Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Slow & Go February 19, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:15 pm

At the beginning of January, I was thinking about words that I wanted to be true of this year and two came to mind. They were simplicity and focus. These are my ideals, my goals, what I’m striving for. While I want these words to be true more than anything, I feel like “slow and go” or “go and slow and back again” better define my start to 2019. I want from racing in January to make up for “lost time” to slowing down due to sickness and snow in February. Now to make up for the time that was slowed down, I find the calendar speeding up again. Why does this cycle happen? Go fast, wear down, go slow, and feel like you need to compensate for going slow by picking up speed. I don’t enjoy it. I’m definitely keeping track of the time. Finding a balance is a work in progress. Here is my evaluation of the 2019 goals and ambitions thus far.

Here are the things we are rocking right now:

  • Chores – the boys have kept up on their chore chart. They are helping out like everyone in the family. No payment given. They seem to be okay with just the appreciation they receive. This addition to our household routine has been a win!
  • Reading – This category is on the chore chart to make sure it happens every day. Our nighttime routine had morphed and books had fallen by the wayside. Now they are a priority again. Also, I’ve been reading more lately and exploring new authors. Reading books makes me happy and I can feel the benefit of prioritizing reading in our house.
  • Not going into Walmart – I can’t tell you the last time I went into Walmart. I’ve been using their grocery pick-up option and it’s been life changing. My frustration level rises when I’m in the store with my kids, so this saves time and sanity. This is one category that would for sure count as a win in simplicity and focus. By ordering online, I don’t get distracted by items I don’t need in the stores. I also save time by adding these pick-ups to outings I’m already making. Right now the only stores that offer grocery pick-up are 30-40 minutes away. This means that I’m super strategic about when I schedule my pick-ups so they fit with out of town outings. I’m told that our local Walmart is adding grocery pick up soon. That day can’t come soon enough!

Here are the things that need improving:

  • Focused learning time with Graham – with preschool right around the corner, I want to set Graham up for success. I would love to focus more on working on his letters, numbers and tracing. Owen got this kind of attention from me and I want to make sure that Graham gets it too.
  • Having one day at home a week – I do best when I have one day at home where I don’t go anywhere. This can still be a productive day at home, but I need to have one day a week where I don’t have to be presentable and out of the house interacting with people. My introverted self craves this one day.

Life is an ebb and flow. I get that. I don’t love the full speed ahead and then peter out cycle. I’ll keep striving for that simplicity that allows rest and keeps the schedule from being overly complicated. And I’ll try to stay focused on the top priorities and things that matter most. I can’t do it all, so how do I want to spend these days? What things are a must? What things can be scheduled further out in the month so I can spread out the commitments? These are important questions and I’ll keep working on them.

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My parents needed to transport something to my sister and it would only fit in our van. So the boys rode with the grandparents while Jeremy and I got an hour alone in the van. It was practically a date! 

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Book of Choice: Alfie & Bet’s ABC

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Book of Choice: Cinderella 

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Graham is a silly snuggler

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Filling Easter eggs with candy for Easter Eggravaganza with our growth group. 

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A fun way for the whole family to participate with this community event.  

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Squinty IKEA picture! Jeremy and I got a date day to go shopping in Portland! Thank you, Nana & Papa! 

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New bookcases! I’ll show you the finished product once my home library has been relocated to these shelves! 

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Loving our new Nibbles calendar! We talk about the date, the days of the week, the weather and our emotions using it! Such a great resource and very fun! 

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We love Nibbles the Book Monster! 

 

Valentine’s Day & The KonMari Method February 15, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 5:39 pm

I don’t know how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some people make a big deal of it. Some people think it’s a Hallmark holiday made up to get Americans to spend more money. I fall in the middle. I’m not against the holiday, but it’s not a super huge deal. Most years Jeremy and I just exchange cards and small gifts – like this year Jeremy got me a Kit Kat bar. It was a small gesture that was greatly appreciated… especially since he lost the card that was supposed to accompany it. I, on the other hand, got him a card from me and helped the boys get him a card, but we didn’t get him a gift. It all balances out.

During our great snow storm, I turned to Valentine’s Day as a distraction to break up the time at home. We worked on Valentines to give to Owen’s preschool friends and Graham worked on Valentines to give to family members since he isn’t in school yet. Then we moved on to Valentine inspired crafts and then we gave the boys their Valentine’s Day presents early.  It seemed like the break in the weather was going to be perfect for getting Owen back to school in time for Valentine’s Day and his class party. However, going back to school/church on Wednesday meant that Owen picked up a tummy bug. No one but Graham slept Wednesday night. We woke exhausted on Thursday and then the puking started. Instead of sending Owen to school to party, he stayed home on the couch surrounded by towels with a clear path to the bathroom.  I felt a bit blue that my plans for the day had changed and that Owen wasn’t able to experience the fun of Valentine’s Day at school. Instead of resting during nap time, I decided to make my favorite butter cookie recipe. What is the point of owning a heart shaped cookie cutter if you don’t use it for Valentine’s Day? My social media feeds had been filled with cookies made by friends this week, so I felt inspired to make pretty cookies too. I needed to add something pretty and special to counterbalance the sick day vibes.  Our dinner out plans changed to dinner in, but it’s all good. Owen perked up by the end of the evening so overall; it wasn’t too shabby of a Valentine’s Day.

On to today’s adventure… I opened up the next size up box of clothes for Graham. It was time to take stock of what survived from Owen and what gaps needed to be filled in. After sorting through the box of clothes and washing them, I decided I would use the KonMari method to fold them and put them away. I’ve been watching “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix this last month.  I am a tidier by nature. I found it interesting to see how she does things. I love using drawer organizers like she does. I have the strong desire now to get pretty baskets to store all my bedding sets in my linen closet. She’s inspiring and adorable. I wondered as I watched the show if her method of folding clothes was really helpful. I set out to discover that today. Here are some of my findings – the KonMari method of folding saves space. I was able to empty an entire drawer in my dresser by using it. My dresser is completely KonMari at the moment. I’m not sure I like the socks and underwear set-up, but I’ll give it a shot. I do like that this method saves space and allows you to see all that you have in a single glance. The boys’ dressers got a KonMari makeover as well, but theirs is more of hybrid. Since their drawers would have been too empty by completely going KonMari, I used the folding style for their pajamas, but laid the pajamas out in sets instead of a row. Also, I struggled with their pants folding properly, so I left them folded as I would have normally. We’ll see if this style of folding the clothes sticks, but I was intrigued and thought why not give it a try.  Have you tried something new just to see if it’s better? We usually think we’re right or we’re too stuck/lazy in our ways, but I really enjoyed learning a new method for folding my clothes and I see great value in the whole KonMari method.  Marie Kondo talks about sparking joy through the process of tidying and I agree. Tidying does spark joy, but this isn’t new for me. This is a truth that natural “tidiers” just know. It why we do what we do it. It feels good to see a tidy space. It sparks joy! I’ll keep you posted if my newly organized dressers continue to spark joy or if they revert. Time will tell.

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Ta Da! Graham helped me put sprinkles on cupcakes for my Wednesday night class. 

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My Valentine’s Day view… Graham needed a couch bed made for him just like Owen. 

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Our backyard this morning. Apparently it takes a while to make 11 inches of snow disappear. 

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The pile of clothes that inspired me to try to the KonMari method. 

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All of Graham’s size 4/4T options all sorted and waiting for him.

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My shirt drawer

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Here is where I made extra space. I combined my pants/leggings/pajamas into one drawer! 

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My hybrid KonMari in Graham’s pajama drawer. The footie pajamas are lined up in the official KonMari method. The pajama sets are laid out in shirt/pant pairs. True to the KonMari method, you can see all your options in one glance. 

 

Slowing Down Part 2 February 13, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:05 am

My last post was about how I had over scheduled my life. I was feeling the effects of that decision. I was tired. I was weary. I was grateful to be home in my pajamas as I typed that post. I was ready for a day of relaxation. Then that afternoon I came down with a cold. It’s not surprising since my boys had been battling colds all week. Getting whatever the kids have is just a part of mom life.

I kept my plans with my sister the next day. I wasn’t feeling too bad… but by the time I got home from my short morning outing, I was spent. Graham was still battling snot, so I stayed home from church with the boys on Sunday. Monday, I went to my MOPS & MOMSnext steering team meeting. There was some drama with the weather and half the team was sick making them unable to attend and the meeting was almost cancelled about 5 times throughout the day, but in the end, we met. With a smaller group and a light agenda, we got to talk about the bigger picture stuff which was fantastic, but all that talking left me with no voice. Until Wednesday… Again, Graham had too much snot, so I stayed home from church. Jeremy took Thursday off as a comp day for working at the Home & Garden Show the previous weekend. We didn’t send Owen to school and we ran some errands. While I enjoyed being out of the house, I was again spent by the time morning was over.  And that was our sick week.

The following day ushered in Snowmageddon. The snow started on Friday and didn’t turn to rain until Monday. The snow was even back for a good portion of Tuesday morning. We ended up with 11 inches of snow grand total. Jeremy borrowed my parent’s all-wheel drive vehicle to get to work on Sunday and Tuesday. School was canceled on Monday and Tuesday was a two hour delay, so Owen hadn’t been to school in a week at that point. Maybe I would have sent him to school on Thursday if I would have known how much family time was really in store for us. Thankfully, he is back to school today! We are all ready to be back to routine and structure.

The combination of sickness and snow means that I’ve spent 10 of the last 13 days at home. Considering how packed January was, February seems to be the opposite extreme.  Our family loves the snow and we greatly enjoyed our daily adventures outside. Owen especially is like a dog who would roll in the snow if given the chance. He would often just face plant into it. The first day it snowed, it was too powdery to make a snowman, so Owen made a host of snow angels. Graham doesn’t like being cold. His tolerance for snow is short in comparison. I’m okay with that. I like one good snow walk a day and then I mostly just enjoy watching it from my window while I’m inside – warm and dry.

Going forward, I am ready to get back to structure. No more endless days of play at home. The family time was great, but cabin fever did occur. I like a good mix of out & about and chill & relax. Both are good. Both are important. I wonder if I’ll be able to achieve this balance in 2019. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes. And if I can’t seem to get this balanced routine thing down in the next couple of weeks, there is always the hope of March. Maybe I’ll get it right then.  It’s yet to be seen but each day is a new opportunity and a new adventure. I wonder what tomorrow will hold.

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A Saturday lunch with Auntie while Daddy worked the Home & Garden Show. 

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A Saturday lunch with Auntie while Daddy worked the Home & Garden Show. 

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Monday morning puzzles and books – then the power went out and Graham and I walked over to Grandma’ house. 

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First snow day! 

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Snow Angel 

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Snow cutie! 

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Jeremy made a snow bear. 

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Owen made a snowman and we named him Snowen. 

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Frozen movie night 

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Doing “Andy Church” with Grandpa & Grandma. 

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Walking the trails behind our house. 

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Loving snow days with Jeremy home! 

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Making Lego Town to keep the days fun and active. 

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Our last snow walk on Monday morning. 

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Working on Valentine’s for school. 

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Working on Valentine’s for family. 

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Pinterest craft to fill the long days. This would have been better if I had un-sharpened pencils… no one was injured in making this craft! 

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The dried hearts! 

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We gave the boys their Valentine gifts early to make the snow days more interesting. Meet Chef Graham. 

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New Hot Wheel track pieces. 

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Between the sick and the snow, I’ve been able to slow down and read a bit. 

 

Slowing Down February 1, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:30 am

As 2019 started, I felt a call to simplicity and focus. This season of my life is slowly changing and I want to move forward with focus, direction and purpose. Simplicity comes from my desire to not over complicate things, over do it, push beyond what is necessary. Keep it simple. Stay focused. What does that look like for me? Honestly, it means more quiet mornings at home with my three year old where we practice the ABCs, sing “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” and read books. It means helping my kids stay focused with their new chores and learning responsibility. It should mean less going here and there and everywhere. And this month, I did not succeed at this goal.

I did the math yesterday. In January, I had 22 days in a row of always having to be somewhere for something. That means showering, being presentable, putting on my game face, on the go. As an introvert this kind of a pace drains me. I realized this week that I was deeply exhausted. The kind of a exhausted that comes from a three year who couldn’t sleep through the night, but also a deep soul tired that ached behind my eyes. I felt like I could cry at a moments notice for no reason. I kept kicking myself for all the things I said and did wrong. And then I realized that I was spent. I wasn’t giving the best of myself anymore.

I’ve been pondering lately about what it means to be slow to speak (this does tie in, I promise). The Bible says that a fool can be considered wise if he keeps his mouth shut. As someone who would like to be a wise soul someday, I’ve been thinking about what it means to keep quiet more and being slow to speak. It’s hard because I’ve conditioned through years of being a ministry leader to fill in the quiet, slow moments of conversation with more words. I am the one with the weight of keeping the conversation going on my shoulders. I have play dates, lunch dates, coffee dates, ministry opportunities and social gatherings and all I do is talk, talk, talk. While I do all of these things with people I care for, at the end of the day I am sick of my own voice and worried I put my foot in my mouth all the live long day. It doesn’t help that I am an Enneagram Type 1 who is constantly striving for perfection and then being berated by my inner critic for never measuring up.

My mistake in January was to overload my calendar. I was gone for a week on a trip and that displaced time I would have spent meeting with people, getting stuff done, etc. When I came home, I went about doing all the things I didn’t do when I was gone on top of the usual things I still needed to do that month. I left no margin and I can’t be my best self without down time.

Today, I am home in my pajamas, unshowered and I don’t plan on leaving my house. I don’t need every day to be like this, but I need days like this more than once a month. I need to be off the hook. My husband has a big work weekend a head and instead of being absent from the kids, he took them with him today to prep for the weekend. The boys will play alongside Jeremy while he was works. They will even be helpful off and on because Jeremy is so good about pulling them into the family mission. He will explain why he is serving our community. And in the process of giving our boys time with their dad on a busy weekend, he has given me a few hours of silence where all I hear is the dishwasher running. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!  

I realize that if I slow down and don’t over pack my schedule, I will use my words more wisely. I won’t be overly tired and talk to just fill the void. I will be purposeful. When I rest, I can give a better version of myself to those I care about. I have friends that I want to spend one on one time with, play dates for my kiddos where I am equally social with the mom who sits on the couch across from me, we have families we want to invite into our home and share meals with. All these things are good. So good. Deeply good. Community is a gift, a treasure. But I want to love my friends and family well then I need to take care of myself. It’s the oxygen mask on the airplane scenario.

I am looking at my February and wondering how I will make this month different. I have plans made and people I want to spend time with. Instead of feeling the rush to do things as soon as possible, I have plans scattered throughout the month. Unintentionally, this next coming week looks a little quieter, with one free day still open. As easy as it would be to slip a friend into that vacancy, I won’t. I’m putting it in print here. Hold me accountable. If someone wants to schedule something with me, they will have to be okay with me offering dates a few weeks out. And I will have to be okay with that too. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I want to spend time with all my people. But the quality of that time will compromised if I don’t slow down.  Let the mantra of stay focused and keep it simple ring in ears, my head and my heart. Slow down, stay focused, keep it simple.

I can’t do everything, but what I decide to do can be done with love, intention and given from the best of me. I just need to make space for that version of me to exist. I need margin. I need breathing room. And truthfully, I probably need a nap.  Amen.

I am curious what fills you up when you have moments of margin. Here are the things I find myself doing when I have quiet moments:

  • Reading (My Bible and recent reads: The Cozy Minimalist & The Ministry of Ordinary Places)
  • Praying
  • Journaling
  • Blogging
  • Cleaning (vacuuming is good for my soul)
  • Baking
  • Watching TV (my entertainment choices as of late are Hallmark Channel and Road to Avonlea – both are super homey, cheesy and don’t take a lot of thought to process)
  • Bubble Baths
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The Cozy Minimalist – Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of clutter, but I’m still looking for ways to make my house feel more homey. This was a very good read with step by step instructions for how to get more style with less stuff. 

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We added family pictures to the hallway!!! I’m excited to add a space for “school pictures” in the hallway as well this fall. 

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MOPS & MOMSnext outing to our favorite children’s museum. 

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We attended a kid friendly wedding on Saturday where the kids were given these masks, snacks and a coloring book with crayons. So thoughtful!!! 

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Helping me load up MOPS & MOMSnext stuff on Monday night. 

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Graham is dancing to Blippi songs in the background. Sometimes you don’t wait for a quiet moment to read a new book. 

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Owen paused while doing his chores on Wednesday night to tell me the clouds were pink. I am so glad he did. We all greatly enjoyed a few moments to watch the sky. 

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My sweet mama snuck into my house to deliver flowers. She also dropped off salsa, cheese and creamer, but those items seemed less photo worthy. 

 

California Adventures January 22, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:30 am

I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Thanks in part to our not so routine January. I’m now settling into what feels like a normal schedule and I’m ready to recount my many adventures of that last few weeks.  On Thursday the 10th, Jeremy and I boarded a plane bound for LA. It had been over 5 years since I had traveled by plane. I was thrilled to be at a place where I could actually travel again. I’ve been on road trips since having kids, but when it came to flying, I literally felt grounded. Jeremy was invited to be a part of a team of youth pastors and children’s pastors that met together to discuss books & ideas that will grow their leadership capacity. Part of this group experience was a trip to Southern California to visit churches and talk with their leadership about philosophies of ministry.  I wanted Jeremy to participate in this experience, but the the trip fell over my birthday weekend. I couldn’t handle the idea of Jeremy being in So Cal over my birthday weekend while I stayed home, so I invited myself along. Thankfully, the leaders of the trip agreed to let me come.

The best part of this trip was that I got to process these churches and meetings in person with Jeremy, instead of hearing the information secondhand. It was great to sit in a church gathering with my husband and then afterwards discuss our observations and what really stood to out to us from the conversations we had with the pastors. Our first stop on this adventure was Angelus Temple in LA. That night, we drove from LA to San Diego. In San Diego, we visited North Coast Church and New Break Church. I also tried Frisbee golf for the first time. Let’s just say I’m not going pro, but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected. Anything sportsy and I really don’t go together, but it’s amazing what you’ll do when you’re a part of a group (aka it wasn’t optional)…

Monday the 14th was my birthday and it was the day that the group was splitting up to head home. Instead of taking off for home, Jeremy and I picked up a rental car and drove to Old Town San Diego. We celebrated our honeymoon in San Diego 12 years ago and Jeremy has long dreamed of having tacos at this one restaurant he remembers vividly as having the best tacos ever. I had envisioned us eating in their courtyard just like did 12 years ago, smiling like newlyweds again… However, the weather had other plans. Our whole time in California was colder than I had expected (I froze). And it turned out to be wet too. My birthday was quite rainy. Without the palm trees around, I would have thought I was in Seattle and not So Cal. We still ate the restaurant we remembered, but we had to eat in their indoor seating area. It will still a great way to spend a birthday lunch before driving up to Anaheim. This was the big treat for my birthday! Once we arrived in Anaheim, we met up with one of my dearest friends for dinner. It was a great dinner and since time with this California friend is so rare, it was definitely a gift! And I was right by Disneyland… with plans to spend the entire at Disney the day after my birthday. 

Jeremy and I planned to make the most of our one Disney day. We got a park hopper ticket and started in California Adventure before they even let you into the ride areas. Throughout the day, we hopped parks multiple times, we hit many coincidental moments that let us ride on all the rides we had hoped for with relatively short wait times. I think our longest wait time was 25 minutes. It had been 8 years since I had visited these Disney parks and so many of the rides had been changed. It was great because they were still the rides I remembered, but with new tweaks that enhanced the experience. We walked to the parks in the rain that morning but thankfully the rain cleared up from about 9am-3pm. After 3pm, the rain started to move in more steadily. By the time we left the parks around 7:30pm, it was a full on downpour with flash flood warnings being issued. My original plan was stay at the park until 8pm when it closed, but so many things were already closed by 7:30pm that it seemed like a good time to leave. We put in a full day, we went on all the rides we wanted, ate really good food, went souvenir shopping. We did it all! We were completely soaked through by the time we got back to the hotel. Despite the rain, it was really fun to do the park with just Jeremy. We did Disney together 8 years ago, but it was with a group, so this time we got to do everything at our own pace. And without the kids, I wasn’t trying to keep an eye on anyone and make sure little legs were keeping up. We did all the roller coasters and rides that we don’t think the kids will be able to go on when we finally make it there with them. The weather also helped keep the crowds down. The parks weren’t empty, but they certainly weren’t crowded.

This was the longest I had been away from my boys and I missed them. It didn’t feel quite like my birthday without them helping me blow out the candles on my birthday cake. In fact, I didn’t blow out any candles on my birthday. The first day back I ran to Safeway and got a small cake, so I could celebrate with the kids.  It just needed to happen. More for me than for them, but I know they appreciated it!

Now after a busy weekend of lunches & dinner with friends, church and a morning at the dentist, I am ready to settle back into life at home. It feels so good to be back after a grand adventure. This trip was full of memories and I am so grateful for the opportunity I got to make them.  Now back to the real world!

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Leaving on a jet plane! 

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Trying something new… 

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Highlight of our time with the ministry group was having conversations with Larry Osborne in his inspiring home library. 

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Starting 33 off with one last walk at the beach in San Diego. 

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Birthday lunch in Old Town 

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This was where I had hoped we would be eating… those are some serious puddles!!! 

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Birthday dinner with my forever friend, Christa and her husband, John. 

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Morning at California Adventure

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Disneyland

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Taking a picture to share with the boys. 

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Thoroughly soaked from the walk back to the hotel. 

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The birthday void was filled. It’s just wasn’t a birthday without blowing out candles on a chocolate cake with these boys. 

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Lunch with my birthday month buddy and forever friend, Maggie. She is back in Washington so we can resume our lunch dates! What a blessing!!! 

 

 

A Not So Back to Routine January January 8, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:38 pm

I look forward to January every year. It’s my birthday month and yes, I am a firm believer in birthday month. Birthdays deserve a month long celebration, in my opinion. More than just birthday month, January is the start of a new year and a chance to get back to routine after the holidays. I thrive on routine and I always welcome January as a time to fine tune and get back on track.

This January, however, hasn’t played by the rules. We had one “normal” day where Jeremy went back to work, Owen went back to school, I had time at home alone with Graham and then we had church that evening. Yay January 2nd for being normal. The rest of the week unraveled from there (and I’m being a bit dramatic, because it hasn’t been bad at all, just different).

On January 3rd, I had a dentist appointment to replace the fillings on my bottom right side of my mouth. They were all ancient and one of them had been broken for longer than I can remember – over 5 years, for sure. I’ve had extreme dental anxiety and when the filling broke many moons ago, I stopped eating on that side of my mouth and the problem was “fixed.”  In November, an equally ancient filling broke on the left side of my mouth and now I felt I had to deal with situation.  So I went to the dentist for the first time in over a decade and finally pushed through my fears. The appointment went well and two additional appointments were made. The first to replace my old fillings on the right and the second to replace the fillings on the left. The broken filling on the right side was deep and the dentist was worried the tooth might react poorly and need a root canal. While I survived Thursday mornings fillings, I was sore afterward and worried that my tooth was like a bomb waiting to self-destruct. I think that I am in the clear now, but I am still cautious.  I’m prone to believing that the worst case scenario could happen any moment, so I have no trust with this tooth.  I’m glad that I was able to get over my fear and take care of my health. One of my close friends works at the dental office and was the hygienist who assisted me. She was so comforting and reassuring the entire time. She gave me a big hug when it was all over and then text messaged me the next day to check in and see how I was doing. Moments like that are what make being a part of a community so special. The right side of my mouth was the more challenging side, so when I go back in a couple weeks, I’m hoping it will be easy peasy in comparison.

After the great dental adventure of Thursday, we moved into the out of routine weekend. Jeremy was away Friday/Saturday at an overnight meeting with other children’s pastors. The boys got the opportunity to be bed bugs in my big bed. Graham eventually opted for his own bed, but Owen will never pass up the opportunity to sleep in my room. Saturday night into Sunday was a big wind storm that knocked out our power for over 10 hours. The power went out about midnight and Owen woke up instantly. He can’t sleep alone when the power goes out, so he moved into our room – after watching the storm with Jeremy for quite some time. Overall, I think Jeremy, Owen & I got about 4 hours of sleep before having to start the day. Jeremy got our generator hooked up to save our two fridges and chest freezer. Graham blissfully slept through the whole ordeal and woke up at 7:45am long after Jeremy and Owen took off for church. I stayed home to baby sit the generator and about 9:30am, Jeremy called me saying that Owen was a melty mess and needed to come home. Once the excitement of the morning had worn off, the kid was toast on his 4 hours of sleep.  The nice thing about having my parents as neighbors is they have a fancy generator that runs their whole house. Once Graham woke up, we went next door to a fully lit and heated home. My parents even helped refuel the generator at my house, so I felt very well taken care of.

As you can see, January has a bit wild for us. The rest of the month continues to be out of the norm for the next few weeks, I’ll share more of those details next time I post. My hope for January was to come into the new year with more focus and simplicity. I remember those early baby days when I had to scale back my life to survive. I felt like I was constantly shedding pieces of my old life so I could survive this new life with littles. The to-do lists became more basic, my schedule became more fluid and less full. There were growing pains through that season as I let go of things “I always had done” and started a new journey. Slowly the baby haze has faded and I’ve added more on to my plate. I was hungry to be an functioning adult again, to be productive again. And this served me well while we were building our house. I needed to stay busy and distracted.

In my last post, I talked about scaling back my Usborne Books & More business. I can already feel how taking one thing off my plate has given me more breathing room. Especially in my interactions with Graham. I still have commitments to prepare for and a household to run,  but I can see how slowing down allows me to be more in the moment. I can sit and play without feeling stressed about what I’m “not” right then. I can focus on making the moments more educational and our conversations more purposeful.  Counting, colors, letters are all things we talk about more. And with the start of our chore chart, I’m including both boys more in helping me around the house. Instead of racing to do chores around them, I’m trying to invite them to do the chores with me. They’ve also been given a list of responsibilities just for them.  Owen asked me what the prize was for doing his chores and I explained that everyone in our family has jobs to do and now he has a job too. He gets a roof over his head, clothes on his back and food to eat and we expect that he participates in family jobs. Later down the road, he’ll be able to do additional chores to earn money, but right now we’re starting with the basics.

I’ve had brief glimpses into a more focused and simplified life this month. It’s filled up heart and made me so happy to be present – doing something simple, but with focus, direction, purpose. It seems like a good way to start a new year. I’m optimistic for what the rest of the year holds.

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A picture of young Jeremy. Notice the resemblance? 

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Back to school with his new lunch box from Christmas. 

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Working on our letters. I used this UBAM sticker book with Owen too. Such a great resource! 

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Unloading the dishwasher

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Hello Chore Chart – I don’t expect each chore to be done daily, but they are so motivated right now that we are racking up the check marks! 

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Watching Mighty Pups in my bed while Daddy is out of town. 

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Hanging at the grandparent’s house while the power is out. 

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Excited for the power to be back on. Owen took my electric blanket and set himself up with it all by himself. Blanket thief! 

 

Good-Bye 2018 & Hello 2019 January 2, 2019

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:51 pm

Today is our first day back in the”real world” after two and a half weeks of vacation. I obviously took a vacation from blogging, so there is lots to share. Let’s start with Christmas plans.

Jeremy and I were talking about Christmas and how we’re glad that’s more than one day for our family. It keeps the whole season festive. There is always a bit of a Christmas letdown once all the gatherings are behind us, but the blessing of celebrating over a couple of weeks is that the journey is more fun then the actual destination. Getting to Christmas is just as special as Christmas itself. As a part of our Christmas gift to the boys, we went to Enchant in Seattle. Enchant was an amazing lighted Christmas maze. 9 reindeer were hidden through out the maze and you set off to find them. The maze was beautiful. Graham especially exclaimed at each reindeer we found and then gave them a hug. Owen got to go ice skating for the first time. And we had a chance to see Santa again and put in another request for a train. Jeremy and I have been looking for more ways to give experiences instead of “stuff” and Enchant was the perfect way to do something special as a family. Then we moved in to what I call the 5 days of Christmas. We did a Christmas gathering with my immediate family, a gathering with Jeremy’s extended family on Christmas Eve after attending the candlelight gathering at our downtown campus, Christmas day at GG’s house, day after Christmas shopping trip in Portland and last but not least, a Christmas gathering with the Scott clan. We had so much fun celebrating Christmas with so many loved ones. The moments we spend together as a family are what make Christmas truly special. We wrapped up our vacation and 2018 with a head colds. We did feel well enough to go to a birthday lunch with my sister and then celebrate with birthday dessert at our house for her and her husband. New Year’s Eve is always a celebration of April. We had a quiet evening around the house with the boys, put the kids to bed, watched the HGTV Dream House special and then went to bed before 9:30pm. That might be a record early bedtime for NYE.

As I reflect on 2018, I am amazed how each year can be so different. Looking back to 2015 & 2016, those were hard years. I blogged about those years saying I never wanted to repeat them. 2017 was a sad year for me. The longing for our own home and constantly being “in process but never there” took it’s toll on my heart. And now 2018… this is where things really started to pick up with the house. We got insulation and dry wall and taping and texturing and then painting and finishes all put into our house between January and March. It was busy and productive and each step made the house feel like a home. And then we moved in on March 31st. April through December has been a dream come true. Living in our own home and setting down roots has been so life giving. In May, we had an unexpected vacation to Bend, OR that felt like such a gift. That trip kicked off one of the best summer’s of my life in which my goal was to have as much fun with my kids as possible. Moving into the fall season, we celebrated the boys’ birthday and got to do so many of our favorite autumn traditions – I mean who doesn’t like to go to the pumpkin patch 3 times? And then our first Christmas season in our home! 2018 felt like a reprieve from a lot of hard and sad years. I don’t expect every year to be like 2018, but I am thankful for the blessings and many happy memories we made this year. I grew so much through the hard years – they were worth it. But after walking through what I have, it has made this year that much sweeter. 2018 has been a year of deep gratitude and contentment. Praise the Lord!!!

And on to 2019! I’m happy to announce that I am starting 2019 with a fully potty trained three year old. Something clicked and we’ve been accident free for weeks. I was super nervous that when we went to Enchant that Graham would get distracted and have an accident. Not only did he not have an accident, but he did all his business at the stadium. Never before have I viewed pooping in a public restroom to be a Christmas miracle, but that is totally what it was. The biggest bonus is Graham doesn’t like to use training toilets or toddler seats, so my bathrooms have no potty training paraphernalia in them. It’s a miracle!

Okay, now for 2019 resolutions. I’m not really one for resolutions because I’m a believer in if something needs to change, don’t wait till January, do it now. However, I do have some thoughts about 2019. My biggest goal is to go into Walmart less. I don’t plan on ceasing to shop there. I plan on using their grocery pick up this year. Our local Walmart doesn’t offer grocery pick up, but the Walmart up north next to Costco does. I plan to be more efficient and schedule grocery pick ups for the same time we plan to shop at Costco. This way we hit two major stores in one outing, but only have to go into one store. Since my kiddos are usually around for big outings like this, I am hoping to save sanity by going into less stores with them.  For the boys, we plan on starting a basic chore chart this month. Since today was our first day back to routine, I tested things out with Graham. He helped me take the garbage out, dust and make my class snack for church tonight. When he wasn’t helping me, he was playing with toys, practicing his letters with a new sticker book and working on coloring sheets. Part of my desire in stepping back from Usborne was to give Graham more focused and structured attention before he starts preschool this fall. We rocked day one! When Owen got home from school, both boys assisted me in unloading the dishwasher. Today definitely feels like a win!

I have more thoughts on 2019, but I will save them for next time. This is what happens when I don’t blog for two and a half weeks. I have too much to say. Until next time…

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Owen’s Christmas Program at Preschool 

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Enchant

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Ice Skating for the 1st time!

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Another chance to ask Santa for a train

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Vitzthum/Gallaway/Scott Christmas

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Christmas Eve Morning

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Candlelight Gathering at church 

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Christmas at GG’s house

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Christmas at GG’s house

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The best way to start 2019 – with more storage for toys and books! 

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Graham upgraded from 4 cubes to 8 cubes! I love organizational storage!!!

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The Scott Christmas Gathering

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Nana & Papa’s movie theater! The best way to eat a meal in peace! 

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My top 9 Instagram posts of 2018

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Celebrating April & Andrew’s birthdays

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Ending 2018 with snuggles and crazy eyes!