It is Fall Break right now here in the desert.

For the first time, we have a TWO WEEK break.

And even now, smack-dab in the middle of it, I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. Oh sure, I love the time off from schedule, but I’m not sure it’s so great for the kids. And I also know this makes our summer even shorter.

But, here we are! not only in the middle of the break but also in the middle of some tricky parenting dynamics.

Boy howdy, this job is sure not for the weak of heart as we all know, right?

Trying to sort out all kinds of stuff in my heart right now, and I’m taking a “break” in the middle of the “break” to back up the beginning of the break when the big kids were here for Lucy’s birthday and we got to take a trip to the lake.

Max and Abby had to leave the day before, and we were missing Claire (volleyball), but sure loved getting some time with this crew.

Including Bo Jangles.

This is what happens to your camera roll when you bring your dog to the lake…at least in our family…

Ha!…we are a little obsessed.

Dave left for some meetings and it was just me and the kids for the majority of the morning, drenched in that desert beauty surrounding us.

Picked up Boca tacos (as per tradition) en route home, and did some speed-new-recipe-cookie-baking (had to try this new recipe from Modern Honey…SO good!) before Grace had to take E & C to the airport and I had to rush off to a presidency meeting.

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  1. It looks like memories are being made!
    I know you’ve mentioned a few times about tricky parenting times, or hinting that some of your older kids are going through things. If they were comfortable enough I’d love to hear what things you are going through, or struggles you have had personally navigating older kids, what type of mother in law you are? How you have worked with the other in-law parents and have there been times where you’ve had to bite your tongue or disagree. I feel like so many people are in this stage now and it would be so great for some honest conversations. This stage is so fun but also very tricky.

    1. Oh I meant to come back here the day you asked and here I am all these days later! I think we worry about different kids at different times, this time it’s Lucy. She is just having such a tough time and it’s all new territory and we are really struggling with how to help.

      It is so difficult to balance what to put on the blog and what to keep private. I’m really mostly an open book, which I think can help when all of us mothers are vulnerable and we realize that we’re all trying to figure out different “puzzles.” But there are so many things to be grappled with in your own heart in motherhood. I think I am a worrier and I carry things deep, often well after my kids have moved on. You’re right, this stage with older kids is sure tricky sometimes! And honest conversations can help so much with those in your village who love your kids as much as you do…not so much on a public blog (although I do share what I can). I just mention that we are in the middle of the “grappling” sometimes because I don’t want to come off as if everything is always all hunky dory around here. We are always working as a family, and it’s a pretty incredible journey in my opinion.

      As for the mother-in-law thing, I sure hope Abby and Carson know how much I adore them and their families. I think Max and Elle have chosen the best partners in the whole wide world for themselves, and they are SO easy to love. Their families are so easy as well and we adore them. I have heard tricky inlaw stories so we are deeply grateful for these ones!

  2. Random question, how have you liked your centurion boat? We are actively looking at one that is used and no warranty. Would love to know if yours has had many mechanical errors and how many years you’ve had it. And if you’re happy with it!!

    Thanks for always writing and sharing about your special family!

    1. We share this boat with other families and we haven’t taken it out as much as we should, so I don’t have a good answer for you. We’ve had it for a couple years and it’s a little tricky to get the wake right sometimes but we are still learning. Sorry I’m not much help on that but good luck on that decision! Boating creates such great memories!

  3. If Grace is willing, would she share where she bought this cute swimsuit, as well as the black one one she wore in your Texas visit post? I know this isn’t a fashion blog, but I’m always looking for good one pieces =) Thanks!

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