Tangible Evidence

It's inevitable...come the first and last day of school, I walk around with a huge lump in my throat and can shed a tear at the drop of a hat. It makes me feel completely unhinged and like a total nut! I've noticed this pattern for the past two years. It's the same feeling I had when I went back to work, when Loulie turned one, the first time I dropped her off at Sunday School without her even acknowledging my leaving---the feeling that time is passing to quickly. That I will never get to relive this stage with this child again. That Loulie will never ride past the church that houses her preschool again shouting "schkoul! Loulie schkoul!" I have a hard time with it, this tangible evidence that she is getting older. This date on the calendar that says "you can never go back." It's a strange and unexpected form of grief.
At small group tonight I asked for prayer over this feeling, knowing that the next two days will be difficult for me. I mean who likes feeling sad? I felt a little ridiculous though expressing this grief considering one couple has a severely disabled child and another has a niece diagnosed with a rare disease among other issues. So yeah, Lauren, grief? Over your healthy, growing child moving on up in the world? It's hardly seems to qualify as something to get upset over. But I look at it as a blessing--that this time has been so precious that it is hard to let it go. That motherhood has been such a surprising joy that I don't want it to go by so quickly.  I'm so thankful for the friends and teachers and time we have had together this 3 year old year. I know not all school years may go as well and I'm thankful that our last year at John Wesley will be a sweet memory.
My friend, Lee, who thinks so similar to me sent me this article after I got home from small group tonight making me feel a little less ridiculous about these uncontrollable emotions I have going on. I love it! And it speaks to this moment so perfectly. I guess I am not quite alone in wanting stop time.
"Yes, time flies.
But I don’t want to stop it. I want to climb on its back and soak up every inch of the scenery. I want to drink in the laughter, the tears, the soccer games, the visits to the ER, the blues skies and the torrential rains that this world has to offer. For when the cosmic clock is finally grounded, I will climb off its back, grateful for the wild and wonderful (full-of-wonder) ride."
So I will tearfully walk her in one last time on Thursday, go early to get a seat for their year end performance and probably take way too many pictures, all the while soaking in the gifts of this good life of being her mother. Thankful for another good year and knowing by Friday that summer excitement will have me far over this momentary grief.
Full Grown 3Ker


Windy Gap recap

There aren't many places you can go to get away where it is cold and rainy all weekend and you still have the time of your life. This was our second year going to Young Life family camp. We have been attending the Young Life dinners and fundraisers since moving to Charleston but it wasn't until a year ago that we were finally able to go to camp. The stories are true--that place is sacred. 
Loulie has talked about it all year and couldn't wait for this past weekend. It was especially wonderful this year. For one, we had our own cabin with this breathtaking view. 2) Loulie was able to go to breakout sessions with an older group of kids. Bert and I would try to walk her to her group and she would turn around and hold her hand up for us to let her go alone. It's so safe there, we were able to give her independence. 3) We had a lot of friends there this year, friends that we love seeing in Charleston but staying in the same place for a long weekend as a family allows for more, less stressful hang out time. Loulie had buddies to play and dance with--it was sweet to see all the little girls feed off each other and share in worshipping Jesus at such a young age. 4) Loulie knew the ropes this year so she was less anxious. She knew exactly what to do and where to go and with a slight increase in height was able to tackle the ropes course. She was actually the youngest person at camp to get on the ropes course swing. (I was shaking just watching them climb so high.) When she finished, an older group of girls (9 or 10 maybe) were waiting at the bottom to high five her. The look on her face when those "big girls" were congratulating her on being so brave is something I will never forget. Throughout the rest of the weekend, people would pass Loulie and say "there's that little kid that did the swing." Being pretty shy, she rarely tries to draw attention to herself, but this praise of bravery she just ate up. 
Mainly, it was just an amazing time as a family relaxing, enjoying God's creation and spending time with good friends. I hope this is something we will always get to do. I think as life gets busier, this weekend is one that I will look forward to and treasure always.


Bucket List Check--Today Show

I have never considered myself a starstruck person. I mean, they put on their pants on the same way we do, don't they? I would much rather meet an inspiring blogger or cancer survivor or faithful leader than some random star. But all that went out the window when my sister found out the Today Show would be in Charleston. 1)--I love Hoda! I read her book last year and think she is a class act. You would never know it because she seems so humble but she has done some pretty amazing interviews in some pretty dangerous places. She loves her family, worked really hard to get where she is, and has survived some rough stuff. So I would put her in the category of people I find inspiring. 2)--I have always joked that a bullet point on my bucket list is to be interviewed by Ann Curry on the Today Show. That is obviously out of the question for a number of reasons now, reality being the first. So getting up at 6:00am and heading to the Cistern was my closest chance of ever checking this off my bucket list. 
Loulie wanted to come since we are pretty sure Hoda's name was the inspiration for her imaginary friend, Hada. So we trekked downtown, waited in line with our poster and finally got in!!!
The energy was extremely fun--everyone was excited! The best part though--we actually met Hoda.  For just a second, she walked right by us and told Loulie "oh, I just love her." We were all like "We love you Hoda!" And got all giddy and ridiculous and star struck. She is as kind in person as she seems on TV which made me like her all the more.

 We posted this picture on Instagram of Loulie doing a fist pump after Hoda said hello and the Today Show "liked" it.

So there was my moment of being completely ridiculous but it was worth it and will make for a good story down the road. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We are heading to Windy Gap in the NC mountains for Young Life camp. This will be our second year and we have been looking forward to it since we pulled away last May!