The biggest thing that happened in August 2017 doesn't have a single picture to show for it...I retired from my job of 12 years. For the last five years, I had been working part time - just three days a week - but knew that an end would eventually come. With kindergarten rapidly approaching for Katie Wynn and no good option for after school care, we knew that me not working once she started school would be a good solution. With some leadership changes at work combined with me not feeling fulfilled there anymore and with Mint Tulip steadily growing by the day, we decided now would be just as good a time as any to walk away from my accounting job. I gave a 3 month notice to help make it through year-end and while there were days that it felt like my last day would never come, when it finally did, I felt pretty sad. July 31st was my last day to work and I ended up staying past 4:30 in the afternoon. I guess it's safe to say I had a hard time walking out the door one last time. Thankfully I had plans with friends afterwards to celebrate to help get me through the evening! Most of the month was spent with me trying to figure out my new role as a "stay at home Mom" that stays really busy working at her embroidery business with her mom.
Since we had two weeks between me leaving work and pre-school starting back up for the kids, I had helpers in the sewing room on multiple occasions. I try to find ways to keep the kids busy so Mom and I can attempt to get work done. One afternoon, I set Katie Wynn up with some watercolor painting projects, and I love how they turned out!
One afternoon we drove to the river park to have a picnic. Both Mimi and Lala joined us!
And we were able to spend several sweaty afternoons at the playground.
I could (and probably should?) write a whole post full of pictures going teetee in inappropriate places.
The week before school, we joined up with some of our best buddies and had a donut/muffin/juice stand to benefit the sick kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We set up our stand at one of the busiest intersections in our neighborhood between 7:30 and 9:30 and the kids ended up making close to $500 for the hospital! They seemed to really enjoy doing it too - when they weren't eating all the donuts. Maybe we'll make it an annual event!
My sister-in-law, Beth, took a counseling job at a new school this year and with it, she got both an office and a classroom. I offered to help with the bulletin boards in her classroom, something I'd never really done before but it sounded like a fun project. The biggest "bulletin board" was actually a chalkboard that she wanted to cover, so all the paper had to be taped instead of stapled into it. And it was huge! As the school counselor, she would be teaching students the seven habits of leaders and requested a "leader in me" theme bulletin board. This is what I came up with, and Mom helped me pull it off.
The "faces" of the kids are made of a reflective adhesive vinyl, meant to act as a mirror to show their own reflections. We tried to make kids of all shapes, sizes, and colors. The words on their shirts are the characteristics of leaders. And no, they don't have arms.
Since that big bulletin board had a lot going on and took a LONG time for us to finish, we kept the one behind her desk sweet and simple, but still full of color!
The colors in the confetti look awesome with the fabric we bought to skirt her desk area in. Mom also made matching curtains for her window. Beth inherited the room from a male coach that didn't do much cleaning or decorating. Hopefully it feels fresher and cleaner and brighter and is a good place to teach in!
Speaking of school, we had open house at St. Michael's where we learned that Katie Wynn and her three buddies (missing Mason in picture below) would be in the same class again.
Thomas is old enough for pre-school now and he got Mrs. Gladys as his teacher. That's who Katie Wynn had last year and we absolutely love her! Thomas was a little bit nervous about meeting her.
We dressed in apple outfits the Sunday before school started and the kids got to take their backpacks to have them blessed for a good school year.
The big first day was on a Wednesday and everyone was excited to have on their uniforms and new backpacks!
Katie Wynn grew some independence on the way to school and declared that she didn't need me to walk her in. And that she could just take Thomas to his class. Uh uh, sister. No way am I just staying in the car on the first day of school! I definitely thought I had until at least middle school before this happened?? She compromised by letting me take her picture outside her classroom in the gym.
Thomas was full of tears as I left him in his room and it made me so sad. I knew he would be fine and Mrs. Gladys would take care of him, but it sure made it hard for me to walk out the door!
I peeped into Katie Wynn's classroom to make sure she made it inside ok and she gestured for me to come in. Probably because everyone else's Mom was there too. I'm so glad one of the other Mom's asked to take our picture so that she cooperated for us to take one!
Mrs. Gladys sent me a picture of a smiling, happy Thomas within an hour of me leaving, so it made me feel much better about leaving him. I was eager to pick them up that afternoon to hear how their days went and they both had great days! We celebrated with friends and ice cream cones.
Maybe we did lots of after-school celebrating those first couple of weeks because Katie Wynn had a lot of chocolate mustaches.
Getting used to pre-school was exhausting for Thomas! He pretty much fights sleep every day so he has to be really, REALLY tired to fall asleep on the couch.
School started back for the big kids too which means Friday night football games. Matt took Katie Wynn to the first game while Thomas and I stayed back and rested after his hospital visit. She loves watching Katie Wynn cheer on the sidelines.
The month of August is when I discovered my new love of mowing the yard. We inherited a riding mower from Matt's parents when they moved into our island house and I had no idea how fun it is to cruise around the yard! Especially when your wine glass has a lid and can come with you. :)
I also bought myself a letterboard that has been fun to play with. It hangs by the back door so I use it to leave messages for anyone coming in.
Matt and I had a fun adult night out celebrating our friend Darrin's birthday. We started at the Old Dominick Distillery for a tour and it was a really cool experience.
After touring the distillery the offer tasting samples of all the spirits they make there. We toasted to Old Dominick hanging on the wall. They also have a rooftop bar and patio for having cocktails and, in our case, taking photos with their props.
We followed the tour with dinner at Catherine and Mary's. It was mine and Matt's first time to eat there and the food did not disappoint! We had good company too.
August brought lots of change - no job for me, new school for Thomas, new class for Katie Wynn - and also lots of firsts - first muffin/juice stand, first hospital visit, first distillery tour, first bulletin board decorating, first day of school - and it all made for a really good month. Here's hoping for a year's worth of good school days for the kids, and more adult nights out for Mom and Dad!