community

com·mu·ni·ty

/kəˈmyo͞onitē/
  1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of community this week.

Overwhelming in a good way.

It began the last week with a visit to the zoo with my momma friends from friday playgroup. We haven’t met regularly this past year due to school scheduling conflicts, but we try to get together when we can. A couple of us were talking about how, with the big kids in school all day, we would be able to get together on Friday’s with our little ones again.

And, just like that, we have friday playgroup on the calendars again. I host the first one at the end of this month. Oh, how I have missed those mommas. We have gone through a lot together in 6 years of raising our babies together. I am so thrilled to be able to share Friday morning’s with them again!

Community.

On Tuesday, the little guy started kindergarten at our neighborhood school. He can ride a bus to school, but we are walking distance from the school, so we choose to walk.

On Tuesday, we walked with our neighbors.

On Wednesday, we walked alone, but started to recognize the same families and kids walking together. On Wednesday afternoon, I rode the little guy’s bike while baby girl rode hers so they could ride their bikes home from school. It was so fun!

By Thursday, I was introduced to other moms in the neighborhood by mom’s I met walking around our neighborhood, etc.

This morning, it was raining, so I drove the little guy to school, but the momma’s (and dad’s) in the neighborhood were still out there walking together, coffee (and umbrella’s) in hand. In the future, I’m not going to let a little rain deter me from walking to school. How awesome is it to know they people in your neighborhood?

Community.

Wednesday evening, I went to the parents open house for baby girls school. It is the same preschool we have gone to since the little guy was three. This will be our fourth year there. With all the “newness” of the neighborhood school, walking into the open house on Wednesday was like coming home. The familiar faces of the wonderful teachers. The faces of the parents who I have seen every morning for four years. The same stories that the director tells every year as she goes over the information she has to share.

Not to mention, while I was walking in another mom asked if she had seen me that morning at the elementary school. Yes! I was there. Our sons are in kindergarten together. Their family is moving in down the street next week. As we were talking another mom chimed in. SHE lives around the corner from us and has a son in first grad at the local charter school and a daughter one year older than baby girl. She said another neighbor had told her about our outdoor movies and how fun they were!

Community.

I have also jumped back into a fitness routine. I went on a run Tuesday morning and to a yoga class at our health club yesterday. I love to see the same people on my running route and to share a commonality with the people in yoga and at our health club. Baby girl was even able to reunite with her friends from school at the childcare. Tomorrow, I am going to attend a new class with our next door neighbor. Getting healthy with others is awesome.

Community.

And, finally, online. On Wednesday, at school, I was approached by and Instagram follower who has a child in the little guys class! She introduced herself to me and I was so glad that she did. The sense of community that I find on Instagram and by following blogs is amazing. I love seeing the homeschooler’s starting their school year;  the moms sending their kids to preschool for the first time; the moms finding more time for themselves, and their passions, now that their kids are back in school. Just to know that other moms are sharing the same experiences as I am all over the country is awesome.

Community.

I love all of this.

It’s what I want for my family.

It’s what I want for my kids.

It’s what I want for myself.

Community.

home is…a feeling of fellowship.

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{milestones} the little guy at the big school

He wanted to wear his shorts and jersey from the boys next door.

the little guy at the big school 1

He wanted spiked hair and photos with Odyssey.

the little guy at the big school 8

He let his sister sit in the chair for a few photos with him.

the little guy at the big school 3

She was as excited as he was.

the little guy at the big school 2

They waited for their friend to walk to school with us.

the little guy at the big school 4

We stopped to look at snails, but walked quickly so we would not be late for the first day of school.

the little guy at the big school 5

The little guy was fighting back his tears to smile for the camera.

the little guy at the big school 6

He’s a little guy in a big school and I am sure that he had a great first day. I am so excited for him.

the little guy at the big school 7

I get to go find out in one hour when we make the walk again. One that will become very familiar in the years to come.

I am so proud of my little guy.

home is…snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

school days

It’s official.

I now have a kindergartner…

…and a preschooler.

I have always loved the beginning of a new school year and I hope to get my kids excited about school each year instead of dreading it.

Last night I set out their clothes, made Reece’s lunch, and got them to bed early.

Today, I set my alarm for 5:30, made a pot of coffee (can you believe all we had in the house was decaf?!), fed the dogs and cat, and made the kids hot chocolate and breakfast.

Then, I headed upstairs to wake my sleepy heads.

Reece was sound asleep in his bed (bedtime was a breeze last night AND he slept in his bed all night) when I slipped into his room an quietly opened the shades on his window. I sat down next to him and put my hand on his back. He rubbed his eyes, stretched, and sat up.

I quietly said, “iIt’s time to get up. You’re a kindergartner today.”

We quietly walked into Lorelai’s room, opened her shades, and sat down on her bed. She sat up quickly, and I reminded her that it was the first day of school.

We went downstairs where the promise of a show and hot chocolate awaited.

Reece ate two scrambled eggs.

Lorelai ate a banana.

Reece listened and obeyed all morning.

Lorelai threw fits about breakfast, her clothes (no skirts, long sleeves, buttons, or ties), and her shoes.

Finally, I got Lorelai dressed and we headed out back for some photos…

They are both attending school at the same school Reece has been at the last two years. The kindergarten is state accredited, but private. Reece has 13 students in his class. Half of them were in his pre-K class last year. It’s awesome to see familiar faces.

It made the morning go smoothly.

One of the first faces he saw was his buddy James who has been in his class since he was 3.

We dropped Reece off at the kindergarten class.

No tears.

I was so proud of the little guy.

{Don’t let this photo fool you, he’s playing it cool}

I took Lorelai to her class, which is right next door.

She wanted me to stay.

I showed Reece to her in the classroom next door (through an adjoining door), handed her off to her teacher and left.

It’s easiest to do it that way.

{And, don’t let this photo fool you, this was way before we got to her class}

Now, you may wonder what I did with my 2 hours of free time…I slept.

I have been battling a cold for the last 10 days and I think it may have turned into a sinus infection.

Yeah, exciting first day of freedom, but I’ve got to get healthy!

When I went to pick Lorelai up they were walking from the gym back to the classroom. She was second in line and doing fine! She saw me and waved, but stayed in line with her class.

We were reunited and she wanted to show me some special things in her classroom.

We went home, had lunch and went back to pick up her brother (in the future, she will probably stay for lunch so I am not driving back and forth all morning).

He had a wonderful day and I think kindergarten is going to be awesome for him.

On the way to school I asked him what he wanted to learn at school today and he said he wants to learn to read!

home is…the beginning of a new school year.

a kitchen full of friends

This morning I hosted our weekly Friday playgroup.

It was our first playgroup since all of our oldest (except for Reece…he starts on Monday) started Kindergarten.

There were only six mommies this morning, but it still felt so nice to have my friends in my house talking, laughing, and supporting (there may have even been a few tears).

There were stories of hectic first mornings, continued struggles after a couple of days, and some super scary bus stories (that make me glad my little ones may not be able to ride a bus until middle school).

In the future, I am sure there will be stories of success, happiness, and new skills learned…but this was the first week.

We’ve had to change our timing to accommodate  new school schedules, and are thinking of adding in a monthly Friday Afternoon Happy Hour so the older kids (and husbands) can join us!

Our playgroup is evolving, as it has ever since we met each other 5 years ago sitting on the floor of a conference room in a building across the street from where all of our babies were born in the summer of 2007.

And, it is as much for us, as mommies, as it is for our kids.

Maybe, even more.

photos from {m}iphone

*photos from {m}iphone were taken using the Instagram app and put together in a collage using Picasa

home is…a kitchen full of friends.

so, yeah…

It’s hot here in the Pacific Northwest.

While the rest of the country was in the sweltering heat we were enjoying perfect summer temps…not this week.

100 degrees today.

We are spending our time in the AC or in the pool.

{lazy}

Lazy summer mornings are the best.

In a little over 3 weeks they will be over for us.

School is starting and it will be bittersweet.

The little guy will be in school everyday.

Every.

Day.

I’m going to miss him.

Baby girl will be in school 1-2 days a week.

At least 3 days a week we will have girl time.

I’m thinking about getting her into some gymnastics and dance classes…she likes “girl” stuff.

I had big plans for this morning.

Clean the house.

Go to yoga.

It’s after 10 and we’re all still in PJ’s.

Lazy summer mornings are the best.

{more lake photos}

They are coming.

I promise.

{looking forward}

Between now and the first day of school we have some fun things to look forward to…

Nana and Bops are coming to visit…

Ryan’s 40th birthday…

Lorelai’s 3rd birthday…

And, lots to still do on our summer list!

So, yeah…there’s some random for you.

{one more}

Sunflowers are my favorite…bought some at Trader Joe’s yesterday!

home is…enjoying now.