Sunday, October 23, 2011

The calm before the storm

I can't sleep, so here I am.  What's ironic is that I'm utterly exhausted, but my mind is on overload and I just can't seem to find the "off" switch. It dawned on me today that Halloween is one week from tomorrow. What?  My brother's birthday, which was two days ago, totally crept up on me, too. I knew it was on Friday, but even on Thursday, Friday, the 21st seemed at least a week away. And yet, it was only a day away!  Lately, just in general, I've felt as though I'm just skidding by, rushing from one thing to the next, feeling relieved that I've gotten one task behind me only to realize I have four more waiting for me.  There is always laundry to be folded, sticky floors to be wiped, a grocery list to be checked off, a bill to be paid, an appointment to be made, and an "owie" to be bandaged.  Meanwhile all the stuff I want to be working on like my blog, Lake Powell pictures,  last summer's (as in a year ago) Utah trip pictures, even just laying on the couch for 25 minutes keeps getting pushed further and further aside.  With Chloe starting school in August I thought life would get less hectic, but it's actually become the opposite.  I was so relieved for Fall break, both for the sake of "the break" itself and, much more so, Chloe being around.  And yet it felt more like a matter of hours, not days.  It truly amazes me just how quickly the time is passing.  How is it nearly the end of October already?  And how are we a full month into Fall?  And when is it going to actually start feeling like Fall?  On Saturday we took a bike ride to the park around 3pm.  I don't know why I bothered putting a jacket on.  Perhaps I was subconsciously hoping it would be cool outside.  Of course it wasn't cool.  Not even remotely.  It's amazing to live in a climate where 85 degrees on a mid-October afternoon is the norm.  Meanwhile Colorado Springs got their first snow of the season two weekends ago.  Oh, bother.  Maybe by Christmas it will start to feel like Fall around here.

Wow, talk about a long, jumbled paragraph!  Sorta represents how I've been feeling lately!  While we're on the subject, here's the chaos I have to look forward to in the coming weeks:

  • October 31st: Halloween.  This will entail finishing putting together costumes, photographing Chloe's classroom Halloween party, and all the other Halloween jazz.

  • October 31st-November 4th: Chloe is "Star Student of the Week." This means she and I will be putting together a display of some kind for the "Star Student of the Week" wall (most likely photos of her and her family, drawings or other art projects she might like to share as well as any other information about her), and providing 5 days worth of snacks for 29 kids.

  • November 9th: Ryan's 3rd birthday.  Neil and I made a decision this year that the kids would have parties every other year on their even birthdays.  This way I'll only have one birthday party to plan each year.  Maybe that's harsh, but it is what it is.  It's what I can handle and it's what I can afford.  Perhaps if the kids' birthdays were spaced out a little further, and not BOTH landing a short month before Christmas, I'd have a slightly different view.  But I think it's fair.  And aside from that, having a party every year is not necessary to making a birthday special.  There are so many other fun things you can do as a family that are simple and inexpensive.  Last year on Chloe's birthday I took her to see Toy Story 3 in the dollar theater and she thought it was the greatest thing ever.  The guy at the concession counter even gave us free popcorn and drinks in honor of the special occasion.  Okay, sorry.  I'm getting off track here.  So there will NOT be a party for Ryan this year, however, there are still birthday plans to be made such as gift ideas, celebration planning, and coordinating clothes for birthday photos.  The latter of the three, in my opinion, gives me the biggest headache.  But once I find that perfect outfit, I'll be glad I went to the trouble of searching.

  • November 17th: Chloe's 6th birthday.  Since this is an even birthday, Chloe will be having a party.  While I am looking forward to it, I'm also stressing about planning and such.  She wants a super girl themed party, and I really want to make both her and Ryan super hero capes.  It's their favorite thing to play together these days, and I'm afraid dish towels will only do for so long.  :)  They actually make them work quite well, but I know they will absolutely love having capes with their initial embroidered on the back, especially being homemade from their mama.  So that's on my to-do list for the two of them.  Aside from that, there's of course the party planning, classroom treat planning, and, again, searching for that perfect outfit.  I really want to take some nice pictures of both of the kids this year.  I didn't even end up doing birthday pictures last year because I was in such a funk from our recent move and having terrible back pain.  I feel bad but I figure they have more candid-every-day shots than they'll ever know what to do with, so they can't complain too much.  :)

  • Mid-November: Young Women in Excellence.  This is an annual program the young women leaders put together for the 12-17 year old girls at church.  Luckily there are seven leaders to divide up the work, but there will still be something of significance for each one of us.  Just one more thing to add to the list.  Thankfully I love my calling, so it will be an enjoyable task.  And as of today, I now have eight Beehives.  We had one come in last Sunday and another this Sunday.  It's fun having such a big group, and I really couldn't ask for better girls.

  • November 24th: Thanksgiving.  At this point we have no plans, and I love it.  I would be perfectly content keeping it that way and enjoying a simple, quiet dinner at home, but also fine going somewhere.  We'll see.  Either way, I will be making it a point to remind Neil to watch his fingers if he decides to play football with the boys!

  •  November 25th: Black Friday.  Last year is the first I'd ever partaken of the Black Friday craze.  I set my alarm for 4am and was standing outside Target's doors at 4:30.  I got what I'd planned to, but I'm still not sure if it was worth all the trouble (or lack of sleep).  I'm still undecided on my plans for this year.  I'll just have to see what kind of deals are out there and how tired I'm feeling the night before.  :)

  • December 25th: Christmas.  I'm sure there are plenty of things that will fill up my calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but as of right now it looks fairly manageable.  As for Christmas plans, we are going to just stick around here.  Neil and I really like the idea of staying home for Christmas each year so that we can build traditions and memories as our own family.  That certainly doesn't mean we're opposed to travel during the Christmas season.  At this point, however, we don't have any plans of doing so.  As for gifts, I really like the idea of doing something homemade for the kids.  You really can't beat last year's "homemade" gifts.  Neil definitely rocked it.  Er, I mean, Santa!  I'm thinking of making the kids something like a tent/reading nook or a simple puppet show theater.  It's all based on what the kids are loving these days, so we'll continue to see what they enjoy, but those are two thoughts right now.

None of this, of course, includes Chloe's ballet lessons every Tuesday afternoon, or her Christmas singing program practices, which begin the first week in November, or piano lessons, which will probably start about that same time, not to mention mutual activities and lessons, playgroups and all the other daily and weekly things I get to stay on top of.  And with some recent changes to Neil's job, plus a new calling, which I'll write about in a separate post, we've been seeing a lot less of him. 

Well this has turned out to be much longer than I'd expected or planned.  I'd better get back to bed.  Tomorrow is the beginning of another week, and while I don't have too much on my calendar as of yet, I know the storm is about to hit.  Thankfully my house is relatively clean and picked up (always a great way to start off a new week).  I'm really excited about the upcoming Holidays, despite what may have seemed like a whole lot of complaining.  Sometimes I think of how nice it would be if the kids' birthdays weren't BOTH in November.  I mean, truly, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are enough to make any mom's life crazy, let alone throwing two birthdays into the mix!  It's okay though.  I'm lucky to have two healthy kids, and all I can do is laugh about them being so close together.  At least Ryan wasn't born on his due date, which would have put their birthdays a single day apart.  Ha!  How would that be?

As my mom recently said, after rattling off her many 'To-Dos,' "HOW does it happen that I get so far behind? Guess I just have a rich, full life!"   I'd much rather have a "rich, full life!" that's hectic and sometimes overwhelming than a dull, boring life that requires little of me.  Thanks, Mom, for once again putting things into perspective for me. 

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

wow! I'm tired from just reading all of that!!

a black friday on line. i stayed in my jammies, drank hot cocoa and was back in my bed within the hour of getting everything on my list!

good luck!!