Linking up with Kelly over at This Ain't The Lyceum for the first time in many moons, because - new blog + summer = a lot of random thoughts and notes, and not enough writing time!
1) To that end, choosing to dust off the keyboard and begin a new blog over the summer was not maybe the most brilliant idea I've had. While the end of May had me singing the "is school over yet?" blues, now that we are halfway through, I didn't anticipate the complete shock to our routine having everyone home would be. Rookie mistake. Note to future self: summer does not equal more time. Scale back on the projects, kid.
2) Things that are on my home to-do list that have gotten exactly nowhere:
- Repainting the kitchen cabinets
- Organizing the basement to create a play space and non-chaotic studio storage
- Clean out all the closets and make a thrift store crazy.
- Paint an accent wall in our bedroom
- Sleep train the toddler to reclaim our room
3) Things that are on my blog to-write list that are sitting as little notes on my phone:
- Rethinking the Turquoise Table
- On Love and Sainthood
- Making the Internet a Kinder & Gentler Place
- More on my conversion
- Maybe Not Enough is Okay for Now
4) Things that are on my to-do list for the shop gathering dust:
- Create a digital library of prints
- Finally begin that darn newsletter
- New jewelry designs
- New print designs
- Back to school products
- New mug design
- Play with new techniques as I explore new product lines
- Finish and list Mirror Clings
5) Things my kids still want to do for the summer:
- Go to the beach
- Have all the playdates with all the friends
- More nature hikes
- Paint more things
- Splash Pad, please?
- Library visits
- Legoland (because we just went to Sea Life)
6) Speaking of Sea Life, we just celebrated our middle son's sixth birthday. Six. Oof. This year, instead of trying to plan a party, or dance around the playground politics of who gets invited and who doesn't because we don't have all the money to invite all the kids to all the things, we took our kids and my mother in law on a surprise trip (to Sea Life). Thankfully, my sweet friend told me they were having a Teacher Appreciation promotion so we really lucked out and were able to enjoy the day for just $40 as opposed to over $100 WITH coupons. I'll pontificate on my thoughts about the expense of venues like this another day. I digress. The morning included all the fish he could image and then he was treated to lunch by his Nonna. Later, we had the rest of our immediate family over for store-bought cupcakes and pizza.
While he still wants to have a bigger party one year because then he'll get more presents (we will work on detachment another year), he went to bed grinning from ear to ear saying it was the "most wonderful day!" Even his sister said she had a wonderful day "though it wasn't my birthday." I'll call that a win. I've learned to let go of the guilt about not having themed fancy parties I can photograph beautifully. This allowed me to relax and enjoy the moment . . . and the joy on his face was the best photo I could ever want.
7) Sadly, the day ended on a heartbreaking note as I learned about a severe tornado that ripped through my hometown of Marshalltown, Iowa. Praise the sweet Lord that there were no casualties or serious injuries. Seeing the video of the destruction and photos of the aftermath have left me oddly longing for home. I spent so much of my adolescence just dreaming about leaving, I was a little surprised how much I wanted to be back as I saw photo after photo of the rubble. It is, for better or worse, my home. It holds the last memories of my father and the earliest memories of my childhood. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of junior high and high school, it holds the precious memories of friends and shenanigans and muddling through together.
The iconic courthouse clocktower lost part of its steeple. The hospital had to be evacuated because it sustained structural damage. The main street businesses are decimated. The Colosseum roof was ripped off (with campers inside, thankfully safe and unharmed!). Lennox, one of the main employers in town, sustained major damage with a direct hit. There are so many of us who left town after graduation, now all feeling helpless and torn, wanting to be back and helping rebuild. If you would offer prayers for the residents as they recover and begin the long road to rebuilding, I would be ever so grateful.
That wraps up all the random thoughts for this week. Go visit Kelly for more - you won't regret it!
Until next time...go love 'em like Jesus!