Last-Time Kindergarten Mom

It seems that much of the country goes “back to school” long before us. Weeks ago, my Facebook feed was inundated with first day pics, pretty Pinterest-inspired teacher gifts,  and this blog post was shared several times over.

It was lovely, very well-written, and I may have shed a tear or twenty. But…BUT…what about me?

This is not my first time at the rodeo. I dropped my first-born off at kindergarten three years ago, and it was terrible. He was so little. (Think I’m kidding? I had to buy size 3 pants for his school uniforms.) He was so scared – when we told him he’d be staying at school all day, he took that completely literally. The poor little guy thought he’d never get to play with his toys or sleep in his bed again. I’m so thankful we figured out the problem before he cried himself to sleep the night before school started. Even the dog stood staring out the front window all day long, trying to figure out where his boy had gone.

Even though I left a piece of my heart at the elementary school that day, I still got to bring another little piece back home with me. I still had a little companion to take care of, to take shopping, to feed, to pick up after, and to talk to.

School starts in just two days, and this time, I’m dropping my last baby off at kindergarten. And this, my friends, THIS is already harder.

I’ve put a brave face on it, talking about how great it will be to go grocery shopping alone, how wonderful it will be that I can clean the house without a tiny tornado destroying everything right behind me, how much I will be able to accomplish in those six blissful hours that I will be alone every day.

But if I’m honest, it’s me who is completely terrified this time. I’m closing the door on a big chapter in my life. Yes, life with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is challenging, but it’s all I’ve known for the last eight years. And I have loved it. Preschoolers are just about my favorite thing in this whole world. Short of a big OOPS!, I will never hold a baby of my own again, and this is the last time I’ll walk one to their first day of kindergarten.

I’m not as worried about my little one this time around. Kindergarten teachers are special people, y’all. I am pretty sure God hand-picks them. I know my girl will be well cared for. And she’s ready. Boy, is she ready. I gave her a taste of freedom this summer – letting her run and play outside without hovering over her every move. She has loved every minute of it. It’s bittersweet, seeing that she doesn’t really need me all the time anymore.

I’m anxious and excited to see what this next chapter of motherhood is like and how having TWO elementary school kids looks at our house. But if you see me on Wednesday, it’s probably best to silently give me a hug or pass me a tissue. I can already tell you how I’ll be doing, and it won’t be pretty.


North Dakota Sunflowers

A little something a didn’t know about before I moved to North Dakota? The sunflowers. There are fields and fields of them all around us in this part of the state. I can’t actually tell you about everywhere else, as I haven’t left Minot since June. But here, you can’t drive anywhere without seeing them right now. They are beautiful.

I mean, I knew sunflowers are beautiful. I’ve seen a few of them here and there in my lifetime, but I had no idea how incredible it is to see an entire field of them. The kids and I finally went out and find some to take photos of yesterday. When we started out, I was afraid we wouldn’t have much luck. The first few fields we visited, the flowers were already looking droopy and sad.

Not to worry. We found some good sunflowers before it all was said and done.


Oh, look! There’s an adorable little girl out there, too!

Frolicking in sunflowers isn’t for you if you are afraid of bees. They’re everywhere!


There are no pictures of the boy. He didn’t want to get out of the car.


I’m glad I remembered to bring my LensBaby. This photo is my favorite. That isn’t a filter – the lens actually bends the light to make the image blurry. It’s so cool!

Now that we’ve seen the sunflowers up close and personal, my summer 2014 bucket list is complete. School, you may commence. In a week.

Eleven Days of Summer

Ferris WheelSummer. It wasn’t that long ago that I sat in this very spot, wondering how on earth we’d fill such an expanse of time. Now, there are only eleven days left until school begins again.

We have had a good summer, filling our days by playing outside, riding bikes, making new friends, swimming (but not much, since we’ve had pretty mild weather), sharing picnics, eating LOTS of popsicles, traveling (a little), going to the fair, eating s’mores, enjoying fire pit evenings with friends, and many more “summer things” than I can list. Summer things are more special to us now, since so much of the year, we’re confined indoors doing winter things.

The beginning of school will soon usher in fall. Pumpkins and football will transition us into cold, snow, and wooly socks. Hot cocoa will replace our popsicles. Snow pants and sweaters will replace our shorts and swim suits. Sooner than I would like, if I’m honest.

For now, I have eleven days to cram full of wonderful summer things. We still need to find a field of sunflowers to frolic in. We may need to eat another box of popsicles, too.

And Ellen, just in case you’re reading…SPRINKLE!

I fell off the wagon.

OK, so I didn’t completely fall off. I haven’t quit running altogether. But that training program I chose for November? It was pretty ambitious, especially for someone who practically took a running hiatus all winter. I am officially switching to the “finish in the upright position” plan. Time improvement. Ha! What was I thinking?


I am not, however, ashamed of my mileage for July. Don’t make fun of me. Yes, I still use a paper calendar. I need visual reminders of what I’ve got going on, without having to get into my phone or computer. I started writing my mileage for the day in a bright yellow highlighter so I could see how well/horribly I’m doing. 42 miles, y’all. Not too shabby.

I haven’t done a long run over 6 miles yet. On the old plan, I should be running 9 for my long run this week. On the new plan, next week I should be at 6.5, so I’m right on track. I feel certain this will all be much easier to accomplish once the kids start school in a few weeks. I’ve just got to hang in there until then.