craft store these days, so I’m striking while the iron’s hot!



I’ve also gone back to work on Moby Dick the dollhouse. My new plan — set up a program at the library where I explain all the little tips and tricks I learned to finish and furnish a dollhouse cheaply, like cardboard siding, egg-carton bricks, and the many many uses of popsicle sticks and other woodsies. I just need a deadline, I can’t work without one, and this dollhouse has taken almost five years already!

I’m  almost finished with a drawing of Joanie that I plan to enter into the next Art Association show at the library. I was asked to join the Albany Artists Group, which is very flattering. I just don’t have enough time to take advantage of all the great shows and venues where I’m entitled to hang my work as a part of these organizations, but as long as I get something into the two library shows I feel like I can avoid getting totally rusty.

photo 3


To MOPS tomorrow, playgroup on Friday, Mimi’s on Saturday — for my birthday! — and out to do something fun with my husband soon. We usually just go out to dinner, and while I appreciate a toddler-free meal as much as anyone, I really want to DO something this time. I have been wanting, for example, to try rock wall climbing for years. My husband was about to get it for me as a Christmas gift the year I got pregnant with Ruthie. I just feel like I’d rather have an experience than just another meal. If it weren’t January I’d have gone with hiking or canoeing. Any other good winter activity suggestions?


Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis, a re-read of a very much loved favorite for book club next week. I hope everyone likes it. I’m beginning to feel like it’s kind of long for book club, but oh, it’s just so beautiful. I think Alfonso Cuaron should direct a film of it.

I also just finished all three volumes of the memoirs by Jennifer Worth that are the basis for the BBC series Call the Midwife. I like the show, despite some controversial content, and I found that it doesn’t stray very far from Worth’s memoirs, which is probably why it’s so good. It makes me worried for the upcoming third season, though, since the show has already used pretty much all of the stories in the books and now I’m assuming they’re going to be writing new content, which rarely works out well. BBC shows in general have been disappointing me lately, and I dearly hope that Call the Midwife doesn’t join the list of Show that Have Let Me Down (I’m talking to you, Sherlock!)


For an old friend’s godchild, a tiny baby with a terrible tumor; another baby back in NH with some kind of mysterious disease; and for all parents of sick children.

Around the house…

Trying to organize things a bit. I have managed to clean and organize the linen closet in the bathroom and create an accordian folder in the kitchen for all the papers that tend to pile up here. So far it seems to be helping. We culled some toys as well, but I don’t think we did enough. All these girls play with are their princesses (and one very fought-over prince) and their castle, completely ignoring every single toy they got for Christmas. We’re also coloring a lot and listening over and over again to the soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz. Petey is just sitting around and soaking it all in, bless him.

There’s a glimpse of life with this McFamily, and sorry to take so long off! I’ll try to come back soon and catch you up on the many quotable quotes that have been happening lately.


7 thoughts on “Catching Up, Journal-Style

  1. Why don't you do something wintery like go skiing or skating or tubing? If you have the time and freedom, you should try to go to Lake Placid in the winter. It's the perfect little winter village. They have a taboggon slide onto the froze lake. It's so much fun!

    And I still think you need to write a post about your controversial views on popular BBC shows…

  2. It's good to see you back on the blog and hear and see all that's going on. I love the picture of Joanie, at least what I can see of it. I am going to try you stew recipe, it looks like it might work for us.

  3. I thought your painting on the girls' letters was fabric at first! Mom gave me her copy of "Till We Have Faces" and I plan on starting to read it soon, after I finish his "Surprised by Joy." Thanks for the other book recommendations, too. I can't convince Brandon to watch any BBC show, so no worries for me about misinterpretations of the novel!

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