Favorite Things Friday

Let’s start this post with some honesty: I have been a crankster this week.

This week has been nothing short of…long (no pun intended). It began promisingly enough…but then it slowly starting unraveling. And then I began the gradual slide down into a constant attitude of impatience and exhaustion.

It’s been a hectic week. A tuna casserole, trip to the dentist, father in the hospital, teething children, sinus infection kind of week. How does a four-day work-week end up feeling like it takes eons to get through? How does a week that starts off with a childless day-out for the husband and I end up feeling like it was so rotten? I mean, come ON! 6 hours out of the house to OURSELVES?! AND a bloomin’ onion from Outback? Maybe it’s just that when you start at that point, you have nowhere to go but down.

But when I turn on the news and hear the chaos in our country because our elected leaders can’t get along are failing miserably or I see the ravaged shores of the Philippines and hear talk of the potential for thousands upon thousands of souls being lost or I hear about Marines dying from what was a routine training exercise I have to intentionally be grateful about my own life. I have to intentionally look out for goodness. I have to seek out God. Because hope doesn’t always come naturally and instantly. Defeat, and desperation on the other hand? Sometimes, they’re our default settings.

I know that when these tragedies strike, avoidable or unavoidable, people question where God is. I mean, it’s completely understandable. If we can’t see God then surely He can’t see us, right?

Wrong.

Sometimes, we have to simply choose to believe what we know to be true. If for no other reason than because we know it to be true. We have no other remedy for calamity. We have nothing else to go on. We might not feel it, but we have to commit the truth to memory. God is not a God who abandons, God is not a God of senselessness. God is a God who reaches out a hand in the darkness, bidding you to take it. Because He is the only way to healing.

I have much to be thankful for, inconveniences and doubt be darned. It’s been a good week.

Starting off with a family trip to the National Museum of the United Stats Marine Corps. What a better day to mark the USMC’s birthday and Veteran’s Day with our veteran than to introduce the children to a world of courage, commitment and dedication. I cannot wait to keep taking them back every year. And I am unbelievably proud to be able to tell them about their father and his service to his country and to us.

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Barking orders, I’m sure.

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Oh yea, that trip to the dentist I was writing about? Guess whose son is already losing some of his baby teeth. This gal’s. I can’t believe it. He wasn’t alarmed, though. Always a trooper! Even in the dentist’s chair.

Someone is already losing his baby teeth and getting, (gasp), grown up teeth!

Someone is already losing his baby teeth and getting, (gasp), grown up teeth!

It's been a take-what-I-can-get kind of week.

It’s been a take-what-I-can-get kind of week.

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My view for dishes, dinner making and, occasionally, coffee sipping.

Enjoying warm blankets, straight from the dryer. Woot!

Enjoying warm blankets, straight from the dryer. Woot!

They enjoyed the warm blankets, I enjoyed the tiny baby feet.

They enjoyed the warm blankets, I enjoyed the tiny baby feet.

Have a great week!

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Where Have *I* Been?

No, no, no – where have YOU been?

This is my only means of avoiding the elephant in the room and not catching flack over where I have been – deflection. Because I am fully convinced that in the last two weeks you have all been bursting at the seams with impatience, wondering just where it is that I have taken off to. Unfortunately for you, and even if you were only half serious about wondering where I was, I am back. And I have lots to talk about.

For the sake of time and due to my utter lack of patience and energy, I have decided not to condense everything from the past two weeks or so into several paragraphs for your reading displeasure, I shall simply make you a list, show you a few pictures and then solemnly vow to be back and ready to annoy you this coming week.

Ready?

  • Life got hectic – we are grappling with a few major home repairs that need to be done around here. And the sad part? Nothing has even started yet and we are already stressed over it. We are in the midst of trying to organize ourselves before everything becomes a disorganized semblance of what it once was. Not that we had it all together around here before any of this happened, but…
  • Staycation – we were spoiled and had the hubs home for a full 9 days. We drove all over the great big (chuckle) state of Maryland and did a whole bunch of stuff with two (mostly) happy kiddos in tow. We had a great time and I just couldn’t make myself sit down at a computer.
  • Sickness – everybody got down with the sickness. Literally. And it. was. awful. No seriously, you should go put on some Purrell after reading this BUT DON’T GO ANYWHERE YET, I’M NOT FINISHED!
  • Life got hectic – who says that I can’t use the same thing twice in one post. Shut up.

There you have it. The list. Now! The pictures!

Because she's cute...

Because she’s cute…

And so is he...

And so is he…

Don't ask...

Don’t ask…

Adorable.

Adorable.

Adorable.

Adorable.

Caramel popcorn from Ocean City. Yes.

Caramel popcorn from Ocean City. Yes.

Waiting for fireworks.

Waiting for fireworks.

Making his own fireworks

Making his own fireworks

There's something up there...

There’s something up there…

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My house has been out of control lately.

This is my solemn vow that I will be back, fully prepared to annoy all of you very, very soon. You’ve been warned. Now, turn off the computer and go Purrell your hands.

Not Today

I worry if I am sometimes too negative on my blog.

I have been given so much in my short life. I am a very, very fortunate lady. Though I try to take time out to reflect and to live consciously of just how much I have…I fall short. Don’t we all? I try to live a life that isn’t ignorant of or dismissive of all that I have. But it is never enough. I don’t say that dejectedly, I say that honestly.

It will truly never, ever be enough recognition because I have way too much to be thankful for. I don’t live in a picture perfect world, I don’t see life through rose-colored glasses. Sometimes, things just stink. I believe in being honest about the fact that life sometimes sucks. I think that, in these times especially, things have become superfluous and artificial. What matters the most, or should matter the most, has lost its priority in our lives. And what we should be weary of, they seem to have lost their sting, and we have become desensitized. We become complacent in guarding and protecting what we should and then it becomes too late. What matters most can slip away so quickly.

Too many euphemisms, too much obscurity. We don’t know the difference from up or down, or right from left. And then people are crushed when things go awry, because we have been told that if we shoot for the moon, we will land amongst the stars, or something like that. We are taught that with enough self-confidence, we can accomplish and fix anything.But that isn’t true, because this world IS broken.

But, I have hope. I have hope in restoration, and in renewal.

I have hope in eternity.

I have hope in Jesus.

And because I am holding this hope and knowledge, this is why I should live gratefully. I should be living a life filled with joy, love and honor. This is why I, we, should be overjoyed and blissfully happy people. Not because all is hunky dory and easy-going, but because even when things are not, it’s OK, because this isn’t a new concept to us. We knew that it was all hogwash from the beginning. We have hope that things get better, that there has to be something better. We know that there is.

There will always be some problem or issue to pick out in our lives. Some reason to give in to the chaos, the depression, the disorganization, the clutter, the noise…Not today. Today, I will not yield to it. Because I have hope. I have love. Troubles are there, but they are not all that is there or that this fleeting life is composed of. They amount to nothing in the end. Amidst grief, amidst doubt, amidst uncertainty and fear – I have hope. And I have love. And today, that is what rocks my world. Today, that is what I see. From this past week, that is what I see. That is what I acknowledge.

This was my week…

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It was a good week.

Happy weekend, everyone.