Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Shower Board as a DIY White Board

I'm finally getting around to sharing our DIY white board! It was a cinch to make. First, we purchased a piece of inexpensive shower board from Home Depot. We were happy with the 4' x 8' piece. If we had needed a smaller piece, we would have asked them to cut it on site. Shower board is literally the stuff that goes inside a shower.

Next, we screwed it into the wall. Then we used trim to frame it. (And by "we" I mean our friend Chris who volunteered to help with that part of it in exchange for a cooking lesson.) Then we caulked everything, primed it, and painted it. I purchased vinyl lettering from this Etsy shop. I used thin tape to create the outline of the monthly calendar and some sections on the right (for example, one of them says "On the Menu" and I list out the meals we're having that week). Each month, I use a dry erase marker to label the days. I transfer events from the yearly section over to the monthly section. That's it! 

I was afraid it would stick out from the wall too much or be really distracting, but neither of those things ended up being true. We really like it! 

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

For each anniversary, Matt and I alternate who writes a letter about our year and who plans a date for us. This year, it was my turn to right the letter:

Dearest Matt,

Has it already been six years already? Each day with you is too fast. Especially these days. I never feel like I get to talk to you enough (dinner time is so chaotic and then it's a mad dash to the bath and to bed). I still crave your conversation and your listening ear. 

What a year. We keep saying that every year, don't we? Last year at this time, we had a new baby in our arms. We didn't really think we were going to go down the path of second-time parenthood, but I'm so glad we did. Tater is so sweet, and our family really does feel more full and more complete. 

We did it. We made it through that hardest year with an infant. And I threw opening a school into the mix. And we moved into a new home. 

Why do we keep doing this? 

I see glimpses of it. When you and I cuddle on our IKEA sectional on the deck, I know why we've done this. We've pushed through all the hard stuff to get to the top of the summit. We're honestly almost there. Meaningful work, a beautiful home, friends, two sweet children, our trusty bloodhound, our families. Each other. I really couldn't ask for anything else. I seriously have it all. I just want to hold all of it so tightly in my arms and never let any of it go.

I just hope you know just how lucky I am that I got to partner up with you for life. I don't always show it. I get busy. I get frustrated. I focus on something you've done wrong instead of the gazillion things you've done right. You deserve more. You always inspire me to be more. You are so full of light and joy. I am so lucky that our paths crossed. I'm so fortunate we turned a potentially fleeting encounter into permanence. 

You are my very center. You hold me when everything is spinning too fast or too much. I couldn't do any of this without you. I mean that so sincerely and without any hyperbole. I love you. I am lucky you love me, too. 

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Monday, August 4, 2014

These Days

It's been forever! I've missed you all! I've also missed setting aside the time and space to consider and reflect and plan. Life has been packed to the very brim lately. Starting a school takes every waking moment. Then I'm still pushing to be a present parent. And of course I still want to sleep. So those three things have pretty much been the entirety of my existence for the past month and a half. 

I am eager for school to start so we can fall into a rhythm. I'm feeling the pull to start planning my time, so I can fit in all the things that are important to me on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. 

I'll need to stay late at school two times a week (once for an afterschool Spanish class and once for professional development). Beyond that, I hope to be able to come home with Tate and Henry and play together before it's time to start dinner. And I hope that our weekends are full of fun. I'd like to fit in a run at the lake once a week, and run on a treadmill in the teacher's lounge during my lunch break twice a week. I'd like to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. I'd like to have an interesting vacation on the horizon once or twice a year. And I'd like to have something social on the calendar at least once a month. And a date night with Matt at least once a month! 

A friend of mine once explained that highly demanding jobs make it nearly impossible to achieve "work-life balance." Instead, she said I should think about what I need on a daily, monthly, weekly, and yearly basis and make sure I have time for those non-negotiable things. Those are like the big rocks, and everything else is sand that can fill in around those. 

I sit down to generate a new daily/weekly/monthly/yearly list every time something significant in my life changes. Whenever I do it, I find that I don't need nearly as much as I think I do in order to feel like a balanced and whole person. 

I'm excited to work to fit in these things once school starts! 

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