Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday's Walk ~ As We Always Were

Last week I attended the funeral of my dear friend's grandmother.  Both the funeral service and burial were held very close to where my friend grew up, however its been 18 years since she lived there.  It'd been a while since I'd traveled those roads and, within the context of the day, it really brought me back to another time.

This particular gas station is where my friend's dad would take us for really good soft-served ice cream.  We passed the pizza place where we ordered from on many occasions.  We passed the softball field where I broke my wrist while our school teams were playing against each other.  Her all-girls Catholic highschool where she left her mark and where I went to basketball games to cheer her on from the bleachers.  So many memories.

The next day we sat over breakfast and coffee, something we do every chance we get, and talked about life as we now know it.  Its hard to explain...though we are not sisters, when I am with her I often think of this quote:

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other's hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega

Though we are both operating in the grown-up world, raising children of our own and being wives to our amazing men who share the same name, we both know, deep down, we are still those young teenagers who laughed together, cried together, those girls who walked with each other through very dark times and the best of times.  

At the funeral, I watched a poised 30-something woman, full of grace and beauty eulogize her grandmother...I stood in amazement at the journey we've been on to bring us from those silly girls who found plenty of harmless trouble to where we are today. 

We've always been an unlikely couple...though we share many of the same core values, we are so very different in many ways.  Somehow, we've always seen the beauty in those differences and loved the other more because of them.  I think it is rare in a lifetime to find a friend so dear and I have had the privilege of calling her friend these 22 years. Thank you, Shelva Jean.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Dirls

We SO enjoyed having Avery home last week.  She and Amanda got lots of time together being "best friends".  Aiden refers to them as "my dirls" or "my sithters".  They are both full of love and laughter...we are incredibly blessed to call them our daughters.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Project 365, Week 8

This was a very special week in so many ways.  We kicked off the week by celebrating Shaun's first day off in a in, the first day in the last 30 he's had off.  We are back down to 40 hours a week and it is won.der.ful!  You can't really comprehend how much an 80 hour work week is until you've done it, but it is a LOT of time apart.

Don't get me wrong....we are both very grateful for his job...but we are also very happy when the tax season slows down a little.

February 19
Sunday was an on-purpose quiet day.  We took a family walk/ride, watched a movie, took naps....I even stayed in sweats all day.

When we got back from our walk Shaun told me to take Avery and please go buy some new sweatpants.  His initiation is usually the only time I go shopping for myself. 

I consider it to be completely unproductive time, it requires more patience than I have and the only thing you have to show for it at the end is an emptier bank account.  And always I have images in my head of children around the world without food and that makes me think I can go another five years before these sweatpants are worn to shreds (and have shrunk even shorter than they are now).  

BUT, when I have a six year-old with me who loves to shop, that makes it much more interesting.

*before you think higher than you ought to of me, I should say that I don't always think of the starving children when I am shopping on Amaz*n or my photography supplies store.  :)
 February 20
Great-Grandpa was talking about the deer eating his bush so the kids were on the lookout.  Aiden declared he saw a reindeer and proceeded to go into animated detail about it, with his grandpa egging him on.  :)
 February 21
Family day at the museum and our February family photo!
 February 22
A picnic lunch at the park with cousins.
 February 23
Avery got invited to her very first school-friend birthday party.  Look who got invited too after giving the sad eyes to Birthday Girl's mom.  :)
Just before sunset we met cousin Alayna at the had been 60 degrees during the day, but was certainly not that warm at 5...not that the kids would notice.
February 24
I peeked in to say goodbye to the girls...we have SO enjoyed having Avery home on vacation this week!!  Amanda especially likes the fact that she gets to sleep in Avery's bed.  So sweet reading their party favor books.  :)
I meant to get a picture and it didn't happen.  I met my friend Shelva for an 8:30 breakfast.  We talked and talked until we got asked to leave to make room for the lunch crowd that was lining up at the door. Ooops!  Time and conversation with her is so rare, we treasure every minute we have together.

Later, Shaun's team won their first playoff game...its such a fun activity to have during the dark winter.

February 25
The TV in our kitchen has been broken for several weeks (yay!!) so once in a while they pull out the ipad over breakfast.
 We took cards and donuts to Great-Grandpa's to celebrate his 93rd birthday.  One sentence Avery wrote in her card to him was "I hope 93 is the best age".  He got a chuckle out of that.  :)
 So very grateful the kids have gotten all this time with him...they are buds.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fun Family Day

A couple weeks ago as Shaun and I were talking we realized he had a day off during Avery's school vacation week.  Right then we penned in a family day and it didn't take us long to decide on Boston's Children Museum, but we kept it a surprise for the kids.

After a quick cereal breakfast, we were on our way.  It was a beautiful, but chilly day in one of our favorite cities.  We all had a great time...the kids were SO easy.  Shaun and I kept switching kids.  Sometimes they'd all be doing the same activity, sometimes Shaun was with the girls and I was with Aiden, sometimes two were with me and one was with him.  The place is only three floors, so its a manageable size.

I was a bit sad to think of the last time we were was Avery's 5th birthday, Amanda was 3 and Aiden wasn't quite walking yet.  This visit everyone was so much diaper bags to pack, no strollers, no finding a corner to nurse in, no needing a nap.  Though I miss those days, there is also much joy to be found in packing light and having meaningful conversations about things, about life.

We closed the place down at 5 and then walked to find something to eat for the first time since breakfast.  The kids never had a word of complaint and we were all happy to find a warm place to fill our bellies.

Love family days!  Here's some of the fun we had:

 Can you even stand this face??