I have approximately 25 more minutes before I have to leave to pick up the kids from their last morning of gymnastics camp (<–an intense term…they have gone three mornings in a row to do gymnastics for a few hours. No one is sleeping in a cabin, and I haven’t seen a lanyard yet).
Anyway, you’d better believe I’m going to milk every one of those quiet moments…and what better way than by blogging?
When I last posted, I was 8 days into summer, and wondering if I could survive the summer intact.
Every night, I was going to bed completely exhausted, wondering, “can I do this tomorrow?” We were having a blast, but my kids were physically wearing me out.
David kept reminding me that every time we take a break from preschool, I wind up loving having the kids around 24/7 and end the break questioning if we should even send them to preschool at all.
I remembered those words coming out of my mouth on multiple occasions, but wondered how I ever got to that place, because I was feeling so exhausted!
Then, around day 11 of summer…something magical happened.
I remembered the pool.
It turns out that if you promise your kids that if they behave well in the morning, you will take them to the pool that afternoon…then they behave well in the morning to earn the pool, you have a fun activity in the afternoon when it’s hottest anyway, AND they are so tired after said activity that they don’t have energy to get into mischief!
Too tired to move = SUCCESS
We have been loving the pool, and I’m SO thankful to have stumbled upon this magic recipe for great summer days! This is the first year that I have felt confident that I can supervise both of them in the pool, so I’m also thankful that we committed those years to swim lessons. Moms with little ones…keep at it!
Other things I have been loving lately:
Making everything into a picnic
Every meal is more fun when it’s served picnic-style…whether the picnic is actually outside, or just on a blanket in your living room. This has been a favorite trick of mine for a long time (popcorn picnic with a movie! dinner picnic when daddy’s working late! snack picnic when you’re cranky!) but it’s even more fun in the summer.
We have also been enjoying a variation: the reading picnic (basically, cuddling on a blanket on the floor, eating a snack, while I read books to them). Zoe has been obsessed with chapter books lately, and we are working through the American Girl books. It’s so fun to read books with an actual plot! I read all of these books when I was younger, but have forgotten most of the stories. Sometimes I find myself reading ahead to find out what happens, which is funny after years of Goodnight Moon-esque plots.
Working in my garden
If we aren’t texting friends, be glad—because if we are, you are likely sick of me sending you gardening photos. I can’t help myself. I AM GROWING THINGS, PEOPLE!!!
(And pruning things after I take photos.)
The previous owners of our house planted some beautiful perennials and fruit trees, but there were still a few empty beds. SO, I asked a master gardener from our new church to come over and help me make a gardening plan. She gave me a few plants, and my Mother’s Day present was a Lowe’s gift certificate and two days of planting help from David. This jumpstarted my new hobby/obsession!
I love caring for the garden and spend anywhere from 15 to 75 minutes on it every day. It’s so great to have an excuse to “have” to be outside every day, work with my hands, and enjoy God’s creation. The girls “help” me most days, and it is ridiculously invigorating to watch things bloom and grow as the result of my care and dedication. Zoe has fully embraced the joy of gardening along with me, and we have been having so much fun looking for fresh stalks and blooms, pruning, tending, watering, and watching our garden change!
I would still consider myself a total “beginner,” but I’m excited to learn more through trial, error, and education!
My new romper
Sorry for the double selfies, but I had to tell you that if you have thought, “I’m just not sure I can pull off a romper,” you should reconsider. I have spent several seasons ignoring rompers. I’m still brokenhearted by the rapid decline of non-ironic overalls in the early 2000s (RIP) and didn’t care to repeat the mourning process.
But then I saw this one in a consignment shop, fell in love, and decided that maybe I’d risk the pain of attachment.
Bought it, love it, won’t take it off.
It feels like PJs, but you get style points. It’s breezy like a dress, but you don’t flash people when you lean over to pick up your small children. The only potential pain point is a more complicated bathroom process, but I am used to going to the bathroom with 1-2 people touching me, watching me, and asking personal and invasive questions, so adding a few buttons isn’t much of a strain.
Man, maybe I should retitle this blog post, “Sarah Finally Hops on 2016 Trends.” I got my first iPhone in 2017, sort of by accident, thanks to my growing frustration with my continually breaking dumb phones, the generosity of my friend Leah who reads this blog, and the lies of a Verizon employee who told me adding data would be $5 a month indefinitely. I now pay far more than $5 a month to take photos, use emojis, not get lost, and LISTEN TO PODCASTS.
My favorites (you will notice a theme):
I will also listen to random business/marketing podcasts, but overall, the area where I feel like I need the most support and encouragement is in my journey with faith and mothering. Through podcasts, I get the opportunity to learn from those who are wiser and more experienced than me (sort of like one-sided mentoring) and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn and laugh as I garden, walk, wash dishes, and fold laundry!
A scene from this morning’s walk…and podcast listening session 🙂
Do you have a favorite podcast? What is it?