i am kind of cheap by nature...or maybe nurture. i'm really not sure honestly. but one of the things that i've learned during this period of never having enough money coming in, but somehow always having enough money to get by, is the importance of taking the opportunity to visit family and friends when you can. when i'm old, or even just older, i would rather look back and see great memories and an empty bank account than a full(er) back account and no fun memories. i've also learned that Heavenly Father seems to agree. every time we've had to make a decision about "going" or "not going" i've always felt strongly that going was important, after praying about it. family is important and those opportunities are too few and far between to miss them because we would rather not spend the money on gas.
so even though i was here at the beginning of the month for a funeral and a retirement party, i decided to come down for spring break anyway. and i'm so, so, SO glad i did. this has been the best trip i've ever taken in so many ways.
saturday i went to breakfast with my kids and my mom and step-dad. they're always fun to hang with and they love my kids. and of course, the kids love them.
sunday i got to go to see many old friends from the ward where i spent my youth. and it always feels like coming home, even though half the families are now the families of the kids i grew up with. and then i got to go to a sacrament meeting without kids! i'd forgotten what that's like. and then i got to see a very, very dear friend when she came over with her son for dinner.
monday i spent a day with mom, cleaning, organizing, shopping, just being with her.
tuesday i went to fresno, and got to see some friends from our old ward. it was great to see them again and catch up for just a bit. then, i took my kids to my in-laws and LEFT THEM THERE! when i came home i went to my friend carolyn's house to spend the night. and what a gorgeous night it was. an almost full moon was giving off so much light that i couldn't resist the urge to take a hike up a near hill and just spend some time reconnecting with myself, my spirit, my heavenly father. it was the first time in a long time i got to forget about being a wife, a mom, a friend. i didn't even realize how much i needed it until i was experiencing it. i didn't realize how wrung out i felt inside until i felt a healing taking place. my heart was just overflowing with gratitude and love. i was just overcome by the blessings in my life. then after that much needed experience i got to spend a few more hours just talking with my best friend.
wednesday morning i took a long jog/hike back into some beautiful green hills also all by myself. again, just wonderful. then, a little later i got to take a drive up towards balch park enjoying the wonderful sunshine with windows down and fun tunes. went to dinner with mom and carolyn. we talked and laughed and enjoyed each others company.
i thought the night couldn't get better. i was wrong. later that night, my husband called me to tell me he was offered a job. in his field. after almost exactly four years of searching. wow. after that long, it almost feels like it will never end. as much as i was wanting to hear it, i almost didn't believe i would, possibly ever. it still doesn't feel quite real. ask me how it feels in about two weeks though.
thursday i spent some time with mom at work, then we did a very little bit of shopping. then, my kids came back. and i missed them. but i sure enjoyed and so needed some time away from them. after they got back, we proceeded to drive back up to carolyn's house for a party. and i got to enjoy another fantastic evening of talking with her when we spent the night.
friday we had quite the adventure. carolyn saddled up two mules and we packed in some food to the back 40 (acres). there was another woman and her 4 little ones with her. her littlest child is the same age as my boys. all three of them were on one mule at one point. somehow, we're unsure how, lewis got spooked . . . and all three boys proceeded to fall. but they were definitely protected because all three, though crying and shaken, i'm sure, were totally fine. they hit a hill, which i think helped take out some of the impact, because they didn't just smack they ground, they kind of ended up tucking and rolling. and they didn't get flung into the barbed-wire fence. they just sort of rolled into it, but with their long jeans and shoes, they were pretty protected. the worst of it was a couple bruises (not immediately apparent) and a couple small scrapes on a belly. they got over it relatively quickly and enjoyed the rest of the picnic.
today has been really mellow and relaxed. i'm looking forward to tomorrow and especially monday when paul comes. i've really missed him this last week. fortunately, we've both been pretty busy so it hasn't been as tough as it could've been, but i will be happy to see him again, and so will the kids.
keith has 9 more weeks of school when we get back and then, i guess we move on to our next city and our next adventure. i'm excited for the possibilities, though not anxious for the actual move and starting all over with friends again. fortunately, the church makes those things much easier than they could be.
all in all, life is grand. life is sweet.
and god is good.