Friday, June 13, 2014

Bring on Summer Break! And Gratitude and Intentions

Once my kids stopped fighting over who was going to be teacher in a game of school, they actually did some pretty cool stuff!  This collage was done after a nature walk around the yard.  Nice job kids!  

So far, the first morning out of school for summer break has been fighting over who gets to be the teacher when they play school.  Of course, my two alpha children are butting heads as usual.  My five year old insists that he should be the teacher while my oldest at nine is easily outraged and insistent on proving all the things she knows that he doesn't.  This is her way of revealing that the idea of him teaching is ludicrous in her mind.  Meanwhile, my middle daughter ignores them both with her nose in a bird book and probably inventing a cure for cancer without any of us noticing. I finally explain to my oldest that she has to teach in a way that is fun and developmentally appropriate for her little brother instead of making him feel like a complete idiot for not being able to perform long division as a preschooler and permanently damage his self esteem. This was just the first hour of summer vacation.  Things are calm again as they are all engaged and happy but I'm certainly thankful for sports classes, a YMCA, swimming pools and play dates with friends to keep us all sane.

In all seriousness, I'm actually pretty excited about summer.  I've craved this time with my kids where we don't always have to be somewhere and be rushing from one thing to the next: gymnastics, soccer, school, after school clubs, etc. etc.  I'm excited to soak up the next month living in this small town outside of Asheville.  This next months will be filled with:

  • walks to the library and bakery
  • walks to the Nature Park up the street where we will explore, play in the creek, and make nature an imaginative world while mom sits agains a tree and soaks it all in or reads a book.  
  • trips to the Biltmore House
  • nights of watching the sun go down and playing tag with the fireflies (can't find fireflies in Oregon)
  • mornings on the front porch with the birds 
  • gymnastics classes
  • movie nights
Lots of memories yet to make.  I'm sure the next month of summer will also involve:
  • plenty of sibling fights
  • mom losing her mind
  • the house in complete disaster...kid forts, toys, spilled messes, the start to moving across the country
  • kids asking for more and more screen time and insisting that I'm the meanest mom ever because I won't let them sit in front of the t.v all day and fill their bodies with crap food, etc.  Nah, they don't complain too much but I'm sure we will will have plenty of the crazy stuff that comes with unstructured summer time.  That's life.  
  • feeling like pulling my hair out as we get ready to move our family of 5 back to Oregon
So, bring on Summer Break!  I've already noticed that I'm wanting my blog as an outlet a bit more as we transition into this next phase.  What a gift this blog has been the last few years! Writing really is an outlet for me.  Even if nobody reads my blog but posts are for me!  They help me find my truth, process my thoughts, make my goals and intentions come to life a bit more, tell my story, and connect with my world.  Something so therapeutic for me about putting my thoughts and heart into words.  A meditation of sorts.  Similar to running.  

Speaking of running...

I'm running another marathon next week.  What?!  How did this happen that I thought another marathon right now would be a great idea?  Well, after Boston, I was filled with some of the usual feelings that come to me post marathon. Feelings of wanting redemption and running a faster time.  Wanting to build off of all the work I put into training by running another race.  Still being caught up in post marathon euphoria and feeling like I could have done better.  So, I did what any sane marathon runner would do...or what seems to be my pattern over the last few years...I signed up for another marathon just 7 weeks out from the last.  

Let's just say, my focus is not on that personal best that I was craving when Boston was over.  With moving, my husband changing jobs, finding and buying a house in Bend, and all that comes with these big changes, marathon training hasn't been at the top of my priority list.  However, I am very excited to run Grandma's Marathon!  I've heard so many good things about this race and about Duluth, MN.  Plus, one of my favorite girlfriends is driving down from her small town in Minnesota to spend the weekend with me.  I think things are actually working out for the best since this is a pressure free race for me, I'm still in very decent running shape, and I will have 3 nights of girlfriend time with someone I crave time with and don't see enough!  Oh yeah, and since the hotels in Duluth were all booked, we are actually staying in a college dormitory.  We're excited about this!  It will be like we get to be college roommates for a few nights.  Besides not having a bathroom in my room, I'm all for it and I think it will be an awesome memory.  Bring it!  

  • Summer with my kids.  Time goes so fast and I'm excited to have this time with them.
  • We signed on a house in Bend.
  • Moving to Bend, Oregon
  • I get to spend another month in my Blue Ridge Mountain town that I love so so much.  I can focus on the time I have had or how much my heart hurts to leave and I'm choosing to focus on the gift it has been to have had this year.  A piece of me will always be here and a piece of here will always be in my heart.  
  • Resources for parents.  There are so many things out there for parents and kids:  library, reading programs, pools, fountains, hiking trails, story time, etc. etc.  Just as I tell my kids that they have no reason to be bored, parents have no lack of choices to do with their kids! 
  • My kids finally all found their happy place this morning.  My oldest took my youngest for nature walks, taught him in a way he is ready to learn, and they even made a nature collage.  All while my middle child sat next to me building rainbow loom creations. 
  • I get to run Grandma's marathon next week and see a very dear friend who is like a sister.
  • Several pieces of writing that I've been working on over the last few years and they seem to be taking shape.  I may never do anything with them but just writing them has been a rewarding process.
  • Find one-on-one time with each of my kids today.  Even if it is for only 10 minutes and just sitting on a swing or reading a story...this time matters. 
  • Try something new in this area before we leave: a restaurant, new hiking trail, concert, etc. 
  • Replace every negative thought that stems from fear  with something positive that comes from love.  Sending messages of what I want and what I know can be mine for life.  I watched Jim Carrey's commencement speech the other night and it was such a good message.  Nothing new but definitely good reminders!   
  • Yesterday's thoughts: Intent on slowing down today (and tomorrow...) and tasting life, noticing something or someone new, making eye contact, really talking to someone I might never say hello to and hearing their story, and giving myself with love. "...the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don't miss it. To use it all up is love." --Leo Buscaglia

1.  What are some of your intentions and things you're thankful for as summer kicks off? 
2.  Have you watched Jim Carrey's commencement speech that everyone is sharing?  Thoughts? It was a message put in a form that was simple and made so much sense.  My favorite part of it was when he mentioned opening the door for what we want in our head, then waiting for that door to come in real life as it is supposed to, and then walking right through it...receiving! 
3.  Do your kids fight?  


  1. I just don't get it. Your kids are on holiday but they're playing school?

  2. Welcome to summer! I've been going for 2 weeks and now I'm ready for school to start! Kidding! LOVE summer in Minnesota. Nights at the fields, running in SHORTS, bonfires and the lake! Even mowing the grass is enjoyable after 6 months of frozen darkness!! My kids are busy but fun busy!!

    I can't believe Grandma's is coming up so soon!!! I keep thinking it's still a ways away but nope! Better get my crap together! I think the dorms will be great!! Great memories for sure!!

    Intentions.....get more involved in my community again. Stop focusing on what it is we "don't" have here in terms of my interests and make things happen! Got my approval from the Athletic Director and approval for school facility usage along with donations for ribbons etc. to start a local track night. Something I've always wanted to have right in my town! Why complain we don't have one and just START one!!!

    ENJOY the beautiful weather. Phones in the house when we're outside. SOAK up summer.

    Ok-off to baseball!! As always enjoy reading your posts and looking forward to seeing you in just a few days!!!!

  3. Hey, I still read your posts!

    My intentions for today is to get a good spot to watch the USA vs Ghana game and doing it while hanging out with my favorite uncle. My intentions for this summer include going to the beach more, organizing and cleaning out the apartment to get read for the boyfriend to move, seeing some old friends, going to lots of concerts, and training for my next marathon.