Hello all! I am back after a busy, fun-filled and breezy last few weeks of summer vacation! My kiddos have been back to school for almost a full month of school and I am ready to keep writing, sharing and hopefully inspiring you all to dazzle the best you can in the life God has given you!
I must begin this restart with a bit of a confession, I had high hopes and BIG ambitions entering into summer maintaining my blogging adventure on here, and I can certainly say I aimed too high and wound up falling short of my vision for my summer blogging series’ but I do not give up that easily. Instead of throwing in the towel and considering myself a failure at this blogging journey, I am readjusting my vision and evaluating my actual realistic available time and ability to produce fun, entertaining and helpful new content. Knowing that I set myself up for a far more challenging summer than I intended I want to be sure not to fail at any more content promises moving forward!
That being said, the two series’ that I promised at the start of summer (12 Weeks of Virtues Summer 2017 Challenge & Mindset Mondays) and let fall to the wayside after week 3 or 4 are not dead! As promised I will still be producing the remaining weeks of these plans my family attempted this summer and I will be periodically posting the remaining weeks intermittently in between new seasonally relevant content!
So what HAVE we been up to?
Well, last I left off we were in the midst of preparation for our Fourth of July Family Camping Trip and the preparation, meal plans and fun that we packed into the camping trip created a family camp out we won’t soon forget! Fun, Food, Family, Fresh Air, Free Schedule…. that was the theme vocabulary for this trip! Take a peek at some of our highlights………..
As soon as we were home from the camping trip and settled back into our summer schedule, we set our sights on all things VBS (that’s Vacation Bible School in case you were like me and didn’t attend as a child). Our church is blessed to have the ability to put on quite a production for our VBS, hosting 300+ children with over 70 teen crew leader volunteers and almost 100 adult volunteers to do any number of jobs from the main stage to snack rooms, to game rooms, bible story rooms and all the administrative & behind the scenes jobs too! In our family, it has become one of our favorite parts of the whole summer. I volunteer to run & decorate a video room, my oldest daughter is now a crew leader in charge of her own “crew” of younger kiddo’s leading them through their afternoon activities each day. My middle two girls are still actively involved in the excitement in separate crews each year and my youngest gets to participate in her own mini vbs week in her volunteer childcare room.
I have been doing this for 7+ years and of the many different vacation bible school themes we have done, this particular theme for this year was an instant favorite for me. Our theme was “Maker Fun Factory” all about how our “Maker” God created us for a purpose just as we are. I will be sharing more in-depth about our fun week at “Maker Fun Factory” in weeks to come but here is just a glimpse of our fun and the room I decorated with my video roommate…..
By the end of VBS week every year I am typically ready to take a week-long nap, however this year I had to immediately transition out of “Service” brain and into “Boss Lady” brain because my Thirty-One Conference took place in Columbus less than a week after our scheduled VBS ended so I was loading up and sneaking away for a few days of immersive focus on my business. I have been a Thirty-One Consultant for 6 years and have attended every year since I began except last year. I was in a wedding for one of my closest cousins and my family was heading out for our Disney Vacation immediately after the wedding and that was all taking place just a few short weeks after I would have been gone for Thirty-One Conference. I am good for putting a lot on my plate but last summer I was wise enough to not overload myself so I could more easily unwind with my family once we were finally on vacation together. Therefore I opted out of my “Boss Lady” weekend last year. I missed it and all my Thirty-One sisters dearly though and was extra motivated to make sure it was back in the schedule for THIS year.
So I did, I put it in my schedule and I made myself a priority for the first actual time since having my fourth daughter, I made my way back to my beloved “Pink Bubble” and I was certainly thankful I did. I will be sharing in more depth the Epiphany I had through my weekend away in a future post about how I decided to Enjoy my Story, but while you wait here’s a sneak peek inside my “Pink Bubble” and at my Epiphany in the making…
Upon my return home I promptly handed out my families souvenirs and thank you gifts for supporting me and my businesses and then transitioned immediately into “Momager” mode getting my 15-year-old ready to fly out to visit with my father in Florida for a week! She flew out just a few short days after I arrived home and THAT tested my ability to “let go” of my first baby girl who is barreling closer to driving, graduation & college faster every second much to my own dismay.
Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing her grow into the young woman she is, discovering herself and her hobbies & interests. I love watching her learn how to juggle the many things life throws at us and it is a little entertaining to watch her try to balance her extracurricular activities amidst her very demanding school schedule as she gets older. I am proud to watch how she handles herself with so much more grace and discipline than I ever did at her age and when she overloads herself too much and has to live out and accept the results of her choices I love watching her learn from that and try to make better choices with her time and expectations. It is a great thing watching her grow up, but I am NOT READY for her to grow away yet and this trip was a little window into the future and oh was it hard for me. It may have been the longest week of my life so far, but we all survived it and even managed to find enjoyment during the week.
She had an absolute blast being spoiled and entertained by my father and his wife. The memories they made are priceless and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to let her do it, as challenging as it was for me. She flew out by herself after I escorted her to her gate (and to get her Starbucks for the wait!) and with tears in my eyes I made my way back to a week of adventures with just my little 3…
Our week while she was gone consisted of me sneaking in a little work from the van or poolside while shuffling my other 3 girls to Nani’s pool or any number of parks to run them tired and to soak up every last second of Summer before it left us! Without my helper set of hands, I was reminded of how exhausting it is to have 3 under 10 to myself again! Thankfully my work travels well!
After the week was over we made some signs to welcome Chailey home and we explored the airport a little while we waited for her flight to land! We found Superman and some of the awesome Hard Rock guitars famously positioned all over Cleveland Then we were finally reunited with her! Now my girls bicker like the average set of siblings and they will tell you they don’t like each other from time to time or intentionally get on each other’s nerves but the excitement & embraces upon their re-connection spoke WAY louder than the bickering and fighting for sure Take a look at the photographic proof I captured!
She even picked up some souvenirs for all of us while shopping in Florida. She really took pride finding just the right items to gift her sisters and her father & I.
By the time Chailey was home we were done with summer, though summer break officially lasted another few weeks, we had to begin back to school preparations and Marching Band Camp began and thus our schedule began to fill back in with structure and leave less and less room for fun on a whim decision-making. We shopped for the first day of school outfits and the many school supplies needed for 3 of them to be prepared all year. We walked through our schools “Stop & Drop” to meet the elementary teachers and we stocked the kitchen for rapid lunch box filling. We even dealt with a quick Appendix Scare the day before school started again and then away we marched to our first Day of school! A Sophomore, a Fourth Grader, a Second Grader and a sweet 2 yr. old who missed her mommy’s attention & quiet afternoon nap environment!
Now with Friday night lights back every Friday while my oldest girl marches her Sophomore year to a start and our weekends containing a Rec League Football game on the schedule most weekends for Cadance’s new cheer-leading squad and NFL football beginning as I type, I have to say fall is in full effect!
I love summer, I love not having to answer to anyone else about how I choose to spend time with my girls and when. I love being able to pick up on an adventure and have flexibility and variety mix into our week with any fun that comes our way BUT…
…I do miss the quiet few hours during the day where my brain can rest, the ability to get some chores done around the house without ALL the kids undoing it regularly behind me and the best part (for me) is hearing the girls come home sharing stories with me about their days at school & interactions with their friends and all of the MANY things they are learning about as they continue to grow too fast! I want to slow down time but I know I can’t, so instead, I embrace each season I have with them…
So I kiss the oh so warm summer days goodbye and I welcome the crisp cool breeze of Autumn in the air because with the cool breeze comes a whole new season and a whole new opportunity to embrace each day & create memories with the ones I love! Apple Tree’s Ripe For Picking, Pumpkin Spice Everything, Candy Corn, Color Changing Trees, Leaves Falling, Football & Family, these are the things my Autumn is made of and I hope you with drop back regularly to see how all our Autumn Fun plays out! Now go Dazzle your way through this next season and be sure to take mental stock of the Sweet Summer Season your family enjoyed!
As always, thanks for reading!