I don't even know where to start with all the blogging I am behind, so I thought I'd just do a quick update on what's going on now, then post what's going on currently, and knock out some posts of past things from my Mind Organization blog list. I don't think it should take me too long to get back into the groove of things. :) Plus, I notice a huge difference in my life when I'm writing...my mind is more clear and I am happier. It's something I really enjoy and do to clear my head.
Lately, I feel like more and more change has been spilling out into our lives - and so quickly - that it's been hard to keep up! But all of these changes have been good changes, and over and over I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude for the many, many blessings we have. Every time I get excited about this or that new thing in our lives, from a nice, big yard to kids starting school to new opportunities, it feels like something else new and good comes pouring out. It's been HARD to keep up with, but so, so good.
-Kolton, my first baby boy, started kindergarten last week! He LOVES it, and I am loving this new phase of walking to the bus stop together, talking about what happened at school, stealing some time away with my two younger boys, and watching Kolton learning and growing so much. It's been a little bittersweet because I've realized that my baby really is that big, and that time with my kids is so, so fleeting and I need to soak up every moment, but entering this new phase of "school-aged children" is really fun and full of enthusiasm and discovery and blossoming into a new person. I can't wait to see what this boy does next!
-Micah, my second boy, started preschool this week! After much deliberation and literally going back and forth with 2-day home preschool and the elementary school's 4-day preschool, Wes and I decided that two days would be plenty of time for Micah and that we would be able to get some time alone with him when he was here and Kolton wasn't. I had my doubts about that decision at first, especially when Micah was asking for Kolton, and putting his backpack on wanting to go to school too, but now that we've gotten through his first week too, I think we all agree that we did the right thing. Micah loves his preschool and has a blast there, but he is also enjoying some special time all to himself at home with us. I love this boy and can't believe he is growing so big! I am glad to keep him by baby just a little longer.
-Jonah has found his voice! Man alive, that kids can SCREAM. He screams then he wants food, he screams when he's tired, he screams when he wants a drink, he screams for toys and rides on the Powerwheels, etc. We all keep signing and saying everything hoping he will find some other way to communicate what he wants. In the meantime, we are all learning to be a little (and sometimes a lot) more tolerant. :) I can't believe this boy is growing so big either to be at this stage where he's starting to gain independence and opinions. He's such a little cutie and we love him to pieces - even when he hurts our ears.
-Wes and I are having a blast with Rocky's training. Our riding instructor/trainer and the stable manager both like this guy and have taught us some things to do with our horse to build trust. So far, this experience has been amazing - I can't even describe it. It's an amazing feeling to realize that this big, powerful 1,000-pound animal is looking to you for protection and guidance. It's a human-animal connection on a whole new level and I love it. And Rocky is a sweet, quiet horse. He's bonded to me so quickly that people are actually impressed. I feel lucky to have such a good boy to start this horse thing with. We are going to have many years of good memories with him. He's been so loved on already and has enjoyed every minute. I can't wait to get permission to get back in the saddle with him (it's been recommended to us to stay off his back until this "groundwork" is done first). I love the quiet moments I have at the stable with him when it's just the two of us and I can clear my mind of all the things bothering me, the things I have to get done, the constant interruptions of life, and just be outside in nature with beautiful animals and enjoy being in the moment. It's good for the soul. This experience has definitely been a healing one for me.
-Wes and I are excited to attend an upcoming parenting retreat. It feels like perfect timing with all the changes going on in our lives. We are excited to steal away some time alone to focus on our family and where we want to be.
-I have signed up for a photography class! I am excited to gain some skills and learn about taking better pictures. It's been fun to finally start to develop myself as "the person inside the mom". It's interesting how when I focus a little on myself and make the arrangements and sacrifices I need to do so, mothering becomes easier - it's easier to slow down a little and much easier to be patient when the kids are wearing on me a little. It's actually weird to be in a phase for awhile (no nursing baby in tow, no preggo body, kids in school) where I feel like I have a little of my own independence. I want to take advantage of it while it's here. I'm sure that there are going to be more times where I have to let things like photography classes go, but I am going to enjoy it while it's here and embrace this phase for awhile. :)
-Wes' brother, Bryan, got engaged and man alive are we ever excited about our new sister in law, Anna. Anna is a total sweetheart and I am looking forward to having her as a part of our family. I admire and look up to her so much, and we have so much fun with her. She is the perfect girl for Bryan and they make a darling pair!
-Wes has become a yard rat lately. I love it! It's so fun to see him excited about the yard and taking care of the lawn. He had a blast getting the swingset up (it's still needing a little work - just staining) and did a fabulous job. He's been edging our 1/2-acre lawn the past couple days and he says the new trimmer/edger is like a new toy. I'm excited to get unpacked and settled enough to dig in the dirt. :)
-We are currently looking for a new housecleaner. In the meantime, I have taken on the extra cleaning time. It takes a long time to clean with the kids around, but I am actually enjoying it a lot. I'm thinking about saving us the money for awhile and doing it myself every week. Wes thinks I'm crazy though and says my time is better spent doing other things and that I will still be cleaning all the time even with a housecleaner coming twice a month. Who knows? For now, I'm not stressing about finding anyone new. I'm just enjoying my own new toy. I love cleaning products that keep things clean and sanitary in a safe, simple way. This mop has been fabulous to use - especially since we have so much tile flooring to take care of in this house. I am sooo glad I don't have to scrub the floor on my hands and knees every week!
-I've also picked up my own version of Flylady again. I do lots of things the same and lots of things different. But I love the philosophy of "Housework done incorrectly still blesses your house." Doing what I can, when I can, really does make a huge difference. And I think that philosophy can spill out into pretty much every area of life. Toss the guilt and catch the joy, people! It's a very empowering, freeing thing. :) Thanks for reminding me, Flylady.
-We are back on green smoothies over here and going strong. I am thinking about eating only smoothies for a few days to clean myself out. ;) Seriously though, I am so grateful to be drinking them once again, and I feel so much better when I do. Just in time too. I've gained three pounds with this move and I'm ready to banish them NOW! I shouldn't even have to think about it between the smoothies and the more active lifestyle we are all leading now. :) Maybe the last 10 pounds will melt off while I'm at it.
-I am back eating gluten in full swing for now. (Part of the weight gain came from my sudden need to treat myself to every gluten treat I hadn't had - cake, cookies, bread, pizza, etc.) At first, I had a hard time with it, but now, I feel okay. I'm anxious to see some blood tests and see if it made a difference and where I'm at healthwise. I wanted to settle into our routine here first though.
-My mom, sister, and I went to Swiss Days last week. We had a total blast. I got the cutest skirt, my traditional handmade holiday doll (this time it was a witch), some blankets and snugglies for Jonah, bows and arrows for the boys, some yummy potpourri, a beanie for my best friend's new baby, and one of these guys. I look forward to Swiss Days all year every year and this year definitely did not disappoint. I was sad my candle lady wasn't there, but hopeful she will be there next year. I also added a couple things to my wishlist. They had darling hospital gowns for expectant mothers, and a perfect wall calendar that I would have bought there, but I wasn't sure where I would put it here. The weather was absolutely perfect. The food was delicious as always. All in all, it was a good year.
I feel so blessed and grateful for the many good things we have in our lives. Change for us has been so, so good!