Thursday, August 27, 2015

Soccer Kick-Off

I am kind of chuckling as I glance at my last blog post because it kind of felt all we've got this new back-to-school thing down and we're rolling with it feel.

And then I think about this week and how it's been crazy and there has been hardly a moment to breathe. Soccer, guitar, piano, school, church, lots of long hours for Brian, allergies for Camden and Rory, doctor's appointment/antibiotic for me has combined for kind of a non-stop week. I'm remembering why we used to say no to many extra-curricular activities.

 However, it's all downhill from here on out (well, this week anyway) because I'm off work Thursday/Friday. I sometimes feel guilty that I am off 2 days a week and then I come to my senses and just enjoy the extra time to work at home as a wife and mama.

Rory started soccer Monday, and I think excited isn't nearly a strong enough word for how she felt about it. She hasn't played a team sport since she was 5, but I think we're going to have a good season. Her coaches were great and Clarksville's parks and rec soccer association seems well-organized. (Quite different from Camden's park and rec baseball team that was literally coached by a homeless man who not only had no baseball knowledge, but he dropped out about halfway through the season. I am not. kidding.)


Friday, August 21, 2015

Good Reads

"If you think reading is boring, you're doing it wrong." 

Now that the kids are back in school, my Wednesdays and Fridays are much more productive. They're full of domestic duties like grocery shopping, cooking (I've been trying to take advantage of these days and cook in advance for the rest of the week), laundry, etc. 

But Wednesdays and Fridays have also allowed some time for my own interests to show back up in the weekly schedule. I've been scrapping again (this time no pressure to document everything, just what feels fun) and reading. If I were a gambling girl, I would bet that I have read more in the last 3 weeks than in the last year, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I've pulled out some parenting books that I've started more times than I can count but never finished; I've flew through fiction and am working my way through something a little more substantial . . . all at the same time. For the first time in my entire life, I'm reading multiple books at once. Definitely a change for me!

Listing the books so I have a record of what I've recently read and maybe you'll find something new to read as well.

Counting by 7's by Holly Sloan - a quick but completely heart-warming read
The Queen of the Tearling, The Invasion of the Tearling - I stayed up late reading these two weekends in a row; a little Game of Throne-ish so maybe not everyone's cup of tea
A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet - a collection of stories by one of my favorite bloggers
Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead - just started this one
Six Ways to Keep the Good in Your Boy by Dannah Gresh - reading this again for obvious reasons; adolescence is tough and I'm trying to understand my 12-year old as best as I can
Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus by Jessica Thompson - I keep rereading the chapters trying to absorb it all so I'm only about 4-5 chapters in
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker - rereading this one because I need a good solid reminder that less is more 
For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker - so I haven't started this one yet because I'm committed to finishing Six Ways to Keep the Good in Your Boy first, but I actually pre-ordered it and it's sitting in my living room taunting me

Our weekend includes haircuts for both kids, shopping for soccer accessories (practice starts Monday), in-service for Brian on Saturday (boo!), change of church schedule Sunday morning (moving to 2 services instead of 1) and a women's event at church Sunday night.

 And root beer floats because it is technically still summer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

School schedule, both for the kids and Brian, is back in full swing and it feels good to be back in a routine although Brian would probably argue against that.

It may have taken me years to put this fact together, but Rory likes to chat in the morning on the way to school while Camden is a grump. In the afternoons, however, the opposite is true. Camden wants to tell me all about his day in great detail while Rory consistently has a headache and needs a bit of quiet time before jumping into the stories from her day.


Transitioning to middle school is proving to be a bigger deal than I really gave it credit for although Camden is handling it well. We're experiencing some locker room bullying, which is challenging. At this point it is not directed at Camden, but he is feeling the pressure to stand up for his friends and it is a hard thing to go against the crowd even if it is right.

As we've gotten back into the swing of things over the last 2 weeks, I've tried to get back into the swing of cooking and have tried multiple new recipes. Our favorites have been edamame fried rice, cashew chicken, homemade salted caramel sauce, and chickpea curry.

We spent Saturday night with Addison and a few friends at our house - seriously, could they be any cuter (or more rambunctious)? At one point I went upstairs and found all five of them wrestling on the bed. The fact that I just let them be proves how chill I am becoming in my old age.



While our family has never been one for filling up our evenings/weekends with activities, we've been quite busy in this new season of life. Brian and Camden have been playing racquet ball together; Rory started piano lessons last week and will begin fall soccer next week; Camden starts guitar lessons next week.

And then there's this.

Both kids saw our pediatrician for physicals last week and Camden is officially an (ahem) adolescent and 5'1" - crazy! Rory barely made it into the 3rd percentile for height and weight, but that is pretty consistent for her.

Working from home today, then off tomorrow. A friend is coming over to learn Lightroom Thursday followed by Bible study. No big events, just a full and blessed daily life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Visiting Cousins

We had the best time with my sister-in-love (as she calls us) and nieces and nephews several weeks ago. Gram and Gramps, Uncle Jon and  Aunt Robin were also able to join us for a short time. My house was bursting at the seams, but in the best way. Cousins laughed and giggled and had crazy Nerf gun wars; there were lots of slamming doors, lots of hair braiding among Rory and Aunt Robin. Camden and Logan did more than their share of aggravating the littles while Jessica and I were our ornery selves.

As usual, I did a poor job of taking pictures of adults and I really didn't pull out the camera much. Partially because it was busy and there were so many of us.

For instance.

This picture cracks me up because there are four of us all in this little space. Pretty representative of the weekend.

Camden's last baseball game of the season happened to be while everyone was in town, which made him very happy. Not that I actually have a picture of him.





Brian, Camden, Uncle Jon, and Gramps built a new deck while they were here. In the rain.



Their birthdays are only 2 weeks apart and since we only see them in July, we celebrate with donuts.




Cameron was a BIG fan of Rory's old camera. I was in a lot of pictures this weekend.




We love you. Come back soon!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Back 2 School

Does August 5-6 feel early for back to school? When I was in school in Illinois (more years ago than I would like to actually count), we didn't start school until the Thursday after Labor Day each year which is another solid month of summer. Camden started middle school this year so he started a day before Rory. He was a little unsure as to whether or not he wanted us to walk him in, but in the end chose for us to walk with him. He hugged us outside his door and then was off. I told Brian on the way back to the van that was the last time we would walk Camden into school. Sad.

Rory started yesterday, and she had a good day. A third grader is less articulate than a sixth grader so we didn't get quite as much real information from her about her day, although she spent a solid 5 minutes telling about everything that happened prior to her day getting started. Sharpening pencils and turning in folders is apparently riveting if you're 8.

We had crazy storms both first days of school so we ducked under the porch at the end of the day for a picture.

Two things from Camden's day:

1. His male science teacher made a big impression, and Camden is really looking forward to science this year. Camden said he was "funny, likeable, and just really open with us." What does that mean to a 12 year old? I have no idea! It sounded like such a grown-up description.

2. As we were pulling into the driveway at the end of the day, he said "Sixth grade is so much more fun than fifth grade." This is the exact thing he says every year, and I love that he still has such an excitement about school.



Two things from Rory's day:

1. She immediately told me she is "boy-trapped" at her desk (as in, she is surrounded by boys).

2. She learned that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean sea in 1991. Her poor teacher. I probably should have mentioned that rhymes do not help Rory remember facts.


(She requested a Vera Bradley bag for school this year, which we found out just meant a messenger bag; when I took these pictures, she asked if she could pose and look off into the yard instead of looking at me. Sassy.)


Coming home to a hug from your sister is just. so. rough.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


There's a field of sunflowers just a few minutes from my house, and I determined this would be the year I actually remembered to go take pictures. I almost waited too long, and many of them were wilting in the heat, but I kind of love them anyway.






After spending about 8 hours Friday getting my 278-page 2013 blog book ready to print (also included 781 pictures), I was feeling as if I might never take another picture or write another word. Seriously, just so. many. words.

But then my mom said she keeps checking for my posts and Rory keeps re-reading the blog books I do have printed, so I'll be back later this week with Utah/Tennessee Lewis pictures and first day of school photos (already?!!).

Just without as many words as 2013.