Kindergarten for her...back to the office for me?

Well, the day has come. I’ve said for years - even since before having kids - that my Life Plan was to have kids, stay at home until they were both in school, and return to work, part-time perhaps, upon my youngest starting Kindergarten.

That day came last week when my daughter started school, so it’s time for some cute pictures and some reflections on this new season of motherhood I’m now embarking on.

Her Week

Let’s all pause a moment to take this in:

 First day of Kindergarten. The short necklace is Noonday’s Ethereal Necklace; click to shop.

First day of Kindergarten. The short necklace is Noonday’s Ethereal Necklace; click to shop.

And this…

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Okay, okay, if you insist: a couple more. Since the world deserves to know her preferred method for brushing her teeth and her triumph at rock climbing.

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C said all summer that she was super excited and a little nervous for school. But the morning arrived, and getting out of bed to face her first day of kindergarten - in a dual-language program, so half the day is in Spanish - was harder than we’d anticipated. She voiced some fears to me, and I suggested that she could wear a necklace of mine (you can see the shorter necklace in the first photo…hooray for vintage Noonday), so that if she felt scared or sad or lonely, she could touch it and know I’m thinking of her. She has been wearing it every day since.

Her fears come out of her heightened awareness, years ahead of her time, of social interactions and who’s friends with who and who’s excluding others. Her huge heart is such an asset, but was a source of overwhelm when going into this new space. Oh, how I long to bubble wrap her against all the unpleasantness she could encounter. But most of all, how I long to build up her resilience. When she came home saying a kid had said she was too skinny to be strong (what??), it was clear she was more indignant than hurt. When I reminded her that no one, ever, should comment on what they think is wrong with her body, her exasperated “I KNOW, Mom” showed me that I’ve hammered this home. And I’ll continue to do so.

She’s an avid reader, a great question-asker, a creative soul. A girl who loves wearing frilly pink while crossing the monkey bars like a boss. When she grows up, she wants to be a dancer, a singer, a Noonday Ambassador, and a Ninja Warrior.

His Week

T, who just entered second grade, doesn’t stop moving long enough for a good photo. I tried, y’all. But the first thing you should know about my boy is that he’s always moving, usually in an upward fashion: climbing doorways, or in this case, rocks. When he’s not climbing, he’s meticulously drawing ninja courses, thanks to the kids’ obsession with American Ninja Warrior. Both are hooked and love pretending they and their stuffed animals are on the show.

He wasn’t very nervous about school, and one thing that is a huge help is having the same classmates each year, thanks to being in the Dual Language Immersion program. He does have a new teacher to get used to, but she’s so lovely, and immediately won him over with her news that she is friends with one of the people on ANW. So, yeah she’s the coolest. And she is super fond of him. My gosh, is there anything better than knowing the people in your kids’ lives truly love them and treasure their relationship with them?

When he grows up, he wants to be an architect and a builder. In addition to ninja courses, he’s currently working on blueprints for an apartment complex that will include a pool that will include a big water slide. It will be in Florida, since somehow both kids have their minds set on moving to Florida when they grow up. He said he’ll send me pictures of construction and let me come visit to see the apartment when it’s complete. Thanks, kid.

Two Peas in a Pod

When they’re not at school, my kids are playing together pretty much non-stop. Instead of a thousand words, I will show you (you guessed it) a picture.

 Ninjas.

Ninjas.

My Week

 Pictured: Pirouette Earrings in red, Woven Dreams Bracelet (click to shop)

Pictured: Pirouette Earrings in red, Woven Dreams Bracelet (click to shop)

People have been asking me how I feel having both kids in school, and I’m not gonna lie: this was my face as I headed into long stretches of uninterrupted work. I mean, sure I miss them, but let’s be honest; I still see plenty of them. So being able to get work done, run errands easily, work out more consistently, and re-read the Harry Potter series (for the fifth time…maybe sixth?) is a beautiful thing.

It’s pretty surreal. For years, “Fall 2018” was this faraway concept, the point in time at which I would return from years at home with the kids and re-enter the working world, which, I assumed, meant an office job. Something related to insurance, risk management, or data analysis. It would be natural to return from whence I came, right?

Instead, my husband brought it up a few months ago as fall loomed nearer. He noted that even though we’d planned for me to return to an office job, he saw the joy and success I was finding in Noonday and wondered if this next phase would be a chance to move even further into that.

He knows me so well.

That is in fact what I’ve decided to do. In addition to evening trunk shows, I can pour more daytime hours than before into things like booking shows, writing, training, and my favorite, coaching my team, which is about to add its tenth member. This week alone, I had two meetings with new team members during the kids’ school hours to walk with them through their game plan as they gear up to launch their businesses. Coaching is my way of pouring into them, and of having a front row seat to an amazing phenomenon: collective impact through a supportive sisterhood. Coaching is how I can expand my impact even further, through not just having my own sales, but empowering others toward a business that blesses artisans around the globe and their own families at the same time. I knew when I started, when Noonday was nearly unheard of in my area, that I wanted to support growth for our artisan business partners through growing a team. Seeing them succeed and cheer each other on is truly a delight.

Of course, I started growing my business two years ago while having my youngest still at home with me full time - it can be done! But I now know that instead of being something I fit in here and there in those preschool years, to then evolve into a “side hustle” in addition to an office job, I am all-in on a career with Noonday Collection. This brings together everything I could want in a job: connection with awesome people, flexibility, being my own boss, income, impact, personal growth, leadership, a chance to be creative, global travel, and always having just the right accessories for every outfit. (I never knew that last one was part of my dream job description, but there ya go.)

And as I reflect on this, and how Noonday has fit into my life during two very different seasons, I also think of my new teammate who is recently retired. And ambassadors who work full-time jobs. There is no single story here; instead, we are women of all ages and stages, finding our way forward. Some have one show every couple of months, some have 10+ per month. Some coach, some don’t. We all work for a better world. If you want to know more about my team, how I coach, and a career with Noonday, see my page all about it here. There is a place for you here.

So there you have it. It’s been a big week around here - well, except for my husband, whose week was pretty much the same as always. And we’re all settling in, finding our place, and loving each other along the way.