Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simply Steps...Busch Gardens togetherness

There you have it folks, happily coexisting! 
Thanks to iPhone we have proof of the moments parents' dreams are made of.
Thanks to Busch Gardens for promoting togetherness, with rides and dinosaur eggs built for two.

More on Busch Gardens, Williamsburg:
We are thoroughly enjoying our "pay for a day, come back all season" passes since the park is less than 10 min from our driveway.
Sesame Street, watching the singing characters & hugging them afterwards is Lilah's (2) favorite. Carter would gladly get in line with the 20somethings for the roller coasters; the higher the better. Good thing he's a tall 5 year old.
It's split up into different European countries, each with something for the under 42 in set & something for the thrill-seekers.
There are a couple of "you can get sopping wet" rides and 2 spots for littles to play in water, but if it's a true water park you seek, you'll have to head to nearby Water Country.
Concerts are included in admission price and Illuminights start up soon.
This is a good source for insider info & deals.
Official website here.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

A couple Nights in Rodanthe

Just a couple nights in Rodanthe and I get it.
I get why every fifth car here in VA boasts an OBX decal. 
I get why families have been flocking here for years and years. 
I get why Nicholas Sparks' used it as the backdrop to his novel.

We will be back and will likely do everything just the same way.


We stayed at KOA Cape Hatteras 
(Rodanthe, NC just south of the more commericalized Nags Head & Kitty Hawk).
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
It is right on the beach. And just a walk across the street to the Sound.


We could have been entertained all weekend with the beach, but there are so many other family-friendly amenities on site we had to try-out.
My kids stayed until the 2 pools w/waterslides & hot tub were emptied, and Carter looked up at me and asked "why would everyone leave?"
The Pirate ship playground & big bounce-y pillow were a hit too.
KOA Camp Hatteras OBX

We rented a Cabin, equipped with bunk beds &  queen size bed, A/C, galley kitchen, cable, & gas grill. *The campground was remodeled after hurricane destruction, more on the accommodations & newly remodeled campground here.
KOA Camp Hatteras OBX
I could end every day of life sitting by a campfire. Couldn't you?
Oh the smell, the smores, the spider dogs...
When we didn't utilize the grill at our cabin, we headed to some great spots for food nearby.

(Not the camping type: The Nights in Rodanthe house is available for rent)

My favorite eats:
Atlantic Coast Cafe
Just across the street from the campground is this low key eatery. Perfect for breakfast sandwiches, smoothies & a decent cup of coffee. $
Good Winds Seafood & Wine Bar
Delicious Seafood. We tried nearly everything Yelp reviewers recommended & agreed. Crab bisque, Caesar salad, Asian Glazed Shrimp, Fishermans' Platter w/a sampling of Scallops, Mahi, Lump Crab balls & Shrimp. So, so good. Everything was delicious. Even the hush puppies & fries. We ate outside on the deck, watching the sunset on the Sound. $$$

This was our first visit & certainly won't be our last.
Dan came down the wooden ramp after checking out with a big smile on his face holding up an OBX magnet that he promptly put on our rear window!
Glad he shares my sentiments.
 
PS: Not one photo was taken all weekend.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

welcome to the poulsen pack

congratulations to my brother & sister-in-law on their firstborn.   
i don't think he could be any cuter.
you are a treasure, gabriel. 
we could hardly wait to welcome you into the poulsen pack; you're going to love it! 
hope you're up for kisses and hugs and laughing and chasing and sugary treats when your mom isn't looking and love, love, love; it's all plentiful here. 
we are so blessed to have you, sweet baby boy! Pin It

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

half as hard and twice as good

It's funny.
I called a friend, who broke down in tears when I said "hello." as though a dam had burst with the sound of a familiar, secure voice on the other end. I listened as she explained she had every reason not to be crying, while other people in the world had real troubles, here she was feeling all the things she shouldn't be and didn't want to be feeling.
So glad I called.
It's up there near #1 for me to have friends & family that I can listen to when they need an ear and encourage with what they need to hear.
Friendship. (not to be confused with the cursory Facebook-sort)
It's life-giving. 
And it's never been more important to me than when I became a mom. 
It's funny because not 24hrs later, I got a proverbial "how are you?" text that was my wall-breaker.
I cried so hard that I couldn't see what I was texting in response.
Confessions poured like a well into the safe, loving hands that held the phone in another State.
What a difference a day makes! Huh?

The crisis, well it's momentary but that moment feels life-long and all-encompassing. 
It's nothing a good Zumba class & a shower couldn't shake off, but it's clouded your perspective & paralyzed your resilience. 
That's when familiarity and friendship are invaluable.
Again, never as treasured as now, in motherhood.
There's no telling how many times I've tapped into this resource during this third trimester.
Thank you; you know who you are. And you're not off the hook just yet. Still 4 more weeks & transitioning into mother of 3 yet to come! Let's not even think about teenage years...

I love this manifesto for mums, I found for purchase here.
 
This post is begging for this song:
twice as good by sara groves 
(of course, because who writes life into song better than she does?)
perfect, perfect lyrics here.
"raise a glass to friendship and to knowing you don't have to go alone/
raise our hearts to share each others' burdens on this road/
....life with you is half as hard and twice as good."

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

God is with her: He will help her when the morning dawns

In 35 days I'll be headed in for the birth of my third baby. (Note: I chose 35 days vs 5 wks. Sounds longer.)
I scheduled the csection for the "how long can we wait without significantly upping the risk" date they offered.
Why would impatiently impatient me choose to wait? Simply, the two I have wear. me. out. Break. me. down.
Sure, they puff me up with pride so big and joy unspeakable but they balance it out with plenty of "are you kidding me?" moments. Impossibly close together. Think pitocin-induced contractions that come on so strong & without enough break between to get your bearings. 
Yesterday morning started out with my 2 1/2 y/o shouting from the bathroom, "I went potty mommy! Like a hot dog!" Pride.
In the afternoon, my 5 y/o son shouting "Mommy. Lilah took off her poopy diaper! It's on the trampoline! She's climbing down with no pants on." Are you kidding me?

These days I'm not scouring the nurseries at ohdeedoh, I'm desperately clinging to all scriptures under "joy" and "patience" I can find on biblegateway. I've long past the 2 per month pledge I made on Jan 1 for memorizing the Word. I need more than that. Hopefully it's cancelling out all the ugly things I'm saying in my head through the day. I'm writing them on index cards, even creating fun printouts to frame in conspicuous places around the house.
I love this one from etsy:

So the Psalmist is actually referring to a city when he says "her" but I think we can stretch it to apply specifically to us.
The rest of the chapter is quite powerful & worth sharing, in case mornings are a breeze for you & you can't relate in the least to what I'm writing today. (btw: you are blessed & highly favored among women!)
"God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress...

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress."
Remember when I told you I stood crying in the first worship service at our new church? She was singing this song. I've loved it for years. Not a mainstream song, so it always felt like it was mine as it rang in my home & my car & my heart. I've never heard it in a service before or sang it myself publicly, so when I heard the first chords I felt God was telling me I was home here at this church. Repeating "I will rejoice and be glad" was...well, now I'm starting to feel tears coming & my kids are waking up so I can't go there.
Anyway, rejoice & be glad, friend. The Lord is with you. You will not fail. He will help you. Pin It

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 
You're support has meant the world to me, and now to us. 
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Monday, May 2, 2011

simply steps

And just as I suspected, they can't get enough of the trampoline!
It's been a couple weeks since we came home to find it all set up in our backyard (daddy of the year!)


and they have yet to get tired of it;
SCORE!





But they do get tired from it;
SCORE!



why simply steps?
(ps: if you happened to click on the link above, 
the photo happens to be last year on Easter. look how she's grown!)

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

is that change you're waiting for waiting on you?

Sometimes the season is inevitable.
Sometimes the season is Divinely-appointed.
BUT,
Sometimes the season is up to you.
Sometimes change is in your hands.
You know who you are.
You know because you've been making excuses OR surrounding yourself with people that don't make you feel bad for staying where you are OR convincing yourself you don't deserve the change OR you need just one more confirmation that it's the right step.
Yes, you.
I'm talking to you
I've been you.

Here's what the Bible has to say to you:
"These are the words of Him who is holy and true, 
who holds the key of David. 
What He opens no one can shut, 
and what He shuts no one can open." 
Rev 3:7&8

So what's holding you in this season if the next is waiting behind the door in front of you?

Maybe another verse in the song I quoted describes it well:
"The past is so tangible. I know it by heart. 
Familiar things are never easy to discard. 
I was dying for some freedom but now I hesitate to go. 
I am caught between the promise and the things I know."
-Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves

Here's the promise:
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. 
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand."
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

Today, I am feeling incredibly glad I took some uncomfortable steps into the unfamiliar in the past year (& as recently as this weekend).
I want to encourage you to do the same, 
as I remind myself how worth the risk it has been.

*originally written/published on prize31.com 9/2010
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