all the things

Reflecting

What a wonderful summer.

I am definitely feeling wistful and bummed as summer ends. It has been such a lovely summer in so many ways, but the Enneagram 4 in me often gets distracted by the things that didn’t happen. Such as the writing that didn’t get done, the routines that haven’t quite been in place, the patience and playfulness I haven’t always had with my kids.

Yet it’s been so lovely to be home with the boys, playing at the pool, reading, meeting up with family and friends outdoors. To get away on a few trips – to have some summer adventures – to watch the boys learn to swim. Overall, just a solid, feel-good, so-much-fun summer.

I’m so excited for the fall – to get settled in at my new school, to see Edgar and Jonas get settled at kindergarten and nature pre-school. I do get a burst of energy related to new seasons and new chances to build structure and routines. That part of the season will be lovely.

But I’m also anxious about the return to full-time in-person work. Since COVID began, my work life has not been full-time nine-to-five five days a week; there has been a lot more flexibility to my weekly routine. It will be a big adjustment to return to a 9 to 4 school/work day. I’m grateful about life inching closer to normal, but it’s also forcing me to face some realities about my contentment at work. I wish I was thrilled to be going to my job five days a week – but I’m not. I’m hoping that changes with the switch in schools, or with the boys attending school. (I think it’ll be less hard to be away from them if I know they’re busy learning and playing at their respective schools!) If it doesn’t change – then maybe a bigger job change is in my future at some point. Who knows? Not me, for sure.

This time of year is typically good for my writing. I spend a lot of time planning, considering routines, contemplating rituals. I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time writing and planning and goal-setting and dreaming. For now, I’m just reflecting and feeling grateful, for a great summer, a great new job about to start, and exciting new things to explore this fall.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
all the things

Almost September

Oh boy – two more FULL weeks of summertime until I am back to school!

Although summer is officially my favorite season of the year, I do feel a jolt of excited energy for September. I love the beginning of a fresh, new year, whether it’s a new calendar year in January or a new school year in the fall.

This year, our family has three big changes:

-Jonas will be attending a nature pre-school this fall, the same program Edgar attended previously. He is pretty excited and so are we!

-Edgar is starting KINDERGARTEN. So bonkers exciting!

-I’ll be switching from the middle school I’ve been at for the last three years to being a school social worker at an elementary school.

As the start of the school year approaches – our first days are August 23 (me), August 30 (Edgar), and September 2 (Jonas) – I’ve found myself experiencing some butterflies about our new schedule. For the last few years (excluding COVID circumstances), I’ve left for work in the morning at about 6:30 a.m. and I’ve arrived at home at the end of the day by 3 p.m. This year, Edgar will attend school from 8ish to 3ish, and I’ll be at work from 9ish to 4/4:30 p.m. While I’m extremely excited about my new school, and happy to have so much time for myself and my family in the mornings, I feel a little worried about not getting home until 5 p.m. That feels stressful to me! I’m sure it will feel better once I’m in the swing of things, but definitely going to be an adjustment.

I am so excited to be able to have an easy-going(ish), luxurious morning. I’m not 100% sure of the timing of it – will I be able to take Edgar to school? will he be riding a school bus? – and what time will I need to leave to get to MY school on time? – but I know that if I continue my habit of waking up at 4 or 5 a.m., then that will give me a solid 2 – 3 hours of morning time to take care of any personal or family activities I’d like to get done. Writing, running, reading to the boys – all of the above – plenty of time. When I get more specifics about the details for my morning and Edgar’s arrival times, I’m sure I’ll dive deeper into the weeds regarding planning.

For now, I am just excited for new routines and new adventures. Happy almost September to all!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

all the things

Seasonal Bucket Lists

I love the idea of a seasonal bucket list.

I have a constant worry that I’m going to run out of time or forget to do the things I want to do, for myself or for our family. I get very caught up in day-to-day life, and I like having a reminder of things I want to do during a particular season – things like berry picking during the summertime, or ice skating during winter. They tend to be activities that require a little money and planning.

I am forever and always trying to come up with new ways to organize my life, thoughts, and planning. Recently, I started jotting down things that I want to make sure are on one of our seasonal bucket lists. I’ve been using the Google Keep app, which is just a clear and visually pleasing means for organizing a bunch of my to-do lists. When I have a seasonal bucket list, it makes me feel calmer – like I’m less likely to forget All The Things.

This year, more than ever, it feels good to make a list of fun things we want to try to make happen during the summertime. This isn’t our full bucket list, but here are a few things I hope we check off this summer:

  • Visit our local farmers market.
  • Swim lessons.
  • The beach.
  • Orchard.
  • The Smithsonians.
  • Leakin Park train.
  • New York.
  • Ukazoo.
  • Canoeing.
  • Tubing.
  • Hammerman Beach (including tire playground)!
  • Sandy Point.
  • Playground bucket list! (More on this at some point.)

Happy summer, everyone! Cheers to the return to semi-normal.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

all the things

Currently: June 2021

Currently reading:

I’m on a fantastic reading kick lately. Currently, I’m still in the middle of Do Right By Me by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D’Angelo; it’s great, but I keep getting distracted by gorgeous novels. I am halfway through How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue, and I am re-obsessed with Ann Patchett after finally reading The Dutch House. Additionally, The Four Winds was incredible, so I definitely am planning to try out a few more Kristin Hannah titles as soon as possible. It feels wonderful to be in such a good reading place, after experiencing a bit of a reading rut in March/April.

Currently listening to:

I’ve been listening to the audiobook versions of whatever novel I’m currently reading – that way, I can continue “reading” while I commute to work or clean up the kitchen. I also have been stayed devoted to the podcasts Slate Political Gabfest, The Girl Next Door, and The Mom Hour.

Currently watching:

Early seasons of The Big Bang Theory – hilarious. I’ve seen the series up until Season 9, and at some point I want to catch up on the last three seasons, but the early seasons are solid gold. In little kid land, we’ve watched Wall-E recently and the boys have had a revived interest in the Toy Story franchise.

Currently the boys are:

Wrestling nonstop, and it’s driving me NUTS. Especially since it almost always ends in tears eventually. day when it’s 65 degrees or warmer. Edgar plays blissfully and Jonas hangs in there until his teeth start to chatter.

Currently grateful for:

THE LIBRARY BEING OPEN FOR BROWSING! Edgar and I dropped in last Saturday and we were both so excited. I basked in the joy of just being in the room full of books, and Edgar grabbed every book with a truck, boat, dragon, or dinosaur on it to check out. (He also found two Curious George books and Jojo and the Magic Trick for his little brother to read.) I love how excited he was when we got home, to show off his books and to read them all. I’ve kept a steady flow of children’s books coming through the house for the past year, thanks to the library’s curbside pick-up, but it made such a difference for Edgar to be able to take the books off the shelf all by himself.

Currently looking forward to:

Our camping trip! We’re camping for two weekends in June and then going on our big trip to the Ozarks – almost two full weeks! – after school is out. I am so excited for it. Please send prayers that our kids figure out reeeal quick how to settle and sleep in a tent!

Happy, happy June! We all deserve an exceptional summer this year. Let’s make it happen!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
all the things

Currently: May 2021

Currently reading:

Currently I’m reading Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear and liking it so far. I finished The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in April and loved it. Additionally, after hearing it recommended many times, I broke down and purchased a copy of The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and I can’t wait to dive into that one! I’m also reading Do Right By Me by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D’Angelo, which is a fantastic read about transracial adoption and caring for Black children in white spaces.

Currently listening to:

I’ve actually been so into watching How I Met Your Mother that I haven’t been listening to as many podcasts or audiobooks lately – other than my two fave podcasts, The Mom Hour and The Girl Next Door. Hoping to change that ASAP.

Currently watching:

Yeah, still How I Met Your Mother. Oh, my gosh, so funny! But I really need to stop, because it’s cutting into my reading and writing time.

Currently the boys are:

They are really into sword fighting, shields, and dragons!

Currently grateful for:

Being able to make (COVID-safe) PLANS again! Not many – but some. And, feeling motivated enough to set some goals this spring.

Currently looking forward to:

Loving spring – but SO PUMPED for summertime!

Happy May!

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com