Thursday, January 16

It's a lot, I know

This post may be a non-sensical rambler. I've had 50 posts started in my head since the new year, and none of them have made it to the keyboard. And as much as I've longed to share, I've been doing therapy of a different kind.

You guys. This book is amazing.

I've been slowly savoring every sentence, and I haven't dared to speed-read once. There is so much there to love. I've wanted to share with you a hundred quotes, but I could message that every 2 minutes. Today's gem:

"Thanks makes now a sanctuary. And I take my vows: I will not desecrate this moment with ignorant hurry or sordid ingratitude. I will be Jacob and I will name this moment the 'house of God.'"

I have a love-hate relationship with hurry and time and 24 hours. I hate being rushed because I don't think well in those moments. But I love the results of a flurry of activity. Still, there's rarely the feeling of pure joy even in those moments where I have accomplished everything on the to-do list - unless some of those moments came with God-centered focus. In this chaos, I rarely stop to discover where He is. I may usher a rapid-fire thanks when something goes unexpectedly well, but I forget to thank in every moment.

So that's where I have been the past couple of weeks. Stopping in the moments. Filling my head and heart with thanks. I have had to re-train my brain to do this. How sad that it doesn't come naturally.


And here's we we come to the rambling part of the post ...

Other posts I've not written, but will in short bursts now:

I love watching my kids grow up.

How we survived our Disney vacation.

An update on my 40-by-40 list.


At half-past 11 and half-past 9, the kiddos are blowing me away with their mini-adultness lately, and I love it. I can relate to this stage so much more than to the toddler one, which I swear I barely survived. Of course, this stage brings it's own challenges, especially for the girl variety. Maybe I say that because I was her not that long ago (really, it wasn't that long, was it?). I doubted myself and my abilities. I had many worries. I had many not-so-confident moments.

I still do. Double ugh. But I don't want that for them. I am evaluating what my actions are teaching them. Here's what I want to do:

Teach them to be brave.
Teach them to be honest, real.
Teach them to Let it Be (words I am testing out for a tattoo).
Teach them that relationships aren't perfect, but forgiveness is.
Teach them that moving on is OK.
Teach them that there's more to life than just here, but that contentment is living the now.
Teach them to dream. Big ideas are good.

You all know I am not really there yet, right? But I will try because they are worth it.


Disney was GREAT! It's a big trip, people. Lots of planning, walking, scheduling, maneuvering, and strategy. So, really, not a lot of relaxing. But the folks at Disney go out of their way to make this place magical, and it's really a good idea to take advantage of as much of it as possible if you aren't going back soon. I don't think we are? Who knows that the next few years will bring - a lesson in non-planning that I am quickly embracing.

Trip highlights: Swimming outside on Christmas Day; Sam braving her first big roller coaster; Peyton braving every single roller coaster he could, with deep belly laughs; having a ton of family together in one place!; seeing cousins we haven't seen in too long; watching the kids connect with new family members; experience Christmas moments all around us for days and days ... and then feeling like it was summer the other times.

A few of my favorite photos:

these were the only characters Sam really wanted to
meet, and the lines were outrageous. so we hovered
nearby to catch a glimpse. her face was priceless.

my fave ride. me and my little bro, with Scott and Peyton in the front.
face of fear before we went down was, again, priceless. that was
my face of fear, by the way. ahem.

universal does an amazing job of recreating movies in real life.
this Grinchmas display made my Christmas.

and if you go there, you really need to see this.
it's like being in a Harry Potter movie. as Peyton often says,
i didn't expect to love animal kingdom as much as I did.
best food and favorite rides. amazing scenery.
watch out world, here we come! at least we didn't all
have matching t-shirts. (but i totally see the value.)

no caption required. 


I'll make this one quick. A little more progress on the list, with much more scheduled already. I know it doesn't seem like I've gotten too far, but I am moving right along.

9. Christmas Eve gift opening. This was a first-ever at our house (as the Santa thing has been revealed), and something we had to do since we got up at oh-dark 3:30 am to drive to Florida from Tennessee on Christmas Day. It was a nice evening. I would do it again, although I still prefer Christmas morning.

10. Christmas in Disney. Need I say more?

11. First-ever quiet New Year's Eve. We rolled into town around 7:30 pm that evening from Tennessee and did literally nothing but order pizza and unwrap ourselves from our 20 hour sitting position from two days of driving. But this solitude was just the way we needed to begin the year. I even read a few verses of scripture before going to bed. All-in-all, probably a good start (although I missed my friends!)

12. Ice skating lessons anyone? In two weeks, these begin. I promise a photo or two of the embarrassing moments. A long-time friend suggested this to me as a way to mark something off the list that both of us wanted to try! Met the instructor the other day, and I can tell we will all get a long superbly!

13. First time being a telecommuter. Although I have split my time at work between working in the office and working from home for several years now, I am going to try working from home all the time. Many reasons for this, but hoping to successfully do this without missing adult time or going looney in my house. (Work isn't far away, so plenty of moments to be rescued should I need to see my peers.) Forever grateful to work for the chance to try this out.

That's all for now, much more on the way. Better be - only 3 more months till I exit my 30s!

Friday, January 3

Being new

The sky is the lightest hint of pink this morning. Baby blue streaks poke through, and the winter white that blankets the ground makes the whole thing look soft and wonderful.

If it's going to be cold, let it at least be beautiful.

It's also the perfect type of morning for this:

I am not one to make a list of resolutions, and when I do, I'm not one to stick with them long. I like to keep my plans somewhat vague, which goes against every goal-setting dialogue I've ever heard. So this year I have put a few specific goals into place. But I can sum them up as such:

More gratitude. Much, much more.

Less selfishness. Much, much less.

And more room for God to move. Infinitely more. My goal is to simply get out of the way, and act when I know I'm supposed to act.

This is hard for me. I haven't unlocked the formula that shows me which steps to take, and when to sit. In a moment of decision, I freeze. I need time to process and listen. In a world that moves at lightning speeds, I don't always have that luxury.

But - more often than not - I do have mornings like these. That helps.

Another stumbling block is my obsessive need to know what's mapped out for me. To follow sequences, plans. To know the next step. While my heart desires a life of witnessing miracles and being part of change, my head seeks only sure-things.

But maybe not in 2014.

Right now, I relish in not knowing all the answers but in discovering them. My mind is open to change, to exploring. I caught myself the other day planning my next step - when the children are this age and when we have this amount of money. I realized how foolish I sounded to God.

As if I made the plans.

As if I knew what was best.

As if.

Already, in the short 3 days of this bright new year, I have let a few situations go. God knows better. He knows more. This book has helped - a reminder that if I take the quiet moments to read and connect, I can act with more confidence, in more faith.

Wishing you an inspiring, awe-creating, blessed, and truly "new" new year.