What I've Learned this Summer: 2016 Edition

Summer vacation is closing its cute little self down, and while a part of me is dying and crying about the return to schedules, routines, and bedtimes--another part of me is celebrating schedules, routines, and bedtimes!

I was made for order and control, y'all.  

Do I want to return to work after being a lady of leisure for the past two months?  Not especially--but I enjoy getting a paycheck the other 10 months of the year, and my little students are sweet and usually make me smile.  I'm just dreading the return to early morning dragging the children and my old lady bones out of the bed, and the go-go-go afternoons and the collapsing on the recliner when everyone is in bed and feeling like a sack of potatoes.  I'm dreading the folder signing and the lunch boxes and the making sure we have all the things for all the assignments and not having all day snuggles with littlest sister.  However, there comes a time every summer when I look at my kids and I say, "Y'all need to go back to school" which means, that I must return to school so there are teachers waiting for the kids.  

So, August is here and it's time to say goodbye for Summer 2016.  Today I'm linking up with other bloggers and reflecting on what I've learned this past summer:  

There are good and generous people all around me.  I've been fortunate to receive some ukuleles and books for my classroom this summer thanks to donations from companies and individuals in my community and area.  I sometimes get so mad and irritated at the world through the lens of social media--but there are good, good people all over the place and I've been touched by their generosity.  

Mothers need a secret chocolate stash.  Earlier this summer I purchased a bag of snack-sized York peppermint patties during a Target run for some back to school supplies (because they put those babies out in March now--not that I'm complaining because they also put my beloved Christmas out in August) (praise hands and Christmas trees emojis).  When I got home, instead of emptying the supplies into our office, I just kept it all bagged up since it was things I would need later in the summer and I didn't want the girls thinking I had gotten them new supplies for crafting.  I also didn't empty the candy into our treat jar because I sort of forgot it was in the bag.  A few weeks ago I remembered that I had bought that little bag of treats and I snuck myself a York.  It was literally two bites of dark chocolate and minty bliss for me.  I smiled and felt a little calmer because York is the perfect combination of delight and refreshment.  I hid the wrapper because I didn't want the kids to see my chocolate and force me share because Yorks are a hot commodity in our house.  Some mamas might frown on this selfishness--but let me tell you--these little chocolates have gotten me through many a stressful moment this summer.     

The Olympics are my favorite summer pastime.  I feel more patriotic during the Olympic season than on any 4th of July.  I cry every. single. time. I hear our national anthem when it gets to "O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave" line of the song and seeing those athletes claim the gold.  It's an automatic tear trigger, without fail.  Except. . . 

I'm a little peeved at Lilly King and her attitude.  I mean, I totally agree that competing clean is an important part of the fairness of the games.  And I understand rivalry and the arrogance that comes with being a national and world champion.  But she's a little over the top for my taste--and she's a kid.  Just put your index finger down and swim.  I mean, if she was 30-something and had won several medals and had a lengthy career to back up her mouth, then I would not care as much (although I got a little annoyed at MP when he did it, too--don't egg on the children, MP, you medal-winning machine).  Lilly King acted a little bratty and I personally don't care for it.       

Hydration is important.  We all know how important it is to drink more water--even though it really doesn't have a lot of flavor or fun, we know we need to drink it on the regular to keep it on the regular.  It's so good for your skin and singing voice.  It gives you more energy and makes you feel good.  And, what I've also learned this summer--being dehydrated can really mess with your mental stability as well.  When your body is stressed from not having enough liquids, it can cause your mind to become anxious, stressed, and depressed as well.  I do my best not to shirk away from my personal history with anxiety and postpartum depression because there is stigma attached to mental health.  Chris and I promised that our struggle through my PPD and anxious days would not be in vain--it's a real and hard thing to walk through.  So, my fellow crazies--drink your water (and get your crazy meds if needed). 

Disney Planning is my hobby.  Some people craft.  Some people build.  Some people learn instruments.  Some people decorate.  I get thrills from the challenge of planning a big family vacation to Disney World.  I like looking at the calendars.  I like reading the forums.  I like planning.  I like scheming.  I like looking at all of the options and writing things down on paper and then transferring them to color-coded Word docs and Excel sheets.  I like getting the most Disney bang for our buck.  I like sharing the information with my family and creating family groups so we can discuss all of this information.  I could seriously do it alllllll day long.  Our family is planning another return to the castle and we're also going with my extended family this time and the challenge of planning for 15 different people is bringing me so much joy.  It's up there with my deep love and devotion for the Christmas season.  Almost.  

So, hang in there parent and teacher friends as we gear up for BTS 2016-2017.  
We've got one more week left in our neck of the woods and we're going to make the most of these lazy summer days! 

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