Aug 20 2016
By: Andy McDermott


This has been a strange week. Even though my wish was granted to take an epic road trip across country and back last month, Andy gave his blessing for me to take a weekend trip to spend with my family in Chicago. Alone. I leave tomorrow.

That’s why it’s been a strange week…mentally preparing myself for being physically away from our kids. It’s weird and it rarely happens.

When I’m alone and see neighbors, several times I have heard the comment, “I almost didn’t recognize you without a bunch of kids.” I like it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My kids bring me joy and they give me energy. They are hilarious, caring and affectionate.

I asked my mom, “How did you raise seven kids?” She replied, “It was all I was trying to do.” She was home when we were little and she was home when we got off the bus from school. I tried to go back to work when our oldest was 6 weeks old. I sucked at it. All of it.

I’m grateful for these years I’ve been home with our kids…I’m ruthless to preserve it.

Money is tight, so what’s getting cut? Do we downgrade our minivan? Move to a less expensive apartment? Go back to the old-fashioned barter method and swap childcare and coaching for free dance lessons and maybe a date night? ┬áLet’s get resourceful and creative…

I had a friend once come to me stressing about which out-of-state summer camp she was trying to choose for her 8 year old. She suddenly laughed and said, “Why am I asking you? You won’t even let your kid go to third grade!” Ha! I guess homeschooling brings “staying at home” to another level…

I know this weekend will be a blast hanging out with my parents and each of my siblings’ families. I am going to soak up the time I have with them and the moments I have alone. It is all a gift and I am so grateful.

Aug 10 2016
Rest. Breathe in Deep.
By: Andy McDermott


Why is it so difficult to rest? Why do I feel the need to constantly go a hundred miles per hour?
I want to be comfortable with quiet. I want to be okay with what is happening now and not planning what’s next on the agenda.

The house I grew up in was never cluttered and whenever I see a slipcover I think of my mom; changing them, straightening them, rearranging the living room when she bought a new one. It was like a fresh, new room that invited you in to sit and relax. I asked her once how she kept order with 7 kids and she told me she tried to keep a peaceful home. (It might be my imagination, but I think classical music might have been added as we became teenagers.)

I appreciate all of this more now as an adult with young children. It’s a battle to keep screens from blaring and cell phones out of our faces. My soul craves peace and when I get a moment of it I breathe in deep…

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