Happy 4th of July!
Well better late than never, but Happy 4th of July! Technically, it is still the holiday weekend so I think I've made it! Hope you all had a good time celebrating, or maybe you still have plans to. Our fireworks got rained out this year, so we bought some of our own to shoot off and those got rained out too. Consequently, we still have some more celebrating to do in the next few days!
This past week has been a busy one for us. Our youngest son has a birthday on July 2nd, so we've had a lot of celebrating this week. I've been baking cakes and desserts, setting up decorations, taking down decorations, redecorating for the next holiday, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. Most of the work to get everything ready falls on me, the Mom, even though my whole family pitches in to help out. I have this weird drive that I want everything to be wonderful and I work really hard to make it so. But, sometimes in the midst of all the work, I burn myself out (or close to it) and I don't always have the best attitude when the actual celebration happens. I hate that! At the heart of it all, I want everyone to have a really good time and make wonderful memories.
"Our family members will carry the atmosphere we create in our homes for the rest of their lives." ~Mrs. Dunwoody
Over the past few years, I've really tried to pay attention to my attitude and watch the stress level that I am carrying. Usually, if I just try to plan things a little better, cut a few things off my to-do list, and work on having a grateful heart through it all, that helps a lot! I'm definitely not perfect, and when I feel myself start to lose it a little bit, I go off and take a breather and ask the Lord to help me and remind me what's important. I come back a happier Mama with a song of joy in my heart again.
This year we did have a wonderful celebration. Since we live far away from our family, it's usually just us and some close friends (which is still almost 20 people in my tiny kitchen). We ended up eating very well, swimming in our new pool, tubing and kayaking on the river near by, making s'mores over a campfire, and watching fireworks in the rain. You can't ask for a better time than that!
I always try to pause in the middle of whatever party or celebration we are having, and take a few seconds to breathe it all in. I look around at the happy faces and the pretty decorations, listen to the sounds of talking and laughter, smell the smells of yummy food in the air, and try to commit it all to memory. I try to keep this moment, like a picture, stored away for the rest of my life. I know it will never come again!
Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend, and I hope it is a nice long weekend for you! I hate when the 4th of July is over because it feels like we are on a downhill slide back to school! Yuck! (I'm saying that because I homeschool and I'm the teacher!) Before you know it, the school supplies will be back in the stores, maybe they already are. Enjoy the rest of summer while you can!!