Wednesday, March 10, 2010

smiling

...not my traditional "ten smiles"...but, trust me, there were at least that many...probably more like a hundred times that in the past week....i spent an incredible long weekend in washington...in the quaint little coastal "village" of seabrook...in this house....with all of the gorgeous, incredible women i mentioned in this post (if you haven't already i would encourage you to browse through their lovely blogs...you'll be blessed...i promise!). and the weekend was full of gorgeous sun...which i'm told isn't the norm for coastal washington, especially in march!

this post would surely be full of pictures...that is if my camera battery hadn't been almost dead upon my arrival to seabrook. i'm sure, though, since the group is FULL of incredibly talented photographers, there will be plenty of photos to go around. mine aren't all that good...but i had to share anyway...because it is still a bit surreal to see all these gorgeous faces in the same room.

katie, nikki, dawna and chelle...as katie reacts to the surprise that a bridal shower was being prepared for her while she slept saturday morning...

minta, me, and dawna...

our cottage...it was set off a bit from the rest with gorgeous trees and a "hiking" path behind it...

oh so delightful to spend a weekend with my jilly-girl

ready to head to the beach with the babies...jack with his auntie minta, jilly and i, and court and quinn

so...what did i smile about...

...delightful friends...time to connect--to laugh, to cry, to share, to hug, and sit quietly

...a sweet, delightfully flexible baby girl while traveling...seriously...maybe 10 minutes of tears on the entire trip there and barely any on the way home (well...until we were stranded in chicago...but thats another story)

...four days of incredible quality time with jillian...it was amazing...really amazing.

...delicious food (cooked while wearing the sweet little aprons katie and leslie whipped up to surprise us with...aprons that matched each of our personalities perfectly!)

...laughter...laughter...and more laughter

...being missed....i know, that might sound odd, but it was nice to be away and to hear the girls missing me...but also to hear just how much fun they were having at home with daddy

...a bridal shower for our dear aussie mate, katie...

...sweet ladies who loved and served me even when i felt oh so icky sicky for a bit

...a photo shoot of my sweet jilly-girl...something i had only dreamed of after seeing leslie's other INCREDIBLE photography

...a sweet devotional time together...and the time apart to just enjoy being with Jesus

...the encouragement of other messy, imperfect ladies striving to please Jesus, love their families, and delight in the beauty of life...sharing our struggles, encouraging, wrestling through things, sharing ideas...going deeper than one can go in a blog...oh so much deeper

...being able to hug one another and constantly seeing our faces all mingled together in the same place...which is simply AMAZING!

...lots of funny things said...and i do mean LOTS!

...the jacuzzi...always a treat!

...the faithfulness of God...who meets you in moments of panic and fear (even if you fail to respond with faith immediately)...like perhaps being stranded at the airport in chicago in the middle of the night due to fog...ugh!

...the encouragement and support of a miles away husband...a husband who spent four days juggling two big girls at home, missing his wife and smiley girl...and whose love and support gave me sooo much encouragement in the midst of the fog-situation

...rental car agencies with infant carseats!

...my incredible dad, who navigated me out of an incredibly foggy chicago (as in so foggy you can't truly read the street signs unless you are right on top of them)

...landing in my hubby's arms when i finally arrived home...snuggling next to him in bed and closing my eyes with the knowledge that he would be there when i woke up in the morning (err...should i say in about three hours)

and last, but most certainly not least...

...hugging and kissing my sweet libbers and katers...and knowing anew that no matter how frustrating some days are...no matter how much i feel as though i fall short...no matter how HARD this mommy thing can be (or how imperfect i am at it!) it is all worth it.

my heart is full.

this post is SO incredibly inadequate to describe the weekend. because, truly, i cannot put it into words...it is in my heart...tucked beautifully away. i will, however, say, the girls were not what i expected from reading their blogs...yep, you read that right...i said they were NOT what i expected. nope. they were SO much more...more beautiful inside and out...deeper and more genuine than i could have imagined. they are the kind of friends i can chat with for hours and hours and hours...or simply sit with quietly...and that is such a beautiful gift...a treasure really. there was a part of me that was sooo nervous and insecure when i thought about the weekend...but i did feel God encouraging me to go...and my husband...and friends...telling me how fabulous it would be. oh how i love that those insecurities were completely stripped away the very second dawna, misha, and katie pulled up at the curb of the airport in seattle....the very moment misha leaped out of the van to envelop me in a hug. God did an incredible work in my heart when it comes to fear...and so many other areas, really...it was simply beautiful.

and i could keep going on and on and on...but for now, i need to wrap up...time to get back to the laundry folding, lunch making, boo-boo kissing reality of being a mama. and that too is beautiful!

8 comments:

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

So glad you had such a lovely time Amanda! Sounds like it was well needed and deserved and the company sounds simply delightful!

JODI said...

yay! so glad you are refreshed and your heart is full! You deserved it! :)

Nikki said...

You so beautifully described our weekend, Amanda! You are a treasure and it was so beyond wonderful to spend time with you and Jilly-girl in real life. You have very eloquently put words to an indescribably blessed time of fellowship and refreshment. I am so, so thankful for each one of us who was able to come....so thankful that you got safely home...so glad that you got to be the one who was missed, who was welcomed home with eager smiles and hugs and kisses!
P.S. - Isn't falling asleep snuggled against your husband the *best* after being away for a few nights?!

Jamie said...

so glad you had a wonderful time! i've been looking forward to reading about it!

~beautyandjoy~ said...

Big lump in my throat about how brave you are! Really - so incredible to read your victories, thoughts and words. You are so beautiful. In person and in writing. :)

Rebecca said...

sounds like a wonderfully blessed weekend! so glad for you!

Nancy M. said...

It sounds like such a wonderful time with great friends! The cottage looks so cozy! Glad you were able to go and have such a great time!

Chelle said...

Can I just sign my name under both Nikki and Misha's comments to you in this post?

And I just wanted to add that you Amanda are even more beautiful and dear in person than I had gathered from your blog, if that is even humanly possible.

Miss you friend.