Adjusting to motherhood

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While its enormously apparent why life can be hard to adjust to as a first time mom sometimes it is hard to identify what exactly is so difficult because really, its just a bunch of feedings, diaper changing, with a little sleep deprivation thrown in right? Not so much, we’ve

a) kissed our careers goodbye (at least for a long time if you’re like my husband and I and want to stay at home to raise your children)

b) kissed the freedom of doing shopping & errands alone,in peace, and reletively stress-free goodbye

c) kissed our youthful bodies goodbye (just this past weekend I joined my sister-in-law in a joyful chorus of ‘do your boobs hang low’)

d) undergone or are still undergoing a tornado of hormonal changes & adjustments

e) kissed our old style of social life goodbye (toodle-loo to pub nights and hello to play dates or those “our place or yours? Do you have a place I can lay my kid down?”  nights but hey I might even get crazy and have a drink….right after I’m done nursing ..because you know, I don’t want my baby to be affected and apparently it takes about 3 hours for alcohol to work through the system and well…wait,what was that ? Oh yah, yes I am a total buzz kill….)

Enough with the kissing of things goodbye for now – the reality is that A LOT changes and adjustments do and must take place. So in addition to the fairly obvious things I had two other mini-revelations as far as being a new mother is concerned.

1. Their is more have to’s and less want to’s

Yep its true. I can’t indulge myself with 2 hours of my music in my ears searching for songs that ‘speak’ to me. I can’t go to every event I want to because I have a little lady to think of. I can’t just decide to go clothes shopping at 4:00 pm anymore or meet up with friends on the spur of the moment. No, no I cannot do those things anymore, I can’t even do that in my spare time because my spare time is dictated by my child now. If Finley is hungry, I have to feed her. If Finley has a dirty diaper, I have to change it. If Finley is having a bad day I need to help her and attend to her. Kids come first, hence the stories, blogs and legendary myths (?) of unshowered moms dropping children off at daycare/school/activities in pajamas and the unidentifiable living room floors covered in scads of toys, right? All I know is that I’ve had days when I have a hard time just getting downstairs to put a load of laundry in and even then, was doing laundry on my want-to list? Nope, it was on the have-to list. So even when my baby is being good and goes to sleep nicely and naps for a couple hours I still find my time is quickly swallowed up by a long list of have-to errands and house chores before I get to indulge myself in a want to. All moms know that days can go by before you find yourself indulging in a want-to. I think that’s why we learn to appreciate smaller things in life, like having a coffee in silence or writing a blog while your baby is napping (and crossing your fingers you  will finish it before she wakes up so you won’t have to wait for 3 days to be able to finish it and post it – i’ll let you know how that goes)

2. We are emotionally drained and emotionally starved

This one dawned on me one day when I had an especially hard day with Finley. She spent the larger part of the day crying and just being generally inconsolable while I spent the larger part of the day struggling to stay patient and not burst into tears myself. When my husband came home he took Finley from my arms and told me to go take care of myself, you now, like go take a warm bath/shower or take a nap, basically he was giving me a break. It took me a bit to understand why that wasn’t as fulfilling/relieving as I had wanted but  it hit me a couple days later – I had wanted/needed Finley to just be quiet for awhile and  I wanted my husband to come find me crying in the bedroom and wrap me up in a bear hug and listen to me vent about the day, you  know, what he would have done pre-baby. I had been pouring everything I had into Finley all day and I had been digging as deep as I could to stay patient and loving. I was emotionally drained by the time my husband came to relieve me from dealing with our daughter but then I was in desperate need for some emotional support from him and simply couldn’t get it. I realized that he couldn’t give me both, he couldn’t give me a break and also come take care of me, he just had to pick the best option at the moment. I can no longer have my cake and eat it to and neither can my husband. Kids require sacrifice and your relationship has a lot of adjusting to do.

I guess if I had to throw in one more thing it would be that we are never off the clock. We never punch out and that isn’t something that we were ever bound to before becoming a mother. Yes, its true, we do enjoy some down time but I would describe a mothers down time more like being on call. You can’t totally relax or unwind because just as you let your hair down you might get ‘the call’ and be putting it right back up (literally- those little people hands have a spidy-sense for grabbing the small hairs on the back of your neck). It’s like I told someone the other day, “If you ever want the selfish slapped right out of you, have a baby”.

It is hard being a mother, its not always easy to identify why its so hard but I’ll say one thing, it makes you read the Bible differently and it really does begin to give you a better understanding of how frustrating we can be in the sight of God. The big difference is that I’m not as patient, as loving, or as full of grace as the heavenly Father. So if I have any closing advice or remarks it is that through all the changes, evident or not so evident, look to Him for what you need, its the only way.


Pruning dead branches

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Last night I got a what one would describe as a fanatical piece of hair up my back end (aka a wild hair up my ass – where do these sayings come from anyhow and why do I say them?). I brought the recyclables out to the garage and whilst performing this menial task eyed a pair of pruners on my husbands work bench in the garage. I scooped them up and meandered around to the front of the house and started clipping off dead branches on the Crabapple tree. I think its a Selkirk Crabapple. At any rate, the tree is right outside the main window of my living room and I’ve been staring myself blind at dead branches, crossing branches, and clusters of little sprouts growing too close together. Anyone who knows anything about pruning would know why it has been driving me nuts. My husband, who was wondering where I had disappeared to, came out to check the mail and was somewhat surprised to find me up in the tree pruning away with a set of small pruners. It didn’t take long and he was out there with a hand saw and a ladder. We both like doing yard work and we like doing it together.


A part of me felt bad hacking away at that tree last night, and a bit worried that the tree would look ugly once we were done pruning- but rationality told me that a dead branch doesn’t need to stay and its not helping the tree by staying on, its literally just dead weight hanging off the tree and it has no business being there anymore. Looking at it tonight I realized that those dead branches are like our forgiven sins- we no longer need to hold on to them,  they can and should be cut loose, it is healthier in the long run. Our own guilt somehow reasons with us that the dead branches should stay, that even though our sins are forgiven we can’t really move forward. We hang on because we think by hanging on we’re performing some sort of penance we still owe despite regular prayers for forgiveness and professing every Sunday that we believe in the forgiveness of sins. It is still a sin if you don’t really believe it has been forgiven or if someone else has been forgiven and you still hold them to their past sin.


It’s hard sometimes to truly and wholeheartedly believe in the forgiveness of sins. Its hard to leave sin at the foot of God’s throne in prayer and believe that that sin, along with the thousands upon thousands of other sins that have been forgiven,  are REALLY covered through the blood of Christ on the cross but we are assured of it in God’s word. In Acts 13: 38-39 it is written (about Jesus), “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you , and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses` . How very liberating!…and yet don`t we all find it so very  hard to live by this liberating grace. I don’t have a lot more to say on this, it was just a thought and the last thought of the night is this : when you find you have a dead branch hanging on, whether it is your own sins of the past or someone else’s sin or sins of the past,  go to the foot of God’s throne and prune that dead branch before the weight becomes too much and you find yourself crumpling under a load that only Jesus can carry.


Carrying more cross than God gives you to carry


Anxiety. I wish I could blame it all on becoming a new mother  but the truth is I can’t. I have always had to deal with an element of anxiety in my life. I sometimes let myself be scared into a corner and that corner I live in sometimes is not really living at all. I’m sure I’m not the  first or the only person on the planet to deal with it, in fact, I know I’m not. I’ve heard other peoples stories about panic attacks and anxiety and the undercurrent theme in both is the irrationality of it all.

Back in the day I used to have this fear that a bear would climb up into my bedroom and attack me. A pile of clothes in the corner of my room would become a sleeping bear in the dark, waiting for me to close my eyes so it could get me.  I had a fear of fainting after watching a few of my classmates keel over right in front of me and spew throw up all over the floor as they landed and lay in the land of the unconscious.  I dream all the time and I’ve learned over time and after more than a few sleepless nights to stay away from scary shows and movies because that seems to trigger nightmares for me. No one likes lying alone in the dark after a nightmare. I can still remember going to watch “The Skeleton Key” with another couple and my boyfriend at the time. I knew it wouldn’t be any good for me but not wanting to be the loser of the group I went along and I paid for it for a couple nights. One night after this movie as I was awaking from a nightmare I heard scratching in my basement, I was convinced the couple in the movie was coming for me and it turned out to be a cat that had  snuck in the house, its nails clicking against the cement floor.

Every now and then my husband has to work out of town and I am left at home alone for the night. I used to be fine but  just recently he was gone and my old familiar friend anxiety came to visit me each night in his stead. Here’s how it would go:

I would get ready for bed. I check on my little one and listen for breathing, satisfied she’s alive and well I hop into bed and debate leaving a light on in my bedroom closet or leaving on my bedside lamp. I reason to myself that I’ve never heard of a story where someone was saved because they left a light on in their bedroom and I’m not  any safer or less safe because my lights are on or off. I turn off my lights.  My little girl moves in her bed and the sudden noise makes me jump. I’m not as calm as I am trying to be. I check facebook, I read from my bible app, then I turn off my phone and roll over. With nothing to occupy  my mind other things begin to fill my head. My senses begin to work overtime.  A car door slams, a cop siren in the distance, a scratching sound…wait, a scratching sound? Is someone trying to  pick my locks?I know this is irrational, because the scratching sound is those blinking acrobatic, black squirrels that leap from my front yard tree onto my roof and scramble over my shingles. The door bumps…why is the door bumping? Is someone trying to get in my house? Or worse…is someone in my house?? I wait for a form to burst in my door…or picture a hooded figure stealing things in my living room. Maybe if I lay really still they won’t think to bother me. Here we go again. The open window in my bedroom causes some sort of light suction that makes the door  bounce lightly back and forth. Like I said, the undercurrent here is irrationality. More anxiety ensues as I hug the blankets closer around me (like that will keep me safe?) and when I don’t dare go to the bathroom in the middle of the night or worse, when I do and I check in the shower to see if someone is hiding in there. (don’t act like you never have!…but seriously, what would we do anyhow if someone WAS in there?)

As a new mother, I experience a different kind of anxiety, I worry  about if my baby is going to cry when I’m out in public, I worry about all the eyes that might be on me, the judgmental or irritated looks I might receive, will people think I shouldn’t be mother when they watch me struggle with my nursing cover as my girl’s cries reverberate through the mall? I feel more exposed when I go out, now that it takes longer to load up my groceries, my own purse, and my baby. Will someone see me as an easy target for mugging? I know I can’t live like this, like I said, I know that this sort of thinking has me in my own mental trap and is not really living at all. So if you are someone who has ever experienced any of these thoughts or  feelings yourself I have 3 sayings I want to share with you what I heard from my parents in the last few days while they were visiting and while we chatted about some of my struggles with anxiety and 1 saying I read on a pizza box from coco brooks quite awhile ago.


1- From Mom:

“We often carry more cross than God gives us to carry”

2. From Dad:

“A lot of us spend time building bridges to places we never have to go”

3. From Beppe:

“God gives you grace to live and He will give you grace to die”

4. From a wise pizza box :

“Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is”


I need this reminder to not be bigger than God or bigger than my problems and to accept that God has numbered my days and everything in my life will always go according to His plan whether I stay up to worry about it or not. I don’t know about you but I know I will be chanting these to myself the next time I find myself wondering where I left my bat and how much jail time I might get if I accidentally kill an intruder in my house while trying to defend myself.

I feel like its cliche and I debated leaving it out but I simply can’t so here it is, a hard command for me to obey:

” Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Phillipians 4: 4-7 (ESV)



Forgetfulness & ….redemption??

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In typical Fay-fashion I’m late. This time I’m one week late. I’ve been combing my brain for ideas on how to redeem myself from the bad graces I must surely be in and several ideas came to mind. I thought about a simple phone call, I considered a cartoon strip depicting my sorrow for missing the date, and then I thought about my blog. I havn’t wrote since January and I always dislike coming back with the statement ” So I’ve been super busy…” or ” I know I’ve been gone for awhile…”. Now I can write about someone else! Someone that I love immensely!

Last month, exactly one month ago I got hitched and the evening was so nice. It’s astounding listening to all the things that people remember with you and some of their thoughts on your character so I wanted to give that back today in my blog to my mother.

Some memories and things I love about my Mama 🙂

>I love the way you always would sing as you set about doing your house duties..you always sing with everything you got and I love that about you.

>I liked the way you tucked the hair behind my ear when I would lay on your lap while you read your book on a Sunday afternoon

>I remember tagging along with you while you did the laundry and folded clothes when I was really young

>You have mad sewing skills and you spent a lot of time sewing us Sunday dresses and also made us other clothes while we were growing up

>You picked blackberries with us every summer and traversed various terrain in the Beauville to help us find blackberries to pick so we could earn that trip to the water-slides every summer

>You made our lunches and sandwiches for us all through elementary and I remember the year that Glen had mustard on his sandwich and I had pickles and cheddar cheese EVERY day…thanks mom 🙂

> I remember when I was younger I sometimes seriously wondered if you were an angel

> I loved coming home from work on a Saturday and so often I would smell muffins baking and some sort of soup would be on the go

> I remember tagging along to hockey in the mornings on Saturdays at 5:30- knowing that your a morning person as much as I am,  I have to say this, Mom, you MUST have REALLY loved your kids to do that! haha. On that note- thanks for driving me all over for my 6 years of baseball as well

>I liked going for walks with you…I still like going for walks with you or putting those dutch bikes to use 🙂

>You made us all a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for years and years and years weather it was your home made yogurt or full on breakfast of eggs, toast, and bacon. Now that I’m all grown I realize what a feat that was to provide us with those kind of meals day after day

>I remember going grocery shopping with you just the two of us sometimes and how you would spoil us at the end of the shopping trip with a drink to share out of the coolers by the till and a chocolate bar to share. Particularly I remember you buying those dutch licorice candies for us to eat on the way home from grocery shopping

>I remember you giving us a spoonful of honey in the dark kitchen when we had a sore throat in the middle of the night and the way you’d let us sleep on that sliver of your bed beside you when we came into your room after we had a scary dream

>I have many many other memories but I’ll leave it at that for today 🙂


Mom, you have been soft with us when we needed you to be soft, tougher on us when we needed you to be and you’ve always opened yourself up for any type of question or conversation…theirs no words for how amazing that is or how amazing you are. Mom, you are sort of a strong silent type in a way and I think that you are sometimes misunderstood by people who don’t really KNOW you. You are sometimes sort of quiet but I think you are thoughtful, and you consider your words before you speak them. You often speak through actions rather then words and you are not hesitant to hug something out when it needs to be hugged out. You never have pushed us into something unless you knew it was good for us (like eating our spinach), but really, you always encouraged all of us to have fun and do our best whether it was school or sports or what have you. You have shown us by example what it means to really truly care about our brothers and sisters in Christ and you demonstrate the fruits of the spirit regularly. You are a God-fearing woman and you live a life that serves as a great example to not just me but all your kids.  You make me laugh when you burst out in your silly random humor and the sight of your smile  is one of the things that fills my mind when I’m missing you all the way out here in Alberta.

Mom I know that I’ve probably kept you awake at nights when I was a crying baby, I know that I’ve cried out “thats NOT faaaairr” and fought with my siblings, I’m sure I have added my share of grey hairs to your head. We have fought and I have rebelled but I would venture to say that we’ve balanced that out with real laughter and real love.

I guess what I’m really trying to say here Mom is, HAPPY BELATED MOTHERS DAY, I LOVE YOU!


The past, the present, and whats ahead

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A lot of stuff has come and gone in the last few monthes since I’ve posted. I did feel for quite awhile that the creative juices were being sucked out of me but at the same time I think it has something to do with that precious commodity called time. I feel like the last few monthes have just floated by. My days were spent behind my computer working on excel spread sheets, getting up to help the odd customer and wrapping up Christmas baubles. I worked on pricing and only talked to the odd contractor. Work is a little boring through the winter, it’s true. I was offered another job in and around October which I seriously considered taking but I felt that I was not being called there and I stuck with the job I’m in now. It certainly has it’s frustrations some days and some days it makes me come home crying but I still believe I am where I need to be right now. I guess sometimes things have to be harder to feel more rewarding. The best and brightest spot in my life right now is my fiancee. That’s right, I said it, FIANCEE! I am an engaged woman now 🙂 Curtis and I got engaged December 29 at one of my favourite spots down by the Vedder River in Chilliwack. I sort of knew it was coming but I never expected it in the moment that it happened. It’s the weirdest thing really when you are with this person who you have learned to love so deeply and its just you two together and you just sorta feel like you’re in this weird time warp where everything doesn’t matter except the moment and that person. That was how I felt.

By the Vedder river

By the Vedder river in September

Before Curtis and I became engaged I worried about my past relationships and the hurt that you carry out of them.  I wondered how I would feel about my past once I got engaged, much less married. I wondered if I would carry it with me into marriage,  I wondered if I would feel trapped with the secret that the past sometimes must become when you’re with someone new.  Some people say that time heals all wounds but I’ve come to my own conclusion that it’s not time that heals it. The disappointments, failures, and the tear that is left in your heart when someone leaves you or when you leave someone is like carrying around a huge weight. At first, it gets dropped on you and it flattens you, it devastates and ruins you. After you’ve layed under that weight for awhile you realize you can’t just keep on laying their so you start trying to get up and move forward in any way possible. That weight has the effect that carrying anything heavy would have and that means that after a little while of standing up and walking around with it, you get tired and you break down again, you crumble under it and lay under it for awhile again and so the cycle goes for a time. Eventually, I think you become accustomed to carrying that weight. Hence the term baggage? (I dont’ know about you, but when I go on a trip somewhere my suitcase is ALWAYS heavy! 😉 ).  I think that the reason people think time heals is only because you need time to build your strength to carry that load.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We are people who are easily burdened, people who worry, and people who have trouble giving our burdens over to Him.  He gently asks, nay, he actually commands us to come to him with those burdens. He doesn’t say, “Hey if you think it’s cool you should totally talk to me…”or, “So when your at your wits end why don’t you think about coming to me….” . What a lovely command, what a soft landing he gives us and our souls when life gets us down.  I realized that this worry I had was legitimate but God gave me more then one way to deal with it. First and foremost, the most effective tool that I always have within reach and that any believer has in reach is prayer, a direct line to God. We know that no worry of ours is too small and that God can count the hairs on our head. He knows more about us and what we need, than we know about ourselves. The second tool I would mention is our loved ones whether that be your significant other, your parents, sisters, brothers, or friends, He surrounds us with His love in one way or another. So now I move forward and I know I don’t need to be afraid of feeling trapped in my thoughts of the past, I know I can lay those burdens on him. He has given me strength and continues to give me strength and I know He will do the same for anyone who comes to him. He guides your lives and He protects them. You are never trapped in any way shape or form when God is leading your life. You are always in the right place at the right time, and if your not He is busy working to turn it to your benefit and I must humbly admit I have seen God’s divinity in my own life.  I am amazed at how He made my life work out when I thought all I was doing was messing it up. I can’t say how many times I wondered if He had erased my name from the Book of Life and I can’t say how many times I may wonder it again since I am just a sinner.  I know that a topic like engagement should probably come with more excitement and happiness in my writing and  although it’s not bubblegum excitement, it IS humble gratitude and acknowledgement of such a wonderful God who has shown me with this big event in my life that He is in control. He knows what is best and that no matter where you are in your life or whatever your circumstances, God gives you every reason to look forward with hope for the future both in this life, and the life to come.

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Don’t get me wrong- we are very happy and super excited 🙂

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Cheers to what’s next! Champagne was so fun! Thanks Kathy!!

Duct-taped wings

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When you feel like you have nothing to write, write about that. That’s something someone told me  a little while ago and I just can’t seem to get any inspiration from that. Usually ideas just hit me for what I’m going to write about next on my blog. I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud for a writer in the last while. I like to call myself a writer, but really, I havn’t published anything, I’m not trying to write a novel, I havn’t submitted anything to anybody to even try and be published in any way, shape, or form. I beat myself up about this writing thing, or lack-there-of,  better then anyone else ever could. When it comes down to go time I tend to freeze up. My head floods with thoughts of failure and I become insecure. I shoot down all the possibilities and have the bitter ending perfectly envisioned in my head before I even put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, or what have you. What literally runs through my head is, “No one will want to read this or they’re just going to think I’m a bit of a wanna-be writer”.  I’ve often thought that I should get over this and learn to spread the proverbial wings and fly but instead of flying I’d say it’s more like I’m down on the ground duct-taping my wings to my side so I don’t have to fly and so no one will try to push me over the edge because they will see that I simply cannot fly. Do you ever do that? Do you ever duct tape your wings? I know I’m talking about writing but this could apply to so many other situations in life. It could be a fear of public speaking, a new career, starting new friendships or a new relationship, or it could be a fear of standing up for what you believe in.

Just yesterday I was sitting in church in the afternoon service and the minister was talking about when Jesus went into the temple and in righteous anger drove the people out with a whip and turned over the tables of the people selling animals for sacrifice in the temple. (John 2).  I realized that I don’t even have the guts more then half of the time to defend my Lord and Saviour, especially at work, when people take his name in vain all around me, all day long.  If only I would have the courage to speak up.  I duct tape my wings and I shrink back in fear.  I tell myself I have no right to say anything because my walk is not perfect either. I don’t think I’m a good enough representative for the Lord. I stumble myself far too often to be able to tell others to watch their talk. I feel like I have no ground to stand on to be able to ask people, much less tell people to not speak that way because it offends me and much more offends my God.  I can’t write about this lightheartedly and tears of frustration are running down my face because of it. I realize that this second half of my writing today is a more serious tone then the first but I think a lot of us are running around with shiny, silver tape keeping our wings  safely stuck to our side.  I don’t think I’m the first one, and I don’t think I’m the only one, who is afraid to fly. I certainly don’t think I’m the only one who is hiding behind the excuse that I simply can’t.  The truth is we can. We all have wings to fly and God grants each and everyone of us the ability to do so and will enable us more and more if we pray for it as well. The other truth is that flying might hurt. We might not know quite how to turn to avoid flying into branches or we might fly into a few deceiving windows. It will be scary the first few times you leap off the side of a cliff to try out your wings. To us it might look like certain death (like losing your job, the respect of your co-workers  and friends, or failing to live up to the expectations you have of yourself, or the expectations God has of you) To fly is to have faith. To fly is to trust that God will not allow a crash landing if we are flying in line with His will.  Maybe this week take time to examine the areas of your life where you have duct taped your wings, and take time to think about it you have ever duct taped someone else’s wings for them.  For myself, I think I’m going to try and submit something soon and I’m going to pray for more courage not just for myself but for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ wherever they are. I will keep you posted. Thanks for reading. God bless.


I guess writing nothing worked today…..thanks for the advice- you know who you are!

More fireworks!

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Went to Global  Fest  fireworks a couple weekends ago! It was the U.S.A’s turn to put on a show to music. I used to go see the fireworks in Vancouver at English Bay but it was nicer seeing the fireworks in Calgary. Here’s why:

1. I didn’t have to drive 1.5 hours through traffic to get their (it took about 2 minutes to drive and 5 minutes to walk the rest of the way)

2. I sat and relaxed on a blanket with some friends instead of standing all night shoulder to shoulder with a bunch joe shmoes I  don’t care to be that close to.

3. I actually got to hear the music that went with the fireworks this time.

4. The view was awesome and up close!

It’s been a fireworks summer in my books! I don’t know if I’ve ever had a summer so full of fireworks. (That oughta puff up my boyfriends chest 😉 ) haha…just kidding around of course, here’s a couple of pictures that he took while we were their!




Curtis and I both commented on what a luxury it is to be able to go out and enjoy fireworks, such a frivolous thing really.   We are so blessed to have so much freedom, peace,  and wealth in this country. It’s good to reflect on that sometimes and be thankful for what we have rather then wasting our time being upset about the things we don’t have.

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