Good Friday

For a long time, Good Friday didn't mean anything more than the end of Lent to me.

Whatever trivial self sacrifice I had committed to in Sunday School was over.  Bring on the chocolate and fast food.  I knew that it was a day to remember Jesus dying on the cross, but the significance just didn't resonate with me.

I get it now.

I mean, I get it as much as I can this side of Heaven.  The sacrifice made to redeem me.  Someone who didn't deserve redemption.  I get a pit in my stomach thinking of Good Friday.  It must have been so awful.  Oh, but the joy of knowing Sunday is coming.  The tomb is empty, y'all.


My family has been saved from a lot.  

Each of us carrying our own battle wounds, regrets from past choices.  My babies were nearly forgotten, abandoned, lost.  There's been sickness and disease and broken hearts and through it all, He carried us through.  We found each other.  Redeemed.  The impossibleness of it is not lost on me.  I see it and I'm thankful.

We spent Good Friday morning at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale.

It's one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I've been.  There are nuns in habits walking the grounds and gardens where people are scattered, deep in meditation.  I watched my rowdy, Southern babies chat with the nuns and explore the Prayer Labyrinth and thought, yup, I want to live here. 

I took the cooler temps and 15 minute rain shower as a sign that I could survive the Summer heat here.

Do you know how good a desert rain smells?  So good.  All the colors are instantly brighter after the plants get a little drink.  I love it here so, so much.

And then this happened:

Those kids slay me.  So stinking cute!


A Good Day

I booked us on the last flight from Atlanta to Arizona Wednesday night in hopes that the kids would sleep.

While the kids were sleepy, as luck would have it, there was a baby in the row behind us that cried the entire 3 hours and 45 minutes.  Like, the whole entire, from boarding to touch down, time.  As much as I'd hoped my kids would sleep, I felt awful for that young mom.  Josie and Gabe were troopers and entertained themselves for the whole flight and when we finally got to my mom's house, it was 1:30 am our time.

We didn't head for bed for another hour after that and Gabe decided 6 am was a good time to greet the day.

Oh well, we are in Arizona and not even a short night can get me down.

I have one goal for this week: love my kids.

Not the normal love, but the verb love.  I want to fill their little love tanks to the brim.  Make eye contact, learn Josie's bunny hop dance, actually get in the pool with them.  Based on today, we are off to a good start.

My sister flew in today to see a friend and we got to steal a few hours with her!

Josie's favorite thing to do here is dress up with my mom's hats and scarfs.  This morning we all indulged her and had a full on fashion show.  Girlfriend knows her fashion.

The weather is total perfection.

By 8 am it was near 80 degrees with a bright blue sky.  We headed for the pool and parked there for most of the day.  My babies smell like sunscreen and have bloodshot eyes from all the jumping.  Bonus: they played together like tiny besties.  

Add in some giant ice cream and we are all feeling pretty happy today.

I love it here.


Documented - 4/16

Life This Week:

I kind of loved this week.

Andrew had the entire weekend off and we spent the majority of it out in the yard.  I love when things fall in place and we are able to be ultra productive.  We have a huge yard that is always in need of attention, but it's looking nice!

I posted yesterday about our (hopefully) upcoming move.  

I've been floating between extreme excitement and total fear, but the idea is pretty settled in my heart now and most of my thoughts are in the can't wait range.  I'm no good at transitions so this feels a lot like living in the middle of two things.  I have to focus myself on only thinking about right here, right now in order to be productive and enjoy each day.  It's hard to not get ahead of myself.  

School This Week:

We had a short week this week.  It's vacation week for us so Monday and Tuesday were our only school days.

We started Josie's new American History curriculum (Heroes and Heroines of the Past) and, so far, I'm super impressed.  The first few chapters are a review for us of Native American History and Early Settlers, but because there are so many fun hands on activities, we are going through them again.  We will break for the Summer after the Early Settlers chapter and pick back up in the Fall with the colonies.  That should put us learning about the First Thanksgiving right around Thanksgiving.  I love when that happens!

Josie's canoe from chapter one 

I decided to take a break from school while we are in Arizona.  Most years I've brought her work with us, but after the past month, I need a good, relaxing time with them.  We will continue to read Charlotte's Web and I'm planning to hit the library to get her some books to practice reading.  She will also journal each day about our trip.  Those vacation books are always my favorite souvenirs.  Oh, and we just got to the chapter in math on telling time so I'm bringing those since that's pretty easy to teach.

Throw in the field trips we will go on and I guess we aren't taking much of a break at all!  Either way, we won't call it school and we will be in the desert so as far as Josie's concerned, it's a break.

Going & Seeing:

Josie's Girl Scout troop had a really fun Easter egg hunt on Saturday.  They hunted for eggs and had a bonfire.  We made smores with Peeps.  Super cute.  Their neighbor has a Giant African Tortoise as a pet so they were able to get a great lesson on her.

Monday was Parent Watch Night at ballet.

We don't get to see what they are doing in there so I always look forward to the days we get a peek.  Josie has improved so much this year.  She doesn't practice at home at all, so I wasn't sure if she was still learning much.  Watching her dance, I could for sure see that she is progressing over last year.  We also learned she has a part in the recital!  She hadn't told us so it was a surprise.  She gets to do a little part of the dance out front with a couple other girls before they start.  It's short, but I think it's awesome!  I get nervous even thinking about being on stage!

Today has been a marathon day.

We had to go fill all of Gabe's prescriptions, get to story time at the library, then Josie had Farm Fusion at noon.  While she was there, Gabe, Emma, and I ran some last minute errands before picking her up and rushing home to get the house showing ready before our flight.

Tonight we left for Arizona.

I'm a fan of night flights since the kids might, maybe, possibly sleep.  As soon as their little eyes shut, I'll be joining them!


The Next Big Thing

What's the old saying?

The only thing that stays the same is everything changes?

Yea, that one.  Well, we like to keep that as true as possible.

We survived Gabe's surgery.  It was rough, harder than we expected, but we all made it though.  So now we are on to the next big thing.

Which I won't beat around the bush about.

We are moving.

Well, hoping to.  First we have to sell our house and secure employment in another state.  And those two things involve a whole lot of little things so we may not be actually going anywhere for quite some time.

But sometimes the stars align and things move fast, so I'm spilling the beans now instead of a "Surprise, we moved!" kind of post.

This has been a mixture of a long time coming and sudden decision.  I know those two things don't belong in the same sentence, but it's pretty much the only way I have to describe the past two weeks.

Of course, none of my family live here so it has been a long standing dream for me to move from Georgia to somewhere closer to family.  I moved here from Minnesota 14 years ago in what was meant to be a Summer oasis from the peers of my Junior year.  I was mixed into some heavy drugs and the not so great activities that go along with that life.  So my parents decided it would do me some good to come stay with my Dad for a Summer.

Turns out I loved it here.  Got clean, met Andrew, and, well, the rest is history.

It's been a great 14 years.

I mean, just look at this life I get to live!  17 year old me had no idea the wonders and magic that were waiting for me.  Georgia has been beyond good to me.

Andrew grew up 200 yards from where I currently sit.

This town, this land.  It's his literal old stomping grounds.  His desire to move is more of the Let's See What's Out There variety.

In the past, we have gone back and forth about moving.

The intense desire in us was usually snuffed out by the fact that we have this gorgeous house on all this land.  We have friends that are literally irreplaceable.  The Divorced Child Syndrome in me feels extreme guilt over leaving family behind.

But there are a lot of health issues going on in my family lately and Gabe's surgery was the one that hit it home.  If we want to do this, try living some place else, there's no time like right now.

So about a week ago, we started packing up our house.

Right now it's mostly cleaning out closets and clutter and putting all our pictures in boxes.  The plan is to list it this week and just see what happens.  The kids and I will be out of town for a couple of weeks so we are hoping to get some showings while we are away.  We are prepared for this to be a long, drawn out process while holding on to a little bit of hope that it may go smooth and quick.

We aren't entirely sure where we will land once we leave here.

The current plan is out West.  We have been putting a lot of thought into it and employment and schooling options are the most promising out there.  No matter where we end up, I still have travel perks from my Mom's job so I will be able to visit the family and in the other areas of the country the same as I do now only in reverse.

We feel really good about this move.

I mean, it's scary and sad and not everyone is happy with our decision.  But it feels like an adventure and the timing feels right.

So that's our news.  And when you notice my house looking rather void of the usual abundance of pictures of my kids, you'll know why.

Here's to a new adventure!