I Survived!

I’ve survived summer! The early mornings of getting asked what we’d be doing a million times, and the going to bed late (early?), to enjoy as much quiet time that I could. Those days are outta here!

It’s Overwhelming

It’s hard managing the kids on just the weekends, sometimes. So, I knew that it’d be an interesting summer. Kind of like attempting to make my dogs “shut uuuuuup” after somebody rings the doorbell. I know that it’s pointless, but I proceed doing it anyways.

To provide you some insight, my 5-year-old was less than thrilled (unlike my teenager) about not getting to see her teacher and friends over the summer. I had to be persuasive about this being a great time to enjoy the sunshine, and to do lots of swimming.Red&Pink! Get your favorites!Low to $12.99!Free Shipping!Shop Now!

Pretty much like the rest of my life, I survived by coming up with a warped plan to be creative (which is the bone I’m missing in my body), and embrace the laziness of the months ahead. I say embrace, because of how my nerves get shot by even the suggestion that I march to the door with the kids and get out. The moments before our excursion, I mentally have to check off the things needing to be done first: are the meals accounted for; are their entertaining devices with them? I try to minimize all of the potential issues, that way we’re ready to make the best of our time.

So, here’s some of what we did:

One With Nature
I had visions of the yard looking spectacular while the kids were playing in it, appreciating the beauty of God’s work. Them investigating the different species of bugs (instead of step on them, while yelling “Got ya!”). Ok, ok..that last part’s my own fault! Bugs haven’t survived my shoes many times, either. But at least leave the rollie-pollie’s..and ladybugs!

I’m blessed to be married to a man that does the gardening, with our daughter, since I haven’t picked up the skill yet. I like to still put in my requests for what I’d like the next season, though. I don’t want to avoid participating in gardening completely!

Coffee Beans–

I’m required to drink coffee everyday. Seriously! I mean, that aroma, it’s a little piece of heaven. What I’d like to know is, is it possible to grow coffee in a regular, run-of-the-mill neighborhood yard?? I wouldn’t think it’s too difficult! I’d certainly use whatever we grew. My dessert creations even had coffee in them, for crying out loud! Question: Can you grow it inside, to enjoy the beautiful fragrance?

Blueberries–I know that this grows on bushes..right? The obsession for blueberries is real in our house, so this would make total sense! The healthy stuff is taken where I can get it (if the hubby hasn’t eaten it first). We grew strawberries before and they were magnificent! The gardening thing started with my hubby making the decision to start making a raised bed one day, and BOOM!

Tomatoes

My mom grew tomatoes in the front yard awhile back, and so many were produced! Plus, they survived way past the season. I think I’d like to try cherry tomatoes next! Man, these vegetables attract bugs, though. (“Got ya!”) But I do love salads. I’ve never made tomato sauce, but it’s on my list to do! We certainly eat enough Italian food.

Here’s some dishes I did, with my little assistant by my side):

  • Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa(so good!)
  • Soft Brown Sugar Cookies
  • Pink Champagne Cupcakes
  • Artichoke Crusted Chicken
  • Rainbow Layer Cake
  • How I Survived With Sanity Intact

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  • Ho Ho Punch
  • Painkiller – This drink consists of rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice and nutmeg. It makes you feel like you’re on an island somewhere! Delicious.
  • Survived
    So tasty!
    Survived
    Rainbow Layer Cake

    The Kitchen
    Most of the time, I’m at home with the kids, while my husband’s at work for 10-hour days at the office. I picked up food for our meals frequently over the summer, to simplify my life. The fast food thing has run its course, though! Now, with school back, I’m preparing to be back in the kitchen.

    God knows, that I wouldn’t have survived this season without H-E-B..my second home.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t use the Ibotta app as much as I would’ve liked to, but I can barely remember the stuff I need when I’m by myself. Give me a 5-year-old, who’s asking for stuff left and right, and yeah..it just wasn’t happening! This app’s such a HUGE money-saver, though!! (And just so you know, it can be used AFTER leaving the store. I had a scattered brain though, so I had trouble remembering to do it.)

    On days that I was truly a glutton for punishment, I sparked the kids excitement, by letting them know I’d be baking some goodies during the day. I didn’t even get to make all the ones I was planning! They’re still going to get done, though. What’s coming next is:

  • Brownies on a Stick
  • White Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Southern Peach Cobbler(I do what I can to keep it Texas, you guys)
  • Fun at Home


    If you don’t already know, I’m an introvert..to the core. My favorite place to be is our home (I’ve survived 4 kids, but dread the chaos). I’ve got Disney movies, things to do on various apps, and then simply flipping through the channels to provide entertainment. At least, for awhile.

    When the intense heat that we get here in Texas would give us a break, we’d head to the playground or take walks after dinner. We had fun playing games, too!

    For our outside entertainment, we’d go break the hose out!

    We’d hose down the dogs, the kids; we’d get out the plastic, reusable water “balloons”; start drawing with the sidewalk chalk, and of course, do some (dead) snail collecting, to bring amusement. And it was all within the comfort of our own neighborhood!

    On the rainy afternoons, (considering we’ve been in a drought, there weren’t many) I’d bust out the watercolors for some artwork to take place. Of course, there was always hide and seek, also!

    I found this amazing little hole-in-the-wall bouncey house place, towards the end of summer as well as some new walking trails to explore. After all, wearing the kids out is the name of the game!

    Survived
    Hanging at Chuck E. Cheese’s

    Connecting

    (Right about this time, envision my drooping eyes and my twitching legs. It wasn’t pretty, friends. Not in the slightest!)

    Survived

    I’ve been so mentally spent, that there’s been nothing left for me to give by the end of the day. My brother and sister-in-law closed on their new house last month, so it’s been awesome to at least have them around! Hopefully, they don’t get sick of us “being around”, anytime soon. Don’t worry guys, I’ll bring adult beverages and desserts!

    I love how there’s no forced conversations with them, too. We freely talk or silently chill, and it’s perfect! (Yep, I’m that girl, who grimaces at the ringing phone – unless it’s work related or a call I’m expecting. I’m completely about that texting life!)

    My mother-in-law took a couple days out of her schedule, to get my daughter and her cousin together for some play-dates.

    They went to The Aquarium and Morgan’s Wonderland, and it was much appreciated on my end!


    Just because I’m a homebody, my kids certainly aren’t! So, I started researching some events on Facebook. This turned out to be pretty awesome! We found some really neat things to do!

    My husband, on his day off, would take them to the movies , which would give me a break. Let me say, I fell in love with him all over again for giving me that.

    I’m a real estate agent, and I mostly office out of the house, so that’s been both a blessing and a curse over the summer!

    My task was picking which times I thought I could be most productive, which was while the kids were heavily involved in some activities. It’s gotta be said..I’m stinkin’ tired. And when I was in the midst of negotiations for some clients? Forget about it! My friends, family, heck – even my husband (sorry, hon!) – wouldn’t likely be getting a response to any messages they’d be sending.

    As worn out as I felt, my guilt wouldn’t allow me to do nothing. Especially in regards to the 5-year-old, who had little time with kids her age and desperately craved any activities or playtime! As much as I’d have loved time NOT worrying about being put together, I couldn’t do that to her. I’ll go ahead and say it again – I’m tired.

    My pep-talk: “You can do this. Actually, you did do this! It’s finishing up. Maybe you haven’t been calmest or coolest, but you got to see lots of radiant smiles on your babies.”

    That’s it!

    We’re wrapping up the summer, and this mama made it through. I’m thinking most of you made it out alright, too.

    We survived!

    My kids are alive and kicking! All of us are.

    How’d you fare with your kids? Post in the comments how your summer went!

    If you liked reading this, you can subscribe to receive emails of whatever I post in the future! Thanks for reading. Xoxoxo

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    Hey Mom, Remember

    Lately its turned into that hot, disgusting kind of Texas summer, when it’s nearly impossible to remember the joy in taking my children to do anything outdoors – whether it’s in the backyard for any great length of time or just taking the dogs on a decent length walk to get a breather from being inside all day. By late afternoon, we’re going crazy with boredom, which causes me to be that cranky mom. When dad gets home, in his efforts to give me a break, he offers (or I nominate) to take the youngest on a walk, or takes them all up to the playground/basketball court across the highway. 

    Outside Activities

    They haven’t been able to do a lot of that, in regards to my son getting to go play basketball, because it seems as if the surrounding areas where he usually plays, all have some kind of issue with the hoop, or the court itself. My daughter’s thrilled to be out of the house and to do anything for whatever length of time by this point in the day, which is usually close to the sun starting to go down, so that gives them a tad more opportunity to enjoy themself without ending up panting from the humidity.

    Now, of course, this just happens to be the time when my sister-in-law and my nephew are staying with us, until we close on their home in the next week or so – my brother’s in the military, and out of the country for a short-while longer. So, with this being the first that we’ve all lived in the same city in adulthood, I can imagine the first impression that they’re getting, particularly of their niece, being the youngest.

    She has some major meltdowns occasionally, if I’m being honest. I get pretty embarrassed though, as she has one of her bossy moments, that may be pretty standard for our crew to deal with but to others can be fairly appalling.


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    Hopefully they’re not going to judge me, but I don’t know if that’s true when I can hear them practically counting the minutes to make it out of our driveway. Ha. Pretty sure most people would be doing that. 

    On the weekends, we’ve fought the weather in our attempt to go to this or that event around town (which is outside, obvi), and we’ll stay for an hour or two, until we feel like we’re going to pass out. A 5-year-old in the midst of the steam room we call our city, with hundreds of others present, will inevitably be the first to lose it!


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    THAT’S MY GIRL, HURLING herself at our legs. But you know what, I feel her tantrum, I respect it even.

    Though it ends up making me have one of those “guilty mother” moments, for even thinking it was a good idea to take them out there. We don’t want to go to McDonald’s, since we practically live there during the week.


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    The alternative seems to be dressing in the most weather appropriate attire, and then hoping for the best. We’re usually pretty excited to get out.

    The kids are happy for us to all be together and do something, plus, if we’d done any of the regular, boring activities done inside, which are typically the defaults, she’d have still melted down at some point anyway. Then, it would’ve been the sign needed for us to wrap things up – no biggie, right? However, in these moments – of our hitting 100-degrees easy in the summer, after grasping at straws trying to make the weekend enjoyable for us all, that’s when it causes my ego to feel a bit bruised. Then the self-criticism kicks in, while I’m looking around at all the others, to observe if they’re having any success, while questioning my own ability to ever give my kids some memories to remember when we’re all relaxed and smiling. 

    Here We Are

    So, here we are: Twenty-eight days into the summer, juggling being a mother and a Realtor; a trillion days into ornery, bored babies; a kajillion days into being the expert multi-tasker that I am. Like always, my list of things to do each day starts by getting the little one out and about, in the cooler part of the day. After that, it’s not unusual for my daughter to bring up how she’s missing her friends from school, or her teacher (one of the subjects that breaks my heart to talk about), then she starts anticipating the new year to begin in August, the same month of her birthday…My hope is that she’ll have another sweet person to spend her school days with. Let me correct myself – my plea is, her first grade teacher will be yet another gentle soul, because every single prayer got answered with the teacher we received in her Kindergarten year. 

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    Here we are, in the dead of summer, stuck inside and my son would love for the school year to quite frankly never return (all of a sudden, those dreaded days are here for HIM), and my little girl just wants to jump back into the routine. But for me, my spirit’s kinda numb, and I’m not 100% sure WHY.

    There’s not really anything that’s CAUSING it. But I can assure you, there’s gotta be a cause. 

    Quit That!

    When my thoughts try interjecting with my heart to cease feeling so much, my question is “why not just let everything that will be, be?” Are my concerns about being able to provide a happy life for the kids really something to get myself worked up over? My negativity about my being this kind of person – an emotional, silly woman – now takes over. How come I just CAN’T seem get it together?? is what runs through my mind.


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    Obviously, there’s way more to it than whether I’m a good mother. If someone’s not coping very well, with whatever they’ve got going on at the time; when they’re emotional because life’s just going by at lightening speed, the tiniest thing will cause them to be pushed right to the edge. 

    Right then, the lightbulb went off: while I was encouraging myself to go to McDonald’s for one of them new Rollo McFlurry’s I’d seen, so I could inhale it, while figuring out when my buyers would be able to close on their new home, and what new marketing I could put out for my sellers…Wham!, a verse from the Bible came to me (most definitely God knocking some sense into me), echoing ‘But you who follows the true way have come to the light. Then the light will show that whatever you’ve done was done through God’ (John 3:21). Well that did it, yep..easy peasy.

    I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, however my heart, all of a sudden, felt very full. Partly because of the Rollo McFlurry.

    But more so about remembering who it is that I am – while curling up on the couch, eating the ice cream for whatever quiet time I was being given; overlooking the messy floor, the piles of clothes needing to be put away, I was being provided what it was that I yearned for the most, a mental shutdown. By this, it halted that process of giving myself another guilt-trip. 

    To Summarize

    Ladies, this is the deal: Sometimes everyone is going to treat us like caca, our children are going to piss and moan about every little thing and people will judge us for this when we’re out in public, there’s no one who we can think of to listen to our own bitching and moaning, and we become fairly certain we’re the biggest reject to ever walk the earth. Sometimes we’re going to set some pretty unrealistic goals that we’ll actually try to accomplish..rearrange the entire house, be a better wife, get fit by day 30 (remember, it’s already day 28) of summer.

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    Sometimes we’re not going to want to get out of bed, we’ll be a bitch, lose our shit, cry, isolate and be depressed – and yes, it’ll all be done together, in one day, some of the time. Sometimes, we’ll be pushed really close to the edge, and not be able to quite put our finger on why. 

    Remember, though, God’s got our back. 

    How hard it is to remember this little nugget of truth sometimes, though. However, our ice cream, the get fit in less than a week fantasy, that extra-large margarita, massage, texting someone who loves us and is willing to listen, curling up for a soap opera marathon, WHATEVER it is that brings us peace – it’s what’s going to change our course. It’s dire for us to remember and take care of ourselves once in awhile, whether it’s just for 10 minutes, or for two glorious hours. We must pay attention to the verses that jump into our heads, that helps us to remember to breathe, to be at peace. 

    Ain’t Life Grand?

    Then, when we have those times where we’re at our best, and we can’t imagine living a better life than the one we’ve been given..it’s dire that we then be that source of peace for someone else. By providing a smile towards someone who appears to be stressed out, or providing some words of wisdom to that mother we see, who’s at her wit’s end – I mean, what better way to show another person the light. 

    Remember, we’ve been shown the way. We must also remember to show it to those who are still in the dark. Just remember to also get an extra McFlurry.

    But you who follows the true way have come to the light. Then the light will show that whatever you’ve done was done through God. John 3:21

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