Category Archives: Lauren driving

The first week…


Today marks my first official week of sabbatical.

For the record, I am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve worked on my house in big ways in the past week. Worked in the yard, felt sweat dripping down my face. I’m just crazy enough to enjoy that kind of thing. I’ve baked cookies and banana bread. I’ve run errands and thought of new ideas. I’ve made more DIY stuff at home… so far laundry detergent, homemade dish soap, hand soap (liquid style), and toothpaste. I have recipes to try ketchup and mustard and when my supplies are actually looking low I’ll give it a try 🙂 I’ve purchased books on how to make bar soap, a variety of it, anticipating that I would enjoy the process and also be able to make a supply this winter to sell at our local Farmer’s market next summer. I’ve cut back plants outside and right now have a huge bucket full of pieces off of my ivy plant which I hope will take root. I think I will be able to replant them in small pots and again sell them at my local Farmer’s market next summer if all goes well. If it doesn’t work, I haven’t lost a penny. I was going to trim them back anyway.

I’ve redirected my girls this week. So yesterday my youngest participated in my monthly bill writing and is now acutely aware of my budget and how much cash should be spent each week so that we don’t go over. She’s aware of my emergency fund and of what is in  savings. I had no clue of any of that when I was growing up, but she expressed an interest in learning how to budget and I couldn’t think of any reason for her not to, so she is. She actually gets excited when bills arrive in the mail box…crazy girl :).

I’ve signed up my girls for art class this fall down at our local art studio. So both will be taking knitting in September. (I’m secretly hoping they can teach me too 🙂 Lydia will take drawing in October. She really showed some talent in her general middle school art class so I am looking forward to seeing her develop in that area. Lauren is taking collage which will be right up her creative alley. Then in Nov/Dec. Lauren is taking intermediate pottery…I hope she loves it, I think she will. Lydia is taking a photography class. She’s hoping to learn how to use all of the buttons on the camera beyond the auto one 🙂

This week I will be purchasing a paper for Lauren to start clipping coupons, and an organizer. She wants to be more in on the grocery shopping/saving side of things and if she’s willing to give it a go, I’m in full support. She’s also cutting out her first pattern today in the process of learning to sew. Lydia is making her first recipe tonight, she’s going to make something every Tuesday and Thursday and already has recipes lined up for the next six weeks 🙂

All of this is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t be happening if I was working full time right now. There are only so many hours in a day and teaching is exhausting work.

We even got to throw in a field trip to the Botanical gardens this week which was good for my soul.

I’m preparing to preach this Sunday, and I feel like I’ve actually had adequate time to prepare.

I’ve been able to help others this week. I even started yoga on Mondays.

When I sit down and think through all that has happened in this past week I’m amazed. Just a week ago my oldest had just gotten her drivers license and I was nervous about the whole thing. In one weeks time I’m amazed at how much less nervous I feel. She’s driven several times now for small errands and has even driven completely on her own. She’s doing just fine 🙂

My continued theme for this time in my life is pure gratitude.  I’m finding that it’s an incredibly good place to be.

Not everything is perfect. I haven’t started nearly as many students as I would like in my private voice and piano business this fall, but I’m hoping and trusting that will grow as time goes on.

My girls have had to work through some interesting emotions this week with public school starting and learning how to be homeschooled and still have some friendships which has led to some interesting conversations. I know God will help us to work those things out. We just need to initiate relationships in a different way than we used to.

Overall…life is incredibly good. Today is Thursday and it’s going to be a lovely day. No countdowns, no dread, no wishing for other days…this day is good in itself.

On to week two…I hope to power wash my house, paint my bath tub and probably the walls in my bathroom this next week. And who knows what else might come across my path 🙂 I’m open.

Crazy…but good


This weekend I surprised my mother in law and grandma in law for Mother’s Day by showing up at their house 9 hours away unannounced. Well except to my father in law. I got the idea about a month ago. Helen, my husband’s grandma, was turning 90 last week and we wanted to do something special for her, give her something or make the event memorable in some way, but we couldn’t really think of anything. Several things would’ve sufficed, but not been all that special. Mother’s Day was on the horizon at the same time and that’s when it hit me that we could be crazy and just show up.

It was crazy because I worked all day long on Friday at school and then had an evening program to do, my last one…so we didn’t get on the road til about 9pm. The trip had a bit of a dual purpose as my oldest daughter is trying to get in her remaining drive hours to get her license in a couple of weeks. So…we started at 9pm knowing that it would take at least 9 hours.

I’m not a night person. I used to do this kind of thing with Mark but that was when we had two drivers who could alternate and sleep when they weren’t driving. It was a bit trickier having Lauren drive and knowing that I couldn’t sleep the entire 9 hours. She drove about half way…til the point where she scared herself a couple of times and then I took over. To say I was tired is a bit of an understatement. I had no  idea how utterly  exhausting it would be to just hold my eye lids open. Felt like bricks every time I blinked. But…we made it. As long as I kept moving or doing something that helped.

Saturday when we arrived they were definitely surprised! Made the drive worth the effort. I took a short nap and was good to go, or at least almost. The next two days were filled with family and food and fun.

Today I had to drive home and wanted to get home in time for my private music lessons. I hate to cancel. So we left bright and early. I figured that I would be ok since I’m a morning person. I knew it was going to be rough when within the first hour I was having the old eye lid problem again. Lauren drove for 5 of the hours…then I took over for the last 4. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an exhausting drive experience. Losing a night of sleep is not something you just bounce back from I guess.

Regardless…I’m still glad we went. It was a spontaneous idea. It was an idea that involved being present rather than just buying stuff. It was a good one. Thankfully, once I’m off the ride I won’t have to pull any all night drives!

How have you shown up spontaneously for others lately? Your presence is the best thing you have to give. Who might you show up for in the next month? I would do it again…even with the exhaustion…we made it 🙂

Thankfully my inlaws live close to my parents so we got to see both sides of the family for Mother’s day. Those hours were good.

Single Digits and Last Program


It’s a big day for me.

I only have 9 days of school left. Single digits feels huge after a year of counting down.

It’s also my last program tonight. The last time I will be conducting, and even the last time I will be watching my youngest daughter perform in this type of a group. I have no idea if I’ll ever return to this portion of my life again. Maybe in a year, but even if I come back I have no idea what job I’ll be walking back into. This could really be it. In some ways…very nice, in others very strange. Change.

It’s also Friday which means jeans 🙂 It’s still the small things that give me pleasure.

And…I’m on day two of using my juicer. Again….the little things. I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m just going to keep trying out various mixtures of fruits and vegetables and see what seems appealing to me. I’m hoping that it will overall improve my health in ways seen and unseen.

My girls and are also taking a mystery trip this weekend for Mother’s day. Lauren needs the drive time…to get her license in a couple of weeks so we’re going to try and get several of those hours done this weekend. Specifically night hours…so tonight night after my last program we’re heading out. Hoping that traffic will be at a minimum at that time of night.

Mark and I used to drive through the night sometimes. The only downfall to this idea is that I have to actually be awake the whole time this time since Lauren can’t drive on her own yet. We could very well be pulling over sooner rather than later, but if we need to that’s ok too 🙂

This next two weeks will fly by, in fact I really need to start packing. I’ve put it off so far…but can’t anymore.

Right now it just feels like summer on the horizon…but come August that’s when it will really settle in that things have changed!