Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day #1: Developing a New Routine

Success.  Our first day was a success.  We sent our oldest son off on his first day of school and he come home with these words, "School was awesome.  Mrs. Halverson is my best teacher yet!"  Such music to my ears.  His proudest accomplishment?  "I was the first to move my clip to outstanding, Mom."  My sweet, young rule follower who is always aiming to please his teachers and be on his best behavior.

As planned, we spent a few minutes reading the daily devotion and sharing a story from the Bible before bed.  As parents, we did our best to handle the messy situations with calmness and grace and for the most part did so successfully.  Imperfect progress and it feels so good.

Dinnertime has become very challenging in recent months.  The kids are so silly, out of control, and sometimes inappropriate, that there is little joy in eating as a family.  Today while I was getting a much-needed massage a lightbulb went on:  we need to do our best to facilitate the conversation at dinner.  So, we did.  It was the most pleasant dinner we've had in quite some time.  The intentional act of asking more questions and pulling more out of them took away the opportunities to veer off track.  

The simple little tweaks can have the most impact.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Starting Over

Today marks the first day of school.  Our summer has come to an end, per se, and now it is time to begin anew.  Several month ago when I started this project, I was full of optimism and hope for change, but as time went on, my efforts seemed to wane and ultimately I had to take a break from the disappointment of not seeing much progress.  Especially in writing.  I am hoping for a better outcome this time.  I believe a large part of the problem was me.  I needed to accept that I wasn't myself and seek out some help.  My midwife prescribed a regimen of supplements to lift me from my funk and it seems to be helping.  For this I am grateful and my hope is to continue to feel more like myself as the days go on.

Our summer was not as gloriously fun as I hoped it would be.  We made the most of it, though, and will have some wonderful memories to look back on some day.  There are times I want to beat myself up about my lack of motivation , patience, self-control, and creativity, but I am human and this period of time just happens to be a bit of a struggle.  I can choose regret or grace.  I am trying to focus on the latter.  My kids spent hours playing together at home by choice and in those hours they grew closer to each other, laughed until their bellies hurt, and ultimately had the opportunity to do what they craved the most:  be kids and play.

While we cannot get our time back, we can move forward.  My hope is to refocus our energy on the positive.  I truly believe the first step in doing so is bringing God to the forefront of our home.  The beginning of school means the return of structure and routine and within our new routine we will be spending time talking about God.  I purchased a wonderful daily devotional for children many months ago and a new children's Bible as well.  I plan to read the daily devotion to them before their school day starts and am thinking breakfast time will work the best.  Before bed I hope to gather as a family to share a Bible story.  Peaceful family time...I hope!  

For months we struggled with our decision to homeschool.  For now we have decided to send our kids to our neighborhood school, but some day that may change.  This decision has weighed heavy on our hearts for months.  While I'm unsure if we have made the right choice, I am hopeful our kids will have a great school year and if we feel the need for change, we will.

And so it begins.  A new year of learning.  The opportunity for a fresh start.  One full of promise and challenges, but how blessed we are for second chances.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day #116: Pleasant Weather in July?!

The kids have been taking swim lessons this week and it's been a touch on the chilly side the past few days.  They are all having a lot of fun and I am enjoying watching them venture out a bit more.  These lessons have also led to a lot of eating out adventures this week, so I thought I'd try something different today.  One of our bucket list items was having a picnic.  Given the beautiful weather, I decided to hit up the local bank's grilling for charity event and have a picnic in the park.

We had such a pleasant lunch.  The kids were hungry and we enjoyed listening to some music coming from the speakers throughout town.  Once we were done, we hit the playground for awhile.  I left my phone in the car.  No distraction and no need to watch the clock.  We all had a great time, no one complained when it was time to leave, and it was such an enjoyable part of our afternoon.

Some days it's the little things...

Day #115: Worry

For quite some time I haven't felt like myself.  I've questioned whether it's exhaustion, mild depression, anxiety, or a combination of both. Recently I've had a strange feeling in the base of my throat near my thyroid, a lingering cough, and unfortunately, a rapid weight gain.  After putting it off for quite some time, I finally went to the doctor today.

I'm hoping it's no big deal.  I have hypothyroidism and maybe my meds just need to be adjusted.  I just have this nagging feeling there's more to it than that.  This feeling in my throat/neck is uncomfortable and continues to get worse.  I had my blood drawn today, so am hoping for some answers by Monday.

I read all of these sad stories about women, mothers, being sick.  Seriously ill.  I think it's natural to think that it won't happen to us.  I am praying this is the case this time.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared.  My kids are young and I need to be healthy and full of energy right now.  I am just hoping for the best (and an easy fix to this weight gain problem!).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day #114: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...Wow

Wow.  This afternoon was ugly.  Three out of control kids, two doctor's appointments coupled with not enough sleep last night equals a difficult afternoon and evening.  Bedtimes were early, Mom needed a walk, and Dad hit up Whitey's for a well-deserved treat for us both.

My out of control kids yielded and out of control mom.  I could not handle the craziness that exuded from my children this afternoon.  We need to work on self-control and I suppose it starts with us:  the parents.  For the life of me, I could just not stay calm and handle the crazy antics today.  Tomorrow is another day, right?

Seems like a great day for one of my favorite verses:

Day #113: Being Brave

My kids started swim lessons today.  They woke with excitement counting down the hours until we would leave.  I did not expect this reaction.  None of our children can swim, in fact most of them will not even put their heads under water.  There is some fear of the water in all of them, but today each of them exclaimed these four sweet words, "I will be brave."

And they were...

Day #112: Habits

For years I have heard it takes three weeks to create a habit.  I suppose that's somewhat of a myth, because everyone is different and the mind is a powerful thing.  For me, it seems my biggest obstacle in achieving the goals I have created is my mind.  I need to retrain it.  Perhaps I need some consistent sleep so I can have the energy to focus on change instead of creating excuses to forgo it.

My mind races...all day and night.  So many ideas, goals I'd like to achieve, places I'd like to go.  It's all in there on the spin cycle each and every day.  It is so hard to prioritize my thoughts, because on any given day one seems more important than another.  In theory some ideas are good, but in reality some might be a disaster.

Life seems to continue to move quickly and my mind is holding me back from offering my best to my family and friends.  Surely there must be a way to overcome this hurdle and move in the direction of progress.  I just need to get up each day and start creating the good habits I desire instead of letting a setback wipe the slate clean.