Week 36 Around Here {2019}

(Logan, Adam's son Brent, and Jack)

The whole gang
Carly LOVED Nate's sweet dog Gabby

Hearing... someone say there are 12 weeks left this year and that's a great amount of time in which to start a new habit, to help you go into the new year with some of your goals already in motion.  I really like that idea!

Taking... the kids to Silverwood Theme Park on Saturday with the tickets they earned after reading over 600 minutes each last spring.  The weather was hot and it was crowded, but we made the best of the day anyway and had loads of fun.  Carly was, hands down, the most enthusiastic.  She was also sure she could go on every ride (even Panic Plunge) and was so sad whenever we told her no. (Sister is FEARLESS!) The boys fought over who got to take her on her rides, which warmed my mama heart to no end.  They're so good to her.
Logan, like Carly, is fearless, whereas Jack is more cautious.  Wyatt, like his mother, will get on a ride and then, as it's going, second guess whether that was a good idea or not.  Hah!  Luckily on nearly every ride he had Josh with him to talk him down and remind him to have fun.

Sticking... close to home Sunday after canceling our lake plans.  Josh wasn't feeling well (at all! poor guy!) so I worked on unpacking bit by bit while keeping track of the kids and checking on him periodically.  I got the towels unpacked and the linen closet organized while Josh slept.  I was super proud of myself when I built Carly's new scooter all by myself (!) so she could ride with her brothers.  Normally I reserve those kinds of jobs for Josh.

Listening... to The Last Romantics on Overdrive and really enjoying the storytelling.  Sometimes I feel like listening to a story is cheating (like it shouldn't count as reading) but lately I've been noticing how much I really enjoy my time when I am listening to a good story, and I have decided to do away with the guilt of not "reading" it, and just luxuriate in the deliciousness of a well told tale.

Reading... Eden's Outcasts for book club and struggling to get into it a bit. It's been hard to have a long stretch of time to really dig my teeth in.  Luckily we extended this one into next month, so I have a little more time to get there.  The book is about Louisa May Alcott and her dad, so the content is interesting to me... it's just not a page turner necessarily.

Praying... for my goddaughter Ilya whose aunt passed away after a tubing accident on the river.  It's a devastating loss for her personally (and her whole family), but also for their community where her aunt was so beloved.

Spending... Memorial Day at Josh's cousin Nate's house.  Nate and his wife Dunette have two kiddos and they invited Josh and Nate's other cousin Adam and his wife and their eight kids over as well, and we had the most fun catching up and letting the kids all play together.  Adam's kids and ours look SO much alike it's eery, and I love talking to Dunnette because she's so super real about motherhood. It was a great way to close out the summer, spending time with family.  Thanks again for hosting, guys.  It was so fun!!!

Getting... a phone call asking me if I had a cat.  I said, "Yeeees...." sort of slowly as Les, my "neighbor" (over two blocks away) explained that his wife had been looking out their back window when she saw a cat in their koi pond drowning and ran out to save it.
Turns out our boy cat George had gotten out when Logan was taking the garbage out that morning and had somehow made his way from our house to Les's house, two blocks (and then some) over and gone fishing in his koi pond, not bothering to determine how he'd get out after he caught the fish.  I rushed over to their house and found a soaking wet, very sad George in the grass on their side yard.  I brought him home, rinsed him off in our extra deep kitchen sink, feeling grateful for the sprayer this faucet has and rubbed him dry in a clean towel.  He definitely used one of his nine lives that time.

Enduring... total chaos everyday after school.  We are still in that "Sign All The Things/No Routine/Where Does Stuff Go?" part of school starting that comes when you have also moved the week school started.  It's ugly, people.  Add to that that the twins have started middle school (seven classes, each/fourteen total) and I am easily the most overwhelmed I have ever been at the start of school.
I keep wishing I could just video-montage my way through September and land somehow mid-October when all the papers are signed, all the routines are memorized and all the boxes are unpacked.  Instead I just keep plugging away, day after day, doing what I can on top of the regular daily life that often takes all my time.  (Dishes, feeding, laundry, cleaning... to name a few)

Loving... Jack's new loft bed that came on Tuesday!  Logan slept underneath Jack's desk, even though it's a loft bed and not a bunk bed since Logan's came a day later.  We are so happy with them.  They were my friend Shana's brain child and they have doubled the square footage in the boys' bedroom.  I can't wait to share pics of their finished room when we wrap it up next week!

Enjoying... how Carly plays with her new instruments with her stuffed animals.  A couple times this week I found her stuffed animals set up like a band, each with instruments to play, and whenever we go anywhere she wants to bring her music with her in her purse.  It's so cute!  Especially since Jack joined band and actually got a real trumpet and has to practice, so she's doing a lot of mimicking & practicing with him.  It's precious.

Finally... watching Season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale after being unable to watch all summer with the kids home.  I am riveted, wondering what is going to happen with June, Nicole and Aunt Lydia. Gah. It's all so consuming!

Also watching... "I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye" which was... well, I can't find the words for it...  It was validating, and sad, and proved in a way that what I felt was real.  (You can watch it free here) It confirmed that the Purity movement was not all it was cracked up to be and that many were hurt by it.  You can read Josh Harris' statement here- and I will admit that I did cry during the film when he apologized for any harm his book may have caused.  I personally was made to feel like an infatuated, over-the-top, boy-crazy harlot by the leaders of my church simply because I had a lot of crushes and wanted a boyfriend during a time when the church was encouraging us to give up dating, and to save not only sex for marriage, but also kissing and even handholding.  Looking back, I wish I could give 15 year old Shelly a hug and tell her what an amazing girl she was- how Godly and kind and good.  Instead I repeated the message in my head of "not enough" "not enough" "not enough"...  Especially when it came to holiness.  It makes me sad.
You can watch his TedTalk about admitting when we are wrong here.  It's so good.  It's been very healing to dive into this and explore some of these feelings that I had in my youth and that I still have today about how my religion shaped my sexuality.  It's all quite bizarre.

Organizing.... the house in some places while others remain in mass chaos.  For instance, I got the spice cupboard done this week, which is great for cooking; but I didn't get the desk done, which means it's pretty chaotic when I sit down to check my email or blog.

Sending... Carly off to Grandma School on Thursday, where she was overjoyed to work on her "ABC's and math". (That's what she told Logan she was going to do.)  Josh's mom has her for the whole day on Thursdays so I can have a day to myself, and I cannot even tell you what that day does for my mental well being.  Knowing I have an entire day to myself during the week, to do with whatever I please, is like being handed $1,000 every week.  It's priceless.  Plus, it's the highlight of Carly's week, too, so it's win/win!

Closing... out the week with some amazing pizza and a quiet Friday evening with my guys (Josh and his brother Samuel) which was just what I needed after a whirlwind of a week.  Here's hoping things settle down a little more for us next week.



Week 35 Around Here {2019}

Our new digs

Cunningham Family :: First Home :: 2016
Cunningham Family :: First Home :: 2019
{So sad to leave our first watermelon!}

{One last tomato harvest!}

Goodbye kitchen...

Goodbye dining room

Wyatt's New Room

Jack & Logan :: 2011 :: Preschool

Starting... Week 35 in our NEW house!  We woke up Saturday morning (8/24) in our new house in our new neighborhood, ready to finish moving the rest of our stuff from the old house.  I am pleased to say that we all slept really good in the new digs, and it has instantly felt like home to us.

Finishing... moving the last of our things and returning the moving truck on Saturday afternoon.  Our kids were the most incredible helpers, making trip after trip from the truck to the house and back.  It felt surreal to walk around our empty house, knowing we would never be back.  It felt good to take a minute to say goodbye, though, and thank the house for all the memories it held for our family.

Cleaning... our old house for the new owner.  I worked really hard along side my friend Shana and we had it shining for her.

Driving... our cats from one house to the other, and hearing their most ridiculous sadness from the backseat.  They cried and cried on the quick drive, and were quite happy to be set free in the new house. They took a few days to fully adjust, but were happy to find the kids' beds at bedtime and seem to have settled, thankfully.

Enjoying... my first shower in days.  I've been working so hard at moving, I honestly couldn't remember the last time I had bathed. (gasp!)  So on Sunday I took the most luxuriously long shower in ages and felt like a totally different person when I emerged.

Grateful... for all the help we had moving.  Josh's parents helped- his mom watched the kids and his dad used his truck to help us move stuff; our nephew helped; his brother helped; so many of my friends helped; and my parents came to help.  While they were here, my dad put together the Ikea dressers they bought for Wyatt and the twins' rooms, and my mom helped me unpack and organize the entire kitchen so we would be ready for school to start (Wednesday)!!  We seriously could not have done all we did without so many helping hands.

Caring... for a very sick Carly Monday night as she woke me up crying.  I went into her room and she held her hands up to me in the dark, saying her teeth were all falling out.  As I turned on the lamp, I realized that what she thought was her teeth falling out, was actually vomit.  Lots and lots of vomit.  So I spent the night in her room with her, helping her throw up in the bowl every few hours.
The following morning she told me that her ears felt funny because a few days ago she had put beads in them.  Sigh. It's always something, right?  We managed to get her in for a same-day appointment and the doctor had a look.  One ear was obviously clear (thank goodness) but we had to flush the other one to make sure.  In the end, there were no longer beads in either ear, but a long afternoon spent at the doctors office telling her (over and over and over again) that we do not put anything in our ears. (Shout out to my friends Crystal and Kara for having the boys while I took Carly to the doctor so I didn't have to take them all with me.  You two are the BEST!)
Carly continued to be sick off and on for three days, but by the end of the week she was finally well.  Hallelujah!

Missing... out on any last minute summer fun because of Carly's sickness.  We had plans to go to the water park one last time, but because of Carly not feeling well, we had to stick close to home instead.  I felt super bad for the boys, but they were really good sports about it for the most part.
Not being able to go play did have one silver lining, and that is that I was able to do all the (million) things required for the boys to start school- figuring out bus routes, new school schedules (both the twins and Wyatt will be at new schools this year), purchasing school supplies, giving fresh haircuts and turning in medical as well as other important forms to the office.  It felt like a LOT.

Attending... Wyatt's Open House to meet his teacher and see his new school.  I think attending that reduced his first day anxiety and I am so glad we had the opportunity to do that before school started.  His teacher is great, loves art and projects (which is right up Wyatt's alley) and also has a husband who is a teacher. :)

Sending... the twins off to their first day of middle school.  I still cannot believe they are 11 and done with elementary school.  It's mind blowing.
Sending... Wyatt off on the bus for the first time.  He asked that I not go with him all the way to the bus stop (that was full of kids) so Carly and I stayed on our corner and just waved at his bus when it drove by.  A tiny part of me may have been sad... but honestly, mostly I am just crazy proud of how far this kid has come.  In kindergarten the counselor had to PEEL him off me, screaming and crying, as I walked briskly away, knowing that was the best thing I could do for him.  It was HARD.  So having him be so independent and confident now is the biggest blessing for my mama heart.
I ended up having to pick Logan up early from school because he wasn't feeling well (he caught what Carly had) but otherwise, everyone's first day went really well.

Relishing... the quiet of one child on Wednesday morning when only Carly was home and all her brothers were (finally) at school.  I blogged and then unpacked, as we are still (slowly, but surely) settling into the house.  I have missed having quiet moments to myself, and am very much looking forward to a slower pace around here now that the boys are all in school again.

Doing... too much on Thursday (with Logan home sick) and ending the day very grouchy.  I was overworked and overtired and the kids seemed extra needy, and it was just a very, very bad combo.  I was snappy and crabby and desperately needed some sleep.  Once I got the kids down, I took a bath, which helped a lot, and then I went to bed early.

Celebrating... Friday when all three boys were at school all day long and Carly and I had the day to ourselves.  We started the morning with fresh haircuts (we both cut our hair to our chin) at the "salon" Carly will tell you.  I absolutely LOVE Carly's haircut and am really happy with mine as well.  It was time for something fresh and I feel great.

Picking... up a trumpet for Jack for band after school Friday.  I am in a little bit of denial about the fact that he's in band and we are all going to have to listen to him practice playing the trumpet all year long... but I think that's okay.  I can just take things one day at a time right now.  Perhaps that is for the best.  ;)