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Friday Five

One.

A whole week off with this cutie pie!

I didn’t really know what to expect this week. It’s been a reeeeally long time since I’ve Teddy by herself. And when I did we struggled. A lot. But she did so well this week! We kept busy with grocery shopping, a trip to the museum, a library visit, and we even had time to attend a literary event at JJ’s school. She was such a trooper and didn’t complain once all week. I told Corey halfway through the week that I just cannot believe how far she’s come. I love getting to spend time with my girls individually, hearing what they’re thinking and feeling, and seeing the different aspects of their personalities that come to light.

Two.

This L’Oréal Mascara

I’ve been using the same Cover Girl mascara for the last 8 years, but after trying this for the first time I was hooked! I noticed a difference in the length and volume of my lashes after just one coat.

I’ve got one coat on the right side and nothing on the left. See how much longer and fuller they are? I was thinking about getting false lashes, but I really feel like this mascara is almost as good.

Three.

Image result for sally hansen gel nail kit

Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit, Shell We Dance?

I got this 2 weeks ago, and I have been loving having gel nails without going to a salon. The hand sanitizer at work is especially brutal on traditional nail polish, so it’s really nice to go to work knowing I won’t ruin my fresh nails. I also think the Sally Hansen brand that I’m using comes off a lot easier and doesn’t take layers of my nails with it. The no drying time is a huge bonus as well! I loved that this kit was inexpensive (less than a gel mani at my favorite salon here in Durham!!), and my nail still looked great with no chipping or peeling for about 10 day–including 2 days at work which usually kills my nails! I’m just super pleased with this purchase.

Four.

Perfect Bars!

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I discovered these at Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago and they are soooo good! I’ve been looking for a bar that is free of a ton of added “fake” ingredients but still tastes good. Honestly, I just can’t do the Larabars. I’ve tried and tried, but I just don’t like them. And who wants to eat food that doesn’t taste good?!  The Perfect Bars are made of real ingredients and–bonus!!–are packed with protein. These have been the perfect thing to grab when I’m running out the door for work in the morning. Plus they go great with coffee, and you know I’m a sucker for a treat with my coffee! 😉

Five.

This also happened 2 weeks ago, but I took my first girls’ trip since our kiddos have been home!

My friend Sarah and I flew out of RDU and went to visit my two besties in Columbus Ohio! And my sister was able to come down with baby Jesse, which was just icing on the whole cake. We had a blast.

I just can’t even tell you how refreshing it was to get away and relax with my friends for a weekend. I’m so very thankful for a husband who encourages me to take time to do fun things AND does a great job holding down the fort while I’m gone. 😊

We’re so excited for this weekend. I have Sunday off and we’re heading to the zoo with passes Teddy got for her birthday. I hope you have a great weekend too! ❤️

 

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First Day of School: Round 2

Well, after I blogged about our first ever day of school with Teddy, we turned around and had another first day with JJ about 2 weeks later. The girls are in two separate schools this year, which sounds like way more of a headache than it actually is ;). We’re able to manage pick up and drop off times easily on my days off, and we have childcare lined up for both on the days I work. One of our huge saving graces here is that Teddy’s school is right across the street from Corey’s workplace. He can drop Jovia at her school on the early side, swing through the drop off line with Teddy, and then head to work. I’m so thankful that even though this has been a big transition all the logistical details sort of fell into place.

It’s been a huge change, but both of our kids love school, and we’re really grateful for the schools they’re in. I’ve actually struggled a lot with the adjustment of not knowing what goes on every day and what and how they’re learning and still trying to help them at home. I really did enjoy seeing how their little minds worked and getting creative with how we did school. I also loved that I knew exactly what they were learning and how.

There are still some times that I miss the home school days, and I’m still struggling with a lot of guilt over making the decision to put the girls in school. I don’t tell you this to garner any sort of sympathy or praise. When I’m able to think this through logically, I still know that sending my kids to school does not make me a bad mom. It’s just that I’m slowly coming to this realization that there is often a difference in our parenthood ideal and our parenting reality. And even more slowly, I’m coming to terms with the fact that what I imagine to be best for my kids sometimes in reality just will not work for our family. And you know what? I think I’m finding some peace and rest in that. God has given me the life I have and the kids I have. If home schooling really was the better choice for our family, I have no doubt that He would change our circumstances to allow that. So for right now we find ourselves in the pulic school system and we’re just really really thankful for access to good education for our kids.

So, JJ. She was more excited for school than just about any kid I’ve ever known. There was not a day that went by in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the year that we didn’t hear about school and how thrilled she was to be going. And the questions. She had aout 50 million questions about what would happen and how. Most of them I could not aswer adequately (sorry, JJ) because this girl thrives on details and wanted every.little.one. Several days before her first full day she and Corey attended the school open house and were able to meet her teacher. That night she was over the moon with excitement over a teacher who has “brown skin just like me” and a little girl she already knew from our friends’ old neighborhood in her class. I think from that moment on she was literally counting the hours until she got to start school. Her excitement was contagious and relieved a lot of my anxiety about sending a kid who had never seen the inside of a classroom into second grade.

Does she look so sweet or what? Jjajja sent us first day of school dresses and this one had tiny elephants all over it and a crisscross back. Her sense of style is on point. 😉

I got to walk her into her classroom on the first day and meet her teacher quickly before saying goodbye. She skipped down the hallway, holding my hand and chattering about how great her classroom was and how much fun she was going to have.

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e second day, she was ready to tackle the walk by herself. She stopped me about 30 yards from the front doors, said “I can go by myself now,” walked a little way, turned around and waved at me, then skipped the rest of the way to the doors.

And that’s that. She’s been just as enthusiastic about school every morning since. She’s put in a lot of hard work so far this year—she’s still really behind in a lot of areas—but she is loving the social aspect of attending school and her desire to learn has not waned. For now, this seems like a good fit and I’m so thankful for God’s provision and grace for my kiddos. ❤️

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First Day of School

Well, we did it. We successfully got our kindergarten cutie off to her first official day of school.

(I promise she's happy. We had a "moment" right before this picture was taken. 😉)

 

If you've been following here for any length of time you know that we homeschooled both girls last year. And while it was a decision that made a lot of sense for all of us at the time, it became really obvious that it wasn't right for our family long term. And if I'm honest, it was a really hard decision and I spent a lot of time beating myself up over it. I just kept hearing this voice in my head telling me "good moms homeschool," "good moms sacrifice for their kids,"

But you know what? Good moms homeschool because it's what's best for their kids. And plenty of other good moms (my mom included!) send their kids to school because it's what's best for their kids!

I really did like the idea of homeschooling and giving my kids an education tailored to their specific needs. But in practice it was really hard–on me because I was working straight night and I was just beat and on my kids because I was constantly fighting fatigue and wasn't giving them the best of me. In the end, there a lot of reasons why we just couldn't continue and after a lot of prayer and a lot of talking to other moms (especially my fellow adoptive moms), we decided to enroll the girls in school.

So, this year instead of ordering a bunch of curriculum and prepping for a new school year here at home, I'm running around purchasing school supplies from a list, attending open houses and planning pick up and drop off times. So far the girls seem to be transitioning really well and are super excited about their first year in school.

 

On Thursday last week, we sent our Kindergartener off to her first day of school. I'm going to be honest here, I don't think I slept well for about 2 weeks leading up to this. If you're at all familiar with parenting adopted kids, you know transitions can be tricky at best and downright nightmarish at worst. So, because I'm a mom and I think this is what we do, I spent a lot of time worrying about the worst. But I can't say enough good things about the school Teddy is attending OR her teacher this year. After her open house on Wednesday, I felt so comfortable and so much more at ease dropping her off on Thursday. Not that that stopped the tears as I was driving away, but I was completely assured that she was in good hands.

For her part, Teddy did incredibly well. I think she had a small case of the jitters going to bed Wedesday night, but she woke up Thursday ready to get going–spurred on by a batch of blueberry muffins ;).

We got to rest up a bit over a three day weekend, and the hit the ground running for real with a full week of school this week! I am so excited about all that she's going to learn this year and even though I'll miss her (and her big sister) here at home with me, I know that we are doing the very best we can for each girl!

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