Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School – 2011 (and a little rambling from me)

I have been quiet on this blog lately.  I don’t even know where to begin.  So much has been swarming around in my mind for the last couple of months.  I am trying to figure things out as a mama and all of the different roles I play right now. It’s really never ending.  Once I get it figured out I have to figure it out all over again.  WHY does it have to be like that???  I have been working on finding a good schedule and routine that really works for my busy family.  I have to be honest and say that I have been struggling A LOT lately.  Life is so hard and so, so busy.  Too busy.  It is such a challenge to spread myself so thin all over the place and juggle it all while trying to do my very best at each thing and be there for everybody.  I can’t do it all anymore and I am not going to try.  I am going to prioritize.  I have been doing lots of list making and goal setting and priority changing.  I have been cleaning and organizing EVERYTHING under the moon in hopes to simplify our life…in our home as well as the activities that we are each involved in.  I have so many loves in life and hobbies that I can’t imagine giving up, but I honestly don’t have time for it all.  I feel like life is one big circle with different tasks changing all the time and when I focus on a certain area, other things that are also important, get neglected.  Even though I don’t like that fact, it’s ok, because that’s life.  I am just trying to wrap my head around it and weed out unnecessary things so I can use my time where it matters most.  Each day where I put my time might be different than it was the day before…and something else will get neglected, but that is ok. 

My kids love extra curricular activities and they are successful at them, but this year we needed to switch it up a bit.  Kaylee was in year round swim last year and she had practice every day.  While we didn’t go everyday, it was still a huge commitment and a huge chunk of time.  We re-evaluated and decided to take the fall off.  We will see how things look in January and maybe she will start then.  Last year the boys were both playing fall baseball (while Kaylee was swimming). We had 2 games a week and 2 practices each (at least).   This year the boys decided they wanted to give football a try.  So we found a league where they have practice for one hour on Saturday mornings and the game is right after that.  Now we only have a small commitment on Saturdays.  I am hoping that this will leave us more time for family dinners (or dinner at all) and more patient parenting from us rather than barking orders here and there as we are rushing to the next thing. 

That is just a small part of what has kept life so busy, but we I am trying to simplify ALL areas and keep my family home a little more often.  I know that soon my kids are going to grow up and plan their own schedules and activities and that is ok too, but right now and for this school year, I feel like it is important for us to teach them to slow down a little bit.  I want them to know that we value our time together as a family and that the heart of our family is at HOME.  I feel like now more than ever that is something we have to fight for…for our families and for togetherness.  I also know that I am going to have to be mindful of that every day and that every day I am going to have to make the best decisions on how our time is spent.  We just can’t do it all and it is ok to say no.

Which leads the topic to me.  I have my hands involved in so many things; managing my family and our home (which is HUGE), church callings, blogging, photography, projects, staying connected with friends and family, being involved at school and the list goes on.  We all do.  They are all SUCH good things but when I’m not eating, or sleeping or exercising because I am trying to do ALL of them at the same time, that is a red flag.  Something needs to change. 

BUT, I am not going to give them up.  They are each a part of who I am.  I am, however, going to take the pressure off myself and  do those extra things when  it works.   Journaling has always been important to me and it is something I want to make more time for, but I can’t do it when my family is hungry and I need to go to the grocery store and my kids are complaining that they have no clean clothes to wear and my house is a disaster and Ady is screaming that she wants to go swimming and she has mascara painted all over her face and I am exhausted and blah, blah, blah.  Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to catch up from that!!!   Which has been the case for me.  I thought for sure once school was back in session life would be smooth.  I would have so much time to do all of these extra things, but that has not been the case.  It has taken me this long just to recover from summer and get organized again.       

This post really wasn’t supposed to be about me at all.  I felt like I needed to keep it real though.  This is my journal and I think down the road my kids need to know that I had a hard time keeping it all together and that being a mom is really hard.  That it is the hardest thing I will probably ever do. 

It is rewarding everyday moments and milestones like this (a new school year) that I want to document for my family.  I want them to know that they are worth the time it took for me to record a memory and some photos…even when my journaling might be sporadic.   


The kids were so excited for the first day of school.  I can’t believe how grown up they look in this picture.  I also can’t believe that I have a fifth grader, third grader and kindergartner!  

School_0007 Type

It has been really fun to have all 3 of them at the same school.  This is the only year I am going to be able to enjoy that.   Next year Kaylee will be in intermediate school and probably too old for me to even snap photos like these.  She was so ready to get to her class by the time we had dropped Jake and Drew off.  I was lucky to get these photos.  You can tell in the last one that she is so wishing I wasn’t there. hahaha… 


I just love her.  I was more sad to see her go to 5th grade than I was to see Drew go to Kindergarten.  That was unexpected for me.  Kindergarten is such a milestone and I was prepared for tears to come for Drew, but I was not for Kaylee.  When I came home I was most sad about leaving her behind. 

Jake cracked me up because he was so eager to get to his class and get started.  He knew exactly where his desk was, sat down and started working.  Jake is such a good student and REALLY loves learning. 


He has the same 3rd grade teacher as Kaylee did.  That has been the story each year for him.  We are really excited about that.  Mrs. Juneau received the teacher of the year award in our school district when Kaylee was her student.  She is awesome and so much fun! 

Oh Drew!  My sweet little Kindergartner.  He was excited about his big day, but definitely more nervous and not sure what to expect.  I can tell by look on his face.  He looks a little more reserved, which is so unlike him. 

Lightroom Edits8 He decided at the last minute to ride the bus home with the big kids instead of having me pick him up.  After I dropped Kaylee and Jake off I had to go to the office to get him a wrist band for the bus.  I was glad because I was able to come back and spend a little more time in his class room.  I snapped a few more photos and watched him say the Pledge of Allegiance.  It brings back so many memories! 

I hope my kids have a fun and memorable year at school.  I know they will.  I also hope that I can manage our home and schedules better this year and not lose my mind.  A girl can dream…

P.S. To read about my latest photography adventure go here.


Colleen said...

I could have written this post. I often feel that way and I think your plan makes perfect sense to me. I feel better when my life is organized and simplified. Otherwise, I just feel too crazed and out of order. Hang in there - motherhood is one of the hardest things I have ever done but we'll get it figured out : )

Beth Curtis said...

I love this post. There is something about first day of school pics that just scream fall. I love elementary school! That pic of Kaylee giving you the eye is PRICELESS. So great. You are amazing and a great mom! Don't be so hard on yourself.

Kari said...

Hello! A friend of mine with 6 kids gave me very good advice when I expressed my frustration about not being able to do all the things I was trying to do or thought I should be doing. She said that our lives have different seasons, and this just may not be the season in my life for that (ie: playdates at the park, lunch out with friends, being PTA president, being everything to everyone and having perfect attendance to everything). Now if I feel stressed about not doing something, I just say to myself, "This is not the season in my life for that". Seasons will come and go. One year may not be the season for volunteering at school or having lunch with girlfriends, but seasons change and what we can't do now will come later. Love you! Hang in there!

Letti said...

This post was written for me! We are only playing soccer now and that's just fine with me. My kids haven't even asked about playing baseball. I too need to prioritize things in my life. The thing is they are all good things too. Thanks for your sweet words.

The Johnson's said...

We did the big SIMPLIFY push last year and it has made such a huge difference in our family. I do think it is important for kids to have activities--to learn about being a part of a team or group, socializing, etc--but not all at one time! ha I have seen blessings in our family by prioritizing and spending more time as a family and less time running all over the place! Good luck, I know you are a great mom and very talented, too! (and by the way when you say your house is a mess--who cares (and I'm sure it's not!!)......take care! We miss you guys!

Brandi said...

This post was meant for me!!! I feel the exact same way!!!!!!!!!I never can get ahead! UGH!!!!! You have the most beautiful children!!!!!!!

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

As much as we try, we can't do it all. At least without having a melt down!! It's so hard to balance everything. I feel the same way. You're not alone.

Love how you did the signs for the first day of school. Lexa wouldn't let me take many pictures. I tried to take one while she was waiting for the bus and she gave me that look to like " Thats enough!"

Andrea said...

Great post. It is so important that you share how you feel, and write it down. Not only for your kids, but for yourself. That is how you see the growth you make. It sounds like you have a great plan. Slowing down is something I think that whole world needs. We can all take a lesson from your family. Thanks for sharing. Love the first day of school pics. AWESOME!!

Brynne said...

Thanks for "keeping it real" Krysta! You are such an amazing woman doing such a fabulous work with your home and family--so much to be proud of! It could be easy to look at you from the outside and think "wow, she has got it ALL together, what is WRONG with ME???" It honestly helps to know that you have overwhelmed moments too, just like the rest of us! Hang in there! You are doing a great job and soon will be looking back at this time, grateful to have experienced it and all that you have learned from it and the many ways you've grown. You are awesome!

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