February passed by like a flash. It is a shorter month in terms of total days, but from the perspective of mid-March it seems to have lasted the length of a dream. It's like I know it was there, and I remember a few details... but what happened again?
Nonetheless, here are some special things to recall tonight. Most notable were the winter snowbirds visiting from Canada: My sister's family of five and my youngest brother.
February may be a fine time to leave our frozen homeland, but California didn't deliver it's usual golden days of sunshine.
My nephew learning to skim board with my boys. He fit right in.
#25- The monkey-est of them all! ;)
Learning to fly.
"The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never fell..." So true.
Fly, even if the risk of falling is great.
And hooray for moms of boys who do tons of catching, picking up, brushing off, bandaging, kissing, and sending off again~
literally and figuratively!
Andrew's attempt at catching a seagull. He lays food on his belly while he hides under the towels, and Olivia sits nearby to coach his timing. It has worked in the past, but he was unsuccessful this time despite his patience.
Exploring tide pools
Jacob being the protective big cousin.
I sincerely appreciated the visit of my family. But, let me just say it in the most simple and honest terms: We are a fractured family. I'm tired of trying to remember my life as all roses, birds, and butterflies. There were beautiful aspects to be sure, but I am coming to the realization that my whole story is important. The entirety of it. My story has intention, meaning, and significance because all of it was ordained. Though I may never share fully, I don't need to be ashamed and held captive.
I want freedom from shame, freedom from past pain, freedom from a sort of bondage. I want freedom from the damage, some of which is so very hard to shake. My desire is not to forget, but to bravely look into the dark chapters and humbly receive God's mercy through it all.
I left home well before I left my teenage years, and I am just now discovering the wonder of sibling relationship in my adult life. Somehow it had nearly become lost, each of us simply focusing on our own existence and survival, and perhaps threatened by our different responses to our situation. It has been said that the first 40 years of childhood are the hardest. I think we can all attest to that. So here we find ourselves: talking honestly, pushing into new territory, learning anew. Learning, as it were, to fly.
Last month my brother and I sat in my kitchen late into the night talking. It's amazing that, though years and distance and differences have separated us, we are so very much alike. In ways we cannot be understood by others, we are discovering that we understand each other in very intimate ways. We have been affected in similar ways, suffered the same. Talking has been helpful, motivating me to get up and out from under weight I'd simply become used to carrying. I'm so grateful for honest resolutions to learn to know and love each other more authentically than ever before.
This is a mercy from God springing forth.
The pictures above are the only ones I took last month, so I decided to include a few more from my phone. Plain, simple, everyday life happens, well, every single day! Regular days are notable in their own unique way too, and it might just be that that my phone is becoming the handy collector of images that would otherwise fade if only stored in my mind.
Olivia and I spend many hours a week watching the boys play. Usually we are cold, sometimes we are wet, usually tired, always entertained. We literally run and drive fast to get from one game to the next.
The boys never seem to be as cold as we are, but they are always more dirty and sore.
And then this happened... She is behind the wheel... learning to "fly!"
And so this is how we roll. I've taught her nearly everything else up until now, so I'm pretty sure I can do this too. I promise not to gasp out loud, to slam on the imaginary break on the passenger side, or to hold my hands out over the dash!
But please, dear Jesus, ride with us!
And finally me, figuring out my limits. They are there (of that I am well aware!) but I've preferred to live in a way that pushes against my limitations. I'm not really competitive by nature - not in the typical sense - but rather I have an impulse to push against challenges (not people). I've succeeded in wrecking my foot just three weeks before the race I've been training for. I guess I did too much too soon. This week and the last are supposed to be my peek training weeks, and I'm absolutely unable to run. It could be a stress fracture, I dunno. So I'm biking the hills of my neighborhood on my three-speed beach cruiser. It's almost a joke as far as training goes, but I'm still hopeful I'll be able to run again soon. I'm also pretty discouraged. I don't like to be limping around on an uncooperative foot.
It was so beautiful on my Saturday ride. Absolutely gorgeous. These are the times my spirit just soars when I revel in the beauty of life. This, too, is a mercy from God!