Wednesday, May 20, 2015

An "At Home" Day

Summer is fast approaching and I've been thinking of all the Mama's and kiddos who will quickly be making the shift from mornings off, off, and away to school, to mornings where everyone stays put right at home.

The transition into summer is painful the first week or so.  Everyone is adjusting to the new normal that will be the canvas summer is painted on.

The memory of our first day of Summer 2013 will stay with me forever.  It was not even ten in the morning and I had already pulled out all of my tricks, handed out the snacks, and was looking at the clock wandering if 5 o'clock would ever come.  The day crept by like molasses and I was petrified as I stood there looking into the eyes of my new reality.

It got better.  We relaxed.  We found our groove and settled into our new routine.  There were fights to break up.   We lived to tell about it.  It turned out to be fun.

But that first day.

Lord have mercy.

That first day is usually awful.

The day before is great.

Long, lazy days filled with sunshine and snow cones fill our thoughts with nostalgia.

But then day one of summer comes and slaps us harshly awake.

There we stand in the middle of the kitchen, wide-eyed and clutching a cup of coffee for dear life, begging God to make the days fly because they are already fighting and we haven't even had breakfast yet.

My first suggestion for setting us up for a great summer is to give ourselves an "At Home" day.  For me it is always Monday.  There is no magic to Monday, but it works for me.  You might like Thursday and that's perfect.  I would say, any day Monday through Thursday would be great.  Weekends don't count.  There is something freeing about having a consistent weekday/weeknight that you can count on for quiet.  Mine is Monday.

I almost never dress cute or put on make-up on Monday.

Monday is our day to ease into the week.

Monday is for home.

It is not for practices or appointments.

It is a slow paced day with not much expectation.

Every piece of laundry gets washed every Monday.  I like to serve a crock-pot meal for Monday dinner.  It keeps it easy and laid back.  I know that Monday night bedtime is going to land on time and early for the kids.  There will be plenty of time to read and get a good nights rest every Monday night.

Monday is sacred for us.

In our culture of fast paced always moving, going, doing, we need a day at home.

If I was working full-time, I would suggest the exact same thing.  Have a night every week where you are at home.

Schedule it and guard it with your life.

The groceries and appointments can fit in somewhere else, but you decide your day and time and stick to your guns.

Creating this white space will do a world of good for your sanity.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

For a long time Cinco de Mayo was one of my favorite holidays because it was the only foreign language phrase I could speak fluently.

The smell of barbecue filling the air on Memorial Day and the way we close out the Fourth of July every year with watermelon and margaritas and chairs lining the lawn as we watch the sky light up are good holidays too, but there is something special about Cinco de Mayo.  A guaranteed day every year that we'll eat Mexican.  It's a pretty special thing.

Let's be honest.  I don't need a holiday to have a reason to celebrate with Mexican.  You should've seen the boys faces light up when I served up this lunch on a Tuesday which they assumed was another day of the same ol' same ol'. 

You can never go wrong with a plate of cheese Doritos topped with taco meat, freshly grated cheddar and crisp romaine. 

One of my favorite dinners is a layered dish in a 9x13 pan.  Layer in this order: bag of cheese Doritos, one pound of seasoned taco meat, warmed ranch style beans, bag of shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar, chopped tomato, diced onion.  Mix.  Serve with a wedge of lime?  I don't see why not.  Oh so good and oh so easy!

Happy Cinco de Mayo to you and yours.