Making Your Parks Shine with the Schmidt Family

While I am enjoying the space in the middle of the day while the kids are at school -- and the kids are so happy to be back with their friends and learning new things -- having our kids back in school also means family time is limited.

Because most of the time when we ARE together, it's making sure three kids have everything they need to get out the door to school or practice. It's helping with homework. It's trying to get them to bed. It's all part of this stage of life, but I've learned over the years how important it is to fight for family time in the midst of it.

To eat dinner together as much as we can. To take a last-minute trip to the playground or to surprise them with ice cream. To remember that sometimes the phones need to be put down and the TV needs to be turned off. Because when we DON'T do that... the kids feel it. I feel it. And we all are a little out of character because of it.

One of the ways I'm making sure we don't let family time slide is putting spots in my calendar that are designated for that. To hold to it like I would a doctor's appointment or a work meeting. Whether we play a board game, play ball in the back yard or just go for a walk... that time is sacred.

And one of the things I'm most excited about is the family time that's on our calendar on October 1st - when we plan to attend the @pittsburghparks’ 25th Anniversary celebration known as "Making Your Parks Shine." (#partner) From 6pm-9pm that night, a block party will take place at Schenley Plaza which will be lit up with a gorgeous lighting installation from LUXE Creative with things like live music, food specials and lawn games as part of it, too.

My kids love this kind of stuff, and I love getting to do those kinds of things with them.

If you're craving some family time, too, and want something to look forward to, check out my link in bio and follow along with @pittsburghparks for ALL of the details of the Making Your Parks Shine event.

Brea Schmidt is a Pittsburgh-based speaker, photographer, and Iris-Award nominated writer who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch Follow along with her messages of positivity and perspective on Facebook and Instagram .