My computer? Still broken.

It’s about time for an update from here, right? Here’s a quick shot of my new haircut– the light is funny but you get the idea.  It is a little harder to style than I’d like, but it is fun to have something different, and hopefully I’ll get quicker at it as I get more experienced.haircut

I’m still contemplating the whole wedding dress question.  Good thing I have awhile to decide.  I have a dress on the way to try– I’ll show it to you if it turns out to be a contender.

My computer is still out being repaired.  Between sharing a computer with my hubby and working full time this month, it is HARD to make time to write.  I do have a giveaway post planned for Wednesday, so stay tuned. But mostly when I sit down to write, I find myself wanting to reflect on all the life change related to my new job.

Part of it is just about the job itself.  Each work morning I wake up excited to go learn ALL THE THINGS– preferably yesterday- and get capable quickly. I even find myself practicing new skills in my sleep.  Last night I dreamed I had a really demanding patient who was frustrated with me, and demanding an IV even though I was sure she really didn’t need one. (Strange person, eh?)  My brain is definitely on OB overdrive.

But the rest of my mental energy of course is focused on my kids, and how they’re doing with all this.  I still want to be fully present and available. John and I have been watching a really good TV show called Blue Bloods–and in one episode the wise police commissioner/family patriarch said, “The hardest day at work is easier than any day parenting teens.”

Oh, that resonated with me. But it also made me wince,  and to wonder if part of the reason that this whole job thing felt okay to me at this point in life is BECAUSE teen parenting is so very challenging.  I don’t want to use the busy-ness of work– the importance of it, or even the whole getting-paid aspect–oh, the novelty– as an excuse to disengage from the home-drama.

I think a bit of occasional distance could be good, especially in the case of older teens.  Homeschooling doesn’t give you breaks from each other, and I think maybe (once this intense month of full-time work is done) my bits of time away could be a chance to regain perspective.  Maybe they will even appreciate me more?  (Or not…)

But just two weeks in, I can already feel the pull in many directions, the need to streamline.  John and I are talking about making the garden smaller this year.  I’m double-batch cooking every chance I get.  Leftovers are easy meals for the home folks.  I’m trying not to get to bent out of shape over cluttered corners and projects that aren’t getting done this month.  Major in the majors.

Sleep is important, and so is keeping laundry done and food in the fridge.  People are important– taking time to talk, to have the hard and the easy and the big and the little conversations.  Asking kids about school and finances and work and friends and the state of their hearts.

That’s a huge takeaway from this experience so far: I really, really need to be intentional about taking moments to talk.  When I’m here, I really need to be here.  Not on facebook or pinterest. My youngest two girls seek me out, and I naturally seek them out too. Our relationship is easy and fun and gratifying.  But I need to also continue to pursue these teens of ours.  Even the prickliest ones.  The ones who don’t think they need me.

Last evening I was up late, chatting with a bunch of the boys, about lip piercings and oddly-named Dutch Bros. drinks, and random other things. It was nice time. Then I was up early for a zoo date with three of my girls and some of the grandbabies.  I’m yawning today, and am considering a nap. But before I sneak in that nap, I’ll play a round of Phase 10 with my 10 year old and make a doctor’s appointment, and pay some bills. Dinner this evening is fried rice, with Costco pot-stickers on the side, so that should be pretty easy.

How are things with you?  I’d love to hear from you if you have a moment.  Be sure to check back in with me on Wednesday for a book giveaway from a fellow adoptive momma.  And thanks, as always, for reading.  I appreciate you stopping by.


  1. Denise C says:

    Goodness me. I know how I am with working and going to school. I’m pooped. Bless you for doing what you’re doing with the kiddos and returning to work. I remember when my one and only was home and how chaotic things got sometimes with her. Keep up the great work!!!

  2. This is the kind of post that is my favorite. You are real, honest, and open but you are trying to do your best. I’m not in the same life phase you are but I am encouraged by you!!

  3. Ruth Hansen says:

    Mary – sounds like life is busy and exciting over your way with all the new changes going on. I love the new hairstyle – very cute – and am very impressed at the way you are trying so hard to put the people in your family first in your life. Good luck with all work changes and wedding planning. I hope in the midst of all these changes you find a new wonderful normal for your family.

    P.S. I recently ordered the Practical Homeschooling for Real-World Families and am excited to read it. I have loved all your other books. 🙂

  4. Oh Mary…you need a nap! I remember when I blogged a long time ago, I would often ponder to myself if anyone was reading. People do but they don’t often comment. Especially if you get the blog by email. I’m here, I’m reading!!! I’m thinking yep, I understand
    I’ve got a 17 yo doing 9/10 grade work, looking at colleges, working thru Navigate at College Plus to figure out what he wants to be, while I grade his work (don’t ask how far behind I am!) and struggle with schooling 5 other kids. Then a 14yo turning 15 in 2 months that makes me nuts on some days because sometimes she thinks and sometimes she doesn’t. What does happen to their brains? Did we go thru this? Did we lose our senses? Then another 14yo that stands there and says ‘huh?’ all the times. An 11yo that I’m sad to say has picked up every smart aleck response we’ve ever said, and uses it constantly. And then 2 little boys that are best friends/worst enemies.
    I think the smart aleck part really backfired on us. We joke and laugh and fling comments all the time but when 8 people do it, holy moly!
    BTW, you picture with the new hair, very cute. And you have freckles! Even cuter. :o)

  5. Somehow the nap didn’t happen, but I have decreed 8:30 bedtimes tonight. 🙂 I don’t care if the teens actually go to sleep. But I am off duty. 🙂 I can commiserate with your description– it gets nutty with the large numbers of kids we’re dealing with, doesn’t it?

  6. Perhaps the broken computer is a blessing in disguise. Making it hard to use a computer then makes it easier to spend the limited time with the kids rather than letting the internet suck it all away. Just a thought. I remember the days you are talking about – did them as a single mom for many years – and am quite glad he’s in college now and can fend for himself. It’s definitely a bit less stressful. Not that I seem to have any additional time… But yes, you learn which battles to fight, which things to ignore, which housecleaning tasks don’t really need to be done after all, and just how far you can stretch your sanity.

  7. I love how real you are, Mary! I only have three kiddos (but two are teens) and it is hard. I have often thought about going back to work (after 18 years at home, only doing freelance work part-time). And I know it would be really, really hard!

  8. your hair looks pretty.

    those mid-length styles ARE harder to keep in that you more or less have to style them daily. longer hair is easier with the ponytail option 🙂 but it IS nice to have a change, I agree, and the style looks great on you. also, are you blonder? very nice, mary. hugs.