Sunday, June 16, 2019

When June 16th and Father's Day Collide...

Today is June 16th. 

Today is Father's Day. 

Every so often, these two events collide: the one where we spend the day celebrating the amazing dad my hub is to our little Lus. And the one where I grieve the death of my own dad, who died completely unexpectedly 29 years ago today. On June 16, 1990. 

Trauma changes you. A big reason I am who I am today - the good, the bad, the me - is because of the inexplicable loss I endured as a 9-year-old child. My personality, my career path, my parenting approach, my perspective, my faith, my priorities...they are very much the result of losing my dad as a child. Much of who I am is because of June 16th. 

And much of who I married is undoubtedly because of June 16th. 

God knew that my life circumstances would mold me into a woman who needed to stand on her own two feet, who needed to spend her life helping children, who would try to control as much of the world around her as she could, all resulting from the complete loss of control experienced from a parent's death at such a young age. He knew that I would be a caring and determined (read: stubborn), quick-tempered planner who would love those around her with her whole heart and always carry a fear of suddenly losing them. He knew who I was. He saw who I would become. And He knew who I needed.

He knew I needed someone who would love Jesus with all his heart, who would support my dreams even when they changed, who would be as full of love and ambition as he was patience and kindness. He knew I needed a partner who would pour into our children - who would lead them and guide them, who would use their mistakes as teaching points, who would encourage independence but also be readily available for support. He knew I needed a husband who would serve not only as my best friend but also as my greatest confidant, most trustworthy secret-keeper, and the great love of my life. He knew I needed Clay. 

I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in Jesus. And I believe it was Jesus who sent my now-husband into my life on the exact day that he did: 

June 16, 2002. 

So, when these days collide: June 16th, when I lost my father, and June 16th, when I celebrate the father of my children, I will cry tears of grief and cry tears of gratitude, both for the great loss in my life and the great love in my life. 

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I miss you more than ever. Love, Your Princess.

Happy Father's Day, Clay. You are an answered prayer. Love, Your Linds

Friday, June 14, 2019

Mid-June Check-In

Howdy-ho! I thought it was time for a quick June check-in because before I know it, I will blink and this season, and these summer days that I love so much, will come to an end as we welcome in another school year. So, a quick, mid-June peek at what we've been up to since we closed out the school year at the start of the month: 

Swim team. Yep, swim team is in full force. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I said, "NO!" to swim team for years - overwhelmed by the presumed intensity of the practice and meet schedule, the volunteer requirements, the late nights, etc. I WAS SO WRONG. Because we are half way through our second season, and swim team is my favorite! Maybe it's the cheerleader in me, but I love, love, love cheering on all the awesome athletes as they swim their hearts out in the pool. 

Our swim team was the undefeated champion last year, which meant we got bumped up to the next division this year. And while the competition has been fierce, all the swimmers have been doing such a great job, beating their own times and improving in both stroke skill and speed. It's been great! This non-night owl doesn't even mind the late night meets because they are just so full of team spirit and fun - two of my favorite things. ;) ANYWHO, Banks and Raleigh are both having great seasons and great fun, and I can't wait until their next meet in just a few days, even after getting home from one late last night!

Clemson football camp. For the second year in a row, Banks attended the Dabo Swinney Football Camp in Clemson earlier this month and had a blast! Although the whole Lu Crew was originally intending to spend the weekend in Clemson, we ended up changing our plans last minute, with the boys heading to Clemson and the girls staying home here in the Mill, just like we did last year. I'm not sure who had more fun! I'm guessing the boys may have edged us out since they were in God's country, after all ;), but we Lu ladies had plenty of fun, too. <3

All-Stars baseball. I am typically a one-sport-per-kiddo-per-season kind of momma. But we decide to make an exception ever so often, which is currently the case for Banks, who has been having three swim practices and two swim meets per week on top of three All-Star baseball practices. Whew! Although we definitely couldn't keep this kind of schedule up for the long-haul, it is fun to watch him take the field one minute and the pool the next. But also? Give this momma alllll the naps, please. Ha!

Social worker visit. As part of the China adoption process, we are required to turn in annual reports documenting Bella's progress, appointments, family life, etc., for several years. The first two years require meetings with our (beloved) social worker, the latest of which took place just yesterday! It is hard to believe that we will soon celebrate two years of Bella being home, but time marches on and so do our social work visits. :) We loved meeting with our social worker and getting to update her on how far Bella has come since our last meeting last summer. We are so proud of our littlest chickadee. <3

Odds and ends. Let's see - there's also been plenty of pool time and game time; education and ice cream; appointments and therapies; swim lessons and water play; family time and friend time. And we are loving it all. <3

And that's it for now, y'all - Father's Day weekend awaits! Tomorrow marks the (4th??) annual neighborhood Father's Day golf tournament which is always a BLAST for all the dads - and there are 120 dads playing this year! And we mommas will be waiting poolside when they are done with their rounds, with a band playing and a food truck ready to serve up some dinner. Fun for all! Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Back soon...

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

So Long School Year, Hello Summer!

And THAT'S A WRAP on the 2018-19 school year!!! Although Harrison finished up his preschool year several weeks ago, and Bella finished two days ago, Banks and Raleigh are finally done with 3rd and 1st grades, respectively, after a half-day today. I am so proud of these kiddos and how much each of them learned this school year. I am so very thankful for the teachers who have poured into them all year, leaving a beautiful educational mark on each of them in their own way. 

And now, we say HELLO SUMMER 2019! I am so super-duper excited for our many fun plans and our many un-plans. I hope to pop in here to document them, and bring some other fun content to the blog, but time with my Lu Crew is my tip-top, utmost priority. So, I'll be back soon, maybe weekly, maybe sporadically. For now, it's off to kick things off with a BANG (literally - surprise sparklers will be awaiting my kiddos as they depart the bus in just a bit :)) and soak in as much time as I possibly can with my s{quad}. 

Have a great one, y'all! Be back soon  at some point. ;) Happy Summer to all!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Cheers to the Weekend, So Long May Edition

If you know me, you know I love to write. This lil' space right here is one of my happy places. :) But May wins again. I needed a(nother) little blog break to get things done, and honestly, to get my head right with some *stuff*, BUT I do want to get in a post or two where I can for memory's sake. I was also having some tech issues, but those have now been resolved; so, off we go for one last MASSIVE May post. #sorryboutthat

So, for anyone who remotely cares ;), a look at what we're saying CHEERS to as we round the corner to close out the 2018-19 school year and bid May farewell: 

Memorial Day Memories. Over the long weekend, my Lu Crew and two families we loved traveled to the beach for the fourth time in as many years for Memorial Day. This year, though, we ventured to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, and ohmygoodness, we LOVED it. So much so that we have already booked the same house for the same week next year. A quick photo dump sharing our fun times and memories made:

Pool Partay. We made it back in time on Monday to hit up my favorite pool party of the summer! It was an absolute blast with a huge turnout, and we loved catching up with so many neighbors we love!

All-Star Baseball. We are so excited for our Banks who made our town's kid-pitch All-Star team! This means three-times-weekly practices have begun! He is playing most first base, with a little pitching action, too, has several good buddies on the team, and he is SO PUMPED to have the opportunity to extend his baseball season. This kid eats, sleeps, and breathes sports, and we love cheering him on! 

Harrison's last game. Speaking of ball, Harrison had his last teeball game a couple weeks ago in the scathing hot sun. This kid seems to be following in his big bro's footsteps and is developing into quite the sports enthusiast. And he LOVED that his coach surprised the team with medals and water balloons to close out their sweet season. 

Raleigh's dance recital. AND speaking of closing out seasons, Raleigh had her dance recital that same weekend. Her Bammy and Digby were able to join us for the big show, and y'all, she did so great! We scored front row seats and she just locked eyes with her tear-filled momma and rocked that stage. I was SO proud of her. <3

Doc appointments. We've knocked out several appointments for Bella over the last couple weeks, including audiology, orthotics, and her 4-year well-check. This girl is such a rockstar and handles it all with such a sweet attitude. That's not to say she hasn't been getting some MAJOR 'tude lately: our new 4-year-old has discovered hitting and tantrumming, so lots of good times happening in the Lu Crew house, I tell ya. :/ ;) Harrison also had his 5-year well-check and got a great, healthy report. Yay, buddy!

EOY parties. Banks and Raleigh are thrilled for the fun coming their way at school the next few days: from Field Day today to end-of-year parties next week, they are ready for some fun with their teachers and friends. Meanwhile, Harrison and I attended a special EOY party for Bellaboo yesterday, who now only has one super fun school water day next week that stands between her and summer. We loved celebrating our girl and her classmates (and seeing her rock her new CHEEEEEEEEESE face). Ha!

And that's that for now! We have big ol' fun plans this weekend: Raleigh and I will be hitting up the pool earrrrrrly tomorrow morning for our swim team's Mock Meet. Then, we'll head straight to Clemson, where my hub and our other three will have arrived that morning. Banks is participating in the Dabo Sweeney Football Camp for the second year (he is so excited!), and the rest of us have decided to tag along for some Clemson fun! Then, it'll be back home to finally close out the school year. Summer, we see you just over the horizon, and we're coming for you! Have a wild and crazy weekend, y'all! :)