Friday, July 15, 2016

THE GOOD SPRINKLED IN BETWEEN

I've been a little heavy lately, and it should be known that not everything is heavy.  There is always a mix in our life, and I'm thankful for the good that is sprinkled into all the hard.  And I'm thankful that the hard shapes us into better people who hopefully love God more, even though I don't always feel that way in hard moments.  Here are a few things I've been grateful for recently:

We had a great family night at the pool last weekend.  Everyone was happy and sweet, and we enjoyed pizza by the pool, and it was an evening that both John and I were profoundly glad to have all together.  We shot off a few more fireworks when we got home to round out the night.

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Lily got to help celebrate one of her great friend's birthdays by mini-golfing and having lunch at CFA.

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I am really thankful for the ability to laugh.  After I dropped Lily off at this party at a place I had never been, I was headed to go to another friend's house for lunch and visiting with their adorable puppy.  They live out a ways, and I've driven out there many, many times, but I was coming from a totally new direction.  I typed the country address into my phone and turned off my brain as I drove with Bella, William and Violet in the car.  I didn't recognize any of the roads, but then, I didn't really think that I would, given where I was starting from.

After a while, Bella started to get very concerned, and she was sick of driving and thus whining.  I kept explaining that we were just taking a new way and would be there soon.  My worry really began when we drove 4 miles on a dirt road that I didn't recognize.  I knew we were going the wrong way when the directions on my phone said, "Prepare to park and walk the rest of the way."  I kid you not - that is what it said. 😳

Bella started crying, "This is the worst drive ever!  We are going to be SO late!  Worst day ever!"

Nothing like a five year old's doomsday perspective to really keep the situation in check.  At that point, I came upon a creek across the road and drove on through it.

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There was a locked gate up the hill and around the curve, and that is where I was supposed to park and walk.  We were in the middle of nowhere, and I had no more cell service.  I did start laughing so hard that I had tears running down my cheeks.  I worked to calm down Bella who had begun proclaiming, "We are SO lost!  We will never find our way back!  This is all your fault!"  I did a 50 point turn and drove back through the creek and towards civilization and paved roads.  20 minutes later, I did make it to my friend's house once I started using my brain again.  Lunch and the puppy were worth it, but I will never try to use Google maps to find their house again. 😂😂😂

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One of our super sweet babysitters was participating in the Miss Arkansas pageant, so Courtney and I took an evening to head to Hot Springs and see her compete.  It was a fascinating and fun experience, and Abby did an amazing job!  The night was a wonderful respite in the middle of everything else.

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The girls started piano lessons, though we have no piano in our home.  So, I've been scrambling to get books and an instrument.  After debating the merits of a keyboard vs. a piano, we decided to get a weighted keyboard for the time-being simply because it will be delivered by Amazon and we can plug headphones into it.  We really value ease and quiet at this current life juncture.  Lily and Bella are both super excited, and since I took piano lessons for 10 years, I am looking forward to being able to help out a bit and play some myself.

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I've had a babysitter coming usually one day a week this summer which has been hugely beneficial to my mental well-being.  It allowed me to spend a little time with John in his "corner office" (actually a storage unit thing at the mall that he's tricked out), and I realized that there will be some great things about having the kids all in school in the fall.  Though I am still grieving the major change ahead, I am starting to see the light for the good it will also bring - like being able to have full conversations with my spouse during the day.

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I've also been shopping for Christmas PJs for my children and all of their cousins so that everyone can match at the holidays.  This has involved having pretty great text threads with my mom and sisters and sisters-in-love.  👊  Love knocking out Christmas tasks in July.

I'm so thankful for the sweet moments and the ability to see them as they come.  The Lord is so gracious to us, even when life feels sort of rough.

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