Thursday, October 20, 2016


I've started writing this post several times, but it has taken weeks to find the time and/or energy to actually finish it.

Yes, we are busy, but it feels like that's not an anomaly. The America Dream, or something?

Ellie's has been playing soccer, with practices 1-2x per week, and a game every Saturday. And Michael is the coach.

Hazel is in a co-op preschool which means I volunteer 2x/month to be at her school from 9-12, helping in her class. It's a fun chance for me to watch Hazel interact with friends. I'm also the Secretary of the Board which means, at the least, monthly board meetings.

I'm attending two different MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups. I know how hard it is to find friends, and how important Mom friends are in this stage of my life, so I knew I wanted to find ways to connect and hopefully make some friends and be encouraged. One meets once per month, the other one meets twice a month.

I'm also training for a half-marathon. My race is this weekend. I'm looking forward to the race, and also to taking a break from training. I've stayed on a training schedule virtually for 12 weeks, up until last week where I haven't done much besides my long run of 11 miles. But, I feel ready to run 13.2 on Sunday. I really never thought I'd get there!

We have been attending a church in Portland and joined a Home Group that meets every Sunday night.

In the remaining free time that I have, usually 1-2 times per week, I am working as a substitute teacher, when jobs are available. Thankfully, in the last month, I've been able to work every single day that I've been available. We are really thankful my Mom is able to help with the girls when I work. Living near family has been a significant and welcome change for us.

We've had multiple fundraisers in the first month or so of school. We've collected Box Tops, Ellie had a Fun Run at her school, I sold pies for MOPS, Ellie sold First Aid kits for her soccer team, and now we are supposed to be selling wreaths and poinsettias for Hazel's preschool. This is a new world for us!

This all means we have a full calendar. There is so much nitty gritty going on. We celebrated Ellie's 6th birthday this week. Ruby moved into a big girl bed this week, and after a couple days of staying in her bed it's been a bit of a battle.
Birthday pancakes!
Visiting Ellie's class on her birthday.
Days are long but time is flying. We've been back in the States for more than three months. We still miss Guatemala and still wonder, in moments, if we did the right thing.

I went to Ellie's teacher conference this week. Her teacher told me that Ellie is probably the best Spanish speaker in the class. She does even better than the native speakers. How? Apparently she conjugates her verbs and has a wider vocabulary. So, this was a huge encouragement that we are in a good place. I share this because, of course, I'm a super proud Mama, but also, to remind myself that our time in Guatemala has been a building block to this stage in our lives. Ellie is thriving in her Kindergarten class. Hazel is thriving in her preschool. Ruby thrives wherever we go. At church or MOPS she walks right into her little class and doesn't look back. She plays at a friend's house on the mornings I work at Hazel's school, and she walks right in there, too. She loves to sit on my lap and read books for an hour at a time. She is thriving both at home with me and around other people.
Every time I start working in the kitchen this girl pushes her stool right over so she can help.
There is so much to be thankful for. I get to have quality time with all of my girls. We still have stress in our lives, but work and home stressors have changed since we moved back to the States. And we are enjoying time as a family. Also, we're glad to be back in Oregon, despite the rain.
Happy Fall!