Friday, January 23, 2015

A Kindergarten Wedding


Oh my.

Can I just say that there is a special place in heaven for these amazing teachers?

I have to swallow this massive lump that keeps trying to come up when I let myself go there....

This is it for me...

my last time experiencing life through the eyes of my innocent kindergartner.

My baby is growing up too damn fast.

Today, I got to catch a small glimpse of a very special day.

The elegant wedding ceremony of 'Q and U'.

Be still my heart.

I don't know about you, but I feel like there's just something right about a world where kindergartners dress up as quarterbacks and queens and get to celebrate this seemingly simple concept with wide eyed wonder.

It was so refreshing to just get to be mom for a bit and capture these fleeting moments.

So Congratulations 'Q and U'!

I hope you have a long and happy life together!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wherever You Go, There You Are.

I love when I am able to spend some one on one time with my kids.

With three of them constantly vying for my attention, this is a pretty rare treat.

For that reason, I have come to cherish Tuesday nights.

This is the night when Miss Madi and I travel to and from gymnastics.

On the way home this evening, little Miss, had some great questions to ask me.

She wanted to know all about my life before she was born, back when I was still 'cool'.

So tonight I simply talked, and she listened with such rapt attention it was easy for me to be transported back in time.

We talked of my early driving days when I was fortunate to drive my blue old lady car (no offense to all the lovely senior ladies out there) named Zelda.

'Why would you ever name your car Zelda? That is a weird name mom!'

This led to one story which led to another, and, well, you know how that can go.

Pretty soon I was on a roll.

All that talking got me to thinking.

During those teenage 'wandering' years of mine I couldn't get enough of life.

I wanted to taste it all,

new people,

new places,

new experiences.

Life was a journey, and I needed to live it.

I travelled (and lived for short amounts of time) on each coast, where I knew not a single soul before I embarked on my journey.

I met some of the most amazingly, interesting people who I still call my friends even though our greatest adventures now happen on facebook or through emails and the occasional phone call or text.

Back then this was something that I had to do.

Today, I am so, so thankful that I did it!

I think that this quote about sums up those years....

I learned that 'I can.'

I can do hard things.

I can travel somewhere new and live and be happy there.

I am ok with meeting others and making friends, in fact I am pretty darn good at it if I say so myself.

But I think the number one thing that all of that wanderlust taught me was this...

I don't need to travel and live in exotic or new locations.

I just need to be surrounded by my people.

People who know me and love me anyway, and who I love in return.

This wandering heart of mine led me to this profound life lesson.

My heart skips a beat when I think that one of my children may have inherited this wandering quality of mine.

Even though it scares me, I kind of hope that one (or all) of them are able to learn this important life lesson someday.

I pray that I can be strong enough to let them go.

Since I am feeling so nostalgic, I am going to post just a couple of my favorite photos from those fun years....

Have I mentioned that I love blogging?!

Me and Christen...Summer 2000. Chicago, IL.

My college roomies and our lovely neighbor, Carol. Christmas 2000.

McLean, VA, Summer 2001. I miss you kiddos and can't believe how much you have grown!

Meet 'Zelda'. I was one of my first friends to have a car to drive whenever I wanted...even if she was a 'gramma' car.

And yes, I was a DQ gal! Please ignore the hair!

This was my cool car, the very first big purchase....2001.

Camp Birch Knoll, Eagle River, WI....Summer 2000, my very first campers, a fun group of soon to be 7th graders!

Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI, mom and sister and I.

It's so fun to take a trip down memory lane!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Heart

I don't have a photo to post tonight.

I just have words.

Words that need to be said, that I need to let out. 

The past few days I have had something quite large weighing on my heart.

As I sit here, at the computer, attempting to write these words out, it's hard to stop the emotion that wants to break free, to be let loose.

I don't {often} cry in front of others. 

If I am being completely honest, I'm pretty sure that this is the first time that I have admitted this little factoid about myself out loud.

I'm not emotionless, I cry.

In fact, there are many times that I find my eyes wet and find it hard to swallow, with a lump in my throat.

These times however, are more often than not spent alone.

One of the only times, in my recent history, that I can remember crying in front of others was my fathers funeral.

Back then, I couldn't seem to stop the massive overflow of tears and incredible sadness that weighed me down on a constant basis.

Who really cared if others were around to witness this very private thing that I couldn't help?

Today, these tears that I can't seem to stop are for a completely different reason,


I struggle with it.

I love God, I believe in him, I know him, but I have never felt that 'thing' that my Christian friends are so openly talking about.

I have never heard Him.

I have never felt the pull of him calling me to something, something greater than myself.

This past week, I think I've heard him.

These tears that are running down my face, this wetness that I can't seem to wipe away..... I know that it's Him.

I am being called to something.

Something so much bigger than me.

I have so much to be grateful for.

I have so many people in my life who love me and who I love deeply in return.

I wear a ton of 'hats', hats that I always dreamed of getting the chance to wear.

Sometimes these 'hats' leave me weary and beaten down, but more often than not, they leave me smiling and thanking Him for these awesome blessings in my life.

I am so thankful that I am able to love with all of my heart.

So, tonight, I lift my hands.

Thank You,

I hear You.

I haven't made a decision yet but I am listening with my whole heart and trusting You to know my true calling. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Girl on Fire

This girl of mine has her mama smilin' so big!

A few weeks ago she came into my room after school all excited about something.

"What's up?" I asked, wondering what could possibly have her so giddy.

"Can I sign up for basketball?" She slyly grinned as she pushed a paper into my hands.

I sat there for just a second, completely stunned into silence.

Wait, what?!!

This, from the girl who adamantly declared that she was never, nope, not ever going out for such a stupid sport (her words whenever asked if she was going to play).

As my inner mama was doing the happy dance, I calmly replied, "sure, of course you can."

So, she attended her first practice and worked her tail off and has since spent countless (and yes I mean, countless) hours in the shop or gym with her dad and brother workin' on her game.

This girl is on fire.

Tonight, she convinced me to come out to the shop and watch her play.

I was impressed, to say the least.

She is one determined girl!

Already at the tender age of 8, she has surpassed this mama's skills (which quite honestly isn't too hard!).

We did have some drama though when her big brother joined us.

I think that her previous bad feelings about this sport quite possibly came from this guy.

They are beyond competitive with each other.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Start of Year 5.

Today, while snapping a few photos of my kids in anticipation of this blog post that has been floating around in my head all day, I came to the realization that it has been 4 years.

Four years.


When I started this blog, I did so because it sounded fun.

Project 365.

A photo a day for a year.

I mean, what's not to like about taking your life and documenting it in words and pictures and posting it  daily for all the world to see?

I didn't exactly make it to 365 posts back in 2011, the grand total was 264, just 101 posts shy of meeting my goal.

At first, I beat myself up over this, how could I fail at something that seemed so easy?

But easy it wasn't.

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of life, my little project fell to the wayside.

I still took photos and journaled about them, just not on a consistent basis.

The following year, the posts became much less, as with every subsequent year after.

Don't even get me started on the mess that was 2013, I mean, seriously, 21 posts?!

Which brings me to today, January 1, 2015, four years to the day since I began this journey.

I have learned so much since that day.

This journey that I embarked on back then has helped me relish this crazy, messy, awesome life that I have.

It isn't easy, in fact it's downright impossible some days but we make it through.

When I'm having a particularly tough day and feel like I am going to snap, I turn to the words and photos on this blog and I know.

I know that everything will be ok.

Life marches on.

Love continues to grow, even with the tears and fights, laughter, and late nights and endlessly busy days.

I am grateful for this one constant,

my project life.

So on that note, I am going to post a couple of shots of our current everyday....

Thanks for being a reader, a follower, or an occasional stopper into our life.

I can't wait to see where the next four years takes us!