Thursday, June 23, 2016

Olympic fever...

Maybe it's because I was an athlete once, and dreamed of going to the Olympics as a child. Maybe it's because I'm proud of the achievements of the people of our great nation. Maybe it's because I have kids who have dreams of reaching the Olympic stage one day. Whatever it is, every four years, as the summer begins, I find myself glued to the TV in a way I never am at any other time. (In fact, many times I have petitioned to go TV-free, but I keep being overruled.) The Olympics is my Superbowl, NBA Finals, and World Series all wrapped into one glorious 16-day journey.

I love the stories of sacrifice and family support and overcoming hardship. I love that our country, and the world, comes together to celebrate hard work and determination and incredible talent and unquestionable skill. I love that athletes who love Jesus Christ have a platform to proclaim the Gospel and be bold on a global stage (did you see Steele Johnson and David Boudia praying before the 10m Syncronized Diving, and then after giving thanks to God for their talent and safety, and then boldly sharing their faith in the post-qualifying interview?!?!)

But I also realize that sitting around on my haunches for over two weeks, glued to the TV, is not a good option physically. So, while we were watching the Olympic Trials for Diving and Men's Gymnastics this evening, Elliott started doing squats during a commercial break, and that spurred on a great idea... If you want to stay in the living room and watch the selection of the TEAM USA athletes, you have to work out during commercials.

We began haphazardly with doing whatever the first person shouted out, whether it be burpees, sit-ups, lunges, push-ups or something else. Then, because we have children, they began bickering over whose turn it was to choose the exercise. So, we decided to go youngest to oldest in naming the workout. The boys seemed to lean towards arm exercises calling for burpees and push-ups and Supermans, while the girls chose squat lunges, butt kicks, and crunches. Since we watched Diving and Gymnastics back to back, we ended up with over two hours of some pretty intense stretches (why did the longest commercial breaks always seem to hit during burpees?!?!).

More than anything, we had fun together. We cheered on some great folks competing to represent TEAM USA in Rio, we broke a sweat and laughed at each other, moaning when another commercial came on instead of return to the event giving us a break.

I imagine everyone here will remember this Road to Rio trip. What will you and your family be doing to make this summer and these Summer Olympics a memorable one?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sometimes it's the little things...

{I found this post in my drafts... but with Hannah beginning a new blog over at, I thought I'd dust this one off as it compliments a recent post she penned.}

Tonight I have been listening to a storm raging outside as I've worked to put my craft room back together following our kitchen remodel. I was tidying the desk when I came across a notebook with a broken spine and began to flip through the pages to see if it was worth keeping. Inside I found my scribbled to-do lists for the two weeks leading up to our move to North Texas. A little while before that, I was midnight texting with a good friend back home. Then I flipped to the page detailing the plans of our farewell lunch and play date. Next thing I know, I was sobbing.

I don't think I've ever cried over rereading a to-do list before.

They usually make me smile, feeling so accomplished.

But this time, I did. I cried and cried. And cried.

I love it here, I really do. So do the kids. Elliott never wants to leave. We love our church, we're making good friends, we've found more opportunities for the children in an easily accessible distance than we ever had back home. One of the children has actually been struggling for a while with moments of feeling guilty for enjoying it so much here. 

But I cried because I miss the comfort of friends that you don't have to explain yourself to when you say something completely ridiculous. I cried because I miss the simplicity of skipping up to our little bakery in New Braunfels and not worrying at all about gluten or corn or soy. I miss my church family and my amazing friends. This move has been hard, as good as it has been, it's also proved to be one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced. I cried because every little thing that makes this feel like home leaves behind it the realization that San Antonio is no longer home, it is now a vacation spot.

Sometimes it is the simple things that help you remember how blessed you have been. They remind you to open your eye and see how new blessings are overflowing in your life. I'll probably toss the notebook, the broken spine keeps it from being durable enough to withstand being thrown in my bag for notes at church, but I'm thankful for finding it, and within it, being encouraged by seeing the hand of God leading us, caring for us, and keeping us close.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fun times ahead...

Our first full summer in North Texas is upon us, and my house is still not fully unpacked and organized. My biggest temptation is to do nothing except piddle around the house until everything is just right. However, no sooner does that thought come into my mind, than the reality of six active, fun-loving, adventure-seeking, busy kids comes crashing down on me. And in an effort to make our summer more fun than doldrum, and after being inspired by a dear friend, I made a little chart that we can check off as the summer progresses. I'm hoping it will act as motivation to get out and do some fun stuff. And I love checking things off!

Now, for those of you who think I'm being a tad too optimistic... I did cheat just a little when I made this list. We decided not to take a traveling summer vacation this year. Instead, we have planned a "stay-cation" and a good handful of the things on our list come from those 8 days, as we explore our city and the surrounding area.

If you'd like to join us for any of these fun activities, we'd love to have you! The more the merrier! :)