Summer Reflections & Back to School Traditions

A few thoughts from Alicia….

Well hello there my friends!  It has been quite a while since I’ve sat down at the good ‘ol computer and hashed anything out!  This summer has flown by for me and my family.  I thought I’d have all these lazy days of summer and would just blog away.  WRONG!  Ha ha!

We have had such a fabulous summer with so many great experiences!   One of the great things I love about summer in our new home state is that our new community is small enough that we actually get to run into friends and do play-dates with them throughout the summer.  Going to the pool is like a class reunion as half of the students and teachers at the kids’ school are all there as well!  So we have not been lacking in the camaraderie department this summer for sure!  We also took a two week vacation back home over the 4th of July to be with our families and see a few friends.  That was such an amazing visit!   My family just LOVES the 4th of July and it was such a blast.  (This 1st picture is of one of our firework displays!)  My son turns into a mini-pyromaniac on that day and it takes all my efforts to make him stop blowing things up long enough to eat some dinner.  My brother also came in for a visit as well so I got to see all four of my siblings along with my parents!  That was an awesome treat right there.  We did so many things back home that I’ll have to write a whole different post on how to treat your home town as a vacation destination.  I’ve got that down to a science! 🙂 Oh yes, and of course I got to see my girl, Chrissy!!  She is the best and we can never seem to get enough of each other!  Other than that, we’ve been relaxing, playing video games, sleeping in and trying our best to do a little bit of school activities to keep the kids’ brains working in full gear.  I hate to send them back to school with brains for mush. 😉

Speaking of back to school, I thought I’d share with you one of our Back-to-School Traditions.  Every year the kids and I make small signs for them to hold up in their 1st Day of School pictures that I, without a doubt, will be taking that morning.  I started this tradition when my son was starting Kindergarten.  The picture above is my daughter’s sign from the 2011-12 school year.  Ever the First Born and planner, I was thinking about all of the future “1st Day of School” pictures and was a tad worried about mixing up the pictures over the years.  I could just see myself tying to be a sleuth and figure out what year certain pictures were from:  “Was this 1st grade or 2nd grade?  Hmm…well, he’s missing 1 tooth so I think it was 1st grade.”  Oh the torture!  So I thought, how about a sign that says “1st Day of School – _______ Grade.”  So I drew block letters out and had the kids color them in and decorate it however they wanted.  It turned into a great way to get them excited for that 1st Day of School and also helped them get their minds off of the 1st day jitters as well.  That 1st year was such a hit that we’ve done it ever since!  This last sign is my son’s 3rd Grade sign from the 2011-12 school year as well.  They turned out so great!

I’ve since had several friends take on the same tradition and they have a blast with it.  One friend suggested one addition to the signs which I am all for.  At the bottom of the sign, add an “When I grow up I want to be _______________”.  This is cute because, as we all know, kids change what they want to be as a grown up from day to day, or year to year.  This month alone, my 6 year old has wanted to be a Mom, a Bank Teller, a Grocery store cashier, a Bartender, a waitress, a lifeguard and a few others.  Can you tell she was wanting to do whatever we were experiencing at the moment?  Okay…yes, let’s talk about it.  There is a “Bartender” in there and no, it’s not what you think!  I’m not bar-hopping with the kids just yet…we were waiting for a table in the bar area at Outback Steakhouse and she was enthralled with the goings-on behind the bar as they mixed drinks and rang them up!  Ha ha!  Anyhow, I think it would be a fun way to capture that little extra memory coupled with a picture of how they looked when they actually wanted to be a police officer, a ballerina or a Mommy.  I think I’m going to add that line in and see what we come up with!

As we all get ready for back to school, take some time to reflect on your summer memories.  What was the most exciting thing you did?  What was the silliest thing you did?  When were you the most relaxed?  Put those memories in your mind’s scrapbook and cherish them because before you know it, those sweet little munchkins will be off conquering the world.  Most likely it will be in one of the endeavors they put on their “1st Day of School” signs.

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