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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

We're too busy

I'm trying not to complain, but (1) I'm documenting for the family and (2) I know there are other families besides ours with too much busyness, a crazy schedule, grumpy teens, etc. so read on with fair warning that I'm venting a bit.

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The past 2-3 weeks are reminiscent of August 2014 when Brian and I simultaneously started new jobs and the kids went back to school. It was challenging 4 years ago, and it's challenging now. The details are different - this time it's Brian starting 2 new jobs and kids going to middle school and high school - but the challenges are similar.

We've gone several 24 hour periods without even laying eyes on Brian (or only saw him on stage at church), even more days where we steal 5-10 minutes in the same space before going our separate ways - indications that our schedule is out. of. control. He leaves the house at 5 a.m. to drive a bus and his evenings are full of meetings and church happenings; the beginning of school means parent meetings, sports physicals, and extracurriculars that I am left to maneuver on my own. The good news is that we see the challenge and we're doing our best to ride out this wave of busyness and know it will eventually be easier. Not easy maybe, but easier. More importantly, we acknowledge that schedules don't smooth themselves out. Balance is hard work. I've had to laugh because the majority of communication with Brian has been on the phone recently, and a phone hasn't been our standard mode of communication for years.

Camden and Rory still enjoy school even as 6th and 9th graders for which I am very thankful. Despite reasonable bedtimes, Rory nods off nearly every single day on the way home (sometimes in the morning too) and at nearly 12, her attitude and eye rolls indicate puberty is just around the corner. Camden is affectionate, only wants to spend time with both of us and is an absolute delight . . . until school routines are established, that is. And then he morphs into every negative description regarding teenagers. I'm unclear as to why this happens each year, but the truth is that his attitude kicks into overdrive and we all tiptoe around his anger.

While I'm tempted to lose my cool from the pure frustration of missing Brian and parenting alone, the better choice is to let the dust settle, to know there are many situations worse than a little back to school craziness. I religiously listen to podcasts. My favorite segment is always when the interviewer asks for their guest's favorites, what's saving their life and so on. So what's saving our lives?

1. Hello Fresh and Walmart grocery pick-up. With a coupon, Hello Fresh is worth the expense during busy seasons for our family. And grocery pick up is self-explanatory!

2. Watching Brian really settle into his calling. These days may be crazy, but it's clear that God has called Brian to this job of lead pastor. I know God will sustain us through this season and redeem the long hours.

3. Watermelon, iced coffee, and ice cream are all that sound good on these hot summer days. Even better is drinking my iced coffee from Brian's Yeti cup (which I have completely taken over) because I can sip on it all day long.

4. Lazy Saturday mornings - the only day of the week without anywhere to be except home. I don't sleep in, but the kids do which is even better. It's my opportunity for an extra cup of coffee in bed and catching up on reading blogs and social media.

5. Having mom and dad (and grandparents) close by. There's just something about knowing they're only a phone call and 15 minutes away. Voxer is also quite handy not only for venting sessions but staying connected with my sisters.

It's all going to be fine; more than fine. Happy Hump Day. The weekend is coming!


Friday, August 03, 2018

Five on Friday: Back to School Edition

The Lewis Family verse for Fall 2018:

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. -Colossians 3:14-17

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1. Where, oh where, has the time gone? The Lewis family now has a 9th grader and 6th grader. It dawned on me just this morning that next summer Camden will have his license. Did our last family summer just happen and I didn't even recognize the end of an era? It was really great to have Brian with us on the first day of school - something that hasn't happened in forever!

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Both kids adore school and Camden has been excited to return for several weeks. Rory was a bit more anxious, but anxiety had transformed into excitement by the time we dropped her off the first morning. It was sweet to listen to them talk a million miles a minute as they tried to cram their entire day into the drive home.

2. It's become a tradition to "surprise" the kids with ice cream the night before school begins. This year we introduced them to rolled ice cream tacos.

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3. Camden is taking a foreign language for the first time (Spanish), and it is his favorite class by far although he is also excited about his Bible and History teachers. The school is offering honors classes for the first time, and Camden is choosing the Honors classes for all available subjects. He says, "I don't love work or learning yet but I'm committed to trying to learn how to love it." Rory's favorite subject this year is history although that has everything to do with her teacher and nothing to do with the topic.

4. Brian is supposed to "show up" at 6:00 a.m. Monday and the transportation department will hand him a bus route. So to be clear: He is driving a bus with kids for the first time on a route he has never seen or driven before. Yikes!

5. New eyeglasses for this girl. For the first time, I let her pick them out all on her own even though it killed me. I just may be a control freak.

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We closed out the first week as usual with Sonic Happy Hour and a trip to our favorite Mexican restaurant for supper. I sure do sound like a broken record, but our schedule for the next 3-4 days is unusually heavy even for us.  Happy Friday!