Last night was one of those nights that I would love to bottle up and pull back out often to view and experience again.
I have said before that I try to really enjoy whatever season we are in with our boys, and I've done so (or tried) since they were little bitty. I didn't always succeed, because though those days were fun, they were ROUGH. There was lots of sleep deprivation, late nights, early wake ups, lots of questions for Mom, tugging, needing, wanting. I say this so that I can encourage any younger moms going through that right now. The days feel so long! But once your kids start school, or really even from when they turn about four years of age, the time flies. I realize you might be tired of reading this from me, but I honestly feel like my boys should still be in elementary school. That is how fast the years have flown by.
So, young mommies (I think of my beautiful niece who is the mommy to baby twin girls), keep your heads up. And even more than just keeping your heads up, look to JESUS! He alone is Who sustained me through these growing up years that I am still going through with my boys. He strengthened me, He continually gives us wisdom on how we parent them still, He is the author of life, the Giver of all good things. He still gets me through every single day, even days when I feel like my world is caving in around me when anxiety hits me hard.
I pray that these words encourage you, if you're feeling discouraged this morning.
I honestly feel like the reward of surviving the toddler years are these teenage years that we're going through right now. I know so many people who would disagree with that statement, but for us, I am loving these years. More than just loving them, I thank God for them. God has blessed us with boys who want to have good relationships with us. They tell us everything, even things we don't necessarily want to hear, and we try to listen (sometimes) objectively.
We have certainly not done everything right. We have messed up repeatedly, but praise His holy Name, they still give us try after try, and when we apologize, they are quick to forgive.
I'm just feeling a little sentimental today, I suppose, because this is the norm for me this time of year with Graham about to graduate. Last night we took the boys and some of their dearest friends to a restaurant they all wanted to eat at in celebration of their birthdays.
We love this place! My husband bought a club card, and we all were able to get our entrees for half price, which is still expensive per plate, but trust me when I say that they lost money on some of the people at our table.
Like these four. Someone who shall remain nameless had to loosen his belt two times and blew his diet out the window. That same one said that the sausage was so good, that it made tears come to his eyes. He ate eight pieces alone of just sausage. EIGHT. It was comical. Drew couldn't stop smiling. Andrew couldn't stop gushing. And Graham just laughed at all of them and ate his.
After dinner, we walked over to the Peabody and went up to the rooftop.
The other teenagers with us had never been up there! That was fun, seeing them see it for the first time.
It was a gorgeous night, even though it was cooler. I was dressed for it and was comfortable.
All the ones who went with us. Our four, plus Alex, Rachel, Leah, Zack and Andrew.
After I took these, we went back inside and walked around a little.
I don't really know why Alex was tying Jonah's shoe for him, but I thought it was sweet.
My favorite view inside the hotel. I love all the woodwork and chandeliers. All the kids found phone booths and were calling each other from the landlines in the hotel. They walked around a bit, and we finally called it a night. I hope the parents aren't too upset with us~time got away from us while we were there and it was close to ten when we got home.
Oops! It was a fun night, and we found out that the time really does fly when you're having fun. Out of all the kids, though, two are in private schools with a later start time and the rest are homeschooled, so for them and our boys, it didn't matter. Hopefully Andrew and Zack survive the day.
Love to all!