As a short sidebar: There was a lingering question about what the great surprise my sweet hubby had for me in December. It was a new camera and a new lens. A GREAT lens. Thanks, Taylor, for helping him! It was a gift from parents and even my brother. I was truly spoiled. And my spoiling led to E getting a camera to help develop her passion for photography. Which is why I couldn't share until after Christmas.
I am still learning to use it to its full potential but here are some pictures from one of my favorite Spring Break moments. These pictures weren't from today but I feel that they will be the best medicine for my day today.
I am so lucky to have many friends in my life that have been with me for a long time. I am still friends with my best buddy that lived three houses down on the street I grew up on. I am still friends with people from most of the stages of my life. I am not as good as I used to be but I try to be intentional in maintaining those friendships. But these ladies have been my girls since college (though I realized that I don't have a picture of the three of us from this day!). The three of us have had been through so much life together. We do life together. We don't always talk every day or even every week. But when life hits hard, they are a comfortable place to land where you can always find whatever it is you need and I hope I am that for them. THAT is what made this day so special. It was spontaneous and last minute -which is probably why it worked out - but we got to get our kiddos out to the zoo for some fun friend time. It just brought me joy to be around my best girls and their sweet kiddos. It was a simple, slow, no scheduled day and we loved it.
Headed in. It has been too long.
These two quickly became buddies and could be found with each other every step of the way.
Does anyone else feel a bit sorry for the goat?
This was my view as I was catching up after helping K with some things. I think what I love about this picture is it shows a crew that is huge, comfortable, chaotic but cohesive.
Feeding the animals. . . .er kiddos.
The biggest two and the littlest two.
I doubt we had any idea when we were crammed into a small room of the sorority house watching Titanic or Billy Madison for the 700th time that we had any idea that this would be the size of our combined crew today. We were even missing one! It is appropriate that they are standing among gorillas.
I am fairly certain he wasn't supposed to be sitting here which is likely why the smile is so smug. It is just such a perfect picture of him. Happy to be on his own, happy to come up with new ideas - good or not - and implement them, and happy to just be. Love his spunk.
So did his friends as they decided to join him. :)
Oh, I can already feel my heart aching for time to freeze because I know all too well how fast these little years fly. How fast all the years fly. So cute, so sweet, and I wish I could keep them both right here for awhile. (Photo Cred: the budding photographer - E)
Oh if you know these boys well, you know how absolutely perfect this picture is.......
Silly, ornery, and a robust love of life. You can't help but be happy around these two.
(E took this one too! :))
What happened?!?! It feels like only a few weeks ago that these two ladies looked like the two little ladies above.
I appreciate seeing these two girls begin to grow into young adults. There is so much to appreciate about this stage. I actually love the little glimpses I get of the adult E will likely be. But there is something about it that makes you so painfully aware how short this time is.
So on a day like today, though my time with my kiddos was short and stressful, I am going to cherish even the hard moments. I am going to embrace the challenges that make me feel like I am failing and attack them head on, one day at a time. And I am going to remind myself each and every day, that life is short. So, so short. Time is never enough - whether it is the rapid flight from baby to toddler or the end of a well lived, well loved life. It just goes too fast to spend any time feeling the way I was feeling tonight. So I end with my heart full of love for my hubby, my kids, my family, and my lifelong friends. Because at the end of the day, that is more important and more lasting than the chaos and the hard.