Winding down, ramping up

So we're at the end of July. And I'm so grateful that we had the super-fun summer of kids. But we're at about a month until school starts.


We need to get back into a schedule, a routine, brushing up on the basics, and so on.

We've regularly been up, out, down the block, playing until 9, 10, 11 (!!!) o'clock at night this summer. Yikes!

Char's sounding out skills have gone to the wayside in favor of pool parties, Dorito consumption, and bike rides. Yeep!

Staying up 'til 9, getting up at 8:30 (OK, not always, but today they got up at 8:30! That's like sleeping 'til noon around these parts!). Whaaaa?

And the summer of kids has, I think, finally been wearing on all of us. The phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" comes to mind. Our little group of 6 kids has been mostly a delight. Each kid is so good, and as a group they all play well together. However, in this communal setting, together so much of the day, no breaks from each other, and having the same 4 or 5 grown-ups around all the time makes for kids pushing the limits with non-parents. Which is to be expected. And also with grown-ups getting irritated/fed up with kids that aren't their kids. Also to be expected. And, of course, the minor increase in tattling and decrease in apologies and sharing...we've become a commune, a big happy-ish family. And I know now why commune people may be somewhat nuts.

It's all balancing pretty well, but the time is definitely nigh for our unit to take breaks during the day. Work on our letters, numbers, writing, and reading-ish stuff. Bathing regularly (How sad that I even have to say that?). Normal bedtimes. Structured mealtimes. Meals that do not consist of chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese.

Well...maybe just one more week of summer fun wouldn't hurt...right

Anniversary Eve, or, as Jan would say "TMI! TMI!"

Oh, my dear sweet husband, who has, for the past 4 years of marriage, dealt with the dizzying highs and devastating lows of being married to a nutjob like me...I don't know how you do it. But I do know that I wouldn't be able to do it without you. You keep me grounded and sane (Well, kinda sane).

Watching what a great dad you are to our girls makes me want to be the best mom I possibly can. We have the parenting yin/yang down pretty well, I think, and I know we'll finesse it as the years go on and the challenges these two girls throw at us become a bit more troubling than "MY SOCKS HURT! I WON'T WEAR THEM!" and "Waaah waaah...refill my milk 18 times through the night...waah waaaaah!"

Who knew, when we first met and sat talking about cemeteries in Chicago and ghost stories and books we love, when we sat talking at Eden's Lanes all night, who thought this is where we'd be a half a decade later? I love that we still have nights when we sit up and talk about random ghost stories and hauntings (even though I've become a wuss about them since we had kids), politics, what's going on in the world, books, etc...

I love knowing now, at age 32, that I'll have a whole lifetime with you. A whole lifetime to do anything we want to do, to accomplish anything we want to accomplish. From the little things like expanding the garden to the big things like opening our own restaurant. As anxious as we always are for things to happen-right-now-! it brings me such comfort and ease to know that it doesn't all have to be crammed into one year, we have another 50 at least!!

It makes me so happy to know that we're on the same page with what we want for our life, for our family's future, for what we want to accomplish and who we want to be and who we hope our girls will be. That we both feel like staying in this tiny house will work, that we can make it work, if it means that down the line we can have a little more liberty to take some chances on BIG LIFE STUFF that can make us happy. That both of us have goals separate and outside of just our family unit that the other is so excited to see come to fruition.

So tomorrow, the 4 year mark, Wow. Sometimes I feel like it has flown by, and that our marriage, the US of our family, gets put on the back burner because of the kids, and work, and families, and crappy moods, because of time going so fast that all of a sudden a week passes and I realize we haven't sat down and had any time together to just catch up on things. But usually, overall -and this is how I know we are good together - it just feels right, just right. Like I've known you forever. That even things I would rather not have out in the open are out in the open and it doesn't make a lick of difference because you love me unconditionally. That you know everything about me that there is to know.

I love that we found each other. I love that we keep finding each other anew as time goes on. I love that we are growing together, and able to keep our own identities. I love that Rach once said that Neil "makes me feel like I can do anything" and I thought "wow, that sums it up, that is what a relationship should be!" I love that I found that with you, and I hope you feel the same for me.