Wednesday, August 31, 2016

And So It Begins

The hot glue gun has already surfaced for the first school project last night:
Yes, Issa decided to use an oven mitt to press the paper down on the cereal box. Not a terrible plan.

This girl. This girl suddenly grew up. She's no longer a little girl at all. The project is due September 14, but she looked at her calendar and set goals between then and now based on her schedule. She's probably one fourth finished after last night because she knows she won't work on it this weekend since family will be in town.

She also didn't need help. She wanted me to sit in the kitchen and be on call, and I did have to talk her off the ledge when she cut a piece of paper to the wrong size twice. But she didn't need help. She likes to talk through what she's doing, but she's really just processing her own thoughts. She's got this.

They say a good teacher makes herself progressively unnecessary, and that was always my goal in the classroom. I think it's even more true for parents, but it is so much harder in the role. I just pray she always asks me to sit at the table.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


We had great first days of school!

Evan loves being a Worker this year! They get to wear construction hats to do their best thinking, and if the class has a great day they get to play Legos at the end of it. And his teacher is the "best story reader ever!" This is the best I could do for a day two picture:

Issa is loving fifth grade! She loves that her teacher treats them "like grown-ups" and that she has her first big project already. (I'm less thrilled about what feels like a project heavy year.) The project has got her thinking about her year, though, since it's autobiographical, and she's decided this shirt is her new motto:
In case you can't tell, those are sequins on the pants.

Tomorrow, we return to normal wardrobes. We are settling into routines. Life is good.

Monday, August 29, 2016

And They are Off

Just like that, we have a fifth grader and a second grader:
 Issa is so excited about this year, and she was very proud of today's ensemble:
 She is a little anxious that this is her last year of elementary, but she really likes her teacher and is anxious to do student council and media crew.

Evan is more ambivalent:
He really did not want to take pictures, and school is school. He likes his teacher, and he is very excited many of his buddies are in his class. He's mostly just excited that they can play soccer at recess. He may be the end of me.

I also had a moment when I realized this is the last year they will be in the same building until Issa is a senior and Evan is a freshman. Be still this mama's heart.

Here's hoping for another great year and wonderful stories around the dinner table...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I Have Fun Kids

My kids make me laugh--a lot. They have been with me all week at work, and Evan has been especially full of one-liners.

Me: Evan, you may not eat a chicken leg in each hand. One at a time, dude.
Evan: Says the woman who I will not live with when I'm all grown up and eating a chicken leg in each hand.

Evan: I'm just packing up a hacky-sack.
Issa: You mean hobo sack. That's a hobo sack.
Evan: You say tomato. I say potato.

Me: Time to pack up!
Issa: All of the things or some of the things?
Me: I was thinking all of the things.
Evan: But are you requiring all the things?

At least they keep me laughing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sitting on Ready, Rocking on Go

Last night, I filled in the family calendar. It's part of the fall routine I relish--the return to routine. This year is looking pretty doable. The studio and dojo schedules line up nicely, and it is all looking pretty possible. The only thing we are missing is a Thursday sitter for the few days my regular sitter isn't available.

Tomorrow is open house. Monday is the first day of school. We are all very ready.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

They Are Here!

I officially met my Class of 2020 last night, and oh my goodness are they fun! I have a feeling it's going to be a great four years! As a group, they seem relaxed and open. They chatted with my kiddos, and I learned Evan is going to be a flirt--or is a flirt. Good grief. It was a great night filled with cupcakes and getting to know them, and this morning we tweaked schedules and starting planning lives. It's my favorite time of year.

Now off to prep class for them...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thanks is Just Not Enough

This week begins our back to school transition. The first day is next week, but we will set alarms and the kids will come to work with me since my students are back. It's a nice transition to reality.

It comes after a week of crazy. My fall planning week always coincides with Issa's boot camp, and when you add Brad's very unpredictable work schedule it's a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, I married a brilliant man.

The weekend before the crazy, I flew up to Napoleon. My sister and I flew in for the weekend to help Mom do some sorting. We laughed and we cried, but mostly it was just good to be home. I took a bit of a break from adulting, which is always wonderful, and then Mom flew back with me.

Brad asked if she could come to be an extra set of hands/driver/sanity saver for the week. I truly have no idea how we would have made it without her. She fixed dinner and did laundry and took care of all of us. Two nights I realized I was just sitting at the table while she did dishes, and when I tried to change places with her the mama finger came out. It was a gift.

It's one of those gifts where thank you isn't nearly enough. It's also a gift I hope I can pay forward to my own kiddos someday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Closing a Chapter

Last night, I received an email that finally closed a chapter in my work life. The article summarizing my dissertation will be published. I received an accept with revision early this summer, and they officially accepted those revisions yesterday.

While it's always nice to see your name in a by-line, this one is such a hallmark. It feels pretty dang good!

No Longer a Dragon

Last Wednesday was a very big night for our little ninja! He officially left Mighty Dragons and became a member of the youth program, which involves a lot more sparring:
 We are so incredibly proud of how hard he has trained and how focused he remains, and he just beams in that yellow belt:
The video of the belt testing says it all, though:

I am so grateful that he is part of a supportive, encouraging community. I'm grateful he is learning defense with as little violence as possible. He is learning respect and protection. And as he told the black belt panel, he is having fun.

And I did get in trouble for that woohoo. Apparently ninja moms aren't supposed to woohoo. Noted.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I'm Ready for my Mama

So...yesterday was a day.

I took the kids to the dentist, where I somehow managed to keep a straight face as a very serious dentist told me, "I'm afraid Evan is dentally delayed." For some reason, I always feel judged by dentists--weird hang up--and for a split second I thought I had forgotten to have him do his tooth homework or something. There is really nothing to be done but wait. His baby teeth are just very firmly rooted, which does mean his front teeth are getting a bit worn down because in theory they should be long gone by now. Nothing to worry about. But I did manage to nod very seriously. Issa also has a very tiny mouth and is supposed to use a child's toothbrush for the next forever. She is so excited.

Last night, around midnight I found out Brad's flight home was cancelled. Work is a mess for him right now, and I hate that he was stuck. They did give him a hotel and he is on his way home now, but it just sucks.

At 1:30, Evan came in with one of his trademark bloody noses. When the boy does something he does it big. I got that stopped and went back to bed.

A little before 5, Buddy threw up. Frog legs. Apparently he finally caught one as the evidence was unmistakable. I can't even.

Tomorrow morning, I get on a plane and Mom, Shannon, and I are meeting at Mom's. I can't wait. We're going through some things at the house, but I'm really ready for some girl time. And I'm ready for my mama. I'm just done adulting for a while.

Monday, August 8, 2016


Look carefully:
That would be the end of the rainbow right in our backyard. There are no words necessary. Magic.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

So Many Adventures

We had such a lovely weekend! Friday night, Issa and Evan stayed with Ryan and Felicia and Brad and I got to go see some Shakespeare in Park:
 We saw a 90 minute rendition of all three parts of Henry VI. I think I enjoyed it more than Brad, but we are both looking forward to going to see Richard when they do it this fall. Richard from this play will be reprising the role, and he stole the show.

Issa and I also canned our first fruit butter Saturday:
 It's a honey vanilla peach butter, and we have made two batches from our Produce Box peaches. It's a little ridiculous...and delicious.

The highlight, though, was Sunday evening:
 We headed to Raleigh to see a colleague's son play minor league baseball. We were cheering for the visitors, but we had amazing seats at field level between home and first. The Nationals won, and Max had a great game. He was also kind enough to sign his rookie card and baseballs for the kids after the game:
 As if that wasn't enough excitement, there were fireworks and then the kids go to run the bases:
Issa is the white t-shirt crossing home; Evan's light-up shoes give him away.

It was so very, very fun to end the weekend at the ballpark, and we all agreed we need to go back soon!