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Here we go! Not sure that the math is correct here, it seems to me that if I have 3 children going to school, I should have less than 2 at home... but I guess it does add up because I really do have 5 kiddos. Whew! I think and hope that having the older three at school will free up some of my life a bit, but the first day all three were at school, there was dirt all over my living room (my poor house plants) and toys everywhere. So am I winning? I think I just need to buy more toys, haha. Or an heirloom play kitchen, right Conor?!

Here's Greta on her first day! She's in sixth grade this year, her last year in Elementary school, although you could say she's a middle schooler because she's doing a middle school curriculum. I really hope Greta has a good year. She has some pretty great friends and she's going to try some new things (basketball, an instrument) this year while continuing with activities she knows and loves (cross country, soccer). How is it possible that she's already this old??

And my Holly girl! Holly is in eighth grade, her last year of middle school. Next year, we won't use numbered grades, instead she'll be a freshman! Okay but let's stay present in this moment. This girl has a heart of gold and I'm really proud of her. She's a hard worker and I'm so grateful she has an awesome friend group at school! I can't imagine Holly having anything other than a good year. Crossing my fingers because those middle school years have the potential to be hard.

And oh my little baby off to kindergarten. I joke that her teacher is going to correct all of our parenting failures, but am I actually joking?! Maeve is very excited about kindergarten. Greta helped her pick out her outfit and did her hair too. When Conor told Maeve he would miss her, Maeve told him that she was going to come back. And then when we were all walking with her to school, she asked us why we were coming. She's just so eager to be a big girl walking to school with Greta and the neighbors. When we were within sight of the school and she could see the quantity of children, Maeve became nervous. And so then I think she was glad her parents were with her! I walked Maeve into her classroom and she was definitely nervous, but she had a great day! Next week she goes every day, full days! I think she's going to be so tired and grumpy, but we'll get through it! She can do it!

And now I'm trying to not think too much of next year when I have 3 children, in 3 different schools and maybe Enoch in preschool? I don't need that anticipatory anxiety!

Whew! This river is so cold, or "refreshing." Haha. This was our one last summer hurrah (locally) before the start of school. José and Rey joined us and then we met our good friends YuYi and HT there. They live in Seattle, but they were on their way home from CDA. Maeve went on the paddle board with YuYi and then Ira brought his lifejacket to me and he wanted to go too. That was surprising!

Maeve loved throwing rocks into the river with an audience and lots of praise. And then Conor showed us what fitness in the wild looks like when he threw large rocks into the water chasing the biggest splash. A fun day!

On Conor's last day of paternity leave (I'm fine!), we went to Fish Lake. It's so close and so easy. Maeve and I caught a frog and I loved watching all 5 of my children all focused in on the same thing and doing something together. The boys thought the frog was so funny! One of those delightful and rare moments when my kids are all engaged in something together. The little three loved the tunnels that someone else had dug. Can you believe that at the beginning of the summer sand made my boys cry?! Now they have no problems with it. And of course and little naked baby rinse at the end of play time before a dry diaper. I love me some baby booty!

I love our front porch. It's a mess most of the time, but I really love hanging out front with my family. The boys were very eager to eat popsicles and as soon as we passed Enoch one, he went straight outside and sat down on the top step. He knows how it's done!

Hayden Lake may be one of my most favorite in the area! The Honeysuckle Public Beach is so accessible and chill. The u-shaped dock is lots of fun and the boat launch gave the boys a ton of entertainment. I took Ira on the paddle board - he had mixed (mostly negative) feelings about it. He's a bit of a scaredy cat!

Also this summer has been all about practicing self-love of my body. Those tummy rolls are uncomfortable for me. Getting into a consistent workout program is really difficult with 5 children, two of whom are really little (and covid, damn covid). And... because my mental health has been leaps and bounds better post Ira's birth than my other births, I've been able to nourish and fuel my body adequately. After my other three births, my anxiety was so high and I struggle to eat when that happens to the point where I lose more weight than I gained during pregnancy. It's kind of one of those things, if carrying some extra weight means I can make it through the day without panicking (and crying and all those feels and living in darkness) then I think that's worth it. Still, I'm looking forward to feeling more like myself in my body. Working on it, and working on being okay with it all taking a little more time.

Anyways... here are some photos of my cutie family!

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