Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy New (School) Year!!!

When you are a teacher, New Year's falls on two dates. One is celebrated with the rest of the world on January 1st, but the other falls on the first day of school. We don't necessarily do resolutions in the traditional fashion like "I will exercise more." "I will stop drinking pop." "I will be more present." "We will make more traditions." Instead, they look more like "I will make more exciting lesson plans." "I will be truer to myself in the classroom." "I will have more patience."

I love the beginning of the school year with all the possibilities and all the new faces I get to meet and make a part of my school "family". It means that crisp, fall weather is ahead which means boots and hoodies and fires and football games. It means apple picking and open windows and refreshing walks in the evening. Fall is by far my favorite time of year.

Of course, along with all of my favorite things, there are also a few not so fun things around this time as well including, but not limited to new schedules, less time at home, more responsibilities at school, a messy house, etc. Last year, I fell apart. I stopped making time for me. I ate out more. I let everything go. I'm trying very hard not to get back there, so I've been a little more proactive. I'm planning my menu to include meals at my dad's house, trying to limit eating out to once a week. I'm setting my alarm for earlier mornings to make sure I get a workout in before school. I'm being intentional about spending more time with my family. I said no to a lot more things such as teaching Sunday School, or church night. I felt a pang of guilt at first, but I realize that in order to be the best version of me for myself, my family and my friends, I need to take care of the mental side of me.

I'm feeling the change. I have been quieter, more withdrawn. I'm extremely exhausted and I find myself going to sleep earlier or going to my room by myself after I put the kids to bed. My sister Amy said this a few weeks ago, and it really resonates with how I'm feeling. My people bucket is overflowing, but my me bucket is pretty low. I'm trying to find some time to just be still where I don't have an agenda, just time alone. I'm sure that as I get in the groove, things will start to snap back into place a little bit. I do feel that since I'm being proactive with a lot of the things that caused me to spiral downward last year, that I will have a stronger advantage this year.

On another note. we are still enjoying. Dan took off this morning with his brothers for the Broncos game in Kansas City, and he will leave Saturday morning with Sawyer to go to a jeep rally in Des Moines. I'm excited for him to have some time to relax and have fun. He never goes away and always puts others first. He deserves it. I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my kids. I feel this primal pull to be a better parent when I'm doing it solo. Single parents are my heroes. They really are. I think we'll watch the game tonight, maybe put up some Fall decorations, watch Carter play some football, or wing it. We're really good at winging it.

I'll end with pictures because they are totally my favorite. Here are some of our happies from the past month.

Celebrating Rachel's new practice "All Things New" and praying over the space that will help mend people's hearts. So proud of her.

Drew comes home a few times a year, and this time, it was for an extended period of time. I so enjoyed catching up with him and reminiscing about our childhood. Although I wish he lived closer, he belongs in the city. Love him lots.

Traditional first day of school photo. I can't believe I have a 6th grader, a 4th grader and a 1st grader. Where did the time go?

Meeting the child of someone you love. We prayed for this boy, and now he's here. Happy and healthy and loved. 

So a reunion was in tow. These two were bridesmaids, and while miles and life have made it harder to see each other on a regular basis, I love them. It makes me so happy when we get to see one another. Heart full.

It's the year of 30. We are officially not young anymore. Celebrating with childhood friends and their littles. 

When people make me feel special on my birthday

More childhood friendship reunions

Losing baby teeth

Watching my middle little play football 
The pride that wells up when I think about the young lady that my oldest is becoming. Twelve this year people. 1-2

Even though the fall down the stairs wasn't a happy, a good report from the doctor saying that it is healed enough to wear a brace is great news!!

Hoping you have your own happies! I'd love to hear them. Happy Thursday friends!