Tag Archives: ally

Scenes from Saturday + Songs & Sauce

Heard this parenting nugget on a podcast at the end of a long work week where it often felt like I was dealing with children.

“The setbacks, mistakes, miscalculations, and failures we have shoved out of our children’s way are the very experiences that teach them how to be resourceful, persistent, innovative and resilient citizens of this world.”

The quote is from the book The Gift of Failure and what I liked most was the fact that the book/author didn’t solely focus on school or test performance, important, of course, but also recognizes the fact that schools don’t just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. They teach responsibility, organization, manners, and more – important life skills kids carry with them long after they leave the classroom.

You might need decent grades to get a foot in the door, but if you want to keep a job, or get promoted, how well you get along with your co-workers, how well you integrate within a team, and how you operate under stress is going to get you a lot farther than knowing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Can I make flash cards for life skills?

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Scenes from Saturday + Marching & Merriment

And suddenly it’s December. I’m trying not to panic. So many baking projects still left to do. So many gifts left to buy. So many pages left to edit. So many employee evaluations still to write.

It’s very tempting to just throw in the towel and tell myself I’ll start fresh in January. But I will persist and resist. Some things, of course, need to get done, but others I could put off, but if I don’t, I’m giving myself a 31-day head start on the new year. That sounds pretty good.

Discipline is “the ability to keep your ass in line.”

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Scenes from Saturday + Birthdays & Bellinis

A reminder to myself from the inimitable Dear Abbey as the holidays creep closer. As the boxes pile up on the front step and the girls make last minute changes to gift lists and we worry we’re not giving them enough and somehow giving them way too much.

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.”

Money can make things easier, no doubt, gifts might make them temporarily smile, no doubt, but there is no substitute for that garbage time.

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Scenes from Saturday + Raising Cane

I’m reading more biographies as I get older and often find myself nodding along at more than one passage. Not often at the genius parts or the reason the biography was written, but at the glimpses of the ordinary parts. People, polymath, prodigy, or sage, are vastly more alike than different.

This becomes especially clear about parenting.

I came across this passage from a book on Queen Victoria from her personal secretary: ““It was easier to go back to [her work] than children having tantrums,” she said. “She always had the excuse of the red boxes.’’

Well, then. She found it easier to be the head of state for the largest empire in the world than to be a parent!

I found that reassuring during this stressful and hectic pre-holiday time. It’s hard, for everyone, but it’s worth it.

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Scenes from Saturday + Marshmallows & Snow

We went to see Elf with friends (Happy Birthday, Ty!) at a rented movie theater this week. It was a great time and spoiled ever going to a theater with strangers again. It also meant that Ally had plenty of sugar after 7 p.m. Her appetite for candy and desserts has been well documented here. She was a hyper Christmas pixie by the time we made it home. Her contagious silliness infected her sister. It was time for bed but they only had mischief on their minds. Giggling, fighting, laughing. Thank god the glitter was out of reach.

It was late. I was ready to pack it in. This was definitely not time for a rumpus. I was teetering on the verge of shutting it down by parental decree (i.e., yelling) and yet…a question popped into my mind instead: who has it better?

Nobody. Nobody has it as good as your own family. It’s a mad, mad world out there right now. Hang on tight to those dear to you. Lean into that craziness. Try to enjoy it. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Birthdays & Bonfires

We’ve been lucky, in one sense, during this pandemic that both Michelle and I like to cook, but we hit a wall this week. Through convenience or curiosity, we gave up and just threw everything in the borrowed air fryer. It became a challenge by the end of the week.

Here’s the list of things we loaded up and answered the question: “Will it air fry?”

Chickpeas (perfect and crunchy), pickles (eh), grilled cheese (yup), apple fritters (so good), salmon and broccoli together (yes, excellent sheet pan-style dinner), arancinis (italian riceball croquettes – pretty good), chicken nuggets (duh), tofu (not bad), fries (of course), sweet potatoes (double cooked worked best), s’mores (surprisingly good), tots (made for this), burritos, Brussel sprouts, chicken tenders, and cod.

You do what you got to do to get through 2020. Continue Reading