I’ve had this list growing in my mind for a few months now.  A list of how I planned to get the year off to the right start.  But as per Number 1 on my list, plans are a good idea but being mentally prepared for when things don’t go according to plan is nearly as important.

Last week was our first week back at home-school and in those 5 days we had 2 days that involved tears (okay, bawling, not just tears), 2 days that went much longer than expected, 2 days when I fell asleep as Cooper read aloud to me.  2 days (maybe more) that had my blood-pressure rising a bit.  And not all on the same 2 days.  None of that was part of my ‘plan’. So, my title… it makes me giggle a little bit.

It should probably more accurately be, “10 ways I am Trying to Get the Homeschooling Year Off on the Right Track”.  I know people like to come to blogs when a list is given and it is presented in a way that makes the reader feel like the list is fool-proof.  I sure can’t give you that.   But, like I said, I can tell you what I’m doing to try to get the school year off on a great start, and hope that something is helpful to you or that maybe you’ll have some ideas or thoughts to add to my list. :) 

1)  Plan, but mentally prep for when the plan goes to the wayside.  Because it will.

I planned and reviewed our curriculum. Planned out our space, our monthly, yearly, and daily schedule.   But all that planning is best-case-scenario and would be getting me no-where if I hadn’t already thought through how to approach the day when one (or more) child is in a poopy mood, or gets overwhelmed with their tasks.  How do I handle that?

2)  Remind them often that we are in this together.

I remember a sermon that reminded us that not only does God tell us ‘Do not fear!’ over and over again in the Bible, but He tells us ‘Do not fear, for I AM WITH YOU.’   I really feel so sad when my boys feel overwhelmed with their lessons because it is obvious that they are not remembering that I am here with them to HELP.  To give assistance.  I’m not here to tell them every step and every answer, but guidance and assurance, I can do.  And clarification I can do.  A loving hug I can give.  Permission to run around the house for a break, I can do.

3)   Have a plan for the disruptive child. 

I’ve never had this.   But I had a plan this year, and had to use it our first day.  One of my boys was being disruptive and disobedient, and was in a flat out cruddy, argumentative mood.  So, I sent him to sit on the toilet.  Just to sit.  Why?  The bathroom is boring.  It is not particularly comfortable.  It is right next to where we’re doing school, so I can quickly move in there to discuss behavior issues and also the child isn’t entirely removed from ‘school’.

Plus, saying “Go sit on the toilet” is 95% guaranteed to snap the boy out of the cruddy mood.  It may not work with girls, but boys, yes.

If the child is being disruptive for emotional reasons, rather than disobedient reasons, I have no problem cuddling them on the couch for awhile until they are back in the right frame of mind for learning.

4) Plan, but go with the flow… don’t stress! 

Again, as many times as I looked over our daily schedule, I couldn’t ever predict how long it would take one to do a lesson/subject vs the other one.  I wouldn’t really know how long an activity would hold Kaden’s attention.   That is okay.  Really, it all comes together.  Most of their work has an independent portion of it, so that helps a lot.  So, seriously.  It all comes together and deserves no stress.

First week of School

5)  Explain the expectations. 

I think this has been helpful now that my boys are a tad older.  But even for Kaden, since he follows their lead.  They know I expect them to ask permission to leave the room.  They know I expect them to stay on task.  They know how many hours a day school ‘should’ be and how many hours a day ‘should’ be for play/eating/chores.  The latter is far longer than the former!  Hearing those numbers brings a light to their eye and gives them no grounds to stand on when they say “this is taking alllll day …..“.   I’d be lying if I said they are always independently led by these expectations and that I don’t have to repeat them often.  They are not, and I do. :D

Along with this, I’ve laid out my expectations for their performance quality.  I can expect nice hand-writing, proper punctuation and grammar, and accurate spelling.  I can expect their best work, and I do.  This was never something I actually went over with them, but I did on our first day (and continue to do so).  So now, they know.  I love them dearly, and I’m a stickler for trying their best. ;)

6)  Focus…

I LOVED this post by my friend Kari on peripheral focus.  I can so relate!  This idea is why I told the boys (and myself and my husband) that I’m not bringing my phone or my tablet into the school room.  It pulls my focus.  Unfortunately, the pretty pins on Pinterest are more appealing to me than adding and subtracting yards and feet in compound units.  BUT.  When I am focused on what they are doing, they are more focused on what they are doing.  And it is my *hope* that my focus will continue to encourage their focus and that eventually they will be able to stay focused without me looking at them.

This, honestly, is so hard for me.  I am one of those that has the motto ‘Just do it’ running through my mind all the time.  I’m a doer.  So I struggle with the boy that fills in one problem/word and then asks a question about the birds outside.  Or who would rather doodle on the little illustrations on his page.  I just want to say, ‘JUST DO IT’.  Instead, I take deep breaths (quietly, because if I do it loudly they know something is bothering me) and coax them back on task.  If I have to keep reading the problems with them, put my hand on their shoulder when they start to get off task, say encouragingly, “Love, keep going” every 45 seconds, I will.  And I just keep thinking that this will pay off.  For them and for me.

7)  Take the time to explain what the process is.

I admit, this one hit me hard on Wednesday when I handed Cooper a paper numbered from 1-12 and told him it was time for his spelling test he’d been working on the previous 2 days.  He was so confused, and had no idea a test had been looming.  Who does that??  Why did I think that that would not send my already sensitive child into a melt-down of self-doubt and readiness-questioning?? Well, he did, and at first I was a little unsympathetic, but then fortunately realized the error in my ways and took another, better approach.  I threw the paper away, explained how the test process would work, wrote out flash-cards together and let him do a down-ward dog from the table to the drawer-set while we reviewed the spelling of each word.  Then throughout that afternoon, I asked him words and reminded him of the written test he’d do the following day.  And the next day, he did totally fine with it.  A+, I might add!

8)  Recognize that a lot of learning happens away from the school table.

That’s not a new thought.  Well, none of the concepts in this post are, but as a parent we know our kiddos are constantly learning.  For me, though, this means that I will test Cooper on his spelling words and math facts as he scales the kitchen doorway (like Kaden is here), squats on his chair, or does yoga on the furniture. And it means sitting on the porch or couch to read our Science, Bible or History lessons.   Or cuddling on my bed to have Cooper read to me, but only if I’m really awake.  And that brings me to number 9.

9) If you’re tired, don’t lay on the bed while your child reads to you.  

Falling asleep mid-chapter does nothing for their self-confidence. ;)  I’m giving myself permission to have a second cup-o-coffee and am also utilizing the you-read-a-page, I-read-a-page method to stay alert and awake.  Something about that boy’s sweet little voice … it’s like a lullaby!   So, I need to take my turn reading out loud, too, and of course that helps him observe inflections while he reads along and improve the flow of his reading through mimicry.

10)  Get the priorities straight. 

How often I think of the saying from CS Lewis:

My children are not distracting me from more important work, they ARE the most important work.

And my time home-schooling my children is among the MOST important things I do with them in the day.  Most everything else comes after … Sorry photos, blog, laundry, clean house, Pinterest, Facebook, garden, etc …. you come after.  I’m going to read this to myself again and again because I have really struggled with this in the past.  Honestly, there really IS time in the day for all that is important, but the list of what is ‘important’ often needs some fine-tuning.  Sometimes some heavy-handed-tuning.

 

So, that’s my list.  I’m sure there is more but if I don’t hit publish now I may keep adding and never get around to sharing.;)  It has just become more apparent than ever how important a good foundation for the school-year is and though my boys seem to be challenging the foundation I’m trying to set {just a bit!}, I’m determined to put it down solid.  For myself and for them because I’m confident that we all will see, feel, and enjoy the benefits that come from a consistent, engaging, enjoyable approach to learning while we home-school.  ♥

Thank you for reading!  If any of you are homeschoolers, I would love to hear how you have approached the start of your school year to get your crew headed in the right, successful, direction. :) 

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  • Mom - Great list, sweetpea. I’m very proud of you and your sweet, little boys. I had to chuckle at #9. Remember when I kept falling asleep when our Japanese exchange student was reading to me? I’d say, “What?” and she’d start over from the beginning! Yikes!!!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

Call me goofy, but when I heard ‘making pickles’ was on my mom’s list of ‘to-dos’ with my boys during our visit, I immediately got excited to photograph the event.  I just love telling stories {complete stories} with my camera.  I love the challenge of trying to tell the stories of our family without the need for words.  I love words, too … I love writing.  But using just the camera is a fun challenge. ;)

So just a bit of a back-story before I hand the mic over to the photos.  My dad wanted pickles, so they planted cucumbers.  Lots of them.  And when I came to visit, I brought a bag full of large cucumbers from my best friend and when my dad saw them he remembered eating refrigerator pickles as a child.  I told him my best friend has a good recipe for them, he asked me to get it, she texted it to me, and that was the start of our first day of making pickles.

But actually, before we got started on those, Kaden spent time amongst my parents’ plants, searching for the little cucumbers that we would can and make into real-deal pickles, on our second day.

Onto the refrigerator pickles, with Grammie and Kaden….

And then they had to sit in the refrigerator for 1 week, which meant we didn’t even get to try these little yummies.  Sad.

Onto Day 2, and making real-deal pickles, with Doot, Coop, and Grammie….

{She got this recipe from YouTube}

And there you have it.  Pickle-making in pictures.  In-case you were ever curious about how those cucumbers became pickles. :D

But, you know, really, this wasn’t only about pickles.  It was about 3 wild little boys, happily helping their Grammie with a project like this.  I love pickles, but they could have been pickling beets (which I do.not.like) for all I cared and I still would have been documenting away.  It’s about the story and the relationships that are part of it.  I’ve heard a lot lately about people struggling with photographing their everyday because it is so much of the same thing.  “Mundane” is often used.   But there are always stories there to be told and once we get over thinking that every image needs to be monumental, the clouds part and opportunities await.

Pickle-making isn’t monumental.  But the relationships, the participation, the slowing-down-to-do-something-together, is.  I hope that I convey my passion about that perspective in every photo-story I tell.  ♥

 

{And if anyone ever asks for the recipes, I’m happy to track those down and post them as well.}

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  • Auntie Dianne - I did get to taste them and they were yummy! Lindsay’s friend Becky tried to steal a jar to take back with her to South Carolina :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - :) That’s good to know! Did you eat the refrigerator ones or the canned ones?? I keep forgetting to ask my mom if we can open the canned ones yet. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jolene - Love this post! There is joy in the everyday and you captured it well!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you, Jolene! The more I search for that joy, the more obvious it becomes. :)ReplyCancel

It is getting increasingly hard for me to keep my blog posts current … that’s what happens when A) you feel like you need to blog everything you shoot and B) you shoot a lot!  Oh well …. I suppose that’s an alright problem to have, and I know eventually I’ll hit a wall with shooting, I’ll get caught up on blogging and then I’ll be searching for stuff to blog about.  Maybe …

So!!  This is a flashback to our time at my parents’ from the end of August.  We’d gone to the Great Wolf Lodge (here, here, and here) on our way, and then kept on up North to land at their house for 5 days.  Usually when we’re there at this time of year, for this annual trip, we pack our days with outings.  But this year, Gage asked, “Would it be okay if we just stayed around Grammie and Papa’s house more?”  I love that kid.  A home-body after my own heart.

So that’s what we did.  Played there, at the park, with cousins and family.  Went swimming.  Made pickles (more on that another day!).  Rode bikes.  Decorated the driveway with chalk.  Simple, fun, stuff.  Honestly, it feels like forever ago that we were there, though it was only a few weeks ago, and I am grateful to have these photos or I may have forgotten what we did all together!  

An even bigger flashback to grade school with a little hop-scotch!

My nephew, Hank… amazing us with his jumping skillz.

That’s my brother down in the water. .. his expression!!

This was Cooper’s first visit to the pool when he was able to go off the diving board without a floatie.  He rocked it out.

This guy, though, was  too cold.

My littlest nephew, Gideon, was perfectly content just bobbin’ around.

Peaches, please?

One of my Dad’s recent wood projects.  Further beautified by my boys with the nakie troll.

To the park …

And back to the driveway.

When they went to the store with my mom, I told them they could pick out one little fun thing to play with.  This is what they picked.  Who would have guessed it would provide such great entertainment??

More time with cousins …

And more time at the pool … taking advantage of every last minute they were open, with some night swimming.

Ready for some pickle-making tomorrow?? :)

Thanks for sticking with me on my random, all over the calendar-of-events-posting!  I’m happy to know my mom will be thrilled that I’m posting these now so she can also re-live our visit. :) 

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  • Leslie - Wow – those pool images at night! Love the light and shadows in them.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you, Leslie! I thought they looked so neat, too, but then my husband wasn’t so sure! LOL … I’ll go with your opinion though! :)ReplyCancel

  • ClaireT - love these Lacey! You always amaze me with how wonderfully you use the light when out and about in these photos.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - That is such a kind compliment, Claire. Thank you. Other than my kiddos, I think light guides my work the most so to receive that compliment means a lot to me! :)ReplyCancel

  • Let’s Make Pickles {Seeing the Monumental In the Everyday} - […] pickles’ was on my mom’s list of ‘to-dos’ with my boys during our visit, I immediately got excited to photograph the event.  I just love telling stories {complete […]ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey Pedey - Love the night time pool pictures. The light/ color are fantastic! <3ReplyCancel

I’m 3 days post-Click Away and my mind is still reeling.  For those who aren’t familiar with Click Away, it was a 3 day photography conference jam-packed full of everything from panel discussions, keynote speeches, small group discussions, photo walks, shooting excursions, on and on.  You can see more about the details HERE.

I want to share a bit about my experience because it was beyond what I had ever expected.

For months, I knew it was coming.  For months I was anxious.  I was ‘working’ at CA between staffing and programs and I have a hard time feeling not anxious about the unknown.  I was anxious because I couldn’t picture the location, I was anxious because I’d never worked a convention like this before … there had never BEEN a convention like this before!  All the months leading up to Click Away, I had my expectations set.  My expectations were little.  Please hear me… they weren’t low ….  they were just little. 

I knew the convention would be amazing, but for me, my expectations were to:

1)  Room with one of my best friends (guaranteed good time!) and reconnect with several others.

2)  To work my responsibilities (and to just be available to help wherever needed)

3)  To meet Karen Russell and Ashley Ann Campbell

That was it!  I didn’t plan on seeing any of Utah, of having my heart filled with joy over meeting 100s of familiar names from our online community, of taking photos, of having Jesus’ presence be loud and clear, of attending classes that would push and challenge me, of having my goals for photography validated.

My expectations were ALL met, and exceed beyond measure.

I know it is cliche to say, but I laughed …  I cried …  my faith was strengthened!  I bawled through Joy Prouty’s keynote speech as she witnessed and spoke Jesus’ name and her plea for simplicity with conviction and honesty.  It was AMAZING and one of my few regrets from the conference was not being able to find her to tell this to her in-person.  To hug her and look her in the eyes and thank her for this gift.  The friendships I have with women whom I share a love of Jesus, photography, family, and fellowship grew.   Plus, I did meet SOOO many women who I have chatted online with for YEARS and finally hearing their voice and laughter and giving them the long over-do hug was priceless.  And even more!  I DID learn A LOT!  Karen Russell added to my mental checklist of how to keep my images of my family genuine and real.  Courtney Slazinik taught me the ins and outs of social media that I NEVER knew (I didn’t know you could schedule posts on Facebook or that you can pin your own work on Pinterest!).  Megan Squires reminded me of the legacy I am leaving for my children, and Elizabeth Gilbert  reminded me that as a child of God, I am created to create and my work does have a place in this industry, even if it is just of my boys.

It was confirmed for me that:

1)  I work for the best employer ever.  Clickin Moms, you rock.

2)  Every single “on-line” person that I had the chance to meet was just as awesome as an “in-person” person.  These relationships we form online are real and are treasured.  But there is nothing like finally meeting in-person.

3)  It is my passion to photograph my own life and no one should feel pressured to go into business if that is not where their heart is.

4)  Again, that hearing someone’s laughter is way better than reading LOL or hahahaha …

5)  The Good News of Jesus should be shared every where both through our actions and our words.

6)  Encouraging and giving to others is the best way to use our gifts.

7)  Karen and Ashley are absolutely amazing.

8)  God created us as relational people and connecting with others who share our passions … whatever they may be … is food for the soul.

I didn’t take many photos while there, so this is sort of a sorry “visual” representation of my time in Salt Lake City, Utah at Click Away.  Most of the time I was either moving too fast, too emotional, or too consumed talking it up to grab my camera.  But, here you go anyway!

Before we went to the airport…

Click Away 2014 - Lacey Meyers

Droppin’ mama off …

Alone …

Two of my lovely co-workers/mentors from CM … Lisa Tichané and Emma Wood

The view from our room ….

Elizabeth Gilbert on the first morning with her Keynote speech …

Prepping for Megan’s live-streaming of her talk … the first of 2 times I listened to it that day!  She is awesome.

That night at the Cocktail Party Reception.  Thank goodness for other people’s iPhones… with Stacey Haslem, Jodi Arego, me and Megan.

And yes …. I DID meet Karen Russell and Ashley Campbell.  I’ve followed both of their blogs for years and now I can finally hear their voices while I read their words.  This was so surreal for me!

Baby Marlo, along for the ride with her mama, the amazing Elena S Blair

From Karen’s presentation that was entirely too good.  She rocked it …

… and we all loved it, and her.

Out to dinner that night …

And since we ate ‘Vegan’ that evening, we spoiled ourselves with dessert room service later that night!

The registration booth …

The one outdoor photo walk I attended, for a little bit.  Watching Carrie Anne Miranda work with her little girls was precious!  And sort of made me wish I could add a few daughters to our brood.  :D

Macro-i-Phone-ography, with Kristin Dokoza…  I love this. :D

And Valerie!  Meeting Valerie, and several other sweet sweet blog readers of mine was SUCH a blessing.  Thank you all, for your encouraging words and now I officially feel like when I post, I’m just chatting with my family AND friends.  ♥

I began getting to the point that I needed to photograph something … someone!  So, I sat Stacey down on our way back to the hotel and snapped a few headshots.

… and also my friend Sarah Carlson obliged my need while we waited for dinner. ;)

After dinner, on our final night ….

{Okay …  I’m starting to get a bit teary just looking through these as I post!}

And, hello iPhone photos …. from our last night hurrah at the fabulous Outdoor Concert put on by Canon.  What a perfect way to end our trip …

Me and Melissa Gibson, captured by our fantastic friend and past student from Mastering Manual Exposure, Casey McCauley!!!  She has a great eye, right??  And her heart is even greater.  <3

The next, and final morning.  SO bittersweet.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait for my flight by myself this time. :)  I was beyond grateful for this quiet time with Megan, Stacey, and Lisa Benemelis.

Kelly Rodriguez gliding by … she was one of the fearless leaders of this entire shin-dig.  Fearless.  And awesome.

I had to take photos.  It was so strange how that need bubbles up.  Stacey, again, humored me!

And Kelly found her way back to us for some chatting …

And then more people came on the glider-floor thing and Stacey humored me, again.

The time came, we all boarded.  I tried not to be sad that Megan, Lisa and Stacey got to fly together. :)

And this was the most I saw of Utah’s geological beauty.

I dozed in and out on the flight, emotionally and physically and mentally drained.  I was excited to be going home, but it was like leaving one life for another and that is never a smooth transition.

These guys made it easier. ;)  They were waiting for me at the airport, and though it doesn’t look like it in this image, they were pretty happy to have their mama home.   Hehehe …

They took me to lunch, my heart was full.  I could hardly make a complete thought in my head, but yep, my heart was full.  While still, a part of it, was still back in SLC.

Totally random, but on our way home, this was our view of the plume from the 36 Pit Fire.  {Please pray they get it put it out soon … the constant smell and haze of smoke at our house from this fire is a reminder to pray for the 800 men/women fighting this fire.  For their safety and success.}

Here I am back at home.  I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but this was a precious, exhilarating, priceless trip for me.  I wish I had not spent so much time being nervous about it all summer long.  I wish I had not let my anxieties make me excited for it to come and go.  I wish I could have had a moment longer with each person I spoke to.  I wish I could have had my boys there to photograph them exploring Salt Lake City.  I wish I could hole up for awhile and just view all the hash-tagged posts from attendees so that the feeling of being there could last a little bit longer.   I wish I could email or message every single person I had the pleasure of meeting and somehow finding the words to let them know what pleasure it was.  I wish there was a definitive date set for the next CA.  I wish hundreds of miles didn’t separate me from most of the women I met.

But again, all of my expectations were met, blown out of the water, and I feel blessed.  So blessed by Click Away.

 

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  • Melissa - Lacey, Lacey, Lacey. <3 What sweet words!! I feel exactly the same as you on my time in SLC. I spent the entire first day and part of the second looking for YOU. Ahh…you're just as precious as I imagined. Such a sweet and gentle spirit that just pops right out at me!! So happy that we were able to meet and hug up on each other. Next time, though, I'm going to stalk you a bit more. Dessert from room service?!?! I need that! hahaha Miss your sweet face and giggle so much! Can't wait until we meet up again. :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - <3 I felt the same about you, Melissa. My heart totally skipped faster when I finally saw you and was able to give you a big hug. And hearing your voice made me adore you even more! I didn't hang out enough, but I'm so thankful for the laughs we did have!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey Pedey - Well said, Lacey!! I love reading your blog & I sat across the isle from you in Karen Russell’s session, wanted to come say hi & actually meet you in person, but chickened out, haha! So this is me, trying to be brave. Just know you are loved. And maybe next year at CA we’ll meet “for real” :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Lindsey! LOL … you’re silly, but I totally understand. I had such a pit in my stomach as I got the nerve up to introduce myself to women whom I’ve ‘followed’ for years. These sort of “one-sided” relationships are funny like that, when we know so much about someone, but wonder if we’re a stranger to them. But then, as the blogger, that is REALLY why I LOVE meeting you so much! So that it isn’t one-sided at all. <3 And now, it's not, because we sort of sat together in Karen's class. :)ReplyCancel

  • casey - Lacey!!! Your words! Oh, boy…you have a gift! You ARE a gift. I may have only had your sweet face in front of me for a few minutes, (and that was definitely not long enough, but I’ll take it) but to hear your voice and actually see your smile was another highlight of this experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…your sharing is healing. It is powerful and beautiful and awesome! Don’t ever doubt what you do, how you do it, or what you have to say! You’re awesome and what you do is awesome, too. Now, as I too am slowly coming down from the high that is CA, I am still reeling and feel the desire to tell the people that have enhanced my life how special they are! Thank you for being you. Please expect an invitation to our fabulous, yet to be named “Friendshop/ Fworkshop”. I would love nothing more than to see your gorgeous face again!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Casey, you sweet friend. <3 As soon as I 'met' you, it felt like I'd already known you forever. Isn't that strange how that can happen?? I'm so glad I finally got to tell you in person how much your support and encouragement has meant to me! <3 Thank you for being YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - Lovely recap. It was such a glorious trip filled that far exceeded my expectations as well. While I didn’t get a chance to really chat with you while we were there, I certainly felt honored to sit next to you during Megan’s taping, and to listen to you and Karen during your panel together – thank you for all your hard work in making the event so great. I have so many happy memories of the week – if only the images in my mind could make the photos I didn’t have my camera out to capture.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Leslie! I’m so glad you had a wonderful time at Click Away. You’re so sweet to say you were honored to sit by me. ;) Megan’s talk was pretty special right?? I was happy to share that time with you and the other girls … I know Megan appreciated the support and your smiling faces so much. <3ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - First off, you took way more photos than me :) Loved seeing the conference through your eye. It was truly an amazing time and wonderful to see you again and meet a ton of new people. I’m so glad you were able to learn a thing or two from my session. Seriously, schedule…save yourself the stress :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Courtney … you were so amazing. Last night Matt asked me specifically about your course and I told him that YOU were so good … that you could have been talking about sheering a sheep and I would have been still so into listening to you talk. And thank you for letting us do the Q&A! You’re so generous (and so smart!)!ReplyCancel

  • valerie a. - So fun reading this post, and–surprise! There I am! ha! Thank you so much for your kindness. It truly was a dream come true to meet you! I am SO glad it worked out! You are exactly as kind as I always imagined you to be, and I couldn’t help feeling like I already knew you! So fun. And all of your words about the conference has made me REALLY want to try to make it a priority to go to the whole thing another year. Sounds so great!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Valerie! I sure hope you will be able to attend next time! But gosh, what a great opportunity to come for modeling this year! I bet lots of photographers would have loved to work with you… you’re so pretty! <3 Thank you for taking the time to find me so we could meet. I would have been so bummed to know you were there but we didn't get to visit. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kat - It’s funny how anxiety can draw different our expectations. thanks for being so open about your experience and especially for stopping to give me a hug. :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Oh, hi Kat! <3 It was so good to meet you. :) You are so sweet and yes, absolutely about the expectations. I am really trying to work on that and just keeping them realistic based on what I KNOW, and not letting anxiety get the best of me.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I so wish I could have made it this year!! It’s defiantly on my list of things I HAVE to do :) Thanks for sharing your experiences! You’re like, the millionth person I’ve heard gush over Joy and her speech! I may have to pay to download that one :)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Oh goodness, Ashley … it was so good. I want to listen to it again, but it was SO emotional for me that I’m not sure I can just yet. I was so proud of her for the presentation she gave … it was very brave and so full of love and truth. <3ReplyCancel

  • Heather - So exciting! I’m looking forward to next year, as I was unable to attend. I’m thrilled to hear the our Savior’s name is praised by so many!!! Thanks for all you do- you’re one of many CM folks I hope I get to meet next year!!!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Heather! Hearing Jesus’ name spoken in a setting aside from church made my heart soar. I have been aching for those who don’t know him as their Savior yet and it is people like Joy and others who speak his name so naturally and passionately that I admire a great deal. <3 I hope you will be able to attend next time! I can't wait for the date to be announced!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - This makes my heart hurt…ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - :( Rachel … Every time I saw you, you were working so hard. I hope you were able to slow down and enjoy yourself! Thank you for all that you did during CA and I wish I was able to attend your talk on rescue animal photography! Megan said it was amazing and makes her want to get into it! <3 I'm so thankful I was able to finally meet you. :)ReplyCancel

We started school yesterday, and I’d like to know what made me think that beginning the day after returning from Click Away would be a good idea.  I’d put it on the calendar months ago, wishing we could have started earlier but I knew myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t have been able to focus well enough on getting school off on the right foot while my mind was preparing for this photography convention.  So I planned to start the day after I got back.  Why did I not know myself well enough to know THAT would be even harder??

I woke up yesterday morning and tried to get back into my routine.  Workout, coffee with my tablet on the front porch, watching the sun slowly light the hayfield.  But my heart and mind were still in Salt Lake City with all the amazing women I spent time with at Click Away.  I came inside from my quiet time, ready to adjust my plan and start school in a few days.  But just as I did, my oldest came down the stairs, fully dressed and told me, “I’m excited to start school today, Mom!”  And his brothers followed behind him, equally as excited.

We moved forward with starting our 2014-2015 Homeschooling Year as planned. :)

I actually think that being fresh off of the convention helped me.  I still sort of felt like I was channeling the motivational, encouraging, inspiring spirit of many of the women I listened to and met.  This led me to not jump right into our lessons, but to have the boys sit on the table and chat with me about our goals for the year.  I told them that my main focus for homeschooling will be our relationship.  I don’t think I’ve ever told them that!  I also told them that this year one of our main focuses will be focusing.   I told them that I would be more focused on our time, that I wouldn’t be answering the phone, bringing my tablet into the room, or zipping in and out of the room to do other things.  I’m a coach, I’m their mama, I’m their support and I need to be mentally and physically present.  And that I expect the same of them.

However, as we talked, one of my boys became increasingly emotional and began crying.  He didn’t exactly know why … this is a little unusual, but not totally,  so I started to handle it as I normally would.  The thoughts and doubts welled up inside me about whether I can do THIS again for another year.  Whether I SHOULD do it for another year.   But my oldest had a better idea.  He just said simply, “Mom, let’s pray”.  So we did.

Our morning was up and down due to these emotions that kept taking over my middle son and when I felt myself getting a bit panicky thinking and …. unfortunately expressing … my confusion and concern, my oldest would just remind me that this was just our first day.  And that we’ll be fine.  I’m so thankful for this kid’s sensibility when mine is flailing.

Upon our completion of the school day I felt such relief.  Yes I had wanted to post-pone, yes we had a rough start, yes I got very stern and a little upset with my middle son when he kept expressing his doubts against himself, yes we took longer than expected and yes, this is only the first day.   But, my goodness, my son encouraged me to pray.  That was the solution HE came up with on his own for our initial struggles.   How encouraging, right!?!

And while yesterday I kept thinking “How are we going to avoid such emotional roller-coasters every day??”, this morning I woke up thinking about how both of my sons ended up powering through the remainder of the day and that we stayed on task despite that roller-coaster and we did it together, with love and encouragement.  Strengthening our relationship.  Recognizing that the prayer my son suggested saying, had been answered.  And I’m really glad to say that that is how our first day of our school year ended up.

 

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  • Carol - My heart smiles every time I read one of your posts . . . you are such an encouragement to so many! What a wonderful example you are of grace lived out & I praise God for all the many ways He uses you <3 Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Wow, thank you, Carol! Sharing is so helpful to me personally and it makes me really thankful to know that it is to you as well! <3ReplyCancel

  • valerie a. - Your son Cooper reminds me SO much of my son! While my son’s emotional nature makes him loving, snuggly, etc. on one hand, many other moments are just plain HARD. Oh how I wish I had a “Gage” in those moments! :) My boy is my oldest, and the example to my 2-year-old, which can also be hard in those moments. It is also hard to know I am trying so hard, and yet to be keenly aware of my own weaknesses in how I sometimes handle those situations.

    What I have recently learned/acknowledged, is that while dealing with my son’s weaknesses/struggles (and struggling with my own weaknesses in how I sometimes handle those situations)I have come to have a depth of relationship with the Holy Spirit that I did not have before. I find myself offering up a silent prayer in my heart throughout the day to find perspective again, to see my son how God sees him, to display self-mastery in how I choose to handle situations, and for forgiveness in the moments when I react without thinking. I have recognized the whisperings of of the Spirit speaking to my heart all throughout the day– softening my heart, speaking to my mind, reminding me of my goals–more than I ever recognized before. I now understand more fully that if we come to Christ with our weakness, with faith and a humble heart, He can make weak things become strong unto Him.

    (Thanks, as always for your inspiration today! So grateful to get to meet you in person over the weekend!)ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Valerie!! Hi! Your words … my goodness. Thank you so much for sharing. You’ve said this so beautifully and I know I will come back to read them for encouragement and humility often. It was SO good to meet you!!ReplyCancel