Seeing as this has become a quarterly blog, I will do my best to summarize our summer. In one word it was: fast. It started off strong and then just flipped onto autopilot and it was over.
Jon juggled volunteering at Conner Prairie nearly full time with football conditioning. He’s on the 8th grade football team and having a wonderful season. I am so super proud of how far my boy has come and how hard he’s worked for his spot on the line. He’s handling 8th grade, working as a volunteer and sports better than I could have expected and we are so proud of the young man he is becoming.
Drew is having his own fantastic football season, leaving a trial of smaller players behind him. He is a force to be reckoned with and it is incredible to watch my gentle giant pull off some pretty awesome plays. He’s in his last year of elementary school, which I’m not sure when it happened because I’m pretty sure he was in 2nd grade yesterday. It will be so weird to only have one kiddo left in elementary school. It will be like a break up of sorts – I’ mean you leave on good terms, but you have nothing left in common. I am fairly certain I will be heartbroken in two years.
Penny is giving Volleyball a go – she’s wanted to for a while so we decided to hand up the soccer cleats until spring and volley some balls. She’s a natural and I’m loving a chance to play again, even if it’s with mini-people. She’s doing quite well in 3rd grade, too smart for her own good, but truthfully it’s her loving heart and character that I love the most about this girl. She’s funny and witty and I know that when the boys leave us to go on to college and life she will be left and it will be a very pleasant experience. It is hard for me to believe my baby is this big.
Ryan and I are working hard together to take Page Construction to a more organized, successful level. We had some real humdinger hold ups this summer, but we were able to navigate them as gracefully as I think anyone could. I am so proud of the work he does and I love working with him. We often get from people that they couldn’t possibly work with their spouses. That they’d kill each other or fight or whatever. Truthfully, and I know I can speak for both of us, we get along great. If we could work together side by side everyday for the rest of our lives we’d be okay with that. We did in college, it’s how we met and grew as friends. Do we argue or disagree? Sure we do, but it’s never anything we can’t resolve. Working together is just something that works for us and I’m grateful we can do it.
Now to me. So as we left it I withdrew from my graduate program because at the end of April I found out that the University enrolled me in the wrong program. (WHAA – WHAA) I was in discussions this summer with the Provost of Ball State on how to resolve the matter. Ultimately, I asked for my tuition back for my second semester of classes because I really wasn’t sure how they would translate to another program, if I chose one, down the road. It was agreed upon, but in doing so I had to lose the credits for those classes that I wanted reimbursed. It was a bittersweet day watching those credits disappear and knowing all the hard work that went with them. So for now, teaching is left to subbing and volunteering, which is working out quite nicely. I volunteer twice a week in a room I worked in two years ago. It’s a special needs room and they never get volunteers. These little people have my heart and love working with them. I get to visit all of my little friends from last year, which are now big first graders. They make me feel so loved when I come to say hi. And because I don’t have enough to do my great friend Kim and I are starting a small business doing shirts, baskets and other crafty bits. We just launched a Facebook page and are doing our first holiday show in November. We’ll see where it goes, but for now we’re having a lot of fun planning and creating.
One sad note, our big ol’ fluffy girl Marcy passed away in July. We’ve been trying to just give Cyd lots of love and attention. We all miss her lumbering around and those sweet, big, brown eyes. It was a difficult decision, but watching her decline was so heartbreaking as well. We miss and love you are sweet polar bear!
We also hosted an Italian exchange student for a month mid-July through mid-August. It was a bit last minute, a bit stressful, but we got through it and I think he had a very good time. Perhaps one day we’ll get a chance to visit him and his family in Italy!
Thanks for taking the time to catch up –
Today is our district’s Homecoming. Every year, despite our district’s large size, the schools release early and the community comes out to celebrate Homecoming and the parade. Having been very involved in the homecomings of my own high school years, I love to soak in the small town feel, cheering for our student athletes, activities and clubs on floats and feet. The kids lining the streets with their bags, hoping to catch a bit of candy before dinner. Even though my homecomings were fun as a teen, we had three communities filing into my school. It takes on a very different feel than when it’s one town, one school.
I have many friends who were born and raised in Noblesville. I had one of these friends remark on how strange it was to be back for these and a little disheartening because perhaps she should be somewhere else, somewhere different. I don’t agree. I love setting our roots here, our kids roots. I love that my children will be able to attend a school district from beginning to end. I love celebrating an emerging legacy, because it’s something I don’t have. Even though I stayed at the same high school for all four years, moving in my 8th grade year always made me feel a bit of an outsider. Never quite part of any one group, never really having deep, long lasting friendships that started in the early elementary years. That isn’t to say that I don’t have some great and amazing friends from that time in my life. I do. I am so happy and a little jealous of the connections my children have, have made and will continue to make as they grow. I think about next year when Jon will most likely be on some float for either a sport or a club and it just makes my heart happy to know it will be that way for Drew and for Penny too. The opportunity that is to be a part of a lasting tradition, despite our community’s growing size. So here’s to you Millers. I hope you bring home a win for Homecoming and even if you don’t, I still love you!
Well since I seem to be writing quarterly, let me catch you up.
Here are the highlights:
- Drew and Penny had very successful soccer seasons, which are now finished.
- Jon had a great first season of rugby and looks forward to next spring, where Drew will be joining him in the sport. Jon’s team made it to semi-state which is a huge accomplishment after only having been a team for a few years. The boys did great and we all learned the difference from a Scrum to a Hooker to a Sir. I feel very civilized.
- Our school year ended. We had to say good bye to all of our amazing teachers and tuck another fantastic year in the books. ALL of my kiddos were very blessed to have had a great school year.
- My school year ended and I had to say good bye to my littles at school. It’s tough seeing those little sweet faces each day and then one day not so much. Each and every one of those little nuggets touched my heart and I will never forget them. I especially love when I run into them outside of school, it’s such a treat! I can’t wait to see them all as big first graders next year.
- Ryan continues to be incredibly busy, I have started my role as his operations and office manager, trying to get a better handle on running the business, while he is out making the business. We have grown and it is now two full time jobs. I am enjoying this transition and we’ll see where it leads us.
- At the end of May I had the good fortune of taking a trip to Ohio with my dear friend Kim and we attended the Springfield Flea Market. While it was a bit of an antique bust, we had a blast and it was MUCH needed girl time and time away. Plus we had too many laughs to recall and you know it’s a good time when your face hurts from smiling.
- I received some pretty disappointing news the end of April, it appears that I was enrolled in the wrong program at Ball State and none, I repeat, none of my classes are going to get me any closer to teaching. I was devastated. I am currently in discussions with the Provost, the University Dean and the Teachers College to figure out how this happened and make sure this happens to no one else. Not sure what I’ll do, but I’m happy to report I ended my second semester with another 4.0! Unfortunately the program I thought I was enrolled in no longer exists, yet it is still advertised on the website. At this moment I am just taking this summer to clear my head, take a break from the insane pace of schooling and just enjoying my kids and helping Ryan with our family business. I don’t know what the fall will bring and if I’ll be returning to the Creek as an IA, right now I’m just taking it one day at a time.
- This summer Ryan celebrates his 40th and we celebrate our 15th. I’m still trying to figure out what I can do special for Ryan for his big day and we’re trying to plan something fun and short for us since we are just off the heals of Disney.
- For those who may be curious, it has been a year since Miss M was with us. All of the proper documents and time spans have occurred and she will be fully adopted into her new family sometime this summer. We have heard she is doing well and we are always grateful to God for that news. The amazing family she has become a part of is currently in the process of adopting another sibling set of three, which will bring their family up to 12 children! God bless them for being the hands and feet of God and having the heart and home that is a haven for these children. It is still a difficult loss for us and we think about all of it each day. We are healing and I am grateful for that each and every day.
- We are sad to report that our sweet girl Marcy is showing a steady decline in health. Poor girl has neuropathy in her hind legs and is slowing down more and more. We’ve already prepared the kids that this will probably be her last few months with us.
- At the end of the summer we’ll be hosting a young man from Italy for about a month. He’s 13, his dad is one of the coordinators of the Sister Cities program between Noblesville and Cittidela. He and his dad coordinated for him to stay and we’re the lucky family. We’re excited to have him and hopefully we learn as much from him as he does from us. Plus it’d be great to visit HIM in Italy in the future.
So that’s that in a nutshell. Sorry for the absence, but better late than never, right?
My Rugby Boy
Our annual pink hair for summer
We got the opportunity to hang out with friends and the kids were especially excited to finally meet Mr. John Green in person.
The Antique Geeks
So for months I had been planning our surprise Spring Break trip. All the kids knew was we were going to Florida. We do it often so they didn’t question things. When Ryan and I discussed this trip I wanted it to be THE BIG ONE. I wanted to do everything and anything we could and make it a magical time. We surprised the kids the night before with their magic bands. They were shocked. It was perfect!
We flew out, arrived and acclimated. We started our first day off with Breakfast with Mickey and the rest, well you’ll see. For the record we’ve drunk the kool-aid. We loved Disney. I knew we’d like it, I knew we’d have fun. But we LOVED it. EVERY SINGLE BIT. We cried when we left. We didn’t want to leave. We want to go back. So much for our one trip, eh? The kids were thrilled. The week was every bit of what I had hoped, dreamed, planned and schemed. It was perfect. The weather was perfect. It was exactly what we needed.
After four days at Disney we headed over to Universal. It was fun, but we were losing steam and it wasn’t Disney. Harry Potter’s Hogwarts and Diagon Alley were awesome and well worth it. There were some fun rides and shows in the other areas, but we’d go early each day, finish up by lunch and then lounge by the pool to enjoy the last few days of our vacation. It was actually a perfect way to end our trip. I could go on and on, but here are some pictures to share our experience.
Here’s some of my absolute favs:
Drew makes THE BEST rollercoster faces!
Yes, she’d do pageants if I’d let her.
Meeting Elsa and Anna we awesome – it’s amazing how these gals perfectly play the princesses, down to the way they stand.
Wish we had met the real Phineas and Ferb, these guys will have to do.
Harry Potter at Universal is just as amazing as you would imagine. It’s like walking not the set of the movie. Just incredible!
They even laughed together – only Disney can do this magic.
One of my absolute favorites of the three of them – it’s not a perfect photograph by quality standards, but I couldn’t love those smiles more.
The Gringott’s dragon was awesome – when he breathed fire, you felt it all through Diagon Alley.
Until we meet again, Mickey!
I realize it’s been a significant amount of time and this blog has all but died. So much going on, so much to say. Apparently it only takes a virus to to take down our whole house for us to slow down. and think. and realize. There has been much that has happened, another anniversary of mom’s passing, Penny turned 8, Jon turned 13. There has been much snow, cold and ice. We are counting the days until spring. If for nothing else to consistently keep the windows open so we can flood our home with fresh air.
There is that phrase it takes a village to raise a child. There are days where I feel alone, I think in some ways we all do. The only one wrestling with certain issues, problems or thoughts. In those moments I often retreat into my mind and think what life would be like if we picked up, moved to some smallish town far, far away. The idea of starting over can be refreshing, if not overwhelming. Eventually I’m brought back to the present and realize I am not alone. I am not an island. That I love where I live.
Last week it began with a cough and a fever, which spread to other coughs and fevers and ultimately into me being the sickest I have ever been. I really can’t remember a time I was this sick, this long. This house did it’s best to function. Ryan gave it a really good go, until he toppled. We are slowly, ever so slowly recovering. What this undesirable time has showed me though is that I have an amazing village. Sunday a mystery dinner showed up, another friend picked up groceries. Friends have been carting my children to and fro to their extra curricular activities. More meals, dessert, magazines, treats and messages. It has made our time to heal so much easier. I am so utterly blessed. Our family is so utterly blessed. For my children to see the kindness and love coming from those around us, well it is an education on God’s love first and foremost. It’s the kind of love I want to live for each of my friends every. single. day.
Now that I am slowly on the mend and my mind can think of something other than the sheer uncomfortable nature of my situation, I have allowed myself to wander to the coming months. The spring, the summer, the time with my family when we can all talk without coughing. I look forward to our surprise spring break planned, I look forward to unearthing my garden and planting too many vegetables, I look forward to my hammock, fishing with the kids and camping. Mostly I look forward, because I’m tired of looking back.
I have all sorts of catch up posts to do – odes to both my birthday babies. Especially Jon, since he’s made the transition to teenager without much fanfare. They know they are loved, regardless of whether there is a blog post or not.
So in closing, thank you to those who have made this week easier. I love you, you are the very best villagers a girl could ask for!