I am blessed with friends. So very, very rich in friendships going all the way back to early elementary where I still keep in touch with friends from the old neighborhood. I collect friends along the way. Cherish them. Keep in touch. It’s why I send so many Christmas cards and the dang post office sure keeps me saving my pennies so I can continue to do so.
Friendships have many seasons though.
Right now I am in a dry season. We are in a dry season. Not to say we are out of friends, but merely because life is so busy. Everyone. So. Busy. We are just in a season in our life where our kids keep us rockin’ and rollin’ and that’s not going to stop anytime soon and guess what? Our friends. They’re in the same season. With their kids.
Of course, we live 4-7 hours from our dearest friends and so I think sometimes we just feel it more acutely. The friends we have here are nice, but so very different in beliefs and seasons in life than we are and so it puts us in a weird place.
Someone once told me that the friends you make when your children are very young are friends for life. I agree. I just wish we weren’t so dang spread out. That we would get more visitors. That money wasn’t always an issue and we could go nilly willy and visit whoever and whenever we pleased. That life would slow down a little. But then, that IS life isn’t it? Always ebb and flow. Change and change again. It’s the way it is.
I’ll likely take a trip north in a couple of weeks to visit friends and hope to get in a maximum number of hugs and chats in my always too short trip. I’m scheduled to shoot across to the state another weekend to have some one-on-one with an old friend. It’s all good. I’ll take what I can get, when I can get it and soak it in.
Last weekend we celebrated our 20th Anniversary with a vow renewal and gathering afterward…you can see more about that here, but the thing I loved the most was being surrounded by our family and friends. Now. There are some of you reading this that might be sad because you missed it (and it WAS great), BUT this is NOT a slight or rant on you missing it. It was our fortune to be married in June. Who knew that 20 years later June would be the month of finishing school, graduations and the general crazy busy that ends school and begins summer? Who? Not my 24-year-old bride self, that’s for sure. Anyhoo…….as much as we would have LOVED to have each and every one of our family and friends present, it’s just not a reality. Life and all that. That said……
The people who were supposed to be there were. It was a neat gathering. ALL of our kids (and with our 16 yo’s recent crisis of faith–that says a lot). Many of Hubby’s AA friends came, and that is a diverse group of pretty cool people. Truly. We had friends come from church, and for the few friends we have there….that was a nice feeling. Hubby’s parents were there. Probably one of the very few times my father in law made it to church. A continued grace in healing of a strained relationship. My grandparents were there, right up front with us and my grandmother kept her claustrophobia at bay so that they could be on the front lines where they have always been. Fraternity brothers, to which I can never say enough good about this group of guys. Friends from our old city who drove 4 hours for a date weekend; this was an extra special because of the time we were able to spend with them the night before catching up.
My fear of getting up in front of the ENTIRE. 9 A.M. MASS. to renew our vows was real. When Hubs started getting emotional prior to Mass, he almost brought me over the edge (so I had to threaten him with bodily harm and eggplant…he doesn’t like eggplant). During the ceremony, I remembered our priest’s advice and just kept my eyes on Hubs, and the priest. It worked. Thankfully I followed those instructions because toward the end I snuck a peek at the parishioners and holy cow! The looks of love and sweet smiles on their faces. NOW I know why our church opts for this manner of vow renewal. Talk about a witness. I would never have made it had I looked out. Also, the fact that our only response was “I do” rather than repeat the entire wedding vows was a HUGE help. Death by publicly speaking heart-felt vows and all.
The graces were real. The love was real. The friends are real. The icing on the cake.
Now hopefully life will get real and get our friends here throughout the summer for some visitin’!!!
I’m still processing a beautiful morning but for my friends and family who couldn’t make it to our 20 year Anniversary Vow Renewal…a few pics.
I have more pics. I have more words. Perhaps later this week. I’ve got lots of words. After 20 years I’ve got LOTS to say on marriage. I’m thinking a little marriage series. Like I said. Processing. For now. You’ve got this.
9 a.m. Mass and BOOM right in the middle….a little vow renewal. In front of God and everyone. Again. Neither of us cried. Neither of us got the usual hysterical nervous giggles. Neither of us passed out. All good. All. Good.
Did you feel that??? It was the week whizzing by…and I’m not complaining because FRIDAY!!! But man. Fast.
Joining in with Jen, the author and her 7 Quick Takes for Friday….and the fact it’s another day of my month-long blog fest here…so be sure to swing by and peruse the breakdown of the week!
My current read is Something other than God, #SOTG, and it’s fascinating. I’m always intrigued by conversion stories and how and why people convert. I always learn something, find new books and excitement for my faith. Plus I’m inwardly cheering, “Yes, read more, learn, go, go, go!!!”
The weather has been fantastico here. Pretty much been eating outside every night, enjoying the breeze and the new outside table. Soaking it in.
Still laptop-less here. Hubs has offered to let me borrow his, but so far I’ve just been using the desktop. It’s not terrible, but it’s not super conducive to my early morning coffee, daily readings and chill time. I’ll live. First world problems and all.
Swimming is going…well, swimmingly. 2 weeks in a row here. I’ve been doing about 500 yards(?) on my lunch hour twice a week. Super awesome way to spend the hour during the sunny afternoon and a fabulous bonus to get outside. I’ve been working on my technique, breathing and just loving it. The only downside….I only have an hour. Hoping to get a day in on the weekend where I’m not working the clock but, yes!!! Loving it!
We have supper club this coming weekend. We used to do this in our old city and it was a great time. Getting older just really makes it harder to make friends. So many obligations and responsibilities tugging at us that there is precious little time to foster new friendships. AND..sometimes when we have time to spend together as a couple, I just want to be a couple and catch up. Tricky. So, we started this supper club as a way to build new friendships and this is month 2. Slowly adding more couples, but it was a nice night out and I am looking forward to it. Takes time. Takes time.
Speaking of couple time…we are renewing our wedding vows next month. Our church does it during Mass. We have a giant church. So, I am working on getting over my anxiety of getting up in front of a bajillion people (the number grows in my head) and not crying or busting out in my nervous giggle that I do when I’m really nervous or stressed. (think funerals or getting in trouble….any inappropriate time…) We’ve invited friends and family and hoping a few will show, but mainly it is for us and celebrating these 20 years, because oh my. WOW. Nothing I could have ever imagined and can’t wait to see what the next 20+ bring. OH, and I’m getting a new dress for the occasion. totally.
Mother’s day is nigh…..wishing my mom an awesome day…Tammi is in charge of your gift this year, mom…LOL!!! And my sister and all moms out there….it’s a crazy tough job and the best ever! Where else can you lose your marbles daily and turn to mush all in the same 10 seconds? No where. that’s where!!
Linking it up with Jen and the QT crewthis fine Friday for a weekly recap of what’s going down in our neck of the woods.
I pre-ordered Jen’s bookand in the meantime needed another book to read and remembered Simcha Fisher’s book, The Sinner’s guide to Natural Family Planning, and so I’ve been reading it this week and holy, moley. That’s some FUNNY stuff. If you want a “keepin’ in real” look at NFP…this is it. Don’t expect it to walk you through the how-tos, but it will help you make it through the tougher spots in the reality of NFP and an honest, hilarious look at NFP as a whole. Completely enjoying it!!
I ran out of my eye makeup remover and had to use some other stuff….awful….forgot JUST how awful until my regular stuff arrived yesterday. Oh,Arbonne….I love you. AND a new lipcolor….which I love!! So winning, winning, winning!!!! (if you need and Arbonne hook up, I’ll set you up with myBFF)….
note to self: do NOT run out of this again!!
We have some home improvements going on: new toilets…..wahoo. This was our “facility” reality last night for a brief time. Ugh. It was, blessedly, short-lived and this morning we have the plumber coming to put in trickier toilet and then we shall be back up to full speed with TWO working toilets!! Life is good, people.
A few domestic projects as well: I made a pillow from some fabric a neighbor was pawning off and the girls and I have been toying with embroidery. I started off with something ridiculously hard and will likely put aside, but the girls are just winging it and playing with stitches and getting used to the needle and thread. Fun.
Gotta love this!
We met friends for pizza the other night while they were in town. They have 3 littles and man, how you forget the energy level….it was fun though and the pizza—–delicious and HUGE!!!!
Holding two little boys at bay had the big boy laughing!
Having two littles as foot weights had the big girl giggling.
Spring is here and I snapped this lovely, first orange blossom of the season the other day….HALLELUJAH!!
Ah, spring and the smell of orange blossoms in the air!!
Don’t forget you can still link up your “Day in the life, in photos” with me HERE. (I’m excited I was able to actually figure out how to do a link….long a curiosity of mine…..a few people actually joined….and I think I set it up for a month or something, so yay!).
This week the kids went back to school after Spring Break….can I get a WAHOOOOOO!!⁄?!?!??!?!???? Fine, I’ll give myself one…WAHOO!!!!! Actually, I’m glad for them to get a little break in the schedule, but I didn’t take any time off so it was a little boring for them, the weather wasn’t all that fantastic, so I’m happy we are all back on schedule and the weather is FINALLY springing up. Longest winter ever, right? Even here in Central Florida…gray skies for months. Boo hoo…I’m certain several people have just clicked away after that comment. You can always come visit and escape the snow….come on!!
Speaking of people escaping the cold….my mom is here! She lives in Pennsylvania and has been enjoying the fantastic weather all week! Of course, she had a rocky start with bad weather through the southeast mid-trip and was delayed a night in Charlotte, however, she’s been running to and fro catching up with my grandparents, us, and a lot of her friends all week. We’ve loved visiting and I know she has, too….but man, oh man….it gets exhausting running around visiting, doesn’t it??? Today she and I get lunch together and I am looking forward to our one-on-one!!
I made it back to the gym AT LUNCH this week and I am still sore. It WAS great to get in a good workout and not be up at the crack of dawn. This weekend I may have the Hubs get in the pool with me and give me some pointers and add some swimming in on lunch, because it IS getting lovely out! Although I don’t think I can give up my 5 a.m. spin class which is TORTURE getting up for….but oh, so worth it!!!
This week saw several Paleo-based meals at our dinner table and with the weather changing, I feel I may be emerging from winter time hibernation and almooooooooooost ready to plan and cook ahead our healthy meals and snacks for the week. The planning and prepping ahead is THE hardest thing for me to consistently stick with and it is also the thing that makes the biggest difference in sticking to a healthy routine or not. Taking it all one day at a time, and remembering daily that summer’s coming and my bathing suit is waiting. Motivation? Um, yes.
Our Yukon needed an oil change this week and it only cost us $465. Occasionally, when your truck has almost 200,000 miles on its 12-year-old self, service is required. Painful? Always. Grateful for a solid and well-maintained vehicle? Yup.
Some interesting opportunities are turning up for me in the work arena. BIG changes and I have been crazy conflicted and praying up a storm. Must be working because so far, I’m OK with whatever happens. Of course, I’m not actually at a point where I am making a choice yet; interesting how things present themselves sometimes though. “Jesus, I trust in You”…..my prayer and my mantra.
Wrapping it up as I bring the first shortie to school #1 and get ready to own this Friday. Y’all have a great weekend and don’t forget to check back Monday for the Photo Link Up…if all goes well, I’ll have it figured out by then. How hard can it be, right? famous last words!!
Woman. It is the most breathtakingly STUNNING day here today. A rough start with the rain and wind this a.m. but now….oh. My. Not a cloud in the sky. Nice wind. Hovering on the 70’s….just barely. I can’t think of a better day to celebrate you.
Somehow I managed to make it through with 3 tissues. Your humongous family, your beautiful girls and your brave and valiant husband filing in just made my heart ache. In the same breath, my heart was filled with joy at the sheer numbers present. You seriously made an impression on a lot of people, an indelible print on their hearts. Way cool. What a blessing to call you friend.
Your faith and courage in your fight with Ovarian cancer could not help but to spill over on to everyone you came in contact with. Sharing that faith just came natural and so did encouraging your students and friends to live life to the fullest. Embrace every day and when you introduced Brendan (and our family) to the story of Nick Vujicicyour genuineness and love of God became that much more real.
Thank you for your friendship. It was a true blessing to know you.
A few words from today that I KNOW you’d be shaking your head “YES” to:
You traded earth’s cross for Heaven’s crown. WOW! I just love that. You are free. You are free.
When we let go of fear we step out and grow in faith. Like taking off without training wheels for the first time. May we ALL be propelled to grow in faith by crushing fear with the same German stubborness you had.
Fight the GOOD fight. Life is busy and we get pulled in so many directions. May we all focus on those priorities of living this life and fighting the GOOD fight.
Life is hard. So many people, situations and choices constantly turning us sideways; faith is what guides us through. A beacon of hope. You stayed focused on that faith in God’s plan to the very end. I can think of no better race that was run.