Thursday, August 28, 2014

Firsts. Again.

The summer is drawing to a close, and I must say that we had a wonderful and action-packed summer.  It included several trips to the beach, visits with family and friends, amusement parks, aquariums, picnics, playgrounds, and a whole lot of fun.

While this resulted in many terrific memories made, it also made one tired mommy.  Phew.  I was pretty excited to see the "Back to School" roll outs taking place in the stores.

Our summer officially ended last week when school began.  My big girl, Eveley Joy, is in the second grade and enjoying school almost as much as her mother.  She insists that she would beat me in "Around the World" math games, but I highly doubt it.  She's definitely her mother's daughter.

But this is a brand new beginning for Mr. Caleb, affectionately referred to as Captain Awesome.  He began Kindergarten at the same school as Eveley.  It is a full day and begins and ends with the most awesome of events, according to Caleb -- riding the school bus.

Caleb is not very similar to me.  His amazing brain works very differently from mine, so I find myself studying him to figure out how best to communicate with and encourage him.  We weren't exactly sure how he would react to a new school.  Caleb had a terrific time last year in Transitional Kindergarten.  He is already reading and writing stories.  (Most of them are about megalodons, Mario, or the Ultrasaurus.)  We weren't too concerned about him academically but prayed he would enjoy this year just as much as last.

We all gathered at the bus stop to see them off.  As they drove away, I was praying that they would be surrounded by good friends, make good decisions, and be a light in the darkness.  And I was praying that Caleb would not try to get off the bus at the next stop.

It's going to be sweet having them at the same school, right?!

About fifteen minutes later, I received a text from my neighbor up the road.  She took this as she put her daughter on the bus.

Enough said.

Later that afternoon,  I waited at the bus stop for their return.  Caleb ran off the bus and down the hill yelling, "THAT WAS AWESOME!"

Sending our children off to school is teaching me a number of life lessons.  These children are not mine.  They are a gift from the Lord.  I am responsible to train and equip them to be their best selves in this world and to make a difference for God's glory.  At some point, they must make their own choices and decisions.  That is a hard one.  I trust my judgment better than theirs!  But walking with them through the process is teaching us all about grace, mercy, and unconditional love.

The twins are staying home with me.  But I cannot tell you the difference in our days.  I will be honest.  This week, having Caleb and Eveley at school from 7:00 until 2:40 has made me feel like this.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Get Your Fix.

As a mother of young children, there are many things that don't come easy.  Showering, for example.  Or shaving.  Grocery shopping is almost impossible.  Forget about keeping up with world issues or following current politics.

One of the most difficult tasks to get accomplished, I think, is updating my personal wardrobe.

When we toured our current home for the first time, almost 3 years ago, I started to cry when I saw the master closet.  It is huge.  (Actually, it served as Ryan's nursery for the first 2 years, but that is a different story...)  Anyway, our prior house had very little closet space, and I was very excited to finally get some space.

Space for what, though.  Well, my huge closet ended up being filled with stupid clothes that dated back to college.  Seriously.  Some even went back to high school.  It was bad.

By nature, I am a thrifty and minimalistic person.  But also, by nature, I enjoy looking put together and showing a bit of creative style.

But how was I ever going to remedy this situation?

Clothes don't grow on trees.  Boutiques don't have childcare (or big buggies).  And I can't whip up a new skirt in my spare time while the kids are picking the garden.

Then I heard about this genius business idea.  Genius.

Introducing:   Stitch Fix 

When I come home and see this little gem sitting on my front porch, I close my eyes and pretend I am living in sunny California with an active social calendar and a personal stylist. least it will be fun to have something new to wear to the playground.

Seriously, Stitch Fix is a lifesaver.  When you first go to the website, you answer a good amount of questions to narrow down your personal style and give the stylist an idea of your likes and dislikes.  Then...wait for it.... a stylist will select about 5 items (all in accordance with your style, size, and price selections) and ship it to your house.

It arrives in this cute little box.

Everything is packed very well and the exact procedure is plainly explained on the material.

Look through the selections.  They typically send a couple tops, bottoms, a dress and one accessory.  But all of this can be completely customized based on your needs.  You may only want tops or may request a good pair of jeans.

Inside the box is a nice note from your stylist explaining what they picked out for you, why they did so, and giving you some ideas on how to wear them.  You will also have a price sheet that details the cost of each item.

At home, you can go through the items.  Try them on.  See if you have the right shoes or accessory.  Check yourself out in the mirror.  Ask your hubby what he thinks of it.  Or not.

If you like it, then you can keep it.

If you do not like it, you have 3 days to put it right back into the envelope and send it back.  They do all of the work for you.  The envelope is completely addressed and stamped, and you can just put it into your mailbox for return.  Super simple.

If you choose to keep the entire box, you get a 25% discount.  If you look at the contents and think the stylist has lost her mind, you can send the entire box back.  You only pay a $20 styling fee but that fee will be credited towards any purchase you make.  So, at the most, it will cost you $20.

I have been receiving monthly shipments for the past 6 months and have had a blast trying on new colors and styles.

I hope you take a chance and try this out.  Or, if dragging whiny and complaining kids through a mall is your definition of fun, then, by all means, knock yourself out. 

**If you use the above stitch fix link, I get a referral credit for telling you about this awesome biz.  Just sayin.