My kids and I started homeschool this morning.


One nice thing about homeschool is that when you’re really completely done with lack of structure, and your kids apparently have enough free time to create elaborate schemes of torment for one another, and something absolutely must be done, you can just start school. Just like that.


Hey, kids. It’s time. Here’s a sharpened pencil and a schedule. A list of goals and a designated lunch time. We have expanded into the heat of summer just about as far as we can go. It’s time to start reeling it back.


I knew it when I felt so overwhelmed by my to-do list that I couldn’t do anything at all. I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean you have too much to do. Sometimes it means you have too little to do. (Stay with me for a second.) Sometimes that feeling of utter overwhelm is just that your life has become an outfit with no belt. The best thing to do is set an alarm to wake up in the morning, give all your kids a good scrubbing, turn off the YouTube and start doing giant, wonderful things…just one step at a time.


This Whole Mama summer is winding down. I’m hosting one more time after this, and then Erika Shirk is going to keep the link-ups going, through the year. I will still participate! But the Twitter thing that I do is going to gradually give way, to a Facebook thing that Erika does. And we have just one more Fuze chat, not tonight, but next Monday, so Jamie and I can do some emotional wrapping up and sending off. (Jamie has a homeschool year to get a’startin’, too.)


Today I’m making a little pile of stones to mark the place. My summer has not been entirely free of stress or conflict. But you know what? Relatively close. It was the right choice for me to kind of shut down my writing operation and focus in instead, concentrating on points of integration between my creativity and my mom life, and my community. And it was the right thing for me to grab on to so many of you (there turned out to be SO MANY of you!) who wanted something similar.


This week we’re writing about “celebration.” If you can’t think of anything else to write, just make a list. Like this.


(causes for celebration, end of summer, 2015)


One. My kids did incur a few injuries this summer. But you know what? I didn’t CAUSE them. We’re calling that a win.


Two. My six and seven year old are not (yet) accepted into Ivy League Universities, AND I basically failed to provide them with any educational experiences appropriate for their college entry essays. However, I did stop and talk to them about a very large mushroom, once.


Three. Also, I read them “The Little Prince,” and therefore the phrase “matters of consequence” has entered our family vocabulary. If that isn’t education I don’t know what is.


Four. My husband and I did not spend a week or weekend child free at a vacation resort. But we still have some great inside jokes. Which I am not sharing. 🙂


Five. I also didn’t go write in a cabin for one or two or three weeks. Actually I didn’t write much at all. But I also didn’t ever feel myself shrivel with the pain of not writing. Instead I got to know Katie, Sarah, Amanda, Lindsey, Fiona, Ashley, Ashley, Rose, and Renee (and others.) And I got to know Jamie and Gayl and Cara even better than I did before.


Mostly we just hung out. And here’s to that.


Here’s to helping each other get through the crazy of summer. Here’s to encouraging each other to be whole, creative, and spiritual people. Here’s to taking a moment to celebrate what’s happening right now, before we leap into the thing that happens next. 



Now it’s your turn! Our #WholeMama prompt word for the link-up this week is “Celebration.”


  • Journal or blog your thoughts on “celebration.”  If you’re blogging, link it up with us below, so we can read and encourage.
  • Read other people’s processing (as links are added to the link-up below) and encourage them.
  • Join the Twitter party tonight (Monday) at 7:30 PST/9:30 CST and later. #wholemama
  • And we’re wrapping up our free book giveaway! Gayl Wright just won a copy of Emily Freeman’s latest book, Simply Tuesday. Use the #wholemama hashtag on Instagram to be entered in one more week’s random number drawing.
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