Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sounds I Love

Singing - I absolutely love the sound of my girls and their friends singing to the top of their lungs the music they play while I'm carting them around. Yesterday we went to Shakespeare's Tavern in the ATL. Ash had a CC friend with her and Hanna had one with her. On the way home  Ash played her playlist from her phone. They were all belting out the music to the top of their lungs. I even joined in with them and just delighted in having a car full of teenage girls with me.

Laughter - I think it's my absolute most favorite sound. . .all kinds of laughter. . . loud laughter, snort laughter, quiet laughter, tickled laughter, laughter that makes no sound at all but you can see all over someone's face. We had this laughter when Hurricane Irma hit us this week. Yes, G-town, 4 hours away from the beach got hit by a hurricane. Irma was her name and blowing out power was her game. Our power was out and so was Gigi's, but Gigi was grilling and we were hungry. We joined her and Holly, Lee, Thomas, and Grant. We played Taboo and Reverse Charades and all.the.above laughter was displayed at some point during the evening. I actually was exhausted just from laughing.

Phone dinging - Well, although this has aggravated me in the past and still does to some extent, I'm always thankful to know others are thinking of me. . . whether that's through a phone call (even if I don't answer :)) or a text. It just means a lot.

Coffee conversation - I love going to Safehouse and chatting with friends, both young and old. I've met Laura once this week and Kim today. Our conversations were really different, but I rejoiced and loved each one of them.

The sound of "I love you". We utter these words much in our home and I'm thankful. I'm thankful all of my children say this freely to both Jon and I and that Jon tells me multiple times a day that he loves me. From family to friends to friends who are like family. . . the sound of "I love you" is precious.

Hope and encouragement - The sound of someone encouraging another, offering them hope in a hug or hope through their words or hope through prayer or hope through pointing them to God's Word. Somedays it's the very thing that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Quick Random Thoughts

Hanna's waiting on me. It's 9:45 p.m. and I'm still up, which is nothing short of a miracle. Ash is babysitting. That's one reason I'm up. . .waiting on her to get home. Hanna is ready to watch one of my all-time favorite movies, "Sweet Home Alabama". Which speaking of some good 'ole Southernness, my parents came up today. We celebrated Papa's bday. We looked at our 6 acres, ate kale salad together, went to the farm where Faith is living. Papa swooned over this like he himself had won the lottery. We headed to El Charro and laughed until our bellies hurt. Mama and Hanna together are such a riot. We came back to our house and enjoyed strawberry cake that Hanna had made. I even made my parents some coffee. None for me. I was too full.

There's so much good stuff going on:

I got a text from my sweet man of the beautiful sunset at the lake in the mountains with his buddies. He's got some good friends from work, and I'm thankful. I'm also thankful that I got to hear his sleepy-headed, just waking up morning voice. He called me early this morning. I could tell he just woken up. I'm glad I was one of the first things on his mind. We talked nonstop for 30 minutes and I was delighted having my cup of coffee talking to him.

I continued working on my CC work (which starts on Monday and Tuesday. . . squeal). The girls woke up. They are chatty and we laughed some and talked more and I had to quiet them so I could concentrate through Latin 2 and Algebra 2. Hanna and I headed to the pool while Ash did her Chemistry. Ash headed to babysitting and Hanna finished up the strawberry cake she made for Papa.

Alec texted today. It was good to hear from him. I talked to him the other night for about 30 minutes. I love when we have so much to share. I just love being a Mama. And I love that I still have my Mama.

My Mama was talking about my crazy aunt tonight. She's been married 3 times and gets around a good bit looking for her a husband. I looked at Mama and said, "I'm glad the biggest thing we have to worry about with you is you just pestering us to death calling us all the time." I thought I was being funny. She didn't think it was quite so funny.

Next week CC starts. I'm going to try and spend some time here. It helps me to think back and reflect on the goodness, truth, and beauty Jesus showers me with everyday.

Okay, my 5 minutes is up.

Off to hee-haw with one of my favorite girls over Sweet Home Alabama. . . and probably reminisce a little about my own growing up. ;)

Monday, July 3, 2017

SSI Highlights

We just got back from our beloved St. Simons Island. A place that's held so many special memories for our family over the last 21 years. Here's this year's highlights. Pic are in my Chatbook.

  • Arriving after 11:00 p.m. and staying up past midnight with Holly and the boys deliriously cackling. 
  • Jon having breakfast with Ash.
  • Running every morning (me). One of my most favorite places to run. . . sweat pouring and all.  
  • Southern Soul. Grant and I holding the table together and the lady who came up and tried to take our table very passive aggressively saying they had a party of 7  also and we were in the back of the line and they would be finished eating by the time we got our food (like she said this like 5 times). I just smiled and asked Grant, "So what is your favorite subject?" He and I about died in laughter. Hey, Ms. Aggressive Lady, guess what? Holly and Grant know the owner of Southern Soul and you can save tables and if you would have asked us nicely I probably would have said, "Yes, please, we can all squeeze in. I think  we all wore our deodorant today." Grant continued to talk about this throughout our trip. 
  • Thomas. He's just a hoot. Period.
  • Hearing the kids all laugh together.
  • Watching Jon, Ash, Hanna, and Grant all play pool volleyball.
  • Laying out conversations with Holly.
  • Early morning coffee and chats with Holly. I do love her so.
  • Riding around to the non-crowded part of the island. Riding out to show Alec the Hamptons.
  • Seeing the herd of deer.
  • Visiting Ft. Frederica.
  • Dressing up with Jon and Hanna and belly laughter with Jon for being General Oglethorpe. He makes my life so fun. 
  • Jon being so sweet and downloading the app so I could listen to all the information at each and every stop 'cause he knows I'm a nerd and he loves me like crazy and he's incredibly patient and kind. 
  • Ft. Frederica with the Fab5. 
  • Visiting Thomas at Coast Guard Station and getting some Italian Ice. 
  • Sitting in the living room all together watching TV and laughing. Laughing is my favorite. 
  • Jon taking Hanna to play volleyball. 
  • Jon taking all the kiddos and Thomas out to breakfast on Alec's birthday. 
  • Car ride home and the conversations that happen. 
  • Holding Jon's hand and touching his leg as we ride in the car. 
  • Brew Pub for Alec's bday. 
  • When I asked Ash which SSI trip she enjoyed most this one or the last one (with her friends), she said this one. The girl does love family time. She's at a stage where it's friends, friends, friends. I get it. I was the same way. It does a Mama's heart good to know she preferred this time the best. 
  • Arriving home safe and sound. There truly is no place like home.  

Friday, June 30, 2017

Kisses from Jesus

Kindness. . . it makes my heart swoon. I'd rather my children be loving and kind than smart or successful (as the world deems success). When I see love and kindness in them I feel like it's just a kiss from Jesus Himself.

Like when Mama and James took Alec out to dinner one night. When the check came he grabbed the ticket and let them know he was paying. They argued back and forth. Alec wasn't accepting what they were saying, "You guys have done for me my whole life. Let me do this for you." Mama

Hanna - There's a group that's out there, out front, and probably not the best of influences. It happens to be in one of her circles. I was so proud of her the other night on one of our "walk-talks". She told me she doesn't want to be apart of their group. She knows she's not strong enough to hang around those kids." Wisdom and kindness to herself.

Her phone died. . . well it actually fell in the toilet. . .like right before summer camp. She was already a nervous wreck about going to summer camp (first time away from home all by herself). Mama swooped in to save the day and told her she would just get her a new iphone (Uh-hum. . . Mama, my phone just may need replacing too. . .just kiddin'). Hanna later told me, "Mama, I feel like my phone fell in the toilet for a reason. I don't think I need to take a phone with me."

Ash - My precious girl who has such a heart for Jesus. She picked up one of my books my sweet friend Andrea loved on me with, "Come Follow Me". She's currently working on her second time through it telling me, "Mama, this is so convicting and so very good."

Ash is just super thoughtful like coming home one night buying Hanna and Kara a peach milkshake from CFA. She surprised them with chocolate covered pretzels. She's going to make a great Mama one day.

The Paradox of the Little-Big

Early in my Christian life I used to think it was those "BIG" moments that drew us closer to the heart of Jesus. Mission trips, teaching Sunday School, doing something "BIG" for His kingdom. The closer I've grown to Him I've really learned it's the small things that He's in and the small really is the big. I like to call it the Paradox of the Little-Big.

Now when Jesus keeps me safe when I go to Uganda and gets me back to my family that is BIG, and I'm beyond grateful. Please don't misunderstand me. However, I have far, far, far more "little" moments in my life that I do big. Whether a Mom or a missionary the same things happen, we both rise in the morning, we both eat, and we both lie our heads down at night. Scripture speaks to all of these things that Jesus reveals Himself (Psalm 5:3, Luke 24:35, Psalm 4:8, and many more).

Here's the recent Little-Big.

Hanna was away at church camp for the first time. This was huge for her, as she's always had family with her wherever she goes. She reminded me over and over and over again the time I was to pick her up. I've been working on sewing a T-shirt blanket all week. As I was finishing it up I had gotten some of the decals on the iron. I asked Ash to look up how to clean an iron on Pinterest. She told me salt and parchment paper. Thankfully, I had both. I got to ironing salt on the parchment paper and low and behold the iron broke.

Jon and Ash went to see Ash's soccer coach play in a minor league team he's on so I was at home by myself. The very last thing I want to do when I have time by myself is go to dreaded Walmart. Not a fan, I tell you, not a fan. However, I knew Jon would need to iron his clothes for work, so out of love for him off I went.

Now, it's 8:00, which I'm a hermit and don't like to be out after dark. :) I hit Walmart and head straight to the iron aisle. Now out of all the people I could see at that dreaded hour of the night, who do I see? My friend from church, Tanya. Now only about 5 people who go to Momentum actually live in Griffin. What are the chances? She casually mentions in our 5-minute conversation that she was so bummed they had changed the pickup time. Her husband was getting off at 2:30 which worked out perfectly for him to get Camilla. Now she was going to have to get off work?

Um, what did you say? The time changed?

Yes, in an email.

Well I hadn't checked my email all day because I had been trying to finish up that stinkin' blanket. I told her I could get her girl for her and take her to her work. I was super grateful she told me this.

I got home, went to check my email and you know what? I didn't get that email. Nope. Notta. Zip. Zilch. No email. If my iron wouldn't have broken, and I wouldn't have loved my husband and went and got a new iron, and it hadn't been that dreaded hour of the night, I would have never known this and I wouldn't have been there to pick up Hanna on time. .. and she probably would have freaked out and I would have felt terrible.

Oh, all the ways that He loves  us. . . the seen and the unseen.

Jesus, keep giving me those eyes to see you in every moment of my life, both little and big.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

How Mama Must Have Felt All These Years

Alec came home today to celebrate a belated Father's Day. We traveled all day on Father's Day so there was really no celebrating of Jon. He was doing what dads do, getting us to where we need to go, protecting us, and making sure we are safe. We had really fierce storms, and he was bright eyed and bushy tailed for the entire 12+ hour drive. I slept on and off, but he drove and protected the girls and I and got us all home safely.

Anyhoo, Alec arrived about noon. We fired up the grill, put steaks on it. I made sauteed mushrooms and onions, salad with homemade ranch dressing, baked potatoes, homemade croutons. We also had ice cream sandwiches and garlic toast, along with a few diet drinks. I love celebrations. But the thing I loved most was we all were together.

As I chopped veggies for the salad and snacked on my homemade croutons I heard Alec, Ash, and Hanna all giggling loud in the living room. Jon passed by me. I looked at him and smiled ear to ear. I quietly thanked Jesus for that moment.

Laughter, it's one of my favorite sounds.

Jon, Alec, Ash, and Hanna, the are my favorite people

Favorite sounds + favorite people = Does it get any better than this?

As I continued chopping I thought, "I wonder if this is how Mama has felt all these years?" She always prepares such a smorgesborge every.single.time. we're home. I was over-the-moon giddy with excitement at the feast for my faves.

It's such a different feeling when you're children are grown and moving on with their lives. This is so different than when Alec left for college. In college he's typically still supported by us. But now, he supports himself. We're incredibly proud of him. He has rent and electricity and groceries to buy. When we're all gathered together it's just all the sweeter and my table is the place were I love us all to be.

After our big lunch we stayed around the table and all played Scattegories. We laughed some more. When we were finished Ash had to go and babysit. The rest of the Fab 5 minus me and Ash gathered in the living room and got some shut-eye. Meanwhile, I stayed in the kitchen and made a couple of freezer meals for Alec to take home. I won't do this every time, but I do love being a mama and I love mothering. Although I didn't send him home with leftovers like Mama does me, I did send him home with food to chow on next week.

This stage of mothering? I had a hard time accepting the kiddos growing up. I've had times of sadness and days of just wanting to stop time. But now? I'm in a good place. I'm really loving this stage of life. The reunions are all the sweeter for us all.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday Happenings

Yesterday was such a full and wonderful day. Hanna and I headed out early for Macon. She had an ortho appointment in Warner Robins, so we decided to swing by and take Alec out to lunch.

He immediately gave me a hug and then started walking so fast. I told Hanna I should've just skipped my morning run and counted this one. He's very timely and wanted to have as long as we could for lunch. He took us to this burger brewery which was super good. We talked and talked. He talked of his roommates and muddin' and not muddin' again. He couldn't believe people paid money to get so dirty. That's my boy for ya. I asked him about the roommate rules. He grinned big and said, "Well, no one signed them. So they never took effect." It was so good being there with 2 of my babies. An hour passed by quickly and he headed back to work.

Hanna and I headed to Walmart. Alec mentioned Chase was doing most of the cooking which was mostly sausage, veggies, and rice. I went and got him Chase  a rice cooker, bag of rice, and fruit snacks. The fruit snacks were a bonus because I know he loves them. We picked up some sweets and then headed to Granny's.

Tony and Raymond were leaving as we were getting there. Granny at 90 is still so full of feist and fire and life. She cracks me up and always makes you feel like a million bucks. Hanna informed me that anyone struggling with self esteem needs to go to Granny's because Granny will make them feel better. We made her these little vanilla cream horns with strawberries on top. She loved them. I swept her floor for her. It was just so good to be with her. Seeing her was one of our summer bucket list items.

Hanna and I then headed to Old Navy. We're on the hunt for yellow shirts for church camp. Apparently our church got the color yellow, which we own nothing of. We wanted cute so they could be worn again and again. Score at Old Navy. We bought two shirts and headed out the door.

Then we be-bopped off to Warner Robins. Had 10 minutes to spare for Hanna's ortho appointment so we headed to Dunkin' Donuts to get our favorite beverages. It was happy hour. Score!!! I read "Call of the Wild" while Hanna got brackets, bands, braces. . . all of those things that it takes an hour and a half to adjust!! I even dozed off in the chair while I was reading.

We started back to G-town, but i called Alec to see if it would be okay for me to drop off the rice cooker. I want to respect his privacy and his adultness. He was happy for us to come over. The apartment was clean and smelled good. I was impressed and proud and happy. I met Hunter, stayed for about 10 minutes, hugged my precious young man and headed home.

All the way home Hanna had this fascination that she wouldn't let go of what my "name" would be when I became a Grandma. Hold on there, sweetheart. We still got awhile for that. I know I will love those babies like crazy, but let's slow down. We did get good giggles, though.

We had leftover soup for dinner. Jon already had it on the stove warming. We sat down to watch TV. Ash went to a youth swim party. I feel asleep on Jon as he finished off the night watching soccer.

Our day was full of family and fun!! Can't beat that.