Category Archives: About Me

Nerdy 30.

Yesterday I turned 30.

(Yes, I was born on Valentine’s Day.)

Oh, hello there.

I’m just about the lamest 30 year old ever, and I warned my husband that if I got any kind of party action he’d likely get punched in the stomach. I took comfort in knowing it would be a relaxing, comfortable day. We spent the day running errands with the kids and hitting up the library. There’s nothing like treating myself to a few good borrowed books on my big day.

Embracing my inner nerd with a few good X-Men comics.

Then I hunkered down cozily on the trusty papasan and finally finished my current book.

OMG. Total book crush.

My wonderful husband made an early dinner for the kids, engaged in birthday song shenanigans and made me a lovely salmon and asparagus dinner. To truly appreciate the dinner, you need to be filled in on a little secret. My husband totally, completely, 110% abhors fish and on a normal day will not touch it with a ten foot pole. But by golly, he cooks up the most delicious salmon I’ve ever eaten. Since it’s quite the rare beast around these parts, I take it whenever I can get it.

Sorry, no picture of dinner. I was too busy om nom nomming it up. Instead, here's a snapshot of my favorite wine which accompanied my favorite dinner.

To finish off my low-key day, I hunkered down with some chocolate cake and Breaking Dawn for a guilty pleasure ending to my happy birthday. No shame.

Chocolate mousse cake from Angela Mia in Norwalk. Holy wow, their cakes are good.

I'm totally Team Edward. Woot.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you. Happy birthday to me.

New Goals For The New Year

It’s that time of the year when we all jump on the resolution bandwagon, promising things to ourselves like we’ll eat less, stress less, weigh less, drink less, smoke less, spend less. But I’ve always felt that resolutions are meant to be broken, so I’m setting myself some goals for the new year. Because, well, you can’t break goals.

The title might be just a little misleading. Some of my goals for 2012 are actually rollover goals from 2011 that I didn’t get around to.  But we’ll act like they’re all bright, shiny new goals, for the sake of motivation and pride.

1. Read two books each month (1 fiction & 1 non-fiction). I love to read. I read news articles, I read magazines, I read children’s stories, I read blogs, I read the back of cereal boxes. What I don’t really read though, are books for myself. There’s nothing as calming and relaxing as curling up with a good book and a warm cup o’ something, getting lost in the imagination of a fiction author or learning something new through the visions of a non-fiction writer. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget to take 10 minutes for myself, and reading is the perfect way to incorporate that small need into my day.

2. Blog at least 3 times a week. When I started this blog back in September, I never thought that people would be interested in what I had to say. I thought, “I love to write (actually, I kind of just love the internet), and this would be the perfect no-cost creative outlet for me”. Four months, 40 posts and 1,900 blog views later, I realize that there actually are people out there who are interested in what I have to say! As a stay at home mom of two preschoolers, I sometimes feel a little disconnected from the rest of the world here in my primarily family focused life. But blogging opens me up to an audience of potentially like-minded folk in the vast world community of the internet, and encourages me to explore every aspect of my life, from my love of cooking to my family to my obsession with frugality and more. While I can go out into the world and shine, I’m truly a homebody. And the Ginger(ly) Homemaking blog lets me highlight that in a positive, confidence-building light. In an effort to milk that positive, confidence-building thaaang for all it’s worth, one of my goals will be to put a more consistent focus on growing this blog and a relationship with my wonderful community of readers =)

3. Sew a dress. I lurve my sewing machine. I got it for Christmas when I was 19ish, and for years it sat covered in dust in the back of a closet at my dad’s house. I’m not exactly sure why it was on my Christmas list, but years later I learned that it was one of the best decisions I never knew I made. When my daughter was born I dusted it off to make a ring sling baby carrier, and then used it to turn that one sling into a successful small business venture on Etsy. Once my children became older and more demanding, I no longer had the time to devote to the sling business, but I still used my sewing machine to make pillows, curtains, Halloween costumes, minor clothing alterations, aprons, and even a cock-eyed attempt at a dress for my daughter. I miss the constant relationship that I had with my sewing machine, but one can only have so many pillow covers. I’ve decided to use a sewing pattern for the first time ever, and sew myself a dress (because I can NEVER have too many dresses, of course). This is actually a goal from last year but I put off finding a pattern until the last-minute and then got too swept up in the holiday madness. New year, new opportunity to make that dress… and hopefully many more dresses.

4. Complete the 30 Day Shred. I hate exercising. The last time I willingly exercised was when I realized that the last 25 pounds of baby weight weren’t going to budge without it. I begrudgingly laced up my running sneakers, wiggled into a sports bra, and dragged myself down the hill at the end of our street. I then learned to find a new running route, because you should never run downhill without first acknowledging that you’ll have to run back up that same hill. I died. And then I did it, again and again. And despite dying, again and again, I also felt amazing! Fantastic! Full of energy! Rejuvenated! Awesome! Then I got lazy and stopped exercising once I hit my magic number on the scale, and never did it again. That was over two years ago, and I’ve been making excuses ever since. No matter how much I loved how I felt, I still hated exercising. This year I have to get over myself, because although my weight is still in a fairly acceptable range (yes, I did gain back 10 pounds… aka 15 pounds), I am not in shape and it’s kind of pathetic. Too cold to run outdoors? No problem. Too expensive to join a gym? No problem. Too lazy to leave the living room? No problem. I got myself the much-hyped Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred exercise DVD, because I generally fail at long-term commitments and 30 days is not yet considered long-term by my mental calculator. I also read that it takes 30 days to make a habit stick, and I’m hoping that this whole exercising thing becomes just that. Supposedly this particular exercise routine is going to kick my butt ruthlessly, and that’s just what I need to get back on track.

5. Eat meatless dinners 5 nights a week. I covered this topic in my last post, but to reiterate, eating a meatless diet for a year left both my husband and I feeling much better physically. We’ve since incorporated meat back into our diet and I don’t plan to go back to a 100% vegetarian diet, but I’d like to lean more towards our old vegetarian tendencies. We’ll be eating less meat, which combined with my exercise goal should make for an overall healthier feeling me for 2012.

6. Use my planner every day. I’ve learned to swear by my Franklin Covey planner to keep my life in check since having kids. I’m a chronic list-maker, and having a place to keep all of my schedules, to-do lists and notes is a lot easier than writing it on the back of my hand or on a slip of paper destined to fall out of my back pocket. I can always tell when I’m not using my planner consistently when I become less productive and more overwhelmed by the buildup of neglected daily tasks. I totally overlooked my planner in the past month (probably when I needed it the most!), so to get back in the habit I’m making it a goal to use it on a daily basis.

7. Use my household binder more regularly. I have a binder, that like my planner, is an imperative tool when it comes to making our daily life as smooth as possible. It has five sections: Home, Budget, Food, Learning and a recently added Blogging section. I use it for homemaking purposes, keeping track of our money, recipes and menu plans, homeschool planning/recording, and writing down ideas to cover here. When I incorporate using my binder into my routine I feel much more organized and productive. So this year I will try to use it on a daily basis.

8. Keep my nails painted. I don’t usually wear makeup. Every once in a while you might see a smear of mascara on my eyelashes, but I’ve never been one of those girls who primps endlessly in front of the mirror just to run to the grocery store. A full face of paint would probably look dumb paired with my oversized t-shirt/leggings/chuck taylors “mom uniform” anyways. Despite my general aversion to makeup application I still love to feel girly, and nail polish hits the spot when I need a dose of femininity. It also doubles as a nail-biting deterrent (my main stress-driven habit ever since I quit smoking 5 years 10 months and 6 days ago… not that I’m counting or anything). Keeping my nails painted might sound like a silly goal, but it’s a small way to make sure that I’m paying attention to myself in the midst of this all-consuming job of motherhood.

That’s it. Eight goals. I’m sure I could go on and on, but if I overfill my dish I’ll lose my appetite long before I qualify to join the clean plate club.

Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2012? Share with us in the comments section below!

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A Few Notes on Death.

I know it’s poor form to abandon a blog after only two posts, but I promise I have a good excuse or ten up my sleeve (and no, my dog did NOT eat my blog… even if I had a dog I imagine blogs taste something like a cross between a person’s innermost thoughts and keyboard germs, uh, soooo not tasty). A death in the family, followed immediately by a week long “vacation” has been cause for my absence. Winding down now and getting ready to re-enter our regularly scheduled programming, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know I haven’t forgotten about my treasured audience in this tiny corner of the interwebs. So hello folks, and welcome to a little episode of what I call “the brain drain” (otherwise known as getting stuff off my chest).

Two weeks ago tomorrow, my grandfather passed away. Being the first death in my family during the course of my adult life, it seemed like a much more surreal experience than I remember the last instance of losing a loved one to be. Considering the last instance was at the tender age of 10ish and involved watching Snoop Dog music videos in my grandparent’s den, getting my ears pierced and eating a crap ton of food, much has changed from my previous recollection of death (actually there was still a crap ton of food, but everything else was different). Alas, my poor brain now comprehends, death is so much more than a ten year old’s excuse to do strange things on strange days and eat a lot of food. A few things that I’ve learned from this new perspective:

1. My children, any children, react so individually to death that there is little to do to prepare ourselves as parents to handle the situation. As soon as I learned of my grandpa’s passing, I decided that there was no good reason to not tell them as soon as possible what what going on. I sat down and explained to them matter-of-factly that Grampa Dougie’s body stopped working and he died. I spoke so carefully, making sure not to use terms like “lost” or “gone” in an attempt to not confuse the simplest of minds. My 3 year old daughter wrapped her brain around my words right away and started to cry (most likely because I was crying, but I know she legitimately understood the sorrow in what happened). My 4 year old son asked if the doctor could fix him again (“no”). He then asked if my grandmother was going to go to the store and buy a new Grampa Dougie (“no, grampas are not like toys, you can’t just replace them when they break”). He then asked when we could go see Grampa Dougie because he really wanted to show him a new toy truck that he had recently acquired (“um, no, Grampa Dougie is dead”). He then asked if we could see him tomorrow when he comes home (“again, no, Grampa Dougie is dead“).  He then asked when we can see Grampa Dougie so he can show him his new toy truck (no words this time, I just hugged him too tightly and let him go to play with his toy truck). I anticipated saying out loud that my grandpa was dead to be the most gut wrenching experience of my life, but in all honesty, it was rather therapeutic.  It floored me however, that my youngest embraced the actuality of my grandfather’s death while my oldest was refusing to accept the idea of someone in his life being gone indefinitely.

2. In the wake of death, life goes on. There is no pause button; there are still mouths to feed, bills to be paid, underwear to be changed. More importantly, there are still tears to be cried and laughs to be had as we move on and celebrate the life of the people we miss so dearly.

3. Allow yourself a moment to say goodbye. In the days between my grandfather’s passing and his memorial service, it felt like auto-pilot kicked in. There was planning to be done, errands to be run, meals to be made, and sleep. We all went through the daily motions in the midst of emotional upheaval with the straightest of faces, with the occasional tear falling. I felt so incomplete during the course of those four days. It was not until that Saturday morning, as I stood and read a few poems in remembrance of my grampa to a church full of his most beloved family and friends did I experience the emotional relief of saying goodbye.

4.  It’s okay to cry. Or scream. Or laugh. Or vomit. Or joke. Or shake. Or talk. Or sing. Or run. Or hug. Or take a nap. Or pout. Or hide. Or dance. Or sob. Or smile. There is no right or wrong way to mourn.

The single most important thing that I learned is this:

If I end up to be half the person my Grampa Dougie was, I’ll be alright.

Introductions

Hello, world. My name is Corrie.

 

I like tea, fresh air, the color yellow, zombies, potato bread, rainbows, autumn, John Hughes’ movies, blown glass paperweights, crayons and film scores.

Born and raised in New England, I grew up a fickle young thing with an affinity for engaging in adolescent shenanigans (which subsequently carried over into my adulthood). Then four short years ago I was thrust into a world of responsibility, consisting mainly of diapers, dinners and dirty dishes. With nothing but my instincts (and internet search engines) to guide me through the adventures of homemaking, I’ve managed to trip, slip and fumble my way through this new way of life. Down the line I’ve learned that homemaking is so much more than soap operas and bon bons – both of which I have yet to indulge in;  it’s about learning, growing a home and a family, and making memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.  I’m writing this blog to document how my clan and I manage along in this crazy little life of ours.

Oh hey, did you hear? I’m a total nerd. No big deal.

Anyways, enough about me… if you’ve managed to make it this far through my babbling, let me know a little about yourself and what brought you to my heavenly slice of the internet. Don’t be shy! (a little known fact about me: I was voted most shy in my 8th grade superlatives. If I can power through that label-of-doom, anyone can!)