Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving in Montgomery

As always, we had a wonderful time spending Thanksgiving weekend with our friend in Montgomery--the Simpsons. I especially love that the kids are old enough to be as excited about our weekend together as the adults are! Our kids were all talking about it and excited for weeks before the trip!

We drove down Wednesday night after Jon got off work and spent the next 3 1/2 days talking, laughing, cooking, eating, shopping and playing. The kids played a lot, and watched an excessive amount of movies!!
This year I didn't take a picture of our food spread, but it was glorious, as always! We all stuffed our tummies and then, because it was such a pretty day, we went outside and played around on Kenny's brother's scooter. The kids (and most of the grown-ups) had a blast scootin' around the block and taking turns on the regular bikes when it wasn't their turn...I hate that I didn't have a picture of Avery...You may have noticed no one had helmets on...they weren't going very fast, and we also encountered a 'difficulty' when Jon tried to wear the one we did have! :)
Of course Jamey and I went Black Friday shopping, but this year we started at 10:30 Thursday night and didn't get home until 6:30 Friday morning! Of course the guys went to a playoff game Friday night and the kids and moms went to the Burger King with a playplace. Of course we went to Steak and Shake Saturday night (following a new-to-the-schedule and oh-so-fun trip of bowling!)

Sunday we worshiped together and ate at out at a Mexican restaurant b/c we were all sick of Thanksgiving are a couple pics of the kids playing on the fence outside the restaurant:

This was our 8th Thanksgiving to celebrate together--we've gone from 'fresh-out-of-college' friends to new parents to watching our kids grow before our very has been a most enjoyable journey together. This is one of the things I will miss most about life in the USA--this weekend has become a treasured time for our families and I can't wait to resume our tradition when we come back!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will. --Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) Hope Floats

The ironic thing about this statement is that oftentimes you must encounter the beginnings and the endings at the same time, and for people like me, that can turn into a pretty e
motional predicament.

For the past hour and a half, I have been laying in bed trying to fall asleep, but my thoughts won't allow me to stop crying. Every time I think I'm done, I look at my kids' doors or think of any of a million different memories that are running through my head and the waterworks start again. I wouldn't consider myself an overly emotional person, but when it hits me, it hits hard!

You see, tonight is our last night to spend the night in our home. Tomorrow we will load our furniture into a U-haul and drive a few miles away to unload, and tomorrow we will spend our first night in our rental house. I wasn't expecting to be so overcome with emotion and memories, but I can't stop thinking about all the things over the last 4 years that have helped to shape our family into who we are today. When we moved into this house almost four years ago, Jordan was only 4 months old. Lawson had just turned 2.
With the privilege of staying home with them, I have had the joy of seeing every growth and change they have experienced.

Jordan ate her first food here and said her first words here and took her first steps here. Lawson 'helped' his daddy and me as we stripped wallpaper and knocked out walls. We have changed almost every square inch of wall in this house. We've done papers at this house. We've oooh'ed and aaahh'ed at our Christmas decorations. We've read countless stories and played countless games. We've danced to the iPod and sung silly songs. We've played in the yard and raked billions of pine needles. We've learned letters and numbers and colors and shapes. Lawson started Kindergarten and is learning how to read.

Pretty much, what any family does in their home, I guess--nothing special. And the reason we're moving is an exciting one. We're only going to be in this rental house for a few months because it is our transition home before we move to Honduras next year. Our whole family is excited about that.

Tonight, though, I find myself torn between the emotions that Birdee expressed in Hope Floats. Tonight, I am sad that our wonderful time of making memories in this house will end. I am sad because I feel like we are leaving our home. Tonight I am also scared. Tomorrow is scary because it is our first permanent change that shows we have committed our family to service in the mission field. In my mind, this is the beginning of our transition to the new place that will become our family's home. Very soon, I trust that my excitement will return. for right now though, I will allow myself to just feel the reality that we have put ourselves into a situation that is perhaps a bit uncertain. And I realize that uncertainty is sometimes just a little bit scary.

The best part of this, though, is that part about hope. God gave us our emotions, and feeling them is a good, natural thing. He also gave us something else, though, that allows our souls to remain centered and stable and at peace no matter what our mind may be thinking at any given moment. I may be feeling a little bit sad, but my God has given me a joy that can overcome any sadness. He gave me a power than can overcome any fear. He gave me a peace that can withstand any storm.

It's okay to spend some time looking back and reflecting, but I also must boldly move forward, in faith, to the new places he is sending us. I'm ready. Let's do this.

A walk down memory lane...

Stripping wallpaper-December 2006
Jordan helping Mommy cook in the new house--Feb 2007 Lawson and Jordan--Christmas 2006
Growing right up--May 2007
"At the office"--October 2008
My, how they've grown! --October 2010
Last night in the place we've called home for the past 4 years--November 5, 2010

Sweet dreams babies!