One. More. Day.

One more day of waking up to, “Mommy, can I get in bed with you?” instead of the alarm clock. One more day of making lunch when it’s time to eat it instead of 6 or even 16 hours earlier. One more day of going to bed without feeling guilty about all of the things that are undone.

This summer has been amazing.

Does every teacher turned stay-at-home-mom have that first day of summer fear? I look forward to summer all year long, and then it catches me off guard every time. What….I have to entertain these people all day? These people who don’t listen to me and argue with each other over nothing? But soon, as in the next day, we catch a rhythm and we like each other again and it is fun. This summer was no exception.

I keep coming back to the word full. About halfway through the summer I talked to one of my school teammates about something that I have since forgotten. Once we had taken care of our school stuff, she asked me about our summer. As I rambled off our trips taken and our trips planned, she replied, “Wow! What a full summer!”

So I’ve been thinking about how there are two kinds of full. There’s that full that leaves you miserable. Where you’re done and it was delicious, but you know you should have stopped at two servings instead of three or four. That kind of full leaves you tired and needing to sleep it off to recover. And then there’s the full where you’ve had just enough. That’s the kind of summer we’ve had. The kind that leaves me knowing it was delicious and perfect, but also feeling refueled for what’s next.

But I’m a bit afraid….afraid of two things. First, I’m afraid I’ll forget about just how good this summer tasted. I’ll get busy and bogged down and forget that I had two months off to enjoy my family. I’m also afraid that I’ve spent those two months slowing down, clearing margins, and learning to like my little people again, only to forget how to do those things promptly on August 22nd. So I decided to make a list. A list I can read on August 22nd (and again and again) to remind myself that I was, in fact, full and refueled to once again to do this job I am called and recalled to do each year. So here goes…

*I spent my first week of the summer teaching classes to teachers about Edmodo and interactive web tools. One foot in the classroom and one foot at home was a good way to ease my way into summer. It was probably good I didn’t go straight into all mommy, all the time.

*For Father’s Day we made fun videos with our new camera for both Grandpa and Papa.

*Chica spent a week at LCS soccer camp which meant that Bubba and I had a few hours each morning together. We filled our time with errands, visiting a friend, checking out the library, etc. Bubba’s favorite part of that week was certainly the snow cone he got to share with Chica each day when we picked her up!

*I got to go to teacher camp at JMU to learn about STEM. Jay was working summer school, so the kids also had their own vacay with the grandparents. Highlights of that week for me included finding a running partner and new friend, eating whatever the heck I wanted, visiting a winery, and a late night conversation on the lawn with friends just like we were still in college. Oh…and I learned a few things about STEM too. (Ask me about my Thneed invention sometime!)

*We spent Jay’s one true week off at CrossRoads volunteering as a family. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was more well-rested by the end of that week than I have been since the birth of Chica. No internet coupled with no responsibilities past set the table, clean the table, take pictures, and keep my two kids under control was bliss. I also admit I had tremendous fun watching CariJoy experience so many of the same frustrations that I remember feeling.  She was doing a fantastic job.

* The next two weeks were Chica’s swimming lessons at Miller Park. I think she likes swimming, but she enjoyed the socializing much more. Me too! I spent each morning hanging out with another swim mom and her sweet kids. Bubba learned quickly that her bag was full of snacks. They were best buds for the two weeks.

*Chica, Bubba, and I all experienced our first real train ride in West Virginia. Our long weekend with Daddy, Papa, and Nana to ride two different trains was just perfect. I have yet to write about it in detail (maybe one day…), but our day on the steam engine was definitely my favorite. From Bubba napping in my lap to Chica falling in the river totally unfazed, it was a perfect day.

*Nana and I followed that weekend trip up with a girls+Bubba trip to Virginia Beach. We learned from this trip: 1) There’s no point in taking a book to the beach when you have two kids with you. 2) Book the hotel early next year so we can get an actual beachfront room without breaking the bank. 3) We’re going for 3 nights next time. One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting a long-time friend and her fun family in their home. I hope we can return the favor one day!

*Then the kids and I headed off to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a week. Each morning we had a plan to be out of the house by 9 am and doing something fun…park, botanical gardens, library, etc. At nap time we worked on cleaning out rooms and closets and gathering stuff for a yard sale. We had planned to have it that Saturday, but rain made us postpone it until this past weekend. That totally turned out fine with me because I spent my birthday eating Chick-fil-A, playing at the Y, resting, and relaxing instead of haggling over quarters.

*As if that wasn’t full enough, I feel like there are a million other things that happened that don’t show up as I review my (only partially filled in) Google calendar. The kids and I surprised Daddy on his birthday with balloons and coffee at work. I taught Sunday School to kindergartners. (EEK!) I cut all my hair off and donated it. I started training with my sweet neighbor for the Ten Miler. Chica passed the swim test (finally…yesterday), got to paint pottery as a reward, and conquered her fear of the Y’s water slide. Jay started his Master’s program. We started a LifeGroup and have eight new dear friends we eat with and do life with each Thursday. We hiked. We played. We jumped on the trampoline. We read books. We grew vegetables. We went to the movies. We got to know our neighbors. We took naps. We stayed up late. We enjoyed each other.

And you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t go to school. Ok…there was that one time. No lie…I went in once because I needed whiteout at home and was too cheap to go buy some because I knew I had at least 17 bottles in my desk drawer. Besides that visit, and teacher camp, and two days of NASA stuff this past week, I didn’t do school. And I am so thankful. Admittedly I’m a bit anxious for what that means for this coming week, but I’ll take it. It will all get done. It always does.

So I’m going to spend my one more day tomorrow (err….today, now) loving on my babies and napping and preparing for the months ahead. But I think my preparation will look a little different this year than in years past. I’m not cracking open the lesson plan book or pacing guides just yet. (Shoot…I haven’t even bought the lesson plan book yet!) I’m going to spend the day thinking and praying about how I will carry the summer into the school year. How will I continue to carve out margins? How will I continue to build up Jay as he tackles a tough year of balancing school and work? How will I continue to enjoy my little people as the pressures of work build?

May this coming school year be just as full. Full of blessings and growth and joy. Full in the good way!

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Things I Think I Know at 32

1. More-is-better does not apply to the number of people in a hammock.

2. Humans of New York is one of the most fascinating and beautiful things the Internets have to offer these days.

3. When hosing crap off of a trampoline, there is no good place to stand. Anywhere you stand, it’s coming right back atcha. Gravity fail.

4. Tomatoes are better in the summer.

5. The best way to grow killer pumpkins involves 2 easy steps. First, kick last year’s pumpkin up under the porch. Second, just wait.

6. Bubba won’t be 14 and wearing diapers.

7. I shall never again have a flat(ter) stomach without working at it.

8. Showers at the YMCA are so much easier than baths in our own tub.

9. TV is ok.

10. So is not going into school until your contract says you have to be there.

11. Sometimes the need to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes leads to great things. Like running into a dear old friend who Jesus put there to encourage you.

12. Not every stay at home mom loves her job. (That same dear old friend told me that.)

13. Jay is way better at grocery shopping than me.

14. Uranus is halfway between the sun and Pluto. Just like your anus is halfway between your head and your feet. You’re welcome.

15. The maximum life expectancy of a plant in my house is 1 year.

16. Facebook makes birthdays better.

17. Reindeers are better than people. (Eh…never mind. I’ve never met one, so I’m not actually sure.)

18. Graham crackers make booboos feel better. Bubba just told me that. Chica bought it.

19. If Sallie Mae asks you for a date in mm/dd/yyyy format, she actually means it.

20. Chica will do nearly anything for an icee pop.

21. Moths have fuzzy antennae. Butterflies don’t.

22. More stuff does not equal more happiness. It just means more mess to clean up. Or more to sell at a yard sale later.

23. If you don’t want mosquitoes to bite you, you can just stop breathing because they are attracted to hot air. Chica told me that.

24. Steve Urkel is still funny.

25. It’s ok to wipe eye burgers on your shirt. Bubba told me that.

26. Not every kid likes toothpaste. (As always, Chica didn’t prepare me well for kid #2.)

27. When one is woken up in the middle of the night by a roundhouse kick to the head, the foot of the bed seems like a good place to (temporarily) hide from your pint-sized attacker. But don’t worry, he’ll find you there too.

28. No one needs to buy prom pictures. Especially multiple sheets of them. (What in the world were we thinking??)

29. I’m not any cooler than the mom whose kid poops in the pool. Just luckier.  Or maybe faster.

30. When your kids look at your baby pictures, the toys in the pictures are way more interesting than…well…you.

31. Coming home from a trip with a suitcase full of clean and folded clothes is one of life’s great gifts.

32. There are still a few cool people in this world that do not have a smart phone, including both myself and my delightful lunch date today.

Whadaya know friends?