What I Love About Being Back at Work

Last week was our first week back at work (boo!) and this is our first week of school (ack!). I’m so bummed that summer is over, but this is the time of year where I really like to remind myself about all of the things I DO like about being back at work. Because it’s not all bad!

**********

1. I’m so much more productive/organized. When I’m on a schedule and back in my normal routine, I tend to be better about cleaning in the evenings, getting stuff done around the house, and just generally not being lazy. It feels good to be on top of things again and not letting myself be too terribly lazy.

2. I love being challenged. I’m definitely the type to want to push myself and flex my brain, and the challenges that pop up on the regular at work are a great way to get me thinking and keep myself mentally active. Summer is my favorite time of year, and I totally get burned out on how mentally taxing my job can be towards the end of the year, but when the year is fresh and new it feels so good to challenge myself again!

3. Jackson adores daycare. I hate being away from him all day, but it makes him so happy to go see his friends at school and he absolutely loves his teacher. He always gets so excited when I tell him it’s time to go to school, and it warms my heart to know that he’s so happy all day when I have to be away from him.

4. Fall is amazing. There’s just something about the fall season that makes me so incredibly happy. Changing leaves, pumpkins everywhere, cooler weather, and football just make me happy. I have boots in my capsule wardrobe which means I’m going to be WEARING boots soon which makes me a very happy girl!

5. Did I mention football? I LOVE FOOTBALL SEASON. That’s really all that needs to be said here.

6. I’m eternally a nerd and will always be excited about fresh school supplies, the “back to school” section of the grocery store, and all that comes along with the newness of a school year.

7. I love my job. It’s hard to remember this sometimes when I’m mourning the loss of spending all of my days with Jackson, but I truly do adore my job and I’m excited to be diving back into it.

School starts on Tuesday and while most of me is a little terrified to dive back in (I always am!), overall I’m excited to get going and see what this new school year brings!

What are your favorite things about your job?

Week in Review

I survived, y’all! It was our first week back at work/daycare and all of us got through the week with minimal stress. A few highlights:

– Jackson has jumped back into daycare totally seamlessly and seems thrilled to be back. Absolutely zero tears at drop-off (even the first day!) and he’s been happy basically all day every day. He’s also actually NAPPED at daycare, which is epic because he’s napping outside of a crib for the first time in his life (they use nap mats).

– It feels better than I thought it would to be back at work and back in the swing of things. I still miss summer, of course, but it feels good to flex my brain and push myself a little bit again (I can already tell it’s going to be a hectic year!).

– Jackson’s daycare teacher has been sending at least 2-3 photos of him every day. It’s awesome to see his face throughout the day and it totally makes my day. I’m hoping she keeps it up!

– I’ve been doing yoga all week (I’m doing the 30 days of yoga challenge from Yoga with Adriene) and I’m loving it! It’s not nearly as intense of a workout as I usually like to do, but I’m already seeing a huge difference in my posture throughout the day, and am finding myself more focused and attentive in general. It’s been amazing!

– At one of our professional developments this week we did a bunch of “minute to win it” games. One of them was to stack three golf balls and have them stay for at least 3 seconds, and I was the only one in our group of 16 who managed to do it (and I think I was one of maybe three people on our whole campus)! Can this go on my resume?

**********

A few of my favorites…

Rosé lemonade? Yes, please!

– I adore Mindy Kalig and can’t wait to read her new book – here’s a fantastic excerpt.

– I’m seriously considering doing this in our kitchen. I just need to decide on a color! I’m thinking black.

– Another book I’m really interested in reading is this one.

– Oh, and this one. Her first book is quite literally changing my life. I adore it.

Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Phase Two

A few weeks back I shared that I’ve decided to start doing a capsule wardrobe this fall. It’s been a hugely overwhelming process to get started, but I’ve been living with a significantly pared down wardrobe for several weeks now and shockingly enough I don’t miss any of the other clothes! 

When we left off, I was still a long way from an actual capsule, but over the last few weeks I’ve been slowly and steadily narrowing down the number of items in my closet. Every few days I’d step back into the closet, look everything over, and move one or two things to the back (indicated I didn’t want to keep them in there). After a while I started actually pulling stuff out of the closet instead, and very quickly the number started to dwindle.

I think I’m officially decided on my capsule wardrobe – the number I landed on is 47. It’s a little higher than most capsule’s I’ve seen, but it works for me and I think it’s a good start. For the last few days, I’ve been doing a trial run and wearing mostly only things from my capsule. I’m not “officially” starting for a couple more weeks, but this is a good way for me to make sure what I’ve landed on is what I want – I’ve already switched out a couple of pieces so I’m glad I did the trial.

Things have changed since I took this photo (I’ll share when I get around to taking photos of the whole capsule), but here’s a peek at my (significantly) lightened up wardrobe when I was deciding on what to include:

Huge difference, right? I promise I’ll share updated photos and the whole capsule later (because I’m addicted to scoping out other people’s capsule wardrobes right now), but today I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve figured out while working on narrowing down my wardrobe.

– I found that the best way to decide whether or not I wanted something in my capsule was to wear it for a day. I want nothing in my closet that I can’t put on any given day and feel fantastic in, so I decided I had to wear anything I was iffy on and if I didn’t feel great in it all day, it didn’t stay. I was surprised by how this went – some of the items I thought for sure I’d want to keep I actually ended up pulling out, and some of the stuff I wasn’t as confident in turned into must-haves. Taking my time and “trying out” my capsule before actually deciding on it has been hugely helpful in making sure that I’m happy with what I’ve got.

– If I’m not easily able to work an item into three different outfits, it can’t stay. For example, if I have a pair of super cute shorts that I really want to include, but only have one shirt in my capsule that goes with them? They’re out. This idea is all about flexibility and maximizing the use of your wardrobe, so it doesn’t make sense to keep any clothes that are one-trick ponies. This has been particularly hard for me because I have some super cute patterned shorts that I love, but don’t have enough tops to go with them. I have one pair right now that I’m still trying to work into the wardrobe – I have two tops that go with them, and I may just break the rules for them. We’ll see!

– I’m not being too hard on myself with this. For example, I have several college and school-related t-shirts that I wear to work for certain occasions…these don’t have to be included in my number but they can stay in my closet. They aren’t something I’d typically include, but I need them for work so they stay. I’m also keeping out a pair of heels (which won’t be included in my number) and a few cocktail dresses just in case an occasion comes up where I need them. I very rarely wear heels, even when I dress up, so it doesn’t seem fair to have them in my capsule. However, I may still need to use them. Basically, I’m not going to force myself to go without something when it comes to special occasions. This is about pushing myself, not punishing myself!

– For storage, I got some vacuum-seal clothing storage bags and a couple of under-the-bed bins from Ikea. Once I had cleared out my clothes, I put everything in storage and left a few pieces out (in our guest room closet) that I felt like I may end up wanting and wasn’t ready to let go of yet. If I get two months in and decide I just have to have a certain shirt, I’m going to be okay with that. I plan to do a mass donation of clothing at some point soon, but I want to give it a little bit and make sure I’m committed to this before I do anything drastic.

– To prep for future capsules, I’ve started a list of things I feel like I need to add. I’m already thinking ahead to what may happen in the winter and what I might want to add. I jotted down a few things that I am currently wanting, and I’m going to revisit the list throughout the fall to add to it/delete things I’ve decided I don’t want anymore. I’m really trying not to be so impulsive when it comes to buying clothes, so I’m taking my time and thinking about things before I make purchases!

– And, finally, I had to completely banish guilt from this process. I found myself wanting to put certain things in my capsule just because I had recently bought them and felt guilty immediately putting them into storage. I also found myself wanting to hold on to things I had bought and felt like I didn’t wear them often enough. I had to remember that I am making a lifestyle change here and, while it sucks that I have all of these clothes I don’t actually wear, I’m putting a stop to that right now!

I can’t wait to finish putting everything together! My plan is to share what’s in my capsule on September 1 – my first official day using it – I’m so looking forward to this whole experiment and I hope it sticks!

Week in Review

You guys – my summer is officially over. Corey and I head back to work on Monday – we have a week of training/inservice with no students and then school starts next Tuesday. I have the weekend and then my freedom is gone! Boo!

Here are a few highlights from our last week of summer:

– Unpacking from vacation is always awful but it gets exponentially worse when you have a toddler. I seriously think I did seven loads of laundry in the first few days after we got back!

– Poor Jack had not one but two doctor’s appointments – one for a vaccination and one to do a final check-up with the ENT for his ears (which, thankfully, have been clear all summer!). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s done with ear infections for good!

– We had one last summer adventure – we headed to the botanical gardens and had lunch at our favorite food truck park downtown. We’ve been wanting to make that trip all summer and I’m so glad we did…although we said next time we go we want it to be spring so it’s not a million degrees outside!

– I’m spending today in my pajamas to fully embrace the laziness of my last real day of summer. I’ll be working my butt off all day cleaning and prepping for next week, but I refuse to get dressed for it!

**********

A few of my favorite links…

– These Nutella s’mores pop tarts look ridiculous.

– I can’t get over how realistic this faux marble treatment looks!

– The backsplash in this kitchen? I’m swooning!

How to get shit done.

– This is quite possibly the most ridiculous (and hilarious) Instagram account I follow. NSFW-ish.

This post on marriage was so inspiring to me this week.

Our First Family Vacation

Whew – we’re back!

We had an amazing vacation. Jackson’s first cruise could not have been more awesome and I’m so, so incredibly glad we were able to go. It was the first time we’ve ever been able to vacation with my entire family and it was just lovely. I’ll try to keep the rambling to a minimum but I can’t resist sharing some of our favorite photos and moments from our trip!

We went up to Galveston two nights before we cruised (which is what we always do, so we have some time to settle and have a “pre-vacation vacation”. We went to Pleasure Pier for the first time and were all pleasantly surprised. Jackson was able to ride several rides and it wasn’t crowded at all so we hardly had to wait in line for anything.

The next day we hit up the beach (first time we’ve ever gone to the beach in Galveston – I can’t believe we’ve been coming here for so many years and have never gone!) and Jackson had a total blast. He loved the sand and the waves and couldn’t get enough of it. We also went to the aquarium and out to dinner at the same restaurant we always go to the night before we cruise…my family loves tradition!

Finally, on Sunday, it was time to sail! We were worried about Jackson catching a nap that day since we wouldn’t get to our room until far after his nap time, but thankfully he fell asleep in the terminal while we waited to board.

The first two days were sea days, meaning we didn’t stop at a port and just spent all day on the ship. I love these days because I never get tired of exploring the ship! Jackson couldn’t really go in the pool at all since he’s not potty trained (though I’ll admit we snuck him in for a few minutes a couple of different times) but we found a million other ways to occupy ourselves. He loved looking off our balcony into the water and shouting “wheee!”, riding the elevators, and just running wild around the ship touching everything he could get his hands on.

We ended up deciding the official motto of our vacation was “Go! Go! Go!” because that’s what Jackson kept shouting if we sat still for more than a few minutes at a time. The kid was in heaven and couldn’t possibly have had more fun.

Our first port was Cozumel – we had an excursion to an all-inclusive beach house and it was perfection. Jackson fell asleep on the ride over and stayed sleeping on the beach for a while (talk about a perfect setting for a nap!) and we spent the entire day being lazy, playing in the sand, swimming, and having lunch on the beach. It was heaven.

We had more down time in the room on this trip than we ever have before. Corey loves it, but I get antsy so it worked out well for him to hang with Jackson in the room during most of his naps while I stayed out with everyone – Corey loved to nap right along with him! I ended up taking nap duty one day so he could get some good adult time too, but he loved his quiet time in the room with Jack.

I was worried about dinner and how Jackson would handle having to sit still for so long in a nicer-than-normal restaurant. We like to eat in the main dining room and dinners can be lengthy. Luckily I had very little to worry about, he loved playing with everyone at the table and he adores my family so it was easy for him to be happy just hanging with everyone. He usually got out of his high chair around dessert time to snuggle with me and his pacifier & blanket.

We stayed on the ship for one of the ports (Belize) because we love having the ship basically to ourselves, and on the last port (Roatan), we had a couple of cabanas on the beach to spend the day in. It was another perfect excursion for a toddler – Jackson loved to play in the sand, run in the waves, and he even took a nap in a hammock with my dad!

Of course, not every moment was perfect. We had our fair share of meltdowns, tantrums, and diaper disasters (did you know it’s actually impossible to find a changing table anywhere on that dang cruise ship?), but we were able to keep a good attitude about it and it didn’t get in the way of our fun!

I can honestly say it was the best vacation ever – it was so fun to experience it all through Jackson’s eyes and we’re already talking about how we can’t wait to go back next year. We both agreed that Jackson seemed so much older and less baby-like when we got home – I don’t know if it was the traveling or just the timing, but his expressive language seemed to explode over the week we were gone and he grew up so much!

Now we have just this week left before we head back to work (boo!), real life (booooo!), and say goodbye to summer (booooooooooooo!). Here’s hoping we can get the house back in order and get settled back in early this week so we can soak up our last precious moments of summer break!