Kind of long…but I am back!

It has been such a long time since I have blogged that I don’t even know how to catch you all up on the last four months, so I am not even going to try. Long story short, I have been finding my new normal since going back to work. I love my job because it is wonderful to get up 2 1/2 days a week and put on nice clothes and makeup and do my hair. It is also equally wonderful to get up the other 2 1/2 days a week and put on yoga pants and a bra…maybe. I love being a mom but that is not my job. It is my vocation (which is way more important than a job, btdubs). My husband and kids come first, always. Period. the end. But it is also really nice to have meaning and a purpose outside of my house. My boss is awesome. (And I don’t even have to say that because I am 99% sure that she doesn’t read my blog. ) I like to use my brain for things besides budgeting and meal planning and 6th grade math. (sidenote: The other night it took my very intelligent husband and my very intelligent 19 year old son, who is a mathematical sciences major, about 30 minutes to help my 6th grader with her math homework because we don’t get common core math. We had the answer after about 15 seconds, but couldn’t figure out the insanely convoluted way that they wanted it solved…ridiculous, but that is another post.) I also like to complete a project and set it down and be able to come back to it 30 minutes later and have it still be completed. (That doesn’t happen at home very often…like never.)

But let me clear, even though I really enjoy my job, this working thing is crazy hard and I only do it 17 hours a week. I have absolutely no idea how you full-time working mommas do it. Seriously…no freaking clue. In addition to my regular job, I work seasonally in the bookstore on campus at the beginning of the semester to help with the textbook rush. I am only working there on my normal days off, and it is only for about a week and a half. So yes, I am working 5 days a week for two weeks twice a year. You can laugh, but let me just say, I am dead tired. My house looks like a family of trolls have taken up residence and they are morally opposed to doing dishes and laundry. The dust bunnies are now bigger than my dog and we have no food, because I don’t have time to go to the store. And honestly, even if I had the time, I am too freaking tired to get groceries! Wowza. Throw in an excessive amount of basketball games these last two weeks and you get the picture. But thankfully I only have a few more days of the bookstore and then I will be back to my normal schedule. I am not sure how long it will take to find my house underneath the chaos that reigns now, but I am fairly certain that it is still under there somewhere, so maybe by March???

So that explains why I have been such a slackadaisical blogger. Here is a quick review of the last 6 months or so, in case you are interested…

We were invaded by cicadas:

cicad

The kids went back to school…ALL of them!

14138128_10155112188833906_5455492976909294890_o

We played soccer and volleyball. We went trick or treating :

14889706_10155334516423906_1866734563720474462_o

The kids were in  some concerts and musicals, including Hannah performing in Godspell:

15156940_10155403032453906_3520271303473901431_o

One of us had a trip to the ER for swallowing part of a whistle…

15193590_10155410268633906_5124824918351219679_n

 

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas.

15622325_10155536858528906_4965223245421769631_n

 

And we suffered the loss of some old friends. Rest in Peace Joey and Big Steelers Guy…

 

16114037_10155621310203906_2786131194857556261_n                13557703_10154923970023906_1344726867128292965_n

We are wrapping up basketball season and moving on to volleyball (again) and track.

We managed to celebrate a few birthdays in there too. The twins turned 21…yep 21. I am still not sure how I feel about that. Ever since this past summer Coley has had a countdown going on until when the two of us could have a glass of wine together. Honestly I was looking forward to it to. I imagined us chilling out in our rocking chairs on the porch sipping our wine as we laughed about something witty that I had said. Wellllll, i am not nearly as cool as I thought that I was. The evening of her birthday, I poured us each a glass of wine, but I couldn’t physically hand it to her. All of the years of “Don’t drink!” had caused a paralysis and I simply couldn’t do it. But the funny thing is that she was just as uncomfortable. She kept covering her face and saying, “Stop looking at me!” So basically, we are dorks. We are not cool, or at least I am not. But I am ok with that. It wasn’t any better with DJ. I sent him a happy birthday text to which he responded, “Heading out for wings and a beer with Luke!” My response to that was to throw up in my mouth a little bit. Yep, I am decidedly uncool. Don’t get me wrong, I never wanted to get drunk with my kids, ever. I am far too old for such silliness, and I really don’t want to see them like that either. I just thought sharing a glass of wine would be a nice rite of passage to share with my adult kids. Not quite there yet…although we are making progress…

16105779_10155614283513906_2573159122603479211_n

Speaking of this lovely adultish type person,  Coley has settled on a major that she likes and is excelling at. And she seems to have found peace with herself. She is devoted to being fit and strong, both physically and spiritually. This gives my momma heart peace.

15941184_1240214329360938_4611313650106485313_n

DJ is doing amazingly at St. Vincent’s. He has officially started to date a lovely young lady named Hannah that we all really like. He is involved in a ton of campus activities.   He has belonged to the Benedictine Leadership Society since his freshman year. They always take the seniors on a trip, but he will be student teaching next year, so they have invited him to go this year instead. The trip is to …ROME! Holy Moly! So, so proud of him. Now if he would just call home every once in a while, that would be great.

 

15894469_241978056226386_8404046581321360930_n

Jake has also started to see a sweet girl, Christiana. She fits right into the craziness that is our family and the little kids adore her. Jake’s big news is that he has changed his major and has transferred to Franciscan. He is now a mathematical sciences major with a minor in computer programming. He really seems to like his classes and is really excited to be at FUS. I am really happy that he isn’t driving into Pittsburgh everyday. And it is nice to see him content and at peace.

And on the other end of the spectrum, the opposite of peace and contentment,  you have the middle three…2 words…HOLY HORMONES! Isaac is 14 and pretty much knows everything that there is to know about everything. Sometimes he can get a little bit too big for his britches, if you know what I mean. but he is doing great in school and is as sports obsessed as usual. Hannah has become very into her music. She got a ukulele for Christmas and has already written a few songs with it. At 13,  Hannah is our weepy hormonal kid. Everything is devastating and nobody understands her and nobody cares about her…you get the idea. I get her, because I had my weepy moments as a teenager, but I was more like Gianna….the angry hormonal preteen. Watch out world. If Miss Sassypants gets her panties in a twist…my best advice is to just duck and cover. These two share a bedroom, so you can only imagine the interesting things that go on there. Most of the time they are ok…but there are days when I very seriously consider locking them in their room together just to see who makes it out alive. Gia is mouthier, but I wouldn’t underestimate Hannah. She has been known to pinch and scratch so hard that she has left scars.  On a positive note, Gianna is also excelling in school. She loved playing soccer in the fall and she is really looking forward to volleyball this spring. But don’t let her sportsy nature fool you. She is 10000% all girl. Makeup, nail polish, clothes…she loves it all.

Noah might be 17 months younger than Gia, but he is already quite a few inches taller than her. He played soccer as well and is in the middle of his basketball season. But his big interest right now is archery. He bought a bow and arrow with his birthday money and has really gotten into that. He has been working on woodworking a walking stick with Jake. Which is great…as long as he doesn’t whack anybody with it….which I am sure is coming.

Aiden is preparing for his First Communion this spring. I cannot believe that. In fact I keep allowing myself to forget that. He also played soccer and absolutely loved it. He has really been working on his reading and it definitely shows. He has expressed his desire to be a priest and has informed me that he doesn’t really need to worry about any of his classes in school other than religion, because that’s all he will need to know when he is ordained. I have been trying to convince him otherwise…we shall see.

And finally, it has been a huge few months for the littlest of our men, Jonathan. Not only did he start kindergarten this year, he also played soccer for the first time (which he dominated in!). Having all of those big brothers that refuse to take it easy on you just because you are little, is finally paying off! He absolutely loves school and has made several new friends. It has been hard to see his world explode. Just last year, it was all about us, and now we are just a piece of what he has going on. He manages to crack us up daily and he is the “oldest” five year old ever.

There you go folks, you are all caught up now. lol Hopefully I can keep my resolution to blog more regularly, now that things are slowing down (?!? not really) a bit. If not, see you in 4 more months!

 

 

 

Advertisements

So, do you remember when I had applied for a job and I didn’t get it. As usual, I am thanking God for His wisdom and I am once again shown how He knows what is the best for me. You would think that after 40 years, I would get it, but well…whatever. As I said in a previous post, I felt as if I was being called to expand my focus and look for a job. This was a big deal since I had been a stay at home mom for the last 16 years. While I didn’t get the first job that I had applied for, I received a call to work on campus in the bookstore. It was a seasonal position for 3 weeks to help with the textbook rush. I accepted it. I figured that it would be a great way to get a current job reference and earn a little bit of extra money and get out of the house. It was 40 hours a week, but the first week and a half was before school started and I figured that we would be able to make it work for a few days.

Well, we did make it work, but it was not easy. Holy Crap! Like not easy at all! I have absolutely no idea how women work and have a family and clean laundry. I mean seriously, No freaking clue!!! But before I go on, about 4 days after I started my job at the bookstore, I received a phone call with an offer for a different position. I was offered the position for the secretary of the Masters program for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling department. It is a great job! I work with 4 full-time and 2 adjunct professors. There are around 50 or so students in the graduate program. My main job is to maintain the students’ files and track their practicum and internship experiences. It is 2 1/2 days a week, which allows for a good balance at home. I have plenty of time to get laundry done and go grocery shopping and clean the house. I am around to run the kids all over creation for soccer and volleyball.

But the best thing about my new job, is that I have a purpose outside of myself and my family. It is a great feeling to get up and put nice clothes on and be around people. I love my little office and my computer and my filing cabinets. I even love the massive ancient typewriter. (Which I have no idea how to use!) I enjoy feeling a sense of accomplishment. I love having a connection to the university that is my own. It is not because I am married to the Director of Conference operations or the mother of a student. These are both things that I am very proud of and very happy to be. But I also like that my job is just my own. It is my place in Steubenville. It might not be anything fancy and important, but it is just right for me. And as usual , the Big Guy, knew that this was where I needed to be.

Just some stuff…

It has been a super weird (not in a bad way) week. First of all, the three big kids went to Michigan to visit family. This in and of itself is not a big deal, but the fact that they drove themselves for the first time…big deal. The absence of the three of them is weird and empty. I hate it very much. It is just another reminder to me that school is right around the corner and they will be gone again. Stupid kid stealing schools…

Secondly, after a summer of the husband working really hard at the youth conferences at Franciscan and basically living on campus, he is off for 18 days straight! This is something that he has stated (several times), hasn’t happened since he graduated college like a zillion years ago. So basically, it is also a big deal. Now, I must say, his idea of not working for 18 days straight and mine differ slightly. I guess that if I was taking off, I wouldn’t go to work…but that is just me. But seriously, aside from a few quick trips to the office to sign this or that, he is off. I haven’t seen a lot of relaxation going on, but there has been a good deal of fun. We have had people over for dinner. We have hit the pool and the lake. We had an impromptu visit from one of B’s very best friends and godfather to 3 of our boys. We went out for Chinese (in a restaurant…very big deal here. We don’t normally eat in public. Too many rowdy kids and all.). We managed to squeeze in a little bit of school shopping along with not 1, not 2 but 6 well-child doctor’s appointments. Do we know how to have fun or what?!

**On a side note, Jonathan was super entertaining at his appointment this morning. The nurse was chit-chatting with him and asking him if he was excited to go to kindergarten. He said that he was and then  he looked at her and said, “I want my name to be Gary instead of Jonathan.” What the what?? I have no idea where that came from but he wasn’t finished. He then continued on to say that “Well, maybe not Gary. Maybe Freddy. Yes, Freddy. It will be great. ” She chuckled and said that he was one funny boy. He looked her right in the eye and said, “Yes. Yes I am.”  I am still not entirely sure where he came from.

Thirdly, I am 100% over this ridiculous Pokemon Go game. We live on a relatively quiet street. Thankfully there is normally not a whole lot going on, aside from the guy gutting the building across the street from us. ( He is getting it ready for renovations to change the former elementary school into a house for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception!! We will have an order of Marians living right across the street from us!) I love the quietness of the street. And then came Pokemon. Hate it. There have been all of these random cars driving down our street. They drive very slowly, and suspiciously. I had my phone in my hand to call the police the other night because I was sure that they were looking for a drug deal. They weren’t. Apparently there is some stupid egg thing or ball thingy on my porch. I don’t get it.  I understand that people like that it gives their kids incentive to walk and get some exercise. Excercise is great! I am 100% supportive of exercise and getting kids outside. But here is a crazy idea…you could always just go for a walk. Look for birds or flowers or, heck, stray cats if you want. Just a thought… But to each his own, blah, blah, blah. If you want to play Pokemon. Go for it. Just don’t do it in front of my house, please.

Ok. That is enough random thoughts and ramblings for the day.

 

A big step

This summer of nothingness that I was hoping for, is slipping away! We have spent days at the pool. We have spent evenings around the firepit. We have grilled various and sundry meats. We have consumed 50 watermelons. (give or take a few) The littles, middles and I have made several trips back to PA to visit with family and friends. The conference season is rapidly coming to an end (which means that I will get my husband and big kids back fulltime at least until college starts up again). All in all, it has been a beautifully, wonderful summer.

But as I have said, summer is coming to a close. School will be upon us before we know it.  The girls and I have already knocked several things off of the back to school list. Normally, I am not one of those parents that sobs on the first day of school. I am usually fine with the big yellow bus coming and taking a few of my kids away for a few hours. This year, however, will be different. My baby, Jonathan, is starting kindergarten in the fall. When the kids all line up in their crisp new uniforms with their super white (not for long) shoes, brand-spanking new backpacks slung over their shoulder, he won’t be standing beside me as I snap the traditional first day of school pictures. Nope. He will be in his very own crisp uniform, with his very own super white (not for long) shoes, with his very own brand- spanking new backpack slung over his tiny little shoulder.  The littlest of our men will join his siblings and begin his very own adventures at school. His little family-focused life is about to broaden to include his teachers and classmates. He will make his very own friends. He will  expand his world.

The knowledge of this has been weighing on my heart for a while. All of my babies will be in school fulltime. This has never happened. Not once in the 16 years that I have been a mom, have I been at home alone. I have been a stay at home mom for as long as I have been a mom. My family has been my world. I have been dedicated to taking care of them. My roles as a wife and mother have been my vocation. My husband and my kids have been the center of this vocation. This has been a blessing. This has been my calling. This has been my joy (most of the time).

But I am now feeling another calling. My vocation as a wife and mother is a life-long thing. But for the last 16 years all of my energy and my focus have been on Brian and the kids. The last year, in particular, was a big one. I have put all of my energy into getting my family settled. Settled into our new home, into our new community, into new schools. But they are all settled now. They have their place here in Steubenville. I can see why God has called each one of them to Steubenville. But I have struggled to find my own reason to be here. Up to now, I have been here because I am Brian’s wife. I have been here because I am DJ, Coley, Jacob, Isaac, Hannah, Gia, Noah, Aiden and Jonathan’s mom. I have been here because this is where my people are. But it doesn’t feel like enough anymore. I feel that God is preparing to reveal to me what am doing here. I feel that I am being called to broaden my focus of my vocation. I am have decided to get a job. When I first talked to Brian about this, he thought that I was nuts. I kind of thought that he might be right. But I just kept feeling this nudge in my heart to look. I know that my family is always #1, period. So whatever this job is, it would have to work for our family. And then I saw it. The “perfect”job. It was as a secretary at Franciscan in one of the classroom buildings. The hours were a little more than I had originally been looking for, but definitely doable. After some thought and a lot of prayer, I decided to give it a shot.

I tried to find a copy of my old resume. But after looking for a while, I decided that it probably wouldn’t have really been much help. I have been out of the workforce for 16 years. I jokingly (sort of) said to my mom that I was just going to glue a picture of the kids to the page and say, “This is what I have been doing for the last 16 years.” Instead, I opted to list my job as a stay at home mom along with the other jobs that I had worked. I managed to convince a few people that I had worked with at our old parish to allow me to use them as references. I drafted a cover letter and sent it all in. And then I had to wait. And wait. And wait. And then I received a phone call asking me to schedule a phone interview. I managed to make it through that, second guessing myself the whole time. It is very unnerving to try to reenter the workforce after having been away for 16 years. But I just kept telling God that if it was His will, I knew that it would all work out. The next day I recieved another call to set up a face to face interview! What?!?!  The first thought in my mind was that I needed to go shopping. I needed interview appropriate attire. It’s been a while since I have had a job, but I was pretty sure that yoga pants and a tank top weren’t going to cut it.

With my stomach churning and my hands shaking, I walked into the interview room to face three women. It was a pretty intense interview, but I felt like it went pretty well. I then had a second phase of the interview by sitting down with four of the professors. It took me a minute to realize that it wasn’t your typical interview, but more of a sit down so that they could see if they could stand to work with me. I left feeling fairly confident and then absolutely sure that I was a complete idiot for even trying and then back to feeling ok about it all. I decided that I had done everything that I could possibly do. I had left it all out there. I was feeling incredibly vulnerable. I was also feeling worried that I wouldn’t get it and equally terrified that I would. When the crazy started to fly around in my head, I would just remind myself that if it was meant to be it would all fall into place.  As the next week passed I allowed myself to think that maybe, just maybe I would get the call offering me the position. I allowed myself to rest in the maybe.

Tuesday came and I was out and about getting groceries. I was in the check out line at Walmart when my cell rang. It was Gia calling to tell me that someone from Franciscan had called and I was to call them back. My hands started to shake as I wrote the number down with eyeliner (I couldn’t find a pen.). I rushed out to the van to put the groceries in the trunk so that I could return the call. I called her back and she started out by saying how professional my resume and cover letter had been and that I had performed exceptionally well in the online skills assessment. But that they had in fact, offered the job to another person with more experience. I didn’t get it. I thanked her as she encouraged me to apply for a few other positions that were available on campus. I just wanted to get off of the phone because I was afraid that I would start to cry. Which I did. I cried a lot. So much so that I was actually surprised at how upset I was. I don’t think that it was necessarily about that particular job, although I would have loved it. But I think that it was more that I had put myself out there. I had taken a step, a big step for me, and I had failed. After wallowing and pouting for the afternoon, I put my big girl panties back on and snapped out of it. I tweaked my resume for the other positions and applied to them as well.

I had said all along that I was putting it all in God’s hands and when it didn’t turn out the way that I was hoping for, I crumbled. I can’t even tell you how many times I have uttered the words, “It will all work out the way that it is supposed to, in His time. It will be better than anything that you could have imagined. Just give it to God and let him work it out.” So many times…It is really easy to say, much harder to hear. But true nonetheless. So I am 100% sure that there is something out there for me. Maybe it won’t be a job, per se, but rather volunteering. Maybe the hours for the first job would have been more than would have worked my family.  Maybe I will get a call tomorrow, maybe it won’t be for 6 months. I just need to take a deep breath and keep looking and, more importantly, keep praying. I have taken the first step. Now I just need to sit back let God work out the details.

 

Has it really been a year???

11390419_10153888861253906_7859119253132684357_n

So, yesterday was the one year anniversary of the last time that we pulled out of the driveway of our little home in Dayton Pa. It is also the anniversary of the first time that we pulled up to the front of our home in Steubenville to stay. I haven’t exactly been quiet about my feelings for the move. I hate change, as in I have physical reactions to changing my ordinary. It often times involves throwing up. It is not pretty. That being said, there are also times that you just need to put your big girl panties on and suck it up.  Brian’s job at Franciscan was the answer to years of prayer. It was obvious that this move was what God had planned for all of us. So many things had to fall into place for it to work out, and they did, each and every one of them. We could feel God’s fingerprints all around us as we began our new adventure.

The biggest thing that helped to ease the sting a little bit, was the house that we bought. This house…oh my, I love this house. The very first time that we stepped foot in it, I knew that this was our home. In fact, I literally told Brian that if he wanted me to move to Ohio with him, we were buying this house. He laughed and pointed out that we didn’t even know what they were asking for it. To which I said, “I don’t care.” This house is big and old and has so much character and charm. We have, of course, managed to put our own Hough twist on things, but nothing that a little bit of paint and elbow grease couldn’t fix.

It has taken a year to finally feel settled and for this house to feel like home. We have painted this or that and planted a few things. Brian dismantled a chicken coop and built a beautiful pond in it’s place. He also added a little fire pit and patio area. I have added some rockers to the porch, which has quickly become one of my favorite places in the world. But more important than all of the cosmetic things, the mental shift has been made. When I say “home” I no longer think of our house in Dayton. That was a sweet little home filled with so many memories of bringing home babies and Christmases and birthday parties and, well our lives for the first 14 years of our marriage. No. Now when I say home I think of this place here on the hill in Steubenville. This house is where we have started to have new memories; our first christmas here,  Jake’s graduation party, the first day of school, basketball games with the neighborhood kids and new friendships. We have been blessed by the sweetest neighbors, great schools for the kids and a grocery store where I can buy milk and wine! It hasn’t always been a smooth transition, but the kids are all happy and healthy here in Ohio. Brian loves his job, although it is very fast paced and a bit stressful. I am still trying to figure out exactly what my role here is. I know that God has something in store, I just haven’t figured that out yet. But in the meantime, I have been blessed by meeting several amazing women that I am happy to call friends. I am thankful for these new friends, because let me tell you…making friends as an adult sucks. I am also thankful to my old friends (old in the classic sense, of course!). They have listened to me moan and cry and whine for the last year. They have been understanding and encouraging. I don’t know how I would have gotten through this past year without my mom and my sister. There were many many phone calls that put my craziness at ease.

So here we are one year in and going strong!

 

Sunburns and ice cream…AKA Summer vacation

Sunburns and ice cream…AKA Summer vacation

The school year is winding down and I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I am excited to have all of my chickens home all day so that we can just relax and have fun. On the other hand, I know that my first hand is a big, fat, impossible lie.

I will definitely love the slower pace of summer. I am sooooo looking forward to not having to drive everyone to school each morning. I am craving the laid back intentionally “unplannedness” of our summer schedule. But this is not my first trip to the rodeo. I know that my visions of happy smiling kids rolling out of bed at 8:00, to get dressed for the day and make their beds before they joyfully skip down the stairs to pleasantly and politely ask for breakfast is never gonna happen. Let’s be real. The much more likely scenario is as follows. It will be 5:00 am for some of the kids (the ones that really shouldn’t be awake and unsupervised) they will leap from bed ripping clothes out of every drawer and throwing them around the room, ( probably throwing clean folded clothes into the hamper because, well, why not??)  but never actually getting dressed for the day because they will be wailing that they have “NOTHING” to wear. You know, because the 800,976, 327 shirts in the drawer are not the one flourescent-yellow-covered-in-stains-smells-like-dog shirt that said child is looking for. Maybe because it is in the hamper because he has worn it for the last 4 days and you managed to steal it when he was in the shower last night and because you couldn’t light it on fire in the 7 minutes that your kid was standing in the shower not using soap and not washing his face or feet or any other gross and dirty body part, you settled on hiding it in the hamper under the smelly dirty clothes that you found on the floor of the bathroom 6 inches from the hamper from when the middle boys “cleaned” their room. (They obviously aren’t going to actually put them in the hamper…duh.) Anyway, the wild small child will wander down the hallway, wailing and gnashing his teeth because he can’t find anything to wear. You, unsuccessfully try to coax him into crawling in your bed so that you could maybe, possibly, PLEASE sleep until , oh I don’t know…6:00. Nope. Never gonna happen. So you bite the bullet and stumble out of bed. You blindly make your way to the kitchen where the magical coffee beans are waiting to infuse you with life. You throw some toast or cereal at the small child and they plop down in front of the TV. You stand there for a moment and debate over whether or not starting the day with Paw Patrol or UmiZoomi is really the best thing for you little guy and then you realize that while it might not be the best it is definitely going to buy you a few precious quiet moments to enjoy your coffee and maybe wake up a bit before the rest of the crew makes their way downstairs. And then you laugh at yourself for actually acting like you were ever not going to turn on cartoons.  Silly Mommy.

You enjoy the peacefulness for a few minutes. You might even get in some prayer time or a rosary and then you hear it…the low rumble that signifies that they are waking up. They will emerge, sort of like the nasty 17 year cicadas that are taking over right now.

cicad

They will slowly make their way downstairs shedding their pjs much like the cicadas shed their skin leaving them wherever they may fall. They will eat whatever they see, their red eyes staring at you. You resist stepping on them and squishing them because, well… because you are a goodish mom. You just stay out of their way and let them do their thing. You cautiously back out of their way and escape to the upstairs, where you jump in the shower. You throw on some clothes, brush your teeth and maybe even a little mascara (if you are feeling extra fancy) and you are ready for the day.

Now begins the hardest part of the day…deciding what you are going to do. Is it a pool day? a trip to the library day? a we are not going anywhere kind of day? a we need to unearth the house from the clutter and crazy that has taken over sort of day? a make a trip to the grocery store for the 879th time this week because there is no food (again!) and it is turning into a Hunger Games meets the Lord of the Flies kind of situation? Or maybe the prozac has affected your judgement a little bit too much and you decide (insanely) that it is an ALL OF THE ABOVE kind of day???  You shake your head and clear away that nonsense immediately. You are a pro. That is a rookie mistake. Get your head in the game woman!! Your internal dialogue is starting to stress you out. You take a deep breath and walk down stairs to assess the situation. You can’t really make a decision until you feel out the kids, especially the preteen girls. Just keeping it real people. Those two can be the sweetest, most helpful little angel faces and then faster than the older boys can inhale a pizza, they turn into a medusa-like ball of hormones. The best thing to do in that case, is to avoid eye contact and back away slowly.

medusa

You walk into the living room and look around. They seem to be content. They look full, they are not killing each other, they are…smiling. Woah! It has all of the makings for a good day. Ok. We can do this. You know better than to ask the kids what they want to do. They will never agree and then nobody will be happy. Nope, it is up to you to decide. You weigh your options and make the call. You know that you will still end up with a few unhappy kids but that’s ok. It is what it is. The goal is to end up with happy or at least happyish kids. Happyish is totally acceptable.

144

And then the coffee finally hits and I remember a very important thing. I remember that I am their mom. I am not their tour guide. It is not my job to make sure that every second of their summer is planned and fun. It is my job to  make sure that they have food and sunscreen. It is my job to make sure that they are reasonably clean and that they don’t kill one another. Our summer vacation is going to include everything that I previously said. It will have trips to the library to get books for the mandatory reading times. (Isaac is already complaining about that.) More books, less electronics!  It will involve trips to the grocery store (a lot of trips). It will include cleaning. I will happily assign chores to kids.  We are going to try out all of the local pools. We are on a mission to find a good ice cream place and a good playground. There will be bike riding and walks. There will be playing with the neighbor kids and rainy day movies. There will be tents and fires and smores. It will be a summer of scraped knees and popsicles. I am sure that it will also have a fair amount of complaining and fighting. You know what, whatever. Fight. Complain. Be bored.  Summer vacation is all of this. Sunburns and ice cream. Staying up late and waking up early. Moms with mixed emotions and coffee.  Bring it on.

list

 

A-May-zing Women

This is an old one, but still true!!

fullofgraceandwinedotcom

May is one of those crazy birthday months in my family. As most of you know,  two of my kids have May birthdays. Gianna’s birthday is May 5th, and Aiden’s is May1st. But the May birthday insanity goes beyond my little ones. My Mema, my mom, my sister, sister-in-law and mother-in-law as well as a nephew all have May birthdays too. CRAZY!! This blog is dedicated to three women who have been part of my life for as long as I have had a life. The first is my Mema. She is the matriarch of our family. She and my Poppy have raised 5 daughters and a son. (One of those daughters being my very own mom!) My memories of Mema go back as far as my memory does. I remember sitting on her lap with my head resting on her shoulder, thinking that I was in one of the…

View original post 1,619 more words