Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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!

 

Happy 6th Birthday, Owen! October 9, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:35 am

Yesterday was Owen 6th birthday! He had a thoroughly great day from start to finish. Since his birthday was on a Tuesday, it was a volunteering day for me. I arrived at his classroom with Costco chocolate muffins to share. I was able to watch Owen be the special helper in the classroom and hear his class sing him happy birthday. I’m thankful that I got to be in the school to watch him being celebrated. It made my heart happy to know that his day was special even if I couldn’t be there the whole time celebrating with him.

We met Owen at the bus stop ready for an adventure after school. As we were loading up, Owen asked me to pull a surprise out of his backpack. His teacher had given him a stuffed animal for his birthday. She also sent him home with the last Costco muffin. He was truly a blessed boy. And then we took off for our adventure – an Amtrak ride from Centralia to Lacey.

We have been talking about taking the boys on an Amtrak ride for a long time. In fact a few years ago, we booked a trip, but it was cancelled by Amtrak. Owen’s birthday seemed like a good time to try again. We arrived at the train station and waited no so patiently for our train to arrive. The actual ride was quick – only about 20 minutes. The scenery with all the fall colors was lovely. My mom dropped us off at the Centralia station and then she met up with us at the Olympia-Lacey station.

From the station we took off for Owen’s dinner of choice – Chipotle. He ate his signature chips, cheese and chocolate milk. And then he went over to Safeway to pick his dessert of choice – powered sugar donut holes. Since Jeremy wouldn’t let me light a candle inside the Safeway cafe area, we went back to my mom’s vehicle and quickly lit a small candle on a donut hole and sang happy birthday. I am very much a stickler for making sure a candle is blown out on an actual birthday. It might be important to only me, but I want to make sure no birthday celebration opportunity is missed. The night wrapped up with opening a few small presents from Jeremy and I at home.

Yesterday the boys left for school in a flurry. I was tidying up the house after the chaos and I notice that Lamby was left on Owen’s bed. Owen has taken Lamby to school every single day. This last month Owen was having a hard time with me leaving his room at night and I told him to talk to Lamby. I’ve suggested this often over the years. For the first time, Owen told me Lamby wasn’t real. And then I saw Lamby left in his room and I thought – this is it. Apparently when you’re six you’ve out grown special stuff animals. I put Lamby on the bed with a sad sigh. When Owen loaded up after school for our adventure, he mentioned that Lamby didn’t make it to school. He takes him out during quiet time every day and the loss of Lamby was deeply felt. I explained that a lot of things got left out at home yesterday in the whirlwind that was their leaving process. I told him we would make sure that Lamby made it to school the next day. Inwardly I was smiling that my six year old hadn’t out grown Lamby overnight.

There are so many things I could say about Mr. Owen. He is cautious and adventurous in all the right ways. He isn’t fearless, but he is brave! He constantly surprises me with how he adapts and rolls with life. He has adjusted to kindergarten like a champ. Watching him do well is actually encouraging me to let go of stress and worry. He’s got this and he’s got God. I can’t be with Owen watching over him 24/7, but God can. I know the Holy Spirit speaks to his heart. He has shown me over and over again that he can make good choices and he stands up for what he believes. Owen is a helper. He wants to be included. It might be working in the yard, cleaning the bathrooms or taking care of his beloved chickens – Owen wants to be participate. I sincerely love the kid he is becoming with each year. The unfolding of his story is precious to me. I am blessed to have a front row seat. Watching him grow is such an adventure and a joy!

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Happy Birthday, Owen 

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The class special helper

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Reading with the birthday boy 

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At the Centralia station. Graham was very concerned about the potential train noise. He spent the first 15 minutes at the station covering his ears even though there were no trains at that time.

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Waiting at the station

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About to board our train

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The train ride

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We made it to Lacey

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Dinner at Chipotle

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Donut holes for dessert

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Owen through the years!

 

Hello October! October 7, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:47 am

October started with a bang! October 1st was my first day of volunteering in Owen’s classroom. I got to read books with each of the kids. I love reading so this was right up my alley. It was also helpful to now have faces for all the names that I am hearing about everyday. While I was at the school my plans for right afterwards were cancelled so I offered to stay longer. I stayed with Owen through lunch and saw him off to recess. It brings me so much joy to see Owen doing well in his new school. He is liked by the other kids. Someone is always calling his name inviting him to join them. He is also doing well with the schoolwork. Overall, I am very glad at how the beginning Owen’s school career has gone. Here’s hoping it’s smooth sailing like this through graduation… in 2032.

Part of the reason I didn’t rush home on Tuesday was my floors were being torn up and being replaced with new boards. It’s an epic drama that has been unfolding. Many small fixes have been met with no luck. This time half of our living space was torn up. Unfortunately within 20 minutes of the installers leaving, we found a broken spot. And the new boards aren’t as glossy as the old boards. You can totally see a difference. I am OCD. I can’t un-see the difference. I’m sure our building company and the flooring company are not thrilled that we keep calling, but we have an expectation of non-broken floors. I’m not entirely sure what the next step will be. We won’t leave things how they are. It’s so inconvenient to get to the house ready for them to “fix” it. Everything needs to be cleared from the counters. All the rugs and furniture need to be covered. This time our kitchen appliances needed to move. And the amount of dust that settles on everything is no easy chore to clean up. So… that was Tuesday after volunteering. Lots of cleaning.

Tuesday evening I would have stayed home and let dark thoughts about my flooring brew, but I had to lead a ministry gathering. I got together with a few women ministers in our area to connect for coffee. It was a small group, but that is okay. I am glad I got to provide the opportunity. The ladies that did show up connected well and seemed to appreciate the chance to talk. The coffee chat came at the end of a long day. I’m grateful that God gave me the little boost of energy I needed to keep moving.  Usually when it’s hard to get out the door and I just want to stay home, I end up being glad I put the effort in to going out. This was one of those nights.

The rest of the week was spent connecting with friends. I had a friend over to my house on Wednesday and I visited a friend with a new baby on Thursday. It’s a strange dynamic for me to not have my Graham tag along for these times. I find that I am able to give my friends better focus. I’m also able to be a helper with their little ones. It’s a new role. I miss my kiddos while they are at school, but I am enjoying the new found freedom a few mornings a week. Slowly this new schedule is starting to take root and feel normal.

On Friday Owen got a pajama party at school. He also got to claim a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut for reaching his reading goal. Graham got to run errands with Jeremy and I as we prepped for one of two birthday parties this month. Usually I do the boys’ birthday parties back to back in one weekend, but this year we’ve space them out. Saturday was our friends party and in a few weeks we’ll have a family party.

Graham and Owen always have to pick a theme they agree on for their birthday party. Graham wanted a donut party, but Owen didn’t. They ended up agreeing on a “Dino Dig” theme, but we turned it into “Dinos & Donuts” for Graham. I enjoyed making the theme come to life. Anytime I have three dozen donuts on display at my house, it’s a good day! Jeremy wore an inflatable dinosaur costume to greet our guests. We hosted a dinosaur hunt in the backyard with kids wearing dino masks while looking for toy dinosaurs in the grass. I’m fairly positive Jeremy will mowing over tiny dinosaurs for years. Our boys had such a good time with their friends. The weather allowed for plenty of outside play. It was about as great as a 4 & 6 year olds birthday party could be.

Sunday, Jeremy and I did what they call the “circuit.” We spoke for a few minutes at all three gatherings – including our downtown Centralia campus – about an upcoming parenting conference. I don’t love getting up in front of the whole congregation, but it’s a good skill to have so I try to be bold. Getting out of the classroom and in front of the crowd is a great spotlight on children’s ministry. After church we got ready to host our growth group. We lead a parenting group. It was wonderful to have some new members join us. The evening went well, but after all the energy spent on partying and speaking at church, I was ready to call it a wrap on the weekend.

And now it’s the aftermath of all the company. Today is for tidying the house. It’s also for prepping for a MOPS & MOMSnext team meeting this evening. And maybe I can sneak a little reading in. Monday is my day with Mr. Graham. I’m sure he’ll be happy to play with new birthday toys while I putter around the house. I have no plans to change out of my pajamas until the absolute last minute. Comfy clothes are a must after a busy weekend! Time to recover a bit. While being productive. Is that possible?

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Volunteering in Owen’s classroom

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Mr. Personality

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Pajama party at school for Owen and claiming his free personal pizza for dinner! 

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Three dozen donuts sitting on your counter will make your house smell amazing. I know this from experience now.

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The birthday boys in their dinosaur party shirts. Graham’s was too perfect for the party theme!

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Jeremy got some extra use out of his Halloween costume by greeting the guests on his new pet dinosaur.

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Jeremy is so good at throwing egg hunts for the community, he took those skills and turned them into a dinosaur hunt for the party.

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Chocolate with sprinkles for Graham. Sugar donut for Owen.

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Make a wish! 

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Enjoying a Sunday morning out of the classroom and getting some extra time together even if it’s on stage!

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PS – I’ll share our family pictures in my next post! 

 

Almost There September 29, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:49 pm

In August, I kept thinking that I would get to September and fall into my new routine. I assumed it would happen quickly. I would be settled in September. What I really meant was just wait for October. I’ll be settled in October because the whole month of September was needed to adjust to a new routine. Live and learn. New routines are not made overnight. They are made over days and weeks and sometimes months.

I’ve already admitted that September was way more challenging than I imagined. I’m amazed at how quickly the month went, but I’m okay to see it go. While I hope that October will bring that settled feeling I’m craving, I also know that there is no such thing as a normal month. October is birthday month for my boys as well as many family members. October is the kick off to growth group at our house and the beginning of classroom volunteering. October also holds part of our flooring being torn up and replaced (this Tuesday, pray for me). I’ll host my first coffee chat as area connector for our Network of Women Ministers (also this Tuesday). I’ll have my first sit down to help plan my first wedding as wedding coordinator at the church. All good things, but all new to October. I won’t be surprised if I get to November and repeat what I said about September and October.

Here is what I’m learning – things take time. Normal is an elusive dream. I might wish for settled feelings to kick in, but in reality it might takes months. And it’s okay. It’s okay for the adjustment period to be slow. It’s okay to take my time finding our new normal. And I’m okay with figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. I can make changes. So often I feel locked into commitments or things that I should do. We talked about this at MOPS & MOMSnext last week. Should is a guilt word. We need to be empowered to do what is right for our families – with our own unique dynamics and limitations. There is no blanket set of rules for each family. This gives me freedom.

Family schedules are a lot like math. I have the power to add and subtract. I know that subtracting isn’t as fun as adding, but eventually if you add, add, add the fun turns to exhaustion. I feel like I’m tittering on the edge of having added too much. I loved the simplicity that the baby days brought me. I had to say no to many things because I couldn’t do them with a child in tow or I was too limited in my energy to take on more. As my kids have grown, my capacity has grown. Just because I can do more, doesn’t mean I should. I don’t want my life to feel like a rat race. I plan to live with my current commitments and see how it all shakes out this fall. I need to remind myself that I am at the max and that adding more would be unwise. I’m also writing this here as a accountability. I don’t need to add more. I don’t need to feel bad for choosing less – if it’s for the health of my family.

I’ve never been good at math. But I’m learning. And now that I’m helping my son with math homework with “new” math techniques, I’ve also seen how there is more than one way to learn a skill. It might take some trial and error, but I’m dedicated to finding balance. It’s a daily effort, but well worth it. So let’s see what October has in store. Will it hold that elusive feeling of being settled? Or will that always be a month off? Even if I don’t find that feeling, I can tell you that I will intentionally have a fantastic month. I will celebrate birthdays, I will eat all things pumpkin, I will do fun fall activities with loved ones. October is my favorite month of the year. I plan to make it a good one!!

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Picking up this kid from the bus is one of my favorite times of the day. It’s good exercise walking down our long driveway.  We talk about his day as we walk home and then immediately get a snack because he is starving! Usually that means eating the rest of his lunch he decided to not eat at school. 

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Plenty of fresh eggs and lots of bread in the house means french toast is a must. I almost never have a big breakfast, but bring on breakfast for dinner and we’ll have the works! 

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New routine has me up early and I need to spend less time getting ready, so I chopped off my hair again.  I read that cutting your hair short is one way to simplify life and I happen to agree.  

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Anyone else feel like the only way to clean up after Play Doh is to burn the house down? Oh man, Play Doh everywhere. Good thing we don’t pull out this messy activity out on a regular basis! 

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Flowers from Jeremy’s garden. So beautiful! 

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Pizza night with MOPS & MOMSnext

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We did family pictures on Saturday. The weather had us super nervous and it started to rain 10 minutes after we finished. I can’t wait to see the results and share them with you. How cute are these handsome brothers? 

 

Cold Season is Here September 23, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:58 pm

It took no time for cold season to make its grand appearance at our house. Owen mentioned the kid sitting next to him stayed home sick one day. Then he mentioned a kid he was partnered with for a project was home sick the next day. It seemed like only a matter of time. The excitement of the new school schedule has worn off and exhaustion has settled in. Graham and I both caught the cold from Owen. Jeremy has avoided it thus far. His being out hunting while the contagious germs were being spread might be the reason why he has avoid it. I just finished disinfecting all the surfaces of my home that I can and washing the blankets that I’ve noticed my children have been using as an alternative to blowing their nose with a tissue.

Despite illness, life has been full. I had two wonderful meetings with mentors this last week. We took the boys to get haircuts and dinner out on Friday. I went to see Downton Abbey with my mom. We had dinner with Nana & Papa one day and then dinner with friends the next day. I kept texting our friends giving the cold updates thinking that they would probably want to cancel with us. Turns out their kids have colds too so we just had a wild night of runny noses and took a chance on sharing germs.

Through this whole month of transition, I have felt so loved and supported by my people. I got multiple texts from friends on the first day of school asking me how I was doing. I’ve had friends and family checking in on me. I’ve had many dear people listen to my ramblings and empathizing with my crazy kinder mom emotions. If I’ve leaned on our shoulder this month for strength and support I want to say a huge thank you! Life is truly better together.

Next week will be the first week that I am in Owen’s classroom. I’ve been talking for years now about the opportunity to volunteer for the school. I want to be a light beyond the walls of my church and my home. I am excited to interact with new kids and Owen’s teacher. I have no clue what to expect, but it’s kindergarten work so it can’t be too over my head, right? Honestly, we’ve been doing common core math sheets with Owen every day and sometimes I have to pause and process how they word things. It will be interesting to see how much things have changed since my own childhood memories of kindergarten.

Well, here we are, plowing through cold season. It’s officially the first day of autumn which is always a special day for me. Fall is my favorite season. If I didn’t have my own cold, I would probably be reveling in it a bit more. I have MOPS & MOPSnext tonight so I’m trying to pace myself so I can make it through the evening. It will be fun to celebrate the arrival of fall with so many ladies tonight. Since it’s only our second meeting, I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m hopeful for a great evening of mom time.

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New umbrellas for rainy walks to and from the bus stop. 

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Hot chocolate, a baked good and conversations with dear friends are a winning combination. 

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Looking for the bus

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Grandpa & Grandma came home from vacation Friday so the whole crew met Owen at the bus stop. 

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Matching shirts! 

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Saturday at the movies – Downton Abbey

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Cold season

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Current reading project: All of Jane Austen’s novels. Almost half way there. Working on Mansfield Park now. 

 

Figuring It Out As I Go September 17, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:44 pm

Figuring it out as I go would be a good way to describe my September. Each week has presented different factors that haven’t allowed me to settle into a new routine yet. Day by day I’m figuring it out as I go knowing that tomorrow will be completely different. Not a lot of a stability. However unsteady I have felt this month, Jesus has been greater than my emotions, anxiety or stumbles. He has truly been my solid ground.

One big piece of the puzzle fell into place this week. Owen has started riding the bus home from school. There are many reasons why this was a good decision for our family. As long as Owen has a positive experience on the bus then this will become our new normal. I’m looking forward to having this part of my day come together in a consistent way.

Not only am I helping my kids adapt to a new schedule, I am adapting my schedule to work around them. I’m finding my new flow. Mondays will be dedicated to MOPS & MOMSnext. Tuesdays, I will volunteer in Owen’s classroom. The cool thing about Tuesdays this year is that Owen & I both have Tuesday birthdays, so we’ll get to have some extra time together on those special days. On Wednesdays I have a weekly phone date with a friend and then I teach 4th-6th grade girls at church in the evening. I have a great group of new 4th graders. I am excited for the year ahead with them. Thursdays will be coffee connection days or appointment days or errands days. It might also be a home day depending on the busy weekend ahead. I like that Thursday is a flex day. Friday will most likely be errands with Jeremy and Graham. Saturday will be a family day. Sunday is church in the mornings and growth groups in the evening. It’s amazing how each day of the week has filled in with a purpose.  After the whirlwind month of September is over, I plan on using nap time to dive back into working on my book. My goal for the end of the year is to see this project move forward.

Having my kids away from me for part of the day has heightened my sense of intentionality when I am present with them. I’m making meaningful conversation with them – asking about their day, what they are learning, how they are feeling. I try stay close and offer plenty of hugs, kisses and snuggles. Owen just started having homework packets this week and I enjoy sitting beside him as he does his homework. Reading is so important to me so reading the books that the school sends home daily is a joy for me and a great connection point for Owen and I. There have been many sad feelings for me as I miss my children through this transition, but I’m also finding new ways to draw close to them and support them through their new endeavors. It’s a different season of parenting. I’m walking into it with my eyes wide open, not wanting to miss a beat. I want to use the time I have with them to the full. God is so good to me. He has drawn our family closer together through the transitions. Although it might be hard to give my kids some independence, I know that God is always with them.  They are never alone. He is watching over them when they are with me and when we are apart.

One big September project that I tackled this month was purging the playroom. I went through and tossed all the happy meal toys. I got rid of anything cheap, broken, the party favor type items. I also boxed up some toys that they boys have outgrown. I hide the box of toys for a few months to see if anything is noticed and missed. When nothing is said then I donate the toys. September is a good time to do this purge since the boys’ birthdays are right around the corner. Out with the old and in with the new. If we expect more to come into the house then we need to make space by sending some out. This process is always extremely gratifying. So far no items have been noted as missing. I should be in the clear since it’s been a week now since the purge happened.

As you can see, I’m just tying to roll with it – whatever the day hands me. Adjusting to change is not easy for my personality type. Graham and I are struggling the most with the new schedule. I’m not three though so I can’t vent my emotions and fears through tantrums. I won’t lie – I’ve shed my fair share of tears through this process. My prayer life has deepened as I’ve called out to God to calm my heart, remove my anxiety and keep my boys safe. I apologize for sounding like a broken record . I’m just over here waiting for things to feel normal again. And I do realize that “normal” probably isn’t the best word. I’m waiting to feel settled and in routine. I don’t know when that will happen so until then I’m just figuring it out as I go.

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Jeremy took Owen along hunting for part of Saturday. I love sending my boys out into nature with their dad!

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Owen brought a bike light home from hunting. Here I am snuggling with my boys after nap time and the bike light is featured because they think it’s awesome. 

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Sunday evening we did a game and movie night with boys. Jeremy was home from hunting so we wanted to make the most of our family evening together. 

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Monday was staff retreat, picture day for Owen and the first time Owen rode the bus. Owen’s coat got forgotten at home. Plans were altered to go it it, we were late, no breakfast was had so Jeremy and I ate kid snacks in the van on the way to staff retreat as our breakfast. It was a zany day, but we kept smiling through it all. 

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Our staff retreat tagalong. Graham packed his own toy bag to bring. Included were dinosaurs, trains, magnets, play food, Hot Wheels cars and his snuggly blanket. 

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Here comes the bus! 

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Our bus rider made it home! 

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First day of homework packets. 

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Graham wanted to do homework at the same time as Owen. And don’t mind the crazy hair…