August/Summer recap

Hello!

You know, I keep thinking that things will slow down and I’ll get back to my snail’s-pace-life pretty soon, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I think this is just my life now. Or maybe it’s just the pace of summer and things will naturally slow down once it gets cold. Whatever happened to those hazy crazy lazy dayz of summer? I don’t feel like I got very many of those lazy days and I’m just a tad bit resentful about it. I’d like to speak to a manager about this, please.

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Life has not been all bad, not at all, it’s just that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of downtime anymore.  I didn’t even read much this summer and my hand-lettering has suffered as well – it just seemed like there wasn’t a lot of time to sit and just BE. I hate it that the two things I love most to do, I just couldn’t seem to make time to do them. I was pretty intentional about spending a few hours in the pool at least once a week – just floating and listening to the birds was restorative and meditative in a way that I couldn’t find anywhere else – if it isn’t raining, I plan on spending my Labor Day floating for a few hours and soaking up that last little bit of summer. 

My Dad is doing well with his chemo – his last chemo appointment is in a week and then we’ll see where we are with that. His cancer is shrinking, so that’s good, but the chemo just wipes him out and he feels really weak most of the time. Hopefully he’ll get to stop the chemo and that will help him feel better.

School has started again around here (tangent: why do we have to start school in August?? It’s still so freakishly hot!! Can we not push it back until after Labor Day?)  – my youngest is a freshman in high school and my middle is a freshman in college. We moved my second baby bird out of the nest to her school an hour away (pro tip: bring a dolly or a platform cart for move-in day – parking will be scarce and it will be hot and you will all be cranky – make things as easy as possible for yourselves!!).

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Final hug before driving away. 

After a rough start with a poorly-matched dorm roommate (she just got a new roommate this week – thankfully), my daughter is getting used to the rhythm of dorm life and college classes. My oldest is working for my husband and living on his own – which he loves – so we are down to one kid at home. The groceries in the house last considerably longer now!! 🙂

One thing I did well in August was to figure out how to stop being so tired all the darn time. I’ve added some supplements and stopped using my snooze button. I try to get up when the first alarm goes off and I don’t hit snooze – turns out, hitting the snooze button makes you more tired than if you just get up when that first alarm rings. As a life-long snoozer, I am amazed at how different my mornings are now! I’m taking a B-Complex supplement, an adrenal supplement, an iron supplement, a 5htp supplement, and just eating better in general. I walk or do yoga when I can and I will say I am noticing a difference. I also in the last couple of days have started using breathe-right strips and wow! I’m sleeping so much better at night. I’m not exactly energetic, but at least I don’t feel so completely exhausted all the time now, which is a nice change.

That’s my wrap up of August and generally the summer. I have an idea for a posting schedule for the fall, but I’m not going to make any promises (been there, broke that).  I think my Autumn Intention is going to be to fit in the things I love to do: blogging, reading, and hand-lettering and if I have to pencil them in to my schedule to make it happen, so be it. I got a nice new planner and it’s just begging to be filled up with fun activities!

So what about you? How was your August? Do you have anything you want to make happen this fall?

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Oh, hey!

Hey! Digging my way out of April and May to say “hi”.

 

I knew that from Spring Break until now, I would be hooked up with Senior Year/Graduation Activities for my daughter but I had no idea I would be solidly busy for 2 months straight. It was a good busy – I actually enjoyed everything I did, including throwing together a Senior Tea within 10 days with no warning – and it was all worth it in the end. My daughter is now graduated and I can relax.

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My grad and her proud parents. 

 

I decided to treat m’self for when this was all over, so I bought myself a little spa day package on Groupon and on Saturday afternoon I will surrender to the bliss of a massage followed by a mani/pedi followed by sitting on my patio with some sort of adult beverage. I will most likely fall asleep before 7:30 pm due to extreme relaxation and the adult bev. I’m looking forward to it.

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Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

 

Because I don’t yet know how not to take on too much, I’ve also been part of a handlettering drills challenge this month. It’s been hard keeping up with the daily drills but it’s also been a great way to slow down and ground myself at the end of the day when I’ve needed it. The drills challenge is ending but you can sign up for a hand lettering course, which is what I’ll be doing next. I’m getting more confident in my lettering so I’ll try to post some pics of what I’m working on more often too. Here’s a pic of some doodling I did a few months ago. Won’t you please enjoy the up yours right above love thy neighbor? It’s all about balance y’all. I think I was listening to the tv while I was doodling and sometimes I write whatever it is I hear. I have no other excuse.

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Now that Summer™ is officially here (summer = end of school year, the calendar can suck it), I hope to post here more often. That’s my intention anyway, but I feel like I say that a lot and then you all don’t hear from me for two months. I’m going to find a way to make this happen because even if only a few people still read blogs, I still enjoy writing them.

This week here in Oklahoma we’ve seen historic rainfalls, lots of tornados, and now we are dealing with lots of flooding – devastating floods that have wiped out entire communities. It’s awful. Fortunately our area has been spared and I am so thankful. Send up some prayers if you are the praying sort or send out some good vibes if that’s more your thing. This time of year in Oklahoma is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.

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I feel ya, Forest.

So that’s just a quick catch-up, I’ll be back with more soon. What’s going on with you all?

So, your daughter wants to play Club Volleyball…

My 18 year old daughter just ended her last Club Volleyball season yesterday with a win, playing one of her best games. I am so proud of her! I was reflecting on the last 3 years with our club team and thought “I have a lot of advice for anyone who is just getting into this whole Club scene”. So here are some things that I wish I had known when my daughter wanted to join a Club Volleyball team:

  1. Yes, the cost is exorbitant. And totally worth it. I resisted the idea of club volleyball for my daughter because it just seemed like a ridiculous amount of money to spend. It was her school coach who finally talked me into letting her try out her sophomore year and fortunately for us, a brand new club was forming right in our home town and since it was brand new, it was going to be a little less expensive than some other well-known clubs in the larger city nearby. I let her try out, she made the team, and the sudden change in her attitude was worth all the cheddar in the world. She went from a sullen, sulky, hermit to a happy, funny 15-year-old in the blink of an eye.  And her skill level skyrocketed after a few practices with coaches who loved volleyball and were invested in really teaching the girls useful skills (as opposed to the Baseball coach at her high school who reluctantly also became the volleyball coach because no one else would do it). Along with her rising skill level, we also saw her confidence rise, and a confident teenage girl is a beauty to behold. So, do whatever you have to do to and pay the dough so she can play. (Edited to add: if money is really an issue but your daughter still wants to play, check and see if there are scholarship opportunities available. Our club raised enough money to provide a few scholarships to girls who had the talent but not the funds to play.) 
  2. Start a savings account NOW because see item #1 above. If you are affluent and money is no object because it flows from your 24k gold water faucet, then you may ignore this whole section, but if you are like most people, you are going to want to plan ahead and have some cash set aside for the incidentals of tournament travel. Trust me, if you will start setting aside some cash now, it will hurt less later. Expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $2500 (could be more in your area) for club fees, which in our case paid for 2 jerseys and a duffel bag (and maybe a t-shirt or two) plus the cost of entering the tournaments and paying for refs, etc. Keep in mind though, that in addition to the initial fees that you pay directly to the club, there will also be travelling expenses that you will be expected to cover. Expect to shell out about $500 for each tournament trip, which will consist of a hotel stay, meals, snacks, and gas to and from the tournament. There are ways to cut some of those costs, but it helps if you have a nice amount set aside for this. Of course you can use a credit card to cover these expenses, but do you really want to go into debt for this? I put our first year’s expenses on a card and I’m STILL paying it off 3 years later. Don’t be me. Just suck it up and pay cash if it’s at all possible.
  3. Enroll for hotel rewards. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP AFTER ITEM #2. You are going to be staying in a lot of hotels and if your daughter plans on playing for several years, then trust me when I say enroll now so you can earn as many rewards/points as you can. I did not do this until the end of last season and so it did not benefit me a great deal, but I did get a few perks here and there. If I had enrolled in various hotel rewards programs that first year, I probably could have had enough points to earn a few nights’ stays this year. Again, don’t be me – enroll asap.
  4. Food – there will be a lot of it. You can most likely expect at least one team dinner per tournament – I know, nothing says awkward like having dinner with a bunch of people you hardly know, but go anyway. It never hurts to sharpen your social skills and it will only be for a couple of hours at the most. As for all other meals, this is where you can be frugal. For the first couple of years, we had a team food table set up at the venue (some venues allow a table, some don’t, you’ll have to check beforehand) because playing 3 or 4 games in one day can make a girl hungry so they’ll need a lot of nourishment. For the food table, we did it a couple of different ways: one year, each family donated $5 or $10 and someone went and bought food for everyone, rotating turns among the families; another year, instead of collecting money from everyone, each family took a turn and was solely responsible for buying food and setting up the table. This year, we just decided NOT to have a food table and instead each family was responsible for bringing their own snacks for their player. We put their snacks in a gallon ziplock bag and gave it to each girl to put in her duffel, so she could eat whenever she felt like she needed it. Some of the snacks we included were slider sandwiches, fruit, pretzels, crackers, nuts, string cheese, carrots w/ individual ranch cups…things that could be eaten quickly and easily but would also provide them with enough energy to get them through several games. As for the parents, you could buy food from the venue’s concession stand, but the nutritional value can be hit or miss at those places and often it’s a little pricey, or you could sneak out for some quick fast food, but if you are able, bringing your own snacks is a better option all around.
  5. Take some time for yourself. Look, we all love to watch our kid play the sport they love, but do you know how many matches you’re going to be watching for the next few years??? A LOT. You will have the opportunity to watch hours and hours and hours of volleyball over your daughter’s career, so if you need to take the morning off and stay behind at the hotel and take a nice hot bath and just relax then by all means DO IT. If you want to be supportive and happy for your athlete, you have to give yourself some grace and take care of yourself when the need arises. Your kid does not want your cranky, tired self glaring at her from the bleachers so tag-team with your spouse and let them take her to the tournament or if you are single, there will be plenty of other parents who will gladly and willingly watch over your daughter while you get some R&R for a few hours. Don’t feel guilty and don’t be ashamed – chances are, you’ll be setting an example for other frazzled parents who also really need a break.

We were very fortunate that our club has some really great coaches and administrators and it was positive experience for all of us. My daughter and I both made some great friends, her skill level and confidence rose significantly, and I realized that some things really are worth the time and money spent. I am so glad that we did this for our daughter so she could have this experience.

 

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Not as ready as I thought I was.

Hey there! So I always put off writing for one reason or another and then before I know it, a month has gone by. I have an actual list of blog topics but I guess I’m always waiting for a good time to sit down and write but that “good time” never seems to present itself. So today I’m just going to write even though there are other things I need to be doing but I need to get today’s topic off my chest. Today’s topic is brought to you by the fact that I’m getting older and my kids are getting older and they’re leaving the nest and I’m a tiny bit freaked out about all of it. Fun stuff!!

My tiny baby first-born son (who is a fully bearded, 200 pound 22 year old) is moving into his own apartment this week and even though I’ve been after him for a year to get out on his own, now that it’s finally happening, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Actually I do know how I feel about it – I’m nervous and scared and excited for him and anxious and all the other emotions too. I’m scared that I pushed him before he’s ready, I’m afraid  that he’ll be lonely, I’m nervous that he’ll sit in his apartment and stare at a screen 24/7. I’m hopeful, however, that he’ll love having his own space (and a bathroom that he doesn’t have to share with his sisters), I pray that he’ll figure out what he wants to do with his life and maybe go back to school, I want him to find a job and friends that he likes (but only the kind of friends that are good for him and aren’t secretly a cult), I want him to find a nice girl to date (actually never mind that one – he’s got plenty of time for that later…when he’s 30…ish.) I’ve gotten so spoiled by having all my kids still at home where I knew they were safe and well-fed and had someone to talk to every day. I hope he’ll be okay. I hope I’ll be okay.

Oh, and in 6 months my tiny baby second-born (who is 5’8″ and strong and will beat the ass of anyone who looks at her or any friend of hers crossways) is moving to college an hour away. At least she’ll be rooming with a friend and be in the dorms where other people can be there to tell her not to ignore her check engine light…so that gives me some comfort. She is going to love living on her own. I’m excited for her but I know I’ll be a mess the day she moves out.

That will leave my husband and I with our last tiny baby – our 13 year old daughter who is full of friend-drama and hormones – at least I’ve still got her for another 4.5 years, so that’s good. Unless she turns into a teenage she-devil, at which point I will move in with my son, but I’ve got my fingers crossed we can weather that storm.

For those of you who have kids that have moved out, any tips on making things easier? Or just tips in general for this transition? Because this stuff is hard!!

 

I put in “leaving the nest” in Amazon and this came up:

What??? I mean…what??? Why would you…????

Weird.