I say momentarily, because it is bound to stir back up at any moment.
After spending 12 days on the road with my kiddos, I had my very dear friend come by for a visit. She, her husband, and their own five kiddos arrived on Sunday and we have been going, and going, and going ever since.
A little background: This dear friend is a friend that helped form my attitude as a mother. Really. I was pregnant with my 2nd baby and toting around my 1st who was only 5 months old. I was KILLING MYSELF trying to be perfect all the time. She asked me to come home with her from a play-date one day and told me that she had something to show me. Already a mother of four herself at the time, she took me into her kitchen and showed me two baskets full of clean, unfolded laundry on her table. "There!" she said, "That is what I wanted to show you."
Over lunches of p,b,& j, she went on to explain that she had to search through those laundry baskets for clean underwear for her two oldest children that morning and that being a Mom didn't always mean that everything got done in a day. She saw in me something that she felt she had been striving for at one point that was a false goal; an unrealistic and dangerous course to be on at the beginning of my journey through motherhood. SO, even though she barely knew me, she mentored me into a more realistic and healthy outlook on my life as a Mom. It has made a WORLD of difference. I never set out to have five children like she did. However, I know that the Lord KNEW that wold be our family and he put us in each other's path for that reason.
She moved to NY just before we moved to NC, but we have managed to get together AT LEAST 2xs a year ever since. She is a gift to me and I was THRILLED to have her entire family here in NC for a couple of days.
We had a big dinner out at the Twisted Fork on Sunday night. Yum, Yum,and YUM!! I love that place AND you get one free kids meal with every adult entree purchase. Can't beat that when your party is 4 adults and TEN kids. Hahahahahaha! After dinner, I dropped off Nathan and the kids and picked up me friend for a Mama's night out. We spent 2 hours in a movie and then 3 in the car chatting. I enjoyed the chatting much better than the movie :o) I got home WAAAAAAAYYYY too late for the day we had planned on Monday!!
Yesterday, we started out the morning with a few hours of Pump It Up. This was, in my opinion, the PERFECT place to let ten kids (ages 16 months-13 yrs old) run themselves ragged for 2 hours. Even my littlest, Annagail, would climb up the tallest slides an back herself down the slide. It was a lot of fun for ALL of us.
Then we headed to Cici's pizza for lunch. The food isn't THAT great, but the company was wonderful, so it made up for it. Again, we were thinking in terms of practicality with a crew our size.
Personally, I was wiped out after that, but Graycen had placement testing for her new school. My sweet friend babysat my youngest four while I took Graycen to testing.
THEN we loaded up all ten kiddos again for an afternoon at the pool. THAT was fun. (sidenote~ I am SO enjoying being in the water with my children. God is so good and He is blessing me with a complete lack of concern for what anyone thinks about me. If you had been in my head even as early as a few months ago, you wouldn't believe that I am now swimming in public.)
We were there MUCH longer than we planned, but it worked out because Nathan was home from work by the time we finished and we all (14 of us) headed downtown to a Zaxby's for dinner. Her kids had missed it since moving up north so we trekked down to satisfy their craving.
On the way home, my children all passed out from the busy day they had and I helped Nathan get them into bed. Then I headed back out to my friend's hotel for a "girls' movie night" with her and her 13 yr old daughter. They had every cookie, chocolate, salty thing I could ever want. I indulged and it was fun. We hung out and watched a movie. Again, I was up WAAAAAAAYYY too late, but it was so worth it.
They are headed North this morning and I already miss her. It is rare to find someone that the type of friend she is to me. She doesn't judge EVER, yet she will (and has been before) quick to rebuke me for a wrong attitude. We have cried together over disappointments and we have laughed until we cried! No matter how long we spend apart, we are right back where we left off when we get back together. We can go weeks without talking and nobody get feelings hurt, because we both know how busy we are and we have GRACE for each other. It is just the way it is.
As stressful as it may sound to have to entertain 10 kids for two days, there is so much comfort found in being around someone who knows EXACTLY the steps you are walking now. Her youngest is the same age as my 2nd born, so she knows almost everything about where I am in life. That is comfort.
Nathan and I don't know the exact ministry that the Lord has prepared for us upon his graduation, but I think both of us would love it if it landed us somewhere close to these great friends of ours.
How cold does New York get in the winter? LOL!!