The girls woke up early. They looked stylish in their new duds. And they headed out the door eagerly, ready to tackle a new school year.
I try and get the girls to set goals, in whatever they do...whether in sports or relationships or their spirituality or academics.
With school, of course, it's to always work hard and, in doing so, get the highest grades they can. They both have always excelled in school and are both very organized (much more than I ever was!), so it's usually not too much of a challenge. This year, though, McKenna is taking AP History, English, Algebra, and Chemistry and she will have a full load of work (she also happens to be involved in lots of extracurricular activities, so it's an extra challenge for her); I'm hoping she doesn't get too overwhelmed. I think Delaney will be in good shape, although she told me she is worried about Honors Science this year (still, she has yet to get a B on a report card so I'll have to see it to believe it!).
To do well, though, you must want to do well. So, setting goals and expecting good things from yourself is something we really stress in our home.
And while the girls head off to a new school year, it gives me a chance to lock and load for a new year for myself (and for Sydney, since she stays at home with me). What goals do I have for the two of us? What goals do I have for myself?
* I want to get more in-gear with my professional writing. I tend to slack off some in the Summer and I have also lost a couple of contacts with publications I was writing for before, so my goal is to improve my writing credits during the year. I'm off to a good start with a big article I have due for a national parenting magazine in September. I'm also working on a couple of book projects that I'm excited about!
* I want to start speaking more at writing conferences and to writing groups. I'm scheduled to speak this weekend in Vicksburg at the Mississippi Writers Guild, and I want to do more of that!
* I want to read more, both for pleasure and for my own personal learning. I have done a lot of reading over the Summer (and am going to share what I've read in a post sometime soon) and want to continue doing that.
* I want to get Sydney reading also. She and I will start having what I call "Mommy School" this year and we will work to get her reading (she'll go into kindergarten next year). She knows all of her letters and her sounds; just gotta put her knowledge together. (She brought a pile of books to me the other day and said, "Mom, I've got to learn to read." So I guess it's time to do that!) We'll also work on math skills and other such stuff.
* I want to do some sort of regular exercise activity. I had planned on doing some walking or running each week, but my brother (who is the most healthy person I know and is nationally recognized as a strength conditioning expert--so he should know!) gave me some advice on exercises I can do in the home that will get me in better shape. Now that I'm almost 40, my body seems to get flabbier and flabbier... and I want to get rid of some of that flab!
* I want to spend more time on spiritual pursuits. This means that my daily schedule needs to include prayer and quiet time and journaling and reading; those things are on my "to do" list but, sadly, often get thrown by the side of the road first when life gets busy. I need to make them more of a priority.
* I want to get all of my Summer pictures ordered, organized, and in some sort of scrapbook/ photo album system. I have more than 700 (yes, 700!) photos in my shopping cart at dotphoto and I have plans for doing a couple of mini albums and getting caught up with some scrapbook pages. (I have not done a scrapbook page in more than two months, so I'm just itching to get back into it!)
* I will continue to succumb to my daily at-home obsessions--reading blogs about my beloved Crimson Tide (as I count down the days until opening kickoff--yes, less than 20 days away now!! Yay!!), watching at least one DVR-ed episode of "Monk" or "Pscyh" or "The Closer," and snacking a little bit too much. But I will try and cut back on them some, so that I can accomplish all of those other things on my list I've already mentioned above!
* I will try and be better about keeping the house in order. I will keep clothes washed, floors vacuumed, and meals cooked...but, honestly, those are not #1 on my list of priorities. Maybe they should be, but really...
* I will totally appreciate the time I have with Sydney this year. She will be in kindergarten next year, so I want to enjoy these last "full time" months I will have with her. With a daughter who is now a junior (that's even hard for me to say or believe...a Junior!!! wow!!!) and another who is smack dab in the middle of middle school (and looking more like a teenager everyday!), I know how quickly the time passes. So, I will hug my sweet Scout a lot this year!
* I will enjoy everything that goes along with my daughters being in school. That means enjoying football games, and talking with them about boys, and getting excited about dances, and taking an interest in their classes, and enjoying their friends. They are only 12 and 16 once, and those are good times!
It's hard to believe that Summer is over, but I will treasure my memories of the last three months and all the good times we had...and will now dive into Fall (although it will feel like summer here in the South until October!) and all of the fun things that come along with it!
(Here are McKenna and Delaney this morning as they got ready for their first day...
I think they both looked so cute. But, of course, I'm biased!)