Mama’s Getting a Promotion

Well, hello there.

The last time we talked it was January. I had every intention of starting 2017 off with a blogging boom. I had lists and schedules and all that stuff–and then I was offered a freelance writing job that took up every free moment of my life until mid-March. Almost immediately after it wrapped up, I got an even bigger promotion. The biggest promotion a stay-at-home mom/writer mama can get.


Nugget will be arriving just in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, and we’re all excited about the addition of a Little Brother for JC. In fact, when we told him the big news, his first reaction was, “Finally!” JC has been asking for a sibling since he was 3, and  in his opinion, his father and I have been taking our sweet time fulfilling that particular request.

The first trimester was…rough. I got really sick right after I found out I was expecting, then got sciatica so badly that some days I didn’t leave the couch. The first half of the second trimester wasn’t much better. Then summer came, and I was very focused on having a slow and engaged summer with JC. It has been really nice just to taking our time for the past couple of months: wake up when we feel like it (even though JC “feels like it” at 6 AM), exploring our favorite city haunts, and spending long afternoons reading Harry Potter together.

But fall is right around the corner. Homeschooling starts back up in just a couple weeks, along with my 3rd trimester. Change is in the air for JC, my family and for my little corner of the internet. I’ve enjoyed our slow summer but I’m happy to pick up the pace again.

Are you back to school or still enjoying summer? Are you ready for fall or still clinging to that summer feeling?

 

Seasons in the South

Seasons are tricky in the south.

It’s the first day of spring, but it’s cold out. And it seems even colder than the number on the thermometer because we had a glorious few days of warm, sunny weather last week. We were lulled into a false sense of security that winter was over for the year–but we were wrong.

That’s because winter in the south is like a cantankerous old uncle. He shows up around Thanksgiving. He kind of hangs around through Christmas, coming and going, and then camps out nonstop until February. By early March, you’re tired of him and you give him the boot to make way for the spring that you’re oh-so-ready for.

Spring in the south is like that friend we all had in our early 20’s. She’s fun. She’s hilarious. She throws the best parties and she’s always up for adventure. And she’s totally unreliable.

She comes and spends a weekend, maybe a whole week–and then disappears for a few days, leaving you shivering in the sweatshirt you had to dig back out because she’d convinced you she’s here to stay and that you have no need for scarves, long sleeves, or anything with down in it. And when you finally think you have her pinned down, and that those lovely spring days are here to stay, she disappears for a whole year.

And in comes summer.

If spring is a flamboyant, youthful friend, then summer in the south is like a three-year-old.

Instense and extreme, there is no middle ground in a southern summer. Much like a toddler, you can be having a wonderful and sunny time in the pool and then BAM–the winds change and there’s a torrential downpour.

You plan out your entire vacation, book your airline tickets and pack your suitcase. Then you look at summer the wrong way, or you give it the wrong color cup at breakfast…and then there’s a hurricane and you have to stay home and wait it out.

And finally when summer is over and you’re ready to be back on a schedule comes the most elusive of southern seasons–autumn.

Autumn, the responsible daughter, gives us an extra hour of sleep. She paints the mountains in beautiful colors. She brings cool breezes that are a relief after summer’s temper tantrums and we revel in slipping on coats and curling up with blankets and hot drinks.

The summer stomps it’s feet and refuses to stay in bed like a good child and it gets hot again and we all sweat for a week or two, determinedly drinking our pumpkin spice lattes because it’s supposed to be fall, darn it. 

Before we know it, autumn has slipped away, off to her college courses at a prestigious university somewhere, leaving us with an empty space for old uncle winter to move in once more.

And we begin again.

Happy spring everyone! Are you bundled up or enjoying the sunshine?

 

Just Imagine How Much Cooler I’ll be in SUMMER!

Memorial Day has come and gone and summer has officially arrived.

We traditionally kick off our summer with a trip out-of-town–this year we went to Atlantic Beach in North Carolina, with a last-minute surprise trip to Disney World tacked on to the end. We had a blast and I can’t wait to share more with you about it next week.

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We will be wrapping up our home school year this week. This was our pre-k year, and it was really about trying things out and considering the different options. JC didn’t even really know he was doing “school” things this year, which is something I think I would like to carry over into our kindergarten year. He is definitely into math, science and engineering, which means I will be spending a good portion of the summer learning myself, so that when we hit the fall I’ll be ready! He isn’t reading by himself yet, but he still loves to sit and pore over his books.

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He’s got a lot of sight words in his arsenal–granted, they are words like The Lone Ranger, volcano and the various types of steams trains he loves–but I did manage to get some core words in there, too.

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This is what happens when Disney fans do sight words.

We won’t be completely lazy this summer. Our preschool playgroup has summer activities we’ll be going to once a week, and I’m working on a camp theme for JC to earn “badges” by completing challenges. He really rebels when we sit down and “learn”, so I’m hoping he’ll enjoy it. I also want to do a summer reading program with him.

The biggest event this summer is our move. Being the type A personality I am, I really had to fight myself not to start obsessing and packing earlier this month, but now that we’re back from vacation and June is looming, it’s time to get started. We think we have the location all nailed down, but there are still a few things that are up in the air. So, not stressful at all. Nope.

On that note, my goal is really to relax. Our family has a lot of transition and stress so far this year, and there is still a lot ahead of us. I want to spend a lot of time outside, I want to read a lot, and I want to write a lot. Oh, and there is an ice cream maker sitting in my storage unit that is calling my name. Homemade peach ice cream, anyone?

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I know you’re singing the song now. You’re welcome.

What are your summer plans?

Every Summer Has a Story

Every summer has a story. 104ddc387796b29fe950c3a5b7ce6fcf I found this image last year and instantly fell in love with it because, well…it just GOT me. Summer has always been my favorite season, and almost all of my big, wonderful, larger than life memories happened in summer. So when this week’s Mama Kat Writing Workshop prompt was, “Is summer time yet? Dig into your archives and share some favorite summer moments you’d like to relive“, I was happy to oblige.

When I was a child and a teenager, summers meant spending time with my best friend, who lived a couple states away from me. We spent a week at my house, a week at her house, a week or two at the beach. We got into epic scrapes (like the time we got ourselves locked out of the beach house on her father and stepmother’s anniversary…all day…in the rain), stayed up far past our school year bedtimes, and slept in until noon before waking up to breakfast on cookie dough and read Teen Bop magazines (we also got into trouble for this). These are some of my sweetest summer memories.

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Teenage me. Remember when we were skinny without trying? Ah, those were the days.

Exciting things happened in childhood summers, like trips up north to visit my family in Boston, where I discovered Harvard Square and the North End. Every summer brought a new Girl Scout camp–some summers I repelled down mountains and went whitewater rafting, while another summer brought me to New York City with girls from all over the country.

I was 13 when the Olympics came to Atlanta, which was a 1.5 hour drive and a lifetime away from the North Georgia town I grew up in. My father took me downtown two days before the games started. We took a steep escalator up to the street from the Marta station (Atlanta’s public transportation) and I was suddenly surrounded by tall buildings and busy sidewalks full of people from all over the world. We ate lunch at Planet Hollywood, had milkshakes at Hard Rock Cafe, and walked through the brand new Centennial Olympic Park. That was the day that started my love affair with the city.

My summers as a college student were typical–I worked as a day camp director and a nanny, so my summer rhythms didn’t change much, only now I was in charge. Days off were even sweeter in the summer–lounging at the pool, going to concerts downtown, still staying up way past my bedtime. There is just something about summer that makes it hard to go to bed on time.

I got married in the summer, on a hot day in late June. I had so much hairspray in my hair that it took me days to wash it out, but my curls held in the Florida humidity. I still can’t smell Bumble & Bumble long-last hairspray without thinking of my wedding day.

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Those curls weren’t going anywhere.

My son was born in the summer. We broke heat records that year, and I waddled around in a constant state of sweat and swell until a stunningly hot day in July when he made his entrance. The remainder of that particular summer is a blur, and when I finally pulled myself from the new mother haze, back-to-school commercials were on.

And now that I am a stay-at-home mom to a preschooler, the magic of summer is back in full force. This summer is shaping up to be sensational: we’re kicking it off with a weeklong trip to the beach, leaving our apartment for a house (with a yard, joy of joys!), celebrating JC’s 5th birthday, and my first book is set to be published sometime this summer. I know all those things will be awesome, but I also know that the story of this summer won’t be written by the big events. It will be in the tiny moments: the lightning bugs, the sand between our toes, the picnic lunches, late nights with old friends, and the magic that can only be found in the warmth of the summer air.

What is your summer story?