Schooooool’s Out. For. Summer!

Today is it. 

This is all she wrote, the last day, and by 3:40 this afternoon we’ll have another school year in the books. My kids are delirious and frankly, some of us were done with school weeks ago. Mostly me, but whatever.

(How picture taking really goes at our house. Photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)
I’m vowing that this summer is going to be spectacular in its ordinariness. I’m not signing my kids up for origami or making your own goat cheese or finding the artist within. They won’t be learning to build robots or going to space camp.

Nah. We decided long ago that our kids were going to have to figure out their own fun, use their imaginations, go outside and stay there for awhile. There won’t be a lot of technology. The kids will continue to do their chores that help our household run and teach responsibility at the same time. Even the two year old has jobs here. He unloads the clean silverware from the dishwasher (after someone has removed the scary, injury-inducing knives, of course). 

Sometimes he is a go-getter and unloads silverware even before we’ve had a chance to run the dishwasher. I often find our silverware bunched in a pile in the drawer because he can’t see what he’s doing but that’s ok. He’s learning how to be part of our community.

We really only have two rules around here: work hard and be kind. Everything falls under those two rules and it keeps things simple in a fairly complicated house. With the Bigs going to their dad’s house every other week for summer visitation and the Littles just trying to figure out how to wear pants, sometimes it’s crazy up in here. Throw in at least three therapies or doctor’s appointments per week, various work obligations, my new baby speaking and writing career that I’m trying to get off the ground and it can get to be just too much.

So.

Work hard.

Be kind.

Simple rules that everyone can figure out.  What we will be doing this summer? Showing Jesus’ love to everyone we meet, spending copious amounts of time outdoors, running amok in the neighborhood, learning to ride bikes and be potty trained, figuring out how to build forts from blankets and eating sno cones and swimming til our fingers are wrinkly raisins. We’ll be going to church and serving our neighbors and redoing furniture. We will probably hang out with family a lot, take little road trips, make memories that involve juicy moments savored and retold, the memories enhanced and cemented with every telling.

(photo cred zsazsabellagio.blogspot.com)

We will be the Pinterest-fail family this summer. We will relax from the frenetic pace of the school year; unplug, rejoice, enjoy. We are going to have a summer fit for the early 1980s and I can’t wait-

(Photo cred smosh.com)

Blessings, friends!💗❤️💗

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Doing Something for Myself

I think I’m probably not alone when I say I often let myself fall to the bottom of my To Do List. Mamas and parents in general often do this because we have so many other things that must get done and so many fires to put out that we can’t handle one more thing.

Even taking care of ourselves.

So today I’m doing some good things for me. I’m currently getting my hair done and there’s just nothing better than that to make me feel good about life. 

 (photo cred Stylecaster)

I’m also going to get more coffee. And paint my nails. And in between editing my book and playing with my babies this weekend, I’m going to tidy my office and find some furniture to paint. All of these activities will make me feel happiness in my heart and give me some breathing space. 

 (photo cred ze.nl)

I’m going to have a Ta Da List instead of a To Do List this weekend. I’m going to rest and replenish so I can continue caregiving for my Traveling Circus in all our fast-paced crazy glory.  

 (Photo cred thecolorrun.com)

Do you need to put yourself back on your list? What can you do to give yourself a break today?

Do it. You’ll feel better for taking good care of yourself–

💗💗💗

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Lazy Dayz

I’m enjoying a Saturday with coffee and nowhere to be. I’m loving the roaring fire and the fact that I’m still in my jammies. I am not even going to glance at my To Do list. 

 (Photo cred livelifehappy.com)

We get so busy hurrying and scurrying that we barely make a space in our lives to take a breath sometimes. That kind of pace can’t be sustained, at least not by the likes of me.

I hear my kids jumping around upstairs, I should probably check on the baby as I’ve lost my visual and he’s the kid who does this: 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016.)

Now you see why I have trouble getting anywhere on time and why I buy only washable marker. 

How cute is he even when he’s a mess???

Enjoying some breathing time today, how about you? How can you un-busy your world to enjoy what’s happening right this minute?

Have a blessed Saturday friends!

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Slow Down

It’s crunch time–for gifts, Christmas parties, work events, relatives stopping in, cooking, cleaning, end-of-year reports. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can overcome and overwhelm if we’re not careful.

Take a minute today:

For yourself.

For a loved one.

For a spouse or friend or child. 

Remember what’s important right now–not whether your house is magazine spread ready or all the lights on the tree work or if the Elf forgot to move again or of all of your shopping is done. 

Breathe. Relax. Enjoy. Celebrate.

Does anything else really matter? Blessings friends, I pray you find rest, peace and hope along your way today! 

 (photo cred Money Saving Mom)

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Relaxation

Mr. Wonderful and I have the glorious opportunity to have a few kid free days this week. I say glorious because as parents of four kids who are adorable yet constantly keep us busy, we need a moment of rest every once in awhile. And we were long overdue.

We got the kids securely tucked away with relatives (thanks mom and dad!) and ran away to the Ozarks. 

Sidebar: running away as a grownup is awesome! You get to pick your car candy, you’re in charge of the music on your road trip and you can decide when to take a rest stop. Or four.

If you haven’t ever been to the Ozarks, you should put it on your list. Missouri is gorgeous! Hills and trees and Table Rock Lake-the whole area makes me relax down to my very bones.

This little getaway is exactly what we needed: to reconnect, sleep, have fun, be silly, did I mention sleep? When I woke up this morning at 10:18 am I couldn’t believe it-it’s been years since I could do that with all the early risers in my house!

My body and my mind just needed a break. My mind seems to need longer to unwind than my body as it’s still revving pretty hard. It helped that we focused solely on fun today-



I’ve always wanted to take an old timey picture and today we finally did! Check out my handsome gunslinger! I could totally dress up as a saloon girl every day. Who doesn’t love a boa and fishnets?

So for the next few days we have nowhere to be, no one to be responsible for but ourselves, and no time to worry about. 

Hallelujah!



(Our home away from home-ahhhhh!)

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015