The last while has been complete and utter chaos for this sweet family of mine. I can't remember a week or weekend that has been just ours. After helping my sweet sister and her family pack their house and get moved last weekend (all weekend) we decided it didn't matter what tried to get in the way, this weekend was ours and ours alone. We would say no to everything else-church calling things and all. We desperately needed it. We were blessed with a decent tax return and decided that even amidst the rough patch of our life we would take some of that or our weekend. Friday, after school, we hit the matinee showing of Zootopia. To this point, Preston has yet to ever sit in the theater (we tried Cinderella at the $1 show once over the summer-no bueno, super no bueno) so I was a little nervous. All the kids, including him did PERFECT! The movie was fantastic and so was our night. There was a moment, right after the "scary" part where all the kids were huddled in, either on Mike and I's laps or snuggled in to our arms, and I found myself looking at my sweet family and feeling this overwhelming gratitude for them and this perfect moment. We went to dinner afterward and the kiddos were equally as good as at the theater. We headed home, got clothes out for the next day put the kids to bed and Mike and I snuggled on the couch. He actually feel asleep before I even got in there. Coming off of his night shift means a weekend of not functioning. I still loved it though. We slept in and had a lazier than lazy Saturday morning and then headed out to the Botanical Gardens. I wish I could say it was all perfect and there was no arguing or fighting...not the case but it was still fantastic. We ran some errands afterward and came home to haircuts, showers, dinner and church prep for the next day. Today was great and I just feel so overly grateful for a much needed family weekend.
On a slightly different note, we also had a very positive week last week. We came to an agreement on our house quickly-which was wonderful. Thursday, Mike was offered a job that will hold us over until our move and may have extremely positive side affects for where we are moving to. And this job means???? NO MORE NIGHT SHIFTS!!! This past month has been extremely hard doing that shift. Don't get me wrong, we were really grateful to have something but nights are less than ideal for a young family...or any family for that matter. We feel very blessed! Friday was the inspection on the house. We are still waiting to hear how that went and are a little nervous as it was a very long inspection. We are praying that nothing too significant came up and that things continue to move in the right direction-whatever that may be. We may not have really wanted to move but again, we are so grateful to have a direction now. It has been far too long of limbo and feeling completely lost and like everything we were trying to do was pointless and leading to a dead end. So, yay to good news!
We have felt like that for some time. Trying and trying to figure out what path is going to open up and be the one we down. Constantly going with the flow as each thing we try leads to a dead end. It's been exhausting, honestly. The last few days I have found myself telling the Lord that we just needed something to open up, either the job or the house selling. We just need something. So, I found myself saying that again this morning as I was driving to my morning meetings and having my chat with the Lord. I got to the church and my phone buzzes, alerting me of a text. It was our realtor. "Good morning we have an offer on your house. May I call you after church to review?"
Heart sinks, mind blurs and my prayer was answered...just not quite the way I had hoped.
Prayer is an interesting thing. The whole, aligning our will with the Lord's and still expressing the desires of your heart is the trickiest part. We will go where we need to go and do what we need to do if that's what He wants. I would be lying though if I said I was always initially happy about answers to prayers. So, I now pray for a softened and willing heart and the ability to appreciate that He sees more than I do. I know, 100%, that no matter how hard His way seems, it is absolutely the best way.
P.S. How cute is this girl? Sadly, she got in trouble first and then I decided to snap a picture. Sometimes we just need to relax and roll with it. :)
I am trying to be better at writing things down, as I have a TERRIBLE memory. Miss Madilynn is 9 years old now! She's in the 3rd grade and with the 3rd grade comes a Chrome Book and an email account. She emails me all the time. Most of the time it's, "Mom, can you plese pick me up from school. I don't fell good. Plese, plese!" Poor girl, a.) she hates school and would rather be home-schooled (I guess she thinks it's only fun things) and b.) she can't spell worth a thing! ;) Anyway, this was the cute email I got this morning shortly after dropping them off to school, "Love you! Thank you for understanding me!" There was an emoji in there somewhere too. :) Her and I butt heads 90% of the time but goodness, I love this girl-so very very much.
Trying my hand at journaling again...how many times have I said this in regards to this little blog?! Without going into too much detail, since it is late and I still need to roll out cinnamon rolls for Mike's seminary class in the morning, I will just say that I completely grateful for hitting rock bottom-or maybe right under rock bottom. Sounds very strange, I know. However, it's true. I don't think I have ever hit it quite like I did recently. However, it didn't take long to snap out of it and move on. I give thanks to my husband and my sister for that-and my Heavenly Father. Life is freaking hard-no if's ands or buts about it. I just looked back at my last post and chuckled a little-oooohhh, life was so different for a few short months. Anyway, I digress a little. Today, tonight I feel like I may burst with gratitude. Did something in particular change about our life? No, haha, no it didn't. But, I changed or am changing and it feels...incredible. I can't even describe it really but I want to scream it from the rooftops! So, this is my rooftop tonight. I AM SO GRATEFUL!! God is so good-even when life is so hard. I am so grateful to know where I came from, to be here-to have chosen to come here knowing good and well that it would be insanely difficult-but that I, me, myself, still made that decision because I knew how great it would be after I made it through, I knew that it would all be worth it-every heartache and struggle and sin/mistake-every bit of it would be worth it...and again, that it was MY choice. Even more grateful for a Savior who even made that an option for me to choose from. My heart is so so so full tonight. And it feels so good.
P.S. Also so grateful for that cute bunch ^^^^up there-love them to pieces.
So, there is some to catch up on-one thing really.
Last August Mike lost his job.
In the midst of the job that he had he'd been helping start up a company. They put all their effort into getting that up and going. While doing that, looking for employment. No pity party here though-we've been so incredibly blessed in the meantime. We have been watched over and have seen the hand of Lord in so many ways throughout this whole time. We've seen the goodness and love of so many-our hearts are so full. Well, Mike got a job and started yesterday! I'm not sure it's THE job but it's a job and there is room for growth. It's a job of learning-which Mike loves-and he is working for really good people. We're just super grateful! The kids were extremely excited on Sunday when we told them. Makinley must not have been listening because today she said something about Daddy and a job and I said, "Makinley, Daddy got a job." She says, "He did?! That took a long time! Now we can go to Disney World!" Me (laughing): "Not quite yet sweetie, but we certainly are closer to being able to." Love that little girl!
Heavenly Father is so good, and so aware. We feel like this will allow Mike the time to continue to help build this other business and bless our family, and the company he is now working for. The Lord has tested our patience and faith in ways that I didn't think He would or that I would be able to prove myself. I also know, that while our ride here in Alabama has been an extremely crazy and trying one, I'd do it all over again-every bit of it. It's through the trials and tribulation that we learn and grow, not only as individuals but in our relationship with our Father in Heaven as well.
I have have always had a love for photography. I've loved it because for my entire life I have had a terrible memory. Anything that I remember is usually remembered because of a photograph. If there isn't a picture, chances are, I have no recollection of it. I love what a picture can capture, the things you didn't even notice in real life. It is fascinating to me. Anyway, I am trying my hand at for real now. Luckily, I have family nearby to let me use them as practice-and they get lucky with free photos out of it! I was quite pleased with these, for being my first real "family" photos. I have a lot to learn still, in the taking of the pictures and in the editing department as well. It's so much fun though, and I loved seeing how excited the family was with how they turned out. I do need a name for my little "business" if you will-any ideas out there?
We spent some time outside today after school. It's been so cold here (yes, in Alabama) and today was so nice that we stayed out until dinner. Snapped a few pictures of our little ones. They're growing up so fast. Big and beautiful!
"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part- or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else." M. Russell Ballard