We had a Young Life dinner last tonight, a bazillion people eating grub in the Hartsock's beautiful backyard. A fabulous ending to a full week and weekend, until I somehow managed to lose my oldest 2 children for 5 minutes, which felt like hours. I checked the pool, the pond, and what I thought was everywhere. No sign of them. I decided they must have headed for the car, which was much too far, including a busy street. I didn't picture my evening ending with me passing my baby off and hiking up my dress to run down the street, and I don't mean waddle/run, I mean mama tapped back into those high school track days and I busted it down the street. But I did. Thankfully a little bit into my frantic sprint, Marce' hollered she had found them chatting with Judy. The only place I forgot to check.
I kept my cool with them and we talked about it.
Well okay, I frantically rattled off why they shouldn't wander and how scared I was, how they worried me. They sweetly looked at me and didn't say a word, probably thinking she's lost her mind.
I can deal.
They scared the dickens out of me.
We've been busy around these parts and yet I still feel like a bear in hibernation, like all I want to do is talk with Chris while my bear cubs play in the backyard over plenty of food. So there's a good mix of loading kiddos up for the every day things and then happily trickling back home to our cave.
Speaking of our new cave, a few more of the final befores and afters, outside style.
Backyard deck before
Kuddos to Alicia for using about 6 cans of black spray paint to transform our hand-me-down table and chairs from years ago. It shimmers now. Ah the beauty and power of spray paint.
Front beds before
There was once a pond in the front yard. Mama bear has nixed the pond and hot tub altogether. No time for maintaining all that stuff, too many cubs to feed and herd.
Date nights with my dreamy man are on the line up. And babies' pleas for things like the zoo, have been given green lights.
We met up with the Ho's for a perfectly overcast day at the zoo. Between the company and watching my girls soak it in, the day was simply wonderful.
We even made it in time for the giraffe feedings.
There's just something special, something wonderful that reaches deep into my heart when I watch my friends loving on my babies. Shannon loves her some Doke girls. Her honor for them blesses my heart in a way I don't even know how to articulate.
Her little ones have a special place in my heart too.
Speaking of special places in my heart, this baby just blesses me. Sister chills in her stroller quiet as can be, never mind the fact she's tearing molars and running a fever. My girl is tough.
And sweet as can be.
**Our deck just happens to be our new favorite spot. I think we've eaten most meals out there since it was put in. Somewhere between the babies covered in dirt and watermelon juice, and Sophie softly telling Chris about her day, we sat and knew, like any parent does, that we are living a dream.
So I did, along with the hubs.
And I'm not sure what the deal is, but we have a continual shortage of chocolate chips. I only had half a bag and my recipe calls for a whole bag. No worries, Reese's peanut butter cups to the rescue. Chop 'em up and add them to your batter. Scoop up the dough with an ice cream scoop.
Funny quirks like Sophie's temper and random exiling of stuffed animals. Currently, Buzz is on the outs. We're not sure why but the poor guy is thrown from the top of the stairs each night and I find him on the stairs in the morning.
Mama bear knows the season coming of 4 little ones under the age of 5, midnight feedings, endless diapers. Kindergarten, preschool, carpools, meals, and all that comes with raising cubs.
Surely more moments of being the crazy lady running down the street because she worried and needs her little ones close by.
We'll embrace those moments too.
Because the beauty of the tapestry He is weaving comes with moments of weakness and failure He transforms into beauty, and in those we know of His greatness of grace and freedom when tasted.
Mama bear knows He is good, even at her worst. She knows His truth and new mercies every day are the only things worth gathering, holding onto, and bringing home to the cave.
Happy week to all!