Tonight you went on a dinner date with just you and Daddy. You have such a beautiful bond with him. I am so grateful for all the time Daddy invests in our family. He has such a love for Jesus and he pours that into each one of you. We are blessed to have him leading our home.
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Two sisters who are cut from the same cloth, woven together with such similar threads; yet each one beautifully unique. One is loud and one is quieter. One is a rule follower and one a rule breaker. One is reserved, while one is more outspoken. One is independent and one still seeks guidance.
Both loved abundantly and equally.
I've learned numerous lessons being their mother. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is not to compare. Honestly, this can be very hard at times. Like wanting your more reserved child, to step out and be a leader. Or asking your more boisterous child to be still and quiet. So often we have expectations of our children. Sometimes these expectations are based on what we see other children doing; how they are performing or behaving. It is so important, as parents, to remember that each child is completely unique. One may be capable and strong in areas that another may never be.
God gives us each our own individual strengths. We should each strive to learn how to utilize these gifts for His glory. I love the differences I see in each of our children. They remind me that He carefully created each of us in such a special way. It is fascinating to look at each person and see the beauty in their individuality. I want our children to know that I love each of them and that I want them to be nothing other than who they were created to be.
The life of soccer siblings.
This photo captures the life our children have grown to love during soccer season. Our team families have spent countless practices and matches together at soccer complexes around our state. The siblings, who are not playing soccer, have become the best of friends as they wait for practices or games to finish. The kids play on the field sidelines, play-park sets, or wherever they can find room to run. These team families have become like family to each of us. It is something special. I am so grateful that our younger children enjoy this time at the fields. They may never know if Big Sissy won or lost; but they have a great time while waiting and always ask when is the next game.
There’s something emotional for me about seeing these five together in a frame. Family knows us in ways that some never will. My husband has seen me in some of my most ungraceful moments; moments of selfishness, moments of hurt, and moments of fear. My children have seen me in my most impatient hours; tired, worn out, and irritable. And these realities; they go both ways. It's a constant yo yo of love and forgiveness. It’s not from lack of love; but simply humanity filled with our imperfect and selfish ways.
Family can often be the people that we hurt the most; yet, at the same time we love them with the deepest and most crazy love. It’s incredible to know love like this. Pure and unconditional. I believe love and life are both made up of the imperfect. People. Memories. The mistakes and stories waiting to unfold. The struggles and successes merge together to create a life that we will one day look back on.
Many days, I hurt my family and in turn they hurt me. We are all weak and imperfect on our own. But, each new day is adorned in grace and mercy. Each new day, we have the chance to come before God and ask Him to help us be more like Him. Each trial we go through on our own, or as a family, gives us a chance to seek Him. He brings light to the dark. And because of that, I humbly thank Him for this imperfect life and for these imperfect people to love and grow with.
The time change means soccer practice is now under the lights. I wasn't sure how I would like you having soccer practice for the competitive team twice a week for two hours each night, but I have really learned to enjoy this time at the field. Not only do I love to watch you play; but it has been good for me to have time to just sit, to socialize, or to read while you practice. I've really learned to find value in the times we are just still. Time to build relationships or time to restore ourselves are both wonderful things.
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” –Mary Jean Iron
This week I will celebrate another year of life. Birthdays have become bitter sweet for me. I am so grateful for another year of health and life, yet there is a part of me that is also a bit nostalgic.The years seem to pass with such speed. As children we tend to race from one year to the next; and then, all of the sudden, we realize the urgency to appreciate each day we are gifted.
On Sunday,we gathered with all of our family (aunts, uncles, cousins) at Mimi and Popi's house for dinner. You could say this is our “ordinary”, as Mimi and Popi host us almost every week for Family Night Dinner. I couldn't help but pause and be so grateful for this normal. Admittedly, life with 10 adults and 10 children is not always perfect. We all have our differences and there are times where grace is lost, but I see so much beauty and love in each of them. I thank God that we can experience life together. Having one another to share the celebrations, the sorrows, and the everyday is certainly a treasure.Please, normal day, "let me never pass you by in the quest for some rare and perfect tomorrow." Let me see the beauty in each moment, each day.
I love that we are surrounded by family. I love that you can walk to see your cousins, your aunts and uncles and your grandparents. After living away for so many years, I will never take this for granted. I hope you all don't either.
We stayed at the Animal Kindgom Resort at Disney for your birthday. This morning, you woke up sick. You stayed in bed and enjoyed the pretty view until you were feeling better. I am so thankful that you started to feel better and got to have a little time at the pool before we left.
I love our family night dinners with all of the cousins, aunts, uncles, and Mimi and Popi. This simple weekly tradition is such a blessing. I love that your cousins are some of your very best friends. Family is such a gift to never take for granted.
Today was opening day of Gator Football. Daddy took the two of you to the game with Uncle Rusty and the girls. You met Mimi and Popi there. Sadly, the rain and lightening cancelled the game. Thankfully, there will be more games for you to attend this season. Go Gators!
Today we went to Aunt BB's house to paint with the cousins. It wasn't long before everyone was a mess and running through the sprinkler. I can't help but think of how all the little girls look up to the big cousins. You probably have no idea the influence and impact you have on these precious girls, but you do. It really is a blessing to grow up so close to family. I pray you will never take this for granted.
We had a play date today with the cousins. As I started to watch you all swim, I realized with eight of you, and one of me, I was definitely outnumbered.