Playing House

the path to domesticity is paved with good intentions…

Category: inspiration

On Being Bold / Happy Weekend


Lately, I have been really at ease.  I totally dig it.  I think it has something to do with all of the wintery lounging around we’ve been doing.  And have I mentioned the movie watching?  Oh, the movie watching.  Redbox is totally our best friend this winter.  I have watched Soul Surfer, Dolphin Tale, and Money Ball at least three times a piece this week.  Too much?  Oh I don’t think so…Jim is our Redbox man of the house.  We trust his judgement.  At least since Christmas week, when he and his brother would rent intense thrillers or action movies, one after the other, and I’d look at them and say who picked these?  I subsequently told Jim that I like feel good movies, stories of triumph.  (How did he not know this after almost 8 years??…I digress.)  The man listens.  He brought back movies about a surfer girl without an arm, a dolphin without a tail, and a baseball team without a payroll.  How perfect is that? I love a great story of conquering the insurmountable.  Especially when both resilience and magic are at play.  It’s relatable, yet humbling, and exciting all at the same time.  It makes me think of that Eleanor Roosevelt quote: Do the thing you think you cannot do.  It’s hard to think in this mode when what we face is small, or maybe incremental change, when we’re not facing anything insurmountable like a lost limb.  When the deck isn’t stacked against, change is hard.  But this is why I love tales of triumph, and this Eleanor Roosevelt quote – they’re both reminders to be bold, whatever the stakes are.

This weekend
We have lots of good plans- to hang out with friends, explore a cool consignment sale, and go on a hot date/make new friends.   I am pumped (although I am still undecided on what to wear).  I also imagine I’ll take a bunch of pictures, play with some blocks, and spell some words with Rachel.  And maybe get more movies from Redbox.

In any case, it promises to be a fun-filled weekend – with a splash of boldness thrown in for good measure!  Happy Weekend.

A Quote for Thursday:

Via Old Barn Rescue Company on Etsy


Hope you’re having a great day.

Happiness is the Way

In my imagination, George had a bit of a faceplant week this week.  His child was sick again (you didn’t know he had kids?) and he administered loads of medicine through screams of torture, was late to work everyday (yes, George has a job too), and generally wasn’t focused slash felt like a failure at life.  I, on the other hand, I had a great week.  I got into lots of adventures and hung out with my best friend, the man with the yellow hat.

Then, as I was killing time after feeding my parking meter mid-week, I stepped into a book shop and came across this quote:

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – Real Life.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through fiirst,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.

At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.
Happiness is the way.

So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination!”


I immediately read it to George and his whole perspective changed, and he was grateful for the good that occurred during his week.  Here are some bits and pieces:

  1. We went for a leisurely walk on the river path on Tuesday.  All three of us- and it was lovely.  Rachel particularly loved these ramps that take you from street level down to the river.
  2. I dropped by the Philadelphia Milk for Thought Bus Tour stop on Penn’s campus.  It was a great event with a few hundred women and tons of chubby-cheeked babies.  Thanks for reading my posts earlier this week on breastfeeding.
  3. Rachel and I stopped by the garden to visit out cute little tomato plant.  I cannot wait until these are ready to be picked.
  4. We also turned our coffee table into an art station.  I have to admit I got this idea from Rachel.  When she started drawing on the not-covered-in-craft-paper coffee table.  I swear she’s smarter than me.  She comes up with all the good ideas before I do.
  5. I finally got Rachel into this new pair of shoes that Grandma bought her in Texas.  We had a fun time giggling while taking pictures of them too.
  6. I went for one glorious run this week, while Rachel napped in the stroller.  A large portion of the road is lined with these beautiful wild berry-looking plants that are part green and part fushia and part deep purple.  It was the prettiest thing.  Do you know what these are?

Happiness is the way indeed.  Hope you treasured every moment of your week too.

To Make and Do

Image from Platypus Prints on Etsy

A few things I’ve been meaning to share with you, some which I have done, others which I have every intention of doing:

  • These muffins, as a cake.  So good I will have to share my take on it with you later this month.
  • This lasagna. I’ve made this a few times as a simple yet impressive dinner party entree.  It never disappoints.  (No noodles…what?!)  Seeing a theme here?…
  • Zucchini sauteed with sriracha.  Threw these two together one day, then the next day, and the next.  Try it…you’ll like it!
  • This challenge.  So inspiring.  Really makes you rethink your relationship with money.  And while we’re listing things that border the impossible…
  • This sewing project.  It’s time.  I’ve said it before, but now I mean it.  Plus, a special friend has a bun in the oven who is just begging for these jammies, I know it.
  • 30 miles in 30 days.  I know this is not terribly ambitious, but now that both of my sisters have taken up running Operation Keep Moving Forward needs a little nudge.  Speaking of things that are good for me, but might not feel worth doing…
  • 15 minutes a day of things I dread.  How else am I going to accomplish things like making dentist appointments and clipping Rachel’s nails.  Schedule it in.
  • This method for brewing iced coffee.  I tried it today and immediately regretted not trying it sooner.  Caffeine plus cost containment.  Check plus.  Now I may have enough energy to do/continue doing the things on this list.  And take care of a sick little girl.  No, it’s not all roses around here ;)
To an ambitious and productive remainder of the week!

Lessons Learned from my Father

To be honest, the father that’s been on my mind the most recently is the father of my child, not my own father.  It’s so interesting how parenthood changes your perspective that way…

The reality is, I was such a daddy’s girl growing up (and I’m not too sure my sister’s can’t say the same).  He spent countless hours coaching, consoling, and guiding me through challenges.  These are the top 10 things he has taught me, ingrained in me in fact, through the years:

  1. Nothing is as important as being rich in family unity.
  2. Focus on the quality of friends you keep, not the quantity.
  3. Do not sleep your life away. (“There’s plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead,” he would bellow with ZZ Top blasting in the background.)
  4. Never be satisfied.  You don’t have to be perfect but you can get pretty darn close.
  5. Quitting is not acceptable.
  6. Always carry yourself with confidence, even if your clothes don’t match, especially if no one thinks you will succeed.
  7. Work hard at what you do.
  8. Say hello to people- it’s up to them to say hello back.
  9. Always remember where you came from.
  10. No matter where you go, the names and faces change but the people stay the same.

I will say, with no disrespect, that my father has not taught me much about “how the world works,” or how to “do” many things, but in shaping my character he has been the greatest influence.  I try to carry his wisdom with me in the way that I carry myself.  Even as I’ve become an adult and lost some of my innocence, I still think of these pieces of advice regularly, just through a different lens and maybe with a little nuance.  I’ve dismissed some of these things during periods of cynicism.  I’ve reconstructed some of them as I’ve developed a more critical and global worldview, thanks to my education and diversity of experiences, which in many ways my father worked hard to provide.  But these ten things are still a moral compass for me, I am thankful to say.  And as I think about being a parent myself, I wonder what moral advice will I provide to my children?  I can only hope to make such an impression on them as my father (and mother) have made on me.

My dad and I dancing at my wedding

Happy Father’s Day Weekend, everyone.  Many thanks to all those who play a fathering role in theirs or other children’s lives.