Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mountain Echo

Last weekend we headed to the mountains for a sort of long weekend. We rented a cabin at Vogel State Park.
As we were checking in DH actually ran into a dear friend that we had lost touch with several years ago. She and I were in the same sorority in college and went through rush together and were part of the same pledge class so we were quite close all those years ago. It was so exciting to see her after all these years! She and her DH are expected a baby as well. They were staying there for the weekend celebrating their anniversary. Isn't it a small world? We haven't seen each other in at least 14 years! It was fun to catch up and get to know her DH as well over dinner at "our" cabin on Saturday night.

I enjoyed this weekend so much as there was not TV or computer in sight

The children swam, fished, played in the creek. We spent time playing board games and reading.

It was perfect.

40...and still very hot!

Well, I can say it...I have kissed a 40 year old man! Who would have ever dreamed it? Actually my handsome husband turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. We have celebrated 21 of his birthdays together...I am so thankful that he is in my life. It is such a thrill that after all these years he can still kiss me and it goes all the way down to my toes. As I am trying to spend more time in real life and making memories rather than just writing about them I didn't "blog" his birthday in a very timely manner. Happy Birthday, baby!
The children and I hosted a cake fest after he got home from work to properly sugar us all up. Truelove Celebrations (a local bakery) made his to die for cake...Devils Food w/ Chocolate Icing and Chocolate glaze on top. The man really likes chocolate!!! Have you ever noticed how excited children get about their parents birthdays? It is an excitment that is honest and pure and totally focused on someone else.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Humbled Awe

Yesterday DH and I paid a visit to the funeral home. It was for a 9 year old boy. His name was Bryan. His Dad works with my DH. This little boy had battled Cystic Fibrosis for his 9 years on this earth. He was the recipient of a lung transplant about 18 months ago. In the last 18 months of his life he had been free of the oxygen that had been his constant companion up until that point.

His mother is a scrap booker. She is an artist of the highest calling. I feel sure it has served as a sort of therapy for her over the years. At the funeral home there was a table with some of her scrapbooks. She had written Bryan’s story…all the highs and lows, through these books with pictures, mementoes and her words. One album even contained a copy of the letter she wrote to the donor family after Bryan’s transplant. There were pages and pages of photos of the family and Bryan on all kinds of adventures. There were words that recorded the memories. I stood and looked through them, getting to know a little boy that I would actually never “know”. What was so clear through this family's stories is that they seized the day….every moment, every hug, every smile, every laugh.

I was humbled by the strength of this family. I was awed by their very ability to get through the day. There was a quiet resolve and a joy that flowed through the soul of this family, even in the absence of happiness. I know that has to come from a deep abiding faith…a gift that God gives.

This experience just humbled me and placed my own family and my own “mothering” on my heart. I take for granted the grace and mercy I have been given. We have to hug while we can. We have love while we can. I need to be less busy and more fun. I need to take more pictures. I need to make more memories. I need to remember that these babies of mine are actually God's first and I should take care to treat them as such.

Today is a gift from God….what are you going to do with it?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Joy




Yesterday I had the high honor of taking off with my youngest son, now that the older 2 are back in school, and heading to up to a lake in the mountains for a day of swimming and play. Amazingly, the lake was abandoned (I suppose because of school being back in session) so DS and I had the great pleasure of having the beach area completely to ourselves.

It was a glorious summer day…clear blue skies with fluffy white clouds floating by on occasion, a calm lake with water just the perfect temperature to keep your skin comfortable under the golden sun. It was wonderful. We swam, danced in the water, watched the butterflies gathering on the sand for a drink, sang lots of songs and built sand walls (sorry, he just wasn’t into castles but preferred walls).

As I sat on the beach and played with my little man I just enjoyed every simple, plain moment of it. It was an afternoon that reminded me just how much joy is in the journey. I am so blessed to be called, “Mommy”. I love being a Wife and Mother. Unfortunately, I forget that when I feel rushed, tired and over-extended; when the world comes calling, and stealing the quiet from my life, I forget that. I am going to try to do better to remember that always, every day.



"Pour out your heart like water
before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him for the
life of your young children."
Lamentations 2:19

Monday, August 07, 2006

1st Days and Teen-Age ways

I thought I would update everyone on DD's 1st day of high school. Honestly, I think I was hoping for a, "Mommy, I would like to go back to *** for high school" when I picked her up!

When I pulled up to the school Friday afternoon (the longest day ever!) DD hopped in the car -- as only a teen-aged girl can -- and proclaimed, "THAT is the coolest place ever!" She had a wonderful 1st day of school. I don't think I ever had a day at school as good as the one she had. Friday night we spent several hours discecting everything she experienced (or at least the ones she shared with me!). I am glad she was happy.

Saturday found us, (along with at least half the population of 3 counties), converging on the "big mall" AKA. Mall of GA http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=208 for some retail therapy and to take advantage of our state's Sales Tax Free weekend. DD's is a teen-aged girl and my experience has been that teen girls like to shop! We had a fun day getting school supplies, clothes and had a nice long girls lunch at Ruby's in the Mall. We also visited a great scrapbooking shop, Archivers http://www.archiversonline.com so DD could get some cool papers to decorate her new binders with! Of course, a stop at Ultahttp://www.ulta.com was needed to finish off our day...oh, and a drive through Krispy Kreme http://www.krispykreme.com (the boys deserved a reward for all our hours away shopping!).

Thanks to everyone for the prayers and good thoughts (and especially for letting me whine)! God is good and I am still praying that He is with her and she can always remember "Whose she is".

Friday, August 04, 2006

1st Day of High School



This is a photo of my DD on her first day of preschool...12 years ago. She was on her way up the side-walk with "Mama Bear" in her arms and her pink back pack strapped on. Funny, she wore pink today to her 1st day of high school...only it was a hot pink polo and khaki burmuda shorts. We prayed on the way to school and I even drove by the school and prayed a little more after my shopping with the boys. It is 2-1/2 hours until I pick her up. I can't wait to hear how the day went. Thanks to all of you who have lifted us up in prayer and sent notes of encouragement.

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Psalm 4:8

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where do the years go?

This week has been one of firsts and a week full of Mommy Meloncoly. My dd starts high school tomorrow. I would like to say I am excited and thrilled like she is, but I would be lying. I am terrified, scared and sad. She is my first born and my only baby girl. My DH and I have spent her entire life trying to shelter her and keep her safe. Now, she wants to go over to that big High School and leave the cloistered life she has led up until this point. I have known for months that this was coming. It is here and I just keep tearing up about it. What on earth will I do when she goes off to college?

I keep thinking about her first day of preschool. She was 2 months shy of turning 3 and she seemed so grown up. I cried that day...she didn't. She even thought I should drop her off on the side walk and she would go in by herself. She wore the cutest Osh Kosh pink/white striped jumper and little, tiny white Keds sneakers. She insisted on wearing her pink heart shaped watch (even though she couldn't tell time) and took "Mama Bear" along with her. We had even found a pink Hello Kitty Backpack that had a Spottie Dottie on the back that squeaked if you pressed it; inside that pink backpack she took along a notebook with pink paper printed with ballet slippers.

I left Fort Hill Preschool and felt lost. She had been my constant companion for almost 3 years. I can't help but wonder how will feel tomorrow. I have been informed, in no uncertain terms, that I will NOT be allowed to take my traditional 1st Day of School photos and I am to just drop her off at the door. It will be different than that 1st Day of Preschool, as I will have 2 little boys in the backseat and we will head off to buy school supplies for their 1st Day of School next week.

Many hours have been spent in prayer this week. My sweet baby girl has been in the sheltered environment of our beloved private school and now we are entereing uncharted territory with the public school. I keep going over and over the fact that I know she has a good foundation and she loves God and seeks Him for her life. I also keep trying to remember verses to comfort me...
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abid under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust." Psalm 91:1-2
I know there are lots of Moms out there who will roll their eyes at my tears and drama and tell me in that knowing way, "Just you wait, it gets worse." But, for me, today feels really hard.