Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
But anyways, the best way I know how to celebrate and miss my dad simultaneously today is to sit with the weight of it all and write about the best parts of him (and eat a few more frozen Snickers). He's been gone 9 months, and today seems like the perfect time to recount the words I shared at his celebration of life this past summer. Miss you, dad.
Growing up, my dad seemed like the strongest person in the world. To me, it seemed that he could fix anything, knew how everything worked, and could figure just about anything out. I never remember our family hiring repairmen or letting problems go on for long without fixing them- he truly always did it himself. And he did it, for the most part, with no big to-do. He never seemed to see things as a big deal, instead just parts of life to be taken on steadily. And because of that, steady is one of the characteristics of my dad that sticks out the most to me.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
God keeps his promises.
It’s true though, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking a lot about how this crazy global pandemic feels eerily familiar in some ways.
Two years ago around this same time, our family was smack dab in the middle of what I only hope is our hardest season ever. It was one of those seasons where you wake up every morning and keep your eyes closed extra long just hoping it’s all been a bad dream. But then you wake up and do all the things you need to do, because that is how life works. I’m guessing you’ve been there, too?
In that season, we dealt with hearing doctors say things a parent never wants to hear about their child (who ever wants to be the impossible statistic or uncharted medical case?!), prayed for miracles, passed each other in the night as we took shifts in the ICU, trudged through health crisis after health crisis (or at least it felt so at the time), cried and mourned the long term loss of some things for our child and then slowly made a new normal when it started to calm down.
When I type it up, it all seems so concise and neatly packaged. Isn’t that how it always is when we’re able to look back? In reality, it was anything but. Lots of crying. We were ‘fired’ from one doctor for missing too many appointments because we prioritized others (thus feeling like failing parents...). One of our kids spent more time with his aunt and uncle than us for weeks. I gained 10lbs. Our other son spiraled into extreme separation anxiety for months and had other lingering effects from medical trauma.
But now, it’s two years later. We absolutely have not forgotten most of it, but it’s not nearly as heavy today as it was in the middle of it. We’re on the other side. We still deal with the big lingering health things (which is why we take social distancing super seriously! We’ve experienced the unfortunate side of a medical statistic), but also it feels normal now.
Looking back is ALWAYS so helpful for me to process what’s in front of me. What have I already learned that is also true now?
Basically, all of this is a long winded way to say two things. One, stay home. My kiddo has lifelong effects from a germ that is literally on every surface everywhere- and we had no indication beforehand that he would be so effected. We had no one warning us or telling us how to stay healthy- and how I would give both my arms to have had warning like we all do now! Take this seriously. Don’t risk it, for yourself or anyone around you.
Second (and most of all!), God keeps his promises. I have experienced that firsthand, haven’t you? I spent so many nights, for months on end, just praying that God would get us through to the other side and all the days in between. And now here we are, two years later and through it! We’ll get through this, too. Even if it looks messy and frustrating and maybe even heartbreaking for some of us, he’ll carry us through it. He always does.
I’m bracing myself for some messy days (literally, because I have preschool boys and our backyard currently could be mistaken for the neighborhood dump and it seems I’ve just given up even trying to pretend I care about my laundry room), short fuses, and pity parties. Maybe my kids will learn some stuff from my modified homeschool set up. Maybe not. I might get a house project done and run lots of miles and read my Bible every morning. Maybe not. I’m not sure there is any real way to do uncharted things like this well, outside of holding onto the promise that Jesus will carry us through. And remember that he always does (even if it looks different than we want/hope/prefer/would plan ourselves).
In the meantime, I’m a firm believer that he gives us things like sunshine and snail mail and innocent kids with their fart jokes and the occasional glass of wine and pizza and FaceTime and the ability to go for a run to help us move through the days until we’re on the other side of whatever feels heavy.
Here’s to God keeping his promises and fart jokes to keep us laughing while we wait 🤣
Friday, March 20, 2020
These are weird times, and I have extra minutes on my hands. So why not jump back into this little blog? Except for the small problem of not having a computer anymore (RIP ten year old MacBook) and hating to type long-form on my phone, this should go well, right?!
It seems as if EVERYONE has ideas for how to stay busy, reasons we should stop complaining, and resources for how to keep ourselves and kiddos busy (and thriving, really). I sort of fluctuate somewhere between HERE FOR ALL THE THINGS and PLEASE STOP TOUCHING ME, which is all balanced pretty well so far by a few things. Nightly walks and Voxers with my bff, the occasional glass of wine, some semblance of structure for my kiddos, and finding things to laugh about.
So maybe I’ll start my ease back into blogging with some advice I heard Shauna Niequist share on a (COVID-19 unrelated) podcast this week: Add goodness, connect, keep going. I mean, that’s good advice for just about everything, right?! It always feels right to add goodness- whether it’s good food, words, activities, or good things to look at. And honestly, when we’re literally isolated in our own homes, it feels essential to find ways to connect with others. Lastly, what other real choice do we have but to keep going, even if we sort of want to pull our hair out or cry sometimes? Here’s a little list of ways to do those very things (because any not add to the growing suggestions being shoved at you right now?! Lol)
Make some good food. Maybe include kiddos if you have them! Our go-to easy recipe to make with ingredients we always have on hand are these granola bars. Just make sure to let them cool before cutting- it’s worth the wait!
Drop something off to a neighbor or friend. Maybe those granola bars you just made? A Starbucks drink you just picked up from the drive thru? Or, super classy like we did early this week- a ziplock bag of bird seeds 😂 To be fair, we made pinecone bird feeders this week and Caleb insisted some of friends would want to do the same, so we dropped off that little activity for some friends to try!
If you need a good laugh, go watch Jen Hatmaker’s videos on Instagram of her laundry saga this week. It is irrelevant to all important things and just a hilarious 15 minute break for your brain and heart!
Send some 🐌 mail. I have no idea how long we will still have mail around, so I’m furiously writing all the letters and mailing fun stuff while I still can. Most exciting is the Sticker Club invitation we got from a friend for my kids- you send a pack of sticker (hi, amazon👋🏽) to one friend and then invite others to join in so you can all collect some. What other fun stuff could you send off ? (If you have littles and want to join our sticker club, let me know!)
Oh! And on the ‘keep going’ part of her advice, just keep doing your thing. Working, online school for kiddos, endless crafts, scooping your dogs’ poop, house projects, whatever. Maybe make it fun by documenting it? We’re doing more crafts than usual and while I love my kids’ artwork, I don’t necessarily love having it alllll over my house. So I’m thinking of using up some Chatbooks credit I have to make a book of all their recent art. Or maybe finally make our wedding album! We’re sort of obsessed with Chatbooks and of you haven’t tried them, here’s a $10 off promo code for you 👌🏼 KATIENRUSH-KYY9
What are you doing to add goodness, connect, and keep going? I’m 99% sure no one comments on (or even reads) blog anymore. But if you’re up for proving me wrong, leave me a comment and let me know how you’re staying sane in this craziness!
Here’s to the weekend! Aka two days that will look a lot like the past 5, but maybe with the reinforcements of your spouse if they’re still going into the office (like mine!)
Saturday, January 5, 2019
I could go on for a long time about how this word stuck for me (just sit and read the book of Psalms for a few months and it will probably stick with you too!). But it really all comes down to wanting to get better at looking up more and spend less time looking down and around myself. Practicing praise always, not dependent of what life looks like or how the world tells me it should. And being really, really intentional about the whole thing.
What about you? Do you pick a word? Resolution? Goals? Nothing at all? I'm all for doing (or not doing!) what works and makes sense for you. Wherever you fall on this whole New Year's thing, here are few of my favorite things for a fresh start or to kick off some fun things for the new year.
Podcasts:: this interview with Lysa Terkeurst will give you a swift kick in the pants on how to view disapointment, this one is good for reconsidering what contentment means (especially good for empty nesters!), and Aaron gives some amazing insight here on growing your faith here.
Decluttering:: I hear Emily Ley has a really good (and pretty!) book all about this and I love this book for its tips on decluttering more than just your home (It's technically about parenting, but I would recommended it for anyone!).
Goal setting:: Lara Casey is the pro on all things goal-setting! Other than that, the counselor in me wants you to know that whatever goals you set- make sure they are measurable, attainable, positive (ie. instead of lose weight, make it feel stronger!), and specific!
Songs:: Marching On, Counting Every Blessing, I'm Walking, Put It On the Altar
Fun habits to try on:: One Second Everyday (I will forever talk about how fun this app is!), pick a monthly memory verse (if you need a cute motivator these are cute!), send more snail mail to friends, start something (like a book or cooking club or monthly neighborhood hangout or a new workout class or a new hobby), sign up for chat books (make a series so it automatically prints and ships to you once the book is full! I can give you a code to get your first book for free!), read through the Bible this year (I'm loving this REALLY brief daily podcast to go along with this habit)
Friday, January 4, 2019
Does anyone else breathe the biggest sigh of relief when the holidays are done? I love all the busyness and fun of the season, but even more I love sliding back into routines and decluttering and just taking off lots of the pressures or expectations that come with holidays (and we added a move in the middle of it all this year!). Packing up the Christmas tree and having a clean state for the new year is the BEST feeling to me!
Justin's birthday is this weekend, so I think we might do a few touristy things (like visit Savannah again!). We both need to shop a bit for our mini vacation coming up and carry the last few unopened boxes up to our attic. But other than that, I'm excited for a quiet weekend. With a crazy last 5 weeks (/months), it is nice to see our calendar full of nothing but free weekends!
None of that has anything to do with this post, except that I haven't done a sort of life lately snapshot for awhile and that randomness sort of captures it right now. I love these little lists because they're such a good summary of my days!