My Crazy Summer... home construction, playing chauffer and more!

Hello!  It's now July, and I feel this summer is both flying by and crawling at a snail's pace.  

I've spent the entire month of June under construction.  Now me, personally.  But my house.  My husband and I have been in our home since 2013.  We went bought it my biggest issue was 'the pantry'.  I mean it was small, like tiny.  It was less than 2x3ft.  And seeing as my family has 4 children, three of those being boys, it was definitely not big enough.

I had food and other sundries in the laundry room, taking up cabinet space in the kitchen, and the coat closet, no joke.  Yes, I had stuff that should be in the pantry in the coat closet.  It was quite frustrating for 4 years going into various rooms to make lunches for school.

Finally, we found an awesome contractor to work with, and the construction began.  Not only did we expand our pantry to triple the size, but we also closed in the formal living room made it into an office and separated the new office and formal dining room.  Check out Amthor Construction and talk to Dane Amthor.  He's awesome!!

I can't even tell how excited I am to have this finished!  It was a little bit of a living hell (for me) to live in a construction zone when I like everything clean, put away, and organized.  But now it's done, and I have an awesome pantry!

Now the pantry, office and dining room is done!  I have an actual office with a separate desk and computer from my husband (yeah!).  I love my husband, but having to share a computer and desk with him drives to a little nuts.  Especially when I have to work and he has to work (cause he's in the tech industry), it didn't work out well.  Now, we have separate desk and computers, and I'm a very happy wife.  Anyway, I'm still here and alive!

Between the construction, the kids being home for summer, being a chauffer between camps, activities and general summer stuff, I'm not just getting time to sit down and write.  And I can't begin to tell you how much I've missed writing and blogging.

I'll be back soon with more writing and more wit!

I can't be the only one with a crazy summer going on.  Tell me how your summer has been!
Have you gone on vacation?
Are you at home with your kids?
Are you like me and have been playing chauffer?

 

One of the many lunches we ate upstairs while the construction was going on.

One of the many lunches we ate upstairs while the construction was going on.

It's moments like these I wish I could bottle up and review when I hear them fighting.

It's moments like these I wish I could bottle up and review when I hear them fighting.

Proof we did make it to the pool a few times!

Proof we did make it to the pool a few times!

Trip to Rome, Italy!

I'm really behind on sharing these photos!  My awesome husband took me to Rome, Italy back in October 2017.  We went with my brother and brother-in-law.  We had an amazing trip!

I stepped out of my comfort zone and focused on street photography.  I photographed all the big landmarks and all the interesting stuff I was able to find on side streets and all over the city.  We hit all the tourists attractions like the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, several fountains, and Vatican City.  We also just walked around Rome and did our best not to get hit and run over by the crazy moped drivers (and there were a lot!).

And the food!  Oh Italian food is spectacular!  I highly recommend going to Rome just to eat amazing food for a week straight!  We ate gelato everyday, and I have no regrets.

Enjoy a photographers paradise (or one of them)... Rome, Italy!

The flight to England and subsequent layover at Heathrow took it out of these three.

Summer Bucket List Failure

It's been a month since Round Rock ISD let out of school.  My two youngest children have been home for an additional three weeks on top of that month.

Before summer started, I had a bucket list of summer to dos I wanted to accomplish with my kids. It wasn't anything written or detailed, but in the back of my mind, I wanted to do a few things. 

Then summer actually started and real life kicked in.

I had all four home with me, almost, all the time.  I didn't have them signed up for any camps for the first three weeks of summer (which should have been the first indication that I needed to re-think my summer plans).  The fighting, bickering, whining, and screaming started on a daily basis.  My patience was being spread so thin I could practically see through it.  And my air conditioning broke.  In Texas.  In the summer heat.  We had to replace everything for both units or pretend we were living in the 1800s and sweat it out.  On top of that, I started teaching more taekwondo classes over the summer and still had my photography business to keep going.  I totally had time to sit around and eat bon bons all day (insert sarcasm font here).

Not surprisingly, the last shred of patience wore too thin, and I'd had enough of the whining, bickering, fighting, and general presence of my 4 children. The oldest two lost gaming privileges for a week.  The youngest two got shipped off to preschool part time again.  And I realized for as much as I love my children, I cannot spend 24/7 with them for my own sanity.

So I came up with a new bucket list for the summer.  And here it is...

  • Keep the children alive and well until school starts up again

That's it!  And I think it's a pretty good goal.

I love my kids; I truly do.  But I'm not perfect.  And I desperately need time away from them.  I was sitting in the kitchen last Friday, surrounded by my kids at 4:30pm, texting my husband asking when he was coming home, and realized I need time away.  I want adult alone time.  Granted it wasn't happening right then and there, and I can't just disappear for a few days randomly (although that would be really nice!).  I crave quiet, adult time, where I can just relax and not be asked the same question 5 times in a row hoping my answer will change (cause it doesn't).

So my summer bucket list has been incinerated, and I'm completely ok with it.  I'm not the Pinterest Mom which will hand make games for a summer full of fun.  I'm the type that kicks my kids out of the house, tells them to stay on the property and enjoys a blissful hour of quiet while they play outside using their imaginations and random objects as weapons.  I let them come in for water and to use the bathroom, but for the most part, I want them outside.  I supervise from the comfort of inside the house.

My summer bucket list is a failure.  And you know what?  I don't care.  It's fine.  All four of my children will be normal, functioning adults without the thousands of extra things they could be doing over the summer.  Instead, they are making memories of playing outside and just enjoying their childhood.  And that's all that matters.

So if you're like me and you're a summer bucket list failure, raise your head high and high five yourself!  We're all in this together!

Stop at Lake Pflugerville

Last week, I took the two littles over to Lake Pflugerville.  They love the water and throwing rocks into it.  I wanted to break up the monotony of going to a park to play.

What I didn't expect were the loud group of ducks waiting for us.  The ducks are accustomed to people but expect food from people.  And I was not prepared to feed ducks on my impromptu stop at the lake.

After weeks of rain, the ground by the edge of the lake was still quite muddy.  I was taking photos while running after one child or the other to keep them from becoming stuck and falling down into the mud.  Such fun parenting times!!

A sweet older gentleman stopped by the lake to feed the ducks.  He saw the kids and myself and decided to bring his bag of bread over to my littles allowing them to feed the ducks.  Such kindness is not always around these days, and it was very much appreciated by myself and my children. 

The kids had so much fun feeding the ducks!  I've promised to take them back to feed the ducks.  I'm putting it on my to do list now so I don't forget about it.

Here's a small share of documentary photos I took while at Lake Pflugerville and of the kids feeding the ducks.

The Mascara Incident

This face says it all.

What did she do this time you ask?

She got into my makeup drawer.  And it's not like I own a lot of makeup.  I'm a bare boned kind of girl.  I have the basics for every day, and then a few additionals for a night look.  I am not a makeup connoisseur by any means. 

Yet again, Cassidy walks into my bedroom and bathroom likes she owns the joint.  She pulled out the mascara and went to town on herself.  She said she wanted to be like mom.

Last time I checked, I did not resemble Carol Burnett when she dressed as her Norma character.  (You can thank my dad for the picture).

Having kids is fun right?!

Now, I just have to buy new mascara.