Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

That Conference Life… November 12, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:17 pm

I was hoping to get a post in last week, but my schedule was just too tight. I’ve spent the last two weekends at conferences and I’ve really felt the crunch of no weekends. Let’s dive into the conference talk.

November 1st & 2nd were spent up in the Kenmore/Bothell area. On Friday, I left at 6:00am (which means I was up at 4:45 the day after Fall Fest and my big MOPS Bake Sale) to attend a team day for the Network of Women Ministers. This was my first time meeting with the team. I was intimidated to join a new group. It’s hard to be the newbie.  My experience ended up being so positive. We had Donna Barrett for the weekend as our speaker – she is the General Secretary of the Assemblies of God. She is a national leader in our movement and the first women to hold one of the executive offices at the national level. It was powerful to sit down with her and learn from her leadership. Another woman on the team has published a book with another book at the publisher right now. I connected with her about getting a book to the publishing stage. It was a super helpful conversation. I also met another woman who is trying to get published as well. It was fabulous to make connections with women who are working towards a similar dream. The one-day conference was on Saturday and it was called Elevate. The conference was for women in ministry leadership. It offered plenty of practical and tangible tools to use in everyday leadership. It was odd for me to attend a conference without my husband. I’m used to tagging along with him. The conference itself was empowering to women, the connections I made about publishing were helpful and I felt energized in my own ministry leadership. It felt good to discover a piece of me that fell outside of the realm of wife and mother. Of course, I do ministry within the context of being a wife and mother, but the true purpose was grow my ministry leadership and I felt like that was accomplished!

I came back home from the conference ready to tackle my Monday night steering team meeting for MOPS & MOMSnext. October was a big month of our group. I was tired after all that we fit into this one month span of time. Everything went well in October,  but because I felt the weight of it all on my shoulders, I felt discouraged. I went into the conference weekend ready to hash out ways to make October different next year. I came away with a clear vision to celebrate my team more. So what if nothing was record breaking last month?!?! We still had a good month! Life doesn’t always have to be a game of one upping the year before. My perspective changed. If I want my team to stay engaged, I need a fresh vision and a new perspective. I feel like I got that over the weekend and I am excited as I implement new ideas.

Last week was fall conferences at school (the conference theme continues). Owen got out of school early the whole week. On Tuesday, I volunteered in his classroom and then took Owen home an hour early. Turns out that means he got his first tardy on his attendance record, but oh well, it was going to happen eventually and Owen loved the special treat! Of course, I cleared it with the teacher the week before so despite the tardy, I was still very responsible. Tuesday evening we had a sit down conference with Owen’s teacher. Owen is scoring great in all areas. He just started AR books and his teacher is moving him to a harder homework packet because he is breezing through his current homework. She doesn’t want to make school too hard so that it is no longer is fun, but she sees the potential to challenge Owen and we agree. I am so thrilled to see the person that Owen is growing into. I love that he is smart and good at school, but mostly I love his heart. He is a helper and he cares for others. He loves to learn and grow. He is becoming more and more amazing everyday. We celebrated the positive report with ice cream after the conference.

Thursday through Saturday were spent out of town at another conference in Yakima (the Palm Springs of WA or so the sign says). This conference was for children’s leaders. This was the first time for both Jeremy and I to be away during the school year. Packing homework and making sure lunches and drop offs and pick ups were taken care of – it’s a whole new level of planning to be away. The conference really focused on the personal health of leaders and staying connected to God and each other. So often children’s leaders are down the hall in a classroom. They aren’t able to participate in the gatherings that might feed them and grow their faith. I appreciated the focus on spiritual health.  Some of the highlights of the conference were getting to do an escape room with our team, watching Jeremy ride a mechanical bull, and shopping at Hobby Lobby and Target. I get that none of those things are spiritual, but they are fun and that is equally important for a thriving leader.

While in the stores over the weekend, I saw that Christmas items are coming out in full force. I started to shop for my MOPS & MOMSnext secret sister. I got the family matching Christmas pajama pants and we found Toy Story Christmas ornaments to go on the boys’ trees. On Sunday, we let the boys decorate their mini trees that go up in their bedrooms. We aren’t quite ready to have the big tree up in the living space, but the little trees seemed like a good compromise since the boys were begging to decorate. It was fun to be home and to start doing holiday activities with my kiddos. Owen had a class project to decorate a naked turkey with his family. Owen looked through my craft paper and was inspired to do a sweet themed turkey. This coming week we have a Friendsgiving planned with our growth group, so the thanksgiving foods are already making it on to my grocery shopping list. And we have to shop for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. So much good, seasonal fun!

Can I just tell you – I am so excited to be home this weekend! Praise the Lord. Conferences are good. I’ve now had three conferences in the span of a month and while I valued each one I attended, I am over conference settings for a while. I am ready to settle into the magic of the holiday season! There is so much to be thankful for!

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The only picture I got at Fall Fest since I was working the bake sale table. Graham ran around the church with Grandpa and Owen ran around with Papa. The boys had a blast!!!

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So special to carpool with my friend and mentor for the Elevate conference. Even though we had different team meetings, it was nice to have a friend near by!

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Enjoying lunch with Donna Barrett

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Springing Owen out of school early during conference week. 

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Ice cream treat for a good conference report.

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Red cup day and Owen’s school assembly before hitting the road to Yakima.

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Ride ’em cowboy! Jeremy had the longest ride of the night at 16 seconds! 

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The current theme of our life! How cute are these?!?!

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Decorating the mini trees for their bedrooms. 

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Owen’s sweet turkey! 

 

Thoughts on Friendship October 31, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:06 am

In my post yesterday, I shared a small bit about friendship and the new season I am in. I almost instantly regretted putting my thoughts out there because I didn’t want you all to think I am horrible person or a flaky friend. I tend to overthink things and my anxiety kicked in. To see exactly what I wrote yesterday, click here.  I did add an update to my post yesterday, but those of you who get my posts via email wouldn’t see that. So let’s pick up where the conversation left off.

I explained yesterday that as I add new relationships to my life through new opportunities, I might have to let a few relationships go. I am totally the person who makes plans with everyone. I  keep up with my people. While I value all the people I have in my life, I am curious if I stopped initiating plans, how many would reach out to me. I often wonder if some of my friendship are kept alive simply because I ask to hang out.

Now here is the part I want to clarify – if someone needs me, I will be there. I am a loyal friend.  If I notice a friend who needs love and encouragement, I will be reach out. In my post yesterday, I was talking more about figuring out who my fringe friends are and how those relationships may be replaced through being in a new season.

The truth is we all have seasonal friends. We have people who we are around so we are friends with them. And then when we are no longer in the same place, the friendship fizzles. And that’s okay. For me this process started with moving as a middle school student. Some friendships didn’t survive that move. Then the transitions from high school to college – from college to work – from work to motherhood. And now from preschool to elementary school. My crowd changes with each of these seasons and as a result so do my friends.

Now I am blessed to have friends who have stuck with me through all the seasons. My forever friends who will never be able to shake me. We have history and we have gone deep together. These friends are non-negotiable. I will always pursue them. I also know that they will always pursue me. The feeling is mutual. I believe in the power of a few core friends. I would rather have a few deep friends then a bunch of surface friends. That’s just how I’m wired.

We had a group of ladies speak at MOPS & MOMSnext on Monday.  They helped start the MOPS group that I am currently involved in. After all these years – 16, I believe, they are still friends and MOPS brought them together. Their story is a powerful story of finding your people and how MOPS can be that place. I love having them speak at the beginning of the year because it encourages our ladies to keep showing up for MOPS & MOMSnext. Friendships are built over time and they are worth the investment.

The message that I got from the guest speakers at MOPS & MOMSnext was two fold. The first was find your core people. Life is better when you have friends on the journey with you. Friends who pray with you, who lift you up, who encourage you and don’t walk out when your life gets tough. They sit in the muck and the mire with you. And you do the same for them. They also shared that seasonal friendship are okay too. Not all friendship will last a lifetime. It resonates with me that some friends might not be lifetime friends, but they were the friends I needed in the moment. We are a part of each others stories even if we are just in a few chapters and not the whole book.

Friendship is important to me. I am blessed by many wonderful women and families that I get to do life with. I am thankful for the moms from MOPS & MOMSnext. I am thankful for the families we hang out with at church and in our homes. I am thankful for the core friends and mentors who have been there for me for going on decades. I am thankful for family members who are also friends as well as relatives. My life has an abundance of good people cheering me on and loving my family. Friendship is such a blessing. While I might be learning a new way of balancing life, friendship will always remain a value of mine.

Since we’ve been watching a lot of Toy Story, I’ll leave you with this – You’ve Got A Friend In Me! 

 

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I just had to post this picture again because it’s just too cute!!!

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Happy Halloween from the Scott Boys! Owen couldn’t wear his costume today, but he was encouraged to wear sports apparel, the color orange and a hat for Heavenly Hats – so we hit all the possible dress up categories. Graham is wearing a firefighter costume we got last year so that way his Buzz costume will be ready for Fall Fest tonight.  

 

Wrapping Up October October 30, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:50 pm

Here we are with only one full day left to October. As I reflect on this month, I am a bit overwhelmed by all that has been accomplished – and all that is yet to be accomplished tomorrow (Fall Fest & MOPS Bake Sale). It’s been a big month. October is my favorite month of the year. Or it was. I’ve started to develop a love/hate relationship with the month. The things I love are the cold sunshine, the autumn leaves, the pumpkin patch, the corn maze, pumpkin baked goods and celebrating my boys’ birthdays. I look forward to these things all year.

The big reason October has taken a dip in popularity for me is that it’s been packed too full. If every month looked like October, it would be an unsustainable pace. Right now I feel like I’ve said yes to one thing too many. I’m in the process of trying to determine if I can live with my plate this full for the next few years or if I need to let go of something sooner. I started three new positions (ministries, roles, opportunities – whatever you want to call them) in October. And while they aren’t all weekly or monthly, they all started this month adding pressure to an already full season. I need to see what a month looks like where I don’t have all my commitments complied into a 30 window. I value all the things on my plate. I said yes to these things for a reason.

When it comes down to it though, I can’t do everything. I have limitations. A big one being my introverted nature. I live with the confines of needing quiet, rest, and alone time. When I over fill my calendar, I don’t get those quiet moments and my soul suffers. I am not the best leader, volunteer, wife, or mother when I am maxed out. I understand that “everyone” lives feeling like they’ve said yes too many things. I am prone to believing that being busy equals being valuable. But I don’t want to be like everyone else. I heard a quote recently that said “Not my race, not my pace.” We often think that we have to keep the pace of everyone else, but honestly, we all run a different race. We all have a different capacity and a different goal for where we are going.  My preferred pace just happens to be slow. I don’t want life to disappear in a blink. I want to savor the moments. I want to show up intentionally to a few important things instead of being a hurried mess through everything. I want to do a few things really well instead of doing too many things so-so.

It’s so hard to live counter-culturally. I feel the tension every day, in every decision I make. I’ve been brainstorming ways to go from surviving my calendar to thriving and here are a few of things I’ve come up with:

  • Letting go of a few relationships – This is a hard one for me. I greatly value community and once you’re one of my people, I will keep tabs on you for the rest of your life. However, I am often the one checking in with friends and making plans. I fill in much of my free time by getting together with ladies. I love this and never regret time I spend with others. But I’m also making new relationships – Owen’s teacher, the kids in his class, the couples I meet with about weddings, the women ministers I connect with for my area connector position. I can’t keep up everyone and add more. I’m going to be doing an experiment in the coming months. I’m going to see who contacts me. Instead of always being the one to reach out, I want to see who wants my presence and who just says yes because I offer. I understand some relationships will fizzle because of this choice, but I can’t keep up with everyone like I used to. {Edit made after publication: I will still be there for my friends. If anyone needs my love, support or encouragement, I will be there! If I sense that someone needs a person but is too afraid to make the first move, I will check in on them. Loyalty is important to me. I don’t want this post to make me seem like a flaky person or friend.}
  • Being intentionally slow in the windows of time that I have – I am all for a full day off. Like pajamas all day, go no where, don’t take a shower – I am off the hook for the day. If my weeks are busy then I try to take a day like this on the weekend. My weekends however haven’t afforded me that opportunity to be off lately. And I can feel the pressure mounting. So instead of editing my book this afternoon, I will watch “This Is Us” on my DVR. Last week I had to work from home, but I did it in bed, in pajamas. I wish I had a full day of rest in the near future, but that just isn’t happening. I need to be intentional with the windows I get.
  • Go to bed early – I’ve had a couple late nights where I’ve either been trying to finish a book or like this week – wrap up a major fundraiser. But for the most part (like 6 out of 7 days a week), I’m going to bed early these days. I can’t keep up with my life without a good night’s sleep. And my days zapping me. Most nights I’m asleep between 9:30-10:00pm. I don’t even hear my husband come in and go to bed. I am a night owl by nature, but that tendency can’t coexist with my current schedule. I’m adapting to my new schedule by going to bed early.

I wish there was a magic formula for a balanced life. I wish I had the capacity to go,go, go at all hours of the day. I wish I could do it all with ease and energy. I wonder if life will always be a battle against my limitations. If you’re the praying kind of reader, say a little prayer for my discernment as I figure out what pace I want to live at. I need to make choices that serve my family and my community, but also don’t leave me completely spent. It might seem saintly to give until I drop, but that isn’t the example I want to set for my kids. I’ll keep working it out day by day, but for right now, I’ve got an hour to watch TV and I’m going to take it!

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Owen had a school open house last week. He had a blast showing us around the school and his classroom. And his teacher gave the boys cookies, so it was a pretty great night!

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Owen had an early release on Friday, so we went up to see GG and celebrate the boys’ birthdays with her.

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GG made sure that the boys got a birthday a song at Red Robin

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The boys have fallen in love with Toy Story. Graham was determined to get a Buzz with his birthday money.

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Just like Andy and Bonnie. Buzz has Graham’s name on his foot. How sweet is that?

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Pumpkin Patch with MOPS & MOMSnext

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Pumpkin Patch with MOPS & MOMSnext

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We went to a Halloween themed birthday party on Sunday, so the boys got to bust out their costumes early!

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Fall Fest bake sale is coming up tomorrow. So I made six 9 x 13 pans of brownies. In case you are wondering, that is two full boxes of Costco brownie mix.

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Even though it’s pretty obvious, I ask the ladies to label their treats if possible, so of course, I have to as well.

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72 brownies ready for sale – granted my kids will buy a dozen when we get to church tomorrow night, so I probably didn’t need to go to the effort of packaging the last pan…

 

Floors & Pumpkins & Cookies October 22, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:00 am

Since yesterday’s post was all about the birthday boy, I thought I would fill you in what else is happening in our lives. There is never a dull moment around here.

Last week was our first MOPS & MOMSnext craft meeting. We made floral headbands that turned out beautifully. The moms really loved the craft and the time to mingle as they worked on their projects. I often sit and talk during our craft meetings. Having quiet conversations around the table with no agenda other than connection is totally my thing. October is a full month for MOPS & MOMSnext with our first craft meeting, but also our first guest speakers joining us next Monday. We have two fundraisers this month. Plus we launched Operation Christmas Child at our last meeting as well. And we have an outing to the pumpkin patch. So yeah, just a few things going on there…

Tuesdays are quickly becoming a favorite day for me! I love volunteering at Owen’s school. The kids now get excited to see me enter the classroom. It’s been great to build relationships with the kids as well as Owen’s teacher. This is such a purposeful ministry for me. I get to help with reading which is something I’m passionate about, but I’m also being a light to these kids through my kindness. I certainly don’t preach at them, but I want them to know that I am safe person.  This last week Owen’s teacher had the parents send in supplies to make pizzas for snack and I got to make one alongside the kids. Talk about tasty and rewarding!

Thursday was a big day. We had the flooring installers come back out after the last big fix didn’t work with our flooring situation. The installers are stumped as to why the product keeps breaking. It’s most likely a failure in the product itself. They started to rule out other issues – like the structure of the house. Turns out our house is well built and that is not the problem. Praise the Lord. Tensions are high because ultimately the best fix is to replace the entire floor. The installers are done making small fixes that don’t matter. Jeremy and I are of the opinion that we won’t settle for broken floors. All I can say was that Thursday was tense as we discussed what was going on with our floor.

I had to leave for a field trip while the flooring guys were at the house. I had confirmed the time of pumpkin patch outing right when the request went out. I wanted to make sure that we were leaving the school at 10:30am. The teacher confirmed the time and I agreed to come along. I was excited to ride the bus with Owen and participate in the first field trip of the year. When I arrived at the school, I saw a bus was being loaded. It was 10:20am and I knew multiple classes were going on the field trip, so I quickly went up to Owen’s classroom to see if he was there. The classroom was empty so I practically ran through the halls back to the parking lot only to discover that the bus had left without me. I was upset. Very upset. I had promised my kid that I would ride the bus with him as a part of the experience. I drove myself to the pumpkin patch and I got there right when the bus did. As soon as Owen was off the bus he was all upset about how I didn’t ride with him. I told him I was sorry to disappoint him, but the bus left without me. It turns out that there was substitute teacher that day. While she had a list of the chaperones that would be riding, apparently she didn’t check to make sure that all chaperones were accounted before leaving.

The pumpkin patch situation is very hard on my personality type. I like to be punctual – in fact, being early is on time for me. I arrived 10 minutes before the departure time that I had confirmed with the teacher. I’m not sure if the other parents received different information, but I was shocked to find that despite being early, I was left behind. I don’t like messing up, even though it wasn’t my fault. I also don’t like disappointing my kid. Owen asked if I could ride the bus back with him, which of course, I couldn’t since my van was now at the pumpkin patch. He asked if he could ride back to the school with me which the substitute informed us he could not. I understand and respect school policy. I felt bad that Owen was looking for anyway possible to get extra time with me.

Despite the bus drama, I had a good, but wet time at the pumpkin patch. Again it was fun to hang out with Owen’s class. And I got to meet a few other parents who tagged along. To salvage Thursday, we had a Burger King play date with friends after school. The friend we met up with a had a birthday party at the same time as Owen & Graham’s family party. This play date was a special way to see this friend and give him his gift since we couldn’t make it to the party. The friend also gave the boys party favors since they couldn’t attend the party.

Thursday evening we had a ministry dinner for pastors that we declined attending. The flooring was a big unknown and we didn’t know what condition our home would be in that evening. Also we keep the boys up late on Wednesday nights because of church. This dinner would mean another late night by the time we picked up kids and got them home to bed. We couldn’t justify two late nights in a row. Before school a late Thursday night meant we could be lazy on Friday morning, but that is no longer our schedule. I struggle with wanting to be at all things possible, but now we have to protect our evenings from being too late. Owen has even stopped coming to MOPS & MOMSnext with me on Mondays so he can go to bed on time.

To keep the pumpkin theme of the day going on Thursday, we carved our pumpkins that we got at the corn maze. Owen’s white pumpkin turned out to a bit tricky. The white shell was harder to cut and the inside of the pumpkin was so stinky. Owen was supposed to have a train on his pumpkin, but it cracked during carving and Jeremy transformed it into an alien. Thank goodness Owen loved the alien and handled the change of plans well. Graham’s warty pumpkin was perfect for using one of the big warty bumps to make a nose on the pumpkin. He came up with that plan all on his own. I thought it was very creative!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I made a bunch of butter cookies and frosted them for my church girls. They weren’t professional by any means, but very tasty. Then when I met up with my forever friend, Maggie, on Friday she gave me her very lovely cookies as a treat. She has been working on her home baking business and has learned so much about decorating adorable cookies. We ate one of her cookies before heading to lunch. Then after lunch we ordered cookies for dessert at the restaurant.

It as fun to meet up with Maggie at the mall. I felt a bit silly, but I told her that all I’ve done lately is church, school and errands. I wanted to see a store other than Costco. I had a great time walking around The Container Store especially. I had two items that I’ve wanted after reading The Home Edit this summer. I scored awesome tote hangers for my closet and can shelving for my pantry! Despite the weather and the traffic, time with Maggie is always worth the drive. I am thankful for her friendship. And her cookies. Who wouldn’t love a week full of cookies?!

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Making pizza with Owen’s class. 

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Despite the change in the weather, I love my daily walks to and from the bus stop. Something about fresh air and exercise! 

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A few of my cookies that I made for church.

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Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

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Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

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Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

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Pumpkin Patch Field Trip – this umbrella might be the best $10 I’ve spent on Amazon. It’s getting lots of use. 

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Pumpkin carving

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Pumpkin carving

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Pumpkin carving

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Pumpkin carving

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Pumpkin carving

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A special day with Maggie May!

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A great way to end any meal!

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Pumpkin cookies from Sweet Maggie May.

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I love these tote hooks from The Container Store. There unique shape works great for holding bags and looks classier than using regular hangers. I’m in love! 

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I was cautious and only bought one of these can shelves, but I am now sold and must get more! I love being able to keep track of all my cans in a glance!

 

Happy 4th Birthday, Graham! October 21, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:49 am

This weekend Graham officially turned four! He has been waiting for quite a while for this momentous occasion. With a birthday party at the beginning of the month and Owen’s birthday right after that, Graham has been somewhat patiently waiting for it to be his “real” birthday. On Saturday, he told me numerous times that it was his real birthday. He also explained to me that he is faster now that he is four.

I don’t plan on doing this again, but the only way it worked to get our immediate families present for a family party was to have the party on Graham’s “real” birthday. The morning was about Graham and then he happily did errands with us to  get ready for the birthday party later that day. The birthday party was for both Owen and Graham. I was happy to see that Graham shared his birthday so well with his brother. He also really enjoyed seeing all his family on his birthday. I felt a bit bad because Owen got a special outing for his birthday and Graham got a birthday party he had to share with his brother. Last year, however, Graham got an overnight trip for his birthday and Owen had preschool and MOPS. I guess in the grand scheme of life, things even out.

What to say about Graham? Or should I say Grambo (our nickname for him). Preschool has taught him that his name is Graham. Up until recently he would tell you his name is Grambo. Let’s talk about preschool first. Graham has finally given up the waterworks at preschool drop off! Praise the Lord! He made at least one good friend that he mentions often. Graham remains my stubborn, strong willed child. He is learning so much right now – partially from school and partially from copying his kindergartener brother. Owen is often correcting Graham and I have to remind Owen that Graham is in preschool, not kindergarten. But in true little brother fashion, Graham is doing his best to keep up with Owen. Graham is my homebody, my introvert. In a lot of ways he is like me. With him being like me, you’d think I’d know how to parent him with more insight, but he often leaves me wondering what to do next. He is my kid that I use Love & Logic with the most.

This morning Graham and I had a rare morning to go on a play date. Graham usually doesn’t like going on play dates without Owen. Instead my friend got sick (which is sad), so Graham and I are enjoying a rare home day instead (which is happy). I’ve been tidying up after a busy weekend at our house. Graham has been putting around playing with all the new toys. He is now crafting beside me at the dining room table. He is the best kid to hang around the house with. Even when he is near me, he is entertaining himself. While I was cleaning the bathrooms this morning, he came down and sat in the bathroom and just talked to me while I cleaned. I hope we’ll always be friends like this. But maybe our roles will be reversed. Someday he’ll be cleaning the bathrooms and I’ll come in and talk with him while he works, just because I want to be near him.

It’s crazy having a four year and a six year old. The years have gone fast. I know that time doesn’t slow down. I am bracing myself for the wild ride still yet ahead. It’s been such a joy to watch my little boys turn into bigger kids. And while Graham still remains my short and small child, I know that he is growing in many ways even though he is not skyrocketing in height. He has changed so much in the last year, let alone the last month. I’m excited to see that being four has to offer him!

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The official birthday picture! Graham loves this shirt and has now worn it three days in a row. Apparently Graham is a firm believer in birthday month. 

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Graham through the years! Newborn – One – Two – Three

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Nothing like a candle on breakfast!

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Make a wish!

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Present time before the party

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He is always so expressive

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Goofball

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Instead of donuts this time, we had a traditional birthday cake covered in all kinds of a colorful frosting. 

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Birthday party take two! This time with our immediate families.

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Make another wish!

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We are very into Toy Story these days! 

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Hanging with the cousins! 

 

A Light Bulb Moment October 15, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:53 pm

DSC_0009I had a light bulb moment while vacuuming last week. I do a lot of great thinking while I vacuum. Fun fact, while I vacuum I often write really fantastic, deep and moving blog posts in my head. Then by the time I sit down to write a blog post, all the amazing thoughts have vanished because I didn’t write them down the second I was thinking them. Does this happen to anyone else? All my best thoughts happen while I vacuum.

Last week’s vacuuming session came with an “AHA” moment that brought so much clarity to my life. I had to write about it here. I was contemplating why September had been so challenging. I was truly surprised by the amount of energy that September zapped from me. I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

Some factors are easy to pinpoint. The schedule was different week to week. Jeremy was out hunting throughout the month. My parents traveled a good portion of the month. My support team wasn’t always there. Those things are obvious but it felt like there was more to it than that.

DSC_0003I was adjusting to a new schedule. I kept focusing on the new – I must be struggling with the new routine, new schedule, new commitments. I must not be handling the new well. But really that wasn’t it. The new schedule and routine were found, but I was still exhausted by the changes. The new stuff wasn’t the culprit.

And then the light bulb went off. I was struggling with the old stuff. I was mourning all my old ways of doing things. I was mourning my old routine. I was sad that Family Fridays were no more. I was sad that play dates don’t fit in our calendar anymore. I was sad that we couldn’t skip school at a moments notice or be flexible and sleep in on a week day after a late night. I had to let go of things that I deeply valued during this transition.

Fridays were my favorite day of the week. Usually I got to sleep in on either Friday or Saturday so the pressure wasn’t so intense to have a restful morning. Fridays were always fun family adventures. It could be running errands together, getting a meal out or hanging around the house. Fridays always centered around us as a family. Most of the world was at work or school, so we would have quieter outings. We wouldn’t have to share the stores or the activities with many people. Now we’re relegated to weekends just like everyone else. Fridays have always been special and now they are different.

If you’ve been on my blog for any amount of time you know that we do play dates like professionals. Our calendar was constantly filled up with friends. We would have at least two play dates a week. I would chat with my mom friends while my kiddos played with their friends. These times were special and meaningful. Now play dates don’t fit on our calendar very easily. Some relationships will probably fizzle as a result of this change to our schedule.  I know that Owen is meeting new friends at school and he is not lacking in the friendship department, but I will miss those preschool friends and their moms. I haven’t given up complete hope of keeping in touch, but I know it’s going to be harder now.

DSC_0027I could go on about the flexibility of the preschool years. The quiet that came from days at home with no agenda. Now I have plans for almost every day of the week. I don’t want life to be a rat race. I want breathing room. I want space to be quiet. And I am the only one who can make that happen for me. I need to schedule more quiet, more rest. More time at home. Being busy isn’t a badge of honor. I’m not winning gold stars for adulting at a high capacity. I started January 2019 thinking about the word balance. I can see how even now in October, I need to focus in on that topic. Balance might be an illusion, but I keep striving for it (maybe at my own detriment).

Adjusting to new things is hard. It takes time. It takes energy. Letting go of old things that were loved and valued is also hard. This combination laid me out flat last month. I’ve been picking up the pieces in October. There is a sense of routine and familiarity growing with each week. It won’t always be this way or feel this way. I had a hard time adapting from being just a couple to having a kid in the house. Seven years of married life had me set in my ways. Now I’ve had kids for a few years, I don’t miss or mourn those couple days as much as I did right after the big change happened. Some day down the road I’ll look back at this season and say – yeah, it was a hard transition, but I’ve been doing it for so long now that it feels normal. I will have walked further down the road and while I can look back and remember, it won’t be so fresh in my mind or my heart.

DSC_0018It was just a crazy light bulb moment to think that my greatest struggle wasn’t accepting the new, but letting go of the old. It’s okay for me to be sad. It’s okay to mourn the loss of valuable things. I am glad that I had space to process my feelings and get to the root of the issue. I also have hope for the future. The past was good, but I don’t believe that my best days are behind me. I will move forward. I keep looking ahead. I believe there is so much goodness to be discovered and enjoyed in this new season. I will look for it with eyes wide open. I will keep going knowing the distance on this road I travel will help ease the pain of letting go.

 

Family Pictures & October Adventures October 13, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:29 pm

As promised, our family pictures are featured in the photos of this post. My sister-in-law’s sister took them for us. This is her third time taking pictures for us over the years. I was so glad she was available because 1) we know her and 2) she’s very reasonable when it comes to cost. I don’t “enjoy” taking pictures and the weather never fails to stress me out. I’m always glad that I go to the hassle every year. It’s great to have pictures for the Christmas card. And it’s wonderful to display pictures of my kiddos growing year by year. Owen also had school pictures this year. Once Graham has his school pictures this spring, I’ll create a space on my walls to display school pictures alongside family pictures. For school pictures, Owen told me they took his picture twice. I figured that meant that photo number one was no good and a second one was necessary. With that in mind, I had low expectations of school pictures. And I was sort of right. It’s not a terrible picture, but Owen has some crazy eyes going on that look like the flash photography stunned him. I could do re-takes, but I really have no hope for a better outcome, so we will accept the crazy eyes. Oh and one last thing about family pictures – we took them at our house which is super special to me and Owen got pictures of his chickens, which was super important to him!

This week’s projects for me included Candy Corn Blondies. I found a recipe on Pinterest a few years ago as a way to use up extra candy corn in the house. Now it’s a fall tradition for me to make this treat. This batch turned out especially good despite the fact that the blondies broke in half while I was taking them out of the pan. We’ll call that a rustic cut. No biggie. My other great accomplishment this week was finishing Emma. I’m now one book away from finishing my Jane Austen mission. I’ve saved Pride and Prejudice for last. I have a feeling it will be the best for a grand finale. I am pausing though shortly to read Sarah Bessy’s new book, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things. It went on sale this week and I couldn’t pass up the deal. I have been deeply moved by Sarah’s writing over the years so of course, I couldn’t wait until my Austen marathon was finished. Sarah comes first!

Thursday I got our family a pizza shaped like a pumpkin from Papa Murphy’s and we had a family game night. Owen and Graham had a sleepover with Nana & Papa on Friday, so Jeremy and I could attend a conference on Friday and Saturday. I wanted to make sure that we had a good amount of family time on Thursday before being separated for part of the weekend. The conference was for Love & Logic which I really appreciate the strategies and the heart of the message. The conference gave us all useful tools that we could put into practice right away. Also it was great for Jeremy to join me because I’ve been into Love and Logic for a few years now, but now I feel like we are on the same page as a couple. It’s a wonderful feeling! While Jeremy and I were busy, Owen and Graham were living their best lives. They got to ride bikes with family, pet puppies, play games, go to the movies. It was a great weekend for them.

We wrapped up our weekend with a trip to the corn maze and our first pumpkin patch of the season. One of the hardest things about the conference was the weather – it was too nice to be inside and my soul was longing to be outdoors doing autumn activities. Today was our chance to make good on the weather and the fall fun. The corn maze we visit has two mazes. Each boy gets to guide us through a maze. Both kids went in a small circle this year and tried to go back out the entrance like we did the maze in record time. It was so hilarious and i guess if the goal is get “out” quickly, they succeeded! We don’t usually go to this pumpkin patch, but we are short one of our “usual” patches this year, so I thought why not. The boys picked unique pumpkins – a white one for Owen and a bumpy for Graham. After our outing, we went shopping at Costco and got dinner there. Owen acted like it was the best experience of his life getting to eat at Costco. I loved it! It’s the little things in life!

And onward to start another week! I hope you enjoy the family pictures below.

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Kindergarten School Pictures September 2019

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Candy Corn Blondies have become an annual tradition! So good!

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This is what happens while we wait for the school bus on a very cold day.

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Family Game night

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Family Bike Ride

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Puppy Love

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Celebrating Papa a few days early!

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Corn Maze

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Pumpkin Patch

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Owen wanted a white one and Graham wanted a bumpy one!