Kindergarten Memories

by Katie on August 30, 2015


DSC_0508He woke up and came running out of his room all dressed and ready to go. He chatted all the way through breakfast and was ready to head to school long before it was time to go. I watched with a pit in my stomach and smile on my face. I was so excited for him and so sad for me.  

We got to school and he held my hand as we waited to go in. Before too long he let go and went in with his class, not looking back as we followed behind. We watched him complete his daily morning classroom tasks before he sat down in his little pint sized chair. 

” I think we are going to leave.” I said as my eyes filled with tears. DSC_0519

“Ok” he said with a smile.

“Love you, buddy. Have a great day. I’m excited to see you after school” I said as my voice started cracking. 

“Love you too!” He said as we walked away.

He was fine.  If he was nervous it didn’t show. He was ready. 

He had a wonderful first week. He enjoyed his first day and was excited to go back every day after. He was pleasant when he got home and not a total bear from being exhausted like I was sure he would be.  He did his first homework assignment without complaint. He loved school lunch. He made friends. He is excited to go back tomorrow after his first weekend.  So basically all the hours I spent worrying about the things I was sure would go wrong was a giant waste of my time.

DSC_0527But despite everything going right, I still cried or teared up every day after I dropped him off.  I just miss him when he is gone and am having a hard time believing that we are already at this kindergarten milestone because I swear he was just born.  This weekend I saw a quote that just really hit home “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” and that is what I intend to do. Enjoy the passing of time as I savor the memories and look forward to what the future holds. Anyways, enough about that, time for some of the highlights of the first week.

Here are a few things that I want to remember about his first week of Kindergarten:

  • “I raised my hand and told my teacher I know what 19 + 7 is and she said we are not talking about that right now.”
  • “I did not play with anybody at recess because I wanted to get use to the playground. I am going to start playing with people tomorrow.”DSC_0532
  • “I have four naughty kids in my class. I think it is a miracle there are only four.” (This number increased to 7 by the end of the week)
  • “We learned about circles today. Pizza is a circle. Coins are a circle. I already knew all of that”  He said with a big sigh.
  • He thought he might be the oldest kid in his class, so he asked every kid in class what their birthday is. He concluded that he is in fact the oldest.
  • We were going to go out for supper the first night but he was so tired he asked if he could just have a bath and put his pajamas on and if we could order take-out. We did just that!
  • He wanted a cookie “bigger than his head”  for his first day of school treat. I did my very best, but filled the cookie sheet too full resulting in an overflowing pan and a small oven fire. Thankfully Hy-Vee came to the rescue with a giant cookie pizza.
  • Charlie missed him so, so much. He really loves being with his big brother.
  • He rode his bike to school with this friends one day while I walked behind. He got to school before I did, and when I got there I could not find him anywhere.  I  went to his classroom and he was standing there all ready to get started with his day.
  • He loves that he knows some of the bigger kids at school and always tells me who he saw in the hall.
  • It was so strange not having Drake home with us and tagging along on our Thursday and Friday adventures.  I thought he would be upset that we still did fun stuff while he was at school, but he could of cared less.

So one week of school is down, and many, many more to go. We are so proud of our sweet boy and are excited to see what this new road will bring!



Tips for Summer Festivals and Fairs

by Katie on August 21, 2015

As always Let U.S. Cellular make it easier by using the Parent/Child Cell Phone Agreement to set some ground rules.

I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. I received an Apple iPhone5S and am being compensated for my time

Giant SlideThe Iowa State Fair is in full swing and we were able to sneak out there last weekend to spend some time doing some of our very favorite fair activities.  We hit up the big slide first where I was able to use my Apple iPhone5s to capture this shot of my boy’s trip down. From the camera to the apps, having your phone with you at the fairs and festivals you attend this summer can really enhance your experience.

Smartphones are an essential part of summer with features and apps that help owners communicate and stay entertained in a variety of ways. U.S. Cellular provides a high-quality network and national coverage that keeps you connected in big and small cities and rural communities, whether you are at a rock or country concert or a fair or gliderToday’s mobile devices, such as the iPhone 5s, are terrific for listening to your favorite tunes from bands you will see play at festivals and fairs this summer.

A recent U.S. Cellular survey indicated that 45 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to listen to music. One app that you can try out is Bandsintown which can even find nearby concerts based on your music library.

A few apps and tips to help make your summer festival or fair more enjoyable:

  • Photos can be a big part of your summer fair and festival experience making out of town loved ones feel like they are a part of the action.
  • The free aillis, Magisto Video Editor & Maker, Retrica and SmugMug apps on Google Play and iTunes can help you take amazing photos and offer places to upload, archive and easily share your favorite moments.
  • Before you hit the road, make sure your wireless device has proper battery life. You can extend your smartphone’s battery life by turning off Bluetooth, location services and lowering your screens brightness.  
  • As you prepare to communicate with family members and friends at an event with thousands of people, text messages could be your best option. Texting takes up less network bandwidth than calls, so cellphone customers can often text successfully if they can’t
    place or receive calls.



Kindergarten Wishes

by Katie on August 6, 2015

11032627_765086464160_7458989171116825832_nI knew he would grow up.  I knew he would not always be that tiny little guy with big eyes and a wild mop of hair. I knew he would outgrow those chubby toddler legs.  I knew the words that he so cutely mispronounced would one day be said correctly. I knew his handsome face would start looking more and more grown up. I knew one day I would send him off to kindergarten.  I knew this day would come, but I just did not expect for it to come in a blink of an eye.

In a little over two weeks, Drake will start kindergarten and we will be entering a whole new season of life.  He is ready.  I know he will be fine.  But I’m not ready. And I don’t know if I will be fine.

11377156_754658581720_6794781278591388345_nHe is my buddy. He likes the adventures I plan for us and always wants to know what is on the agenda for the day. He stops whatever he is doing when I ask for a hug or a quick snuggle. He still thinks spending time with me is the best time spent. He is my pal and I’m going to miss him like crazy.

But this is life isn’t it? Part of having kids is the bitter sweetness of watching them grow up and spread their wings.  I want my kids to fly, but that does not mean my heart does not break and swell with pride all at the same time.

So in two weeks I’m going to put on my biggest, bravest smile and walk my sweet boy into his new school. I will kiss him good-bye and I will sit in my car and cry remembering that little tiny swaddled baby we brought home and wondering how in the world we got here so fast.  I’ll count down the minutes until I can go pick him up and we will go home and eat cookies and I will try and pull every single detail out of him about his first day of school.

But then, just like everything else, time will keep marching on and this big giant milestone will start fading in the distance as we march towards the next one…

When Drake started preschool 2 years ago, I wrote these wishes out for him. These are things I hope become written on his heart:

Be Curious 

Never be afraid to ask questions. Dig for the answer if you have to. Have a desire to learn. Read books on all different subjects. Be curious about the world around you, there is so much more out there than this little town that we live in. Try new foods.  Explore new places. Ask why things work the way that do.  Always be willing to learn something new and you will be amazed at the things you will find out.

Be Brave

There will be times when you are afraid. There will be times when you don’t want to do something. Be brave. Try new things. Make new friends.  Do scary things once and awhile. Sometimes life is easier when you don’t take risks and when you play it safe-don’t always do that. Some of the greatest gifts and memories in life come from doing things that make us uncomfortable.

Be Kind

Be kind to the kid on the playground that nobody else is nice to. Be kind to your teachers and treat them with respect. Be kind to your brother and love him no matter what. Be kind to animals, especially our sweet dog, Skinner, as he has loved you without condition your whole life. Be kind to property and take care of your items. Be kind to us (your mom and dad) as we always have your best interest in mind and love you more than you know. Kindness is a quality that people like and recognize. Being kind will make you a better person and has the ability to change other peoples lives.  Please, always be kind.

Be Yourself

This is the most important thing I can teach you. You are wonderful Drake, absolutely wonderful. You are made the way that God intended you to be and there is not one single other person in this world who is like you. Don’t change for other people, if they don’t like you the way that you are, they are not worth your time. Always let your morals and values be your compass. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let other people tell you that you are wrong just because you think differently than they do.  I promise you there will always be so many people who love you just because you are you.

Those are my wishes for you…my prayers for your life.  As you start out as a kindergartner those wishes are going to mean very different things to you than they will as you walk into your first day of high school, but being curious and brave and kind and mostly importantly being YOU will carry you far in every aspect of your life.  You already carry every single one of those qualities with you and make me so very proud. I can’t wait to watch you grow. Now go and soar!


Big Country

July 26, 2015

This summer, U.S. Cellular, a wireless carrier offering national network coverage, is teaming up with award-winning television personality, chef and food writer, Andrew Zimmern, to premiere “Big Country,” a five-episode digital series where the mobile carrier and Zimmern find deserving customers from across the U.S. and take them to places they’ve always wanted to visit, […]

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