I will readily admit I was vehemently against sending the kids back to school. I loved our lazy summer mornings, unlimited in-bed tickling wars chock-filled with wet bathing suits everywhere, squealing happy and tanned-skin kids, and a momma without a crazy, schedule-filled calendar of extra curriculars. I dreaded the 5:45am alarm for this year with a son in before-school football practice, and how I’d fare getting the kids ready with a clingy infant practically attached to the boob.

With week 3 coming to a close, I am here to say it’s been MAGICAL. Friends, it’s been like a fresh start, a new year’s resolution come to fruition.

I’ve been having lunch at the elementary school.
Volunteering in classes (plus some take-home work, too).
I’ve been preparing awesome school lunches for the kids as well as great dinners and mindful breakfasts, ones with lots of leftovers that easily double as snacks for when they get home.
I’ve been an organizing FOOL around here, too, getting the house in order as well as my body and mind.
I’ve been doing fun and new hair-dos on my girls.
I’ve even been wearing dresses regularly, doing my hair, make-up, and making myself look as good as I feel.
We’ve been eating well, working out, and I’m down seven pounds in the last month and a half!! (More on that soon.)

I’ve enjoyed a few naps with the two babies left at home, and many, many playdates at the park. In fact, it’s become our new ritual, here – going to the park in the morning before lunch at the school and volunteering. In fact, I’m getting in exercise AND having fun with the kids simultaneously, which is making me feel spectacular for crossing off two checkmarks at once.

three-braided braid

We’re not reinventing the wheel here in the Douglas household, but we’re having LOADS of fun doing hair.

I hate having my children gone from me for so long (which is probably why I volunteer so much), but this sense of renewed purpose and responsibility has rejuvenated me in a way I can’t explain. This isn’t the typical, “Yay! My kids are gone! It’s mom’s time alone now!” because, that’s not how I feel at all, I’m the hugest worrier and I worry almost every second they are gone.

“Did they take their medicine?”
“Did they eat enough for breakfast?”
“Did I pack enough for lunch?”
“I wonder how he did at football this morning.”
“I hope they’re cool (warm) enough.”
“I hope her hair stayed put, she was so proud of it this morning.”
“I hope their bus doesn’t break down.” (Because it has before.)

But they thrive at school, the socialization, the activities, and classes and projects (already!!) and I am so thrilled they are doing so well. But I’ll still worry. I worry about my son’s football with Pre-AP classes AND band AND soccer, but he’s managing it all with such grace.

It isn’t all peaches and cream, of course. The kids are still walking tornados, ha! They still come home leaving a trail of clothing and school belongings behind them, crazy excited from a fantastic day at school, as though fed crack in their last classes of the day, because they are SO SPAZZY and CRAZED and JUMPING and stuff. Haha, it’s like they have to make up for being gone all day, or something. I could definitely do without the spazz, and the mess, and perhaps a little less repetition to get them to follow-through would be nice, too.

Not to mention, staying up late to prepare their lunches eats into our ‘sitting-down-finally-after-a-long-day” time with my husband. But at least we’re usually both attacking the lunches together, so we’re still spending time, even if we aren’t sitting doing it catching up on our favorite shows. In fact, I usually nod off the second we hit play. Ha. Thank goodness for DVRs.

The rewards of what we’ve been doing these last few weeks have reminded me of who I am, who I want to be, and who I seemingly lost bit-by-bit over the years, amongst the moves, the craziness. I am so thrilled to have trip-stumbled into “me” again here, and I hope “I” stay.

I could trace this whole “journey” back to school, but I think it actually began when we canceled our vacation. We had to pull together during our staycation, and together we uncovered something spectacular quite accidental-like.

And here we are, fast approaching my favoritest part of the day; seeing my kindergartner and her third grade brother walking the “walker line” to me and the other eagerly awaiting parents. Seeing her smile and wave and blow me kisses, and seeing my handsome man who often fights me to NOT hug him when dropping him off for the day, how he swaggers in the line and never, ever stops looking to see if I see him so he can wave at me, too.

My older kids, who might be in “junior high” and might be getting to be almost my height, who might be eating as much as me and their father, they still hug me. They still hold my hand and stick close by. I have found I need those reminders, that, beneath the budding hormones, they are still my babies at heart, still weaving their fingers into momma’s hands when we walk together as a family at dusk, after dinner.

I have seemed a little scarce online lately, not posting as often, but I can tell you that these changes are SO GOOD for me. For us. They’ve given me perspective, where I want to go with this website, where I want to go with ME and MY LIFE and THEIR LIVES. I need every second of this time right now, because it is steering me where I need to be, where I need to go. And so much is happening behind the scenes, so much good stuff being unearthed, I just can’t wait to share it all with you.

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