Friday, May 21, 2010

100 Things Summer

(This is a working I think of things that remind me of Summer) Please feel free to comment your own favorite things.
1. wild flowers
2. homemade popsicles
3. picnics
4. sparklers
5. watermelon
6. late night games of hide-n-go-seek with all the neighborhood kids
7. Icee's (mixed-cherry & coke, of course)
8. Koolaid stains on my kids upper lips
9. baseball games
10. sand castles
11. midnight movie premieres
12. camp
13. hammock swing
14. drive-in movies
15. eating blackberries right off the vine
16. Sunday drives to nowhere in particular
17. canoeing
18. Sonic ice
19. flip flops
20. bike rides
21. tire swing
22. big league chew
23. hula hoop contests
24. 4th of July parades
25. the smell of sunscreen and sun tan lotion
26. lightening bugs
27. flying kites
28. hot dogs
29. swimming
30. homemade ice cream
31. fishing
32. water balloon fights
33. corn on the cobb
34. grilling
35. camping
36. the smell of freshly cut grass
37. blowing bubbles
38. sidewalk chalk art
39. hopscotch
40. jumping waves in the ocean
41. running through the sprinklers
42. dozens of pairs of sunglasses (because it's SUMMER! Duh!)
43. pool tags
44. sleeping late
45. sprinklers hitting my window at 5am
46. Bluebell Factory-Brenham
47. washing my Jeep by hand
48. Super Soakers
49. mosquito trucks at 10pm
50. fresh summer sheets
51. peach cobbler
52. family reunion
53. pedicures
54. sun-streaked hair
55. Little Petes
56. Six Flags
57. water skiing/tubing
58. Schlitterbahn
59. Sea World
60. sno-cones
61. freezer pops
62. root beer floats
63. patio dining
64. tan lines
65. freckles
66. chlorine-damaged hair
67. floating the Guadelupe
68. June bugs
69. slip-n-slide
70. floaties
71. noodles
72. goggles
73. bug spray
74. citronella
75. shaving legs daily = razor burn!

(pause for now...)

The Sweetest Thing...

So, yesterday I celebrated my 31st Birthday and it was an amazing day. I was overwhelmed with all the messages that came through my phone, email and Facebook. All day long I was blessed with birthday well-wishes and kind words. It made my day so incredibly special. I truly do have the best family and friends in the whole big world.

Although these wishes made my day, I must say that one in particular touched my heart deeper than any other. At 8:15am I was sitting at my desk at work and I got a call from Mackenzie and Andrew. Mackenzie's sweet voice greeted me with a "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" We spoke for a couple of minutes and then she passed the phone to Andrew. (A little background on Andrew you must know: He is not typically overly expressive of his thoughts or feelings. I usually have to drag emotion out of him. Also, he isn't fond of having all the attention and focus on him--even from us, his family...he's a little shy. Anyway...) I was fully expecting "Hey, Mom. Happy Birthday. Can I go play the Wii?" But instead, Andrew took the phone and began singing "Happy Birthday" in his precious little 5-year-old voice. By the time he reached, "...dear Mommy..." I was tearing up. It was the most expressive, sincere, and honest birthday wish I have ever received. I wish I could have bottled it up so that I would be able to listen to it over and over again. It was the sweetest thing. What an incredible gift!! One I will treasure always and never, ever forget.
These are the sweetest things; moments that stand out in our hearts and minds for a long, long time. I want to be careful not to move past these too fast.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

QT with Sweet C

Taking time to spend with my kids is really important to me. In this season of my life, it's really easy to get caught up in "what's next?" and "are we there yet?" My focus is usually more on what's ahead instead of what's right in front of me. To keep from getting swept into the future, I carve out special "hang out" time with each of my kids right here in the present. We do this as a family (a.k.a "Stark Family Funn Nite!"), but I also do my best to take time with my lil' ones individually. I find that this is when I really get to know them, what's on their mind, and how they perceive the world.
Today I got the opportunity to spend some quality time with my Sweet Caroline. Being the youngest of three, she kinda gets tossed in the chaos and just hangs on for the ride. She's easy going, smart, and so unbelievably funny!
We spent some time swinging, playing tennis, feeding the ducks, hiking, and swinging some more. She is such a precious gift; a surprise to David and me, but a HUGE blessing none the less. I look at her and I cannot imagine life without her. God has big plans for this sweet girl, and I am so thrilled to be a part of it.