If You Plan to Post More and Then Go on Vacation...

You Plan to Fail!

At least, I failed when it came to getting back to regularly posting! However, I did not fail at vacation! It was amazing.

Late this past summer, Tony and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Ten years! For a long time, we said we'd do something big to celebrate and we did! Thanks to Tony's mom coming to stay with the kids, we spent five glorious nights in Mexico. We were actually away for six nights, but I don't count the hotel by the airport before we caught our early morning flight. Something about the fire alarm going off when we pulled in that kinda made it seem very not glorious.

Ten years ago, the closest we came to a honeymoon was a trip out east to sail with my uncle and spend a day in NYC. In fact,we were on a plane almost a week to the minute before 9/11 happened. I still remember looking at the old New York skyline as our plane headed back to Kansas. (And now I'm not really sure how to transition to the rest of my story without seeming as though I brush on past such a tragedy...)

Though our time New York was wonderful, we'd always kind of regretted that we hadn't taken a fancier trip. Well, we no longer regret that. In fact, we think that taking the trip now made us appreciate it all the more. As newlyweds, our only responsibilities were each other, our jobs, and our dog. We appreciated the vacation so much more now that we've added three kids to the mix.

Before we left, I worried that I would never truly be able to relax because I'd be worried about the kids. That wasn't a problem. In fact, at one point I asked Tony, "Am I a bad mom if I don't miss them a lot?" His response was a laugh and a quick, "No." I'm guessing he felt the same way.

Now, before anyone reading this thinks I'm a heartless mother, let me reassure you that I did catch myself frequently saying things like, "Oh, Ann would love this!" Or, "We've got to get a picture of this for Chris!" And, "Can't you see Jane doing that?" So really, they were never far from our thoughts, but we were far from homesick!

As our trip wrapped up and Tony asked me what my favorite part was, I had to think. After all, I liked everything. Truly, everything. Well, the white wine was awful, but other than that, everything was great! Yet, my favorite part was not planning anything. Our biggest decision was whether to hit the pool or the beach first. There was no stressful part of the day trying to get everyone out of the door or plan to get dinner on the table. I loved the break from that!

I also loved that I was able to take off my mom hat for a bit. There is nowhere I'd rather be in life right now than home with my husband and kids, yet it was so good to just be me for a while. It was just as good being just "us" for a few days. I never fully appreciated our three years of marriage before we had kids. It's just impossible to understand how things change once you add to your family. But I most certainly appreciated my five days with my husband! Getting to spend so much uninterrupted time together was such a gift!

And yet, like it so often is, coming home was still one of the best parts. It didn't hurt that the kids were literally jumping up and down because they were so excited to see us. In fact, they were so excited that they didn't even get teary-eyed when grandma left. That never happens!

Yet, I can't help but wonder if coming home would have been sweeter if we'd stayed seven nights instead of just five. Do you think we need to wait until our 15th anniversary to find out? I've always thought 11 a fine number! Oh, I'm kidding, unless of course one of the grandparents is reading this and wants to volunteer to watch the kids for a week next fall. In that case, I'm totally serious!

I hope you've had a vacation either recently or one you're looking forward to that's happening soon!


The Day After Halloween

Leave it to my little man to re-purpose the Halloween buckets.

He told me he was ice skating.


There's Isn't Much Better...

than seeing your children become friends!

I'm not sure when it started, but at some point Jane and Chris started becoming good buddies. I just love seeing the relationships develop between my kids. I pray that they'll be both family and friends!

This just makes me smile. I took it when we stopped at a park on the way to pick up my mom from the airport. It was one of those times that my kids played so well together and I was able to truly soak it all up. Moments like that are so precious!

Not Too Little

It was a typical morning at our house. One of the children was asking me where something was that had been misplaced. If you're a mom, you're probably also the go-to person when someone has lost something. Most of the time, I know where the item is. In fact, it's rather amazing to me that I can know where tiny toys are at any given moment. It must be an acquired skill with the birth of your first child, but I digress.

Unlike usual, I couldn't find the lost toy. My son was looking for his favorite stuffed bear. It used to be my husband's. He calls it Cubby because it's a red and blue Chicago Cubs bear. My son loves Cubby. Despite it being a rushed morning, I had a soft spot for him looking for his favorite toy. I could tell he was trying not to get upset, so I joined the search party.

He went to his room to look once more and I went to mine suspecting it might have fallen off of my bed. I remembered he'd climbed into my bed the night before and might have brought his stuffed friend with him. Sure enough, there was the beloved bear tucked in between the wall and my bed. I scooped him up and headed to my son's room.

As I entered his room and announced that I'd found the bear, I noticed that he was sitting on the floor with his head bowed. I asked him if he was okay.

"I was just praying," he said. "I was asking God to help me find Cubby," he further explained.

I almost cried. Such sweetness.

Right there I was reminded that nothing is too little to bring before God. I recalled something I'd read in a recent Bible study about if something is important to us, then it's also important to God. Yes, even if it's "just" a teddy bear.

I was also reminded that those who seem too little can have some awfully big faith!