Sunday, February 26, 2017

DAFFODILS IN FEBRUARY

Spring has arrived rather early this year, and no one in this house is complaining.  It's been a weird winter, but I will take that over lots of cold and snow any year.  Bring on the flowers!

Our schedule over the next couple of weeks is a bit stacked, so when I looked at the field of flowers on Facebook and saw it was a go - we took our first ever trip to Wye Mountain in February.  Though it was a tiny bit chilly, it was still a beautiful day to visit.  Both William and Violet fell asleep on the way out there, so they were not super up for taking pictures.  However, I still managed to snag some fun ones, and I love having this little early spring tradition.  Even in February.

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The big girls really love coming to the field, and Bella even brought along bubbles for extra fun.  They also are good at smiling for pictures, which gives me hope for the future.  And though the twins were not really down for posed pictures, Violet did enjoy walking around.

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William really just wanted to be held by John.  Can't say that I entirely blame him, but it did make getting pics hard.  These pics do sum up three year old William, though usually he is a bit smilier.

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(That lip tho.)
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Getting a picture of all four was an absolute no-go, but I will show the attempts.

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Also, Violet did agree to smile for a selfie with me, but she also kept getting concerned about her lip, which is thankfully healing up really well.

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Don't worry, Wye Mountain - we'll be back!

For a trip down daffodil memory lane, here are our past visits!

{2016} {2015} {2014} {2013} {2012} {2011}

Friday, February 24, 2017

OUR BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND THAT ENDED IN THE ER

This weekend, so many things went right - truly, they did.  The girls went to work with John for a bit on Saturday and fulfilled their dreams of making fruit cups.  (They were ridiculously excited about this.)

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We saw the Lego Batman movie, which was so very funny.

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And on Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed the most beautiful afternoon riding bikes in the glorious sunshine in February.  Best February weather ever.  You will not find me complaining about an early spring - it's been gorgeous.  The kiddos mostly had a fabulous time, and John and I enjoyed ourselves, and it felt like we are making progress as a family.  Something that we used to do a lot is becoming fun again, because our kids are getting a tiny bit older.  Makes all the difference.

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Both big girls are awesome at bike-riding!

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And the twins hot-wheeled for a couple of miles, until Violet was done.  But, John to the rescue!

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(William's pouty face  😂)
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We spent about 30 minutes letting the kids ride down a big grassy hill - a pursuit thoroughly enjoyed by all.  There were a few spills, but all in all, it was on the grass and no one got hurt.  We were headed toward the car planning out our Sonic choices when disaster struck.  Violet was riding the Strider, and we were going down the hill on the sidewalk this time.  She was gaining speed, and it dawned on me slowly, then all at once, that this hill was too steep for a bike with no pedals and no brakes.  She started careening out of control as I chased after her yelling for help.  I couldn't catch up.  She hit the sidewalk face first, and we both started screaming.

It was as bad as it sounds, but in retrospect, it could have been much worse.  We rushed to the ER instead of to Sonic, and this was traumatizing to the other kids on all fronts.  The nurses at the ER were much less alarmed than I was, which calmed me down a tiny bit while also frustrating me.  There ended up being a bit of drama determining whether or not to sedate Violet for the lip fixing, but in the end, they ended up numbing it locally while also giving her some pain meds.

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In what I can only attribute to God's direct intervention on behalf of all those praying for us, Violet sat almost completely still while they sewed up her lip.  It was astounding.  She even sang along to the Moana song the nurse had playing on my phone to help distract her - sweet, brave, warrior girl.

I wheeled Violet out of the ER around 10 pm, and she is healing up quite beautifully.  Her teeth were firmly in place, and they said there should be no permanent scarring because she is young, and the mouth has so much blood flow that it heals even more quickly - all of which I am forever grateful for.

It was all a vivid reminder of how quickly anything can change.  It was an instant, and it changed the course of our week.  I praise the Lord for his protection of Violet when I could not run quickly enough to grab her.  I spent a little time blaming myself, but ultimately, I know that I cannot shield my children from all accidents and pain - a harsh reality that I wish didn't exist.  So many things are outside of our control, and I have to ultimately place my trust in the Lord.  He loves and cares for my children far more than I do, and his plans for them are perfect, even when I don't understand them.

In the end, I'm so very glad that she is okay and humbled by God's graciousness to our family on Violet's account.  I'm also hoping to make it a little longer between ER visits this time. 🤣

Monday, February 20, 2017

CFA NEXT 2017

Every year we do this, and every year, I'm glad and thankful for CFA.  This year, our annual Chick-fil-A seminar returned us to Dallas, TX, and though this wasn't necessarily exciting for us, Dallas is a great city that we enjoy.  We certainly enjoyed our getaway there together before joining with our CFA family on Sunday evening.

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(Many of these pics are from the arena and come pre-filtered by the blue lights!  Lucky us!)

Highlights of our time in Dallas with CFA include:

- Fantastic speakers and encouragement.  Every year, I am blown away by the content they find for us that is applicable not only to John's business life, but also to our personal lives.  I walked away with a lot to think on and pray through about the ways we spend our time and energies.  We really enjoyed hearing Greg McKeown speak on Essentialism, and I particularly enjoyed Shauna Niequist and Christine Caine.

- Friends, friends, friends.  Now that we are 10 years deep, we have many treasured friends, and often, this is one of the only times we get to see them.  It was so fun to catch up with people that we love!

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- CFA knows how to do things up right, and Jennifer Hudson showed up as a delightful surprise after an award's ceremony.  So fun!  She has got to be one of the most talented vocalists ever.

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- I love sampling the new CFA options that are coming, and there are so amazing things coming down the shoots!  Also, we did manage to squeeze in some other good food in Dallas.

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- This year, CFA planned a service project for us where we packed over 1 million meals for those who are food-insecure here in the US.  It was such a fun way to unite with our 5,500 strong CFA family to do something that matters!

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All in all, we had a fantastic three days with our favorite company ever!

For a trip down CFA seminar memory lane - here are the past years!

{2016} {2015} {2014}  {2013}  {2012}  {2011}

Friday, February 17, 2017

TRYING TO DO WHAT WE NEED: GETAWAY

Every year, we head somewhere with CFA in February, and we usually attach a little getaway for us to that.  This year, we headed back to Dallas, and John and I scheduled one extra night.  We deliberated for a while as to what we should do with this one night.  We've spent a ton of time in Dallas, and we even have friends that live there or nearby.  I wish with all of my heart that we had enough time to do all the things, but we don't.  We realized that we just needed some time to ourselves without much planned at all.  We needed (and still need!) down time.

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It is amazing that doing just about anything without our children feels pretty glamorous - even eating at Firehouse Subs in Texarkana.  We got to Dallas mid-afternoon and checked in Hotel Zaza, which turned out to be quite lovely.

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John had planned a special Valentine's dinner for us that was a surprise for me, and let me just say that he knocked it out of the park.  We got dressed up, and I found another occasion to wear my long pink tulle skirt, which is never subtle, but I love it.

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He found a restaurant that serves soufflés for every course, which was perfectly unique to us.  Also - everything we had was absolutely delicious.

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Their signature appetizer is the "Marshmallow Soup", which is a tomato based soup with goat cheese "marshmallows."  Now I just want goat cheese marshmallows on everything I ever eat.  Doesn't seem like too much to ask.

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For the main course, I actually ordered the lobster soufflé which came baked in an actual lobster.  We felt very fancy.  

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After dinner, we were so stuffed that we decided to walk a bit and ended up wandering around a nearby Trader Joe's.  Why are they not in Little Rock?  I would LOVE to have this flower selection at these prices, though I will say I have become a frequenter of the sale flowers at Kroger and can find good deals there.

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Because of our current level of exhaustion in life, we headed back to the room and were asleep by 9:30 p.m.  We slept for 13 hours and probably could have kept sleeping.  We went back to one of our favorite brunch spots, Henry's Majestic.  Yum.

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Having a brief 30 hours of just us was such a treat, and I'm so glad we got a little downtime before heading to the CFA convention that we love but is sort of tiring as well.