Oh how I so want to be at the end of this get in shape race…but I am just beginning. And no doubt there will be so many lessons for me to learn and obstacles to overcome. I was challenged to take “before” photos of what I look like. I had done it before when I started crossfit and the results were amazing. Sometimes seeing is believing. And I have to say seeing these photos sure is motivation to get these shoes working.
I read this recently and felt so encouraged.
“When you are in the midst of the before it just seems like one big mess where the goal is to get through as quickly as possible and then forget so that you can focus on all that is pretty and fixed up. I forget that the Before has its own purpose, and it’s not to shame me. It’s to inspire and encourage me. Because all good change takes time. Good, important changes don’t happen overnight. And while we are in the midst of the hard work of changing, we can so easily forget how far we’ve come. And this is where the Before picture is your closest friend.The gross imperfection is part of the story. And if I leave that part out, I can’t fully appreciate how far I’ve come.”
So this journey begins (again). My first workout this morning was hard, and painful, and stretched my will to want to give up. But I have a greater goal in mind. One on a sailboat, being healthy for my kids, and honoring the body God gave me. So here I go… let the journey begin.
A 20+ year old dream in the making sits in our driveway. I have to pinch myself just looking out the back windows. To hear Rad’s squeals of pure bliss when he was driving away with a dream come true attached to his rear bumper made my heart skip beats.
We moved to the coast in hopes of raising our kids ON the water. Being near the sea only made us crave wanting to be ON it more and more. I married a sailor (who yes was in the Navy but had a bigger dream of owning his own sailboat one day). There has been lots of hoping, and praying, and searching for the right boat that we could sail together, even with little kids. To see a huge dream come true for Rad makes me speechless. And to imagine the adventures we will create as a family makes my heart sing.
My tough husband drove 2300 miles up and back arriving in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to get the boat. 17 1/2 hours straight driving up one day, and 24 hours of driving over 1 1/2 days back. One hotel night and then one overnight in a sleeping bag next to his new outboard motor in the car, and lots of coffee and hard boiled eggs. He bought it from a 79 year old man who was the second owner and had owned it for 20 years. Many of that man’s memories happened on that boat. Rad said he was sad to see it go.
The boat in all it’s glory looks much different on the water than it does folded on the trailer. It’s arms fold out and between them are huge net trampolines. Rad has to practice getting it unfolded and the mast up several times on land before he can get it on the water. We are going to have to get these boys working in the yard during the week so we can spend our weekends on the boat. I CAN’T WAIT!! To see my husband living out his dream is going to be awesome!
Here is what the boat looks like when it is set up
Cousin time is always awesome, especially when my sister’s kids and my kids get to meet one of their cousins for the FIRST time! My sister and I had never met our 13 year old nephew either!! My sister came for a visit for a few days and my half brother was driving back home and had a stop over in Savannah to catch up. The timing was perfect. And seeing all the cousins together was so sweet.
I want to make sure I am teaching my sons how to create great friendships. Because we homeschool, we have to be really purposeful about taking the time to invest in people. It would be really easy to just stay home in our little clan and not interact with many people. Jesus teaches us to love on his people. And how do I teach my kids that if I am not doing that myself? I want my life to be more about Him and less about me. I have a long way to go and am so glad that these kids are my motivators.
Thankfully Gress and Mcree have some fun friends that are always up for adventures. This last weekend one of Mcree’s little buddies had a birthday party at their cabin in the woods. Rad took the boys up and they all camped out. Gress got to go along to hang out with his buddy too. It was meaningful time with Rad, the boys and other dads and their sons. I am so thankful for friends that invest in our family too.
And just for fun, the boys have been into “working out” lately which ALWAYS makes me laugh out loud. Here is Gress and Mcree trying to teach Mabry how to do a push up.
It’s been a little over a year since we moved into this house. Somehow life just took over and we put a lot of renovation and decorating on the back burner where it currently still sits. People still ask me how the house renovation is going. I just smile thinking of all the things we still have yet to do but happy to know that all the to do’s can wait until we know exactly what we want and have lots of time to do them (ha!). I remember walking through the house the first time we saw it and thinking I couldn’t live in such a dark house. I had no idea how much light would fill this house and it is constantly moving from room to room all day. That is my favorite part.
Here is a sneak peek of the boys room before and after. It is still a work in progress but luckily it is almost done.
And I know you are curious if the boys jump off their top bunk. Oh you bet they do. There are some photos at the end for your viewing pleasure.
Our boys love to work…and if you give them a saw, or a power tool and tell them fire is involved they will work all the more. And luckily for us we have friends with boys that like to work and play and shoot things up just as much as ours do. Some of our friends even like us so much that they let us borrow their boys ALL day so we could put them to work clearing out our forest. At one point, I looked out the back door and all the boys were screaming with excitement as Rad had a chain strapped to a dead tree in the back and was about to yank it out of the ground with his 4 wheel drive. I love to watch these boys work, especially together. I love to watch another dad teach my boys the art of bow hunting. And I love the investment we are making now to hopefully create hard working men. I know first hand what a gift that is to have a husband that will work hard to accomplish something and isn’t afraid to try things he has never done.
And I bet you wonder what the girls are doing while these boys are working so hard. We are watching, and smiling….and often we are getting dirty too. Mabry loves to be right in the middle of the excitement and isn’t afraid to get just as dirty as those boys get. Lucky for us she loves the outdoors just as much as we all do.
This week has been FULL of distractions. Great distractions. But distractions that make it hard to stay focused on math, or reading or to fully engage in real learning. And just when I say that last word out loud…learning…I realize that there is no better learning than my boys engaging in what is taking place around us. For the last 2 days our neighbor and his tractor have been grading our driveway and paths in preparation for gravel. Can I get a hallelujah. For anyone that has been to our house, you know the amount of dirt we have to drive and walk through to get to into our house.
So many things I have loved these last 2 days. Watching Gress’ work ethic and how he is so ready to help out moving huge bricks, wood, and pavers and as I look out the back door now he is now helping hand grade a mound of dirt. My neighbor has a full time job but he started a landscaping company over 20 years ago because he loves to work and grew up helping his grandfather work hard. You can tell it is a passion of his and I LOVE that my sons get to experience that. So if either of the boys turn out to be a tractor driver, landscape architect or dump truck driver…I will know exactly what moment sparked that in them. My neighbor has gone above and beyond for us and we are truly grateful for his skills, his appreciation of boys that love to be involved, and his willingness to expand the original scope of our project to something so much more amazing.
It is freezing outside. Too cold for us girls. While the boys are busy outside playing in the gravel and learning about tractor driving (another post for another time) I decided to steal some photos of this cutie pie. She thought the pom pom on her dress was a napkin, or a snack, or liked the way it felt on her tongue. She loves to look for squirrels out her bedroom window and will make the funniest animal noises at them. She makes my heart smile.
What do you do on your second day back to school? You go on a field trip of course. We jumped back into school work Monday after being off a few weeks, and well, we just needed to be in the sunshine instead of at our school table. So we headed to the farm where so many teaching lessons always take place. We hiked, and explored, and played under the sunshine. We went on a gator ride (aka glorified golf cart) in search of a 1 day old baby calf and we laughed with our good friends. “It was awesome and the best day ever,” says 2 boys. And I have to agree. Time with our farmer friends fueled us to get through our first week back to school.
And in case you were wondering if Luna herded cattle….we are saving that lesson for another day…or never. She was happy to just frolic with her new dog friend!
My cup is already full as we head into the New Year. We celebrated New Year’s Eve at our neighbors while we dined on delicious low country boil. We continue to be in awe over our many generous neighbors. And to carry on our family tradition, we headed to Tybee Beach on New Year’s Day to watch the Polar Bear Plunge. It is always entertaining to watch people (in costume even) run full steam into the freezing cold water. We also had a family day at one of the Wildlife Parks and it was fun to share that day with Rad. And then today, my heart is smiling big from time with the farmers. So many moments today filled my heart or made me laugh out loud. Boy do we miss them living closer. And tonight, the boys want to sleep outside for the third night in a row. They are giddy over it and no doubt fun memories are being planted in their hearts.
As we enter into this first week of the New Year, I have so many dreams of what this year will hold. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us.