These are strange times. Sounds like a broken record, right? Life as we know it has been slowed to almost a halt, but the days keep passing by. We have to find a way to keep living life in this temporary new normal, and it’s a challenge because that certainly looks different to all of us as we all have unique circumstances we’re working within.
For me, time together as a family ranks at the top of my priority list, which is why I am so grateful we were able to spend this past weekend in Georgia with Mom, Dad, Kris (my bro!), Cara, and my sweet nieces.
Not that we need an excuse to hang out, but being that May is full of birthdays (Dad’s, Kyla’s and Kaitlyn’s) and celebrations (mine and David’s anniversary and Mother’s Day among them), we decided to max out our together time by giving each day it’s own celebratory purpose. This meant a different dessert each day, so as you can imagine, the girls were totally on board with this idea. 😉
We’ve been given the gift of gorgeous spring weather in the south. It looks like later this week we’ll resume normalcy and jump to the high 80’s, but for the past month the temperature has been bouncing between the 60’s and 70’s making for perfect weather for outdoor activities.
We took full advantage of it and filled the days with driveway art, bike rides, walks, workouts, and even the wave runners. Let me assure you though, it’s not quite lake weather yet. Kaitlyn and I got splashed by a huge wake and shivered with blue lips all the way home. The girls love the excitement of the speed and the bumps though and their squeals of joy almost make the chill worth it. Almost.
David hadn’t had a haircut since things shut down, so in a moment of bravery (stupidity?) he let me have a go at it. I was super intimidated and it took longer than I anticipated, but after the first few snips (buzzes), I felt like I got the hang out it. It’s far from perfect, but I’m pretty proud of myself for not totally butchering it.
Even though it was just a long weekend, we developed a rhythm to the days. They started off sipping coffee and eating “Nana” nut bread, transitioned to outdoor play, and an early afternoon workout. Then, around 3:30, we gathered for the celebration du jour. We found out that afternoon dessert worked best for our crew because it gave them time to burn off the sugar before bed!
All four girls are really into Star Wars right now, which was great because after the dessert of the day they were content heading into the backyard by themselves to play with the light sabers and pool noodles pretending to be light sabers, while the adults transitioned to “porch time,” as we like to call it. Snacks, a famous Dad martini or glass of wine, David or Cara playing the guitar, and conversation took us right into dinner time. It’s my favorite time of day, getting to relax and talk with my people.
The cherry on top of the weekend was getting to spend Mother’s Day with my mama. I’m so lucky to have her, as she’s gone from authority figure to best friend over the course of my life. I’m so grateful for her example of love and strength, and if I’m half the mom she was/is, then I’m doing pretty darn good.
The guys treated us well and it was my favorite Mother’s Day ever. We didn’t make a single meal or clean the kitchen once. We took a two hour kayak tour and returned home to flowers the girls had picked from the yard. We received cards filled with love. There were also forced posed pictures of the moms and their kids, of course. And then wine! I went to bed Sunday night with a very full and thankful heart.
Of course these pictures capture and depict our smiles and fun adventures, of which we had many of over the weekend. But they can’t also show the hard conversations and tears shed as we also walk through the reality of my dad’s current health status. These times together mean everything to me and while I love sharing the happy pictures with you, I want to keep things honest by also acknowledging how bittersweet they are at the same time.
But I continue to choose gratitude because when I load these pictures to my computer, I can’t help but smile about how blessed I am to have these people in my life.
one last thought…
For all your mamas and mama figures out there, I hope you felt loved and celebrated on this Mother’s Day. I’ve seen my social media feeds filled with child-answered surveys, hiking pictures, flower bouquets, and makeup-less couch cuddle pictures. But in case no one said it the way they should, you are incredible and your daily love and efforts are worthy of being celebrated. Wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day <3
John J. Stathas says
The celebration vibe was hearty at the Stathas household this past week. The week culminated with a big Happy Mother’s Day to Sherry, Brittany, and Cara – most deserving candidates for the “Mother of all time” award. Such fun, albeit with a few tears covering the medical issues present, as we shared with each other the incredible love that exists among us. Grateful!
lovely pictures. during this time we feel even more grateful to have the family healthy and with us. at the end, that’s all that matter.
Brittany Dixon says
We area all are getting a fresh perspective on life right now, aren’t we? I’m glad you are doing well!
I have been a long time reader of your blog, but I have never commented.
I just wanted to let you know you and your family have been in my prayers ever since you shared your dad’s diagnosis. I lost my dad after a strong fight with cancer. It was painful and emotional and heartwrenching but also beautiful and full of hope and even joyful at times. The highs and lows were dramatic, but that is part of the journey, I guess.
Continued prayers for strength during this time for all of you.
Brittany Dixon says
I’m so sorry you’ve been through this, Liz. But also thank you for your message and sharing your experience with me; it is comforting, though sad, to hear someone else can understand the beautiful highs and excruciating lows that come with this. Sending you a big virtual hug <3
Kelli H says
So happy you had family time. I’m praying for your dad and your family.