Finding Dory, Finding Family, Finding Self {Movie Review} 1

This weekend we surprised the kids with a day trip up to Kansas City for my husband and my great nephew’s baptism. (I can’t believe I am a great aunt!) We drove up early and watched Finding Dory at the Cinemark in the Kansas City Plaza.

Aside from the movie, I think the highlights for the kids were getting to go up escalators and crossing a skywalk to get from the ticket booth into the theatre. It’s the small things.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this Disney Pixar Finding Dory sequeal to Finding Nemo. Nemo was such a great movie, I wondered if Pixar could make a sequel that was at least as good as Nemo. After seeing the terrible disastrous disappointment of a sequel that is Cars 2, I didn’t want to hold my hopes too high for this one.

I’m happy to say that I am very pleased with Finding Dory and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Finding Dory is a true family movie everyone can enjoy! It’s manageable and classic entertainment all ages can easily process and relate to. 

Side by side with the original, I would say this sequel side-story about Dory looking for her parents may not be as thrilling or complex of a plot, however, its milder temperature is overlapped with the humorous wit and absent-mind minded nature of Ellen DeGeneres’s Dory that everyone came to love in Finding Nemo.  I love Nemo and Marlin, but everyone knows Dory is the real star of Finding Nemo. It was fun watching a whole movie with Dory and a great mix of new characters everyone can relate to.

Parents with younger children who may not have been comfortable with the more intense scenes in Nemo (like the sharks) will enjoy the calmer flow of Finding Dory. Not to say there aren’t exciting moments, they are just less intense and resolve faster.

I was thankful Pixar paid attention to what families appreciated and liked with Finding Nemo and stuck with the same core values of family and friendship with a clean, tasteful, and fun presentation. I really liked that Dory has two parents that she has good memories of and the two parent characters, Jenny and Charlie, are good, loving, and strong mother and father characters.  Oh and the child Dory is too cute.

My husband says he appreciated how familiar the movie felt with the original Finding Nemo but it’s still different enough that it wasn’t just a boring repeat of the first marine adventure.  Unlike, Cars 2, they didn’t try and one-up all the adventure of Nemo with ridiculous intense action scenes.

For myself, the two themes I loved about Finding Dory are:

  • The Importance of Memory
  • Turning Disabilities into Strengths

First, Memory

Memory has been a huge part of my life this year, I’d say Memory is the word theme of my year so far.

Aside from being able to relate on a smaller scale to Dory’s short-term memory loss and absent-minded challenges….

Wait, what was I going to say?

Oh yeah…

I’ve always been fascinated with memory. What are memories, how do they work, what are they made of? Are memories only neurological reactions or do they come from somewhere deeper, outside of our physical bodies?

Where would we be without our memories? How would we function in this life? How would we find meaning without our memories? Who would we be without our memories?

All these thoughts about memory and how important memories are were already swimming around in my mind and heart before watching Finding Dory and the movie drug me down deeper into the current of those thoughts that I’ll hope to explore in later blog posts.

For now, I’ll say that I was very aware of the role all of Dory’s memories played in helping her find her family but most especially it was the painful memories that helped Dory the most in her search for her family and herself. 

Disabilities at Strengths

This is another huge theme I’ve been mulling over and wrestling with for some years now that has come to the forefront of my thinking and everyday living recently as I try to figure out how to look at my children’s perceived weaknesses or unique challenges as something good instead of something terrible that’s tearing them, me, and our family life apart.

All the characters in Finding Dory struggle with something, even Hank, the seemingly rough and tough “septopus”, has his own monsters he’s trying to hide from. Each character learns now to work through their own fears or disabilities while also learning how to work with others and their differences.

I can’t go into all the details but suffice to say that we’ve had special challenges with one child for a few years now and, now that school is out and the routines and structure are gone, it’s become very, very, very challenging at home.

I’m having to learn (and re-learn) how to look at this child’s challenges and struggles and see how I can turn them into strengths and gifts for himself and our family.

Like Marlin in Finding Dory, it’s soooo hard to comprehend and look at the world and various situations differently than what I would do. Like in Finding Nemo, Marlin again has to let go of his perceptions and way of solving problems and learn to trust Dory and see the world as she sees it and think like Dory.

“What would Dory do?,” may become my new mantra too, only replacing my child’s name for Dory’s.

This is a great movie for kids, but one might wonder if they really made this movie for parents. 😉  Make sure you bring some tissues when you watch it, Pixar knows exactly where the tear buttons are on mom’s hearts.

**This last part contains spoilers so that’s why I left it at the end if you want to finish here and come back after you’ve watched it.***

Since this is a movie for kids, here’s what our kids said they liked about Finding Dory when I asked.

12-year-old daughter: I liked how it showed Dory when she was little and her family together. It wasn’t just about Nemo and Marlin’ story, it was also about Dory and her background too.

Favorite scene: When the truck fell into the water with all the fish coming out.

13-year-old goddaughter (who is visiting with us): I just liked the part where it was talking about Dory’s past and how she felt when she was little and the story behind all that.

Favorite scene: The Becky bird – she’s kind of scary – but funny when she dropped the pail to go eat the popcorn. And when they have to bounce on the water fountains while saying, “What would Dory do?”.

9-year-old son: Dory’s past, I liked seeing when she was young. I like when the truck was falling and the fish were slow motion falling out of the truck into the water. I like that the octopus [Hank] could camouflage.  And, I liked Becky and when the seals were making all the noises on the rock.

6-year-old son: When the truck fell and then the fish ate the fish and then he barfed it out.

3 year old: Um, um….um…. about Dory’s mamma and dad! And….swimming. Because Dory is a fishy. Mamma, we watch-ed fishies at the place [the acquarium] we went to. [He remembered the aquarium in Tulsa we went to last year!]

As a side note, we looked it up and were AMAZED to learn that there are octopuses that really can camouflage like Hank! Check this out and be amazed at the wonder of Nature –


7 Quick Favorite-Takes Summer Kid & Family Activities 2

I’m going rogue and combining a “Favorites” post with a “7QT” post. If you have no idea what I’m talking about that’s probably a good thing. Ignore my blogging nerdiness and read on. And now it’s Saturday night so I’ve missed out on that link-up too. I just can’t get my blogging together these days!

Here are a few favorite simple and easy summer fun activities we’ve all enjoyed recently.

1. Gigantic Bubbles

Our friend and neighbor is doing “Summer School” activities with her kids and  I asked if maybe we could join their summer school fun. We got together last week for “Science Week”. The kids learned how to make bouncy balls and huge gigantic bubbles!

I had the kids measure the length of the bubbles and the longest measured one stretched just past 15 ft!

My friend saved a bunch of great ideas to her Pinterest “Summer School board” if you’re looking for inspiration.

2. Bubble Art

This is a fun and simple art project that combines kids’ favorites: bubbles, straws, and food coloring and/or paint. I had the kids do this in the garage while I worked on painting the door and bench for my Entry Way Bench project.

Before you think I made this up, I got this idea from a great book my genius mother-in-law gave me. 101 Kids Activities That are the Bestest Funnest Ever! by Holly Homer & Rachel Miller

It’s very easy, get some straws, a shallow dish, bubble juice and food coloring, and paper. The food coloring is the only part I might try to change to just regular washable paints next time since food coloring stains badly!

Pour the bubble juice into the dish and add the colors your kids want. Gather up a few straws together and keep them together with rubber bands. Dip the straws into the colored bubble juice and then blow through the straws over the paper.


Voila – Bubbles and Art!

Warning: Make sure your kids only blow OUT of the straws and not IN! 😉 You might just want to let your younger kids play with finger paint and blow the bubbles. I’m not an expert but I’m guessing colored bubble juice isn’t all that safe for mass consumption.

3. Exploding Pop


This was my husband’s idea that he knew about because, well he’s a boy.

All you need is Mentos and Diet Coke.

Get a cup of water and ask the kids what they think will happen when you put the mentos into the water.  (This is the “control” of the experiment in case you want to get all sciency about it.)

3 of our 4 said it would explode, 1 said it would dissolve.

Drop the mentos in the water and see who is right.

Then, ask what they think will happen when you drop the mentos in the Diet Coke.

4 of our 4 said it would explode.

Open up the unshaken bottle, drop the mentos in (or more than one) and see what happens!

We were all a little disappointed when it didn’t shoot up as high as we thought it would but it was still a neat experiment. I bought a small bottle of the Diet Coke because I’m cheap and didn’t want to waste a whole 2 L of pop just to see it explode. Though we don’t ever drink soda so I don’t know why I cared so much.

Next time, I’ll get the larger bottle and see if it makes the explosion more intense.

It could be fun to try this experiment and see which type of soda causes the greatest reaction with the mentos. That video also has a good explanation of how/why this physical reaction works.

4. Volcanoes

I also took my cue for this one from the same book as the Bubble Art.

This is very simple and the kids had a “blast” with it.

All you need is:

  • An empty plastic water bottle.
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Red Food Coloring (again, you might be able to use washable red paint to avoid the staining of food coloring. I’ll try this next time.)

Ask the younger kids to prepare a place in the dirt or a sandbox for the volcano.

Older kids stay in and help pour the baking soda into the bottle. We didn’t have too much this day so we only filled the bottle up about 1/4 full. I’d like to try it with more next time.

Add the red dye in, put the cap back on, and shake it all around….and do the hokey pokey, that’s what it’s all about, hey!

Sorry, I digress. Once the volcano is ready outside, have the kids put the prepared volcanic bottle in the volcano hole and cover it up so only the top is barely visible. Take the cap off, pour in the vinegar, and –

BOOM! EXPLOSION CITY!!! 

Ok, it wasn’t that big of an explosion but it was still pretty cool. The nice thing is we could do this activity again using either the same bottle or a different one. I might just have them make a few “volcanic bottles” to have ready so when my kids are “bored” and “have nothing to do”, they can go out and play explode some volcanoes in the back yard.

5.  Tape Measures

Here’s what you need: A tape measure for each child. These can be easily found at the Dollar Tree or any home improvement store.

What you do: Give them to your kids and tell them to go measure things around the house.

They’ll take it from there.

My boys have been going around the house measuring tables, couches, hallways, and of course comparing their heights to each other. I also had my boys and some of their friends lay down on the floor and make a human “totem” on the floor and then we measured how long they all were together.

Warning: I did have to remind the kids a few times that measure tape is a tool not a sword, a gun, or any other kind of weapon.

6. Cheetah and Antelopes

We discovered this gem of an outdoor “tag” game while reading about Cheetahs and Antelopes. My six-year-old son was so intrigued that he begged us to play every day for the past week until we finally played and it was a lot of fun. It’s a great way to get in a good workout too!

Here’s how you play:

It’s even more fun if, when you’re the antelopes, you pretend like you’re grazing in the grass when you suddenly look up and see a cheetah coming for you!

7. Late-Night Star and Planet Gazing and Fire-fly Catching

As many of you may know, my awesome husband has become quite the astro man and we love sharing interest and hobby with him when we can.

Since it’s summer and we don’t have to worry as much about the kids getting up early for a full day of school, it’s a little easier to let them stay up late every now and then so we can all enjoy some stargazing together.

This past Monday marked the Summer Soltice (First day of Summer) and June’s Full Moon, which unbeknownst to me at the time, is known as a Strawberrry Moon. This made June 20th, 2016 both the longest day of the year and the brightest on account of the bright full moon. This only happens once in a generation so I’m glad we got to see it! If I’d known, I would have bought strawberries for us to eat under the full moon. But then our neighbors might have thought we were wickens masquerading as Catholics by day. 😉

So we had the kids go to bed early before 8 (and I did too actually!) and then we all woke up around 10:30/11 again and laid a blanket out in our back yard. My husband brought out his telescope and we all took turns looking at the planets – which are visible during a full moon unlike most of the stars.

We spotted Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn in the night sky and then we each got a closer look at them through the scope.

Saturn2x_29-05-2016_02-38-01-1

The most impressive one to see in the scope is always Saturn. It’s so amazing to think that those bright dots in the sky we see are actually gigantic planets out there thousands and thousands of miles away from our world.

I thought the kids might be too tired to enjoy this, the 3 year-old basically slept on the blanket the whole time and my daughter curled up next to him but the other two boys, who always have high energy, were super charged and ran around chasing fireflies while not looking through the scope. Our poor neighbors.

Whew, well that’s all for now. What fun have your families been having this summer?


Grateful for the Fathers in our Lives

As much as I miss my own dad today, I’m filled with joyful gratitude for the fathers I do have with me [physically] in my life today. My husband, my father-in-law, brothers, uncles, cousins, all the Fr. priests in my life and all the great men and fathers we are blessed to raise our families along with.

For my husband, the best father my kids could ever have.

I love how much he loves them. I remember when our first child, our daughter, was born. We were both so overwhelmed by joy and amazement that this person could be our own child! It was terrifying and humbling. At first, parenting for both of us was like trying to learn how to drive a manual car. You know, the ones were you have a clutch you have to physically push down with your left foot while you simultaneously move your right foot off the brake and ease the gas pedal down while also using your right hand to move the gear shift and, oh remember to keep your left hand on the steering wheel so you don’t swerve into any other cars of off the road!

Yeah, that’s what first-time parenting is like. And boy did we struggle and at first our movements were rough and jerky and there was often the harsh sound of grinding gears as we figured out how to smoothly transition from one gear to another without breaking the baby.

But as our daughter grew and as we added our three sons into our lives, I saw my husband grow too – as a man and as a father. We slowly learned how to let go of ourselves so that we can fully enter into the love of our family and give of ourselves fully to our children together.

We’re still learning for sure and we have many more challenges ahead but I’m thankful today for the amazing and wonderful father my husband is.

When I’m going crazy and can’t handle all the pressure, he comes in and with one look everyone settles down and remembers they are human beings and not wild animals. When I’m all out of energy after a long day and everyone is about ready to explode, my husband diffuses the ticking time bombs with laughter while he chases, wrestles or tickles all the stress out of everyone.

There are many things a mom can do, it’s true, but there’s so much that only a father can do. Trust me, I’ve tried to sound like him and make the kids listen to me like they do to him – I may have even recorded his voice so I would sound like him when lip-sync yelling at the kids. It didn’t work. It’s gotta be him. He has this certain power…or influence over them by his mere presence that I just can’t mimic.

I see how the kids are with him, how they love to spend time with him, how they love doing the silliest and seemingly meaningless stupid stuff with him and it brings them all so much joy. I love that he teaches them all about the random trivia of life, the science of the weather and all about the mysteries of the vast space that spreads beyond our imaginations. When our kids grow up and become meteorologists, astronauts, or astrophysicists it’ll be because of all the time their daddy spent sharing the scope of his knowledge and introducing them to all the wonders of the world.

You can tell what love language our first-born son speaks. (Ahem, quality time together)

We both bring our strengths and our gifts together and I’m so thankful I have him as a partner in this whole parenting gig.

For my father-in-law, a man I respect and admire greatly.

I know some people don’t get along with their in-laws but I gotta say that my father-in-law is pretty dang awesome. I’ve always loved that we can converse together and talk about the things of the world and also about our shared Catholic faith. Over the years we’ve mulled over hard mysteries and questions about God and our unique Catholic and faith experiences.

I’m immensely grateful especially for the gift of his craftsmanship and handy man talents. He’s graciously helped me turn many ideas into physical realities and rescued and fixed many of my attempts at trying to put things together on my own. Mostly I’m humbled by how my father in law has always welcomed me into his family and treated me as his own daughter.

Lastly, but definitely not least, I’m thankful for the spiritual fathers I’ve always had with the many Catholic priests I’ve known growing up.

For all the time they give to bring Christ’s love and healing grace to me through the Sacraments or by offering patient guidance in my times of discernment.

By their physical presence they are here for me as a father In Persona Christi always reminding me and pointing me to the One Father who has, IS, and always will be my Father who loves me and is with me. He knows me and will never forget or leave me.

Though I’m missing the physical presence of my natural father today, I’m thankful for all the great men in my life who I can also look to as fathers to guide me, protect me, and love me.

Lightning

My awesome husband captured this magnificent photo of an amazing lightning storm the other night. It reminds me of how we all connected by the same source of LOVE that spreads through all the veins of our human ancestry. 


Missing what’s Gone and Remembering the Good on Father’s Day 5

Tomorrow is Father’s Day – a day we remember, celebrate, and honor the Fathers in our lives in a special and dedicated way.

A friend asked if this would be a hard day for me [without my dad here for the first time]. At the time I hadn’t really thought about it too much – or at least I hadn’t been allowing myself to.

It’ll be fine…it’s just a day made up by the greeting card and retail companies, right?

Yes…and no.

Despite the historical story of how we’ve come to celebrate “Father’s Day“, it’s a good opportunity to think about the fathers in our lives and why they deserve recognition and thanks.

I’m sure this day brings all sorts of mixed emotions for many. Fathers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, love languages and temperaments.

Fathers have gotten a pretty bad rap over the years, especially considering the sad high rate of father-less children around the world. Fathers have been portrayed as just the guy who “brings home the bacon” but then zones out in the recliner with potato chips and beer while mom – or the kids alone – fend for themselves only receiving his attention if they get in his way or make too much noise.

While I’m saddened to know this might be an accurate caricature of many dads it’s not that way for everyone and, I’d say for a majority, it’s quite the opposite.

Even those who didn’t have some fantasy super-star dad, we can’t deny that each of us – even those who have never met their own fathers – have been influenced in some deep and lasting way by our fathers. Our dads make up at least half of who we are, we come from them – they are our root.

And, for those of us who have been blessed to know our dads present in our lives but have recently – or even not-so-recently, “lost them” in death, this is a sensitive day.

For me, this being another “first” without him, I’m more aware of my dad than maybe even before. I’m grateful for the good memories I have of him and I’m trying to focus on those as I hold them even closer to my heart.

Even though he is not “here” for me to tell him so, I feel incredibly grateful for my dad – for the life he gave me, for the way he sacrificed for me and my siblings so we could have a good life and “become better people” as he always prayed at our meal times: “Help make us better people.”

That said, even though it’s almost been six months (which seems like a lot but isn’t really), I miss my dad, very, very much.

The funny thing is that we never really did anything too exciting for Father’s Day with my dad. Maybe a nice meal, I liked to try and make him a special dessert. We usually didn’t go out to eat because my dad didn’t like to “spend that kind of money”.  Once I was old enough to earn my own money, I tried getting him a cool new gadget or a new polo shirt and of course I could never go wrong with a package of his favorite chocolate bar – KIT KAT.

This year, though, Father’s Day means almost more to me than when he was physically here because his absence has left a gaping hole – exposing a space in my life that has always just been there…but is now “gone.” I can’t help but notice it.

Whenever I go to his house, I look for him still. I wait for him to come out of his room or up from the basement talking in his thickly accented voice that flooded out anyone else’s. I look for him out in his yard, puttering about in his garden or thinking over things on his bench or sneaking his finger into the candy jar in the kitchen. I think my kids still secretly wish he’d come out and play with them, build those amazing train tracks or fall asleep on the floor with them after reading countless books. We all miss seeing him wave us goodbye from his front porch or try to sneak in one last word through the van window as we hurried on to our next activity or home for bed.

I miss his voice. I miss listening to him interrupt us or go on and on…and on and on…about this or that. I miss being able to ask his advice or opinion, even if I usually received more than his two cents worth in reply.

I miss hearing his dry and calloused bare feet shuffle across the creaky wood floors.

I miss his face, even his worried eyes and furrowed brow. And his thick hair. 

I miss it all.

Yet, while all these memories of him make me feel his absence so profoundly and intensely that it fills me with a pain unlike anything else, they also carry a certain…good. These memories make me feel sad for what I don’t have anymore, but they also fill me with a special kind of joy and a deep and sincere gratitude for all the little things I loved – or even disliked – about him that I didn’t really appreciate or give much thought to before.These memories fill my soul to the brim and a wave of sorrow and gratitude spills over. 

One of the hardest things I’m learning with loss, is wondering what it’s like for them after death. When my husband travels I can text him or talk to him on the phone and see how his day is like. We can share pictures of our adventures with friends and family miles and oceans apart. But when someone dies, there’s no “Facebook” or Instagram, no long-distance phone service to find out how their journey is going.  I sometimes find myself scrolling mindlessly through social media feeds, maybe somehow subconsciously hoping I’ll be able to “find” him there, as silly as that sounds.

I wonder if he can hear me or see me. Maybe it’s like a baby monitor – he can hear and see me, I just can’t receive his transmissions back. 

But as I think and pray and reflect and let God speak through the silence of my grief, I realize that if I believe all of us, the living people here, are united with each other through Christ, I suppose those in heaven are still united with us here… In a different way, a deeper way.

It’s a highly sophisticated technology right, Dad? That allows you to be with me in my deepest inner self.

One day, a few weeks after he’d passed away, I was so torn and wished I could go and find him somewhere and just hug him or hold his hand.  In my heart, I felt as if my dad said to me –

You don’t need to go anywhere to find me. You don’t need to miss me because I’m right here with you now…in your soul now. And we are connected, joined,  now in a deeper way than we could have been before.  A better way. 

And so, that’s what I cling to. Some would say this is just a psychological survival mechanism to “get me through this”. Maybe so. But so what? I know I can’t prove that my dad is “in my soul” but you know what, it doesn’t matter. I can either choose to believe it or not. I choose to believe he is somehow connected with me still, not only because it makes me feel better, but because in some unexplained mysterious way, I know it’s true. Even though I know there’s nothing I can say to prove it to anyone else. 

So, to those who have no father physically present with you on this Father’s Day, let us celebrate and honor them anyway.

Let us remember the good memories. Let us reflect on their lives in a way we couldn’t have before – when we maybe took their presence with us for granted or when we couldn’t see the good through the bad. Let us be thankful – for the gift of our existence and life. Let us forgive any pains or regrets they may have caused us in the past. Let us hold them in our hearts, now, in a special and very intimate way. It’s through the spirit of gratitude that we will find peace and healing.

Here’s to you Dad. I love you. Thank you for being my dad when you were with my physically and now, as you are with me in a new – and maybe even better – way.

One day we’ll dance together again. I only hope they don’t play country music in heaven. ;)

 


Six Summer Favorites 2

It looks like the Five Favorites Blog link-up has once again vanished into the black hole of the internet and is floating around somewhere who knows where. It’s like grade school all over again; I finally get my act together to join the cool kids circle and they mysteriously vanish as soon as I start walking over.

Oh well, I’ll share SIX favorites anyway.

1. Sunscreen AND Bug Spray in ONE!

Do you ever wish you could find a sunscreen and a bug repellent all in one bottle? Well, if you wish it you will get it. (If someone else thought of it already.)
Last year, thanks to Facebook friends recommendations, I found the Avon Sunscreen Bug Repellent product. I use the lotion as my body lotion in the morning and carry an extra one in the car and use the Pump Spray when we are out and about and need a quick spray before we an adventure outside or swimming.  It looks like they also sell an aerosol spray can too. I got ours at a local Avon retail shop but it looks like I over-paid compared to the great Amazon prices!

2. High Waist Active Shorts

I think I shared how excited I was to find high-waist athletic capri and high-waist long legging pants but I’ve been on the look-out for some high-waist athletic shorts now that it’s much much warmer outside and in the gym. (It’s more like exercising in a sauna! Which I guess is one way to “sweat off the pounds”.)

I was super excited when I discovered Target had again heard my telepathic request and produced these High-Waist Performance Shorts.  Again, I bought two sizes smaller than I usually wear so I can use these under my looser athletic shorts more like a splint to support my bulging diastisis recti so my insides don’t spill out while I’m jump-jacking and burpee-ing. (haha.) It holds my tummy in very well but they do cut into my legs so I can’t wear them for too long before my legs turn into tingly jello…or maybe that’s from all the burpees?

3. Drawstring Cargo Shorts

I realize using the words “high-waist” and “drawstring” in succession immediately screams “MOM SHORTS!” but well…I am a mom and I need shorts that fit my mom body. 😉

A couple years ago, I discovered the amazingly comfortable yet still flattering capri cargo pants like these. They’ve worked out so well for casual wear to hiking in the mountains. Again, because I’m a wuss for heat, I kept my eye out the shorts cousins to the capri pants. I had to go to Kohl’s to get a replacement strap for my son’s watch so I took a detour through the women’s section and – tada! – drawstring cargo shorts!

I picked out one of the “Loyal Blue” since I am obsessively loyal to blue and one “Paperbag” because, apparently, it may be taboo to wear a paperbag over your head but when it comes to shorts it’s all the rage!

4. Simple Summer Capsule Wardrobe Plan

I realize I’ve neglected to post a Summer Capsule Wardrobe plan – yes I’m still riding that bandwagon.  It’s not all that exciting in that it usually consists of either a t-shirt and shorts, either one of my two church dresses or skirts, my gym clothes or swimsuit – because who has time to dry off and change after swimming with 4 kids in a public pool? (Really, anyone?)

In lieu of a whole post showing off my lame and lazy Summer Capsule Wardrobe plan, I’ll beg your pardon with a few less-than-flattering-but-hopefully-entertaining pics of me trying to get fit my whole self into a selfie  to show off the whole outfit.

Can’t go wrong with a striped shirt, “Royal Blue” shorts, and my 90’s nostalgic “Keds”. (I get my stripe cues from the best in mom fashion.)

Is this thing working?

And of course, one can never go wrong with a solid black shirt and “Paperbag” shorts.

And the hiking/running shoes to make me look more athletic and less lazy.  I think I see a mountain lion in the distance.  Oh wait, that’s just a bush.

Me trying to figure out if I’m taking the picture of not. I was.

Ahh, here we go. It finally worked.

5. Prescription Goggles

Earlier this summer a friend of mine opened the door to the idea of using prescription goggles, so I bought some for me and absolutely love being able to swim and see! My son has bad eyesight too and so I decided to get special prescription goggles for kids  for him also and he was overjoyed.  “Now I can see under water and people far away in the pool!”

We’ve had some challenges with getting him to enjoy swimming and these have been a huge help in getting him to enjoy getting in the pool without the inconvenience of having swimming with a bunch of blurry people all around you.

6. Haley Stewart’s Spring 2016 Spotify Playlist

Just to throw in an odd number, I’ll share my current favorite Spotify playlist. It’s actually Haley Stewart’s – from Carrots for Michaelmas – that I somehow came across. It’s got some new music I hadn’t heard before that just speaks to where I am right now and soothes my soul. I put it on in the car – when the kids are driving me bonkers – or in the kitchen as we wind down from a long day.

I especially like this one:

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise: Avett Brothers

And this one, I love the “dreamy” intro before the more upbeat refrain.

Past Lives: BORNS

What are some favorites of yours this summer?

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