it’s a venti kind of Thursday

Every Monday and Wednesday, my husband (The Dude) teaches an evening class at a nearby college. I know! Our life isn’t busy enough so we threw another mound of crap on an already very full plate. But what started out as a work “I think you should do this” thing turned into “hey we could totally pay off this bill” thing. We obviously talked a lot about this before fully committing to it and decided we would try it out for a semester. And yes, I said “WE”. My Mondays and Wednesdays are now a whole lot more insane.

And they were pretty insane before.

I think since we live in a pretty constant state of busy, it’s almost like we don’t even notice when we throw another log on the busy fire. However, this week saw us have MANY scheduling conflicts and overbookings for things that were already scheduled way in advance. Which is fine. Sorta. It’s just that I am asking for help even when it’s hard to do so.

Yesterday was especially nutty. Luckily, my mom had Ramona and could hang out with her later than normal. I had gotten a ride for Beezus from her water polo game to softball practice (because logistics were impossible unless I only worked a half day) but I still needed to get her softball bag to her after leaving the office. Maybe it was lucky that we both got a little stuck in traffic, because that way we ended up at practice at the same time. As I called out my goodbye as she traded one backpack for another, I said “Hey! I’ll probably be late!” My response when she asked why? “Because my life is insane! And so is yours! Yay!” (I did have a smile on my face. Just thought I’d put that out there. It might have been an ironic, sarcastic type of smile.)

I took all the back roads as I headed home to try and avoid some of the traffic. Quick phone call to touch bases with Sarah on some important FP updates. Sang at the top of my lungs when I needed to. Pulled up to my house, knowing I would be leaving again in 15 minutes. My brother was there dropping off a chair (because, duh…doesn’t your brother drop off chairs on Wednesdays?) so a quick hello and an equally quick goodbye, and my mom (Ramona) and I were off to a family-type meeting regarding my brother’s wedding next month. A meeting I should’ve only stayed at for 20 minutes because Beezus would be done with practice soon. However, it was rather hard to leave right in the middle of plan stuffs.

So I asked for help. Again.

Wonderfully and thankfully for me, my dear friend (and another parent from the softball team) could cover for me. I was able to text everyone involved and soon enough, Beezus had a ride to their house while they waited for me to finish up. I didn’t stay too much longer, though. Just long enough for my sister in-law to call me Miss Perfect and long enough for me to be super sarcastic and crack jokes to people I didn’t know very well. (Totes normal!)

As I picked up Beezus from my sweet friend’s house, she said it sounded like the next few weeks were pretty crazy. I said yeah. She asked what she could do for me. (I love her.) I said, “Uh…THIS. This helped me a ton! Taking my child home with you saved the day.”

And then I said what I always seem to say:

I just need to get through September.”

But of course, I’m an idiot and wasn’t thinking about the aforementioned wedding next month.

“Uh. Just kidding. I just need to get through October.”

I know full well that I’ll be saying the very same thing in November and December. (Holidays. Duh.) But, for right now? Getting through the next 4-5 weeks is all I can focus on.

Now, you would think that our story would end with us heading home after that. But it doesn’t. Yes, we are as insane as you think we are, but we have family visiting from out of town (out of the country, really) and so we popped over to my in-laws to say hello while The Dude met us there. We only stayed for an hour, though…the kids had to get to bed. And I had to start a load of laundry because I really wasn’t sure what the clean underwear situation was. (Ahem. It was good I did laundry.)

Tonight doesn’t look a whole lot different, but I won’t make myself look more insane by telling you about that too. At least there is a lot less driving tonight, The Dude isn’t teaching, and I probably won’t have to start a load of clothes when I get home. However, I really should do the dishes that are beginning to pile up in the sink just in case we have company tonight after the family attends Beezus’ double-header softball games.

I’m terrible at not telling you things.

I also REALLY deserve this venti iced coffee.

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being a little more me…

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There are many (MANY) people in my “real life” that don’t know I have a blog. For the record, I hate the term “real life” because this blog is part of my REAL LIFE, but you get what I’m trying to say. There are friends that I’ve had for years that don’t know that I have a piece of internet real estate right here. There are family members that don’t know a thing about this. And I don’t know how to handle the possibility that they will.

I blog semi-anonymously. Mostly because of someone’s job, but also because I think I’m fairly protective of my on-line presence. I mean, I use MY real name. And my dog’s really name. But no one else’s. (Unless you have a blog of your own. Then all bets are off.) I usually don’t remember I’m a control freak. Until something like putting my website link on my Instagram account made me break out in a cold sweat. Because there are people in my life that follow me on IG that don’t know I have a blog. I like all of those people. What the hell is my problem?

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So then I try to remember why I even started writing and blogging in the first place. Because I had something to say. A story to tell. Words to share. I love reading other blogs because I’m fascinated by other people and their stories. I love creativity. I love learning. Why couldn’t it be possible that someone feels that way about what I’ve got going on here? (I’m not saying they do or they don’t. But the possibility is there. I think.)

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I feel like an asshole even writing this, but if I’m going to be honest…well, I’m going to have to be honest about this too.

Which also includes telling myself how stupid I’m being:

If any person I know in real life asked about any post that I wrote, I would be honest with them. Things they might learn about me that they might not know? I’m a mess when I think about my kid going off to college. I have bad days/weeks/months. I meet and work with some awesome people in this crazy internet world. I worry about my kids starting new schools. I love that damn dog more than I (sometimes) let on. I was a teen mom/college dropout. I love my family more than anything. Campfire Wednesday is my new favorite thing. I’m a hot mess when I think about my kid going off to college. (Yes, it deserves to be on the list twice.)

What is so wrong with people knowing this about me? I’m Jill. This is me and this is who I am. This website just might show a different side than they’re used to seeing. More than they bargained for at times. But…I mean, is that so wrong?

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Probably. Not.

I’ll try to stop being and idiot asshole tomorrow.

this is me. and the dog.
they who have real names

 

quote photo credits here.

I’m just hoping you’ll put up with me

I keep forgetting to tell you about all this free time I (apparently) should be getting. Or at least that’s the opinion of someone I know. So I wrote about it.

We all make choices in life. And, well…I guess I choose to be busy. I could say no more. I don’t have to spend quite so much time with my family. Sure, I might be able to cut down the amount of time I spend driving in the car if my kids didn’t play so many sports. I guess I don’t have to go to EVERY game.

But I choose to do all these things.

My “me time” is usually spent with the people that mean the most to me.

I also need to write an update on our Summer Challenge. And while we haven’t been perfect at it, we’ve also had some successes at just being better about eating at home. Sometimes it means thinking outside the box. And sometimes it’s all about NOT TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT. One of the best parts of the challenge is coming up with things to make that I wouldn’t have ever thought of before. And realizing that I’m a better cook than I give myself credit.

Ramona is getting better and better at sixth grade. And so are her parents. We went to Back to School Night yesterday and feel even better about all the awesome at her new school. She has amazing teachers, the school offers so much to her education…and it’s just feeling so much better than before. She even has someone to sit with at lunch sometimes. Which makes my mommy heart feel a little better.

Beezus starts her junior year tomorrow. I’ve taken to Facebook to apologize for being THAT mom. The mom that is a complete b00b about her kids growing up and OMG could I please knock that off? But, yeah…a junior in high school. Happening tomorrow. This is weird, you guys.

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And if starting her junior year wasn’t enough to ruin me, she also turns 16 this weekend. So, you know, I’ll be getting ready for the big event…and sobbing quietly in a corner.

But because I can’t leave you with the sound of me crying (thank goodness this blog doesn’t have sound) there has to be something fun. Back a million years ago…before blogs were really even a thing, Sarah used to post her current song on repeat. And this isn’t a hip, new song that everyone should know about…it’s the amazing George Harrison. And the song and I just got reacquainted. And it’s on repeat. My only explanation is that it makes me happy and I love singing along at the top of my voice. (Again, we’re grateful that there’s no sound here.)

Thanks for the happy, George.

our summer

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. The busy season at work. The all things moving and unpacking and settling in to the new house. We have a little break in most sports-related things.

But unfortunately, this also brings the ending of summer and lazy evenings and no homework. It’s time for us to go back to school shopping and figuring out new schedules and routines, especially in the new area. We have a new school to figure out…nerves are out in full force. We need to reevaluate our routes to work and to the school that didn’t change. There is drop-off and pick-up to worry about and fret about.

I mean…and then there’s just the regular life that keeps going on and on.

This isn’t new. This happens every year. I get very overwhelmed and anxious as we head into fall and a new school year. I feel regret for all the time I’m not able to spend with my kids because of the busy time at work. I worry about the upcoming school year…getting used to new teachers, expectations and schedules. Plus, there’s just so much to DO. It’s pretty much impossible to get everything done. But before I get lost in a sea of “what-ifs” and wishing some things could’ve been different, I want to remind myself of all the things that meant so much to me. I want to document the summer memories and traditions we started and loved, even when everything else was catawampus.

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The Move

Moving is hard. It’s hard to move away from a neighborhood and people you love and adore. It’s only 20 miles away, but it seems so far sometimes. And packing, and unpacking. And I haven’t even wrote about all that needed to be done to the house before we could move in. All the work we still have to do to clean up all the different messes the previous owner had made. But you guys? I love our new home. It is everything that I never thought I would ever have. My kids love it. The Dude and I love it. Paisley even loves it. (I can tell. I think.) I have this great space for the people that I love. We’ve already hosted several family events and get-togethers. I can’t help it…I absolutely love it. Which is good. Because that first mortgage payment is probably coming out of my account as I type this.

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Get-Togethers

One of the best parts of this summer is how much time we’ve spent with family. My sister was in town during the week we moved in to the new house. We had family visit from Mexico. It feels like we haven’t stopped with events and what-not, but it’s been amazing. Exhausting, but amazing.

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New Blogging Adventures

After all these years of quietly blogging and writing, I had never ventured to any sort of blogging conference. But this year, I actually went to two. I need to sit down and actually write about them, but for now I’ll just tell you that I’m so glad that I went to each of these conferences. Both events fell at the worst times to be heading to the Bay Area, but it all worked out.
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I also had the chance to work with and meet up with the lovely people from SodaPop PR and Tillamook and also attend the Sunset Magazine Celebration weekend. I had a blast meeting and getting to know so many wonderful people. These people are so wonderful.

 softball

Sports

Both of my kids had great softball seasons this year. Ramona had a wonderful regular season and then had a great run on the All-Star team. She did so great!! Beezus has done great with her high school team, and had a dang good season with her travel team. It was a lot of fun to watch both girls push themselves and to improve and grow. We honestly had a blast. And having wonderful parents on both teams was a HUGE bonus.
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Trip to UCLA

Back in June, we made a whirlwind of a trip to cheer on our dear, close family friend as she graduated (with honors, I might add) from UCLA. We had such a great time celebrating her accomplishments. So proud of her! I’ve been celebrating her accomplishments since she graduated preschool, and I have loved being there for all these big milestones! And, I’ll be honest, I was surprised at how beautiful the UCLA campus is. It’s STUNNING. So glad we were able to tour the campus and see the sights.

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Giants Game

Yes I realize they’re dead last right now and they kinda suck. But damn, we had good seats and had an absolute blast.

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Campfire Wednesdays

Here’s the thing: Campfire Wednesday saved my summer. From my parents’ backyard, I felt like we experienced summer even when the deadlines were looming, the move was happening, and the stress was ridiculous.

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I love my family. I love hanging out with my family. And creating this summer tradition was everything I needed to feel like we actually did have some fun this summer. I hope to enjoy a few more before we have to put away the marshmallow roaster sticks. Because I love everything about it and I’m not ready for it to end.

I’m having a hard time knowing that this time next week, Ramona will officially be back in school and that our summer will be on notice. Beezus heads back to school the week after that, so I feel like we have so much to accomplish in the next few days. And by accomplish, I mean have all the fun possible. Be lazy. Swim more. Eat more s’mores and ice cream. We really have so much to do!

And I kinda can’t wait.

The Post Where I’m Not Letting Myself Complain About My Week

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I never expected to love my kids like I do. I grew up always wanting to be a mom, but I don’t think I ever imagined what loving my kids could be like.

P&A

I always figured that I would love my husband…but I never figured that I would be miles away and just miss him so much because he’s my person and my safe place. I just…I just didn’t know it could be like this.

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camacho_0811  A&J

A&J

There’s no such thing as a perfect family, perfect children, or perfect marriage. I’m not going to sit here and prattle on about how perfect my life is. That type of perfection doesn’t exist. We have hard times. My husband and I are ridiculously stubborn and can be asshole jerks. My children can be spoiled rotten turd buckets who don’t listen. But even with all our imperfections, we have this family that is pretty damn rad.

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This week wasn’t my favorite. There were some wonderful and awesome moments, but the week as a whole was a bit stressful. It’s been stressful for quite some time. But when I sat down to write something, the words kept coming back to my family. They make everything worth it and okay. Even when they’re being…difficult.

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I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

family photo by sarah @ sarah maren photographers
family photos by sarah @ sarah maren photographers