IT IS FINISHED
Okay, that may be a little dramatic. But April has been an exhausting month. We had a terrible stomach bug slowly make it’s way through our house. Every week we had another one of us fall to this virus, and once we had forgotten the terribleness, the next of us would get sick. Yes, I may be making it sound much worse than it probably was. But really. We had this stomach bug for the entire month of April! (Although Baby Boy’s fevers may have been more due to teething, but it’s 50/50 after the nastiness that was here.) In the end, it only got half of us (excluding Baby boy), and we are finally healthy and ready for May!
As I sit here, looking at April’s calendar and my thankfulness lists, I’m probably most thankful that April is over. In all fairness, April wasn’t the worst. April saw so much wonderfulness and some hard times. And if you are anything like me, those hard times can cloud out the beautiful times. Honestly, that’s one of the biggest reasons I love recapping my month. I want to end a month remembering it’s beauty, and while not hiding the hard, I want to embrace the hard while fully remembering all the beauty and grace that went along with it.
April was a race, for me. An endurance race. I do not like running – in real life or for the pace of my life. April was a race. Sports began, school wrap ups/events were taking place, sickness was taking over, neuropsychologist visits were scheduled, community living was (mostly) cancelled, birthdays and family get-togethers were filling weekends. Our days were more full than we like. But they were filled with “necessary” things. The timing was just hard. I didn’t schedule Easter, Greek Easter, sicknesses, my husband’s birthday and his dad’s in consecutive days. There are just moments of life that are busy, and you have to make it through. Then rest.
Of course, at the end of the month, I joined a book study with my church of the book, Breathe, by Priscilla Shirer. Of course. A book about finding rest and exploring the Sabbath. Just what my April was lacking. Rest. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the book.
Yes, I am going to start with the hard. Because that’s how I am. A realist, if you were wondering.
We were sick. I won’t mention it again. Probably not, at least.
My gracious husband turned 32! Unfortunately for him, he was sick. So, as my Man Child says, it was the worst birthday. It brought no cake and because I have 4 littles and we had been sick, no presents. His gift was the stomach flu and having to make his own birthday pancakes. Birthdays as a grown up with littles is seriously not the most fun. Later he did receive an expansion for Carcassone. If you have never played, do it. It’s fun and I LOVE IT! (Okay, I mentioned being sick again. I probably will at least a few more times, let’s be real.)
We had Boy Child’s final feedback appointment with our neuropsychologist. (You can read more about our special needs journey here.) I promise I will share more about it soon, I want to do it justice, so this post is taking some time.
Huh, it is kind of surprising, but separating it out like this, I am reminded how few “hard” there were. Grace is always surprising me.
Really, we celebrated A LOT:
My dear friend had her precious baby girl. I hadn’t been able to see them right away because we were fighting the plague. But their first day back to church I got to see them and spend a few hours holding their precious little one. I was so happy and joy-filled (I talked about that joy, here.)
We had a beautiful Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Greek Easter. We had so many Easter Egg hunts, we all loved it (I am currently enjoying a giant bowl of candy!). Having some extended family time was great, but my favorite times are when it is just us and our traditions. On Good Friday we have our own family egg hunt. It was great being able to find new hiding places at our new home. The kids loved it and even Baby Boy got really into it. (Oh, and yes, I do color code each child’s eggs. It’s been marvelously wonderful. I definitely recommend it!) I also crocheted each child a plush toy for their Easter baskets. (If you did not know, I crochet and have an Etsy shop!) The kids loved them (well except Baby Boy who won’t actually acknowledge it, but 3 out of 4 is still a win in my book) and I felt such immeasurable peace at the decision to cut
some a lot of hours from CrochetASmile. I promise to write up a post about each item, their patterns, and tips soon! (UPDATE: I completed the post, you can find it here.)
My father in law turned 60 and most of the family was able to come celebrate him!
My husband turned 32! Unfortunately for him, he was sick. So, as my Man Child says, it was the worst birthday. It brought no cake and because I have 4 littles and we had been sick, no presents. His gift was the stomach flu and having to make his own birthday pancakes. Birthdays as a grown up with littles is seriously not the most fun. Later he did receive an expansion for Carcassone. If you have never played, do it. It’s fun and I LOVE IT! (Yes, I put this in both categories: The Hard & The Grace.)
Goose completed the Awanas Cubbies program. She has done an amazing job of memorizing Bible verses each week and we are so proud of her.
Man Child had his first soccer game!
We had Whale Day. No, I did not make this up. Man Child had a PTO Enrichment Day that I was able to volunteer for. Really, it was a crazy day, but it was great. To end Whale Day the kids were able to see a life size 9 month old Blue Whale mock-up (it was created by a very dedicated mom years ago out of plastic garbage bags, I believe). I was beyond impressed, and so were the kids.
I gave away my second courage key (you can read more about my keys, here)…to my Man Child. He has been having some hard times with friends, and as he told me his story, and confessed his heart, I knew. He needs courage. And a reminder to be brave, even when you were wrong too. This was one of the most precious moments with him.
Sweet Boy Child shared with Baby Boy! A big deal in this house because Baby Boy is basically Boy Child’s kryptonite. Really, I know I’m prone to exaggeration, but this is not an exaggeration. This was such a moment of grace, I took a terrible picture just to prove it did happen. Even if only for 2 minutes. And all the kids actually have been playing pretty nicely (for there being 4 of them!), lately. We got a picture of them playing in their handmade rocket ship, too!
We had some beautiful weather this month, and after one of our walks around the neighborhood, Goose told me that God told her He loves her. The world stopped in that moment, and I melted. At first I thought she meant she felt His love in the beauty around us. But no, she continued to tell me that she had to listen really hard, but there came a whisper, “GOOSE! I LOVE YOU!” (Imagine loud whispering that only a child can perfect.) These small moments of grace. This right here. Why we remember. The day before this walk, it was a crazy rainy day. But as we tucked the littles into bed, I was looking out the window of my goose’s room and wanted to show her the beauty of the sun setting, as the rain clouds dissipated, and the gleaming last light sparkled on the rain soaked green. As she got up on her tiptoes to see out the window, we saw new flowers blooming, then deer ran past into the marsh behind our home, then a purple (one of her top favorite colors) balloon fly right past her window, and then, to finish off these declarations of love – a rainbow. That she spotted first. God has been serenading my little Goose. And it has been amazingly beautiful. Goose is my sensitive, love filled, caring soul. To see her outright falling in love with God is honestly, one of the most amazing things to witness. My Mom heart melts into a puddle of tears just thinking about it.
Reflecting on April, I am struck by the grace. The beauty. I’m exhausted but it is an exhaustion that comes from a race run well. Perhaps, not the best, but well. As we enter May, I am resting in the grace of a race run well, and am looking forward to rest. How about you? Reflecting on April, what are you thankful for? What are you eager for in May?
I am linking up today with with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites! I loved remembering my April favorites (and not so favorites) and being thankful for the grace in it all. And if you want to see more pictures of our everyday, real life – life, follow me on Instagram. I promise to flood your feed with messy, real life, evidence of grace, and inspiration.