Friday, March 8, 2019

Death by Winter

Okay. I'm ready to call "time of death" on winter. The cold is just bragging now, taunting me with lies that she is here to stay. Did someone tick Elsa off or what because they need to go find her and apologize.

I know that I feel this way every year. It's not brand new information. Winter mildly creeps in around December which is festive and full of holiday cheer. In January, we hunker down after the holidays and settle into a cozy month of rejuvenation and relaxation after a month of hustle and bustle. A snow day is a welcome invitation to spend time inside with family, a good excuse to curl up with a book, or binge watch a new series on Netflix. By February, it's beginning to overstay it's welcome. We secretly publicly complain because we're tired of scraping our windshields after work or pretending we didn't slip on the ice in front of a slew of people outside the grocery store, but we know that technically, February is still winter, and it hasn't taken its full turn yet. But by March. Get out. You've overstayed your welcome. We are sick and tired of bitter cold days, ANOTHER snow day to make up, influenza A, the stomach flu, strep throat, winter coats, kleenex, hand warmers, inside recess, icy roads, dirty cars, shoveling snow, walking inside, etc. etc. etc.

Jesus make it warm!!!!

Okay. I'm finished complaining. I just needed to let it out.

Here are some things I'm loving about these icky cold months:

*Our bond issue passed! We will be building a well needed high school starting this spring/summer.

* Watching my nephew play basketball

*Cousins giving love after a wrestling tournament

*a trip to Chicago with my family

*Meeting Arley Jo- two of our dearest friends' baby

*Getting asked to be a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding

*A good book to cuddle up with when it's cold

*The new dressers Dan is building us for our bedroom redo

*Our girls' day making blankets

*Jaedyn's choir concert with a whole bunch of 'Greatest Showman' references

* Finding these gems of what my kid is searching on the internet. Some days I am literally dying of laughter. Others have included: How can I put my self up for adoption? and Why do I toss and turn all night?

* Jaedyn and Dan's 12 year adoptaversary- grateful is an understatement

Crossing my fingers that the snow and ice misses us completely this weekend. A few more bumps in the road the next few days, but otherwise the 10 day forecast looks a little warmer I think, so hopefully the next time I'm on here, we are cruising into spring!

Happy Weekending!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wednesday Wonderfulness

That was the temperature that showed up on my wind chill screen this morning in the middle of the night when I rolled over to check the time. BRRRRRR! When I woke for the day, it said -39, so we're headed in the right direction. I gotta say. My soul doesn't feel like it was made for the cold, but then again, I don't know if it's made for a season of 100 degrees and humidity, so I'm going to refrain from my "it's time to move to Florida schpeel". The grass is never greener on the other side. I know I know. 

I will say that I'm loving a day off in the middle of the week, despite knowing we have to make it up at the end of the year. We get a break AND there's no snow or ice to deal with, and I pretty much am forced to hole up inside my house with my family, my tea, and a good book. Oh ok. It's rough man. Gotta tell ya. Maybe Jesus knew that the 3rd grade teachers were going to lose their everloving minds if we didn't get a little reprieve. Who knows? Either way, the break is a welcome one.

Although it's been nice and relaxing, I won't say it's completely devoid of productivity. I've done a few loads of laundry, done half a workout, listened to two podcasts, did my gratitude journal, cleaned up my kitchen, and when I mentioned that I was going to make myself a cup of Blueberry muffin tea (yup it's a thing. Click here.), my boys of course heard I was making blueberry muffins. So when there weren't muffins on the stove exactly 18 minutes later, there was almost a revolt, and with no muffin mix or blueberries in the house, pancakes and sausage had to suffice, and so I made those too. 

Currently on my third cup of tea/coffee, and waiting to venture out in the cold to take my boys to the rec center (hopefully it's open). Trying to find ANYTHING that isn't a screen. Amiright moms? Trying to find other things in the winter for my boys to do besides be on a screen is HARD. Unless you are willing to do it with them, and sometimes I just don't. Throw me your ideas mamas. It takes a village.

Anyways. Just popping on here to wrap up our January. It's been quite nice. Not terribly busy, but I gotta say we are getting bored with the cold weather. Not having our Saturdays filled with sports has made it quite low key. Next month we head to Chicago for our family Christmas get away (pray for warmer temps), and we get to meet little baby Arley Jo DeWit. Can. Not. Wait. 

Our January in photos:
Bridal fair for our newest bride to be :)

A brief lunch date with Drew who came home from LA for a quick minute

Battleship for BASIC at the pool

Dan being recognized by the Hospers fire department for 11 years of service on his retirement

Dan and I took a class called FRAMED by one of my favorite bloggers- Kelle Hampton You can find her on Instagram as @etst Such a fun time getting creative with our new camera that we got at the beginning of this month. It's been a fun hobby to unpack with Dan.

Negative space assignment

Layflat assignment (photo cred: Dan)

Finishing up our wrestling season with a 2nd place finish. He has just blown me away with how much he improved this year. So much fun to watch.
Hoping you are staying warm and cozy, and if you live in a warmer climate, please send help (or at least some warmer temps. :) )

Sunday, January 6, 2019

New Year Same Me

Happy (six days late) New Year!! I hope this finds you well....renewed and refreshed from the busy holiday season. We are back into the swing of things and jumping into 2019 feet first. It's been a semi-different start to the year than we are used to. Jaedyn won't start AAU volleyball until Freshman basketball finishes in February. She's used to starting right when they come back to school. I think she'll like having a little extra time to herself. Carter opted out of AAU basketball this year, so we are only doing the wrestling thing right now. It's strange having only one child's activities to go to at a time. I'm sure we will survive. ;)

In years past, I have always ended the year with reflections from the year before and intentions for the year to come. This year, I just didn't have the words on my mind to sit down and do it. Not for any other reason than we were just enjoying our break together. We had no big plans other than a few Christmas parties, but other than that, we just enjoyed time spent relaxing and being together. This has been a challenging year for me in school, and so regrouping and relaxing was at the top of my list of things to do over this break.

But I'm here now. Still don't have well formulated thoughts, but we will throw them up on here and see what comes of it. As I was thinking of ways to describe 2018, I initially felt pretty indifferent about it. It wasn't great. It wasn't bad. It just was. And then I thought to boring. Is that an accurate representation of how our year went? So I made a list of all the things that happened the past year (using pictures from social media of course because I can't remember a darn thing), and what I actually found was that our year was pretty friggen good- full of lots of memories and trips and time with friends and family, and I thought to myself how much anxiety and the busyness of life can alter our perceptions on things. It reminded me how thankful I am for the ability to document our lives with pictures and words and string together meaning from our every day lives. Perspective is everything, and I definitely need to find it on a regular basis.

Here's our year in pictures:

Wrestling meets for Sawyer

Impromptu murder mystery date with this crew

Volleyball tournaments for Jae

Basketball tournaments for Carter

A trip of a lifetime with Shelley to the Dominican

An excursion day

lots of volleyball played during the day

Threepeat state qualifiers

Hard fought battle in the championship

AR Workshop with the Wolfswinkel girls

AR Workshop with the "Schelling" girls

Middle School Retreat at Hidden Acres

RFKC leadership retreat in the Black Hills

Leadership team plus spouses

Jaedyn's last middle school dance using the convertible borrowed to us by the generous Den Hartogs.

Taking said car on a date to Kulinary Kings in Rock Valley

Annual Shopping weekend

Couples weekend in Kansas City

Going to Wicked with Jaedyn

Johnny Holm in Sioux Center


Baseball for both Carter and Sawyer

Family trip to the Black Hills

Lots of cards

Family Hike

ATV rides

Cliff Jumping

Trip to Denver with Sabrina and Dan to visit Shalee

Shalee's apartment

Tandem bike rides to taco bars

Hard hikes with stellar views

Bronco stadium tour

Melissa's birthday celebration

Year 5 at Royal Family  Kids Camp

Family date to BWW and a Canaries game

Adult weekend to the Ozarks

First day of School: Jae- 9th, Carter- 7th, Sawyer-4th

Jae's 15th birthday bash in Okoboji

Last boat ride of the season

Titan football for Sawyer

7th grade football for Carter

Freshman volleyball for Jae
Ozarks with the family

Old highschool friends reunite

Harry Potter party

3rd grade Halloween costume- The Price is Right

Cutting down the tree

Annual neighborhood girls's sleepover

RFKC Dinner and Dessert Auction

Jae's first high school dance

Christmas with the best

Friendsmas at Blue Mountain

Wolfswinkel Christmas

Korver Christmas

Schelling Christmas

Our Christmas

Not too shabby now that I look at it.

So what's to come for 2019? I'm sure there will be challenges. There will most certainly be lots of good, and the question is who do I want to be in 2019? What do I want life to look like?

Well, for starters. I want to make sure I'm taking care of me. My body, mind, and soul. I've done some excellent ground work in 2018- gratitude journals, listening to podcasts, reading books, and filling my feeds with people who will help me grow. Spending time in the mornings on my own- reading my devotions, meditating, taking a walk, focusing my mind on the day to come. Making time for my relationships-my family, my friends, and making room for new relationships as well. Was I perfect? Surely not. But it was a good start, and I'm excited to continue that work.

I don't have any resolutions. Resolving something means there is a problem to be fixed, and I don't want to look at myself as a problem that needs fixing, but rather showing up for myself in whatever ways I need to in order to become the best possible me in 2019. I'll continue spending that time in the morning on self care, feeding my body with things that make it feel good, moving my body in ways that allow me to feel energized and strong, refraining as much as possible from negative talk (from my self or others) about myself or others.

In 2019, I will continue show up for myself and my family. As my kids grow up, I'm finding that my role looks different to be their mom. I can no longer solve their problems by scooping them up and kissing their owies. I'm no longer "mommy" the hero. The one who can solve a problem by feeding them, changing their diaper, or putting them to sleep. I'm "mom"- the one here to listen, to offer advice or direction when necessary. To set boundaries and expectations, and follow through with consequences when needed. Hard conversations are prevalent and quite frankly talk about things that aren't necessarily the most comfortable. I play referee and maid, housekeeper and pocketbook. All without accolades or thank yous. Maybe I'll do another post on motherhood in the future, but let's be real, this parenting gig is HARD. It's hard watching your kids go through dark places and not be able to do anything but hold their hand through it. In fact, today in church, I literally cried the entire service. During one part of a song called "King of My Heart" there is a part that says "When the night is holding on to me, God is holding on." (Fast forward to about the 4 min mark) It is repeated over and over, and today I just wept. My kids are going through some dark places, and I can't fix it, and as a mama, that is hard. Dan is the only outlet I have. There is no talking about it in the midst of friends or family because these are not my stories to tell. My kids are old enough where they are able to vocalize when they need things to be kept private, and I have to respect that. So for me, this is new territory. It's hard territory.

All that said to say that 2019 will be a year of showing up not only for me, but for my husband. For my kids. Showing up, hunkering down, digging my feet in, climbing under the covers, and doing nothing more than walking the path with them. Reminding them that no matter what, I'm here. That they will never walk through the hard alone. They will always have their dad and me in their corner. And hopefully, when they think of me, they will feel home.

Where are you headed in 2019? My words for 2019 are Intentional and Show Up. What are yours? Drop me a line.