Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Connecting With The Barber's Summer Home

"You have reached the Barber's summer home,
Some are home, some are not
Leave a message and we will call you back."



Remember the days when we had a family phone and everyone got messages for each other? Now we are separated a bit more from each other. Everyone has their own phone with their own voicemail. Our individual phones are also our personal televisions, computer access to the world as well as our own message hub. No longer do we take messages for one another orhave to go in another room to watch tv when we don't like what is on. Simply put in your earbuds click on Netflix and you can sit and veg to Pretty Little Liars while dad watches Shark Week on PBS. The sad thing is it eliminates a lot of our conversations. 

What did Jackie call about?
Are you going on the hike with Mark?
Why is Rachel mad at you?
Why didn't you tell me you broke up with Jill?

I even miss the constant questions the kiddos had about the movie or program we were watching together.

Did that guy have a gun?
Where did that girl come from?
Who is that boy afraid of?
Do you think the mom will be okay?

Believe me, I love technology. I am a Facebook addict. I feel so fortunate that I have relationships with my adult cousins and can see the sweet faces of babies that have just come into this world. But I also recognize how technology is separating us if we let it. Families have to be intentional about watching programs together and know who is communicating with their kids. It was so easy when we all used the wall phone in the kitchen. I could eavesdrop while stirring the Posole and knew what follow-up questions I would ask as soon as they hung up.

Staying connected today is not impossible just challenging in new ways than when our outgoing message on the answer machine was for the entire Barber's Summer Home.

In Him,
Joyful
6-27-17



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Catch Up Not Ketchup

A month? 
I haven't written in a month.
Writing is my joy,
My peace, my gift to myself. 
So why have I been avoiding it?
Maybe it is a season I am going through?
I haven't written daily in a long while. 
Maybe I don't need it the way I used to?
Maybe I am just getting out of the habit. 

No way is it that I don't have anymore stories to tell. 

So here is a brief catch up. 

We went to San Diego for Easter right after a fun trip to Washington with our grands. 
I went part time at work in June and for the first time in decades am working part time. 
We bought a 1990 20 foot motor home that has a toilet rather than a bucket and bag setup. 
HEAVEN
Ron and I went to a strange, tactile maze for our 40 the anniversary.
We are looking forward to two trips this summer. 
First, Pismo Beach where we rented a verbose on the beach.
Our hope is my mom and all our kids and grandkids will be able to join us.
Next, we are going to Oregon to watch the first solar eclipse in 99 years to track all the way across the continental United States. 
Ron ordered his glasses, maps, and other goodies months ago. 

Our archetect is putting the final weeks on the plans for our remodel. 
We willl be glad to have the rv sitting in the drive with a kitchen and potty 
as they tear our home apart. 

This is not my typical blog. 
It feels more like a catch-up letter to a friend.  
At least it is me writing. 
I hope to write more regularly. 
Discipline is not my strength. 

In Him,
Joyful
6-24-17





Sunday, May 21, 2017

Glove Patrol At Pajarito

Mismatched winter gloves bring a smile to my face. For the fun filled years we took our kids to our hometown ski hill, the day ended with glove patrol. Most days we were the last ones on the hill and when we got our exhausted selves back to the jeep the parking lot was mostly as empty as the chair lifts. Ron always had our kiddos keep an eye out for abandoned gloves as we loaded up and headed home. Glove patrol was a traditional end to our family day on the slopes. Each of us hoping to be the one to spot the treasure of a glove resting in the snow.

Glove patrol also meant our kids wore mismatched gloves proudly. After all, they were the treasures that they themselves spied in the snow. Nowadays my grandkids wear mismatched socks. Heck if Lissa pulls out socks that match, she throws one back in the drawer and grabs another. Back then it most definitely wasn't cool to wear gloves that didn't match but the Barber kids wore them with pride.

This weekend I was emptying our not surprisingly overstuffed glove drawer. We are beginning a remodel and it was time to not house the dozens of misfit gloves. What memories that glove drawer conjured up for me. The long days of skiing and snowboarding almost every weekend with our kids. Me working the window selling lift tickets to get those free passes for our family of six. Natalie learning to ski independently at two. We were never going to let her cerebral palsy deny her a full life. Ryan peeing in his snow pants because taking time out to go to the bathroom meant time off the slopes. Tanner and his buddies being the last off the hill. Cameron taking his cousin Troy, who was 18, on the black diamonds his second day of skiing. All the memories of spending our winters at Pajarito are still here even as I bag up these glove treasures that nobody else will appreciate. They will sit on the thrift store shelf or be tossed in the trash as incomplete pairs.

The truth is I don't need the drawer full of gloves to embrace the gift of my memories. Okay, maybe I did keep a pair or two just because.

In Him,
Joyful
5-21-17

Saturday, April 22, 2017

No Regrets When The Clothes Are Clean

Expectations
Anticipation
Worry
Regret
Celebration

We all live with the looking forward to the next moment. Worrying about what we should have accomplished but didn't. Things we put off or things we let go of too soon fill our thoughts.
Wouldn't it be glorious if we could forgive ourselves as easily as we forgive others.
Not only forgiving but moving past of missteps is healing.

The saying that we need to look out the windshield of life and not the rear view mirror is spot on.
Baby steps into the future.
Avoiding the pile of laundry doesn't get the clothes clean
However
Dwelling on how gigantic the pile was after it is all folded and fresh in the drawers and closet 
Seems pointless.
Just be glad the task is complete and let go of how you waited a really long time before completing it.

Looking forward
Moving forward
Forgiving ourselves along the way.

In Him,
Joyful
4-22-17

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My First, Last and Most Precious Birthday Greeting

The past few years have been a struggle for my son Tanner. If only he knew how precious his words are to me. My sweet son woke me up at 4:30 am to be the first to wish me a happy birthday. Then at moments before midnight he made sure he was the last to wish me a special day. I adore my son and have confidence that his journey is just beginning.

His texts.

Just wanted to be the first one to wish you a happy birthday so I set my alarm for 4:30. Happy birthday my wonderful mother. I could not ask for a better person to have raised me and allowed me to get to be a part of your life. You have raised a wonderful young man because your best attributes were passed on to me. I am patient and kind and a wonderful listener because  you taught me how to be. You showed me compassion and love when I didn't deserve it. You showed me what unconditional love truly means. You have such a big heart and couldn't be more kind and giving with everything you have. I hope that I am half the person you are. I love you so, so, so much mother and I am so proud to be your son. Ryan wishes you a happy birthday as well and wants you to be happy on this day. Live every day as if it were your last. He is watching down on us and smiling. He loves his mother so deeply and taught me how to love without judgement. You truly are the best mother a boy could ask for. I hope you have a wonderful day Mommy. I am going back to sleep now. I will call you later on.  T

My family is a chosen family. Adoption brought us all together but our hearts wove us into a family. Tanner knows that each year my birthday is bittersweet. Losing our Ryan the day after my birthday seven years ago was the most difficult time of our lives. As the years go past we brace ourselves for the grief that still sweeps us off our feet at this time of year. These words from my too generous son are the most precious gift I could receive.

Thank you T for waking me up so early and ending my day with a warm hug from you.

In Him,
Joyful
4-9-17


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions! Life is full of choices each and everyday. Some are small, inconsequential that don't have a big impact on our lives while others are life changing or at least season changing. Last year I made a decision to retire. I wanted to leave teaching at the middle school while I still loved it. Better to mourn a career than to stay until I dreaded going to work everyday. That decision and prayer led me to my next path of working with developmentally delayed babies.

This job is a perfect fit and I love my families, their kiddos and my coworkers. Unfortunately, or fortunately I am considering leaving this position while I still love it. The truth is my life has changed. Our brilliant grandgirl came to live with us this Spring. She is working on an online public school and I need to be home with her more. So, I am prayerfully considering shifting gears again. It may be time to become an online special ed teacher. That seems to be my next step. But as I know from past experiences God will slam doors on wrong situations and open the one that is the best fit. My job is to knock on doors to see which one will lead to my path forward.

For now I think I will make one of those not so life changing decisions and choose a new nail polish for my toes. Hmmmmm. Wonder what to wear to my pedicure?

In Him,
Joyful
4-8-17


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bittersweet Week

I am thankful others know.
This week is bittersweet.
This is the week~
Ron and I 
Celebrate my birthday
Found out we couldn't conceive
Lost our first chosen son Logan
Lost my dad's dad.
Blessed with our daughter Natalie
And
Painfully said goodbye to our son Ryan.

Natalie is and was my birthday present. We found out about her the day after my birthday at my grandfather's funeral. She was born the next day. God's timing is impeccable. 
My heart aches that she had to be in such pain on her 20th birthday. That each birthday week we share for the rest of our lives are bittersweet with the heartache of missing Ryan.

One of our most precious gifts is we share the joy and pain of life.
That others wish us happy birthday knowing that it is a mix of celebration of life and 
a heartbreak of death.

Losing our son, their brother, nephew, grandson, her father, and friend was a defining time in our lives. It brought us together in grief, memory and connected us with each other.
I love this week and I dread this week.
My Natalie
My Ryan
My family and friends
Are my most treasured gifts.

In Him,
Joyful
4-6-17