Get On the Bus

I've always been a big fan of the school bus. You get your child ready, send them out the door, and start your day. Can that system really be improved? But, like so many things in motherhood, guilt would sometimes creep up. I would read an article or talk to someone that loved driving their children to school. The great conversations, the bonding, the memories they'll treasure for a lifetime, and I'd think maybe I'm missing out on something even better than the bus. So this year I decided to drive my three middle schoolers 25 minutes to school each morning. Their bus comes very early now and I wanted to see what all these people have been raving about. Let me tell you...they lied.

If you have more than one child in the car, your morning conversations are much more likely to consist of mediating arguments than sharing secrets. You won't be in the mood for anything other than a nap after you've given 45 directions and repeated yourself 75 times all the while fighting your way across town in rush hour traffic. 

Stop bothering her. Don't talk to him. Why are you bringing that up again? You forgot your shoes?!? Where is your lunchbox? Why are we always late? Leave each other alone. Why is this car in front of me moving so slowly?!?

More often than not you will arrive in the drop off lane with your blood pressure through the roof regretting EVER letting that bus pass you by. 

Yesterday morning, I had not turned on the van for more than five seconds before a fight broke out between my twins. One was cold after choosing to wear only a thin t-shirt and one was dressed appropriately for the weather. When the freezing child asked her sister to turn on the heat, the one with a coat said no and promptly turned on the air conditioner. This incited way too loud protesting from the one who was cold. Which led to way too loud yelling from me about why in the world I cannot even back out of the garage before there is fighting. When confronted with why she would use the air conditioner on a frosty December morning, the one with a coat decided to double down on the ridiculousness and claimed it was fine outside and maybe a little warm in here. And thus our bonding time began with a lecture and then a punishment...everyone would ride the bus the next morning!  

And I refused to feel guilty about it. Well, maybe just a little. :)

Can you relate? How many things have you set out to do as a mom that did not quite match your expectations? 

Photo Album Madness

Last week, I fell into the black hole of digital photo book making. I've been working on our 2014 photo album for a couple months desperately trying to finish before the end of 2015. Then my daughter took some really pretty family pictures of everyone on our Thanksgiving trip and I thought a book of just those might be nice. That got me thinking about Christmas gifts and who else might enjoy a photo book. Once I started down that path, other ideas popped up and I had to make myself go back to our family album from last year and regroup!

What happened to the days of getting some prints and putting them in an album a few times a year? Or maybe just keeping them all in a storage bin. Something simple. 

Now I take so many more pictures. Cell phones let us capture all the moments, but then I feel like I have to DO something with them. Apple assures me they're floating around in a cloud, but really...will they actually be there when I want to look at them?

So I find myself in front of the computer for hours on end, foregoing a shower and my to-do list while my eyes bleed squinting at tiny thumbnails of pictures I saved over a year ago. Now which one of those shots was a good one? Why isn't that uploading? What? Why did I take all these pictures?!?

And as always, I vow that next year I will get on this earlier than December! 

How about you? Are you with me in the never ending quest to get your pictures under control? Have you ever lost waaay too much time after clicking on start your photo book now?

Thanksgiving at the Beach

This year we decided to try something new for Thanksgiving and joined my two brothers and parents in Hilton Head. My parents hosted the meal in their condo and we all brought something to contribute. It was fun! Their rental was large enough to seat everyone comfortably and my mom managed to cook a great meal in a kitchen she'd never seen before!

We missed my sister being with us though!

The weather was a little too cool to enjoy the beach early in the week, but we had some great weather at the end.

Family volleyball on the beach

Riding bikes and playing tennis were on my must-do list. It was especially neat to see my dad and son dueling it out on the court!

My younger kids had fun building sand castles and playing in the water with their cousins. My mom got to collect seashells with the grandchildren. We all enjoyed live music and a shrimp boil one night at The Salty Dog. It was a treat to play lots of games and spend time just hanging out. Thanksgiving at the beach was a success and I'll treasure the memories we made together!