Tag Archives: summertime

Nervous About Summer

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles.

I don’t know about y’all, but I went through a few weeks where I was a little nervous about summer.

You know what I mean, right? No schedule, no plans, wide open space… sometimes that’s a little scary for a mom with three younguns, who also tends to get frustrated sometimes (on my best days) or get full-on angry (on my worst days) about stupid little stuff. I don’t like getting angry or being frustrated with my children, and so having all that unstructured time with any number of options as how to fill it? Lord Jesus come quickly.

So I signed them up for some camps, went ahead and put our VBS on the schedule, and looked at a good time to go visit my parents in Georgia. We’ve recently renewed our children’s museum membership and our pool membership, so things are already looking a little bit less boring. You know what else I did? I came totally clean about my fear and anxiety about the summer with a friend. I asked her to pray for me and with me about multiplying my patience and dividing my frustration. I shared with her something I’d heard recently about how we pray so often for God to GIVE us things… stuff, people, jobs, circumstances… and how it might be that sometimes, we need to pray for God to take some things away.

So this summer, I’m asking God to take some things away – right here on the internet so y’all can see and keep me accountable if you notice I’m trying to hang on to them.

God, please take away my anxiety about unstructured time. Take away the fear that it won’t be “fun” or “easy” without a few hours of school each day. Take away the anxiety about sibling fights or complaints or whines that get under my skin quickly. Take away my concern for filling every moment of time with fun or learning, and allow me to just go with the flow.

God, please take away my need for control. I don’t need to micromanage as many things as I think I do. So take away my desire to control every variable of every situation. Take away my tendency towards being in charge of my children, instead of letting them tell me what they need and want, or DON’T need or want.

God, please take away my short temper. Take it right away, because this mama ain’t got time to get mad about stupid little stuff, or to just to conclusions that make me angry, when I haven’t checked out the situation fully. Take away my frustration and anger that creep out, even when I don’t want them to.

Lastly, please take away any expectations I have about how the summer will go. Anytime I have a perfect vision in my head, it doesn’t come to pass quite like I think it will. That isn’t always a bad thing, but there is disappointment even if it still goes well. So take away any ideas I have of perfect park picnics or easy trips to the pool. My children are small and unpredictable, and I want to enjoy them in this way instead of expecting them to ask like they’re older.

Sometimes, all it takes to dispel your fears is a little vulnerability, coupled with prayer. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, he says much about how praying for each other is an essential part of living in community. Take your anxieties and fears to a friend or mentor, and ask them to pray with you. That first step might be the hardest, but it’s also the most effective.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, folks! Here are a few summer funnies for you – enjoy!img_1147

EK, doing a “medical procedure”: What’s your name?
J: Um, *says my dad’s full name*
Me: *laughs and also wonders why he knows my dad’s full name*

Summertime potty training:
Me: Do you need to use the potty?
D: No, I need to use da treeeeeee!
Me: *face palm*

A redundant argument between J and EK, where they both just shout: STOP COPYUING (no typo, lol) ME!

Me after J had gotten hurt: You’re a trooper, babe.
J: I’m a storm trooper!

J, above, looking through the “scopa-tella” (telescope)

D’s name-calling trump card: Toolet face!

Me: If we do some chores and clean our rooms, maybe then we can head to the pool!
EK: Well let’s get this party started!

Brother stuff:
D: You wanna pee on the tree?!
J: Sure, sure, sure! That sounds amazing!

J’s new song: My God made the bushes, and I love God and I love trees and bushes!

What are your kids saying these days? How are they making you laugh?

Summer Can Be Scary (And I’m Not Sorry)

I’ve spent the last few weeks praying about our summer.

I’m so nervous that my kids will think it’s boring, or lame, or both, or whatever. What do kids even think these days? I don’t mind my kids being bored, really. I think it builds character and creativity for them to just figure something out to entertain themselves. I also LOVE to make them get outside. Go ride a bike, pull some weeds in the garden, blow bubbles, or draw with chalk. I don’t care, but don’t tell me you don’t feel like doing it.

There’s a lot of Pinterest and Instagram pressure to make summer an “epic” experience for your kids. But what I really want to do is lowball it as hard as I can, and make them make their own plans. Sure, they’re 2, 4, and 6, but they can tell me what they want to do! We’ve got chore charts intact, complete with a reward system. I have a ready answer to “I’m bored.”

Otherwise, to tell the truth, I enjoy having fun, too! I WANT to go to the pool, and to the park, and the mountains, which blessedly aren’t that far away. I WANT to see our friends and live music and whatever other events are going on. But we just can’t do everything, and I need to take the pressure off of myself NOW or else I’ll drown in it. The pressure is stifling to those of us who just don’t “do” what everyone else seems to do. I’m spontaneous, which is sometimes a great thing with kids, and sometimes not so much. We never sit around the house for too many hours in a row, but there are times that I get an idea in my head, and it’s just too late to make it work.

The other thing that may save my life is the YMCA. We (re)joined a month ago, and so far, beginning my mornings there with my kids in a safe and fun childcare (with lots of their friends!) has been a big stress reliever. Now, my workout doesn’t depend on the weather or on whether the baby takes a nap at the time he’s supposed to. I can get up, make everyone a nice breakfast, and head to the gym to get the endorphins blasting, and then I feel GREAT about whatever else we get – or don’t get – accomplished.

What is saving you this summer? Letting go of your expectations? Making a weekly plan? Lots of vacation or none at all? Tell me all the things that you do to survive and thrive in summer!

Currently (Out of My Routine)

Y’all, I know I said this with the last currently, but I wasn’t kidding: I’m a summer slacker! It’s glorious. I just spent a couple of days at the lake with Hubby’s family and I am refreshed. I will be at the lake again this weekend for our cousin’s bachelorette. I am looking (far) forward to a September week at the beach. I am hoping for at least two weeks’ worth of pool days before it closes for the summer. Our kitchen is full of ripe, vine-fresh tomatoes and huge okra, yellow squash and colorful peppers. I am summer happy.

So now, I’ll give you a real update on a few more things that I’m Currently up to…

Exploring || how to entertain three kids for the last few weeks of summer. I mentioned the pool; it’s hard to be there when all three kids are awake. We either miss D’s morning nap, or we have to wait till everyone’s afternoon naps are finished. Or else I’m only taking one or two kids.

Hearting || our local children’s museum. We’ve had a membership there since EK was my only babe, but we’ve loved it every time we’ve walked in the door.

Watching || still Gilmore Girls. I know y’all think I’m going really slowly, but we just haven’t watched much tv this summer. I’ve been reading LOTR and now the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (fangirling!) so I haven’t been spending my nights watching tv. But anyway, I’m committed to finishing the old GG before the new season comes on Netflix in November!

Eating || popcorn! Skinny Pop, Boom Chicka Pop, and some sort of Himalayan Pink Salt flavor from our local grocer, but I’m addicted to the salty popcorn! I ate some Trader Joe’s kettle corn, and it was good – but I think it’s the salty that I love.

What are you up to currently?!

Currently

Happy Monday, everyone! I won’t lie… I was hoping to be in the hospital with a baby or something right now, but since I’m not, I’ll tell you what I’m up to instead! I’m linking up as usual with Becky at Choose Happy, and some other wonderful bloggers to bring you this week’s edition of Currently

Picking || tomatoes and more tomatoes! And also some peppers. And cucumbers and zucchinis. And even a couple of eggplants and one squash (finally). I know I keep talking about it, and I guess I should dedicate a whole post to it, but I LOVE our garden this year. Every year I’ve gotten a little more involved with it, and this year I feel like I’ve been growing those vegetables right alongside growing my baby, and it’s been so fun! It’s therapeutic, it’s a great way to get outside, and it’s fun to teach the kids about it, too. If you’ve thought about doing a garden, but haven’t done it yet, I encourage you to do it! It’s so rewarding!!

  
Finishing || the nursery. I think I might’ve said it was finished before, but I must’ve lied. It’s actually done now. We rearranged furniture, cleaned the rug, hung the drapes with dark backing, put sheets in the crib (ahhh!) and books on the bookshelves. Y’all, we are ready for this baby. 

   
We also did some finishing up in our closet/office. One of the upstairs bedrooms in our house is dedicated to the rest of our clothes (the master closet is dreadfully small) and a desk to work at (you know, if I ever want to blog from NOT the couch). It only needs curtains, and it’ll be all ready to use. Right now it’s the cleanest it’s ever been, but being on the west side of the house, the afternoons are awfully hot in there, so we don’t spend any time in there yet. Curtains and then finished! 

 Cooking || a big pot of spaghetti sauce! We had so many tomatoes that needed to be eaten, and I had gotten a text from a friend who said she was using the tomatoes we’d given her to make a pot of sauce… so I decided to do the same! We used about ten tomatoes (all different varieties and sizes) to start a huge pot of sauce. We aren’t actually eating any of it tonight (we’re also making French onion soup right now – Hubby’s craving!) but I’m going to freeze it to have it ready to go when I need a quick meal that will make my whole family happy.

Enjoying || time with my babes. I’m trying to have time with them together and one-on-one so that I can truly savor them before the baby gets here. I don’t want them to feel they’ve been neglected or abandoned (I know, worst case scenario, probably, but still) when I am gone for two whole days, and come back with a new baby! I want them to have their love tank all filled so they know how much they are treasured and loved. It’ll be a transition for everyone, and I want to start it off on the right foot if I possibly can.

Well, there’s what’s happening with me currently! Don’t worry – I’ll keep you posted when the big day arrives!

Currently 

Happy Monday! I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend! I’m joining Becky at Choose Happy again this week for her currently link up. Lots of pictures in store for you today – I hope you enjoy it! Leave a comment or join the link up and let me know what’s going on with you!

Loving || Our finished shower! We chose a dark grout (it matches the wall color we chose almost perfectly!) to offset the white subway tile, and I really like the effect. We don’t have a door quite yet, because our old one is now too big, so we aren’t able to use it till we get one. Otherwise, I’m really happy with it! We need a little paint touching up in a few places, but it looks awesome.

Still undecided on the mirrors… there are two of those and they’ll be almost touching. What do you think?



Eating || at the Honey Pot! It’s a local restaurant here, and the chef is actually a friend of Hubby’s from high school. It is AMAZING. The food is fresh, mostly local, and really creative. Most of all, it’s plated beautifully and it’s outstandingly delicious! (If you’re local, check out their website here.) I wish I had taken a picture of every dish, but it was too good to not just eat it immediately. However, this dessert – a Georgia peach tart, with basil crema, accented with tiger lilies (who knew you could eat them?!) – was so beautiful I had to take a picture. And folks, it was as good as it looks. Really.

Growing || tomatoes and peppers! I mean, we are growing other stuff too, but those are our most fruitful plants at the moment. We’ve had one eggplant and some cucumbers and an ENORMOUS zucchini (I talked about that here) as well. Here are a few pictures I snapped last night as I was harvesting…



  


 

Planning
|| A baby shower! My sweet friend from college Melissa is expecting her first baby (a little girl!) in a couple of months, and my friend Lauren and I are throwing her a shower. We had a planning session this afternoon, and I can’t wait to post with a bunch of pictures after we shower her with love on Saturday!

Enjoying || this little series of photos. The first picture is the night before I had J… EK sprawled across my belly, the tiny little thing that she was, in her mismatched Christmas jammies. I’ve always loved that photo, and so now while I’m not so far away from having baby D, I thought it would be fun to try to recreate the moment with my two older sweeties sitting on top of their little brother!


 

Well, that’s about it in my world. Just waiting on baby D to get here! I have a post coming soon about how I packed my hospital bag – look for it this week!

What’s going on in your life currently?

 

 

Summer Goals: Tired Kids

This week’s mission: wear out the kids. 

 EK has been attending camp at our church every day from 9:30-12:30, and it’s like they put her in a hamster wheel and make her run for three hours. She comes home so excited but so exhausted that she can barely make it to 1:30 before she’s begging for a nap.

While EK is at camp, I’ve taken two days to take J to the pool with some friends of ours, and let him swim for two hours in between drop off and pick up. He’s so worn out that he almost falls asleep in the car on the way home. But it’s a great way to get a nice, long, early nap out of them, and still have plenty of playing and hanging time at the end of the day.

We’ve been so busy with something every day for a while now that I am excited this is a week with routine. Yes, it’s still busy, but it’s a similar thing every day. I crave routine, and I think the kids do, too. EK needed a week of socialization. J needed a week of less sibling time. This mama needed a week of having only one kid for half the day before I added a third one into the mix. It’s been SO FUN to have uninterrupted time with J where he isn’t vying for my attention. I often get to do things with EK because she’s easier to take around with me and easier to entertain in most situations. We get a little more girl time in one-on-one.

An extra perk to mom and the kids being out of the house in the mornings: Hubby’s getting a LOT done. Between deep cleaning and painting our bathroom, he’s been a rockstar on the home front while I’ve been keeping the kids out of the way. We knew we were up to our eyeballs in home projects (but really, though) so having time that the kids aren’t “trying to help” is crucial.

 Hubby took the kids after camp today to lunch and to the local produce store. They had a great time, and were ready to go straight to sleep when they got home. These early naps have been lovely. 

Now the question remains: How do I, as an exhausted mama, keep up the routine of a busy morning with them both, while it’s super hot outside, without boring myself? I can’t do the children’s museum every day. The park is so hot the kids won’t get on the slides. They love the grocery store, but how many times this week can I actually justify going there? Give me all your ideas!