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.

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books + reading

Reading Round-Up – 2021 So Far

2021 has been a great year in books for me so far. Here are a few of the highlights of my reading life from this year so far:

  • Discovering Kristin Hannah. I picked up The Four Winds on recommendation from a book friend, and then I devoured The Nightingale, The Great Alone, and Magic Hour. I can’t believe I hadn’t picked up one of her books sooner! What a fantastic author. Great historical fiction, which isn’t typically my favorite genre. I definitely will read more of her older works.
  • Great reads by authors I already loved. This year, I read Anthony Horowitz’s latest (Moonflower Murders) as well as a few other titles by him I’d never read before, The House Of Silk and Moriarty. I also read a few more books by Ann Patchett (State Of Wonder , The Dutch House, and Run). So excited for the latest Louise Penny novel and a new Horowitz novel coming out this fall!
  • I always love a page-turner – a book that I can hardly stand to put down for a moment, a book that I’m sneaking peaks at every chance I get. This year, a few great page-turners I’ve read so far are The Last Thing He Told Me, Every Last Fear, Too Good To Be True, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, The Mother-In-Law and The Last Mrs. Parrish.
  • Reading chapter books with Edgarmy new obsession! We have been devouring the Dragon Masters series and the Princess In Black books.

A few of my other favorites for the year have been: The Plot – so freaking good; The Invisible Life of Addie Larue and The Midnight Library, both incredible; The Thursday Murder Club – sequel coming out this October!; and the Truly Devious books, which are a YA mystery series.

Happy reading to all!

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currently

Currently: August 2021

Currently reading:

I just finished The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz – such a great read, definitely a page-turner. My other favorites this month were State Of Wonder, Every Last Fear, The Nightingale, and Magic Hour. My obsession with Kristin Hannah continues and I might try Winter Garden next.

Currently listening to:

Mostly The Mom Hour and The Girl Next Door podcasts. Also, The Total Soccer Show for Olympics soccer and Gold Cup coverage.

Currently watching:

The Olympics! Loving watching soccer and gymnastics especially.

Currently the boys:

They are Aquamen! (“Who’s Aquaman?”, Edgar keeps asking me. Then I explain that I don’t really know but someday maybe he’ll read about him in a comic book.) We are in the middle of two weeks of swim lessons as I type this, and they are rocking it. It’s been amazing how much progress they’ve made simply because they have access to a pool every day. They moved from being reluctant about blowing bubbles and putting faces in the water to diving for rings and being able to kick-swim underwater in a few weeks.

Currently grateful for:

Gorgeous weather and being able to spend time with family and friends.

Currently psyched about:

All the sweet and ordinary and exciting milestones of these years. Things like Edgar riding his bike without training wheels for the first time, shopping for school supplies (!!!), and going down the big slide at the pool. Things like Jonas ditching diapers and participating in his swim lesson, i.e. trusting and interacting with a new adult after eighteen months of never once being away from his moms. I get so excited about all the new things – they give me boosts of energy and excitement in the midst of exhausting days of parenting little ones.

Currently looking forward to:

Two more weeks of summertime fun, and lots of fun daydreaming and planning for an exciting September. I always love a fresh start, and I love the energy and motivation that comes at this time of year – the other New Year – for me.

Happy August!

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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!

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gratitude

5 Things I’m Grateful For (July 2021)

Such a fantastic summer so far. So much to be grateful for, always.

  1. A week of family time at the beach! So happy to spend time enjoying sunshine and family.
  2. Playing at the local pool with the boys. Nearly every day this summer has been a pool day – me, Edgar, and Jonas, the boys jumping into the pool over and over and over again and giggling like crazy all day long.
  3. A few great books I’ve read this summer. During July, I read Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay and The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, both of which were great page-turners. I also read Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah – yet another amazing and compelling book by one of my new favorite authors.
  4. Last night, Jonas crept out of his room and asked if he could listen to a bedtime book with me and Edgar. Typically, we read a book all together on the couch, and then Tamara takes Jonas to his room for “bed books” and I take Edgar to his room for the same. Jonas does love books now, but he tends to get distracted if he’s listening to a book with Edgar; he loves his brother so much and mostly wants to play and be silly. He also isn’t quite ready for longer books, I had thought. (They both loved Mosquitos Can’t Bite Ninjas, though. Put that on your list if you have a preschooler to read to!) But last night, Jonas tucked right in and he listened to the entirety of The Princess In Black and the Giant Problem. Such a sweet moment, and made me really excited and hopeful for more of two brothers together listening to a bedtime story.
  5. Our camping trip! Such a great adventure – two weeks of tent living across six states. The two weeks ended with a camping birthday for Edgar, who is 5 years old now. FIVE. Craziness.

Happy summertime to all!

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