Greece Favorites: Part Two

I am joining in with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, &Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites. And sharing my favorites from my Greece trip, Part Two! (If you haven’t read Part One, you totally should!)

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I think the second half of my time on Crete was my favorite. But that may not be fair. I truly loved every moment. But there is something magical about adventuring alone. I never understood it, as I have never been alone. But when I visited the Acropolis and had Wednesday, a free day, I felt a freedom I have never experienced before. I learned more about myself, relied on myself. And found how strong my comfort zones really are. I look back and wish my solo day came later in the trip, so I could have felt more at ease really exploring each alley, each street. But I know I will be back.

The second half of the stay also held visits to my Yia-Yia’s ancestoral homes. Seeing where your roots are, where they come from is powerful. It was always something I held onto loosely, but seeing the home my Yia-Yia was born in caused my heart to leap. The connection ran deep. Deeper than I ever imagined, even with the strong connection my Yia-Yia and I share.

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Greece Favorites: Part One

Today I am joining in with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites. And I am sharing some of my Greece Favorites! Because, if you follow me on any of my social media platforms, you know I was in Greece last week! (And if you don’t follow me yet, you should: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin.)

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Okay, moving on from my shameful self promotion…

|| DAY ONE: SUNDAY ||

My flight out began Sunday night. Sunday afternoon, I began freaking out. I have never traveled alone (without Greg or my family) and I was becoming fearful. I fed that fear and finally, had to make the hard choice: to continue living in irrational fear or to remember God’s faithfulness and trust. I chose the latter. You can read more about the fear, here.

Before I had to face that fear, I tried to prepare myself as best I could. I decided to pack only carry-ons. You know, so I wouldn’t have to worry about my bags making it all the way to Greece and so I wouldn’t have to conquer the baggage carousel. (I told you my fears are irrational.)

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Musings From the Sky: Thoughts on Prayer {#WholeMama}

Today I sit. I am enjoying the small everyday moments. The moments I have missed as I have been traveling this week. I am remembering the hard moments and the loud moments that come with this life of littles. The hugs, the playing, and the sweet words. I ease back into the routines of the day. I itch the mosquito bite and nurse the sleep deprivation/jet lag. I sit glassy eyed watching littles play and trying to remember to count them all (you know, so I don’t lose one). I talk with neighbors. I enjoy the cool air and cloudy sky. I rejoice in all of these small beautiful moments.

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When I saw that the weekly prompt for #WholeMama was prayer, I smiled. I think it is because prayer is something that has evolved. I grew up thinking of prayer as a time to rush through, eyes closed, hands neatly folded. I would pray at meals, bedtime, and when requested. But it wasn’t a relational prayer. As I grew, I kept that idea of prayer and expanded it. I allowed prayer into more of my life, but it was still in the dark. In the quiet. Hands folded neatly. Prayer wasn’t messy. It wasn’t the real, vulnerable prayer. It was tidy, exactly what I thought my God wanted.

But now. Now prayer is so much more. I still love the prayers whispered in the quiet, as I fall asleep. I love the prayers with my hands folded, just speaking to my God. I instill those same ideas into my children. But I add one more. That prayer can, and should, be more. It should be a relationship. It should ebb and flow into each facet of your life. God should be invited into the mess. Into the chaos of daily life. And my children are learning this. Though they still close their eyes (because everything is a distraction!), they are learning to stop and speak to God in the small moments. They are learning to hear God’s voice.

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This Is How We Do It: Family Vacation

I am so excited for another This Is How We Do It link up with my friend, Lori from the Boutelle Family blog! I have found so many great tips and tricks for everyday things! If you haven’t yet, you should check out the other This Is How We Do It link ups: Grocery Shopping, Me Time, and Dinner Time. Seriously so many amazing tips from other incredible bloggers.

image2Okay, on to vacations. I love vacations. And road trips. A lot. And now that the kids are getting older, we are doing them a lot more! I love getting to experience new things with them and revisit favorite places. It makes my heart smile when my kids claim Florida as their favorite place. Only because it has been our family vacation spot for the last 5 years and they are creating memories. But even more, they are treasuring those memories.

Because we have four littles, we drive everywhere. Even Florida. From Illinois. Yes, it gets slightly crazy. And yes, we are very crazy. But we save a ton of money, and like I said, I kind of love road trips. So it’s kind of a win.

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Thankful Heart: Greece

In the airport. Preparing to leave for Greece. Honestly I have been preparing for this for weeks. Counting down the hours, the minutes. And now that the time is near, I wonder how it is already here. How I am already leaving.

But now. Today, today fear is crippling me. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am still excited. But the fear. The fear grew. Unabated. Free. And this afternoon, when I realized I would have enough time to leave the Athens airport and get a peak at the Acropilis, fear reared its ugly head. I debated not leaving the airport. Because fear. Because if I take a taxi alone, bad things could happen. (Yes, I seriously have not even taken a taxi in Chicago alone!) Because what if 100 (or even 10) things happen and I miss my flight to Crete. But my husband and a dear friend reminded me – even if I miss my flight, I can book a new one and to pray. That I am not being foolish. That I am choosing to trust. That I am choosing adventure. And it will be amazing.

But still. Fear reigned. And as Greg drove me to the airport, fear continued to grow. It tried to overtake my excitement. To steal it from me. Tearing away my adventure. My courage.

And now. Here I sit. Through security. In the international airport I have rarely visited. And even rarer by myself. And I am deliberately, intentionally choosing to trust.

Because I will not fear. I need not fear. With the next step I take, I will choose to embrace adventure. Trust. Courage.

Because this is an amazing experience. This is a wonderful gift. And I will not squander it on fear. So instead, I will remember. I will spend time in thankfulness. Because what better way to combat fear than by remembering God’s provision.

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The Summer of Adventure

A few weeks ago, I read this post from MOPS: Make 2015 the Summer of Something. There was something I loved about the idea of naming and claiming this new season. There was also something about it that made me feel uneasy.


I was excited at the possibilities for this summer. This is our first full summer in our new home. Our first summer living closer to family and friends, new and old. This is also a summer filled with trips. We usually only take one vacation each summer (if you follow me on Instagram, you already know we are on that trip right now).

Though I was initially intrigued at the idea of setting a goal for the summer, I was hesitant. I didn’t want to add to a season that already makes me a little nervous. Everyone will be home from school. While this is great, it also means that everyone will be around each other.all.the.time. I’m excited for the fun and hesitant for the bickering that will happen. Boy-Child qualified for extended school year, but we chose to opt out of it. Since he will not be in school, I need to make sure to be helping him grow and not lose skills. Add to everything else, I want to be working with Man-Child and Goose on school basics.

Did I want to add one more thing? 

I mean, I know I want to have fun. I want to get some learning in. I want to enjoy rest. I want to have great trips. So can I do it all?

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Road Trip

THANK YOU

Before I begin, I need to start by saying: THANK YOU. Thank you for reading and encouraging me. But more than that, thank you for sharing the stories of YOUR JOURNEYS with me. The kind messages I received since my last post were examples of the community I wish for this blog. So THANK YOU. Thank you for taking the journey with me and for allowing me to come alongside yours.

THE ROAD TRIP

This weekend, my husband and I decided to surprise our oldest 2 kids with a winter getaway. It equated to 14 hours of driving for, basically, one full day of winter fun. Some of you may think I am completely insane – and really, I wouldn’t argue with you! But somehow I convinced my ever wonderful husband that this was totally and completely worth it!

Can you tell? I LOVE road trips. My love began when my husband took me out west after we got married. We would drive west and visit National Park after National Park for 2 weeks. Something ignited in me. I felt ALIVE and FREE!

There is something about the FREEDOM of the open road. There is a PEACE, a QUIET, and BEAUTY there.

The night before we left my heart was bursting with excitement. The anticipation of the road trip was killing me. I was like a child before Christmas. Seriously. I hate mornings, and the morning of our trip, I was practically begging my husband to just let us leave!

THE DRIVE

Driving on the straight expressway for miles upon miles, I was struck by just how HAPPY I was. The burdens my heart had picked up over the last month were lifted and I was at PEACE. I felt LIGHTER. My heart REJOICED. I was FREE. I DELIGHTED in the journey, the scenery, and the beauty all around me.

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