Come August, I find myself looking back over the summer and wondering, "Where the heck did it go?" (Sorry if that word offends anyone, it just emphasizes the strength of my statement. :) This year is no different.
What did I plan to do this summer? Organize a room a week. Make a new recipe each week. Lose 10 pounds. Read the Bible in 90 days (that was our church's challenge to us). Redo the girls' room. Exercise regularly.
Well, I did attempt the room thing but didn't hit every room in the house. Really, just a couple rooms, and even then, not thoroughly. I did make a few new recipes, but there were weeks we were doing good to get dinner made at all (like swimming lesson week). 10 pounds? I don't think I lost one. I have avoided the scales, so I can't say for sure. The Read the Bible in 90 days was ruined in the first couple of weeks. For one thing, the schedule started at the end of school. I was in complete survival mode and couldn't read 15 chapters at a time. By the time I was done with school, I was so far behind, there was nothing I could do. And while you would think I would have more "quiet time" in the summer, I actually do better during the school year when I am on a schedule. The girls' room? Well, not doing it was partly them, partly me. I will not do anything to it until I can see they are serious about taking care of it. 'Nuff said about that. :) Finally, exercise? On occasion. I have a hard time exercising when it is really hot outside.
My first instinct is to fret over what I didn't accomplish. It is easy to put myself down for failing. I feel like a big failure. I had goals, and I didn't accomplish them. Trust me, I have thought these things many times. I have beat myself black and blue over it.
Then about a week ago, I thought to myself, "If I didn't do those things, what DID I do?" I started to formulate a list in my head...
- I stayed on top of laundry. In fact, I think I washed, folded, and put away more laundry this summer than I do in a typical school year (thanks to a very helpful hubby). I am actually kind of hoping I can do that this school year too by following Fly Lady's plan of a load of laundry a day. We will see how that goes.
- I visited Las Vegas for the first time. I walked the Strip. I saw the lights. I visited the M and M store (which was one of my favorite parts!). I saw Cirque du Soleil: Ka for the first time.
- I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. There are no words, no photos that do justice to that amazing scene!
- I rode in a Hummer for the first time. (part of our Grand Canyon tour)
- I took our oldest to his first summer camp. Well, took him to the church where they departed. It was MUCH harder than I anticipated.
- I picked child 2 up from basketball camp. I am thankful for her daddy for taking her. It is difficult to get everyone up and going just to take one child to activities.
- I made breakfast (some days easy, some days a little more elaborate) pretty much every day for five of us except Sundays. And lunch.
- I organized our "office supply" drawer in the kitchen.
- I went for a bike ride with child 1. We didn't make it far because it was VERY hot out. But it was a start!
- I had my first snow cone from a shaved ice place. (We usually just make our own snow cones around here :)
- I went through a Mommy/Daughter Bible study this summer with child 2. It was very good, but WAY out of my comfort zone.
- I organized about three years of memorabilia from the kids' birthday parties, school highlights, etc.
- I packed a week of clothes/shoes/hair accessories for child 3 to spend time with Meme and Papaw in Mississippi.
- I planned, prepared, and held the girls' family birthday party.
- I bought and wrapped 10+ gifts for each child to open on our vacation.
- We traveled to Gulf Shores, AL for our week at the beach, oil and all.
- I visited the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola for the first time.
- I climbed 177 steps up (and then back down) on a trip to a lighthouse...another first for me.
- I toured the USS Alabama. I lost track of how many steps that involved!
- I visited a "fort".
- I saw stingrays swimming under me on the pier.
- I hiked about four miles, parts of it in the rain, on a sandy trail in brand new shoes...big mistake!
- I witnessed oil clean up on the beach right outside our townhouse.
- I took and picked up child 1 from sports camp four days a week for three weeks (Mark did do it a few times).
- I renewed my library card. We also made a few trips to the library.
- We fed the ducks at the "duck park".
- We survived swim lesson week...hopefully my last in the water for "Mommy and Me" as well as witnessing our first swim team graduate. I am proud of him but do rejoice in some of the glory since I have taken him to lessons every summer since he was six months old.
- I organized photo vocabulary cards for my classroom AND made a database of them.
- I signed a million papers (more or less) to refinance our house.
- I visited the Roaring River for the first time and watched my kids go down their first "waterslide".
- I finally visited my sister's house, new to me but no longer to them, in Kansas to deliver child 3 for a week of horse camp there.
- I cleared out a huge stack of magazines.
- I have played numerous games of Word Twist, Scrabble, and Words with Friends. Won some, lost some. (I feel like it helps keep my mind young. :)
- I saw a movie with my two big kids.
- I had a birthday.
- We had the cousins come over for a sleepover.
- I had a check up, which I only do every few years...
- I read three novels just for fun!
- We delivered several bags of extra stuff to Goodwill as we cleaned out clothes and cabinets.
- I bought and labeled almost all of the school supplies for four kids.
- I made and delivered lunch to our church interns.
- I tried new recipes (maybe not weekly but several anyway)...the Lasagna in a Bun is a new favorite!
- I researched dogs for a pet (takes a lot of research with our kids and my allergies) and decided that it is not in our best interest at this time to have one.
- I cleaned out the fridge and the pantry.
- I grew my hair a few inches...hopefully I am getting close to being able to cut it. It is driving me crazy!
- I vacuumed our air conditioning vents.
- I cleaned out and vacuumed the van. Not an easy chore. Unfortunately, it already needs to be done again!
- I cleaned out and organized my spices (and yes, they are alphabetized...much easier to find that way).
- I cleaned out our cups cabinet and got rid of a lot of our "baby" dishes. :(
- I changed child 4's crib to a bed, then a few days later, changed it back!
- Possibly saved a baby bird. I checked the nest tonight...saw TWO baby birds peering down at me! That made my heart feel a lot better.
- I had my first dinner at Hugo's with a friend. Yum, yum!
- I have already spent several hours in the classroom and at home preparing for the new school year.
Hmmm, I suddenly am not feeling like such a failure after all...
So, what did you accomplish this summer? Think about it. I bet you will find out you have done more than you thought! I know I have.