I. Am. So. Tired.

In what can only be described as one of my more brilliant epic fails, I decided that we could TOTALLY go to one more week at the beach, drive the nine (9) hours home the day before our homeschool co-op started, be ready to go in the morning, and be happy and functional enough to teach my class. This didn't leave a lot of time for frilly back to school hullabaloo like bento-lunches or the back to school fairy.  It barely left time for some version of success making it to class on time.

I'm a genius, it's okay, you don't have to tell me, I'm confident in that knowledge ;)

When I was growing up, my mom was great about traditions.  She likes to remind me that she made hot breakfast practically every day, for example, and the first day of school was always something awesome.  She was also consistent about taking first day of school pictures, so consistent that I actually made my college roommates take first day of school pictures of me so that I could email them to her.  No joke.

Traditions are one of those interesting things when you become a mom.  I spent my first very uncertain years of motherhood trying to emulate what my mother had done because that seemed right (?) at the time.  Then I got bold.  Really bold.  I announced that since we had the little kids, I would be having Christmas chez moi, and I would be cooking dinner.  I went 50 Shades of Martha Stewart, you guys.  I made $70 of prime rib, twice baked potatoes with chives and creme fraiche, red velvet cake from scratch....this is why I need an eating plan.  I cooked for 3 days.  It was epic.

My momma showed up at the front door with our traditional Christmas dinner of everything most people eat for Thanksgiving.

True Story.

Anyway, over time, we've come to be comfortable in our new traditions that work for our family.  Some of them are new (I make my kids an upgraded breakfast on the first day of school, too.  Bagels with Cream Cheese as opposed to "pour your own cereal in a dixie cup and let's get moving!") and some of them are old.  I can't imagine beginning a school year without back to school pictures, and I'm so glad that I do.  It's such a great way to really fully understand how much your child has changed over the years.  When you see them every day, it's easy to forget how much they've changed over time- but seeing those "first day photos" all lined up in a row, it's shocking how much they change.  My kids look forward to the tradition of shopping for a new first day outfit, something a little bit dressy, but not so stuffy they won't be "cool", laying it out the night before, and even the picture itself.

I enjoy having a mini-heart attack when I realize that my first baby is 1/2 way to college.
Holy Heck, y'all.  Kindergarten to 3rd Grade is a change!! (note to self: Make new friends with photography skills so I don't have to apologize to my children that their entire life is documented in iPhone photos)

What are your back-to-school traditions like? Do you go all-out with apple-shaped pancakes and goody bags at the breakfast table? Do you do first day photos? Leave a comment, it makes my day :)


  1. We totally did the first day of school pictures, too! I love looking back at them. My brother, who is 5 years younger, loved getting in on the pictures before he started school.

    I like that even though you homeschool, you take pictures. I saw a fun idea where a mom has her son pose with an 8x10 of his last year's school picture so you can see the change.

  2. I also take pictures even though I have just begun I plan on keeping that tradition going. My son will be in first grade this year. I love traditions there so fun and everyone looks forward to that special time or event or breakfast ect... Love your story.

  3. I love to decorate the dining room for "Back to school" I made banners with my cricut machine, leave little funny sayings on strips of paper on the table with school-themed items (Like the HUGE calculator I bought at the dollar store and the paper that reads "according to my calculations... this will be a GREAT year!" LOL
    My son gets a kick out of it.... he's entering 2nd grade this year and even though I know the sappy decorations will probably fade off as the years fly by, the first day of school photo will hopefully remain one of our traditions.

  4. We do first day of school pictures (we homeschool, too, so ours will be on Monday). When they were younger, we did lunch with Dad on the first day, a couple years we went to Paint Your Heart Out, usually on the first day of public school. I think this year, we'll go out to lunch and do the pictures.