I have sat down to write this post a million times and just became too overwhelmed. It has been almost a year since I last wrote. How on earth can I capture all that has happened in that time? I can't. And I feel incredibly guilty. I don't want those memories to be lost. It is getting harder and harder to know what I can write about as well. So many sweet, personal conversations my kids and I have that I would love to write down so that I can remember, but I also don't want to break their confidence in me. So many exciting and difficult things happening in their lives but some stories are not mine to tell.
I guess I'll start with my story.
I finished my first year in nursing school. I sat for my LPN board exams and passed. I am now back in school for my last year to get my RN associates degree. It is incredibly difficult, time consuming, and really, all consuming. Emotionally, mentally, physically. All of it. I question my decision to continue on this path almost daily. Having this past summer with my kids is really making me feel bitter about being back in school. I am going to have to dig really deep to finish this year.
In being in nursing school there are things that have just fallen to the wayside. A perfectly clean house is one of them. Taking care of myself is another. No more working out and running, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep. I am trying to do better in that area but there is just such a shortage of time. Because of that shortage of time this blog has also been neglected. I have missed writing about milestones, and vacations, and sweet conversations, and momentous events, and trying times, and all the millions of hilarious things my kids have said or done. It makes me so very sad.
So here I sit, trying desperately to come up with a way to write about all the hundreds of moments I missed writing about in the last 10 months.
I can't do it. It's impossible. But I must start somewhere. And so for my heart, and my sanity, I'll try my best.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were both lovely. Filled with lots of food and family. After Christmas we went up north to the cabin for our typical week of skiing. Grace finally felt comfortable venturing around the hill and we were all skiing together as a family for the first time. It was a blast.
As a Christmas present we got the kids tickets to their first Bucks game. It was so much fun. The new arena was amazing and the game was fantastic. I love gifts that are more about experiences than stuff and this was a good one.
The winter months were long and cold and full of tons of snow. We had a lot of snow/cold days when school was cancelled. It was an icky winter and a blah spring. The boys all had their birthdays in February in March and turned 16, 14, and 12. The kids' spring break and my spring break from school doesn't match up so once again we couldn't really do anything. The kids went up north to the cabin with Todd for their spring break and I stayed home and went to school. However, because of no spring vacations Todd and I were intent on planning a fabulous trip that we could take as a family in summer.
In May Tommy and his 8th grade class took their class trip to Washington D.C. It was an amazing trip for him. Very memorable.
In June Tommy graduated from 8th grade after eleven years at the same school. At graduation he was awarded the Christian Leadership Award for demonstrating and living Christianity. Very proud mama.
About a week after the kids were out of school we took our much anticipated summer trip. Twenty years ago Todd and I took a friendly trip to London and Paris that changed our relationship and the course of our lives. We decided to go back to London and Paris and this time take our 4 children with us. It was amazing
It was fantastic to have the kids finally meet our wonderful friend, David, whom they had heard so much about.
It was a trip of a lifetime. I don't think any of us will ever forget it.
(Grace and I trying to figure out how to work this washing machine. It was making weird noises.)
It is incredibly difficult to find accommodations for a family of 6 but we managed to find a beautiful flat located right in Notting Hill. We loved it. It was really hard to leave.
When we got back home it was back to school (for me- I had an online class for summer to lighten my fall load) and back to work. Joe had just gotten his first job at Menards working on loading and unloading (heavy lifting). When we weren't working and studying we were swimming, going up north, and lazing around. It was a nice summer.
We also managed to make a trip to Madison. We just love that city and it was so fun walking around there for the day.
We even managed to go to the zoo. The last time we were at that zoo was over 10 years ago. My how time flies.
Joe also got his driver's license. Very exciting stuff. A job, a girlfriend, a license. The kids was having a great summer.
Right before her 10th birthday Grace got her braces on. Before she could get her braces she actually had to have 4 adult molars pulled because of her extremely tiny mouth. Poor kid. She handled it like a champ. She is a tough kid.
For her 10th birthday she was adamant that she did not want a big birthday party like her brothers had. Instead she wanted a day at the waterpark with her family. So that is what we did. The next day Grace and I had a little campout in a tent in our backyard. I think it was a pretty good birthday for her.
Before we knew it summer was coming to an end. It was back to school. Now I have two kids in high school and two kids still at the grade school. 11th, 9th, 7th, and 5th grades.
These two are so happy to be going to the same school again. Here they are on the first day of high school together and the first day of kindergarten and 3K.
These two are the only ones left at our beloved grade school. Aww.
Now we are back into the swing of things again. In the thick of it, I should say. Tommy and Ben are in football. Grace is in dance. Joe just made varsity for cross country.
Life just keeps flying by. I'm doing the best I can to try and keep up but I feel I just keep lagging behind. I'm hoping to do a much better job documenting my family's daily life so that when I am old and gray (alright, I'm already mostly there) I can come back and read how magical and lovely and hard and fabulous and trying and wonderful this life really was.