Summer Update and Photo Challenge News | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Summer Update and Photo Challenge News

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Update and Photo Challenge News

How is your summer going?  We're into the second half and we've had a lot of fun so far.  It's going by quickly though!  

Today I want to give you a quick update on our summer and let you know a few last-minute changes coming up for the blog this month, especially as they pertain to the Great Photo Purge Challenge.  

I mentioned in my August goals post that it's been a busy summer, but as I've reflected on it more this week, I've come to realize that a number of changes have happened to make this summer feel even busier.  

Which explains why I'm tired.  And why I haven't blogged as much this summer as I'd planned to :)

I can hear you saying, "But didn't she have the perfect daily routine and weekly routine all figured out?"  Great question!  I asked myself that very thing the last week.

The thing is ... nothing's perfect ... and things don't always turn out how you plan :)   I knew at the start of the summer that we'd be flexible in our routines... to work around weather, play dates, special events, etc.

But a few other changes have affected our routines too.

One of the biggest unexpected things this summer is my hubby's work schedule.

I've mentioned before that my hubby works as a relief letter carrier for Canada Post.  Last summer he had steady shifts from 6:30 a.m. to mid afternoon all summer.  It was perfect.  I got up early with him and got a good start to the day before the kiddos woke up.

And by the time they we were getting a little crazy in the afternoon, my hubby would be home and we could spell each other off the rest of the day.  Plus, we could make plans in the evenings and on weekends, knowing he'd be finished by mid-afternoon.

Of course, I was hoping this summer would turn out the same way!

But at the beginning of this summer we found out that he was assigned to a different depot.  One that had varied shifts.  He is also one of the lowest in seniority at that depot so he isn't able to choose routes.

As a result, his schedule has been different every week.  Sometimes he starts at 7:30, sometimes 9:45, and sometimes noon.  He finishes anywhere from mid afternoon to late evening.

Nothing like last summer.

Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm not complaining.  We're very thankful for his job!  And I'm so grateful to be home with the kids for the summer.  And we all know that at some point, he'll get his own route and it'll be a lot better :)

We just need to be patient until then.

And eat frozen waffles for dinner.  Because that's how we roll some evenings :)

So why am I telling you about all this?  Well, I want to share the lessons I'm learning along the way.

Because unexpected things happen in all our lives.

What I've been reminded of most the last little while is that change is hard to manage.  For me and for the kids.

They miss having time with their dad.  So do I.

And even though we have our routines, we change them up a lot, to try to incorporate him into our plans whenever possible.  Because sometimes, by the time he's finished work, they're getting ready for bed.

So for example, if he starts at noon, we try to do some of our afternoon activities in the morning, like "Make it on Mondays" or "Play it on Tuesdays".  And we do things like cleaning time and learning time later in the day when he's at work.

We enjoy our time together.  But it's hard to make any evening or weekend plans this summer.  And we never really know what to expect from week to week or even day to day.

This can be unsettling for kids {and adults!}.  Which means increased grumpiness, irritability, and overall craziness in the house.  Yep... talking about myself here too.

So, we're all learning how to be more flexible.  I keep telling myself it's a good life skill for us all to learn :)  Along with patience.  And understanding.

And in the midst of the unknown, we're having fun!

We took advantage of one Friday in July that we knew my hubby would finish early and went camping for the weekend.  Same thing last weekend.  It was a long weekend here and although my hubby worked late on Friday, we were still able to camp for 2 nights by leaving on Saturday and coming back on Monday.

We've also played at parks and splash pads.  And on some of those hot days in July we hung out in the basement, playing games, doing crafts, and watching movies.

But there was one other big thing that has changed this summer...

Baseball has completely taken over our evenings!

This spring we signed up my son for Rookie ball, after a whole year of begging on his part.  He's played various sports through Parks and Rec before, but this is the first time he's been in a league.

We were expecting it to be a game one evening a week.  {We're usually quite intentional about not booking up too many evenings per week, so we can enjoy down time together or enjoy spontaneous activities with friends or extended family.}

But early in the season we realized there was also a practice on a separate night.  OK... 2 evenings a week.  That's do-able.

Then last month we got a call asking if he could also play in the Tyke league (the next league up) for the rest of the summer since they were short on players.  He was THRILLED!!

But it meant another evening out each week.

And now in August, we're adding in some make-up games and 2 sets of playoffs.  Depending on how his teams finish in the standings, and do in the early rounds of the playoffs, we could potentially be at a game every evening for the next 2 weeks!

Oh, and I should mention that my daughter could not care less about baseball if she tried, and she never watches any of the action on the diamond.  So I load her up with books and her DSi to keep her entertained.  Thankfully she hasn't complained too much.  It's a lot of time for her to be somewhere she doesn't care to be though.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my son LOVES playing baseball.  And I'm having so much fun watching him play and cheering him on!  I've turned into a sports mom... also unexpected :)

But it's a lot of time away from home and I'm exhausted by the time I finally get the kids into bed after that.  And I get frustrated many evenings that I didn't accomplish very many things off my to-do list that day.

So, what does all this mean?  It means I'm changing things up a bit for the last 3 weeks of summer.

We'll still be flexible with our daily routine and weekly routine.

And fit in plenty of things from our summer brainstorming lists that we haven't done yet.  Cuz thankfully summer's not over yet!

And I'm planning to share a few other summer organizing posts with you in the next few weeks.

But, I'm going to go easier on myself about all the projects and cleaning tasks I'd hoped to accomplish this summer.  That way I'll be able to better handle the unknown nature of my hubby's schedule, our changing routines, and a busy baseball schedule.  I can't do it all {who can?} and I need to make sure I'm not as frazzled... because that never leads to good things.

So, with that, one of the biggest changes I'm making is that I've decided to put the Great Photo Purge Challenge on hold until September.  I just can't commit the time I'd expected to purging my printed photos this month.  And I'll be better able to do this challenge justice in September.

Adele from Arrange My Place, my co-host for the challenge, has had some things arise the last few weeks that have prevented her from tackling her photos too.  So putting the challenge on hold works best for both of us.  

I'm so sorry if you were all geared up to tackle your printed photos with us this month.  Hopefully you'll be able to join us in the Great Photo Purge Challenge in September!

If you're really itching to get started before then, you can review the tips I shared in July for digital pictures.  Many will apply for printed pictures as well.

If you missed any of those posts, here they are:

So how's your summer going?  Have you faced any unexpected changes?  How do you deal with change?  I'd love some tips please :)

If you're getting organized for the fall, don't forget to purchase your organizing e-book bundle!  It's worth over $100 but you pay only $15!  It's only available for a few more days!

Happy organizing!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!

Check out all my summer posts here!