Saturday, June 7, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

We are getting better and better at this camping thing.  We went again this weekend.  Dry wood...check!  Sleeping on flat ground.....check!  Free campsite....check!  Campsite all to ourselves....check!  Perfect weather...check!  Air mattresses....double check!  We took our nephews with us this time which provided additional company for our girls.  That gave Dan and I more sit down time by the fire.  When we arrived, it was time to set up camp.  Dan and I are able to set up everything, including the tent, without needing to say much to each other.  I consider that a success because we know what each other is doing and things are done efficiently.  After things were set up the kids explored the surroundings.  We camped at Malabar Farm and had all 15 campsites to ourselves.  So the kids had plenty of room to run and play an awesome game of hide and seek.  As night set in we did the traditional "s'mores" for snack.  The boys figured out that sticking sticks in the fire and pulling them out after they were hot would make a trail of smoke as they ran through the campground.  I think at one point all the kids had a smoke parade.  It was all fun and games until a hot coal ended up on my seat and my bottom.  Ouch!  Our girls definitely needed some ground rules for handling hot sticks.

At bedtime, Dan and I found a couple stories on our phones to read to the kids.  Guess we should remember a story book for our next trip.  The kids went to bed beautifully and Dan and I enjoyed sitting by the fire and watching the last log burn.  Chloe camped out on Dan's lap and fell asleep on him.  It was precious to see her snuggled up on his chest.  We had a few hours of relaxed conversation talking about the past and remembering what God has done in our lives.  We snuggled up and went to bed with Chloe and all slept until 6:30 the next morning.  While we packed everything up, the kids ate their bananas and granola bars and played one more game of hide and go seek.  I just love creating memories!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tree Hugger

I have some weird camping blood in my body and it didn't come from my immediate family.  When I was 15 years old I started working at a camp for children with special needs.  And I worked there for the next 11 years.  I grew to love the outdoors and found that I was in my element while camping in the woods.  I fell in love with the smells and sights of nature.  So now I carry on the tradition to my children.  So far they love camping too.  I am slowly turning Dan into a camper. 

Memorial Day weekend proved to be absolutely beautiful with blue skies and perfect temperatures.  So we packed up Saturday evening and found a campsite a half hour from home.  That seems to be the perfect distance with the kids being younger.  Once they are older we can venture to some new places.  But for now, we go down for the evening, have s'mores, let them play for a few hours, and go home early in the morning.  We found a place with a playground and a small lake so the kids had plenty to do.  My favorite part about these short trips is spending time with Dan.  We are not on our cell phones or the IPad and we can talk for hours.  This time is precious and sweet for us.  And we thoroughly enjoyed watching our happy kids enjoy the outdoors.  When we arrived, Chloe acted like we gave her a tremendous amount of freedom and she did somersaults all over the camp site.  She was so happy to NOT have tight boundaries.....which we give her quite often.  The evening was enjoyable and the kids went to bed around 9:30.  Dan and I went to bed about an hour later and realized we were laying on a slight hill.  We tried and tried to get comfortable, but it wasn't working very well.  We stuck it out into early morning and decided our sleep was pretty important.  So we packed everyone up in speedy time and drove home to our soft beds.  We have decided it is time for an air mattress for us.  The kids are looking forward to some more camping trips in the near future.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend of Wisdom

This past weekend I was able to attend the Women of Faith event in Columbus, Ohio.  I went with five other women from my Sunday school class.  God sure knows how to time things right.  I was due for a break from the kids.  I love my children, but some days it is hard to find a moment for myself.  And I need that time to refuel and rejuvenate so I can be a better mommy and wife.  This weekend gave me the respite that I needed.  We left Friday afternoon and spent some time sitting in traffic, but it didn't matter because the car was full of laughter and conversation.  We had a yummy dinner, a few hours of the conference and then the slumber party began.  We stayed up until 2am talking.  In fact, I was still talking when I heard heavy breathing going on and realized the girls had passed out.  I love talking at night.  Isn't my husband a lucky man?

Saturday was full of conversation and speakers and food and singing and speakers and conversation.  I left feeling filled emotionally and spiritually.  I left feeling like I could hear my God speaking louder and clearer to me.  I left feeling more secure and excited about starting another week with the kids.  I got home that night and spent a few more hours talking with Dan before bed.  Somehow I had the energy for that!  It was great conversation with my best friend. 

The thing that I learned from being away was that I kind of like who God created me to be.  That probably sounds funny, but I had a day and a half to take care of myself and no one else.  I was comfortable with my surroundings and the friends that I was with and just enjoyed the time away.  I struggle with insecurities and I asked God to reveal the root of those issues while I was away.  I felt like he gave me a day of contentment and peace.  He allowed me to feel that and grasp it and believe it.  I felt like He showed me my strengths and helped me like them.  And the best part was that I came home to a clean house, bathed kids and a husband snuggling with all three girls!  It truly was a weekend of wisdom that filled my soul.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

The Story of a Wedding Band

So....pretty cool story!  On our wedding night, after all the craziness of the wedding day, we settled into a nice hotel and Dan presented me with a plain silver wedding band.  He said that some day I might not want to wear my diamond ring and I might want to wear a simple band instead.  Like if I was playing sports or something and the diamond would get in the way. It was a very sweet gesture, but I put the ring away for when I might need it....and I forgot about it.

About a week ago, Dan and I were sitting down for the evening to watch television and I noticed that my diamond wedding ring didn't feel right.  I pulled my hand out from under the blanket and saw that the diamond was missing.  Ugh!  We made it almost ten years and I have never lost my ring or the diamond.  The good news is that we had insurance on it so it is getting fixed.  Thank goodness!  But I was suddenly without something on my left hand.  The left hand that has had a ring on it for so long.  The next morning after I lost my ring I went to my jewelry organizer to find a necklace to wear with my outfit.  And as I was searching around my eye caught sight of the single wedding band that Dan gave me all those years ago.  I was so excited to see it and know that I was finally having the moment that he bought it for. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Life Is Good

Doesn't this picture just warm your heart??  My baby isn't such a baby anymore.  She can almost reach the sink to wash her hands.  She can put her shoes on by herself.  She can open doors without my assistance.  She is almost four.  Where has the time gone?  I was able to spend the day with my girls today and it was wonderful.  Dan came down with the flu virus on Thursday night and has been down for the last two days.  So this weekend has become a "girls" weekend.  Luckily I started the morning with an eight mile run (very early), which gave me the energy to be with them all day.  And I released some extra endorphins, which is always helpful.  Our day was full of a lot of activity, but I found myself laughing and enjoying the girls a lot.  I also found myself really missing my husband.  That companionship and the comforts of parenting the kids together just wasn't the same today.  Hopefully he will be better tomorrow.  He said he has a super busy week coming up so he needs his energy back.  I am so proud of that man!  He is building his business well and is close to getting his first office and office manager. 

Mya started soccer last week for the first time ever.  Can I just tell you that I am so excited to be a "soccer mom."  I have had dreams of being a sports mom and it is finally coming true.  She loves running so I am hoping this might be a good sport for her.  Basketball didn't pan out to be her favorite thing.  She was scared of handling the ball and it wasn't fun for her.  It is all about trial and error at this age.  I am proud of her for trying another new thing even though basketball was a tougher experience for her.  It seems like since we have been handling her anxieties differently she is starting to face little fears one step at a time.  I went to bible study last week and Dan had an evening with the girls.  He spent a lot of extra time that night with Mya talking about her fears and made some good progress with her.  She got a new fish today, which was crazy exciting for her.  She told me that when she worries about things she will go look at her fish and feel better.  That was sweet to hear!

Smoothies are still a big part of our life.  It has been about three years that we have been making these on a daily basis.  One a day...four cups at a time.  So yummy and so good for our bellies.  I know when I go a day without one.  My body doesn't like it.  Here is my favorite recipe that I like to have as a dessert at night.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter (check your ingredients should only be peanuts)
2 Tbsp Cacao powder (I buy this at the Vitamin Store)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups spinach
1 cup ice

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Much Thanks

I just have to take a moment to thank my readers!  I have received some amazing feedback from my last post about Mya's anxiety.  I mean....some really good advice.  You have all comforted and confirmed and shared similar experiences.  It has been so encouraging.  I had a heart change the other day and have since altered the way I react to Mya.  And I have seen the benefits already to just letting her have the fears...letting her own them....and letting her feel them.  She is such a huge part of our lives and when you parent you hurt when your child hurts.  We are learning and growing with her and I am thankful for any advice given.