Monday, August 28, 2017

5 Lessons for Living with Your Brother

A little over a year ago my youngest brother graduated from High School and moved in with me. He was planning on going to a community college where I live so I gave him the option to move in with me. I thought it would be good for both of us. He could have one of the bedrooms, the basement, and the 2nd bathroom. It would give him the opportunity to not live at home while helping me with some of the things I wasn't sure about after the divorce. 

While I do not regret my decision things would have been done differently knowing what I know now. Here are the things I learned living with my 19 year old brother:

1.  HAVE A CONTRACT: We discussed the rules and what he needed to do over the phone; however, we did not get a chance to meet and go over them. After approximately 7 months I wrote out a contract for him to sign because he was not doing said items.

We had agreed he would take the trash & recycling out weekly, yard work (mowing, weeding, raking leaves, etc.), shovel the sidewalk in the winter, and work part-time while he went to school. He did not have to pay rent. He did not do these things like he was supposed to and was not going to school. Therefore, I created a 'contract' where he paid a rent and was charged fines if things were not done. 

2.  START STRICT: I let a lot of things go when he first moved in because he was my baby brother. There were different reasons I let things go, but it wasn't the best move. It is easier to start strict and lighten up on some things than to try and become strict.  

3.  CHARGE RENT: It is a lot easier to stop having them pay rent, but it was kind of a pain to set it up after a specified amount of time. Even if you set it up to go to savings account for them later. 

4.  HAVE BOUNDARIES: I did not set and keep boundaries that I know I should have as an older sister. In some areas I became his mother and not his older sister. In this regard there was a lack of respect for my home and items. There was also no guidelines setup on things I believed he would do and in the end didn't. For instance, cooking at 2am on weeknights or screaming & cursing at video games. I should have addressed these from the beginning (see #2). 

5.  BOYS ARE MESSY: Teenagers (especially boys) are messy. I am not saying my house is extremely orderly, but there is that thing we all have. Address that prior to it getting out of control. 


Monday, August 21, 2017

Busy Bee Weekends

When I started blogging again about a month ago my plan was to blog at least once a week. I could do it on the weekends... Then my weekends blew up! My last post on July 28th was posted minutes before I walked out the door for a girls weekend. My friend has a seasonal camper and her awesome family let us use it for the weekend. 

It was so nice to just relax and catch up all weekend. We of course had smores and a couple drinks! The camper special with blueberry liqueur... delicious! It was great to relax with each other on the beach and by the campfire. There is something about the beach that is so relaxing! Being there with your best gal pals just makes it that much better!

Then the first weekend in August, I met up with my friend (& trainer), Lyndsey and her daughter to watch them both do a triathlon. That's right... Her 10 year old daughter did a triathlon!  I'm not going to lie... I was so proud of her I got a bit choked up. Lyndsey of course was amazing and came in 2nd place. Girl is a power house! She continues to amaze me!

Then August 9th through 12th, I was at a music festival with my Mom & Aunt. It was so great to see so many amazing Christian bands! We got to see Tenth Avenue North, We Are Messengers, Hollyn, Laura Story, Matthew West, and so many more. There is no way to describe the feeling of having thousands worshipping and praising God! 

 Tenth Avenue North
 We Are Messengers - I seriously love this guy!
 Laura Story
Matthew West

I had a great time hanging out and enjoying the weather all while see some of my favorite artists perform. Thankfully we did pretty well with food and drinks by packing our own. However, I did treat myself to a homemade lemonade though. Drool! Anyone else love these? 

My Mom put my name on my lunch! Haha!

What have you been up to these past few weeks/weekends?