Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

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! 

 

A Party Every Day December 17, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:22 pm

Welcome to the Christmas season where there is a party every day. At least that is the story for last week. Saturday, December 8th was the Lighted Tractor Parade and our Bethel Kids sang on a lighted float pulled by a tractor. Jeremy and Owen spent the whole day doing all things tractor parade while I spent the day with a potty training Graham (I’ll update on that situation later in this post).

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Owen is so lucky to tagalong with Jeremy on these fun adventures! 

Monday kicked off party week with our last MOPS & MOMSnext meeting of 2018. I love the MOPS & MOMSnext Christmas party. It’s always a good time! I also love that we only meet once in December, so in a way it feels like a festive way to bring on a small break.

Tuesday was my last book party of the season. Woo hoo!!! And it was my last book party for the foreseeable future. I’ve decided to give my Usborne book business a break in 2019. I will maintain my VIP group on Facebook, but I am not actively seeking book parties at the moment. UBAM has been such a great distraction in my life during a season where I needed to stay busy or go crazy. It’s given me so many rewards – the income portion is obvious, but also I’ve been able to get so many free books for my kiddos. I’ve been able to be an “adult” and work a job that allows me to contribute to our family. It’s been such a blessing. And because of that, I’m not fully pulling the plug on it quite yet. I’m taking a pause to see what my life looks without UBAM. I might really miss it and decide to go back it. I won’t make any big “I’M DONE” announcements because I’m not entirely sure I am. I just want to scale back my life and start 2019 with more simplicity. In less than a year, Graham will be in preschool a few days a week and I could see that being the perfect time to revamp my business. All I know is that I want to be more present now and less distracted.

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That’s a wrap on another wonderful year with Usborne Books & More. 

Wednesday was my class Christmas party with my girls at church. Between the gingerbread house competition and our Christmas party, December is by far my favorite month to lead my class. The girl have a blast. We do a gift exchange. We play some competitive games for prizes and we close the night by decorating cookies together. And if you’re thinking what about the Christmas story? Where is Baby Jesus? We spent a whole class reading the Christmas story and talking about the true meaning of Christmas at the end of November as kick off to the Christmas season. Yes, we have a fun in my class, but you better believe those girls are going to get a Bible lesson about why Christmas is so special. We didn’t just stop at the classic Baby Jesus story, we went on to talk about WHY Jesus came, what it meant to humble himself to become a man and how he did this so we could have salvation. I want them to remember that Christmas leads to the Cross.

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Class Christmas Party 

Thursday was my nephew Keegan’s 5th birthday party. The party was hosted at an indoor playground which my kiddos loved. Thanks to watching Blippi on YouTube my kids think the indoor playgrounds are the best thing ever. And truthfully, they are. If you don’t think about the germs. My kiddos ran around tirelessly with their cousins while I chatted with other adults outside of the playground. It was great to celebrate with Keegan. We are loving having both of Jeremy’s brothers living close by now. It makes it so much easier to pop over for a birthday celebration. We are grateful for the memories that we are able to make together.

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Happy Birthday, Keegan! The boys were a blur of energy as they played! 

To wrap up party week, we had a board and staff Christmas party at the church on Friday. There was a minor wind storm in the area that night and lots of people lost power – in fact across the street from the church was dark, but the church itself kept power. My sis and brother-in-law watched the boys. They love getting Auntie & Uncle time. The party was entertaining despite not winning any of the prizes and then Jeremy & I came home to put the boys to bed and binge watch Fuller House. That’s how we roll.

While it wasn’t a party day, Saturday was still festive. We went down to Portland and did Zoolights with Jeremy’s brother Nathan and his family. The zoo was literally a zoo with all the visitors there for Zoolights. I ran into my college roommate from Multnomah – that was a highlight. The night ended though with one of my nephew’s throwing up. It was an unfortunate end to the night. Then Owen got it the next day. Luckily, it was a quick bug. Owen threw up twice in the morning, took a good nap and was feeling perky afterwards. The tummy bug did keep us from attending the Young Families Christmas Party last night though. Since Jeremy is one of the group leaders, he packed up a crock pot full of meatballs and went without his family.

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Zoolights!

Now we’re into vacation time. Jeremy has the next two weeks off from work. We have some adventures planned and plenty of family gatherings to attend. I always look forward to this time of year when Jeremy gets be home with us during the day. It makes each day feel extra special.

Last but not least, I do believe it’s time to share the potty training update. As you know, I’ve tired potty training many times before. All attempts where stopped due to screaming. Graham would just scream – like a constant, wailing scream and I didn’t want to traumatize him, so I’d quit. This go around, I decided to be tough and persevere through the screams.  Turns out that it takes a week and half of screaming to have a break through. I was so close to quitting to again and then the screaming finally stopped. The progression from screaming lead to going on the potty at our suggestion and has continued on to now he tells us when he needs to go. The last few days he has done all his business on the potty. I am close to officially declaring this child potty trained. Graham has been so different from Owen through this whole process. It’s like potty training for the first time all over again. Graham has had way less accidents than Owen because Graham’s MO has been to hold it when he is uncomfortable. That has been great for my flooring and furniture. About a week into potty training, we took him into the store to pick his potty training treats – we wanted him to tell us what motivated him. Turns out Twizzlers, Oreos and peanut butter cups were high on his list. We are now at the time where we are tapering off the rewards because wow… let me tell you… There were some crazy sugar high weeks around this house. Graham would just spontaneously run laps around the house or crazy dance as the sugar coursed through his veins. I’m glad to leave that nuttiness behind us and move on to maintenance mode. It’s hard to believe that we have summited the mountain of potty training and survived. We are still using pull-ups for outings, so it doesn’t feel like we’re completely diaper-less yet, but we are so close. The end of the baby-toddler season is really here. Graham is fully ready to be a preschooler now. It feels like it went by in a blink, but it also feels like a long time coming.

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We had a couple of bigger prizes for going poop on the potty. Graham was very motivated get this ice cream truck and after that he also redeemed two new Play Doh sets. It’s been fun to see him so proud of his accomplishments.

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I could only handle about two weeks of having the floor and sectional covered with blankets and towels. We are in a good place now so I pulled them up and reclaimed my home! 

That’s the major update for now! I look forward to sharing more holiday cheer with you all soon. Wishing a merry and bright week before Christmas! 

 

Home for the Holidays! December 6, 2018

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:11 pm

It’s so nice being home for the holidays! Settling into our new house and celebrating each new season here is a blessing. I’ve been intentionally sticking close to home these days so Graham and I can work on potty training. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say, it’s been very dramatic. My festive holiday decorations are currently accented with blankets and towels over the furniture to save them from accidents.

December started with the Christmas musical for Jeremy and the elementary kids at our church. My boys got to open the performances with a few songs sung by their classes. They started out okay on stage, but slowly got more and more unhappy. Once they spotted me in the crowd, they just wanted to be off the stage and done. It made for an emotional morning and I left church on Sunday morning with a grumpy 5 year old and a relieved 3 year old. The elementary kids at our church did a fantastic job with their musical. In the middle of the it, I was holding back tears. I love these kiddos and it’s always so heartwarming to see them singing their hearts out about God’s love. As much as I appreciate my littles singing “Away in a Manger” each year, I really hope they want to participate in the musical when they are older. It’s such a great opportunity and lays such a powerful foundation for kids to commit truth to their hearts and minds through song (and dance, haha).

Our week kicked off with a continued focus on potty training during the day. I had a Christmas party with my Chehalis MOPS & MOMSnext steering team members on Monday evening. By party time, I was ready to leave the land of potty training and head to a kid free house to celebrate Christmas with mom friends, good food and fun games. This is our second year having the Christmas party at a team member’s house and it truly changes the vibe of our gathering from a meeting to a party. It’s quickly becoming a highlight of the Christmas season for me.

Tuesday was a comp day for Jeremy since he worked a big portion of the weekend with extra rehearsals and performances. We took the kids to see Santa… sort of as a redo. I thought we could see him on Friday while running errands, but he wasn’t there yet, so Tuesday was a make-up outing. Despite their excitement on the ride up, both kids were too scared to talk to Santa. In our family picture, Santa isn’t smiling. Makes me wonder if he needed more coffee that morning or what… Usually you can count on Santa to be the one smiling. Yesterday was my class gingerbread house decorating competition. It’s a beloved tradition with my 4th-6th grade girls and it’s fun to watch them be super creative with their houses. Tonight is a book party night for me. I have just two more parties before I wrap up the holiday selling season and 2018. It’s been a good season for books but I am looking forward to slowing down and a change of pace.

I’ll wrap things up right now and save all of next week’s happenings for my next blog post. It seems like December started and all of the sudden the countdown to Christmas is on. We have advent calendars with chocolates. We have the Christmas to-do list with all of our favorite things. My goal for this evening might be to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. If you know me at all, you know that this is the one time of year where I watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies and then a few of my own personal favorites – like White Christmas. It’s so nice to snuggle up on our couch by the light of the Christmas tree and watch a Christmas movie. It’s so nice to be really home for the holidays!

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Playing video games together. This stage came way sooner than I expected. 

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Gingerbread House Tradition

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Advent calendars to countdown to Christmas! 

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Christmas musical 

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Daddy gets the best pictures! 

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Christmas party with my MOPS & MOMSnext Steering Team

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Santa picture 2018

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Watching my class create their gingerbread masterpieces! 

 

Hello End of November November 28, 2018

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

Okay, life has a way of turning out different than expected. Duh. Usually in our house that means that I have “plans” and then one or some or all of us get sick and the plans change. The second half of our month has been fairly normal with some illness that of course fell over Thanksgiving weekend. Owen came down with a low grade fever and turned to a bump on a log the day before Thanksgiving. He woke up Thanksgiving morning and threw up and then was fine. Although he was a bit low energy the rest of the weekend. Jeremy and Graham went to the Scott family brunch on Thanksgiving morning while Owen and I stayed home. The plan was for Graham to switch parents mid-day and come up to my grandma’s house with me for the afternoon. Once Owen and Graham were reunited at switch time, they decided they couldn’t be separated, so I went up to my grandma’s house with my parents but without any members of my immediate family. It was so odd. No kids to make plates for, no one to supervise and make sure they were keeping out of trouble. It was also a bit sad because Jeremy and I were ships passing. The only upside is we knew Owen wasn’t going to make it to any celebrations so Jeremy went to Safeway on Wednesday afternoon and had all the fixings ready for his own meal at home. On Friday, Jeremy developed a migraine and that laid him out. Saturday was our cookie decorating gathering for MOPS & MOMSnext at our house. No one had a fever for over 24 hours. I deep cleaned the house and our low-energy family pulled it together to have a couple friends over. Then it was back to be being slow pokes for the rest of the weekend.

We did do a small amount of Christmas shopping on Saturday evening. It was a super quick run to Walmart to see if we could get some gifts and finish our holiday decorating. Thanks to online shopping as well, I have most of the Christmas shopping done now. I’m waiting for my packages to arrive and then I can move on to the wrapping phase. Each year I get a set of wrapping paper from Costco. I love how it all matches, but each year I have paper left over. I now have quite a large stash of mismatched wrapping paper, so despite the clashing, I plan on working through my paper stash this year. This might seem like a no brainer to some, but to me this is a big move. Can you tell I take Christmas wrapping seriously?

The house is now fully decorated for Christmas. The original plan was to decorate the Friday after Thanksgiving, but we knew we needed to evaluate our decorations after not seeing some of them for two years. On the 16th, we took everything out and assessed what we had, what we liked, what no longer fit and then made a list of things to get when we went shopping the next day. We were down in Portland/Vancouver for a family birthday party, so it was the perfect time to hit all the “Pre-Black Friday” sales that were everywhere. It was felt strange because once we pulled everything out on the 16th, we didn’t want to put them away just to pull them out a week later, so for a short while we lived in a half decorated house.

November was a quieter month for us. Busy, yes, but mostly business as usual. We’re gearing up for December. This weekend is the Christmas musical and my boys will get to sing a few songs with their classes before the musical begins. I’m that mom who bought them matching red plaid shirts to wear on stage. Mostly because Graham only has pastel shirts because Owen was wearing 3T at 2.5 years old (Easter time) and Graham is wearing them a few month later than Owen’s timeline.

The beginning of December is full for Jeremy with the musical and then the following weekend is the lighted tractor parade where our church kiddos sing on a lighted float. We have all kinds of Christmas parties for our church classes and I have two different Christmas parties for our MOPS & MOMSnext group. And then we head into vacation time! The best time of the year! The church office closes for a week at the holidays and then Jeremy takes an additional week off. We have some festive plans in the works. We’ll see how the pan out. Obviously at this point in my life, I have learned to hold everything as tentative until it’s actually happening. But I am hopeful and excited. It’s going to be a great holiday season no matter what we do. Just being our new house for the first time at Christmas is reason enough to be happy, content and grateful. It’s warm, it’s festive, full of my loved ones. I am blessed! However, for the sake of writing material, I hope December is a bit more exciting than our November.

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Decorating the tree!!!

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Mom’s Night Out with my MOPS & MOMSnext friends. 

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Birthday time with Nolan

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Graham built this robot all on his own. I was impressed.

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Thanksgiving morning with my sicko. 

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Thankful for this man every single day. He is the best! 

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Last but not least, my little Grambo! 

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A Thanksgiving family picture was not in the cards for us. Oh well. 

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Cookie decorating with friends! 

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Owen loves racing cars with Daddy on the Xbox. 

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And we enter another season of watching the Polar Express almost daily. Graham wins style points for watching it dressed as an engineer.