Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Case You Were Wondering What Is Wrong With Our World...

Check out the blog "I Look Down on Women with Husbands and Kids and I'm Not Sorry" by Amy Glass, and you will have no doubt.

In a word, it is selfishness.

This poor woman has no idea what real happiness is, which only comes from devoting oneself to others.  She may experience the thrill of accomplishment that comes with a big job and lots of money, but we run-of-the mill moms know what a temporary satisfaction that is.

Real happiness comes from sitting with your six year old and hearing her successfully work out a word that you know she has never seen and isn't even phonetic.  It comes from planning and preparing your husband's favorite meal when you would way rather take a nap.  It is found in organizing your son's messy room so he will grin with delight when he comes home and can find all his lego figures in one place.  It is in remembering on your way home from the store that your daughter asked you to buy some ridiculous snack and turning around to run in and get it just to please her.

True joy is watching your child turn from a newborn into a person with a beautiful and generous character.  It is overhearing your 5 year old praying for other people.  It is in sharing the peace of Christ with someone who was previously missing it.  It is knowing you made a real difference in another person's life.

Sorry to tell you, Amy, but backpacking through Asia by myself is not even on my list.  It would be a complete waste of my time, which is far better spent walking the dog with my family.  You say, "You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids."  I couldn't disagree more.  We wives and moms ARE exceptional to our husband and children. Irreplaceable, really.

You may accomplish great things during your life as far as this world is concerned, but at the end of it all, you will find yourself with the only thing that has ever been important to you:  yourself.  Your work will disappear with you at the end of your life, but the work of us "average" moms will live on for eternity.

Enough said.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Fun in the Snow

From Left:
Tony, Rebecca, Julia, me (!), Lindsey

For the past week we have been nestled in a beautiful cabin in South Lake Tahoe, together with our dear friends the Pults.  It has been a wonderful week of skiing (really, more snowboarding--the youth have officially defected), ice skating, movies, sledding, snow play, board games, hot chocolate, and warm fires.

During this vacation week Tony, Bella and Julia all learned to snowboard, and pretty well at that.  Only Bella took a lesson (at our insistence); the other two just strapped the board on and climbed on a lift.  Even Jay tried to snowboard but switched back to skis before noon.  Lindsey remembered how to ski after a break of several years and is our only child who has bucked the snowboard trend.  Natalie had a lot of fun playing in the snow, sledding and tubing, but will wait another year before we put her on the slopes.

One of the best parts for me was that I was able to ski a half-day!  I have not been skiing for more than a decade, certainly not since my cancer diagnosis, and I thought I would never ski again.  The day Lindsey decided she wanted to try skiing again (she didn't love it the first few times she went, but now she is loving it)  I felt quite well, so I rented some skis and went with her.  I made about 5 runs, one from the very top of the mountain to the base, and to my complete surprise I did not fall at all (recall the balance issues I have struggled with since my whole brain radiation).    I had such a nice time skiing with Lindsey and realizing that I could still do it after all my body has been through.  I used muscles I forgot I had, and it felt great.  Absolutely everyone enjoyed this trip.

As wonderfully as it all turned out, it did not start out promisingly.  While we were driving up the beautiful 395, we received a text from the Pults, who had arrived first at the cabin we had rented in Incline Village for the week.  When they pulled up, the saw water running down the driveway and quickly realized a pipe had burst some number of days earlier and the house was completely uninhabitable.  What to do?!  Lake Tahoe, the week between Christmas and New Years...seriously?!  How could we find something for 13 people that was somewhat reasonable and available immediately?

We scrambled, we prayed, we tried everything we could think of.  Craig's list, property management companies, with no luck.  Short-term relief came when Tina's boss offered his cabin for two nights, but we would have to evacuate after that as it was going to be occupied by another family after that.  Then we remembered that our friends Dave and Renee (friends from Hastings, roommates and best man in our wedding) had bought a cabin in Tahoe a few years back.  Even though we had not talked to them in a while, we boldly called and asked if they might be able to help us.  They were on the East Coast yet happily overnighted the key to us so we could finish our week in their lovely home.  It couldn't have been more perfect and we are so very grateful to them for their trust in us.

Five minutes in, Natalie found a brand new toy she wanted to play with (they have three kids all within our kids' ages) and ripped open the box without thinking.  We were mortified until we remembered the miracle of Amazon and ordered a replacement which arrived before we left and was put back exactly where the original was found.  Other than that, we did not do any harm, thank goodness!

Here are some photos of our trip.  We wish you all a happy New Year!




(Somehow, I don't have a picture of Sam or Kyle, but I think it is because I hardly saw them, such a blur they were on the slopes and on the ice!)