Thursday, July 30, 2015

This is where we live

Oh man have I had some doldrums-esque days lately! And on those days I have been trying to remind myself of why I love the little town where we live (even when I wish we were living here with a job and a Ph.D.!).
 So--things I have been grateful for about our town in the last 24 hours:

The summer reading programs at our libraries are great! They give us tons of coupons to do things for free all summer--like eat ice cream and go mini-golfing.

We have the cutest little children's museum downtown. For $60 I can buy an annual pass that gets us in not only to our little museum, but hundreds of museums worldwide--including all my favorites in Chicago! Nathan talks nonstop about the firetruck we have locally, even if he doesn't look very excited to be sitting on it today.

It has lots of cool experiments--today the kids did a scavenger hunt that was based off of detailed questions from the exhibit info.

The trains there are always more exciting than our trains at home!

And there is a comfy chair in the train room where I can sit and feast my eyes on these glorious Luke cheeks. Oh, how I adore his chubby little cheekies!

Lots of fun areas to play upstairs, and inevitably I run into a friend and we can sit and chat while the kids are playing.

The people who live in our town are so friendly and helpful and kind. Another mom that I'd never met before hopped right up today to lend a hand when the girls were building this catenary arch and I was helping Luke fix his dinosaur.

 Today we ran to the grocery store to grab a few things for tomorrow's Harry Potter party and we saw this fun peanut truck!

And then we went inside and the kids got a cookie from the bakery, and lots of people stopped to tell Luke the Monkey how cute he is. I love our grocery store here (well, this one anyway--there are a whole bunch). My favorite cashier knows all my kids by name and always asks how school is going for the older ones if I only have the younger ones with me.

Speaking of school, today as we were making dinner there was a knock at the door, and it was the girls' favorite teacher in the whole wide world, who will be Isaac's teacher next year--she had offered to loan me something for our party tomorrow, even though she wouldn't be able to come. The girls rushed to hug her and I thought how grateful I am to have her in my childrens' lives, along with all of the other wonderful teachers my kiddos have had, and how grateful I am that they are my friends as well as my childrens' mentors.

And I am grateful for the friends who will come over tomorrow to celebrate a made-up holiday with us.

I'm grateful to the random guy at the library today who looked at me in my pigtails and yoga pants with 5 kids and told me how pretty I was, and that he hoped I wasn't offended that he'd said so. That sure perked up my day. ;-)

I'm grateful for my state-specific running board buddies, who I've never met in real life, but who give me awesome advice and feedback and encouragement every day (can't wait to meet them at the marathon we are all running in November!).

I'm grateful for the kind friends who are going to take care of my kiddos so that I can go spend a few days with my uncle and help him go through my late aunt's things.

I'm grateful for our backyard here, and the fact that we are allowed to keep chickens, and that our neighbors are the kind of people who take iPhone videos of our chickens over the fence so they can send them to their grandkids.

I'm grateful for the librarian who knows all of my children by name and knits gifts for my new babies.

I'm grateful for the friends here who know what I have gone through during the last ten years, and who have mentored and loved me as I have fumbled my way through motherhood and wifehood--the friends who have taught me to can and sew and run and what compassionate service really looks like.

I'm so, so, so, so incredibly grateful for the chance I have had to learn from women who are decades older than I am--I treasure and value their insight and love so much.

I have loved our life here. It's certainly not drawing to a close--an immediate close, at least--but every so often I need to step back and appreciate all of the blessings I have here. Good schools. Wonderful teachers. A church congregation composed of well-educated, brilliant, loving, devoted, and faithful men and women, who give selflessly of themselves and are still absolutely 100% human and lovable. A climate that allows for four seasons and all kinds of wonderful locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Close proximity to my own dear parents (and sisters!). A cost of living that allows us to live in our home which has ample space for all of us, even if I might wish for an extra room here and there! An amazing community of friendly Midwesterners who are down-to-earth and doing their best every day to make the world a better place. Beautiful woods, streams, lakes, and rivers, with an abundance of bike paths and trails to connect all of the places I want to go.

It's a good life we have here, and I'm grateful for it. It's shaped me, our marriage, and our family in so many significant and lasting ways, and it has been the right thing for us.

1 comment:

Lynn Isenbarger said...

Love this! I'm a local and you made me look at my hometown with new eyes. Thanks, Rachel!

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