Well hello my friends!
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve logged in to chat here, but I have a bit of a pep in my step today after a pretty stinkin’ great week, and if nothing else, I want to document it.
Most of you know the story behind my blog title, but if you don’t, here’s a super (!) quick recap. Every September I seem to find myself in a place that I would have never, ever believed I would be. It’s almost scary how it keeps happening. For example, if you would have told me in September 2018 that in September 2019 I would have a two-month-old, I would have said YOU ARE A JOKER – WE ARE DONE HAVING KIDS, DUH!
But then came our perfect Jilly girl. In September 2019, if you would have told me that in September 2020 I would be homeschooling my two oldest kids and be in month six of a global pandemic (AND be in month #5 of running a brand new website/business), then I would have really, really said that you are OUT OF YOUR FLIPPING MIND I TELL YOU.
But hello (almost) September 2020: You are whimsical and unpredictable and kind of awesome, depending on the day. 😉
I have so much I could share with you guys. You know that writing is my therapy and that so much of what swirls around in my brain just craves to be spit out in the written word.
But how could I possibly share what our summer has looked like? Is there a publishing editor here that wants to hire me to write an entire novel? Because that’s what we’re looking at.
I hope to recap the highlights, such as the many ways we’ve put our personal touch and style on our home, a few of the wonderful getaways we took out of town, some details about my new business and how it’s solidified in my heart the career direction that I will follow, and just the very simple ways that we have managed to keep our mental health on the upswing while navigating a moment in time that just downright sucks. We didn’t have a magical, big family vacation or do anything overly noteworthy, but it was honestly a sweet summer because we made it that way.
I’ll say this though: there have been a handful of days this summer where my head has pounded so hard, I had to put myself to bed at the same time as my kids. I’ve dealt with insecurity via this website and my social channels like I have never dealt with in my life, so I basically shared nothing (and loved that honestly lol). The virus has posed some serious frustration in my heart as it has really affected core parts of who I am (i.e. my extrovert side AND my “glass half full” personality because it kind of feels like you have a target on your back during this season to be extroverted and optimistic.)
Anyway! I would love to ramble just a bit about our first three days of HOMESCHOOLING! Because we are HOMESCHOOLING! WHAT THE HECK!
“Erica, how did you come to this decision?”
Well, how much time do you have, because the answer is not short. 😉
I’ll possibly dive into this another day. All I’ll say right now is that I never ever even for one millisecond considered my kids doing the virtual option. If schools were going to open, they were going. But something happened during a conversation with my neighbor bestie that literally left me doubled over in my kitchen with my arms resting on the countertop and my forehead on my hands as I was hit with an 18-wheeler truck about the idea of unenrolling our children from school and homeschooling. In hindsight, I know without a shadow of the doubt that the Lord spoke to me and laid on my heart in that very minute that He had a different direction for my family, and I fought it so dang hard. But every single door just kept swinging wide open, and here we are.
And it’s been the absolute best first three days of homeschooling (we started Wednesday), and I’d love to share about it here if you’d interested.
On Tuesday night, we celebrated the night before school with two families that we are super close with. They both live four houses down in each direction. We took goofy pictures, had cupcakes, and let the kids play while we decompressed and reflected in the backyard on the longest summer ever – one none of us could have survived without each other. 😉
The sweetest first graders!
On the first day of school, I had to wake up both big girls at 8 a.m. Let’s go, babes! They never sleep this late.
Daddy made them special homemade chocolate chip pancakes and we enjoyed talking with Ms. Erin, my new assistant, who now comes at 8 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. She started with us on Monday, so this was our third day with her.
All three girls really love her, and I mean REALLY love her. Jamie and I are so grateful for her. I choked up on my interview with her because she made all of the dots connect for me.
I can’t wait to tell you more about her, but I will say right now that the Lord showed that He is so good by sending Erin to our family. She is way too talented and smart and wonderful to be spending as much time with our family as she is because this girl could be taking on the world right now.
But she’s choosing to be with my family, and we are just so grateful. She is challenging me with All Things Madison and making me think outside of the box. She doesn’t have children, but I swear she’s a better “mom” than I am because of how much she knows about kids. I could say so many things, but my goodness do we love our Ms. Erin!
We took first day of school pics because why the heck not. 🙂
Sadie is looking so big to me! She is turning into such a big kid. I don’t know how much I shared this time last year, but August 2019 was one of the hardest months of my life due to the season we were in with Sadie. It was short-lived, but August 2019 was hard. But wow – August 2020 is easy. She is my sunshine girl and is like a magnet for everyone. She has the most infectious personality and makes me SO PROUD to be her mom.
I thought these two were close prior to COVID, but they’ve taken things to a new level. I am very thankful they have each other.
Quick family pic with our pantsless Jilly. She never gets her PJ pants put back on after her first diaper change in the morning. We lazy. LOL.
And here she is again! Our shining star, Ms. Erin!
Sideways pic, but I’m writing this too quickly to edit photos. 😉 Our church’s children’s ministry delivered Crumbl Cookies to the families with children, and boy oh boy was it a treat! Thank you Building Church! We love you and couldn’t do life without ya!
My mom is working full-time right now, but she did make time to bring Dairy Queen blizzards to the big girls when she got off work around 3 p.m.! We love you Grandma!
On the night of the first day of school, the five of us took off for our local outdoor mall (Bridgestreet) for dinner at Red Robin (the girls’ request and just like we did last year) and to get a bath bomb from brand new Lush. Dinner was awesome, but Lush was a bust because it closed at 6 p.m. I’m worried about this outdoor shopping mall and so hoping it survives the pandemic.
Our back-to-school family dinner was hard last year with a three-week-old baby but look at her now. She was perfect.
This song has been blaring in our house this week. I recommend giving it a listen!
Okay, so the homeschool specifics. We’re giving ourselves grace and time to figure out a more cemented routine, but school will mostly be a 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. thing, which includes snack time, breaks for playing in the playroom or outside, and lunch.
Every day we will do reading, handwriting, math, scripture memorization, and art and then alternate science and history every other day. Hadley is taking two dance classes, private speech therapy, and piano lessons, and Sadie is taking one dance class and piano lessons. Fridays will consist of two hours of school and then an intentional school-related outing.
Of course, all of this could change, but this was all pretty well thought out, so my guess is that it’ll mostly stick this way. I’ve done a lot of research. LOL. No surprise there from my regular readers who know I am an overthinker and research to my core.
On Thursdays, my mother-in-law is going to come over and help us with all of the things. We will look forward to her every Thursday! LOL! In this picture, she is teaching Jillian the word “hot” with my Volcano candle. Ha! And she actually did learn to say it!
Today (Friday), we scooped up my dad after we finished our school work and headed out to Decatur to the Cook Museum of Natural Science. We loved it and ended up buying a membership!
Speaking of buying a membership, I’ve had some people ask me on Instagram how we are affording the homeschool curriculum because they’d heard it can be pricey. They’re right! We spent about $300 on Hadley and Sadie for 1st grade and Pre-K, and we could have spent way more than that!
You guys know that we are cash people. We pulled ourselves out of debt entirely except for our mortgage about two years ago and are super strict with only buying what we can pay for in cash (I need to thank my husband for his strictness with this because it truly has been the best thing we’ve ever done financially).
So with that being said, we saved for the last 12 months to pay for Sadie’s five-day-a-week private preschool so that we could pay it in one lump sum and get a tiny discount for doing so. Well, now we won’t be paying for preschool. So that’s the money we are using the pay for the girls’ curriculum, for the first few months of Ms. Erin, and for things such as the museum membership.
That wraps up our first week! Let me know if there’s a certain topic you’d like me to dive into sooner than later that I may have missed this summer. 🙂 I’d be curious what you want me to share because honestly, I have so much I could blab about. I’ve missed writing in this space but I knew for certain that I needed to take a pause and focus on just a few keep things, which is what I did. If you’ve made it this far in the post, God bless you for sticking around with my spasticness.
See you SOON! Sending all of my love to you and your families as well as a macho high five for putting one foot in front of the other and getting through FIVE SOLID MONTHS of this crap. LOL. Be back soon. 🙂 <3
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo