Nathan @ 6 Months

Before we begin October (and my Simple Savings series), I want to share this month’s update on Nathan Reagan. Look at this! I’m actually posting his update on the very day that he turns 6 months! Yay for that. Now, if I can just keep his Shutterfly baby book up to date…

We started out the month with a visit to Illinois for Nathan to meet this Barz Great-Grandparents. Nathan is blessed to have 7 of his 8 Great Grandparents still living. We know this is a blessing, especially since Andy & I married later and didn’t have Nathan right away. My Grandpa and Grandma Barz were the last ones of the 7 to meet Nathan. They were all excited to meet one another! We were glad we could spend the day with them before they returned home to Cheney, Kansas.

Meeting Great Grandparents

Nathan and I have really settled into our at home routines. One of which is a daily walk around town – or at least to the post office. The weather cooled off enough for us to zip up into jackets. Nathan does love riding in his stroller to see what he can see.

Nathan Walks

Nathan went to his first birthday party as his friend Kate turned 1! Okay, Kate’s Mom is my teacher friend, Allison. We’ve decided that, of course, our babies will be friends! We try to get together for play dates, and we enjoyed celebrating Kate’s birthday with her.

Nathan's 1st Birthday Party

Nathan loves to stand. He always has. I went to a local baby resale and picked up this exosaucer for only $9.50. It was in great condition and at a great price! Nathan absolutely loves it. I love that he can stand and play to his heart’s content.

Nathan in Exosaucer

We celebrated Andy’s birthday this month and met him at the zoo. Andy took his class on a field trip so Nathan and I helped him check the answers for the scavenger hunt he gave the kiddos. It was a fun day! I love this picture of my two boys watching for the sea lions. Andy is such a great dad!

Zoo with Daddy

The big adventure is that Nathan started eating solids, just last week! So far, we’ve introduced rice cereal followed by oatmeal. He’s tried avocado (yum) and today, gets to eat peas. As you can see from the first time he ate cereal, he was ready and eager to eat! We’ll continue with the green vegetables before orange ones, followed by fruits. And yes, I am making my own baby food. I have some jars that I bought for when we’re out and about. But for now, I’m doing homemade – because it is so much cheaper and quite easy to do, too.

Nathan Helps Feed Himself

When I weighed Nathan at the end of the month, he weighed 15 pounds, 8 ounces. He can roll over from front to back and back to front. He can sit by himself, which is very exciting! He does push-ups as he attempts to crawl already. We finally got him on a sleep schedule this month. He eats at 7am and sleeps through the night until eating at 5am. He eats again before sleeping for another hour or two. Of course, he caught his first cold this weekend (boo!) so his sleeping has been out of sorts since he’s had trouble breathing. Eating, sleeping, rolling over, sitting up – what a busy month! Happy 6 months, Nathan Reagan!

End of the Summer Garden Produce

I think that’s the last of it. I think – I hope – I just picked my last tomatoes of the season. Our garden didn’t look that big when Andy planted it, but it provided us with plenty of produce over the past couple months. We planted 8 tomato plants, a row of bell peppers and a row of onions. We also planted 2 zucchini plants and 2 cucumber plants. From that, we ate a lot of zucchini bread. Seriously, I made over 18 loaves – many of which I gave away. I also taught my husband to like sauteed zucchini. I ate a lot of veggie wraps and cooked with our fresh produce. Much of it made it’s way to our freezer. Here is a list of what I currently have in our freezer and in the pantry, thanks to a summer of fresh produce.

I froze 10 cups of grated zucchini. I grated my zucchini and froze it in 2 cup bags because each recipe for zucchini bread calls for 2 cups. This way, I can easily thaw one bag each time I want to make fresh zucchini bread. We had lots of zucchini that grew to be very large very quickly – as you can see one next to Nathan.

One of our many zucchini

I froze 10 pints of blueberries. The blueberries I flash froze and put in large gallon bags. I didn’t grow the blueberries but bought them for $1 a pint at the grocery store. They are delicious! I wish I had bought more.

I froze 8 cups of blackberries. The blackberries were from a church member’s bushes that she gave me for free. Like the blueberries, I flash froze them and put them in a large bag in the freezer.

Fresh Garden Blackberries

I canned 13 jars of blackberry jam using this recipe. I gave several jars away but I still have plenty of jars to enjoy on my toast this year.

I froze 5 diced onion bundles. I like to dice the onions ahead of time into these onion bundles so I can quickly toss them into a pan of hamburger when I’m cooking dinner. It allows me to get my hands dirty once and saves me prep time.

I froze 8 cups of diced bell peppers. I diced the peppers and flash froze them before transferring them into several quart bags in the freezer. I really like sauteing peppers with onions (and sometimes corn and black beans) and eating them in veggie wraps. It’s my new favorite!

Peppers and Zucchini

I froze 18 cups of sweet corn. One of Andy’s students shared some sweet corn from their family farm with us. Growing up in Texas, I do love the good sweet corn that we get up North! I also had fond memories of my Mom freezing corn as I cut the long strips off the cob. I followed the directions in my handy Ball Blue Book.

Sweet Corn for the Freezer

Most of my time was spent working with tomatoes. I canned over 40 pints of salsa using my Aunt Renee’s recipe. We have already eating several jars and given several away. We have 30 pints of salsa remaining in our basement pantry.

Fresh Canned Salsa

When I got tired of canning salsa, I decided to try my hand at fresh tomato sauce. I made 12 cups of tomato sauce in my slow cooker and froze it in quart bags – 2 cups of sauce in each bag. This was my first time making tomato sauce in the slow cooker and it was incredibly easy! I made it up as I went along but the results were all good!

It’s a varied assortment but I love having a stocked freezer with so many different – and fresh – vegetables and fruits. I’m not as well stocked as my Amish neighbors, I’m sure, but every year I do a bit more. It makes my happy to be preserving fresh food for my family! Did you have a garden this summer? What’s in your freezer?

Restocking My Wardrobe with Twice

Restocking My Wardrobe with Twice - a Great Bargain Shopping Trip

It was time. After having a baby, my wardrobe needed an update. I don’t buy new clothes very often and after losing the baby weight, I really wanted to update my closet. My life has dramatically changed with staying home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look cute doing so. I’d been meaning to buy new clothes for some time, but shopping with a baby isn’t easy. Plus, I still wanted to find good bargains. It was Andrea who finally gave me the motivation to go and buy some new clothes.

I decided to shop online at Twice . Twice is an online, upscale thrift store. It has reasonable prices on name brand clothing – Gap, Limited, New York & Company, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Express and Banana Republic, just to name a few. I thought their prices really reasonable, starting at $7.95 for a lot of the tops. Plus, the deciding factor was that just for signing up, I got a $10 credit to spend at Twice. Everyone who signs up gets a free $10 to spend right away! And for everyone who signs up through your link, you get an additional $10 to spend. Somehow my referral link got spread around online (thank you to whomever shared my link) so I already had some credit to spend, too.

I had read about Andrea’s new wardrobe and then later that week, happened to see that when you liked the Twice Facebook page, you got 50% off your first order. Here was my logic. I needed a new wardrobe. I had money to spend. There was a great coupon code. Plus, when you spent over $50, you got free shopping. So, shopping online at Twice I went!

Before I started, I thought about what I wore and what I wanted to wear. I knew I wanted comfortable tops that were plain and could be worn with my jeans or my black pants. I wanted tops that would look nice whether I’m at home with Nathan, running errands or out on a date night with Andy. I have plenty of teacher clothes but now I need SAHM clothes. What a nice “problem” to have! I decided I’d shop mainly for some new casual tops that were comfortable but with a little something unique about them. I also decided to check dresses, just because dresses are always hard to find!

What I love about Twice is how easily you can search. I started by searching under tops. Then, I selected both the small size and the small petite size. Next, I selected short sleeve or three-quarter length. I don’t like long sleeves because they are often too long and cover my hands. Finally, I selected blues and reds, because those are the colors I find myself wearing most because I’ve learned those are the colors I look best in. That narrowed down the search quite a bit. I added in grey later. Finally, because I like a bargain, I sorted my results from prices lowest to highest. Why pay more for a top if I like the cheaper ones just as much? From my results, I selected tops from the Gap, Ann Taylor Loft, Uniqlo, Style & Company, New York & Company, and the Limited. See what I mean? Everything is truly name brand.  Here are the items I selected.

My First Twice Purchases

Cute, aren’t they? I think so and was very excited to try everything on. Sorry I don’t have pictures of me wearing them all yet. Nathan admired my new clothes, but can’t work a camera yet! :-) I ordered 12 items from Twice, but 3 of the items (2 tops and 1 dress) didn’t fit me very well. I wasn’t worried. Twice has free return shipping and offers you full credit back for any items returned within 30 days. That made ordering even simpler because I didn’t have to worry that I would be stuck with any items that didn’t fit / look good.

Just so you can see how good of a deal I got – and because I love good deals, here are my totals. The original value of these name brand clothes (according to Twice) was $369.29. The price at Twice was $107.55. Most of the tops were priced at $7.95 or 8.95. Thanks to the 50% off my first order coupon, I spent $53.78 for these 9 new pieces of clothing! If I had shopped in one of those stores, I would have only been able to get 2 new tops for that same price!

My order arrived in 2 days and all the clothes were in excellent condition. None of them looked worn at all. Plus, I did all my shopping from the comfort of my home. I am amazed at how easy it was to shop at Twice and will definitely be shopping there more in the future!

I love my updated wardrobe so much! If you’re looking for some new clothes, I highly encourage you to check out Twice . If you want to sign up through my referral link here, you and I will both get $10 to spend on clothes. Then, be sure to share your referral link to get more credit, too! I’d recommend liking the Twice Facebook page to get an additional 50% off your first order. For me, as soon as I liked the page, I had 12 hours to shop and get the 50% off so be sure you’re ready to shop!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Have fun shopping in a frugal and fun fashion!

Nathan @ 4 and 5 Months

In the wonderful whirlwind that was our summer, I fell behind on my monthly Nathan posts. I trust you all won’t mind if I share the highlights of our past two months now? Here we go, starting with his 4 month picture.

Nathan at 4 Months

At 4 months, Nathan weighed in at 13 pounds, 8 ounces and was 24.5 inches long. That put him in the 10% for weight and the 12% for height. He was also a trooper getting 3 more shots this month. The doctor told us to start solid foods, but we decided to wait until 6 months like the AAP currently recommends. Nathan still nurses well but the distraction stage hit us this month. He pauses many time mid-meal to gaze up at me or look around the room.

Nathan discovered his voice this month and has become quite the “talker.” He babbles on and on and loves to screech to hear his voice. It has made church a bit more interesting but he’s so excited that nobody minds much. Andy and I are more aware of the noise than anyone else, I’m sure.

We had a rough couple of weeks due to Nathan’s 4 month growth spurt with waking every two hours during the night. I have to say that this growth spurt was worse than the newborn stage. Now that we’re past that – and done with all our travels – I’m working very hard at getting us both settled into a good sleeping routine now.

Nathan saw his first fireworks in July. We weren’t sure how it was going to go because it was well past his bedtime. He started to get fussy right before they started but once he noticed them, Nathan was transfixed for the entire show. We watched from the parking lot of St. Paul’s (Andy’s school) so were far enough away that we didn’t have to worry about the noise. We could simply enjoy the show – and we certainly did!

Nathan watching his first fireworks

Nathan’s current favorite book is “Peek a Who?” We’ve read it countless times because there is something about the simple pictures and text that calm him instantly. I wish I had written this book because I could be making millions from it! We also discovered this month that the rhyme “5 Little Monkeys” can stop his crying in the middle of the tantrum. It’s the oddest thing and I don’t know why this works, but we are thankful it does!

We enjoyed a trip to Cleveland to see college friends. Among the 5 couples, we had 4 babies – 20 months, 8 months, 4 months (Nathan) and 2 months. We stayed around the house with the babies and enjoyed visiting. I love this picture of “big girl” Kylie helping hold Nathan. They were both so happy in this moment! This was also the first time I really saw myself (as a baby) in Nathan.

Kylie helping hold Nathan

We also made a trip to St. Louis to celebrate our nephew and Nathan’s cousin’s baptism. Ezekiel is a cutie and it was so fun to have all 5 of the cousins together. We did our best at taking a picture of the Barz cousins – the first of many – with the boys wearing matching outfits bought by my Mom.

The Barz Grandchildren - Summer 2014

At 5 months, Nathan has become more efficient (or quicker) at nursing. He still gets easily distracted by all that is going on around him. He definitely recognizes the voices of his Mommy and Daddy when we come in the room or door from somewhere else. It makes us smile every time.

Nathan rolls over occasionally but not regularly yet. He prefers to scoot around. He is excellent at turning himself 360 degrees on his tummy when playing. He tries to sneak glances at the tv but knows Dad and Mom don’t allow it so we are watching it less and less when he’s in the room…which isn’t a bad thing.

This month, we traveled to Nebraska to celebrate his Uncle Chris’s wedding (Andy’s brother) to his new Aunt Jessica. It was a small but lovely wedding in Omaha over Labor Day weekend. Nathan looked quite handsome in his little suit ($3.50 from Once Upon a Child) and new bowtie. He looks so grown up, too!

Nathan at 5 Months in His tux

Nathan loves to stand – with our help. He is very close to sitting on his own, too. He started spending two afternoons a week at his Grandpa and Grandma Whirrett’s while I go teach music. We are very thankful for their help and for the opportunity for Nathan to see at least one set of his grandparents regularly.

Nathan is still quite the charmer and loves to smile at everyone. He laughs occasionally but always has a smile ready! He is starting to recognize a camera and smile for it as well. We get comments everywhere we go over what a cute and happy baby Nathan is. And he truly is! Nathan really is a people person!

Nathan at 5 Months

Nathan @ 3 Months

Here we are at 3 months already! Or a quarter of the way till one! I’m not rushing these days away because so much is happening for Nathan right now. Here’s what we’ve been up to this month.

Nathan started the month by taking his first (of many) long road trips. We drove out to Nebraska for a second-cousin’s wedding, stopping to see Andy’s brother on the way. Nathan was a great traveller, until we reached hour 9 or so, when he decided he was ready to be out of his car seat. We did a lot of nursing at rest stops and diaper changes in the car, still making pretty good time considering. Every time we unstrapped him, Nathan stretched like this.

Ready for a road trip

We were glad we made the drive as my entire family was (almost) together. We were missing my brother Joel who was home in St. Louis, getting ready to travel to Brasil for the World Cup. It was nice to all be together, even if it was only for 24 hours. It was nice to see some of our second-cousins, too.

Barz Family Minus Joel

Nathan has found a favorite book this month. This simple, three page, bright colored shape book will keep him entertained for 15 minutes or more at a time. I don’t know what it is that is so fascinating but it was a life-saver on our drive out to Nebraska! I look forward to many more months of favorite books with Nathan.

Nathan traveling in the car

After we returned from Nebraska, my sister, Liesl, visited with her family. We are so glad to have them back from Okinawa! Nathan enjoyed the time with his cousins. Addison loved to hold him, Davenie told him how handsome he was, and Jose covered him with kisses, multiple times a day. These are the four Barz cousins…for now! Both my sisters are expecting, one in July and one in September, so the number of grandchildren for my parents doubled this year.

Tummy time with cousins

We celebrated Andy’s first Father’s Day. Of course, I had to dress Nathan for the occasion in his preppy golfer hand-me-down outfit. The hat was the perfect touch! I am SO thankful for all the hand-me-downs and gifts of clothes we have received. Nathan’s closet is full of adorable clothes, although we did move up into the 3 to 6 month sizes this month, right on schedule.

Father's Day 2014

After spending time with my family, Andy’s family had their annual get together in Fort Wayne at the end of the month. We tried to get a picture with 5 of the little ones with their Great-Grandma Schiffli. It’s easier said than done! Nathan is currently the youngest so just took everything in this summer. He was happy to be held by anyone and everyone who wanted to hold him.

Schiffli Reunion

Nathan continues to be very curious. His big eyes are constantly trying to take it all in. When he has a full tummy and a clean diaper, he’s content to lay on his tummy or back and look around the room. There are so many times I wish I could see inside his brain to see what he is thinking!

Looking around

Nathan also discovered his hands this month. He loves to watch them and he loves to eat them! He’s drooling a lot so I try to keep him in bibs. The doctor said that’s normal, not a sign that teeth are around the corner, but we shall see! Nathan’s grip has improved so he can hold onto his Discovery links and shake them, which he likes to do.

Discovering hands

Never you fear, Nathan does have his fussy moments! We’ve had a couple of car ride moments where Nathan screams at me, wanting to be out of his seat. It makes for some long car rides home because his pacifier doesn’t help when he’s like that. We also went through his 3 month growth spurt right at the end of the month where he was quite cranky until I started feeding him every 2 hours again. We spent a lot of time on the couch that weekend. He’s still nursing great but is good at taking a bottle I’ve pumped when I’m away. I’m thankful that he does both well!

Fussy Baby

At 3 months, Nathan weighed 12 lbs and 2 ounces. He is a growing baby! I can see the rolls in his legs developing but he is nowhere near as chubby as I anticipated he would be. Andy and I were both very chubby babies!  The biggest development of the month would have to be that Nathan discovered his voice while we were at the Lehenbauer family reunion. All of the sudden, he just started screeching and “talking”. He hasn’t stopped since! He has long conversations of babbles and coos and has great inflection!

Happy Baby - 3 Months Old!

It’s nice to be on a relaxed summer schedule with Andy home, especially since Nathan has taken to waking up during the night again. Sometimes, Nathan sleeps from 9:30pm till 4:30am before waking up to eat. Other times, he wakes around 1:30am, wanting to eat again. He’s still a good napper, though. Plus, Nathan is getting better at napping in his pack n play, now that we discovered he prefers to sleep on his tummy. Since we’re always near when he’s napping, we let Nathan nap this way, but we still swaddle him on his back for nighttime. We’re looking forward to seeing what changes the next month will bring!

Encouragement for Moms from Lisa-Jo

Links I Love Button

Lisa-Jo Baker is a talented writer and as she would say, an ordinary mother. Yet, I would like to add that she is an ordinary mother whom God has given an extra-ordinary way with words. She recently published a beautiful book called Surprised by Motherhood. It was just what I needed to read in my own early days of motherhood. Since then, I have found myself encouraged over and over by her blog. Lisa-Jo speaks to my heart with just the encouragement I didn’t know I needed. Read this. Be encouraged today!

A prayer for all the weary Thursday Mothers reminded me not to “rush through today or wish it over.” I need to remember this. Always.

The false advertising about Motherhood lists 10 things many of us have believed. Remember, “It’s ok to feel overwhelmed and it’s ok to feel like there are some days you just want to quit. That’s normal. You’re phenomenal. I’ve never understood why there aren’t more parades in your honor.”

Not to be left out, share this with the Dad in your life. For all the “ordinary, boring” Dads from your grateful daughters, you need to know that “you might be surprised by what we remember.” Because “the memories of what we did together will always trump the lost ones of what we didn’t.”

The growing pains of Motherhood reminds us that we are not alone. Other mothers are experiencing the same moments we are. As Lisa-Jo says, “I see you measuring your day in inches as the years stretch ahead in long miles.”

Her perspective on what the gang wars and Mommy wars have in common was shockingly accurate. “The thing is, the woman we’re so offended by – she bears your name. She bears my name. She is also Mother.”

Finally, I leave you with this for when you’re tired of the “how-to” books of parenting as another reason you should read Lisa-Jo’s beautiful book. “Motherhood isn’t a competition. It’s a calling.”

Happy 4th of July!

Nathan wanted to make sure we wished you a Happy 4th of July! I hope his cute patriotism brings a smile to your face!

Happy 4th of July

And if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I’ll leave you with these outtakes. Our little baby is becoming quite expressive!

4th of July Outtakes

Nathan @ 2 Months

It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of June already. Nathan continues to grow like a weed! He’s 11 weeks old but I haven’t had a chance to post his two month update. I’m doing it now – for you and for me! Here we go.

The month started off when Andy took his eighth grade class to Washington DC for 4 days. It was a challenge to solo parent, but the days went more smoothly – and quicker – than expected. Nathan did try to sneak into Andy’s suitcase but there wasn’t room for him! This was the month where I felt we started to settle into a routine.

Nathan Packing for Daddy

Nathan was almost 6 weeks before I took him to visit my students at Ascension. We had some nasty cases of strep making the rounds that I wanted us both to avoid. Of course, the children were all thrilled to meet him at last! The next week, I took Nathan to visit Andy’s school and classroom. Nathan was a hit at both schools!

Nathan at Ascension

Of course, we celebrated Mother’s Day. There were many years when I didn’t think this day would ever come. What a joyous day it was to celebrate with our baby who made my dreams come true!

Mother's Day 2014

Nathan grew so much during his second month. He settled into a good routine of being awake for 1.5 hours and asleep for the same. He started sleeping longer stretches at night, too, almost 6 hours at 6 weeks and a momentous 8 hours at 8 weeks! That was truly wonderful that Nathan did it without much help from us. I will say that swaddling at night has been very helpful – for him and for us!

As for other firsts, Nathan discovered his hands and will now occasionally suck on his hand – or thumb. He still likes his pacifier. Nathan continues to roll himself over regularly from his tummy to his back. I’d say that over half the time I put him on his tummy, he flips himself to his back. Nathan continues to lift his head quite high, as he wants to see what is going on. He is a curious and alert little guy.

Nathan discovered his hand

Nathan also got to meet his Grandpa Barz who arrived at the end of the month from Texas. My Dad arrived with my Mom (who was amazed at how Nathan has already grown since she left last month) to stay for a week. Nathan enjoyed some time with his grandparents, who graciously watched him as I returned to school for my final four days of teaching, after my maternity leave. It was so much easier to leave knowing that my parents were watching him. Plus, I didn’t have to take him anywhere which made the mornings much easier!

Nathan and His Grandpa Barz

Nathan still loves to eat, and regularly eats every 3ish hours. He decided that he liked baths his month so bathtime finds him kicking away in the water. The biggest event of the month? Nathan learned to smile. Really smile. It happened first when Andy was away at DC. Now, it happens all the time! Nathan loves to smile.

Smiles from Nathan

At his two month appointment, Nathan weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces, which put him in the 25%. His length had increased to 22 inches, which put him in the 50% percentile. He’s a content and happy baby, whom we love watching grow and change – almost daily.

Our Summer Plans 2014

I finished my tenth year of teaching last Friday. I had mixed emotions because as glad as I always am to wrap up another incredible year, this year will be my last of full-time teaching (for now). I have been blessed to teach at two amazing Lutheran schools over my teaching ministry and it truly has been a blessing. There are so many memories of so many students. Still, like any student you ask, teachers are just as excited (if not more!) for summer to arrive. We have a busy summer ahead of us and it has already started!

My parents arrived from San Antonio, Texas, last Monday evening. Thankfully, they watched Nathan while I returned to school for my four days post maternity leave. Dad left on Sunday to go serve as Chaplain for a Doxology Retreat. Mom is still here for a couple more days until she picks Dad up on Wednesday. Dad went to a TinCaps game with Andy and his students. Nathan and I drove Dad and Mom over to Bowling Green to see Grandpa and Grandma Lehenbauer again. We went for walks and had lots of good conversations. Of course, most importantly, Nathan showed off his smiles and new babbling to his Texas grandparents who love to hold him. It’s been lovely to have them here!

Thursday morning, Andy and I are taking Nathan on his first long road trip. We are driving out to Lincoln, Nebraska, for my second-cousin’s wedding. It’s unique because both of my sisters and my parents will be there as well. We plan to stop in Omaha to see Andy’s brother Chris on the way. It will be a quick trip – driving out on Thursday, wedding on Friday and driving back on Saturday. It’s just what we do – so Nathan will get used to it. Thankfully, he likes car rides! I hope that remains true for this trip.

We’ll have a day to regroup and clean sheets before my sister arrives with her family on Monday. Liesl and Jose are back from Okinawa and heading to their new military assignment in North Carolina. We are so excited to see them – along with our two nieces and nephew. Nathan gets to meet his cousins for the first time! We’ll stay around Fort Wayne for a couple days with plans for visits to the park and new splash pad in the neighboring small town.

On Friday, we’ll all load up and drive to Camp Lakeview in Seymour, Indiana, for the Lehenbauer family reunion. It’s held every three years for my Grandpa’s siblings, children and grandchildren. It’s a good time to catch up with cousins and second cousins at a nice Lutheran camp.

After the reunion, it’s back home to Grabill. By then, our house will be quiet again and we’ll wrap up things in our classrooms. I have to pack mine up and Andy has the typical end of the year responsibilities. I have early childhood meetings to attend for the Indiana district and Andy has basketball camps to coach. Other than that, we’re staying around Fort Wayne. The Schiffli family has their annual reunion at the end of June in Fort Wayne.

At the end of July, we’ll travel to Cleveland for a couple days to get together with college friends. There will be a 1 year old and 3 little babies among the 5 couples this year. It will be a different sort of reunion now that the guys all travel with pack ‘n plays for their babies!

Finally, although school will have resumed by then, at the end of August, we will travel to Omaha, Nebraska for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We’re very excited to welcome Jessica into the Whirrett family! The rest of Andy’s siblings and his parents are driving out with us in the Tahoe so that will be quite the road trip!

Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot of long trips, since we’re coming home to Grabill in between each one, I went ahead and looked at a map. We’re still going to be driving 3400 miles this summer for these various trips. Did you know you can embed maps now? So, take a look.

Those are our summer plans. If I’m absent some days online, now you’ll know why! What are your plans for the summer? And do you drive everywhere like we do in our family?

An Unexpected Online Break

Ugh. Do you ever have those days – and weeks – when things don’t go according to plan? Well, last Thursday, I was checking my email when I noticed that my reply wouldn’t send. I looked further and it said the internet was down. I did all the tricks that I knew. I waited a bit. I refreshed the page. I turned off the modem and restarted it. Still, no internet. I waited until the next morning, just to make sure, but I still wasn’t able to get online. Andy called them and I called them three times before the tech guy determined it was our modem and sent us a replacement one. He said it would be there in 1 to 2 days. It wasn’t. It was Tuesday before it arrived. When I plugged in the new modem, our internet still didn’t work. I called our service provider again who quickly diagnosed it as a line problem. Why didn’t they say this before? Sigh. He said someone would come out as quickly as they could – in the next two days! Even bigger sigh. So, I continued to wait. It took until today when someone finally came out and got us back online! Unfortunately, my laptop still isn’t picking up the wireless signal but Andy’s laptop works.

It was a long time to do without internet – especially since I didn’t have any other place to get online. I don’t have a Smartphone and I still not back at school to use my school laptop either. I had big plans to work on some upcoming posts this week but it didn’t happen. I couldn’t email. I couldn’t check recipes. I couldn’t work on my photo books. I couldn’t update this website. It’s amazing how much we now depend on the internet!

Still, despite moments of frustration, I determined to make the best of it. Nathan and I took his first trip to the zoo with my preschoolers. We hosted a baby shower for the other preschool teacher. I read several books. Nathan practiced his smiles. We took naps and walks. I baked desserts for the upcoming Volunteer Dinner. I took more pictures of Nathan. Still, as productive as the time offline was, I decided it’s better when I chose to go offline. When it’s taken away without warning, I can’t plan for the break. That was the lesson I learned from my unexpected online break. I wanted to explain that I didn’t forget you all! I enjoyed my last week of maternity leave with Nathan – how can he be seven weeks old already? – and now I’m back online.

Nathan - 7 weeks

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...