Better Than a Box of Chocolates

Why are some days so hard?  This question was texted to me from the other room.  I sat upstairs feeding Harry, while a raucous crew finished their supper.  For various reasons, we both had an uphill day.  I woke up with the urge and desire to make our bedroom look cute and tidy.  But all I managed to do today in my room was eat chocolate.  Because even though the incredible supplements we use have taken away my cravings for donuts, candy, just about every cereal, and most things found in the center aisles of the grocery store… chocolate is still okay in my book.  In fact, today I did something I’ve always wanted to do.  A rather nicely sized box of mixed chocolates came into my possession this week, and I took a bite out of every single one.  Just to see what was inside it.  None of this dainty and mysterious picking out of what you really hope isn’t orange-cream-filled chocolate or weird chocolate liquor.  (At least that’s not my favorite.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.)  I bit into each one, leaving a tooth-marked morsel in its place.  It looks like an animal sniffed out and sampled the box of crack.  I mean chocolate.  Nope.  Just a mama of six who may have had one or more things overwhelm her slightly sleep-deprived mind.  I claim with Anne of Green Gables: “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.  Yet.”

Betty decided today was a great day to pull out all of the summer clothes and try them on for size.  I suppose I forgot to mention where we are heading in twenty days.  Our entire family will be boarding a plane and flying to Roatan, Honduras!  2017-01-25-19-24-25-1It has been our dream to return, since Matthew and I lived there for six months when Nadine and Elijah were babies.  Now, thirteen years later, we are.

It’s hard to imagine Caribbean temperatures and bathing suits as I sit wrapped in my scarf, clutching yet another hot drink.  2017-02-01-18-11-07-1As Betty squealed with excitement over her shorts still fitting her, it slowly started to sink in today.  The last time we traveled outside of the country was to Belize, when Jack was Harry’s age.  I guess I should start thinking about fitting into my bathing suit.  Stupid chocolates.

So why are some days so hard?  I don’t have a solid answer, but my reply was: So we will long a bit more for Heaven.  Because as awesome and beautiful as our life is here, it’s covered in pain and sickness and brokenness and imperfection.  If you don’t know where you’re going when you die, this is as good as it gets.  But if you have peace in the finished work of Christ, then the best is yet to come!  Better than a box of chocolates.  With no mistakes in it.  Ever and for eternity.  Come, Lord Jesus.

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Fifth Annual Kids’ Day and Other August Adventures

August has been simply amazing.  One highlight was our Fifth Annual Kids’ Day.  We decided to pack up the kids and take them to Six Flags Great Adventure for a day of thrills and laughter.  Everyone loves rollercoasters, and even though the one who loves them the most is the shortest, we still did a whole lot of fun together.  On the Congo Rapids, we laughed so hard because on each and every opportunity for water to crash into our raft, Jack and Matthew got soaked.  Meanwhile, Elijah, who was the only one hoping to get wet, stayed completely dry.  He wasn’t too happy about that.  My favorite part of the day was going on Nitro with the three bigs, in the dark, right before closing.  It was so fun, we ran all the way around to the front of the line again so we could ride it one more time, and we made it to the second to last ride before it shut down for the night.  We laughed and screamed and declared it to have been the perfect adventure.
August 2015 phone photos
Our second adventure in August was our family vacation down at Ocean City, NJ.  I barely pulled out my camera, but we sure had a blast.  Betty adores the ocean, is fearless to ride the waves, and we all had so much fun boogie boarding together.  It’s been a long time since I’ve body-slid onto the shore from the top of a wave and had my bathing suit filled with sand.
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This is how sad Betty gets when she’s told Daddy needs a break.
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A few gorgeous runs with Matthew lit up some of the mornings.

One night, we hung out at the boardwalk.  I asked someone to take our family’s picture, and happened to ask a professional photographer.  He nailed it.
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That night we enjoyed the musical talent of many different bands, and joined in the dance party with some friends.  It was a blast.  At one point I had ice-cream dripping down both of my hands, where the kids had stuffed their cones so they could dance instead.  They busted some sweet moves and won enough free mini-golf games so they could go golfing the next day.  One night I found the kids on the upstairs deck, talking and laughing together.  It felt strangely grown-up-ish and not childish.  Good food, walks, talks, sand, sun, runs, and many wonderful memories made it the perfect week.
August 2015 phone photos1
From there, we traveled to MD to visit friends, and then to Washington D.C. to see the sights and more friends of ours.  It was a great memory, for sure!
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By the time we reached the White House, our feet felt like they just might fall off.  Some, more than others.  However, it was still worth the time and mileage to make those memories together.
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Summer’s memories are treasured, like love notes tucked into my pocket. Every once in awhile I will pull them out and smile, remembering each moment together.
A favorite song of mine recently has been rolling around in my head all week.  I thought it fitting to put the words on the backdrop of one of this week’s sunrises.
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