Monday, August 19, 2013

A Blogging Break

Sitting down with my jar of water, and a few bits of extra dark chocolate to write this post. This one is going to be hard, but sometimes hard is needed and this is where I'm at right now. So settle in with me here and hopefully this will make a little bit of sense....

I've been blogging for almost the entire time I've been a Mom. When Judah was just 4 months old, I started this blog, without any intentions or any idea on how great this creative outlet would be for me. With a happy baby (just ONE baby and not 3, holy moly!), I had no idea that as a Mom who stays home with her kids, having something that was for me, and just me, would be really important. When I started this blog, all I knew is that I wanted to have a space to document our daily life. To share our sweet, ordinary moments with pictures and words, not necessarily for anyone else, but for my own memory and for my family.

I love writing so much, I love the feeling of my fingers flying over the keyboard, when the words are flowing easily and the freeing feeling that comes after my thoughts are out. I love a good transparent post, that's received with comments, showing me that I'm not the only one, and that we all have our "thing" and that in the midst of our "things" and our failures, God is SO big and SO much bigger us.

Sharing recipes and sharing our daily adventures is so fun and such a great way to preserve our memories since I'm not a scrapbooker, but in the midst of it all, I've been feeling called to take a break.
See, blogging also comes with a lot of discouragement, loads and loads, if I'm going to be honest. Ouch. Writing those words flat out sucks, you guys. Somewhere along the line, I've started to feel like part of my worth depends on how many people read my blog, if my words matter, if you like the recipe that I post and so on.

And you know what? As long as my blog has anything to do with my worth, I'll never be enough. They'll always be someone who writes better, who takes better photos, who creates better recipes. I'm me and I'm learning that I'M enough, but I still struggle in this area. So for now, I'm taking a blogging break.

How long of a break am I taking? Well, I don't know. It might be a week, a month or just a few days. I'm on a break until I feel like my blog has nothing to do with who I am, but that my worth is only defined by HIM, the one who created me. I'll blog again when I feel comfortable writing for myself, and not for anyone else. I was created to write what's on my heart and to share transparently, but I can't do that when I'm worring about who's reading and what they think.

Here's the thing you guys---everyone has a story and we're meant to tell our story and encourage each other, but when we're doing it with fear or the wrong intentions, then we're not doing it right. There's a season for sharing our story and right now, my season is to dig in deep with my family. To look into those little eyes and realize that who I am is enough. To be kind and to remember that the little things I do at home matter.

Blogging will happen, I think it's part of me, but for now, I'm signing off. It's hard, so hard, to let go of something that I really want to hold onto. God's been telling me though, that I need to give it to Him and then when I let it go, He'll give it back to me, that is, when I'm ready for it.

Wrapping this up is hard, remember I don't do goodbyes? Well, I guess it's alright because I know this isn't goodbye. I'll write again, hopefully with much more peace and with much more of a clear picture from God on what He wants me to share. For now, we'll continue our adventures and I'll have more time to read and do important things like watch Duck Dynasty with my husband (ha!). And if you blog or you're thinking about starting your own place to share your story, please don't compare yourself to anyone else. Don't be discouraged if no one reads, just press on and be who you are---you are enough!

Lots of love.
Angela

And of course, I'm wrapping this up with the best thing I've read lately: Simple Mom- On Curing Cancer and Changing Diapers. I loved that post.

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Ice Caves Adventure

You guys, I'm going to be honest here. I love, love, love family adventures, but sometimes when we find ourselves in pouring rain, or the walk is longer than we expected, someone has a rock in his shoe, or a certain girl wants to stop and smell every.single.flower, I wonder if we're doing too much. I think to myself, "Well, they ARE only 4, 2 and 4 months, so maybe we should just be home, keeping things easy." But then, when bed time rolls around, Judah looks at us and says "I just wish I could do this entire day over again. I just loved all of it." At that moment, I know that even though they are small, we're having a blast. Those rocks in their shoes, the flowers and the rain---you guys, those are just opportunities for memory makin'. This is setting a pattern that I hope will transfer to later in their lives. We like hanging out with them and going and doing fun stuff....even while they're small. The hike takes a little longer, we stop often, find sticks, look in the stream for fish and remind ourselves that they are kids. And it's so fun, so fun exploring with them!

So, we packed sandwiches. Actually, my husband did the sandwich making. His sandwiches are much yummier than mine. I'm a boring sandwich maker. You know, Ham and Cheese, PB&J... but not that guy. He chops onions, cucumbers, pre-melts the cheese on the bread ('cuz that's how he likes it) and his sandwiches rock. I keep telling him that I wish he made me one everyday.

The drive to the Ice Caves is a beautiful ride, that drifts in and out of forests, along rives and numerous camping spots. Basically, you just hop on the Mountain Loop Highway and enjoy the scenery until you get to the "Ice Caves" sign. Really, I can't over emphasis how beautiful that drive is. 
The trail was long, but very well kept. I'd actually say that if you wanted to, you could bring a stroller, although I wore Eliza and that worked best for us.
Along the trial, we saw many creeks and lots of snowy mountain views through the trees. It was so beautiful and peaceful out there!




The trail also had nice little benches along the way that were perfect for this tired 2 year old to take a load off.


 See that big white patch of snow in the distance? That's where we were headed!
One of the highlights of our trip was the wild huckleberries. Along the trail, there were a TON of huckleberries! I wish I would have known and brought a bucket with me. They were so good!



 About an hour later, getting closer!

When you reach the Ice Caves, the air coming out of the caves is super cold, similar to that of a freezer. It's amazing to stand there, with the hot August air hitting you and also the freezing Ice Cave air blowing towards you as well. I haven't ever felt that before!

My heart still feels full from experiencing this yesterday. These kids and that man.....we're so NOT perfect, but goodness sakes, I love them. After we played around at the caves for a bit, it started to rain and so we headed back down. Our walk back to the van was soaking wet, like the kind of rain that sends waterfalls down your forehead. Everyone did so well though- even Eliza who was snuggled close to me, warm and mostly dry.

When we got back to the van, we were all smiles, as we peeled soaking wet clothes off of our kids.
So, if you're in Washington State, go experience this. Don't wait until your kids are "older" to go have fun as a family. Now is the time, you guys. It takes practice and definitely a sense of humor, but it's so worth it!
Angela

Sharing one of the best things I've read lately: My Parents were at the Circus when I was Born: A beautiful story about adoption and life, it's definitely worth a few minutes.

Want to learn more about the Ice Caves? Go check out this site, it'll get you all set up.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Staycation Adventures///Rainy Dinner on the Beach

When we headed out for dinner on the beach tonight, we never imagined that it would start raining on us. It was 83 degrees when we pulled away and sunny! As drove with our windows down, we started to feel just a few drops. Moments later, a few drops turned into a few more and before we knew it, we were wandering the beach in the rain. 

Eliza was tucked in close to me, nice and warm and everything was great until Judah scrapped his knee on a black berry vine, and started freaking out. At that point, with the rain and a bloody knee, we thought that maybe we should head home and just eat our dinner there. I'm glad we stayed though. I prayed with Judah, his knee started feeling better and the rain stopped. 












Happy Wednesday you guys. I'm off to go watch the season premier of Duck Dynasty with my love. Man, I love that show.
Angela

Leaving you with a favorite thing that I read today: Natilus Notes: It's like I have paparazzi, but not really. Her writing always cracks me up. She's hilarious and real. Go check her out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Staycation Day 1///Thankfuls

Staycation: {Wikipedia}staycation is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night.

Oh yeah, baby. Can I get an amen???

I'm so ready. So ready to spend about a week just being with my family, doing whatever we want to do. Hiking, picnicing on the beach, picking berries, and just being us. So, that's what we're up to. Today was Day 1 of our staycation and it was glorious. 

Creating a list of what I'm thankful for tonight. A list of thankfuls. 

///Her fluffy hair, while she's cradled in the bucket of the swing.
 ///My boy, who's obsessed with dress up, my baby and my big girl, who's desperately trying to pump.
 ///Her button lips.
/// 2 year old feet, that still resemble baby feet, complete with dirt and chipped pink polish.
 ///Whiskey barrels with flowers.
 ///A small garden harvest, held in the stroller.
 ////First garden onion, going into pickled beets.
 ///The way she points two fingers out while she dances.
 ////The way she closes her eyes while she dances.
 ///Her joy.
 ///Sunset outside with Eliza.
 ///Summer nights.
 ///My baby, falling asleep on my sister. **The top of my thankful list for today.
 ///Cupcakes in the sunshine.
 ///Cousin superheros.
God is so good you guys. What are you thankful for? I want to hear it!
Angela

Sharing the best thing I read today: The Pioneer Woman, She's a Pretty Girl. It reminded me of my Grandma, who I miss very much. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunset, Court and School Supplies

Pulled out my head phones tonight, and asked my husband what I should listen to. When he said "The Bee Gees", I resisted, but oh, I'm so glad I gave in. You guys, I'm rocking out here. Ah, ha, ha, ha Stayin' Alive! You should see my moves!

Anyway...I'll try to stay on track here.

It's been a weird week for us, with a few random things to cover here. That man of mine, he's had to work a LOT this week. Not by choice- it's just how it is. Everyone has their thing and my thing is that I single parent a lot and I'd be sugar coating it, if I didn't say that it's hard. Seriously you guys, I haven't had dinner with another adult since Sunday night and as much as I adore my crazy kids, I'm about ready to take a vacation. Well, not really, but I feel like I need one.

Tonight after the kids were in bed and he was finally home, I high tailed it out the door, in my flip flops, sweats and fuzzy hair. I'm sure I looked like a hot mess, but when you need to blow off some steam, you just go. And you walk--- fast.  As I quickly flopped down the road, this gorgeous sunset greeted me. A little while later, I came home feeling new.
Okay, so now "More Than a Woman", is playing. It kind of reminds me of another thing that went on this week. Remember that ticket I got a few months ago, for talking on my phone while driving? Well, this week I headed to court with Eliza to see about getting that ticket reduced. I so admit that I was wrong, but my goodness, $124 is a lot of money to pay, when you haven't had a ticket in 10 years.
So my baby and I went to court with all of the tattooed, folks that smelled of cigarette smoke. As I opened the door to the court room, and cautiously made my way to the flip down chair in the corner, I felt so out of place. I stood out with my Mom bag and my sweet baby.

Thankfully, the judge started at the end of the alphabet, for going through each person's case. After a few people who's names ended with W, and then U and T, it was our turn. As my name was called, I gathered my babe, my bag and we headed forward. My story was a little different than the ones I heard as I sat there in the corner. My story was actually so boring compared to the previous people that had approached the judge. The gal before me talked all about her boyfriend, the truck, the lack of job, the tabs that she wasn't aware of and how it's not her fault anyway---cuz, he should pay for it, right???

And then I walk up there and tell my story about my drive to MOPS, at church- and how I called my sister because my nephew was sick. I apologized in my shakey- I'm-talking-in-front-of-lots-of- people-voice. I guess I was nervous, after all, I never go to court. Even going through security to get into the court room made me nervous! Thankfully, the judge was kind and he reduced my ticket.
So, here's a question for you guys.... Am I the only one who gets a thrill over the school supply section at Target? Oh, there's something about all of those bright crayons (that are still in one piece!) the paints, the fun notebooks.  The kids and I were there this evening (not for school supplies) and I could hardly resist all the fun. They just make me so happy!

Tell me it's not just me, please?
>>>Wrapping this up with a favorite read from today. I'm trying this new routine on. You know, sharing the things I love. Sharing with you, what's inspiring me. I think it sounds fun. And doable. Maybe I'm on to something.

See This Place: What a beautiful love story this is. Go read it, I promise you'll be blessed.

Hope you're having a great weekend!
Angela

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