7 Quick {Change} Takes

Linking up with Kelly this week to share a bit about our new home and all the changes that have taken place for us in the last four months!

1) New House.  We bought our first home in May.  It’s a four bedroom 2 bathroom ranch, with a partially finished basement.  The unfinished part of the basement has a large glass door that opens out to the backyard, and I have fixed it up as a school room.  The yard is sloped, but a large swing set came with the house, and there’s lots of room for the kids to play, so that was a huge selling point!  The tiny kitchen presents a challenge, but overall I like living in a smaller house with smaller rooms, because it is much easier to control the mess and keep it clean.  The third bedroom upstairs has also been a blessing, as we finally have a nursery and can better sleep train our youngest.

2) New town.  In order to be closer to my husband’s job, the new house is 70 miles from our old home, and we are in a new town.  We have visited here several times over the years, and are thrilled to live here now.  Fredericksburg is an old, historic Virginia town, Southern in tradition, and the sight of numerous Civil Wars battles.  At least once a week, we pass the large Confederate cemetery downtown.  While it has a small town feel, there a myriad of activities and stores and historic sites and playgrounds and pools.  We try to get out and explore a new place each week.

3) New parish.  Moving from a small “country” parish to one of the largest parishes in the diocese has been a positive and exciting experience.  There are dozens of activities, ministries, group and activities at church every week, four priests and two deacons, as well as a parish school.  The first event we attended (not including Mass which we of course started attending right away) was the parish picnic.  There were half a dozen bounce houses for the kids, craft beer on tap, live music, a magician, and tons of food and tents.  The kids were thrilled and Bobby and I were stunned (in a good way 😉  With the start of September I have been able to join a women’s Scripture Study, Grace has begun religious education classes once a week and we are exploring other ministries.  Liturgies with Latin is probably the one thing I miss most here, as well as silence during Communion.  All the priests are very reverent and homilies are good, but the choir always sings all through Communion on Sundays.

4) Grad school.  In July, my husband started a second Masters program in education, with a focus on becoming a Catholic school principal.  This meant he was gone for two weeks over the summer, and now works online several nights a week doing online courses.  He really seems to enjoy the new academic challenge, and I hope it opens doors for his career advancement.

5) Homeschool.  Although I’ve sporadically done preschool with Gracie for the last two years, this year I bought a real curriculum and intend to do kindergarten 3-4 days a week.  We are using the Catholic Heritage Curricula, and God willing, we will get through a whole year!  Although the school room is in our unfinished basement, I think it will work out well.

6) No job.  After frustrations and difficulties increased regarding my work-from-home job, and I knew I could not both homeschool and do this job, I quit in August.  Slowly, the stress and affronts of that job have faded, and I’ve realized that the constant feelings of failure and being overwhelmed have subsided.  I am struggling to find a good way to replace that lost income, but reveling in the freedom from a difficult boss.

7) New friends.  My overview of recent changes would not be complete without mentioning the new friends we have been meeting.  I have already met several lovely moms with kids of various ages, and look forward to getting to know them better.  Old friends reading this, I still miss you very much, and I hope you will come visit soon!

Gathering My Thoughts in May {my favorite month}

Outside my window: A gorgeous spring day.  A thunderstorm blew through this morning and in its wake came a clear blue sky and a sparkling world washed clean by the rain.  Then the sun began to heat things up and fluffy white clouds have begun to adorn the sky.  We have had a lot of unseasonably cold days, combined with clouds, fog and rain, so the sunshine and warmth are doubly welcome.

Listening to: The rocking of the baby swing and the hum of the washing machine.  There’s also the faint sound of birds and little girls playing outside, and the creak of the screen door as children go in and out.

Clothing myself in: I dressed in a nursing tank and stretch capris to work out this morning, and its so warm I never changed.

Talking with my children about these books: I haven’t been reading much to the kids.  I’ve been encouraging them to spend time outside, and my husband is doing the bedtime reading.  I’d like to read to them more; perhaps we can have outdoor story time!

In my own reading: Daily meditations and blogs are about all I’ve been reading lately.  I choose a whole stack of books from our home library to read (since I can’t get to the public library right now) and would like to start reading them.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Thinking and thinking:
About balancing mothering, housework, working from home and time for myself.  Ever since the beginning of April, when I was first home with three children and needing to work 10-15 hours a week (emailing for the non-profit I work for), and wanting to pray and exercise every day, I’ve really struggled with how to balance everything, especially time with the girls and the cleaning, cooking and laundry.

Pondering: “The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.”

Carefully cultivating rhythm: Morning prayers and exercise are giving a good start to my days.  Now I just need to work on the rest of the day, and finding a rhythm for the girls.

Creating by hand: Has not happened in a long time.  I yearn to make some sundresses for the girls, and see some progress on a quilt that’s been in the making a long time.  I really don’t know when these things will happen, though. 

Learning lessons in:  Trust (in God’s plan for me and our family).  Humility (that things are not going to happen the way I plan, expect, or hope).  Asking for help, especially inviting people to visit us, since we can’t go anywhere.

Encouraging learning in: Playing outside and with each other.

Keeping house: The house was cleaned for Cecilia’s baptism party last week.  I’m trying to keep the living and dining rooms that way.  The kitchen, bedroom and laundry: epic fails.

Crafting in the kitchen:  Made meatballs for the first time.  Delicious.  Going to make them again tonight.  Also looking forward to our first salad of the year from our garden.

To be fit and happy: I’ve been doing a 30 day fitness challenge group, and the support is actually helping me persevere with daily exercise.  I’ve also been drinking so much more water, which is really making a difference in how I feel every day.

Giving thanks: For friends who come spend time with my kids; online community; and beautiful, handmade gifts.

Loving the moments: When the big girls are in bed and I’m rocking and nursing Cecilia and looking out at the sunset over the fields and hills, as they gradually turn more green and vibrant every day.

Living the liturgy: May is my favorite month of the year.  Springtime and honor Mother Mary-what can be better?  Planning to involve the girls in picking flowers and decorating our Little Oratory to honor the Blessed Mother.

Planning for the week ahead: Set up some play dates this morning, need  to do some meal planning, and hoping and praying that the laundry gets finished and the kitchen gets cleaned (despite a broken sink pipe!).