It official! The kids are back in school and, for the first time since March of 2020, things felt largely…normal. There is no mask mandate, though there are still extra COVID precautions in place. We all had predictable jitters. One child declared their teacher was “very strict” but that concern already seems to have abated somewhat. Another child was quite distraught (angsty you could even argue) over class configuration. But we’re almost through the first week and it does feel good.
I purposefully left most of Tuesday open; I did a few hours of deep work early in the day, but stopped in time for a scheduled lunchtime walk with a friend. She started working in town last spring, but we’ve only managed to overlap on her lunch break a handful of times. Tuesday afternoon, after the unpacking-bookbag rigmarole, we went to play tennis as a family. Note to self: I am officially horrible at any team and/or ball sport. Horrible. But it was still very fun and I’m excited to do this more frequently (and get slightly less horrible?).
Wednesday and Thursday were a gong show of meetings, interspersed with checking in on contractors finishing the last of our renovation work. September and October are my busiest months of the year at the university. It’s expected, of course, but always surprises me just a bit. Things are going well overall and I’m doing my best to address each curve ball as it comes – both at work and in terms of the house.
While the return to school didn’t magically make our lives feel like a day at the spa (there are lunchboxes to prepare, school forms to fill out, and lots of post-school emotions from the kiddos), it has felt good to slowly ease back into a rhythm.
A few tidbits from the week.
SOUP | I made a soup! I haven’t yet catalogued all the great reader suggestions for soup recipes and ended up making a loose version of the Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. I’ve been making this for years and while no one “adores” it, I had all the necessary ingredients and it was a great way to use up some leftover veggies in the fridge.
COOKIES | I rarely make cookies these days. I decided if we were going to consume giant circles of refined carbohydrates, I might as well outsource the cooking bit somewhere else. As a result, we don’t eat many cookies. But for the first few years Abby was in elementary school, I always made a fresh batch of cookies (or some other homemade treat) on Friday afternoons for when she arrived home. In honour of our fresh start, I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies that were all ooey and gooey when the kids walked through the door after their first day of school. About this they had no complaints.
RUNNING | I’m trying to ramp up my running efforts ahead of my 5K next month. Though I haven’t been running a lot over the summer, I’ve averaged at least one run each week, almost always over 5 km. So, on paper, it shouldn’t be hard to increase output, but my ankles and knees are definitely protesting a bit.
I’ve done two runs with run-walk-run intervals (a huge shout-out to Jenny on this one!) and my splits are faster. Like 12 sec/km faster. I know this is an underlying message of this particular running strategy, but it was still shocking (and a bit embarrassing) that I run a kilometer faster…when I walk a portion of the distance.
In adorable running news, one of my partners has been Levi who has been very enthused about running lately. One night I came up from the office just as John was tucking him into bed. I mentioned casually I was headed out for a run and he pounced on the opportunity. Cue a change back into play clothes followed by a leisurely 3 km walk-run combo. (Never again, though. He came home hungry and spent 20 minutes eating, which required another round of teeth-brushing, followed by changing back into pajamas, then out for water etc., etc. It was very cute, logistical nightmares of bedtime routines aside).
SLEEP/MORNING ROUTINE | I remain committed to shutting off my light by 10:30 pm and, for the most part, it’s going well. My alarm goes off at 6:30 am. If sheer willpower could transform a person into a morning lark, I’d be up doing calisthenics on the front lawn by 4:30 am every day. Alas, I am not a morning person. No matter how many things I try to make it so. I don’t like mornings (anything before, say, 7:30 am = early to me). I also know conventional wisdom says things like “Don’t turn on your phone right away. Don’t check your e-mail when you get up.” Honestly, doing a quick check of e-mails and texts in the morning is about the best segue into my day I’ve found, and it means I can check at least one to-do off my list before we launch into the kids morning routine.
Is there room for improvement? Sure. But so far, I’m happy with the cadence we’re slowly settling in to.
And that’s a wrap. Happy weekending friends. Any fun plans for the next few days? Did anyone else launch school-age kids back into an academic year earlier this week?