Thanksday #89

Dear August,

I have big plans for you.

I have dreams of hot, sunny weather without rain where I can swim with the kids and not have Paxton’s lips turn blue.

I have dreams of getting my tan back that I had in June.

(Pausing in remembrance.)

I have dreams of not wanting to pull out my fall boots and sweaters — and desires of getting bright-colored pedicures once again.

Yes August, I have big plans.

Because the weather for the past month has been awesome…if it were September. But considering it’s still technically summer, a few consecutive sunny days and temps over 70-degrees would be FAB.

Sincerely,

The Pale Blonde in the Mountains

(p.s. Yes, Mom…I do wear sunscreen!)

In other news, I have still not broken my 745 score on my Solitaire app. So, I did what any other solitaire-junkie would do.

I downloaded another app.

And this one has Easy, Medium and Hard levels and I’m proud to say I made a #1 rank in the first day. #1 rank in what though, is to be determined.

#1 in Seasonal-Affective Disorder?

#1 in Jergen’s Sunless Tanning Lotion Buying?

#1 in Online Boot Shopping?

Yes to all of the above.

Moving on!

Thankfuls this week:

1. SOZO. My husband and a handful of friends went on a 10-day mission trip to Serbia to help work the Sozo Music & Arts Festival. This is a trip I’ve done three times before (when it was in Hungary, not Serbia). And while God kept me home this time (how rude!) — I am beyond thankful that people I love dearly were able to experience what Sozo is all about. They kept me abreast of everything via Facebook, and praying for them was an enormous honor for me. But next year, I’m in. Because you know what they say about a woman scorned? Nothing compared to a woman who missed out on an overseas trip.

2. Coconut Oil. It’s awesome on hair. Did you know that? And sometimes, just to tame some frizziness, I put a small amount in my hands and smooth it over my hair. And it makes my hair so shiny and Christy Brinkley-ish (without any of her beauty) and it makes me want to whip it back and forth. (My herrrrrrr, that is.)

3. Cheez-Its. I know. Repeat! But holy cow, they are my kryptonite. And I love every bit of their cheesy-salty-goodness.

4. Flying. If you regularly visit this place, you know I just finished a blog series on Metamorphosis: Embracing a Life of Becoming. And as I just wrote the final wrap-up, I realized that (as most things do in God’s economy), the wrap-up perfectly mirrors real life. Because as I talk about being willing to take a chance and trying to fly — trusting these new, bizarre wings won’t fail you and trusting God to carry you — I’m having to live that out. How? Just look:

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Yeah. So that. I’m guest speaking. At an event. In person.

Me — the introvert, hermit, hide-behind-the-screen graphic-designer-writer-lover is trusting God’s direction and going to stand in front of people and open my mouth wide, trusting God will fill it (Psalm 81:10). If you would have told me a year ago I’d be doing this, I would have looked you dead in the eye and told you, “Get behind me, Satan!” (And I actually did that last summer at She Speaks — sorry Heidi!) And yet, here we are.

Because God loves to have the last laugh.

So if you’re going to be in the area and can stop by, please do. I’d love to hug your neck in person and force you to awkwardly tell me it wasn’t as bad as I thought. (I kid.) (Or do I?)

5. En Français. I made a funny little graphic on the sidebar of my site — the one that starts with “bonjour!” and “it’s important to note I’m not French.”

Well.

Shortly after I posted it, I got an email from my mother outlining our family tree. And it turns out, I am, in fact, a small part French. Who knew? (I mean, qui a su?)

I haven’t had time to change the graphic yet, and my mom’s emailed me almost daily to gently remind me that graphic is false…but I’ll get around to it soon. I’m still working on wording to adequately express “a little bit French and pompous enough about it to be annoying.”

So it could take awhile.

Until then, enchanté mon amis.

(And I’d like to add, this explains just so much about me.)

6. Grandparents. While Greg was out of the country, I decided to get outta dodge and call in reinforcements. So I dragged everyone to The Big City to spend a couple several days with Gamma & Papa. And the kids were spoiled and loved it, and Mama got to work out and get her hair done and have dinner. With a friend! Until the street lights came on! And loved it! And we all had a nice distraction from missing Greg. For awhile. (Thanks Gams & Pops!)

7. Girl Time. While in The Big City, Jaana  and I spent a day at the American Girl store. And when I say a day, I’m not joking. We got there at 11 am for the “make a hot air balloon like Saige’s” craft, and stayed until about 2:45 when we finished with lunch with her doll in her own seat at the bar with a tea-cup. And the in-between was filled with a visit to the hair salon for Caroline (the doll), a Saige Creativity Scavenger Hunt, and analyzing every possible outfit and how it would look on Caroline. (After all, Jaana had $10 to spend and regardless of the fact it barely covered the gratuity for lunch, we’re all good.) We made wonderful memories, and she literally had The Best Day. I didn’t rush her or push her and just let her take the lead on everything. It was a long overdue Mommy-Daughter day where she didn’t have to share the spotlight with her little brother. Worth every moment of dodging large shopping bags, loud birthday parties and frizzy doll hair. (I guess the American Girls don’t know about coconut oil — but us French Girls do.)

8. Brie and Baguettes. I could make a dinner from a french bread baguette and some brie with chutney of some kind. (And this was before I found out I’m part French. Now, I just say, “duh.”)

9. The Cooking Channel. I don’t like to cook. I don’t enjoy it, look forward to it, plan for it, anticipate it. It’s the last thing I ever think about it. Therefore, we lack awesome meals at this house. Yet lately, Jaana’s favorite thing to watch is anything on the Cooking Channel. And no, the irony is not lost on me. All I can hope is that she’ll pick up where this pot-holder left off and start whipping up fancy things on a whim. (Or at least whipping her herrrrrrr back and forth.)

10. Happy Happy Happy. Does anything warm a Mama’s heart more than seeing her kids blissfully joyful at the sight of their Daddy? Nope, not really. My kids are beyond ecstatic that Greg is back, and seeing them light up makes my heart ooze happy lava. It’s awesome.

So that’s my week in a nutshell. I could’ve saved 1,250 words and just wrote, “Need sun, love Greg” and called it a day, but whatevs. What’s the fun in that? I’m off to eat some brie and massage some coconut oil into my hair.

And perform my next sun dance.

You’ll let me know what you’re thankful for this week, bien sur?

What are you thankful for this week?

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Ending

So here we are at last. It’s the twilight of summer and the sky is purple and hazy and the gentle breeze hints at a new beginning to soon come. Smells of fresh cut grass and chlorine and mornings that start well past 9 am have tucked themselves away for another long pregnancy of learning and growing and stretching and creating. And we’ll wake tomorrow to smells of wood pencils and plastic folders and school uniforms and 7 am once again.

I hate saying goodbye to this — to this summer of new adventures and lazy mornings and times where we laugh and play and dance and sing. I hate saying goodbye to this — this summer where I’ve kept my babies under my wing and held them close and nuzzled them and stroked their sun-kissed hair and smooched their freshly freckled faces. I hate saying goodbye to this — this summer of me learning to sit Here, in this place and in this season of embracing Mommyhood completely.

This was the first summer I felt free to embrace Here. It was the first time I wasn’t married to my phone or chained to my computer or had an office I had to make an appearance in once or twice a week. It was the first time I didn’t have to drag my kids to meetings and expect them to sit still while I feverishly tried to brainstorm, cross off details and get input and direction. It was the summer I always dreamed of since the very beginning of motherhood.

And now it’s ending.

While I am the first to embrace change and seek it out well before its time, I sit here reluctantly letting go this time. I don’t feel ready and I’m afraid I haven’t given enough and there’s a long list of intentionality I haven’t crossed off yet. Was this enough for them? Was it enough for me?

But because I trust God and I trust the cycle of seasons and processes, my grip is loosening. And because I know with every ending God brings a beginning and something completely new, I muster up anticipation for tomorrow. Because the caterpillar learns to fly and the dandelion’s parachutes lift off and go into all the world and God never calls you out without also calling you in.

So I choose to sit in green pastures and be still and be free and welcome this goodbye. And as I bid farewell, I peek around the edge of the summer sunset and wait for the next hello.

What I Love About Summer

Summer is…

 

  1. Splashes and giggles at the pool
  2. Not caring whose sunglasses you grabbed out of the pool bag
  3. Hide-n-seek outside after dinner when the sun shines low through the trees
  4. The kids singing at the top of their lungs
  5. Their sun-kissed cheeks smiling ear-to-ear
  6. The permanent smell of sunscreen as I kiss little heads goodnight
  7. Sleeping in and nowhere to rush off to
  8. Ice cream breaks
  9. Bare little piggies wiggling in the sand
  10. Coppertone-tan backsides in the bathtub
  11. Front-porch picnic lunches
  12. New freckles popping out to say hello
  13. Spontaneous trips to The Big City to visit cousins and swim in their new pool
  14. Diet Cherry Lime-ades at Sonic
  15. Windows open and fans on
  16. Trips to the grocery store for poolside snacks
  17. Giant yawns only a full summers day can bring
  18. Time: to think • dream • pray • write
  19. Temporary tattoos
  20. People you love, loving all these things with you

What do you love about summer?

Thanksday #67

I dreamt about coffee last night. True story. And in my dream I said to heck with it and drank some. And it was silky and smooth and glorious and wonderful.

And then I woke up.

I’m still abstaining…but honestly, not sure how long I want to go. I love coffee too much. It’s a part of me. I’m from the Pacific Northwest, you know. Starbucks was in my baby bottle. It’s like denying my roots.

(Speaking of roots…I really need a trip to The Big City. My hair’s a-flummoxed.)

It’s been a crazy busy first week of summer, but it’s been fun. We’ve had a dance rehearsal, dance performance, sleepover, play date, and pizza party. The only issue has been the weather. Where is summer?! Fortunately, the beach beckons and we leave Saturday for a week-long trip. Yippee!

Thankfuls this week:

1. Dance. My gorgeous girl had her dance recital on Saturday and knocked it out of the park in her jazz and tap numbers. She smiled beautifully the entire time and knew exactly what she was supposed to do. So proud of her. The best part was each girl got a trophy with their name on it. Made her day.

2. Crossing Off To-Do’s. My lists are long, especially getting ready to get out of town. (And yes, I know we just had Greg’s graduation and then a cruise. I have no idea who this vacationing person is that looks like me, but I don’t want to let her go. I love her.) But removing each item from the list is sweeter and sweeter the shorter it gets. (And my inbox is down to five emails, which is an amazing bonus.)

3. This picture. Because it’s awesome.

4. Water. I’m drinking my weight in water each day. And that’s pretty much a literal statement. The good news is I can tell it’s helping my skin and helping me be healthy and all that. The bad news is that my toilet paper expenses have skyrocketed.

5. Quitting. I’ve quit stuff over the past few weeks. And it feels good…really good. And I feel like I now have room to add in new stuff that I’ve wanted to make a focus and a priority. I hesitated for so long to let go because I felt guilty about walking away from some things. But Psalm 81:10 says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” To me, that says you have to posture yourself to receive first, and then God will provide what you need. So I’m posturing. My mouth is open wide. Fill it, Lord!

6. Laziness. It’s 3:23 on Thursday and Jaana STILL has not changed out of her PJ’s. And since it’s not warm enough to go swimming, why not?

7. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. I’m reading this book right now, and it’s awesome. If you’re trying to build a brand or a business or a blog or yourself or whathaveyou, you need to read this.

8. Dallas. Did anyone watch this last night? It was so good. JR and Bobby and Sue Ellen and the gang were all there. I watched it an immediately felt like I was 12 years old again staying up late on a Friday night to watch with my parents and a large bowl of buttered homemade popcorn. Or something like that.

9. One Step at a Time. This whole journeying-with-God thing is equal parts exciting and scary. Sometimes it’s completely overwhelming to consider what is ahead of you. And other times it’s absolutely electrifying. The good news is all we have to do is just listen for the voice saying “this is the way, walk in it.” Because He says to walk in the way. Not to run. No need to get ahead of myself. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

10. No School Pick-Ups. Yes I love the change of pace. Yes I love having Jaana home with us. But perhaps the best part of summer is not having to watch the clock to leave the house at 3 pm daily to pick her up from school. Add on top of that being able to take off the carline number for a few months and I’m one happy Mama.

Oh look…Jaana finally got dressed.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll energize you like a good cup o’ joe and warm you like the sun.

Thanksday #66

Number One on the Thanksday list this week:

SCHOOL’S OUT….FOR…SUMMMA!!

Oh my word, I thought this day would never come. Ever. We’re the only school in the Western hemisphere that had school after Memorial Day, I think. But finally, as of noon today, we are done. I’ve been ready for weeks to have Jaana home every day. And so has Paxton. Our summer plans consist of me not having to be in meetings all the time, me not having to work inside while the sun shines outside, and spontaneous fun.

I’m. So. Ready!

(Confession: I kept trying to convince my daughter to skip school today. After all, it’s the last day AND a half day. Let’s just get a jump-start on summer, you know what I’m saying? But even at eight years old, she’s too much of a rule-follower and goody-goody and said no. I know that’s a good thing. And I know I probably need lessons on how to not corrupt my children.)

The obligatory first day / last day of second grade pic:

Gosh I miss that short hair. Can y’all help me convince her to cut it again?

Before the summer fun can begin, there are a few things on the agenda: First is a dress rehearsal for her dance recital this afternoon. Then tomorrow is her dance recital. And last but not least, Monday is the Girls End-of-School Party that she likes to host each year. After that, we’ll be funning in the sun, getting water-logged, and otherwise enjoying ourselves together.

I’m. So. Ready!

Other big news…I haven’t had coffee or any caffeine since Monday. (Gasp! Shock! Awe!)

(Pause for dramatic effect here.)

It’s true, I’m cutting it out for awhile. I have what some might call an addiction to coffee, and my caffeine consumption has increased to levels that could caffeinate entire populations, I’m afraid. And from what I’ve read, that’s not entirely good for you. Supposedly, it can possibly contribute to such things as mood swings and hunger pains. And the last thing I need is help being moody or hungry. So I’m letting it go for awhile and sticking to only water. But you know what they say about things you love – if you set it free and it comes back to you, it’s yours forever.

Come back to me, my french roast love. I miss you so.

Other thankfuls this week:

2. Sunshine. Last weekend was seriously about the most beautiful weekend ever. It was crisp and clear and the perfect temperature for June in my book (approx 72-77 degrees). I was able to enjoy taking the kids to the playground, sitting outside reading a book, and the local music party at the town center. It was perfect.

3. Girls Rule and Boys Drool. Jaana and I had a date on Saturday. We went to Wal-Mart, ate at Sonic with the windows down, and then watched one of her friends in her dance performance. Love my girl time.

4. Rest Days. Jaana was sick on Sunday so we stayed home from church. She snuggled up on the couch and watched three movies and about three TV shows. She did absolutely nothing but lay on the couch. Nothing. The girl hasn’t had that much rest in months. And it was good for Mama, too.

5. Exercise. Supposedly, this helps with moodiness and hunger issues too. So I’m back on the workout train consistently — no more haphazard exercising. Got a plan, got an accountability buddy, and I’m channeling my inner runner and signing up for another race. Let’s do this thing!

6. Bonding over Twitter. Big Mama tweeted last night that Waiting for Guffman was on TV. So I tweeted back with a quote from the movie. Then Boo Mama jumped in with another quote and a video clip. And thus we exchanged tweets and bonded over Waiting for Guffman on Twitter. And it made my week. (So yes, I was late posting this because I was too busy watching Guffman and tweeting with people I’ve never met.) (Don’t judge me!)

7. Praise Report. A dear friend of mine recently moved to another state, and found a church that she loves. Nothing better than getting that email.

8. Prayer. And people that you know will pray when you ask for it.

9. New Doctor. I finally (finally) got a doctor up here. And he’s great. He listened to me without making me feel like I’m crazy. And didn’t rush me out. Feels good to have trust established from the get-go.

10. Big Sisters & Little Brothers. Look what I found the other morning. Be still my heart. She’s the best big sister ever, and he idolizes her.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll improve your mood and satisfy your hunger pains. Or make you want coffee. Whichev.