Do Yourself A Favor

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While at church camp a couple of weeks ago, I got talking to a lady I hadn’t seen in a long time who said something that I found very interesting. We were having a pleasant conversation about some things that had been going on in our lives and a friend of mine was standing there as well. As we were about to walk away, my friend said “Keep posting all of those cool pictures, because I love seeing them.” Suddenly, the woman’s face turned red and she said “I’m embarrassed to say this, but I may have “unfriended” you guys. I went through a little time of being upset that no one was “liking” or commenting on any of the posts I was making and in my hurt, I just started “unfriending” people.” She said that she realized afterwards that it probably wasn’t the best way to handle the situation and that she was embarrassed about it. We assured her that we weren’t upset with her about it and after talking for a while longer, went on.

I must say that that conversation keeps resounding in my mind. Not because I was upset with her or anything (I looked and I actually had not been “unfriended” by her anyway), but because I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much we sometimes rely on the approval or acknowledgement of others for our own validation. Let me make it clear that I am in NO WAY saying she needs validation from others to be happy. I am saying that we all tend to fall into that at least a little sometimes. I’m saying that social media contributes to that even more-so. So, what can we do about it?

First off, let me just say that we all have different personalities, interests, etc. (not that you needed me to tell you that) and that is a major contributor to the things we “like” or comment on on social media. Things that seriously crack me up may seem completely dumb or not make sense to someone else. Things that I find interesting may seem totally boring to someone else. That’s just a part of being different. My husband and I have a very similar style of humor, but there are still times that I will be laughing to the point of crying about something and he will just stare at me like I’ve lost my mind. In the same way that I don’t let his reaction hurt my feelings, I should be the same way when people don’t “like” or comment on the thing that I find to be so dang hilarious. Different life experiences cause us to find different things funny or they may cause us to find certain things not funny at all. No biggie, I’m still going to laugh my butt off when I think something is funny, whether anyone else does or not! In the same token, there are things that I find to be very interesting. Things that get me excited. Some of these things are the most boring things ever to other people. Int the same way, I find some of others’ interests to be completely snooze worthy. That’s just because we’re different. Chances are that I won’t “like” their posts and that they won’t “like” mine when they are about a topic that is just not exciting or appealing to either of us.

Another reason why people may not “like” or comment on our posts is just out of no reason other than that they just don’t think to. I know that Brian has a tendency to just scroll through facebook on his phone and look at things. He sometimes mentions about different pictures or posts to me, but when I see them later, he hasn’t “liked” them or anything. It’s not that he didn’t actually like them or find them interesting, he just didn’t hit the little button. I know that I sometimes am looking at facebook while I have a minute waiting for something and sometimes just don’t get the chance to respond to it in any sort of way or know I don’t have time to respond to it like I want to and plan to do it later, but never actually get back to it. Not that I didn’t appreciate what the person had posted, the circumstances just didn’t allow for me to convey it. Not only that, but I start to feel like a serious stalker if I start “liking” a ton of pictures on someone’s page. So, sometimes I will only “like” a few, even though there are several I actually appreciate.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that it’s very important not to allow what you perceive to be the reactions to your posts, have too much of an effect on you. Post things because you’re excited about them or find them funny or they interest you or convey a message you think is important. Do it knowing that people are seeing it and that even if no one actually gives any kind of response, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t made some kind of an impact on someone. Use social media for fun and good, not for complaining or bringing people down. If social media stops being fun for you, stop using it. If need be, “unfollow” people whose posts have a tendency to bring you down. It doesn’t mean you aren’t still “friends” with them on facebook, it just means you don’t have to see their posts and be brought down by their negativity. Most of all though, remember that your validation does not come from people. People will let you down sometimes and hurt your feelings, that’s just a sad fact of life. Your validation needs to come from the One who created you and who calls you “Dearly Beloved”.

Let’s all be aware of the things we post and really look at whether they are something positive that could bring someone a laugh (without being hurtful to someone), bring someone a message of hope, or just generally brighten someone’s day. Maybe be mindful of just hitting the “like” button when you see something you like, because that can brighten the day of the person who posted it.

Do yourself a favor and use social media for fun and enjoyment and if it becomes something other than that…get rid of it. Life is too good to allow something like social media to bring you down.

Learning To Roll With It

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I suffer from anxiety. I am easily overwhelmed. When my schedule starts to fill up, my head starts to spin and I start to completely freak out. Being busy turns me into some kind of monster that I can’t even stand to be around, so I can only imagine how my husband and children feel. Saying I do not handle schedules well would be an insane understatement. So, with school starting right around the corner and sports, band, youth group, etc. starting up…what’s an easily overwhelmed girl like me to do?

Well, I just got back from 12 days of being at church camp and I had a lot of time to reflect on how I handle schedules and had some really good conversations with some of my dear friends who deal with crazy schedules too. Not only that, but being busy and being intentional about how we use our time were some of the topics of a sermon I heard there. So, this girl got to praying and was really honest with God in the fact that I cannot deal with schedules and the stress that comes with them on my own. I need Him to get me through it because I have tried for far too long to handle it on my own and that has been an epic failure. Now, God already knew that I needed Him, but being the gentleman He is, He didn’t force His way into my schedule-panicked life, but He sat there waiting for me to invite Him into it. I could immediately feel a difference in the way I am looking at the upcoming school year, when I intentionally asked Him to help me through it. What in the world has taken me so long to ask Him? I mean, I trust Him for our health and provision. I trust Him for wisdom in parenting our children and for being a good wife. Why did I not trust Him in the same way and ask for Him to help me through our schedules, like I have asked Him for help with all of those other things? Geesh, we can be really slow to learn sometimes, can’t we?

So, here’s the deal. I sat last night and went through all of the current sports and band schedules that we have and I put them into my calendar. I started thinking about how I’ve never perished during a busy season yet, so chances are real good I won’t this time either. I started thinking about how even though I’m not a person who thrives on being on the go (in fact, it drains me incredibly) that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy things along the way. I mean, I get to watch these amazing children that God has entrusted to me, playing sports and instruments and growing closer to Him through Youth Group. I get the privilege of seeing them gain strength and confidence and do the things they love. When I view it that way, instead of as another thing on the calendar “to HAVE to do”, things start seeming much less stressful and much more enjoyable.

One of the pastors who spoke at camp mentioned setting aside a day for your family that meant no friends over, no going anywhere, etc. and just spending family time. He said that love is spelled T-I-M-E and I believe that is absolutely true. Brian and I talked about it and decided that Sundays were the most possible day for making that happen and that we were going to ensure as a family that Sundays are dedicated to going to church and then spending the day doing things as a family. We love to play games and watch movies together and that seems to get lost during the school year when our schedules are so full, so this will be a way to work those things we enjoy into our schedules. I know it will be something we look forward to each week too. This means deciding now that we will be saying “no” when people ask us to do things on Sundays. It’s ok to say “no”. In fact, sometimes you have to, to be able to say “yes” to more important things. My family is the most important thing in my life, next to Jesus, so I won’t feel even a tiny bit guilty to say “no” to other people or things, in order to say “yes” to time with them.

This year is going to be filled with some new things. Gavin is doing Middle College, so two days a week, he will be heading to the community college to take some classes and with 2 vehicles, this will require some creative finagling, but we’ll make it work. Riley is doing marching band, so he will have rehearsals every week and parades to march in that will take up some weekend days, but it will be fun to go to all of the parades and watch him drum down the street and see his joy as he is doing something he loves. Asher will be playing soccer again this fall and so will Gavin, so Brian and I will often be in different directions and at different fields, but we’ll both be watching our boys play a sport they love. I am going to be a Youth Group Leader for the 3rd year now and will be moving up to Senior High Youth Group with my group of girls who I have been with since 7th grade. I’m excited to see how the girls adjust to high school and to see their faith grow. Even though my boys may have to miss Youth Group sometimes because of sports schedules, I will be thankful for the nights when they can go and for our discussions on the ride to and from church. Our church is 25 minutes away, so we have lots of time to talk about random things on the way there and about what went on at Youth Group on our way home. I will be going back to work in the Fall too, which could make our 2 vehicle/Gavin going to Middle College situation a little more tricky, but I know we will work things out.

So, I am vowing here and now to not let our schedules get the best of me this year. I am going to remind myself that every time I start to feel overwhelmed or panicked, I need to stop and pray and ask God to come into the midst of our schedules and to help us through them with grace and joy. I know that He will help me learn to “roll with it” and to even enjoy the things that I should be enjoying, instead of dreading things just because they felt overwhelming to me in the past. You know, God is pretty amazing like that.

If you’re like me and tend to get anxious and overwhelmed easily by schedules, I hope that you will team up with me and ask for God to be in the midst of your schedule too. Also, if you find some clever ways to make things easier around the house with chores or great ways to make homework time easier, please share. I would love create our own little support system to encourage one another through these busy days. Let’s choose joy over panic. With Him, we can do it. It will be so worth it.

Pets

I have to start off with a little disclaimer that I am not an animal lover. I like them A LOT, but I’m not someone who treats them like people. I think they are adorable and fun, but I am not a fan of being covered in animal hair or slobber or having them jump up on me or sniff me in uncomfortable areas when I go to someone’s house. You know exactly what I mean when I say that. However, we do have some pretty darn cute pets and I do talk baby talk to them on occasion, I will admit it. How could you not though, when you look at their cute little faces?

So, let me introduce you to our family pets.

First up, we have our pretty much perfect dog, Sasha. She’s a Shih Tzu and we got her when she was almost 2 years old, so she was past all of the potty-training stuff (I have zero patience for that, no matter how cute an animal is. I can’t deal with my house being like a giant bathroom). That already made her pretty dang great, but besides that she is just super loving and sweet. She’s pretty chill most of the time, but loves to get all riled up and play with the boys and us on occasion too. She does bark whenever she even thinks she’s hears someone near our house, but I guess that isn’t such a bad thing. She is totally attached to me. When she isn’t lying in her bed, she is lying by my feet. She lies down outside the bathroom door whenever I go to the bathroom or take a shower and she likes to follow me around when I’m doing things. She and Asher are buddies, but Gavin is a pretty big fan of hers too. Not to say that Riley doesn’t like her, he just doesn’t seem to be quite as interested in her as the other boys are. What else makes her almost perfect? She doesn’t shed!!! I have a serious aversion to animal hair being in my house and all over my stuff, so a non-shedding dog was the ONLY way I was willing to go. She is 9 years old now and she is the absolute perfect dog for us. We’ve already decided that once she is gone, we won’t get another dog because we are pretty sure we won’t find one as awesome as her.

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The real shocker when it comes to our pets though is the cats we got at the end of last September. I never wanted cats and have never been much of a cat person. We live in the country though and were noticing mice around a lot and Brian suggested that maybe we get some. So, I ended up getting put in touch with my brother-in-law’s cousin who has a ton of barn cats and had several kittens. The best part…they were free and then $10.00 each to get them fixed and since I was taking two, they only charged me to fix one of them. We got them when they were just little and the gray one was crazy and would attack everyone. They were terrified of everything. We worked with them though and they are the sweetest cats ever. My 3 year old niece was just hugging all over them the other day and they just love it. They live in our garage and are currently shut in there at night and allowed to run around outside all day. We are going to install a kitty door in our service door of our garage though, so they can go in an out freely when we aren’t home during the day too. They are seriously the best cats and so dang cute. Stella is the gray and white one and I absolutely love the little freckle she has on her nose. Lula is the tabby and she is so super sweet. I honestly just love them both and totally talk baby talk to them all the time.

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You may have noticed that all of our pets are female. That is not by accident. Since I am the only female human in the house, I only thought it was fair that I at least get to have female pets. I call them “my girls” because they are the only girls I will get until I’m maybe blessed with granddaughters in the future. Aren’t my girls cute? LOL

My favorite thing though is how well Sasha gets along with Stella and Lula. All 3 of them chase each other around and play all the time and it’s so cute.

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So, those are our pets. They are super low-maintenance (besides Sasha’s grooming appointments, but that’s no big deal) and super sweet.

What pets do you have? If you don’t have any, why not?

Good Grief!

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And so begins the overload of political posts on facebook. I’m sure you’ve seen it starting too. I am vowing here and now that I WILL NOT be a part of it and I WILL NOT engage with the things people post either.

I remember during the last election, commenting on someone’s post that had something to do with candidates and abortion and being told that 1. I was stupid if I thought women didn’t have the right to have an abortion and 2. God was proud of the pro-choice opinions of one of the particular people posting because He was proud of her. Um…I just won’t even comment on that second one.

I saw people fighting all over the place over differing opinions and thoughts on who would be the best president. I saw downright hateful things being said and even know of people who had relationships damaged because of differing opinions. You know what I say to that? HOW INCREDIBLY RIDICULOUS!

I refuse to be a part of such obnoxious behavior. The truth of the matter is that nothing I post is going to change someone with an opposing viewpoints mind and nothing they post is going to change mine. All it will do is cause irritation and frustration and hurt feelings and that is just stupid.

I have this crazy little idea. Why don’t we each do our research and find out who we think is the best candidate and go out and vote for that person and let that be that? Novel idea, huh?

So, who’s with me? Who would like to vow right along with me that they will not be a part of the obnoxious overload of political posts and won’t engage in arguments over who is right and why?

I think it’s probably pretty obvious where I stand on the major issues, seeing as I am a Christian and believe WITHOUT A DOUBT that God’s way is the best way on all of the subjects at hand. For me to keep telling people over and over what I believe is right is not going to change their mind. They already know what I think. Now, if asked, I will absolutely tell them where I stand, but in a loving way like Jesus would, not in a rude and self-righteous way like some people who call themselves Christians do. Sorry, but that’s just the truth and I know waaayyyy too many people who do that. I think they need to take a few steps back and remember what we are called to do. Anyway though, that’s for a different post…if and when I feel like getting into that. LOL

So here’s to an upcoming election season without allowing others’ political posts to make me frustrated and upset (I will resort to un-following peoples’ posts if necessary. My sanity is beyond worth it.) and to doing my own research on the candidates and making the most informed decision I can.

Let’s do this! PLEASE.

Weekend Shennanigans

This weekend was filled with great things that made my heart smile, so I thought I’d give you a little peek into the fun I had…

Friday night we stayed home and relaxed and it was blissful…well, except for Gavin who left at 4:30 in the morning on Friday to go work with a guy we know and ended up working until about 5:30 the next morning. The rest of us enjoyed a relaxing evening though. Sorry, Gavin! I did bake a cake for Saturday, but that was fun.

Saturday morning, Gavin got home and showered and immediately went to bed before Riley and Asher even woke up for the day! I made the frosting for the cake I was taking to a party later in the day and put the strawberries on it. This is the Strawberries and Cream Poke Cake that I did a post on a few weeks ago. You can see it here, if you missed it. Man is that cake good!

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We all got ready for the day and woke Gavin up just before we were leaving so he could quickly get ready to go too. We had to run to a couple of stores and then I went to my cousin’s wedding shower. His fiance had it in their back yard and everything was really pretty and fancy and I thoroughly enjoyed drinking my lemonade out of a wine glass.

Sam was channeling Vanna White as she showed off her gifts.

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From there our family headed to the graduation party of one of the sweetest, most beautiful girls I know. My amazing Goddaughter, Sierra, graduated this year and it’s insane to me that she is this old already. I’ve known her from the time she was inside her sweet momma’s obsessive apple and cereal eating belly. LOL She had this gorgeous curly brown hair and big brown eyes as a baby and she has grown into such a gorgeous young woman. My favorite thing about her is her faith and how she treats everyone with such kindness. She is truly a beauty in every possible way. She put this little collage of pictures on my facebook page for my birthday this year and just melted my heart. I was so happy to be able to celebrate her graduation with her. On the right is one of her Senior pictures. Isn’t she gorgeous?!

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From there we headed to my Mom and Dad’s house to celebrate Father’s Day. Both of my sisters and their families were there and my brother-in-law, Jason, made the most incredible ribs I have EVER tasted. I kid you not. My sister always raves about them and Brian was giving Jason a hard time (jokingly of course) at Easter camping about the fact that he supposedly makes these awesome ribs, yet none of us have ever gotten to try them. Well, he totally delivered. I mean, wow, they were incredible!

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We were all so full from dinner that we decided to have the cake I made late in the evening. My sisters and I gave our Dad his gifts and took a couple of pictures with him (Oh, how I love this man.)

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We finished out the night with a HUGE bonfire. The kids loved when we burned my parents’ Christmas tree from this past year. It was obviously extremely dried out, so it took off and burned up super fast. It was pretty cool to watch.

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Sunday was a busy day with trying to get things ready for our upcoming camping trip and all of the grocery shopping, food prep and packing, but I did manage to make Brian a little something to celebrate with and the kids gave him a gift of a bunch of yummy snacks to take camping that are just for him. It was a great way to wind down the weekend and I feel so blessed. I’m so grateful for this life and for the amazing people I get to share it with. Life is good and God is great!

Camping – The Perfect Family Vacation

If you know me at all, you know I love camping. I grew up camping, my husband grew up camping and our boys are growing up camping too. There are so many reasons why it is the perfect way to vacation with your family, but here are just a few…

#1 – First and foremost, I think your sleeping accommodations are a huge part of what makes camping the best as far as family vacationing goes. Whether you have a tent or a travel trailer, cabin or motorhome…whatever. The reason is because you are in closer quarters than you are at home. If it rains, you are in a small space together. This means you are pretty much forced to interact. Not only that, but it’s like a special sleepover every night too. We lie there and talk and laugh about things before bed. It’s just a special time in special surroundings. We tent camped for years and then were greatly blessed by Brian’s aunt and had a motorhome that we used for years and last summer she allowed us to sell it and trade in for a travel trailer that would be a better fit for our family. We absolutely love it and are super excited about how much time we are going to get to spend in it this summer. Check it out…

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Isn’t it awesome?! We LOVE it!!!!

#2 – Little to NO technology/screen time. We occasionally allow a little time to play games on iphones or ipads if there is a lot of rain and we are stuck inside for a couple of days. Otherwise, when it rains, we play board/card games. When it’s not raining for days on end though, there is NO REASON to be spending time on electronics. Truthfully, my boys are usually so busy swimming and playing outside that they have no desire to be on that junk. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. We are all so much more present in our interactions and just enjoy life, without all of the distractions. This is such a blessing for any family.

#3 – Special meals/treats. There is something so fun about making food that you don’t typically have at home. Of course there are s’mores, but we sometimes have them when we have a bonfire in our backyard. I’m talking yummy things like using the irons you can buy and cook things in over the fire. We love pizzas and reubens made that way and don’t forget taking a can of pie filling, putting it in one of the irons between two pieces of bread and then sprinkling powdered sugar over it when it’s done cooking. YUM! Simple things, but things we never have besides when we’re camping (and actually haven’t done in a while, so I think we should plan it for some of our upcoming trips).

#4 – Water fun. Whether it’s the pools at the campgrounds, the beaches or the river…every campground we go to offers some sort of water fun. We love to spend days at the beach with games like cornhole and horseballs, a cooler packed with drinks and sandwiches and a bunch of snacks. Watching the kids play in the water and laugh is the best and it’s so relaxing to just lie on the beach. I particularly like the days when there are some waves on the water. I love to go out and play with the kids and it totally makes me feel like a kid again. The pool is ok. The kids like it, so that makes it tolerable, but I definitely wouldn’t say that that’s my favorite water fun while camping. My absolute favorite though is when we go up to our favorite campground on a river and we tube down the river a couple of times during our stay and also the kids swim in it and my Mom and I love to stick a chair down in the sand and sit in the water and watch the tubers, canoers and kayakers go by. So relaxing, so fun.

#5 – Nights spent around a campfire. I think there are few things that feel as blissful as taking a shower in the evening after dinner and then going and sitting out by the campfire with family. There is just something about being in the water or doing things all day that make you feel a little grimy and then getting all cleaned up and snuggling down by the campfire. There is so much laughter that happens around the fire. Who knows where conversations will go or when we’re camping with my parents, what kind of weird game my Dad will make up that will have the kids and adults all cracking up. Such an incredibly simple thing, but there is just something magical about nights around the campfire. They are my favorite kinds of nights.

#6 – Experiencing new places/things. There are so many new things to experience as a family when camping. Sometimes we venture out from the campground and visit new towns we’ve never been to before. To keep costs low, we will plan to just go out and explore and have ice cream or something like that and everyone loves it. Then there are cool things to experience while at the campgrounds. Depending on where you go and what kinds of amenities they have, you may be able to rent fun kinds of bikes or kayaks or paddle boats. Some of the campgrounds we go to have organized craft days, karaoke nights and things like that. No one in our family has been brave enough to sing, but they love to watch. Some really cool things we’ve experienced are while tubing down the river. We’ve come to rope swings over the river and a mudslide down the river bank that has afforded many laughs for not only our little family, but tons of our extended family too. I have done some seriously hard laughing at some of my cousins on that thing. There’s also a place where the current goes fast and everyone likes to jump off a big rock and ride the current to the nearby landing, get out and do it all over again. So many things that don’t cost any money, but bank up awesome memories.

Most of my best memories of being a kid involve camping, as do my husband’s. I have a really good feeling that my kids will say the same some day. If you’re looking for a great way to really connect with your family that doesn’t require a bunch of fancy entertainment and expensive hotels, camping is absolutely the best way to go. Rent a cabin at a KOA, borrow a tent from a friend, you can even rent a travel trailer or motorhome. Whether you go for a weekend or a week, your family is sure to experience some great times together and I must insist that for the best experience possible, you LEAVE THE ELECTRONICS AT HOME or at least keep them put away and only allow an hour of screen time each day at most. It’s time to unplug and enjoy your family and camping is an awesome way to do it!

So, do you and your family like to camp? Does this seem like something you’d like to try? If not, why? If you do camp, where are your favorite places? Please share!

Anniversary Fun

Thanks to my awesome parents, Brian and I were able to get away for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. When we dropped the boys off on Friday morning, my parents told us we should stay until Monday instead of Sunday, if we wanted to. Um, yes please! Seriously, they are awesome. So, we set out for a weekend of camping…just the two of us.

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We had decided to just go to a campground that’s about an hour away and in the same town as one of our absolute favorite restaurants that we only get to go to for special events like anniversaries or birthdays. We got up there and set up the camper and headed out to our favorite steakhouse for dinner. As we were about to head out, Brian realized that he forgot the gifts he bought me at home and he was so mad at himself. I was not expecting gifts to begin with, so I was just surprised that he had gotten me some. (He always buys me gifts, but we have been really trying to stick to a tight budget, so we had talked about not getting gifts and our weekend away and a nice dinner being our gift.) Poor guy was so bummed that he had forgotten what he got me, but I told him how excited I was that after our awesome weekend away I would still have gifts to look forward to and that made him feel a little better. So, onto the restaurant we went!

Brian got prime rib, ribs and steak fries and I got crab cakes and shrimp with a lobster sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. That of course went along with their amazing bread and caesar salads too. OH MY GOODNESS, talking about it is making me hungry, but just look at it!

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After our amazing dinner, we ran to the grocery store to get a few things to take back to the campsite for the weekend. When we got back, we decided that we just wanted to spend the evening inside the camper, relaxing, so we went in and played a couple games of Skip-Bo and Racko. We are crazy game players and we actually played both of those games probably about 20 times each over the weekend. Might not sound exciting to you, but we love it. Then we snuggled up on the camper couch and watched some tv before heading to bed for the night, but not before acting like the weirdos we are and taking a fun picture to remember the day by.

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It was so nice to just sleep in, with no schedule or plans. Brian slept longer than he has in a really long time. Once he got up, we had some coffee and a danish for breakfast and spent the day playing putt putt, playing games in the camper, taking several walks, playing a little ping pong, getting ice cream and then having a nice fire to close out the evening…before going inside and playing a few games before heading to bed.

On Sunday we got up a little earlier and spent the day much like Saturday. More walking, putt putt, game playing, etc. We went up and had some chili cheese fries at the grill in the campground and just relaxed again.

Monday morning we got up at 9:00 and ate breakfast and packed up and headed out to take the camper back home and go get the boys from my Mom and Dad’s. We thanked my Dad over and over for allowing us to have such an awesome weekend away and he told us he’d do it anytime. The awesome part is, I know he means it. He absolutely loves having my boys and they love being there. They told us about the things they did over the weekend and we hung out for a little while before heading back home. I immediately brought in the stuff from the camper and got going on laundry and then sat down in the living room and looked at my amazing kids. As much as I loved the alone time with Brian, we both missed the boys too.

I had completely forgotten about the fact that Brian had gotten me some gifts! This man is incredible, let me tell you. He knows me so well. He pays so much attention to the things I like, even when I have no idea that he’s actually noticed. The first thing he gave me was this toe ring. Now, that may seem like a strange gift to you, but I’ve been wanting one for a while and he did a perfect job! It’s sparkly and cute and I love it!

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The next gift is my absolute favorite though! I had been talking one day about Alex and Ani bracelets and about how there are a few that I would love to have to wear as my everyday bracelets, but that I didn’t just want any, I wanted them to have meaning. Guess who totally paid attention and got me the perfect one to celebrate our anniversary with?! It’s so awesome and I absolutely love it! Seriously perfect, just like him.

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What a perfect end to a perfect weekend away with the absolute perfect man for me. This is probably my most favorite anniversary so far. I’m not a high-maintenance girl (although, don’t get me wrong, I like nice things) and I don’t need big, fancy vacations. Camping is my favorite thing to do and that paired with my amazing husband, a nice dinner out and complete relaxation were the perfect combination for a memorable anniversary. We could do the exact same thing each year and I would be thrilled. I’m so thankful for our 16th anniversary fun.