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Sisters and Sprinklers

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“A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite.”

Elizabeth Fishel

Elizabeth Fishel

I don’t have any siblings, but I am so glad these two have each other!  No matter if we have more children or not, these two will always have one another.  And although they are complete opposites of one another, I know that they will always be close and, because they are so completely different, each of them will be able to shine in their very own way.  We simply adore them!

Another must-have item!  My mom got this for the girls, and, while it will take them time to get used to it, they do love it and it will be so much fun (and something different from the pool) this summer!

On a side note, I was SO excited for them to be able to play in the water because, what does that mean people?!  SUMMER’S coming!!!!  WOO HOO!!!!  YAY!!!!  (whew.  Thanks.  Just had to get that out 😉 )

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When Summer Became Fall

Wow! I’m SUPER excited about this cooler weather! For me, today, summer became fall. Seriously, I was thinking, if summer’s gone, then where is fall? If I can’t go to the beach or the pool, then it needs to be cool.

Anyway, I do miss summer and all the good fun we had. I really struggle with the passing of time. As I grow older, I’m more and more aware of how quickly time passes, especially when I don’t want it to. It’s always hard for me to imagine in each good moment another equally good moment. With every good bye, there is a hello. I’m reminded of that song by the Byrds, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”. I’m reminded that there is a purpose in every season, laughter in every season, sadness in every season, and growth and death in every season. I’m reminded that when I’m overly nostalgic about a particular time in my life, that there will be many more seasons of nostalgia. And when I focus on the fact that life will go on whether I want it to or not, that people will change and grow, that some will die and others will be born, when I remember that there is nothing I can do to stop that, my fears about moving forward subside some. I can rest in unchangeable change.

Mouth Wide Open

thought

rocking in beaufort

Looking OUt

Playing in the Hole

sillohuettes 2

dad

Mom

Festival food

Riding the Train

Puffy Face

The Perfect Berry

Where are they

Picking

Face Painted

Pouting by the pool

At the festival

walking by herself

Serious Rocker

Family Day

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I really have a kind of heavy post to write, but instead I really want to take some time to honor my family today even though we don’t all live under the same roof. We’re still a family. And we’re all striving each and every day to get closer to once again living under the same roof. And this time we’re really going to BE a family…a family honoring and glorifying God and a family honoring, respecting, and loving each other.

The weather here has been absolutely majestic the past few days, just perfect. So Bloke and I took the opportunity to spend some time together reconnecting as a family and doing things that are otherwise very normal and average to other families but new and wonderful for us! Here are some pictures from our special day!

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This is my Bloke.

taking-a-stand
The Bean

terrified
The Peanut

daddy-and-bel-march
The Bean and the Bloke (AKA daddy)

the-bird
Me (AKA the Bird and mommy)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, God

I was blessed with the best Valentine’s Day I think in my entire life….yes, including those ever so sweet grade school ones where I received thoughtful cards with Jem, Gummie Bears, and Smurf characters that had been signed in some weird form of sanscript on the back (I can’t say anything really, my handwriting is pretty bad even now). I generally have a strong disdain of the commercialism of the holiday. You know, the cheesy stuffed animals and chocolates in shiny heart shaped boxes….extortionately overpriced cards and flowers. I don’t like that many times Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year couples do something special for each other.

This year, however, was different. My husband and I, in an effort to further the progress of reconnecting and learning how to communicate with one another in a way that glorifies God and that is loving, decided to go on a date.  Mind you we’ve been separated for about 4 months now. I prayed about it beforehand. I asked some of my friends to pray about it. I so didn’t want this to turn into a heavy laden discussion about our situation or to wind up in yet another conflict that needed to be sorted out through more heavy laden discussion (interspersed with apologies). I hoped for a light, sweet, fun night where we laughed and talked about funny things we used to talk about…when we were getting along. I really, quite honestly, wasn’t expecting a lot. But I prayed about it and hoped anyway.

I went to pick up Husband who was sharply dressed and looking quite cute if I did say so myself. And what did he have in his hands? The biggest, gawdiest, most adorable stuffed red dog, a tin of chocolates in a shiny heart shaped box, and an extortionately overpriced card! And I LOVED IT!! I realized that, while most have had some sort of typical Valentine’s Day, I have not…not ever. And I was excited. It was cheesy and cute and wonderful! Husband and I decided to detour the typical steakhouse restaurant meal and opted for the quieter more intimate setting of a fantastic Indian restaurant. And alas we talked….about normal things, sweet things, funny things, a few serious things (not in the category of heavy laden discussion though). We laughed…I mean really laughed. ‘This is different’ I thought. This is fun. Husband was a gentleman, kind hearted and affectionate. Husband paid for dinner and we went to a popular bookstore. I know, kind of odd that we’d want to spend time in a bookstore, but we have had lots of good memories in that bookstore. We hung out, talked some more. Actually we didn’t wind up buying any books…funny that.

And then we went shopping. Husband used to hate shopping. Very impatient. You know a go-in-get-what-you-need-get-out kind of man. When we entered the store, we shopped for him first. ‘He wants to buy new clothes? He cares about what he looks like? This is different’ I thought. He picked out some pretty swanky clothes that really do suit him. At this point I’m thinking, ‘You know, he really is quite handsome’. I don’t think I’ve looked at Husband in such a way in, oh, over four years or so. Alarmingly, he shopped with ME afterwards! He was patient and interested. He took notice of what I was buying. He didn’t rush. He didn’t get that “can we please leave now?” look on his face. He was having a good time. I was having a good time. This new normal is getting better and better! We checked out and it was time to take him home (not before he so sweetly filled up my gas tank because I freaked out about how much money I spent shopping. So he’d rather buy me some gas so I could have that much more in my pocket for whatever I need….so sweet). Here’s where I have to break for a moment.

Three year old baby girl often tells me that butterflies tickle her skin. She loves things that tickle her and she loves butterflies. She thinks they’re beautiful and soft and she loves the way their little legs tickle when they land on her. When it was time for me to leave Husband after a perfect sweet night, God made butterflies tickle my heart. How sweet it was to FEEL something for Husband. How I’ve longed to feel something…anything …for a very very long time…years even. I mean I don’t think I’ve gotten butterflies in over 5 years (and we’ve been married almost 8). I’d forgotten what it felt like. But this time was different than the very first time even that I felt something for him. This time Husband and I both are new creatures and constantly being transformed by the grace of Christ. This time we were blessed. I gave a little bit more of myself to Husband last night. Together, we took off a brick from the wall that surrounds me. But I realized on the way home, tearfully, that it wasn’t Husband and I that removed a piece of my wall of fear and mistrust. My God took off that brick. He just used us to do it….for His glory and for our marriage.

So my Valentine’s Day was perfect. It was filled with hand holding, laughter, corny stuffed animals, curry, quiet moments, and, most importantly, butterfly tickles. And amidst all of that I realized that the best Valentine’s card I got last night cost the most extortionate of prices, the loss of the One and Only Son of God.  God reached out His loving arms and enveloped us.  He made our time sweet.  Our prayers were answered!  Not just a little answer, but a HUGE one as our night wasn’t average, but awesome!  Husband and I are still a long way off from being a true family again, but at least my wall is one brick less than it was and I think it was another big one.  Who knows?  If I tippy toe, I might just be able to peek over.

butterfly-on-finger1

Guilty As Charged

I saw this on someone else’s blog and I can’t remember who’s now….so if you see this I’m really sorry and feel free to let me know who you are! I’m guilty. Very guilty in fact. I mean some of these I’m guilty of on a semi regular occasion:

1. Blindly answering “yes” to whatever my 3 year old has asked me fifty times in a row (this will really be a problem when she gets older)

2. Cutting out tangles instead of brushing them out (less pain for her AND me)

3. Checking my email while feeding my poor baby and realizing that I actually haven’t made it to her mouth with the spoon. It’s actually pretty cute to see her little head bobbing out and in with her mouth open ready for the grovel.

4. Asking my 3 year old if she needs a spanking. I mean what do I really think she’s going to say? “Yes”? Umm. Probably not.

5. Giving baby girl milk that was left in the car overnight because I ran out and didn’t think about it until the morning when we needed it. I mean it was cold outside so it couldn’t have been that bad…and she’s obviously still alive.

5. Multitasking while giving the children a bath. Ahem…as long as they’re making noise I’m not worried. Baby is a natural born swimmer anyway. She’ll save big sister from drowning.

6. Telling 3 year old that the cookies I bought for her are all gone. Mommy ate them. But, yes, we will get some more. Don’t worry, I really did get more.

7. Jamming in the car parked in the car port with the girls strapped in in the back seat.  They love it and so do I!

8.  Letting baby play in the toilet so granddad could get a picture…it was clean…kind of.  Once again, she’s still alive.

9. Letting baby eat the dog biscuit that she somehow managed to get out of a ziploc bag.  Hey, she was happy. It’s digestable.  And it might make her hair grow!

10. Last but certainly not least, I’m guilty of absolutely adoring both my children and loving them to the extreme…even if I might let them do some pretty questionable things.

So, what are you guilty of (that you’re willing to admit)? You don’t have to be a mom to answer!