Saturday, August 9, 2014

Golden Nuggets

Mom of three (girls) sits down to write a letter to her young children. In it she hopes to convey the lessons she has learned, the aha-moments and most importantly, her deep love for them. Here is the result.

Dear beautiful girls of mine,

    I have been fortunate to be with you, at home, from the day you came into this world. Some days I appreciated this blessing more than others but every single day I saw a part of you bloom that I had not seen before. I have watched you discover light and shadows. I have seen your curiosity come alive when you played in the water. My heart has almost burst when you have shown compassion or given something of your own to someone less fortunate. The talks we have awaken curiosity even in myself. Our minutes, hours and days have been spent singing, discussing, learning, playing, imagining and growing. You have been under my constant care and love day in and day out. I hope to continue to be able to be there and cherish every moment possible and to continue to teach you all I can so that you may walk out this life as fully and completely blessed as I have been. However, we never know each day what the Lord has in store for us. If mommy is able to be present with you all your growing up days we will rejoice for that gift we've been given. And if the Lord chooses another path for us, we will walk it out in faith that He knows what is best. Either way, I wanted to share some nuggets of wisdom I have picked up through the years. If you can bury these treasures within your own heart, I believe you will continue to see beautiful blooms come forth all the days of your lives.

1) Jesus loves you. 
    He always has and He always will. The love I have shown you pales in comparison to His perfect, never-ending, never-stopping, never-giving-up, always and forever love for each of you. Fall head over heels in love with Him. It's about a relationship, not rules but love does transform. Love changes us from the inside out. Discover Him and who you are in Him.

2) Learn to trust Him in your youth.
    God places a simple faith in each child. As we grow up, doubts and fears fight to replace that simple faith. You will need to continue to grow in your faith as you mature but if you can learn to place your trust in who Jesus is now, everything else will work itself out in the end.

3) Hearing "no" is not a bad thing.
    Life is going to be full of possibilities, adventures and thrills but there is also a moral code we should all abide by (found in the Bible). Learn to tell yourself no as well as to accept it from others. Believe me, if you cannot learn to hear "no", you will always be fighting against yourself and others. Freedom exists because there are boundaries.

4) Choose JOY.
    No matter where you end up in life, your attitude will determine everything. If you find yourself in a less-than-perfect environment, you are living real life. Ups, downs and everything in between will be a normal part of your years ahead. Decide now that you will keep moving forward and keep a smile on your face. Lasting joy comes from the Lord, not by what you may or may not experience.

5) Stay in touch with family.
    Something I say to you daily is, "Sisters love each other." At times you may need it most, your family can be there for you. Be there for them as well. Write letters. Make phone calls. Visit one another. Be very purposeful to protect these special relationships. They are treasures you will not want to lose.

6) Be a good friend.
     You will have many people cross your paths in the years ahead. Not everyone will stay long and not everyone will treat you right. But, if you will decide that you are going to treat everyone the way you want to be treated, you will find that you have developed lasting relationships. As your daddy has always said, "Selfishness is the cause for every bad thing". Sew good seeds in others whether you will reap a harvest from it or not. 




7) Find ways to give to others.
     Whether it is a handmade gift, listening and sharing your time with them, extending a hand of service, or any other creative way you discover- give. And when you have nothing left to give, give a little more. You will not always feel empty. The more you give, the more you will find you have to give. It is an amazing miracle that we may never understand. Hold back your hand and you will quickly believe you have nothing to give. But, if you will always have your heart ready to pour out for others, you will never run dry.

8) Keep your imaginations alive.
     Build. Create. Explore. Discover. The life you have is a gift. You will discover talents and treasures that God has buried within you. Don't ever let them die. He has placed these in you to bring Glory to Him and for you to enjoy the process. Be a light and shine as brightly as you are able, holding nothing back and never hiding because you shine too brightly. Some may try to discourage you from shining but never allow that sparkle to dim in your eyes. You are alive most when you are imagining and creating. 





9) Do not despise the mundane.
     Whether you go on to become President or a nanny, astronaut or chef, librarian or architect or anything in between, there will be aspects of life that are constant and unavoidable~ laundry, paperwork, phone calls, making your bed, or any number of trivial tasks. Maintain them. Do not allow yourself to believe the lie that you are above such things. We all must live a real life with some tasks more "boring" than others. Remember #4 and be joyful in ALL things.

10) Ask for forgiveness and learn to forgive.
      Others will do things that hurt you and they may or may not be ready to apologize. Forgive them anyway. This does not mean you have to continue to allow yourself to be hurt by them. But do not allow them to steal your (#4) joy. Also, you will make mistakes and hurt others. Be ready to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness.

11) Honesty is foundational to every relationship.
      Your father and I desire that both of you understand from an early age the value and importance of the Truth~ telling the truth, believing the truth, living the truth. Do not allow small lies to creep in and taint your stories or your life. Discovering the truth and sharing it with others is powerful. There is no need to exaggerate or minimize in your re-telling of such things. Remain honest and your integrity and character will lead you to places and platforms you never could have dreamed.


Love always and forever,
Mommy 

Note: After reading the above I encourage each of you to take a few minutes and think about some important truths you value and would want to pass on to others. Knowing what you believe is important helps you prioritize teaching it to others. Enjoy the process!

    

Monday, June 2, 2014

Living Without Blinds

Moving across states, family being separated, and attempting to no longer live out of boxes as soon as realistically possible can stir up some dust. After saying goodbye to my family who opened up their hearts and home to us for five months and unloading the storage units, I sat on a plastic bin covered in hot pink duct tape labeled "girls room".  We had arrived to the long awaited move in. I looked around, a bed with no blankets, a table with no chairs, toys and books dumped over from the green duct-taped bins. Nothing in it's proper place. Who am I kidding? Even with my perfectly color coded organization and key, nothing even had a "proper place" decided on yet. 





Basically chaos. 

People were asking me left and right (with all good intentions), "Are you so happy to be home?"

HOME?? 

Not able to take a shower because we couldn't find soap or a shower curtain for that matter. Whiny kids asking to eat but oh, yeah, grocery shopping? That had not even entered the equation yet. Luckily I did do a quick run for toilette paper and paper plates. Whew. That was a life saver.

And as I scanned over the room, seeing a complete disaster and kids running wild, I looked out my uncovered windows and saw a couple of neighbors looking right in. Our eyes caught each other and they quickly turned away. 

Great, no blinds either.

With Josh working spring hours, early mornings and late nights did not afford us much time to just go at it and get the house in order. So, we pecked at it one box at a time, one corner at a time. 

And the windows stayed bare. And the neighbors continued to watch. Don't judge. You would probably take a peek here and there too. It's like a train wreck. You know you shouldn't look but...

And as I lived out my crazy-family-chaotic-mess in front of others, I found myself letting down. There was something relaxing and unobtrusive about the raw and real.

It has caused me to think of how little we allow ourselves to be exposed before the discomfort and awkwardness sets in. Having window coverings in your home keep the world at bay. Something so simple but when they are absent you really notice pressure. 

Pressure to be pinteresting. (Yeah, I just coined that phrase. Okay, maybe others have used it to, I don't know so I'm taking credit here)

Pressure to have "it" together.

Pressure to look good all the time.

And then this resounding WHY pops up and whispers, "Do you really think others have 'it' together all the time? Or are they only showing you themselves when they do?"

With a fast moving culture and a lot of plates to keep spinning, we are bound to not only drop a few but to shatter them to a million pieces in the process. And I would like to go on record saying, I do not want to hide those shattered plates anymore.

Imagine with me...

You lose your job. Your bills are going unpaid. You have to remain minimally phased, unscathed by the burn marks of fear and uncertainty.

Your child is wayward. Unresponsive to any attempt on your behalf to guide or instruct. You fear the consequences to their choices could be life threatening and you have to keep a smile and chock it up to "the teen years".

Your overwhelmed and are doing all you can just to maintain. You aren't able to move forward in any regard because the demands of your daily life are all you can handle. Make some jokes and tuck away the stress.

It is almost laughable how we demand a family portrait front when behind the scenes things are broken down and need attention. I am beginning to ask, "what would happen if we broke in front of others? What would their response be?"

With Pinterest ideas demonstrating the perfect decor and look, and social media profile pics showing us at our most pleasant, there is little room to pull back the curtain and show the mess in our own lives.

I do not know what the next chapter holds. We actually still have no blinds. But as I sit in front of my bare window and those passing by take notice of our moments of continued chaos, I have decided to allow others to bare their mess. It is not only okay to be broken, it is who we are. Everyone of us bears broken pieces and to require others to keep those pieces hidden prevents any of us from knowing one another truly. 




See? It can't always be sunshine and roses.


  


As an individual, there is a depth to you that no one knows fully. You have an available strength and a gifting that no one else holds. God placed it there. And if we allow ourselves the honesty to be broken, we can shine so bright that others are stronger just by being around us. In our mess is where God's strength is most available.

So next time you feel that tug of insecurity that you should close up, hide behind your "blinds", make a conscious decision to step out into the openness. Be raw. Be real. Ask God to take your hand and lead the way. And allow others that same vulnerability. Let's be amazed how deep our relationships can go when we are free to be the mess we are.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Turning the Page

Here I sit. My eyes tired and probably red. My head swarming with yesterdays trials and today's accomplishments. Spring is here. Life is popping up everywhere you turn. Take a walk and hear the insects humming, see the bird's full nests, feel the warmth on your skin.

I do not necessarily have an abundance of "down time" these days to monitor where I am mentally, emotionally, spiritually (or any "ally" for that matter) before this big change fast approaching. The Move. The start of something new. There will be a lot of firsts to take hold of and some lasts to let go of.

It is not very common as an adult you get to move back in with your folks and rebuild a life with them (albeit temporary). And mom and I refer to this season we are now seeing come to an end as a "blessing." Not cliche at all. When I first came, she had a heart to heart with me in the van in the parking lot of Baby's R Us. Before we went hog wild on the huge sale we teared up together. She told me how her and God "had a talk." She had began telling Him how she did not know how this was going to work- us invading their lives, their home, their personal space. Being a family of five you can't really do anything but invade when you enter a home. Mom told me the Lord shook her up and said, "Do you not know this is your blessing? I am giving this time to you as a blessing and I can take it away." She said from that moment on she knew what it was. It was a beautiful start to this season of mixing and tangling our lives up together.

Now I am trying to untangle not only mine but my three young daughter's lives so we can start the process of invading my home town again. We have a beautiful new home there (that I still cannot even believe is mine) awaiting us and a pool that will get used excessively. We will start homeschooling this fall. We have friends to catch up with. Family to get reacquainted with. Lives to be rebuilt. And as excited and nervous and anxious as I am to begin to build that new life, I also am having a difficult time letting go here.

The laughs of seeing my dad give piggyback rides to the two oldest every.single.night and if one night does not happen they make it up with two the following evening. Being able to hop in the car and drive 2 minutes to visit with my sister and her family and cook an impromptu meal together just because we can. My mom and I talking face to face about her work, her memories, her love for my girls. My parents' church that has sustained me and encouraged me in ways they will never know. The peace of being together with those you hold so dear yet see so rarely in "normal" life.

Saying the lives we have created here will be missed is understated in the most grand of ways.

Yet....

Much remains untold in our new world. For the first time in our married lives we have an open book in front of us. Our lives are unwritten on levels we have never even imagined (as "unwritten" as owning your own business and raising three children is). When we talk, my husband and I just imagine together the possibilities that lie ahead. We dream together. Question together. Place it in the Lord's hands together.

So as I finish folding and packing and zipping up our final memories here, I ask for your prayers as we turn this next page. We are about to start a new story...

I leave you with a few snapshots of some of my "favorites" for the month of April.


A favorite coffee spot while the girls run and play on neighbors' swing set. 




The cousins getting to experience the beach (albeit the weather was not 80s but stuffing
9 of us in a hotel room built for 4 proved to be
an adventure on a whole nutha' level)

Ummm...what IS that?? Yep, it's going on the face


I found several Pinterest recipes for natural face scrubs but they all
seemed to make enough to do a family of 50 so I concocted
a smaller dose.
3 TB extra virgin olive oil
2TB honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
A stirring stick
Add olive oil first, then honey (this helps get every last
bit of honey out), then sugar.
Mix together with stirring stick and...


VOILA! You have a face scrub that even your dad (or husband or
whoever would never think of using an exfoliate) WILL use!
Just rinse with warm water. No soap and then 
part dry with a towel. And FEEL the softness!


I kinda have a new obsession with wine bottles. They make beautiful
decor for any season and there are so many ideas. This one
is wrapped in hemp. And ouch is all I have to say about
using a glue gun. If you know me and have me over, you will
probably be receiving some variation of this.


So I watched this infomercial...'nuff said.


A beautiful sunny Easter celebration with some of my
favorite people. 

The end. Or shall I say...
The Beginning...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hearing "I LOVE YOU" Through All The Noise

Teething baby fusses. 
Preschoolers feuding over who gets to have the red sucker.
Dinner dishes sitting on the counter from the night before (yelling, HEY, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO CLEAN ME??)
Phone ringing.
Emails coming in.
The noise does not ever really stop. 

The other night I took what I was hoping would be an uninterrupted bath. It was not. The two older girls came in about a half dozen times, one complaining her homemade sack puppet was stepped on by other sister and "ruined forever". The other asking for the fifteenth time if she could wear her princess dress to bed. I had been hoping to get alone with my thoughts. Have a time-out of my own. But it did not happen.

I started wondering, "How on earth am I going to stay fueled, keep up, if I can't even get 2 minutes alone to think?" Besides hiding out in the bathroom, which never really works because they stick their little fingers under the door telling me their latest news, I wanted to be able to have moments I could think without interruption.

But then I realized life is an interruption. I mean let's face it, there is noise coming from five different directions at any given moment. Take this moment for instance...
Baby girl is repeatedly ramming her walker into Mom and Dad's antique dresser and needs constant reminders that it is in fact not okay to break things as I pull her once again to the opposite side of the room.
One child needs help putting on her crown and pulling her hair out of her face.
The dog is whining and begging to be let out.
My phone is buzzing reminding me that today is the absolute last day I can put off going to the grocery.
My husband is calling to remind me he exists and how much he loves me and can't wait for our family to be together again.

I sigh. A blissful, tired sigh. Life is good. Life is overwhelming. Life is full.

Often when life seems it's fullest we step into what I call maintenance mode. This is when all we are doing is what needs to be done just to stay afloat. In those times, it is very easy to forget very difficult to remember that people are loving us, thinking we are special and grateful we are in their lives. That reassurance can fuel us into tomorrow (who am I kidding?), into the next moment.

That friend who emails to say, "Hey, just thinking about you...".
When your dad gives you your favorite seat even though it's his favorite seat without much grumbling (yes, that happened and yes, it means love)
Little eyes watching you and little footsteps following you.
The coffee pot started for you.
The text messages saying, "when things slow down I can't wait to have a cup of coffee with you and catch up."

Alia who has to watch Poppi take out Lilly every time to make sure he does not fall-
aka- I love you, Poppi

You will no doubt have your own list but a list none-the-less and they are of other people who are very likely in "maintenance mode" themselves but they are reaching out to let you know they love you, you are special and they are thinking about you. See these acts of kindness as such. Do not just hurry through the moment and not take it for what it really is- an "I love you" through all the noise.

My girls in our beautiful mess demonstrating one of their favorite songs from
Daniel Tiger, "Making something is one way to saaay,
I love you."

Tune your ear today to hear the whispers. They typically are not loud and proud, but gentle nudges that, if we are listening, can hear, "I love you."


And if you can be that whisper in someone's ear who is needing it today, even better.







Thursday, February 20, 2014

WHY?

Sometimes there is a lot of beauty. 

Little girls, dressed up like a princess, skipping down the sidewalk, as carefree as one could possibly be. Dancing to life. Drinking in the sunshine. That is a beautiful, lovely sight.




However, sometimes there is a lot of ugly.

So ugly our stomachs twist in knots and we have to lock ourselves in the bathroom to compose ourselves before heading back into the tumultuous sea storm of "whys". 

It's impossible to completely shield your growing child from the reality of the world we live in. They get to grow up right smack dab in the middle of the good, the bad, and the ugly, just like all of us. 

This week has certainly brought a resounding call of why from all over the nation. Kids and "grown-ups" alike have surely asked it, if only to themselves. 

The problem is, as such "grown-ups", we are accustomed to answering questions. We get to practice daily.

"What day is it?"
"Where is the moon?"
"How tall am I?"
"Will you take me to...<fill in the blank, parent>"

Sometimes a simple two word answer suppresses the curiosity of a child before they head off in a completely different direction. Other times one answer leads to another question. And another.

And another.

This week, a 10 year old beautiful, innocent girl was kidnapped in broad daylight from her own neighborhood by a complete stranger and murdered. My stomach churns just recounting it.

Thinking of that precious girl's family and the unbearable weight of grief they are going through causes much prayer and anguish to rise as incense out of the hearts of many. 

The ominous "why" returns. Peeks it's gnarly head out looking to be snatched and locked away. If only we could physically grab hold of it. Contain it. We could have our answer, things would look better?

Feel better?

I am reminded of a time about 12 years ago. I was going through a difficult situation of my own and my husband, who at that time was simply a caring friend, did something I had not experienced before. We were not dating, however, the following experience sealed my heart to his.

The tears were pouring. I shared the pain I was feeling with him, not knowing at that time what I was looking for. As he responded, his words full of compassion, in some strange way dulled the pain, if even just a little.

"I don't know what to say. I have no words. I wish I did, but it is just hard."

So many times, well intentioned people want to bring comfort, heal the hurting. They can tend to think that if they could just "explain the why", they might bring help to those in mourning. 

I have read books about, heard discussions on, had others try to explain to me the infamous~ "why bad things happen to good people" and never once has it brought about the intended results. 

Sometimes a simple, compassion filled statement from someone who loves us can bring a soothing balm to the open wound:
    
             I don't know. I wish I did. I have no words. It is so hard.

The Scriptures bring such life and put things so simply when we as humans can tend to over complicate things.


It is okay not to have the answers. Most of the time, if we are honest and pressed, we do not have an answer anyway.





Monday, February 10, 2014

You Can Have it All

You can have it all...

Someday when you are six feet under in this world and your spirit is alive and free in the next, face to face with Jesus, angelic hosts singing, pearly gates, all of that, you will have it all. I will have it all.

All meaning everything that will at least matter. Except, a lot of stuff will not matter.

But in this world a lot matters. Or at least we live like it does. Worry like it does. Stress and blame and get angry like it does. 

Look at other people's lives and compare ourselves like it does.

Get anxious about everything from what so-and-so thinks to how the heck we went over budget again in groceries like it does.

Living this jumbled up, topsy~turvy, sometimes tornadic-esque adventure has got me thinking a lot about what I deem "important". I'm talking down right necessary to life.
Like food and water type category.

In the past three weeks I've had a few tears. A few let-downs. Disappointments. 

I tried going to a movie with my baby (which you may already be thinking, well duh, that is a bad idea but we trial and error, ok?) and she started crying before the previews were even finished. I had to leave the theatre. 10 bucks, or however much a movie ticket is these days, down the drain.

I attempted to get us all ready and go to church and made it 1 out of the last 4 weeks.  

An overall, general sense of overwhelmed-ness (yes, I like to hyphen and add endings to words that make non-real words) has been tugging at my heart for a while now.

You see, I am experiencing what many scholars and well-trained minds have termed- "life".  It's ups.
It's downs.
It's stagnation.
It's kicks and spins.

I have felt at times like I was going to fly off, or maybe that I wanted to let go, but I'm still here. Still hanging on.

The list of important-cies (there is a made up word again) is always in our faces:

!) Pay bills
!!) Make sure everyone in the family is doing well spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially, mentally
!!!) Give ourselves and our time to the best possible things we can to better ourselves, others, our world
!!!!) Be fit
!!!!!) Have enough food stocked in the cupboards 
!!!!!!) Clean clothes, clean floors, clean nooks and crannies
!!!!!!!) Be a good friend, or at least be somewhat social
!!!!!!!!) Fix broken stuff
!!!!!!!!!) Be cute
!!!!!!!!!!) Live in the moment
!!!!!!!!!!!) Learn, grow, be better at... everything 
!!!!!!!!!!!!) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until finally, the list gets filled up more and more with important-cies and we are just trying to stay above water. 
Do not drop one of your spinning plates.
Do not fail.
Do not give up.
Do not.....whatever your little voice inside your already overly stimulated brain keeps telling you that you mustn't forget to do or not do...and you just cannot keep up and you start to let go of the ride of life...
and you do...
and Someone catches you.
Holds your tired body in His arms.
Says nothing but everything through His embrace.

And as He holds you, the room stops spinning. The noise in your head settles. Nothing more has been checked off your list but suddenly, the list is no longer what is important. It's just you and Him. 

I have been experiencing "Him" more than my little fingers could possibly type. I am realizing, maybe for like the bagillionth time, when my focus is on what, or should I say, WHO, is important, my perspective of everything else just naturally falls into place. Not everything changes in my world. Sometimes, or maybe most the time, nothing changes. Or it gets worse. Encouraging, right? But He holds me. And many times, without words, just keeps me there until He has "spoken" so much to my little overwhelmed heart that I get up.

I clean up another life's mess. 
I bandage another life's wound.
Because no where in this world will those things end.
But having the strength to get up and keep going can be the single greatest accomplishment. 

And one day, you will have it all. A perfect house. The perfect family. The perfect finances. The perfect emotions. The perfect hair. Or maybe, someday we will understand completely what we get glimpses of throughout this life, that we do not have to be perfect.

Because He is.

And He just might say...







Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blah-ness can lead to Ahhh-ness

It is not necessarily exciting.
It is not usually sparkly or glamorous. (However, glitter can be involved.)
Definitely not mysterious.
It is a 7 letter word that can cause some, if not most people, to retreat very quickly.

R
O
U
T
I
N
E

There, I said it. I got it out without getting hives.

With all the changes in our lives in the last month, the very thought of a routine was surely stuffed away in a box somewhere. And this very day I attempted to pull it out, untangle, and try it out again.

The results were grimacing. 

From the time we woke up, little ones were asking, asking and re-asking "can we do this?", "will we do this?", "when will we do this?" and as many variations of that question as you can imagine. 

Tears were flowing freely when I attempted to lay each one down for a nap. That may sound typical to have fussy, emotional kids that whine and complain about pretty much any decision you make as a parent but let me say with emphasis, THAT IS NOT TYPICAL FOR US.

I learned early on in my mommy-hood, kids.need.routine. They need it like they need air. Like they need food. Like they need love. With it, they flourish and learn, soaking up each moment like a sponge. 

Without it, as I have once again been reminded of, they fall apart at any given moment like an unraveling sweater. The slightest pull or tug and all joy, smiles and pleasantness is yanked right out.

Attempting to start a routine can be daunting, an unfathomable task. However, with some good old fashioned dedication you can push your sleeves back, brace yourself for the bumpy ride and reign that wild horse back in. 

You see, humans do not naturally flow towards routine. What is that law they reference to say that things tend to stray towards chaos? I forget. But it's true. And it is no less true for little ones. In fact, little ones may need structure more than any other age group.

Over the next few days and weeks I am going to continue working to pull my little horses back into the stall so we can return to a place of order in our lives.

Order brings peace.
It sets little teeny hearts at ease knowing what they can generally expect to happen that day.
It brings joy in the home. 
Smiley faces.
Happy hearts.
And a general sense of…well, "ahhh-ness".

Side note for all questioning or concerned: Routine does not have to mean boring. And it most definitely does NOT mean no spontaneity. Life is full of unexpected opportunities that bring excitement and fun. However, when there is a general order to your young ones' lives, they can more easily enjoy those opportunities and there will be much fewer emotional messes you as caretaker will need to clean up. All in all, it leaves much more time for fun! And we can all say, "Ahhhhh" about that.










Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adventure 101

Somewhere right smack dab in the middle of living life, you either get slapped with the reality of this truth or you swallow it bit by bit until you have accepted it fully~ life is an adventure. 

One right after the other really.
Never ending.
A-just-when-you-think-things-might-calm-down-they-do-not kind of adventure.

Right now we are living 1000 miles away from home (that is not figuratively), with our stuff sprawled out in 7 different locations while our new home is being built. 

Exciting? Yes. Easy? I could think of other words…

And all this after a month of trying to keep the home looking untouched while trying to sell it. And just before selling it, realizing the brand new roof was in shambles. But before that, adjusting to life with a family of 5. And yet before that, an insanely difficult pregnancy that caused my oldest to recently tell me she in fact did NOT want to have children because she did not want to have to lay on the couch sick all day. 

I am certain of one thing~ once the new home is completed and the adventure of moving in is finished and all seems good and well in the world, more adventure awaits. And I have learned (or maybe I am still bit by bit learning it) that it always will. 


While the love of my life is back in our hometown, the girls and I are surrounded by family, loving and supporting us. We have unpacked our bags but judging by my dreams, I have not mentally "unpacked" all that above stuff. And maybe I never will. Maybe life is not meant to be understood and someday when we finally have the time to "process" everything we have gone through, we will not even want to. 

After a phone call of missing one another the other night, my husband text me and told me he noticed a magnet on his parents' fridge that has been there probably 20 years and he just then finally read the words:
            

                      "It is good to have an end to journey toward,
                       But it is the journey that matters in the end."

I find those words very fitting. Fitting to whatever experiences you are encountering right now. If life is crazy, it's an adventure. If life is hard, it's an adventure. If life is exciting, it's an adventure. 

You will never walk through this same "adventure" again. And maybe that is a reassuring thought. Either way, it is your life and you only get to walk the steps before you one time.

Just one time.

You may take detours, miss a turn, and travel roads you never expected to see, however, it is your own adventure that no one can or will experience for you.

As best you can, enjoy the journey. 

Learn what you can from it.

Surround yourself with those you love and who love you.

Smile and take on the day. You never know what is right around the corner.