Monday, June 27, 2016

Our mini vacation this year...

Hello friends.

I am sure that many of you have gathered if you follow along on Instagram that Cam and I took our kiddos to Branson this weekend.
I had a family reunion and we were able to stay one night and do some fun things with the kids before spending Saturday with my family.

We looked into staying at a resort or motel, but the one that I found didn't have any availability for our dates and deep down we knew the wisest thing for us to do was to stay at Cameron's grandma and grandpas trailer they have down there.

When I first think vacation I think big splashy fun, but in reality our family is young and they are amused with the littlest of things and they don't pay much mind to the things we think are important.
once again they teach me more about life than I feel like I am teaching them.

we rolled into town late afternoon and Cameron actually had to work for a little bit on a project so the kids and I headed to Target to kill some time.
we had a ball and I always love finding a little something.

As soon as we stepped into the trailer to drop our bags before dinner a wave of memories came flooding back. Cameron and I stayed at the trailer the night before we went to the hospital to have McCoy. Cameron's grandma watched the older kids numerous times when I would go back and forth for doctors appointments both with McCoy and our fourth little baby.
My heart filled with such joy and gratitude for all the life that had happened in that little trailer.

I snapped this picture of a magnet on Cameron's grandmas fridge. the definition of her name

We went out to dinner and then decided to take the kids out on the strip in Branson.
I just cant tell you how special it is to do things with them that we used to do with our parents when we were little.
We wanted to surprise them with go-carts and were so excited to find a kiddy track where the older two were able to drive their own.
They had so much fun and even got stickers that they were so proud of.
We bought McCoy tickets to ride a little train since he wasn't old enough and he was ok with that but he REALLY wanted to drive one of those "race cars"

We stopped and got ice cream and ate it on the back of Cam's truck and watched the cars go by.

the next morning we had a quick breakfast that I packed for the kids and they drew grandma and grandpa pictures thanking them for letting us stay at their little trailer and then we headed to reunion.

we had a great time at the reunion and a big group of us took the kids swimming down at the lake.

the whole weekend was just perfect. I enjoyed everything about it so much. and it was such a sweet reminder money isn't always the answer.

Most of you know Cam and I started Dave Ramsey back in the winter and it has taken some getting used to denying ourselves what we want or think we need, but the outcome of the sacrifice far outweighs the benefits.

I have noticed how much more present we are with our kids and not always distracted by the next thing we want to buy or do.

Anyway...maybe a budget post should come later. But I wanted to mention that incase you are reading along and wishing you could do something fun with your family but cant make it happen this year.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love Lived out...

On my side of our bathroom sink underneath my jewelry hangs a little handwritten note that is over ten years old.

It's from my dad.
I don't really remember all the details of when he gave it to me, but I do remember it was attached to some money that I needed before school at the sweet age of sixteen.

It must have made an impact on my heart because I kept it and found it again at a time in my life when I really needed it.

Cameron and I had just moved to Texas and I was struggling through missing my folks, city living and finding my way through unfamiliar territory.

I was unpacking and there it was and I still remember how my heart felt when I found it.

it was one of those moments ya know.

Fast forward a few years and it sill means the world to me to have that sweet little note from my dad and it hangs in our bathroom for me to see.

it reads

"have at good day"

no typo, my dad wrote "at" instead of "a"
and I think that is why I love it so much

its so him

The older I get the more I can relate to my parents and the stronger my adoration and respect grows for them

parenting is the greatest and the toughest and I often find myself not knowing exactly how to get out in my actions and words the love and hope I have for them in my heart.

my dad is much the same way.

he never gave me fancy gifts or loved on me with big words, he lived out his love in simple and meaningful ways.

The time he lived it out most was last year when Cameron and I lost our 4th baby in the second trimester of my pregnancy.

I remember talking to my dad on the phone that night after we got the news and he was giving me pep talks about how to be strong and to get through this.
but I knew what he was trying to say and the very next day I saw it and felt it.

my mom had to work the day of my surgery and so badly wanted to be there, but when she called and said my dad wanted to come I was a little shocked.

he isn't the kind of dad that handles girly personal things well, and I kind of felt like this was one of those times.

I think I might have said something about it not being necessary, but for the first time in my adult life my dad was really hell bent on a life issue with me.

I asked cam if it would be ok if he came and so the three of us headed to Springfield the day of my surgery.

and it wasn't until it was time to wheel my back that I saw why my dad wanted to come.

a part of me believed that he was coming to keep cam company or because my mom couldn't come, but it was then that I realized he came for me.

I expected it to be hard for Cam when it was time for me to go back. he always says its so hard to see me hurt and know that there isn't anything he can do. he squeezed my hand and kissed me good bye.

and then it came time for my daddy and I could see how much he loved me and cared by the way he told me good bye.
he was hurting because I was hurting and the only way he knew to show how much he cared and loved me was to be there.

and as the wheeled me away I watched the two greatest men I have ever known walk down the hall to the waiting room to wait for me to get out.
And that picture will forever be engraved in my mind.

I am so much like my dad.
I fumble through words trying to tell people how I feel about them and it usually doesn't come out the way I hoped but I truly pray that I live out a life of love the way he did that day.
so simple and strong and true.

"have at good day"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What we deserve

I started to say "a few weeks ago" and then realized it is actually now a "few months ago"

Time has been slipping on by on me I guess.

A few months back summer was upon us and I was so excited to get my garden planted, get my kiddos out of school and start enjoying summer. You could say my heart was a bit anxious.

We had it all planned out right after dinner we were going to all jump out there and plant our garden.
This would be our third garden since we moved to Missouri and some of my favorite memories of our summers here involve our garden.

Well, about the time I finished cleaning up dinner it started raining and then it started hailing.
And our garden plans were ruined.

We enjoyed the rain and the kids loved picking up the pieces of hale. But deep down I was frustrated that we didn't get up to the garden. I guess I had it all planned out in my head and though I am learning to let expectations go, sometimes I still struggle with it.

I decided to go on a walk and wouldn't you know it, it ended up being one of the prettiest walks I have even been on. And not only that the Lord poured a lot of wisdom and encouragement into my heart as I walked.

He put Ephesians 3:20 on my heart and it has been a verse that I have stood on time and time again this spring.

As I walked I couldn't help but be humbled by my attitude. I thought I wanted to plant a garden but truth be know God knew what I needed more.

I didn't deserve a beautiful walk and truth poured into my heart, but HE is ABLE to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine.

He blew me away and for that I am so grateful.

Here are some pics from that night.

To God be the glory y'all!