I’ve got your back

When my girls were little, I’d get up extra early in the already-early mornings and I’d make them breakfast and lunch and get all their things ready for the day. I am not a morning person and these weekday mornings were especially hard. I’d be making sandwiches and cutting up fruit and thinking “I can’t wait until they’re older. No more lunch-making duty for me. They can make their own and I can sleep a little longer.”

Every day, that litany would repeat in my head as I cut up fruit and packed Little Debbies and Cheetos, remembering which girl was currently not eating yogurt and which one couldn’t get enough.

And I couldn’t wait.

I couldn’t wait for the independence and self-sufficiency that would come with my girls getting older. And for the small break that I hoped I’d get from some of these thankless chores.

And sure enough, as they got into high school, I started to step back from the lunch-making duties.  I started traveling more for work and the girls had to do their own thing on the weeks I was out of town. I remember coming home from one trip and having them tell me about how my youngest would get up, make the coffee, make sure her also-not-a-morning-person sister was really and truly awake.  She’d make coffee, fix lunch, and then go up to get ready for the day, waking her sister again if needed.  And I marveled at this new normal they’d found while I was gone.

I thought, “They’re really doing this.  I can’t believe it. All these years and they did it all on their own!”

And I reveled in it.  My micro-managing mom mornings were finally coming to an end! Glory Hallelujah!

I started spending my mornings sipping tea and surfing social media and blogs, enjoying a slower start to my day.  I’d do the carpool run, but the girls pretty much managed their time and tasks without me. It was awesome.

However, in the last few months, both of my girls have had really crazy busy schedules. You know the kind I mean – where there are eleven thousand things to do, go to, read, study, finish, etc.  In that final push before the semester ends and the teachers are piling on the assignments, midterms and finals are looming, and everyone has some type of performance or gathering to attend.

They’re burning their candles at both ends.

And they’re in the stage of life where there isn’t much I can do as a mama to help them – I can’t take their tests. I can’t help with a project.  I can just be there for them, but that’s about it.

And so a few weeks ago, I decided I was going to do just that.

And I resurrected my micro-managing mama morning duties.  But with a slight change.  I’m not managing their day, hurrying them along and out the door.  But I am picking up some of those mundane chores for them.  I’m making the lunches and fixing the breakfast. Filling their water bottles and reminding them to take their vitamins.

What felt like so much to do a few years ago now feels like a little thing.  And in doing it I’m showing my girls I’m still here for them. Trying to take some of the stress of doing ALL the things so they can focus on doing the important things.  I know they’re capable. And have learned to manage these tasks. But I want to shoulder this for them and say, in an unspoken way, “I’ve got your back.”

One morning when my youngest had had a late rehearsal the night before, projects and tests that day, and she was exhausted and running on fumes, I’d packed her lunch, made her some breakfast and had everything waiting for her on the kitchen counter.  She came rushing downstairs, already running late and knowing she still had these things to do.  I could feel the stress and anxiousness coming off of her in waves as she dashed by.  She walked into the kitchen and skidded to a halt.

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“You did this for me? Oh, thank you, mama. I am running so late.”

And that’s when I knew I’d chosen the right path.  She can learn time management another week.  Right now I just wanted her to know she wasn’t doing it all alone.  I had her back.  “It’s all good, honey. I got you. Let’s go.”  And off we went for another jam-packed day.

And yet more scrapbooking…

A few weeks ago, I read this blog post by Becky Higgins, in which she outlines how she documented 2015 and is planning to document 2016.  As I read it, I thought, “I could DO this. It sounds manageable.” 

You see, I’ve been feeling the urge to scrapbook again – to capture my family’s memories as I’m counting the days (and minutes) as they tick by and I know that my girls will soon be off on their own pursuits and not as interested in spending time with their mom and dad.  I want to capture the days we’ve got together – what life is like, not just the special events – and record them for posterity.

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But I have been overwhelmed at the thought of choosing pictures, printing them out, laying out paper and embellishments.  And doing the same thing digitally seemed overwhelming, too.

I think it is because it’s been SO LONG since I’ve done any scrapbooking and the thought of the backlog of pictures seems overwhelming.

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But, to overcome that I’ve decided to take Becky’s approach.  I’m starting with CURRENT pictures and focusing on those only. Literally the last week’s worth of pictures.  Each night I’ll glance at my phone and pick a picture or two from the day if I have any.  Then, on Sunday night, I’ll add those all to a page – one page, that’s do-able, right? – and add some quick journaling about the week and the weekly card from the Project Life – Project 52 card set.  I’m doing it all on the Project Life app on my phone.

What could be easier?

Honestly, I’m not sure anything could.  I did my first week’s page in less than 10 minutes.  And then, because I felt like I was on a roll, I did a few from December, just for fun.  (somebody stop me, I’m going crazy here)

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So we will see how this goes. But quite honestly, this seems so EASY. I’m not sure how I could NOT do it. And even if I missed a week it wouldn’t be that bad to catch up.

Menu Plan Monday

Gracious. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Menu Plan Monday post.

It’s not that I haven’t been menu planning – I just haven’t been posting. Smile with tongue out

But I thought I’d share with you what I have planned on this last week of school before the holiday break.  It’s going to be crazy here – lots going on, Big Girl has midterms, etc.  so I wanted to be prepared with good meals and a plan for when to prepare them.

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Here’s what I have so far – I generally try to plan 5 meals a week. I know we will eat out at least once during the week for takeout (it seems that way no matter how hard I try not to) and we usually go out for dinner once on the weekend (at least Disappointed smile)

I do not plan which meal to have on which day, although I have a general idea based on what is happening this week – like on Wednesday I have my Ladies’ Group at the house so I will do the Chicken Spaghetti that I can make ahead and pop in the oven while I’m in carpool.  It will be ready around 5:30 and we can eat and get the kitchen cleaned up long before everyone starts to arrive at 7:00.

Sticking with some old stand by recipes this week – and one SuperMan Special.

What are you planning this week?

The world must be ending

because I actually SCRAPBOOKED yesterday.  The first time in, oh, I don’t know how many years.  And I enjoyed it. Immensely.

I have fallen off of the memory keeping bandwagon for some time – I got busy with work and life and scrapbooking took time I didn’t have.  And then I got so far behind that the thought of starting and trying to catch up just was overwhelming.  My poor scrapbook table sat dusty and unused, becoming a place for the family to pile things that they didn’t want to deal with at the moment. My scrapbooking software has been unopened, and while I have been saving photos, no archiving has been done. No organization or anything.

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However, ever since we got back from our Disney trip I have been wanting to do something with those photos. I didn’t want them to sit unenjoyed on my hard drive.  We had a great trip and I wanted to preserve those memories. To be able to look back on the stories and relive the fun.

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So, I have been toying with the idea of a pocket-style scrapbook. I even purchased a 6×8 album and inserts and Disney-themed décor.  And then I looked at how many photos I had.  Over 1,000! Between the photos we took and the ones that we had taken by cast members, we have a LOT of photos.  I wasn’t sure my little 6×8 album could hold all of that.  And I wasn’t going to print that many pictures only to discard about half or more that wouldn’t make the cut into the album.  That’s wasteful and expensive.

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So then I thought about doing a simple Shutterfly album.  I uploaded the photos and then started looking at the options online. I realized that I would not be happy or content with the products they had because I was used to being able to customize my pages with my digital scrapbooking.

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So yesterday, while we watched movies as a family, I set up my laptop in the living room, downloaded some Disney themed digital kits and got to work.  I managed to make it as far as our first “official” day in the park.  I’m planning to do more this weekend, so hopefully I will make good progress.  I have a lot of pictures to go through, but I’m having FUN and enjoying it again.  And that’s a pretty big thing.

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Who knows? I may actually scrapbook again.

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Scrapbook kit: Simple Stories Digital collections (Say Cheese & Say Cheese 2)

Time for a little “me time”

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Time for a little "me time"

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Egg rolls