Friday, May 10, 2019

Aging, Part 1 (Although, let's be honest. There may never be a Part 2.)

My 30s are swiftly gathering dust behind me. I have 2 years, 4 months, and 13 days left before crossing over to the land of bad eyesight, hair dye, and crow's feet. What did I learn (am still learning) in this decade? Well let's talk about it.

Warning: there are a lot of ALL CAPS in the following sentences. I can't help it. I have very strong feelings.


1. The gray hair creeps in when you aren't looking. Now, I lasted longer than any of my friends and I GIVE THANKS for that, but at least once a week I have to do a detailed hair comb equal to the one you do when you're searching for lice, and I CANNOT FORGET to check for the super ambitious, super long, super sneaky gray eyebrow hair (YES. you read that right. EYEBROW HAIR) that appears within one hour's time. Seriously. One morning, I was examining my eyebrows while I brushed my teeth, and an hour later I thought there was a loose hair trying to get in my eye. NOPE. That little rascal had popped out and was over an inch long. I am not exaggerating. Truly. I'm not. How does that even happen?! And I used to give Jason a hard time about his wild and unruly old-man eyebrows.

2. Teenagers are fun. And exhausting. And dramatic. And mouthy. And super helpful. I can just leave the house when I want. It's MIND BLOWING. I can just run errands and not bother packing everyone up in the car, double checking to make sure all have shoes, semi-brushed hair, pants, etc... I mean, what a life. I am so spoiled.

3. Working away from home is for the birds Well, in one way. In another way, it brings a few moments of peace and quiet into my day three times a week., and I can deal with that.

4. That whole "through sickness and through health" phrase really starts to play a role. Jason's Lyme disease has really been a booger these past couple of years. And there isn't a guarantee it will get much better. Definitely has a good chance of getting worse.

5. New levels of stress are introduced. See #4

6. Facial skin doesn't stay tight. Young girls, do yourself a favor and start those skin firming rituals now. You'll be glad you did. I don't have any wrinkles...yet... but the ol' facial skin is just saggy. When I put on eyeshadow, my eyelid slides from side to side. It's GROSS.

7. Prayer is vital and life is way harder than you expected. By this age, divorce, cancer or other sicknesses, loss of children, unexpected loss of spouses, etc...have crept in to your life or the lives of your friends and family. Sometimes, oftentimes, prayer is the one thing that keeps you going. The one thing you can offer when your own life is having major trials. Learn to pray. Cling to God. Come BOLDLY before the throne, praising Him for your blessings and telling Him your needs.

8. Find your clan. Now for some, that may just be one person, but for me, I need the support and friendship of many. Surprisingly, this one kind of merges with #2. A lot of my very close friends are the mothers of my children's best friends. Embrace the new friendships that emerge through adulthood. They can be the best ones yet.

9. Get yourself a pedicure every now and then. The world will thank you. Also, shaving your legs everyday is overrated. Every other day will certainly suffice.

10. Don't tan. DON'T.

11. Your wedding is SO not as big of a "thing" as you think it is. Your marriage is a big deal, the wedding is not. Save your energy and finances for something that plays a larger role in your life. I promise you won't regret it. Also, stay out of debt.

And that's all I have for now. I actually had some great thoughts on Wednesday that I wanted to share but I didn't write them down and now they are lost forever.

Unless I think of them again.

Friday, November 09, 2018

And now she's 13. 


Time got away from me. So girls, if you are reading this years from now, you'll just have to remember 2017 without any help from me. There was a lot of basketball and some ballet. There was no snow.

Now there is no basketball, but a lot of ballet. I have started working 20 hours a week for a brokerage firm in town and Elaina and Eily come with me. The owner is a family friend and he doesn't care if the girls do their schoolwork upstairs or in one of the side offices. It's really a dream set up for me trying to help make some money and also still homeschool. Nora and Claire are going to Magazine Elementary this year and they like it ok, but would rather be with us. I'm trying to figure out how to make it work with all four girls being homeschooled but not overwhelming Philip at the office.  

We traveled a lot this summer. We went to Texas for a week in June, and then went straight to Crested Butte, Colorado. We stayed there a week with Jason while he painted. We walked a lot of trails and ate a good bit of ice cream. We also met a mama fox and her five babies. Her name was Frieda. 

Back in February, we went with Jason to St. Simons Island, Georgia. This was the first time the girls got to see the ocean and play on a beach. This was by far our favorite trip of the year. We visited Jekyll Island, climbed the inside of a very tall lighthouse, and Nora got the worst sunburn I've ever seen. We are going again in March and are so excited because we are taking family with us this time. 

I went with Jason to Laguna Beach, California. Definitely the best trip the two of us have taken together. I don't think I been that relaxed in the past 13 years. 

My best friend, MacKenzie, came to visit me in June. It was the first time she had ever been to my house and it was fun to watch her visit an area of the US that she had never seen before. Our friend, Crystal, flew in to Fort Smith, and the three of us went to Silver Dollar City. It was really fun and I hope we can do it again next year. 

This is Elaina's first year in Challenge and it's going really well. I'm excited to see what she will be learning in the coming years. 

Jason moved into a studio in town this spring and it has been SO MUCH BETTER of a situation. He is able to host workshops now and that helps with his being able to stay home. Between the two of us working, we are hoping his traveling will finally start to decrease. 

The shower door exploded when Claire was stepping in to take a shower. So that was fun.

Dad built me a clothesline. I'm so happy.

So that's about it for now. Maybe now that I have time to kill at work I will post more regularly. But I'm not making any promises. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Quiet Start

Today is Elaina's birthday. 12. She's 12. 

Everyone is asleep right now except for me, Chloe, and Eily. She has a test in math so we decided to knock it out really quickly before anyone else wakens. The house is quiet and I'm soaking it up because it's not going to last much longer. 

This is a busy week for us. Today, we have to drop off a painting and the drive is a bit of a stinker. We have to celebrate Elaina- obviously. Tuesday, we have to leave the house by 6:30am to drop Chloe off at Mom's on our way to CC. After CC we have to quickly eat supper and go to basketball practice. After practice we will get a snack and then head to Little Rock. Jason's plane lands at 10:45pm. I am not looking forward to that drive home. 
On Wednesday, I am leaving for Nashville, Tennessee, to see my best friend for the first time in person. EVER.
It's kind of a big deal. 
We are going to the Wild and Free homeschooling conference and I'm really, really excited about a couple of the speakers. Leah Boden, who is also known as Modern Miss Mason is coming all the way from England and I'm probably the most excited about hearing her presentation. Not probably. For sure. 

So while the week is a full week, it's full of good things and I'm not going to dread the activities- just the hustle and bustle. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

School Days

Do y'all remember back when people left comments on blog posts? Those were good times.

Today is my first day home ALL DAY this week. I am super excited about it AND Friday and Saturday have the same thing on the schedule- nothing. Ok, well I do have to run Chloe to the groomer who lives 10 minutes away but that's not really anything. We are going to get the house cleaning caught up, the laundry caught up, and work on our memory work for school. School is going really wells far this year. We are only in the beginning so at any point things could change, but I'm cautiously optimistic. I set the bar very low so we are constantly hitting it. :)

Jason and his artist buddy, John, have started a new thing on their gallery site called Daily Study Auction. They post a new study every couple of days and people can bid on the painting until the timer runs out and the bidding is ended. It's a great way to collect one of their paintings at a very affordable price. You can go to their site by clicking here. You should check it often and see what's new in case they happen to post the painting of your dreams! haha

Morning Time starts in 11 minutes so I need to go get set up and ready. Have a great day!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Civita Castellana, Italy


Jason and his friend, John Lasater, taught a two week workshop in Italy this summer. I went for the last week of the class and then our families stayed an extra week to do a little sightseeing and so that Jason and John could get in some painting time. When you are the teacher, you don't ever have time to paint.  Of course, while we were there Civita Castellana was having record breaking temps. I think the highest it got was 110 degrees with a heat index of death. The streets are made of black stone, and while that is very pretty to look at in a picture, it just adds to the heat when you are there in person. You couldn't really be outside for a good portion of the day without melting, and the whole town basically shuts down between 2-5 in the afternoon, so I would sit on our bed, directly in front of the fan (no AC in Italy) and stare at the walls and celling. Not going to lie, it was a tad boring. I did read but I finished my books rather quickly and since we had limited data, I couldn't watch shows on the computer. Thankfully, the last three or four days were beautiful and once I left the apartment in the morning, I didn't go back until bed time. We would drink gallons of water every day and John's wife, Kara, and I both got excited on the first nice day because it was the first time in a week and a half that we had felt the urge to pee. Sometimes it's the small things, you know?

Overall, those three beautiful days were enough to let us leave Italy with dreams of returning and truly loving our time there.

P.S. Rome is super cool.

this song was constantly playing at the restaurants and cafes in Civita. I let the girls listen to it and they LOVE it and have already picked up some Italian from it. 

Big Thank You's to Aunt Kat, Bebe and Bubba, Aunt Abi, and Aunt Kara for helping the girls have a great time while we were gone.

Mary Poppins in Memphis with Aunt Kat

Elaina asked Bebe to throw a birthday party for Pink Bear.

Bubba and the golf cart are both big hits with the girls!

Carousel time with cousins

By Claire
By Claire

Aunt Abi was BRAVE and hosted all of her nieces for a sleepover. I think it was 10 girls in all!

Fun at Aunt Abi's house

Riding around Memphis with Aunt Kat

This KILLED my glutes.

Face Time with the girls in the only air conditioned place in Civita, the hotel lobby.

Trevi Fountain in Rome with my Audrey Hepburn sunglasses (a gift from Aunt Kat)

We had passes to go inside the Colosseum but it was way too hot to stand in line for a couple of hours. Next time!!

Inside a museum at the Vatican City

Italian Nocturnes

We had breakfast here every morning. It was called The Club and was a very popular place for morning coffee and evening visiting.

The fountain in the square of Civita

This was Ms. Gena's balcony. She is a 92 year old woman that loved Jason and John. She spoke no English but we always had fun "talking" with her. She constantly gave us food. 

Someday I will return and it will NOT be during a heat wave. I love you, Civita, but that heat is a game changer. Or just install some AC, then we'll talk. 

Spring and Summer

Over the spring and summer: 
(In no particular order)

Teeth were lost

 Daddy snuggles were very popular

 Dates were had with Uncle Josh

 LOTS of crafting and pretend playing happened

 Time was spent with good friends
Elaina and Kathryn Israel, BFF

The people in our area hosted a singing school (shape notes, song leading, harmony skills) in July and Elaina's friend, Kathryn, was able to stay the week with us and participate. I taught the youngest class and had the best time with those children. They were so engaged and excited about everything they were learning. And now, when I see them at church meetings, they are my best buddies. So fun. :)

We went to the Memphis Zoo:

Eily's posture in this will forever by my favorite thing

Trying to pose with the animals but they weren't very cooperative. Neither was Nora. 

Elaina and Claire participated in our co-op's Faces of History program. Claire wrote a report about Pocahontas and Elaina wrote one about Clara Barton. 

The entire Faces Of History Cast

We started a new year of school
6th grade, 5th, grade, 4th grade, Kindergarten

A montage of First-of-School Days. I'm just missing one year.

Reading Lessons with Daddy

Eily and Nora turned 9 and 6
Chloe is a trooper

Birthday Breakfast 

Big 6 year old! (I'm noticing there's a lot of dots in this picture. That wasn't planned.)

Eily is 9! (Nora's smile wasn't forced at all.)
Little Pee Wee isn't so little anymore. Ok, wait. Yes she is.  :)