Tuesday, July 3, 2018

First Sail!

It was a hot and windless day, which was perfect for a very calm first sail and, more importantly, first slide-off-the-side-of-the-boat-and-swim.  I appreciate Pete from the Marsh Creek Sailing Club loaning us his Capri sailboat.  It was the perfect size for a first sailing experience.  James said that it made for one of the best days thus-far this summer.  That's really saying something!

I've been excited to take these kids sailing for SO LONG.  This is just the beginning of another lifetime family hobby alongside rock climbing and biking -- hooray!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day

I'm so grateful to be the mother of these two lovely, silly, and fun kiddos.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring Break Climbing Trip

Spring Break 2018: Rock climbing at Safe Harbour, swimming and a musical (not at the same time) at Immaculata University, a dumping party at a friend's house, visiting with Kate's family in Lancaster, a bike ride in the rain, bowling and video games, dying eggs, working out every morning (me), watching Ninja vs Ninja (kids), organizing clothes (pulling out the next size of hand me down warm weather clothes from Peter's kids and packing up too-small clothes for Tara's kids), Easter day at Nana and Grandpa's with my brother's family, and slack lining in the backyard.

Fun times!

Friday, March 30, 2018

School Update

As I finish up the fourth semester of my Doctorate in Education (EdD), I'm feeling both the slog of the middle of the program and the end in sight.  To finish the program, I will have to complete a practicum and take classes this coming summer, take classes next year (mostly research studies -- quantitative, qualitative and statistically analysis), complete my comprehensive exam next summer, and then spend the following school year proposing, researching and writing a dissertation.  This feels like a mountain to tackle, especially in light of the challenge that returning to school has been thus far. 

Putting it all in perspective, I can see that since I started the program, we have been also juggling a home purchase, I've been volunteering rather heavily, and I have had too many transitions at work recently, which make my workdays more stressful at times.  We spent most of the last two and a half years looking for the perfect house -- and bidding on at least three houses, which we did not "win".  Moreover, we purchased a house, fixed it up a bit, moved, and are now enjoying the work that comes with home ownership.  Even though I'd much rather have the work of fixing up a home to the work of finding a house to purchase or even the restrictions of renting, it has still been very time and energy intensive.  [Side note: Yesterday, I scrubbed the aluminum siding that surrounds our Florida room and the results are amazing.  I felt slightly invincible after that process.]  Happily, our transitions seem to be slowing down and my volunteering position will pause at the end of April.

Joshua has been a champ at supporting me by taking on even more of the cooking, cleaning, and childcare.  He puts up with all of my endless chatting about school.  From processing class dynamics, my questions about assignments, and everything in between, Joshua also has an open ear and a thoughtful perspective.  I simply could not balance everything without him.

Thankfully, I have found a great gym -- Purenergy -- where I attend group fitness classes regularly (Tabata, HIIT, spinning, yoga, barre, lift and sculpt).  Saturday and Sunday mornings, while the children enjoy their weekly TV-watching, I slip out to the gym and am back in time for breakfast with my family.  That time away from responsibilities is key and a great release for me.

Lastly, I am so grateful for the children, who always ensure that I set aside a lot of time each day for snuggling, playing games, going for walks and are so understanding when I have to leave to spend a weekend day at the library.  I make sure that we eat dinner together as a family, I read to them before bed, we go on at least one big adventure every week (lots of ice skating this winter) and smaller adventures throughout the week (walking the dog always turns into some adventurous pursuit).  My classes are only every other Wednesday (from 4:30-10 p.m.) so I only miss dinner with the family seven times a semester, which is far from horrible.  As I am always striving to have more time with them, my schoolwork is done so much more efficiently and at a higher quality since they always cheer for all my A's.  Alma may be the only girl who greets her mother enthusiastically with "Did you get a lot of homework done?" after her gymnastic lesson is over.

The program itself is wonderful.  Terrific faculty members, interesting topics, and I am learning so many things that can be applied to my day-to-day work immediately.  It will be helpful for me to have this degree and that makes the temporary struggles worthwhile.  And, odd as it is to say, the program has been less work than I anticipated.  Honestly, I thought it was going to be horrible, I'd never see the children, and I'd drop out after a semester. While it isn't easy, I do not feel that I'm missing out on too much.  Thank goodness for long Christmas, Easter, and summer vacation weeks!