Happy Monday, friends!
It’s another edition of SHAY’S RANDOM GRAB BAG!
Now, you know the drill…I pull some of your random questions and answer them all here in one little post.
In Grab Bag #5, I chatted all things technology and kids, food items I always have on hand, our home buying process, details from our trip to Mexico and my relationship with Jesus. You can read that post HERE.
In Grab Bag #6, I answered questions about McKinney, fitness, faith and more!
In Grab Bag #7, I cover my favorite Peloton classes, how to “travel with extended family” which designer items I like to invest in and more!
In Grab Bag #8, I answer a question about how/when/where we decide to travel each year, my thoughts on how to make friends, how I bond with my teen boy and more!
And Grab Bag #9 included questions about working with small kids at home, scheduling, Andrew’s diet and more!
I looked through my batch of questions for 2024 and pulled some random ones for us today…and let me tell you, I think I pulled about 12 on the same topic! Y’all, apparently we all have question about…TEENAGERS.
I mean, just look at a few…
(These were just three of the ones I pulled. I legit pulled SO MANY!).
You guys, I have no clue! I don’t think we’ll know if I do a good job raising teenagers or not until they’re all in their 20s. Hahahaha!
I’m over here with a 14 and 15 year old on the struggle bus myself.
Some days are SO MUCH FUN! They are like adults. They’re funny, they like the same TV shows as me, they get my sarcasm (and give it right back to me), they’re helpful and so independent. I now don’t have to micromanage their lives (they turn in their homework, they put away their laundry, they are capable of bathing themselves, brushing their teeth and getting ready without me asking). These people living with me (who are both now taller than me!) are just a JOY some days. A JOY!
And then other days, I’m threatening boarding school.
Some days they have attitudes. Some days they have expectations that do not align with my own. Some days they do and say the dumbest things. Some days are HARD.
I have no answers. I am in the trenches with you guys and the Lord. Thank goodness the Lord is in the trenches with us because it’s not just my kids that I have to worry about. I have to worry about their friends, their classmates…basically, the “world” along with all the things that Satan uses to kill, steal and destroy. I have no answers, but I keep praying, keep spending a lot of time with my kids, keep my mouth shut and let them talk as often as I can. I try to be understanding, sympathetic and just “there” for them.
Time. I’m trying my hardest to put in the most time (and PRAYER!).
Okay, in the “non-teen related question” section…
I’m just super organized and rely a lot on my calendar. (Do you guys use the Cozi family calendar? It’s my favorite!) I don’t know that I have much more of a system than that. I look at my calendar and put BIG items on it. For instance, I’ll start with our big travels around spring break, our summer, fall break and Christmas. After that, I’ll add my “normal” things like annual parties and holidays we host and jot those down. As I get kids’ sports schedules, I’ll add that stuff on the calendar (making any necessary changes as I need to) and then, we kind of take it season by season.
Right now, I’ve already looked ahead and our spring stuff is pretty lined up (we know when Ashby will play soccer and when Smith will row, cheer events are about to be sent out, so I’ll have that too). We have travels already booked and planned for this spring, and I *think* I’ll be hosting another Easter BBQ, so that’s on my radar too. When we get closer to Easter, I’ll plan that menu and such, but for now, I just have it on my calendar.
You guys enjoy those babies. Snuggle them and hold them and cuddle them as long as you can because you’re going to blink, and they’ll be teenagers. You will miss those babies SO MUCH. Buuuuuuut…some things in life will get significantly easier and travel is one of them. Keep doing it though. Keep taking those little kiddos with you as often and whenever you can because the memories I have from those trips are some of my fave. I might have been exhausted, but I look back now with so many fond memories.
Speaking of which…
My kids (even my littlest) can pack their own carry on bags without any help from mama now. The big kids really just bring snacks (of course), their phones, a phone charger, AirPods and depending on how long the flight is, maybe an eye mask or neck pillow. They’re very simple. We have iPads that we let the littles use for flights, so they pack those along with headphones and then Ashby likes to bring books to read while Mades brings notepads/coloring books and markers. The littles don’t pack a lot of snacks, but they do like to bring gum. It’s all pretty basic. None of us use sleep aids right now. I’m certainly not opposed, we’ve just been able to work it out without them over the years.
Potty training was the worst. For the love, not only were my kids terrible at it, but Andrew and I were terrible at teaching/coaching them. If you’ve read my blog for the last 15+ years then you know that we STRUGGLED during this season. What’s worse than having one kid who can’t potty train? Having two! Agh! So, yes, big struggles with that, but we never experienced the struggles with bed wetting. I know so many friends though whose kids did. I think it’s way more common than you think but moms just don’t talk about it enough. It’s a milestone just like all the others and for some kids, it just takes a bit longer. If you’re a mama out there who could speak into this, please do so! No one wants to feel like their kid is the only one wetting the bed.
My mom would say that I say no to most things. Bahahaha! It’s true though. I often find that people think that when you work at home you have unlimited time to do other things besides working during the day. I LOVE being able to work from home, and it does allow me to select certain times of the day to leave work and do something else but those are few and far between and not the general rule. Working from home has really made me have to be laser focused about how I spend my time and with whom. For example, I would love attend lunches with other moms from school/neighbors during the week. I always appreciate being asked, but I say no most of the time because if/when I do get a day to have lunch with someone, I want to have lunch with my besties. I am in a season of life where as much as I would love to get to know more people, I would rather focus on pouring into those I already know and love any chance I get.
Things I often say no to (not always, but often):
1: Volunteering at my kids’ schools. I used to spend hours and hours and hours every week volunteering at their schools, but I just can’t do that any more. Our schools are amazing and not lacking volunteers (often there is a lottery for many volunteer projects), so starting last year, I decided to really just pick and choose wisely where and when I volunteer to a) Free up my schedule and b) Make it really count when I was up there and c) Give other parents more opportunities.
2: Meeting people for lunch/coffee. When I do have a day to meet someone for lunch or coffee, I really want it to be people that I really want to pour into. I, unfortunately, have to say no a lot because I just don’t have the time during the day, so as much as I would love to, when I say “yes” to outside commitments, it means I’m saying “no” to my work and/or my family as I’ll have to make that time up at some point. My YES better be super strong if my NO is going against my work of my family.
3: Weekly group things like Bible studies. I always wish I could do the Bible studies my church has to offer, but unfortunately, they are either weekly at night (I can’t do that, thats family time) or they’re from like 10 to noon on a Thursday (right in the middle of my work day). So, I say no. Instead, I just do my Bible studies at home early in the morning by myself and then try to attend the quarterly ladies lunches my church offers instead (I can do things quarterly with a lot of enthusiasm but weekly is just not an option).
4: I don’t workout during the day. There are some awesome classes/opportunities to workout after 8:00 AM, but I say no to that because that’s my work time.
5: Andrew works in his office about five minutes from our house, and I work from home. I *try* to be accommodating as often as I can when people need to stop by and do things (pest control, maybe the HVAC guy needs to come, etc), but I sometimes tell him “no”, I cannot help the HVAC guy for an hour locate whatever and answer his questions today because I have a full workload, so if it needs to be done, you’ll need to take time from your work and come home and do it. Again, I *try* to be accommodating, but at the same time, just because I’m at home, doesn’t mean I can always drop what I’m doing to talk to the plumber. We both work, so it has to be a team effort even if I’m at home, and he’s in his office.
Does that help? I know it sounds harsh to say “no”, but every time I do it, I’m doing it so that I can say YES to my clients, my team members and my family. I always think of it like that.
Okay, that wraps up today’s GRAB BAG!
Thank you (always!) for leaving me so many questions/topics to cover! If you have any to add, head to the comment section and drop them there.
Happy, happy Monday! I’ll see you tomorrow! xx