Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ordinary Days

A box from new shutters.  Bought me a few hours of occupied boys.

Isaac and Abbey keeping track of gas since they share a car.  So many arguments about whose turn it is to put gas in the car, who drove more, etc... and we came up with this gem. (I'm saying "gem" sarcastically, because honestly, it has squelched the constant arguing, and why didn't we think of this sooner-like years sooner?)  I know one day I might (might!) laugh about all these little teenager things that sometimes make my head feel like it's going to explode, but for now just the thought of that possibility (not the head exploding, the laughing one day) makes it all seem more manageable.  I don't think that sentence makes sense, but maybe you know what I mean.

My mom and dad and grandkids.

Us.

My squishy baby niece.  Squishy babies are the best.

Matt took this pictures.  This branch seems to be the universal lounge chair for all squirrels.

Matt took this one also.

Janey is getting so big.  And lately, fussy.  I know it's because of all the changes.  The addition is still being worked on, almost finished.  I've said it before, but boy I can not WAIT till there are no workers in my house, and I know she feels the same way.  I have a reprieve for a few days, and then we wait on cabinet doors and then they'll be another burst of activities.  I just want my family to myself, and I want my life back to normal.  I also want to snap my fingers and have every room exactly the way I want it to be (furniture, pictures on the wall, window treatments).  But I'm burned out, and Janey's burned out, (if we never go to Lowe's again we will be the happiest ladies on earth), and I want to enjoy this summer.  Gosh, I think I used to like this sort of thing one day long ago, and now I don't.  There are much more important things than all this house stuff, but at the same time, I want to get it all right for me, and right for our family, and right enough that I never have to think about it all again for the rest of my life. :)  I got out my "house notebook" and went room by room, writing down the things that need to be finished, and then assigned general timelines.  I pushed all non-essentials back to winter 2015, and somehow just writing that list (as usual) made me feel more settled inside.

Years ago when the older kids were school aged, or darn, just a few years ago, I remember summer dragging, and being excited about school beginning.  Now I feel like it flies by, so busy and so quickly.  It's not like I pack our days full, I don't at all, but just the coordination of six kids is busy and add the teenagers work schedules, and a mandatory sports camp here or there, college visits (we've done none of those yet!) and a beach vacation and it seems like the day is over before it began.  And school starts earlier every year it seems! (Why does everything have to change?  What's wrong with a nice long summer vacation?  What's wrong with starting school in kindergarten?  What's wrong with learning cursive, and not having to read till first grade?  Or two recesses?  Or sports practice after school for an hour instead of three hours over dinner time?:) I know that once school starts, it seems I hardly get to see the kids, in school all day, and they are all one year older.  It makes me feel awful.  Am I enjoying this time with them?  Am I present?  I won't ever get this summer back, I know that.

"After all,' Anne said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Anne of Avonlea
Lucy Maud Montogomery




23 comments:

  1. Sarah, you ARE present, as much as anyone with six kids and a busy household can be. I know you know that. As a mom on the other side of all this I remember feeling much the same way. Even during the worst days, I knew that someday I would wish for it all back. And that's the part that is so hard, you can't get it back. But you can live it to the fullest and be aware that every moment is precious, and that's what I see you doing. That's why I love your blog so much;)

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  2. So glad to see an update from you! I feel the same way! Trying to really soak up the kids this summer because we will never have this summer back and I know when school start I will feel sad because they are another year older and I am able to spend much less time with them. I hope your family has a wonderful summer!

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  3. I could have written so many of these things myself. With 6 kids I often feel so pulled in many ways and I don't even think we have that many activities for a large family but I am trying to stay present and enjoy the summer. I love that quote

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  4. Beautiful family picture Sarah! And I love the one with your parents. How are you doing? I'm so excited for you to be done with your additions! A (somewhat) quiet house with just your family - it really is the best feeling ever. :) Thinking of you!!
    xx

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  5. Yes, to longer summer vacations. Yes, to two recesses. Yest, to learning to read in first grade and 1 hour sports practices after school! Yes, to slower life and more time with MY children! Now, how to get all those things to happen! Some of the many reasons I often daydream of home schooling. Thanks, Sarah! I am always right there with you!

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  6. Amen to being present. Ours are both older now, and the youngest stayed for a summer session this year and is just driving home today. The one thing we do not regret is that while other things like house projects and such got pushed aside or not even done, we were present for our girls. And, we believe it truly made all the difference. We are asked all the time, why we did (because the girls are great kids) and we pretty much sum it up in those few words..."we were present". On a side note, oh my goodness...Janey has grown up way too fast!!!

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  7. You sound like you'd make an awesome homeschooler. You could start out with just the little ones! No need to jump into it all at once.

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  8. Thank you so much for the photos and the thoughts. I agree that every summer seems to slip away faster than the one before it. It's already a third of the way over and didn't it just start? I only have two kids and like you have very minimal summer activities scheduled (I have my fill of schedules during the school year!), but still every day just disappears into the moonlit sky quicker than I can comprehend. Sometimes it's essential to schedule a "do nothing" day. Yep. :)

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  9. I completely agree with your sentiments. (Is that an Anne sort of phrase?) My oldest is almost 11, and yet summer is suddenly a bit on fast forward. And, like you, we simplify and try not to have a lot going on. But with a few trips here & there (to see family, mostly), the holiday, a couple horse riding lessons & camps, it feels like summer will be over before I have time to get sick of it. And, as we all know, the point of summer vacation is to get terribly, incredibly BORED. (Btw, I've been craving reading the Anne series again. Love anything by LM Montgomery!)

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  10. Our schools start August 6. Teachers go back IN JULY. So much is so wrong with that sentence. thanks for your encouragement, to be present and to savor the time. I love seeing your children, and especially Janey and the squishy baby niece. Can't wait to see your addition. We finished a renovation last year that was necessary. And we are settling in finally. It's starting to look like home. -- talking about sports through dinner struck the nerve with me. why? why? why? I have fought it, and fought it. And I don't go down quietly about it. Shared you quote with 'fb friends' as we had laughed yesterday, sitting in the river, about how we could live with a string of 'best days ever'. But today being at home, I'm grateful for the lack of need to get out and go. We're home for today. btw, love your 'Coming Home' series.

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  11. Hi Sarah - I always love your updates - you seem to say exactly what I am thinking! Time is going by too quickly, our kids are over scheduled and everything is being rushed! I would love to go back to a simpler time!!

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  12. I can relate so much to this post, especially during the time we were building the house. I don't like stuff that makes me push aside my kids, or even things that make me so rushed that life isn't fun. I also think life with a larger family just might always be busier than I want it to be. There's just so many fires to put out EVERY DAY! I'm trying to be okay with that, and take the good with the bad ;) Your addition will be done soon and it will be gorgeous and you'll be so happy you did it!

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  13. Yes, yes, and more yes!

    PS- We have a summer fort out of boxes in our house too.

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  14. Oh Anne, she has it right! And don't we wish we could have those sweet days? Hang in there!

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  15. Love the "LIST"! You inspired me to start one years ago. I updated mine just before summer started. Whatever doesn't get finished by the end of summer will be put off until further notice (winter 2015 sounds good!). Keeping up with kids and being present is a full time job! As much as I love projects and finished spaces, there just isn't enough time for everything.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer.

    Karina

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  16. I've been thinking about your post. And even though we are not quite in the same stage of our lives (we have two toddler boys and therefore no school yet) I recognise what you write about wanting spaces finished but also finding the balance in how finish is good enough.
    Don't be too hard on yourself. The way you wrote that last piece, nearly without taking a breath I think, that probably reflects how you feel. Take a breath, you are doing amazing. You manage your six kids better than I manage my two. I've a lot to learn and you inspire. Thanks!

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  17. Janey's curls are too cute.

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  18. I would love to hear details about the gas list/chart! We have two teenagers who share a car and we haven't figured it out yet.

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  19. this blog is almost perfection. sigh.

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  20. (expansion) sorry... it's just that your blog resonates with me. The house stuff 'not so important anymore'. The summer slipping away. I have three, all pre-school until September. The days are over before they begin. I know I will never have this time back. I can't freeze it in a bottle and look at this time at my leisure. Your writing has resonated with me. For years. It has guided some of my (very big) life decisions.

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  21. I agree with everything you wrote Sarah! What is "wrong with learning cursive or starting school in kindergarten?" I have kids from the ages of 16 down to 2, and boy have things changed. New mom's ask me "where will Pete go to preschool?" My answer is always, "He's not going to school until kindergarten." Boy, you would think I said I was going to lock him in a cave or something. Most kids are on waiting lists from birth! There's only one way to learn the ABC's, and I can do it here at home just fine. Just did the college visits, and oh the struggles of learning to drive on a stick shift:) The busyness of life with kids is such a blessing. Thanks for the reminder to stay present. I love your blog!

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  22. your parents are as beautiful as you and your family! just gorgeous. Your mom is hot!
    Fighting about gas....lol, thats very funny. I have a photo of my son's first car (a beater we bought for $300 from my sis in law after her mom passed) and my son driving out of the driveway, a few friends in the car, with my younger son (2 yrs apart) laying ONTOP of the car with his hand so stretched out for a $20 bill for gas from me, that the main part of the photo was his HAND as it touched the green paper. gas money.
    Sad to see Abby getting older.
    Janey's hair! wow.
    The box from the shutters, "buying you some time"...
    cant wait for your ad on....we did that too....still so glad we did it, we can entertain til the cows come home now, before that, no way.
    Enjoy that summer ....!!

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  23. You have a sweet and beautiful blog! Nice family pictures. I'll be back to visit often... I'd love to invite you over to my blog page and check it out. http://cyndigeary.blogspot.com/ Looking forward to see you there. Have a wonderful week dear! Hugs, Cyndi

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