Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Things I Learned in August

I was going to publish the next post in the Being Cool About School series today but then I saw that Emily is doing her "Let's Shared What We Learned" link-up and it's one of my favorites. We basically meet up at the end of each month to share random, quirky, or meaningful stuff we've learned over the course of the month. I love these sorts of posts.

I already have the next post written in the school series so tomorrow I'm going to do something I never do: publish on a Saturday. Does anyone even read blogs on the weekend? I have no idea. But if you do, come back tomorrow morning for the next installment in the series.

But for now, feast your Friday attention on the life-changing, super meaningful, change-the-world stuff I learned in August.


1. I don't feel old enough to have been married 18 years. We celebrated our anniversary this month and I commemorated it with a blog post. Naturally. 18 Simple Thing I've Learned About the Not-So-Simple Art of Marriage.

Why yes, we are 12 in this picture.

2. PicMonkey. I know, I'm probably two years behind the times on this one. I usually am. I don't have Photoshop. I don't know how to do fancy, creative stuff on my computer. I use Blogspot {for the time being} instead of Wordpress. But when I started my series this week, Being Cool About School, my friend Richella said, Girl, you need a pinnable image. And then she made me one. I was so impressed. She told me she did it on PicMonkey. It's a free and super easy photo-editing site. Here's the image she made:

Cute, right? Anyway, I played around with it a bit and am really excited to use it for future blog stuff.

{Special thanks to my friend Kindel for figuring out how to make these images "pinnable" by inserting a bit of code. Now you can just hover over any image and it shows the Pinterest "P."}

3. And speaking of the series, I've learned that a lot of you are interested in the subject of finding grace and freedom in our educational choices. I've been overwhelmed, in a good way, by all of the e-mails, facebook messages, and comments. 

When I had a big birthday back in May, I said that 40 feels like permission. 

Permission to take all that I'm learning and actually do something with it. Permission to tap into some God-given loves even if I don't have the training or degrees or clout. Because y'all, forty is legit. I'm a bona fide grown-up now, old enough to have some credibility, experienced enough to have some stories, tired enough to have some needful restraint, and brave enough to say yes to new paths.

Yesterday I talked with my friend, Julie, and she said, I feel like your writing has so much more confidence now. Perhaps she's right. I don't think I would have had the courage to write this series even a year ago. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Yes, I'm a bit braver than I used to be but I still get all shades of nervous to write about such a personal and "loaded" subject.

4. Transition, even when it's good and timely and needed, can be exhausting and weird. All five of us, plus the dog, are still reeling from the schedule changes that began with the advent of a new school year. 

I inexplicably want to take naps in the middle of the day, every day. I've stopped nearly every day for a sweet tea or soda at local gas stations and drive-thru's. We're all pretty much wiped out by 7 pm. I forget that it's like this every year.

Even our poor, extroverted, emotionally-needy, canine member of the family went on a hunger strike for the first week of school and sank into a depression. She literally stayed in this spot, every single day, from 8 am until 3 pm.

We may need to look into doggy Prozac.  

5. Popsicles are like a magic wand for 5-year-olds who are struggling with start-of-school woes. If you read this post about all the tears my kindergartener and I shed on the first few days of school, you may be wondering, So how is all that working out? 

The whole first week was rough. I'm not gonna lie. But every day when I picked him up, he told me how fun it was; it was simply the "getting there" part that killed us. And then my husband told our 5-year-old that if he was able to go to school and be brave, he would get his own box of popsicles. 

Parenting gurus around the globe will probably send me hate mail now. But hear me. By the time you get to the third child and are in your 13th year of parenting, you are chucking idealism to the curb and camping out in the land of "whatever works." Our big boy has not shed a teensy-weensy tear since that day. He goes to school like a boss. Who knew? We are now on our second box of popsicles which has likely ushered in all sorts of additional dysfunction. 

6. Fourth-grade boys are the easiest species on the planet to dress. My son wears this "uniform" to school every. single. day: basketball shorts, t-shirt, the ridiculous black tall socks {you know what I'm talking about}, and running shoes. I hope this outfit never goes out of style, even though the socks resemble my dad's "Sunday" ones with a Nike swoosh added. We may have taken to sleeping in our next-day clothes on school nights because basketball shorts and t-shirts are essentially pajamas. And also real clothes. God bless him. 

7. I'm attending the Allume conference. I'm over the moon about this. My husband and I decided I should go...right after it sold out. So I had to resort to all sorts of social media desperation to find someone selling a ticket. I finally did just a couple of weeks ago. Ann Voskamp is speaking so I'm a bit giddy over that. I've never been to a blogging conference but this one isn't too far away and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

If you'll be there too, let me know.


So there you have it. Seven things I learned in August. Happy weekend, friends! Tune in tomorrow for my next post in the Being Cool About School seriesOur Story Part 2: Permission to Let a Good Thing Go.

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How about you? Any fun, weird, or exciting stuff that you learned in August?


  1. I popped over from Emily's link up. I chuckled at the 4th grade boy uniform. Got one of those, too. He did warn me this morning that I needed to do laundry, so his uniform stash must be getting low. Hooray for popsicles! I wonder if that would work on my pokey 2nd grader?

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  3. I also popped over here from Emily's. You made me laugh out loud with your "ridiculous tall socks" comment : ) I'm with ya on that. Who knew such a fashion statement would come back around? Only this time it's with black socks not white. Glad I popped in and I just might be back. You've got me curious about Your "Being Cool About School" series : )

  4. Well, apparently it's not just a fourth grade uniform thing... because our 6th and 7th graders wear this each day unless I make them wear pants to go somewhere.

  5. I really enjoy your blog. My kids are older, but you sure do bring back lots of memories. We also had a boy "uniform" at our house which included shorts year round even when it was very cold. I love the individual box of popsicles idea. Have a great school year.

  6. The boy uniform. You know I know it well. Every single day with the socks :). We even have an aqua pair now. I'm so excited that you'll be going to Allume. I don't know. I just feel this prickly feeling that this year holds so much opportunity for you. It's good, friend :).

  7. The boy uniform. You know I know it well. Every single day with the socks :). We even have an aqua pair now. I'm so excited that you'll be going to Allume. I don't know. I just feel this prickly feeling that this year holds so much opportunity for you. It's good, friend :).

  8. I started with this post and just kept reading! Thoroughly enjoy your writing. I "met" you in our EF group at SS.
    God's grace,
    Teresa Glenn

  9. Love reading your blog when I have a few moments of down time. So excited you get to go to Allume and I hope you'll tell us all about it!

  10. Clicked over here from Chatting at The Sky. We must be living identical lives. Not old enough to have been married 20 years, SO wondered how to make pinnable images, 13 years + 3rd child = "land of whatever works", and "the uniform."

    Love your learns and your writing!

  11. Isn’t it great to learn new things everyday? I guess with kids at home, you’ll learn new things this way. Your number 6 is interesting. It’s good to see that at fourth grade, your son already know the style of clothing he wants. But going with this style, I think you should buy him more new basketball shorts and high socks.

    Jennine Stalder @


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