Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Commune Thing

You guys, I have a confession to make.

We live in a commune.

Yes, it's just like you're imagining.  This:

Okay, no.  Not really.  Although Nick wears some plaid occasionally and he has a beard...

It's actually more like this:

We live in my grandparent's house. Their house is quite large and we've been able to live in our own corner of the house.  Well, more like top of the house since we're pretty much the attic.  BUT, we have our own living room area, bathroom, bedroom, and two summers ago we built a small closet-size room for Oliver, and built a wall on Ellie's room so we technically have 3 bedrooms upstairs. Everyone has their own room! Hooray for personal space!

My aunt and uncle also moved in a couple summers ago (this is basically when the name "commune" came up).  I say aunt and uncle, but they're really only 5 and 10 years older than me.  One of those mixed families thing.  Anyways, they converted the indoor pool building into an adorable 2 bed/1 bath apartment.  An insane DIY remodel complete with 3 dump truck loads of sand to fill the pool, but fun!

To add to this, my great-grandparents moved in in the spring, followed by my brother. So, my Oma and Opa live in a basement area with a bedroom, living space, and bathroom and my brother gets a single room.

So, we have 9 adults and 4 kids under 4 living under the same roof. And somehow we all still have our sanity in tact!


Ellie and Oliver were born into this house and I think it has saved my sanity more times than I'll admit.  They're always loved on, have live-in babysitters (sometimes), and we eat pretty dang good (except for the hoards of bacon we devour each month and the lazy pizza nights.  Oh, and the fact that we live 3 blocks away from $1 delicious ice cream cones). My aunt and uncle also had both of their babies (now 2 and 11 months) while living here. Our kids are quite fond of each other and we have some great dance parties after dinner. Seriously. It's pretty dang cute.

Some questions people usually ask us when we tell them we're living with so many people under the same roof:

Q: Do you all eat meals together? How does that work?
A: We usually make our own breakfasts and lunches (sometimes we're nice and make extra pancakes for others), but dinners are usually done by one person or it's a last-minute group effort. We do occasionally buy pizza! The nice thing about cooking dinner is that you usually don't have to do dishes if you cooked. I like this arrangement.

Q: Do you all get along? Are you stressed?
A: Most of the time we get along well. It helps that we all have our own living quarters to retreat to when we need it most. I feel like I just have different stresses than if we were living on our own.

Q: Wow! How big is the house?
I actually don't know the square feet and it's not THAT big, but it's enough for everyone to have their own room(s), bathroom, and personal living area. So, that's big right?

Well, now that our secret's out, can we still be friends?

Friday, February 10, 2017


Reading :: I JUST finished the Harry Potter series!! Yeesssss! I'm sad that I missed it when it first came out. It would've been my era, but being able to read them all now was a lot of fun. I loved watching J.K. Rowling's writing develop with each book, the story just get more complex and awesome, and the books growing with the characters. Ah, so good. Now I need a new book to read...or maybe I'll just take a break for awhile. That was a lot to read in just 3 months.

Loving :: Being free from the snow! We had 4 snow days in a row. Because (1) the snow and ice that came were terrible and unstoppable and (2) we aren't allowed to use salt on the roads. So, just 10 minutes across the Canadian border the roads were passable, but on our roads? Chaos, disaster, and ice EVERYWHERE. So, that meant we were stuck in our house from Saturday morning til today. That's almost a week! We did make it outside to sled and throw snowballs, but you can only take that nasty NE wind for so long.

And, our county even declared it a state of emergency. I guess this means that we can get out of our snow days and not have to add them to the end of the year.
Feeling :: Frustrated. I just got a new iPhone and there is no Blogger app!! What am I supposed to do? I blame this for my lack of blogging.
Watching ::  Too many things. I haven't caught up on This is Us, Grey's Anatomy (I'm unable to stop watching even though it's terrible), and the 2nd season of Man in the High Castle. We did just finish Lemony Snicket's show on Netflix. That was brilliant. And we just started watching Sherlock from the beginning because while I've seen it, Nick hasn't and he's just now discovering how incredible it is.

Thinking :: About coffee. I could use some right now. Especially one that involves going outside of the house and not making it myself.

Wishing :: That I could have a getaway trip about once a month. Just one night of nobody yelling "moooomm! I'm all alone in my room!" and one morning of eating my warm breakfast with my warm coffee with my warm husband.

Wearing :: Boots because 1 ft.+ of snow + rain + 50 degree weather = puddles and slush EVERYWHERE. It took me about 10 tries to get out of the driveway this morning.

Wanting :: Screaming children to stop and little boys to listen to the word "no" and realize that it's probably for their own safety. Maybe there's a reason why mom doesn't want you pulling off all the outlet covers, jumping on the couch next to the edge, and standing on chairs at the dinner table. *sigh*

Wanting :: To magically get an infinite amount of motivation to workout each week. Nick is too good with this. He works out at least 5 times a week. I think he stole all of my motivation. That's my excuse for the day. Ha!

Planning :: 3 more school concerts + a plan to take my middle school band marching in the parade. All that til the end of the school year (if we don't get 20 more snow days put on the end of the year..)!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Anna posted a great blog reflecting on her year and it got me thinking about our year. A year that included very little blogging, sadly. But, I was thinking this could be a good way to start again. Maybe a way to reset? Like, a start to a goal? Ha, just kidding. I'm not going to talk about New Year's resolutions.

2016 was a busy year for us.

+ Nick started his first year of nursing school. It's the first start to his dream of being a nurse practitioner. It's great, but it means that we're juggling my job, Nick's job, Nick's new class schedule, and our kids. I'm glad we live in a house with other family members (more on that someday).

+ Nick also became a vegan (by choice). This was a big deal at the beginning, but now that we're about 6 months into it, it's not that bad. I eat less meat and dairy because of it, which is something that I've been wanting to do anyways. But, I can't get over some of the foods he eats now. Cooked spinach...lentils...seitan...yeah. They're not my favorite.

+ Oliver did all of his firsts. He turned one, went from crawling to running, and has been the first child to get into EVERYTHING. Seriously. He's figured out how to pull off the outlet covers - baby-proofing fail. He gets into everything he shouldn't, even after being told no 43 times AND being put in time out. And, he's the most persistent little boy I know. You can move him away from the potted plant and he'll pretend to walk away, but after about 5 steps he'll turn around and run back for it. Every. Time.  Can I just say that I'm incredibly nervous to go camping over the summer? That's not being over-cautious, right?

+ Ellie started dance class and she has been rocking it. Okay, she was the worst jumper, leaper, and tip-toer, but after 3 months she can now jump with BOTH feet off the ground and is starting to run and jump over things. This is huge! Her gross motor skills weren't very coordinated before. We'll see what happens when we make her try out soccer.

Yes, we are the parents that are planning to let our kids try a little bit of everything. Why not? Maybe she'll find something she's really into. And if she hates everything, that's fine too. She's a bookworm already so she's got that going for her.

+ Speaking of bookworms, I read a lot this year. I read a great handful of historical fiction and finally jumped on the Harry Potter bandwagon. Yup. I don't know why i didn't to jump into those books when they were first popular. I enjoyed the movies, but man do the movies get better when you read the books. I know everyone says it, but the books are so much better. There's just so much more there! And each book is better than the previous. I'm just finishing book 6 and it's probably one of my favorites so far.

+ We binged on some great shows this year. WestWorld, House of Cards, Stranger Things, Mozart in the Jungle, Vikings, This is Us (okay, Nick didn't watch that one), and we just started Lemony Snicket's show on Netflix. All of those were so good.

+ I finally got myself to the gym and even joined The Sisterhood (no, that's not a cult). It's taken awhile to get back at it because my kids don't like to really sleep in or sleep at the same time AND I work during the day, but, one step at a time, right?

Maybe this year I'll write a blog post not written with bullet points. Goals, right?