Vacation Mode

Vacation Mode: noun. The inability to manage real life after you get back from vacation, aka, you’re surprised that no one is bringing you copious amounts of delicious food any longer and you’re shocked to be hit square in the face with things like alarm clocks and feeding kids and responsibilities.

(photo cred luvinthesun.com)

This is a real thing, friends. We’ve been back for a week now and I’m struggling to figure out where all these children are supposed to go now that school is out and how I’m supposed to do all of my jobs. Things are so out of whack at the Shafer Casa that I started typing this blog post in my car while waiting for Mr. Wonderful to emerge from the trombone repair shop (with three of the four munchkins having some sort of battle raging behind me) and I finished it a mere eighteen hours later.

What is happening?!

I can’t seem to get it together. For real, I am disorganized, disinterested and since I’ve been under the weather for 48 hours, just done. I’m about twenty minutes from a long soak in the tub followed by some binge-watching followed by absolutely nothing.

Has anyone seen my motivation? I must’ve left it around here somewhere….

Life continues to march on despite knowing full well I can’t get out of Vacation Mode. Little Sister lost her very first tooth today! This is always a big milestone since the Tooth Fairy is the second most discussed visitor right behind Santa. 

And Big Brother lined me up next to him again to see if he’s passed me in height yet. It’s like he wants to know the exact moment that it happens so he can put it on his calendar. Baby Houdini was in rare form with his sweetness on overload. Little Brother made us all laugh until milk came out of some of our noses. Mr. Wonderful took me to the gun range for a date day-these are what we call good times around here!

(Photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

So maybe for a little while longer I’ll just have one foot in Vacation Mode and one foot in Real Life. Maybe I won’t get to everything on time (or even at all) but my kids will be fed and happy and I’ll make time for more date days with Mr. W. And we’ll enjoy summer and laughing and fireflies and swimming and I guess all those responsible-type things will get done around it all.

This sounds like a plan, friends-

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

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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!

Dear Tuesday, Why Do You Feel Like Monday?

Tuesday, why aren’t you more cooperative like your Friday cousin? Why can’t you at least be more like Thursday, the docile one?
Or even like Wednesday, whose claim to fame is being Hump Day?

No, you have to try and be like Monday and frankly, I’ve had it with you! Either shape up, or I’m going to have to see about replacing you. 

Maybe with a Friendsday or a perhaps a Vacationday.

You have til the end of business today to get your act together.

Sincerely,

Meredith

 

(Most accurate selfie ever: me hiding behind a coffee cup while Baby King surveys his kingdom from his perch on high. Once he’s done with his royal breakfast, he loves to watch his loyal subjects hustle and bustle, getting ready for a day in serfdom, uh, school. And I, his humble servant, grab a quick cuppa Joe.)

Happy Tuesday!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Not Ready

We’re packing our bags to go home. I find that though I’m ready to see all my babies and be in my own space again, I’m not ready to leave these relaxed vacation feelings behind. Please don’t judge me, but I’m so not ready to have responsibility other than my own needs yet. I’m not ready for the weight that is my world.

I still have a few hours of weightlessness yet. Some of it will be used up by sleep. As much as I love sleep I’d rather spend my last free moments leaving the house spontaneously or shopping or smooching Mr. Wonderful wherever and whenever I feel like it without eight eyeballs watching or a chorus of “Mamas” every minute and a half.

I’m so grateful for time free from being a grownup. This is a hard gig, one that I feel ill-equipped for most days. Between all the kids, jobs, book promotion, PTSD, events, lessons, homework, groceries, laundry and bills I feel like I’m drowning sometimes. This week has given me a chance to breathe air again.

Believe you me, I’m sucking it down like breathing is going out of style. I’m cramming every moment of this getaway with Mr. Wonderful full of fun and laughing and reconnecting and smiling for no reason and food runs and silly pictures with large inanimate objects and eating candy and ruining my dinner with dessert first.

And I’m going to try my hardest to keep some of this lightness, some of this vacation mindset for my real life. Steal kisses from Mr. Wonderful. Smile at nothing and everything. Ruin my dinner with ice cream. So that my kids will see Mama, not Mama with responsibilities weighing her down but Mama embracing them while sailing thru and finding reasons to be joyful. Free. Light.

I’m not ready, but by tomorrow I will be.



Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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