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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: August 2017 Edition

I'm linking up with Sheaffer Told Me To The Larson Lingo and Mix and Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday today.

What We're Eating This Week:

It's Back-to-School time around here so this is when I determine that I will suddenly become a meal planner. New Jenn had this plan for the week. (Please notice there are no tacos. This is an indication that New Jenn is bringing her A Game because we generally have tacos twice a week)

Monday: Salmon and Asparagus (recipe: here)
Tuesday: Steak Sandwiches, potato wedges
Wednesday: Cashew Chicken in the Crockpot (recipe: here)
Thursday: Chicken Chipotle Pitas and roasted carrots
Friday: Figure it out all by yourself

If every other year in the history of my life is an indication, Old Jenn will show up sometime around 6:00 pm next Thursday and stare blankly into the fridge wondering why children insist on eating dinner every single night.

What I'm Reminiscing About:

Of course, I'm reminiscing about all the Back to School photos over all the years. Everyone tells you not to blink and you nod your head and never believe you'll actually be taking your kid to college. I remember the first day of kindergarten for Joe like it was yesterday. I remember the blue backpack that I got from Lands End. I remember the tag around his neck. I remember it was raining. I remember I was about 432 months pregnant with Drew. I remember how he walked straight up to the teacher at the door and told her where he was headed. I remember he had no fear. I remember that I sat in my bathroom and cried for an hour. We left Joe at Penn State University on a rainy day thirteen days ago. I was not pregnant, but likely pre-menopausal which in terms of emotions seems to be close to the same thing. Joe walked straight into his future. He had no fear. I cried all the way down the stairwell until I got to the car to drive home. They tell you not to blink, but you do. And when you open your eyes it is startling and scary and stunningly beautiful.

What I'm Loving:

Boys in Da House. When you are the only girl in a house of boys and one of them leaves, you would think that you might welcome the reduction in the mess, the smell, or the grocery bill. 

No, thank you. 

I'm loving that the day we returned home from dropping Joe at college, a bunch of extra teenagers slept over at my house and stumbled up the stairs the next morning sporting some serious bedhead to eat pounds of bacon and pancakes. I am loving that when I woke up Sunday morning feeling Joe's absence acutely I was able to send an alarm text to the moms of Drew's baseball buds that basically said, "BRING ME ALL YOUR BOYS." A mess of them were promptly delivered to my door later that day to do dangerous flips off the diving board, play football, watch the Little League World Series and leave candy wrappers all over my basement. I am loving how having a gaggle of boys tearing through my house can help fill up the Joe-sized hole in my heart.

What We've Been Up To:

We watched just about every minute of the Little League World Series and as usual, I picked at least 3-4 players that I want to kidnap. Although we were cheering hard for Texas here, I loved this little spitfire from North Carolina. I would rather watch Little League baseball than the MLB any darn day of the week and twice on Sundays. These kids could not have had more fun. It's like a big ol' ballpark full of joy.

What I'm Dreading:

For the most part, I feel like Joe is simply away at camp right now. Except for a brief moment at church when I thought I was going to ugly-cry on Sunday morning, I'm not sure it has really sunk in yet. I'm dreading when it does. I would imagine that timing will line up with whenever something goes wrong with my phone and I can't figure out how to fix it without him.

What I'm  Working On:

Lots of writing. I received a Stitch Fix box this weekend, so I'll post on that soon. We're having a screened in porch built and a new chair delivered next week, so, I plan to post some of  the remodeling we've done to our new-ish house in the past year. As you can imagine, all the feelings that came with endings and new beginnings this summer has me itching to figure out what God is teaching me in this season, so I anticipate lots of words about hard lessons. I'll be writing some devotionals along with some other members of my church to go with our pastor's Fall Sermon Series. And finally, I have an essay due to go up in September at the Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League site. If you're a fellow baseball family, go here to check out my previous posts there.

What I'm Excited About:

The start of college football season. I am cautiously optimistic that the new coach for the Texas Longhorns will allow this excitement to last past the first game or two. Last year, after we beat Notre Dame in the first game of the season, I went from 0 to 60 pretty fast, certain that we had a National Championship and a Heisman winner on our hands. It wasn't long after that I was crying in my chips and queso. I'm hoping for fewer tears in my game day snacks this year.

What I'm Watching:

I plan to watch the documentary The Tower on Netflix this week which is the story of the 1966 school shooting at the University of Texas. It was recommended to me by my cousin, a fellow Texas graduate, who is a friend of the filmmaker. It has fabulous reviews.

What I'm Reading:

Right now, I'm reading A Man Called Ove, which is the 3rd book I've read by this author this summer. It is delightful. I might have aimed a little high this summer when I went on an Amazon rampage and ordered a ton of books. Here are a few that I am working through slowly or that are sitting on my nightstand waiting.

Elizabeth Foss's Consider the Lilies
Sophie Hudson's All in All
Jen Hatmaker's Of Mess and Moxie
Chrystal Evans Hurst's She's Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You
Shauna Shanks's A Fierce Love

What I'm Listening To:

I've listened to Episode 208: The Nos of Birthdays from The Popcast With Knox and Jamie twice already. These people are a treasure. If you need a laugh - and really who doesn't? - go now.

What I'm Wearing:

I've been representing for my Texas peeps all week. I wore this earlier in the week. I bought the Texas Forever shirt from Magnolia Market last summer and just read that 100% of the proceeds from sales for this shirt through the end of September will go toward helping to restore South Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Chip and Joanna are good people which is no surprise as my state is busting at the seams with good. Please pray for Houston.

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

This guy starts his fall baseball season this weekend. This photo is from last year's first fall tournament. You can tell he doesn't have a lot of fun on the baseball diamond.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month:

Fall baseball tournaments, Friday Night Lights at the High School football games, a new women's Bible study, long stretches of time to write, routines, and the spectacular beauty of September days in Northern Virginia

What Else Is New

Getting giddy with happiness when I get a text from Joe. If you're counting, there were exactly three unsolicited texts from Joe in the first week. 2 about laundry and 1 requesting that I send him a Hawaiin shirt from his closet. Sounds like a college boy to me. :-)

Bonus Question this Month:
What are your best back to school lunch ideas/tips?

I have no answer to this question. Zero answers. Zero ideas. Zero tips. Making creative school lunches is not one of my spiritual gifts.

Have a great Wednesday!!!

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1 comment:

Lisa C said...

You totally made me smile. I'm the mom of one child - a boy, now 27 and living 8 hours away. I always enjoyed having loads of boys in my house. I remember when I had the afternoon carpool in middle school. The second year they were quieter - I finally figured out it was because I was now picking up a sister to one of the boys. They hadn't minded me hearing everything about their day but they sure didn't want her to hear it! You'll get used to Joe being away and your relationship with take on a different, sweeter tone. Good luck!