The Boys are Coming Home, and a New Season of 2018 is Arriving

Hi Friends!

I cannot believe it–two weeks from today is the first day of the 2018-2019 school year. The boys will be home from their dads in 10 DAYS! Honestly…where on earth has this summer gone?! There were so many things that I wanted to do this summer, and the heat all through the month of June and early July stopped me from some of them. The outside of my windows have yet to be washed, and I still have not gotten around to cleaning out the gutters on the front of the house. I think I’ll just move those chores to my fall to-do list…

The Goals

I had a read and watch list for the summer. Well…I finished two of the five shows I had selected, and two of the six books. However, I also watched two new shows that weren’t on the list, and read four additional books. And I’m a few chapters into two more books and on season two of two more shows. I may not have checked all of my boxes, but I would call it a win! And you better believe I’ve been outdoors and spent time out with friends a-plenty!

Read:

  • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  • In Process — The Sound and the Fury by William Faulker, and Girl, Wash your Face by Rachel Hollis

Watched:

  • 13 Reasons Why
  • Full House
  • Queer Eye (the new Netflix series)
  • In Process — Family Matters and Handmaid’s Tale

The Garden

As for my garden… Can I just choose no comment? Seriously though…it’s been a bit of a bust this year. The squirrels have momentarily left my tomato plants alone, no doubt because they had stolen all of the tomatoes so there were none left for them. I have a few small green tomatoes finally back on the vine, but I’ve given up hope that any of them will reach maturity before becoming a furry thief’s dinner.

The green beans are dwindling now, and the container potatoes were honestly a bust. I dumped the large container when the plants started to die off, and I had literally just a handful of very small potatoes out of that whole container. As for the garden plot…I barely got anything. Until the crabapple tree comes down, I’m not even going to waste my time planting anything else there. There’s just too much shade. The watermelon and pumpkins have neither one had enough sun to grow. The vines are only a couple of feet long and producing nothing but some flowers. I sadly need to accept the fact that gardening is going to be a struggle in my yard due to the large trees in my neighbors’ yards that I can do nothing about.

The Kids

Another brand new year of my children’s lives is about to begin. Hunter is going into eighth grade, and Logan is going into sixth. It will be their last year of Junior High and Middle School. That means next year…I will have a high schooler. A high schooler!! How on earth is that even possible?! In five years, Hunter will be grown and starting college. I cannot grasp how quickly these years are flying by. I know five years will be here and gone so quickly I’ll barely have time to hold on. You better believe I will be cherishing every single moment while I can.

To bring the focus back into the present…the boys are coming home and bringing with them a brand new challenge. That’s right friends, they aren’t even home yet and they have me back in full-on “tackle this” mom mode. Every summer, Hunter gains around 15-20 pounds. In 10-12 weeks, he puts on around 15% of his body weight. The biggest culprit of the weight gain, from what I can get out of them, is the fact that they are drinking several sodas a day while they are gone, which is something I don’t even keep in the house and only allow them to drink once or twice a month when we go out to eat.

This summer, in addition to Hunter gaining 15 pounds, Logan has also gained around 10 pounds. This is a first for him. He has my fast metabolism, so he might gain a few pounds, but then loses it quickly when he comes home and isn’t drinking soda or eating junk anymore. I’m hoping that his weight gain is partially because he’s due to grow a few inches vertically soon.

At any rate, as soon as they come home I’ll have them kicking it into high gear with an ultra-healthy diet and daily exercise routine. I’m going to start them off with a sugar detox. Aside from a serving of fruit per day, there will be zero other sugar allowed for at least two weeks. I have faith that will help knock the weight back off quickly and get my kiddos back to being healthy and strong. My biggest concern is whether all of the clothes that I bought them in the spring will still fit for back to school. Wish me luck!

The Personal Life

August is always a placeholder month for me. It is the link that connects Summer to Fall, building anticipation for my favorite season of the year. It almost seems morbid to have a love for Fall, a season when everything is dying and turning inward for the cold and darkness that lies ahead. But there is so much beauty in the closing of a season to prepare for the birth of something new. It’s the one season of the year that makes me feel like opportunities for growth abound. Everything around me is going dormant, but I feel like I’m being broken open and cast back into the world, vulnerable and accepting of new things.

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This fall I’m planning something fun for my friends. October is my favorite month, and 13 is my lucky number. This year October 13th is a Saturday, and I couldn’t let that pass without taking advantage of an opportunity. I’ve recently had my eyes forced open to the importance of friendship, and even more to the importance of unselfishly caring about and appreciating those friends. Too often we look at people in terms of how they make us feel, and I want to change that perspective. I want the focus to be on how I am making them feel.

So I’m planning a party for my friends! I ordered custom invitations that I’m going to mail like the good ol’ days before Facebook made everything digital. I’m going to cook for them and gift them with small trinkets of appreciation, with one goal in mind–to make them feel welcome. Welcome in my home, and welcome in my life. I want them to know that they are appreciated and loved and wanted, not for what they do for me or how they make me feel, but simply for being who they are.

Sometimes we go through hard times in life. Things happen to us that we don’t expect and catch us completely off guard. I feel like you can do one of two things in those situations–either let it sink you, or let it shape you. I’m choosing to do the latter. Instead of bitterness and sadness, I’m choosing empathy and love. For the remainder of 2018, one word will define my goals: selflessness.

So here’s to the start of a new school year. A new season just around the corner. And another new chapter of life.

Love,
Loren

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