Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Over the past two years, I've taken on more work but still somehow manage to carve out 8 hours a month to be an assistant in the girls Atrium.  At this point, they are both in Level III of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and it's Beezus' last year as it ends at age 12.  The lead catechist this year is a woman in her early seventies.  She was a middle grades teacher for 35+ years and has been a Catechist nearly that long. I very much enjoy her company and would love to be friends.

We were chatting today about parenting decisions, and I commented that I had a few parenting convictions that have held true over the test of time. I thought I might write them down to see if they still hold true in another few years. There are so very many things that I do wrong as a mother, but these few hold true.

1. Minimal screen time
We held fast to this one until this past summer, at ages almost 10 and almost 12.  We had less childcare this summer and more screen time was an easy babysitter.  They were at swim team every morning and softball three nights a week, so I rationalized it that they needed some time being still. This advice came to me from a mother friend with older kids, Sue W.  I can't find her blog anymore, but I am forever grateful.  We're going to pull the reins back in on this one though with some rules that will apply to all the family.

2. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for religious education
We chose our neighborhood in Colorado so that we could get to a parish with CGS within 30 minutes.  That's how important this method of instruction is to me. And now that I'm training to be a Catechist, it's even more beautiful. 

3. Free range experiences
Ramona was riding her bike solo around our neighborhood starting at age 8; they both rode their bikes to the grocery store this past summer; and Beezus rides her bike 1.3 miles to school every day (and home again).  Two days a week she also rides her bike a mile further after school to go to clarinet lessons.  She's not necessarily happy about it, but I know in my gut that she needs this freedom and this responsibility.  She also needs the experience of the physical activity to help reset her mind during the transition from home to school and back again.

4. Buying secondhand
This has been difficult to sustain as they've gotten older and as we've moved to a less transient area.  Nonetheless, we still try to hit up the thrift store before we head to the mall or to Target.

All of these except number 3 have been in place since the girls were very young.  I hope I can hang onto them forever, but I also know that things have to change sometimes.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Slowing Down

Wow ... you want to have a profound experience?  Try realizing that all your calendars aren't syncing on the same day that you stumble across your old blog.  What incredible perspective to realize how far I have come and how the issues I work on today are largely the same as years ago.

It's been a season of self reflection and self work here at the TSM house.  Ramona is now 10 (and Beezus is 12) and Ramona and I both have these great big hearts that make it so challenging to live in this world. Mr. Q continues to be a rock star in my book and one of the hardest working men I know.  With our busy work and volunteering schedules, we have set aside 45 minutes every week to just talk.  It's been incredibly life giving to our relationship. Beezus has transitioned so nicely and easily to middle school.  Only a couple hiccups and she is figuring out how she handles her hiccups.  She often has a minor, brief temper tantrum and then carries on. 

After 5 weeks of a supremely busy travel time for Mr.Q, for me, and for our family, life is very slow with only some family travel for the next couple months.  My goal during this time is to also slow down - when I feel like speeding up, that is the time I most need to slow down.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Deep in the throes of post vacation blues here.  We've had such a lovely 17 days of vacation and the girls are off again tomorrow.  We've spent time at home, time at gymnastics camp, time at work, family time, 1 on 1 time, time in NYC and on Long Island.  We've entertained guests a couple times and have been entertained ourselves.

We are jumping into the deep end this week.  Mr. Quimby is already traveling for work and we've got a steady calendar of work travel over the next few months.

I lost my temper with the girls tonight - one of them snuck up on the other, pinched her, and scared the beejeesus out of her so badly that she screamed so loudly that I thought a "bad guy" was in the house.  I lost it and then recovered approximately 2 minutes later and we had all made amends 20 minutes after that.  But still, I hate that after being calm and present and in the moment for 17 days I finally lost it today.

Tomorrow will be a tough day.  I need to get some work done and the girls will be home all day.  I'll structure the day here and there; an hour of tv, an hour of an activity together, an hour of activity separately.  I wish there was a scavenger hunt I could make up that would take them around the neighborhood on a day like tomorrow.  Sunny but cold, but not too cold for a bike ride.

Melancholy.  It seems the perfect end to 17 days of good.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Resolutions 2016 Edition

I LOVE New Year Resolutions.  Here are mine:

1. Be more organized with time at work and structure what I do during my days in the office and my couple hours here at home so I'm not dragging files back and forth with me.

2. Figure out our photo/scrapbook situation.  I think I need to start with December 2015 and start making digital scrapbooks or photobooks (there's a digital scrapbooking group that meets nearby monthly).  But then I need to start with, ahem, 2008 and make paper scrapbooks from 2008-2015 using the small warehouse that I have in the basement.

3. Cook meals from scratch 3x per week.  Reheating frozen chicken nuggets and adding a green vegetable does not count.

4. Blog 2x per week.  I love blogging, no reason I don't do it more.

5. Keep working out 3x per week.  Eat less of those damn Little Debbie snack cakes so that I might actually lose weight.  Maybe run a 5K - in the early summer and again in the fall.  It's brutal to run here on cold days, and I just don't have it in me so I'm fine to just go back to my work out group and not run a 5K until the summer.  But it's also brutal to run in the summer (not because of the heat, because of the sun!) so I really have to run at night.

6. No more tv during the day.  I've developed a bad habit of turning it on if I'm at home but it always just leads to more!

Do you have any resolutions ?!?!

Monday, November 30, 2015

"a very nice family"

Today at Mass, an elderly woman sat near us whom I haven't seen before.

During the recessional hymn, she tapped me on the shoulder and said to me: "What a very nice family you have."  Tears sprung to my eyes and I said: "Oh thank you so much for saying that.  We try so hard."

Oh my goodness, and we do try so very hard.  We do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I know I can

On business travel for a few days and I'm terrified of losing my hard won fitness level.  So at 9pm I went for a run.  I'll never fall asleep in time to get a good nights rest before my meetings tomorrow, but that is secondary.

I'm still in a run/walk interval but I ran the longest I've ever run tonight; being closer to sea level and a nice downward slope made a huge difference!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I think I can

I think I might be a runner.

I run now, 3 days a week, and I don't make excuses not to go anymore.  I don't run for LONG periods of time - I'm almost up to a 90 sec. run, 30 sec. walk for 30 minutes at a time and I generally don't feel like dying, crying, or throwing up.  My running stuff is organized - I know exactly what I need so I can grab it and go without too much effort.

I started a Couch to 5K program in late July because a friend was starting it.  I decided that I didn't want to be the sort of person who never tries anything new, so I signed up too.  The program is okay; it moves too fast for me but I like the camaraderie.  I've had two sessions with a friend who is one of those crazed fitness type people and that was amazing.  She watched me run, made suggestions on my form and breathing, and it made a huge difference.  She's also a devout Catholic, so we say prayers and the rosary while we run.

The girls have had to go with me a couple times.  They will walk while I run back and forth or they will ride their bikes.  They make helpful comments like: "Way to go mom;" "keep it up mom;" "your butt sort of bounces, is it supposed to do that?" and my fave: "your boobs bounce too, but don't worry, it's not that bad."

I confessed to Beezus that I was scared of running and I was scared of the race.  She was so contemplative when I told her that I was scared and nervous but that I was going to do it anyway. She must have told Ramona because she seemed so confused later when asking me why I was going to do something I was scared of!

It feels good to have a project, a goal that I am working towards.  I am heavily goal driven, so this works for me. I don't see myself running through the winter and I can't imagine running on a treadmill.  I miss working out with my regular cardio group and I'm wondering if running just 2x per week would keep me at my current fitness level so that I don't lose where I am.  But honestly, none of that really matters.  I'm focused on the race on Sept. 19th and I'll deal with those other issues when the time comes.

My dear friend Elaine gave me some advice that has really stuck with me: "Give yourself a chance to succeed at this."  In many ways, I feel like I already have succeeded; but I'll run in the race on Sept. 19th just to be sure.

Yes, I wear a sweatband under my running hat.  This pic is from the FAR side of the lake trail near our house.

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