Winding Down

It is kind of ironic to type the title of this blog when I am amidst one of those weeks where I alternate from not being able to believe that it is already Thursday to not being able to believe that it is only Thursday. This is what happens when everyone goes on vacation and leaves you in charge while you are simultaneously fighting a (finally winning) battle with a head cold. The goods news is that I have some free time to blog and my sense of smell and taste are coming back. Woohoo!

Last weekend was the first time in six weeks that we haven't been to the beach. We pretty much meant to go, but then the sniffles came, the long runs for marathon training had to be done and the weather just wasn't that nice. I guess this truly means that summer is coming to a close. Dang. I did enjoy that three hour nap with the tot though, even if it wasn't in the sand.

It has been a lot of years since I have been going "back to school" in the fall, but I always feel the symbolic end of fun, beginning of knuckling down time, and this year is no exception. Matty and I are really focused on getting our ducks in a row to begin the home buying process, which means a tight budget and sticking close to home over the holidays. Matty is actually going back to school too, which gives us even more of an excuse to stick to our plans of laying low, spending wisely and working hard. I feel lost without goals, and the idea of getting our finances together, fixing our credit and being able to buy a home that we can raise our family in is a great motivator for me to spend less money at Starbucks and more time looking for bargains on the things that we need. I feel lucky to be married to someone who is as goal driven and responsible as I am, and I am hopeful that this time next year things will be very different for us and we will have a new goal to focus on, perhaps baby number two or a trip across the pond? Only time will tell!

I am also trying to wind myself down more and have been making an attempt to practice some daily meditation. I have not gone as far as getting a guided meditation to listen to and practice each day, but I am going to try and spend the rest of the free time I have today doing that. I am taking a little time to breathe and unwind in the morning and the evenings, but what I really need is to have a time out while at work, when I am the most anxious and wound up. Earlier this week I had my first reiki session with a woman who comes to the shelter and does this with the clients and staff; I was so excited to finally have a free thirty minutes while she was here and I really, really enjoyed the session. Just sitting and mindfully relaxing for that time made the rest of my day so much less stressful and I felt like I could communicate with my staff and family so much nicer. I am definitely going to make meditation and reiki a major priority for myself.

One more attempt at winding down is unplugging when I get home from work. This was something that I did last Lent - no iPhone from when I got home from work until bedtime - and I feel like it did a pretty awesome service to myself and my ability to do more productive things in the evenings. Now I am just trying to unplug at least until after Maddie is asleep and make it a point to immediately get down on the floor and play with her as soon as I walk in the door. Lately we have been doing wooden puzzles together, and it is kind of the best way ever to let the work day disappear and allow family time to take full priority.

Speaking of family, oh how I love that husband and child of mine. Everyday Maddie is trying out new words, stringing together phrases, and becoming the real funny one in the house. Going to the park and swinging like a monkey from any and every bar is her favorite activity. She loves playing dress up, whether that involves wearing three tutus, Dada's hats or her new backpack that her nanny made her (or sometimes a combo of all these) and she has even started eating some meat! Meat, you guys! Maybe she won't be a veg-head after all! I am looking forward to taking her apple and pumpkin picking this fall, starting her new season of music classes and celebrating two years of having such pure joy in our hearts this November.
Tutus (times three).

Rocking a cowboy hat at my company picnic.

Figuring out how things work with her awesome backpack. Who needs other clothes?

Her favorite thing at the park - hanging like a monkey.

MEAT! She nibbled on a turkey slice from the deli, finally!

Happy Thursday, y'all!


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