Monday, August 21, 2017

Jack and The Beanstalk - A Lesson in Parenting

With so many eyes pointing to the sky today -- Hello Solar Eclipse 2017 -- I thought I'd share a brief story of why my eyes have been pointing to the sky this summer. A lesson in parenting -- when Jack and The Beanstalk Summer Camp teaches me more ...

 Whew! Any mama's out there struggling near the end of summer to keep their kiddos away from the TV and out of the snack bowl?! I feel like we've reached our max capacity of snacking consumption and allotted screen time by 11am towards the final days of summer!  I started to see this pattern spiral as we were continuing to settle into the new house (95% complete by the way -- promise to update you soon!). So, I knew I need to make some plans and shake it up. 

Enter ~ theater camp at The Walden Theater. Mister Bennett is our intellect.  He is so thoughtful and meticulous. Loves to fully understand. Has an imagination like you wouldn't believe. And has always had a knack for make believe/re-creating/and performing. He loves to learn all of the words to a book or song and share them with whomever will listen (as long as he is in charge of how it's done). And love to play pretend (as long as you follow the rules). So, when I found a preschool theater camp in our area, I knew this was the perfect week for our mister B. 
We arrived on the first day with all of the essentials ~ a packed lunch, an extra drink, a nap mat for rest time, a laundry bin that would act as his cubby for the week to house his props and what not, and last but not least, a good attitude ready to take on the day!
 As the week went on we learned more about the camp and the idea of "Process Drama" and how this camp was teaching him to further explore his imagination the world of pretend. It was so fun and sometimes hard to hear him come home every day and tell me both good and bad what he had learned and how camp had gone.
It was hard for me to hear "bad" because this was summer! Summer CAMP! And supposed to be so much fun. And in some of his stories it was - he LOVED it. And in others ... it was not ... not what he thought, not what he loved, etc. And as a parent that's a weird spot with how to handle the situation. So finally, on Friday - his last day of camp the last hour was devoted specifically for sharing with families. We got to peak inside and see all of the things they had been doing all week.
 And he was so proud to show us! When I dropped him off that morning he couldn't wait to get inside and kept asking when we would be back to see the show.
 We all filed in to find our seats and then it began. The teachers led the introductions and the class ...



And we watched our little guy both participate ... and do some other things too! HAHA!
 And at the end of it all ... we gave him his "after performance bouquet" and a big kiss.
His cheering section is pretty amazing :)
Which leads me to this. This weird parenting revelation I had during his week away at summer camp. As Bennett continues to try new things and explore the outside world (both with and without me) I learn so much about myself. And mostly, I learn that being a parent is hard. When he comes home and tells me the low points of his day my heart breaks thinking how if I was there I could have changed the situation. And I realize me physically being somewhere will never solve ANYTHING - nor is it realistic. Letting go and teaching him at home, how to act when I am not around is hard on a momma's heart. And likewise, when he comes home and tells me the high points of his day, I also feel a tinge of guilt that I wasn't there to experience it and someone else was in my place. I have so much to learn, but more than anything I am forever grateful God has chosen me to be this little man's teacher and student. I am so grateful we get to do it together.

I think about the years to come -- and the idea that Kindergarten is so closely peering around the corner -- the idea that he will spend all day with a teacher I barely know and will forever now only offer me few details about his day moving forward. It's so easy to be afraid and sad as a parent. Wanting to protect every inch of our children. But I am working to fight fear with truth. Ever so thankful that the God who upholds his little life when he is inside our home, is the same God that cares for him when he's away from me at school or play. :)  It's hard. It's so very hard. But that truth is a bright spot and I am so thankful He holds him in hand.

I have so much to learn. So much growth is to come. But I am glad He is there to walk it with me. And this summer ... oddly enough I'm thankful Jack and The Beanstalk and all it taught me. Both to step away from the snack jar and also to remember to pray.

So as you look to the sky today to watch the beauty of His work unfold, or if you're struggling with your babies going back to school. Remember to pray. He is working and we must fight fear with truth.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Barbecue Stain

There was a time in my life I'm certain where I could hear a Tim McGraw song and not squeal like a twelve year old girl ... but ever since Hubs and I saw him and Kenny Chesney at an outdoor concert in Cincinatti, OH those days are long gone. The man literally is aging in reverse and is one of the only male humans that can wear the tightest black t-shirt on the plane with legit intentions to display "man-cleavage" because apparently that's a thing now ... and I don't bat an eye thinking that's the slightest bit odd. Holy Mackerel. 

A few weeks ago hubby and I hit the road for a much needed weekend getaway to see the Tim and Faith, Soul to Soul tour in our old stompin' grounds ... Nashville, TN! Sigh, I miss it there. The city, the people, the music, our friends, my routine, the excitement, the cranes, heck even the traffic, ha! But, either way I'm thankful it's so close and such a great getaway!

Our annual family reunion unfortunately happened to be on the same weekend as the concert (we bought the tickets forever ago -- when we had no idea we wouldn't be living in Nashville at the time) ... so the littles packed up and head to Cincinatti with my parents for the weekend. We had an unexpected date night Friday (we left Saturday am) - WAHOO!

We were having unseasonably AMAZING weather so Hubs and I hit up a great little patio here in town and had the BEST night. 

Then Saturday we hit the road - with nothing but Tim and Faith on the radio and tons of laughter in the air (that sounds so ridiculously cheesy, but really ....).


 One of my long time pals is the PR director for 21C Hotels so she hooked us up with a sweet room down on Broadway - thanks Holz - you're the BEST. And if anyone happens to go there and stay ... take my word for it and order the fried chicken bucket to your room. HOLY YUM.
 We changed up and headed out to go Honky Tonkin -- with one of our first stops naturally being the sushi car at Acme -- because duh it's so great.
 Then we hit up lots of our favorite staples - Tooties, Rippy's ... you know all the usuals :) and headed over to Bridgestone!
 Hubs was super excited because they sell Tin Man Brewing inside the arena ... it's the latest acquisition Falls City Brewing  has made (and the acquisition that has completely stolen my husband - whew! Hello giant workload!). But I'm super proud of him and the growth of this little beer brand!
 And then this happened and we were all smiling and singing the rest of the night.



I mentioned earlier we purchased our tickets FOREVER ago. They were running a special through our credit card and we had no idea where the seats were - they were just relatively cheap and we were down. And then near the end of the show - HOLY SMOKES they walked right in front of our seats! I was all fan girl Snapchatting -- but here are some screenshots.


 And just like that it was time to come home and snuggle these sweet kiddos. I love weekend getaways with my boyfriend, but coming back to these little things sure is sweet too!

All of that to say ... if you exist out there and don't sing along to "I had a barbecue stain on my white t-shirt" we cannot be friends :) 

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Sounds of Summer

Is there anyone out there that isn't staring at the calendar going "HOW IS ALREADY AUGUST?!?" We have been SO BUSY this summer and it's not slowing down anytime soon (insert sweaty distressed face emoji here).

We're getting settled in the new digs and sprinkling A LOT of life in between. Next week life should "sort of" getting back to normal so I hope to knock out a lot of "what we've been up to posts" ... like our first dinner in the new house...
Our recent (and most favorite) house guests....
Walking the new "hood"
And all of that fun stuff! In the meantime (while Lainey snoozes in the back of the car and brother is at summer camp) 
I wanted to pop in and say, Hey! We're here. We miss ya. And we're excited to get back our normally scheduled programming real soon.
Happy Friday friends!!