June… July… August…

Well, moving right along! August is a few things – Echo’s birthday (HERE), full on summer, this year a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Mike (HERE). Sunshine and walks to the YMCA with a little school mixed in. August is always a balance of sunshine and activity.20160803_175259

We had full on track and field fun for Zander. I was lucky enough to make it to one of his meets. He may not be fast but he really has some stamina. And he LOVED it.img_20160804_202321

fb_img_1471563205010fb_img_1471563193930img_20160811_212313We spent as much time, if not more, at the YMCA. I am amazed at our ability to do that 2 mile one way walk, 3 hours at the YMCA and then walk back. There is some grumbling and arguments, but we did it and for the most part we ENJOYED it.img_20160823_131208

20160822_123421We visited the beach.img_20160803_175143

Hung out at parks.img_20160823_212334

20160823_153620We tried out the new YMCA facilities at Forest Lake, which included a lazy river!img_20160831_193125

20160831_182548Went to ANOTHER YMCA in Shoreview with our YMCA buddies who live down the road from us to try out the outdoor pool complete with diving board.20160814_140036

img_20160814_14260320160814_124015

Zander

Zander

Gavin

Gavin

20160814_131012_burst0120160814_13081920160814_130703We continued our swimming lessons AND our time at our local YMCA pool, of course.img_20160814_185517

20160822_11285620160815_11110620160825_182830We had the Schwartz family over to celebrate Echo’s birthday.20160817_194631

20160817_205347_burst01Spent time in the pool in our own yard.img_20160811_142013

20160810_141527_hdrI snuck in crafting time as much as I could.img_20160819_101105

img_20160826_224505And Echo played in the rain.img_20160812_203309

We learned about the Summer Olympics.img_20160825_142248

img_20160818_115238And FINALLY moved our large and gorgeous Narnia cabinet into the classroom.img_20160818_151951

img_20160829_121516Cousin Robbie came for a visit on his new bike.img_20160821_185707

img_20160821_19310020160821_193417We gamed with Aunty Shandai and Uncle Ravyn.20160820_220244

And I tried my hand at some baking.img_20160829_165725

Even our garden… well the cucumbers… are flourishing.1471552528098

Some schooling AND school planning even occurred. Sometimes in fancy dress!img_20160811_112524

1472589140749We made this summer COUNT and I am so proud of us for it! So enjoy our August while I ready September. The year is coming to a close and I am ACTUALLY catching up!!img_20160810_143842

20160830_150743

Post workout

Post workout

1471553527373

img_20160817_153035

20160819_124350

img_20160808_150553

img_20160812_135948

20160831_145747

20160828_130601

20160824_161634

The Reality of Living…

is that if you are in a state of constant balance and rational thought process one has to wonder if you are truly living outside your self made limitations. I know I have talked previously about expanding past what you are sure you can do and into new terrain (right now I am deep in my recorder lessons with the intent of moving to the piano eventually!) –HERE-. There is a level of discomfort when we step outside and try something unknown.

The reality of life is that safe is truly NOT safe. We are created for change, for challenge and for growth. To sit where we are safe and rational and completely in the know is to ignore these realities.

In fact, sometimes those feelings of safety and careful comfort are masking a greater problem. I am not suggesting you run out, quit your job of X number of years, join the foreign legion and start a new, that is just… well… insane? But, to sit there in the comfort of constant familiarity and ease for ALL facets of your life is neither stimulating nor healthy.

A challenge can simply be reading a book that expands your knowledge base or makes you think. Extending out of comfort could be trying for that promotion you are not quite sure you will get. It can be adding something new to your routine, trying to meet new people, attempting a new skill. It is bumping you out of your absolute norm and finding something to stretch you out a little.

The reality of life is that we are not rational and calm and balanced, we are full of doubts and fears, joys and celebrations, anguish and tears. We are silly and stubborn, cuddly and prickly, we are opposites rolled into one being. This is somewhat of a balance, you can’t just be silly… cuddly and joyful… that would make you a kitten. But at the same time a lack of balance creates opportunity.

Ken explained to me that with Depression there is a huge amount of uncertainty and discomfort. Things are not balanced, they are way out of whack. BUT there is a drive to distract. This is where you convince yourself that the reality of life is calm, collected, rational. This all leads to further UNHEALTHY lack of balance. So we have to balance our lack of balance… be rational in the midst of irrational thought… embrace it all and make sense of the combination.

Definitely easier said than done. I know that I have my moments (and I am considered the balanced and “healthy” one). Tears over the dumbest, most random things… and I don’t mean pregnancy hormones cuz – NOT POSSIBLE THANK YOU. Unsettled thoughts of worry and angst go hand in hand with a yearning for a balanced and easy/rational/simple life. Remove the idea of scripted/created drama and I have to admit – I am yearning for a farce. I don’t truly want easy balance in all facets of my life – I want to stretch and grow. I want to learn new skills, teach my children new things, do one outrageous thing every so often (ok outrageous to ME maybe not the cooler masses). I want a basic structure of security and balance but, well, too much comfort makes you complacent.

Complacency in and of itself can lead to even more problems. When we get into a rut, into a cycle we often don’t see the total picture. We don’t come across opportunities with the same mindset, and that is a shame.

So basically, life is flux and yet not. Change and stability fight for dominance as we try to figure out what we CAN change and what MUST stay the same. We will always be figuring out how to live in the reality of life with depression. There will never be a “cheat sheet” full of easy solutions. And that is ok. 

The reality of living is that we don’t know what is going to happen, we can’t control all the variables and we really don’t have all the answers. BUT we can get the tools, build a support system and accept the challenge. img_20160908_192031

Seeing Santa

Well it is that time again – our traditional visit with Macy’s Santa with Nana and Baba. We actually went early this year what with Nana and Baba’s visit being over Thanksgiving. (Zander is in blue stripes)20161123_160022

I cheated and ordered our two new dresses off Amazon, and at the last minute! They got in the morning of our trip to the cities. 20161123_142231

The boys lucked out with a combination of new Walmart sale find shirts and an old favourite for the boy who misplaced his new shirt. 20161123_141948

Some photos, Dad and Baba done their work and off we went.20161123_151957

img_20161123_152224The display at Macy’s is basically the same thing every year with small additions. We figure this year there are a few new animals out. 20161123_160912

20161123_161542We took quite a few photos. Though every year we find it takes less and less time to go through the display. 20161123_161344

20161123_16141320161123_16145420161123_161606The real draw is SANTA, of course. 20161123_162118

20161123_162218

Official Santa pic.

Official Santa pic.

After Santa was letters and snacks and more photos. img_20161123_171648

We have one final tradition – after all the seasonal fun it is off to Culver’s for dinner. 20161123_174712

We were so glad Nana and Baba could be here for something that this year marked the beginning of our Christmas season.20161123_160800

20161123_161201

img_20161123_171733