Summer is here! I hope that you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Our weekend flew by — between swimming, eating ice cream, a family wedding, and pool party/cookout in West Virginia, I barely had time to breathe. It was fun while it lasted, but I woke up this morning on Tuesday with a giant sense of urgency. You see – my boys only have FIVE more days of school and that means that I have a lot to do in FIVE days!
The sun shines, the air is warm, and we do not have to BUNDLE in huge winter coats. Summer also creates chaos because school is out and if you have school-age kids, schedules drastically change. As moms (and dads) we scramble to figure out what out kids will do during the summer months, so we can eek out a little work.
I really struggled with how to purposely represent Mother’s Day here at Back’NGrooveMom. I thought to make a video (even made a quickie that turned out terrible and ended in the virtual trash can); then, I was going to write about my mom (who we already know is awesome and truly getting her back in the groove); there was a brief moment that I considered a little post on my new reading glasses and did they make me an old mom?; next, I thought about you, all my great mom readers and how I could honor you; finally, I went to yoga to clear my head…..AND, when I left class, I learned of a terrible tragedy.
Before Oprah picked the Allure of the Seas as one of her favorites, I already booked a week onboard. Nothing against Oprah (who doesn’t love O?), but I knew the Allure was going to be fabulous. I put my deposit down when it was still just a sketch of a ship! After waiting a year to set sail, my family & I boarded the ship last week for a week of sun, fun, and of course, memories (MOM – I do not want to take one more picture).
The week went like lightning, and we are back home to grey skies and rain. I shut my window blind so I do not have to see the weather, and I am so excited to share my experience with you! The week was extra memorable for me because I officially ditched my cel phone except for my once-a-day email check. This was an awesome way to enjoy spring break with my family (a separate blog post on the ups and downs of unplugging to follow). Although, I should note that if you need to be connected on the Allure – it is no problem, mon! There is wi-fi available to purchase and cel signal (check with your carrier for rates). Enough with that….Without waiting anymore, onto our week on the Allure of the Seas.
After a long, hard winter that included my mom having major back surgery, losing my father-in-law, ongoing struggles with work/life balance, & a lot of cold weather, I really needed a little lift in my spirits. Hence the carb overload this morning.
I must say that my day yesterday was a huge boost! Yesterday was a simple day, yet just what the doctor ordered for me. Sometimes all we need is a little regular routine to feel back in the groove. When life gets too hectic, and we stray too far from our sense of balance…..a little sense of “normalcy” (what is that?) is the glue that puts it all back in order. Nothing super special, just good old-fashioned life.
I had several blog posts brewing in my mind for this week; my outlines were laid out and I was ready to go; and then shit happens. For the last 2 weeks, my adorable, fun-loving, caring father-in-law has been in the Intensive Care Unit fighting for his life. It has been a roller coaster of an affair with many ups and downs, and I have been treading water as fast as I can in order to keep up with everything. After all, I am a mom, wife, daughter-in-law, daughter, mompreneur, advocate for other moms & entrepreneurs, and community member. Sleep is in limited supply, but I have stayed up to date with my boys’ homework and science fair project, cheered on their team at basketball practices, cooked dinner, walked the dogs, participated in committee meetings, made some unreal progress with the prototype, and stayed on target with my blog and my weekly blog at StartupNation while praying for my father-in-law.
**Warning — Bitch Alert! (written late last night)
This afternoon I took a little “me” break, and I got a pedicure. It was such a nice hour: Quiet, Calm, Relaxing, and a Beautiful Outcome to boot. After that, it was pretty much a downward spiral. The rain was pouring down at school pick-up, and my son came out to the car and informed me that he hit his head on the concrete at recess. That was just the beginning. There was homework, dogs to feed, snacks flying everywhere, a report about some shenanigans at school, and my younger son realizing that he misplaced his itouch.
At this point, we are all in a frenzy looking for the itouch, talking about behavior expectations at school, trying to reach our cousin who is a pediatrician on the head smacking the concrete, and making our way through the 2nd grade spelling list. This is when announcing that everyone was putting on their pj’s, having dinner, and waiting for bedtime was appropriate. BUT, noooooooo…..I promised the boys that we would go see our local high school basketball team in round 2 of the state playoffs (45 minutes each way from our house).
Last Friday, our country woke up to the devastating news of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For me, it was hard to concentrate on anything but the media coverage of this terrible natural disaster, and hoping and praying for the safety of those affected. It is in times like these, that we are thankful for the little things in life, and take pleasure in what we have around us. I took comfort in my 2 boys and the opportunities that are in front of them. The boys’ creativity, vibrancy, and outlook on the world is so reassuring. I decided to reflect a bit on these 2 mini-entrepreneurs.
A few years back when my older son was in kindergarten, I had a good friend that worked at his school. This friend lived right near a place that sold my fave low-fat brownies (I know – they were probably 1000 calories a piece, but that is another blog). It was a great set-up: my friend would get a week’s supply of low-fat brownies, put them in my son’s backpack at school, and I would have my most indulgent nighttime snack all week-long. It was my own personal low-fat brownie underground operation. UNTIL, one day in the carpool lane, I received a phone call from another mom saying she owed me money for the chocolate treat?!?!? I had NO idea what she was talking about until I pulled up further in line and my son got in the car.
Guess What? My son, who was 6 years old at the time, decided to turn the carpool waiting area into an entrepreneurial venture. He opened up the packs of brownies (2 per pack) and sold 1 brownie for a dollar each! At the time, there were still vending machines at school. so some kids had money for snacks, and for a few close friends, he issued credit. When I suggested that he return the money, he said “No Way!” He argued that the kids had their brownie and ate it, and it was only fair he keep the money. What he did not account for was that I was his financial backer with the brownies, and he would have to take the initial investment out of the gross (his first lesson in biz). This was the day when I realized that I was dealing with a kidpreneur.
My older son is lucky to have a little brother that is never afraid to speak his mind, thinks out of the box, and acts as a “profit coach” of sorts. Together, the two boys make up a great pair – one is very serious and “crosses every T and dots every I”, and the other brings the ingenuity and creative thinking. They appear to be on equal footing in their biz ventures because each one holds a different skill set, and they realize that! This is another valuable lesson in business for them – know your strengths and weaknesses and align yourself with someone who can fill your gaps.
At the end of 2010, many of my fellow women bloggers wrote fabulous bucket lists of what they wanted to do in the upcoming year. I was not that organized at the end of the year, and I was trying to avoid writing about new years resolutions in general. I did think about 2011 in terms of what I wanted to do in abundance, but now I have my bucket list!
On the previously mentioned lists, I added what I wanted to do in the comment section on several. At the top of my wish list for 2011 was taking my mom to Vegas. With so much going on, why would this be at the top of my list? Well, you have to read my list to find out!