Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home is....

I was getting ready for bed last night and I was looking around our house feeling a little frustrated with the fact that we are still in this house. Twice within two months this year we had found a house that we were very interested in buying. Both times, the door of opportunity was shut on us on each of those houses. It didn't take me too long to get over it the first time. I was bummed but within 2 weeks I was ready to keep on looking. The most recent one still burns. We went to bed one evening thinking we were getting a signed contract to buy first thing in the morning just to wake up to a phone call with a counter offer that we just couldn't accept. That home is still listed as "under contract" and had we bought it we would have been moved in already.

A year ago we completely renovated our living/dining room area. We got it all put back together just in time for Christmas. But the one thing we haven't done is put pictures back up on the walls. I'm not much of an interior decorator but I LOVE having family pictures all over the place. We haven't put up pictures for two reasons, My Sweetie doesn't want holes in his pretty, new walls and we have always had the sense that this home was temporary until the next thing comes along. Why go through all the work of hanging pictures if we're going to sell and move? This spring we did something kind of fun. We went to Lowes and bought chairs, tiki candles and flowers for the deck and around the house. In the 11 years we've lived here we've never done that. As I looked around I experienced a sense of peace that THIS was home and I was comfortable. Ironically, that was about the time we found the second house that we liked. I think it's time we get some frames and hang up pictures so we can have that sense of peace again that THIS is home until God leads us someplace else.

The quote, "Live simply, so others can simply live" rings loudly in my head. My Sweetie has been doing so well at work and we are FINALLY at a point where we are financially comfortable. I can't tell you what a great feeling it is to take a vacation and not worry if there is going to be enough money left or to simply go out to dinner and not feel guilty for doing so. We have made good choices the past several years and that's why we are where we are. I know that there is a reason and it is God who is in control and has a perfect plan. Maybe that's why "Live simply so others can simply live" is never too far from my thoughts. If we would have bought the house, we would have been able to continue our tithes, but we may not have been able to do the extra giving that we do; the other random acts of kindness that we enjoy.

After I got into bed, My Sweetie rolled over and said he just didn't feel in control of things and didn't understand how two houses that we actually liked fell through. I had to smile a little since I was just thinking the same thing. I wanted to say, "DUH! None of us are in control." But control is the one thing most of us want to maintain more than anything. I'm just as guilty of this as the next person. I guess it's not until we fully give God control that we can actually feel like we have a handle on things. Someday I pray I'll be there 100%. Until then, I just try the best I can on a day to day basis.

I have come to realize something, home for us isn't found a ranch home with a pool and a large yard or in a restored turn-of the century farm house with 3 acres. As they say, home is where our story begins. This house is certainly where our story began. This is the home where My Sweetie and I spent time with his family while we were still just dating; this is the home that we discussed our wedding plans in; this is the home where my sister-in-law gave me a baby shower; this is the home we moved into when My Sweetie graduated from college; this is the home where all of our babies took their first steps, celebrated their first Christmas and Birthday; this is the home where we share family meals and play games; this is the place I want to go after I've been away; this is the place that makes me feel safe; this is the place where we all rest our heads at the end of the day. That is our story and for now this IS our home and I know when and if God leads us someplace else, this place will always hold a very special place in all of our memories and hearts.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dells Vacation!

We are home! Last week at this time I was running around the house trying to get everything ready to go....tonight we are home and the stuff that was once so neatly "ready to go" has been dumped in my kitchen and dining room. The fridge is empty, the grass is long the garden is overgrown and I can't figure out why I'm not sleeping right now!!!

All in all, we had a GREAT time!!!! Last summer we just took a mini-cation to Chicago for a few days since Little Dude was still very wee. My Sweetie has not been away from work for a week long vacation since we went to Disney in Feb. of 2006. This was very much deserved for him and it was some much needed family fun time for all of us. I did learn one thing....having a 15-month on vacation is NOT easy!!!! But we survived beautifully, and I figure if Little Dude wasn't acting 15 months, what fun would THAT have been???

Here are a few highlights....I'll try to keep it short.

Last Saturday while I was at a baby shower in Milwaukee for my sister-in-law, My Sweetie and My Dad took the kids on a little outing.

They had wanted to do a Stadium Tour, but missed it by 20 minutes.

We spent the night in Milwaukee. My Sweetie thought the room smelled like blood and wanted to know who had been stabbed in our room. Although not the fanciest of places, and yes it had a smell, I think he was exatrating a wee bit. We met my brother and sister-in-law for breakfast then we headed to the zoo in Milwaukee. I was VERY excited that my membership to our zoo paid for our admission AND parking!!!

After all our fun at the zoo we headed up to the Dells. Our room was was away from the main part of the resort but a nice, easy walk to everything. Each boy had their own bed and we had a king sized bed in a room WITH DOORS!!!! We also had a little kitchenette which made having drinks easy. The view from our room was just as lovely as the the room itself and every morning we would go outside and visit with the little ducks that came looking for breakfast.

Our resort had a waterpark which we visited everyday but Tuesday and today. The Boy was off and running trying out all the slides. BuhBuh was such a brave little monkey, having no problem going down slides I thought he was just too little for. Little Dude got more and more comfortable with the water as the week went on.

We spent some time checking out the shops in downtown Dells which the boys were all bored with. But we did get some nice pictures along the river walk.

We spent a day at Noah's Ark. I was so glad we went!!! I remember how much fun I had there when I was a kid and am so glad we were able to take our kids. We all had fun and Little Dude was so well behaved. We stayed until closing and all were asleep early that night.

One day we rode this adorable train on a beautiful, scenic short ride. The people there were all volunteers and truly loved what they did. They were so friendly and nice and it made for a nice outing.

After our train ride we went to play at a family fun area.

Our resort had a Chop House restaurant and we were very excited about a yummy dinner out. The food was GREAT, Little Dude was unhappy the entire time and My Sweetie and I took turns out in the hall with him. We took dessert to go.

You can't go to the Dells without playing mini-golf!!! Half way through our game there was lightening so we had to quite. They gave us enough rain tickets for almost 2 more games!!! Of course we took advantage of that. We were able to play one of the easier courses and the hardest course. The boys were so funny. They'd be so excited about how well they played on their last hole and end up in tears at how poorly they played the next.

We took a picture walk through grounds of the resort just before leaving. There were so many pretty things to look at.

We spent our last day playing our last round of golf, strolling through Downtown Dells and having a nice lunch at a German restaurant. We left the Dells knowing that we had to return to the real world. We took a very scenic drive through Wisconsin on our way home. We were looking for a town that has yummy wine and beer. We found it but it took us 2 hours longer than it should have to get home, but we made it!

We played hard, ate well and had a blast!!! What a blessing it is to have good, quality family time together.