Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back To School...

There's a Staples commercial that has been on around this time every year for the last few years.  Perhaps you've seen it.  A father skipping playfully through the store to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" while his melancholy kiddos follow sadly behind and the voice-over announces happily, "They're going back [to school]..."  Yeah this one:

Sadly, not every parent is excited about the beginning of a new school year.  Say if you're a, like might not be quite as excited.  You might even want to cry into your Froot Loops when you roll out of bed at 9 or 10 am for the last time for 10 months. 
Yeah, like this...

Tomorrow, I will be back to work again.  Now let me just say, I'm grateful to have "work" to go back to.  Many people do not have a job right now.  And I really do love what I do.  I didn't JUST become a teacher for the 2 and a half month vacation.  I really, REALLY love being a teacher. 
No, I really, really do love it!!!

But I know that with the start of school comes the start of the 10 month mayhem that I call my life.  Every year, it gets busier and more jam-packed.  Every year, it gets more exhausting (probably because I'm getting old and crotchety).  So, I take a deeeeeeep breath and head to the starting line again. 
On your mark, get set...

But lest you think me ungrateful for the summer I've had, here are my top 10 picks (not in any order) of the things that made my summer blessed:

1.  I am grateful for the time spent with my children.  We spent a quality summer together.
2.  I am grateful that I was able to have quality time with the ball & chain when he was able to take off work (especially Date Night at the wine bar).
3.  I am grateful that I got to go to King's Dominion TWICE in one summer.
4.  I am grateful that I was able to spend some great quality time with 3 great gals in North Carolina.
 5.  I am grateful for the family reunion with my cousins, aunts, and uncles in New Jersey.
6.  I am grateful for an entire summer spent at the pool soaking up that Vitamin D and socializing with friends.
7.  I am grateful for beautiful weather throughout the summer.
8.  I am grateful for sleeping in on many days.
9.  I am grateful for chasing chickens and goats at a farm with good friends (and food that was soooo yummy!).
10.  I am grateful for summer evenings at the carnivals

So, goodbye, Summer 2012.  I will miss you terribly.  But it's going to be a terrific school year, and I will look forward to your sibling, Summer 2013. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Breathing Room

Last weekend, I went on a girls' weekend with 2 friends to visit a 3rd friend in Ashville, North Carolina. 

We spent the weekend drinking, talking, drinking some more, laughing, singing, drinking, ziplining, and drinking...oh, and we drank a little, too. 

A Grrrlz Weekend favorite
I have gone away from my family a couple of times in the 20 years I've been married.  I find that it gives me some breathing room.  I'm not unhappy in my life, nor do I want out of my situation.  In the spirit of recent posts, let me just state right now that I feel blessed to have such a wonderful, loving husband and 3 awesome children (remind me I said they're awesome when they've worked on a nerve or 2). 
Yeah, that nerve...

It's just that every now and then, I need a break.  Not a long one.  But a break.  Breathing room.  Time to be me--not Mom or wife or teacher or taxi driver.  Time when I can visit new places and try new things...all on my own. 
This year's "new thing" to try--Navitat Canopy Adventures.  Not me in this pic but I did this zipline. 

I had an awesome time.  I bonded with some great gals, and I pushed myself on a zipline.  And I came back--better mother, wife, and person for it.  And THAT is yet another blessing to count.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Still Rocking The Gratitude

I kinda imagined Joey saying that last part.

So it has been 2 weeks since I resolved to write my blessings and have gratitude for EVERYTHING I could possibly think of.  How am I doing? 

I would like to say:

Gratitude has been surprisingly easy.  I think I was already a thankful person--my life has had some lows that I wouldn't wish on anyone else, but I always seem to find my way out of the funk that follows and move into a better state of mind.

Pretty much from the first day I started keeping track of my blessings, I began to have "good luck."  Things seem to work out better these days.  Maybe it's just a happy attitude.  I am definitely happier.  I am definitely not always happy.  Negativity can wear me down and I fall into that same pattern of bitchin' and complainin'. 

But the good news is, I'm becoming more aware of when this is happening, and on at least a couple of occasions, I was able to find positivity in the negative and bring myself out of a potential ungrateful feeling.


It all goes down to whatcha momma taught you.  Say, "thank you."  It costs nothing, and it  makes you focus on good. 
She'd probably also tell you to wear clean underwear...just in case you're in a car accident, but I digress...

I hope that I can remember this as summer winds down, and I head back to work.  Oh, and...