Monday, September 8, 2014

proceed with caution

The times, they are a-changin'.  Proceed with caution.

Friends, all of a sudden my life is looking a whole lot different than it did last year, and it's throwing me for a little bit of a loop.  I've hinted to the fact, but never come right out and said, that Will recently resigned from his job as the Youth Director at our church here in Central Virginia.  After five years of great friendships, uplifting ministry, and lots of amazing kids (and parents, too!) he decided it was time to move on to something different.  We were sad, but ready.  Ready to lose the evening and weekend work, ready to have him back on Sundays, ready to spend more time as a family.  But that family time unfortunately came at a really high price:  Will leaving his job meant that our family had to leave the church.  We want the new Youth Director to form friendships with the kids and gain their trust as quickly as possible, and we know from experience that that's a tall task if the old leader is still there.  I sincerely hope that all is going well and the transition was a smooth one. 

But I don't like it.  I don't like being away from "my church" every week.  I don't like walking into a church where I don't know a soul.  I don't like not being able to see my friends on a pretty much guaranteed weekly basis.  I don't like it.  But that's where we are, and although I'm completely in love with my husband's new schedule and what it means for our family, I don't like having to start all over again in a new church.  I've never had to search out a church in my entire life, having grown up in one in my hometown, abandoning it just about all together in college, and then following Will to whatever church he's been serving over the last ten years.  But here we are.  Slowly starting over.  Slowly figuring out where we fit in and where we feel comfortable and where we can help out.  It's a process, and I'm trying to be patient, to have peace.

Proceed with caution.

 Since Tommy started preschool, I've driven or walked him to school every single day.  But this year, in a new house and at a new school, he takes the bus.  It's a pretty long bus ride and then a really long school day, so our time together during the day has suddenly become a lot shorter.  He leaves at 8am and comes home just a few minutes before 4:30 and when you factor in homework, once-a-week baseball practice, dinner, a shower, and an 8pm bedtime (yes, this is completely necessary), I probably have about an hour in the morning and two hours in the evening with him.  I can't believe how fast he's growing up, and I have this sense of wanting time to slow the hell down already but this is where we are.  Slowly figuring out how to be more efficient with the necessities so we have more time for fun.  Slowly giving him more opportunities to be independent.  Slowly navigating these changes with our first-born and praying that we'll have learned a thing or two when Annabel gets to this point.  It's a process, and I'm trying to be patient, to have peace. 

Proceed with caution.

For the past three years, Annabel and I have spent pretty much every day together - running errands, taking Tommy to school and picking him up, reading lots of books, playing tea party and babies, going for walks, eating lunch, and playing at the playground.  This morning I will drop her off at her first day of preschool where she'll spend a few hours on three mornings a week.  I'm simultaneously sad to see her go, excited for her to start a new adventure with new friends and great new teachers, and completely baffled at the thought of having several hours a week by myself.  I know she's going to have a great time at school, and I have complete confidence in the people who will be taking care of her, but it feels weird to be dropping her off and leaving.  We always go everywhere together.  But this is where we are.  Slowly getting used to a new routine.  Slowly branching out to new friends and play dates.  Slowly growing up.  It's a process, and I'm trying to be patient, to have peace.

Proceed with caution.

Suddenly I find myself with something I haven't had much of in quite awhile:  time.  With Will working a typical 8-5 job and Tommy being at school for most of the day and Annabel being gone a few mornings a week, it's just me for nine whole hours.  And although I know I'll enjoy it and will find plenty of things to do (namely laundry and uninterrupted house cleaning and grass mowing...and enjoying the fact that nobody is touching me 24/7...for real), it's also really, really weird.  I want to do something productive, do something to move in the direction of work and life after staying home.  I've been so incredibly fortunate to be able to be home with my babies for so long.  I'm looking forward to still being with Annabel for a lot of the week, spending evenings and weekends with my boys, and also starting to look ahead to what's next for me.  It's a process, and I'm trying to be patient, to have peace. 

Proceed with caution.

I'm stepping out into completely new territory for me here.  For so long I was focused on marriage and babies...and now I'm ten years in to a really great and fulfilling marriage, our kids are past the baby stage, and we aren't having anymore.  Uncharted waters here people.  I'll figure it out.  I loved the lyrics to one of the songs we sang at church yesterday:  "Don't be afraid.  Just set your sail and risk the ocean.  There's only grace.  Let's risk the ocean."  Indeed.  I have some ideas.  We'll see what happens.

In addition to these changes, we also had a few firsts here this weekend:  
-Annabel spent most of the weekend in underwear (YES! and also aww, no more babies around here) which totally cements the fact that she really is a big girl  
-Tommy played his first baseball game - he did great playing in the outfield, 2nd and 1st base
-Annabel got her first black eye - they were jumping on the bed (after repeatedly being told to stop) and she fell and cracked the side of her eye on the wooden bed post
-Tommy lost his first top tooth which gives him the sweetest little toothless smile

Never a dull moment around here, that's for sure.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Wish me luck with the preschool drop-off!  Hopefully they won't have to peel her off my leg...or peel me off her leg...both of which could totally happen.  

Hope you have a great week!

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