Monday, May 18, 2015

Snuggles ... Recitals ... Anniversary

This weekend was a busy one in our household.  One of snuggles, recitals & an anniversary ...
 
Jacqueline & the little ones came down on the train Thursday evening.  There wasn't much time before bedtime so we played and got beds ready and we said our bedtime prayers. When Dan & I were ready to leave their room so that "Mommy" could get them to sleep,
Tag said "I wanna snuggle with Nanny" ...
and so I was more than willing to snuggle between these two grands.  The 3 of us chatted about Disney, sang lullabies and had lots of squeals & snuggles. And then Tag said ... "Nanny, you're the sweetest grandmother" ...
and I was completely lost in them.
 


Michael drove down on Friday after his appointments.  Traffic was horrendous as usual for the start of the weekend. But ... with only 2 major road systems --- we do what we have to do.
 
Saturday was a very busy day ... hectic but so worth every moment.  Lucy's first dance recital performance was at 10am!  My parents drove an hour & a half to get to the school where it's held every year. They are so supportive of their grandchildren & great-grandchildren...
 and Lucy & Tag absolutely LOVE their great-grands!
 
 
Lucy danced her heart out Saturday and Sunday! Dancing is definitely her "thing" ... she travels back & forth between our homes during the week -- she's homeschooled online -- she & Tag go to some appointments & meetings with their parents during the week...
so dancing is just "her". (Tag will be getting into his activities soon in preschool -- not sure yet what "his thing" will be, but his time is coming too!)
 
 





And Tag was so supportive of his big sister!  He went to both performances -- Saturday AND Sunday... he endured the pictures (although he really did not want in any of them)... and then during Sunday's performance ...
he fell asleep sitting on my lap. 
 



 
He is a trooper!
 
 
And in the midst of the busy family weekend ...
 
 
Dan and I celebrated 31 years of our married life together.  I know I bore everyone with our story ... but here it goes again.
He was the new kid in high school ... 2 years older than me. We knew who each other were but never said a word to each other. He graduated from high school with 3 of my cousins (and he didn't know they were my family).  We started dating September 1983 ... then the morning of May 16, 1984 ... we decided that we would elope.  And we did.
 
A whole lot of life has happened in the past 31 years.  We've been on the mountain peaks and we've been in the deepest valleys ... but this weekend we celebrated every moment that brought us to our celebration of 31 years and the family that God gave us.  Even when we were so close to ending "us", God told us to hold on tight to Him because our road to redemption was about to get very rocky ...
but He promised that it all would be worth it.
 
And it was worth it ...
and it still is worth it ...
and it will be worth it for generations to come.
 
And so, just a little word of unsolicited advice from a Granny whose "been there" ...
 
keep God as your Center and hold on tight to Him
 because it'll all be worth it sooner than you think.  
 
 
 
 


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Upcoming 31 ...

Last year I wrote several posts that revolved around mine & Dan's 30th wedding anniversary.  My posts included The ABCs of 30 ...
 Once Upon a Time ...
 When Our Fairytale Met Real Life ...
 Celebrating 30 Hawaiian Style


Well, our 31st is approaching this Saturday, May 16th.  It's amazing how the clock has kept ticking the seconds away over this past year.
It's been our year for several changes and our biggest has been becoming semi-empty nesters for the first time. We've spent time doing some much needed projects around our house ... future planning ... just hanging out with each other.  Seems like the more we do around the house -- the more we want to do!
{{and just so happened that we now are the proud owners of 10 cubic yards of mulch,
new Leyland Cyprus trees, Japanese maple, Hydrangeas...
waiting to be shoveled and planted!}}


 
Thirty-one years ago we were kids ... Dan had just turned 22 & I was 19.  Honestly, we did not have a clue.  We were blindly in love and really had no idea what lie ahead of us.
We had talked about getting married ...
he asked my parents for their permission to marry me ...
we picked out my engagement ring on Monday May 14th ...
and then we eloped Wednesday May 16th.
{you can read "more of the story" from the above links}


We know that eventually our "semi" empty nesting will evolve into empty-nesting,  but for now ... we enjoy our time with each other and our time with all of our kids.
Every moment of the past 31 years has brought us to where we are today. 

 We've risen to the mountain tops ... we've forged through the valleys ...
we've been blessed

When I think about those kids 31 years ago ... and where those 2 kids are now ...

God is so much more than "good" ---

when we didn't know our way ... God was our Light
when we gave up ... God was our Redeemer
when we choose each other every day ... God is our Center


On Wednesday May 16, 1984 --- Dan & I traveled the road to elope and began our married life as one
On Saturday May 16, 2015 --- Dan & I will travel the road (with our kids & grands & my parents) to see our granddaughter dance in her recital

You see, we didn't have a clue as to what our life would be 31 years later, but ...

... Life is beautiful ...





 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Our Family of Women-Folk

We've been having a very hectic schedule for the past few weeks.  Our son-in-law is in the middle of appointments with the VA which will eventually lead to his military medical retirement (well, after possible months of review-time) ... I've been back & forth between our two houses to hang out with our grands during some of the appointments ... and we have an upcoming weekend of appointments, dance recital rehearsal & Mother's Day. All I can say is ...
except for God.

 
 
Even in the midst of the chaos & the hectic ... I get clear visions on the "how" it all gets done.  I know that God simply carries us through each moment.  Dan and I stand in complete awe of how our daughter carries the load everyday ... every single day.  'Joe's appointments -- Lucy's homeschooling -- Tag's preschool development -- caregiver meetings -- advocating for fair treatment
of wounded warriors & their families -- never-ending list.
 But ...
except for God.
 


 
You see, God knew the exact family and the exact lineage of women-folk that our daughter would need to come from.  And here's what I know of our family of women-folk ...

We are women who depend daily on our Lord & Savior to carry us in each moment and to direct every step that we take.
We are women who do not shy away from sacrifices or hard work.
We are women who know that for every crisis we go through, we are blessed ten-fold beyond by God and His faithfulness.
We are women who acknowledge that everything we are is because of God Almighty.
We are women who put God first in our lives.
We are women who are courageous to follow His path every day and to still be ready to meet our family needs.
We are women of strength because we know that our strength comes from God.
We are women who know our purpose here on Earth is much more than getting through each day.
We are women of faith in God.
We are women who walk through the fire and know that He is walking along side of us with each and every step ...
and when the fire gets too hot for us to move forward --- we know that He carries us through it.

 
As I approach this Mother's Day weekend, I'm reminded that in the middle of family ... schedules ... work ... hectic ... unknown ... waiting ...
 
God simply
is


 
And our future women-folk ...

 
 
will follow in our very footsteps
and they will learn from us who have gone before them
and we pray they will depend on God Almighty for their own strength & direction
 
...
 
just as the generations of women-folk who came before them.

 



 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Last Friday this Granny went to her first MLB game! Now, I will admit that I'm really not a baseball fan ... well, not until about 3 years ago.  When our son-in-law was recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he was given the opportunity to go see the
 Washington Nationals on a few occasions.  Normally he's been able to get tickets for all 4 of them and the little ones always love the games! While at WRNMMC, he got 2 tickets and took Dan to a game on Father's Day 2012.
 
So, I was the only one in the family who had not been to a Nationals game ... until last Friday!  Dan & I had been to an out of state funeral and then went straight to the kids' house ... and on to see the Washington Nationals!
 


Lucy is a big fan ....
 

 
This girl may be petite, but she knows her Nationals ...
 
and Tag YUVS his Nationals!!!
(that's "loves" to you & me)
 

 
The 3rd inning was the military recognition ...
a special salute and recognition to our wounded warriors.  They gave each of us W ball caps and we waved them during the salute ...
this Granny really wasn't prepared to see our family along with the other wounded warrior families on the jumbotron. I wanted so much to take pictures, but I decided to stand with our wounded warrior family.
 

 
Oh yeah, and since it was my first ballgame, I had ask "a few" questions
 (I wink as I type that sentence) ...
 
Are you sure that we can go in and out of the Presidential Club anytime?
And all the food is completely free?
Is baseball really a big deal?
Am I dressed okay?
What will this  ball cap do to my hairspray?
Are you sure our seats behind home-plate are good?
 
*** Yes, Granny was at her best game that night***
(more winks)
 
Washington sports teams do honor our wounded warriors.  They provide a much needed outlet that gives warriors, caregivers & their children a special touch of being appreciated and a much needed reprieve from their new everyday "normal" (which is anything but normal). 
 
Last Friday morning the 'Joe's family schedule ...
Jacqueline was supposed to be in a caregiver meeting all day (8am to 4pm) and 'Joe had a couple of medical appointments starting early that morning. Dan & I were going to be at their house early to hang out with the grands all day.
However ... last minute change -- Jacqueline had to leave her meeting early, take 'Joe to Walter Reed for an appointment (before we could possibly get to their house) ... so they had to take the little ones with them.  Jacqueline got back for a little more of her meeting and we were able to spend some time with Lucy & Tag before we all left for the game in late afternoon.
 
So .... yes, we are so grateful to these sports teams who honor our wounded warriors & their caregivers and their children ...
 
because they deserve every moment of a little time away from their
 life-altered schedules.
Even Dan & I don't understand it all, but
when we see relief and smiles ...
when we hear the squeals and the cheers ...
 
well .....
we are proud to stand beside our kids.
 
 
 
 
 
 



Friday, April 24, 2015

Faithful Friday

I had intended on writing on a different topic this morning, but God just did not give the peace and the words.  One day I may get back to that topic if God allows.  But this morning is all about His faithfulness.

in the midst of praises ... in the midst of prayers ... in the midst of people ...
God is faithful
in the midst of losses ... in the midst of struggles ... in the midst of tears ...
God is faithful
in the midst of triumphs ... in the midst of mountain peaks ... in the midst of successes ...
God is faithful

No matter the situation nor the crisis nor the circumstance ...

God is always faithful

A few ways God has shown His faithfulness to me over the past couple of weeks ...
(aside from the obvious of waking us up every morning & allowing us to awake the following days)

** Tag's foot healing properly & no current signs of a fracture
 (he jumped off their bed one morning and ended up in a splint)

** Lucy was practicing her cartwheels before dance class & landed in a perfect half-split
(totally unexpected and could have injured her foot as well)
{{cannot post the video until after her recital in fear that her Momma will freak-out}}
 
** we've logged a lot of miles on busy roads lately and although we've had a few close calls with non-attentive drivers, we have stayed safe
 
 ** health ... home ... food ... finances

God is always faithful

even if we are going through a season of struggle ...
God is faithful
even if we are going through a season of grief ...
God is faithful
even if we are going through a season of unknown ...
God is faithful

I simply cannot comprehend all the ways that God is faithful to me ...
But I know He is.


Have a blessed weekend, dear friends ...
and keep your heart focused on the faithfulness of our God


 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another "Thinking Tuesday" ... Legacy

Posting my "Thinking Tuesday" on Wednesday ...

We have been in a whirlwind -- but it does seem like that's the way our weeks go lately.  In a whirlwind.  Last week ... I spent a night with the kids & grands to help out while 'Joe had a new procedure ... tax season #31 came to an end for us ... Dan & I traveled to an out of state funeral for a close friend of his family ... from there we went straight back to the kids' house & to a MLB game that night ... then back to our house with Miss Lucy & her activities ... then she & I met her Momma & Tag Tuesday morning ... then another drive back home alone for me ...
yes ... whirlwind
{I'll post more on our time with our kids later}
 
As I was focused once again on traffic on my way home (my "thinking Tuesday") I had one main thought ...
 

 
What is the legacy that I will leave behind when God calls me Home? 
 I know, I know ... not really the warm & fuzzy topic that anyone would expect. But that was my thinking process as I kept a close eye on the fast moving traffic of the busy interstate.
So ... my thoughts ...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 Dan & I attended a funeral last week of a close family friend who was like Dan's second dad to Dan as a young boy.  Last Wednesday I had gotten home from spending the night at the kids' house ... Dan had just gotten home from their office end-of-tax-season-luncheon ... and we started traveling several hours on the road. Tired, but we both knew that he needed to be there for this funeral.  However ... it truly was not a funeral.  It was a celebration of the life of a dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, friend who had been called Home by his Creator. (Matter of fact, Dan commented as we started back on our journey that night "THAT is how I want my funeral")

Dan was able to see friends whom he hasn't seen in ages! 
And that was good.

He saw his first boss who had taken a chance on him over 30 years ago and gave Dan his first accounting job. They hadn't seen each other in about 27 years or so. This man is also the brother of the family friend celebrated that night.
And that was good.
 
 He was reunited with his close childhood friend who grew up as close as a brother. And Dan stood alongside of him as many musicians gathered to sing a closing song in honor of his friend's dad.
And that was good.

Several hometown friends came up to Dan & re-introduced themselves since they hadn't seen each other in many years. I was honored when he introduced me to them.  More than 30 years and I still melt when I hear him say "this is my wife".

It's easy to step back and look at the legacy of someone who has passed their earthly presence and who have gone to their heavenly home.  But what about the legacy that we have in our control to create for our future generations to remember?
What if we were intentional on creating that very legacy?
What if we were intentional in our everyday living while it is within our control?



I admit that I am far from the role model for this. I don't always make time to catch up with family & friends ... I certainly make mistakes ...
and I know that I cannot live up to most people's expectations of me.
However, I do believe that right now ... for this moment in time ...
I am simply

being where God needs me most

And so ... my point to my "thinking Tuesday" was this ...

live life in the center of God's will
and be where He needs me
{and you, my friend}
the most


And that will always be good

 

 







Friday, April 10, 2015

On Being "Glad in it" ...

My oh my .... how busy life gets!  Not enough time to get "stuff" done ... yet too much time to simply procrastinate and "do it all later." 
I think one of the things that has been my downfall lately is simply ...
 
 
OUR LACK OF SUNSHINE

 
It is "supposedly" springtime here in the mid-Atlantic.  Yet ... this is what it looks like more often than not from my front porch.  I know ...
I know ... and yes I am reminded of Psalm 118:24 too ...
 
This is the day that the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
 
There is always a beauty in each day that God has made -- created -- designed... for us.  It's always up to each of us to discover how to
"be glad in it."
 
And one of the days that God gave us to be glad in was this past Sunday ... Easter Sunday. My family during my childhood years had always been "traditional" on Easter Sundays. But with my parents as well as my sister & her family living over an hour west of us ... and our daughter & her family living 2 hours north of us --- well, we have simply adopted the "tradition of change" ... we simply "go with the flow" and see what the different schedules can pull together.
 
So, Easter 2015 for our family ...
Dan was working at his office (kind of blasphemy for some people, but when Easter falls in the hectic days of tax season... )
Jacqueline & Michael and the little ones went to church with me (then Michael had to get on the road to head back to the military post...)
Dan came home just after EB (you know, the Easter bunny from the movie Hop) had left Lucy & Tag's baskets ... just between us -- EB likes to leave his basket surprises when there's absolutely no humans lurking about... Jacqueline & Grandad must have given him a scare because EB left a trail of carrot-crumbs!
 


 
 
 
 
You know, we really do have so much to "be glad" in each and every day that God makes for us. Sometimes we simply have to "look" ... and then we realize that the "glad" has been right in front of us all along.
 

 
Looking at this same picture ... I see a tree full of buds ... and pretty soon all of those buds will bloom into some of the prettiest leaves and covering for our birds. I hear the birds singing at this very moment even through the dampness and the fog of the morning.
 
And our cherry tree in our front yard on one of our sunny days ...
 
 
And the hope of all that ...
 after winter, there's always spring!