Back to School

We had the whole summer to prepare, but alas: the first day of school snuck up like it always does. Where did June go? July? Funny how quickly a season can pass by when you spend six weeks in bed trying really hard not to puke.

Anyway. Here we are again! Starting first grade at a brand new school, like it ain't no thing. He eats lunch in a cafeteria now and wasn't he born five minutes ago? What is happening. 


While I have never in my life made a first day of school sign (props to all the moms who are killing it with their letterboards—I mean that), we do take the obligatory first day photo on the porch, and we also have a tradition of drawing hearts on our hands. I stole this idea from Kate Baer a few years ago, and Everett has informed me he'd like to keep this ritual every first day until he doesn't go to school anymore. I asked, "Even in college?" and he said yes, even though he doesn't know what college is. Why yes, son, I'd love to show up at your dorm and draw a heart on your hand for the first day of class. I will also happily bring the "No Girls Allowed Except For Moms" sign you made a few weeks ago. 

This year we drew color coordinated hearts for everyone. Ev knows on the first day of school that anytime he looks at his hand, we're all thinking about him and missing him, too. 


Carson held his hand out in the air for a solid hour, terrified his Sharpie tattoo would rub off if anything touched it. Also: can we please take a moment to appreciate the back view of children being swallowed by gigantic backpacks? Cue lump in throat. 


Truth be told, I did not even read the class supply list until four days before school started. We had been traveling the week prior, and on Sunday night while unpacking my suitcase I realized we did not have a lunch box or ice packs or—hold the phone ... were we supposed to buy anything else? 

Turns out, yes: folders, pens, glue sticks and dry erase markers, just to name a few. Oops. 

But hey! It's 2018, and this is what the Internet is for: fifteen minutes in the Amazon back to school shop, boom, done. School supplies arrived on our doorstep two days later, and nobody broke a sweat. 

Figuring out The Lunch Situation was causing me a great deal of anxiety but I'm happy to report these Easylunchboxes + Ice Packs were recommended to us and have made packing lunches a breeze (well, as breezy as lunch can be with an extremely picky eater).

At Back to School night, the teachers asked us to send the kids to class with a sweat-proof water bottle, which sadly we do not own. The reviews are great for this Camelbak water bottle, but if you have any other suggestions, help a mom out? I need to order one ASAP. Who knows what kind of upheaval his desk papers are experiencing from the water droplets oozing off his current bottle?!

Other back-to-school items we've bought and loved from Amazon: these dry erase pens, these Sharpie pens (equally great for writing and drawing heart tattoos!), glue sticks for the class, Band-Aids for the car (this is the season of finding scraped knees at pickup, no?), this Paw Patrol watch (for recess countdown, obviously), and our most favorite shoes of all time—Natives

Are you already in back-to-school land? Any tips, tricks, products, or favorite traditions to make the first few days easy? Do tell. 

p.s. Speaking of BTS, I loved this.

p.s.s. I cannot believe it's been a whole year since I wrote this

p.s.s.s. I asked Carson to hop in a photo with Ev on his first day of school, and with absolutely zero prompting whatsoever, this is how they got in formation. I love them so much it hurts. 


I do not know where they learned this prom pose but I am 100% here for it and hope they stand like this forever and ever on the first day of school. 

This post was sponsored by Amazon, a company that makes my life as a mom exponentially easier. Thanks for reading!


Ashlee Gadd

Ashlee Gadd is a wife, mother, writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. When she’s not dancing in the kitchen with her two boys, Ashlee loves curling up with a good book, lounging in the sunshine, and making friends on the Internet. She loves writing about everything from motherhood and marriage to friendship and faith.