Weekends v. Weekdays

We are in the thick of the “weekdays” right now on this Wednesday morning.  It feels like it has been raining for 100 years, but it has really been only a full day of rain.  I woke up once for Helen and once for Holden last night.   Both times it sounded just like someone had turned a faucet on over our house!  Don’t you just hate the rain?!?!  It’s kind of cozy if you can stay home when it’s going on.  Unfortunately, that’s not what we were up to yesterday.  I have about a 30 minute drive to work in typical traffic.  Yesterday’s rain extended that quite a bit.  I just hate being late to work!  I have a hard time keeping the day going in a positive way when that happens.  Which brings me to what’s on my mind…weekends v. weekdays!

This past weekend was Holden’s first soccer game.  He loved it, and we loved watching him!  It was pretty warm with temps in the mid 80s.  The team split into two small teams, so the kids could play the whole time with no subbing.

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P.S. Boys 6 and under soccer is when things start to get a little more serious and a little more competitive!

Besides soccer, we got to attend a baptism of our old friends’ baby boy.  The Mr. was the godfather.  Doesn’t he look handsome?!  Baby and Godfather!14355539_1462250590457984_1420083822664243896_n.jpg

It was a beautiful service with lots of delicious food afterwards.  We also had a visit from Holden and Helen’s Meme and C-Pa.  This delayed nap time, so Holden was quite pleased! It was such a nice (and busy!) weekend.  I confess that Monday was not my favorite, and Tuesday was really not my favorite.  I’ve been really not feeling the work scene lately, and it’s been very noticeable.  Not to mention I’ve been pretty vocal about it!  Don’t ask me how I feel unless you REALLY want to know.

I know when I have times like this the most important thing I can do is to pray more.  Well, (sadly) I feel like I tend to pray less.  This morning I finally got myself together and spent a little time reading.  I came across this verse in Hosea 7 (verse 14).

They lie there sleepless with anxiety, but won’t ask my help.  

Instead, they worship heathen gods asking them for crops and for prosperity.

So true in my case!  I have chosen to fret and worry and obsess and just WALLOW about in my despair over working outside the home (let’s be real…there’s work inside the home too!).  Right now it seems to be my portion.  Although people say you can always change your course, I don’t feel that’s anything I can do now.  I’ve got to figure out how to make this work AND somehow enjoy it aka not be super miserable everyday.  A key part that I’ve been missing is PRAYER.  I totally have been skipping this in my life right now for worry, crying, whining, anger, and just general despair.

 So…I’m going to try to do better.  Does this seem like it’s the theme of your days?  I feel like it happens to be mine.  I am thankful for new days and fresh starts.  Even if today I may float away on the way to work.  It’s STILL raining!

Have a great hump day.

Natalie

 

Summer Goals- 4 weeks left!

I can’t believe that it’s only a little over 4 weeks left of my maternity leave/ summer vacation!  It has been (mostly) so wonderful!  I really want to make the most of the time I have left, so I made a list of some end-of-summer goals.

House Stuff:

  • Make a chalkboard sign for the kitchen
  • Redo hall pictures
  • Clean out summer clothes
  • Put prints in photo album
  • Buy blender for baby food making

 

Me Stuff:

  • Renew blog?  Always torn about this!  I’m always really into it in the summer, but I tend to fall off in the other seasons.
  • Keep running (and lifting and yoga and just fitnessy stuff)
  • Get ready to do budget recon in September – I plan on writing down EVERYTHING I buy in the month of September.  Oh.my.
  • Get a haircut! – I haven’t had one since March!
  • Organize school papers/materials that I brought home in April (seems like a lifetime ago)
  • Read 2 books for fun
  • Eat as much watermelon as possible

 

Holden’s Stuff:

  • Finish baby book – Yikes!  I really fell off the bandwagon with this one.  I’m trying to be inspired by Helen’s and finish up Holden’s.
  • Get Holden’s school supplies
  • Get fitted for a little boy tux for Auntie Brookie’s wedding
  • Art Museum Pre-K Day
  • Visit Farmer’s Market
  • Maybe another fishing trip???
  • School shoes!
  • Fro-yo date – Mommy & Holden

 

Helen’s Stuff:

  • Work on baby book
  • Outfit for Auntie Brookie’s wedding
  • Find some cute clothes to fit this growing baby!
  • Review baby food making business – I love this book!  
  • Baptism and Reception – Planning, Decorating, Cooking, and Enjoying!
  • Get everything ready for the daycare transition

 

Whew!  We are going to be busy!  Hopefully, there will be some beach days in there as well.

Natalie

How’s your summer been?

Any last items you want to check off your summer list?

Favorite summer treats?

What’s Up?!?!? (Wednesday)

Can you believe that we are at the half-way point for October?!?!  Wow, this month is flying by!  I’ve had lots of changes in my work life in the past week, so I’m kind of thrilled they are behind me.  My school lost one special education teacher due to “numbers” not being high enough to keep the position.  There is a system in which school officials calculate the “need” of each student based on daily minutes provided.  All the teachers that I know go above and beyond those minutes, and I know that I certainly help all students who are struggling…not just those with official “minutes.”  You may guess that no one asked a teacher’s opinion at my school.  They have their budget and reality of how they have to do things, BUT it certainly made for a stressful mess for my school and teachers.

The short version is that I will not be working with my kindergarten students (They were so sweet about me leaving!  They made a card, and we had donuts on my last day!).  I will be working with both third grade and fourth grade this year.  English all day.  Yippee.  I really don’t mind teaching English, but it is nice to have some variety in life.  Two SOL TESTING grades is also a challenge.  In conclusion, it sort-of feels like the first day of school again for half the day.  I so don’t like the first day of school!  Getting to know the kids, revamping/doing lesson plans, and just adjusting to working with a new teacher can make one stressed!  In fact, I was so stressed this past weekend (although I don’t think I admitted how bad it was getting on my nerves!) that I broke out with a nice case of hives for my Saturday night fun!  Not to worry!  Those lovelies have faded, and hopefully things will start smoothing out at school as well.

We did get out of town this weekend to visit H’s Granny and for the Mr. to do his first fall hunting.  He’s slightly excited about hunting season.  🙂  (<-that may be the largest understatement of the year).  Although it sprinkled a bit on Saturday, Granny, H, and I did get a little outdoor play in plus a trip to the farmers’ market.  Granny treated H to TWO light sabers (one for his opponent who is typically Daddy).

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I got to take two nice walks with Roscoe the doggie while we were there.  Aren’t these flowers growing in a soybean field pretty!

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Sunday was a baby shower for an old friend.  The food was delicious, and I was so glad that I could make it there.  It’s funny how you can go from seeing someone so much to seeing them hardly at all.  As life has gotten busier for both of us plus a couple moves for her, it was nice just to catch up and do baby/kid talk for a little bit.  After the shower, it was back to reality for us!  Groceries, laundry, and prepping for my first day as a third and fourth grade teacher!  Another mountain to climb this week was to figure out why I’m sneezing and itching my face off!  I’ve never been one to have allergies, but I have been getting super sneezy and just miserable every night.  This has resulted in a lot of lack of sleep!  Not good!  Well, this week we went on the attack.  The Mr. had our home inspected for mold.  None present!  Yay!  We thoroughly cleaned our bedroom from top to bottom including under the bed and closet.  We even washed curtains and every single bit of our bedding.  After continued sneezing, we decided to throw money at the situation.  On Monday, I was feeling way tired from the lack of sleep, so I left work ASAP to buy an air purifier.  I know…it kind of seems like a hoax.  I can happily report that I’ve been sleeping much better since purchasing it!

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I’ve also been using my Neti pot every night!  It’s basically a pretty snotty, gross event.  Whatever it takes to sleep through the night!  I’ve been feeling like a fussy infant or the princess and the pea!  Here’s a link if you want to buy…  I’ve always heard great recommendations about these things.  Seem to gross to try?  Here’s an article from WebMD about the benefits and who should give it a whirl.  Another recommendation is to wash your hair every night.  I know this stinks especially if you’re more stylish than me and like to do your hair in the morning.  I’m not at all hair-motivated in the morning.  My hair is fine, so I can easily curl, straighten, or put up my washed-last-night-hair.

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So I’m happy to report I made it from 10PM to 4:40AM last night!  Victory!  Unfortunately, my nose got a little stuffy around that time.  This is a HUGE improvement!  I’ll keep doing what I’m doing!

Any allergies tips that have worked for you?

It’s beginning to feel like fall around these parts.  Do you have any favorite fall traditions or a fall bucket list?

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Checking in…

Well, it has only been almost three weeks since I’ve showed up on here!  I’ve been focusing on “showing up” and attempting to get the school year started for all of us.  Whew!  It is definitely a slightly painful period each year!  I *almost* feel like a routine is coming together both at school and home.  It sure is a lot of work required to get to this point.  I always say things will get better…by Halloween!  🙂

I hope your September has been a little less busy than mine.  We have managed to have some fun too!  I’ve continued my weekly yoga class {pretty sure this is only because I’m paying per visit and I started with 10!}.  We visited family over the Labor Day weekend.  Crabbing, eating, and celebrating were the main goals that weekend, and I would say we achieved them.  My little brother also had a birthday as well as my mom.  We were so glad to get to celebrate a bit, but I’m very much looking forward to celebrating with my mom at the end of the month.

Although I enjoy meeting the new kids, it is hard to remember from June to September how much effort is required to get that structure and routine in place that will guide us through the school year.  My school division adopted a new reading series this year.  There is definitely a learning curve as we are also using a new student record online program as well.  Good grief!  I already forgot the password to one program and got myself {temporarily} locked out!

Here’s a few back-to-school funnies for you!

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Ha!  All images from Pinterest.

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5 for Friday

Hi there!  It’s finally here!  Last day of summer vacation!  I truly feel that summer has been satisfying.  Last summer was a lot about work with the moving process, but this summer the theme was FUN!  The Mr. told me the other day that he got zero projects done that he had planned for the house this summer.  I’m pretty sure I was a bad influence in this department.  🙂

We are thrilled to have the Mr. off with us today.  A dentist appointment is on the agenda for H today.  However, I’m sure we’re head on to more exciting things as the day progresses.  Here are five things on my mind this week…

{ONE}

New mattress – We are loving our new mattress!  I was a little concerned that the mattress was too firm, but I think we’ve both adjusted to it.  H loved having the old mattress in the den for about 3 days.  He used it to jump his heart out!

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Have you ever seen anything cuter?!?!?

{TWO}

Multitasking v. Monotasking – We all know about multitasking.  We say things like – Women are good at it.  Men aren’t.  I have to multitask all the time in my professional and personal life.  I’m a master at doing a million things at once.  I escaped to Barnes & Noble for a bit of tabloid magazine reading when H was at his summer camp time.  I did feel slightly bad about reading 3 of these priceless works of fiction, so I grabbed a couple yoga/healthy living magazines as well.  One magazine had lots of interesting articles like the one below…

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The article was basically saying that we are spreading ourselves so thin that we aren’t allowing for awareness of our current spot in life (even if that happens to be washing dishes or driving to work on the route you’ve taken for 25 years).  The article continued by saying that greater awareness can bring greater joy where we might least expect it (again think dirty dishes, boring old road).  I am admittedly a multitasker.  As a mom and teacher, I am probably doing several things at once like driving, talking on the phone and also having a broken conversation with my child.  Perhaps I’m grading a paper, watching the class work, and talking with a student.  It makes me a little dizzy thinking about it.  Since reading the article, I’ve been trying to reduce my level of multitasking.  Case in point:  turning the radio off while driving…just drive-no radio switching, checking phone (only at a light, people), talking on phone…gosh, maybe that phone is the real issue!  I did the dishes the other night like I actually liked doing them…isn’t that a weird concept?  I took my time – no rushing, no hurried hit-or-miss job with the kitchen clean-up.  It was actually kind of nice.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll monotask a little at work too and get really crazy.  Here are 12 myths that Health magazine shared associated with multitasking.  

{THREE}

Calling/Seeing/Generally Stalking the Mr. – I’m bummed to give up my stalker day job for this teaching thing.  H and I really enjoyed all the extra time with the Mr.  We’ve met him for a couple picnic lunches.  He’s come home for lunch a few times.  We’ve visited him randomly.  We call him throughout the day.  Basically, we are groupies.  Yesterday’s Example:  Cooked pancakes so he would be forced to go to work later and have breakfast with us, Met him at the bank for some business matters (and hung out there for 40ish minutes due to bank computer issues), AND Called him to catch up at lunch time.  🙂  Unfortunately, I’m way busy during the school day.  I’ll have to restructure my call time to 3:30 and give up midday meetings until next summer.

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Waiting for Daddy at the fountain…

{FOUR}

Meal Planning – Although I didn’t totally throw in the towel with this, I did take a more relaxed approach this summer.  It’s no big deal if I don’t have things planned out!  I can stop by the store leisurely and pick up milk, fruits/veggies/etc.  I can worry about prep in the afternoon when I’m already at home for H’s rest time.  Well friends, those days have ended.  It’s time to make a more concrete plan about what’s cooking (M-F).  I did a little research about Americans’ eaten habits and was once again saddened.  These two facts were particularly sad to me.

20% of all American meals are eaten in the car.

Americans spend 10% of their disposable income on fast food every year.

Although I don’t think 20% of anyone’s meals should be consumed in a car.  I do really feel for the kids.  How can we expect them to make healthy choices and enjoy eating them if they’re gobbling up fast food on the go?  As with many things with parenting, you have to be the role model, set the example, practice what you preach.  You can read all the frightening facts here.  P.S.  I did check the sources, and they seem to be reputable.

Here’s my first-week-back’s plan:

Monday – Asian Lettuce Cups with sides of rice and steamed carrots

Tuesday – Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing (H will probably skip the greens, but that’s okay! – P.S.  DO NOT put two cloves of garlic in here.  Only a teeny tiny smidge.  MEAT FREE NIGHT!  The Mr. LOVES that.  🙂

Wednesday – Burgers with Grilled Summer Veggies (one ear of corn, zucchini, etc.)

Thursday – Spinach Lasagna Rolls with salad (MEAT FREE AGAIN!)

Friday – Homemade Chicken Nuggets with baked fries and broccoli

Okay, now I’m hungry!  Check out this delicious dessert I found on my magazine perusal…

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{FIVE}

H’s Teacher/New Preschool – I’m so looking forward to meeting H’s new teacher.  We have her name and his room assignment {Wow!  He has a room number!  So official!}.  Next week, I’m planning to go on the Parent Meet Night (the Mr. will be at home with H – no kiddos allowed).  Then, the Mr. will take H the following day to meet her and see his classroom.  I am confident that it is going to be a great year!  However, you better believe I’ve already started praying for this woman and whoever her assistant is.  It is so important to have great people with your little one each and every day!  No one is like a mommy exactly, but a loving, motivating teacher is a treasure.  That is what I hope for H, and that is what I’ll try to be this school year!  After all, my Spider-Man needs lots of opportunities to grow and learn.  I’m quite sure he’s got big things to tackle in the future.

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Reading away!

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Ready for action!

Any final summer plans that you are looking forward to?

What foods do you start to crave when September gets here?

5 for Friday

Friday’s here!  This is an extra fantastic Friday as my sister and brother-in-love {to be} are visiting and hanging out with us for the day.  Bonus!  The Mr. is off today too!  We’ve got a fun day planned with swimming lessons, some beach time, and a new restaurant to visit for lunch.  I’m way excited.  🙂  First, here are five things that have been on my mind this week…

{ONE}
Training makes me think of school, and school makes me think of the end of summer.  The end of summer makes me a little sad (Doesn’t that sound like the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?!?!).  I attended two days of training this week which is actually quite a bit better than the three days it was scheduled to be.  I actually enjoyed the training today on a new reading series that my district has adopted, BUT I still prefer having the summertime and the luxury of having undivided focus on home and family.  We have had/are having such a wonderful summer!  I enjoyed lunch outside on my two long lunch breaks aka longer than the 20-25ish minute breaks during the school year.

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The ducks pictured above were scarily close!  I had to shoo them away to prove I wasn’t holding out on giving them treats.  The poor guys tried to nibble on the straw pictured.  What the heck, people!?!?!  Pick up your trash!  😦  Trash or not, it was so nice eating outside.  I think I miss that the most about the school year…outside time.

{TWO}

Running Quotes – On one particularly long lunch break, I stopped in a Barnes & Noble and check out books on running.  These two looked good.  I plan on looking them up at my local library.

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I also saw Zen and the Art of Running which looked interesting too.

Here are some quotes/advice that I liked.

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Middle Quote

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Love all these!

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Bottom Quote = LOVE

{THREE}

Fruits and Veggies – I picked up lots of fresh produce at a local farmers’ market last weekend.  I really loved the beets!  I’ve also been buying about a watermelon a week.  It’s going to be sad when melon season is done.  watermelon > pumpkin  (Sorry all you fall people!)

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{FOUR}

My new clothesline! – Well, I did a pretty sad version of this about a week back.  However, the Mr. blew mine out of the water!  He took pity on my sad line and fixed me right up.  I’ve enjoyed doing a few loads already.  I just put it up when I need it, and take it down when I’m dong.  Perfection!  Thanks so much, darling!


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{FIVE}

Fitness Binder – I finally assembled my fitness binder!  I went through all my fitness magazines and ripped out workouts that I thought I would like.  I put them in sheet protectors in a binder.  Now, I can just take out my workout that I want to do for the day and head to the gym!  I tried it out Thursday morning and loved the variety it brought to my workout time.

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This was simple and inexpensive.  I would totally recommend it over phone workouts (i.e. looking at Pinterest, etc.}.  You can easily check out the pictures and explanations and get on with your workout.

Questions –

  1. What are your favorite summer fruits?
  2. Do you prefer line-dried or dryer-dried (?) sheets?
  3. What is a favorite new workout tool you’ve used recently?  I used a medicine ball today despite the dumbbell pictured above.

Have a great day!

Natalie

Belated Five for Friday

Well, today is definitely NOT a Friday.  However, I didn’t have time to post this before we headed out of town early Friday morning.  Here’s my belated 5’s.

{ONE}

Breakfasts with my boy!  We’ve been having such a good time with our leisurely breakfasts.  We’ve had cheesy eggs, pancakes, and even oatmeal with all the fixings this week.  We made these banana bread protein pancakes from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers.  Click here to see her list of healthy pancake recipes.  I have no photographic evidence of these pancakes as I (and Holden) devoured them too quickly!

{TWO}

A new cute clutch – I needed a new clutch after I discovered that my white, old faithful from Charlotte Rousse (only maybe a decade ago!) had literally changed color due to have a black clutch on top of it!  As you may have guessed, my white clutch was not of the highest quality and who knows what “it” is/was actually made of.  I picked up this cute clutch from TJ Maxx for a decent prices especially considering it was a nicer brand.  Perhaps this one won’t turn colors in say a decade or two.

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Image via POSHMARK

{THREE}

Prayers for Charleston – As you may remember, I really like Charleston and traveled there with my mom and sister back in April. I was so saddened to see a shooting at a place of worship in downtown Charleston.  Those poor people were having a BIBLE STUDY when the shooter entered the church.  There really is no such thing as  a “safe place.”  Not our schools, churches, or even our homes.  Personally, I get angry.  I’m sure there is some sordid past that led this individual to make this decision and take this action.  Is it weird that I’ve actually had the thought of what happens if someone enters my church while we are all kneeling in prayer completely unaware long before this incident?  (P.S. I’m aware the answer is yes.  It was a rhetorical question.)  What should we do?  Obviously, pray.  Obviously, seek justice for those who were killed.  But what then?  What about our policy on guns in the United States?  I’m not sure.

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{FOUR}

On a lighter note…we tackled letter Rr yesterday and review letter Mm!  Little summer homeschooling if you will – in 30 minutes or less!

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http://www.starfall.com {totally free!}

{FIVE}

Absorbine Jr. – I have a little bit of an achy shoulder.  Fortunately, we have some Absorbine Jr.  Have you ever used this stuff?  I even love the stinky smell of it!  🙂

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Image via Amazon