I think it's safe to say that we, as a family, are fully immersed in all the fun fall things that are going on. And it's an exhilarating (and exhausting) immersion.
Last night is probably a good example of what I am talking about - and maybe a good glimpse into daily life in our house. (Also, someday when I am bored enough to sit on my porch in the evenings with an adult beverage enjoying the scenery, I won't remember these crazy days. So here's a reminder for my future self.)
- I picked up Beck on the way home from work. It was about 4:00. (Aside, the 7-3 work schedule is a DREAM! Aside from sleep deprivation, I love it!! It's so nice to be home before 5!)
- We went home. I snuggled Zane a bit and heard about his day and then got dinner started, changed clothes and started laundry. Laundry is daily. Yesterday's laundry happened to include around 25 very stinky football jerseys from Spencer's team. I'm still not entirely sure how I ended up volunteering to do team laundry, but I am thankful that there are 3 of us and I don't have ALL the dreadfully stinky uniforms.
- When Quinn got home from school, around 5, Bob and the boys ate dinner and then I left with Zane and Beckett so I could drop Beckett at my mom's house for a short visit while Zane had football weigh-ins. I hadn't planned on a visit to Berber's for Bucky, but he really wanted to hang out with her - so we made a detour.
- Zane's weigh-ins were at 6. It started pouring around 6:10. The weather has not been kind this week!
- Bob and Quinn left for lacrosse practice around 6 as well. I expected them to be out all evening because after the practice the coaches were getting together to draft teams. Have I mentioned that Bob is coaching a lacrosse team again this fall? No? Well he is. They were short coaches and, well, we are those "Yes" people.
- After Zane was finished - and we were moderately wet - we jumped back in the car to pick up Spencer from practice. Hanging out in the car with Zane, in the rain, was surprisingly awesome. We chatted and chilled and basically just enjoyed each other.
- In the meantime, I got a text that lacrosse was cancelled due to lightening and after the draft Bob and Q were heading home.
- I gathered a hungry and smelly Spencer at 6:50 and we headed to my mom's to pick up Beckett. In the pouring rain. This has not been a good hair week either...
- Once home, I reheated dinner, delighted in the fact that Spencer was verbally appreciative that there was an actual meat-and-sides meal ready, and sat down to eat with him. Another aside... with his schedule, we see VERY little of him these days. He's out and about with his team and generally loving life as a 7th grader. I miss him!
- After dinner and clean up, I swapped out the first load of jerseys for the second one and lovingly (?) laid out the moist jerseys all over our upstairs landing to dry. Important question - does anyone have any great ideas about how to get the stink out of football uniforms? Even freshly laundered they smell...
- At some point during the jersey chores, we put the little guys to bed and I convinced Spencer to put on his jersey for a quick picture. Because the boys don't get to take their game jerseys home (in general) this was a special treat. I was thrilled when I discovered that I had the half of the jerseys that happened to include #49. Check out the pictures... I had to include the last 2 years of football jersey pictures because I can't believe how much Spence has changed in the last 24 months.
- As we settled in for the evening - around 8:30 by now - I got an email that the U13 lacrosse teams were ready to be loaded. How does this impact me? Well, you see, I am a Webmaster-in-training for the lacrosse program. I've also been named Scheduling Coordinator. I am surprised at the amount of time I have spent trying to organize the 20+ teams in the program - and we haven't even gotten game schedules yet. This is a bigger job than I had anticipated, but I am (honestly) really excited to be helping this program. We spend lots and lots of time (and money) in that lacrosse program and Bob and I have decided we want to do what we can to help it succeed and grow. Instead of complaining about how things are - we are putting our time and efforts into making them better.
- By 9:30 I had finished the web work for lacrosse and, after a short phone call with the boys' program director, shut down for the day. We watched the end of some kind of home improvement show, kicked Spencer out of our room and went to sleep. My alarm went off this morning at 4:40. Today will be very similar - with slightly different activities including Zane's football practice, band instrument rental and Spencer pick-up - also delivery of the still somewhat smelly, but at least clean, football jerseys.
I hesitate to share all these details. They are probably pretty mundane to most people. And I don't want to come across as whiny or complaining or braggy in any way. I'm not upset about this crazy schedule. I don't mind all the little jobs. In fact, I kind of love them. I want my kids to see that Bob and I are engaged and active in their activities. I want them to understand, like I learned from my own parents, that serving community and sacrificing time/energy/money for your kids is a good thing. And the selfish side of me gets as much out of all these things as I put in.
I don't think I've shared yet that I agreed, back when Spencer made the football team, to serve as the Vice President of the Vipers football booster club. The VP automatically becomes President the following year. So I basically signed myself up for a 2 year gig - without much understanding of what I was getting into. The woman who asked me to take the role is someone I have known for YEARS - like since before kids. She said to me, "I know you are busy, but you know what they say, 'If you want something done, ask a busy person'." Yep - that's what they say. Because it's true. So I've gotten to know all the ins and outs of what it takes to run a really successful football booster club. And it's a lot of work - from a lot of people. And it's one of the most rewarding things I've done in a long time. I have gotten to know - really know - a bunch of great moms and dads. You learn a lot about someone while standing on the serving side of a vat of spaghetti and salad on "Spaghetti Monday" team dinners. These folks are fun!
I have only one regret (and I know I have shared this before) about our insane schedule. My only regret is that I get to spend very little time with Bob. With 3 kids in fall activities (plus Beckett) and overlapping schedules and responsibilities for work and all these other volunteer things, we get to spend about 15 minutes in the mornings over coffee and lunch-packing and then a few minutes here and there in the evenings - wholly dependent on what's on the calendar. The one saving grace - and thing keeping me sane - is that I get to work from home on Tuesdays and Fridays. Lunchtime on these days has become a reprieve. We step away from the conference calls and emails and go out for a bite. It's child-free, interruption-free, talk time for us. Bliss!
Saturday I am leaving for a week-long work trip to Scotland. I am excited about meeting my engineering team over there. I am interested to see Scotland. I am dreading the guilt I know I will feel leaving the chaos to Bob to handle for a week. (My parents, who are ALWAYS at the ready when we get stuck and need an extra driver or some help in any way, are leaving for a vacation of their own on Friday. Timing...) Thankfully Grandma Sharon is going to come down to help hold down the fort. Much of what I do will have to go on hold, but I know Bob will be thankful for an extra hand filling chocolate milk sippy cups and keeping up with the never-ending need to feed boys.
This has gotten way too long and rambling. I really didn't intend that when I started writing. If you have made it this far - THANKS - and have a great week! I should be able to write next week, but my timing may be off. Have a great weekend - and enjoy the busy-ness of the season. Also, take a nap in my name!
And in the meantime, enjoy these pictures. They have proven to me that I MUST take a picture of each boy with me at the beginning of each season. You never know when that growth spurt is going to hit. And I sure am glad I caught Spencer's in such a blatant way!