Tuesday, October 24, 2017

{for my mom} #sol17

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Today is my Mom's birthday.

And I can't wish her a happy day.

There's a reason ... and it's not what you are thinking.

My Mom is one of the most giving people I know. Right now she is volunteering on a mission trip in Guatemala for the week, and communication is limited. I sent her an email and a text this morning not knowing when or if she will receive them ... so today I'm honoring my Mom!

My Mom is a truly amazing person. She really is! My Mom has always been so giving and thoughtful of others, but since her "official" retirement, she gives and gives and gives even more.

I hope one day to be like her and be giving in so many ways.

My Mom gives of her time.
She volunteers time with her church, hospice care, her care receivers, and tutoring students from local schools.
She spent many, many hours at the Center for Hope.
She gives time just to be with friends, drink a glass a wine, tell stories, and laugh.
She invites friends to a card making class where she creates beautiful cards that she gives to family and friends.

My Mom gives of her words.
Every morning she leaves me (and now Karen too!) a Voxer message, including a TFTD - Thought For The Day to encourage and support us.*
She gives freely of her advice. She takes a step back and looks at the problem from a different lens.
She writes on her blog about her life and participates in SOL, even though she's never been a teacher. She freely gives positive comments too!

My Mom gives of her energy.
She will help when help is needed. Just ask her.
She pushes herself to do what she can to help others, whether it's packing a house, preparing for a garage sale, cleaning out a loved one's personal belongings, time with friends making cards ...
The list goes on and on. I think her giving gives her the energy she needs.

My Mom gives of her creativity.
She crochets prayer shawls to those in need of feeling God's arms around them.
She designs beautiful handcrafted cards that she mails to us on special occasions.
She creates family scrapbook albums capturing memories of our lives and vacations.
She completes needle point projects from detailed art to Christmas stockings hanging on the mantle.

My Mom gives of her patience.
She waits and waits to hear a response from me ...
Wanting to know about the girls and life
but with our busy schedule, it's hard to always reach out.
But yet she is patient.

Even though it's her birthday, she is continuously giving to others.

I pray she is safe and enjoying her time on her mission trip.

I bet she is still celebrating with old and new friends tonight!

Happy, happy birthday, Mom!

*Even though she is away, she created email TFTD that my Dad sends every morning in her absence. Thank you, Dad! Each message helps us get through the day! You both are the best!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

{It's just not the same} #sol17

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Last night as I sat watching my girls tumble at gymnastics, I picked up my pen and notebook. I started with these words: What to write? And this is what spilled on the page ... straight from my heart.

What to write ...

I wonder, think, ponder.

My words are hard to find today.

There are many celebrations and joys to share, but the darkness of frustration and loneliness hide them temporarily.

What to write?

I question, grumble, sigh.

My words are bubbling to the surface.

My closest colleague, thinking partner, and dearest friend and I were separated this school year. Two new positions in two different schools.

What to write!

My words boil with disappointment.

I feel the longing to turn and talk, the divide between us, the sadness fills my heart.

This teammate was the one who consistently pushed me in my learning and helped me outgrow my brain. Every. Single. Day.

What to write?

My words begin to simmer ...

I slowly release, relax my shoulders, close my eyes.

These moments don't last long. A text, a phone call, or an email from my friend reminds me.

What to write ...

My words fill the pages of my notebook.

I exhale, smile, pick up the phone.

Even though we are not making a difference side-by-side anymore, we are still finding ways to work and learn and grow together.

It's just not the same.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

{fall getaway} #sol17

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A long weekend getaway
is needed every now and again.

Quiet days slowed enough to
hear only my breathing.

Time to just be together
as a family and make memories.

No email. No internet. Disconnected.
Just time. And books. And outdoors.

And us.

The crisp fall air enticing
the colors to begin to glow.

Outdoor events filled our time
from hiking to ATVing to boating

Nightly star gazing, stories by the campfire
in the stillness of the country.

Squeezing in longer moments
to read and close my eyes

And nap.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

{book bonds} #sol17

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Books have created an amazing bond between us.

It's that special time we get to sit, side-by-side, snuggled in close with a book shared between the three of us.

The story, the characters, the laughs, maybe even a few tears.

The information, the interesting facts, the surprises, the I-didn't-know-that!

Favorite authors, amazing illustrators, continued reading in a series, brand new titles.

We read and reread. Some titles again and again and again.

My daughter P.'s goal is to checkout a book from her library at school that I haven't read yet that she thinks I will love as much as her. Her book choices are always exciting. And stretches me from my reading zone.

My daughter M. can't wait to find that next book that will either make me laugh silly or sob cry tears. She's more about the extreme emotions. Always checking my response to the books.

Book time together with my seven year old daughters is precious time that I hope continues on and on for years and years and years to come.

Books have created an amazing bond between us.