The School Lunch Menu

I cried looking at the August lunch calendar on Wednesday.
(How's that for equal parts of honesty and embarrassment?  Andrew may have weighted embarrassment a little heavier when I told him that night. 
Always keeping me humble, that one.)

Henry is starting kindergarten in less than three weeks, and as much as I have loooooooonged for this day at many, many times over the last several years, it's hitting me harder than I thought it would.  It feels like he's leaving for college tomorrow (Manhattan clearly, where else would he go?), not starting kindergarten.

He's ready (for kindergarten, that is),
and I know it's the right place and right time for him.

And while some of you have been having the #bestsummerever, we've been over here literally #survivingsummer or #tryingtomakeittobedtime or just even trying to #hideinmybathroomandtakedeepbreaths ALONE which never happens because my kids have a radar for when I try to potty in solitude. 
(Also helpful in the humility department.)

 How is my first baby old enough to be eating school lunch in a lunch room with school friends instead of at my kitchen table having peanut butter and jellies
for the 1,000th time?

It's the start.
The beginning of the school years where he spends more of his waking hours away than at home.  And while this tired mama is like, oh my gosh, yasssssss, a break!!, this tired mama is also mourning the end of these first years when we could stay in our jammies until 10am if we wanted to and naptime dictated our schedule and Daniel Tiger provided many life lessons, and I didn't have to think about bullies or homework and now I'm ordering kindergarten uniform pants and filling out final registration paperwork and praying that he's both brave and kind to others and others to him, and wondering have we loved him hard enough, and does he know that, and will he be lonely or scared, and will he make friends, and, and, and, AND.

This is what they're supposed to do...grow up?  Can we find a happy medium where I don't have to play referee and both cruise entertainment director every waking moment of every day, but where he stays sweet and innocent and giggles and build forts in every room of the house even though it drives me crazy?  

To finding ways to enjoy our last bit of summer (and also survive), and to giving them both roots and wings, and to maybe scheduling some lunchroom visits. 
Because the school menu looks way better than mine.

Our Last Night on Rockwood

We moved! 
Nearly two months ago and it's taken almost that entire time to feel settled. 
At least for me.  Don't ask Andrew because he's still mourning our first house and our old neighborhood and our beloved neighbors and being able to walk down the street to the pool and waving at familiar faces as he leaves for work in the morning.  It's bad.  I'm pretty sure he drives through there every day.  Because it's on his way to work and because he has a hard time with change.

Truth be told, so do I, but in different ways.  

I am loooooooooooving our space x1000.
I don't feel like we're on top of each other ALL THE DAY LONG anymore!  The layout makes so much more sense for our family of five, and I daydream all the time about paint and flooring and fixtures and all the things that get discussed on Fixer Upper every darn episode.  (One of these days we'll have our own #demoday, 
but I'll make sure Andrew wears a shirt.) 

Change is hard for me because of displacement and not having my familiar things around me and my familiar routine and overall just the disruption that comes with change.  And also dealing with the kids dealing with change.  Because it turns out they didn't want to sit quietly while I unpacked boxes.  Also the Jack and Jill bathroom makes a great secret hallway to sneak into the girls' room during naps and bedtime and naps and bedtime and naps and bedtime and naps and bedtime.  Kind of like today.

Our move was a short one (in distance), just a hop over the main road into the adjacent neighborhood, but now when we go for walks in the morning and see others out doing the same Henry asks if they're our neighbors because in our old 'hood we would stop and talk to everyone because we knew everyone.  We're starting to get a few hellos and the "wow! you've sure got your hands full" comments are rolling in as we parade by with Ham on his bike, Franklin on leash and the girls in the double jogger.  And we've found not one, but two Little Libraries the kiddos convince me to stop at nearly every day.  There are going to be countless things that we'll miss about our first home, but so many other things to look forward to and love in our second.


We took a stroll around the block the night before we moved like we had done hundreds of times before, and sat on the floor for dinner around a box of pizza that night the same way we had when Andrew and I moved in almost eight years ago.  Except this time, instead of just a couple not married for even a year yet, it was the five of us soaking up the last moments in the space that saw fights, make ups, first steps, holidays, seasons change, jobs change, paint colors change, us change, 
and a family made.  

Rockwood, you were good to us.

So, so, so good.

Moving Forward

Our living room is completely covered in packing paper and boxes...some not yet filled, but most taped up and stacked along the wall, waiting to be moved.

We're about a week out from moving, and the easy stuff has long since been boxed up.  Now we're into the odd shaped items, the too-big items, the things that we still might need, but will have to put away eventually.  I'm quickly realizing we use only use a small portion of things most of the time.  The rest could sit in boxes for months and we probably wouldn't miss it.  And I'm not a collector of stuff and frequently purge
and still feel this way.

But life continues on, even though the current state of our house
is making me feel very displaced and unsettled.  

We still run to and from preschool, swimming lessons, dance class and rehearsals, t-ball practice, the grocery store, etc.  We're trying to keep the kids' day-to-day very consistent, as everything else feels anything but. 

When this year started, I felt so unsure about so many things, and after finding peace in the midst of the craziness of selling our house, there's clear direction in all of it. 
We're moving this month, the kids are enrolled in a new school for this fall,
and I just took Henry to kindergarten round up this morning. 

They asked who was attending round up for the first time with a kindergartner, and probably about half the hands went up.  And then the next set of hands went up for those attending kindergarten round up for the last time with a kindergartner....waaaaaahhhhh!  I can't even think about it. 
I know how this time thing works. 

We'll get busy with t-ball, and dance, and school recitals, and play dates, and swimming lessons, bedtimes, and class projects, and I'm going to wake up one May Friday morning not too long from now and be taking June to her own kindergarten round up and cry in the second row because wasn't I just here in the second row with her letting her empty my purse to keep her entertained since she tagged along to Henry's round up? 

Please let these babies always want to kiss my hand and make really hilarious observations like, "mommy, you look so pretty tonight, but you not very pretty in the mornings," when my eyes can barely open at 6:15am.  Oh Henry, my charmer.  I think kindergarten is going to be fun for you.

To finding calm in the chaos, peace in the unsure, humor in the day-to-day, and adventure in the unknown.
Cheers!  Have a marg!  It's Friday, Cinco de Mayo,
and they sure help make the packing more fun.

In This House We Call a Home

It's quickly setting in that our house won't actually be ours for much longer.

We're under contract (praise Jesus!!!) and scheduled to move mid-May.  Andrew and I had a whirlwind weekend with both of us working and juggling getting the kids to birthday parties, but he did manage to start boxing up a few things here and there.  Seeing bare walls in a few rooms and shelves starting to empty makes it REAL.  

I've already had several moments where I've gotten lost in nostalgia over these walls that have seen a LOT of life over the past eight years.

While we were in the chaos of showing our house and things were taking longer than this impatient lady could handle, I started getting defensive of this sweet house.
You know, she wasn't even my first choice. Of course Andrew remembers it differently, but it wasn't love at first sight for me. We knew we wanted to be in this neighborhood, and we wanted a ranch with a basement, so when this little gem popped up after looking for several months it was the right choice for us. There were lots of things that I didn't love about it, but Andrew was sure about this red brick house, and I knew we could make it more of what we wanted.

No, this place wasn't my dream house,
but she has been the place where dreams have taken life.

There's a big adventure ahead for us
once we get past the work of moving where more life will happen.
Good, good life.

Until then, we're going to jump on the bed first thing in the morning where the light streaks in from the east. More fire pit nights, more laps around the neighborhood just as it's coming to life with spring in parade fashion because two bikes, plus a stroller, and a dog totally justifies parade status, and more good, good life will happen.
Hard things too, sad things too, real life things too (like Nelle's dried ketchup on her belly in these pictures from the previous night's dinner...what can I say,
my children are ragamuffins.)

But good life, in the sun, in this house we call home.

1,803,041 Messes and 1,803,042 Cleaning Frenzies

We're buying a new (old) house!!!

But first we have to sell ours, and I just know we will. Positive thinking, plus this feels like God working on all of this for us because it just feels like things are happening exactly when they're supposed to for us.

We listed last Monday and had our ninth showing this afternoon.

That means I've cleaned my house probably 1,803,042 times,
and the kids have made 1,803,041 messes.

It feels like we're living pretty day-to-day right now as showing requests have popped up anywhere from days in advance to an hour in advance. 
And overall I'd say it's going well.

Except for those too many times I've totally lost my temper on each of the kids because they just don't understand as I'm frantically trying to make alllll the beds why I don't want them climbing on alllll the beds.  Or why I've cleaned the glass doors to the backyard over and over and over again because #fingerprintsanddogbreath.

Have you ever seen this video?

This is pretty much me the thirty minutes before we have to leave for a showing.
Running frantically from room to room, fluffing pillows and eliminating all signs of actual life in our house while herding butterflies, I mean my kids, to the bathroom, into their clothes AGAIN because why can't anyone keep their clothes on?!?!, changing June's poopy diaper and wondering if our whole house is going to smell like poop because she always has to poop right before we leave, and then ushering them out the door and into the garage when Nelle goes into full on sloth mode while climbing up into the Suburban and takes FOR-EV-ER to buckle herself in.

No, really, it's going well.

So, last Friday when the kids didn't have school, we stayed at our house for the morning and made more messes than as of late and jumped on the bed.  And I took these pictures to remind myself that even though it feels like all work (cleaning) lately
and no play, there is play.

These little tornadoes are kind of the best at that.

do do do < stop stop stop

This feels like the year to make room for less.
An intentional mental shift from do, do, do to stop, stop, stop.  Slow down and be.
Less work, less commitments, less stuff so we can do more of this -

I had the best, quiet, slow morning with June last Friday while the bigs were at school.  We were supposed to be packing and tidying up before we all went out of town for the night, but instead of making the bed like I had intended when I walked into our bedroom, June crawled up onto it instead and hid (really well, I might add) which is THE favorite thing to do right now.

She giggled SO hard and was so proud of herself, and we totally got lost in this moment.  I was feeling a little guilty later, my mind moving through the to-do list that I didn't do, and I remembered a post I read a while back that quickly helped me banish any of those ridiculous thoughts circling around the theme that I "didn't get anything done" and just being mom wasn't enough.

Well, this is what I got done on Friday morning.

And being mama is always enough.

 It really is that simple! Retraining myself to go their first instead of the opposite,
and enjoying it oh so very much so far.