These kids -- the heartbeat of my life. One of my all-time favorite posts is this one from September 30, 2011. I'm so glad I have it to look back on -- nothing earth-shattering, just a reminder of how much I love the life God has given us. (And, if you are a family member, you should go back and read it -- amazing how much is still the same. . .and how much the kiddos have grown!)
I know the accusation of having a "Pinterest" life or "Life on Facebook" and real life is completely different. I was questioned last spring about my "Pollyana" outlook on life and marriage -- luckily Laura was with me and laughed at my friend, assuring her that we have struggles and I am NOT the "perfect wife". Ha! I will admit, first world struggles. . .and that God gave me a personality that prefers to look at the good and beauty in life. . .but I am NOT without hurt, pain, denial, mess, bad decisions, and icky days.
Just to share, because it makes my heart happy and reminds me to be grateful. And, who knows? Maybe, like the above post, I'll be looking back on this one in 7 years and marveling where life has taken us.
Cedar Lake Camp is. . .every single time I go there I am awed by how the Lord has blessed this little place in the middle of Tennessee. My friends from Ohio brought some of their kiddos to camp also --
C'mon, I can't make this stuff up. I can't even DREAM this stuff up -- it's all the good Lord and His blessings bestowed upon this family and on these hearts to want to serve in this way.
The other one decided she wanted to devote her summer before senior year to soccer and work so here we are, heading off to work together this week. . .
Speaking of work, I still love my work family. . .this was a picture from an event the company president and I did last week:
And now she's the graduate! We got to put her table together at her party. . .
And, although two of her Bell cousins couldn't be there, we got a picture with the two that were. . .
Just moving backward through the month of May. . .
Speaking of tennis, this kid had a great freshman year with his HS -- the coach picked him to play in a varsity match at the end of the season, meaning he lettered. Of the four athletes we have in this house, incredibly he is the first to receive a varsity letter. Kinda crazy. . .all of our school moves these last 3-4 years really put the older ones at a disadvantage that way. But oh well. . .onward and forward, as I always say. . .my girls were thisclose to those soccer letters last year -- they missed them by ONE DAY. Sigh.
Looking forward to what else we have on the calendar this summer: I play in my first state tennis tournament this weekend. . .Tom & I have a possibility of a get-away the following weekend (thank you Nana & Grandpa Fred!). . .a FL trip for Laura, Canoe Camp for the older two with Tom, Junior Team Tennis for Stephen all summer with a state tournament in July, trips to OH for the two kiddos who aren't serving at CLC this summer, hopefully some college visits (and decisions?) for Laura. . .maybe some more days at the lake. . .and not wanting to miss a minute of this fleeting time with our children under our roof. As I looked back at pictures while putting together AVJ's table, I was reminded of why I take pictures (to capture those memories because my brain can't hold them all!) and to have a history to show our kids. . .where they came from, how much they are loved, and, let's face it, to swoon over the cuteness that was the first decade of the 2000's. . .
|Susan, Thomas, Marie, Papa John, AVJ, Margaret, Frederick|
I will end this post how I started it -- with my heart out there for all to see. What great joy it is to be a mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, friend. . .there is so much to be thankful and joyful about.
|Frederick, Margaret, AVJ, Marie, Thomas, Susan, 11 years later|