Annual Blog Post
Well, looks like it’s about that time. Haha. I don’t post once a year here on purpose, it just sorta happens that way. It’s truly remarkable how fast the time goes. I remember adults lamenting about how fast time passes when I was a kid. To “enjoy it while it lasts”. It always felt kinda bitter in context when I’d hear it, but I suppose I’ve gained the perspective to understand it a little bit better. And if anything “enjoy it while it lasts” is sound advice no matter where you are in life.
It’s nuts to think that Lucas is only a year away from Middle School. He’s only a few short years away from getting his learner’s permit. There’s going to be so much change in the next few years in his life, and I’m really looking forward to soaking up every little moment along the way. He and his friends are starting to talk more about “who likes who” sort of stuff now. It’s fun to listen to him talk about it. It’s such an innocent/not innocent take. He was telling me a story about playing truth or dare on the bus. There was an awkward moment building up and it just happened to time out that the bus got to the bus stop and he just proclaimed to everyone, “I’m outta here! And I was off like a shot.” he said.
He’s pretty forthcoming and honest. Like he’ll admit that he uses “bad words” around his friends. And I don’t come down too hard on him other than saying, “If you know they’re bad you know those words can get you in trouble. And getting in trouble over a word is pretty dumb.” To which he’ll say, “Good point.” Haha. What a guy.
Emma has hit a freaking growth spurt! All of a sudden none of her pants fit anymore! I swear it was just a week or two a go they were all too big. She’s just about to turn 5 here in a couple weeks, and some of her 5T stuff, is just too small. She’s been scarfing up everything in sight. A pretty stark contrast to not that long ago when it was a high level negotiation to get her to eat anything at all.
I love the way her brain works. She loves everyone, everyone loves her. She’s insanely curious about the world, and super sharp and observant. One of my favorite moments is picking her up from daycare and taking her to pre-school. We have about a 30 minute drive every weekday and it’s so fun to pick her brain while she munches on the lunch I packed for her. (She’s the only kid I know that will eat the entire crust off her PBJ FIRST and then eat the rest of it)
We’ve gone over the last year and a half or so from counting and “What do cows eat?”, to talking about Ninja Turtles, how to bake, how the north wind is cold, and the south wind is hot, why turkeys aren’t chickens, and a very thorough analysis of Emma’s family tree, past, present, and future according to her.
I’m so happy I got to have both a boy and a girl. It’s so wild to see what kinds of things each gravitate to. Emma definitely draws more pictures of “friends, pets, unicorns, etc”, where as Lucas at that age was all about cars and tanks. He still is! Is it a boy girl thing? Did I subconsciously influence them? They are definitely their own unique complex humans for sure. They have their own big dreams, wants and desires, just like I do. And the time really does fly. Trying not to take any moment for granted.
This spring has been really pretty good. I’m settling into life a little bit now. The first school year after my divorce wasn’t “hard” as so many situations weren’t stressful because “you just have to do it” there wasn’t any choice to it. I liken it to changing diapers. Changing someone else’s kids diapers is a hard pass. But when it’s your own kids, you just kinda have to roll up your sleeves and get in there because no one is going to do it for you. Finding childcare, balancing work and home, staying up on projects and chores. It was just something that wasn’t going to take care of itself, so I just got in there.
The kids were gone most of last summer, and it gave me a chance to put some focus back on work and my new position. While the timing was good for that, when the kids came back for this school year, I really found myself off balance. Projects ground to a halt, I had a hard time keeping up on the house, the kids felt like they were in constant need. I was really searching myself to try and figure out what changed.
Looking back I think I was just expecting too much from myself. I was trying to squeeze too much family, too much work, too much everything else, into too little time. Still today I find a lot of my days booked, or scheduled out, or filled with stuff more minutes than not. But I’m getting more realistic about what I can and can’t do with that time. I was having a conversation with someone at work that I put on my calendar “Print document for Patrick”. That didn’t seem like something you should have to put on a calendar, but if I didn’t budget the time for it, it just wouldn’t get done. So I’ve really been putting almost everything on the calendar. I haven’t gone as far as “do the dishes”, however, if it’s something that’s really been nagging at me for a while to get done, I will absolutely put it on the calendar no matter how mundane it is so that I don’t end up spending that time somewhere else with something else. It’s really improved my mental health quite a bit.
And this spring has given me a lot to look forward to. I feel like I just sorta “made it through” the last year or so. But this spring I’m really starting to build towards the things I really want to do. I got the JetSkis sold. Those were just a big bulky thing sitting in my yard reminding me every day that they served no purpose in my life right now. They are gone. I just had one ugly loveseat in my family room, and now I’ve got a big ol couch and comfy recliner down there, along with a foosball table that Luke and I can throw down with at any moment. Luke has his own ATV now that we can all go out and ride together with. The van and the truck are both running great and I can hop in either of them and go anywhere without the stress they could explode.
I’ve really been enjoying the YouTube thing as a hobby. It’s been fun to watch it slowly grow from nothing. It’s still tiny, but it’s cool to put something out there and get feedback on it, most of it positive. Haha.
There’s just this feeling of optimism that seems like I’m gaining some momentum and it feels good. Today I’m going to enjoy a nice day outside finishing up the ground work in the yard and get some grass planted. By next weekend I’m going to have to mow, and I always look forward to time spent on the Ride King.
Summer is coming which means the kids will be out of school and my schedule will be changing a bit again. I’m sure that will come with another period of adjustment. But we’ll see how it goes! With Andrea back in Great Bend, the kids won’t be gone all summer like last time, something I’m looking forward to quite a bit.
I’ve been actually writing a lot, but it’s stuff that never makes it to the blog. Every time I check in here, I always tell myself that I want to do this more often, and I certainly don’t want to commit to that right now. But this has become a pretty remarkable archive of my life. One that I’m thankful exists and deserves that I continue to contribute to in some way. But for today, this is it.