Tuesday, June 28, 2016

ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL

This past Saturday we had a glorious lake day with friends.  The moment I'm about to write about was a blip - in fact, John and I didn't really process it fully until we got home and reflected on the day.

We were sitting on the boat, waiting for the tube to be fully inflated, and several of the children were sitting on the deck off the back of the boat.  Before I knew what was happening, John was pulling Bella up and telling me to check her.  He sounded concerned, and I could tell he was working to keep his voice under control to not alarm everyone on the boat while also communicating to me that something was really wrong.

As I grabbed for Bella, her body was completely limp.  Her eyes were glazed over, and she couldn't seem to hear us.  She couldn't or wouldn't move at all.  She didn't seem to understand what we were saying, and she wasn't speaking.

It was a little terrifying, and I am not at all one to jump to the worst case scenario.

We poured water over her head to cool her off and tried to get her to drink.

Within a minute or so, she was responsive, and within two minutes or so, she was talking again.  Within five minutes, she seemed totally fine and normal.

We hadn't realized that she had been leaned over and breathing in a steady stream of boat exhaust.  It happened SO fast.  Between the heat, and the exhaust, she was likely in the very beginning stages of carbon monoxide poisoning.  (I fell into the internet research hole later that night at home to confirm this suspicion.)  Thankfully, John noticed that something wasn't right and responded.  Thankfully, we were able to intervene and take care of her immediately.  Thankfully, she bounced back incredibly quickly, and because it was all over in minutes, the horror of those few moments was overshadowed by the hours of fun we had the rest of the day.

The past month has brought us two very public tragedies that have caused internet outrage on all sides (Child falling into the Gorilla exhibit at the zoo and Child being drowned by an alligator at Disney).  I don't feel that I have a lot to add to the massive amounts of words written about these things other than to say that I fall in the camp that wants the blaming to stop.  Of course, we parents have an enormous amount of responsibility to try to protect our children in all the ways that we can.  However, we cannot always protect our children.  There is so much outside of our control, though we certainly want to pretend otherwise on a regular basis.

Either of the children in the above mentioned stories could have been mine, which is a thought that brings me to empathy, instead of blaming.  John and I are far from perfect parents, but we do love our children so very much.  The idea that we cannot keep them from all harm is really unpalatable to me.  I love the idea of control.  In so many ways I want to shelter them, but ultimately, they will grow and develop and little by little, I will have to let go.  And all along the way, there will be possibilities for bad things to happen to them.  It's a horrible thought, and one that I do not want to torture myself with, but it is a reality about living on this earth.

And for me, it points me back to the Lord.  Ultimately, he is writing their stories and mine.  He has their good in mind.  He loves my children more than I do, and he asks me to trust him.  There is always something lurking around any corner to injure my child, and God is the one that determines the spans of each of our lives.  I remember when my father was diagnosed with cancer, he would regularly remind me that "This does not catch God by surprise.  He has numbered my days from the beginning."

I always have to choose - do I want the illusion of control or do I want to trust God?  In my mother heart, I want to pick for us all to live long, healthy and happy lives.  But - I trust God more.  I don't say that lightly, because I have lost someone I loved so much.  I know that things could turn out any number of ways that may be undesirable to me, but I trust that God knows what is best.  He's working for my good, the good of my children and his glory - all things that I desire more than what I think should happen.

Saturday morning was a good reminder that things happen in an instant, and that ultimately God is in control - not us.  In this case, I am rejoicing that God allowed us to see Bella quickly and that she is absolutely fine.  I don't take that for granted, and I am incredibly grateful for her precious life.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

TIDBITS

As summer slips by, I want to record the little moments it contains.  Last week we killed a little time after swim lessons with a trip to the local garden center.  I let Bella pick out the clothes, so we were a bit overdressed for running around, but they were all happy about it.

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I've got some comedians running around my house with sharpies.  So tricky.

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We've had some family fro-yo dates.

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We saw Finding Dory, and everyone stayed for the whole movie!  And it was so cute - though I did cry big tears at the end.

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I got front row seats to this charming puppet show.

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Violet has come into her own and loves to show off her coloring, bubble blowing abilities and showing up at my bedside almost every morning.

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I ran across this turtle while walking in our neighborhood one night - I've been trying to get my steps in every day.  He seems less concerned about this pursuit.

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We went on a progressive double date with friends to celebrate a birthday - a fantastic way to spend an evening.

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The girls earned some Oreos for helping Daddy to stuff paychecks.

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Today a sweet friend from college who used to lived in Little Rock stopped by for a delightful chat - so great to see you, Megan!

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The summertime has a lot of intensity, but a lot of goodness too.  It slips by so quickly!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

LAKE DAY WITH FRIENDS

Some of our dear friends spend most of their summer weekends at the lake, and they graciously invited us to join them this past Saturday.  Our kids were ecstatic about going on the lake with friends, and we ended up having a great day on the water.

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We picked up their boat from storage and headed for the water.

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It was a HOT day, so swimming and tubing and letting the wind blow through our hair as the boat sped through the water were all welcome activities.

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(they look like they could be sisters! 😍)
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(despite what her face indicates, Violet LOVED tubing!)

We came across this rope swim in a cove that provided a great deal of entertainment.

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The Heads are both awesome at water sports, and it was really fun to see them in their element!

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The day really was a gift - great friends, great weather and great activities.

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It was enough to wear us all out.

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We rounded out our day with dinner at a Mexican restaurant and plenty of chips and cheese dip.  Though we did have a few melt downs from our children throughout the day, it is really amazing to start to get to the place where we enjoy more of the day than not.  We are making progress as a family!  Yay!

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Thanks, Head family - we had a fantastic time!

Friday, June 24, 2016

TWINS' SWIM LESSONS

The girls have taken swim lessons the last two summers (2014, 2015), but this year it was time for the twinsies to become little water warriors - or at least to be able to not drown.  I was not at all certain that they would cooperate, and you better believe that I would have had no recourse should they have chosen not to get in the water.

However, they did awesome!  I would say that at this exact moment, Violet is a better swimmer than Lily who has stated that she prefers the "surface water." 😂😂😂

They started the week with seemingly open hearts and minds to the process, and they were jumping in the very first day, much to my surprise and delight!  (You can see video on Instagram on the side bar in the blog if you want - William laughs continually while jumping in.)

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The girls were sad that they could not swim everyday, though on the days when we were heading to the pool afterwards, our teachers graciously allowed them to be in the pool.  Otherwise, they were hovering very near the edge and trying to interfere help at every turn.  They did cheer on the twins very enthusiastically, which I appreciated.

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Each day both William and Violet got more comfortable and spent time blowing bubbles, going under, kicking and jumping.

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(You know I LOVE kids in goggles. 😍)
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We had a great week, and I am thrilled with their progress.  Thanks, Torey and Conley for being awesome - my kids all love you!

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