Every month in 2019, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into the previous month. I thought this would be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our month and recap some of the highs and lows and special memories of the month.
(I know it’s almost the end of July and I’m just now getting June’s recap up. But hey, better late than never, right??)
We loved going to the Tennessee State Museum. It’s not a huge museum, but it’s well done and it’s FREE!
After we visited the museum, we walked around the Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park. It’s so beautiful — and there’s a lot to see!
The day we went also happened to be Tennessee’s 223rd birthday. (If we were more organized people, we would have intentionally planned this! 🤣)
The next day, we went to explore a trail at Percy Warner Park. As you can tell from this staged photo, the kids were so thrilled about it. (In their defense, we had trouble finding a good trail and a parking place and drove around for quite a lot longer than we were planning to while everyone was hungry!)
We ended up having such a good time at the park and I’m so glad that we all persevered, despite being hangry!
He knocked on our bedroom door one morning in June. It was 7:30 am and Jesse and I had slept in.
When we responded to ask what he needed, he said: “I got up at 5:45 am this morning and got my bath taken, my hair fixed, and all my morning chores done. What do want for breakfast? I don’t have anything else to do so I thought I could make you breakfast!”
20 minutes later, he brought us each a plate with scrambled eggs and a side of Ritz crackers on it. (We’d asked for scrambled eggs. The Ritz cracker garnish was his extra touch!)
Mothering is hard work. And many times it can feel thankless and exhausting.
But then you have moments like this and you remember that it is worth it!
Mamas, keep going. Keep loving on your babes. Keep speaking life. Keep teaching and walking with your toddlers. Keep hugging and helping your middle schoolers. Keep leaning in and loving on your teens.
Don’t give up! And in the middle of it all, look for and cherish those scrambled egg and Ritz cracker moments! ❤️
I flew to Chicago for a two-day event with some of the companies I work with. I didn’t get basically any photos there other than this picture out of my hotel room. But it was a good trip, nonetheless!
She didn’t have a fishing pole, so she got creative! And it actually worked! 😳
It was free Fishing Day in TN one day in June (no license needed), so Jesse took the kids fishing. Only, they didn’t have enough fishing poles so go around.
Kathrynne didn’t let that deter her! She found a stick and rigged up her own “pole” — and ended up catching 4 fish with it!!!
Maybe you’re facing a situation in life where you feel like you don’t have the right tools or experience. Maybe you just want to give up because other people are so much more qualified (and have better fishing poles!)
I encourage you to instead choose to, “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are!”
You won’t catch any fish (or ever have any fruit from your effort or forward momentum) if you give up before you even try!
The Blue Angels were performing at an airshow in a nearby town, so we drove there to see if we could see them! We got there just as the show was starting and got to watch them in a parking lot!
It was pretty incredible!!
In June, I also began working in earnest on my next ebook. I used this tracker to help me stay on course with my daily word count goal. (By the way, the ebook is my best tips on saving money on groceries and it will be coming out very soon!)
We loved getting to host three college girls for a week while they were helping out at a local camp in our area. We invited some extra friends over for dinner some of the evenings for games and fun!
We celebrated Father’s Day by going to a brand-new brunch place that just opened.
My mom was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma recently — and had to have two surgeries to remove part of her nose and skin by her eye and then have skin grafts.
I was able to fly to Dallas (where she had the surgeries) for her second surgery and got to go in the room soon after she was done.
Of course, what does she say almost as soon as she sees me? “Honey, have you had enough to eat today? Do you need to sit down? You must be so tired!”
And then she’s lying there — not even fully bandaged up — trying to figure out what food she might have in her bag to give me!!
Y’all, this is who my parents are.
My dad insisted on staying up late that night to help me with something when he had to be completely exhausted from my mom’s surgery and driving us the 6-hour trip back from Dallas to Wichita Monday evening.
My mom didn’t really sleep at all the night after her surgery because she was so uncomfortable. So she spent the night praying for, as she said, “people who are in so much worse shape than her”. And then early the next morning, she was on the phone praying for and helping someone who was going through a hard time.
I was supposed to be there helping my mom recover and both my parents couldn’t stop worrying about me — making sure I’m well fed, rested, and comfortable… because that’s who they are. They just serve and serve and give and give.
(Speaking of thinking of others, my mom wanted me to post and remind everyone to go to the dermatologist if you have any abnormal spot or irritation on your skin that isn’t healing. She wishes she had gone to the dermatologist much sooner and she is hopeful that she can help prevent someone else from having to go through all of what she’s having to go through!)
I did get to make my mom yummy salads to eat!
And I got to help with my brother’s eBay business, too! (It’s been a long time since I’ve done eBay! It brought back so many fun memories from when I used to have an eBay store!)
On the way back home, my sweater got sucked into the TSA conveyor belt and it was quite the hilarious ordeal to get it out! (If you listen to the podcast and heard the story, here’s a visual to go along with it!)
Kaitlynn celebrated her 12th birthday in June. She and I went out for rolled ice cream and bubble milk tea.
Here’s a letter I wrote to her for her birthday:
12 years ago this week, you came careening into our lives.
Dad and I were at one of the lowest points of our marriage. He was on the brink of losing his job. I was experiencing severe anemia and low platelet counts and had to be induced early with you because of my poor health.
The first few months of your life were rocky at our house — with me crying and yelling at Dad multiple times per day because he had lost his job and I was scared. With him feeling frustrated and stressed about not being able to find a job and that finances were getting so tight. I was also crazy tired from having a toddler and a baby and was (once again) experiencing postpartum depression.
And yet, in the middle of all of this stress, there you were. Though Dad and I didn’t agree on a lot during that season, we did agree that you were an incredible baby and that we loved you so very much!
You started intentionally rolling over at two weeks old and you’ve never stopped moving and pushing yourself since then.
You have always been a fighter — from the time you were in the womb. You march to the beat of your own drum and I love that about you.
You bring so much creativity, beauty, laughter, and wit to our home. You have the best sarcasm and one-liners. You also have analytical skills and reasoning far beyond your years.
You have the tenderest heart for the “under dogs”. You give the most creative and thoughtful gifts. And you are always teaching me things I didn’t know (like yesterday’s lesson on Boba and Bubble Tea!)
You are brave and fierce, yet tender and honest. And some of my favorite memories from the past year have been our heart to heart conversations together about life.
You are one of the most gifted, passionate, unique individuals I’ve ever met and being your mom is one of the greatest privileges of my life!
Keep being all the God has made you to be — even if you feel like sometimes you don’t fit in because of it. Keep seeking Him and deepening your relationship with Him. He loves you more than you can imagine!
You were born to stand out and be a bright light in a hurting world. Shine on!
And then we left for Iceland!!
I have SO MUCH I could say about our trip to Iceland. Would you be interested in a separate post about that trip? It takes me hours to put together trip recap posts in detail, but I’d be more than happy to do it if there is enough interest.
If you’re not interested, no worries! I just thought I’d see if enough people were interested before I decided whether I’d put the time into writing the post or not! 🙂
After Iceland, we came home for about 36 hours and then we left again for Utah to meet up with all of my extended family for one of our yearly trips together.
I shared a little peek into how we organize all of the food for the trip here.
We went on this trip with all 27 other members of my extended family (my parents + 3 brothers & 3 sisters & all their spouses and kids! This trip was my Dad’s Christmas gift to us all.
It was full of laughter, teasing, long talks, lots of cooking (and cleaning up!), swimming, hiking, ping-pong, pool, singing together, reading God’s Word, catching mice (hey, we’d rather have to deal with mice than cockroaches or snakes, right?), shopping at Smith’s for the first time (it’s just like Kroger and I found some great markdowns!), volleyball, swinging on the huge tire swing, and just taking in the breath-taking views here.
We made so many fun and special memories! And then we headed off on July 1 to visit Wyoming (yes, we visited both Grand Teton, Yellowstone!), Montana, and Idaho! I’ll tell you more about our time visiting those states in my July recap!