The whole mishegas of life with babies, old houses that need fixing, and marriages that need attention are nothing new, but they can take a toll, man. August has been declared as the month to get back on the goal bandwagon.
1. Wrap up and wind down.
Tim is finishing work this week, which means we will be living on love and a nanny salary for the rest of the Fall and into winter. Yikes. The good news is we love a challenge. The other good news is we’re recovering minimalists and we don’t like a lot of stuff anyway. The last good news is we will have SO MUCH family time with Tim swapping his work-out-of-town job for a 15 minute commute.
In an effort to remember how to enjoy our grown up time and our family time, we’re making some intentional choices. This past weekend we took a walk to the Farmers Market for the first time since moving here (and after 11 months of talking about it). It was refreshing and enjoyable and everything we thought it would be, so we vowed to do it more often while the weather holds. The babies both napped in the stroller (!) and we got to talk and drink strong iced coffee and eat fancy pastries at the market. Happy family time!
2. Simplify our crap.
Tim and I both read Hands Free Mama last week and it has had a major impact on our lives. Since then, we have invested a lot of energy into conversation about what we want out of life at this point. We both come back to a shared and passionate goal of simple living. I feel like I spend my days split between juggling babies and navigating a raging sea of stuff that accumulates on counters, tables, floors, dressers, the piano… Where did it all come from?
I spent last week focusing on the bathrooms and got down to one organized basket of stuff in each bathroom. That’s it! Empty vanities, clean counters. We worked on the office the last few days and are almost done after purging tons of books, lamps, cords, and random electronics. This weekend we will go through the storage room, garage, master bedroom, and kitchen in an effort to get rid of the clutter and reclaim some of our free time for things that really matter. The other thing we realized is our house is too big. But that’s a revelation for another day. I didn’t finish the minimalist challenge from last month, but we’re certainly finishing it now and it feels AWESOME.
We are adjusting this week as we welcome a nanny babe of 8 months to the daytime brood. It’s no joke around here and occasionally seems like a three alarm fire is breaking out, but we are making it work and Silas loves having playful company! I like having someone here for Si’s socialization and it’s really his first chance to be the big kid, which has come with interesting dynamics. So far, so good.
This is going to help us pay the bills while Tim student teaches this Fall, and it also will help us simplify our habits and spending, which has been a goal but hasn’t happened in any impressive way. I’ve learned it’s hard to change spending habits without the pressure of duress or a big change in circumstances. We’re there.
Tomorrow Mary Kay comes to stay and I am eager for her help and company! Tim’s last two days away will allow me time to furiously pare down our belongings in time to have a rummage on Saturday morning. An extra set of hands is such a gift.
3. Love each other.
If Hands Free Mama taught us anything, it’s that the mess and they busy lives are no excuse not to stop and pay attention to the people we love. I can practically hear Silas growing if I get quite enough to listen. Maren is changing by the minute and growing right out of her 3 month clothes. Our marriage has taken the back burner (and necessarily so) while we adjusted to two babyness, but we are reclaiming our relationship amid the mishegas because it’s important and because no one else will do it for us.
We have a double date on Friday night with Melissa and Jared, a double date midday Saturday with Matt and Alyssa, and a meetup with my favorite high school faces (Dan, Aubrey and spouses) Saturday evening for dinner in Indy. It’s like we’re trying to make up for lost date time in a single 24 hour period, apparently. But the point is we’re putting our very limited spare energy into it because it’s worth it.
That’s all we know around here. Anybody else read Hands Free Mama? Tim loved it even though it’s written for the female perspective.