20
Apr
18

Friendship is essential to the soul

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” – Proverbs 27:9

Today I head back to my tribe and the daily routines of life. These last 8 days have been some good soul medicine. Something I’ve needed for awhile. I am filled up with so much goodness and joy!

At the beginning of 2018 I decided to be more intentional about things that feed my soul, that make me a better person and in return those things make a better home.

I’ve done an overhaul in my social media and I limit my time on it… no more surfing FB, in fact, I love I don’t have to be on FB to post things. Removing myself from groups that are of no benefit and unfollowing negative people, I love I find it’s pretty boring and that’s fine with me. Now I receive very few notifications and so I don’t need to open the app. It’s been a marvelous change. I’ve chosen to not communicate through social media but go old school and call, text or email.

But so far this year one of the best things I’ve done is purchasing a plane ticket to spend 8 days with 3 fabulous friends who know (the good, bad and ugly) me, love me and have helped me be a better person.

It’s been a long time since I took a trip without anyone from my family and last Thursday I left to head back to California.

It had been 12 years since I saw 2 of them in person. It’s sad how busy life can get and how fast time can go by…. I couldn’t believe it had been so long. However, you’d never know we hadn’t spent the last 12 years doing life and raising our kids side by side. There was no awkward moment, zero hesitations, we picked up where we left off from the moment I was greeted at the airport.

The last week has been such a big blessing and something I have needed for a long time. It has been a wonderful and meaningful time. It has been good to have some good girlfriend time, deep conversations and laughs upon laughs. Plus, all the other friends and people that have meant so much me and J that I met with them, hugged and laughed with.

It’s been full of day trips and adventures and all the goodness and joy deep, true, friendships bring.

I’m blessed by Jason, his encouragement he gave for me to take this trip and adjusting his schedule to cover things while I was gone. I am grateful my kids were so excited for me because they know how much I love them and how I adore friend time. My girlfriends making me feel so loved with their instant joy and because they never had to think about saying yes to me coming and crashing at their place.

“Friendship is a wildly underrated medication.” – Anna Deavere Smith

I will miss them terribly, that will never change and I will miss the west coast and all its beauty and serenity. It is so rich in memories for me, I grew tremendously during the time we lived there and because of the people we did life with. We are already planning the next visits and I am looking forward to 2 more trips this year where I can spend some sweet time with other girlfriends as they hold my hand and may possibly wipe some tears as one visits colleges with Taylor and I and the other tells me it’s OK as I leave Hannah in VA for a month.

So much goodness coming and maybe more as life has brought new friends into mine and Jason’s path and we are excited to see how those grow.

Feed your soul people, do the things that make you better not the things that keep you busy and away from the richness of relationships.

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06
Jan
18

a perfect holiday break

The kids went back to school this past Thursday. No one wanted the break to end and I’d like to think it was for more reasons than not wanting to have homework and tests.

We had such a great the Christmas season. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better one. Sure we missed extended family and far away friends but we had A good mix of fun, meaning, lazy and merriment this year.

It was just the 6 of us. It was calm and didn’t pass by too quickly. It’s not the first time it’s just been our family so I’m not all to sure why it felt so good and different than before. It felt like much needed time. I worked to be more intentional with our schedules and chose new and meaningful events. But maybe it was the calmness of it being the six of us or the fact that we stayed active vs just sitting around and letting it pass us by or maybe it’s the clock ticking in my head saying there’s 18 months before our first born leaves the nest.

I find myself wanting to take pictures of all we do more than ever before. I want to make sure we are making memories, that everything is a sweet memory- even the ugly things. I want my kids to be excited about making their way in life and expanding their wings but I want more than ever for all thoughts of home to be joy filled and sweet and that they desire

to come back home and bring their friends and people they meet along the way.

As a kid I wanted nothing more than to be a mom and many times I said I wanted a million kids. It was all I thought of most times and I loved playing house.

I love my 4- they are my million. I’m excited for their futures and I love talking to them about what they feel their future holds. But like most parents- I fight with time a lot. I want it to go by slower, for it to give us more time, let us choose the pace of life.

Of course, the kids missed the big family Christmas with all them aunts, uncles, cousins and Mimi and papa but I’m hoping as the days go by they will be glad we had Christmas as just the 6 of us from time to time. This is my favorite picture. I love everything about it. I see all their personalities in this picture and just pure joy and love.

15
Oct
17

Reality isn’t perfect

Here’s to everyone that said I always have things under control, always have a clean house. The truth is you’ve probably only seen my house when I knew you were coming over. Reality looks more like this… Jason is traveling again and I push over the laundry so I can lay down in bed and go to sleep next to it.

It’s all clean, but I can’t tell you when I’ll actually get around to folding and putting it away. But on a Sunday where I went to church between running 8 miles and doing the Bible study carpool and five loads of laundry and dealing with a parenting crisis I do try find the rest on a Sabbath. Rest that just really looks like less work than any of the other days. It’s not perfect but we’re all fed and happy- just sometimes we sleep next to the laundry.

25
Aug
17

Monaco

Monaco is gorgeous. We only spent a few hours in Monaco but it was enough time to have the best caprese salad ever.

We saw the castle, Grace Kelly’s grave- the church is stunning and just enjoyed walking around.

23
Aug
17

Italy

After Switzerland we headed to Italy. I loved everything about it especially the gelato. Since it was a safe and clean food I ate plenty. Of course all the other food was fantastic. I was so pleased to be eating out so well without issue. I was in heaven.

Going back to northern Italy is on my list. It was all I imagined it would be and more. I’d love more time there and J wants to take me to Tuscany.

I indulged in delicious wine and anti pasta platters. Taylor devoured true Italian pizza and fabulous pastas. We spent a day exploring the Cinque Terre. It is a place a I could live. The small quaint villages that make up the Cinque Terre are absolutely adorable. We spent time on the on the beach and wading in the Mediterranean. Y’all it’s so cold so I only went out so far. My belly was not going to get touched by the ice bath. But it was nice to get hot laying out and then be able to get wet and stay cool for 30 minutes.

I found a little place for J and I to go back to as well as a restaurant. It’s just perfect for us. ❤️

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23
Aug
17

Traveling- it is my favorite activity

img_4587“We don’t travel for traveling but to have traveled. It’s the journey that counts. It’s meeting other people that makes traveling worth while.”

Growing up we moved several times, 8 I believe, before I graduated high school. I remember being jealous of people who lived in one place and had a large number of life long friends. I wanted that for myself. But I did enjoy moving and the opportunity to be a better me and no one knowing my faults while I improved myself.

J and I moved across country 6 months after getting married and we started traveling a lot. Whether it was to different states or countries. I love all the new adventures. Once we started traveling to other countries that’s all I wanted to do. I constantly crave traveling. The farther from home we go the better. Before a trip I’m super excited, I feel at home on the trips and I grieve some when returning home. Maybe it was all the moving as a kid, maybe it’s the high of the experience and love of learning about other places, or maybe it’s just because I have wanderers heart who is grown to love change. We’ve been in the same house for 11 years and that’s the longest I’ve ever been in one place. I day dream about moving from time to time.

June 11 Taylor and I took off for an 11 day adventure to Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France and Spain. We had the best time. We walked a lot! Over 5 miles a day. We saw and did some incredible things. We started off in Zurich and Lucerne. We went to the top of the Swiss Alps, had incredible chocolate, saw the gorgeous countryside of Switzerland and stayed in some of the most quaint little, family run hotels.

We were in Zurich on a Monday and although the town was busy and people were moving about to work the city was oddly a very quiet place. It’s as if it had no background or white noise. It was fabulous. I loved the smell of chocolate that was in the air. It was a great start for our journey.

23
Aug
17

Summer Crazy Summer

Our summer started off in May, sort of. We had a quick trip for a beautiful wedding…. but when it’s in Florida you say your summer starts in May.

Then we had Mercie’s 9th birthday and dog hospital episode and and before we knew it Taylor and I were off to Europe. It was marvelous and I promise to post about all that soon. I’ve delayed because it was such a good trip and I just wanted J and the kids to move to Europe and we all stay I haven’t come to grips with the fact that didn’t happen. 😆

We also have so many pictures I haven’t decided if I post all of them or if I make the tough call on which ones to highlight.

However when we returned other things rolled down hill and made our summer interesting and frustrating at the same time.

From expensive dog meds, to appliances breaking and repairs, ER visits and ambulance rides and money having to be spent in places we didn’t want to spend it….

We did however, get lots of great family time when my siblings and their families along with my parents came out for a week. Plus, Taylor’s 16 th birthday celebrations and lake time. Then there were the fun and weird feeling college trips with Taylor. We have a few more to do and although I don’t feel a kiddo of mine should be this close to college I do enjoy the time with her and we’ve had fun.

Next week the kids start school and it’s new chapters for all of them with Taylor taking college classes along with high school courses, Hannah is high school, Josh in middle school and Mercie the only one in elementary.

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