Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Fresh Start

This year, the beginning of school represents a fresh start for me.  Last year, at this time, I was frantically packing to leave for China, leaving behind 4 children...right as school started.  We left on Aug. 13, just a few days after the boys began another school year.  I don't know about your house, but here, that's a very busy time for us.  The boys are adjusting to new teachers, homework, a new schedule and we are all working out the kinks of carpools, dinnertime, extra-curricular activities, etc.

(leaving for China)

By the time we got home from a physically exhausting trip, that adjustment phase had happened without me...I was not adjusted!!  My focus immediately needed to be on Gracie's adjustment to a new "everything" and Wesleigh's adjustment of not being the only princess in the house anymore.  There was never enough time for homework, cooking, cleaning, or talking.  That seemed to set the tone for the entire year.  In addition, Richard has recently started a new company, which is always stressful and time consuming.  Just thinking back on it all makes me cringe.  Of course, we got through it, but I felt the entire school year that my boys were totally fending for themselves.  I was doing everything I could to meet everyone's needs, but failing.  Thankfully, I have an amazing husband and parents who totally had my back and helped with meals, tutoring, babysitting, taxi-ing kids, etc. and we made it!  The end of school was a huge victory for me and an enormous sigh of relief.  I felt that I could finally catch my breath...and I have.

This summer has been busy, but mostly because having 5 kids moving around in the same house is always busy.  We finished a not-so-enjoyable baseball season which has lifted a ton of bricks from my shoulders.  I find myself motivated and excited to start this school year in a non-stressful way.  Braden and Cade are both going to a new school this year, and Bryce will be a junior!  I so want them all to have amazing school years, and I want to be present.  I missed so much of Bryce's sophomore year, simply because there wasn't enough of me to go around.  I will not let that happen again.

There are lots of exciting things beginning this week:  Bryce gets his license when he turns 16 Tuesday!!!  This will be a great help because I will not need to be his taxi service anymore!!  Braden is coming back to our local school and he and Cade will be in the same school this year (which starts Thursday!).  Cade is going to jr. high!!  Cade is also playing football for the school, so he will practice after school instead of during dinner time :)  Also, the girls are starting gymnastics!!  They are so excited they can harldy stand it!  I know Gracie is going to thrive in this sport and the olympics have totally fired them up.

For the first time in a long time, I have the urge to tackle some "extra" projects like gardening (the flower beds have been neglected too!), exercising and painting my bedroom.  These are things that I used to enjoy, but have been on the back burner.  I will also pick up the pace on my blog again.  I have always gone in cycles with the blog.  Sometimes I love it and have a ton to say.  Other times I don't think anything in my life is blog-worthy or I just can't make myself do it.

Overall, I am happy to have this year behind me.  There is no doubt in my mind that adding Gracie to our family was exactly what God had in store for us, but adding that little cutie was like bringing a tornado into this already crazy house!  She literally makes my head spin!  She has come so far, and I will have a big 1 year post for her when that date rolls around in a couple of weeks.

So...Happy New Year to me and all you fellow stay-at-home moms who are about to send your children off to school, as well!  I'm praying for a great year! 

Alright...if you read all of that, you deserve some pictures! Here are some pics of my little tornado riding the waves. She is so funny. Sometimes she is so brave and adventurous and other times she's a scardy cat. She got flipped a few times and got right back out there! July 2012-7853 July 2012-7855 July 2012-7856 July 2012-7858

Look at all the sand in her hair :) She is such a hoot! July 2012-7864


Paige said...

oh you have summed up my past few months!! While in Cincy and thinking of our 2 upcoming surgeries I was thinking that I can breath this time next year:) I hate to wish time away but I so look forward to being somewhat settled!!
I hope this year is great for your family!!!!!
Hugs friend!!

Stacy said...

Oh Jen!
You and I both are welcoming a "new"year!! I, too, am so glad we made it through our first year home with our last batch.
Cade is in Jr. High? WHAT?!! Is that 6-8?
I think I was supposed to call you this week.
Shoot. I will call this week.
Miss you and love you!!

DiJo said...

This is such a great post!!! You have persevered!!!!! It has been quite a year, and you have kept your sanity and your sense of humor!!! That in itself deserves a standing ovation!!! I love being a part of your crazy world long distance!. I am blessed to get a front row seat with my coffee in the mornings!! That gorgeous fire cracker Gracie Joy was born to be yours!!!! Even if it involves allowing her to do an occasional gymnastics routine on the coffee table!!!!

Love ya,

Lindy D. said...

What a difference it will make for you to have Bryce driving and Cade at the same school with Braden. Can't wait to see your little girls at gymnastics. Does this mean no more dance classes?

Linda said...

So interesting that we both wrote similar posts on the same day! Yes, Happy New Year, daughter! It's going to be a blessed one!

Sharon Ankerich said...

Bless your heart as you start a new year with your sweet blessings! Hoping it is the best!!! LOVE the photos~ I could barely get the sand out of EK's hair each day at the beach! Blessings!

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