Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Bucket List

This is our fall bucket list and I love it. Maggie, Aron, and I came up with it together and I think it lists reasonable things the we will get to and not-too-out-of-the-ordinary-things that are doable.

I like this whole concept of a seasonal to-do list for family times together. Not only does it help you focus in early on what you value (or what your kids' hopes and dreams are), but it also gives you something intentional to do. And it's an added bonus that in the midst of our blogging world where everyone seems to be doing everything well, I don't have to feel defeated if I can't get to all I see before me. It's good to feel successful in your parenting. :)

My friend Casey did a summer list and I loved it and had to do a fall one. I think Leslie may have been the originator of this concept, but I could be wrong. Love her thoughts behind it, too.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

pumpkin patch 2011

We enjoyed the Dallas Arboretum yesterday, traipsing around, looking at the assortment of pumpkins (they used over 50,000 pumpkins to decorate the landscape and also build 3 pumpkin houses!), and of course, choosing a couple to take home and carve. The kids enjoyed the afternoon and we snapped some traditional annual pictures. I couldn't find the one from last year (old computer died, only so many pics got transferred). Regardless, my kid are looking so grown-up to me!

I did find a photo of me and Mags (age 22 months) upon our return to Chicago, prior to Curren's birth. My how, time flies!

I love the fall season and all it brings.
Fall 2009, a blast from the past

Monday, October 17, 2011

in those dark moments

Something I've noticed is that when I am not handling life well as a mom, blogging gets shelved and I kind of go dark for awhile (hence my almost-month hiatus from here). I'm still reaching out to friends and family, calling, initiating, I do these things well, but eventually I back off and isolate myself and spiral into loneliness. It's an interesting cycle for me--chaos brings isolation which brings loneliness. It's a real spiritual battle for me to stay in it (being honest and living life with others) and to *not* isolate myself. The hard thing I'm still trying to work through is when those closest to me also happen to be crazy busy or not handling life well as a mom either, and they are thus, not as available to me.

Many times, I have left voicemails for a few close friends and my sister that say, "I'm having a really, really hard day and I just need to talk." Sometimes, I've even been close to tears when I leave those voicemails. It's very humbling for me, to be real and raw in the moment and to ask for help. I'm getting better at it because I care deeply about doing life well in community, but I also find I have to force myself to reach out in the moment (not a day or 2 later; you know how it goes, checking in with a friend, "How are you?" "Oh, I had a rotten day on Tuesday, but I'm better today.") I think those who know you best should see you in your most glorious and your most difficult times. I feel deeply grateful to have a number of close, close friends who know me and seek me out.

On the other side of some very tough days, weeks, or longer seasons, I see God's faithfulness, drawing me into a closer relationship with Him through prayer and time in His Word. In these recent hard days, I've fought to stay focused on Him. God's grace is good, moment by moment.

How do you handle loneliness and those dark moments in life?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

on being away and coming home

I left on our anniversary day in September for a good friend's wedding in which I was a bridesmaid. It was a fantastic trip, overall, as I was able to ride 1st class (redeemed Aron's air miles for the same amount as a coach seat, who could pass that up?!) and eat a real meal with real silverware and even have leg room to spare. I read books on the plane and just relaxed. It was heavenly.

The wedding was incredibly gorgeous, set on a ranch in the hills, with a cool breeze blowing, and the day was perfect, just perfect. Cayla has wanted to be a wife and mother since I've known her (13 years) and at the right time, God brought Mike into her life and almost one-year to the day they met, they got married. Super cool, right? She also lived well in her singleness, traveling the world with Cru, training and equipping students on short and long-term missions teams. Singleness was very difficult at times, but she truly was able to live well in the moment and do incredible things for the Lord. Love that.

I know some of you know her and some of you don't, but if you have 3 minutes, it's worth your while to scroll through their wedding album. The photographer was incredible, the day captured splendidly, and so much of it I would do if I was getting married; I still loved our wedding day, but I loved so much of what Cayla and Mike did for their special day. Check it out here.

I love my hubby, love that he took such stellar care of our kiddos while I was away, but man, it took almost 2 full weeks to get back in the groove of things, with kids being off, Aron not feeling well, both of us exhausted from our respective weekends, etc. Getting way is completely necessary at these stage of life with young kids, but at some point, the "getting back into the groove" on the other side might not be worth it. At least not for such a long stretch of time. Regardless, my in-laws were incredible hosts and it was fun to catch up with them and also to get to spend so much time with my close friend, Linds. And of course, all the wedding festivities. I'm so glad I was able t be a part of it!