Thursday, August 28, 2014
I'm Listening To:
Priscilla watching a Barbie movie all by herself not sharing a blanket or her favorite chair because Lucy is at school and she is desperately waiting for her first day next week. Barbie movies erase all pains. Andrew is playing trains and occasionally walking over to the movie when he can't resist.
Athleta pants that I LOVE. I have found my groove living here in raining weather. I have begun to wear some sort of work out gear throughout the day. That way I am always ready to go on a walk or play outside in between the rain. Days of cute jeans, button up blouses and adorable flats have been put on hold for a bit.
My To Do List:
Menu planning. Pete's mom and brother are coming!! My sweet brother in law has 2 children, 1 I have never met. He is bringing his wife and kids all this way to hang with his cousins!! We are so excited!! And to top it off Pete's mom decided to join them. Lots of fun that must include good eating!!!
Getting used to getting up at 5:00 am again!! School is back, which means running at O' dark thirty is also back....Not sure I ever really will cross that one off my list.
I'm Currently Reading:
Which for me means mostly listening. I get to "read" a ton of books when I run but I do love holding a book in my hands too.
I have recently finished The Boys in the Boat, Praise God and Thank Him, Unbroken. These 3 were the best books I have had the privilege of reading. So very very good on so many levels.
I'm Thinking About:
I could really get out of hand with this one...my mind is so full of so many good things. But right now I am thinking about my attitude towards public school. I think I can say that this year I am actually feeling pretty good, if not great, about where we are this year.
Emily and Molly are in middle school together and even have the same lunch. We went to Molly's 6th grade back to school night and all her teachers were so excited to have another Melnick... they said such sweet things about Emily. That felt awesome. Emily had some challenging things come up in her schedule and she handled it beautifully. All these very real life things that happen in the course of growing up are happening to them right now and I am proud of those two beyond words . We have a long year ahead of us but I am so excited for these two right now.
The other 3 kids all had open house type events and everywhere we went the teachers and staff were just so loving. They really love these kids and know them. Parents know them and care about them. It felt so wonderful walking through the halls and hearing kids and teachers saying..."Hi, Lucy we missed you."
Things are not perfect. There are things I wish I could change..the kid telling Jack to get off his bars the first day of 2nd grade. What world is perfect though?? Ever?? Anywhere?? But the better part of that story lies in Jack's response.."These don't belong to you!" He stood his ground and the kid just turned and walked away. That was a big step for Jack. Jack is a compliant kid who does not always stand up for himself. He did this time and we were all very proud.
This small town public school is probably the way all schools used to be run. Teachers taught several of the kids parents even. We are blessed. I know it.
For the last 2 years the kids have been in public school and my guilt and disappointment in myself over not home schooling really made it hard for me to accept the whole scope of public school. I was angry at it...but it was not working for me. Everything had to shift. And it has.
I'm just working on being the best public school mom I can be...just like I used to try to be the best home school mom I could be. I'm here now. This is where I need my heart to be too...at least until I change my mind!!
I'm Praying About:
Pete's moms husband died and I know Pete's mom has a heavy heart.
Sarah and her family ..forever.
My kids, every minute of every day.
I'm Thankful For:
This summer, every last minute of it, the fun ones, boring ones, rainy ones, sad ones. This was a stand out summer for me in many ways. I have gained so much perspective on so many things. My approach to my pre-teen girls, my heart on public school, my thinking about being grateful for so many years of running. I feel like I may be growing up just a bit and it feels good.
I Love It When:
I plan on running 5 miles but feel so good I go for 6!!
What's Coming Up:
Priscilla starting Kindergarten and me being home with just Drew. To think of it makes me altogether happy and sad in the same moment. Happy to have my baby Drew all to myself. Sad to have my P leaving me for K. She is so ready to be at school like the rest of the kids and I think she is ready..I hope the world is ready for her.
Planning my trip to Anchorage with Emily for her birthday. Can't wait!
These are just a bunch of random pictures. My camera has been put up way to long. Time to bring out the camera no matter what!
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I recently read that most everybody thinks they have a book in them. Every morning when I'm running I write a new chapter in my brain. Yet I never seem to actually write anything. What would my running brain chapters actually have to offer anyone?
And why when I sit down to write in a journal or here on this blog the words won't come. The thoughts seem confused and nothing makes sense.
I do want to write my story. My own story of how I got to this place today. Not because it is a super compelling story, but just because it is mine and I will forget important parts of it...parts my girls will wonder about.
And then I look at just one day that I get to live and I feel like it is a story worth writing. Each day God gives us is a compelling part of our story...pain, rain, joy, frustration...it is our story and it is worth remembering.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Comparison Is The Thief of Joy -
Ever notice that??? You can have a great day with your family. Come home to a simple dinner and afterwards have a moment of just feeling great...what a day!!
Finally you get the kids to bed and open up some sort of social media app and see that your friend actually spent the day in Hawaii with her gorgeous kids, who look really clean, prayed together at adoration before going on their twilight hike to have their organic picnic!!
All of a sudden your sweet little day and dinner feels...lacking!
I'm going to be super honest here...where do I struggle with comparison?? My family size and school choice!!!....and pretty much everything else...the food we eat, the place we live, the rain that falls....
Mostly I want to be a really good catholic mom and for whatever reason in my mind that means I need to have 10 kids and home school...anything less than that feels...less.
But here I am..not having 10 kids ....and not home schooling anymore. So compared to my own definition, I am not a really good catholic mom. Never mind the fact that in my description of 10 kids and home schooling I never look beyond those 2 check marks. I have never given depth to that description because what did it matter, I was neither of them. I could not feel joy as the mom I am with my kids in public school because it did not fit with my comparison of my own picture of a good catholic mom.
Now...I have known many amazing catholic moms that do not fit the description I created for myself. Actually only 2 of the catholic moms I know fit my above mold...most other amazing moms I adore are also unable to check both boxes. But that was ok...for them. I was not looking to make a ranking system of good catholic moms. Just a ranking system for me compared to others. My point is I realize I struggle with feeling joy because I compare myself to others.
When I read that quote above I was truly moved. That's it!! That is what I do to myself. I allow the accomplishments of others to take away my own joy. I do that. Others don't do that to me. I'm the one who takes my joy and contentment away from me. But it's silly. I can feel happy and accomplished as a good catholic mom because I strive to be that everyday..in my own way...in my own world.
You are viewing an insight into the most charmed young boy's life. Living here is a dream for my Jack. Everyday he wakes up he wants to fish..and pretty much everyday that is exactly what he does. EVERY. DAY.
We live down the street from a beach called Eagle Beach. He walks there every morning and catches himself whatever he's rigged up to catch. Right now the pink's are running and he can't get enough. He mostly catches and releases because he literally catches that many....way more than we could ever store or eat. Plus Alaskans are pretty snobby about which kind of Salmon they are willing to eat....when in Rome!
But this fish we did eat!! Jack was the proudest little guy around. He has become an independent salmon fisherman this summer and life is good in his world.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Sometimes we know people through people and it feels as though we really and truly know them. In Sarah's case I was lucky enough to meet her one hot summer night, in her home, with her people.
I had just moved to Virginia. I was pregnant and pretty friendless, maybe even feeling a bit sorry for myself. I had made friends with Ginny and met up with her family. She was so thoughtful, trying to get together whenever she could. Then one night she invited me over to her neck of the woods for a dinner out with her friends and then over to another moms house who was having a bunch of their home school friends over. She said her friend Sarah had read my blog knew that I was new to the area and asked Ginny to invite me over. I was in...I needed a night out and felt pretty special that this stranger cared enough about me being new to VA to invite me over to her house.
What a fun night. I met Ginny's friends, ate out in her downtown area at a super cute yummy restaurant. Then we all headed to Sarah's house. What an amazingly inviting host. She was a natural at making people feel like they absolutely belonged there. She had us all make bracelets from her amazing beads and we ate the most delicious food. And I do believe she was the cutest mom I had ever seen.
I was blessed briefly to have met her and I can only imagine the countless stories being shared about her and the way she touched peoples lives. A woman like her makes a difference to everyone around her and it is very painful to know she is gone.
I can't get her or her family out of my mind. I believe I will pray for them forever. This is the closest to tragedy that I have ever been. And it is sad.
They are raising money for her children and their future...which I can't imagine the heartache they all must feel. Please visit the site and give what you can.
I'm so sorry to anyone that knew her and will miss her in their everyday life. I'm so very sorry.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I may have mentioned one or a thousand times that it is super expensive for all of us to travel from our 9 mile long island. So this summer I planned a 2 day camp trip at the end of the road. This would be our family vacation. I have never really camped before...especially as the adult in charge of feeding and sleeping 6 of my own children. Who, by the way, think camping is the best and most easy way to spend family time...because they basically arrive and enjoy all the fruits of our labor.
I would love camping if I could also just show up...grab a hot cooked meal, have some drinks by the fire and nestle in my camp bed after a fun night of camp stories and songs. But, I'm the mom. That is not the experience I am able to have at the moment.
So, I embraced our 2 day adventure, chopped it down to one day and went all out for 24 hours of fun, family and fires. I think me stepping into the camp life for one day vs. two was a good decision. I loved every minute of the camp. I gave it my all and had a great time. Waking up in the morning was my very favorite part. Eating breakfast on my quilts by the fire was worth all the work we put into family camp.
Pete and I talk a lot about the charmed life these kids are living here in Alaska. A dream life for a kid really. We spend most days in nature. Jack spends every waking moment fishing, thinking about fishing, and waiting for the tides to change. Beauty is all around us. Freedom is given at will. And we have each other.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
"He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them."
This little verse appears in Luke referring to Jesus curing Simon's mother-in-law. Last night when I read this, after a long summer day of rain and 5 little girls spending the night, I could not help but snicker...
Of course she got up IMMEDIATELY and served...that's what we do right. We get up and wait on "them" immediately. We are in the middle of using the bathroom and we get called to "wait on them immediately".
We get woken up because a toe hurts and we jump up to "wait on them immediately".
But then I realized before she waited on them..she was given a grace. The grace of healing, not to mention the grace of being in God's presence. And we get that too. We get the grace to serve well before we are called to serve. In the moment it may not feel grace filled...but He is there standing over us, rebuking the things that feel to heavy to bare on our own.
The picture I have in my mind is of Jesus standing over a mother, she feels sick, tired, and hopeless. Jesus is there with Simon, who will one day be the start of our holy church, and the 2 of them help this mom regain herself. Christ and our church heal her. And the first thing she does is "wait on them immediately". She can't wait to get back to being the woman He created her to be..a woman who serves and loves by doing.