Daily Life

Fall business (busyness)

We have a busy fall in the Dean house. Our weeks are packed and weekends busy.

The kids are in swim lessons and it’s adorable.  They swim two days a week at the same club I swam at when I was growing up.  #TeamMAC

swim-boys

Landon is just finishing up his fall baseball schedule and he’s had a great time learning machine pitch.  He has really learned a lot more about the rules of the game and I definitely think he’ll want to play spring baseball – much to his dad’s delight.

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(This action shot was taken by one of the dad’s on Landon’s team.
I love the tongue action – gets that from his Mom and Gigi.)

Basketball season starts for Landon soon and we’ll trade pitching and catching for layups and dribbling.

We also have a surprise trip to Disney coming up soon. I know the kids are going to be so excited.  We plan to just pick them up from school one day and hit the road – no warning!

We also need to hit the pumpkin patch so we can do a family hayride, carve pumpkins and get our fall decor put up outside.

It’s also the perfect time for hot tea (me), pumpkin coffee (Dean) and hot chocolate (the boys).  Chili and soup will make a regular appearance in the meal rotation, and the oven will start getting use again (cookies, muffins, etc.).

Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here and we’ll be full on into the holidays – fall is really the BEST time of the year.

Fall Goals:
– get outdoor lighting set up for our house
– finish our dining room (we just bought a new farmtable and now it’s time to get the chairs and also get the junk out that is in our dining room)
– invite people over to enjoy our new dining room
– enjoy fall beers on our back patio area (now that the summer heat is over, it’s the perfect time to enjoy our back patio.)
– redo our half bath (my husband is NOT thrilled about another house project, but I’m ready to cross this off the list). It won’t be extensive, mostly paint and molding!
– a cousin sleepover – I’d really like to invite the cousins over one weekend when we’re in town for a cousin sleepover party!
– reorganize our playroom and playroom closet and get rid of all the outgrown items.

Credit where credit is due.

As I’ve grown in my walk and spent more time in the bible, I’ve noticed that I started doing a better job of giving credit where credit is due. Even in the little things.

Examples:

  • Times when I feel like I can’t be the mom I want to be because I’m too impatient/frustrated/controlling, and then I’ll get an out-of-the-blue hug or snuggle that I needed from one of them that just lifts my spirit and reminds me that these little creations were handpicked to be in my world – through the fun moments and the challenging ones.
  • When a friend was diagnosed with cancer, the stories that came out of that experience are truly God stories. The people that were touched by it. The way so many surrounded this person and lifted up their family. And God let me have a front row seat to see this family’s experience – and healing. Wow!
  • When I’m faced with a hard day and I get in the car to my current favorite song to lift my spirit and remind me that He’s in control. Or hearing the perfect song whose lyrics speak to me directly and bring tears to my eyes because they so perfectly encompass what I’m feeling. I know that He sent those “messages” to me to boost my spirit when I needed it.
  • When I get recognition at work for something I worked on, I often immediately give a silent thanks to God for giving me a creative and capable mind to handle the project.
  • On a run where I feel like I’m dying and won’t last the rest of the way, a cool breeze comes along and I look up and thank God for seeing my struggle – as minor as it is – and giving me a nudge to continue on.
  • Going shopping and deciding to hold out until I find something that is a better fit, and then getting a gift certificate, coupon, etc for that specific item the next day. It’s a little reminder that in this big world, God sees me individually and is meeting my need.

There are so many times in a day where something happens and I immediately think “God thing” because I know He’s orchestrating a good life.  Not a perfect life or an ‘easy’ life, but He gets me through my lows and gets all the credit for my highs.

Life as a 3 year old – Brooks

When they were little, I used to track the boys every few months with their routines, favorite things and any funny stories.  Now that they’re older and our routines are pretty similar all the time, I hardly post updates on what they’re doing.  I posted an update on Landon yesterday and today it’s Brooks’ turn!

Brooks – at 3 1/2, he brings the excitement to our foursome. This boy has no fear, is so tough, and is also so cuddly. He’s a compassionate, fun-loving, smart, rule-breaker.

His favorites:
food – PB&J, waffles, nuggets, spaghetti, fruit, yogurt, and dessert! That boy can kill an ice cream cone!

activities – swings, playing on the slides, learning how to catch with his glove, riding his bike, swimming (with a floating device!), playing with cars, trucks, dinos, etc., watching YouTube videos (of dinos), loves playing the matching game and is REALLY good at it!

learning – this boy is a dino-machine. He knows the names of so many dinos and will often tell you if they like plants or like to eat people (i.e. meat eaters), when a dino shows up on tv or somewhere -he’ll say – “look at that Anklyosaurus, Gallimymus, Pteranadon, etc.”  He just knows them all. We also practice our bible verses. Not as much as we used to but mom needs to get on that!  He knows how to do some counting and easy subtraction (i.e. you have 5 cucumbers and you eat 2, how many are left)

color – green or orange – depending on the day
friend – Lawson and Isla – he and his cousins are forever playing together at school
comfort item – his green blankie, and lately he’s been into having a rotation of “lovies” during bedtime.
future job – he likes the idea of a garbage truck and I recently explained to him about what a paleontologist does and so that seems to be his favorite future career for now!

He is such a special boy who has grown so much this year. I am shocked at how much his listening and obedience has picked up over the summer.  He’s really worked on it and I can tell.  I’m so proud of him for his fearlessness in life. He is so confident and fun, he’s going to be popular with the guys and the ladies some day! He’s just so loveable. And I give him more kisses than appropriate at bedtime each night because he’s such a sweet thing!

This 3 year old brings the excitement in our family.

spark7

Life as a 5 year old – Landon

When they were little, I used to track the boys every few months with their routines, favorite things and any funny stories.  Now that they’re older and our routines are pretty similar all the time, I hardly post updates on what they’re doing.  Until today!

Landon – at 5 1/2, this crazy boy is full of energy and loves being outside.  He is sweet, patient, a rule follower, funny, hardworking, caring and awesome.

His favorites:
food – pizza, hamburgers, nuggets, fruit, yogurt, bagels (with cream cheese!), foods you dip and any and all kinds of treats

activities – baseball (catch and hitting with dad in the backyard), riding his bike – he really loves it since he lost his training wheels a month or so ago, swimming (with a floating device!), racing, dance parties, playing with his cousins, he also is very into art and creating abstract pictures or drawing things that actually look like what he says they are!

learning – he has really started picking up on his reading and is doing well sounding out 3-4 letter words.  Still a beginning reader but to know where he was in January to now, he’s really grown so much!  He’s also memorized a bunch of sight words and bible verses.  I cannot believe that in less than a month, he’ll be in KINDERGARTEN – agghhhh!

color – teal
friend – Harleigh (with Julia his best non-family friend)
comfort item – his blue blankie
future job – he wants to do construction work (wants to drive a digger/backhoe) or drive a garbage truck – Mom is thinking he’ll be in sales because he loves to negotiate anything – gets it from his PAPA! (punishment, rewards, bedtime, play activities, etc)

I cannot wait to go on our special “You’re going to be in kindergarten” trip with this boy next month. He is such an important part of our family and he really bridges the gap between mom and dad’s “adultness” and Brooksie’s little “boyness” because he can be young and playful but also introspective and almost adult-like.

This 5 year old is the steady in our family.

grad9

Today.

Today was a great day.  It was like most other days, but what made today great was a choice I made this morning: I am in charge of my reaction.

I was reminded recently of this concept when reading a Christian family blog.  I know there are times in my day that don’t go according to plan – that the idea of perfect, in my mind, rarely exists in real life – but I get to choose how I handle the imperfections.  

Today was a great day.  Not because my kids were perfectly behaved (although I will say that tantrums were minimal), but because I chose to handle those tantrums differently – patiently.

Today was a great day. Not because work went according to plan (it rarely does), but because each time something came up to be addressed, I made a choice for how I’d handle it – expecting that unexpected items would come up.

Today was a great day.  Not because a bedtime was a breeze, but because I chose to embrace the chaos of bedtime. Spending a few extra minutes on prayers and pillow talk with my kids.

Today was a great day. Not because my husband and I agreed on everything, but because I didn’t take it to heart when we didn’t. Because it’s ok for us to have different opinions and work through the decisions.

Today was a great day.  Because this morning, I decided to take control of my reactions. I decided to try to be a little more like Jesus than I have been lately. I decided that I would strive for a perfectly imperfect day – handling it as it came.

This isn’t easy for me. I struggle with many Type-A-isms that drive me to want to control everything. But today, I decided that letting things go a little out of control was best not only for me, but for all those in my daily circle.

Today. Today was a great day.

More.

I have more appreciation for my mom (now that I’m a mom), than I ever did growing up.

I love my husband more now than I did on our wedding day.

I understand more of what God wants for my life now than I did when I first started walking with Him.

I appreciate the little things more now than ever.  Holding hands with my little boys as we walk through the neighborhood.  A few minutes of conversation with my husband after a long day.

My future is more important to me now than it was in college.  I care more about where our family is headed.

It is more important for me to get a few minutes of snuggles than another episode of _____ (whatever my latest favorite tv show is).

I am more confident in who I am than I was in my teens and twenties.

Making it count.

This weekend I’m going to make it count.

I’m going to snuggle my kids in bed in the mornings.
I’m going to play on the floor.
I’m going to find ways to encourage my husband.
I’m going to read the Easter story to my boys and answer all of their questions.
I’m going to choose joy even when things feel stressful and busy.
I’m going to do something special with my family.
I’m going to smile at strangers who look like they need a smile.
I’m going to jam out to Elevation songs.
I’m going to enjoy quiet conversations with my husband.

Sometimes I forget to make it count. But this weekend, I’m going to plan on it!