At this particular juncture, our life is heavily focused on Allie's education. We knew this transition into formal schooling would not be easy and honestly, it has been really, REALLY hard. So many adjustments, so many skills to learn, so much to catch up on. At times it feels overwhelming, BUT day by day things are improving and Allie is finding her way. We are so proud of her and her desire to do well. We consistently have conversations about grit (and even watched a TED talk on how grit is the one consistent factor among successful people) and daily affirm that she can overcome these obstacles if she's willing to go the extra mile. This "extra mileage" includes math tutoring - at school before classes start each day and weekly private tutoring after school. We are so grateful for her tutor and how she is helping Allie see math in a whole new way!
I have also been heavily involved in her AP class (as previously mentioned) and even though it sometimes is stressful, I have really enjoyed learning the content with her. Human Geography (the study of people groups, culture, etc.) is quite fascinating and I love being able to talk with her about it and help her draw connections. Recently, she has been studying migration and had to do some research on where her ancestors originated. Thanks to my mom, I was actually able to uncover some really interesting family history of my own, including how my Great Great Grandmother's 5 Great Aunts (Catholic nuns) were martyred by guillotine during the French Revolution (in Orange, France) and later canonized in 1907! Outside of this colorful story, most of my family dates back to the American Revolution and colonial days. Mom also shared the obituary of a relative 7 generations back as well as the complete genealogy of my dad's side of the family (back to 1781) which included dates, census records, addresses, brief obits, etc. One thing that struck me about all this "old stuff" was the writing style. The way people put pen to paper and carefully,yet simply, articulated a depth of meaning was so beautiful and seems like a dying art. Yes, I know I am saying this on my blog where I overuse highly intellectual words such as "lol", "blast" and "anywho"! Ha! Oh how the era of emojis and text messages have caused grammatical amnesia and the art of writing to become like an endangered species. But I digress...
Outside of school hours, homework and tutoring, Allie's weekly activities are ramping up and include FCA (school affiliated christian club that meets on Saturday nights) and church youth group/discipleship (which has a 2 1/2 hr program Sunday night and breakfast club Tuesday morning before school). I know it might not seem like a lot, but Zach and I feel like we are running a chauffeur service! Ha!
One area I am personally on #thestrugglebus with is meal planning and prep. Being a full-time working parent is HARD especially when you commute 25 miles/1 hr each way to work and are gone from your home over 10 hrs a day. This is compounded by our dietary restrictions - some medical, some personal preference. Throwing some cheesy, carby, artificial ingredient-packed casserole in the crockpot before I leave in the morning is not an option so I am on the hunt for something that will help me accomplish our dietary goals while also sticking with my budget/schedule. It is surprisingly challenging! Prior to Allie living here, Zach and I had a much more flexible schedule in the evening. It didn't matter as much if we ate late or if I needed to swing by the grocery store after work. Now, our evenings need to run like clockwork so we can manage our responsibilities and maximize our family time. Although I would love the "hire a cook and maid" option, haha that isn't exactly practical for us. I also would like to streamline ingredients to cut costs since cooking fresh, healthy meals is not on the cheap. This is a journey for me and something I hope to master in the coming weeks and months to keep not only money in my pocket and time on the clock, but more importantly - my sanity!!!
So September... here's what's been happenin'!
Labor Day weekend was our first weekend without Allie since her move to GA. It's funny how what was once our normal (aka- her not being here consistently) just a few short weeks ago is now so strange! While she was reconnecting with family and friends in Alabama, Zach and I enjoyed the weekend together around the ATL.
Exploring the outdoors on nature trails in Suwanee.
Zach's favorite coffee shop in the ATL is Chattahoochee Coffee Company on the Westside of town.
Not only does it have great beverages, it also has a unique interior and ambiance.
We also had the privilege of being a part of the wedding festivities for two dear friends - Jon and Kayla.
All in all, everything turned out well and was such a lovely time celebrating the union of our friends. My only real regret was NOT TAKING PHOTOS. I was so busy running around like a crazy person that I didn't get a single photo of our family or us with the bride and groom. :( :( :( :( :( :( Oh well. Such is life I guess, BUUUT I did get one, single, solitary photo of the cutest groomsmen... :)
And last, but not least- this past weekend. We had some much needed chill time at home. We watched a really fascinating documentary on the Exodus called Patterns of Evidence.
Allie and I also resurrected the "P Day" which we have not done in ages! (See previous P Days here and our very first P Day here.) It was really spur of the moment, but we kicked off the day with gluten free Pumpkin muffins (Trader Joe's brand).
One chocolate chess for Al, and one classic apple for me/Z. :)
All in all, September has been a great month, but I am really looking forward to October! It's finally FALL! This weekend we head to the mountains for our annual fall getaway/apple picking trip, and later in the month Allie has her first chorus concert, Mom turns the big 6-0, and I have numerous work events to host. It's gonna be busy, but I hope and pray through all the excitement that I can truly savor every second spent with those I love!