Monday, July 22, 2013

Just keep swimming......

When I think of exercise that little tune pops into my head from Finding Nemo.  Anyhoo....this summer I told myself that when our first vacation high wore off and we slipped into our summer routine, I needed to include exercise into that routine as I would be sitting a lot more during the summer days than usual.  Teaching has me on my feet constantly.  I do take the kids to the pool, but I don't desire to try to make a real effort to swim for exercise while I'm there as there are just too many splashing kids to work around and I have to keep an eye on my own kiddos, not focus on myself. 

So....I began an exercise routine. I always do this.  I get motivated to start exercising and stick with it for a month or two and then it just gets hard.  This is the first time I have felt like it wasn't hard to stick with it.  This is also the first time I have not had to do work or daycare.  Suddenly fitting it into my schedule just seemed easy and dare I say, desireable.  What a nice change.  Although I desire to loose a size or two in my clothing, mostly I just want to be healthy for me and my family.  I want to grow old gracefully  All the rest is icing on the cake. 

So all this is to say I'm starting to get nervous about my new routine with school starting.   Can I keep this up when it is just another thing to squeeze into my busy schedule rather than a easy time filler for my not so busy schedule?  I've realized what makes exercise hard isn't the exercise part, it's the time management and mental component.  Thankfully, my experience with it this summer has been enjoyable.  Enough so that maybe, just maybe, I will look forward to squeezing it into my day at the end of work and look at it as "me time" instead of just something I have to do. 
We shall see.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Winding down

Summer is about to end for our family.  The grand finale....a trip to Annapolis, Maryland to visit our good friends Jon and Kerri Chase.  We have been promising them for years we would come visit.  They are looking to move (where is unknown yet) sometime next year.  Therefore, it's now or never.

Jeff is very excited to go visit the Rock and Roll Hall of fame on our way there.  I am excited to take the kids to the ocean for the first time.  It is going to be a long trip.  When we return it we will have one short weekend and then I have to get down to the business of decorating my rooms for a couple days before I have to officially report for work the that Thursday.  School officially starts halfway through the week after I start. 

I can't believe we are almost done. This has been the best summer.  It has been the summer of my dreams.  It has been the way I always imagined it would be when I grew up.  I feel very blessed. I am restored!  My patience is back.  My love for my children has grown and I enjoy and appreciate them even more.  I'm a little sad that we are about to be apart for a good chunk of our days.  Sigh!  But alas, all good things must come to an end.  There's learning and teaching to do and they are going to be in great hands while I go fulfill my calling in life!  I feel confident that they will be blessed by the teachers at their new schools.  I continue to hear GREAT things about my new district! 

 I have told myself that I am going to need to transition my body back to a school schedule soon.  Preferably before we leave on our trip so that I'm not struggling to get up early on our trip as Jeff prefers.  I have gotten WAY to used to sleeping in.  It has been glorious!!!!  I SO wish I could be a morning person.  How do those morning people do it?  I have even contemplated the idea of waking up, working out, and then getting ready, but I don't think that is logical considering without a work out I will have to get up at 5:30 am in order to get myself  and the girls ready in time.  Adding a 30 min commute to my new job makes mornings a little harder than they used to be.  I used to have a 45 minute commute to work before kids and it was a breeze.  It's a lot different when you have 2 littles to get fed, dressed, use the bathroom,  teeth brushed, coats and shoes on, and seat belts buckled.  Adds A LOT of time onto that process.  How do working moms of 2 plus do it?

Anyhoo....all this is to say there will be an adjustment period for sure.  However, I think it's doable and after a month or two it'll all feel normal.  Jeff and I are feeling fairly confident there is going to be a move in our future.  Exactly where and when is still up in the air.  We both agree we'd like to be closer to my job, providing I still think this is where I want to be long term after I have had a chance to get a good feel for the job.  Eventually, the girls will be driving their own vehicles.  It makes more sense to be closer to the place where bulk of us need to be and most of their friends will reside.  We don't necessarily have to live in district boundary lines since it is free for my kids to be there because of my work there, but even cutting the drive in half would help so much,  so we will see.  First and foremost, we are going to work on paying down some bills.  We have the luxury of time.  A 30 minute commute isn't ideal, but it is certainly doable for however long we need it to be.

I have gotten done with almost everything I had hoped to do this summer to prepare for my new job.  This year will be the toughest because I am having to create lessons from scratch.  Next year, I can reuse all my lessons, tweeking here or there or changing a few things that didn't work. Honestly, I'm kind of glad for all the extra work of starting from scratch.  I never had an excuse to be bored this summer because there was always something I could do for work in between sprinkler time, pool trips, playdates, and Silver Dollar City fun.  It kind of gave me a little bit of me time during the summer and forced the kids to entertain themselves on occasion, which I think is a important skill for them to develop. 

I am SOOOO looking forward to only having to pack lunches for myself  this year.  The kids will both be eating school lunches this year, so I can take more time to prepare fun stuff for me, stuff that the kids would never go for in a lunch but I always wanted but never had the time to make because of all the lunch packing I had to do for them!  Last year I HAD to pack lunches for B because lunch was not offered for her.  I decided to do it for K too since I already had to do it for B.  At first I enjoyed it but then it became such a chore and made nights long and rushed and left me exhausted and cranky; just another thing to add onto my long list of things to do each night.  I used to feel guilty for letting K eat school lunches occasionally.  I mean, how dare I let her eat unhealthy school lunches right?  People....I'm giving up the Mommy guilt trips.  I made it through years of school lunches and unhealthy eating.  My kids eat WAY healthier at home than I ever did.  I figure that more than makes up for whatever they may be lacking at school.  Five meals a week that may not be the healthiest is small price to pay for a happier, less stressed Mama who has more time for her kids because she's not packing all those lunches. ;)   

So anyhoo....goodbye summer.  You were fantastic.  I will milk every last minute.  Until we meet again!  I love my job!  Hello new school year!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

about this summer...

1.  wearing no makeup and not caring (first time in like forever.  Always wore makeup during daycare)
2.  letting the house be messy and being OK with it because there's always tomorrow
3.  Having plenty of time to plan for the next school year
4.  Watching the girls dote on their new kitty and seeing him enjoy every minute
5.  Sleeping in......the girls and I (this has been GLORIOUS!!!!!!)
6.  Watching a movie with the girls every morning as a routine
7.  The smell of sunblock just before hitting the pool
8.  Working out in the middle of the day
9.  Watering my plants and having the girls play while I do so
10.  Loosening up and letting the girls run through the sprinkler in their clothes
11.  Watching all the creations with sidewalk chalk
12.  Cooking up big meals and not feeling exhausted when done
13.  Falling off the plan for meals and not caring
14.  Ice pops
15.  Iced tea
16. cold soda cans
17. strawberry margheritas
18.  hours to search on pinterest and time to do some of the stuff I find
19.  playdates with friends up the street
20.  Kayaking with a friend
21.  Lunch with another
22.  Long road trips with my girls and a neighbor
23.  2 big vacations in 2 months
24.   Cheesy patriotic music blasting during the fourth
25.  Having the greenest lawn in the nieghborhood
26.  Silver Dollar City passes. 
27. Swimming at the city pool
28.  Helping my oldest start a new (hopefully lifetime) hobby with piano
29.  Staying in my PJs until noon
30.  Taking a shower in the middle of the day
31.  Watching the girls get all pumped to catch fireflies
32.  Date nights
33. Watching Kadyn play hide and go seek with Harry and the giggles that insue
34.  Watching Bren cator to Harry with play food  and cover him with baby blankets when he's all sacked out.
35.  Realizing one day that my littlest hasn't asked for my assistance in the bathroom for awhile
36.  Grocery runs on week days, in the middle of the day
37.  Training my kids to put their plates in the sink.
38.  Washing the van in my swimsuit with the girls
39.  Having a clean van inside and out.
40.  Staying up late with my man.
41.  Wearing scuzy clothes because I don't have to be anywhere and not caring
42.  Watching my girls play well together
43.  Listening to B make believe in her high pitched motherly voice
44.  Watching Kadyn read just because she wants to
45. Heart to heart talks with Kadyn
46.  Lemonade
47.  A future Jammy run to squeeze in before the summer ends
48. The Lone Ranger
49.  A visit from some good friends from Texas

And my all time favorite thing this summer....

50.  My cute kitty poking his nose in my face, a soft mew to see if I'm awake, and then purring like crazy and snuggling up with me every. single. morning around 9.  I LOVE THAT!!!!

This has been the best summer.  So blessed to not have to work and just enjoy my time with my family, planning for a new job, and enjoying our new kitty.  I can't believe I get to do this every year.  Do I have the best job or what?  So blessed.

Late night heart to hearts

I have had many heart to heart late night talks with my oldest throughout the years.  Tonight was one of them.  We  started out being upset with each other and ended the night snuggling and talking about decisions, what makes a good  friend, peer pressure, and much more.

This summer I have noticed Kadyn making decisions that have demonstrated to me that she has hid all those heart to heart talks in  her heart. It is exciting and reassuring to know that she is listening to all my pearls of wisdom.  It is also a reminder that I have to be careful to live up to own expectations.  A perfect example.  The other day we were listening to the radio in the van on the trip to somewhere.  Kadyn made the comment that she didn't like the particular song that was playing because it had curse words in it and wished I would change it.  I did change it of course, but I felt ashamed that I had let it play in the first place.  I should've changed it before she had the chance to notice it.  For the record, it infuriates me that radio has become lax about certain words.  These particular words were never allowed on public radio when I was a child.  What changed?  As far as I know, most parents would not want their own children to say these words.  The words are still not allowed to be said in public schools, so why are they OK to play on the public radio and on TV sets?

Anyways I digress, my point is my girl knows right from wrong and she is beginning to exercise the right choices not just because I told her so, but because she wants to do the right thing.  I'm proud of her.  I'm relieved that God is working in her life mold her into a Godly child.

If there's one thing that I worry a little about for Kadyn, it's how her humble nature (when it comes to friendships) can often lead to others manipulate her.  Kadyn values friendships.  So much so, that she allows for herself to be manipulated by them.  She is the kid that gets told things like, "If you don't do x, y, and z  I won't be your friend anymore."  This strikes fear within her .  Rather than standing up for herself, she chooses to listen to her friends, so she doesn't have to risk loosing the friendship.  As a mother, this is a red flag.  I am trying to empower her to stand up to those type of friends and help her identify that true friendships are not conditional.  What starts out as normal childlike manipulation can turn into dangerous peer pressure someday.  Today it involves one child trying to get his or her way in play, 10 years from now it may involve friends trying to manipulate my child to try drugs.  OK so maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, but sometimes I feel God allows our children to go through these obstacles with friends early on so we parents can use it as a teachable moment regarding choices before they have more severe consequences.  The challenging part, is to recognize when God is handing us those moments, grab them and run with them.

So all this is to say, thank you Jesus for giving me all those heart to hearts with my daughter.  I realize they have been purposeful and orchestrated by you.  I know I am your vessel to help guide her and am so glad you are using me as such.  I pray that as she grows older and enters puberty, you help protect her heart so that it does not close it off from the truth.  I pray that she will still be open to our late night heart to heart conversations and you will use those opportunities to continue planting seeds of truth, wisdom and courage regarding life.