Re-Do

I woke up this morning at 8am with a horrid headache, downed 4 ibuprofen and went back to bed hoping for a re-do.  It worked! I woke up 2 hours later with no headache.  Saturdays have such potential, and the worst thing I can think of is not being able to do anything because of feeling like complete crap.  Wait…that’s what happened 2 weeks ago!  (stomach flu that was NOT fun) I don’t care to repeat that weekend any time soon.

Thankfully, I’m feeling fine today.  The only issue is: what to do with my day?  When I blogged about doing nothing over the summer, I wasn’t joking.  All those projects and work backed up and now they’re  staring me in the face.  And let me tell you, they’re ugly.  Since our girls aren’t involved in stuff (I thank the Lord for that daily) our weekends are blessedly void of running around and such.  Our calendar is also quite empty of social engagements. Hard to believe I know.  We used to be all about game nights and having people over.  So sad…when did I get old and reclusive?  I’m trying to ‘talk’ Marissa into a huge game night/party for her 16th birthday next month.  Crazy, I know. Having to TALK her into it.  She is her father’s daughter.

So, back to it being Saturday.  We’ve started going to the Saturday night service at our new church, and we really like it.  It’s a bit more relaxed than the Sunday am, and not wall-to-wall packed like the morning services.  Besides, we get to sleep in Sunday morning!  Seriously, Saturday night church could change my life.  Two days to sleep in on the weekend?  Bliss.  No matter what I choose to do today, I have to keep in mind that by 4:30 I need to start thinking about showering and looking presentable for church.  So, the question remains, what to do with the rest of my day?  I’ve already slept a good part of it away, then wasted another 2 hours checking email, twitter, and on FB while drinking my coffee.  The choices are to clean the house (desperately needed) or enjoy the beautiful weather outside.  As much as I want to do both, my OCD brain doesn’t work that way.  It’s one or the other folks.  All or nothing.  Which is why I seem to struggle with finding balance in my life in ALL areas.

I have to tell you that in the writing of this blog post, I know what needs to be done.  I asked myself the question, “Can I live with the house in the state it’s in for another week?” and the answer is a resounding, “NO, I can’t!”

The plus is that I have people who WILL help me (or they will lose privileges) and I can clean in my pajamas 🙂  I am getting much better at looking for the silver lining.

What are you doing with your Saturday?

‘Owl’ Be Seeing You

Hello Friends,

It’s been way too long since I’ve sat down to write anything on this blog.  It’s Friday night and I survived my first full week of being back to work. My days start at 5:30am and I usually go until 10pm, and lots of stuff happens in between those times.  I’m just too tired to tell you all about it right now.

School is going well for my girls and myself.  Bekah seems to enjoy being in high school, and is thinking of joining drama club.  I would like that for her.  Marissa is doing ok too, but things are different now that she’s in the ‘real’ high school.  The school they both go to was given a huge grant to build a freshman center.  The freshman class basically has their own building with all their classes and their own cafeteria in it.  It’s new, and it’s nice.  Marissa is in 10th grade this year, and she’s been thrown into the overcrowded cafeteria and old part of the school.  There’s not enough time to get through the lunch line AND eat, so the first few days she just didn’t.  Eat that is.  Now she’s started taking a fiber one bar with her and a drink, so at least she’s getting something in the middle of the day.  Alisha is happy in 6th grade and really likes her science teacher and being in orchestra.

Me? Well, when I left work today I had 11 students, and by Monday I’m told I may have 2 or 3 more.  I love uncertainty!  Being that I’m a very ordered and scheduled person when it comes to my classroom, having new kids show up without me being prepared is really stretching me. I’m trying to just roll with it and not be uptight about it, but for planning purposes, it really helps to know ahead of time.  The 11 kids I have are hilarious!  They’re a great group, and I know I’ll have plenty of fodder for “Tiny Talk Tuesdays”.  They are a young bunch, many of them are only children, or the baby of the family, and this is their first school experience.  I have my work cut out for me.   I love it though, and I’m really, really happy right now.

I’ll leave you with a few pics of my classroom.  You know how I love to take a theme and run with it!

Our behavior board. The goal: stay in the green tree.
The libray center.
The pool noodle bird nest. It's very comfy!

Routine

This summer is what I’m mentally referring to as the ‘summer of me’.  Sounds selfish doesn’t it?  This summer I did something that I’m always told is good for me.  Something that too often gets pushed to the side.  Ok, so it could have been in more balance than I made it, but hey, the outcome has been great.  This summer my basic philosophy was if I didn’t feel like doing it, I didn’t.  Oh, and…have as much fun as possible.

Having a summer such as this has really reset my stress triggers it seems.  Back to school is typically one of my busiest and most stressful times of the year.  While I’ve complained about all the lines and book fees and whatnot, in all reality, I’ve handled things WAY better than I would  have in the past.  I really believe it’s because I took so much time to give myself a break this summer.  If only mentally some days.  I’m pretty hard on myself for not being perfect at all times.  This summer I gave myself permission to suck at stuff. (Like keeping the house clean and staying on top of the laundry, and wearing makeup.)  I just didn’t care.  Did my family suffer at all?  Not really. I mean, how earth-shattering is it if a certain shirt is not clean when you wanted to wear it? It’s not. Wear something else.  Again, that whole ‘perfect image’ thing comes into play.  I just really allowed myself to not care about what others thought, and even more importantly, what I thought about me.  Everyone should have a summer like I had!  The world would be a happier place 🙂

With that being said, trying to get back into some sort of routine for back to school is likely to kill me.  Not really, but it sure as heck feels that way!  A summer of freedom, only to be back into the bondage of a schedule is well, restricting.   And if I could go down a rabbit trail…these cicadas that are overtaking NWI are really freaky! There is one crawling across the screen as I type, and they are so huge and strange looking.  Thank goodness he’s outside!  So anyway, getting back into a routine has been really hard, but the good news is that I’m not as stressed about it.

I’m not really sure what my point is in telling you all of this, except that it’s really changed the way I think.  God intends for us to enjoy life, not be stressed about it all the time.  I’ve found that since I’m calmer and happier, I’m more apt to see others’ needs and way more willing to help them.

So, give yourself permission to do something you LOVE today.  We’ll all be better off for it!

Cape May, NJ

This summer my girls and I had the amazing opportunity to stay with one of my friends from high school at her family’s beach house in Cape May, NJ.  She has 3 little girls, and neither of our husbands could get off of work to join us, so it was a girls only get-away. We had a blast!

Our first evening was spent at Sunset Beach.  We browsed the shops there, and stayed for the “Sunset Ceremony” that honors veterans.   Every night at 8:00 they play a scratchy old record of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America”, and the National Anthem.  Then, they give a brief history of the flag that is currently flying on the pole.  Most of the time these flags are brought to Sunset Beach by the visiting family of a veteran.  In the case of the ceremony we witnessed, it was the flag that was on the casket of a veteran who had served in World War II.  The family lowers the flag, then folds it. It was a sweet ceremony.  I was surprised at how many people came out to be there for this!  The girls had fun putting their feet in the cold water and looking for neat rocks on the shore while we were waiting for the ceremony to begin.

The best thing about this trip was how well our girls got along together, and that both Jenn and I have a kind of “whatever” attitude about vacation.  There was no rush to get anywhere.  We took our time, enjoyed our morning coffee (a necessity!!),  and just enjoyed each others company.  It was just so awesome and relaxing.

The second day we spent in Cape May was at Lighthouse Beach.    We had a beautiful day for hanging out on the Jersey Shore.  Sunny and hot!  The waves started getting pretty rough and that’s when my girls had the most fun.  There’s a really strong under-toe at this beach because it’s where the bay and the ocean are meeting up.  My girls had  fun jumping waves and attempting to stay on their feet.  There were many rocks on this beach, and keeping your balance was tough.  It wasn’t the kind of water you could really swim in, but it was fun.  There was a great breeze, and it was a perfect day at the beach!  One of the funniest moments of the day was when a seagull came up behind Marissa, swooped over her head, and snatched the sandwich right out of her hands. She screamed like the girls she is. So funny!

We went for a walk down the beach and found a wall of sand.  The girls made a great game of jumping off the wall.  Ah, the simplicity!

I’m pretty sure I got stung by a small jellyfish, but the stinging only lasted an hour or so, and I’ve had much worse pains than that in my life.  The water was churning up so much it was tough to see through it at all, so you couldn’t see where the jellyfish were.  Didn’t stop us from having fun, that’s for sure.

After a long, fun day at the beach, we headed back to the beach house to hose off and have some dinner.  After we were cleaned up we went into old Cape May.  We walked around Washington square, browsed the shops, and got some ice cream.  Jenn’s girls were so funny.  All they ever wanted was, “nilla in a cone.”  My girls all chose ‘mocha java chip’…they are MY daughter’s after all.

After a long day of fun, we relaxed in our pjs and watched Toy Story 2.   I still can’t thank Jenn enough for giving us such a great vacation!