Excited and Nervous



Our three started school this week.  Connor returned to his Asilo for one more year while Jack and Morgan started at the elementary school in our town.  For them, this is the third school they have attended in the past year.  As one, who save the first seven months of kindergarten, attended the schools in the same neighborhood with the same kids for the first 13 years of education that’s hard to swallow.

To be honest, it’s not my first choice for them.  But as a military family there are some (okay, many) situations we can’t control and we have to make the best of those when they come our way.

For many reasons, we decided that sending the older two to the American school last year was the best choice at the time.  However, our ultimate hope was to send them to Italian school as that seems to be too good of an experience to miss.  About mid-way through last school year we knew that they would be moving even though it meant another transition.   After meeting with the teachers and seeing the school, I knew that while it would be hard, it would be a great move.

Bags are packed


As we prepared for school to start I asked the kids to tell me what made them excited about the transition as well as what they were nervous about.

The answer to both:  going to Italian school.

Their responses really struck me.  As I thought about it in the following days it occurred to me that the same can be said about most of the very rewarding experiences in life.  The thought of them actually happening makes you feel excited and nervous, often at the very same time.

1st day of Italian school


When Monday morning finally rolled around we were all a bit nervous.  Stomachs were queasy and this mama was on the brink of tears as we walked to school.  I knew this was the best decision and that it was really a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I’m so excited for all three of them to leave here fluent in Italian and for our entire family to have spent our time here so immersed in the Italian life.

Yet it will be hard.  It already has been.

We are now three days in and so far things are going even better than I’d hoped.   There are still nerves, of course.  But each day both kids walk out of those school doors with big smiles on their faces and tell me that they had a great day.






Connor's first day of School


As for Connor, he too had a big adjustment.  Last year.  We had days when he clung to me crying because he didn’t want me to leave.  Yet this year, he couldn’t get back to school fast enough.  He’s nearly fluent in Italian (for a 5 year old) and he loves his teachers and classmates.  That is an amazing reward.


At the pool

Though I hate to admit it, for me this summer has been mainly about survival.  Simply getting through the day (or hour as the case may be).

From where I stand right now, Summer 2012 is the year that I was (still) bitter about moving and missing my life in Colorado, frustrated that Jeff seemed to always be working or sleeping thanks to his crazy schedule or wishing that I was more connected in my new life here in Italy.  It’s been tough and sadly I’ve found myself wishing too many days away.

C at the ocean

Thankfully, given all of the “you’re the best mom ever” and “can we go back to the river” comments, I think the children enjoyed themselves and will remember it fondly.  (Of course as is likely true in any house with three school aged kids there has been plenty of “you’re the worst mom ever” and “this is so boring” so maybe I’m kidding myself).

Ljubljana, Slovenia


Ljubljana, Slovenia



Lake Bled, Slovenia


Lake Bled, Slovenia

Yet, if I step aside, take a deep breath and reflect a bit.  The truth is that despite the grumpiness, frustrating schedule, and moments of loneliness, it wasn’t so bad.  While there weren’t any huge trips or grand plans, simply throwing in some breathing room, many days spent at the river and a little bit of travel amongst the daily life of our little family ended up being just about right.

On Summer

We are having a great summer but I must say, whomever named it summer vacation clearly wasn’t home all day with their three children.  Yes, we are doing fun things and it is great to have time off from the school routine but having my three home is not a vacation.  In fact, after having seven hours home alone, this is work.  I’m getting glimpses of the early years without the diapers and nursing but replacing those with attitude and fighting.

That being said, we are indeed having a great time.

One of our favorite places
Pizza festival.
Jack climbing.  All of the kids were so much more confident this time.

Exploring the Adriatic.

This is what summer is made of.  We’re enjoying it (even in spite of some grumpiness) and I’m thankful.

Thoughts on a Tuesday Morning

Early morning rose


I keep thinking it’s Monday.  I guess that’s downside to long weekends, I spend the next four days feeling behind.  We had a great weekend but with a busy week ahead the thought of getting it all done (not that that ever actually happens) is daunting.  This week is even shorter as we are taking Friday off to hit the beach to celebrate Miss Morgan’s 7th birthday.  (No, we wouldn’t normally take the kids out of school on their birthday but Jeff is off Friday and works the rest of the weekend.  So, we decided to go for it.)

On the flip side, the peace and quiet is even more welcome and appreciated.  I sometimes wonder how exactly I got through those days with three under four (or five).  When I look back I know it was hard but I just don’t remember it that way.  Time does that, I guess.

With these hours of quiet I can not only catch my breath a bit, but also study.  Anatomy is having it’s way with me and it’s not fun.  As I told Jeff the other day, it feels as if nothing happens with the information once the words pass my eyes.  Not good or fun but I’m plugging away and hoping to wrap it up before the kids finish school.

Having everyone home all day did remind me that I need to get some plans in place for summer.  We don’t do well going all the time but I definitely need to have some things I can go to when we’re all starting to lose it a bit.  The thought of summer is also making a bit nostalgic for all that we left back in Colorado.  Our friends definitely top the list but so do the amazing parks, library, jump house place and much more.  Yes, we’re in Italy but not every day is an Italian vacation of sight seeing and meals out.  Some times we just need to keep the kids busy.

So, any tips? What fun things are in store for your family this summer?


Week in the Life {Thursday}

(Yes, at a stoplight!)

So, I’m realizing why I don’t do this very often.  I’m not good at keeping my camera with me or taking pictures at (potentially) weird moments.

I spend Thursday mornings at the school and then had a meeting afterward so I was gone for most of the day.  Please notice the very little amount of studying that is occurring around here.  Anyway, it was another busy day.  I really don’t prefer to be gone this much as we all do better when things are less crazy.  Oh well.

Morgan got some new shoes in the mail.  They are her, sparkle and shine.

Jeff had a graduation dinner to go to last night.  At the very last minute I thought to take his picture.  Obviously, I did not think to move him to a nicer background.  (Does anyone want to come pull weeds from our gravel?)

Miss M. read bedtime stories to me and a very reluctant Connor.

Nothing says class in a photo like an athletic sock keeping my toes warm.  Real life, people.  Real life.

There’s so much in between and yet it’s hard for me to capture.  We are just doing this thing.  Sometimes it is pretty and sometimes it’s not (hello horrible earache I had Thursday night).  But it is all a blessing.  Every single minute whether I appreciate it or not.

Week in the Life {Wednesday}

After making tortillas

Our girls

About ready to climb in and call it a day.

Wednesday was much less exciting around here as it was just me, the chicks and a sleeping Jeff all day.  Most of the day was spent studying though we did run and grab lunch (was enjoying the sun and forgot to take a picture) and I made tortillas for our bean burrito dinner.  The kids came home and it was the usual routine of homework, dinner, showers, game and bed.

Just a normal day.

Week in the Life {Tuesday}

I’m a huge Ali Edwards fan.  I’m not a scrapbooker but I love her perspective on life and how she documents the daily things.  Last week she documented a week in her life.  I noticed several people doing the same via their blogs and I thought I’d follow suit.

I have no grand plans of documenting what we do each minute or even every hour.  My hope is to catch a glimpse of our days for us to remember and share.

Games at dawnI

The light coming through our rolldown shades always makes such cool shapes.  Plus it makes the messy areas look better.

My boys

Jack was up much of the night with a cough.  Connor had a school holiday.  They hung out all day.

Always laundry

Laundry, always laundry.

Headed to the bus stop.

This was my view as I walked to the bus stop to get Morgan.  Pretend you can feel the 80 degree temps.

Jack, a book and a 35 year old blanket

This boy of ours loves to read.  See that blanket, it was made for me when I was born.  Yes, 35 years ago.  That’s vintage, right?

Dinner prep, Morning edition and homebrew

I love to listen to NPR’s Morning Edition on Oregon Public Broadcasting (yahoo iPad) while I make dinner.  Tonight I also had some home brew.

No words.


No words.  I just love them.


The past few weeks have been very full.  Not only have we been in the midst of a major change in Jeff’s work schedule but my sister and her family have been visiting for three weeks (with one more to go!).  We’ve been busy traveling, playing, adjusting and living.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Slowly and steadily, I’ll be returning.

Dinner Conversation


I spent a bit of time going through my Pinterest Boards this morning.  My goal was to see how much of my “pinning” actually turns to “doing.”

One of the ideas I came across (again) was a jar of dinner questions.  I love this!  Our three are old enough where we can have some definite conversation (though not all of these suggestions are appropriate for us, yet).  So, I printed off a bunch of the ideas as well as added my own.


Here are a few of my spinoffs.  Of course, the sky’s the limit.

*  Tell me three things you remember about Ft. Collins.  San Antonio.

*  What’s the best thing about Daddy being in the military?  The worst?

*  Do you think recess is important?  Why?

* What is the hardest part of your life?

* Tell us about school.  What do you like?  Dislike?

* What do you like about our family?  What would you change?

* Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

What questions will you be asking tonight?