Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dusting Off the Ol' Blog

It's hard to believe that it has been eight months since my last post.

Life is crazy at the Hall House (just like your's), but I've been wanting to do a better job of keeping with our little family history.

So, our life.

Full. Beautiful. Thankful.

Spring is in full swing in the Magic City. Hostas are blooming, peonies are about to bud, our first strawberries have been harvested, and we've used enough baking ingredients over the past few weeks to warrant a small business loan.

The girls are great. Eleanor's third birthday is peaking around the corner, and Emma has officially fifteen days of kindergarten left. My, how time flies.

Our tradition of spending mornings at Pepper Place Saturday Market is back in the swing, and life is generally good.  I could complain about the busyness and hard work of life, but that's not very interesting.

Here's our life in pictures.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Tooth Berry

Crazy doesn't even begin to describe how things are for us right now.  Our summer has been filled with all kinds of peaks and valleys - which is sincerely hope to update you all on soon.

That said, the Tooth "Berry" has been to our house. 

Twice. In two weeks.

Yes, although Emma just turned five a couple of weeks ago, she already has had loose teeth.  She got baby teeth very early, so our path to "big girl" teeth is on the same speedy track.

She was one happy camper when the tooth fairy left her sugary loot.

*As a parenting sidebar, last night's waiting for the tooth fairy was a disaster.  Emma was up until nearly midnight impatiently waiting for the tooth fairy's arrival.  She cried for almost two hours (yes, I'm serious) because she just couldn't go to sleep.  It wasn't enough that the tooth fairy was going to visit, she wanted to *see* the tooth fairy.  We tried to explain to her every rational thought in the entire world about why and how the tooth fairy works, but it didn't fly.

So, bleary-eyed and patience-pushed, we through in the towel around 11:30pm and strategically pushed a lollipop and bag of neon sour worms (per request) under her pillow, praying that it would work.  It did. 

We told her to look under her pillow and with a mighty big grin she said, "Ah, thanks, Tooth Berry."  And before the clock struck midnight, we were all asleep.  Finally.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tales of a Birmingham Burnout

As I read a casual friend's blog this week, I couldn't decide if I should be flattered or frustrated.  

Her post described her recent conversation with a woman who she described as clever, quick-witted, creative, a great mom, woman of faith...and uncool?

I thought {as that woman}, I would add some thoughts to the matter.

First of all, I'll start out by saying kudos to my friend for her fierce commitment to our lovely city.  As a relatively recent transplant to the 'Ham, she and her family have, with impressive ease, joined the ranks of the Magic City.  Her tenacity, advocacy, and passion are palpable. Honestly, she reminds me of an earlier version of myself.  

But just as the newlywed magic of marriage wears off and the real work begins, the magic of this town wears off when year after year, decade after decade, the real work isn't accomplished. Constant political upheaval, embarrassing headlines, budget breakdowns and abysmal infrastructure is enough to wear a girl down.  And you start to wonder; maybe this relationship isn’t for keeps.  Bored - maybe not, tired - yes.

Merriam-Webster defines burnout as "the exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as the result of prolonged stress or frustration."  Yep, that about sums it up.  Prolonged frustration.  Exhaustion of motivation.  

I've spent 17 years as an energetic member of this community.  I've served on boards, organized community events, fought to save City Stages, helped lead an art co-op, spent long hours in an art festival tent and eaten many an Urban Standard cupcake {a sacrifice, I know}.

We know our neighbors (yay, Crestwood), grow an impressive garden (thanks, hubs), and are part of an organic dairy co-op (happy cows).  So, no cave-dweller here (her words).

And, as much as I appreciate her long list of Birmingham activities, it's going to take more than an evening music event (past my kid's bedtime) or another local brew fest (that I have to get a babysitter for) to make this momma happy.  There are many of us who were once counted in the ranks of motivated movers and shakers who are hard-working parents who need more for our families.  Forgive me if another free movie doesn't fluff my exhausted feathers.

Don't get me wrong, I love this town and want to see it succeed.  I’ve served for many years as ambassador extraordinaire to many a Birmingham hopeful.  And, yes, there are many glimmers of progress - local breweries flowing with carefully mastered, hoppy concoctions, our local parks finally getting the investment they deserve, and the earth {literally} moving to bring the Barons back to the city.

But after two decades of this city asking its citizens to be the coach, the quarterback, the defensive line, the financiers, and the cheerleaders, I’ve got a serious case of Birmingham burnout.

And that my friends, is what’s uncool.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend Round-up :: June 3, 2012

This weekend was like most - crazy.

Saturday morning, Emma and I headed to Pepper Place Farmer's Market early, with Dugald and Eleanor joining us a bit later.  It was our usual series of comfort - iced coffee, chocolate croissants, bluegrass music, pork & grits, sno-cones.

The rest of the weekend was filled with laundry, house destroying, pool splashing, more house destroying and a bit of cooking (smoked red pepper hummus and strawberry jam).

And, our sweet, 50-year old Dogwood finally bit the dust.  Sad.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Perfection is Paralyzing

I'm happy to say that I'm dusting off the ol' blog and starting to post again.

Yes, there is never enough time. Yes, our life is crazy. But, I think the biggest factor for not posting is perfection. I want to craft perfectly written paragraphs with perfectly taken pictures...and when I can't, I don't.

So, here's my less-than-perfect, but otherwise written post. Our weekend was basically a usual Hall weekend - lots of cooking and kid-chasing.

  1. One trip to Railroad Park - flew kites, rode bikes, chased kids.
  2. Two batches of this amazing marinara sauce. Hello, slow cooker.
  3. One batch of these, good-luck-finding-a-better-recipe brownies.
  4. This chicken parmesan - yum.
  5. This Pioneer Woman lasagna.
  6. Six loads of laundry.
  7. Four rounds of dishes - thank you Bosch dishwasher!
  8. One case of conjunctivitis (Eleanor)
  9. One new car seat. (Eleanor will be pleased to look at other things besides her toes.)
  10. One rockin' sermon by Pastor Chris Hodges - wowzer.
  11. Countless hours of running around outside in the sun. This is January?
  12. A few, ok - several - cups of coffee.
  13. One barre routine at Grand Jete.
  14. One Handy-man Hall-built work bench.
Yep, that about covers it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

365 :: 7

Oh, the weekends. Crazy. Beautiful. Tiring. Fun.

Today, all the Halls went on our usual Saturday morning date to Pepper Place Farmers Market. Well, sort of usual.

Today was National Cancer Survivors Day, and UAB hosted a local celebration at the market. As part of the planning committee, I had to be there at 5:00am. It wouldn't have been so bad except that Eleanor woke up at midnight and then at 2:30am. Her sister heard the screaming at 2:30 and didn't go back to bed until almost 4:00am. My alarm went of at 4:15am. Fun times.

[I'm sure this sounds familiar to many of you out there.]

Anyway, it was a great celebration and the rest of the Halls joined in around 7:30. That's when "the usual" came back - smoked pork and chicken with grits, chocolate croissant, iced coffee, and blueberry muffins. Oh, and messy kids.

The rest of the day, we watched Eleanor climb in and out of baskets and search the house for jewelry and scarves. It's crazy - she crawls around looking for necklaces, scarves and bracelets, and we find her accessorized so much she can barely get around. She's definitely going to be my girly-girl.

Great day. Happy it's bedtime.

Friday, June 3, 2011

365 :: 6

Thought for the day ::

Long days + long week = tired parents. Geez.