Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fitting in projects

So with the fourth part being such an important part of the day, how do you fit in projects? I'm talking around the house, catching up on life kind of projects.

You know the type -- photos, my God, photos. Downloading off the camera to the computer, organizing, editing, loading up to a phot site, ordering (hoping for a coupon or promo code), receiving, buying an album or frames and then, finally, putting in the album and frames. I'm exhausted just typing that list.

Oh but what about sewing projects, painting projects, organizing projects, room decorating projects? Yikes. Too much to do.

These kind of projects might be fourth part of the day activities for some, but not me. These are work hard, put off fun stuff to get them done kind of projects. I'll tell you though, when I get one done or even partially completed, I reward myself with a really long fourth part.

Like tonight. I'm rewarding myself for rearranging the girls' room, which included putting the twin beds together into bunk beds, which means we had a stop at Home Depot this morn for a board to keep any rolling outs happening. I also re-did the laundry room. We had about 14 plastic bins of various sizes holding all sorts of things on two shelves. I went to Target today to buy lovely grey and white boxes to better hold our laundry things. Nice. Oh, and because I wanted extra credit, I painted half of the laundry room an aqua color. Yes, taped and half painted the laundry room. All while my husband went to get a car wash.

So how do you fit in projects .... Skip church, run errands early and get to work. Then, by 7 p.m. -- for real, you can turn on the kind of boring Emmys because I don't even know half the shows up for awards -- you've got a fourth part.

iPad and two glasses of wine with the TV on ..... Projects done.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Industrious Sunday

I sometimes push really hard through Sunday afternoons so that I can have a nice fourth part Sunday evening. I am like a boot camp instructor barking orders, moving through my projects and chores.

Some call it intense, I call it industrious.

I can knock out two errands after church -- pack the car the night before with goods to return, items to pick up -- and then after lunch have a string of projects complete before 3 p.m.

For what? I'm not going to get an award for 'most projects knocked out on a Sunday afternoon' or even get a nap -- I have twin six-year-olds, remember? But, if I do get those projects done, those things that are in the back of my mind always as activities that need to be completed because well, because, ugh, no reason.

It's that syndrome of the more I have to get done, the better mom or wife I am. I mean, I can let everyone I know hear my list of accomplishments. While others napped or leaisurely sipped tea in the afternoon or even enjoyed the beautiful weather with their family, I finished a sewing project, unloaded the dishwasher, laid out the girls' clothes for school, planned the meals for the week and by gosh, wrote some posts. Yay me.

So I get a fourth part all to myself, but have I missed on the second and third part of a Sunday with my family. My girls are having a dance party outside right now on a gorgeous pre-fall, end of summer day and I'm writing because I want to get this post done.

Industrious? I'm good for now. Time to enjoy. Lose the intensity.

My fourth part today can be with my family during the day. What a concept!

Tap, tap, tap

On Mondays and Wednesdays, during a third part of the day, I'm a dance mom. I'm new to this gig so I have a hard time writing that sentence, much less admitting to it in public -- like at all the cocktail parties and networking events I attend.

Please know, I love a good dance mom. The intensity about pirouettes and who will be the lead dancer are fascinating dramatics to me. The faces pressed to the glass window overlooking the dance studio during warm up instead of witnessing the arrival of J Lo also impresses me. The comings and goings of dancers heading into class or leaving for the day -- because yes, many of them take multiple classes a day with titles such as 'flips and chips' as well as 'dips and hips'. Of course, these aren't the real names but that is what I hear from the dancers -- scratch that, the moms.

I won't be part of that crowd. I already have friends. I'm too old to reach out and try to bond with these moms on some deeper level than wait, I need a bag for dance stuff. My purse or one of my girls' tote bags doesn't work apparently.

But they are an interesting crew. I do have a couple of friends who are very involved in this studio. We know some of the people in charge and many of the instructors. All darling people. All caring, sweet ladies. So from where does the intensity of a dance mom come?

Is it how I felt when Chris wasn't getting the right amount of playing time because I knew he was the best receiver and could catch the ball no problem? Is it what I thought when Chris wasn't picked for the A basketball team in seventh or eight grade?

Oh, yeah, it has to do with humility. I've got it with dance because I don't know anything about anything. Watch out, I'm boasting so that's not good . . .boasting about my humility, that's a path to travel down.

I don't have it when it comes to Chris and his football. I pray earnestly for humility. Sometimes I have one eye open when I pray so that I can see God answer my other prayer of  'please Jesus pass the ball to him.' By the way, his quarterback is not named Jesus, but I figure Jesus could direct the QB's arm, right?

The dance moms are probably simply very proud of their children and their efforts on the dance floor or at the barre. They want them to be successful and hope that they do their best and that the instructor sees the best -- which is their child, right? I get it, but I've done that. Not be a dance mom, but be proud of my child for effort and for success.

When we pack up after Monday ballet and Wednesday tap, decide on Pizza Hut buffet or sandwiches at home, I tell my girls they did so well and I was so proud to see them follow directions. I also ask them about having fun -- that's something I rarely did with Chris back when he started in sports. I was more interested in how many passes he caught.

Now in this fourth part of the day, after dinner, after dance gear is put away and the girls are off to sleep with plies in their dreams, I can remind myself that being a dance mom will be another journey for me. I may not buy brand new shoes and leotards for the girls -- thank goodness for friends with those that I can 'borrow' -- but I can pay attention and be proud. I can press my face against the studio viewing window every once in a while and let them know I see them. I can help them get their gear together on the evenings before dance class and be excited about the sparkly tutus (oh my).

I can tap, tap, tap along to this dance mom beat without getting too wrapped up in it -- I mean, really, I would definitely be the solo, front and center dancer, right?!?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's Time

. . . to get started.

I've had the name of this blog set up for years. I've had the ideas on what to write for years. I've had the plans for years.

And, yet, I've written nothing for years.

Now, it's time.

So, what is the fourth part of the day? It's that time you have to yourself. It's the time you can binge watch Scandal or House of Cards. It's the time you can catch up on shows on the DVR. It's the time you can read a magazine. It's the time you can do a project you want to do.

It's not packing lunches, folding laundry, making dinner or planning appointments. It's not during working hours and it certainly doesn't happen during the morning hours when everyone is trying to get out of the house to get somewhere.

The fourth part of the day is the time of day moms crave. That time when we can just, well, be ourselves. Look at our pores in the magnifying mirror, workout, do whatever. But it is selfishly our time.

I have been married to G Adams for 19 years. He is a high school football and basketball coach. We have three children -- our son, Chris, is an 18-year-old college freshman playing football and our twin girls, Camille and Caroline, are six-years-old. Yep, quite a gap. Somedays, OK, most days, I wonder what we were thinking. But then I remember our family is complete now.

We go about our days with quite the routines. We wake up around the same time every morning (unless there is a faculty meeting for my husband, I have a flight to catch or the alarm didn't go off -- not because we didn't set it or hit snooze so often we fell back asleep) and the race begins. We get ready, then we get the girls ready (getting them dressed, making a sandwich to add to the evening before prepared lunches, sitting them down for breakfast, doing two heads of hair -- one curly, one straight -- really!?!) and then my husband loads them up to take them to school. His hands are always full -- yes, with the girls and their backpacks, but also with his backpack, clothes for school and all that a coach needs. I then take a breather and pick up the remnants of morning. I also try to get dinner prepped -- crockpot or at least meat put in the frig to defrost. And, I get in a workout -- thanks Karina and Katrina at Tone it Up!

Off to work and  appointments and life -- that's the second part of the day. Third part is getting home or heading to events, dance, football games, parties, and so on. Third part also includes homework, prepping for the next day, bath time and well, being a family at home. Dinner, clean up and a bit of play all are a part of the busy third part of the day. Typically, we get a bit of Facetime with our son to talk football (my husband does that) and friends, homework and fun (that's me!).

Then, when the girls are in bed, the house has been picked up and most everything we can predict is readied for the next day, the fourth part can begin. I choose Netflix. My husband chooses sports on TV. I think he misses my son because I don't really talk about plays run by people I don't know.

Within all four parts, we squeeze in plenty of Baylor football watching, we travel, I take pictures (that I eventually put into Shutterfly photo books --- usually when there is a coupon) and we enjoy having friends over to eat, drink and laugh. We prefer vacations that are close to water so G Adams and Chris can fish or in a city with lots of shops and great restaurants. We really just want to be in the same place -- maybe different rooms, watching different TV shows -- but we are together (ish!).

That's our family, that's our life. And, that's why the fourth part is so important to me.