I don’t consider my life to be extraordinary – at least not in the sense of “everybody wants to be me!” My life is pretty grand – don’t get me wrong. But I’m not delusional enough to think that this little hummingbird of a blog provides people with an aspirational way of life. Isn’t that why people follow the Kardashians? As a non-follower myself – I really don’t get it but maybe the joke is on me. On May 1st, I decided to document my day from start to finish. Nothing exceptional was planned and nothing amazing happened. But as pointed out in a favorite play of mine, Our Town, “Choose the least important day in your life. It will be important enough.” So while this day may not seem that important when going against the highlight reel of my life, it is meaningful simply because it happened.
My alarm goes off at 5:30am. I grab my phone and scroll through emails, Facebook, and Instagram – you know, the essentials. I’d like to say that I also read the top political stories of the day but I actually just bummed around Buzzfeed reading about what sandwich best represents my personality. After a few more minutes of riveting journalism, I lean over to kiss my still-sleeping husband (he didn’t have to leave until a little later that day) and popped out of bed so I could enjoy the quiet house.
I pour myself a cup of coffee and go about getting the house ready for the day. Everyone in our house is typically up by 6:30am most days. Here in Virginia, the kids’ schools don’t start until 9am, which is quite the change from Kansas and Texas. Even though I prefer an earlier start time, I admit that it’s nice not having to rush out the door in the mornings.
Early morning is my favorite time to write. I sit down at the desk in the living room and spend the next half-hour putting together my post about our Whirlwind Trip to Colorado Springs. Weston came downstairs just as I hit publish. He is my kindred spirit – the other early riser in the house. Clay and Violet are the night owls in the family. We cuddle on the couch for a bit and talk and then turn on the TV to watch Weston’s newest favorite show – Family Feud with Steve Harvey.
The rest of the house soon comes downstairs, including Lucy. I make lunch for the little guy (if you’re looking for inspirational packed lunches, just keep on scrolling). I’m trying to firm up some things that decided to head south for winter, so I do squats and lunges as I assemble his honey and peanut butter sandwich.
We then said our see you laters to Clay, who won’t be coming home that night. With his current job, Clay isn’t home much but we make the best of it by maximizing our time together when he is around. His travel schedule has given us some perspective though – we’re definitely do not take it for granted when he is home!
The kids and I get ready for the day and before long, it’s time to walk to school. The elementary school that Weston attends (and Violet will attend in the fall) is a true neighborhood school. The vast majority of the kids walk to school and it’s one of the smallest elementary schools in the district, which very much appealed to us when searching for a home here. Walking down the street and through the woods to the little guy’s school is one of my favorite parts of the day.
After Violet and I walk back to the house, we grab her school stuff and jump into the car. She attends the preschool that Weston attended last time we were stationed here. It’s only about 10 minutes from our house so I book it back home after kissing her goodbye so I can do some work.
I recently accepted another Instructional Design contract (actually – a lot has happened since the last Career Chronicles post – I need to update!) so I planned to use the three hours Violet was at school to dive deep into the material so I can meet the deadline. Unfortunately, I had a couple of issues that needed clarification and because it is remote work, I had to wait to receive a response via email. It is those types of situations that make me long for the days when I could just pop over to a coworker and ask a question face-to-face. That being said, I am incredibly thankful that I am able to work remotely – not every career field has that option.
Not wanting to waste time, I decided to go to Aldi to pick up a few things to save me a trip later on during the day. I love Trader Joe’s and have recently started to go to Aldi once the store in our area re-opened after extensive renovations. A Lidl just opened about 20 minutes from our house but I have yet to check out it. I’ve heard their wine selection is on point. Anywhere I can save a few bucks without sacrificing quality, I’ll be there. When I get back home, I organize the refrigerator (such a riveting life I lead) and work until it is time to pick up Violet.
When waiting for Violet’s classroom door to open, I look down and realize that I am totally rocking a stay-at-home mom look. Sketcher slip-ons? Check. Skinny jeans? Check. Universal Thread by Target shirt? Check. Lightweight cardigan? Check.
When we get home, we eat lunch and then take Lucy on a short walk around the block. Lucy will be 13 next month and is really slowing down. She is unable to go on a walk for any significant amount of time and she has trouble breathing in warmer temperatures. We know that we have some difficult decisions to make in the next few months so we are savoring these moments with her while we can. Violet then watches TV and plays while I do some more work on the computer.
I did manage to squeeze in a tea party and a game of War with Violet, though.
By mid-afternoon, it’s time to go get Weston from school. Violet and I walk up there and after kissing Weston hello, I let the kids play on the playground while I chat with friends.
When we get back home, I make some french press coffee because I’m going to need it over the next few hours. We have baseball that night so I make the kids dinner earlier than normal so they have enough time to eat before we leave. I’m not going to lie – it was macaroni and cheese. But the fact that it was dye-free and organic counts for something, right? They also had a side of peas so don’t worry, I didn’t completely fail as a mother.
First up, I drop Weston off at his baseball game. His wrist is still broken so until it heals, he is the equipment manager for the team. I give him a kiss and tell him that I will be there later to watch the rest of the game. I’m the head coach Violet’s T-Ball team and we have practice that night at a different field a few miles away.
It’s never fun having to be in two places at once while Clay is TDY. The timing worked out though this time so I can’t really complain. I spend the next hour corralling a bunch of 4-6 year-olds with the help of my assistant coach. After practice, I load the equipment back in my car and Violet and I head back to the baseball complex where Weston’s team is playing.
Violet found a few friends and played in the grass while I sat in the bleachers and watched the game. I got a text from Clay saying that he arrived safely at his location and I scrolled through social media during the down times and answered some work emails. I could’ve brought a book but it was nice to just veg out for a bit and mindlessly navigate my way around the Internet.
By 7:30pm, I was beat and ready to go home but the game went on for another 20 minutes. Just before the game ended, Weston got a nose-bleed – equipment management is hard work! The parent who brought snacks for the team had extra for siblings so that eliminated the need for me to feed them again because they ate dinner so early. I consider that a win!
We arrived home to a Blue Apron box that I didn’t realize we would be receiving. Sigh. I probably should cancel Blue Apron because you have to opt-out of the weeks you don’t want, rather than opt-in. I have to set reminders on my calendar to cancel – you can only do so a few weeks in advance, which is frustrating. I do really enjoy the food and recipes and we’ve incorporated some new meals into our rotation that we otherwise probably wouldn’t have attempted to make. But still – make it opt-in Blue Apron! Those of you that have experience with other meal-delivery companies – are any of them opt-in rather opt-out?
The kids get ready for bed and have me take a picture of them with ‘heart hands’ to send to Clay. We read a book and then cuddle before it’s time to go to sleep. Baseball nights always mean a later bedtime than usual and they’re asleep by 9pm.
I am starving when I go downstairs because I didn’t eat dinner with the kids. In hindsight, I probably should have eaten something. I briefly entertain the idea of making one of the Blue Apron meals but I really didn’t want to delay eating any longer. So I threw together one of my favorite go-to meals – black beans, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, avocados, and jalapeño peppers. I sit down in the living room and watched TV while I ate.
I lock up the house and head upstairs soon after, drink in hand. I climb into bed and snap the picture above. I’m reading when Clay calls – we talk for awhile and decide to call it quits at 11pm (the phone call – not our marriage…ha!). Overall, it was a pretty typical day around here. I had hoped to squeeze in a run/workout but it just didn’t happen. You can’t win them all, I suppose.