Monday, April 21, 2014

Wednesday-Sunday

Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Aunt Nina flew home from Texas and spent 5 days at home - 
Wednesday through Sunday.

...and, thankfully, those 5 days home would put an end to missing her for awhile.  Because, really, you don't always realize how much you miss someone until you're reunited. It's like your heart has a sigh of relief and it's filled with contentment. 

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On Wednesday, the kids and I met up with grandma and grandpa to surprise Aunt Nina by picking her up at the airport.  With a bouquet of balloons in hand and excitement in the air, we welcomed Aunt Nina home!

Makayla and Mason couldn't be happier!

After picking Aunt Nina up at the airport and having dinner with her, we decorated Easter Eggs...decorated them with shaving cream.  A super fun and super messy time...and resulted in beautiful eggs!


Thursday evening was spent at church observing Maundy Thursday.  Focusing on 2 important events - The Lord's Supper (communion) and the command to love and serve one another (foot washing) - it's always a very emotional service that truly honors what took place during the Last Supper.

After leaving church, we met up and attempted Game Night.  We played a few rounds of my favorite game - Telestrations.

Friday was spent in St. Louis.
We spent the day at the zoo and spent the night at Ballpark Village.

(*flashback from one year ago*
not much has changed...i'm wearing the exact same outfit minus the sweatshirt...ooooh, my!!)


Makayla said her favorite thing at the zoo was seeing the view and watching the zebras.
Seeing the view? She makes me laugh...I don't know where she comes up with some of these things.


Mason said his favorite thing at the zoo was the hippos.  He says - The hippos went up the water and down. They're shiny.

We spent our time at Ballpark Village basking in the sun, dancing, drinking cool beverages, watching the Cardinal's on the big screen, and dining out on the patio in front of a fireplace.
It was a very pleasant evening!




 Saturday, we started our day out with an Easter Egg Hunt, headed to a birthday party for a friend at the bowling alley, and then finished our evening at Great Grandma Allen's house for an Easter Dinner.

Our Easter Dinner at Great Grandma Allen's consisted of time spent with family that we don't get to see near enough, doula/midwife/vasectomy table talk that ended in the gutter, lots of laughter, and applause - applause for something BIG - Aunt Anne pulling Makayla's FIRST tooth!
For the past 2 weeks, I have had to look at Makayla wiggling this tooth.  I would get all hot, sweaty, itchy, and nauseated at the sight of it.
I would pray every night that she would lose this darn tooth (particularly at school where I didn't have to witness it) and we could move on in life...to the next loose tooth.

Well, sure enough, Aunt Anne pulled Makayla's tooth and Makayla felt like a whole new woman.
At the moment the tooth was pulled, Makayla sort of stood in shock with her mouth hanging open.  We all clapped and cheered for her...and as much as I was dreading the moment, I am so thankful that I got to witness the moment.  I almost had a tear drop.
When the shock wore off, Makayla got hot and shy, asked me to take her sweater off (because she was so hot), and buried her face in my shoulder because she said she was embarrassed.
Not long after, she was showing her gap off walking around like she was on the Red Carpet.  Her tongue has been twisting in and out of that hole since, and I think we've all seen the space from the missing tooth about a billion times now.

Saturday night into Sunday morning, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy visited our house!
The kids were super excited on Sunday morning to see the baskets that the Easter Bunny left and Makayla had a little bit more excitement as she discovered 4 quarters that the Tooth Fairy left her!

Sunday was spent celebrating Easter and saying farewell to Aunt Nina.

Church, lunch with Aunt Nina before she headed off back to Texas, and dinner/egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa Curry's.

When I asked Makayla was Easter means to her, this was her response: 
Jesus rose on Easter on the cross.  The bad guys killed him and he rose on Easter.  They put him inside of a tunnel and they put a big stone on the big hole.   The angels came down and got him and took him to heaven. 

Now...when I asked Mason what Easter meant to him, this was his response:
Easter Bunny.
When I asked him what Easter and Jesus mean to him, he answered:
Scary stuff.


Happy Easter!!

...counting my blessings...






Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just Write

I recently came across this letter I had written to Makayla and Mason:


"Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart."

makayla and mason ~
life is filled with hardship, struggles, sadness, heartbreak, and pain.
it is also filled with beauty, happiness, magic, miracles, and joy.
 your biggest worries right now in your little lives are trying to put a pair of tights on and struggling with the pain of molars coming through your baby gums.
i hope that as you get older and you begin to experience anything other than the good of this life that you will always be able to find peace within your heart.
how you get there, or whatever it is that helps you get there, is up to you.
 i want you to always be able to remember a feeling of love, appreciate and be thankful for all that you have, and focus on that.
life is good.
very good.
but it's up to you to be able to see and feel that.
mommy, daddy, and everybody else that loves you, are here every second of every day to mold you, guide you, and teach you how to love
...and hopefully one day you'll be able to learn on your own how to find peace amongst the chaos - to be calm in your heart.

love, mommy

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One reason for this blog is to help me focus on the GOOD.
When things get bad or people get mean, I write.
I write about the good.

To keep calm in my heart when there's chaos, 
I turn to this blog.
I write.


As I was reminded in church this morning, everybody has a bad list and everybody has a good list.
How you react to a situation, the negativity or positivity you bring to a moment, determines where your life goes next...
and I refuse to let the negative control who I am or how I live.


I choose to to write about the good and to photograph the beautiful.



By doing so, the bad kinda disappears...
the bad doesn't seem so bad.


I began this blog over three years ago and have written 300+ entries.
Since I started writing about what I love and what brings me JOY, I have begun to see life more beautifully and I find myself appreciating so much more.



Don't get me wrong - 
the people and the situations that I can write on my "bad list" are still there, but the weight of the bad isn't as heavy when I am able to focus and record all of the things on my "good list".



...so back to my letter to Makayla and Mason (and now Mia), my hope for them is that they will always have peace in their hearts and to rejoice in those moments when they feel like they can't.

My advice to them will be to write.
Write down what makes you happy.
Write down all of the goodness that sparkles in your life.
Write down those moments that make you close your eyes, take in a deep breath, and smile.
Write down your blessings.
Write down what you love.
Write down who you love and why.
Just write.


"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
- William Wordsworth

...and that's what I do.
I write about things that matter to me.

I am honest and raw and vulnerable and passionate.

I write about what keeps my heart beating.



Monday, March 31, 2014

MARCHing Through With Pictures

March?
Where did you go?!

Well, let's see...


Super Hero night at the Riverman hockey game!



A little fun play at Ergadoozy!


Celebrating Grandpa's 56th birthday with chocolate covered strawberries!


Bowling...!



Visits to the parks!





Spending Saturdays in the gym practicing volleyball.




Spa night with the girls.
Click on **Arbonne** for more information.



Getting treats delivered to your door.
It's the little things...
Click on **BirchBox** for more information.



Game night!
Click on **Telestrations** for more information.



"May the dreams you hold dearest come true and the kindness you spread keep returning to you."
Wearing green for St. Patrick's Day!



Watching the Lincoln Railers basketball team win the Super Sectionals - Elite 8.



A wedding with Mr. Q and Miss U.
A complete ceremony and reception in Makayla's Pre-K class to help the kids remember that Q and U stick together like glue!



Meetings and gatherings to plan a benefit for this beauty, Lyndie!



Watching the Railers win the Final Four!



Watching the Railers win 2nd in State!


The Railer's homecoming!
A parade of proud players and fans - hundreds and hundreds of cars lining the street and parading with honking horns through town.
I still get chills when I replay it in my mind.


A Pet Death.
I know it was just a fish, but it was one of Makayla's special fish and it was a big deal to her!
Makayla was so heart broken, she felt the need to leave a note for the other fish...





Two weeks worth of swimming lessons!



Love for Lyndie Benefit!
...and, boy, do I have more to share on that!


Volleyball Tournaments...
Makayla can serve the ball like nobody's business!


Life School Musical!
Lincoln Christian Church Kid's choir presenting their Spring musical.


March has come and gone.
Whew!
It was a very busy month for our family and I'm thankful for everything that came along with March, but...
I'm ready to move on to April!!