Saturday, September 2, 2017

What I've been up to...

Happy Saturday afternoon, everyone! Can you believe it's already September?! I can't! Every summer month of 2017 felt like it ended after two weeks—and I didn't like it! Ha ha.

Before school began, I sincerely wished I had at least 21 more days with my babies at home (when they weren't with their friends), but my wish wasn't granted. #sosadface! My three darlings went back to school 10 days ago, and I've been in denial ever since. I just wish they could stay home with Greg and me forever, but that's not going to happen. That said, I'm utterly grateful for the excellent schools they attend—in one of the best school districts in Utah! We are so blessed to live where we have access to such great education!

So, what I've been up to these past few months is varied...yet the same. I'm sure I sound like many other stay-at-home moms during their summer vacations. My little family and I greatly enjoyed our summer break! We loved staying up late and sleeping in! We loved not having a schedule that we had to stick to! Well, I was teaching piano every weekday, so I wasn't completely off the hook, but our summer days were pretty darn awesome!

We didn't do a whole lot of adventuring, but we did get to go on an extended family vacation (thanks to my generous mom) to the incomparable Sun Valley, Idaho! 🌞 It was a (mostly) marvelous experience, but there were a few instances where I struggled with the sometimes lack of communication between my extended family members and me.

Yet isn't that always how family vacations go?! 😄 Don't we all have these grand ideas about how our vacations will be sheer familial bliss? Yet when reality hits, we remember that everyone is imperfect with their deeply-held likes, dislikes, and opinions?! Yes, that is exactly how family life is miraculous: we all somehow come together, despite our differences that are as vast as the seven seas!

I've also been a piano-lessons-teaching machine! It shocks me to write that I'm now teaching piano to 24 students(!)—including my daughter! Yay! My youngest son is taking a break from piano, but he should be back to it shortly. So I guess I'll be teaching 25 students(!) very soon!

Yes, piano lessons are keeping me very busy. Even though I "only" teach piano for two-and-a-half hours a day, Mondays through Thursdays, one-and-a-half hours on Fridays, and a half-hour on Saturdays, I am totally wiped out when I finish teaching! It's definitely a tiring endeavour as I have to be on-my-game 100% of the time! Yesterday when I was so utterly exhausted after a long week, I mistook an "e" half note for a "d" half note and incorrectly told my student what to play! Yeah, I had to quickly correct my mistake, and my student probably thought I was nuts! 😆

I've also been trying my best to keep up with my growing children. If I'm not shopping for their food, I'm shopping for their clothes, or shoes, or school supplies, or, or, or...the list goes on and on! Interestingly (and going along with the theme of my growing children), my little family is at the point where Greg and I don't really have to help out very much with homework anymore! We'll still have random projects where our kids will ask us a question, but for the most part (in terms of homework) they're fully self-sufficient! It's a strange feeling, for sure!

Paying our endless bills seems to take up a good chunk of my time, too. Each time I think, Oh, yay! I don't have any bills to pay!, something unexpected will pop up—every time! Ha ha. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love paying bills, but it's just time consuming to make sure Greg and I are current on everything.

I'll never stop being grateful for my first fully real/grownup job in a finance department! I learned so much from my time there! I learned about creating Excel spreadsheets to keep track of bills and purchase orders, and creating budgets, and allocating money to/from cost centers. There's more, but I won't bore you. 😉

I'm also grateful to my parents for helping me see that we should try our very best not to use credit cards unless we can pay them off immediately that next month when the bill is due. Greg and I don't always perfectly follow that advice because we've had legitimate emergencies in the past where there was truly no other option other than to charge our credit card. But we always try our very best to get our credit card balances back to zero as soon as humanly possible. I don't think we've ever carried a credit card balance longer than six or seven months (at the very most), most are paid off the month they're due, or within two months.

But I digress...

I've posted fairly frequently on Instagram this summer, but it's a pretty tiny snapshot of my life compared to everything that goes on. Yes, Instagram is still one of my happiest of happy places ever! I absolutely love Instagram! I'm sooo grateful for the connections I've made there, and for the beautiful pictures I get to see. I get inspired by my Instagram peeps every single day! 😁

I've also been able to workout a lot more lately than I have in the past year! Yayayayayayayay! Fankle still gives me painful grief, but I'm continually working through it. I'm progressing ever-so-slowly every day, and that's what matters!

I'm so excited because I implemented a new laundry system at my house this past week! I'm seriously jumping for joy at my new inspiration! So, for nearly twenty years (next week!), I've been the laundry queen of the Peterson household. You see, not only do I love serving my little family, I'm also very picky about the way our laundry is done. I won't settle for anything less than very clean, great smelling, nicely folded clothes! Yet my desires for a well-dressed family has taken a huge toll on my free time—i.e., no time for blogging! 😢 I've spent quite a bit of time each week doing laundry.

With the addition of so many new piano students—and still trying to keep up with everything a mother and wife needs/wants to do, I was feeling the time crunch worse than I have in years! And yet our family totally needs the income I receive from teaching piano lessons—it's truly not an option for me to quit...unless we want to downsize and move again, which will not happen! We are here to stay! (Unless something randomly "hits" us out of the blue...)

Thus, I decided to stop my laundry insanity and quit being such a sweet laundry lady for my family. The good news is, I have zero guilt about it, so I know it's the right thing to do! Ha ha. My husband and children aren't thrilled with my new system, but they know they totally hit the jackpot with me doing their laundry for 19+ years, so they didn't complain when I gave up my crown! 👑 Hahaha. Greg helped out with our family's laundry many times over the years, but my persnickety-ness mainly kept him away (I don't think he minded!)...until now! 😆

I bought a few extra square laundry baskets from Walmart to make this system work. I wrote my family members' names on 4x6 blank note cards and taped them with strong packing tape on the laundry baskets—under the handle areas.

Each of my family members now have two big laundry baskets—one for whites and one for lights/darks. I've situated the laundry baskets on and under my laundry table in the basement for easy access.

I still separate and wash all of my family's laundry because I know the best settings to use on our washer and dryer—plus, we need to wash/dry full loads to save energy.

Once our laundry is dry, I separate it into each of my family member's baskets. If I easily see two socks that match, I'll pair them up, but otherwise, I try to divide/separate our clean laundry as quickly as I can into the appropriate baskets!

Obviously, I fold my own laundry and all the household linens, and put them away. But for the rest of my little family, they're on their own!

I can't describe how liberating(!) it is to not have to worry about folding all of my family's laundry anymore! I've cut my laundry time significantly! Yay yay! Happy day!

I've told my family it's their choice what they choose to do with their laundry. I make sure everyone's clothes are clean (As long as their clothes are in the hamper they'll get cleaned; if they're on the floor, they'll stay dirty until they're put in the hamper!), but they know they have to put everything away themselves.

It's been interesting to see who decides to fold their laundry and put it away, vs. who likes to keep their laundry in a basket and hastily hunt through it in the morning—or at night when they're ready to take a shower! Ha ha. I just laugh to myself and joyously think, "It's not my problem! I've done my job so I can rest easy!"

Just as a reminder, I very happily chose to fold and put away my family's laundry for all those years—no one forced me to do it. I'm sure I could have implemented a less-time-consuming system years ago, but I chose not to. I'm also very happy with my decision to quit providing that laundry folding/putting-away service!

Lastly, I've been listening to and watching so many great talks, speeches, articles, and podcasts while working around my house, and I shared them on Pinterest! So if you want to check out the amazing speakers and uplifting subjects I've enjoyed, check out my Pinterest page! *And please remember that I don't receive any sort of kickback or payment from you visiting my page—I'm not sending you there for any reason other than I want to share all of the goodness I've found! #fulldisclosure! 😀 I spent quite a bit of time pinning today because I felt all of it was soooo important! Thus, it would make me super duper really happy if someone out there benefited from my sharing! 😁

With that, I must end my blogging for today. I hope all of you readers are enjoying this glorious weekend! Now, go hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love them, and how important they are to you!

P.S. I'm totally praying for Houston. I have been utterly shocked at the devastation people are enduring there. I can't even imagine how deeply their hearts are hurting! 💔 My heart so goes out to all of them! 💖 That said, I absolutely love what my church and its members are doing to help out—we truly love serving and helping our brothers and sisters! 💛