Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hello, Goodbye

"The very nature of life is impermanent, yet we are constantly surprised at how things change. It is then that we realize to not take things for granted, to be able to appreciate the value of life, people and treasures of the heart. We must embrace the changes as opportunities to always value our joys." ~Sherry Petro-Surdel

I am perpetually reminded the older that I get that nothing is ever made to stay the same. Not only are we ever evolving and becoming new, but so are our surroundings- the people we spend our time with, the places we live, the activities we find joy in. For someone who actually doesn't mind change, this is a little scary for me. Not in the small things, perhaps, but in the more life changing things. The older I get, the more things seem to change on the more "life changing" end of the spectrum. This year has been no different.

For anyone who follows me or Dan on social media, you know that we recently moved within the last few months, and while this was a very necessary and positive change for us for many reasons, it was still incredibly life changing. Fifteen miles is all that separates us from the space we called home for the last nine years, but sometimes it seems like light worlds away. In fact, my husband would attest to the fact that the process of moving- from the moment we stepped foot into our current home during the showing until now- has been almost like going through the five stages of grief-for me at least.

I remember laying in bed knowing that I should be happy that we were finally going to be moving. Our lives would get exponentially easier. We would no longer have to wait in town all night long for kids to get finished with practices. No longer need to make several trips back to town in a week for church or to drop the kids off at a friend's house. We would already be there. That should have felt like a win, and instead it felt like I was grieving the death of a family member. I spent a lot of time crying and withdrawn.

Over the next few months, we would spend a lot of time frustrated that our house wasn't selling fast enough. We'd get our hopes up and then have them crushed. We'd spend too many hours cleaning and sorting and trying not to "live" in it to much, so the next time we had to show it, it wouldn't take so much time to clean. It was excruciating to be frank. However, it also gave us time to process. Instead of moving out in 6-8 weeks, we were given the gift of time. Time to spend with our friends. Time to do the things we loved to do in our little town during the summer. Time to slowly pack our lives into boxes and sort through years of memories.

Saying goodbye to our home was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It meant closing a chapter in our lives that we really didn't want to be finished with. On the flip side, I'm loving our new home. I love the ease of being in one place. I love that my kids have friends that they can easily spend time with. I love that my older two can walk to school. BUT... I hate that my brother and sister are no longer a block away. I hate that my nieces can't bike on over to our house for a hug and make memories with their cousins. I hate that my best friends are that much further away. I hate that I can't Bodypump with Melissa in the wee hours of the morning or text Dawn and say "Wanna meet for a walk in 10?" I hate that I can't run on over to Casey and Amy's to borrow a cup of cheese or swing on by for a spontaneous chat for 5 or 10 minutes just because I can.

With this move there was grief but also lots of happiness, but some of our hellos and goodbyes have just come with heartbreak. Lately those have come in the form of Sawyer's best friend moving to Illinois, Jaedyn's grandma being given less than 6 months to live, and anxiety and depression that just don't seem to give me a break.

Change is hard. Life is hard. But I'm figuring out that change is exactly the catalyst that it takes to grow and shape us into who we are and who we want to be. Not all change is bad even if it at times it feels as though our worlds are caving in. In fact, the one major component I have been forgetting is that gratitude is EVERYWHERE. I've developed tunnel vision for what I don't have or what I'm missing which is preventing me from focusing on what I DO have. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of change, I need to begin to focus on everything I have to be grateful for. I'm not in Hospers, but I am ONLY 15 miles away. It is my responsibility to keep my relationships a priority. The substance of our time together has changed, but it can still evolve into amazing things. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? If that's the case, then we will be just fine. I will be just fine.


I choose gratitude.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

#besomeonesvillage

Hokey Pete...it's been a hot minute since I've blogged. I even missed my 7 year old's birthday post. Poor kid doesn't stand a chance with his birthday being a few weeks before the end of the school year. I'll try to do a make up one soon! We can't have him thinking he's not loved.:)

Anywho, if there is one thing that I've discovered during this summer break, it's that I don't adult well. I'm clearly not meant for this stay at home mom gig. You stay at home moms are like super heroes in my book. How in the heck do you keep up with schedules, especially ones that change 57 times in a week? I feel like all I've done is clean my house for showings, ship my kids to and from camps and ball games, and do my best to get to the pool as often as I can. Being an adult is super stressful. We'll save that for another post.

These past few months, I've been working with a friend who has been trying to help me be more accountable in my fitness/nutrition journey. She's done everything short of kicking my behind into be accountable, and I tell you what. I'm a stubborn ass. I've never met anyone who has self sabotaged their own efforts as much as myself. I'm sure she is so sick of working with me. It wasn't until I stepped on the scale today after many weeks and realized that I had GAINED a pound, that I felt like maybe I'm still not being 100% honest with myself. I've done a piss poor job of being consistent in my workouts. I'm fairly certain that I don't log accurately with my food, and I'm realizing that besides a few reflecting pep talks from my coach and a few to myself, that I've ended these two months coming out more behind than I was ahead. In fact, I may be the only person she coaches that increases in inches when she measures me instead of loses.

So what gives?

Last year at this time, I was a hot mess of sadness. I was swallowed up in the thickest of my depression with no light at the end of the tunnel. I was drowning. I wasn't able to take care of myself or my children properly. I was a crappy friend. A crappy mom. A crappy wife. Worse than that, I didn't know if I cared that I was all those things. Well my tribe was phenomenal. They helped me see the benefits of getting help. They sat with me while I cried. They wrapped blankets around me and hugged me tight. They made me laugh. They took my mind off of my sad. They asked how I was doing. They knew when to talk about it and when to steer clear.

They showed up.

Now you may be wondering why I'm jumping from fitness/exercise to my depression. You may be wondering how in the world they even connect. I've learned that in fact every single part of who you are is connected. We can't extract one piece of anyone's journey and know their entire story. We are all a great many things with a great many pieces that are stitched together to make us whole. Both of these parts of my story are connected in more ways than one.

Last year, the fact that I had gained so much weight (literally) weighed down my soul more than life was already doing. I knew that if I could somehow get back to being active, my endorphins would kick in and I would be in a better place than I currently was, and hopefully, by default, the weight would come back off. It took an entire school year, but I had managed to lose 15 of the pounds that I had gained, and truthfully, even that felt like an accomplishment as this past school year continued to push my anxiety into overdrive. So here we are. Back to summer. Back to more time to think and reflect. Except this year, it feels like I have a little more control. I still get tossed into anxious and depressive episodes weekly, but they come and go a lot quicker. They aren't enveloping my entire being this year.

However, I still can't seem to be consistent when it comes to my health. This is so important to me because I want to have the energy and drive to be a go getter and live my life to the fullest. I don't need an extra load holding me back when depression/anxiety already take their turns beating me up. They don't need any help with that. With that being said, this morning, I couldn't get out of bed to run when my alarm went off at 6:00. So at 9:30, after trying to talk myself out of doing it for the 20th time, I stepped on my scale and was once again disappointed with myself. How many times would I have to feel that disappointment before something changed? Clearly, no one can do this for me. It has to be something I do on my own. By myself.

And then I thought, now wait a minute. I'm a firm believe in the fact that humanity is connected. That we all belong to each other. That being someone's village and being kind are some of the greatest powers that any single person can possess. So even though I need to physically do this on my own, to physically get my butt up and DO something about it instead of TALKING about it, that it's also okay to have a tribe that plays a part in getting you there.


If you are still with me here, you are a trooper. I'm going into stream of consciousness mode. I'm just typing my heart and my brain which is a very scary thing. Bear with me. I'm almost to the punchline. So as I was getting dressed to head out for my run, I thought, what if I served others as a motivation for getting my workouts in? What if every time I worked out, I did it for someone else. Would that push me harder? Would it make me get out of bed to do the job? It was worth a shot! So this morning, I thought of my friend Sheila and my friend Stephanie, and how their husband and dad was going into surgery today to get his foot amputated. I thought of all the pain and suffering he has gone through in the last few weeks physically and emotionally and how his family is mentally preparing to walk this journey with him, and I decided that today I run for Jon. So I did. And as I did it, I prayed for them. It made me think less of me and more about someone else. It felt pretty darn good.

So then I got home and I went to a couple of the fitness groups I'm a part of on Facebook, and I typed this up:

 So I've always bought into the idea that humanity is connected. That we all belong to each other. That whole "It takes a village" sentimental crap is right up my alley. 
😂😂😂 Anyways, a few years ago, I was really getting into the hang of this running/lifting thing, and then depression and anxiety came out of nowhere and put me into a tailspin. I stopped working out. I gained 35 pounds in a year. I ate ALL the chips and queso, and life seemed a lot less colorful. I'm SLOWLY turtle pacing my way out of this crap. Anyways, I can't seem to stay consistent with my workouts, but thought maybe if I had motivation to workout that came from somewhere outside of myself, I'd be more consistent. So.... That brings me to you. I thought that maybe if I did my workouts FOR someone, I'd push myself harder. This is out of my comfort zone, but I have nothing to lose so I'm just going for it. My goal is to lift/run/exercise for someone new each time I head into a workout. If you would like to add someone you love or yourself to the list, drop a line in the comments or send a private message, and tell me a little of their story. I'll make a list of your loved ones and work my way through it, sprinkling my tribe in there as well. Today, I ran for a man in our community that was riding his motorcycle and got hit by a car that accidentally pulled out in front of him. He is going into surgery today to get his foot amputated, and so today I ran for Jon.


And the responses started rolling in. I heard so many "me too's", and "I want to do this", and I am constantly reminded that we are connected. All of us. 

You guys, there is SO MUCH NEGATIVE on social media, on media in general. So much judgement and comparison. However, I have found that when I'm searching for negative, I find it ten-fold. Would it be the same if I was searching for the good? It is! I've tried! In fact there is SO MUCH MORE GOOD than there is bad. We just have to drown out the bad. We have to come out of the wood work and stop responding to bad. We need to share our stories and build people up. We need to tell others they matter. We need to show up and ask how we can help. 

So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to show up and push myself for someone every time I workout. I'm going to be someone's village. I'm going to tell them they matter. That's what life is about anyways isn't it? Showing up. Saying sorry. Trying until you get it right. People suck sometimes, but don't write anyone off. Everybody has the chance to start over. Heck, God gives us forever chances, so we can do the same for others.

If you'd like me to add you or someone you love to my list, let me know. You can comment below or send me a facebook message, or you can even send it to my e-mail: dmwolfswinkel@hotmail.com

Now go #besomeonesvillage.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Letter to My Ten Year Old

Dear Carter Dean,
Ten years ago I was terrified that I wouldn't have enough love to go around. I was so afraid of becoming your mother that I thought I’d have to love Jaedyn less in order to love you more. Boy was I so wrong. You came into this world, and you grabbed onto my heart and never let go. 

 I can’t help but think, how did we get here? How it it possible that now you are 10 years old? How did 10 years pass so darn fast? I have loved being your mama. Guiding you and loving you and letting you teach me all about life. I know you are not perfect, but I think you are so amazing. 

I know I don’t always get it right either. I yell too much, swear too much, and talk too much when I should just be quiet and listen.  My standards may sometimes be too high, and I often scold you for not being quiet or behaving when you are just being a kid. I am easily frustrated, short-tempered, and cranky, especially when I hear a hint of whine.  I’m working on it.  Some days I get it right, others I fall way too short of the mark.
But despite my shortcomings as a person and as your mom, I hope you never spend one day of your life ever doubting my love for you.



These next 10 years will go by even quicker than the last, but these will be the years that you will learn all the hard lessons and truths about the world. I want you to maintain your caring heart. Your heart will hurt. You will feel pain. The world and people will let you down and you will feel discouraged. But I beg you to not lose yourself on things that are meaningless. Do not allow life's mishaps to harden your heart. Pour yourself into things that are really, truly important and are capable of making a difference, even if it’s a small difference. Love people deeply and forgive them quickly. Keep finding the good in everyone, even in those who are overlooked. Don’t get caught up on things that are of this world and don’t measure your success by money. You are much more than what the world tells you you are. God wants to do great things through you. I know your loving heart will be capable of making big things happen. Your dad and I truly believe in you and your capabilities. You were given an immense amount of talents, so don’t compare yourself to others. It is really a killer of joy. Don’t be too quick to overlook the small miracles happening all around you, like a beautiful sunset filled with magnificent wonder. And always know that you have grace, that God always forgives and always loves you. Always.

Carter Dean, as you embark on the second decade of your life, I hope that you will never forget that you are indeed loved for exactly who you are right now and for the young man you are growing into.  We are your family and you will always be loved no matter what. This is the soft place you can land where you will always be OK, where you will always be welcome and you will always be loved — no matter what.  You are one of the most kind hearted and amazing individuals I have ever met and my love for you is unconditional, forever, and always. Happy Birthday buddy! You are so very loved.

~Mama






Saturday, May 7, 2016

11

Eleven years ago on this day, we said I do. On a hot spring day, in a church filled with many of our friends and family we committed to love each other no matter what. Legally, we were adults, but looking back on that day, we were still kids. We had no clue what we were in for, but we knew that we were in it together. Dan had already seen me through some of my worst life experiences- losing a grandma, parents getting a divorce, and (then as a newfound friend) getting out of an engagement with a boy who helped me bring my daughter into the world. He had seen some pretty dark days and decided to jump in anyways.

He was sweet and kind, considerate and caring, protective and selfless, and I was certain he was the right one for me. He loved my daughter and knew from day one that dating me meant dating both of us. Jaedyn would always have to be part of the equation. Anything we did centered around what was best for her. So on May 7, 2005,  I left my life with my daughter and stepped into our life with our daughter. Little did we know how much work marriage would be. We weren't just playing house, we were building our life together. Life. Singular. We were one unit. Three souls.

I had no idea what marriage entailed. I'm certain Dan didn't either. Marriage is one of those things, as I've found with teaching, that can't be taught or understood until it is lived. It needs to be felt and breathed. Sometimes it brings lots of happiness and other times it hurts. A lot.

In the first many years of our marriage, and even still sometimes today, it was easy to compare our marriage to those that "seemed" perfect. Social media, while great for many reasons, can also steal your joy if what you use it for is to compare your entire life to someone else's highlight reel. Nobody's complete story is plastered on Facebook or Instagram. Even if others want you to believe they have it all together, chances are they don't.

I struggled with the notion of a completely storybook marriage. One where both parties are always madly in love with no seemingly large issues. It seemed as though our marriage was an oddity, as we were so far from that picture perfect union. Today, however, I'm starting to feel like the marriages that last are the ones that are more similar to ours rather than the ones that seem perfect from afar.

Because we are used to swimming through tumultuous waters. We've even survived a few hurricanes. Despite near drowning fatalities, we've desperately continued to tread water and keep our heads above the surface. It isn't a pretty picture, but perhaps it's more realistic. Perhaps it's what keeps us together despite the storms.

Eleven years ago on this day, I married the man of my dreams. Is he still the man of my dreams? Well yes and no. Am I the woman of his? Well yes and no. We are far from perfect. So far from perfect. But we are perfect for each other. He's perfect for me because he shows up. He's seen me in my darkest moments and loved me anyways. He's tolerated me in my most unlovable moments and continued to hold my hand the next day. He supports my dreams and aspirations without fail and propels me forward when I'm ready to throw in the towel.

He makes me smile. Always. Even when I'm not in the mood. He's taught me that life doesn't need to be taken too seriously. His spontaneity has filled my memory bank with some of my most cherished experiences. He's continually modeled a positive, grateful life and taught me more about forgiveness, gratitude and love than I ever could have imagined he would. He's taught me how to roll with the punches of life and is able to say I love you in moments when I can't.

Our marriage has endured its fair share of ups and downs. We've had fights that are explosive, ones that are needed, and some that were embarrassingly petty. We've loved hard and fought harder. We've fought to keep our marriage alive. We've fought to make sure we didn't lose each other amidst the earthquakes of our life.  We seem to glide along seemingly well and then all of a sudden a storm will hit, and we fight, not to love, but to pass through the dark tunnel without letting go of each other's hand. We keep swimming. Keep paddling. Keep showing up. Sometimes it's me. Usually it's him. Sometimes it's both of us. But we don't give up. Sometimes I want to. Sometimes I need him to be my anchor and tell me that giving up isn't an option. No matter what though, we don't let go. We don't quit.

Being a mom and a wife have required me to let go of the word my and replace it with our. I've learned that people are more important than things and circumstances, and while it is very humbling, it is still a beautiful thing.

We are different from the kids we were eleven years ago. Our hobbies and interests have changed a little. We are constantly learning new things and becoming different people, but marriage isn't about being the same person. It's sharing our life together and knowing how to give each other space to grow and do things that fulfill their own individual part of the equation. It's messy and confusing. It makes sense that this marriage gig is a hard job.

Happily ever afters exist. It's just that, unlike the fairytales, you actually have to put in the work. Just like anything else in life that's worth it, you reap what you sow. My hope for our marriage is that we are still holding each other's hand 50 years from now, showing up every day and not giving up.

Dear Dan,
If you are reading this, know that I am incredibly thankful for your love and your selflessness. Thank you for showing up every day, when there are more days that I don't or can't show up for us. Thank you for listening to my needs and taking action even when my needs seem silly or small. Thank you for rolling over in the morning to hug me before you get up because you know I need that reminder that even though you aren't a morning person, you still love me. Thank you for coming to Sioux Center when our kids have activities so that we can be together as a family, even though I'm sure you'd rather be at home enjoying some quiet time. Thank you for promising to still love me when I get early onset Alzheimer's and pinky swearing that you won't put me in a home until I'm at least 80.

Thank you for being my anchor. My arrow that propels me forward when I'm stuck at the bottom. Your sacrifice and love is unwavering. It's steadfast. It's constant. It's everything that I never knew I wanted eleven years ago. I'm sorry I don't say I love you enough. I know there are many moments that I'm hard to love. I'm sorry I don't give you my best on a daily basis. But rest assured that I love you to the moon and back. That even when I'm at my most unlovable, I recognize what you do for this family and how much you love us with every fiber in your being. Thank you for being exactly what my soul needs.

Happy Anniversary to us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Art of Being Still

I've jotted down a billion different things over the last two months of things I want to blog about, but then time passes, and I'm so busy with life that I don't have time to sit down and the inspiration to write about them is gone. I wish I had the time to write. It's so therapeutic. It's become one of my greatest tools to deal with depression and anxiety, so in all reality it should be the first thing I turn to when life gets to be too much. I haven't, however mastered the art of just carving out the time to do things for me that actually help me. I'm getting better at saying no to things to simplify what I can in my life, and I'm good at saying I need to just sit and do "nothing" (which usually turns into mindless social media scrolling or watching TV). Those things are fine in small doses, but they don't do anything for my soul. They don't help me cope the way writing or reading other people's writing does.

I'm in a season of a little deja vu. It was near the beginning of 2015 when I started to become incredibly anxious. I wasn't handling the busy-ness of our schedules well. Our kids were very involved, and even though I have a supportive husband who is quite literally is the other half of this ship, it's been hard to navigate through the waters of this season of life. It's incredibly enjoyable and rewarding, and we wouldn't trade it for anything, but it's still that time of our lives where we are at our kids' beckon call and there is very little time to put ourselves first, even though it may be the time when we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves the most.

This time around, I'm still in the throws of anxiety. There are very few moments of the day when I don't have a ball welling up in my stomach for any given reason. I can't turn off my thoughts and I'm overwhelmed to put it mildly, but I'm learning from last year's me. I'm trying to keep up with an exercise regimen. I love lifting because it makes me feel strong. When I feel strong, I feel capable. I've lost about 15 of the 30ish pounds that I put on last year, so I'm going in the right direction, albeit very VERY slow.

Quite honestly, I feel like I'm being tossed around from anxiety to depression on a weekly if not daily basis. I find myself crawling into my bed as soon as I can or choosing not to do things I love because it's easier to do nothing. As relational as I am, it makes me a little sad that I can't find the excitement to be with my people....my tribe. I choose being holed up above being with people I love. Not always, but sometimes. I'm starting to fear that point of the year when school is over and summer is here. Last year, I thought that it would mean the end of my "funk" while instead it turned into the beginning of a diagnosis and a summer that was stolen by this disease.

The antidote? Probably more reflection. More making worthwhile time for myself-not to scroll social media, but to do more that makes me happy. More that makes the world a better place. More loving. More grace. More laughter. More living. An article was shared on Facebook last week that has amazing ideas to help those of us who need to take care of ourselves when life is a little too much for us. Have a gander at it. It has so many great ideas!

101 Selfcare Ideas When It All Feels Like Too Much

I know I'm definitely in good company when it comes to this aspect of life, so it's nice to know that I have a village.

Regardless of the anxiety/depression in my life. There's always ALWAYS something to be happy about. I've had many happies over the last few months. I'll share with you in pictures. :)

Getting another tattoo has been on my bucket list since I got my first one. I wanted something that embodied the depression and anxiety that I dealt with while having some significance. Because they were so small, I was able to get both of them done for a very reasonable price, so I jumped at the chance.
"Be Still"- a phrase I have used on myself often. I am always needing to remind myself that God does in fact have this. When I think it's all too much or when I'm overwhelmed or stuck in a pit of despair, God says I need only be still. Thank you Jesus for having my back. Now and always.

However, on this side of heaven, I have a wonderful family and a tribe that is next to none. The arrows represent my family unit. The anchor I got on my wrist a year and a half ago represents my tribe. They are those who love me daily when it's hard. When I have been pulled down into my darkest days or when I'm overwhelmed beyond comprehension, the arrows represent my family's ability to push me ahead. They help me see the light at the end of the tunnel and they keep shooting me forward. The anchor represents my tribe who daily keeps me anchored and grounded and centered.

I love that they all are in a place where I can see them. It's a daily reminder of how blessed I am, especially on the days when depression or anxiety make it hard for me to see it.

Traditional Johnny Holm Valentine's Bash

We're adorable.

We're missing the 4th muskateer. This photo makes me happy and sad at the same time. Looking through my phone, we've had very few get togethers with all of our kiddos so involved. I'm thinking we will have to go old school and start planning them in. I miss their faces when we don't see each other as often. Thank you baby Jesus for zumba (when it works) and Thursday night Girls' night!


The Muldertines....or the Valenders......I can't find a good way to mush them together. But I love this section of my tribe. I heart them mucho. We've had a good run at finding time to pencil in these first few months of the year. We are at the stage where we literally have to write a date on the calendar a month in advance or we don't get together. It's turning out to be a very useful tactic. I need to start implementing it with the other sections of my tribe. :)

Pedi date!!


Our monthly "game night" at Carnaval in Sioux Falls sans kids! This was take 324 I think. 


Our boyfriend Adam showed up for our date.

Happy SURPRISE 40th birthday...I mean 21st birthday to the gem in the middle. 

Snow in small doses or rather, the fact that as I'm writing, there is no more on the ground. I have fond memories of winter, but I'm SO SO SO glad it's gone. It can stay away too! Bring it on Spring!
I hate everything about this photo except for the fact that it meant two days off of school. :) It was a needed recharge of my batteries. 

Hope. This picture screams, I'M COMING! IT WON'T BE LONG! -Spring
Sledding with my friend and our classes at Inspiration Hills. We look cute so it can be a fond memory. No sledding for me because I don't want any broken ankles. :)

Easter Break with my family- always a hit. We may have toned down our need to do things that are traditionally Easter like dye eggs or do scavenger hunts, but we always find time to be together and make some memories. That's what's important.
Family love- Sawyer is enthused.

I don't know how many more of these we will get, but when I look at my Grandma, all I have are special memories of my childhood and adulthood. She is such an amazing grandma.

Making Easter treats with Grandma Pam

I love her Susie Homemaker Soul. I don't have it, but I'm sure glad my kids get to experience it.

Traditional Easter picture with Grandma Van
Wrapping up winter sports- It's bittersweet wrapping them up. I love watching volleyball, and I love watching my boys wrestle. Looking forward to baseball and softball though! That means summer is coming!
We will see what next year has in store. He really likes basketball, so I'm not sure if wrestling will stick. Either way, I have so much fun watching him when he loves what he's doing!

This little buddy is so fun to watch! He is always smiling. Someday he'll learn to get angry, and I'll see him pinning a ton of people, but for now, I love that he doesn't take it too seriously. I love that he enjoys the game- even if  that means he doesn't win every match.

Buddies since birth practically. I hope their relationship continues to blossom!

Not a game was to be won this year, and that was hard. It was still fun to watch them play their hearts out. I know that there were a lot of life lessons hidden in there. For now, I can hope that she learned a ton and is ready to go into school ball next year with more confidence and determination.
Does women's wallyball count as a winter sport? I miss it very much! Co-ed is not near as fun when you lose all the time. Although, it's fun to play this sport with my husband. :)

Fine arts- Jae has acquired a niche for the fine arts. It is definitely one I never had. I played in the band, and I was in choir, but I never had the talent she possesses---or the drive. I have watched her and her friends take an idea to have a drama club and use their leadership skills to contact the superintendent, parents, and college kids and make it a reality. I watched her perform a role in the musical that wasn't a lead one with the same exuberance and finesse as one that was. She loves what she is doing, and I can't wait to see where this takes her. She has never been more excited for anything as much as she is for acting. Follow your dreams sweet girl!
5th-12th grade choir

Heidi is our church music director and Jae's music teacher. She is passionate about music. We love her! Jae had a solo this year which we didn't know about until almost the day of. She makes us so proud. :)

Her drama club's production of "The Velveteen Rabbit"

School performance of Music Man Jr.

Saturday night's performance- Sawyer again is not enthused.

A scene from Music Man Jr. Jae was a townsperson and played her part with pride!
Warm Spring days that show up so you have hope it's coming! Nice Spring Sundays are the best.



Will return hopefully soon with a post about our phenomenal pastor who retired and had his last service this past Sunday. So many great nuggets to take away!

Happy Tuesday!