Sunday, July 18, 2010

Princesses and Kings

We went to my friend's daughter's princess birthday party this weekend. I was suddenly immersed in a pretty pink princess world yet to be discovered with Jessica being only 7 months. Now we are not just talking a few balloons and princess plates and cups. My friends has never been known to skimp on a birthday party. There was a little throne for pictures upon arrival, a huge painted mural, castle cake, crown shaped sandwiches, princess shoe shaped cheese, and decorations galore. At one point during the party they had all the kids stand at the door to head outside to the "ball" and one by one each child was announced and proceeded down a red carpet to go and dance amidst a sea of bubbles under the tent they had set up. The children were all dressed in royal attire, princess costumes everywhere and she even had royal robes/capes made for the boys to wear to be kings.
It was such a sight to see as each child was made to feel so special. I absolutely loved the princess feel of the party. Even the boys strutted their stuff coming down the red carpet. Everyone likes to feel beautiful and dashing once in a while. We like to feel special and loved and that we are worth the fuss. I know that I was made to feel that way growing up and I am so incredibly thankful for the family I was blessed to grow up in. So many people don't get that opportunity to grow up knowing that feeling. I think that is why I love birthdays so much, because it grants us that opportunity to tell someone that they are worth it, that they are special and we are glad they were born. Whether it is with a party or gifts or just a hug, people need to know they are loved and appreciated. Hopefully my little prince and princess will know without a doubt how wonderful I think they are and how special God has made them!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Finding your Freedom

There is so much that I could write about and I probably should post about 10 new posts just to catch everyone up with our Summer. The kids and I just returned from a trip North to see my nephew get baptized in PA. We made some stops on the way there and the way back and all in all took 11 days of visiting and traveling. It was wonderfully exhausting. We loved seeing family and it was wonderful to get to offer Ristow a variety of fresh and new experiences. He rode horses, flew kites, rode amusement park rides, fed bread to a giant pile of carp, ate giant marshmallows, bought his first comic book, stayed up late looking at it in front of a fire and got to fish off the front of a boat. It was a big trip for Ristow.

But, my favorite thing that Ristow experienced was completely unplanned and unexpected.
We rode the boat over to a beach at the far end of the lake and there found 3 giant piles of sand that had been dumped there and not yet spread out. Now Ristow is not much of a get your hands dirty kind of kid. He plays in the sand, but not to the point of ever really needing to rinse off good. What I witnessed when he ran over to that first sandpile was awesome.

All of a sudden he found a new and wonderful freedom in the sand. He climbed to the top with much determination and effort. Then slid down and starting rolling in the sand and making sand angels. He covered himself in it and did not once stop smiling. The kid who liked to make a castle and that's it, now was immersed in the infinite possibilities of the sand.
Maybe it was the fact that it was in a different form or that the quantity was so ridiculous, but it allowed him to just play and have fun with no rules of what was expected of him.

It really got me thinking about what kind of experiences that we have as adults allow us that kind of creative freedom. Sometimes I feel like our faith is like that giant pile of sand and is waiting for us to discover ways of experiencing it. To not care what others think but to enjoy it, to play in it and to glorify God with it. I loved that Ristow discovered that he loves playing in the sand, I love that he discovered even more about his ability to conquer his goals and I love that he expressed so many creative ways to play. He is such a great kid and I am glad to have witnessed his joy!