Month: March 2015

Happy Birthday Blog!

Exactly eight years to the date I birthed this blog out of my imaginings for what my precious baby would bring.

I wanted a place to put down the words that I felt while feeling a tiny being tight inside of me, and the nuanceses of parenthood.

What this blog has become and grown into has become so much more.

Just like how you see your precious newborn you have all of these hopes and ideals, and pretty soon you have something else entirely on your hands.

I look back to that very first post – exactly eight precious years ago, and in some ways cannot believe that I have been writing this long, and this consistently.

birthday-day

At first it was all about pregnancy woes and how I thought I wasn’t going to have any morning sickness  – to experiencing FULL BLOWN morning sickness for [read] the entire pregnancy! To Family, fitness, Food + Wine, [sub]urban farming, and most recently faith! I’m like the Target of blogs – a one stop shop!

Thank you so much to my readers who have been with me since the first day I shared this blog – to those of you who have just found me recently! I hope that I can continue to post stuff that you find inspiring, and coming back!

THANK YOU ALL!

Click below for posts on or near the anniversary date!

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014

2015 (so far)

❤ Linds

Lessons from a Girl Scout Cookie Mom

Several months ago I started reading a fantastic book by Lysa Terkurst called The Best Yes. The only problem is that although it is amazingly good – I got onto reading several other books instead. The problem is that I really should have kept reading this book – The Best Yes! In this book – The Best Yes, Lysa urges us in the days of multi-tasking, and plate filling (the busy kind not the food kind) that sometimes we need to set boundaries, so that we can say Yes to the things that really matter. The things that are most important to us, because surely we cannot say yes to everything right?

I am a boundary breaker [to myself]. I never know when to say no. If you guilt me into something – there is a 99% chance that I will say yes. Its just my personality. Maybe blame it on serving in the Navy with the Seabees… but if I see a need, and nobody else will step up to the plate – you can bet your house that I will grab a bat and start swinging for the team.

So this brings me to my post topic.

Several months ago – my daughter joined Girl Scouts. Our troop needed what is called, “a Cookie Mom”. A mom that is basically superhumanly organized, can order cookies for her troop, and keep a running inventory of everyones cookies and track progress etc while staying in excellent contact with the moms in your troop. So when our troop leader reached out to our troop to see who would be willing to be Cookie mom – we all heard crickets. I was busy – and just coming off a mental and emotional roller coaster – and I thought – I need a break. I cannot say yes… but then when they reached out again and we continued to hear crickets, I went online – read the Cookie Manager handbook and picked up the bat, and stepped up to the plate to swing for the team.

cookie-boxes

I should have known better the instant I said yes. It’s not like they post the ACTUAL job description on the website – or anywhere public – because who would actually say yes to the real job description?

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.48.43 PM

I gathered the other moms around to place the initial order for our girls – and ever since I picked up our first batch of cookies I’ve felt like a bona-fide drug dealer. I mean- the whole operation is actually so organized – that it probably rivals an actual Columbian Cocaine operation.

I pulled up in my vehicle – all hush hush. I pulled up and asked if I was “Lindsey” and I said yes, and before I knew it they were schlepping cases and cases of cookies into my car. I couldn’t believe they had the right Lindsey, because they barely got any other information out of me – but in the end I had the right amount of cookies in my car. (read – $2500 dollars worth of fricken cookies) When I “checked out” with the lady at the end she gave me a sly smile – I couldn’t tell if she was silently saying “good luck” – or “haha sucker”!

I am very organized, which has been a blessing, because the the system that our beloved Girl Scouts uses – eBudde is not the most user friendly thing on the planet (IMHO). If only I could count the hours that I have spent to un cluster the F*** that is eBudde I might be up for a volunteer hours award or something. Too bad I wasn’t getting paid – because I’d be a millionaire by now.

I don’t know how it happens, lets blame it on lack of sleep but inevitably numbers are skewed, and do not match up to inventory, and I am so paranoid that I am going to mess something up and we will owe hundreds, or  thousands of dollars from our troop  that I have to spend hours and hours and hours allocating cookies, or reevaluating cookie counts, and making sure I hit SAVE (which is not where you think it would be) – which I think is the real problem. Lets not even mention the fact that the business practices we use are horribly outdated and inefficient. I have always considered myself to be a supremely organized person, but you absolutely have to bring your “A” game – no B Squad organization skills in this game!

Then there is the constant cookie eating! I mean – seriously – I got a stand up desk at work to combat the cookie season. Forget the “Holiday Fifteen” – I’m terrified I’m going to gain 20lbs because I eat sleeves of Thin Mints in 5 minutes! – I somehow justify it however by telling myself I’m earning my daughter a cheap prize that was made in China, and helping her to go to summer camp! “Kid – we’re walking 15 miles at summer camp!” ” Why mom” “Because your camp cost me 15 miles of hiking – that’s why!”

Emails! Emails, phone calls, sketchy text messages, money, money, money  and constant communication. Nobody tells you that you will become a drug dealer that annoying telemarketer/ wall street banker trying to stay in constant contact with other moms to ensure that they have enough cookies- and find out how many cookies they’re sitting on, and how much money they’ve brought in! “Are you moving your cookies, because if you’re not, so-and-so can move them for you! – How much money do you currently have? Can you bring it over tonight at 8pm?” and then I get frantic texts and e-mails from troop moms… “Help! My husband’s co-workers are Samoas addicts – we need three cases immediately!”  Drug dealers I tell you. Drug dealers!  I feel like I’m moving product and the drug is pure delicious sugar!

We still have a solid three weeks of cookie selling left and I don’t know how I’m going to make it! I look forward to freedom like a teacher feels at the end of the school year, or a prisoner of war looking to go home.  For the love of Christ – if you have any kitchen cupboard room  – buy some more girl scout cookies! If a girl scout stops by your house  – and you’ve already purchased from Cub Foods or Walmart  – help a cookie mom out and buy another box! They freeze well! And if you absolutely cannot eat anymore – then offer to contribute cash – so that they can donate to the Cookies for the Community! Our troop is donating cookie boxes to the Coon Rapids Middle School Food Shelf where 50% of kids draw from it each week!!!

So… lessons learned and tips to share.

1.) If you have a young daughter and someone asks you to be a cookie mom… run…. far-far away!
2.) Cookie season is done in three weeks! Come May you’re going to regret that you didn’t buy from that cute girl scout who stopped by your door in March to purchase a case of thin mints to last you all summer!
3.) I have literally had a scenario where I have needed to jump in the shower – but didn’t know when certain moms were going to swing by… I was terrified they were going to ring the door bell and I would be half naked while trying to manage cookie sales and personal hygiene.
3.) Have fun! Though I’m kvetching about how hard this is – it is rewarding. I get to spend some precious hours with my daughter and help her with some social skills that she needs to develop!
4.) If you did happen to be suckered in to being a cookie mom – enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day! – enjoy a glass of wine at the end of each and every day!

Countdown to the BWCA ~ Part 4

Well February just went SCREAMING by! Maybe because there were only 28 days in the month – but really – screaming by!

In the past month we did a lot of research on bwca.com (my favorite website) and purchased a LOT of BIG items.

1.) We bought a canoe! After firmly deciding that we were not going to haul the beast of a fiberglass canoe that our friends had borrowed us, we were thinking about renting a Kevlar canoe from the boundary waters. We poured hours upon hours into which brand and model canoe we wanted and landed on the one below.  When doing the math – after just two or so trips we would have an entire canoe paid for – so we ended up purchasing a 2013 Wenonah Boundary Waters Canoe from Dan Waters up at Canadian Waters Inc. in Ely. It was a used outfitting boat that’s in great condition. He is storing it up at his place until we come.

Boundary Waters-Menu

2.) After a co-worker borrowed me his #4 and #3 Duluth Packs I determined that I would rather have a portage pack, so I returned my awesome purple Crestrail 65L for an even more awesome CCS Pioneer Hybrid pack (in Red). This sucker takes the practicality of a portage bag and marries it with the convenience and comfort of a framed hiking pack and BAM! You have a CCS Hybrid bag. The best part is that it’s not only made in the USA, its made right down the road from me!

I had the luxury of visiting CCS headquarters and meeting owners Dan & Karen who are avid paddlers, and know a thing or two about the BWCA! While I was there I got loads of free advice, and picked up a Pathfiner Thwart Bag as well to hold our map, bug spray, sun screen and anything else we want to keep handy in the canoe.

hybrid600

thwartpathfinder-md

What else happened? We reserved our bunkroom with Canadian Waters, Inc. as well, and it seems like a very very good deal. We plan to head up to the bwca on a Friday and put in on a Saturday – instead of waking up around 3am to drive up to Ely and get in [the entry point] early enough to avoid canoe traffic at the major portages.

It is $20 per night for a room (per person) of private bunk beds, and Sadie can stay with us too – and breakfast is included at Britton’s Cafe across the street. If you ask me – thats one heck of a deal!

In this next month we will be purchasing sleeping bags for both Miss K’s  and myself and three Exped or Thermarests mats to get us up off the freshly thawed ground and a few more clothing items as needed.

Jason did discover there is quite a few items of interest at Fleet Farm at a pretty good discount. Dry bags which are in the same fashion as our REI purchased ones, and these super awesome flexible ties. He also purchased a handful of bungee cords and a handful wool sox as well.

One other website that I found is this awesome one: Paddle Planner. You can put in your entry point to your desired daily location and it will tell you (in miles) how far you have to travel and the estimated time it will take you to get there. They also have campsites listed with photos and reviews! I already have my eye on several campsites I would like to make my home for a few days!

This next month we should have everything fairly buttoned up in terms of the majority of our supplies. Here’s to more “hunting and gathering”.

~ Till next time.