Sunday, August 11, 2013

Home from Vacation (And Things are Changing)

This summer has been wonderful . . . and busy. 

I have hundreds of photos where I've tried to capture the memories, but most of the experiences are sitting in my heart (lots of new things to think about).

Here are just a couple of photos from our last trip:


We went to Aspen Grove with a group of friends we knew back in Boston.  (I had seven photos of the group and this is the one that had the most eyes open.)  It was a beautiful week filled with late nights where we sat up talking until 1am.  Aspen Grove is amazing, and we're so grateful for these good people.

We made a few stops to see Eric's family, my sister Page, and a couple of friends (I'll post some of those photos later), and then we took our children to Arches National Park to see Delicate Arch.  (I had no idea how huge it was.)  If you haven't been there before, I definitely recommend it.

On our drive back to California, I saw this on my sister-in-law's Instagram feed:


My mom is now home!

That picture is so sweet to me.  Many times when my mom was in the rehabilitation center, she would cry and beg us to please take her out to the car.

I turned to my dad for help on that one.  "What do you say to her when she asks that?"

He replied, "I tell her we're going to get her walking, and then I'm going to take her home forever."

I just love my family.

And I know several school districts around the country start after Labor Day, but ours started this week.  Here's my front-door snapshot before we got in the car.  I thought it was cute that the boys wanted to match.


This was last year:


Wow, they're growing up. 

Spencer is in first grade right now, which means that for the first time in 13 years, I have six hours a day to myself.

This is a huge change for me, particularly since I've been doing all my Power of Moms work in bits and snatches over the past six years.  And although there hasn't been a calm moment yet for this new life to "sink in," I'm definitely feeling some heavy nostalgia as I consider how my life has shifted to this new place. 

I'm reading the biography of Ardeth Kapp right now, and yesterday I read a sweet passage about change.

Basically, I learned that whenever a change happens, it's common for there to be an accompanying sense of loss.  But that's okay.  We don't have to let ourselves feel badly.  We simply feel gratitude for the fact those experiences happened in the first place.

Those ideas have been helpful to me.  I miss the Kidergarten pick-up and eating sweet potatoes on the front porch with Spencer while we waited for "the kids" to come home.

I miss the younger versions of Alia, Grace, and Ethan.

When I called my Mom yesterday, she could only speak to me for a moment.  It stressed her out to have to think of something to say, so she quickly passed the phone to my sister Lisa and asked her to do the talking.  I understood.  It must be so hard for her to not know what's happening around her.

But I'm grateful to have this family, and change is good in so many ways.  I have more time now to devote to my home (we finally repaired the dry wall in our family room and spruced up the paint and window treatments), I can now get my Power of Moms work done while my children are in school, and I can actually write all those things that have been waiting inside me.  My husband and I have more time together, and I have the flexibility to be helpful to others who need me.

The opportunities are exciting, but I also feel a heavy sense of responsibility to use this time well.

The night before school started, Eric gave each child a Father's Blessing (that's a special priesthood ordinance where a father puts his hands on each child's head and offers blessings of direction and comfort.  You can click here if you'd like to learn more.). 

The blessings were beautiful, and after the last one, Alia said, "What about Mom?"

Eric asked me if I wanted one, and while I didn't want to keep the children up too late, I nodded.  

Eric gave me such a beautiful blessing--reminding me that the Lord is aware of me and my goals and my efforts, and He will help me to know where to put my focus.  The spirit I felt during that blessing was precious. 

Life is changing.  Things are busy.  But as we try to focus on what is most important, we can feel so, so grateful for this privilege to live.

Much love,
April

2 comments:

  1. Love you and your family! Such sweet kids!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. P.S. That photo of your mom is priceless!

    ReplyDelete



Related Posts with Thumbnails