Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Last Days of Freedom

We're soaking it in over here! Today is it. Last day of freedom. Tomorrow I head back with the teachers.  I debated whether or not I should have gone back to bed after Bodypump this morning just so I could have one more day to "sleep in" until 10:00. I opted instead to finish my Spark, watch the news and get in a blog post. I'm not going to waste my morning on sleep on the last day.

I'm reflecting on my summer. It flew, but it was good. Oh so good. We completed a large chunk of our bucket list, enjoyed a beautiful family vacation and relaxed. It was exactly what this mama needed after our summer last year. Needless to say, not a lot got accomplished and productivity was traded in for sleeping in, lots of snuggling, reading books, teaching my four year old how to swim without a life jacket, filling up water balloons and listening to littles giggle while they tried to pop them on the trampoline. It was worth  every ounce of productivity I gave up.

A question most teachers get asked, and I'll say I'm known to ask it to other teachers myself, is whether or not we're ready to be back. (Like we have a choice) By the time we get to this point, I'm usually ready. This year is no different. Mentally, I'm so ready to be back into a routine. My kids are getting on each other's nerves. The pool is old news. The weather is shifting into more Fallish tendencies, and while I don't think they are "bored" yet, it's just time for the seasons to change. Am I ready for students? Not yet. My new classroom is coming together, but there is so much I want to do and HAVE to do that I'm in that overwhelmed state right now. I'm here every year. I panic a bit and lose my marbles, but by the time the first week of school has ended, we are starting to get the hang of things, and it's all smooth sailing from there. ;)

So what has our last week of freedom looked like? Well, at the beginning of the summer, I said the one thing I would get done before school started was clean my storage room. So with a week left to make it happen, I cleaned and sorted and purged. We realized that we had $400-500 in things that needed to be paid for roughly before the end of August, and so in a tizzy, I tried to sell as much as I could to make up for what we don't have. We got rid of a bit and hopefully can get all of the stuff on my dining room table off within the next few weeks. It feels good to accomplish SOMETHING before I go back.

My mom, Jae and I headed to the Albertville outlets to finish off our school shopping, and while we didn't have a lot to work with, it's always nice to get away with people you love and make some memories. Because we didn't have a lot of money, we stayed at a La Quinta Inn and Suites, and let me just get what you pay for. As I was checking in, the guy in front of me tugging along a trash bag with his belongings, our non-smoking room...the one they told us we'd be charged $100 for if we smoked in, smelled as though a smoker had lived there for 20 years, and the pool was over run with teenagers doing cannon balls and screaming at the top of their lungs. Ah well...memories. :)

Sunday was what we called our "last hurrah". We headed up to Yankton for the first time this year to take Mom and Dave's boat out one last time for the season. We were a little concerned that the weather wouldn't cooperate, as we were up the majority of the night listening to the thunder and the rain on the deck. Couple that with a 4 AM fire call for a house that was struck by lightning (thankfully no one was hurt), and we weren't sure we'd even be able to function.

But we took the 30% chance of thunderstorms and called its bluff, and I'm so glad we did. It turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day-minus the THOUSANDS of mayflies that infested that place. I hate hate hate bugs, and this was enough to make my skin crawl, but we soaked in the sun, played in the sand, played catch in the water like we used to do when we were kids and took the kids on the tube. I even got the courage to go on for the first time in a LOOONG time. It was peaceful and serene, and when I tucked my babies in that night, I said a little prayer thanking God for letting me be their mom and allowing me to fill their memory buckets like my parents did with me.

 As I sat in the sand, I reminisced in my mind about all the times we had come to this very beach when I was little. I remembered walking the bike trails and playing catch with my dad. I remembered the time my brother's bike drug behind our camper for miles on the way up one year, and how we would find small uninhabited beaches on our morning walks. Then, I recalled the few times I've been able to share this place with my children and I concluded that you don't need a lot of money to make memories. My parents didn't have it, and I have some of the best memories of my childhood where hardly any money was spent at all. And if I remind myself of that...if I hold onto that feeling right there....I know we'll be okay. All the worries I have about money right now can get shoved into the back of my mind. We'll be okay. My kids will have good memories dangit. I will make sure of it!

And while I've procrastinated getting into my room this summer, knowing teachers have been diligently working in their rooms for a week or two already, I meandered into my room Tuesday to get a few things done, and while I'm not ready at ALL for school to start, I know I'll get it done. I always do. I work best under pressure. Today we are going to enjoy our day. We're going to road trip to LeMars to make a last minute run to the Education Station. We are going to have one last picnic in the park, and we are going to hit up the pool (if it warms up). I'm finally going in to get my hair done so I don't look homely for the start of school, and I will cheer my hubby on at his softball game tonight. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to get in a four mile run in tonight. I think maybe I'll read some Harry Potter before my littles wake up. Oh it will be a good day.

Happy Wednesday all!

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