Tuesday, October 25, 2016

brain inspiration

I wrote about "mom inspiration" a few posts ago (about this great "Mom Conference" my sister put on...if you still want to listen to those great talks click HERE to find out how).  But now I want to write about "brain inspiration." (which mom inspiration is too...but a little different...)

Because I think life can get a little blah when you don't seek it out.  

It's so easy to get into the routine where you're on autopilot and seamlessly forget to give our brains a little to churn about.  To push them a little harder and a little deeper.  They say (I love when people say that because I wonder who "they" are who say such things...) but I have heard that we only use a tiny fraction of our brains.  And sometimes I just get this itching to open my brain up a tad more.  Especially when it seems like it's becoming more and more foggy (not sure if that's from getting older or from hashimotos/thyroid stuff or what), but when I get stimulated by new ideas or thoughts it makes my heart soar.

Lately I've felt like my brain has had a few things to ponder over that just feel so good.  For one I am pushing myself to read more.  For years I was a pretty deliberate book-club-member, but for the past couple years, since remodeling and moving and living in China, I feel like I've hit the reading pause-button.  Sure, I've read some great books here and there that have moved me and taught me, but not on a regular basis.  So I decided to get "disciplined" these last few months of my "one-word-deliberate" year and kick myself into shape.  It doesn't hurt that my friend chose a pretty interesting book called "The Aviator's Wife."

And right here there should be a picture but now my friend is reading my book so I'll have to come back and add one later.  You can bet there are tons of little page-turn-over things from all the things it gave me to ponder.

It made me think about who I want to be, who Dave helps me become, how a marriage shifts and changes through the years, how I don't want mine to end up, how important it is to push ourselves, and also to balance how we see ourselves, thoughtfulness in mothering, and how communication is so key...just to name a few.

I'm also trying to push myself to listen to more podcasts.  And I have a ton of thoughts on that that will have to wait because I have to run.

Just a few random thoughts for the day!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lake Powell 2016

There's a big chunk of my heart sitting over at Lake Powell.

Dave's too.

We adore that gorgeous spot probably more than any other spot.  

Cannot get enough of these vistas:
...that transform as the sun shifts:
...and these faces:

I grew up going there every spring with my family for Easter (back HERE, definitely not for the water sports...brrrr!) and Dave went a few times growing up too.  We loved it then, but it's developed into a pretty deeply loved place for our family through the years (greatly aided by the fact that we have some pretty great friends with houseboat connections).  We didn't take the kids when they were young and we had babies, way to scary for us.  But we went as couples quite a few times.  And the last few years it's turned into a whole family thing with a group of families we love.

And we've discovered that Fall Break is the perfect time to take advantage of all that beauty: perfect daytime temps (and the water really wasn't very chilly) and equilibrium evenings with the perfect amount of "crisp" to the air.

Our family arrived first this year and got situated after safely maneuvering Lucy into the houseboat in the marina slip.  We had quite a story when we arrived last year when Lucy fell in the pitch black night-time water near the boat...I wrote about it back HERE.  Needless to say, Lucy clung close to us the whole time and I'm pleased to report that she was completely safe and there were no red glasses lost or Leo-the-lions losing their fluffiness :)  

We played cards huddled all in a little room with the only light on (the generator wasn't working right) and then fell asleep until everyone else arrived lugging suitcases with excitement.  Love those reunions with all those kids.

We went to church from the slip the next morning.  I think this is the prettiest church commute:

It was a really, really good meeting (testimonies) and we were all pretty inspired by the messages shared.

We meant to get a group picture to commemorate all that beauty we were still feeling inside but this is somehow all we got:

We met up with the last couple families back at the boat and headed out to find the perfect spot. 

I'll let the pictures tell most of the rest of the story, but I'll just add right here that it was really different this year having these kids be the oldest:

Last year most of the college-age kids came, one couple who was about to get married and one couple who promised they were "just friends" who are now married as well:).  We also had a bunch of high school seniors and they were up all night with dance parties on the roof and all kinds of energy fun.

This year we missed those big kids so much and it seemed so quiet without them but it was kind of fun to be able to chill and relax with the younger ones and marvel at how big all our kids are getting.

 Lucy perfected card game after card game with any partners she could muster up.
...even the big dads who let her join for a few rounds...see her bum sticking out below?
(Two extra guys in that pic...Mike's brother Rusty who took such great care of us when we were dropping off Elle in Hawaii along with his friend showed up and hung out with us a little bit too.)

The kids found this gigantic plastic runner they decided to turn into a water slide.
 They worked their hearts out all afternoon one day to make their slide:

 ...and lugged water up to it in buckets and used our kitchen soap to make it slippery only to have them jump on to slide down and come to a giant halt.
 Haha, didn't work so well, but they had fun in the process so it all worked out.

Here's my girl showing me the ropes on how to get over to the little secret look-out spot around the bend:

Goodbye 'til next time, Lake Powell!
 Thanks for being so good to us!

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