Sunday, September 22, 2013

Where dreams come true

I cannot believe I'm about to say this... but I sent my only daughter, my little princess, my girly girl made of sugar and spice and all that's nice to Disney World... without me! I'm thinking this is equivalent to missing first steps and words and such.

Now that the self-loathing is out of the way, I can write about her exciting trip to the "princesses' houses". 

She would have the greatest adventure with CaCa and Rachel... this I knew first hand, having spent every summer of my life with this special cousin who pours and pours into those she loves. I was confident they would have a special trip and that Grace Louise would be in the most loving and safe hands. We were thrilled for her and loved receiving texts and pictures throughout the day!

When she got home, a giddy and napless Grace Louise spouted off all her favorite events- the roller coaster ride (that was admittedly a little scary at first), meeting all the princesses (Ariel was her favorite), and getting a special treat (Disney suckers).

These first few pictures are from Friday evening in their hotel room. They stayed at the Art of Animation Hotel at Disney and picked a mermaid room!

 Waiting for the ferry!

 Cooperate for the most important picture of all? Nah!

 Loves her honey, just like Pooh.

 Safe to say her first encounter with characters wasn't a hit. The stepsisters have a bad rap and she knew it! She wouldn't even let them sign her autograph book! Doesn't look like Anastasia was too impressed with Grace Louise either... hmph.

 Dumbo is her fave!!!

 "I'm not taking my eyes off of you, Snow White."

 Then she softened up...

 Cinderella taught Grace Louise how to sit like a princess,
or at least fold her hands like one.

Princess Grace Louise offered her own time signing autographs for those who might be interested.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Barn Games

I haven't posted much about our experience as horse owners, mostly because I haven't taken many pictures at the barn.  I'm usually busy keeping my kids alive or vacationing from them on a nice long trail ride. 

Remember Honey? Well we became her official owners in April and are boarding her at a local stable. Grace Louise is honestly equally interested in the barn cats, so this investment is mostly for me. And I truly do enjoy it. 

We practice a natural horsemanship approach, trying to make our interactions with Honey mutually enjoyable. One of the games we play with her is called The Catching Game. This game establishes a bond between horse and rider and promotes loyalty. Here's how it goes down… we join the horse in the arena and remove the halter and lead rope. Someone else joins me and standing at opposite ends of the arena, we encourage the horse to get on the move.  I represent the sweet spot for Honey. The other person, and all other space in the arena, can provide no security or rest for the animal. So as the horse runs around, trying desperately to find a place of rest away from her sweet spot, her efforts are futile. We keep her moving by swatting a training stick and string, until finally she turns to her owner, makes eye contact, and comes in. I back away slowly, and she's committed. I let her come to me, reward her with rest, and from that moment, she is glued to my side. With no strings attached (literally) she follows me at any speed, in any direction. Ah ha! She says. By my master's side is the place to be!

Oh my goodness if you can't already see the spiritual parallels…

After the first day of playing this game with her I could not stop thinking of what God was speaking to my heart. You may run around, attempting to find security in this or in that, but you will always come up empty. And you will feel like you are doing exactly that... running. I love you too much to allow you to find rest and wholeness apart from me, God says.

Isn't that a great picture? God wants our eyes on him, our trust in him. He wants our affections and our loyalty. He wants our hearts. And He won't relent until He has it all. Oh, friends, isn't he most deserving?

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. -Isaiah 55:2

Saturday, September 14, 2013

13 Months

 I'm sure I won't keep up with Jamesy's monthly birthdays now that he's the big 01. But I actually just got around to writing his birthday letter this week. Some words from my heart and a few special pics of my boy who is 13 months today...

Can I count the ways you melt my heart and make me smile? Your big toothy grin is simply the best. Your dimples will go down in history! The coy way you still tuck your head and the clicking you do with your tongue. You are so proud of this trick! Your laugh is contagious and you love clapping hands and silly songs, especially “this little piggy”.  I love the way you “jump” while sitting cross legged on the bed; when you lay your forehead on the floor, frustrated and not getting your way; when you lay your head on my shoulder and even in the pitch dark, find my face, and give me a kiss before bed. Your cute little crawl is fast and determined and your favorite word is "this". You bring so much joy to us, our sweet, special son. You are precious, one of a kind. I know that you are God's handiwork and His plans for you are good.

 Already mixing and pouring like his big Sis.
He loves the mornings we spend outside and never fails to get sandy and wet. 

 Because opening the door is just too easy. I love his determination. With or without clothes.

So big and already drinking smoothies. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

I have a list, yes, a literal list of things I would like to write about and pictures I would like to post and for the life of me cannot seem to make it happen. I have writer's block and children. Neither conducive to processing and sharing life through this medium. I rise before my family, but to spend time with Jesus, not to get on the computer… or touch the computer. Because that is too risky. I cannot and should not write things that other people might read at night. What is left of my brain in those hours is ridic. The time in between is precious for accomplishing the most important things, (namely giving my husband, children, and house my full attention) so alas, there really is no designated time for this. 

And as for the writer's block, I have no idea what has got into me. How hard is it to caption a picture? And truly, I am not writing for the masses here. I officially release myself from writing for the approval of others. So all irrational pressure aside, I am getting back on the horse and doing what Jesus said I can do. Humbly sacrificing each thought and offering up each part of my life to His glory. 

So there.