I just realized that it's been a month since my last blog entry. How on earth will you remember everything if I don't write it down? Sigh. So I took some time this morning and did just that. You don't want to know what I did before that...it'll just make you tired. But I guess that's the point, to remember it all?
4:00 am--my alarm went off. I hit snooze, woke up again at 4:10 for a cup of coffee and quiet time.
4:30 am--quick e-mail, blog and facebook check
4:44 am--wrapped up tax stuff for the CPA...had a big learning curve with a little happy, but am very, very happy to have it all done and organized. I can breathe again!
7:00 am--made kid lunches. Went with meatball sandwiches since I didn't make it to the store for bread yesterday...win-win.
7:25 am--kids & Daddy out the door, moved the Explorer to let them out, took out trash, went over the trim & tires on Explorer since I washed the beach off of it yesterday and it just needed a little shiny
7:45 am--back inside for a quick run-through, pick up, dishes
8:00 am--fresh banana-nut muffins for breakfast while I blog a bit (I'm actually signing off at 8:55 am--but I needed this blog entry...it's been too long)
I'm a firm believer that life is what you make of it. There's no denying that we are in the midst of a busy season, and that all 4 of us are feeling it. Some days it seems like all I do is work, family, eat, sleep. More eating and less sleeping than I'd prefer, some days. :)
But in the midst of the busy, there's a lot of joy and beauty and living.
So I can choose to focus on the blur of the busy...or I can choose to live every minute of it all.
I choose to celebrate.
Get ready--here's what we've been doing since the second week of school.
Yesterday I took the first batch of stuff to the CPA, along with a Vanilla Latte. I enjoyed my first Frappucino in months, and an hour in the car by myself. It balanced out the 10+ hours at the computer working on taxes. But you know, it feels good to be as organized as I thought I was back in January. As grumpy as I was last night (sorry, Boy), today I feel okay. Ready to conquer that to-do list!
James snapped this last night. Noble read to Kayci, then Kayci read to Noble. And that was how they went to sleep last night.
This is the picture I thought of when I thought of the blog title today--it fits because it's blurry, and it's the final picture Kayci took on Sunday night. James had an engagement shoot in Galveston, and the kids and I tagged along (it was friends, so I didn't feel quite unprofessional). While James took pictures, I assisted or hung out with the knuckleheads. They spent most of the time entertaining themselves and each other. We didn't get home until 11:30, but it was totally worth it. The kids got up and around yesterday morning with no problems, and I was so proud of the way they roll with our life.
They took funny pictures of each other...always fun to find on the camera roll!
I took a minute to enjoy the blessing of my toes in the sand on the first day of fall, for beautiful weather and much-needed rain.
We shot on and around the Strand, and Kayci took this gorgeous picture of the ground in the alley. We say it often and it's true--she might even have a better "eye" than Daddy.
Before we met our friends/clients, we splurged on a trip to the Pleasure Pier. It was a lot of money for 2 hours of playing, but it was well worth it--the kids will remember this for a long time. We all had a blast! Noble was anxious until we got on the first ride, and then he was as gung-ho as Kayci!
We enjoyed lunch at our favorite Fuddruckers...and yes, I thought he was NUTS to eat an oyster po-boy right before a shoot.
On the way down, we stopped to visit...did my heart good to get a Lynn hug!
I'm struggling a bit with how much I'm working and commuting right now, but when I come home and see stuff like this, it helps me to keep it in perspective. Life goes on whether I'm in Brenham or not--the kids are fine. And talented, like their Daddy!
We bake something each week for their lunch desserts--we broke a rule and used a box mix for this one. These cookie/brownies were yum-MY!
Even when I'm on the road, there are things to celebrate. Like stopping at the new Buc-ees, or paying less than $3/gallon for the first time in who knows when.
I forget which day this was...but it felt like the world was sitting squarely on my chest. I carved some housekeeping time out of my work day, and then I could breathe again. It doesn't get like this often, but it doesn't feel good when it happens. See those bags by the coffee maker? Those are groceries--felt pretty good to stock up on those, too!
We're going to have to replace Cotton--the kids didn't mind computer shopping one bit, though. Who doesn't love the Apple store? They'll be even happier when they realize "my" computer will be the family computer, and it'll live in the dining room for them to use for projects and games. Remember the good old days when we'd just go charge a new computer when we wanted one? I miss those days sometimes. Now I'm waiting on a check and the final verdict from the CPA--fingers crossed our tax bill isn't crazy this year!
Last week was the Washington County Fair. James blogged about it on our family blog. We go on Tuesday night each year to check out the ribbons (it's free entry night!) and we have fair food either Tuesday night or Wednesday--but just once. This year we had fair food for dinner since I had to go to work on Wednesday. Daddy took the day off to hang out with the knuckleheads and go to the fair for real. I didn't mind working so much since I knew they were having so much fun.
I've been using Siri to read my texts and reply sometimes when I'm driving...you just never know what she'll say, though. Here I was trying to tell James I was heading to GCU (the bank), and it turned into an exchange that still makes me giggle. Silly Boy!
We are truly blessed to have great friends. Heather parents my kids as much as I do, and I couldn't survive without her! The Parkers are also so good to us...one night Lauren called and invited us to dinner. We had chili dogs and awesome fellowship--I'm so grateful for friends. I snapped this pic for Project Life (you know, when I get back to it...) to remind me of that evening. I got a kick out of the way someone who won't be named would only eat a bun the length of the hot dog. I've got too many quirks to judge, but it's funny when it's someone else for a change!
Homework is a daily occurrence, and I very much appreciate having kids who do it without being told and without arguing. I pray that continues! James took this picture--Noble's so sweet, working so hard.
Bubby started Tae Kwon Do a few weeks ago. We've all enjoyed watching him--and Daddy had to bring his camera one day to document. Shocker! Not.
Noble's been working since June to earn a new iPod. He got it when we got back from Vegas--it was a very, very big deal in our house.
We didn't get to sit in the same row on the way home from Vegas, but we sat close. It was enough. 3 hours to sit and veg was a blessing for both of us. Good thing, because we had to hit the ground running when we got home with Sunday School and a photo shoot and 2 commutes in a row and...life. But that 3 hours? Priceless.
Shea happened to be in Vegas at the same time--she arrived the day we left. How fun to see an old friend in an unexpected place!
I loved the mirror in our hotel room--they had it leaned against the wall just enough to make you look thinner. But I also love my new outfit! Daddy and I used the clothing budget on ourselves for once and each got a few things. I am so grateful for new jeans!
The day we left Vegas, we visited Hoover Dam. We'll definitely take the kids back to visit--it's one of the coolest places I've ever been!
I didn't know I had a bucket list until I realized that Serendipity's frrrrrozen hot chocolate was on there. After a romantic dinner in the mountains, my Boy took me to Serendipity. And it was just as awesome--maybe more--than I hoped it would be!
Oh, the week of the Vegas trip...Monday was Labor Day. Tuesday I drove James to Austin for his flight. Wednesday I worked in Houston. Thursday I did tons of Mommy stuff then drove to Austin for my flight to Vegas. When I arrived at the airport, I was so proud of myself for navigating parking and security and everything by myself. A lady in front of me was wearing stilettos and tight pants that looked very uncomfortable, and that reminded me to be grateful for the little things like comfy dresses and flip flops.
When one of us is out of town, the other sends pics of every day things. It's just something we DO, and I think it makes a big difference. Here's Kayci on the way to school one morning when I didn't get to see them before I left. These pics and videos make me smile, and feel not quite as far away when I'm working in Houston.
A friend from church told us how she keeps their grill clean, so we tried it. Uh-mazing. And check out my Boy in his cute checked shirt and driving shoes/loafers. Eat your hearts out, he's mine.
Oh, those kids. I think she was actually asleep when he was climbing on her. Every day I stop working for the hours between pick up and kid bedtime and just BE with them, whether that's running to activities or doing homework or cooking dinner or putting away their laundry or swimming or just hanging out. I'm grateful that I can do that--and I know they are, too. When I don't take time for them, you can tell in their behavior. And I'm sure in my attitude, as well!
Ah, coffee. I gave it up back in July, but started drinking it again when my online classes ramped up and the nights got later and the mornings got earlier.
We're able to swim at the Country Club through the end of September. The kids like it best when Daddy joins us after work.
A little home project always grows into a bigger one...why is that?
Lunch with James hasn't happened as often as I'd like so far this year, so I treasure the days when we do get to spend that hour together. Even though he's a dork. He's been experimenting with "painting" this past few weeks, and here's one of his finished products at Germania. Pretty cool. I love how he's always learning new stuff!
I've spent a lot of time here this past month, but it's good. Work is challenging but wonderful, and I'm learning every day.
One of these days I'll figure out the key to balance...but today's probably not that day. Gotta run--off to shower (usually do it before the kids wake up, but was working on taxes), then I have to take care of some PTO stuff and Room Mom stuff and a little happy stuff and lots and lots of work stuff before I pick Noble up this afternoon. Then it's off to Tae Kwon Do for him and Children's Chorus for her and a BMS Parent Meeting for me...just another day in the life.
Loving (and living) every minute of it,