Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?

This summer has been especially busy!  I was talking to the family about my upcoming blog conference {It’s called Haven, see button on sidebar.}  My son said, “you’re going to a blog conference for a blog you don’t write on anymore.”  Hmmmmm…it looks like my boy might be visiting here more than I thought.  This was my answer, “it’s because I put my family first in the summer time.”  For once there was silence from him.

It is difficult to spend time writing and editing photos during the summer while the kids are home.  As a matter of fact, my youngest is currently pouting because I asked her to please wear her headphones while she watches a show on her iPod.  It’s difficult for this ADD mom to have noise in the background while writing.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about.  In fact, I have so many things I would like to write about.  Sometimes that is just as overwhelming as having nothing to write about.

One reason I haven’t had time to write is because I’m running again.  Let me tell you, this is the first summer out of all of my adult years (about 10) I’ve been running I’ve actually RUN.  I usually take the summer off from running.  If you live in the south, then you understand why.  It’s SO STINKING HOT!  Problem is, I get out of shape and gain weight over the summer.  Then it’s that much harder to start running again in the fall.  I promised myself after all the effort I’ve put into losing 10 pounds I needed to bite the bullet and run this summer.  It’s the only way I will keep my weight in check.

My son goes to a training program every morning at 6:30am.  After I drop him off, I go to our local walking/jogging track.  I will admit, I only run the first mile without stopping to walk.  The next 2 miles are a run/walk combination interspersed with water breaks.  It’s still between the 80’s and 90’s early in the morning.  My kids told me recently they thought I had lost weight since the beginning of the summer.  I was surprised they noticed and said so.

friendship brings joy familybringsjoy.comSo in between taking the kids to their various camps, conferences and our vacation…I made a new friend this summer.  She and her family moved here from a major city in the west.  I’ve been trying to keep her from going stir crazy in this small little town of ours.  She’s been going through Target withdrawals.  {been there. done that.}  I remember her calling me and asking me if there was a craft store here.  Oh how I wish!  I shared with her how I buy my crafting supplies.  We have spent a lot of fun time together already.  I realized while putting this little collage together of iPhone photos, we have done a LOT of swimming together. {which is why I’m always in my swim suit in the photos.}  She brings her littles over to swim in our pool.  The first time they came over her 2 boys wouldn’t even get in the pool.  They played around the pool.  The second time they came over they stood on the steps of the pool.  Now, with their swim vests securely fastened, they swim around and do great!  It’s been wonderful to see their progress and the huge grins on their faces.  Fortunately, her sweet baby girl adores the water.  I’m pretty sure she will be swimming in no time!  I enjoy seeing my kids take her little ones under their wing and act as big sisters and brothers to them.  We have enjoyed having friends in our home again.  It’s been such a long time since we’ve had close friends.  If you’ve read my blog for a while, you might have seen me whine about not having good friends here.  So if you were one of my readers who has been praying for me, you’re prayers have been answered.  And I thank you so much for doing so.  Friends definitely bring JOY and make life happier.

One of the things I love about K is her infectious positive attitude.  She always has a smile on her face and is very complimentary.  And she does this despite the lack of sleep she receives from having a baby who isn’t sleeping through the night yet.  We share a lot of things in common.  We have fun talking about Instagram, crafts, blogging {she has a private blog}, mom stuff, books and our faith.  K likes to take photos as much as I do! 😉  I also want to tell her husband HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!

Summer is coming to a close.  Only 3 more weeks until school begins here.  7 more weeks until I take my oldest to college.  I leave to go to Atlanta for Haven Conference in a week!  Look for an introduction post to the lovely home bloggers who will be attending this conference in the next day or 2.  I can’t wait to get back to blogging on a more regular basis when the kids are back in school.  Next month I will celebrate Family Brings Joy’s 5 year anniversary!  I’m planning on some fun stuff to offer and share with you.

I truly hope your family’s summer has been filled with special times together.  Feel free to share what y’all have been doing on here in the comments section.  I love to hear what families are doing.  Thanks so much for reading Family Brings Joy.  YOU are AWESOME! 🙂

Oh and sweet C…thank you for motivating me to sit down and write another post.  It is a HUGE compliment for you to tell me you read my blog.  Love you.

Friends bring joy,

"Enjoy the Journey"

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This weekend my best friend and her family came to visit from TX. We had a total blast. All 11 of us! It was her first visit since our move into the new home and her husband’s first visit since our move to small ‘towndom’ almost 3 years ago. =) They were able to stay for 3 full days. DH remarked after they left, “it was like no time had gone by.” I was surprised and asked him to explain what he meant. “Well, sometimes after time has gone by, friends grow apart and when you get back together it’s not the same as it was before. But it felt the same.” I agree completely. This is exactly why I love them. Even though years have passed. We have kept in touch. We have visited them. They have visited us. We exchange texts, e-mails and numerous phone calls. Whenever I talk to them, they are as sweet and kind as they were the first time we met them. They are so easy to talk to. We have been through a lot together and I don’t plan on letting distance ever make our friendship grow apart. We ate many meals together, swam, watched movies, attended church and even unloaded boxes! Thank you so much Emily for helping me! Yeah, I whined, but it was exactly what I needed! This was the perfect ending to our summer. Our friends made it that way. =) Thanks a million!

The Journey is better with friends,

Shan

Angels ARE In Our Midst

Saying this week has been a challenge for me is somewhat of an understatement. There is no need for me to go into details. I really don’t want to “relive” the week anyway. One day this week I was feeling very down. I noticed a brightly colored gift bag in between my storm door and my front door. I brought it in the house and looked inside. Two of my very favorite treats were inside, Extra Cheddar Flavor Blasted Goldfish (we call them “extra cheesy“) and Reeses. It brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eyes. My first inclination was they had to be from my husband. I quickly looked at the card to see: “Hey Shan, Here’s something to hopefully brighten your cloudy day! I’m praying for you! Love, Sara”

I was in shock. This is my new friend. We haven’t spent that much time together and I am not the type to talk about food. How did she know?! Not just about the snacks, but that I was feeling blue. How did she know? I immediately called her and expressed my gratitude for her uplifting gift. She relayed the story of how she found out from my husband what I liked. Honestly, I am still very stunned that she went to that much trouble to bring me those treats.

Sara, if you are reading this, thank you again. 🙂 You don’t know how much it means to me. I really can not even put into words how very touched I am. Your friendship, although new, is a priceless treasure to me.

This is yet another testimony to me that our Father in Heaven hears our prayers and is mindful of us. I do believe that there are heavenly angels. However, I believe we can be angels to others when God needs us to be. Sara, whether she realizes it or not, was one of those angels for me this week. I am grateful to my loving Heavenly Father and to Sara for listening to His promptings.

I challenge you to listen to the still small voice this week. Maybe you or I can be on the Lord’s errand and bring the joy that only HIS LOVE can bring to someone in need.

Very Sincerely,
Shan