Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SpRiNg THiNgS

 One of the things I want to do, just for myself, before I post about our summer- is to go back and highlight some of the things we did during the spring!  You will have to bear with me.  This might take a while!

Will was born on March 28th and that was such a happy day for our family!!  During the month of April, we spent lots of time just holding him and loving on him.  He is officially the sweetest-baby-ever-in-the-whole-wide-world. (Just saying.)




We also spent lots of time helping Ashley with David and Caroline.  New mommies need lots of TLC so we did all we could for her!




Spring came to Charlotte and brought all the ridiculous pollen with it, but it sure did make everything look beautiful!  This is a picture I took at the zoo the day I took our class on a field trip.  The wisteria was so pretty.


School was as busy as ever with lots of trips, parties, and events.  I was twirling around like a top!

I think I told you that Ashley got a kidney stone and ended up in the hospital...


Apparently, kidney stones are a thing in our family!???

Despite all the sleepless nights and recovering from just having a baby and kidney stones, she stayed positive and is always the sweetest mommy.


And John is such a good Daddy, too.  Can you tell how crazy his kids are about him?


Easter rolled around before we knew it.  We did all the usual things....dyed eggs, went to church together, and had a big lunch and Easter egg hunt at Steve's mom's house.  It was a fun day!




At the end of April, I turned 50!!  Wow.  I really can't believe I have hit that milestone, but it was the BEST birthday.  I honestly just feel so blessed to have had these 50 wonderful years and I don't focus on my age much at all anyway.  I am truly one of those people who just believes you should embrace the moment and enjoy it, no matter how old you are!

My day started by Laura surprising me at school with specialty donuts from Your Mom's Donuts.  That was so sweet and such a fun way to begin my birthday weekend!



Of course, I had to share them with David and Caroline once I got home!  David wanted to light a birthday candle and all we had was a seven.  Haha!


Steve was so sweet to plan the BEST weekend for me in New York.  If you know me, you know how much I LOVE NYC!!  So this was the perfect weekend for me!


This is what the view from our room looked like the night we got there...


We spent the weekend eating amazing meals (Steve had made reservations at The View...a restaurant overlooking Manhattan, for my birthday dinner), shopping, sight seeing, walking through Central Park, and just being together.  Spring is so pretty in New York!



We also had tickets to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.  I love Carole King so much and we both really loved the musical!


On Sunday morning, we went to Tim Keller's church, Redeemer Presbyterian.  It was so great to worship with such a diverse group of believers.  I know that is what heaven is going to be like!

After church, we had a little while in the afternoon to eat lunch and enjoy the beautiful day...


Then it was time to say goodbye to NYC.  It was a birthday I will never forget!!


Soon, it was the month of "May"hem.  Haha!  What a CRAZY month that is.  We celebrated my dad's 76th birthday and Ashley's 27th birthday.




Laura came home from Boston to help us celebrate all those fun things, along with Mother's Day, and Mark was home from law school.  We loved seeing them!




My dad took his first "selfie" ever with Laura!! :)


The kids kept growing every day...and looking cuter by the minute.





The last day of school finally rolled around and I had to say goodbye to my sweet class.  Here are three little girls who were best friends all year.  They were all cuddled up together reading on their last day together.  So sweet....


I said goodbye to my assistant Lyndsey and wished her well as she left to do her student teaching.  I sure will miss her!!  We had such a fun year together...


And on the last day (even though I will miss my sweetie pies), this was my theme song...


I have to admit...I was pretty happy! :)

So, that brings me up to the beginning of summer.  I will try to post about all the fun we've had very soon!  Tomorrow I am off on a trip to Portland and Victoria, British Columbia, so I will have to post when I get back!  Have a great rest of your week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Still Just Doing Life

Well...I am still here!  I have just been busy doing life.  So busy, in fact, that this little blog has taken a seat WAY at the bottom of my priority list lately.  And that's okay!  I will just check in here when I can and take the pressure off myself to post daily or weekly or even monthly.  After all....this blog is really just a way to preserve my memories and I do that a lot on Instagram and Facebook.  So, hopefully I will still have a way to look back on the past few months and remember everything that went on!

So...how is your summer going?  This summer I have been absolutely soaking up the slower pace and the sunshine and all the things that I love so much about summer.   It is my favorite season and I love every minute of it.



I have lots of things to share about what I have been up to, but I will start with our week at the beach last week.


One of the things I love about where I live is that it only takes about three hours to get to the beach and it takes less than that to get to the mountains!  Almost every year since I was a little girl, I have gone to the beach in the summer and I have so many wonderful memories there.  So, I am loving the fact that now that Ashley has three kids, we can take them to the beach with us and start making lots of fun memories with them!


All of us drove down the Saturday before July 4th.  Unfortunately, John couldn't come with us this year.  He has just started a new job and couldn't get the time off.  And Mark is in Santiago, Chile doing an internship, so he wasn't able to join us either.  But Sean came with Lindy and Laura flew in from Boston, so we still had a pretty big group!

Our week was very low key.  With three little ones, it is hard to go out and do much.  We mostly just hung out at the beach every day...all day!   And at night, we cooked easy meals in the condo and then watched TV or played cards or walked on the beach.  Ashley was a trouper trying to juggle all three kids, but we helped her a lot, so that made it easier.  They looked ADORABLE in their matching bathing suits!


David and Caroline had the BEST time.  Last year, David was a little skeptical about the ocean, but this year he couldn't get enough of jumping the waves and building sand castles!  Sean was so sweet.  He played with David every day and David loved it.  He said, "Sean, you're my best dude!!"  :)



And Caroline wasn't afraid of anything.  She went right into the ocean and had a ball.  She is such a spunky little thing.  One morning I woke up around 7:00 and she already had her bathing suit on!  She was ready to go!







Will (otherwise known as "Sweetest Baby On The Planet"), was an angel.  Every day we would keep him under the umbrella and he would sleep or we would bounce him so he could look at everything.  He is only three months old, but he literally didn't make a peep!  I sure do love that sweetie pie!




Laura and Lindy had fun seeing each other and Laura was soaking in every minute of her vacation.  It's hard being a working girl in the big city! :)  They love their sister time!







And Lindy was so glad Sean got to come.  We love having him with us!  He is a perfect fit for Lindy.  And, like I told you, he was David's favorite playmate!





We played putt-putt....





Played cards....



Spent lots of quality time...



And just had fun.

On the fourth of July, we flew a kite and watched a pretty amazing fireworks show on the beach...



It was a really fun week!!

But we have also had a heavy heart lately for some people we love.  Sean's dad has been so very sick with cancer this summer.  It has been one set back after another.  We are praying every day that God will heal him, but if He chooses not to, we are just praying for peace and comfort.  It is hard to watch someone go through all the things he has had to endure.


And, an update on my mom....she is doing really well right now.  We have explored every option we can, and we have pretty much determined that she does indeed have ALS.  We know that this is a very grim diagnosis, but we are accepting it and she is continuing to be joyful and do the best she can in the moment.  She still has so many things she is able to do and she has not progressed very much right now, so we are so thankful.  It is just one of those things that we will take one day at a time!


I refuse to let sadness or difficulty get me down.  I still have so much joy and so many fun things to look forward to in my life!  My sweet friend, Alise, has rheumatoid arthritis.  She is a beautiful young mom of three adorable children.  She shared this on her Facebook the other day and I loved it....

I encourage you today that whatever mountain you are facing or sea that feels like it is drowning you, to try and look up to God and see His sovereignty, His goodness, His mercy, His comfort, and His faithfulness to carry you through it. Then see how He can use you to love others who have dealt with something similar. He always makes a way! God is so good, he's so good to me! 

I feel the exact same way! 


There are lots of other things that we have been doing this summer.  I want to tell you all about those, too.  Hopefully I will be able to post about them soon!