Sunday, March 18, 2018

{not the usual Sunday} 18/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers.
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The morning started off
sleeping in
and relaxing

After our exciting
birthday party
day yesterday

Until it was time to
sport the volt
soccer jerseys

Ready to play together
as a team
and win

Then spring teased
us with a
beautiful day

We went on a
three mile walk
around the lakes

The girls on
roller blades with
Harley chasing behind

Then ended our
not the usual Sunday
with a tasty well-deserved treat!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

{birthday party day} 17/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Sprinkle pancakes
Colorful candles
Singing and wishes

Another special day
with friends and family --
It's birthday PARTY day!

My girls have been planning a birthday party at our local roller skating venue, Orbit, for months. I decided to call and start inquiring about party packages in February and I am so thankful I did!

I learned Orbit Skate Center was closing its doors at the end of March after 46 years in business. They received an offer that they couldn't refuse from a private party to purchase the rink and transition it over to an ice rink. There are not too many roller rinks around any more, so we were disappointed ...

However, we agreed to move up the party! Their birthday is in May, but we celebrated with their friends today with a skating party. One of the last birthday parties ever at Orbit ... what a memory!

Therefore, I am treating today as their birthday! They were treated to sprinkle pancakes with a special "Happy Birthday PARTY day to you!" singing. And tonight we will head out for a birthday dinner and open gifts from friends.

The beautiful thing? We will do this again (minus the friend birthday party) in almost a month! You can never celebrate your precious children too much, right?!

Friday, March 16, 2018

{Today I} 16/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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{16 small moments from my day}

Today I ...
  • started the day hitting the snooze button and sleeping in an extra 20 minutes
  •  celebrated NOT having to make two lunches because the girls requested shamrock-shaped chicken nuggets for hot lunch
  • walked the dog a mile through the neighborhood after the girls were picked up by the bus
  • paid a fine at the library for overdue books because that's what happens when you check out lots and lots of books
  • administered the third math PARCC assessment to a small group of students and they worked hard
  • enjoyed a slow lunch reading slices and commenting, but not reading nearly as many as I hoped
  • continued PARCC with a student with extended time because she was still working hard
  • laughed with my colleagues because sometimes laughter is the best medicine
  • let the dog out after school and sadly returned her to her crate, but told her: Daddy will be home soon
  • picked up the girls and headed to the YMCA for gymnastics classes
  • enjoyed dinner that I didn't have to make and a bonus piece of cake for the cafe's 5 year anniversary celebration
  • read aloud a book to each of my girls, but both choosing a different book to read together
  • visited the Usborne book sale with no intention of buying books, but ended up with eight books ...
  • including a little gift for my school's social worker and psychologist because they deserve a special book
  • honored the quiet time to write this slice while M. read the book Smile independently, while sharing snippets of the story with me
  • ended the night snuggled on the couch to watch an episode of This is Us because it's been a long, crazy week
Image found on Pinterest

Thursday, March 15, 2018

{a favorite moment} 15/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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One of my very favorite moments of the day is after the homework is complete, jammies are on, and teeth are shiny and clean. Technically, it's still part of their homework, but we don't call it that -- unless Daddy looks at his watch and mentions, "It's getting late. Can't we just skip it tonight?"

"Uh, nope. Sorry. It's part of their homework," I explain, winking at my girls.

We meet in my room. One girl on each side of me as I'm snuggled in the middle of our big bed with one or two books (or several, if we were recently at the library).

The other night we finished the fourth book in the Dory Fantasmagory series: Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon. We laughed out loud reading about Rascal and her antics! We talk about how silly she is and how her imagination runs wild. Her stories bring us tons of laughter and joy!

Last night we read the newly purchased book from our Target trip: She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton. It's such a positive book that shares short stories about women throughout history that persisted and made a difference in this world. Even when they were told they couldn't, or worse, shouldn't make a difference.

Tonight I was able to remind my girls to dream big. That if they see a problem, they can make a difference and help solve it, even at eight years old. These women remained brave. They fought for equality. They did what no one thought they could do.

The conversations that I have with daughters are powerful ... because of the books we read together.
Every night. Whether we laugh together or have serious conversations or even tears. I pray this continues for years to come.

Bedtime stories. A favorite moment of my every day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

{quick trip to Target} 14/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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A quick trip to Target last night
"Girls, let's make this fast!"
{We had a list and knew what we needed.}

A stop first at the dollar section
"Look, Mom. It's only a dollar."
{Grabbed a total of four light-up puffer balls.}

Then by the books - they know me
"Look, Mom. A new one! And it's a signed copy."
{Yes, a new copy of She Persisted Around the World.}

The cheap party favor aisle
"Look, Mom. I've always wanted this."
{Added suction cup balls to the cart. I question Why?}

To the clothing section for girls
"Look, Mom. This is so cute."
{Two new HAPPY BIRTHDAY headbands.}

On the way to check out
"Look, Mom! We have to have it!"
{Shaking my head, taking a picture.}

"Very cute, but sorry girls."
"You're mean," one said with disappointment.
{"I know ... Let's go." I said with a smile and a shrug.}

A quick trip to Target last night
"Did we get everything on our list?"
{"We forgot the big chick for ONLY $15."}

"Make the saddest face you can." Sorry girls. It's still no.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

{oh happy day} 13/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Over the weekend, the girls and I were out and about shopping for supplies to complete their biography posters. I enjoy browsing the home decor section of the craft stores. I need nothing, really, but it's always fun to look. To see if anything catches my eye and it's worth the money. I turned my cart down the first aisle to glance at the Easter and "It's spring" collection. It didn't take me long.
I found just what I needed.

Ok, something that I wanted. And, bonus, it was only $6.99 and 50% off. It's a cute little sign with glorious colors that will remind me every morning as I wake up and walk into my bathroom that it is indeed ...

You see. I told you I needed it. :)

Monday, March 12, 2018

{chinatown delight} 12/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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My husband Jon's co-worker from his previous job invited us to lunch downtown. It has been four years since the last time we got together. I wasn't too thrilled about the commitment, but we agreed to go as a family ... with many grumbles.

"Hey, I'm not very excited about this, but we need to be respectful and try to enjoy ourselves, myself included," I told the girls as we were making the hour drive in traffic on a Saturday afternoon to Chicago.

We arrived and then it hit me. I have never been to Chinatown. I snapped some photos as we walked to the restaurant. We were showered with welcomes and hugs. And then the food served Dim Sum style. Our hosts continued to order all their favorites for us to taste and enjoy.

"Are those chicken wings?" Jon inquired.

His buddy laughed. "No! My favorite! Chicken feet!"

Jon laughed along with him, but I could see the worry in his face.

"You should have left it at chicken wings!"

We were all out of our comfort zone for the food selections. Yet, we made the best of it. The girls and I nibbled and taste-tested many choices finding that we liked the rice the best. The tea was delicious too!

Our hosts mentioned that they had another surprise for us at the end of the meal. Again, I was a little concerned as we walked to the next stop in Chinatown.

Here we were surprised with Thai ice cream. This was a delectable treat! And to watch them make the ice cream was incredible ... it's made right in front of you on a cold slab, smoothed out thin and rolled. Such a treat!

We made the best of the experience and I was so proud of my girls for being respectable and trying a variety of unknown foods with interesting textures and tastes. We walked a few more blocks to take in the experience and take some photos.

I expressed my gratitude to our old friends. "We would have never experienced anything like this on our own. Thank you for today!"

We hopped in the car and the girls summed it up best: "That was actually a lot of fun."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

{be the light} 11/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Be the light
the one who comforts
shows kindness

When we feel
that little nudge --
to send a text
make that call

When we hear
the whispers --
to say a prayer
buy a little gift

Do so without
fear, worry

For it can give
the greatest gift of
hope, strength
and love

Little nudges can
make a BIG impact --
and you may never
know the depths

But sometimes
you may learn about
the power of your

I believe those nudges,
those whispers
are God's way
of connecting us

And, in time, the gift of
hope, strength, love
will be returned

So, go, be the light
the one who comforts
shows kindness

© M. Nero 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

{chalk-imagination} 10/31 #sol18


The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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Yesterday's slice is a prologue to this slice ...

My almost-eight year old girls enjoy playing outside. Like, real playing. Creative playing. Making games playing. Imagination playing. For hours playing.

One recent spring-like day, the girls headed outside to play. They grabbed the big box of chalk and began to draw and create a little town all over our driveway and front sidewalk.

Houses Streets Police Station Fire Station Curvy roads
Traffic signals Parking lots Turn only lanes Driveways Garages

Once their town was complete, they grabbed their bikes and played in their town.

A house full of rooms

Another house with three floors

The long, curvy roads

Buildings and parking garage

Police Station and Fire Department buildings (and Harley)

It makes my heart so happy that my girls can make their own fun. I never rarely hear the words, "I'm bored. What can I do?" Together, they collaborate to create fun using their imaginations.

I hope this creative spirit lives in them for a long, long time.