Memory Mornings

I’ll be honest, it was going to be a rough morning. It was the first day of spring break, but I was going on about 4 hours of sleep after a wine night out with my girlfriends reminded me that I am, surprisingly, not 21 anymore. My soul was refreshed, but my head was pounding. I rolled over to grab my phone, looked at the time, and opened up Facebook.

A video from four years ago topped my feed with Evelyn’s little chubby face and bright blue eyes. And that was it; I was in the rabbit hole. I opened my photo app and started scrolling back to photos and videos from 2015, smiling and laughing at the tiny baby faces, priceless expressions, and 4:42 am wake-up time-stamps.

About that time, one by one, my kids strolled by my bedroom. “Evelyn, Cal, Lorelei,” I said, “come here!” I opened the covers, smushed their little bodies into my arm’s reach, and spent close to an hour watching old videos with them.

In one video, Evelyn had used an orange marker to draw tiger stripes all over her arms and face. In another, Cal’s Gigi (my mom) had him in stitches laughing after saying the word “spooky.” It’s my favorite sound in the world and the same laugh he has today. And in one of my all-time-finest mom-moments, I videoed Lorelei in her high chair while she snorted a tiny piece of macaroni in and out of her left nostril (don’t worry, we got it out).

The point is–it was the best morning I can remember having in a long time.

So this Easter weekend, if you can, wake up slowly. Take a breath of gratitude for this life and the promise of the one yet to come. Let your kids invade all personal space, and scroll through your iCloud with your kids. You’ll be surprised how a morning of memories can make your day.

❤️ Natalie

Want to see the videos I referenced? Head over to my Instagram stories @natalieeschultz. 🥰

That teacher-mom life

Last weekend, I sat in a Belleville coffee shop for two hours by myself. The fact that I was able to escape the chaos in my own home for two hours of solitude was an achievement in itself; so I knew I had to make the most of my time.

You see, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I can best use this blog and my social media to serve others. So I bought a latte, and took a seat. Well, actually, I changed my seat three times. Like Goldilocks; the first seat was too wobbly, the second was too loud, but the third was just right. I finally sat next to a small group meeting, led by a confident Godly woman who was quietly preaching about finding your life’s mission.

Talk about prophetic!

So there I sat, partially eavesdropping, mostly reflecting. And then it hit me: teacher-moms! My mission came to me like a jolt of caffeine: I want to spread beauty and light for that teacher-mom life.

Now let me be clear, I hope that my message resonates with working-moms, work-from-home, stay-at-home, and non-moms alike. But if I’m being honest, I know I can truly serve teacher-moms because I am one.

I know that life of little sleep, daycare drop-offs, standardized tests, and IEP meetings. I’ve struggled through the exhaustion of the baby/toddler phase, the exasperation with classroom behavior, and the desperation of not knowing how to make any of the situations better. And while I don’t have a magic pill for sale, I do have something to offer: Perspective.

For me, my life completely changed when, as cheesy as it sounds, I found “the light.” Spiritually, I had found myself on a journey in faith, and once I made a conscious effort to move closer to God, and to seek those things important to Him, my perspective instantly changed. Physically, I made the bold decision to leave my current tenured teaching job, and to accept a position at a different school. This move not only lit up my spirit, but also completely transformed my energy in the classroom.

My life has brightened considerably over the past three years. Sure, I still question my sanity when I assign book reports and essays for the same due-date. And yes, I occasionally scream like a banshee when my children fight at the dinner table. But overall, I’ve learned that beauty, shared in a clean and simple way, can provide just enough light to brighten even the dimmest of days.

I hope you’ll follow along.

❤️ Natalie