Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wait, What?!

It's true: today is the last day of February. I know this is the shortest month of the year but I guess I thought it would still feel like an actual month

Not so much. 

February has seemed like a string of several days that quickly came and went. And now it's March already - stop the clocks! That means winter is over and spring is here. I suppose that also means that my winter berry decor needs to be stashed away so that tulips can take its place. 

This was a month of road trips and suitcases and hotels - and, of course, fun and adventure and new things. After a week in Michigan with family, we were home for less than 48 hours before packing suitcases and heading off for a couple of days in Atlanta.
Grady had business and the kids and I tagged along. We've visited the major museums, the zoo, and the aquarium during past visits, so this time I came up with a couple of other places to explore.

First up: LEGOLAND Discovery Center. This was age-appropriate for all of my kids and I'm glad we visited when we did. If Annalyse was much younger she wouldn't have been able to participate in some of the exhibits; and if the boys were much older they would have been uninterested and bored with some of the exhibits.
We spent close to four hours in LEGOLAND and probably would have stayed longer - except that Grady and I were ready to call it a day. There is only so much brick building, car racing, and 4D movie watching we can do in one stretch.

A special thanks to my grandparents for an unexpected gift of money at Christmas. We held on to the $50 and decided that a day of family fun at LEGOLAND was the perfect way to use it!
The next day the kids and I explored Olympic Park, in the center of downtown Atlanta. Despite being wet from rain the night before, the kids were excited to explore and play for a couple of hours. We enjoyed fountains and playgrounds, chased pigeons and climbed statues, and went on scavenger hunts for Olympic trivia and memorabilia around the park.

The hotel extended our check-out time by a couple of hours, so the kids and I went back so Annalyse could nap and the boys could watch Disney cartoons. (Remember that we don't have cable and so the chance to watch Mickey Mouse is vacation in and of itself!)

After lunch and some time to rest, the kids and I ventured to Imagine It - a small children's museum located off of Olympic Park and just a short walk from our hotel. Because we've been to one thousand and one museums, or so it seems, this particular museum didn't rank too high on our scale of cool and unique and fun.

But, unbeknownst to me, this particular day was a Target sponsored day and admission was free! Ahem, this museum was wonderfully cool and fun after all.

The boys were quick to make new pals and played for the longest time on lifts and levers and simple machinery that transported plastic balls through a maze of wire cages. The museum was actually suited best for Annalyse and she seemed to enjoy our three hours there the most.

By 5:00 Grady was through with the class he was teaching, picked us up from the hotel lobby, and we were on our way to dinner at the Varsity before drive home. It was a fast and fun couple of days to get away with just our family. And, thanks to it being official business for Grady, we didn't pay a thing. Now that's my way to travel!
The following Valentine's Day weekend, Grady whisked me away for a couple of nights to Asheville. We didn't do any outdoor exploring around the mountain trails and waterfalls because the snow flurries and 35 degree temperatures weren't appealing to us. Instead, we enjoyed wandering through beautiful art galleries, enjoying coffee shops, seeing a movie, and eating several meals out with out crayons, tic-tac-toe, hangman, and a highchair. And, thanks to all the travel Grady does during the year, he had enough Marriott points to cover our hotel for those nights. Again, my way to travel!

This past weekend I joined two girlfriends for a Mom Heart Conference in the Raleigh area. While the conference did offer some great information and useful tips, the highlight was the car ride there and back. Seriously! Uninterrupted hours to talk with girlfriends is a rare treat. And, let me say it yet again: Grady's Marriott points covered our night away. My way to travel with friends! 
In between packing and unpacking suitcases and travelling from here to there, a certain two year old has transitioned to a big girl bed and has been successfully potty trained. (Cue thunderous applause.) While I'm not a decorating junkie or a crafting connoisseur, I managed to paint several pieces of bedroom furniture for Annalyse's bedroom. All in all her room looks alright, and while I'm not over the moon about it, my little girl certainly is. She is quick to show everyone that comes over her "new big girl bed with pink flowers."

When we weren't travelling or painting, we were doing normal life. Normal school, normal Bible study, normal church involvements, normal family life. 

The kids enjoyed a Valentine's Day party and I'm the guilty culprit for consuming most of the chocolate they brought home. Since when did Valentine's begin to rival Halloween in the amount of candy passed out?!

Grady Lee also completed some academic testing, more for my benefit than his. I wanted to have him measured against his peers to verify that I wasn't failing as a teacher and that he was, in fact, learning a thing or two in between the mish-mash of everything we do each week that isn't school-related. Whew. He passed with flying colors and I have no reason to merit my occasional, "Am I doing enough?" kind of questions.
Around the middle of this month, a precious family in our church said goodbye to a husband and father. After seven very short and very agonizing months of fighting brain cancer, Jesus called him home. The funeral was a celebration of the life he lived and the legacy of godly faith he shared with his family. Grady and I were both compelled to talk and think through what things we are intentionally doing today to help prepare our kids for the possibility of a tomorrow that involves a sudden tragedy, like death. I'm blessed to have been a friend watching these events unfold and witnessing the grace and mercy and strength that only God provides to people experiencing the heartache and loss of a loved one.

The close of this month involved a week of honoring and celebrating Kingdom Builders during our church missions conference. Grady and I were so excited to have Dana, our missionary friend in Bolivia, in our home for dinner along with many college-age friends who joined us for a week of ministry in Bolivia last summer. Very few things excited me and attract me like missionaries do. They give up a lot of personal comforts to help gain much for God's kingdom. They go far from what's familiar and safe so they can get close to people who wouldn't otherwise know God's Word. They say goodbye to personal family members so they can help grow God's family. Missionaries motivate me, excite me, and encourage me!
Goodbye winter. Hello spring. Goodbye to my family traveling throughout this month. Hello to extended family traveling to us throughout next month. Goodbye to careless Saturday mornings. Hello to the beginning of a new soccer season. Goodbye to dark dinner times. Hello to Daylight Savings Time.

Goodbye February. Hello March.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha...I had very similar sentiments blogging this afternoon...ready to say HELLO TO SPRING!!! As I'm sitting here freezing! :-)
    What a crazy month! How did so much get crammed into so little time!? Glad you were able to spend so much time together as a family...and that we were able to steal you away for a weekend!!! :-)