In between overdoing it

Posts tagged ‘summer’

Summer to Remember

summer-learningWe are coming the end of another school year. This time of year is bittersweet to me. I look forward to the summer, the less hectic pace and the opportunity to spend more uninterrupted time with my children. At the same time I am also a bit melancholy over the passing of another school year and the ever present march forward.

My daughter is entering 5th grade next year. In public school down south that means the last year of elementary school. With middle school looming I (as well as other mothers facing the same circumstance) am filled with fear and trepidation. My fear is founded in what my little girl will be facing. How “advanced” are these middle schooners? Will my innocent child fall prey to some all knowing 8th grader?

I remember middle school for myself. It was a really troubling, emotional time. Leaving childhood behind and embracing hormones, teens, boys and the need for popularity and acceptance. I know that very soon I will be left behind for friends at school. And I get it that is just the way of things, I did it to my parents who did it to their parents and so on. It is a right of passage. But even with I am still emotional about her growing up.

All those people who said how fast the time goes when you have children weren’t kidding. It flew by and as I sit here typing this I watch as another year come to a close. Even though I am saddened at the idea of my cuddly funny, sweet babies moving closer to adulthood. What ultimately gets me is that I know they are only mine for a short time. The time feels much shorter now then it did when they were in diapers.

In the end it is about watching them grew. Seeing them have new experiences and transform into the people they are meant to become. As I have mentioned before part of that scares me but that is the leap we take when having children. We know at some point while holding that baby in our arms we will have to release them into the world.

Part of why we hold on the past is because we know what has already happened but we do not know what will be. I think as fearful as I am about the future I am also hopeful. For some of us, like my sister-in-laws and their children, they come back to you. Not as the child that left you but as the friend you never knew you needed or that they would become.

The future hold so much possibility for my children. I will just have to sit back and enjoy the journey. As for now I plan on making this summer and each one to follow as fun, funny and memorable as we can make it.

 

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5 Lessons from a Slower Paced Summer

5 Lessons from a Slow Paced Summer

Slowing down to make better memories

When I had children I read all the popular parenting books and magazines. I found they are filled with articles and information about how to stimulate young minds, how to prepare them for the world and how to teach them to achieve. I know I’m not alone in feeling the almost overwhelming pressure to create a prodigy, turn my kid into the next great whatever, and teach them from day one how to achieve success. Yes moms, we all feel the pressure to ensure our child is gifted, special and excelling. But after several years at a forced breakneck pace of activity, I had to question did my children actually want this?

Are they benefiting from rushing from activity to activity. I admit at times I still want to be the “Tiger Mom.” Like most moms we  feel the need to equip our children with every advantage, every possibility. So they can strive to be the best, underbeachstand hard-work and excel. These are all great values to teach our children. However, here is a point were it can get away from us. There is a point when the want for them to succeed outpaces the need to let them just be a kid.

This summer my family has focused on slowing down. This is the first summer we did not have swimming lessons or some sort of scheduled activity to rush to. After a school year with too much to do, I was burnt out. I think my kids and me both needed a break, We needed the downtime to do well…nothing. Or whatever we choose to do. That’s is where this summer’s goal began.

[ctt title=”When the summer started we did not expect to have gained so much by doing nothing. ” tweet=”When the summer started we did not expect to have gained so much by doing nothing. ” coverup=”92aQ9″]Ok, really we did not do “nothing.” We just had nothing on the agenda (expect my daughters birthday at Disney, but event hat was finalized last minute.) We didn’t even plan our trip to see family till the last minute. For a chronic over scheduler this was a test for me. But as it turns we accomplished so much and learned more then we ever expected. Here is some of the lessons to learn from a slower paced summer.

  1. We learned it is ok to just play – There is a lot to be said for just playing the day away. Matter of fact there is a ressurance in the usefulness of unstructured imaginative play. It has been found to foster creativity, and the social and emotional growth of children. Plus spending a day letting the kids just play without feeling the need to make it edulational or “productive” takes the pressure off mom.
  2. We learned about each other – Not having scheduled activity meant less time in the car driving from place to place and more time to spend with each other.  It gave us as parents the opportunity have unhurried, less distracted conversations with our kids. This gave us the chance to discovering my daughter’s newfound love for Betty and Veronica comics and my son’s aptitude in racing games.
  3. We learned to enjoy the season – This summer we really took advantage of all of the things that summer represents. We spent more time swimming, in the pool and at water parks then ever before. It was such a blast.
  4. We learned to go with the flow – A last minute, impromptu trip to visit my sister at a beach front condo became the best trip of the summer. Spending time together ,watched the sunset, and BBQing. It was a relaxing unscheduled time just enjoying family and the summer.
  5. We learned to be in the moment – This summer, more then any other, we savored the moments spent with family, friends and each other. In the past I was so busy planning what we would do next. I was never fully present in the moment. My kids suffered through me shuffling them off to the next thing. Just so I  to check off another accomplishment on to-do list of activities. This was the first summer I went without a to-do list and let things flow as they came up.

This summer we spent day’s running outside with the neighbors, and sometimes we stayed in and played Legos for hours. We spent summer evenings going for long walks around our community and mornings splashing in the pool. We had long talks, cooking experiments and water slides. This summer we made memories, unplanned and unfetter by a schedule. I will admit these lessons probably impacted me more then my kids. But these memories and what we have learned from this summer will shape my approach to the year ahead. In the end it isn’t how much you get done, or even what you are doing. It’s who you spend the time with and the memories you make that matter most.

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Post your Summer Memories and Win a $25 gift card

summer memories giveawayLet’s share out best summer memories of 2016

Summer is coming to an end in a few weeks and it seems like it went by so fast (at least to me it does.) This summer was great. My goal this year was to slowdown. Be a kid again, take more time off, and not schedule so much “responsible adult” stuff to do.

swimming

My son having a blast in the pool

For my family we met this summer goal . We creating a ton of memories at a slowed down, summer pace. No scheduled activities to rush to, just summer fun with family and friends. This is what summer is all about. I am so grateful to those who lead me down this path. For someone who is a chronic over-scheduler it was sometimes tough to just go with the flow. But it was totally worth it. I wanted to find a way to reflect on what a freeing,  fun, childlike summer it was. So I thought we could all share our best moments!

To close closeout this summer I want to ask you all to head on over to the Inbetweenmoderation.com Facebook page and post a picture of your best event, activity or time. It can be anything that means summer to you and your family. A jump in the pool or time spent at the beach. Whatever evokes the feeling of summer to you. Each person will be entered into a random drawing for a $25 Visa gift card!

 I am really excited to share these memories together and revisit what a great summer this has been. Look forward to seeing what you guys post.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

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7 Ways to Save While Planning Your Vacation

7 ways to save on your next vacationSo you went on summer vacation.

Had a fantastic time and made a ton of wonderful memories. You arrive home unpack your suitcase and there it is. Staring at you like a dog waiting for dinner( Which mine are doing as I write this)…The credit card bill. You know you need to open it but really don’t want to face the damage you have done.

In your head you run a quick tally of what you think you might have spent on vacation. That souvenir T-shirt, drinks at dinner, the novelty tote bag…did I really spend that much? It is all adding up in your brain and it comes to more then you expected. While we are away it is so easy to lose track of spending. We tell ourselves “I’m on vacation I can spend fast and free.” We live it up and pretend that there is no bill to come home to. It’s fun and freeing for the moment. Then the moment ends and the bill comes.

I’m not saying this to be Debbie Downer, only that I have done this myself. Have spent more on vacation then I should have and had to dig myself out of debt upon returning home. It puts a damper on your happy memories and makes you wary of relaxing the purse strings on your next trip away.

But life shouldn’t be that way. We should be able to enjoy out vacation without the fear of getting in debt hanging over our head. With a little planning this could be the case and believe me you will enjoy your vacation a whole lot more knowing there is no ballooning credit card bill waiting in your mailbox.

Here are 7 ways to plan out your vacation and save a little money in the process.

  1. Book your vacation as far in advance as possible – This give you ample time to save for the trip. You will be completely aware of the true cost of your vacation and can make adjustments in your household spending to put aside for the cost of your travels.
  2. Be as flexible as possible with your travel dates – This will save you money in airfare, car rental and hotel bookings. You can shop around for the lowest prices based on the date.
  3. Monitor your travel bookings to see if the fare goes down in price -With many travel sites and companies if you see that the price is cheaper, they will allow you to rebook the fare at the lower price. If the price drops in the first 24 hours many airlines will allow you to rebook at a lower price and refund the difference without change fees.
  4. Prepay your vacation – This may seem obvious but it is often overlooked. Even if you pay a small amount per month towards your vacation, that small amount overtime adds up! It can take the sting out of the full vacation bill.
  5. Investigate before buying dining, photo, or beverage packages – For some families this may be a savings. However, in most cases there are many stipulations to these programs that prevent them from really saving you anything. Find out before you go and don’t sign up for these programs on a whim or under pressure.
  6. Look for no/low cost souvenirs – Do you really need another fridge magnet or coffee mug? Look for souvenirs that cost little or no money but will hold all the memory of your vacation, like a coaster from your favorite restaurant or postcard of your most beloved attraction.
  7. Have a Staycation – During 2008 when there was massive job loss, and financial uncertainty, the Staycation became the new vacation. Look around your town, your city or your state even. Are there local spots that want to see but never got a chance? Is there a great attraction within a days drive from your home? Explore the world right outside your front yard. Forgo the hotel stay and save yourself a bundle.

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Let’s close out the Summer Stronger

summer strong

 

You still have time to join ****NEW Start Date September 1****

End Summer a Healthier You

I know I don’t post much about Shakeology and Beachbody related info on the blog but part of my search for balance as a working mom has been to try and get myself healthy. Beachbody has been a big part of that. This summer I have slacked off a bit and have failed to stay consistent in my workouts.

I don’t know about you but this summer has gone by in a blur. It has been fun, frustrating, emotional but I have learned so much about myself and where I want to go in the future. Also what I want to return to. As the school year approaches I need to get myself back on track,  to re-establish why I started writing this blog.  To get back in touch with why I needed to find moderation in the first place. I, as well as all us mom’s, need to take better care of ourselves. Let’s moving forward with idea and establish healthier routines.

I know I have not talked about it much but this is the reason I return to Beachbody. I know I can find the support of friends that I have grown up with and the guidance of what has worked for me in the past.john maxwell

So *September 1, I will being again towards my search for moderation and balance in health. Taking what I have learned about myself this summer I will enter the Fall with a goal. Not just a physical goal but a mental and emotional one as well. To conquer fears, to challenge myself and to emerge a stronger, healthier me.

If you would like to join leave a note in the comments below or email me at inbetweenmoderation@gmail.com. You do not have to purchase any Beachbody products to participate (although they are helpful!) This contest will be in the style of the Biggest Loser. It’s a cost of $5 to join which goes into the “pot” to be won at the end.

Over a 21 day timeframe, the group will work together to guide, motivate and incentivize you to work out and make clean eating choices. August 1st will be the first weigh in. Privately, you will send your “group coach” a private message of your weight on your scale, with the date written on a paper beside it. We will have weekly weigh ins, and on September 22, 2016, we will have the final weigh-in, where at that point, the person who has lost the largest percentage of body weight, will win the entire pot of money!

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Organizing Month 6 – What’s in your suitcase?

organizing travelThis chapter could not have been more timely as me and the family as we have several summer trips planned over the next few months. If you have been following this blog for sometime then you are familiar with this monthly organizational feature. Each month, I follow bring you a chapter of ” One year to an Organize life,” by Regina Leeds, and let you know the results from each chapter. To see prior post just click on the links here. So far we have been through the kitchen, garage, bathroom, bedroom and paper files.  It has been an amazing journey of decluttering. This month addresses travel and packing. With summer travel in full effect it could not have come at a better time.

Earlier in the year me and the family went on a short three day cruise. Short…only three days…you would think I wouldn’t have to pack that much right??? Well, in my usual style, I totally over did it. I had 2 massive suitcases, a formal clothing bag, a toiletries bag and 3 backpacks full to the brim with toys, books and other items. For 3 days! What was I thinking. As you probably guessed we never ended up using half of what we brought but we had to lug it all around the terminal and unpack it all when we got home. What a waste of space, time and energy. A mistake I don’t intend to make again.

I want to start of by saying this chapter was chock full of good advice for travel and packing in general. One of the best pieces of advice and one I thought was genius was to bring a roll of duck tape with you. If you are travel long distances or if your luggage is showing wear. It would come in really handy should your baggage get damaged and develop a hole or rip. There were tons more but I thought this was a great one.

One of the interesting thing that the author does is to have you think not of your best trip, but of your worst. She has you identify why it was your worst travel experience and to use this to learn what not to do in the future. She even makes a list of things that her bad travel experience has taught her. I found this helpful in identifying what worked and what didn’t in my families vacations.

For example, growing up my family was never very organized when we traveled and never had a plan of what to do for the day. My parents tended to waste time puttering around a condo in Florida instead of going to new places and having new experiences.

This translated to my intense need to over schedule in my adult travels. I feel the need to not waste a moment of our vacation. [ctt title=”This was not good as well since I was so busy scheduling, I left no room in the vacation for just relaxing.” tweet=”This was not good as well since I was so busy scheduling, I left no room in the vacation for just relaxing.” coverup=”aHo2e”]  I since learned to have a somewhat looser schedule that leaves time for leisure and enjoying the moment.

The author also suggests something that I have done from time to time with great results. A travel checklist. I have found when I did not create a checklist, I over packed items I didn’t use and left without items I actually need…like a toothbrush. It is worth the extra effort to write a short list as you gather your travel items together.

This will also help you identify items that are specific to the place you are traveling. Going to Disney? You will want to forgo the flip flops for a good pair of walking shoes. Also, keep in mind the season and climate of where you are traveling. You don’t want to have to stuff that oversized coat in your bag just in case it gets cold.

In the third section she discusses something not people never really think about when traveling, our return home.  I tend to have people stay at my house while I’m away.  So I take the extra step to clean up before I go.  The author mentions what a hassle it would be to come home tired from a long trip, to a dirty house. Not a happy homecoming.

One last thing I would like to add in prepping to leave on your summer vacation. Keep in mind the security of you home. Set some lights on automatic timers. Have the neighbors get your mail and check on things. And for goodness stakes don’t post on social media that you will be away! You never know who might be looking over your friends shoulder reading your Facebook update or Instagram post. Please wait to post your vacation pictures when you are safely home. Wishing you safe and happy traveling this summer.

 

 

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Letting Them Grow and Letting Them Go

Letting them Grow and Letting them go

Watching them grow…

Summers are full of sunshine, fun and free spirt but for me there is an edge of melancholy that accompanies summer. See, the summer months is when both my children where born. During these month there is so much growth not only signified by the new year to their age but also in physical, emotional and intellectual signals.

Seeing my son’s little legs grow long and spinally, watching my daughter devour books at am alarming rate. Listening as them both ask questions and interact with others, less like young child and more like a little adult.

It is a double sided coin this growing up thing. On the one hand I see this tiny little baby I use to snuggle stretch out almost before my eyes. Growing taller and changing on what seems like a daily basis. In my son I feel pride in seeing him accomplish things that he could not do last summer. There is also a sadness as the world of make believe becomes a little less real to him.

Letting go…

As for my daughter, I see her mature into a young girl with thoughts and a mind of her own which fills me with joy and amazement. I also see the new side of deception that apparently is normal for this age. Mostly I realize the things that I needed to do for them last year I no longer need to do. They are becoming self sufficient and can complete many things I use to do for them such as make a bowl of cereal or a PB&J sandwich.

As happy and proud as I am of these accomplishments, I am also sad and a little lost feeling. My mind starts to question things like “If I am no longer need by them, then who am I?”,

In taking on the role of mom we forget who we were before that title. That person was somewhere is our distant past. We can caught a glimpse of her in the rearview mirror as we drove away toward “mommyhood” and have seen her on a few occasions in during these years but for the most part she doesn’t visit much anymore.

She has been replaced by the yoga pant wearing, grocery store running, baby snuggling, amazing person we have grown into. Because the truth is we are pretty amazing, us mom’s. We are “leap tall buildings in a single bound amazing!” As a mom, we are powerful, important and the center of someone’s world. As my kids grow I sadly feel that importance fade a little.

[ctt title=”I know my kids still need me and will always need some part of their mom for encouragement, support and love.” tweet=”I know my kids still need me and will always need some part of their mom for encouragement, support and love.” coverup=”7qZd3″]

I know that this is part of the job of being a mom. Caring for them, teaching them, loving them so one day we can let them go and do the great things we have helped to nurture inside them. What me and other mom’s who feel like me, need to remember is it was never about us in the first place. It was always about them. Children are the seed. We only water them and maybe if we are lucky, help to bring them into the sunlight and get to watch them grow.


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