Thursday, July 7

Live, Laugh, Love as Life Moves By!

Ahhh, all of my "recent" blog posts (and paper journal entries) seem to start the same way. Or, at least I have the same feeling each time I begin one. They sounds  a little something like this...

     "Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote last."

     "Where did the last month go?"

     "Where did the last two months go?"

     "I swear I'll be more consistent this time around!"

 And then life kicks in, and two months go by, and while there was a season of my adult life when I  was both a consistent blogger and journal-er, stretches of time seem to come and go faster than I can get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!), and I find myself wondering how to summarize and encapsulate all that has really happened since I wrote last.

(Photo borrowed from
That's me, in the green, wondering where all of the time has gone...

My last blog post entry was Tuesday, April 19th...a couple of weeks after we had returned from our trip to England. It feels like just yesterday, if that counts for anything.

Of course much has happened between then and now. Much I've wanted to write about, thought about writing about, scratched notes on paper with details to include in posts and so on. But, the time isn't always there. Mostly because when you are in the middle of living life as a family with three young kiddos, you don't have a whole lot of time to write about it. Heck, I hardly have time to take a shower (or two!) some weeks.

But, even though I haven't been writing here, I have been writing. I have a couple of cool projects I've been working on-- some freelance bits and pieces, and one very cool collaborative writing project that I'm still working through details on. It's an inspiring story about one man finding faith and perspective in the midst of challenging life circumstances.  It's someone else's story, but my own faith has already been strengthened in the short time I've collaborated on it.  I believe in this story, and this person to change hearts and lives as they develop their speaking and writing ministry.  I'm humbled, blessed and thankful for the opportunity to be able to participate in bringing such a faith-filled story forward. More on that in the months to come!

I've also had other commitments to follow through on-- a fantastic 29-week Bible study that I just finished, for one. I want to tell you more about this study, called Healing Journeys (because I think everyone in the world would benefit from taking it!), but I'll save that for another day.

Of course there have been more events with the kids than I can even count; plays, picnics, recitals, gymnastics meets, birthday parties,  and many end of year celebrations.

In the midst of life I've also been trying to discern what I want this space to be about. It started out as a "mommy blog" by a stay at home mom who needed a writing outlet.  I'm not sure I ever really had a "focus"--my day-to-day has felt so full of kid antics and family craziness that it is all my brain seems to be able to process when I sat down to write. Some of that craziness has become such a part of the fabric of our day that perhaps it doesn't seem particularly novel anymore. Or, perhaps I've matured as a mom and so I'm thinking about different things.  (For everyone's sake, lets all hope I've matured as a mom in the last five years!). So, we'll see. I won't stop blogging anytime will probably just continue to come in bits and pieces...with weeks (or, months!) in-between.

As I've said before, since I'm not a big scrapbooker (mostly because there just isn't enough time to scrapbook AND blog, otherwise I'd probably attempt throwing an album or two together!), and so this is where I capture long strings of words, based on what rises to the surface of my mind when I finally sit down.

We are in a season of life where I am enjoying watching my girls grow and develop their skills,  interests, and passions. Ava is strong and athletic-- she is truly one of the strongest 9 year old girls I have ever met. I would not be surprised, and I don't say this lightly, if she qualifies to be a contestant on America Ninja Warrior someday!! I keep telling her it might be a good way to get some of college paid for! She has big bright eyes, and is full of wonder about the world. She LOVES ropes courses and roller coasters. While one might say she has an adventurous spirit, and in some ways she does, she also likes to stick close to home. As a matter of fact, just last week we picked her up at 11:30 from a sleepover--her second attempt at a sleepover in the last two months that ended in a late night cell phone call. It's all good. We're kind of relishing the moments when she calls reminds us that she still does need us close by...for a while longer, anyway!

She turned 9 in early June, and is such a big girl now. I always joked with her that she was going to be taller than me before she left elementary school. I lucked out...her current school only goes up to 3rd grade and I've still got her beat by a couple of inches.

She and I also ran our first 5k together last month, which was one of the highlights of June for me!

Ella, who is 7 now, will be the first to tell you that "sports are NOT her thing". I keep encouraging her
Ella was Anansi in her class play,
Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock
to try different things, but quite frankly she is  beautifully independent and creative. She has LOVED her piano lessons this year and even told me she has a "piano brain" (I totally believer her, by the way. I think there are logical creatives and then more spontaneous big-picture creatives. I am definitely the latter. She certainly sees life through a more logical lens than I've ever possessed. I admire that about her!). She LOVES to draw, and paint and create collages out of the craziest things. I find myself saving pieces of paper that I've punched holes out for my own random craft projects. "Hey Ella! Can you do something with this?" I'll ask. Her eyes always light up.  She loves the thrill of making something new out of nothing!

She has finally lost her two front teeth, which is one of those monumental moments when your little ones physically seem to transform right before your eyes. They go from kiddish toothy grin, to toothless grin, to all of a sudden looking so much older over night. I can hardly handle it sometimes! She loves to sing, and get lost in her own world. I find her talking to herself (in a good way!) in corners where she is making up a story about something, and the characters, or animals, or whatever, are talking to each other. She has a brilliantly vibrant mind. I can't wait to see where it all leads for her.

And, then there is Aubrey.

Oh, Aubrey.

For those of you who know Aubs, that's all I have to say. She seems to come kicking and scratching and full of very specific ideas about what she wants to do, every time she enters a room. A lot of times her "want to's" are not really viable and it requires an incredibly amount of patience to explain this. "No, you can't dump all of the electronics and cords out of that basket, to use it as a step stool, to grab for one of the leftover muffins on the counter."

There are so many reasons why that is a BAD idea, but she is usually not ready to understand any of them. And that is one, 3-minute segment, of an entire 13 hour day with Aubrey (she has stopped napping to boot!).

She is a little (or, maybe a lot!) wild, beautiful, and FULL, full, FULL of life.

She's so full of life that she never wants to sleep, actually. Something that has been a wee bit of a challenge for her dad and I. She is hilarious, smart as a whip, and keeps a dance beat way better than her mother. She somersaults off furniture and attempts handstands in her bed. She leaves us all with our eyes wide open, sometimes in laughter and sometimes in shock, as we watch her barrel through her days. She leaves me breathless some days, standing over her bed at night praying, "Dear Jesus, please give me the stamina, patience, endurance and wisdom to channel this kid's energy in the right direction. In a direction that glorifies you and brings a lot of light to the world! Please. Please. PLEASE!"

While Scott and I feel like we are barely making it through some of our days in our attempts to manage the day to day, and cultivate gracious hearts, we have been told by friends and family that "our girls are delightful" and that "we're doing a great job". I don't say that to pat us on the back, I say
that because by faith we hope we are doing enough of the right things that our girls will be lights in this crazy world. We hope that they, and our family, will be representatives of God's love and grace.   Sometimes it's hard to see if you're getting it all (or anything!) right. You come to appreciate the hi-five from other parents who are a few years ahead of you with an outside perspective.

I must say, it feels somehow ironic that as parents you feel so 'in the dark' while you are trying to create "light". Maybe that is how Thomas Edison felt. If that is the case, and hopefully it is, we're all actually creating some sort of beauty we can't quite see yet!

So, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for reading. Thanks for walking alongside life with us, in whatever way that may be. For those of you who are family, hopefully this sheds some inner light on why we don't always answer your phone calls right away (sorry!). If you're a mom of little ones, I hope my ramblings in some way  inspire you to keep up the hard work of raising your kids well (it IS hard work!), and that you feel somehow encouraged that when your life feels a little hair-raising (or hair-graying, as is the case for me these days!), that you know you are in very good company.

Until next time...

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