Life, Movies, Weekends

Monday list

1- Weather

We had very mild temperatures this weekend, including a big thunderstorm on Saturday with some downpouring rain. It was nice, actually- felt like spring!!

But then I walked out of my room this morning and saw this view out of the sunroom window:

Wait, what?! I usually watch local weather report most days, but I guess I didn’t this weekend!! No idea it was supposed to snow. I literally stopped in my tracks and felt puzzled for a second- hadn’t all the snow melted?? I was looking at grass/ no snow just yesterday…

2- Sunday Report

This was a much needed weekend, after the peak of swim season over the last few weeks. I already mentioned I spent most of Saturday working on packing and puttering around the house- mostly alone! It was great.

Yesterday morning I cleaned the house. I feel determined to leave our house in tip top shape when we leave for our trip. The thought of returning after 2 weeks to a pigsty is too much to handle. So I dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed the kitchen cabinets and mopped, etc. YES. It feels great. I kept saying, “Okay, now nobody touch anything the rest of the week!!” (Yeah, right…). The boys deep cleaned their bedrooms and are in charge of cleaning the bathrooms before we leave.

Meanwhile, Ivan ran out to the store to buy a few essentials to get us through this week.

Ethan had his last basketball game of the season (final tournament game) at 2:00, so we all went to that. They lost. 😦 But, their team improved so much over the season and I’m soooo glad Ethan decided to play! He really had fun. For a kid who had never played organized basketball before, he did just fine! Also, he’s happy to have more knowledge of the game/ more skills for when he and his friends just go shoot hoops at the park, at the gym, etc.

3- Gladiator

In the afternoon, I read Where is the Colosseum? with the boys to brush up on our Roman history. (“Brush up” isn’t quite accurate, for me… more like “learn for the first time”….I swear I must have learned some of that stuff at some point, but the details are VERY fuzzy. I kept saying, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know that! (about different tidbits re: Roman gods/ Roman history/ emperors/wars). Hmm…I must have been out sick that day when we learned that in history class.”

At one point, after my 4th or 5th “Huh! Who knew?” exclamation, Ivan chimed in and said, “Maybe you were out the whole month??” Ha. 😆 Hey, I never claimed to be a history buff. I’ll admit it- not my forte.

Later, we decided to watch the movie Gladiator!! Yes, it’s very violent. But “besides” the violence, there’s really nothing else inappropriate in the movie. It’s set in Ancient Rome, IN the Colosseum, covers the whole “gladiator” scene + some of the political dilemmas of the time/ (emperor vs republic theme)…too perfect to pass up, with a Rome visit on the horizon.

The boys were totally fine with the violence aspect. Didn’t even faze them. I mean, yes- it’s gory, in the sense that there are sword fights and people get stabbed and die. But it’s not overly gruesome, either, really. There’s some blood, but usually it’s a quick glimpse of the sword slash, a flash of blood and then it moves on to another scene.

Anyway, wouldn’t be for little ones, obviously, but it was no issue for my boys. They really liked it!

It had been YEARS since I’d watched that movie!!! It really is fantastic. I’d almost forgotten about it. It won the Best Picture Academy Award, and Russel Crowe won Best Actor for that movie, back in 2001. (Among many other academy awards.) So for that reason, it also felt relevant to let the boys watch! It’s clearly a highly acclaimed cinematic experience. 😉

(I know the movie is fiction, but I do think that now having read the book and watched this movie, their Colosseum visit will mean more to them! We need to read the Vatican book tonight.)

*Trying to make sense of the Ukraine situation feels impossible. I don’t mean to ignore it and just “carry on” as usual, because it’s just so terrible. It feels…weird and yucky to be talking about my upcoming vacation when these things are happening in the world, but I don’t know what else to do. Do we not go?? What what would that accomplish, though? It’s all just so sad and senseless. But I don’t really know what else we can do at this time.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for having a clean house heading into the week.

9 thoughts on “Monday list”

  1. Had the same experience with the thunderstorm and then huge piles of snow the next morning :-/ (I’m in the St. Paul, MN area) – I do get that March snow is normal but…. ugh. No sign of warming up in my area either!

    Re: Ukraine and how to move forward. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot – there has never been a time ever where there is not some atrocity happening in one part of the world while things are relatively stable in another. This time does feel a little closer to home definitely, as the US is a lot more involved AND primarily because it’s being reported on a lot in the media, but we are also responsible for inflicting quite a bit of damage to non-European countries and that is not something that enters many of our thoughts daily. It sometimes can feel productive to “bear witness” to this – even just the idea that sitting with the discomfort and sadness is at least acknowledging the atrocity that is happening. It’s hard to know that for 99.99% of us, we truly are powerless in this situation other than possibly raising awareness and choosing to donate resources/time/money to different causes. I’m definitely not sure what the right answer is (in fact, I suspect there is none) but not going on the vacation doesn’t seem like it would accomplish anything. I also don’t think anyone needs to add a disclaimer to every conversation **I acknowledge that there are bad things happening in the world while I live in relative comfort**. It’s all really hard to navigate and conceptualize!


    1. Very good points about something bad/horrible/unjust ALWAYS happening, somewhere in the world, at any given moment. It is so true. We just don’t/ can’t sit around dwelling on it constantly, because if we did that, we would literally have time for nothing else. Sad, but true.

      I do also agree with you that constantly adding a disclaimer is unnecessary. That sort of thing is kind of my pet peeve, actually, though I’m still guilty of it, because I kind of just did it in my post. ha. I don’t know, it just sort of annoys me that everyone feels the need to do that all the time though. Because then it sometimes ends up looking like just sort of trying to “save face”, in a way? Or trying to make themselves look good/ come across as an “extra socially sensitive person”? I don’t know. I think it’s rather obvious that most of us not living in a war torn country are quite lucky/privileged/whatever you want to call it, whether you add the disclaimer or not.

      I saw a lot of that (again, I did it too….) during peak of covid (e.g. “We went to a great museum this weekend (masked, of course!!) and it was really fun!)). The constant mask disclaimer. Or the “We did XYZ- socially distant, of course!” comments. It just exhausted me after a while to hear it all the time. I guess I just would rather assume that most people are indeed socially responsible and following guidelines- no need to constantly emphasize and point out that out every 2 seconds. But then again, I also found myself feeling like I “should” add that disclaimer, lest someone think I was being careless or something if choosing to do things out in public/ sending kids to camp/ etc. ugh. ha. Glad that part is mostly behind us, hopefully for the long term…


  2. I am so excited for your trip so I can live vicariously through you! Great idea to do a deep clean before you leave so you can come home to a clean house.

    I haven’t said a thing about Ukraine on my blog, nor have I blogged much during the last 10 days. It has been heavy on my mind and I feel lucky to be removed about it. I talked to Phil about it last week and asked him what he thought about it’s coverage versus other conflicts that have happened. But it’s notable because it basically happening in Europe, and I wonder if this is what it felt like when Germany invaded Poland in 1939? It’s been horrifying to see the images of families fleeing or camping out in train stations. The NYT Daily had a good episode last week where they talked to 3 young Ukrainian men. That really hit home with me, especially the story of a couple who were trying to cross the border but found out that men between 18 and maybe 60(?) could not leave the country and needed to stay to fight. I just really hope that Putin falls as a result of this, but I am doubtful that will happen.

    Oh and we had the weird thunderstorm w/ heavy rain and then a bunch of snow. I knew we were supposed to get some snow but it was more than predicted. I’m SO OVER WINTER. I took Paul out for awhile yesterday but it was too sloppy to get Will out and he doesn’t seem to like sledding/the snow so it feels like a lot of effort for little enjoyment. But I am desperate for warmer temps so we can go to the park and do things like that!


  3. You definitely carry on life as you planned. World Is crazy now and that’s outside of our control. Focus on what you can control, appreciate the opportunity to travel and make the best out of it. We don’t talk about it in the blog doesn’t mean we don’t feel it, right?
    I love the idea of reading a book or watching a movie before you go to a place, will remember to do it next time we travel to a new country.


    1. We always try to do this! We even read a book about Walt Disney before our first trip to Disney World. Before we went to South Dakota we read books about westward expansion, etc. Things, especially historical type places, mean so much more when you have at least a little bit of knowledge/ context.


  4. I love to clean the house before we go away! It makes it so much nicer to come home to. Nothing feels worse than going out for an evening and coming back to dirty counters and unswept floors…and that’s just 1000x times worse coming back from vacation. I also like the fridge to be EMPTY (but have some easy meals prepped in the freezer).

    I know what you mean about the disclaimers. It is so hard to balance. It’s interesting, too, the comments people are making about how there is always something horrible going on. My husband made a similar point this weekend. Not to take away from the horrific things happening in Ukraine, but to highlight that so many other things are happening right now – terrible, terrible things – that go unreported.

    I am reading the news twice a day, donating to locations that are supporting Ukraine and praying. Beyond that, I’m trying to love those around me which feels like the best thing I can do? “What the world needs now is love, sweet love…”


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