"Comparison is the thief of joy"
This is a small mantra I often play on repeat in my head. Particularly in this age of Instagram and Facebook and Tumblr and every other kind of media out there...it's hard to remember that someone else's life isn't just one big fun fest while mine isn't. And then, I hit the reality that I'm sure there are days when my life IS one big fun fest and someone else's isn't.
So, hear this...that for all the oversharing I do on social media and over coffee and on the blog, it's still just a snapshot of a moment. So, if you catch me on a good day with make up on and having run a brush through my hair...remember that there are just as many days like today. I'm home. I have a hacking chest cold that has turned me into a big sucky baby that yells "It burnnnnnns" to the dog every time I have a coughing spasm. (As an aside, this supposedly most loyal breed has retired to the top of the stairs, out of my coughing range and barely lifts her head now when I look for sympathy and solidarity in my weakened state.) My house is half painted, with painting paraphernalia all over the coffee table and kitchen island. Dishes are piled in the sink and the boys are going to come home shortly to complain that there is "nothing to eat" as they rummage the pantry and fridge in their mid day feeding frenzy.
So, yes, enjoy our photos. They are beautiful and they capture our family well. But keep in mind that they don't tell the whole story. That Easton has a broken collarbone in these pics. And our oldest nephew and niece are now at college and away from home...and that means they have their own lives and we don't have many years left where we'll all be able to gather this way. That cancer has had its way with more than one family member in these photos. That we don't get to be together this way on more than a few days a year, though we are lucky enough to recognize that it's precious when we do. That the boys who now tower over our heads are the same ones who have just walked in the door and demand to be fed copious amounts of teen approved snacks...and I'm the one they are looking to to provide them. Our life is incredibly good. It's simply life...with all its ups and downs and mind numbingly mundane in between. And it's ours. Even when the bills pile up. And the boys fight. And I'm sick. And the dang dog barely acknowledges me all day.
|Mac and the cousins|
|My gorgeous nieces...|
|Jenessa and Cailey|
|Kamerin giving it back to Aidan.|
|Snowball fight on the lake|
|Jason and I|
|The whole VanBinsbergen clan on the lake|
|The cousins. They're like a small gang.|
|The family...I'm definitely the shortest|
|Easton and Aidan|
|Oma and Opa|