Friday Reflections: A Closer Look at My Life

When I’m not blogging, life is happening.  Here’s what’s been going on in my world this week.

“What’s with the broken jam jar?” you might be asking.  To be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit like a broken jam jar this week.  And, now that I’ve actually broken one- a full one, maybe even the last one ever to be stocked by Costco, according to my husband, who hasn’t seen one there for weeks now- maybe I’ll be able to sweep up my own broken feelings and throw them in the garbage, too.

The thing is, nothing has happened.  No tragedies, no major disappointments, no harsh criticisms.  Life is pretty much the same, albeit busier this second full week of summer vacation.  In fact, this may be the busiest week we’ll have to deal with this summer, so I am glad to get it out of the way.

mom and kids car activitiesI don’t know how parents do this for a living: carting their kids from one activity to another, day after day.  Our house is a mess, I feel tired and frazzled from the in and the out, the here and the there, of shipping one kid to this camp and that kid to another camp every 45 minutes, it seems.  But to do this on a regular basis?  I think I am beginning to understand the fast food culture that American families have adopted.  I have managed to make a healthy dinner every night this week, but only by the skin of my teeth.  Today, we bought a $2 discounted loaf of artisan bread from a local coffee shop and a $1 large lemonade from McDonald’s to share while running errands through snack time.  It was the easiest and cheapest option I could come up with on the fly.

At any rate, my funk stems from discouragement, I suppose, and perhaps lack of sleep and skipping my time at the gym this week.  Those who were unfortunate enough to receive an unintended email from my former blog yesterday morning know exactly how I’ve felt, much to my mortification. (Note to self:  The next time you want to write a “woe is me” journal entry, do it on paper, then crumple it up and throw it away.  Don’t type it on an old blog and accidentally hit “publish” instead of “save draft.”)  My uncle called to tell me to take it off because it was “the most depressing thing I’ve ever read.”  Yeah.

I’m okay, though, really.  No, really, I am:)  Just the ebbs and flows of pursuing one’s passion in the midst of living everyday life.

Here’s the good stuff, though, lest I get too maudlin.


Babies:Last weekend, we spent time with extended family that we haven’t seen in forever.  We started out on Friday at Dave’s (that’s my husband) aunt’s house, where we got to meet three little men in our family for the first time.  Here I am with my brand new nephew Myles (fourth child and first boy for my sister-in-law)- love him!

Aimee with babySomehow, I failed to get a picture of adorable, two-month old Seth in his baseball uniform (the family sport), but here is a picture of Dave’s cousin Pete (Seth’s dad) and his nearly two-year old son Luke (along with Pete’s niece and my daughter).  He and his sweet family live in Pennsylvania, so this is the first time we’ve seen them since they got married.  It was such fun to meet their two little cuties!

cousinsOh, but these two made my heart burst and ache, all at the same time:  my oldest son Judah and my sister-in-law’s oldest daughter Faith.

judah and faithI used to watch Faith when these two were just a year old, and here they are, almost teenagers!  Since Faith’s 12th birthday was the next day, she had to go through the spanking machine (a family tradition with Dave’s cousins- there are five boys in that family!)  I was busy holding Myles, so I couldn’t film this hysterical- ahem, historical- event, but it went on for several minutes, as all the kids crawled through the “tunnel” again and again, amidst peals of laughter.  Here is the one picture capturing the tail end of it.

spanking machine

Family Ties On Sunday, we headed out west to Madison to visit Dave’s other sister and her four kids.  It was gloriously warm and everyone had such a nice time together, sharing a meal and playing in the backyard.  It was our first time visiting them since they moved there three years ago.

We have really dropped the ball as far as staying connected with our extended family, especially since the passing of my mother-in-law six years ago.  Matriarchs really are the glue of the family, in my experience, and without them to coordinate holidays and get togethers, it becomes too easy to let those familial attachments stretch thinner and thinner. Luckily, we sisters manage to snap the band back from time to time and restore the bond.

sisters Distance is a deterrent in our busy schedules, but we have determined to keep family a priority, especially now that we are all back in the same state again.  We already have plans to see each other again in July.

Summer Fun:Throughout the week, we have visited with out-of-state friends, played at the park, participated in basketball and science camps, and started implementing a few parts of our summer routine, which will go into full effect next week, after this week’s crazy schedule ends.  I am excited to share more about Wiley Family Camp with you, as well as offer a free gift to one lucky reader to aid in your own summer planning.

Giveaways:Right now, we have a giveaway on our Facebook page, so be sure to head over and check it out.  We are giving away 10 free sampler CD’s from Brinkman Adventures, which I talked about briefly here.  The Brinkman Adventures is an excellent audio drama series for youth, now in its third season.  The series chronicles the adventures of modern-day missionaries.

brinkman adventures, season 3How are you adjusting to the summer schedule?  I hope this weekend brings sunshine and warmth your way, both inside and out.

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