Saturday, April 27, 2013

sunshine is good for a mama's soul

If you don't know this by now, we live in a mountain ski town, which is awesome.  We trade the luxury of many outdoor activities for a very long winter.  In fact, our school district has the latest spring break that I know of.
Road trip!!! The big guys are hiding in the back seat.
Knowing how brutal the season of Spring is on our mental state, we have been looking forward to a trip south over spring break where the heat can permeate our pores and give us enough hope to last us until mid June, which is when we can safely count on the end of snow until Autumn arrives in September.

One of the perks of my husband's dizzying travel schedule for work is that he is platinum or diamond status when it comes to airline and hotel points.  Let's just say we fully dipped into that pool of points and are enjoying a beautiful villa for the week.
Lake Meade prior to crossing the Hoover Dam at sunset
We have cherished our week together.  I have particularly enjoyed the breakfast buffet every morning.  Our kiddos are getting used to filling their bellies with delicious food, and I immediately enjoyed the break from making it, serving it, and cleaning it up. ;-)

Free breakfast is one of the biggest values we get from a hotel stay.
Each of our children is so unique from the others.  Our eldest has always had his own streak of creativity.  When he was little, we lovingly called him "Dumpster Diver" because he was often found recycling trash into new inventions.  This morning he transformed his folded breakfast napkin into a boat.  A friend referred to this as "Napkingami" - sounds about as unique as my boy is.

If I've noticed anything on this trip it is the fact that WE are noticeable.  We have not gone anywhere together without someone approaching us or making a passing comment about our family.  Just a few examples:
  • An 80 year old grandfather from New Jersey practically sat down with us at breakfast one morning to tell us how wonderful our family is and inquire more about us.  He told us all about his children and grandchildren and the part we loved was how he called them all "my (name)" when referring to them.  "My Logan, he is a great lacrosse player.  We go to all his games."  It was precious and we decided to mirror that when we are blessed to be grandparents.
  • A man seated at the table next to us finished his breakfast and got up to leave, but not before coming over to tell me how he could tell how much we have invested in our children's training.  He noticed their good behavior immediately (phew!) and briefly told me his qualifications of being an educator for 37 years.  I took his compliments and put them in my "encouragement for the bad days" mental box.
  • The hotel manager, a finely dressed African-American man who is just as charming as the day is long, sought us out as we were walking through the lobby.  He struck up a conversation and generously interacted with our children throughout the conversation.  He then showered all five of them with full sized Kit Kat candybars.  Now he is surely never to be forgotten!
  • The head valet noticed by the boys' clothing choices that we are a traveling Chicago Bears fan club. He likes the Monsters of the Midway too and was over the top impressed that Lucas loves Robbie Gould the best.  He also noticed their Kit Kats and has a daily game of stopping them and begging them to gift him with their candy.
  • A middle aged mom from D.C., away on her own for a "mental health" weekend, noticed our brood and struck up a conversation about adoption.  She was so charmed by Joya that she asked about everything from the paperwork process, to the emotional adjustment of our daughter.  She finished by saying that she is going home to talk to her husband about it.  Who knows, maybe another orphan will have a forever family just from that poolside conversation.

"I wike da fwim fwim!"
Beyond building us up as parents, these conversations have really made me pay closer attention to who we are representing as a family.  If our very presence makes people wonder what makes us so "generous and selfless" that we would adopt a orphan with medical needs, or purposefully train our children to be a blessing to others then I want to carry that conversation to point to God who is so generous and loving towards us.  I want our children to know the reason we put others first is because Jesus did that for us.  I want our constant picture to be one of gratitude.

"Mom!  Watch me!"
My Vacation Loves:
    Poolside snuggle time.
  • I love the freedom to throw bedtimes out the window.
  • I love piling up in one bed to read a chapter book aloud to my big kiddos.
  • I love that the big boys can be so helpful to carry the pool bag and push the stroller.
  • I love that my husband pushed me out the door to get a pedicure.
  • I love that our eight year old son loves to make us all laugh with things like, "Hey Dad, nice muscles.  Where did you buy them?"
  • I love that we can start drinking margaritas any time of the day that we want to.
  • I love that my husband likes to do most of the driving.
  • I love the free breakfast buffet.
  • I love croissants with jam (so do my thighs).
  • I love that my husband brings me coffee before my feet hit the floor in the morning.
  • I love that my twelve year old son likes to spend two hours at the thrift store with me looking for treasures.
  • I love stocking up on cheap wine from Costco (no liquor in Utah Costco)
  • I love that the wonderful housekeeping staff insist on washing our dirty dishes in addition to cleaning our room.
  • I love that one particular waitress at the restaurant requested to serve our table because she loved our kiddos so much.
  • I love that our kids enjoy playing with each other.

About Me

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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