2015: Weeks in Review {January and February}

And just like that it’s the end of February.  Things have been quiet here because life has been full and my heart and mind continue to linger long in the dark.

This year that started off ambiguous and unknown has started to take shape.  New things are finding where they fit in the schedule and we’re learning again what we are capable of.  Many things still seem formless and uncertain, but we know God is already there.

January started with my mental health retreat that I shared about here.  We have continued to struggle and wrestle through the shadows, and I find myself often still feeling emotionally fragile, but God is good and Matt has been faithful to walk with me and even help carry me through those times.

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our favorite little used bookstore in Lawrence.  the girls and I could live here.

january gave us some amazing sunsets

and beautiful blue skies

and days mercifully warm enough for sandals

On January 20th I went back to school for the first time in over eleven years.  I’m taking a Basic Digital Imaging class simply because it sounded fun.  I have a fairly nice DSLR that has sat in a cabinet for most of the past two or three years, untouched, because my phone camera became my go to and I basically forgot how to use Photoshop Elements.  So I’m breaking my camera back out and facing one of  my fears – Photoshop CS6.  😉  So far the class has been a lot of fun but more stressful than I expected, simply because the work takes me out of my normal “box”.  It’s a good thing.

I’m also taking a nutrition class, which allows me to get my feet wet in the nursing department.  I’m in this weird place…..I’m basically twelve to fifteen hours from completing a social work degree, but science and medicine have always been my first love (I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was five).  As I was going through school the first time, I knew medical school wasn’t where God wanted me and I switched to social work – a field where I could still help people, but in a different way.  A wedding, three years, and three babies later, I had to press pause on my academic goals.  And while I fully intend to finish my social work degree (because 12 hours?!?!), an advisor recently suggested Nurse Practitioner and a light went on in my head.  So we’re praying and talking to advisors and others and waiting to see how things go this semester, and we’ll see what God has planned.

January rounded out with our local fine arts competition to see what would go on to Kansas City.  The girls have many pieces going, but one that didn’t make it, that I’m still so proud of (and the girl that painted it), was Grace’s acrylic.  I’d hang it in our entry if she would let me.

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We also celebrated Emma’s 13th birthday with friends.  No pictures to share, because I have strange, camera-averse teens.  She and some friends enjoyed pizza, junk food, movies, and staying up late.

On February 2nd, we went over to Kansas City with the older three girls and went skiing at Snow Creek.  It was the girls’ first time and only our third or so.  It was fun, (as fun as cold and snow can be), and the girls had a great time.  Matt, however, trashed his knee on his last run.  😦  He saw an orthopedist this past week and, thankfully, it was only severely sprained and will heal on its own in time.

snow creek:  also known as ice hill

having an athletic trainer in the family can be pretty handy

A couple of weekends ago I was able to attend IF: Gathering.  I loved it last year, have anxiously been awaiting this year, and was not disappointed.  I love it when God uses the same message to speak directly to women (and men) in many different places. For me, the theme of facing fear, having faith, being confident….it spoke to me deeply and reminded me that I am not alone in this strange place of depression and anxiety.

Last weekend was a retreat with most of the married couples from Matt’s family.  It was an enjoyable time of learning more about leadership both in and out of the home and connecting with these people we love in a setting away from normal life and noisy kids.

meanwhile, one of the girls thought the bunny needed a ride in my hoodie

hope of new life and new starts

more bunny adoreableness

sometimes you have to laugh at yourself and your own brand of crazy

this book – read it; it’s quick and easy and full of hope, and you will smile and laugh and be inspired to live a fuller life

That’s pretty much it for us right now.  January flew by and February was some sort of weird, slow motion crawl .  At least five times the past two weeks I’ve thought it was March, because it feels like it should be (until I walk outside….brrrr).  Snow is forecasted this weekend and then March springs with all her hope for warmth and beauty and the last nine weeks of school.

today….taking time to breathe and nurture my soul

Have a great weekend, friends, and may you find joy and hope and life where God has planted you.

For His Glory ~