Jul 29, 2014

Annye's viaje en Bolivia

My sweet Mother-in-law, Annye Love, recently went on a Methodist music mission to La Paz, Bolivia, with a team of 12 from Tulsa, OK. As a bilingual and music teacher she was a valuable resource to the team and I'm quite sure an immense blessing to the people there. She has always had a passion for teaching, serving and loving (Annye LOVE after all). 

I'm so proud of her and wanted to share some pictures of her trip and some of the handmade gifts she brought back for our family. She is visiting us in San Diego for the last few weeks before Sean gets home, and before heading off  to Vermont to attend a Masters Program for "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages." - or TESOL. Her gypsy blood sure keeps her on the move! I love her so much. I shall squeeze her and put her to work doing laundry and reading to kids. Trips to the beach, zoo and Seaport Village are on the agenda! JOY! 

Annye writes of her trip - "The people are intelligent and open.  They want to learn English (many of them already speak two languages), and they want native speakers so they can learn well.  So that's my impetus.  I think they will teach me more the matters of Spirit and Heart, as their waters run so deep already.  They are a patient people, thank goodness! I feel so grateful that God has finally swung the pasture gate open for me to be able to fulfill my desire to help and serve.  Timing is everything, along with our personal and spiritual readiness.  And sometimes it's a simple matter of waiting for other pieces of the puzzle to fall into place as well.  But God will definitely give us the true desires of our hearts. Only fear can block us, but as we work on our inner selves, simultaneously, God is also working on our right place to be.  It's amazing how all these things work together!"

  Annye brought back handmade souvenirs from Bolivia. All colorful and fun. I'm in love with Indy's hat and my pink alpaca poncho. Be jealous!

This handmade embroidery was a gift to Annye for her service in the Pastor's music conference. 

Jul 27, 2014

Ups & Downs

It seems as though we're sent to this beautiful little blue planet to learn a bunch of crazy life lessons. Which inevitably consists of a whole lot of ups and downs. Gosh life is hard, but isn't it just so good, too? I have a lot of people in my life experiencing ups and downs right now (myself included). It breaks my heart, but inspires me to be better and to be grateful. I hate to see suffering - especially from friends and family I love (you all know who you are), but it's nice to know you're not alone, right?. As much as I try to share on here, the joyful memories and beautiful things in my life. BELIEVE me, it can get rough. Things get ugly. No one's life is perfect. I can't tell you all my troubles because you might think I'm a crazy lady and disassociate yourself from me completely (don't do it!!!). So, I'll just share some little ups and downs from my weekend so you'll know you're not alone. 

My weekend began with a downer in the ER at 3 am. Indy had a bad flare up of asthma in the night that I couldn't get under control. They did a chest x-ray and it looks like his attack was brought on by some water he aspirated while swimming. It sucks seeing your kids suffer. 
 But - We're so blessed to have modern and natural medicine to heal our little ones and bring us all back up. 
Sometimes ups bring you down. Like crazy high gas prices and high heat and humidity. Luckily, Sunday morning brought a little rain and some thunderstorms. Sunday also brought inspiring messages on the joy of serving those around you and a friend who is so in tune with that knowledge that she blessed my day with her incredible kindness. 
 A definite down for me, was the mountain of clean laundry piling on the guest bed (quit judging me - I know there's 17 loads there). I hate laundry so much. I really wanted to get it folded before my friend Lizzy came to visit, but I couldn't force myself to do it. So, I tossed it all in the crib and just decided to be grateful I have wonderful friends that don't judge my laundry inadequacies. Instead of doing laundry, I had the best ever massage, from a friend who's an incredibly amazing massage therapist. Then, I dealt with my clogged toilet (yet again), broken dishwasher and kids who decided to go on a wild naughty streak. 
We also found a spider adorning my messy baseboards. Two things I despise. I'm trying so hard to find a balance of accepting the things I can't tend to every moment and letting my OCD destroy me. There are unavoidable imperfections that come from living a crazy busy life with four boys and no husband around. Ups & downs people - The struggle is real!
But - Then you have amazing lunch dates and girl's nights with your very favorite women in the world and you cry, laugh, vent and then snuggle newborn babies and eat yummy food - which is the best therapy ever. Plus, when Lizzy comes to stay, she always brings me a gift and she gives the BEST gifts. Like gourmet cookies. Joy.
Did you know a pizza salad sandwich can make everything better?!? It can. 
So can fresh baby snuggles. 
...and so can cookies. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, I feel ya. I get it. These things I've shared here are trivial, but we all have a rough go at getting through life. Different trials at different times, but we all have them. Remember to be loving and compassionate. For...

Jul 26, 2014

Swim. Swam. Swum.

We are a fishy family - A family of fishes. We had a fun pool day with the fam at Aunt Merideth's and the whole time I thought to myself that I could be happy swimming or being at the beach every day of my life. I'm sure my kids would be down for that, too. 

 I'm obsessed with Whitney's eyes. I told her I was going to steal them and make them my eyes. 

 The best Great Grandma in all the land. 
 ...and holy crap I have a teenager.