Monday, June 2, 2014


Today is the first day of Summer Vacation 2014.

Becks is contentedly playing with playdoh, which I am sure will occupy him for all of 15 minutes, and I will spend days picking up dried playdoh bits from the carpet.  We just watched a cardinal enjoy a watermelon rind that was haphazardly thrown into the yard after a Saturday night outdoor meal.  Who knew birds liked melon rinds?

Faith is taking her morning nap.  At home, on the couch, where I can look over and kiss her anytime I want.

And, I'm trying to determine what exactly I want this summer to look like.

Scheduled? Carefree? Accomplished? Sun-kissed?  Laid back?

I guess, all of the above. I want a summer (and life) overflowing with fulfillment.  Lazy days.  Zoo days.  Pool days.  Loving days.  Laundry days.  Thunderstorm days.  Library days.  Bored days.  Sit-back-and-take-it-all-in days.  I feel like this summer is limitless.   

  Being in the hospital for almost half-a-year really put things in perspective.  I appreciate the most crazy things that I wouldn't have considered to be a big deal before.  My entire family sleeping under one roof?  Love it.  Breathing fresh, non-hospital air in the warm sunshine?  I won't undervalue it ever again.  Freedom from doctors and nurses watching and dictating how your day will be spent?  I'm ever grateful that our days are now, mostly, our own - with the exception of daily, necessary medical procedures and bi-weekly clinic visits and OT appointments.  I can handle that.

* * * * * * * 

I prayed for a long time that circumstances would allow me to fulfill one of my life long dreams.  

To be a Stay-at-Home Mama.

I also love being a teacher.  

And, am currently required to perform daily nursing duties, too.  This will last for awhile.

So, with much prayer and discussion with B, it was decided I would accept a new position.  

That of a First Grade Teacher. A Nurse.  And, most importantly, a Mama.  

Starting this fall, I will be a First Grade Teacher again.

To this guy.

I'm excited, slightly nervous.  But, most of all, grateful.  Amazed at God's provision to allow me to combine two of my favorite things - teaching and mothering.  

The desire to homeschool started its way into my heart in December of last year, as I sat with a teensy little Faith, rocking my days away in the NICU .  It seems like the best fit for our family right now, and there are no guarantees for how long I will do it.  Or how long Becks will want to do it.  We're going to tread those waters together.  It could be a whole different story this time next year.  We'll see.  

And, I am for sure we will drive each other crazy and I will throw up my hands in exasperation and wonder what in the world was I thinking?! every so often.  But, I'm pretty sure I did that as a traditional educator, too :)

Here's what will be our "Home School Room."

So, instead of classroom decorating, I will prepare a dedicated space in our home to instruction.  I'm pretty excited to attack this project.  And, am glad that I have the entire summer to thrift, design, and tweak this space.  Like really excited.  It's been an empty room for an entire year, so it is lonely and just asking for something exciting to happen within its walls.  The morning lighting is so perfect, and since we never spend anytime in here, I think it will be a good spot for distinguishing what we do during "school" versus what we do the rest of the day.

If you asked me a year ago if this is where life would've led, I would've given you the Honey, please! look.  But, that's the beauty of life - unpredictable and crazy amazing and sometimes just straight up crazy.

But, I wouldn't change a thing.  Good, bad, or otherwise.  You only know fulfillment when you have experiences that shape it and mold it and make it what it is.  Then, you know to enjoy the sun a little more.  Kiss your babies relentlessly.  Make eyes at your husband a little more often.  And, take advantage of opportunities as God reveals them to you.

Happy Monday, friends :)


Jessica said...

LOVE your post! I really wanted to homeschool our boys a couple years ago, but I still have to work for income reasons, so it's not our plan at this point. I love that you have an opportunity to stay home with him! I'm trying to figure out what to do with my little when he enters Kinder in 2015. Do I take him to my school or let him attend his neighborhood school? There's pros and cons to both, so I'm not sure what to do! Where did Becks attend Kinder? Luckily, we have several months to decide.

What I Have Learned

Teaching in the Tongass said...

Congratulations on your new gig! So exciting! What a precious opportunity! It's my first day of summer as well...cheers!

Amy Zander said...

Things could not have worked out any better to meet all your needs/wants in life right now!! Congrats and make the best of it... I LOVE the idea of having a designated room where you will be "in school" because too much of your day will run into each other the way it is. I have had an inhome licensed childcare for the past 15 years so I know how it is to have your work and family life together (even if it is with your own children it is still work). I can honestly admit during the weekends I hardly ever go downstairs where the toyroom and classroom are... This will allow you and your family to shit it off when you need to - best of luck!

Katie Knight said...

I am so so so happy for you!!!! This will be an adventure for sure! I can't wait to read all about it!

Flying High in First Grade said...

So excited for your "new" roles! I love your idea of a feeling of "fulfillment". I know you understand the want for that baby just as my husband and I did, and I can say that this summer will definitely be a feeling of fulfillment for us as well! I can't imagine the love we will have for our little Reagan, but as I've watched you with Faith, I just can't wait!!! :)

Kathy Griffin said...

I'm so happy for you. The little things in life are what brings the happiest moments. Isn't it amazing at the gift you've been given to see life from a different perspective? Enjoy your time at home. Yes, you will have those moments of "why did I do this?" But then a small moment will happen and remind you why.

Liz said...

YES! YES! YES! Love everything about this! After spending 5 weeks in the NICU with my own little miracle, I can totally appreciate all of those "outside of the hospital" gifts! I can also say that as a former kinder & 1st grade teacher, I am so ready to tackle homeschooling when the time comes! Can't wait to see what you dream up for that room & curriculum! I'll definitely be sticking around for your ideas :)

Maria Manore said...

I am so happy to hear that things are all coming together for you. It seems as though you have certainly discovered God's plan for you and I wish you all the best as you head into summer and begin planning your newest teaching position! xoxo

Jenni Taylor said...

So happy for you - I've followed your blog for awhile through all your days and today I see the happiest smile of all - wishing you the best in all your new roles - enjoy this time and I know you will all be better for it.

Annie Moffatt said...

I jumping up and down for JOY for you and your family! It is a HUGE step of faith, but the BEST decision you will ever make…at least for your family :) I am going to enjoy your posts and I can't wait to see your homeschool room! You have a blogging friend cheering you on, sweet Abby!

Kristen said...

Oh wow! What an exciting transition!! It's so funny how things work out in ways we never imagined. I look forward to hearing about your new teaching journey in the future...have a lovely start to your summer break! :) :)

Sarah Young said...

So happy for you. Take it all one moment at a time, and enjoy the ride!

A Rocky Top Teacher

Amy said...

Love everything about this post!!!!! I too have been praying with my husband on whether or not to homeschool our little boys. We haven't come to a decision quite yet but it is exciting to know that ill have you as an inspiration. Congrats!!!

Julie said...

Precious! Excited for you and your family! Best Wishes!!

TheElementary MathManiac said...

What a wonderful post and an exciting time for your family! Love your advice! Good luck.

The Math Maniac

Cindy Price said...

Wonderful post! Enjoy your amazing family!


Lory's Page said...

Congratulations Abby! You are an amazing lady and example!!

Bridget S said...

Faith is so precious!!! Her smile is so happy :) It sounds like next year will be the perfect fit for your family :)

Literacy Without Worksheets

Alicia Lochridge said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your remarkable story and pictures. I truly enjoy reading about you and your family's progress. It is amazing where life will take you. You are on a "faith walk"...undertaking what you feel is right in your heart. We recently have been on a faith walk ourselves. While it is scary and my mind tends to over-think and worry, I know in my heart and soul that I am doing what is best for my family. Your story is inspirational and helps affirm that sometimes you have take that leap of faith. And guess what, it all works out.

First Grade Factory

Kelly Burlinski said...

Wow, that is really exciting! My daughter spent 60 days in the NICU - from Feb - April. We had the BEST summer and then I CRIED when I had to return to work in Aug. I pray you and your family enjoy your summer and what is sure to be an unforgetable year together.

Cecelia said...

Yay, God! I love when it is easy to see His plan!
If you ever need anything for first grade, just let me know! I'd love to give it to you and help you out on this new adventure. I know with precious little Faith you may not have as much time to create


I Love First Grade

Wendy said...

I am so thrilled for you and your family and can totally relate. My family is also making some big changes in order to
follow God's plans for us. It's amazing how as soon as we focused our eyes on Him everything else has fallen right into place! Wishing you and your family a blessed journey!
One Happy Teacher

Growing Firsties said...

Absolutely beyond thrilled for your precious family! Blessed beyond measure. My grin is huge and my heart is happy for you!

Teacher and Life Long Learner said...

Congrats! Please continue to post so we can follow your accomplishments! Smiles and stop by anytime!

Mrs. Richardson said...

I am SO proud of you for taking a leap of faith and stepping into some unknown waters a bit. I can't wait to follow your journey that the Lord is leading your little family through!

the classroom creative said...


God bless! I am with you...after years of teaching, I am homeschooling next year. I'm more scared to teach my son than I was teaching a class of 30 on Chicago's west side! I feel called to. After looking at all our options here in Chicago, I feel I must.

My home is in transition now to homeschool, girl, you should see the hot mess! I could start a full-on school alone with my book collection.

But first, we must summer! Hope you share your journey. I know I'll be blogging some of mine...

I'm in the midst of forming co-ops and connections with other hs-ing mommas...hope you can find some to connect with as well!

My best,
The Classroom Creative

Miss DeCarbo said...

Your post brought such happy tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you and for your family. What a wonderful journey you will have and your little one will adore having his mama with him every day! Such fabulous memories you will all share together! :) I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!