The Life of Bon: July 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summer Goals: An Update

The last week of July always incites a slight panic in me.  Summer is almost over.  Three weeks until it's back to teacher meetings.  And I didn't do a darn thing I wanted to!

The first month of summer is usually filled with pool and sleeping in and catching up on all the things I feel like I have missed out during the school year.  This June I feel like I just played played played with my kids.  And I LOVED it.

After the 4th of July passes I always feel like, "ok, time to get to work on some of my summer goals."  And I kind of dink around on them a little bit and then all of a sudden it's July 30 and I realize I haven't come close to finishing any of my goals yet.  Hence, panic.

I had four big summer goals this year.  I have so far accomplished only the first one.  (It is the most important one, though, so I am willing to give myself a little break.)

1.  ENJOY my children.  Swim, play, read with kids.

2.  READ Heart of Darkness, Sense and Sensibility, Lolita, and Handmaid's Tale.  I've read none of those.  I am halfway through Sense and Sensibility, though.  So far it's meh.  It's got nothing on Pride and Prejudice, I'll tell you that much.

3.  WORK on creating a line sheet for Hey June and contact 20-30 small shops, boutiques, and salons about selling our product in their store.  I would love to generate a lot of wholesale business that can provide a more steady income during some of the slower months. (Ahem, July.)

4. ORGANIZE and tidy my home completely.  Make it a place where I can feel so much joy.

This past week I have really been getting to work on goals 3 and 4.  My goal is to have my line sheet finished and sent to small businesses on August 4. (If you know any small boutiques or salons that you think would do well with Hey June product in their store, let me know!)  Our business continues to grow and that has been an incredible blessing for us.

The tidying of the house has been in full swing as well.  Almost impossible with a toddler and a baby, but I am giving it my best shot!  Last year I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Summary of how I felt about the book is here.) and I just finished the book's sister, Spark Joy.  I really enjoyed both of them and I honestly do feel like it's been life changing in the way I clean and organize my house.  

My two biggest take aways from the book:  

1. THROW THINGS OUT.  I have a much stricter screening process on what is ever allowed in my house in the first place.  June's rando art projects, kids meal toys, free t-shirts I will never wear--- that stuff hits the garbage before it gets inside.  Anything that is broken, I don't know where the other part to it is, doesn't fit me anymore... it all gets the boot!  I have also started throwing out a lot of the "some day" things realizing that some day never happens.  Some day I really wanted to read that article in that magazine.  Well, if a month has passed and I haven't made time for it, it's probably not that important to me.  Chuck it.

2.  Fill your home with things that SPARK JOY.  I have invested more money in my home including dish cloths, cleaning supplies, dressers, blankets, etc. in order to have the things I really love and that make me happy when I see them.  It's a long process, but I enjoy being in my home so much more than I ever have in my life because I have deliberately put the things in the house that bring me a lot of joy.  And I get rid of the things that don't.  

All that being said, I do still have a long way to go.  When I attempted our big round of "tidying up" a year ago I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and sick sick sick.  I started to feel better and school started up and then it was Christmas season with jewelry insanity and then it was baby time and subsequent months of blurred bouncing bouncing bouncing of a hard baby.  I remember little of any of that.  Just that I'm here on the other side.

SO... here I am now, ready to give the tidying up another go.  I gutted out the basement and I am in the process of our garage.  I spent about five hours one evening going through all of June's old clothes and only keeping my very favorite ones.  There were garbage bags and garbage bags of clothes that I gave away.  It felt amazing!  A very real purge, if you will.

I also made Greg do his closet.  (I was tempted to handle it myself but the book's author is big into not throwing anyone else's stuff away!)  More garbage bags!

I LOVE how much cleaner and less cluttered our space feels already.  I have stocked up on garbage bags, rags, and cleaning supplies.  We're definitely making headway over here but I will have to work pretty hard to be done by the time school starts  (Cue crying emoji face.)

Stocking up on garbage bags has been nice, too because I've been able to save the box tops for when it is time to go back to school.  Reynolds Kitchens™ and Hefty both support the Box Tops for Education program- helping schools raise money for supplies, technology etc.  Obviously, as an educator, I am all about buying anything that can in any way give back to schools.  You can find Box Tops on Reynolds Kitchens™ products Parchment Paper, Oven Bags, Slow Cooker Liners and Bakeware Pans. You can also find them on Hefty Trash Bags, Hefty Foam Plates and Hefty Cups.

Now through August 29 you can enter here to be one of 50 daily instant winners and enter to win the grand prize of $1,000 worth of Box Tops for your school! A total of five schools will be chosen for the grand prize and you can enter once a day until 8/29 so bookmark the site. 

My next big tidying projects are the junk drawer (the bane of my existence), the pantry (it's so gross), and June and Hugh's closets.  Having kids and dealing with their clothes and toys added a whole new level to the clutter chaos.

(Also, I am feeling weirdly guilty now because one of the key things in the book is not to organize by room or by closet but to organize by item instead.  I think this is an awesome idea but I have absolutely no idea how to implement it when I don't have large chunks of time to dedicate to tidying.  I have to steal 15 mintues here and 15 minutes there so it doesn't really work to scour the entire house of every art supply and then organize them.  It'd probably be more effective.  But one tidying woman can only do so much!)

This is my kitchen.  It sparks a lot of joy for me and it is place where I always want to be

Sunday, July 23, 2017

This morning Hugh woke up at 5 am.

It was still dark outside.  I could feel Greg beside me shuffle out of bed, get the baby, bring him to me to nurse beneath the crisp sheets of our king sized bed.

But we couldn't get comfortable, Hugh and I.  He's getting bigger now.  Doesn't rest as easily on my arm as he once did.

So I shuffled back to the nursery, collapsed in the rocking chair.  Hugh cozied up to me and after a few sucks was already drifting back to sleep.  He was heavy in my arms, not needing the comfort of nursing, just the comfort of mom.

Most times during middle of the night feedings I am half asleep.  This morning I was wide awake.  Hyper aware of everything around me.  The sweet baby heavy in my arms.  The mountain mural I painted on his wall while 8 1/2 months pregnant.  The turquoise lamp that fits his nursery perfectly and that I worked so hard to find.

Suddenly I felt my dad there with me too.  Stopping by.  He does that sometimes.  Drifts in an out.  Pops in to say hi.  Sometimes it's when I need him the most.  Sometimes it's like this morning- just a sweet little unexpected surprise.  Hi Bopper.  I'm still here.  I still love you.  Look at my amazing little grandbaby in your arms.

After a few minutes I put Hugh down and looked at his sleeping baby perfection.  His pursed lips.  His fat cheeks.  I felt so grateful.

I checked in on June in the room next door.  She was sleeping on top of the blankets, her head down where her feet should be.  The soles of her feet were dirty.  Her hair in messy, left over pigtails from the day before.  I draped a blanket over the top of her little three year old body.  She smelled like dirt and sweat and summer.

Back to bed.  I nestled in close to Greg, my slumbering grizzly bear.

I couldn't sleep.  I felt overcome with gratitude.  My babies.  My home.  My husband.  What gifts I have been given.  It was so hard for so long, but lately it has been easy.  So grateful for the easy.  And grateful for the hard, too. So many times I wondered if we'd make it.  Job loss and depression and faith crisis and cancer and I wondered can we do this can we do this can we do this?  Are we strong enough are we strong enough are we strong enough?

I don't think we're out of the hard times.  But for so long there was so much darkness.  And now I feel light again.  I feel light inside of me, feel light inside my home.  I feel light in my words and light in my sleep.  I feel light when I look at my sleeping babies and light when I crawl into bed next to Greg.  And after I take a minute to recognize that light, the gratitude overwhelms me again.

We can do this.  We are strong enough.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Mom Identity Crisis

I logged in to my blog today.  Imagine my surprise to see that it has been a month since I last wrote.  A MONTH.

Sometimes the idea of posting on my blog overwhelms me.  It's the funny thing about a blog.  When you are blogging every single day (or 5 times a week) there is no limit to the things you have to say.  When you blog irregularly, a month can pass and it still feels like there isn't much to say.

Having Hugh knocked me off my feet in a way that I was totally unprepared for.  When I had June I felt like my identity remained in tact.  My schedule, my life, my routine... it was changed in a lot of ways but remained the same too.  I felt like I was still the same person, living the same life, but with one great big awesome addition.  I worked the same job.  I lived in the same house.  I had the same relationship.  June was such an easy baby that we could meet friends to play tennis and she would watch from the stroller nearby.  We took her out to dinner with us, stayed late at firework shows.  She became the instant third member to our party and was happy and easy to come along.  I didn't understand the big deal about how HARD having a baby was.

Of course, Hugh has been none of those things.  I thought he would just mold easily into our lives, the same way June did.  But he didn't.  He is so fickle about sleep.  It is on his schedule and no one else's.  He can go from zero to 100 in one second flat.  With two babies to take care of all of a sudden there is so much that seemed overwhelming.  No dinner out with kids.  Definitely no tennis or volleyball.  With June we could still easily sleep in even- she would happily play on the floor beside us while we dozed in and out.  Hugh gives us a 7 am wake up call and there is no negotiating.

All that being said, it IS getting easier.  Hugh is 5 months now and we are starting to develop a good little routine.  He likes routine.  He likes schedules.  The more we deviate from his routine, his way, the harder the day is.  Some days it is worth it- like the 4th of July.  Most days it is not.  The routine-deviation tax is high around here and we can't afford to pay it often.

So we stick to a routine and he is good.  I mean, right now both children are napping.  And they both went to sleep without tears.  Victory!  I watched the clock like a hawk and timed Hugh's nap down to the minute and he rewarded me for my schedule- loyalty with an effortless nap.  Thank you, King Hughie.  Your subjects never tired of serving you.

All that to say that I feel like I've kind of been having a mom identity crisis around here.  Probably the same mom-identity crisis that so many have with their first child- only I'm having it with my second.  With just June, I felt like mom was one of so many things I did.  I was still the same person. Now mom is The Thing.  I am not the same person.  With two kiddos there doesn't seem to be a lot of time for my other identities.  When all the caring for other children is done, I collapse onto the couch and drink a soda while watching mindless television until I pass out.  (That sentence feels so depressing, but it is my dream right now.)

I really really hope I can get back to blogging consistently.  But it's been crazy enough around here for long enough that I know I can't make too many promises.  I haven't forgotten my blog.  And I do long to write.  That's as much as I can give you right now.

This blog post actually got a lot longer than I intended it to.  I thought I would just write a quick paragraph before telling you all about our sale at Hey June.  But my fingers and mind needed to write, I guess, and this is what emerged.  Thank you for always being here to listen to "what emerges".  And now, the sale.

Our customer appreciation sale is going on in our jewelry shop.  Hey June provides 2/3 of our income, with my teaching gig and Greg's side acting jobs picking up the last 1/3.  It is absolutely astonishing to me that Hey June has done that for our family.  We are so grateful.  So much of it is because of you guys here- your initial support launched the business into what we needed to be able to make it our primary income.  Thank you.

The customer appreciation sale is 20% off, but I am feeling so tender-hearted and grateful to all of you loyal blog readers that I am going to give you guys 25% off.  That is anything in the shop and it will go through Sunday. (The sale actually ends today, but you know, you guys get the perks.)  Use code LIFEOFBON25.  And if your order total is $25 or more you will get a free pair of stud earrings- just put in the comments which pair you want for free.  I'm basically giving our business away, it's cool.