Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My 31st Surprise

I am someone who LOVES an adventure more than a gift.  At least for the last 4 years we have done a family activity for my birthday.  My husband knows how much I love surprises and how much I love to be together as a its perfect for me.
I told LD a few weeks ago that I wanted the girls to see the ocean this summer.  We didn't make it last summer and when you are only a few hours away that is not excusable.

I also knew that since we already have a few other trips planned a week in a condo, ocean front (which is the only way I was going) was not going to happen.  So, I told LD I wanted to get up early in the morning, drive to the beach and drive home that night.  Yes, its insane, but so is lugging 3 kids and all their gear to the beach for a 30 min run before one needs a break.
Well...he did even better :)  He asked me on Saturday about 11am if I wanted to go to the  So I packed us all up in an hour, he booked a 2 bedroom condo and away we went!
And it was perfect!!!!  We spend Saturday evening on the boardwalk, having dinner and the girls ran around on the beach.

Of course, Cole just went with the flow.

When night time came the girls had their own little room.  It was so cute and they were so sweet all tucked in and giggling.  I thought, man we should let them sleep together on the weekends.  Then at 10:30pm when they were both still awake giggling and getting in and out of bed I remembered why they don't share a room and why Elle is still in a crib.  At 11pm I heard something in the bathroom and saw Elle standing with her diaper and pants off because she needed to go potty.....I was not thrilled with her sense of adventure.

Sunday morning was very cloudy skies and we had to be out of our room by 10.  I was nervous....but LD remembered our friends the Gillmings were also at the beach and they graciously allowed us to use their beach access and room for the day.

It was a perfect day.  The girls LOVED the water and the sane (which was not the case the last time we were there).

We played so hard all day long and loved having friends to play with.

I love that Cole took a nap on the sweet6!!  We all piled into the car at 3pm and the girls slept hard all the way home.  We may have to make this little trip once more this summer!!
Perfect 31st birthday!!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Preschool Family Picnic

I cannot believe we are at the end of Clare's first year of preschool!  She had a GREAT year at Kid City Preschool at Next Level Church...and we loved it, except for the LONG drive!!  Its about 20 minutes, which isn't awful until you have two other children who have to ride it twice a day.  All that to say, we are sadly changing to a preschool much closer to home for next fall.
But, as part of the end of the year celebration they had a family picnic day.

We were excited to all participate and Clare was SO excited for us to come eat lunch with her and her friends at school.

She asked multiple times if Daddy was coming and being the great dad he is, he drove 45 minutes from work for watermelon and a turkey sandwhich. 

At the end of the picnic, which included ice cream :)  Ms. Lisa, Clare's teacher handed out awards to the kids.  It was no surprise to us that Clare got "biggest helper." 

Next year Clare will be in a young 5's class and Elle will spend one more year at home with Cole and I.

Clare made such great sweet friends at school this year...such a sweet blessing!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Free from guilt

Guilt has been my nemesis for most of my adult life.  It seems like every time I have a child, more guilt is piled on.  It looks something like this:

-Driving Clare to school, guilt that Cole is missing a nap.
-Home so Cole can take a nap, guilt that Elle is stuck at home.
-Mommy doing chores, guilt I'm not playing with my children.
-Mommy playing with children, guilt that chores are not done.

It is ridiculous and obnoxious and even as I write it out it feels ridiculous and obnoxious, but that is how my mind works most days.

A few weeks ago Todd, my pastor at Next Level Church taught on Biblical guilt.  It was the first time I felt like I had a tool to battle the guilt monster.  His teaching was that if my guilt is not founded on Biblical principle than it is from the enemy and needs to be let go.  And as simple of a truth as that is, a light bulb clicked for me.  Yet again, God has proven that in relationship with him I am FREE.  His desire is for me to be free - in my case, from guilt.

If I choose to trust and live by biblical principle, it frees me from living by the standards of the world, the standards of the best moms around, and especially from the standards of my own messed up mind.  When I go to bed at night feeling any sense of guilt, I can run it through the filter - is it biblical guilt?  No, I did not read to each of my children for 30 minutes; yes, they did have a sugary treat after naps, instead of something healthy; yes, I did turn on the tv to keep them quiet while making dinner and nursing.  Those are all things I strive to change or desire to improve on, but I can go to sleep knowing I am free from guilt that I place on myself.

It saddens my heart so greatly when people who do not know Christ think that Christians are following rules and tangled in chains that limit them.  It is only through Christ that I can be truly free from the craziness of this world and the sin that harbors my heart and mind.

And I know that without a daily reminder that God desires me to be free, I fall quickly into the trap of living by the standards of everyone else, standards I was never created to live by.  Today I am thankful for freedom in knowing all I am expected to do is love, teach, and discipline my children...not make sure my two year old is properly behaved, potty trained and sleeping without a paci (yup, good thing, or we have failed!)