Around Here: Week 34

{The whole Raatz family}
{Sister Roxanne, Brother Dallas, Mom, Dad, Me & Brother Dalton}

{Ready for the long drive home}

Working... on my school year goals (see: 100 small things) and making ways to keep track of my goals.  I am hoping to share more about this soon!

Reading... The Magician's Assistant (love it!) and listening to The Wonder (slow but with a surprising ending I loved), Small Victories (when is Anne Lamott not 100% inspiring?) and The Mind-Gut Connection (vowing to eat all the probiotic yogurt + nuts).  When I finish The Magician's Assistant, I will be moving on to A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (per Tabitha's suggestion).  I can't wait to dig in! (*associates links, I get a small kickback for sharing!)

Enjoying... time with my parents, sister & nephews.  I took the kids to Vancouver by myself (!!!) for the first time last week, and we enjoyed six days with family.  My favorite part of the week, by far, was the night our whole family was together: my older brother (& his girlfriend + her 2 kiddos), my sister (+ her two sons), my parents, and my little brother (& his girlfriend + their puppy) and my full grown nephew.  It made my heart happy we were all there together.
I also enjoyed watching my kids with my mom's three dogs (+ my little brother's new Scottie dog, Basil.)  They are all such animal lovers. It was sweet.

Freaking out... when Jack & Wyatt snuck outside at my mom's and looked at the sun during the eclipse after I specifically warned them not to. Being a mom of four means I simply cannot be everywhere all the time, and that is so challenging.  Thankfully I think the boys will be okay-- they just glanced up quickly and then ran back inside, but we definitely had a talk about obedience!!!

Shopping... for school clothes for the three boys with my mom, and picking up adorable things for Carly along the way.  Wyatt got sick of shopping and ended up in the stroller for one part of the trip. It was pretty funny!

Buying... some things at Ikea to make winter better here (hallelujah!).  I will share them as I get them set up.

Visiting... with my small group bible study girls from junior high/high school.  Those three girls are the salt of the earth.  Just so real, and so loving, and so beautiful, and so inspirational. I absolutely adore the time we spend together.  We have 12 (almost 13) children among us, and each of us has been blessed with at least one daughter.  I can't even tell you how much our conversation meant to me.  Our yearly get togethers are the highlight of my summer.

Meeting... my cousin's baby boy, Elliot.  He was so precious and watching my sister hold him gave me hope for the future of her family.

Driving... home from Vancouver with all four kids-- this time we hit traffic and had to deal with tantrums & fighting.  Once we arrived, I was so happy to be home.  Back to our regular schedule and out of the stinking car!!
I was shocked to arrive home to a brand new front window, door and light fixture.  Josh and his brother surprised me and put them in while the kids and I were out of town.  I can't wait to see the difference in our electricity bill, and love how much light pours in that new window. Not to mention how easy the windows are to open!!!

Doing... lots of laundry post vacation.  Between dirty clothes and new school clothes that need to be washed, the washer & dryer have been on full blast for four days!  I can't wait for school to start (next Wednesday) so I can get back to my awesome weekly schedule for laundry.

Experiencing... bad physical anxiety and health related panic after getting home from our trip.  I don't know if the pressure of taking care of them on my own is what got me down, or if I am having empathy-anxiety for my sister who just moved or my mom who's going to miss her, but I am a wreck.  Luckily (I guess?) I have been down this road before and know what I need to do.  I am going to bed on time each night (no matter how much stuff I have not gotten done) and I am trying to prioritize in a way that makes it easy to get through my days.  I am hopeful that after a week or two (and the boys in school) I will feel like myself again.  Currently my heart is pounding and my body feels shaky pretty much all the time. And I've developed an eye twitch that's pretty annoying.  I keep breathing deep and telling myself to stay in THIS moment. It's helping.

Rejoicing... that my sister moved to Wenatchee!!! She's so much closer to us now and I am ecstatic.  Our boys can't wait for cousin get togethers and new memories made now that we're both in central Washington.

Showing... the boys the stars last night on the trampoline.  Josh had originally agreed to sleep with them on the trampoline, but it's been clear at night, so it gets kind of cold.  We decided star gazing and telling some "spooky" stories would suffice. ("Spooky" usually turns into "naughty" with lots of fart-talk and giggling. Eye roll.  Boys! Ha!!)
It was one of the highlights of my summer and I'm so glad I put down my to-do list and joined them out there.  It's a memory I will cherish forever.



Holly said...

You are so brave taking them by yourself! I did a 7 hr trip alone when they K was 15 months and boys were bigger - I am not sure I would do it again! But how worth it to spend the whole week with your family. I bet your anxiety will settle down as school gets into a routine:)

Marilynn Raatz said...

I loved having you here!! It was so great to have everyone here together, and the pictures - I love them!! I am sorry you are having anxiety honey. I am so proud of you for handling it so well.