Grab an extra cup of coffee - this is going to be a long one!So I took a little break from blogging for a week – do you wonder where I’ve been? This week holds many major changes for our family so last week we decided to skip town and head out to the mountains. I just needed to be overwhelmed by God’s creation and His presence. I just needed to be surrounded with something so much greater than myself so that I would be comforted in this season of change and know that God is greater.
Our destination: Yosemite National ParkFirst stop was to our precious Inn that just seemed like a magical retreat in the middle of the forest with amazing flowers and surprises around every bend.
Like this old fire engine that my son was in love with!
And this magical little pool in the middle of the woods with gorgeous flowers
and a precious little cottage and waterfall!
I was very happy to sit and just watch all the smiles and hear the giggles!
And who doesn't love a post with a squirrel on top?
There were random chairs in the midst of the forest
that begged you to sit for a moment and take in the beauty.
But next door....
But here was the first magical family moment for me. We decided to eat our first dinner at the Inn where we were told reservations were a must. They said it was fine dining (the kind in the middle of the woods where it is ok to come in shorts and swimsuit cover-ups!) and whereas my husband and I love fine food, we were a little hesitant to enter in with 3 children! My husband started with a little talk, telling the children that we were going to a very fancy restaurant and they had to be on their best behavior.
He stressed how special this meal would be.
And as we sat down, this little one said, “Mommy, I think I’m about to cry because this is so beautiful.” And then I cried. We sat in a rustic lodge with gigantic moose and deer heads mounted overhead, gas lamps aglow, and white table cloths. Not exactly my idea of “beautiful,” but to her, it was magical. As the soft piano music played, our waiter came to take our order and the girls behaved as if we were in the presence of the Queen! They couldn’t stop saying how beautiful it was and when their food came with fruit in fluted glass parfait dishes, they thought they’d died and gone to heaven. It was so special to watch their eyes light up and experience all this for the first time. I was so humbled in that moment. That’s probably why I cried. I tend to have a critical bend and rather than just be in awe of the beauty around me, I often settle in on all the things I’d change or wish were different. It’s horrible. I don’t like it at all. I defend my self in saying that I’m just honest. But am I? To see the deep gratitude in my daughters for this fancy meal they got to be a part of just opened my eyes to what really matters. To get to see the world again through the eyes of a child, experiencing it all for the first time, is one of the greatest gifts of parenthood. Where I’ve become cynical, they are hopeful. Where I’ve become critical, they are grateful. Honestly, my meal wasn’t very good at all (just being honest!!!), but it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever had.
There is so much more to share about this lovely get away, stay tuned!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~And I have a few little announcements to share (not that kind of announcement!)
1. I’m really excited to start my Intentional Family series on Monday, September 12th. I shared my inspiration in a post last month and I am more and more fired-up to unpack some wonderful thoughts on being intentional with the way we “do family.” I hope you’ll join me for this series every Monday.
2. I’m taking a little break from “What’s For Dinner” (if you haven’t noticed, I post some recipes in the right hand column each week) and I’m doing one of my favorite things from last year – “What Does Joe Know?” This is when I try a new product or recipe from Trader Joes and let you know what I think. I’ve already tried some new yummy things that I can’t wait to share!
3. Lastly, I have to write this down so I’m accountable – by the end of the month I will have a new tab up top called “Speaking.” It’s been on my heart for over a year and a dear friend spoke into my life last month telling me that now is the time. I have a passion for speaking and teaching and want to be available to how God might use me in this new season of life.
That’s it! That’s enough! Can you tell I haven’t blogged for a week?? Hee hee