Monday, April 23, 2012

created for this


This weekend we carved out some precious time for our family of 5 and decided to head to one of our favorite places for the day - Notre Dame University. Billy's sister April was home from Chicago for the day and brought her niece Kelissa with her, so together we had a crew of 7. Dressed in our best ND gear to cheer on the Irish we headed for the annual Blue Gold game where the team scrimmages against themselves in the football stadium. Perhaps this sounds silly to some, but for these faithful fans it meant chance to experience the excitement of game day at a fraction of the cost. A perfect fit for my little Irish fans!

I love the feeling of college campuses, it's like I can almost smell my own college memories in the air. Just stepping onto ND took me back to my college days... the rhythm of walking from class to class and the fresh air it provided me. The naps snuck in the middle of the day simply because I could. The late night coffee house dates with friends, and studying things I was passionate about. Because I attended a christian college (Bethel College) my college experience was also rich in time spent seeking the Lord and growing in my relationship with him. As we walked around ND's campus on a gorgeous spring day I had a moment of "I wanna go back" flood over me. It all seemed so carefree back then. I didn't worry about what I was going to make my family for dinner, the endless errands to run, or the mountain of laundry that was screaming my name. I focused on me in college. To this momma who always seems to put a bit too much on her to-do list that sounded so wonderful. I let myself get lost in that fantasy of hours upon hours of "me" time for a bit as we walked....then I felt a hand grab mine and it was my husbands. That boy who I fell in love with back in high school, and missed terribly during college, had reached over and laced his fingers between mine as we quietly walked with the kiddos running in front of us. And then it hit me. College was a special season in my life. But life with my best friend and husband, being a momma and pouring all the energy and patience that I have into our 3 little ones is what I was created for.

As quickly as the college memories came they went and I had a new perspective on the beautiful day in front of me. This is what I longed for during those years spent apart from Billy - to simply walk hand in hand with him and not have to say goodbye at the end of the day. To someday have a family and experience a love like no other. With this fresh insight at the front of my mind our family day seemed to explode into a thousand beautiful little moments that I wanted to hold onto forever.

 My heart smiled as I watched Ella take care of Kelissa and hold her little hand no matter where they went.

 It stood still as I watched Will enter the grotto to light a candle with the reverence of a grown man.

It skipped a beat when my little Mason whispered, "I love you SO SO SO much Mommy" as I was carrying him across campus.

Simple moments...that to this momma who is such a work in progress were beautiful little gifts to my heart.

This is what I was created for... these days of dishes and laundry and errands. To those who may be like me and struggling with finding the purpose in the midst of the chaos my prayer is that you will be blessed with a fresh perspective today - even if just for a moment.

A moment where the mundane becomes beautiful - a moment where your heart swells and you feel fully alive.

A moment where you know this is what you were created for.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a rock collection

Life as a momma of 3 is full of moments. Crazy moments, funny moments, stressful moments and my favorite - those special moments when you wish you could freeze time and remember that exact moment forever. A few years ago we started a rock collection with our family. Our daughter Ella had begun collecting rocks and I was finding them all over the house. I decided to put some purpose to the madness and asked her if she could remember where the rocks were from. If she did she could write the name of the location on the rock with a sharpie and save it in a jar. I thought I was simply "organizing" her collection - she turned it into a beautiful tradition.

On our next outing she instinctively grabbed a rock to take home. When we got home she handed me the warm rock that she had been tightly holding the whole ride home and said, "Here mommy, I wanna save this rock because it reminds me of my special date with you today". That was a "wanna freeze time" moment, and I realized that she had been grabbing random rocks from what I thought were random places not just for the sake of filling her pockets but as tangible reminders of moments. Pretty sure it was in that exact moment my heart both melted and I realised that my little girl is already wise beyond her years.

We now have 3 mason jars that house the kids "rock collection" of memories. We're mastering the art of finding "that perfect stone". For Ella it has a shimmer of pink in it somewhere, for Mason the bigger the better, and for Will it's all about logic - where will he write the memory on it? Whenever the kids add to our rock collection we write the date on one side and the memory on the other...they say everything from "Mexico 2011" to "date with daddy" on them. Little tangible reminders of beautiful moments.

  1. I love seeing their little jars fill up with rocks - in one way it's a visual of beautiful moments we're creating as a family. However, I am also keenly aware that it's also a visual of half full jars. Jars that only hold so much space. Space that I equate to time with my little blessings. I get one shot at filling their little lives with special moments. Moments where they feel loved, cherished, valued, and safe. Seeing their mason jars is a constant reminder to me to make my time with them count....the jars are a beautiful reminder of the past and a constant reminder to make the most of each day....thus begins my bloggin journey into putting words and pictures to these random, but beautiful moments that I never want to forget...welcome to my world.