Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer 2017 Update!

Time for another update! Here are the major highlights from our summer. Brace yourself for a lot of photos... 

The summer flew by at sonic speed, and here we are, back in school, already feeling jet-lagged by the routine. Our wonderful summer adventures included:

*Small family reunion in Lehi, Utah and Spanish Fork, Utah with my dad's family over July 1st weekend (Canada Day!)

*Large family reunion in Bear Lake, Utah (my mom's family)

*Large annual family camping trip (also a reunion) in Duck Creek, Utah (near Brian Head, up the mountain from Cedar City) --this was Brandon's mom's family...

*Seeing my BFF in person for the first time in 5 years! She lives far, far away in the Pacific Northwest...

#1 and #2 went to Girl's Camp:

We smelled the corpse flower on campus at KState --they've been waiting since 2002 for it to bloom! It was only open for just over 24 hours...

Brandon and I went to Nashville in June (he had a conference) and we had a great time. The highlight was The Bluebird Cafe! I found an old bookstore and we then drove to Louisville to attend the U2 concert!!! 

Piano recital for my students! And my kids (whom I don't actually teach, but I made them perform):

We got a canoe!

#1 got a job, her driver's license, and went to Peru with her Spanish class from school! 

#5 was Baptized! We got to have a lot of family visit for the occasion...

#1 and #2 are now both in high school (Junior and Freshman).

#3 turned 13, is in 8th grade, and he's playing football again, this year and got 12 stitches after hitting heads with another kid at the swimming pool...

#4, #5, and #6 are all in Elementary School together (5th, 3rd, and Kindergarten) and it is wonderful that they get to go to school together.

#7 is my at-home buddy!

Walter and Luthor (Louie) are finally BFF's.

Brandon is teaching another course this semester at KState (Business Strategy), while also still being the best Young Men's President of all time at Church, and working his full time job at LiveWatch. He also built some cool things in the last 6 months (our bed and some chairs).

My piano studio is off and running! Currently, I have 16 students, but I'm willing to take a few more. I know that sounds crazy, but I'm really, really happy about this. Not just for the extra income (that's definitely a plus), but because I am heavily involved in MAMTA, and I'm preparing to get my Master's in Music in the next few years. Also --I really love teaching! I just wish I had more time to practice, myself. That will have to change in the near future. Right now, I only grab 20 minutes here and there each day...

My parents are leaving on a mission next week!! They're going to the Salt Lake City Family History Library for 18 months. So, not far from where they currently live, but still, I'm really excited for them!

My dear, dear friend gave me her old jogging stroller that is in top condition (like, amazing condition!) and so #7 and I have gone walking (usually with my friend) a lot this last week. This is news because now I don't have any more excuses for outdoor walking exercise (not that I often avoid it --walking is my favorite!). Normally, I would walk in my local wilderness park, but with #7, I can't really do it the same. And that's okay, because I'll go when I can, and we have great walking sidewalks in our neighborhood...

My days look like this:
Up by 5:30AM to see the girls off to early morning seminary. Family scriptures (sans girls --hey, they're reading scriptures at seminary!) are at 6:30AM --all kids are gone for school by 8:10AM. Then, baby girl and I get to clean things, run errands, and on some days I have Institute (I'm taking an adult class and we're almost finished studying the book of Revelation. It is amazing!).

By 3PM, kids are starting to come home, and M,T,TH,F, I teach piano lessons after all my kids get home (I consciously made sure that my lessons don't interfere with the kids-coming-home-from-school crossroads and because of Mutual/Scouts, I don't teach Wednesdays). With Brandon's help, we're able to make sure everyone goes where they need to go (work, practice, lessons, dinner). By the time we get everyone settled in bed and the lights go out, it's usually after 10PM.

I have found time to:
*read my scriptures for 5 minutes every day
*exercise at least 5 days a week
*practice the piano
*do the dishes every night
*help the kids do their homework/practicing
*help the younger kids pack their lunches each day

And it's a friggin' miracle, folks. (Yes, I used the word, "friggin'." Sorry, mom!)

Because if you have known me for a long time, you will know that only a few short years ago (heck, the entire last decade!), I wasn't capable of doing these things consistently, or if I did, it was with a great big dose of whine.

I talked about it in my last post, but I'm so grateful for the progress I'm making!

TRUTH: It's not just my Depression. It's also that I'm on the other side of having babies. I'm going to write another post about this. At length. Aren't you so lucky?

And that's all!

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