Monday, October 17, 2011

My Grand Plan (and how things really turned out)

I had such a beautiful plan for this autumn!  It involved shipping both kiddos off to their respective school classes (Caleb attends the preschool that is run through the school district and it just happens to be located in the same school Olivia goes to) and using that time alone to exercise and whirl-wind clean my house and finish projects so that when they got home we would have lots and lots of fun, relaxing, wholesome family time together.  It was gonna be great!  After school piano students would come and go and then we'd get busy with homework and cooking dinner together and enjoying our evenings.  My church calling right now is relatively low key, we had survived all of Cam's crazy summer bike races and our family vacation stuff, and even though both kids are involved in a few activities outside of school, I had somehow envisioned them just seamlessly fitting into our daily routine.  (Because - insert sarcasm - Girl Scouts, Activity Days, Up With Kids and Toddler Sports Clinics magically exist in their own alternate universe and don't take any hours out of your real day!  And of COURSE being in school = calm and peaceful evenings devoid of all stress, right?)

Anyway, things were floating along generally peachy like for the first few weeks of school when out of nowhere the opportunity to teach in the preschool classroom next door to Caleb's class presented itself and from the get go it just felt so incredibly right to me.  I haven't been employed outside of my own house in almost nine years and I certainly wasn't looking to be right now, but a 17 hour a week position doing something I LOVE with all my heart, in a situation and schedule that completely coincides with my kid's school schedule, just a mile up the street and surrounded by some pretty lovely and amazing ladies was just too good to pass up!  My original plan was to teach less piano once I started this job, but I just love my sweet students too much and couldn't let anybody go, so after working from 9 - 1:30 Caleb and I come home, have a little bit of down time and then by 3:00 it's up and back to work teaching.  I've been working for two weeks so far and even though we haven't dropped the ball too badly with Livs doing her homework before dinner, and I am pleased to report that my mountain of laundry has not fallen over and squished anyone (yet)...  my visions of everyone doing homework and talking and cooking together every evening (or even one evening) have failed to pan out.  "Mac and Cheese anyone? Cereal?  Quick - get in the tub!  Quick - brush your teeth and jump into bed because nice mom is exhausted and grumpy mom is about to make an appearance!"  I am crossing my fingers (toes, elbows, knees and eyes) that we will all be able to adjust to this new routine quickly, that life will calm a little and that my kids know I love love LOVE them more than anything and they are still my Numero Uno priority and the best gifts I've ever gotten, despite a job thrown into the mix.

I make light a little of how chaotic things are sometimes, but really truly I am SO GRATEFUL for my sweet family and for the blessings that Heavenly Father gives to us.  I know this is an opportunity from Him to help our family and allow me to use my talents (and perhaps test me a little along the way as well?)  I am so grateful for Cameron who supports me even amidst craziness in his own career right now (he's just been transferred to a new store - it's thirty minutes closer to our house and we are so grateful for it, but the transition has of course been stressful for him) and my good friends who watch Caleb on his off days from preschool and those who have offered to be back up.

Years ago (I won't say how long) I went to EFY with my friend Erin and the theme for that summer was "Joy in the Journey."  I am trying oh so very hard right now to remember that.  I don't want to miss the daily joys in our life because I'm trying to look beyond a little bit of chaos and see a less stressful time (that quite possibly won't ever show up!)  My Grand Plan for this autumn was pretty good, but I have a feeling that the New Plan is going to be even better if I can just have the faith to let it.

Thoughts?  Pearls of wisdom to share with me?  How do you remember to still enjoy the moments among chaos?  


Katie said...

Life's unexpected's are wonderful. You are going to do great and you will get into some sort of a routine though it might not be until Christmas. Good luck and take deep breaths when you get overwhelmed.

Kara and Chant said...

I am so excited for you and this opportunity. You are amazing with kids and I know you will do great things for them. As far as the chaos, I'm home all day and it's still a little crazy. Just remember that no one is going to starve if you don't have gormet meals every night and as long as the underwear and socks are clean, you are good ;)

Susan said...

I really enjoyed reading this. :) You are such a wonderful mom and oh so talented! I think it's awesome you have this opportunity to teach preschool AND piano. I don't really have any advice, other than keep doing what you are doing and each day is a new day for a good attitude and plenty of energy to get the necessities done. :) You are awesome!

Stacey said...

Those kids are so lucky to have you as a teacher. I loved teaching preschool and can't wait to go back. It is so fun when they come up to you years later at a store and are still so excited to see you.

Adam&Rachel said...

I am not sure I have any advice, I still struggle with this. Thanks for the reminder on slowing down and enjoying the little things. I have a quote on my mirror that helps me "I wish I had enjoyed the doing more than the getting it done." there is more to it than that, but that's the gist. That especially applies to bedtime my biggest struggle when I just want to get it done and not enjoy :) miss you! Good luck with your new adventure

Julie W said...

Congrats on the new teaching position! That is so awesome whenever a window of opportunity springs open without you even trying. :) And having been a working mom/SAHM, I can tell you things never slow down. You just have to relish the chaos for what it is: life on the move!! :)

I also hope you don't mind me answering this here, but I got an email w/ your question on my blog, and I couldn't find a return address, but ... I know Sterling through the Air Force. I wrote more in-depth about it at the link below, but to sum it up, we served together over the years in the Air Force, and have kept in touch all this time. He's a great guy, isn't he? I'm always amazed at how very small the world truly is these days.

Thanks for reading my blog, too! :)