Monday, May 27, 2013

Of Memorial Day and hittin' the road.

It's Memorial Day. I find it hard to express the gratitude, the love, the appreciation I feel for the people who have served our country and lost their lives in the process. That is the ultimate sacrifice ... and the most humbling gift.

We did not attend any Memorial Day services today. We had a quiet day at home. But my mind went back to my trip with Rachel to Washington, D.C., last year. It was so touching to see the war memorials and to be there among so much history. It gave us an even better appreciation for those who serve our great nation.

At the Korean War Memorial.

Thank you.

Completely unrelated to Memorial Day, I've been having a rough time lately. Somewhere north of being in a funk but not quite feeling myself. I wish I knew what was making me feel this way, because I feel like if I knew what it was I could fix it. Certainly it's a little bit of missing Steve. And some days I'm a bit busier than I'd like to be which gets me all discombobulated, yet the times when I have nothing going on I feel like I should be busy and my brain starts filling the silence with all kinds of junk.

Today I kept my mind and my body busy with clearing out and rearranging my closet. I tried on all my clothes, threw away a few pieces long past their prime and set aside a stack for Goodwill. Why do we keep clothes that don't fit us? For YEARS? I decided I'd rather have the space. I also decided it's time to invest in my wardrobe a bit. I don't need much, but I think I could find a handful of quality pieces to round things out and make me feel a little better about myself when I'm out and about. I'm gonna' keep my eyes open during my travels this summer when I am closer to really good shopping.

Ahh, summer. The kids have six more days of school left, then we're freeeee! I am so looking forward to heading east to spend some time with Steve. I wanna hit the road, have a change of scenery. I'll have a little taste of it this week when I head to Indiana to visit a friend. It'll be a quick trip - just two nights away - but it will be travel time sans children, adult time with a couple of people I adore (and haven't seen in far too long), and a chance to see something other than these four walls I'm livin' in. I do love my home and my family, but there comes a point when I get a little stir-crazy and ready to do something different. I will miss all of it while I'm gone, but I will enjoy the time away.

In the meantime, I made brownies. Isn't that what any slightly-less-than-sane gal would do when she's feeling antsy? And what a shame, the kids don't care for them. (I think the almond extract the recipe called for makes them taste wonky to the kids. I happen to love it.) Guess I'll have to eat the whole batch all by myself.

Or should I say ... the rest of the batch. *ahem*


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Clean Slate Sunday: 5.12.13 edition

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a nice day for this Mama. I got up early to prepare some treats for social hour at church, Rachel and I sat on either side of my mom during service, and I had a nice visit with my folks and then my mother-in-law. I can't decide which I appreciate more - the gifts my thoughtful girl gave me (a bouquet of tulips, a new planter, and a pretty plant she potted in Sunday School), or seeing my son so relieved after he was focused on caring for the life-like baby doll from his health class for two nights. (He did an amazing job, by the way.)

On top of all that, Rachel and her buddy - one of the neighbor girls - got together and schemed last week to make a surprise taco dinner party for their mamas. They even had a couple of adult accomplices who helped them do the shopping and pull things together while the moms were distracted. God bless them ... we were so surprised. And impressed! They even made a cake for dessert.

This past week Steve and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. Well. We celebrated as much as a couple can when they're not in the same state. Which is pretty much saying "Happy Anniversary" to each other over the phone. But it's all good. I look forward to spending some time with him. Maybe we can go out for dinner or something when he's home next weekend.

In other news, asparagus season has begun, and that means I'll be out helping the neighbors pick it a few days a week. I'd love it if the weather doesn't get too crazy, though I won't hold my breath. I have my plants all tucked in under sheets tonight because there's a freeze warning. The good news about that is I have plants in the ground, and that makes me happy.

It feels like I have a bazillion half-baked projects going on and that kind of chaos makes it so I can't think straight, so I'm looking forward to the week ahead and getting some things taken care of around the house. First up: a good sleep.

Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

So close to perfect ...

My hands smell of rosemary and thyme. They are what's left in my garden - along with the Chives That Will Not Die and a lone green onion sprout - after what feels like the longest winter ever.

Sometimes I think God must allow us to feel a little pain so we remember just how blessed we are once the sun shines again. Oh, and am I ever thankful the sun is shining now. I am thankful for these recent days of warmer temperatures, and the beautiful thunderstorm I awoke to yesterday morning. Day after day I think today couldn't possibly be better than yesterday. And then it is.

I go through periods of discontent. There are times when I think I might not be on the right path. I wonder if this crazy life we live is really the right life for us. But then I take a long look in the mirror and I see the pink cheeks and shoulders from a day spent in the sun and I know: this is the right path, we are in the right place, I am and I have enough.

We've had an amazing few days. Lots of sunshine and family time. The kids and I spent much of last weekend outdoors, raking and shoveling and prepping for summer. My plants and shrubs are starting to poke up through the ground and show some color. It all makes me so happy.

One evening the kids asked me to go back to the creek with them - a short ride on the golf cart on family property - and it's a wonder we ever came back. It's so beautiful out there. The birds were singing ... frogs croaking ... kids playing and exploring. We all got our feet wet. I took a few pictures, which I will share when I download them from my phone.

Even my allergies have been minimal, which surprises me with all the time I have spent outside and sleeping at night with my bedroom window open. Not to mention two shedding dogs. Mercy. I spent about a half hour outside brushing Gunnar this morning and got a good bushel of fur (I swear!) before he had enough. It cost me a chicken breast to keep him distracted, but no sneezing! And then he thanked me by laying in a mud puddle. *sigh* It's a good thing I'm pretty much ignoring the interior of the house right now because two dogs and a swampy back yard make spring cleaning a lesson in futility. If I can't stand to look at it anymore I just go outside. Which is where I'm headed now.

All this activity is good for the soul. As I walk around and survey the progress of our little homestead I am grateful for the opportunity to be present, not just in the grand scheme, but daily, for the small moments. I can appreciate the small changes, the growth, the color, even if I only see it in passing as I chase down Gunnar The Giant Puppy to retrieve my gardening glove.

Life is good.