it feels like i suddenly have this big gaping hole in my life.
weekends can now be a time to relax and hang out with friends, not spend hours in the car driving the kids to see their mom and catching up on housework. my afternoons after i come home from work are amazingly free... i can even take a nap when i want to!
its pretty rare to experience such an all-encompassing life change like this. its not just all the extra free time, but even just having a free mind... no worries about foster care paperwork that is due, whether or not the kids are hurting each other when they play, or what needs to get done each day to have everyone clothed, bathed and fed...
for the past few days i have been enjoying and relishing my free time: sleeping in, taking much needed naps (trying to catch up on all the sleep i am behind on from the last year!), reading, watching netflix and relaxing. one time a while ago i joked that if/when the kids would go back to their mom, i would sleep for a week straight... it hasn't quite been that, but i definitely don't feel bad for all the extra time i have spent in bed!
i have also been thinking ahead to how i want to start using this new found free time. if there has been one thing that i have learned in the past year, it has been to be much more generous with others with my time, and to use my time wisely in general. there have also been numerous times that i thought to myself "i wish i had done more of ____ when we didn't have kids". now, i have another chance at a few months without kids, and i want to us it well. here are my initial thoughts on how i want to use my "extra" time for the next few months:
*gardening- my dream is to have a huge vegetable garden in our back yard. unfortunately, i am a bit slow in starting it up, so it might not be as big as i was origionally hoping, but i am praying to have a fair sized crop of veggies (and melons!) by the end of the summer.
*reaching out to my neighborhood- i haven't quite thought through what this will look like yet. alex and i want to have a cookout in the near future. i want to spend some more time with the people i have gotten to know. i need to pray for some more wisdom and direction in this area.
*getting enough sleep- though i average 8-9 hours a night, this still hasn't been enough for me since becoming pregnant. i want to try to take more mid-day naps as well as get to bed at a better time each night.
*reading, praying, memorizing scripture- this is definitely something i have thought about a lot while we had the kids... why didn't i do this more when i had free time!? i want to really use my time wisely this summer to invest in these disciplines well.
*spending time with people- always a priority for me, which can be more of a reality at this life stage.
*spending time with my wonderful husband- we are hoping to go on a mini-vacation this summer (for the first time since we were married!) up the coast. and i now that we wont be so exhausted all the time, we will be able to spend more than an hour together on our weekly date night. i feel like this summer is going to be a second honeymoon! :)