In July we took a second vacation for the summer: our annual anniversary trip away and visit to Ogallala and Lake McConaughy. Dad is always so kind to meet us halfway between our house and theirs. He takes the kids back to his house for a few days and Kenny and I escape for some rest and relaxation. It’s become a fun tradition – thanks, Mom & Dad!
Kenny and I went back to Niwot, CO this year. We had a great time there last year and decided to visit again. Why not Niwot? We enjoyed walking around downtown, visiting an antique store, finding a local pie shop, and hearing some live music at the local park. One night we drove into Denver for dinner, and another day we drove to Boulder to walk Pearl Street. We found an amazing honey store! And of course, we enjoyed sleeping in, eating late dinners, and relaxing together. We so enjoy this time every year.
Once back in Ogallala we spent one day at Big Mac and rented a boat for the first time with the kids! So fun.
The boys went shooting, we helped Pa in the garden, and had a water balloon fight. Another day we drove to North Platte for go-carts and bumper boats. Even Pa joined us for bumper boats! A very full several days but lots of fun and new memories were made!
After writing the sad post last week about the kids being in school all day, I decided I should probably follow it up with an update. What a difference a week makes! God is so faithful to walk alongside me while figuring out life. I spent several days reading not only Isaiah 26:3-4 but also Psalm 121 and other passages that spoke to me. The Psalms are so good for that. David and the other authors were so transparent that it is usually rather easy to find a psalm that matches your mood or situation. So helpful.
Another thing that helped tremendously was talking to others about it. We were created to be relational, not to hole up by ourselves when going through a problem. Whatever you’re going through someone else has already walked that path, so why not open up and glean some wisdom from them? The day I was feeling so lonely I texted two other moms in our small group and sure enough, they were feeling the same way. One in my situation, the first year all three of her children are in full-day school, and the other, a homeschooling mom who just dropped off her oldest at college, and now the younger two are in high school. No more homeschooling for her. All three of us were feeling a bit lost and it helped so much to know there were others experiencing the same thing. We prayed for each other, scheduled a lunch date, and encouraged one another. So helpful.
And lastly, I spent some time reflecting on what my days should look like and how best to accomplish and be productive without pushing myself to hard. Even Kenny had some ideas, bless him. The evening I talked through all of this with him he said, “You should come downtown and have lunch with me tomorrow!” So, I did! And last week he met with a mentor at work and discussed what I was going through and this dear man gave Kenny some suggestions for me. How kind. This wiser, older man suggested I work and get things done in the morning, then after lunch spend time exercising, reading my bible, praying, meeting friends, etc. Why yes, that’s a great idea! I’m learning (again) how to rest when I need to and listen to my body. So helpful.
In the last post I mentioned some things I was looking forward to this school year, and I’ve begun some of them!
*I had a lunch date with Kenny last week – so fun!
*I’ve begun work on a big project I’ve been putting off – cleaning our basement. I’m going through everything – including all of the bins of hand-me-down clothes – sorting and purging. I’m working at it 30 minutes a day so I’m not exhausted afterwards.
*I’ve scheduled lunch and coffee dates with friends and look forward to maintaining relationships.
*I’ve had some sweet quiet times with Jesus and bible study time – one of my favorite things to do.
*And, I held a rehearsal for the upcoming retreat DURING THE DAY! That was amazing! Usually those things would be scheduled for evenings while Kenny was home with the kids. So nice to have it done before I pick up the kids.
So, there are many benefits to our new schedule and I’m choosing to focus on the bright side. Picking up the kids at 3:30pm is now one of my favorite times of day. I’m completing my work earlier in the day (even having dinner in the crockpot or at least prepped ahead of time), have rested, and am ready to hear about the kids’ day as we head home. I’m enjoying homework time so much more and am more available for the kids during that time too.
For fear of causing any tears after all of that positive talk, I’m including a song one of my friends I mentioned sent me. A beautiful song that really sums up what I’ve been feeling. So grab a tissue and enjoy.
This summer we finished a project we’d been talking about for awhile. We painted dining room chairs to give the room a fresh look!
For years we used my parent’s old dining table set. I have so many memories with these vinyl chairs! My siblings and myself loved rolling each other across our dining room on them. They have lasted forever and served not only us well, but my parents as well.
We then inherited Kenny’s grandparent’s table when they passed, and continued to use our old chairs with the new table. We had the chairs that matched the newer table in the basement and recently decided to update them and bring them upstairs. It’s so special to have the table from his grandparent’s house and we love that we’re using the chairs now too. Kenny has so many memories around this table and it’s wonderful that it’s serving our family now too!