Ordinary Back To School Days

Look at that face, she knows exactly what she is doing.

I wouldn't normally let a baby eat BBQ chips just so you know, but this is a baby being raised along with teenagers so she might just be exposed to more things, like BBQ chips, and let's leave it at that.

The day before school starts.

Ten birthday candles.

I was so excited to get this for me, I mean Janey.  Isn't it cute?  I couldn't resist.

She's into blinking.

Abbey is going to have a great year, I just know it.

They are all ready to be with classmates and be busy.
(Excluding Janey of course.)

Remember my row of pink impatiens in front of my house that I lovingly planted in spring?

And I just bought these a week ago.
I feel like I look the same way.

Praise the Lord.
It's always bitter sweet.
I always feel like crying.
Like sobbing crying, not just tearing up.
But I will admit some of those tears are shed for me.
I did it.
I survived an intense summer of a baby, and kids and teens.
I did it on little sleep, I did it all myself pretty much, everyday, with no breaks, I did it. 
Swim team, and t-ball and tennis.  Soccer and cross country and lacrosse and crew.  Two work schedules for teens with one car.
Hundreds of load of laundry.
Thousands of dollars of food bought and put away and prepared.
Busy teens and late nights, and early mornings, and a baby who nurses at night and is a light sleeper during the day.  
I did it.
I don't know if I did it well.  I don't think I did this summer. I did it in survival mode and I did it with patience and probably lots of impatience and some frustration too.
I did it with tears and laughter and major self-doubt and prayers.
And some yelling and some arguing and some slammed doors and some sharp words.
I tried to enjoy it but sometimes I just did it, because I'm the mom and because I'm supposed to and sometimes it's not all enjoyable.  Sometimes it's just hard work.
I think I will look back on this summer and laugh one day and be a little less critical of myself, just for being here, doing it, as best as I could at the time.

Not so sad anymore because he is going too!

After his first day.  So cute. Loved the bus.

Four down, one to go.  College packing.

You know what I am doing this week.  Sometimes I am embarrassed to live on my quiet little street.
We are loud and our grass is patchy and we have SO much garbage especially when we have birthdays or mom goes on a cleaning and decluttering rampage, or both.  I've got a tight schedule this week to get this ship in shape and it ends with a major carpet clean which I am more than giddy about.
And the grand finale of all photos for the week. A beautiful collage.
I wondered why my camera was loading 97 photos, and then I found these gems. 
It's that laugh/cry thing all over again.
 Unbeknownst to me, Patrick had taken about 50 photos of me pulling up those dead flowers.  ALL at this beeeuuutiful angle.
Making a collage of my big butt weeding just seemed the perfect way to end not only this summer, but this blog post as well.