Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lifetime of Lasts

I read another great book recently- in it was written a sweet poem from a Mother to her son about to marry. I'm not going to lie- I shed a tear. It got me thinking- as any great book should- and I think I'm going to steal it and pass it on to my sons one day.
Until then I thought I'd share it with you- my friends and mom pals who- like me- will be left with a beautiful reflection of "Lasts" ....

"Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips
Last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip
Last time when you had a binky stuck inside your mouth
The last time that you crawled across the floor of this old house.

Last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
Last time when you said you'd marry me when you grew old.
Precious simple moments and bright flashes from the past,
Would I have held you longer if I'd known they were the last?

Your last few hours of Kindergarten, last days of first grade
Last at bat in Little League, last colored paper made.
Last time that I tucked you on for one last midday nap
Last time when you word your beat up Packers (insert Vikinkgs:) cap.

Last time that you caught a frog in that old backyard pond
Last time when you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly scattered images to represent your past.
Would I have taken pictures...if I'd known they were your last

Last dark night you slipped in bed and slept between us two
When last I read to you of God or Horton Hears a Who!
Last time that I smelled your hair and prayed after your shower
Last time that we held devotions in the evening hours.

The last time you were M.J. in our games of give-and-go
Last time that you made an angel in the melting snow.
I never even said goodbye to yesterdays long passed
Would I have marked the moments...if I'd known they were the last?

Last piano lesson and last soccer goal you kicked
The last few weeks of middle school, last flowers that you picked.
Last time that you needed me for rides from here to there
The last time that you spent the night with that old tattered bear.

Last time that I helped you with a math or spelling test
Last time that I shouted that your room was still a mess.
Time and life moved quicker, taking pieces of your past.
Would I have stretched the moments...if I'd known they were the last?

The last time that you needed help with details of a dance
Last time that you asked me for advice about romance.
Last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams.
Last time that you wore a jersey for your highschool team.

I watched you grow and never noticed seasons as they passed.
I wish I could've frozen time, to hold on to your lasts.
For come tomorrow morning life will never be the same.
You'll pledge forever to your girl, and she will take your name.

And I will watch you, knowing God has blessed you with this day.
I never would have wanted, to somehow make you stay
They say a sons a son until he takes for him a wife.
You're grown-up now; it's time to go and start your brand new life.

One last hug, one last goodbye one quick and hurried kiss
One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed.
I'll watch you leave and think how quickly childhood sped past.
Would I have held on longer...if I'd known it was your last?"

-"Rejoice" by Karen Kingsbury

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

You know you're a Mom when you say - think - Or think you said the following... All before noon!
We don't play in the toilet
Get that out of the tub
I love you!
Get off your brother
Stop touching your brother
Don't hit your brother
Don't sit on your brother
Please take that off your head
Please get off my bed
I love you!
Coffee - did I already have my coffee
Is it too early for more coffee
Is it too late for more coffee
Sit down
Put that down
Get down
Put that back
I love you!
Stop running
Stop pestering your brother
Stop licking that!
Stop whining
One- One child would have been easier ;)
I love you!
Please get up
Please sit up
Please stand up
Please hush up
Dirty- No touch
No punching
No throwing
No jumping on the couch
No chocking your brother
I love you!
Please listen
Please stop yelling
Please talk softer
Please turn that off
Please turn that down
Breakfast- did I eat breakfast
I love you!
Calm down
Quiet down
Don't eat that
Don't drink that
Put that back
I love you!

That's not a toy
That's not food
That's not a game
Nap... is it nap time yet?
Nope - we've only been up an hour :/
I love my boys & wouldn't have it any other way =)


Monday, July 29, 2013

Well we did it... We moved to Sunny FL & this post is Long Overdue!

To say that 2013 caught me off guard would be the biggest Understatement of the year! If you were to tell me several months back my family of 4 would be packing up our belongings and moving out of state- leaving behind family - friends - our fabulous church & a coffee shop for sale I would have just stared at you in disbelief! 

So many things though - looking back now on my brief lifetime of Blessings- have come at me like that- things that only God in His greatness could explain! Isn't that how He tends to work best though - by surprising us and using 'the least of these' to make Himself known & Big! =) I am sure you too have a list full of crazy Blessings yourself! I think sometimes though we need to take that extra few minutes to really look back over our own history in the making to see His fingerprints all along the way =)

Florida though - craziness! I don't think there's ever an easy move when people are leaving behind so much - so maybe that's why God moved so swiftly for us - so we wouldn't have time to sit around and mull over the idea and take charge ourselves & change our minds & stay...! I told many friends w/ this adjustment I almost imagined this must be like what some military family's feel when they are told quickly they need to relocate (God Bless Each of Them for doing so in serving our Country- you are STRONG individuals risking Great!). Many have asked the famous "Why" question so I guess I'll get to that- 

To be honest with you Joe has been seeking out a new job for well over a year - applying to various positions (government contract jobs & metro police & more) but nothing ever opened up- so as most -he endured a pay-cut and just held on to the hope that something would come along during his search. As for me- my heart resided at 66Beans - but as most small business owners know- just b/c your heart and body are somewhere- doesn't mean it's paying the bills =p So among working in the shop I was trying to take on small side jobs here and there to make ends meet- however it didn't take too long or too many of those to realize my body could not tackle all that my heart wanted to - and it began to fail me. Sending myself into stress overload and an overnight stay in the hospital was a HUGE reality check! So - I too began to apply to any and all Design jobs I could come in contact with- from the big guys (DC/Baltimore) to the smaller local contractors/companies- at this time knowing our shop was listed for sale (a complete bittersweet realization both Ashlee & I had come to). And like Joe- I too was met with the famous "Sorry we're not hiring but we'll keep your resume on hand". After plenty of those replies and realizing we just couldn't do this on our own we really began to seek out God! And it was He who led me to the thought in the middle of the night just a few months ago that- "maybe you're hitting walls b/c your family isn't suppose to be 'here' anymore"!? So I asked Joe his thought on that- and he replied he'd wondered that as well (which came as a shock from the man who said he'd Never leave the DC area!). So we did only what we knew we could... Pray Harder & begin to fast & expect God to answer -and He Always Does! It didn't take Joe too long to say - well what about Florida? I thought -well - it can't hurt to apply there- after all I am a big believer if God closes doors in one area He can do the same again in another if you aren't suppose to go in that direction either! So we both applied to various jobs and literally immediately we both began receiving positive replies & interviews began to line up. It was a whirl wind -again- to say the least. I think- actually i know- plenty of people thought we were crazy or wondered what in the world we were doing - but again- when God moves in a person's spirit -especially both spirits of a married couple- you obey. It doesn't make it easy - it's a huge trust walk as you know- but the proof is always in the fruit that later comes- ours...we're still knowing more will show in time (afterall fruit doesn't grow overnight =p) 

I do know though that no matter how hard the leaving has been - leaving behind my sister to wrap things up the past couple months as we take on new owners in just 2 days now (Praise God) was not an easy thing! The fear of letting people down can really overwhelm a person's soul- and I've found that to be me in at times quite detrimental ways. I'm sure many of you ladies out there know that feeling =( 
I told Ashlee just last week though that it's a bit ironic that she started things off for 2 months when we opened b/c I had my little guy Lucas only 3 days after opening (again not too ideal!)- so it was strangely fitting that 2 years later she's wrapping it up in bigger ways than I can. I give her a lot of credit  & Praise! The journey- as most journey's are- was wrapped in Blessings & tears - but ultimately - for God- lives were touched more then we can take credit for & for that... I think in my gut - God has smiled down at us. Leaving behind our family when we are taking their grandson's so far (who cares about the parents after little ones come right-lol) hasn't been easy on them either - and we get that in ways that we can for now- and maybe years from now in deeper ways if our children move far away. And of course leaving our behind our Blessed church family at ECC where we were involved the past few years. They were our lifeblood and saving Grace in more ways then any of them will ever know & our Thank You's could never touch the true meaning our hearts desire to express in all they have contributed to our family of 4. 

And now we're here- still not completely knowing of all the why's yet but still Trusting in God's amazing Grace and leadership throughout it all. I know He's Blessed us again in only ways He can- like providing me w/ a fantastic design job where I can design from home and run to appointments based around Joe's work schedule - Never having even had to look into placing the boys in summer childcare programs- Praise God it's been great for our family- a total juggle and lots of "Please let mommy work" comments but it's working -we're making it work! And Joe at Disney - well- it's Disney afterall- so for any of you who know my husband- there's really no other place -other than if he were full time in a church- that he'd rather be working - So again we Thank God He's working things out. And finding our new church home (at least for 'such a time as this') has been great- and literally right in our backyard! We never thought we'd get closer to church then the 7 miles we were from ECC -but now we can walk- so that's pretty close =p I must admit it'd different just 'attending' and not being apart of any type of leading- but it's needed!! God knew especially for me I needed to be brought to a place where I can rest. Well- resting for me yes - a mom w/ a 40 hour work week & just attending church a few times a week- i find that Restful =) I was talking w/ my dear friend Mary from home -telling her I feel like I should be doing something more (like scheming up a side job or something) and she said, "sommer you are Working 40 hours plus all the other mom duties"! I need to remind myself of that daily b/c i don't 'rest' well- I am one like so many who thinks I should always be Doing more- if there's any free time then i must fill it- and let me tell you that can be a Huge trick of the enemy to get a lot of us worn out and exhausted -mentally & physically to a point we are no good to the things and people that need us the most. Believe me I couldn't tell you how many times I have told my girlfriends and ladies who would come in the shop- we women need to realize being a Wife & Mom is Enough!! And then what do i do- get to FL where I am blessed by decrease in work load and try to think of ways to fill it up and 'be more helpful financially' to my family. Nope- nada- I have learned that lesson Way too many times and in harder ways then I ever want to relearn again- so Boundaries (a great book by the way) begin to be set - and Prayer over being Faithful to what God has called me to be faithful to- inspite of what others may always 'think' we should be doing. It's not easy as we all know - but God blesses our efforts and reconfirms our decisions within us as we daily walk them out w/ Him. 

Wow- this little update turned into a mini-novel! I do apologize- but as we all know I make hopeful promises of keeping this blog more up to date and then fail time and time again... But maybe now w/ more time....! lol! 

I thank you all for your love and thoughts and kind words of encouragement to us in our new journey here. We don't know exactly if we'll be calling FL our home 5 years from now but we do know - where He calls - we will Always seek & desire to Follow - no matter how hard...!

My love & Prayers for peace & blessings to each of you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

too smart to live like this?!?

Okay so HELLO 2013! I honestly can't believe we are already into the 2nd week of the New Year. I'm thankful for sure- i was among the many that was soo over 2012 in countless ways -lol. Lessons were learned no doubt - strength tested (as i often say "i don't really care to know just how strong i am") -sleep was deprived (which most know when you have a baby-unless your 1st is an Andrew;) -and Stress...boy oh boy was that felt! As so many of you- i was ready to ring in the New Year- still am. I found myself saying as the end of 2012 was approaching "Bring on 13' the odd numbers seem to work in my favor"-at least over the past 10yrs!

I landed a wonderful design job close to home w/ a boss who's a gem in 2003 -along w/ getting married & buying our 1st home - Had Andrew James in 2007 - Designed from the ground up & opened a Coffee Lounge in 2011 (w/ my sister) & had Lucas Paul 3 days later! Yep -those odd years rocked & we're still reaping the blessings! Now of course throughout those years & all the ones between our family made - saw & endured changes like the rest. We've grown and hopefully become a bit Smarter... Which brings me to today's post... the feeling of being "Too Smart to Live Like This".

You ever have those times where you say to yourself, "why did i do that... again"?!? i definitely have! Along w/ being a mom like so many of my wonderful gal pals - a wife & worker outside of the home- I've found myself caught up in what can be known as 'the vicious cycle of life'. You know -times when you find yourself feeding your family through the drive-thru -turning on another cartoon so your kiddos are occupied while you get a few more things done - putting everyone to bed way past what should've been an ideal bedtime - letting dishes pile up b/c after a long day you're just too tired to devote 10 minutes to the sink - swiping a credit card through a machine to grab something you know you can live w/out but desiring some kind of quick smile & satisfaction -not setting aside designated family time b/c your schedule already seems overwhelming - & again eating/drinking something that won't have you feeling so great abt your choices later on -Yep been there - done that & repeat it more times then I care to share -or to acknowledge. Which is why i think i've found myself thinking -Gosh I'm too smart to be living like this! After all -If I haven't experienced repercussions personally I've watched others or i've read a book, i know enough of the ol' cause & affect to know at times when i'm not making the best choice. And as plenty of authors in those books have said, it's not choosing right from wrong that's hard, it's choosing better vs best. 

So for this New Year i'm not trying to set some 'resolution' but I am trying to set myself and my family up for better future success. I'm going to choose to make the harder choices (even when others don't agree)-give up things that i thought i may not of been willing to (even if it makes me cry) -choose Health over convenience (knowing that it doesn't solve or prevent everything but it does make me feel better physically & mentally) -choose to sacrifice 'stuff' (be it work or play) & put my family first -and Love people (even those who can be so unlovable b/c hey we all can be that way from time to time). 

Life sure is short - years sure do fly by - so to get a bit sappier & a bit more cliche then I already have- I will choose to Smile more - Love & Seek out God more -hug my husband & kids more (even my sister;) & let opinions & others bother me less b/c afterall if you're allowing God to lead you in your decisions those others will be bound to see the greater Good it's bringing to your life & to those around you. 

and as my favorite verses confirm... "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future. Then you will call upon me & come and pray to me, & I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me w/ all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

God loves us -each & everyone! He is our Help in time of need! So whatever it may be that you or I are looking for in this coming New Year I hope that you remember God has the answers - only He knows what lies ahead - so why not get to know the one who knows...!?! I know when i look back over my life - and my husband would agree - when we truly do "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God" all the other 'stuff' comes together - maybe not as we would have hoped initially -but when we stop and look around at all the little pcs that make up our lives personally -we see His hand covering & working "All things out for our good". it's just our job not to leave Him out.

okay so let me get started... living a bit smarter! =) 
& i'm hoping to blog a bit more about it - call it my accountability space ;p