Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer 2012

It's over. My summer - it's gone.
So much is different as my little family heads into this new school year.
I no longer have elementary school children. Not a single one.
Emma joined Andrew in our church's youth group.
There is a big hole in Lakeland where my brother and his family used to be.
We have new instruments in our house.
And I'm going to school on purpose (choosing instead of aimlessly wandering).

There's a lot going on and at the same time, I've been doing absolutely nothing.
Maybe, with so much going on inside, I just needed the outside to be as still as possible.
I feel a little guilty when I look back at previous summers that were full of camps and intentional family time and incredible projects. A little guilty...but obviously not guilty enough to have done any of those things this summer. Instead, we watched hours and hours of Netflix (Dr. Who, mostly) and made cupcakes and slept in. I do love my big kids for their ability to sleep in! It was glorious and decadent and wonderful!

And I'm not ready for it to be over.

Chris and I have spent the bulk of the last two days scheduling out our upcoming semester and it's overwhelming. I don't even feel quite recovered from last year and here we dive, headfirst, into another. Except, I know it will be worth it.

I mean, I could be somebody's secretary and make a decent living with a predictable schedule and evenings-and-weekends free. That life would let me make cupcakes for the whole class and knit hats for everyone on my Christmas list. It would let me sew summer sundresses and go out for coffee with friends. I know I have traded some old things I loved for new things I love even more. I know because I've been that girl for a long time. And I like being that girl. Okay, well, maybe I only liked parts of it.

So now, I am balancing too much. My hair usually won't be clean and I'll almost never get around to wearing actual makeup. I'll forget important papers for my kids' schools and zone out when people talk to me. People will get store-bought presents from me (and they'll love me just the same). I'll spend my days with people half my age and I won't quite fit in with people my own age. I will drink coffee early in the mornings as I zoom over I-4. In a few weeks' time, I'll have that half-crazy fire in my eyes that makes strangers a little scared to talk to me (this is a real thing I have been told about). And it will be worth it.

I have traded some things I loved for some better things. It is busy and scary and certainly not stable. But it's a chance I will never see again. I have to do it. It will be hard and sometimes it will be lonely. It already has been. But my kids need me to be more than a secretary-cupcake-baker, because I was made to be more than that.

So, my glorious, nothing of a summer is over and I am sad about that, but waking up at 5:30 every day to live this crazy, insane life of'll be worth it.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Sad Party

Well, I have decided that I am no longer a party-thrower.
I know this is shocking.
The pages of this little blog are full of parties that I've thrown for years and..
I think I've just outgrown them.

That said, when the right occasion calls for a party, I will answer the call, but it won't be just for every birthday and only for very special babies and weddings (though I think my friends are just about done with that business by now).
And also for sad goodbyes.

I know I haven't told you, Dear Blog, but it may be partly due to my colossal state of denial: Joe and Mindy are moving away and taking my nephews - my babies! - with them all the way across the country to the great Northwest. They only have a week or so left now and, well, we needed a party. Don't you agree?

I had some wonderful co-hostesses and didn't even have to host the party in my own house, which made it so much smoother and so much more enjoyable.We made decorations out of maps and left out vintage Florida postcards for friends to write their goodbyes. There were delicious treats and my masterpiece - a DIY soda bar, with homemade soda syrups, of course.

So, before I start to sniffle and sob, how about I just show you some pictures?

Monday, June 4, 2012


When one is small, one has many "grandmas" and "great-grandmas" in their life. Some of them are not even really relatives. Such was the case for my children, having all but one great grandfather, all four great grandmothers and both sets of grandparents, not to mention a Nana.
So, most of  our grandparents have their own special names. My mom's parents went with Gma (pronounced "jee-ma") and Gpa.
Gma is our only "great" left on my side of the family and when her birthday rolled around, we wanted to celebrate her in a pretty big way. My mom's family is pretty big on Mexican food. It's kind of an obsession, really. So, naturally, we had a big lunch out at one of our favorite Mexican eateries.

Isn't she cute?

Way Back When

You know that whole time when I wasn't talking to you, Blog? Like, from January until now?
Well, my family did some fun stuff in there. Here's proof: We went to the Strawberry Festival & Drew marched in the parade.


We went to Legoland and my nephew, who loves anything to do with vehicles, got to drive some stuff.


My kids got to meet their heroes.

 Just kidding. But I love the difference in Emma's face between Darth Vader and R2D2.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rain + Ocean

Girls' Night

Emma and I had the splendid opportunity last week to join my mom at the beach for a girls' night. She was attending a conference and had a room that was big enough to share, so we decided the kindest thing to do was to help her fill up that room. We arrived and put up our things and immediately trekked to the water in order to take in every moment of the setting sun we possibly could.

Sunset and boats:

It was a much-needed, restorative getaway. I haven't taken pictures in a while and just holding my camera in my hands and working my trigger finger did my soul some serious good. We watched a movie and got stuck inside the next day because it rained and rained. That was actually a different kind of nice, even though I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to go back to the beach. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I'm in a temporary season now - a reckoning of sorts.
Not the Southern kind, where you reckon it might rain.
Though you could replace "reckon" with "figure" and figures make you think of numbers and numbers make you think of accounting and you could say that I'm taking into account my gains and my losses that I have incurred as of late.
The things I've gained in the process of my education need to outweigh the losses and stresses my family has experienced. If they don't, this journey is simply not worth continuing.
I've come out of the first phase (my AA) with more wrinkles and more gray hair to be sure, but I've learned so much and have so many new doors open in front of me. My children (and my patient, sainted hubby) need some face time and my house home is a disaster. Will a summer recovery be enough? Can I manage another school year of my own while I continue to teach and have two children in two separate schools and bands?
Big Girl College has its own set of challenges for me and I'm not entirely sure I'm able to meet them.
Of course, the answer is that only time will tell. I can't know what the next school year will be like until it actually happens. I can't know how much I can handle until I actually fall flat on my face and fail. But I came close this year - close to that dangerous precipice over which you lose track of the important things in life.
I'm trying to sleep, trying to recover, trying to
And I know that sounds terrible, but it's true and it's real.
I've found that I don't want to make things right now. I don't want to create. I just want to exist and breathe and do nothing and so that's what I've done (and not done). The pictures I'm taking these days are pretty terrible.
But I started a new knitting project this week.
I think that's a good sign.
I'll be up and running again soon, and I don't mean to sound all gloomy and tired.
It hasn't all sorted out, but an idea has been shuffling around in the dusty corners of my mind, and it's been whispering to my fingers, telling them to start typing and that maybe, once the words start coming out, they will be easier to sort through.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

All State

For the second year in a row, Andrew was nominated for the All State Honors Band. It's such a privilege - such an inspiring experience for kids to play with other high musical achievers. It means a weekend in Tampa for us, at a hotel, amid the annual conference of our state's music educators. There are instruments to try and clinics for educators and concerts. So many great concerts. Music. Everywhere. Here's a look at how our weekend went:
Grandma and Grampy came to hear the music.
Emma really enjoyed checking out the exhibits and all the cool instruments at the convention.
Of course, Andrew had a concert and that was the whole point of the weekend. He played so well and we are so proud of him.