The current scene: I’m sitting down at a coffee shop about 15 minutes from co-op, where I dropped the girls this morning. I just hung up the phone with my dad. We talked for a solid hour and right now my heart just feels full and the smile on my face comes easy. My mom and dad are two of my very best friends and I don’t say that lightly. I feel so incredibly grateful for the close knit family I have and it is what inspires me to continue striving to create the same connections with my girls. Conversations with my dad always feed my soul. We talk about the latest happenings, books worth reading, and we laugh a lot, as we have a similar sense of humor. Now I am feeling happy, light, and able to handle anything life throws my way. A good conversation or catch up session has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? Whether with friends, or family, or friends that feel like family, voice to voice, real conversations connect us all. It’s in that vein that I feel inspired to write this post. Just a sit down, chat it out, this is what life looks like lately kind of catch up.
Let’s start with my dad since so many of you have thoughtfully sent me messages lately asking for an update. Can I pause there real quick and sincerely thank you for caring and asking? It means the world to me and if there is one thing I’ve learned over the past year it’s how many good-hearted, loving people there are. So many good people.
The short answer is that my dad is doing well! The long answer is that this is undoubtedly a new normal, as Keytruda side effects can be rough, but we will all happily stay where we are now for as long as we can. I don’t want to sugarcoat it, as it’s an up and down roller coaster, both physically and emotionally, but in my opinion, my dad is a freaking warrior. He played 14 holes of golf yesterday in the August in Georgia heat and humidity. And even beyond that, his outlook and attitude are untouchable. He continues to suit up and show up both figuratively and literally (he continues to see clients and help others better their lives). We have a family trip planned soon and I can hardly wait to be kicking it at the beach all together.
In other news…
I feel like it’s been a while since I just sat down and typed what’s been going on in life. I share a lot of that on Instagram, which has somewhat taken away the desire to write about life’s minutia on the blog. I know some people hate that and miss the casual feel of the blogs of yesteryear. I totally get that because when I first started blogging and reading blogs (circa 2010) they were daily diaries of what people ate, how they exercised, and what they did. There was a lovely personal feel to the posts. Flash forward to 8 years later though, and things have shifted. However, I’m OK with the shift.
I know I’m not the only one who has more responsibilities and demands now than I did 8 years ago. There are blogs I adore but still can’t check in and read about their day to day activities. However, I do love reading their thoughts on particular topics so I actually am one in favor of more topic-based content. I get my fill of peeks into day to day life on Instagram, so for me, the new structure of social for life’s details and blog posts for meatier content actually works quite well.
That doesn’t mean I love blogging any less. In fact, I’ve been working on a blog makeover for a couple months that should be ready to launch soon! I also have a list of topics I’m excited to explore and talk about (and love when you send me suggestions!) in an more in-depth way that isn’t really possible on the fast moving platforms of social media. However, I am relieving my self of the pressure to post in certain intervals. Ideally I’d love to post 2-3 times a week, but I have made an agreement with myself to value quality (helpful, thought-provoking, or entertaining) over quantity, so if it’s only 1 new post some week, then that’s OK with me. I hope it’s OK with you, too. Life’s demands are what they are and I’m loving being a present mama to these two right now.
So what’s been filling up my days? HOMESCHOOL. We’ve been doing school for a month now and I love it. I was worried how this year would flow with both girls at home. I questioned whether I made the right decision keeping Kaitlyn home rather than enrolling her in her last year of preschool. I am so grateful that I feel confident now that we made the right choice; the mornings doing school with the girls have been a huge blessings to me in multiple ways.
First, yes, I love teaching them and watching them learn. But also (dare I say on a more selfish level?) I was surprised at how much I needed the more chill mornings myself. When we start school, I disconnect from the outside world. I don’t bring my phone in with me and teaching forces me to leave all my mental clutter outside the walls of our homeschool room, too. For 3 hours (how long school usually takes us), I fully give myself to the girls. While I originally thought it would make me pull my hair out (because goodness knows I can only play Barbies for about 5 minutes before I’m cross-eyed with boredom), I found that having purposeful activities and playing games are allowing me to spend quality time with the girls in an enjoyable way for them and me alike.
Co-op is only in it’s second week, but we are big fans of it already! We also have arranged a monthly Poetry Tea Time meet-up with other homeschooling friends where the girls will read and recite poetry, eat treats, and take turns hosting. Hailey has started soccer, and dance begins for both girls in two weeks. Hailey is also going to be joining American Heritage Girls, which is a new-to-me program, similar to Girl Scouts. A good friend of mine is heading it up and we are really excited about it!
So let’s talk balance for a minute. I had a few people ask me for tips on fitting it all in, but I trust by now that we all realize that no one is doing it all everyday. On Tuesday I cooked a masterful dinner and last night I picked up Jimmy Johns because our afternoon play date ran late (ok, more like I needed some adult connection so I stayed late to fill up my proverbial cup with good conversation).
I’ve started evaluating my weeks as a whole rather than on a day to day basis. The “pick three” mentality is the idea that there are categories (work, sleep, fitness, friends, family) and you can only really pick three to do well each day. It argues that instead of fighting it, that we should pick three categories, embrace them, do them well, and pick another three the next day. Everyone’s categories might look a little different. Mine tend to be sleep, blog, homeschool, fitness, family, and friends. I pick three a day to do well, and give myself grace for the rest of it, knowing over the long haul it will balance itself out. Yesterday for me was: homeschool, friends, and sleep. Today is family, blog, fitness. Is it a perfect science? Certainly not, but it’s freeing to feel less overwhelmed with trying to do it all everyday. If you are interested in this concept, I recommend reading Pick Three by Randi Zuckerberg.
As always, David and I are trying to prioritize date nights. Some months we do better than others. Last week we went into Charlotte for the evening, ate dinner at Sea Level (one of our favs) and went to see The Lion King at the Belk Theater. It was fantastic- all of it. The oysters, the martini, the time with my stud of a husband, and the show. A change of atmosphere was fun!
Just looking at that picture of myself reminds me I’m ready for a fall refresh. I am getting my hair done tomorrow- just a trim probably. Maybe some layers. Truth be told, I’ve been finding more gray hairs lately. More truth be told? I’ve been plucking them out with tweezers. When I get to the point that tweezing will cause bald spots, I’ll probably color it, but I’m not there yet.
I also would love a freshen up to my make-up and wardrobe. Not much, maybe a great eye shadow palette and a few simple, but pulled together outfits that I can rotate weekly? Anyone have recommendations or care to be my personal shopper?
Ok, I’ve rambled on about myself long enough. I’ll wrap it up with some quick links worth sharing…
Best purchase lately: This visual timer. We use it for homeschool and for other day to day tasks to help the girls get a better grasp of time passing. It’s been incredible!
Good reads: It’s Lonely Being the Mom that Says No // Want Calmer, Happier Kids? Simplify Their World // Favorite Early Reader Books (for kids that are learning to read) // Couple Communication That Brings You Closer Together
Now let’s make this a conversation!
What’s going on in your world lately?
How does life now look different that life 8 years ago?
What do you think about the social media/blogging shift?
What have you read lately that has spoken to you?