Happy Monday from McKinney, friends!
After two full months on Nantucket, we closed up the house, hopped on a plane and returned to Texas on Thursday afternoon.
It’s a BIG week around here. On Wednesday, Mades starts third grade, Ashby will officially be the big top dog at their elementary school (while Smith will now be top dog at in middle school), and we will officially have a HIGH SCHOOLER. Needless to say, right now my emotions are all over the place.
I’m so thankful to be home (I love my home!), I’m so thankful for McKinney (I love this town!), I’m so thankful for my office (oh how I’ve missed my office!), I was so thankful to be at church yesterday (I love our church), and of course, I’m so very thankful to see my friends and family again…but I left a piece of my heart on that tiny island too.
I keep a list in my prayer journal of my four kids’ names and underneath each one, I write down specific ways I’m praying over them, little quirks about them, moments we have together…all the things that make each one of them special to me as their mom. I added a new list next to this list and under each name, I wrote down all of the little details from our summer that I want to remember forever. It wasn’t a perfect summer, but it was the best summer I’ve ever had with my family. I’m so very thankful for each moment (even the terrible ones…and there were terrible ones), and although this is hopefully just the beginning of our family spending more time on Nantucket, I know we’ll never have summer like this one again. The amount of time we had, the ages of all of the kids…it was just exactly what we needed to do, and I’m truly so grateful we were able to do it. Andrew and I said from the very beginning that if we are ever ready to leave our home on Nantucket or indifferent when it’s time to go back to McKinney, then we should sell immediately. We were not ready. It was very bittersweet. Needless to say, we are not currently putting it on the market 😉 .
So, that’s where my heart is right this minute on the Monday of Back to School Week.
I thought it only fitting that I take one last blog post and share some of the random things I’m taking away from these last two months (all light, all from my heart, all little bits that I’m reflecting on today…nothing serious).
THINGS THAT MADE THIS SUMMER DIFFERENT:
#1: I SLEPT A LOT
Holy cow, I got a whole lot of sleep this summer. I mean, you people have been telling me forever that a bit more sleep is a good thing, and you know what? I didn’t hate it. Instead of my normal 6-ish hours of sleep, I was getting more life 7 to 8 each night. With fewer commitments and more time on my hands, I didn’t have to wake up quite as early every morning. Will I continue this now that I’m home? No, but it was certainly something to enjoy while I did it. I love the mornings, I love my morning time, and I love those extra hours of productivity before my family is awake…but I would be remiss if I didn’t say I didn’t enjoy my lighter schedule and a little more sleep this summer too.
#2: I ATE A TON OF FISH
I ate a TON of fish! I enjoy fish at home too but…you know, it’s just not as fresh, easily available and inexpensive here, so we don’t eat it nearly as much as we do poultry, beef and pork. My entire family was eating fish at just about every single dinner (and many lunches too), so it has inspired me to try and incorporate more fish into our diet this fall. We loved it!
#3: I LOVED MY OUTOOR SHOWERING
Gosh, I don’t think I’ve ever loved showering more. I really, really, really loved coming in from a run or workout and going straight to my outdoor shower. It was so refreshing. We used the outdoor shower way more than we did the indoor showers…it was just really the simplest pleasure that boosted my spirits every single time.
#4: I BIKED EVERYWHERE
I biked more this summer than probably my 41 years combined. I biked to the gym, to the grocery store, the beach, to town, the drug store, for fun, for exercise just to get from A to B…I biked everywhere. My bike now lives permanently in Massachusetts, but I am going to get myself a new one here and *try* to intentionally bike more. I mean, it’s a little hot here right now (we’re all surprised I waited this far down in today’s post to mention the heat, no?), but when the weather is bearable and I won’t melt, I’m going to try hopping on the bike instead of hopping in my car more.
#5: I LAUGHED JUST SO VERY MUCH
We just laughed so much this summer. There are a few moments in particular that I will carry with me forever of us laughing…but really and truly, there was so much laughter. Being a mom and hearing your entire family laughing about something together, is there a better sound?
#6: I LIVED AT THE BEACH
We were there on windy days, cold days, warm days, foggy days, sunny days, cloudy days…days with 12 foot waves, days with barely any movement…we were there a lot of days, and I loved it. I loved that we had a routine. I loved that we could pop over for a just a bit. I loved how we learned the differences and nuisances of so many beaches. I loved it at sunrise and loved it at sunset. I just loved it.
#7: I KEPT THE WINDOWS OPEN
Hi, my name is Shay and up until this summer, I never lived anywhere where we actually opened the windows to cool down the house. I’ve always lived in Texas where it’s basically cold until it’s hot and there isn’t much in-between, so we’ve always had the heater going or the the a/c. We didn’t turn on the a/c on Nantucket until July 1st, and that was only really because the Slaughters were arriving that day, and we wanted to double check that it worked. It was a whole new experience leaving the screen door open and the windows open all day. I loved it.
#8: I ATE THREE MEALS A DAY WITH MY FAMILY
Breakfast, lunch and dinner with my peeps every single day. Was it hard sometimes when we spent allllllll of this extra time together? Yes. Was it more amazing than not? Yes. This school year, we’ll hopefully get to eat dinner together almost every night, but breakfast and lunches are never together (I almost always eat them alone), so to be able to stop what I was doing and really focus on my family and my food at every meal was a big blessing.
#9: I USED A LOT OF PORTA POTTIES
Yeah. I used a lot. I’m “that” person who has to go to the bathroom all the time. I’m also “that” person who will walk to the porta potty instead of you know…using the ocean. If you’ve never been to Nantucket, let me fill you in on a secret…these are not “resort beaches” with chairs and umbrellas and cabana boys and bathrooms. Only a few of the beaches have actual bathrooms nearby, but they all have good old fashioned lovely porta potties and as I reflect on my summer, well, I’m just sayin’, I used a lot. And lived to share. 😉
#10: I PRAYED MORE THAN NORMAL
I am a praying person, but this summer, I prayed even more than ever. I don’t know…God and me had a lot of talks. That’s never a bad thing, right?
#11: I REALLY WATCHED QUALITY TV
Awwww! This one really spoke to me. Between family time, beach time and work, we had very little time to watch TV (and if I’m being honest, very little desire), so when I did watch TV, I ended up watching more quality than just “whatever was on” (with the exception of The Real Housewives, that’s quality, baby 😉 ). I started watching shows that my kids could watch with me like The Great British Bakeoff and movies that were just sweet and happy and well, I liked it. I’ve always been a “consume happy” person, but I really put it into practice this summer with my TV time and am *hoping* that’s a new habit that sticks moving forward.
#12: I VISITED THE LIBRARY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
We went to the local library at least once a week this summer, and it was always SUCH a treat! Why don’t I go more often at home? My kids loved it! It was free, it was fun, everyone was happy to be there…I need to do this more in “normal” life.
#13: I LISTENED TO A TON OF TAYLOR SWIFT
When you are your 14 (almost 15) year old daughter’s pretty much bestie for two solid months, you listen to a lot of Taylor Swift. I’ve always been indifferent to her in the past. Great singer-songwriter, adorable, seems nice…but you know, she’s not really in my musical genre. I haven’t listened much to Taylor Swift in the past, but after spending two months with my teen girl, I’ve listened to every album, I know all the stories behind the songs, we’ve talked at length about specific songs, albums…you guys, it was my Swifty Summer. I will never hear a Taylor Swift song again without thinking of this summer.
#14: I LIVED WITH A MAGIC ERASER IN HAND
You know what…a “white” house looks really good on Pinterest and pretty fabulous in person, but throw in four kids and three dogs, and it’s a Type-A person’s nightmare. I lived with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in hand. Me and Mr. Clean thought many times that maybe a dirty beige-colored home might have been a better decision.
#15: I COOKED LESS
Over the summer, I cooked less than ever before…and I enjoyed it. I love cooking. I love baking. Being in the kitchen is one of my absolute favorite things, but with all of the other things we had going on, I just didn’t cook nearly as much this summer as I typically do. My brain enjoyed the break. Instead of constantly thinking of recipe ideas, playing around with recipes, making lists, making meal plans and over-thinking dinner, I didn’t. I’m so motivated now to get back into the kitchen (fall is coming!!), but I truly enjoyed the mental break of just not thinking about what’s for dinner every night. We went out or kept it very simple (the grill!) at home most nights.
#16: I WATCHED A WHOLE LOT OF BAYWATCH
And yes, I watched a whole lot of Baywatch, and it truly just has to be mentioned. At our gym, they only had two TVs. One TV would always play the local Boston morning news and the other would play old re-runs of Baywatch. I would go in there and tell myself to focus on the news while I was working out and stop watching Baywatch, but you guys…I couldn’t help myself. Ha! As someone who never really watched the show when it was originally on, I was sucked into the “drama” of every episode, the terrible (truly terrible!) special effects that still ended up making me nervous and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t help but watch. I don’t know if I was relieved or horrified when my husband and two teens told me later that they too couldn’t help but watch it when they were all at the gym. Hahahahaha! It was a whole lotta Baywatch, people 😉 .
So, that’s that!
We’re home, we’re getting ready for school, and we’re super excited about this next chapter in our family’s life.
You guys, thank YOU for coming along with us this summer to Nantucket. It was such a joy to share it with you. I made a list before the summer started of things I wanted to share with this community and believe it or not, we barely scratched the surface. In the future, I’ll have more content, more photos, more places to shop, eat, and enjoy on Nantucket. We will be bACK soon, but for now, we will be diving right on in to the new school year and F-A-L-L.
I hope you have a wonderful start to your week. I’ll see you all tomorrow. xx