Category Archives: Family

Summits and sunsets

Today we put our boy on the plane back to Florida for a few days rest and lawn mowing before he heads to the Keys with his girlfriend’s family.  Tough life, right?  However, that also marks the downward slide of this amazing vacation.  And that’s ok.  It’s been phenomenal.  A favorite compliment to us this week was “we look like we belong here”.  True.  You never know what God  has in store for us and looking back 10 years ago, I would never have pictured this.  Ever.  Man,  God IS good.  And full of surprises.  So, who knows!

Yesterday, we let the kids sleep in and then spent the day at Mt. Cranmore enjoying the ropes course and zip lines (ok sort of—it was a great workout, but a few of us are not height fans and were thrilled to be done with that part!), ski lift (amazing views, cool breeze and lost sunglasses found again after a return trip up the lift), mountain coaster and general enjoyment of the ski resort during summer.  We were able to spend time with Hubby’s cousin at his super cool home followed by a yummy Chinese restaurant afterward. We were fortunate enough to catch the sunset on the way back home on the Kancamagus Highway.  It was a wonderful way to cap off the day and end the boy’s mountain vacation.

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Mt. Cranmore-summer fun

The boys summited Mt. Washington the other day.  I still have no pictures yet, but they had a tremendous experience.  Adequately prepared, they experienced the crazy weather that accompanies an enormous mountain from 70 degrees at start to 30 degrees and socked in with wind at the summit.  Periods of visibility to less than 200 yards to completely clear within 10 minutes.  Lunch in the AMC shelter and a break from the weather with 25 other hikers.  8 hours of hiking.  Both agreed they were glad to experience the highs and lows of the weather and the challenge it brought as it made the glory of the summit that much more appreciative.  If that isn’t a great analogy for life, I don’t know what is.  Nothing worth having comes easy.

Today we will explore a bit more locally again, light hiking with the pup and prepare to head to PA tomorrow to visit with my mom and her husband again before we head south and home.

So, for now, I’m going to continue to soak up this porch, this weather and this time.

Blessed.  Truly.

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Sunset fun

Romans 8:18 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

 

 

 

It’s all about the journey

Yesterday, we had a pretty chill-day.  It’s actually incredibly difficult to force down-time when there is so much to see and do, but mother nature helped us out with a rainy start and finish to our day.  Although we did manage to sneak in a walk through town and a quick walk on the river trail in-between storms.  A little driving around and napping, too.  It was good stuff.  However, even on a “chill day”, I didn’t have to try hard to get my 10,000 steps in.

This morning started out at a brisk 57degrees and cloudy; a temperature that my brain and body are still trying to compute.  The boys were planning on heading up to hike Mt. Washington and the girls and I were going to do some shorter hikes and then it just was dreary, cold and not looking so promising.  They decided to go for it anyway.  (and at this moment, have just summitted).  They will eat their weight in pizza for sure at Fabyans.

We picked an “easy” hike up Lonesome lake trail to Lonesome Lake and to check out the huts that you can stay in.  1.6 miles.  Straight, friggin’ up.  Easy?  I don’t even believe those AT trail people and their descriptions anymore.  At one point I honestly just started praying out loud the old stand-by of “Come, Holy Spirit” with a Hail Mary to round it out because our youngest daughter was so hangry that I was about to go Mommy Dearest on her.  Fortunately, prayers don’t fail and we made it to the top with our family intact. And what a view.  Hangry passed and going down was FAR EASIER than going up—although my rear end will be talking to me later today. So….. at 1:30 p.m. and 13,000 steps already, our hikes (plural) have turned into A HIKE (singular)  and now we will clean up and explore before we pick up the boys later.  And that is A-OK.

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What an amazing world we live in.

Oh, and on the way down, we passed folks heading up to stay in the huts with full backpack gear, but the most impressive was Mama toting a toddler on her back.  I told her that she was my hero, because a practically empty teensy backpack was all this Mama could do.  Awesome!!

It’s been a long time coming….

I totally get the whole snowbird concept now.  I also realize that I could ABSOLUTELY be a snowbird.  mid-July with windows open, yoga pants on and 2nd cup of coffee on the front porch with my dog mauling a tennis ball—I’m in.

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With 3 of our 4 kids we left at 1 a.m. after working all day.  Hubs managed about a 4 hour nap and I grabbed a couple of hours on the couch.  Our son came home from work and we loaded into the truck.  3 teenagers.  1 extremely confused, 65 pound 10 month old “puppy” and the Hubs and I.  A stop at Wawa for coffee and we hit it.  About 5 gas/pit stops/puppy walks/driver swaps and 17 hours later we pulled into my Mom and her husband’s home.  Just in time for dinner.  Play time with their 2 Newfoundlands trying to “love” our pup.  Showers.  Firefly spotting.  Chatting on the back porch.  And glorious, horizontal rest in cozy beds.

In the a.m.,  we were recharged.  Hiked with the pup up through a farm and then hit the road for another 7 hours.  I will say that I am a beach girl, but the mountains…….a seriously close 2nd place.  THAT said, driving white-knuckled THROUGH the mountains during a horrific thunderstorm is not my favorite and will thus keep mountains in 2nd place.  However, once arrived, the rain stopped, pizza was eaten and rest was had by all.

Yesterday, the hubs and the pup and I started off with a hike along the river.  Later, we hiked with the kids through Lost River Gorge and caverns followed by a 3/4 mile hike STRAIGHT UP the side of the mountain.  None of us completed it.  The youngest and I quit after the first boulder ascent (she was exhausted and I know the limitations of my knee), our oldest daughter lasted another 20 minutes (about 1/3 of the way) and the hubs and boy came down not long after (perhaps at the 1/2 way point).  ‘Twas no joke.  Afterward, we rode a bit further to a lake we passed on the way in (during the rain) to explore.   A phenomenal refresher after all that climbing.

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Beaver Pond

Spaghetti dinner, salad and bread.

Evening moose spotting (we saw one!) and ice cream and we wrapped that day UP!

We are missing our oldest son who is house and cat sitting and working.  Adulthood is hard.  Sometimes you figure it out at 18, sometimes it’s later.  And sometimes you get a “re-do” and have that 2 week vacation that you’ve dreamed of for years.  Somehow life works itself out.  One way or another.

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If you look real hard, you will see my Hubs swimming out to the rock.  You would have to look even harder to find a happier man right now.

Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

To each his own

We have just come off of graduation season.  And we have made it through our first of 4 (God willing!) in the next few years.  I have to tell you.  It did not look like I thought it would.  While I struggled with this in the beginning, as I processed it and opened my eyes to what was happening,  I was able to embrace it.  Slowly, I was actually able to relax in this and chuckle in the reality that our plans must be so much entertainment for God.    When we do actually step back and look at the big picture, sometimes we get a little better idea of living the plan God has in mind for us rather than struggle to keep our own agenda alive.

In these 18 (almost 19) years of parenting, I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the differences in each of our children.  There are similarities to be sure, but the differences between the kids and between us as parents has me always trying to readjust my view of life based on our kid’s perception, my husband’s perception and we ALL have a different outlook.  Isn’t that the way it is in life?  So why does this frequently catch me off guard in my own family?  The struggle of being human is real, I tell you!

Any time I am able to detach my will from any given situation it’s crazy what I can learn.  Things that I view as important to take care of RIGHT!  NOW?  Not always the case.  Emotions and hormonal struggles of the teen life?   Those require a stepping back and dusting off the brain recall of that truly tough transition in life from little kid to big kid.  Raising up humans is constant motion, assess, re-assess and alter course.  There is no black or white.  That is the constant reminder to myself; we are all different and there are many, many ways to live this life.

Bearing all this in mind, when I am able to reconcile these truths the reality is that when your kiddo has a different view on school and finishes 6 months early, graduation holds no interest for him.  Appeasing his mother for graduation pictures for announcements is a compromise.  The time to sit in graduation ceremonies will come and will come on multiple occasions but for now we sit back and watch this kid grow into a young man on a path that I never would have even imagined and  yet it just feels right for him.  Once I put my own agenda down and allowed God to take control (I’m always playing tug of war with control), my eyes were opened to yet another path and truth that God truly does have this.  These little humans are HIS.  On loan to us.  And HE does a WAY better job of taking care of them than I ever could.  And THAT is awesome.

So, Jesus, I trust in you.  Take the wheel.  I’ll try not to take it back , but we both know I will.  So have patience with me and I will continue to work on that, too.

Birthdaze

Sunrise

May and June are busy celebration months around here with lots of cake, so yeah.  Good times!!!

  • My birthday
  • Mother’s Day
  • Nephew’s birthday
  • Sister’s birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Hubby’s birthday
  • Daughter’s birthday
  • Father’s Day

The Hubs and the baby girl of the family have their birthdays within a week of each other.  Which means twice in one week we will have Chinese food for dinner and cake.  Yum x2!

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The girls are getting ready to spend time with my mom this week annnnnnnnd my sister and her family while my nephew is in a baseball tournament in Cooperstown so they have some busy and fun-filled days ahead of them.  Anticipating that, I took the girls and friends to the beach for the night to celebrate that precious 12 year-old’s birthday.   What that boils down to is this:  Beach, Pool,  pizza lunch at 230p.m., cake for dinner, grapes and carrots for snack, nighttime walk on beach and late bedtime.  Followed by waking up for sunrise, walking to waffles across the street, pool swim and everyone back in bed at 9:15 a.m.  I’m anticipating a rally for a last minute beach time or dragging girls home by noon.  For now, I’m enjoying my view, the sounds of the ocean and silence….sweet, sweet silence in the condo.  😉

Sarah