First Day of School | First Grade + Junior Kindergarten

So we sent TWO kids off to school this morning, and nobody cried. This fact deserves special attention, since last night I was holding back tears and my chin got a little quivery when talking to Nate about it. I believe my actual words were, 'They are going off to school, and someday they will hate us, and they'll leave us, and we will be so lonely.' Note to self: go to bed at 9pm to avoid the late night crazies!

Yesterday was the official last day of summer, and I worked during the day. But we had pizza and a movie night as a special the middle of the week, even, shocking! The day before was my own 'last day of summer' with the kids, and we had a jam-packed day with Cecelia's first gymnastics class, card game marathons with Truman, then dinner at Kopps along with Reeses PB Kupp custard. Locals understand how fantastic Kopps is and it was the perfect way to cap off an awesome summer.

Then last night, I started getting in sappy-mom mode as I prepared for this morning. I mean, my babies are in first grade and 4K. HOW??

I'm excited for school to start because I know Truman and Cecelia are beyond pumped for this occasion. But I'm definitely going to miss the leisurely mornings and I dread the school day rush SO MUCH. I think this is the main reason I was in a funk last night---change is hard, and I love routine but I don't love having to get the kids up and moving for the 8:15 school bell.

Alas, last night I was on my mom game because I wanted the first day of school to be fun and not as rushed as it will be in a few more weeks;) I pulled out their backpacks and cleaned out random junk that was living in there over the summer. Filled up water bottles and put them in each backpack for the kids. Added a granola bar and a kids Clif bar to Cecelia's bag for her morning snack---have you see the veggie Clif bars? I think they taste disgusting but Cecelia loves the orange and the green (spinach) ones. Then I started prepping Truman's lunch the best I could without it getting soggy and nasty for his meal. Whole milk in a thermos, frozen string cheese that thaws by lunch time, a frozen Danimals smoothie that thaws, a small PBJ sandwich (they do allow PB in the cafeteria but not in the classrooms!), some watermelon, some Cheez-Its, a Clif bar (chocolate, no way would he ever eat the veggie kind), some squeeze applesauce, and a special candy treat. I will be shocked if he eats 50% of this meal today but I didn't know where to stop with the food! Also, had to write him a little note, since I did it last year and he loves them. Now that he can legit read I get even more into it, but I didn't write a knock knock joke for him today. Instead I stuck with the sappy love letter. I hope he doesn't roll his eyes when he reads it!

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After getting all of that prepped, I laid out three bowls and spoons and vitamins for breakfast. I made the coffee and set the timer for 6:30. I laid out my running shoes since I knew I had to run super early this day, and then I reminded myself that this amount of preparation the night before will surely never happen again. But maybe!

This morning I got up and ran my five miles at 5:30. I finished making T's lunch, made breakfast, showered, and then the school kids were awake at 7 (Porter was up at 6:30 ready to go). We had a nice morning together, not too rushed, and this is the first year that I've remembered to ask Nate to take off of work for help with the kids. I wasn't sure how I could even do it all without him, since both Truman and Cecelia's teachers said parents could come up to classrooms on the first day. It was awesome having Nate home to help move things right along, and of course Truman demanded that they wear their matching shirts for the first day of school. And Truman's spiky hair is reminiscent of a seven year old Nate---I should find comparison pictures someday.

Cecelia wore a new to us Ralph Lauren dress I scored at a consignment shop, and I'm just crazy over this dress. I braided her hair last night after her bath and it actually stayed in pretty well without getting too fuzzy (will be out of control by tomorrow, I'm sure). She has brand new tennis shoes to wear, and so does Porter--but you'll notice that P didn't make it into a single picture this morning. He was busy playing trains in the basement and let's be honest, it's way easier to do pictures without our buddy!

Truman helped me with his chalkboard sign, which I scored on Etsy from seller KellerKustomKreation and am obsessed with this version of the new classic;) It's wood and has white decal stickers, so you can write with dry erase markers. Also the back has a 'last day of school' stat area which is important to me since I'm all about bookending the school year with posed pictures!

So, this is the first time I've ever heard Truman say he wants to be a teacher. But he would be an excellent one, if I do say so myself. His teacher is crazy-energetic, and young, and excited about the school year. He has just 16 kids in his class which is manageable and the biggest news is that Truman's classroom has standing desks for the kids! Nate and I helped organize a big fundraiser through the school last May, all in the name of standing desks. It was wildly successful and I am pretty sure Truman's class is the first in our city to be fully outfitted with standing desks. Nate is really into the research behind them and there is a lot of great info here if you want to learn more. We are hoping to continue to raise money for the entire school but we started with first grade, and Truman's teacher was incredibly supportive of this move which helps tremendously.

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Anyway, Truman as a first grader? It blows my mind. But I know he is ready and is such an amazing school kid, he'll have a great year and he wasn't scared or nervous to return to school. I'm sure going to miss my big guy though, all day school is no freaking joke!




Cecelia helped me with her sign, too. At first she said she wanted to be a lion when she grows up, but then quickly changed her mind to a fairy. Then it became 'the tooth fairy' and eventually 'SANTA.' We stuck with the tooth fairy for the sign and I will admit that taking her picture with this sign is when it really hit me right in the gut: my baby girl is a big girl now. Young but practically grown, you feel me? She will have a whopping twenty-seven kids in her class, with the same teacher that Truman  had two years ago plus a newly hired aide. There was some talk about splitting the class into an AM and a PM, but none of the parents wanted PM so we are forging ahead with a gigantic class of four year olds. If anyone can handle these numbers, it's Cecelia's teacher. We just love her to death and her girls have babysat our kids some this summer, and she's the most energetic and positive person I've ever met. I can't wait to see what Cecelia learns this year!



It's also quite perplexing to think that when Truman had his first day of 4K, Cecelia was the same age that Porter is right now. Such a blurry time in my mom brain, but I know this type of growth happened basically overnight. Also, I think Cecelia will always be our strong, independent little fighter because she really wasn't nervous about this transition at all. I DO remember Truman being scared and near tears that first day of 4K but not this lady. Who has time for being sad when you are off to conquer the world?


Big backpack for a little girl.

These kids! We are so proud of them.





So both T and C go to the same school and they are just a few classrooms apart! The first bell rings at 8:15 and then I pick up Cecelia at 10:55. Yes, that is a crazy-short day, I know. Truman is released at 3:20 which brings the number of times we will be walking back and forth to school up to THREE per day. Crazy. But I'm so glad we can just walk and we don't have to drive, although pick up at that 3:20 time will likely be during Porter's nap, so logistics will be a struggle at first.

Back to the detailed account of the first day: Tony came over around 8:00 to stay with Porter, then Nate and I walked Truman and Cecelia to school. Both of them line up on the same side of the school, thankfully, so we got to chat with other families and the excitement was palpable. So many kids, so many squeals and smiles and the back-to-school smell was definitely in the air. I walked up with Cecelia and Nate went with Truman, although I really wanted to be able to do both drop offs somehow. I gave Truman one last high-five as he passed and then I saw Cecelia give him one, too---a special moment in a morning filled with a lot of overwhelming feelings.

Family walk...
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Up in Cecelia's classroom, with twenty-seven kids and at least that many parents, it was fairly chaotic. We helped our kids find their cubby, hang their backpack, drop off their folder, find their name for attendance, and then find their chair for sitting. After that, the teacher said we could leave (i.e., come on, parents. Suck it up and go already!). Nate came into the classroom right as I was telling CC goodbye, since Truman was already deposited in his room and first graders apparently don't need their parents to stay for more than two minutes:( We both hugged Cecelia and I swallowed hard as I walked away. I turned around one last time and saw that she had gotten up out of her chair, and I was worried she was scared and was following us out. But nope, she was just sitting back down and she made eye contact with me, and waved to me with the sweetest grin on her face. My big girl. Sigh.

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I had two patients to see this morning which was a good thing, because I'm sure it distracted me from getting too emotional. When I finished at work, I met Tony and Porter on the playground where Cecelia had been released 30 minutes prior to me arriving. I'm telling you, 10:55 comes awfully quick!

The boys had a great morning riding all around town and hitting up two playgrounds. Tony said it was 'weird' just having Porter, but fun. Cecelia came running up to me and gave me a huge hug, showing me the stick she just found on the ground. We all headed home and Tony left, then I tried to get more info out of Cecelia. All I know is that they played with play-dough and the teacher said they even have SPARKLY play dough to use at some point. Cecelia told me that her favorite color is 'sparkly.' She made several new friends but can't remember their names, used the potty one time, and ate both of her snack bars (!). She was starving when we got home and ate the largest lunch I've ever seen her eat before! Somehow she didn't want to nap with me on the couch though, apparently I'm the only wimpy one that wanted a real rest today.

Truman's first words to me, when he came at me full speed with a running hug, was 'it was awesome.' He said they had art class and it's a full hour this year instead of a half hour, they went to the library, they learned a song about popsicles, and that his teacher is 'really awesome.' He actually ate 75% of the lunch I sent and didn't touch the candy treat because he didn't finish the sandwich. This boy! He was still amped up all night and didn't want to go to bed.

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Can we do this for a second? First day of 4k, 5k, and now First Grade. My how he's grown, right?
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And then the two of them at the last day of T's 4k, first day of T's 5k, and first day of C's 4k.I like how she always comes to the same spot on his neck every year. Keeping up with each other!
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I just wanted to ramble at you about the first day of school today, because these are exciting but bittersweet times. Several of you mentioned on Instagram that you've been reading my blog since before Truman was born. And now here we are, with a first grader, a junior kindergartener, and a wickedly funny two year old that thinks he is five. How, blog land, how?


  1. I've been reading your blog for years too! Not sure when I started. My baby will be 2 this month and I teared up thinking of her starting school someday. She'll be starting a new daycare next week and I'm excited for the photo ops!

  2. Big day!! That is a lot of trips to school every day, hopefully it all continues to go smoothly :) Love the notes - Annie has requested that I send notes with her but I just don't think I could keep it up so I never send them - maybe for her first day though! She's way more nervous than I expected her to be. Glad that her first day is before Luke's so we can focus on one kid at a time because I think it may be rough!

  3. I've also been reading you blog since before you had Truman! I just love it. I purposely poured myself another cup of coffee before I read this so I could extra-enjoy it. :) Wow - look at Truman's growth in his first day pictures. Unbelievable! I have an 8 year old boy who just started 3rd grade and, as you know, it goes SO fast. He started writing in cursive last night at dinner and it seriously threw me for a loop. TGIF!

  4. I've been around since CC was a baby. First days are bittersweet. We are a month in to kindergarten and it feels like we are finally in a morning routine. Sarah catches the bus at 7:10. They just get so big, so fast!

  5. Our kids go to a Montessori school and the school years kind of sneak up on your. When they are in their 'Primary' class, it's 3 year olds - Kindergarten with the same teacher, so you don't even really realize it's KINDERGARTEN - which I think is a good thing. Then they spend 3 years in 'Lower Elementary' (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade), so again it just feels like returning to the same place. I've been fooled (gratefully so) into not recognizing the change, ha. So we've got a 2nd grader (or 'mid-cycle' as he's called in his class) and one in Primary, ha. And then next year we'll add one to the baby room, too - so crazy!

  6. As a long time reader with an almost two year old, I just loved this post. The school years are such a big chapter of parenthood and I found myself getting all teary eyed as I imagined our little one taking those adorable first day pictures. Way to go Truman on the lunch situation. I'm floored by how responsible he is. Good work parents! My mom always way overpacked our lunches and would remind us to share with those that had families that may not have as much to pack in their lunches. She really planted a seed of generosity in me through this gesture as I have so many memories of moments sharing my lunch and even as an adult have found that many of my greatest moments are in times where I'm breaking bread with others.


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