five things, august 31 edition


1. I think re-entry is hard. I'm not gonna lie people, this week has been rough. I think if you asked Callum to describe middle school he'd say "fun, good, exciting, stressful, scary, fun, stressful, good, stressful and fun." It's a whole different world. Shifting schedules, extra free time, bookstore privileges, ties (!) and sports. This has been the biggest shift, I think, but ultimately a good one. Callum has decided to run cross country for his school this fall. This is a wonderful thing, but his day is two hours longer, and that shift is taking some adjusting to. When he's feeling stressed about homework and getting home later than before he says to us, "I feel happy when I'm running." It'll all shake out, but we're not there yet.

2. I think I love it that one of Neel's favorite things to do is demolition. When our bathroom guys stopped by on Saturday (catching me all of us in our jammies), we worked out a plan which meant that everything would commence once Neel got the room demolished. So what do you think Neel did after work in the evenings this week? After his first cross country practice, Callum wanted nothing more than a bath, so Neel chipped away at tiles while our boy was in the tub. The next night, Callum was doing homework in the kitchen when he and I heard loud crashes from upstairs. More tile coming out. Last night we lost the vanity and almost the toilet. Don't worry. I'm documenting all of it. Blog post(s) coming soon. And Neel's actually thinking about heated floors!

3. I think I was able to get my weather geek on this week while watching the progress and landfall of Hurricane Isaac. Can something be both devastating and thrilling at the same time? I've been fascinated with hurricanes for years (starting with this storm which wiped out a much-loved vacation spot from my childhood, and this as well, which showed me how truly destructive these storms could be), and we now live in a part of the world that makes watching out for them a little more personal. Bottom line though, is that as fascinating as they are to me, these big storms are no joke, and the devastation they cause is terrible to witness. My heart breaks to see these flooded out homes and families. And there's just no getting around it, the weather is getting weirder. Even on a local level, our weather is getting weirder. I think I've mentioned that my home city is second only to New Orleans in the US for flooding issues, and it's getting worse. Sea levels are rising, and the city, quite literally, is sinking. We see evidence of this with every storm. If you follow me on instagram, you'll have seen the photos I took of our street flooding from a late-summer storm we had earlier this week. Our street sometimes floods when it storms. This used to happen once a season...maybe. Now it happens nearly every storm. We live up the street from a tidal river, and in the past these street floods were influenced by the tides. Now they seem to happen nearly every storm. In the past, when the street flooded, the waters came mainly up to our driveway but not much farther. Now the flooding reaches far past our house. So in the near-decade that we've lived here, we flood more often, higher and take longer to recede. Lest you worry, let me reassure. This is street flooding. All of the houses on our block are set back from the street and may get water to the sidewalk, but rarely, if ever, into the yard. Our house in particular is on a bit of a rise and is unlikely to flood. These floods are an interesting inconvenience, and at this point not much more. Still. We're not required to carry flood insurance, but Neel and I've decided that we think we will.

4. I think I still adore this book. I can't wait to read Happier at Home. I'm thinking I might need to make these books more of an affirmation in my life, a way to better tend to myself (and therefore better tend to my family and my other relationships). Maybe give them a quick glance every morning. I don't know. Who has time for that? All I know is that I've been focusing on this blog post for some support all week.

5. I think I am oh so very happy that we have a long weekend this first weekend of school. We're having a neighborhood party this evening, Cal has a sleepover tomorrow, and he and Neel have some great plans for Sunday. What should I do with my day? Oh! The possibilities! Monday's wide open too. Rest, rest, rest. Which reminds me. I know I saw something on the interwebs a few weeks ago about the difference between being busy and being fulfilled. Do you guys remember what I'm talking about? Where was it? It really resonated with me. We're so quick to say "Oh! I'm so busy," and we want people to think we're so fulfilled. I'm not a fan. I'm not such a fan of busy either, for that matter. I don't know. Something to pay attention to, I guess. Full is good. A full life is what a want. A busy life isn't the same thing.

What are the rest of you people up to? xoxo