What Did You Do This Summer?

Your Spin Cycle writing prompt for this week is the traditional essay on “What I Did Over My Summer Vacation.” And here’s a bonus: You have two weeks to link up your essay! The Spin Cycle linky will be open today until Sunday, September 13 at midnight. Link up posts you’ve written over the summer! Link up the essay you wrote for the Spin Cycle! Feel free to link up more than one post! I can’t wait to read what you’ve been up to!

Sunflower summer vacation

What did you do over your summer vacation?



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Celebrating firsts, whether I’m with her or not

I’ve been there for most of my first daughter’s firsts. First tooth, first steps, first day of preschool, first time riding a bike without training wheels.

First day of preschool
First day of preschool

I listened to her read her first book, Olivia’s Opposites, I held her hand when the dentist pulled out her first loose teeth (they wouldn’t come out on their own!), and I held her hand as we walked to her first day of Kindergarten.

First day of Kindergarten
First day of Kindergarten

However, there are some firsts that I missed. When Lily slept in a big girl bed for the first time, I was in the hospital after giving birth to Emmy. My parents had brought my old twin bed and set it up for Lily, so that Emmy would have a crib to sleep in when we came home from the hospital. Lily’s first sleepover was away from home. Oh, how I missed having her in her twin bed in the room next to mine! And there have been other firsts that I have missed because she was in school and I was at work; first visits to plays and museums that she has done without me.

As Lily grows older, there will be many more firsts for her that I will miss. It will be bittersweet for me; I was sad to miss her first night in a big girl bed, but was also happy that my parents had helped with that transition when I came home with a newborn. Some of her firsts make me nervous; such as the first time she crossed the street alone. She came home safe and sound after that first. Lily will not want me with her for some future firsts; she will definitely not want me there the first time she kisses a boy.

Safety patrol
First day as Safety Patrol

When Lily went to the Museum of Science and Industry without me, she came home and talked nonstop about her first visit. I know that I won’t always be there for the many “firsts” to come, but Lily knows that I’ll always be there to listen to all her “firsts.”

This week on the Spin Cycle, your writing prompt is Firsts. First day of school? First date? First driving lesson? First job? Write about a “First” in your life. Link it up here!



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Firsts

It’s that time of year again–photos of the first day of school are popping up all over Facebook. Many of my college friends are driving their kids to their first year of college. I’m a little behind them! Other friends are posting first day of preschool photos. I’m ahead of them! Yes, I’m sending my Lily to 5th grade and my little Emmy to 3rd grade. It doesn’t seem possible that they are getting so big and yet I’m staying so young!

This week on the Spin Cycle, your writing prompt is Firsts. First day of school? First date? First driving lesson? First job? Write about a “First” in your life. Link it up here any day this week!



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Not So Thrifty

I have to admit, I am not one for thrift shop shopping. I do go into Good Will occasionally when I need to look for a Halloween costume. I’m more of a thrift shop giver than a thrift shop buyer. There’s a box in the family room right now, filling up with donations as we clean my kids’ rooms to get them ready for a new school year.

My mom, on the other hand, was an excellent bargain hunter. She dragged me and my sister all over the place looking for good deals. Thrift stores weren’t quite as abundant in the rural community where we lived, but we went to yard sales and farm auctions, looking for good deals. At one auction, I remember snow flurries flying around in the crisp autumn air while the auctioneer barked bids out into the crowd. Mom splurged that day and bought us some hot chocolate.

It wasn’t just that Mom wanted a good deal; it was also that we didn’t have much money. She was very thrifty and it seemed like nothing we owned was new. My sister always got the raw end of the deal, because when I did get new clothes and shoes, she always got my hand-me-downs. That’s just the way it was.

And then there was my grandma. She practically brought the thrift store to us. When we were in high school, we had moved up to the suburbs and there were now four children in our family. Grandma would scour the church rummage sale for clothes for us, and since she volunteered at the church, would also bring us all the clothes that didn’t get sold. She would bring garbage bags full of clothes for us to try on. Mom, Grandma, my sister and I would go to the basement to sort though the piles of clothes. They smelled musty and made me sneeze. When I tried on something she thought was nice but I didn’t like it, she would shake her head and lay on the guilt trip. How could I turn up my nose at these perfectly good clothes? It was a question I could answer easily; the kids at school were wearing Guess jeans, and wearing someone else’s castaways was not going to make me popular. Not that I would have been popular any way!

When I turned 16, Mom drove me around to various stores in our suburb to apply for jobs. It was time for me to make money from more than babysitting. A new Pizza Hut was opening up in a strip mall close by, and I became a waitress there. It was ideal job because I could walk to work, and the cooks would make me personal pan pizzas for my break. And now I had money–mostly to save for college–but some money to buy clothes! From the mall! I still couldn’t afford Guess jeans, but my jeans were now not preworn!

What about you? Do you shop at thrift shops or garage sales? Have you found any bargains lately? Share with us in the comments or link up your blog post below!



NEXT WEEK is back to school! I’ve been seeing a lot of first day of school pictures on Facebook. Look for the linky on Monday!

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Are You Thrifty?

Today is National Thrift Shop Day, and one of my most popular blog posts includes a thrift store find. I bought two ugly orange shirts at Good Will, and turned them into a scarecrow costume. The shirts were almost brand new; perhaps someone’s wife hates the color orange! These shirts might have been someone’s “junk.” Now I have a great Halloween costume that I can wear when I’m teaching preschool!

Have you ever turned someone else’s junk into treasure? Or perhaps you have found a treasure at a thrift store? Maybe you have something you want to donate to a thrift store, but you’re significant other won’t allow it!

Perhaps you’re just thrifty and want to tell us all about your thriftiness!

However you spin it, link it up here!



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