Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot Air Ballons, Curious George and Cookies

I love it when Joe calls me mid-afternoon and tells me to be ready by four. He had a surprise for us...and I love me a good surprise!

The surprise? The Hot Air Balloon Festival, and anyone who knows me knows I love a good festival. There's just something about all those people crammed together, walking around in the heat to celebrate...strawberries, sauerkraut, potatoes, even hot air balloons! Heck, I think I just like to celebrate.

First up, food. Because we all know festival food is the stuff dreams are made of.

Mmmm, baked beans and fresh lemonade.

And what would a festival be without the rides?

We even got a new hair bow, to boot!

We like to break the rules when it comes to summertime. So we had ourselves two dinners.

As the sun faded, so did the heat. The kids ran amok as Joe and I reclined in the soft grass.  It was like Fourth of July fireworks with all the "ooohing" and "ahhhhing" as the balloons lit up the night sky. It was a good day.


It's been a nice balance around here between going out and doing and staying in and taking it easy.  I like that balance. We don't always find it so when we do, it's really, really nice.

Reading Curious George on the couch.  I like watching the big one read to the little one. Sweet, sweet memories being made right there.

We made cookies for our friends. It was so much fun. A last minute idea that had as scurrying to Walmart and buying ingredients, Mason jars and ribbon. Our mission for the day was to be a blessing to the ones we love. Those cookies were made with love as Gabe poured and Isaac stirred. The best part was delivering them. It just feels good to make people smile.

And who can resist a good movie watched under a tent? It certainly isn't waisted on us. We told the boys to go upstairs, we would have a surprise for them when they came down. It wasn't much of a tent, and I'm sure there are more crafty supplies than duct tape and yarn but they thought it was perfect. They had their pillows, stuffed animals and blankets to sit back and enjoy the show with.

How did you spend your weekend?

Happy Monday out there :)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our own kind of perfect

I wanted to come here and say it's hard sometimes. I know I haven't been blogging very long at all but as I went through and read my posts I thought maybe things seemed really rosy around here. And since this blog is sort of like my (not so) personal journal, my journey, I wanted to put some stuff out there to help process my journey. And maybe it just might bless someone else along the way.

I hope I haven't given the impression that life is all gain with no pain. Because it's not. At least that's not been my experience. The last few years have been especially hard. I can't say I'm ready to share it all just yet.

We've grown a lot. We learned what was really important.

Our family. Photo taken October 2007

We feel like we are slowly rising above the water that's tried to keep us down. That tried to pull us under. It's true, Life as we knew it will never be the same. And I'm happy about that. That girl is gone. A new one, one with a stronger faith, a little more confidence and a reassurance that He really does hold me in the palm of His hand, has emerged.

Isaac, January 2008

I'm thankful for a God who loves us. He loves us so much He changed our circumstances so we could grow, so we could be better.  I'm thankful for His promises. And I'm thankful for His patience especially when we thought our faith was in Him when really it was in our bank account. I'm thankful He's in control. I'm really thankful I'm not.

Gabriel, January 2008

I don't know if anyone comes here, if anyone reads what I put down but if there is someone out there who is unsure, who is maybe a little scared about tomorrow, trust me, I've been there. I've been the mama crying over her baby's crib because I didn't know what the next day would bring.  I can't say that everything will turn out just the way we hope but I can say that my relationship with Jesus Christ is what sustains me and He knows what I need better than I do.  Always and forever, He is my one true love, my best friend.

Young's Dairy, May 2010

He knows my heart, the desires of my heart, my fears, my joys and He's caught every tear I've ever cried. Even when I couldn't feel Him near, even when I doubted He cared about my one little life  He was there. And He's there for you too. He's never lost sight of me and He never will. His eyes are on you, yes you and He wants to bless you more then you could ever imagine.

Selah, June 2010
I know because that's exactly the life I'm living. It's our own kind of perfect.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young-
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Psalm 84:3


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Loves

We were side by side in a sunshine-y booth at a local fast food joint. My boy, the oldest who happens to have carved out a huge piece of my heart, asked if the drink he just washed down his last bite of rice and beans with was Sprout. He meant Sprite but I thought it was too cute to correct. He has a slew of  things right now that absolutely make me melt. Like the way he requests Gootbeer with his pizza, the way he's into craft time, how he gives it his best shot to calm an upset baby sister. Right now I'm staring at ten pictures he colored and hung in my room as a surprise. They range from a family portrait of stick people to him and his brother on the teeter totter.  He's tender hearted, that one. I love him for it all the more.
Hot summer days at the pool are always a crowd pleaser around here. Gabe is especially fond. It's almost the first thing out of his mouth when he wakes up in the morning and it's his first request if we ask what we should do after nap time. Even it it's like 65 degrees. Let's just say he's a fan. This summer he's not even the least bit afraid of the water. Running and jumping right in. Watch 'dis mommy is a phrase he says nonstop while showing me his different jumps. He will ask if I want him to do a Spiderman jump or a Choo Choo train jump or any other kind he's made up. It's great to hear what's going on in that little head of his. I always knew he was  a really cool kid but now hearing what he has to say really seals the deal.  Swoon.

Selah Christine, she rocks my world. What can I say? I didn't know what to expect when I found out I was having a girl. I was familiar with boys. She blew me away. And every day since.

What I'm loving now? The way she says "Oh" when we talk to her like she really understands, even if what's being explained is something like how to change a tire.

The way she's obsessed with books. The house will witness a rare moment of quiet, all three kids playing nicely in the boys' room, I will go up to check on  the situation and there she is going through the book basket. She's so enthralled with her reading that she doesn't even see me standing there.


We had the chance to go visit with friends at their lake house. It ended up being the best day EVAH! From the tubing to the delicious grilled food to the S'mores. It was one for the record books.

We were 10 to a boat, 5 of those being kids. Sitting back, soaking up the sun on too pale skin and enjoying the bounce, bounce, bounce of the waves under the boat. The little kids were taking turns on the tube. My boys are timid, unsure. They like to thoroughly assess the situation until they know for sure that it's safe. The other kids, excited and eagerly awaiting the chance to be floating on some water thing being pulled by a fast boat.

I jumped at the chance when Gabe whispered in my ear that he wanted to try tubing. I stood next to him as we listened to the rules and got the hand signals for faster, slower and all done. I wasn't sure he would go through with it as I watched his little limbs slip through the arm holes of the life jacket. But he did it, he jumped in the tube, we started off really slow like he requested and got faster and faster. The smile on his face was the only signal we needed to know that he was loving it.  Isaac, seeing how brave little brother was, decided he wanted a try. As we were pulling him in after his turn was over he said, I know  who's going next, ME! Yeah, he loved it too. I love it when my kids try new things. I love watching the whole process. Going from I'm not sure about this whole thing to I DID IT and I LOVED it! It was great.  Really, really great.  One of those moments when I felt like I've got this whole being a mom thing. I've had enough of those how the heck did I get to be a mama moments to know I should appreciate those times. So drink it up I did.

It's been a great week. Happy Tuesday out there!


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Swap

There was a time when Joe and I would wake up on a Saturday morning say around 10 ish, go for a long, sweaty run, shower and head out for breakfast around 1. That usually meant Bob Evans. We'd crank up Billy Joel, speeding along and singing what lyrics we knew to We Didn't Start the Fire.  Lost in our own little world. We had no time commitments, no big responsibilities. Deciding what we should do with our day over coffee and eggs. That almost always meant heading to the mall to drop half our paycheck on clothes at the GAP. Maybe share an Auntie Anne's pretzel in the food court. Good times.
I was thinking about this over a conversation with a friend. We were enjoying the shade on her front porch while the kids played. Selah mastering her small motor skills on a plastic buckle from a doll stroller. Gabe and Isaac playing their version of croquet with friends.

I started thinking how much more I would enjoy a day like that now, fifteen years and three kids later. What would it be like to listen to 'our' music without fearing what little ears in the backseat might hear, go to the mall and spend money on clothes that didn't include an adjustable waist or cartoon characters. Eat dinner and ...dare I say finish a conversation.  I'm not sure what I would do if I didn't have to dodge flying food or if I was able to eat the entire meal while it was hot.

Sometimes I feel really torn. I would love to have more time like that with my husband. But no way am I willing to take the time away from my kids. It's too fleeting. Plus, I know it won't be like this forever. 

As fun as it was to be together like that, it just kind of fades in comparison to life now. Nothing could have prepared me for the love I have for my kids. It's like nothing I've ever felt. I remember not being able to get home fast enough the first time I left Isaac with daddy. Driving as fast as I could to get to him...because I could not get to him fast enough. There is nothing like being a mama.

Today we lunched on banana crunch pancakes, yogurt, fruit and a delish turkey wrap at our favorite restaurant. I love watching my kids really enjoy their food. The way Isaac gives me the thumbs up after the first bite of yummy goodness. Seeing Gabe attempt to jelly his toast because he's too impatient to wait for me. Selah squirming in her highchair while I cut up her fruit. I just love it.

After filling our bellies we headed to the bookstore. So fun. Reading to them while they played with the trains reminded me of being six again and reading to my stuffed animals...only the stuffed animals sat still...

It was a good day. Different then what it used to be but good just the same. It's okay if we swap Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory for a more kid friendly atmosphere. And who would've thought that trading Saturday morning runs for soccer at the Y would actually be fun?! I'm glad we had those five years before the kids. A great foundation. I look forward to doing it all again when the kids are older. But for now I am reveling in the time I have with my three littles.