A Busy May Full of Visits and Transitions

I took a few weeks off of blogging in May – it was a bit of a crazy month! My dad visited at the end of April, then my mom came for a visit.

Our Chinese teacher (who has become a friend) graduated and moved across the country to be with her husband.

We had an ER trip for FangFang when she flipped her wheelchair over on top of herself. She was, fortunately and miraculously, completely fine.

We’ve had FangFang enrolled in public school, receiving homebound services, but we had her last session and withdrew her from public school.

I spoke at our church’s women’s retreat, where we studied the book of James, super hard-hitting. I loved getting that time away with other women, having good conversations, connecting, and worshiping together. The camping atmosphere was…not my favorite 🙂 But we did have cabins with beds, and there was an actual bathroom, and I survived! And I learned a lot studying James 3 and 4 in preparation for my talk about our speech, about our hearts, about our recognition (or lack thereof) of God in the world, and about humility and wisdom – a lot to cover but some really good stuff.

FangFang also managed to fit in a trip to urgent care. She fell off of a picnic table at the park, earning a cut on her face that required 5 stitches.

We spent a day in St. Louis with my cousin Kevin and his family, which was a blast. We really enjoy Kevin and Rebecca, and they have a daughter, Sawyer, who is just a bit older than Miranda, so we all had a really fun time hanging out together.

Matt finished his semester and headed to Michigan for 6 days, at which point my mom came back for another visit to help out while he was gone. We might have survived without her, but it was definitely incredibly helpful to have her here, especially since no one slept well for most of that week! Atticus, in particular, is very attached to his routines, including Matt putting him to bed each night, and he was not always pleased to have me hanging out with him instead. And we got to have some fun outings – going to a pow wow and spending a bit of time at the pool.

Then our horseback riding instructor (who has also become a good friend) moved to the St. Louis area, and while we can keep in touch, we’ve said goodbye to having her as our regular instructor and seeing her quite as frequently.

And we switched Miranda from her regular swim club to summer swim league at our local pool. And it…did not go well. It was super crowded, including a lot of older kids, with more of a focus on racing against other kids during practice, as opposed to just improving yourself. It took only a couple days of misery before we switched her back to her regular swim team! I should have paid more attention to my own counsel, realizing that finding an activity that works well with a coach or instructor who is a good fit is hard to do – those good instructors are worth their weight in gold – and we should have just stuck with what was working. But we made it right, and even though we lost some money, and I felt like a bit of a flake, I’m glad we did it 🙂

Then we wrapped up the month with a visit from my aunt and uncle! We got to have dinner and hang out with them and give them a brief tour of the Mizzou campus and just enjoy having a bit of time together.

The month was full of so much good stuff – we loved having visitors and opportunities for connection.

But also? I hate change. Knowing it is coming makes me nervous, and I always mourn for what we are losing. If it were up to me, I’d very rarely choose those transitions. And I think that’s one reason why God put me in a college town, where change happens constantly, and I’d have to deal with it. I can’t hold anything in my life too tightly, and I’m forced to embrace change and newness.

I’m still mourning the losses, the unexpected injuries, the moving of friends, and all the transitions. But I’m looking forward with hope to what is to come.

A Day at the Zoo!

One of my goals for this summer and fall has been to enjoy this time as a mom-of-two and to give my girls some good, fun experiences. Hopefully Atticus will be a pretty laid back little guy and willing to come along with us on all sorts of adventures, but some things will get harder once he’s here, so we’re trying to make good use of this time before his arrival. We’ve been working on that, which is the biggest reason this blog has been silent for a few weeks! I’ll have some more posts coming up soon to share about some of our adventures, but I thought I’d start with sharing about our day at the zoo yesterday!

We love our college town, but one of its drawbacks is that it doesn’t have all the perks of bigger cities, like museums and zoos. Fortunately we’re able to catch some traveling concerts and performances, and we’re near enough to some bigger cities to take advantage of their cultural institutions. My sweet friend, Liz, and I had been talking for almost a year about how fun it would be to spend a day at the St. Louis Zoo together with our kiddos, and yesterday we were finally able to make it happen 🙂

The rhinoceros was one of the first animals we saw, and it was actually pretty active!

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The hippos were less active, but we still enjoyed seeing them, too. They remind us of Uncle Danny, since the hippo is his favorite animal 🙂

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And seeing the elephants is always a big hit with our crew…

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…as is seeing the tigers!

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Our little friend Hayden is an equally impressive tiger 🙂

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The picture above and the one below are from our train ride around the zoo, the one activity we really splurged on, and it was definitely a good move. We still had some birthday money from my dad for the girls, so I felt okay about spending a bit extra on this trip for them to have some fun experiences. Everyone was getting tired after lunch, and the train ride offered a nice break for all of us.

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Just look at how happy the girls were! Miranda said she was so happy it was like eating chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream. When we got home that evening, it was the big thing they wanted to tell Matt all about 🙂

After our train ride we saw a few more animals, including the zebras…

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…and the camels.

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And then we grabbed another snack – a must for this pregnant lady – and headed home. It’s so nice to be able to talk more with the girls about the different animals now, and they are old enough not to need to be in the stroller for most of the day. It was a lot of fun for all of us to share the experience with our friends, too. All in all it was an exhausting but great day!