It’s hard to believe that we are quickly moving toward the end of April. For the longest time I felt like April was just beginning and then shockingly, I realized that it’s almost over! This month has been quieter due to many canceled plans. It seems like spring colds/flus have running around our area. The first half of the month, we canceled quite a bit due to illness. The second half of the month, others canceled on us due to illness. We’re flexible with plans and hold them loosely these days. We’ve rescheduled so many outings and meals to May. We’ll see if they pan out!
My weekend kicked off with book club on Friday night. I decided to bring a gift for the group. My friend is a talented artist and she posted some watercolor bookmarks she’d made recently on her Instagram. I saw them and was inspired! I commissioned her to make floral bookmarks for the book club ladies. The bookmarks were a huge hit. I love our book club! I appreciate having a space to talk about books and not overwhelm people! To be in a room of readers who are genuinely interested to know my thoughts on books is like a small piece of heaven here on earth. I’ve read so many good books this month. I can’t wait to share more in my end-of-the-month book post on Saturday! Yay!
Jeremy was active this weekend! The weather was beautiful and he used his free time to work in our outdoor spaces. On Friday, he arranged our back deck into our summer configuration. He pressure washed the deck so it now looks clean and fresh. Our patio table is pulled out with the chairs around it – ready for meals on sunny days. Saturday, he ordered new dirt for his garden. It was delivered via dump truck, so of course, our kids were thrilled! Jeremy is expanding our pumpkin patch this year and I couldn’t be more supportive! Give me all the pumpkins – big, little, yellow, orange, white! I adore pumpkins! His next project is to create concrete pathways between his raised beds. He is so ambitious and the boys love tagging along when he is in project mode.
These April days are quickly disappearing. They have been filled with both rest and play. Our days are simple, but we enjoy them all the same. Whether it’s a trip to the park to watch trains, attending Sunday church, playing at our homeschool co-op, or just hanging in our own yard, we are delighting in this spring season. These April days have been good!
Thursday marked four years of being in our home and we celebrate the day as our house-iversary. I’m all about making celebrations out of the little details of life. While some might not hold on to dates, I tend to revisit certain dates over and over again in my mind. For example, today – April 6th, is my 11th year anniversary of blogging on Amy Scott’s Thoughts. It was also the date Jeremy and I moved into our first house many years ago. Some things stick… and March 31st is one of those dates. I am thankful for each house-iversary we get to celebrate here.
Jeremy had Thursday off, so we got to spend our house-iversary at home together as a family. The boys and I did school in the morning while Jeremy worked on projects around the house. Once school was done, the weekend vibes hit hard! Jeremy and I watched a movie during quiet time and finished it after bedtime. We spent the afternoon playing outside and just hanging out as a family. It was a sweet day! I even made a cake to mark the occasion!
The journey to get into this house was a long and challenging one. I’m thankful that time is starting to blur some of the memories. It was a difficult season, but I don’t feel the pain quite as acutely as I did a few years ago. Because I remember the road was rocky at times, it makes me extra grateful to be settled in and living our life here. At this point, Owen has lived almost half his life in this house and Graham has lived two-thirds of his. We have planted roots here (literally and figuratively). It feels good to be home.
Jeremy continues to impress us all with care of the outdoor spaces. He has shared his love of gardening with our boys. They are all excited about the spring planting. I never saw us having chickens when we first moved here, but Jeremy is full of surprises. The chickens were his birthday purchase three years ago. We have since become chicken people… Owen, especially, views our little ladies as pets. Birds seem to be a thing for my guys… Jeremy and the boys keep the bird feeders in the backyard well-stocked with seed. On the front of our house, Jeremy has three hummingbird feeders that see a lot of action. We often have a handful of hummingbirds zipping around our front windows.
Currently the boys’ bedrooms and the playroom are covered with LEGOS day in and day out. I admire how creative the boys are at building new creatures from miscellaneous pieces. My favorite space in the house is the loveseat in Jeremy and I’s room. It’s the perfect reading nook! Jeremy has been kind in letting my home library take over our bedroom. If we stay in this home long enough to be empty nesters, it’s my dream to turn the playroom into a library. My favorite wall décor is our travel wall by the dining room table. It’s been fun to showcase our travels and adventures as a family.
In four years, we’ve started to collect cobwebs and we certainly have our fair share of dings around the house. Our space is lived in! We are thankful for this roof over our heads. We’re thankful for outdoor space, too! I love walking laps on our long driveway. The boys love roaming the woods near our house, swinging on the playset, and bouncing on the trampoline. Jeremy can often be found in his garden, greenhouse, or in the hot tub. I hope we never take these spaces for granted. These are not small things. They are the foundation of our day-to-day life. It’s such an adventure and a joy to be at home with my guys! It’s definitely reason enough to celebrate a house-iversary!
We are not quite at the conclusion of our epic flooring saga. The new floors where installed on Wednesday and Thursday. New trim is being delivered today so Jeremy can paint it over the weekend. The trim will go on this coming week. We have most of the furniture back in place (expect for a bookcase and the all items that sit on our closet floors). We can move the furniture off the walls when the time comes to install the trim. I was able to put most of my linen closet back in place, but I will be such a happy camper when all the items have been returned to their homes. I’m still waiting for that “settled” feeling to arrive. I’m optimistic that it’s right around the corner.
It’s always an adventure to have flooring replaced. Clearing the floor makes our house a bit chaotic. Our carpeted rooms became storage units – mainly our bedroom and master closet. I tucked items under the kids’ beds, in the laundry room, and in the playroom as well. I was able to move most of the smaller items myself over the course of a few days, so that really took the stress level down for me. Jeremy and his dad moved the big furniture into our bedroom the night before the project began. Our bedroom became the living room, dining room, and at times even the playroom, for a few days. Oh, yes, and also it was still our bedroom.
To get out of the way of the construction zone, we went over to my in-laws on Wednesday. It was nice to have a place to crash where we would keep up our normal routine somewhat. The boys played, we did summer school, we took a walk, and I read. On Thursday, we drove out of the the area to visit one of my forever friends. She lives by an active train track and a lake, so it’s always a highlight for my kids (and me) to visit. I’m thankful for friends and family who gave us a place to hang while we were displaced.
You’ve maybe noticed that I haven’t jumped into gushing about how much I love the new floors. It’s been a rocky journey for me. The truth is while the new floors are fine and I’m landing in a neutral place with them, I just don’t “love” them. I wanted to and was hopeful I would, but I don’t. I still prefer the other floors (not the fact that they broke all the time, but color and pattern). Our old floors were darker with a bit of brown to them. The new floors are lighter and grayer. We picked as close a match as possible with the choices we were given, but the look is still very different. Now our brown cabinets pop whereas before they blended more. It’s not a bad thing, just different. It will take some time to adjust and get used to the changed. I think getting the trim on will help.
We had a little drama with a happy meal toy making a mark on the floor within three hours of being home the first day (the floor wasn’t even finished yet). I started to freak out. If a happy meal toy could mark up the floor in the first three hours, what will we do in three days, three weeks, three months, three years? Will these floors hold up to our boys and their toys? It started to spiral and add to it the fact that I didn’t love the new pattern… Wednesday night was rough. I woke up on Thursday with a renewed hope. Wednesday felt like a valley, but I was ready to climb out of it. It was good to see the whole floor completed yesterday. It was good to clean up (sawdust is not my friend). It was good to have our living space be livable again.
I’m exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster as well as the energy it takes to deep clean and move back into the house. But, I am thankful that the work got done in two days instead of three. It was lovely to not set an alarm this morning. It was nice to just be in our space and acclimate. I spent my morning making cookies and taking care of my usual chores. I’m very much looking forward to having the trim on soon and this project completely behind us. Even though I am still adjusting to the change, I am thankful that we were able to get an upgraded product that will hopefully be drama-free for years to come!
My brain never fully accepted that it was May. My mind weirdly paused at the end of April. I don’t know how many times in May I was surprised by the date. Could time really be flying so quickly? And now it’s June and I’m awestruck. How did that happen? I had a vision in my mind for June. I thought it was going to be super chill. I envisioned playdates galore with nothing but free-time to kill. But… I was wrong. It’s only the start of the month and I’m shocked at how quickly it has filled in. Thanks to COVID rewiring our family schedule, I’m used to a much slower pace of life. June looks a bit tricky because I haven’t had to function at this level in a long time. I feel like I’m at the top of a rollercoaster and the plunge is coming! Here we go! Welcome to June!
Before I share all about adventures ahead, let’s take a quick look at last week. We spent Memorial Day exploring new beaches. The weather was lovely and the kids had a blast in the water and sand. Our family enjoys visiting new places, so we had a grand adventure. The rest of the week was spent in the pool (it was finally warm enough), reading, baking, running errands, and included a visit the park. Even though we were out and about multiple days this week, it would appear that this week is the quietest of the month. In fact, today is the last Saturday we don’t have plans for the next four weeks. Today is rainy and I’m feeling all the cozy, stay-at-home vibes! I plan to savor today because I know things are ramping up.
Next week got a bit crazy when Jeremy received a call on Thursday saying that our new flooring would be delivered on Friday (yesterday). The plan is to install them next week. It was short notice, but it worked with our schedule, so here we go. The install is projected to last Wednesday through Friday, but we’re hopeful that it will only take two days. This means on Tuesday we will relocate all the dining/living room furniture into our carpeted rooms. We will clear out all closet floors and move all the food out of our kitchen fridge and into our smaller mudroom fridge. Starting Wednesday, it will be full-on construction zone mode here. I’ll be responsible for getting the kids out of the house and away from the work. My hope is that we can get the house put back together in time to host a family dinner on Saturday to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It’s a tight timeline, but I’m hopeful we can make it work. Never a dull moment around here!
By this time next week, I will have brand new floors in my house. I’m glad that this project is moving forward and it will soon be in the rearview mirror. I’ve been staring at the new boards that are boxed in my living room. They are similar to what we currently have, but also different. The new flooring will be slightly lighter and the pattern less busy. I’ve always struggled with visualizing changes when it comes to home projects. I think I’ll like it. I just won’t know for sure until I can see it down. I’m praying that it’s a good change. The higher quality product already makes it a good change. I hope to love the look as much as I love the quality. Like any change, positive or negative, I know there will be an adjustment period while I adapt to the new look. Who knew flooring could take up so much mental and emotional energy?
Looking forward to sharing the before and after with you soon! Stay tuned!
I have so many little things to share today. I guess I’ll just dive in! This week was the start of our summer schedule. The kids did three days of summer school. We took Thursday off since I got my second COVID vaccine that morning. The kids were very excited that our long weekend got to be a day longer. I love the flexibly of our new schedule. Week one was great!
I’m thankful my second vaccine is behind me. It certainly lived up to the hype. Fever, chills, aches all over. I didn’t sleep Thursday night and as a result I was exhausted yesterday. Thankfully, by getting vaccinated on a Thursday, my hubby has Fridays off and he was able to take care of the kiddos while I had a down day. Jeremy is always industrious on his day off. He enlisted the kids’ help in building a canopy to cover part of our back deck. Now in the summer we can have shade over the table and in the winter we can have cover over the hot tub on rainy nights. We’ve really enjoyed the process of getting our yard ready for summer. I look forward to reading a good book in the shade while my kids run amok in the yard!
The start of the week was gray, cold, and wet. On Monday afternoon we did a what I called Movie Matinee Monday. Owen loved the title and has asked that this be a Monday tradition. I told him maybe on wet Mondays. We watched Beauty and The Beast (2017) which is a favorite of mine and put me in a happy mood. Graham played throughout the movie, but Owen got into it. Tuesday also started out gray and cold. To add some sunshine to our day, Graham helped me make sprinkle sandwich cookies. I’m enjoying baking my way through Cookie Class by Jenny Keller. I’m positive I will be making these sandwich cookies again. They are so cheerful!
On Tuesday, I made a fun discovery. I purchased The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery online from a used bookstore a few months ago. I picked up my copy to start reading it this week and discovered a stamp on the title page. It said “Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home” in red ink with a border around it. Suddenly, I had a mystery on my hands. Did my book come from Prince Edward Island? I did some research and sent a message to the home site. I got an email reply the next day confirming that my copy of The Story Girl was purchased from their bookstore. Not only was it hand-stamped by a descendant, but the reply was from a descendant of L.M. Montgomery as well. It was a very exciting discovery for me. Visiting PEI is on my bucket list so this book only deepened my desire to go there! Someday!
As you can see my update this week is a bunch of little things. Even though it’s been a fairly low-key week around the house, we’ve managed to have some excitement and we always find fun. The little things matter. Making cookies, watching a movie together, reading a book, playing in the yard. So thankful for these small things, because really they are the big things – family, comfort, cheer, home.
We’ve had a stretch of nice weather. We busted out the slip and slide, set up the swimming pool, and stained the play structure in the backyard. Summer is right around the corner and we are ready! The sunscreen has come out as our kiddos run wild around the yard. We’ve had more outside time than inside time. Everyone is sleeping soundly at night after full days of activity. This is just the start of the summery vibes with plenty more fun in the sun to come!
This last week Graham reached a childhood milestone. He had his kindergarten screening. I completely forgot about it. Good thing Jeremy remembered! We are leaning towards homeschooling again next year, but we want to keep all doors open at the moment. Even if we homeschool next year, it was good for Graham to go through the process. After so much time with just family, it’s important that he can follow directions and talk with adults who aren’t relatives. He told me he wasn’t nervous at all and He came home chattering away about the experience. I’m glad he wasn’t nervous, because I sure was! I didn’t know how he would respond after so much time at home. I’m so happy that it went well!
Another exciting milestone for our family is that the little chickens moved out of the garage this weekend and into their own enclosure. They aren’t old enough to join our big chickens yet, but they are now neighbors. Having the little chickens in the garage came with a certain odor. Pine shavings also frequently got walked into the house on the socks of my little chicken checkers. It’s nice to have the smell and the mess out of the garage. Owen is thrilled with how the chicks are doing. He is quiet the chicken whisperer.
We are about to start our 36th and final week of school. I am so excited to wrap up this homeschool year. We have fun plans – especially for Graham with a preschool graduation of sorts. I’ve always been curious about homeschooling, but I don’t think I would have ever gone this direction without the pandemic giving me a giant shove. We’ve had such a fantastic year. I am thankful for my kiddos who love to learn and who have made the most of our extra time at home. I am thankful for the friends and family who encouraged me through this process. This whole experience was a grand adventure – an unexpected blessing during strange times.
With school wrapping up soon and the sun shinning brightly outside my window, it’s easy to see why it feels like summer is almost here. The kids smell of sunscreen. Last night we had a wash off little feet that were dirty from running around barefoot on freshly mowed grass. Life is never perfect, but it is good. I am thankful for these moments, these memories around the house with my little family.
Our floor replacement project was supposed to start today. But… it’s been postponed. Our flooring situation feels like an epic saga (a never ending one at that). There was an internal miscommunication with the building company and now we’re looking at the end of May or beginning of June for this project to take place. As much as I want this project behind us, I’m okay with the pause. I wasn’t thrilled to homeschool around the flooring project. With only 1.5 weeks of school left, I’ll be glad to do this project after we wrap up school. We will have summer school, but the summer schedule is lighter. Postponing the flooring project fits better later. I guess a delay can be a blessing.
When my hubby asked me how I wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day, I originally thought the house would be torn up right after the weekend. I didn’t want a busy weekend on top of a crazy week. This year I opted for a quiet day at home to read and eat my favorite foods. We ran errands on Friday and then had dinner with my parents to celebrate my mom. Saturday was my quiet day. Sunday morning was restful around the house with the kids while Jeremy worked. Once Jeremy got home, we went over to celebrate with his mom. I enjoy the flow of celebrating Mother’s Day over the whole weekend. Instead of celebrating three moms in short burst of time, it allows us to have a laid back flow to the weekend. No need to rush. Expanding the time we celebrate allows our family to be in the moment and present. Maybe I won’t feel this way ever year, but a low-key Mother’s Day was perfect this year.
Without a major construction project in the immediate future, things around our house are business-as-usual. Homeschooling, reading, baking, walking, outside time, hot tub time… All the usual things. The weather has been nice so we have been outside everyday. The sunshine reminds me that summer is right around the corner. We had a chat with the kids this week about our summer bucket list. We’re starting to daydream about how to fill our summer days. We have a camping trip on the books. I hope to visit the zoo. The kids hope to go to the beach. We’re looking forward to more play dates and backyard hangouts. The boys and I will return to church on Sundays for outdoor gatherings. We are enjoying this slower-paced Spring, but we are also looking forward the promise of Summer!
Welcome to May! I knew it was coming, but it still gave a little shock when I realized it was May 1st today. The month of April went by in a blink. I was looking back over pictures from this last month and it was humorous to see how our chicks dominated the monthly documentation. Yesterday, the boys helped Jeremy built a new chicken coop so that our chicks could move to roomier accommodations. Our kiddos have loved checking in on the chicks throughout the day. Owen is always ready to hold one. Graham has been brave and petted a few. Our chicks are looking more like chickens each week. Their feathers are coming in and they are growing. It’s amazing how quick the chick phase goes by.
I’m happy to report that I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine this week. Everyone I’ve talked with has responded so differently to the vaccine. I was nervous to see what side effects I would have. The biggest side effect for me was a sore arm. I didn’t expect it to hurt quite so much. In fact, I’m still waiting for my arm to feel normal, but it’s only been two days… so hopefully that is right around the corner. While I have felt a little “off”, like my body is processing something, I haven’t felt as bad as I expected. I hear round two is what really gets you. Despite the discomfort and continued nerves over the second dose, I am thankful that process is underway. With how quickly time flies, I know this will be behind me soon enough.
What’s on the horizon for May? New floors and wrapping up school are the two main things. I’m planning a little celebration for the end of the school year. I had fun ordering some party supplies. I’m also organizing the loose school papers into notebooks for easy storage. With Owen’s schoolwork, it’s recommended that we keep all his work for two years as proper documentation. Owen keeps pulling out this books and looking over all he has accomplished this year. I can tell he is proud of his hard work. It’s a satisfying feeling to be near the end and know that a celebration is right around the corner. The only thing that has me slightly concerned is our house will be torn a part and a construction zone when our floors are replaced. This will happen in our final weeks of school. It won’t derail us, but it will certainly be something we have to work around. Never a dull moment here, that’s for sure!
It feels like my life is in the “home stretch” on lots of levels right now! In the next month and a half, there is a lot to look forward to! I can feel that change is right around the corner. I’m deeply excited for these upcoming changes, but I’m also trying to stay in the moment and wait patiently. Honestly, to distract myself, I’ve been flying through novels this month. My next post will be all about the books that got me through this season of waiting. April has been a good book month.
What is right around the corner you might wonder? Well, first, we should have our floor replaced for (Lord willing) the final time either the 2nd or 3rd week in May. If you remember at the end of February we accepted and selected an upgrade. We are hopeful this upgraded product will hold up better and this will be the final fix! I can’t wait to see this new floor in place. I’m cautiously optimistic!
We will be wrapping up our 36th week of school on May 20th. I hope to have a small celebration for the boys to mark this accomplishment. Since Graham won’t get the same preschool graduation experience that Owen did, I ordered him a little cap and gown. I plan to do a little photoshoot with him to capture the memories. We’ve all accomplished so much this year and I’m proud of us – myself included. Learning a new role as homeschool mom had me nervous, but I’ve found a good groove and I’m enjoying it. It’s crazy to think we have just a few more weeks to go!
My ministry opportunities are about to shift as well. MOPS & MOMSnext will wrap up in the middle of June. I’m working hard to finish the year strong. Ending well is important to me. I am excited for all we have planned for our final meetings. I’ve been facilitating a Mastermind group that meets via Zoom monthly. I check-in with a small group of women ministers about life and ministry. This commitment will wrap up at the end of May. Our church gatherings plan to move outdoors in June. I’ve been watching church online and this move outdoors will be a good step forward. It feels like the right time to reconnect with my church family in-person.
The last thing is kind of big deal for me. I’m in the home stretch of waiting for my COVID vaccination. I have an appointment this week to get my first shot. My second shot (and the two week waiting period for the full efficacy) will be just in time for my return to church and hopefully the start of a somewhat-more-normal summer experience. I realize that the pandemic isn’t over and that precautions will still be necessary, but I looking forward to a little more peace of mind and a taking a step in the right direction.
I’m in the home stretch! Change is right around the corner! Until then… you’ll find me reading novels and passing the time as best I can with my little family.
I wasn’t ready for Christmas to be over. I built it up as this big, exciting, focal point of celebration. The anticipation of Christmas carried our family for weeks. It was a wonderful Christmas even with COVID limitations. I know the post-Christmas blues are a real thing and I saw them coming before they ever arrived. The last week of 2020 felt extremely odd without Christmas and with so many restrictions on our free time. I would say that my after-Christmas life has been a lot of little chores, reading, and family time in the hot tub time. All good things, but the days are blurring together. We’ve had a few interesting/exciting/adrenaline-inducing moments to break up the “sameness” that seems to have settled over us.
We waited until the last day of vacation to take down our Christmas decorations. The kids begged us to wait as long as possible. Usually, I’m ready for the Christmas décor to be boxed up and put away. I enjoy reclaiming the house. On the flip side, I feel like the house is empty once the decorations are gone. I was on the fence about taking down Christmas, so it made me easy to sway when it came to keeping it up as long as possible. The house is reset to “normal” which I haven’t seen since August, so yes, it feels weird. Adjusting to empty space takes time, but I’m getting there.
Last Monday was like ripping the band-aid off after vacation. It was back to homeschooling, back to solo parenting during the day, and back to leading my MOPS group all in one day. It was a good day, but a big day. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy over being a responsible adult again. The combination of the end of the year and my upcoming birthday tend to make me super reflective in January. I can be more in my head and spend extra time processing where I’m at and how things are going. Back to adulting, COVID restrictions keeping us at home, extra contemplation – that’s where I was last week.
After surviving the big day “back” on Monday, Tuesday was supposed to be more relaxed, more restful. At least, that was the plan. Graham had other plans. As I was getting him ready for our afternoon quiet time, he fell backwards and cut his head on a windowsill. I’m not great with blood (I almost fainted). I quickly called in back-up. My mom and Jeremy are both more medically-minded and can handle the sight of blood. My mom (who lives next door) was home and came over to help me stop the bleeding. Jeremy came home to determine if Graham needed stitches. He was unsure, so off to the doctor’s office we went. Luckily, Graham narrowly avoided stitches. I narrowly avoided fainting. We both emerged victorious. Graham was quickly back to his happy self and I went in search of chocolate!
Wednesday was spent being shocked and upset with the situation at the US Capital. I was about to have a phone date with a friend when my mom texted to fill me in. My friend and I quickly prayed at the start of our phone call, but we decided to not let this incident dominate our discussion. At the time of our conversation, I was still in the sick-to-my-stomach, is-this-really-happening stage of processing. It just seemed impossible that something like that could happen. So… anyway… like many others, Wednesday was shadowed by a whole slew of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
I was dragging on Thursday. It dawned on me that first week of 2021 had certainly not turned out how I expected. When life feels like too much, I usually move from focusing on the big picture to looking for the small moments of goodness. On Thursday, the weather had shifted and the rain was gone. I was able to take an afternoon walk outside, under a blue sky. I needed the chance to walk with my thoughts while taking a deep breath of fresh air. I walked down to our mailbox and was surprised by an early birthday card. Small moments of goodness were all around. My soul was starting to feel some restoration after a rocky week.
The excitement of the weekend was that my hubby completed a house project that has been on the to-do for years now (pretty much since we moved in). We had hoped to add a tile backsplash around our master bathtub over Christmas vacation. After looking at title options, we decided to order online which delayed the start of the project. The tile arrived last week and Jeremy spent the weekend installing it (with Owen supervising from time to time). I love having a handy hubby! Since our master bathtub is used by two wild, splashy boys, our walls are now better protected from the tidal waves and hurricanes that occasionally occur. I love that the tile we chose pulls in the colors of our flooring and the pre-existing tile around our countertop. I look a celebratory bubble bath last night and loved being surrounded by my hubby’s handiwork. Way to go, Jeremy!
And here we are at the start of another week. I’m curious to see how week two of 2021 treats us. It’s my birthday week, so I’m optimistic it will be an improvement over last week. On Thursday, I will be 35 and officially closer to 40 than to 30. The first half of my 30’s have been a wild ride. There have been some serious lows, but also some amazing highs. In my 30’s, I have genuinely worked to understand myself better and to appreciate who I am and how I got here. It’s gives me hope for the future. I keep believing that best is yet to come!