It is officially here – the last day of summer. I’m pretty excited about this upcoming school year. Mostly because it means reclaiming my own life and priorities for seven hours a day. But I’m also filled with melancholy that my kids are getting older and when I’m suddenly no longer with them for most of their waking hours, our relationship might suffer. It also might get better as our time together has a lot higher quality that it does in the summer. At any rate, there’s nothing I can do about it and change is on the horizon!
I’m very excited about third grade for Caden. His teacher is so passionate about their charter school’s mission to be immersed in science, technology, and nature. Basically the exact opposite of second grade. This year he has so many amazing field experiences and special projects to work on. Plus he gets to do ipad work ALL DAY LONG. It’s basically his dream come true.
While I’m not quite as worried as last year, I’m still worried about Shepard. He doesn’t deal with change and the start of new things well. I’d feel a whole lot better if his bathroom problems had resolved since last year. Nope. Still not going to go in a public bathroom without one of us with him. Still not going to go at school, no matter how uncomfortable he is. I can pretty much guarantee it. I’m hoping that at least after the first few days he’ll remember how much he loves being with his friends and stop being anxious about school itself. It will definitely be a little harder on him this year as Caden will no longer have lunch or recess with him. That was a huge help in the transition last year and without that constant for him this time around, there is potential for problem. But he also might flourish and finally work on his own friendships instead of always tagging along with Caden’s. I really don’t know what to expect from him in the coming weeks. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised at how easily he transitions back.
Anyway! This post is supposed to be about summer. An evaluation of sorts. I just re-read my Summer Intentions post to see what my priorities were and if I lived up to them.
1. Read More
I read a lot this summer. Thirty-seven books, to be exact. But my specific goal was to work on my piles of nonfiction books that I have in every room of the house. I did not do so well with that! Summer mom-ing makes me just want to escape and fiction is my outlet. It was really hard to pick up the books that were designed to make me think more and actively change my life and attitude. I was having a hard enough time just staying afloat these last few months. But I still think I made reading a higher priority, so I’d say it was a successful goal! I also started listening to audiobooks, which has really helped me fit in a couple more books each month.
2. Keep Working, but No Pressure
I was all over the place with work this summer. I just looked back and see that I made 77 new dolls and had 45 sales. Which isn’t bad! But I had a super difficult time staying focused and motivated and prioritizing work over the millions of other chaotic things that were going on around the house. I didn’t want the need to work ruling over my life and making me crazy. And for the most part, I didn’t get to that point. But I was also really frustrated with how little time I did manage to put in. June and July were tough, but I really did get into more of a grove during August. I’m hoping I can carry that through into September. One of our busiest months of the year.
3. Have Fun!
For the first summer in ages, I feel like we actually did enough. I wasn’t feeling that way a month ago, but if I look back on our days, we really did have fun. We made a lot of memories. We didn’t do as many huge and exciting things as we have in past summers, but it was still enjoyable.
June was all about summer school and fitting in smaller summer experiences. We celebrated Grandpa’s birthday and went to a Mallard’s Game. We celebrated Father’s Day and had a party, though my dad ended up not being able to come. We went to the Wednesday Farmer’s Market. Lots of trips to the library and pool. Many walks with Annie. Overall, a pretty low key month, but still a lot of fun.
July was a big month! We started it in New Jersey (actually, we left in June). This was our big trip of the summer, visiting family for Uncle Mike’s 60th birthday. We made all kinds of memories on that trip and came home to another week of family fun. The boys and I had a special 4th of July celebration by ourselves. We got to see my aunt and uncle from Arizona for the first time in years. We saw a lot of my other extended family which rarely happens. Sarah was visiting so we had sister/aunt time. And we had a different family get together on Greg’s side.
Also in that week – BABY HUDSON WAS BORN. Best highlight of the summer! My brother and sister-in-law had their baby boy on the morning of their 5th anniversary. We were able to go and see him right away the day he was born. Super exciting!! We were all so very happy!
July also brought us to another Mallard’s game, and lots of walks and trips to parks. Picnics and good old cheap summer fun! We were pretty exhausted after that first week of insanity, so we were more about taking it easy the rest of the month. When we could!
August brought the most balance – at least in my opinion. I felt like I really had a healthy mix of work and life. The boys and I went camping in our yard. We tried out Sky Zone. We went to the State Fair with my family. We went to the Dodge County Fair with Greg’s parents. We took a trip to Cedar Lake. Went to Curd Fest. Celebrated my brother’s 30th birthday in Milwaukee. Went to the Milwaukee Zoo on another day. Shepard and I went to the farmer’s market. Caden and I had a date night. It was both busy and lazy. In between all our day trips and excitement, we had days that were filled with video games and tv and playing with the neighbor. I need to remember to try and live this way all of next summer. It worked out well. I didn’t have guilt about not doing enough because 2-3 days a week we did a lot. And the other days were down time for them and work time for me. It really worked out well.
The one thing I regret about this summer, though it was kind of unavoidable, is that I felt really busy at night. I don’t like being busy at night. I don’t like weekly commitments. Annie and I spent eight Tuesday nights at obedience class and while I guess it was technically a good and much needed experience – I hated going. Hated it. We also seemed to have an unusual amount of family things that happened on nights. On nights we didn’t have anything specific planned, I often went out running errands. I had a few nights out with friends (which I definitely didn’t regret!). It just felt like a lot. Way more than normal. And it exhausted me.
I also regret not spending much time alone with Greg. I’m pretty sure we didn’t go on any dates all summer long, with the exception of a wedding, and we were with Greg’s whole family, so I’m not sure that really counts. We did have our weekly night together while the boys were at Grandma’s, but those nights often fell on dates I had other things going on. And on all the other nights, the boys were always up late, we were doing our separate things, we just didn’t have much time together.
And I regret not keeping up with my friends. I met with a couple of them once a month, but I basically did nothing with anybody during the day all three months. I felt so busy and couldn’t handle anything extra in my schedule. But I wish I had made time for it anyway. Friendships are important.
Anyway, I started this post early this morning when my brain was still working. After a full day of running around and trying to keep everyone happy and free of anxiety, I’m pretty much useless right now. So there it is – my summer evaluation! Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. And I’m really looking forward to this school year!