April coffee date
Designing our summer: kid activities, daily routines, and family fun

Hello, May!


Hello, friends! Our palo verde is in peak bloom and as I glance up from writing this I'm met with a view out the window of golden yellow blooms drifting down from branches of bright green. I love this time of year when our front yard becomes blanketed in gold as the blooms fall and keep their yellow color even as they dry out. The Phoenix Valley cities really should advertise our palo verde blossom season along the lines of D.C.'s cherry blossom season. It's truly so beautiful to see trees bursting in bright gold blooms this time of year.


As we round the corner into early summer here in Gilbert, I'm stepping back and asking what life feels like. The description that comes to mind is "a pleasantly bumpy ride." Overall life is good. We are healthy, the kids are doing well, Chris and I are doing great. Work is good and clicking along for us both. This month The Girl Next Door Podcast is featured in a local magazine which is quite flattering. I had a wonderful solo evening to myself. Chris had two trips and spent great quality time with friends. We've even had some lovely glimpses of where we are heading in the next couple of years in terms of family dynamics, improved finances, and life adventures.

And yet there are still bumps in the road. There's our busy calendar right now as we head into "Maycember" as the social medias have dubbed it. There are the everyday parenting challenges of tending to our three kids' emotional needs and their tangible needs (haircuts, new clothes, "can you sign this form/print this out/give me $5?", etc.). By the way, I've made up a new word to describe my kids: emultuous (emotional + tumultuous) which they each are in their own ways. It's the sentiment I often need but couldn't find to describe a particular situation with my kids, so I created it. So that's from me to you in case you need to use emultuous, too.

Lately there have been some other bumps in the road such as the end of my evening High Fitness classes (because the instructors are ending the classes I attend) which I'm really grieving, and that unpleasant place of limbo when you are waiting to hear back about a possible opportunity.

So that's how I'm heading into May. Everything is really good...but I also feel in a bit of a funk. Kind of like sunny skies during a rainstorm, perhaps. And maybe it's also that May is a month of transition. Even though I'm already excited and looking forward to the kids' grades next year (6th, 4th, and pre-K!) and the gains in maturity that will go with them, I'm having some wistful feelings about the end of this year and that they'll never be in 5th, 3rd, and preschool 3s again. All the feels!



Big things happening in May:

+ We find out if Chris will be promoted to full professor. Anyone familiar with the tenure track timeline for academics will relate to the waiting, and waiting, and waiting to find out these big decisions. Chris is so deserving but there's always the wild card of academic politics.

+ Mother's Day. I've requested a pedicure (which I've scheduled) and a family hike.

+ I travel to Portland to visit dear friends (and their adorable baby!).

+ The kids finish school!

+ I take the kids on our second annual moms + kids camping trip with other mom friends. We had so much fun doing this last year and I'm excited to go again.


May goals:

+ Have a summer summit with Chris. We have lots of things booked for the kids this summer but I'd love to also talk more about our day to day. Like what activities we should keep in mind for long, hot days and talk about a budget for everyday summer fun. We loved the summer summit we had last year so I think we're making this a new seasonal tradition. Summits are kind of our love language.

+ Various tasks for our school's PTSO website which I maintain. Update the calendar, submit a reimbursement, update the teacher and staff favorites.

+ Keep our library hauls fresh. The best way to keep my boys reading is to keep them in library books. I'd love to try to go almost every week to get new books.

+ Stick to our grocery budget. We have $1,500/month budgeted for groceries. We mostly eat at home so this represents the majority of money we spend to feed our family of five, and this amount sometimes includes some household items as well like dish soap, etc. As we work to prioritize savings, focusing on a particular budget to stick to is kind of a "fun" challenge. If you'd like to see a breakdown of our currently monthly budget I wrote about last year. There have been some changes but for the most part it's still accurate.


Happy May, friends!


I'd love to know, how are you heading into May? If you have any goals for the month I'd love to hear those as well!


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