Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Night Before Summer: Party of 4

The night set itself up perfectly... no plans, no soccer, no games, no nothing! 
So I took full advantage... picnic on the patio!

My goal, my motto, my want... whatever you want to call it, is to make special moments this summer! Create time when there is none, perfect the mundane, enhance our little family of four so that we all cherish each other a little bit more these next few months!

Here's what I did...
I quickly cleaned off the back patio table (which was disgustingly muddy and rusty)
Threw on a cute table cloth, set it with our 'best' picnic-ware, threw together some summery candles, cooked a simple dish, played a little serenade music... and Voila!
Dinner Party for Four... celebrating tomorrow's entrance into summer!!!

Over dinner we talked about what we were looking forward to most this summer... 
Here is our run down:
Dad: Going on our family trip to Chicago/St. Louis, and seeing our college friends/families
Big Boy: Seeing FC Dallas play San Jose, and playing with his bestie Josh
Mom: Sleeping in, taking it easy... and a summer surprise I'm working on for those 'bored' days!
Little Man: Going to Hawaiian Falls, having a brother's sleep over, and camping (?)
                                                            (Little Man mouwing some tilapia)
                       (Big Boy so serious when it comes to summer plans)

By the end of the grub down in the backyard, we were laughing, talking, enjoying each other's comments, joking, making plans... 
Momma's Mission Accomplished!!!

Secretly, I am plotting a sneak attack of family togetherness this summer... I want to cultivate a bond between our boys! There is one there, I know, but sometimes in the hustle of the day it gets shoved aside because of tired attitudes, selfish tendencies, and basic age differences! We are all guilty of it... I get busy on the computer while trying to simultaneously attempting to fold laundry, the hubs works like a madman all day and comes home beat, big boy wants his 'space', little man hasn't a clue what 'space' is... you get the picture! 
In the end, we are a normal family, short on time and patience sometimes, but long on love and caring... and I just want to make sure we don't forget that!!!
Here's to the start of a summer full of possibilities... and secret mom missions ;))

Always - Abbey


p.s.... check out big boy's camera action! I hardly ever get in the photos! 
Yea for mom documentation :)))

2 weeks come and go...

Just like any time you are anticipating a change, a shift or looking forward to something, time has gone by in a flash... and yet looking back over the last 2 weeks it seems like it went by slowly as well?! Weird, how that happens, no? The days go by with both nothingness and everything all packed into hours and minutes that seem to just keep rolling over without your permission! The last 2 weeks were basically polar opposites... one busy and full of as many fun times as we could pack into a weekend, and one long and slow with no plans, no definite routine to follow or places to be!

It all kicked off filled with soccer, as usual! I took advantage of an out of town tournament (just far enough away, yet not close enough to be on home turf) and turned a 30 minute drive into a mini vaca that teased summer just enough to make us looking forward to it's impending arrival that much harder!!
Sometimes I am guilty of being an over-committer, I find it hard to turn down an invite, I don't like to miss out on what could potentially be a good time or a chance for a memory to be made! I get giddy and stressed all at the same time when I know we have a calendar full of events! Who doesn't right?!?! So like any other weekend ripe with possibilities, I jumped at the chance to pack it all in when I knew we'd be away from home all Saturday in a town that had a lot to offer a family that digs sporting events!! And let me tell ya,  we did it up right... all day soccer tournament, paired with a fun hotel stay, add in fun friends and a professional soccer game that night and we were in for the mother of all weekends, to a sports lover that is!!! Sure to be full of excitement, laughs, soccer suntan lines, good pals, swimming, eating, smiles and best of all memories!!!
The look of wonder on the boy's faces as we walked the FC Dallas field was so endearing for me to see! I know our boys have big dreams, they talk about them all the time: travel to Europe, be a doctor, go dig for unknown animals, make a movie, write songs, go to college (close to home for the big one, and as far away as possible for the little man... according to them)... the list goes on! But something comes over a little boy when they walk into a sporting arena... their eyes light up, you can see the wheels turning... 'I think I could do this, no... I WANT to do this'!!!! Our boys couldn't ask enough questions and luckily we had the time to answer them... each and every one!!!

The following weekend, knowing that we needed down time and moments to just kick back and do nothing... we started off the long holiday weekend with a family night in! We lazily enjoyed each other as much as we could eating frozen pizza and veggies like they were something special, if only because we got to eat them in front of the TV!! Each of us taking in the classic 'Back to the Future' as best we could! Some sat and watched every detail...
Some... just enjoyed the snacks, sitting on multiple couches, and talking as much as possible! Why, you ask, would someone talk thru an entire movie and care more about the 3 year old candy in the pantry more than an oldie but goodie movie...?? Because, as we have learned (in our family), not all of us can be movie enthusiasts!! It is what it is...

In the end, both weekends had good and bad. They each made us smile one way or another...
I have found that we all take on life at different paces, some love the fast pace of days filled to the brim with plans, some love to do as little as possible as long as we are all together! We have chatters, quiet observers, listeners, movers, shakers, thinkers and doers in our little family of four! But if nothing else, I find that no matter what we are doing, the best time we have is time spent together... 
We each fill a role, specifically designed for our individual heart and no matter what the days hold, they just wouldn't be the same if we didn't have each other to share memories with!

With summer basically on our heels, we are going to get a lot of 'quality' time together! I can see highs and lows coming our way, that is for sure! We will take them in stride, this I know... good, bad, busy or slow, it doesn't matter to me! All I need is my little team of four and I know the days will be exactly what they are supposed to be... ours to do what we will with them, together!!!

Always - Abbey

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My summer prayer... take one!

Lord help me...
 But today starts this boy's summer break! Today was his last day of preschool...
I thought it would be wise to start off his summer with a prayer!!
 Because with this little man's active spirit, inquisitive nature, and his uncanny ability to never stop moving... we are all going to need a little extra help from above ;))

Dear Lord,
I know this summer may be long and HOT, but help us to remember to cuddle on the couch and play hide & seek as often as possible...

Remind us that when the walls are closing in, and boredom takes over... go outside and fight off the heat with guns blazing!!

I know God that summer can get long and I may lose my stamina to keep up with this sweet little boy, but show me the fun in a backyard soccer challenge...

Lead me toward patience and kindness when I am trying to fold 21 loads of laundry and all I can see from the laundry room door is this precious body, yelling out...
 'Come On MOM, one MORE!!!'

Help me, oh God, to remember that no matter how many questions he asks, how many times he wants to help... only to make a bigger mess than I started with, he is a beautiful gift! 
This little boy is full of your spirit, your grace... and even though he may be smelly, sweaty, and dirty every morning by 10am... AND leaves too many pairs of socks in the yard to count, he is a treasure to enjoy each AND every day!

Amen!!! ;)

Always - Abbey

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First Communion

At first I felt embarrassed and let down with myself for not blogging about this special event right away. But the more I thought about it, I realized that it perfectly fits into a blog post right before Mother's Day. Mainly because of this quote right here...

'To have a child is to forever have your heart walk around on the outside of your body'

Our big boy made is first communion last weekend, and that is exactly what it felt like... I felt like I could see my heart in this precious boy. I felt like watching his sweet smile, his eyes filled with anticipation, feeling the nervousness in his hands as he held mine, looking around at all the preparation and all the other parents that day was like seeing a full length love story on the big screen and I was privileged enough to get a VIP front row seat!

All day long I was in awe of the symbols of love, and snippets of my heart that popped into my line of sight...

Symbols that showed me, I no longer had sole possession of my heart. It now resided with this fantastic boy, who stole it the minute he was born and continues to hold it captive with every step he takes and every day he grows into a man! And the best part of all that... I am OK with that fact, the fact that my heart no longer belongs to just me!! I get the amazing chance to see this boy grow into who he was meant to be...

We celebrated, we hugged, we talked about how neat this was for him... But secretly it was the neatest for me!!! I adore this child, and not just because of this step he made in his faith... I adore him because he is ours. The mass had a scripture read that gave the analogy of a tree... a gigantic tree, where God was the trunk and we all were limbs and branches given life from this glorious tree. And as long as we, the branches, stayed connected to the trunk, we'd forever be feed and nurtured... growing stronger and stronger. What a perfect example of love, of family, and of heart! 

The scripture reminded all of us about the book 'The Giving Tree' and we talked about that very thing right before we went into church, about how in taking this step our big boy was connecting himself with God forever. He was now a limb that proudly gets to be attached to God's tree trunk. Isn't that a beautiful thought? It brought it all full circle for me, how when I decided to become a mom, I was saying that I was ready to be connected to this child for the rest of my life. I would be his base, his tree trunk... giving him stability, nurturing, strength, love, even my heart if he needed it!!

By the end of the day, we were all pooped from the excitement of the day and the bussle of the weekend. But I will forever remember the love I felt, and how my heart ached with pride when I saw him receive God that day. I know I will have many, many more days that will show me again that my heart no longer resides just within me... and I look forward to each and every one!!!!

Always - Abbey