Ok call me 'bored', call me 'addicted to replicating ideas on Pinterest', but I HAD to do this! It is her first Christmas, afterall,so I took my cheap, point-and-shoot camera and started clicking. I have no inclination to fire my professional photographer, I just wanted to experiment some myself on this lazy Sunday.
For the second time in our eight years of marriage, we ate Thanksgiving dinner WITH FAMILY! Aunt Cindy, Uncle Rick, Jeremy and Tucker decided to spend this special week in Hilton Head, SC. The farm's loss is our gain! Now that we have children, it is becoming even more special and desirable to be near family on the holidays. Since we travel to PA for Christmas, we stay put for this holiday. The one time that worked out for us was the year we actually lived in PA. We certainly make the best of it, as most military families do. But I realized this year, just how special it is to be near family. Who loves your children as much as you do? Who, other than your spouse, can hug you and make you feel so special? Whose presence lets you know 'you belong to me and I to you'? Family. I miss out on this experience most of the year and am therefore, more excited than words can say to have these special visitors. And Aunt Cindy just may be the best at meeting these particular needs. She hugs long, helps without asking, gives graciously, smiles in adoration, cries for your losses, listens without judgement, and beams at your accomplishments. Can I just say I'VE BEEN NEEDING THIS! I guess it's pure and simple nurturing. Something I give every day, all day. And today, it's for ME. And even more for my family, which makes me happy, too. My children get to be spoiled in a way that someone who hasn't seen them in months wants to do. It occured to me today that my girls are missing out on that. A weekly trip to grandmas or aunts who are so anxious just to read a book to them or work on a craft when mommy has grown a little weary of meeting every need and desire.
So our three-part Thanksgiving break included a day at the beach, a trip to the children's museum, Thanksgiving dinner and shopping (golf for the men)!
Menu included cheesy corn dip, pita chips and hummus, cheese and crackers, turkey, cranberry sauce, hashbrown casserole, baked corn, pineapple stuffing, turkey stuffing, roasted carrots, pumkin gnochi in pumpkin sauce (World Market), rolls, wine, mimosas, seasonal beer, pumpkin pie and warm apple crisp with ice cream. I was happy to have a crew to cook for. I highly doubt I would have cooked this much for Barrett and the girls. I was glad for the opportunity to try out some new recipes and offer my love through the bellies of my family.
I am full. Physically AND emotionally. Today, I am thankful for my family of eight!
I think autumn just may be my favorite time of the year to be at the lake! The colors were marvelous and I am loving a campfire! The girls enjoyed some pumpkin muffins, butternut squash soup and pumpkin seeds. Have I mentioned I LOVE FALL?
I love riding along the backroads and seeing fields of white cotton with folliage in the background. Where else in America can you take in this view? Not many places I've been!
Whatever the season, we are making memories we will always cherish as a family of four! I love us.
Six months ago, I decided I was going to run a race. Why not? Why couldn't I do that? This very question is why I do things like buy a motorcycle, THEN learn how to ride it. I simply decide I'm going to try something and not finishing it isn't an option. So, I signed up for a 1/2 marathon, then started training. Making the commitment first, then trying it out seems backwards. But not for me. I knew my husband for 7 months before we got married. I made the commitment, then got to know him. This may sound risky to some. And it would have been had I not known his character and devotion to the Lord. Everything else (flaws, personality conflicts) was something we would overcome. Because of our commitment. Quitting isn't an option. Like it or not. I didn't care for the motorcycle and eventually sold it (once I mastered it, of course). Fortunately, I happen to love running. And my husband! I trained by putting one foot in front of the other, as often as I could considering childcare restrictions. No elaborate plan. Simply collecting tidbits from seasoned runners along the way, and pushing myself a little farther each time.
The day I ran 4 miles, I was beside myself. Who would have ever thought? One day I set out for 11 and just kept going. I ran 13.1 miles that day.
I knew I had what it took to run the whole race. The best part of running is the community. The worst is my newfound knee issue. Race day was a great experience. From waking up at 4am to hanging out with other crazies in the chilly darkness to watching the sun rise and anticipating the start of the final test. Oh, while thousands cheer you on. Very, very exhilarating experience. I will be doing this again next year.