The end of July and beginning of August has been a flurry of activity at the Wharton household. I'm just now having time to catch my breath!
Summer ended for us on July 31 and school started August 1. I do appreciate starting new things on the first of the month! We celebrated the end of the summer with a family date to Culinary Dropout, one of Chris's and my favorites restaurants, and introduced the boys to dipping fresh baked pretzels in cheese sauce. The first day of school was great and both boys were excited to head to pre-K and first grade. As we biked to school they were chanting, "Pre-K! First grade!" So cute.
We had a few days of our new routine and then Chris and I took off for a very fabulous vacation to Turks and Caicos to attend a wedding. It was the first beach vacation we've taken and our first time to dip into blue, blue ocean water. The beach is not usually my top vacation choice but I might change my tune. One thing I don't usually like about the ocean is not being able to see my feet (and what might be swimming around them). Crystal clear water is a game changer! We also loved that in the area where we were the water stayed between four and five feet deep for two miles out! It seems like a perfect place to bring kids. We were also with Chris's dear friends from high school. They're funny, fun, and great conversationalists. I'm grateful to have married into such a good group of friends. Also fun: the bride's sister is Lauren Graham, as in Lorelei Gilmore(!!), and we got to meet her. I even got to chat with her briefly. It was a very unexpected and lovely perk of the trip.
A less lovely souvenir of our trip is that Chris tore or partially tore his plantar fascia, the tendon that runs along the bottom of your foot. So he's in a walking boot for at least a month although he's in good spirits and not in a lot of pain. The good news is that once he heals he shouldn't have plantar faciitis pain in the future which is something he deals with off and on. So at least there's a silver lining!
A couple other notes about July before moving on to August. I completed a month of no caffeine and no alcohol (with just one exception for one drink when I visited a cidery with my parents in Austin). I had a few cups of decaf coffee during the month but intentionally didn't seek it out often. I really didn't miss the alcohol and going forward plan to continue to be only an occasional drinker. After a month without caffeinated coffee I'm feeling motivated to drink mostly decaf coffee. I love not depending on anything to get me up for the day and I hate caffeine withdrawal headaches. I do love a hot morning beverage, however. I'm thinking I will try to usually have herbal tea (I love mint + chamomile) or decaf coffee. I like saving fully caffeinated coffee for when I really need it.
Another success of July is that we completed our will and trust! Checking that big item off our list continues to bring me such peace of mind. We found a local, family-run wealth management company that prepares wills and trusts. Overall the process was pretty painless. We filled out a few pages of paperwork, met with someone who asked a few more questions, and then spent another evening going over and signing a very long document. It's not very fun to hear phrases like "deceased spouse" or "surviving children" but my perspective is that we get this done and then never have to use it. Or at least don't use it for a very, very long time. The total cost was $500 which feels well worth it. The will and trust documents outline what should happen with our children, our money, and our assets in the event that one or both of us die. We also now having living wills which outline our wishes for severe medical situations. By having a trust we protect our money and property to make sure it transfers smoothly to our children and doesn't get held up in probate. Although it's a significant expense I cannot recommend enough having a will and trust prepared. If you are local I would be happy to recommend the company we worked with, just send me an email!
And now with already August underway I had better get on with my goals!
Big things happening in August:
+ School starts! So far it's going great. This year Cedric is attending Monday, Tuesday, and Friday so a little change in our schedule (he went on Thursdays last year). I think it'll work well but the program is flexible and I can change days or add days if needed.
+ Turks and Caicos trip. It was awesome.
+ Book club retreat to Sedona – a weekend I look forward to every year!
+ Getting back to regular Girl Next Door recording with Erica. We took a break for the summer and it's good to get back in the swing of podcasting.
+ 20 lunges per day. This is my August health challenge. I started off the month great and then completely forgot about it while we were traveling. Got to get back to it!
+ Get my office in order after the summer. Including processing all the school work from the end of last year and tidying my desk.
+ Return to weekly grocery shopping and meal planning. My routines fell apart this summer and I'm looking forward to getting back to this.
+ Return to daily cleaning tasks. I was in a pretty good routine last school year of doing a little cleaning and a load of laundry each day (a version of the Clean Mama routine). That all went by the wayside in the summer and I'm eager to return to a tidy house.
+ Make a writing calendar with goals and a timeline for this semester.