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A new summer.  A new chance to savor. 

Last summer I counted the beautiful wonderful days of summer.  The days to focus on my family, my home, myself.

This summer, the savoring is a little different.  While I am still savoring the days of summer, this time the focus is more on the sunshine, the water, the time with the family, the relaxed schedule.  This time the focus does not have to shift in August.  This time my family does not have to share me with school. 

Yesterday was my last day of teaching.  Fifteen years.  Ten years in my last position.  It was a blessing.  I have met so, so many little people that have changed my life.  It overwhelms my heart to think of all the little faces.

Now the journey continues.  The path bends.  It’s time for a new focus.

So.  Excited.


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I’ve been reminded lately that I am way overdue to record some gratefuls.  While I certainly pause to think on-the-fly of all my blessings, there is something greater about recording them here.  unfortunately it has been so long since I blogged that the format has changed.  I just typed a lovely message and lost it all.  Therefore, I am now typing the abbreviated version without all the flowery sentiment.  Oh well.

I am grateful for two birthdays and two boys growing older, wiser, stronger.  I am grateful that my 14-year-old boy and my 7-year-old boy are awesome little men.  I am grateful for the changes of fall – and the reminder that change isn’t so bad after all.  I am grateful for pumpkin guts, Halloween costumes, chocolate candy, spiced desserts and cozy sweats.  I am grateful that I have a husband of whom I’m proud.  A husband that makes time for me.  A husband that reminds me many times a day that he loves me “so much.”  I’m grateful for a day to catch up, clean up, and cuddle up.  I’m grateful for a day that I watched 4 kids and a dog play outside for long time and enjoy each other’s company.  They played long enough for me to watch, wonder, then grab the camera.  They kept playing.  They played so long that they came in because they were cold and tired and not because anyone cried or threw a fit!  I’m grateful for a great day.

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November 5, 2011 · 4:32 pm


What am I grateful for this evening? More than I’ll be able to say.  In all the business that is September, I must take a little time to remind myself of the beautiful, wonderful things, both large and small, that bless this season of my life.

  • my healthy children
  • the confidence that my husband loves me completely
  • a church family I can laugh with
  • and laugh some more
  • friends that remember me when I was young
  • friends that don’t
  • Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte
  • ice cream
  • new clothes
  • old jeans
  • dinners I don’t have to cook
  • or clean up
  • a job that gives me great joy
  • I’m truly excited to run into my “clients” in the community
  • and they hug me!
  • cash in my pocket
  • food in my refrigerator
  • clean water from my tap
  • my Bible beside my bed
  • the quilt my mamma made
  • a life that is so full that I will stop there, knowing I have so so many more gratefuls I could add to this list

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A Good Good Day

My facebook status Saturday night summed it up perfectly.  “What a good good day!” Saturday was a good good day.

I have to admit that I was concerned that it wouldn’t be a good day at all.  We were leaving early in the morning.  Challenging for this crew.  We were meeting the family of one of DH’s high school buddies.  DH tends to get a little uptight about timeliness… Not always a realistic quality with a teenager, an easily distracted tween and “morning-challenged” six-year-old.  Add to that a wife that likes to “roll with it.”  Amazingly we left only 30 minutes after he wanted to.  No meltdowns.  (Though I did put Memmy’s shoes on like four times before giving up.  He walked sock-footed to the car.)  Secretly, I think he padded his “I-wanna-leave-by” time… He is getting smarter!

On the way we stopped for McDonald’s breakfast.  The food was right!  Everyone liked and ate what they got.  Whew.  Again the potential for meltdown was high.  Again, calmness prevailed!  Good good day!

So far, so good.  I was still a little worried about the day.  DH and his buddy B planned the trip. Something about two men planning a double family outing scared me a little.  We were headed to the zoo and a baseball game on one of the hottest days of the year…

Amazingly our happy day continued as we arrived at the zoo without incident.  We even found a parking place “on the end” in no time!  We piled out, remembered the zoo cups and the sunscreen, and began the adventure.  The zoo was awesome.  Not crowded.  All the kids picked an animal or two and we saw them all!  Even some bonus animals for the grown-up kids.

As we wandered over to say hello to the vultures and bald eagle we learned it was Vulture Awareness Day.  Mem was SOOOO excited! He loves all things animals.  Not too long ago he went through a birds of prey phase.  He LOVES vultures.  Nature’s Clean-Up Crew!  He had a chance to chat vulture with the keepers, color a vulture feather, gather some handouts and measure his own arms alongside a vulture’s wingspan.  Good good day!

The rest of the day at the zoo was too fun.  It has been a year since we saw B and his family.  It was good to see them and share some laughs.  The kids have all grown so much!  We managed to find a table for 9 at lunch, secure 4 train seats in a row with ease, and see tons of cool animals.  We saw hippos, penguins, tigers, apes, Mem’s favorite horses from Somalia, bears, toco toucan, hyacinth macaw, (We are fresh from a Rio binge.) elephants, flamingos and so much more!  We even managed to leave the zoo within 30 mintues of DH’s scheduled leave time again! This time he was a little edgy so I’m not sure he padded the time like he did in the morning.  But, still, no meltdowns.

We made it to the game in time to get our free gifts, find out seats, hit the bathrooms, and get just a little bored before the first pictch.  It was an exciting game and our team won!  I sat between Mem and Bub and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with “my boys” for the afternoon.  When we got to the game it was still very hot.  Amazingly our seats were in the shade.  After a bit it started to rain.  Again, our good good day continued as our seats were covered and dry.  The rain cooled the day and we enjoyed the rest of the game in comfort.  We enjoyed nachos and cotton candy and lots of water!  We saw some great hits and awesome catches.

After the game and a stop at Build-a-Bear, we met up with Tiggy and were off to dinner.  We went to a cool restaurant that has the best root beer.  Plus, the soda is bottled right on the premises.  I was just as mesmerized as the little people watching the bottles get poured and capped and mixed and labeled.  Very cool.  And the food was great! Good good day!

On the way home, the younger two were asleep by within 10 minutes.  Followed soon after by DH and Bub.  Only Tig and I managed to stay awake all the way home, savoring the last bits of our good good day.

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It’s OK! I’m OK!

Mem LOVES to quote lines from movies.  He is always repeating a line over and over to get the infection just. right.  He often quotes the “It’s OK! I’m OK!” from the end of Gnomeo and Juliet.  Lately, I’m the one repeating it over and over to myself.

Returning to school is always a big transition.  At first it is very exciting.  The thrill of a new school year.  A new beginning.  New friends.  Old friends.  New challenges and fun puzzles to solve.  The comfort of a routine.

Then, the “excited” wears off.  And you realize that this is it.  For the next 10 months the laundry pile will never disappear.  Fighting with Mem to get dressed will happen up to five mornings a week.  Sometimes we’ll run out of milk.  Sometimes Bub will miss the bus.  (The likelihood of this apparently increases when I have morning duty.)  Sis will eat in the car on the way to cheer.  This is the new routine.

It takes a bit for me to reconcile myself to the new routine.  I hold myself to a high standard as a mother and a teacher.  The 10 hour work days these last three weeks don’t make for a very good mama.  One day after school, I was working in my classroom and Sis commented, “It feels like we live here.”  It does.  And so I’ve been reminded to shift the priority a little.  And it’s OK! I’m OK!

I made a list of the most important things to finish at school.  This week, my goal is to leave by 5:00 each day.  And yesterday, I focused on having fun with my family.

We had a good good day!  I’ll blog about that tomorrow.  (One of my other new goals is to be asleep by 10:00 each night…)


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Worn Out

I am worn out.  We only had two actual school days last week and I am exhausted.

It’s a different kind of tired.  Brain tired.  All this thinking and planning has done me in.  Luckily I wasn’t physically tired on top of it.  Both my classes are fabulous!  I have some sweeties and some characters.  I even have some “alums” and “repeat offenders.”  That’s preschool talk for siblings of previous kids and kids who were in 3-year-old preschool last year that I managed to get for preK.  I am co-teaching this year too.  I wasn’t really looking forward to sharing, but my co-teacher has been nothing but kind.  I know she has been placed in my path for a reason.  We’ll just have to wait and see if we get to figure it out.

This weekend was only a little busy.  Friday night was Bub’s Back to School Dance, movie night for Mem and Sis, and a friend over for dinner.  Saturday was a 5-year-old birthday party and shopping with my niece.  We found some “needs” and some fun “wants.”  Sunday was breakfast at church, grocery shopping, and cleaning bedrooms.

DH spent the weekend on a golf trip with the guys and had a great time.  We welcomed him home with hand-made signs and big hugs!  Too tired to go get photos of all those things.  Maybe next time!

Tomorrow begins our first full week of school.  I’ve already scheduled a nap for Wednesday after school!

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Summer is Over

Well, that’s it. Summer is over. For me. The kids have 3 more blissful days of freedom. But I am back at school. I worked 3 days last week. Tomorrow, it’s back all the time.

I could have used one more month. or two. But back we go!

I have taken this weekend to savor the last bits of summer break. Saturday began with a pedicure and ended with a trip to the winery with the girls. (I did squeeze in a couple of hours in my classroom, but old habits do die hard.) I almost didn’t go. Tiggy’s softball game was rescheduled and I haven’t missed one. It was a gorgeous day and I could think of all kinds of things to do outside with my kiddos. In the end I went. I’m glad I did.

Left on their own, Darling Husband and all four kids had a great time. Tig’s softball game wasn’t the greatest, but he had his brothers and sisters to cheer him on. DH even went to Walmart and bought Rio. (Which amazingly motivated them to clean their rooms today so they could watch it! They are watching it now, buying me a few minutes at the computer. Yay!) They also bought two kinds of ice cream. Mmmm.  (Which I’ll be having when I get up from the computer.)

I had a fabulous end of summer retreat. We talked and talked and talked. We laughed and laughed. There were serious moments and silly moments. We giggled and teased, supported and advised, and chatted some more. The day was lovely, the breeze light, the sun shining and the views awesome. (I know I really should have taken a photograph or two.)

After the pampering of the pedicure and all the girl time I feel much more relaxed and refreshed and ready to tackle a new school year. I am so grateful for my good friends.

Today was a family day. We started the day with an early softball game. Tig’s team played awesome! Two home runs in three innings! They really rocked the field and took home the silver medal for Special Olympics State Softball. So so so proud. After softball was a stop at Target for a baby gift and some school supplies. I grabbed another girlfriend and we headed to a baby shower. (I ate some of the best shower food ever!) After the baby shower, my friend Squeakers came over for dinner. DH grilled some delicious chicken. Afterward we went for a walk in the park. And now, home to watch Rio.

What a perfect summer weekend! I think we’ll have to find a way to keep that summer feelin’ going for a few more weekends!

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