20140818_080144_Android

Routine now commences!

This week marks new routine.

20140818_080144_AndroidI have successfully set up a carpool for soccer.  Amen and amen!

The children are relatively happy with their classes and teachers.  Amen and amen.

20140818_080411_AndroidI have volunteered to be a 4th grade room mom.  What am I thinking?

I have a set work schedule.  Amen and amen!

School has not rectified sibling fighting.  Can I declare ceasefire please?

 

a summer resolution

In May, right when school was ending, I made a summer resolution. I kept it to myself.

20140813_153846_AndroidI resolved to spend quality time with my olders, creating intentional time for conversation and memories.

That might seem simple for some of you; even a regular part of your life.  For me, with the dynamic of our family, work and schedule, intentional time has been elusive.

20140813_155210_AndroidOne of the biggest challenges I found after resolving to pursue this was myself.  I learned, AGAIN, how selfish I am.

20140813_155550_AndroidIntentional time means sacrifice of my time and the things I want to.  It means making a plan and sticking with it.  It means becoming vulnerable and open with who I am, past and present.

20140813_154952_AndroidIt’s also been one of the most rewarding things I could have done.

It’s taken many forms this summer.

It’s been a hike up the Incline and a two hour hike down, filled with conversation about how I felt as a 13 year old.  My frustrations with my parents, my lack of self confidence, my like for boys.  Hard conversations about life choices, culture, society.

It’s been an afternoon spent at a rock climbing gym, challenging not only my kids to get to the top but myself as well.  I realized, again, how much I hate heights.

It’s been heading to some super fun clothing stores and not buying a single thing for me.  Instead, focusing on my child’s new style.  Making sure they feel comfortable in what they are wearing.  Talking about how clothes make us feel and act.

It’s been middle of the day stops at bagel shops, just because it’s summer and we are one child free.  The stops becoming small spaces to talk without interruption.

For one of the first times ever, I am very sad that summer is over.  It came and went too fast.  We didn’t get it all done.

20140813_165226_AndroidMy resolve doesn’t have to end with summer though.  I’m going to continue this intentional time with my children.

Finding those spaces to fill with praise, words, time, love, memories and wisdom–that will continue! Here’s to another school year!

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Always Changing Plans

He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
    and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant,
    but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
    until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth.
Far-flung ocean islands
    wait expectantly for his teaching. -
Isaiah 42:4

The past few weeks have been filled with constant change.  The to-do list seems to never end.

A car, scheduled for maintenance has turned into a needing a new car.

20140810_132608_AndroidA museum visit promised after two days of soccer was planned and cancelled two times before it actually happened.

A dog, boarded for a weekend of fun away, is picked up with a diagnosis of complete dementia.

20140809_095843_AndroidA promised trip to an amusement park has turned into a day of errands and work.

20140810_133931_AndroidDinner dates, planned with friends, are rescheduled.

A beginning of the school year eye check turns into glasses for two kids and many sessions of eye therapy to come.

20140811_103107_AndroidI now write on the calendar with pencil, knowing that we will most likely change the plan 5 times.

For the first time, I purchased race insurance, guaranteeing my money back if we can’t make the race.

It is discouraging.  I do feel like I am faltering.  I feel like promises are broken more than they are kept.

The margins we give each other, when things are humming along well, are super slim right now.   Misunderstandings and miscommunication seems to be at the forefront of most interactions.

Yet when I let myself sink into the words of Isaiah, I know that God still runs this big ship.  I have to believe that despite my most valiant efforts to create consistency and schedule, God holds it all in his trusty hands. There is nothing too small or seemingly insignificant for my God.

Cody1

The hard good bye is almost here

Cody1It’s been a rough week and it’s only Tuesday. We’ve known this day has been coming.  Today, it was actually spoken. Saying good bye to a dog used to seem so trivial to me.  Until I became a dog owner. DSC02463Now, almost 16 years later, I’m struggling with the finality of this decision. It’s hard to be the ones who say, “Okay, enough.  Cody’s quality of life is so poor that it’s better to let go.” 020How does one even make that decision? The tension I hold is this.  While I’m trying to figure out when to say good bye to a dog, I’m absolutely realistic of brutality and atrocities too unspeakable to write happening to people. I feel guilty for the waves of grieve that wash over me for a dog when people are dealing with hard stuff, pain, sickness, cancer, homelessness. I can’t reconcile it but I’m also aware that our Cody has been a part of our lives since our engagement.  We brought him home when we were week old newlyweds. He licked my tears as I sat in a muddled pile of grieve, after losing our first pregnancy. He was there when we brought each of our kids home; welcoming and guarding them. DCP00328He brought a lot of joy to our lives, joy that I didn’t expect a dog could give. So yes, there is a lot of yuck going on around the world.  It’s not okay. What is okay is feeling the deep sadness of saying good bye to a special four legged friend whose brought years of joy to our family.

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Quality Incline Time

As our kids have grown older, it takes more creativity and time to spend one on one time with them.  When they were little, it was easy to pop them in a carseat, head to a playground and swing for hours.

20140807_100339_AndroidNow we compete with sports schedules, friends, Instagram and a need for lots and lots of sleep.

20140807_102116_AndroidFor the two people in Colorado Springs who don’t know, the Incline is closing next week, August 15 for four months. This summer, I’ve been trying to get on the mountain at least once every two weeks.  Today was the perfect day to trek up, once again, on Nature’s Best Stairmaster.

20140807_102129_AndroidCaroline was a trooper and I thoroughly enjoyed having a child at the age and fitness level to do this trek with me.

20140807_102154_AndroidWhile the way up was filled with lots of breathing and little talking, Barr trail down was filled with conversation.

I’m so thankful, today, for clean air, mountains to climb, legs that are strong enough to climb and a daughter who wants to go with me.