We rolled into our driveway yesterday around 6:30 am, after 6 days spent in Hawaii. We all went back to sleep after getting a couple of hours on the red eye, and made progress on unpacking, laundry, getting groceries. etc.

Hayden starts kindergarten tomorrow and Syd starts middle school next Wednesday. Currently it’s 10 am and the boys are still asleep, having not yet adjusted to PST time, and Taylor is off to register for her 8th grade classes.

I’m committing to work on my writing a bit each day, so I figured now was as good a time as any. These days there are lots of rules and suggested guidelines for publishing content on personal blogs. Most blogs in the last 2-3 years have gone from publishing 5-6 days a week to once a week. Narrative type blogs where we just talk about the day to day stuff of our lives, are now seen as self-indulgent and gauche, and the blogging gods now recommend only publishing content when you have something “valuable” to offer your readers. Something that will fix a pain-point in their lives, something that when a new visitor lands on your page, they’ll take hold of and see the writer as someone who can help fix their problems. Never mind that many days I feel like can’t even fix my own problems let alone someone else’s. My goal is to write a few words each day, and publish when I feel it’s amounted to something worthwhile.

But regardless if today’s post would be deemed valuable enough by the blogging gods, I’ll share a few things that have recently helped me in some small yet meaningful way, beginning with a couple of books I’d like to recommend.

One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler is a funny, inspiring and insightful memoir that delves into the author’s dream of writing a book amid the chaos of raising 6 young children. I found her honesty refreshing and many of her thoughts on motherhood and family life eerily similar to my own. I loved all of her crazy stories and admired her determination in pursuing her dreams despite setback after setback.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a short and practical guide to overcoming creative blocks and personal endeavors in the face of the dark force of “resistance”, which speaks to every individual whenever they’ve tried to better themselves. The voice that talks you out of wanting to do better, be better or create something. This is a quick read with a lot of amazing “aha” moments that anyone can benefit from, whether you’re taking up a new exercise routine or hoping to write a book.

Moving on from books, I just wanted to give a shout out to Costco Travel for making our recent trip to Hawaii financially possible, and as easy as heck! Great customer service and super quick and easy booking process was an added bonus to the amazing prices. Before we booked we also spent some digging through to see if the price we got was really that great, so we looked at booking hotel, flight and car rental options separately and through other travel sites, and the Costco deal was definitely the best. They have travel options to all the popular destination places, so I highly recommend checking them out before you book your next trip.

The big kids are moving on from their Planetboxes for middle school and are instead doing smaller individual containers, and carrying them in the PackIt freezable lunch bags. Taylor says all her friends have one and they love them so we’ll see if they live up to the hype. But the reviews are great so I’m hopeful. What are your kids packing their lunches in these days?

Today I have to finish unpacking, fold 4 loads of laundry and get Hayden set up for his big day tomorrow. Am I the only mama who doesn’t get overly sentimental at these big milestones? Most of the time I always feel ready for these milestones and the next chapter they bring in our lives. I feel like these stages of parenting are sort of like the weather; you can’t wait for the warm days of Summer, and as soon as you’re tired of the heat, Fall is ready to greet you with her crisp bright air. And so it goes, I feel pretty well prepared and ready for our youngest to begin his school career. I doubt I’ll even shed a single tear tomorrow 😉