Saturday, July 30, 2016

Happy 10th Birthday, Lana!

We are celebrating a decade with the most beautiful girl that I've ever known. Happy birthday to my precious Lana, the one who made me a mama, the very sweetest part of our family.
She was beautiful,
but not like those girls in the magazines.
She was beautiful,
for the way she thought.
She was beautiful,
for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked
about something she loved.
She was beautiful,
for her ability to make other people smile,
even if she was sad.
No, she wasn't beautiful for something
as temporary as her looks.
She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.
She is beautiful.

--F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Flowers from my son.

He's almost 7, and he still brings me flowers.
Every time he sees some that can be picked,
he thinks of his mama.

He loves when I put them in my ponytail, or behind my ear.
I love it too; his love for me on display.

There will come a day when flowers will make him think of another girl;
I pray for her often.

But, for now, he thinks of me, 
and each blossom is a treasure.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

14 years.

Fourteen years today.
Over 5,000 days we've been married; he's seen me at my absolute best, and absolute worst, and we're still here, still choosing love.
So to honor this day, and this incredible man, I want to share 14 things you might not know about Dan.
1. He pastes my toothbrush every night. I never paste his, I always forget; but he never does. He even does the 1/2 baking soda paste and 1/2 regular toothpaste on mine because it's what I love.
2. He is the one the children wake in the middle of the night because he is unfailingly patient. They almost always go to his side of the bed.
3. He cooks breakfast for us every morning, and his fried eggs are the best you'll ever have.
4. He really is that unfailingly optimistic, that irresistibly charming. He can talk customer service people into making exceptions for him or doing what he wants, almost every time. People just genuinely LIKE him. (And no wonder.)
5. He holds my hand so I can fall asleep at night. It's one of the great comforts of my life.
6. He has a sweet tooth that knows no bounds; cookies and milk are his love language.
7. On road trips, he always drives so that I can sleep.
8. He is the sweetest, strongest presence in the delivery room. Both times I've had our babies, under completely opposite circumstances, he has been my absolute rock.
9. He believes the best of everyone, everyone, everyone. Even when they treat him poorly, he chooses to extend grace and believe the best some more.
10. He can pack a lunch for school faster than you can blink.
11. If ever our clothes are neat, if ever we look presentable, it's because he helps us pick out clothes and iron. He is the one with the fashion sense in our family.
12. He is the best in a crisis. When the bottom falls out, when things fall apart, he is steady and calm and peaceful. He's the one you want around if things spiral out of control.
13. He has to be pushed to do things he loves, like playing golf or softball or fishing, because he doesn't want to neglect our family.
14. He loves Jesus like crazy, and has from the moment he chose to follow Him. He's got the most incredible faith.
I've been many things over the years: daughter, sister, friend, student, teacher, mom....and of all the things I've been, being his wife is my favorite.

This girl is my rock! She's also my safe place to land. She's just good like that y'all. Somehow she manages to be the energy that keeps Team Davis moving forward in the right direction and the anchor that holds us firm in this life full of craziness. I started to make a list, but she beat me to it. (If you know us, you're not surprised by that.) "All the things that matter most" would pretty much some it up though. She's loving and kind to everyone she meets. She lights up the room with her incredible smile. She speaks life with the words she says and the life she lives. She can have an entire conversation with her facial expressions alone. She is raising two of the most incredible children in the world and she's doing it like a boss. She's a born teacher who loves to see children learn. A small business owner (even when she didn't want to be, but it fell in her lap.) A Jesus loving, disciple making, woman after God's own heart. And she's MINE! Has been for 14 years. Grateful to God for the gift He has given me in her.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Yes Day 2016

We love YES DAY!
They happen once or twice a year.
Mom says yes to any question the kids ask, within reason.
The questions can't be expensive,
and they can't involve travel.
Other than that, anything goes.

Tucker's first question of the morning:
Can I drink some of the white chocolate syrup?

The next few questions were predictable:
they involved cartoons and junk cereal.

 The rest of the day included questions like these:

Can I play the Wii?
Can we leave our beds unmade?  Skip our chores?
Can we go to Fast Eddie’s and play arcade games?  Can we get 100 tokens?
Can I wear slippers to Fast Eddie’s instead of real shoes?
Can I wear a hat instead of fixing my hair?
Can I braid your hair?
Will you wear it all day?
Can we go to the park?  
Will you push me on the swings even thought I can pump myself?
Can I hang in this tree?
Can we go out for lunch?
Can we have ice cream?
Can we play electronics instead of having rest time?
Can we go to the beach?
Can we take Pepper with us?
(She wasn't a huge fan.)
Can we stay until it’s dark?
Can we have Krispy Kreme for dinner?
Can we stay up late tonight, until 8:00?
(This was Tucker's 8:00 dance to celebrate the YES!)

Lessons from my kitchen cabinets.

My kitchen cabinets need to be refinished....
and so does my heart, apparently.
You see, refinishing the cabinets in the kitchen and bath has been on our to-do list for over a year, but it's not yet in the budget. The home AC went out, the car AC went out, we had to replace the washer and dryer...there's always something, right?
So these ol' cabinets have gotten pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. But last week, someone was in my home, and mentioned that boy do I need to update my kitchen cabinets....and counters. She showed me pictures for ideas, and while I know she had the best of intentions, all of a sudden, as I looked at those renovated kitchens, I began to see my home as less-than. Not up to par. Honestly, it's gotten shabbier by the day, in my eyes.
And just like that, discontentment sets in.
I "need" this and this and this,
and instead of my heart being focused on praying for all that's going on in my world today, or loving my family and friends well, or anything that would bring God glory, my mind is whirling with projects and budgets and potential debt.
They say "Comparison is the thief of joy," and have you ever heard a truer thing?
When I compare my kitchen cabinets, or my husband, or my children, or my parenting skills, or my job, or my church, or my friendships, or my vehicle, or my purse collection, or WHATEVER....there's always going to be someone who has it "better," who is doing it "better."
And just like that, my joy is sucked down into the vortex of "I wish" or "if only" or "when this happens, I will finally be happy." It's a slippery slope, and today, I'm going to wipe down those shabby, beat-up cabinets and choose joy. I'm going to remember why those cabinets are so rough:
we've cooked and eaten a million meals in this kitchen, my beautiful little family and I
we've had water fights with the kitchen sprayer, laughing until our sides hurt, water dripping down to the floor
we've welcomed thousands of people into our home, and they've stood over these cabinets to wash their hands before sharing a meal with us
my children have banged a step stool into those cabinets hundreds of times, wanting to play in the sink or help mommy cook or just see what's happening
our children and our youth and our college students and our friends have all jumped up on the counters to sit and talk with us, banging their shoes onto the cabinet doors as they tell us about their day
Tens of thousands of precious moments have led to cabinets that really must be refinished soon. But for now, I will remember those moments and choose joy. And it's really not about the cabinets at all, is it? It's much more about my heart.

I shared this on Facebook last week, and it has been shared over 1,000 times....this comparison game is so common to our human experience, isn't it?  I love when social media makes our community a little closer, when we can share mutual struggles and encourage each other through them.  There are over 80 comments on the post, and so, so much love.  I know social media is detrimental in so many ways, but I love when it creates a little tribe.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Round here

We did our well checks this month:
Lana: 85 pounds, 59.5" tall
100th percentile for height, and the 70th for weight.

Tucker: 54 pounds, 50" tall
95th percentile for height, 75th for weight.

Making popsicles has been one of our summer obsessions.
We really loved these blueberry smoothie ones!

It absolutely melts my heart that when my almost-7 year old sees flowers,
he still immediately thinks of his mama.
One day, flowers will make him think of another girl,
so I treasure every little blossom he presents to me.

I love Lana's beautiful sidewalk art!

My babies got roasted at the beach.  
I promise I did it right: applied a high quality sunscreen with zinc,
reapplied every 2 hours, made them stay out of the water for 15 minutes while it dried...I just don't know.  
Thank goodness mama has Lavender oil!  
Within 24 hours, they were back to normal.

Pepper update:
We took her back to the eye doctor, and did not get good news.
She is 90% blind; the only vision remaining is that she can see large shadows with her left eye.  There is no hope of vision returning, as her retinas are too far gone, and there is no hope that they will reattach.  The concern now is keeping her comfortable.  When the retinas completely detach, her pain level will increase significantly, and will almost certainly develop glaucoma.  At that point, we will have to discuss complete removal of the eyes.  It's awful to even consider, but because she's a beagle, we know that she can and will adapt.  Her nose and ears will serve her well!  A secondary concern at that point will be the cost of the surgery; it's going to cost around $2800 per eye.
For now, we are waiting and watching.
She's still happy and doesn't seem to be in much pain.
She is eating and sleeping well, playing and snuggling with us.
Her ophthalmologist says that her eyes are probably itchy, but that's manageable.

This is how she treated me the whole way home from the doctor.  Ha!

We still play mean tricks on her, though.  :)

And she's still got plenty of personality:
Grrrr 2

I took Lana to my girl Cacee at 10th Avenue Hair.
She not only gave her a great cut, but took 20 minutes to talk to her about hormones and good hygiene when taking care of her hair as she enters a new phase of life.  So precious!

I love having these kids with me during the summer.  
Even running errands is fun with them!

I found this video of Tucker "reading" his favorite book 3 years ago:

She's such a little snuggle bug!

Some of our college students and college grads invited me to do this Bible study with them this summer.  It's the first Priscilla Shirer study I've done, and I am absolutely loving it.
Lana and Dan went to CentriKid, and would you believe that they were focused on Ephesians 6, as well!  It gives me butterflies when God starts saying the same things to all the people of Team Davis.

My work hours for my essential oils business are scattered during the summer, so I am super grateful for any little pockets of time I can find to sit alone and work.

I'm such a baby, and have a hard time sleeping when Dan is away.  
Bless the single moms and military wives - I can't imagine.
This is how I have to stack the pillow so I can sleep while he's gone.

Favorite summer breakfast: 
greek vanilla yogurt, honey almond granola, and fresh blueberries!

These puppy dog eyes!!

I love this lotion!  I use it all summer long, and honestly, through the winter, too.  Tucker is so funny - he loves how it smells!

While Lana was at CentriKid, Tucker went to tennis camp:

He had a great time!  They played tennis in the mornings,
swam in the afternoons, and played lots of fun games.

I love when I take him shopping and turn around to find him doing this:

Tucker missed his sister like crazy while she was at CentriKid!  
She got home on Friday, and he barely left her side for the entire weekend.

Lana brought home some seriously stinky laundry with her....
it was wet and musty and awful.
Thank goodness for these 2!

The kids have started jogging with me some in the evenings,
and the sprinkler is perfect for cooling off when we get home!

My friend and business partner Katie hosted all of our business people at her house for a cookout and swimming.  I love seeing all of our kiddos together!

playing tug-of-war

We had family photos taken by the beautiful and talented Lucy Steiner.  She is an absolute magician, and not only are we so pleased with how they turned out, the whole experience was fantastic.  

July has been awesome!  Exactly 2 weeks until I have to go back to work;
I wish I could make time stand still.