I can’t believe that as I’m sitting here typing this all three of the kiddos are at school. In all transparency I welcome the silence these two days of the week, but I also long for their giggles, splashes in the pool, and the sound of them singing at the top of their lungs. (However I don’t miss playing referee or the sound of their arguing – amiright?!)
We had an amazing summer. A summer filled with family time, Vitamin D, and many opportunities to serve together as a family. I learned so much about myself and about our family. My heart grew emotional as the summer days were coming to an end and the school year was approaching. I just wanted to bottle up all the best parts of summer and keep the kids and all our memories in one big bubble. The kids however were trying on their school uniforms every other day and were sharing with me all their big plans for TK and Kindergarten. They didn’t fully share my sentiment, but I was reminded of how incredibly thankful I am that my children feel loved and cared for even when I’m not around. I’m so blessed that I have an extension of what is happening in my home, in the shape of a school for my children. So as I’m sitting here completely exhausted by the beginning of the school year (I am NOT a morning person!), I want to take some time to share a bunch of iPhone pics of our best parts with you – key words – best parts. I have three kids 6,4, and 2… obviously they fight and argue and wine. Oh do they wine! But your kids probably do that too. You’re so sick of hearing it – why would you want to read about it? So as I choose to focus on all the sweet times, maybe it will help you see your sweet moments in the “in between” too!
Lessons from the Summer:
- It’s hard being a homebody with three little kids. They like to do stuff! They make huge messes when they’re home all day. So treat the kiddos with a movie in mommy’s bed! It keeps everyone contained and the living room gets a break!
- If you’re a homebody in Florida, you have to have a pool! Whether you blow that bad boy up or it’s built in, just have one! The kids don’t realize that you’re kicking them out of the house, they think it’s a reward or something! Win win for all!
- If you add a banana to the nastiest green vegetable juice you can find and then freeze it as a popsicle, you don’t have to fight your kids to get their daily dose of veggies!
- Mark your calendars months in advance for Chick-fil-A day and 7-11 day. What’s better than free Chick and Slurpees? And they’ve already had their veggie pops so don’t fret over all the dye in the slurpees – balance people!
- Serving together as a family has provided us with some of our most bonding moments as a family. It gives us an opportunity to show our children people and cultures that are different than us, while showing them the equality between us as well. It has brought the teaching they receive to life. It shows them what “daddy’s job” is all about, and that it’s not a job just for daddy! It has taught me to respond to opportunities rather than make an excuse.
- The beach is a must. I don’t like sand and I rarely get into the ocean, but for some reason I just LOVE the beach. We go to NSB every summer. The kids are always on their best behavior that week and we bounce back and forth between pool and beach all day every day. We are lenient of schedules and we check out of technology for the most part. Is summer really even summer without a beach vacations?! Not for this family!
- One on one time in a family of 5 is hard to come by, but being intentional is worth it! We took both girls out on dates this summer and Jonah got a day at Sea World. All three of them were in heaven for those few hours and it’s so much fun seeing who they are when they’re the center of our attention. Our oldest and youngest lived it up! Our middle was so quiet at first (not like her at all) and it almost felt like that awkward first date in the beginning – I suppose it’s a classic middle child thing, but she soon loosened up and it was a perfect night.
- Sign your kids up for all the fun! We did a fun reading camp and a VBS and it was a perfect way to break up our summer routines, or the lack thereof, and a great time for them to spend with their friends. Added bonus: Jesus and books!
- Stay up late and when you’re so tired the next day make a fun starbucks trip! It’s what summers are for, right?!
- Even if you don’t go to the beach, or go to VBS, or have a pool, just have fun together. More than any other summer the reality of these little people growing up hit me hard. The days can be so long. So.very.long. But the years are flying by. I checked on the kids the other night and the sight of my 6 year old sleeping overwhelmed me. She looked so big. How did she fill out her bed so fast? When did her face get so mature? The “growing up” stuff is happening every time we blink. Each year is a year closer to when she doesn’t need us for every little thing. When she doesn’t live with us. When she doesn’t share our last name. We have to be intentional with this small window of time we have with our babies and that intentionality doesn’t require money, or theme park passes, or a beach. It just requires that we’re present.
So cheers to an amazing summer and fall we welcome you. Mostly we just welcome your somewhat cooler temps, football games, and holidays… not the 5:45am wake up calls (palm in face emoji).