Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sweater Weather

I thought I would commemorate the first day of fall with an awesome blog post about the change of the season and how beautiful the sun was on the weekend and how this colorful time of year is so magnificent as we begin to cozy our nests and prepare for the long, cold winter... but now I'm tired. I thought about waiting until tomorrow but then it would be the second day of fall and that would make me a day late and I don't like to be late.  

So instead of words, you get pictures...

It really was a beautiful weekend.  There was frost on the grass this morning.  I'm craving warm, homemade soup and I'm enjoying the shorter evenings and earlier bedtimes.
Hello Fall, we're ready to put a sweater on and soak up your beauty.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Relay Time

Last weekend we joined our friends at the Relay for Life.  This is the third time we've participated in this event and each time it has a different feel.  It's all very emotional and it means something different to everyone depending on where they are at in their Cancer journey.

They begin the Relay by having all the yellow-shirted survivors enter the walking area.  They invite the newly diagnosed to go to the front of the pack and before they begin walking, the newly diagnosed are invited to turn around and look at all the yellow shirted survivors behind them sending a wave of encouragement that this disease can be beat.  

A few years ago, my special friend led the pack during the survivor walk and this year she was mixed up in the middle.  With four years of being Cancer-free, Erin's Little Troopers were able to celebrate life and the kids got to have some fun.  

There are always so many questions from my girls when we walk around the track looking at all the luminaries that are set up in honor of and in memory of so many people.  Callie's first question was, "why do the teams walk all night?"  Hmm, I thought.  I know this one.  They told us at the beginning..."We walk all night because Cancer never sleeps." 

Next question, "What does that mean, Cancer never sleeps?"  Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what the MC meant when she said Cancer never sleeps but I just started talking about how even when someone has fought off the Cancer bug they are always worried it will come back.  

Her next question was more of a clarification.  "So even if you have fought the Cancer bug, it can come back?"

To this I replied, "yes, people who have fought the bug go back to the doctor every year to get checked to see if the Cancer came back.  Our friend Erin goes every year to get checked, Nana and Papa go every year to get checked. I guess that's why they say it never sleeps, because even though the Cancer bug is gone, it's never really gone."

Callie thought about this for a minute.  
Then she said, " I would be really scared and nervous on the drive to the doctor's appointment every year wondering if it came back."

I think she's probably right.

We lit some candles in honor of our Nana and Papa who have fought bug and attend their yearly check-ups.  We talked about our other Papa's brothers and sisters, the five who lost the fight and the two who are survivors.  And we lit a candle for our good friends. Because they lost their Papa not that long ago and we can imagine how sad it would be to loose a Papa to the Cancer bug.  
Celebrate - Remember - Fight Back

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First Day & First Week Complete

We've made it through the first day and the first week of our new life.  By new life, I mean new school year.  This years transition has been pretty smooth besides the usual gripe about having to get up early and remembering to start the bedtime routine as soon as they walk in the door from school so that the whole song and dance of "I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm not tired, I need my bear, I need a story, I'm hungry again, Come lay with me..." can hopefully be wrapped up by 8:30.

Grade 3 for my big girl this year.  She's a pro at this school thing but that doesn't stop her from still getting a nervous tummy.  We've had a lot of chats this past week about the mind-body connection. About worries giving us a tummy ache.  About positive thinking and happy thoughts.  I'm surprised at how smart she is.  She "gets" this stuff.  But we finally both came to the conclusion that neither of us really like first days.  We both want to hurry up and get the newness over with so that we can get on with knowing what to expect.  

I love the look of all the perfect back to school outfits for kids that are advertised this time of year. Ads of kids all coordinated with matching backpacks and cute shoes. I would get such a rush if I could pick out  the cutest little school outfits for my girls but I pretty much know it will never happen.  Since at this point in time no one around here loves first days we try to approach it as nonchalantly as possible. They do have new clothes in their closets and appointments for fresh haircuts but they will be saved for a day that isn't already packed with newness like the first day of school.  

Little sister started grade 1.  That means a full day of learning and no day care drop off in the morning.  She comes along with me and Callie in the morning and it's a good feeling having us all going in the same direction.  Besides being a little confused if it's lunchtime or home time, Lexi rocked this grade 1 thing like she rocks most first things.  She is cut from a little different cloth than her big sister.  She hugs and kisses me and tells me "you can go now, mom".  It may have been helpful that she has the same teacher as last year and all the same kids in her class.  But generally speaking, as far as I can tell in her six years of life, she doesn't seem to get a nervous tummy like her sister.  

With all those first day jitters, with the back packs full of new supplies and new school shoes.  With summer feeling like it left forever ago being replaced with early bedtimes and buzzing alarm clocks. With all the newness of the first day, it sure feels good to show up at school and see the familiar faces of your good, good friends...

And photos on the second day of school...just because it was a much nicer morning than the first...

There has also been lots of new things for the mom this school year. The biggest change is that I am working less in my office at school and putting more time into my work at home.  For the first time in 18 years I won't be working full time hours.  It feels so, so good.  I'm still adjusting and getting used to this new rhythm of only working the mornings but here are a few of the highlight...

1. Half the time at my school office means...
2. I can grocery shop in the afternoon with the seniors
3. I get to enjoy my back yard office on a beautiful fall afternoon

4. I get to see my girlies get off the school bus
5.  I get the best of both worlds.

Happy Firsts Everyone. Glad ours are over for another year.  Let's move on to knowing what to expect...aka routine.