The Yellow Envelope

I am a very fortunate person. I have two healthy children, a job that is pretty flexible when it comes to children events, sick kids, doctor’s appointments and more. But some days, no matter how hard I try, I feel I just can’t get it right. Dance two days a week, soccer two nights a week…and God bless all you people that have more than two kids. Hats off to you! Between my kids, two dogs and husband, I am full. Now honestly, usually the husband behaves.

Not sure how your week works, but believe it or not, my craziest day is Tuesday. I’m in the office until 5 p.m., from there it is pick up the kids and get to 6 p.m. soccer practice. Still not too bad…the fun you ask? The chore of getting homework, official dinner ready (snack provided before soccer), lunches made for the next day and signing off on the lovely yellow envelope the teachers send home every Tuesday in the backpacks at 8 p.m. Oh, I forgot…getting the kids to bed. Don’t they know any other day would work better? I feel I am lying when I remove the school work for the week, sign and return the envelope saying I have reviewed the contents, when in reality, looking at what came home in that will have to wait until Wednesday. Oh, I want to see their work, look at their grades and talk to them about it…just not on Tuesday!

In addition to preferring a different delivery day, the yellow envelope has created a great deal of humor in our home. My husband’s job is far more time consuming and involves frequent traveling. So, I handle all school things. Recently, we were at some friends’ home and discussing how the soccer team was going the get their summer camp message out to all the kids in the school. Eric and Allison are both teachers in our school system, and agreed they’d just be placed in the yellow envelopes. My husband, with a very puzzled look, quickly asks, “What are the yellow envelopes?” Eric quickly stopped Jonathan…”I would not go there Jonathan…you are only burying yourself.” Now keep in mind, we have a 5th grader and a 3rd grader…this envelope has been a part of our lives now for nearly 6 years. Needless to say, my husband now knows about the infamous yellow envelope we all love!

Honestly, as my kids keep growing up way too fast, I know it won’t be long and I will miss this envelope. And funny enough, that is one thing I save at the end of each school year.

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The little things in life…

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I have the joy of helping at my kids’ school once in a while; it is so nice to see what takes place during their day and how much they love it! And what a huge relief to see your children interacting with other children, happy and loving to learn. (On a light note, based on the “college fund” that we gave Primrose Schools in the early years of their lives, they better be the smartest, most social children at the school!)

Just last week there was a Mardi Gras wagon parade at the school (it was delayed due to the EXTREME winter weather Atlanta experienced that caused school cancellations the week before…yes “EXTREME” is sarcastic!). This parade was something that seemed so uneventful to the adults, but the children were so excited about this wagon parade all day, that the teachers had a hard time keeping them focused on school work. I look at these types of things and look at my kids every day and realize how much your perspective changes in adulthood. Why does it take so much to thrill us as adults? My children are always so excited about their next birthday, losing their next tooth…I am about to turn 40 and let me just say, I am not counting down the days because I am so excited…I am counting down the days I have left in my 30s wondering where the time has gone and wondering if we can slow things down.

I try my best every day to encourage their creative minds, pretend play, youthful thinking but sometimes it does require me to take a step back and correct myself. As grown-ups we often try to rush them along in our busy days and I remind myself, how unfair that is. Let them play school, color and make a mess on the kitchen table, paint, dress-up, make paper airplanes…let them be kids. And mostly importantly, learn something from them…slow down and enjoy life. The house doesn’t have to always be spotless. And who cares if dinner is not on the table at 6PM as planned?

Better Late Than Never

Although it is already February, one of my goals for the new year was to put more focus on my blog. Better late than never, right?

Honestly, I am a full time working mom with over fifteen years of advertising and journalism experience, seeking the perfect job that would give me more flexibility for my two young children that are just starting all the commitments…soccer three nights a week, basketball, school activities…you name it. It is a great struggle for me, because my past ten years have been spent working in a government job, which honestly, has been a little too slow pace. Prior to this job I was at Home Depot’s corporate office where everything was due 45 minutes ago. I am guessing there must be a middle ground. Something challenging and flexible….is that asking too much? I am continually intrigued by the balance of life that so many people are looking for. Most people want their minds to be challenged, but want the balance for family. Why does that seem so far fetch these days?

I look at my children every day and think how fast they are growing up. Before long I will blink and they will be off to college. Yes, I am one of those sappy moms that gets a little teary-eyed at the thought of them getting so big! Now I certainly would not go back to the infant days with interrupted sleep nights and diapers, but I truly love the ages they are now. They still ask mom for cuddle time and need a kiss to make boo-boos feel better. If it was only possible to slow down time a little, it would help.

So I am hoping to find a little more direction in life this year. A new, challenging job with flexibility. Possible? We shall see.

Laugh More!

OK…I have a confession to make…I am one of those sappy, emotional moms when it comes to things like Pre-K graduation and end of the school year honors day events.  And the teachers never make it easy.  They love to compile photos from the school year and make a video for the parents with the cheesy, emotional music that makes it very hard for us sappy moms to hold back the tears.  But today I have made a promise to myself not to cry (too much) at my daughter’s Pre-K graduation.  How I plan to go about that is still to be determined.

I have researched “funny things” on the internet.  None of them seem to be funny enough to keep me distracted.  I guess the best thing I can do is remind myself how much money I will be saving next year when my child enters the public school system.  I’m feeling rich already! Alright, the word “rich” might be an exaggeration.

It is so interesting to see things through the eyes of a child.  At the age of four, my daughter already talks about how she can’t wait to grow up.  She hates nap time and is eager to start kindergarten, have braces, drive a car, have kids, drink coffee…the list goes on.  What I wouldn’t do for nap time now! We spend so much of our lives excited to grow-up and when we get there, we want it to slow down.  I guess this is a process that will never change, but I certainly try to remind my children to enjoy being a kid.  Enjoy laughing at the simplest things.  My kids will laugh continually at my son making the arm fart sounds.  Really????  Now I’m not suggesting adults start doing things like that, but I do think we could benefit from a little more laughter.  So, I am setting a goal for myself to slow down, stress less and take time to laugh more.  I’m going to keep track of my progress.  Let’s see if I have made any improvements by next week…I’ll keep you posted.

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Too Fast? Too Slow?

We live in Metro Atlanta which keeps rapidly growing.  Honestly, I think the population is greater than some small states.   And although I have lived in big cities all of my life and am used to the fast paced lifestyle, I often wonder if it is moving too fast.

My job is simply ten miles north of our home in a city called Cartersville, but it is not included in metro Atlanta…and they are proud of it!  They want nothing to do with Atlanta. The pace of life there is moving at half the speed of smell.  I am continually amazed at the difference in culture just ten miles apart.  Where we live families are busy with their over committed schedules and everyone seems to be in a hurry.  Need to cross the road?  You better check twice!  Someone might run you over.  You need to change lanes in traffic?  Good luck!  The light turns green…you have about two seconds to go or the car behind you will be honking.  Go!  Go!  Go!  But oddly enough, everyone seems happy.

In Cartersville, if you need to cross the road, people will stop in the middle of traffic to let you cross (without a crosswalk).  The light turns green and you’re not paying attention, no problem, take your time.  Horns are not needed.  They just recently got an express oil change.  Again, no rush!  Everyone has lived here since birth, and except for a possible trip to college, they stay here for life.  I try to remind them that I-75 runs through the middle of their city.  Get out and explore the world!  But everyone knows everyone and loves it.

Due to the fast pace I have gotten used to in life, the snail pace they live at almost stresses me out at times.  As I see the two speeds of life I often wonder who has it right, or if there is a middle ground.  Does time slow down if you move at a slower pace?

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