I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
So ... we spent the day doing a little shopping - using some gift cards, preparing for the barrage of January birthdays on the horizon and... just taking in the last bit of holiday without the crazy crowds. It was nice to have our teen with us, enjoying a lucrative and stress-free shopping outing. It was even fun to do the whole "mall experience" - the food court "Five Guys" burgers, pizza, chicken and sodas (a little junk to start off the New Year - good thing diet is not on our resolution list ;-).
A couple of highlights to the day? My teen saying, "Oh no - why are THEY in here?" as we shopped Victoria's Secret, and I turned in time to see hubby, with all three kids running around him, holding up a sweatshirt and saying, "Did you see that they have Steelers stuff?" in a loud voice. Too funny. Another highlight was the teen running from hubby when he tried on his new brimmed hat with warm side flaps and did a little shopper's dance of joy, '80s style, in Nordstrom. Again, way funny.
I sat with my wee ones a bit.... drank iced soy chai and watched Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph with them, allowing the other two to shop with their cards and have some downtime (where IS that hubby - where IS that teen?). My downtime came later when I got ALL kids in bed and hubby went to practice (jam session, right musician friends?) with his old bandmates; I did chick flicks and hot tea propped up in bed.