Monday, July 31, 2017

Five Things I'm Savoring on Our Last Day of Summer Vacation

Wait - what?? Your LAST day of summer vacation?? 

Well, yes - kind of. As I explained previously, my oldest daughter attends a special high school program that runs on a college schedule. So, while the other two don't go back until late August, she goes back to school on Thursday this week. However, for the next two mornings, she will be heading out early to get in her student driving so that she can get her permit when she turns 15 in less than two weeks. 😳

So . . . .

This is our my last lazy morning of the summer. As I sat here, trying to think of all the things I need to do - clean, work, write, shower -I decided that I was NOT going to spend my last relaxed morning of summer stressed out, running through my to-do list. Instead, I am going to spend it savoring a few things that I probably won't get to enjoy very often after today - at least until next summer! 

Sleep - My husband kissed me good-bye at some unholy, before dawn hour this morning as he headed out to catch a plane for another business trip. Then, I promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. I finally got out of bed at 8:30, which is about three hours later than my typical school morning schedule once everyone goes back. Honestly, those early mornings are one of the things I hate most about school days. I am not a morning person at all and I like my sleep! I'll miss it immensely. 

Silence - You thought me getting out of bed at 8:30 was late?? Well, as I sit here typing this at 10:00am, all my kids are still sleeping. The only noise in this house is the sound of my keyboard clicking and the music I have playing on Pandora in the background. It is absolute bliss! 

Coffee  - I didn't always enjoy coffee, but, now, I do. On school mornings, though, I barely even get to actually taste my coffee. I make it in a rush, sip it in a rush, and, sometimes, forget it in the Keurig or the microwave. I often end up pouring half of it down the drain or guzzling the cold remnants just before we scurry out the door. But, not today! I'm on my second cup and it's still warm!! 

No schedule - We aren't even fully "back in it" yet, and I'm already stressed out about schedules. Just figuring out how to juggle this week's events took lists, scheduling, and enlisting help from my in-laws to make it all work. I sometimes scroll through Facebook during the summer and feel envious of everyone who is on some kind of adventure, attending yet another concert, or sharing all their pictures of completed DIY projects. I've done some of that this summer, too, but today - we're intentionally being lazy and doing a whole lot of absolutely nothing! 

Hugs - Fortunately, my three daughters buck many of the cliches about teens and tweens. One way they do this is by showing affection and they do that by what I like to call "random hugging." I can walk by them in the hall or be standing over the kitchen sink and they will extend their lanky arms and, for no particular reason, wrap around me in a hug, head on my shoulder. Of course, these won't stop altogether (I hope!) once they are back in school, but the opportunities for them will be much less frequent will all of us apart for 8+ hours a day. So, today, I'm going to warp my arms around them, too, and soak it all in. 

There are things to be thankful about when back to school time comes around - reuniting with friends we haven't seen, routines and consistency, and the smell of newly sharpened pencils. There is also plenty to lament, though. My friend, Dana, once pointed out that we only get eighteen summers with our precious kiddos. After this one, I've only got two more with my oldest. So, for the last complete day of this one, I'm going to lean into it and enjoy every last, lazy second. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Summer So Far . . .

Summer's half-way over according to the calendar, but I feel like the end is just around the corner. My oldest daughter attends a special high school program that is housed on a college campus, so they follow a college schedule which means she got out just before Memorial Day. However, my two younger daughters didn't get out until a couple weeks later in June. Now, the two youngest have almost all of August before they go back to school, but the oldest goes back on August 3 - less than two weeks from now. Even though we won't be back up and running at full speed with all the kids in school for another month, once she goes back, our summer vibe is most definitely deflated. 

With a summer that seems viciously short, I find myself thinking about what I've accomplished - and what I haven't.There's plenty still left on my to-do list, but we've accomplished a few things, too! 

What I/We've accomplished:


We spent a week in June in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was beautiful and we had a great time! It took us far too long to agree on a place to go and one that would make all five of us happy, but in the end, this was  good choice. We stayed at a resort that had lots of activities for kids and adults. It was our kids' first time out of the US and it was definitely a learning experience with customs, passports, and travel hassles. It was also interesting to see them learning about cultural tidbits (like no ice in drinks) and seeing people from a wide variety of cultures. 

I'm not much of a DIY-er. I have a terrible eye for design and I'm always scared to make big changes in case those changes turn out to be bad choices. But, you never know until you try, right? So, over the July 4th weekend, we finally painted over the 1970s paneling in our den. After much debate and many opinions, we went with a pale blue and . . . . I LOVE it!! It's so much brighter, fresher, and more modern than the dark brown wood. What do you think?

Vacation Bible School

Planning Vacation Bible School is part of my job and it really is a great, fun, energetic week that I love doing. But, it also takes A LOT of planning and the week is thoroughly exhausting! Of course, I have lots of volunteers and help, but I am the staff person in charge. Overall, it was a great week this year with only a couple minor hiccups (that stress me out way more than they should). I'm glad it's over, now, though, and will try not to start thinking about next year for at least a couple months! :-) 
This was one corner of my office about two weeks before VBS. This pile double in size by the first day of VBS and, yes, those are toilet plungers! They were for a science-y demonstration, though, not for the actual toilets! 😆
What I Haven't Accomplished:

I started the summer with a list of all the spaces in our house I want to clean out and organize. It included everything from my walk-in closet to the spice cabinet in the kitchen. I even almost wrote it up in a blog post that was never completed! I did clean out and organize my closet. I also worked on some cabinets and shelves in the den as part of the big painting project. Beyond that, though, I haven't marked much off the list. There is still tupperware falling out of my pantry, spices falling out of the cabinet, and several bags of clothes that need to be taken to Goodwill. But, hey! It's summer, right!?!?

I also started the summer with a list of books I wanted to read and that list actually did make it into a blog post! There were eight books on the list and I've only read two of them. However, I read a third book that was on my list of books to read for 2017 and I'm working on a another one from my summer list with yet another on my nightstand. The best one by far has been The Women In The Castle. If you were a fan of the Nightingale and/or All the Light We Cannot See, you really need to read this one! 

I published three blog posts in June and none, until this one, in July. So, blogging hasn't been great, but also not terrible. I did have this piece published on Grown & Flown in early July. That was the first time I have been featured on another site in a very long time and it felt pretty good, especially since it was a piece I really loved. Did you see it? 

On a scale of 1-10, I would give this summer a 7.5 so far. It's had it's fair share of stress and hard work, but also a good bit of fun, family time, and relaxing. I'm just really, really not ready for it to be semi-over when the the teenager heads back to school in a week and a half. I guess being "stuck" at home for the better part of August will give me plenty of time to get all (or some) of my unaccomplished things completed, though!

What have you been up to so far this summer???

This post is linking up with Finish the Sentence Friday hosted by Kristi at Finding Ninee. This week's sentence was "The summer's half way over and I  . . . . ".

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