Growing up, going to the library was one of my favorite trips around town. As an avid reader, there was no better place to be. I still remember the summer I was finally allowed to ride by bike, on my own, to the library. I could spend time browsing through the aisles and aisles of books without a care in the world.
Since having my own girls, the library has been an important part of our lives. While we used to go more before they entered into school, a trip to the library still brings excitement and joy to my girls.
As we entered the library, our first stop was the book return. Both Izzie and Sophia love the satisfaction of sliding the books down into the return bin behind the wall. Then it was onto the children’s section of the library.
Immediately, the girls asked if they could go use the computers where you look stuff up. Of course I said yes and I continued to browse the displays of new books, grabbing several picture books as I made my way further into the room.
Both girls were at a computer, searching for their next great read. Izzie, bummed that everything she was searching was checked out. Sophia, not knowing how to take what she found on the computer to the shelves. I led Sophia to the section where the Junie B Jones books were and her face lit up as she found the book she had been searching for.
We continued to wander the library, searching the shelves for books that we wanted to read. At one point, Izzie came over with an armful of chapter books. She narrowed the stack down to two.
When our bag was loaded with books to be checked out, the girls began the scavenger hunt, searching for pictures of spring flowers. When the last flower was found, they turned in their recording sheet for a small prize, an emoji bookmark.
I told the girls we needed to head upstairs ti get a book I had searched for. “There’s an upstairs?” Sophia asked, eyes wide.
“There sure is!” I replied as we began walking toward the stairs.
Once upstairs, I found two chair and left the girls with the bag of books so I could find the book I was hoping to check out. When I returned, I found them engrossed in the books they had checked out. Sophia began reading to me and Izzie moved down to a bench where it was a bit quieter.
I love that my girls find books to be as exciting as I do. There is nothing better than to be able to escape into a story or to learn something new while reading.
It is Saturday and the alarm rang at 6:17. I definitely was not ready to get out of bed. But then I remembered why the alarm was ringing, early morning gymnastics.
I grabbed my phone, searched for the requested morning wake up song, and headed into the girls room. Greeted with groans, I left the music and went to get myself ready.
After more groans, tears, and grumbles, we made it out the door for gymnastics, our first stop of the day. We were only about 2 minutes late. We said good bye to Izzie and started the trip back home.
Sophia and I sat on the couch and snuggled for just a bit. I snuck in a quick ride on the bike in the basement. Sophia got herself ready and we were out the door again, headed for theater.
I dropped Sophia off and headed home once again. Ahhh a few moments to myself. 10 minute yoga and a quick shower before I was out the door to pick Izzie up from gymnastics.
I waited in the line and eventually, Izzie came to the car. This time, there would be no stopping at home. We headed to theater straight away to pick up Sophia.
We left theater, heading for the library. We hadn’t been to the library in quite some time so this was a longer trip. Then I was asked by Sophia, “Can we go out to lunch?”
I wanted to say no. I wanted to just get home. But her sister had been out yo lunch twice in the past week, so I conceded, taking us to Panera.
We enjoyed our lunch together. It is not often that we enjoy time out at a restaurant. Finally, we headed home for the last stop.
So much driving and back and forth. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love knowing that I get to take the girls to their favorite activities. I do not, however, enjoy the alarm on a Saturday. Mom’s Taxi Service has hung up her keys…at least for today.
Never have I ever taken either of my girls out of school for a doctor appointment…until earlier this week. Izzie needed to see a pediatric orthopedic doctor and they didn’t have any afterschool appointments for at least six weeks. We didn’t want to wait that long with her being a gymnast and the impact it was having on her foot.
We sent Izzie to school with a note explaining that she would be picked up at 12:30. So, I took a half day, leaving work at 11:30. I enjoyed the ride, listening to the end of my book. As I drew nearer to home, I realized I was going to be there well before 12:30.
I arrived at school, told the office who I was picking up, and then waited for Izzie to come down from class. Eventually, she made her way to the office and we headed out the door. We were greeted with spring like weather, including warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine.
“You were early,” Izzie quickly let me know.
“I know. Traffic was not that bad and the ride went faster than I thought it would, ” I responded.
We walked to the car and got inside. And then I gave her a choice. “We can either go get a quick lunch before heading to the doctor’s office or we can go home, grab a quick lunch, and get Starbucks on the way home. Which would you prefer?”
She proceeded to think for a moment before responding. “Out for lunch!” came her excited reply.
We both decided that Panera would be a great choice for our lunch date. I always treasure the one on one time that I am gifted with my girls. Spending the short time at Izzie brought happiness into my heart. From chatting to playing hangman to just being silly, we enjoyed our impromptu lunch date.
Exhausted. That is my feeling right now. Today I did something that I have not done in many years. I taught a full day as a substitute.
I was asked to sub before I even had my bag unpacked this morning. It was an emergency situation so of course I said I would do it. I would have done it even if it had not been an emergency.
While I have taught in the classroom, it has been a bit since my last stint as classroom teacher. I know how much goes into teaching each day. I am surrounded by amazing teachers who teach everyday. But I forgot how exhausting it can be.
Being “on” and available for the students all day. Walking and standing for the majority of the day. Answering numerous questions because directions were not clear or I was doing things the same as the regular teacher. Having your plan time first thing in the morning and then having 3 solid hours of no break in the afternoon. Drinking water and then having to text a teacher to come visit so I could use the restroom.
So thank you to all the teachers out there. You work so hard each and everyday for your students. You give them you all each and every day. You wear do many different hats all in the same day. Thank you for all you do and may you find time to relax when you get home.
When we bought our house, we wanted space for each of our girls to have their own room and for the rooms to be bigger than our first house. We were successful with our wish and each girl had an amazing room.
Occasionally, they would ask to have what I called sister sleepovers, where they would sleep in each other’s room together. Sometimes they shared a bed. Other times, one slept in the bed and the other slept on the floor using the old crib mattress.
In the fall of 2021, the girls began to ask for bunk beds. They wanted to share a room. Looking back, I suppose this made sense, as they always wanted to sleep together and were rarely sleeping alone in their own rooms. And if they did, they shouted to each other, so it was just easier for them to be together!
So bunk beds were purchased and put together in what had been Sophia’s room. We began calling it the green room as to make it inclusive for both girls. They each had their own bed in the same room. Sleepovers every night!
Last week, the girls were talking about how they wanted to sleep in the same bed because they hadn’t done that in awhile. I was shocked as one or the other would complain about how poorly they slept when they shared a bed. But, who am I to argue?
So nighttime routines were completed and both girls climbed into the top bunk, loaded with stuffed animals and books. Prayers were said, lights were turned off, girls were tucked in, good nights were said.
I headed into my room to read a bit before bed. I could hear them talking, so I went into the hallway to listen. Sophia was reading to Izzie. Izzie was supporting Sophia with unknown words. They were loving their time together. My heart was happy.
I lay in bed, door to the bedroom closed, reading light on, ready to dig into my book before drifting off to sleep. I could still hear bits and pieces of the conversation that Izzie and Jim were having as Izzie finished a snack after gymnastics. In case you were wondering, no, I don’t usually go to bed before my girls, but it does happen occasionally when I am completely exhausted. This was one of those times.
I heard Izzie eventually make her way upstairs and begin her nighttime routine. I continued to read. All of the sudden, the door was pushed open and in came Izzie, wearing her pajamas.
“I want to tuck you in. You always tuck me in, so tonight I’m going to tuck you in!” Izzie declared as she made her way towards my bed, a huge smile on her face.
“Oh I would love that!” I replied, putting my book to the side, eager for her to arrive at my bedside. Once she was standing next to me, she gave me a hug and said good night.
As she turned to leave, she hesitated, and turned back. “What was your high of the day?” she questioned me. I love that she thought enough to do this nightly routine with me. The majority of nights, at dinnertime, we go around the table sharing our high of the day, our low of the day, and how we helped during the day.
We spent a few minutes sharing with each other. As we were wrapping up, my husband walked into the room. Izzie looked up at him and asked, “Prayers?” He nodded his agreement. She proceeded to lead us in prayers, holding each of our hands.
Nights like these are rare and oh so precious to me. My baby girl is growing up, but I love the sweet little things she does. Normally, I would be rushing her to bed, but for this night, I am grateful for the peaceful moment with Izzie before heading off to sleep.
Nine years ago, my oldest daughter Isabella was born. I remember it like it was yesterday…I headed to the doctor’s office on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 for a checkup after work. Jim had met me there and we anxiously waited for the doctor. After the ultrasound, my doctor smiled at me and asked, “Are you ready to have a baby?”
In my head, I thought ummm no I am not ready! But it didn’t appear to really be a choice. So we grabbed our things and headed to the hospital. I remember calling my mom, asking her to go to my house to bring me some things. I hadn’t even packed a bag! And then I remembered I had told my students I would be back the next day. Oops!
The next several hours were a blur of nurses and doctors. But in the wee hours of the morning, our first little girl was born. Isabella Hope Olson and she was just perfect, a true gift from God.
Fast forward nine years, and here we are. Isabella, or Izzie as we often call her, has grown so much! She is a kind hearted girl who loves her family and friends. She is a phenomenal gymnast who practices to do her best. She is an avid reader, much like her mom. She is curious about the world, always wanting to learn. She is an amazing big sister to Sophia. Izzie loves to draw and be creative. A Lego builder extraordinaire, much like her dad. But most of all, is my daughter.