Wednesday the 28th was the National Day of Joy (also National Lauren, Day but that’s neither here nor there). If you didn’t know, I say it’s not too late to celebrate! And as joy is my Word of the Year, I would love to hear what brings you joy (or what you would do to celebrate)!
In the Sparks’ house we are having a very quiet start to the summer, but not a bad one!
Our songbird Allie has been at Camp Blessing working with special needs kids and adults all month so it has been very quiet at our house. Seriously. Anyone want to come over occasionally and break into song? We miss it. We do get to catch up with her a bit on weekends. She turns in her phone on Monday morning and doesn’t get it back until midday Saturday each week. It’s a little tough on this mama bear, but I’m so grateful she can experience such quality unplugged time and for all the other experiences she’s having.
We did manage to do her zoom advising appointment together from two different locations to get her registered for her first semester of college classes. So exciting! But everything else has been kinda left up to me to take care of since she’s off the grid. It’s been a little stressful and a little counter intuitive since this is the time I should really be handing responsibility over to my little adult, but we live and learn. When the hubs and I signed off on her working the first half of the summer, I had no idea how much college planning would be expected of her by the university so soon!
Not Very Quiet About Our Love for Camp Blessing!
Shelby got to join Allie at Camp Blessing for one of those weeks. We were so ready to see Birdie (her camp name) and get one of her signature aggressive hugs. Fun time for both of my girls and nice respite for the hubs and me. On pick up day Birdie let us take her and some of her new staffer friends to dinner. We enjoyed visiting with these compassionate, funny world-changers.
I had the unique opportunity to do a contract gig for a large pharmaceutical company this month. At a big conference for their staff, I gave a parent’s perspective on what it’s like to transition a medically complex patient from pediatric to adult care. I was so delighted for the kind attention they gave me as well as questions they wanted answered. We hear so much negative in the news about big pharma, so to see how much this one cares about the patient and even family experience touched my heart. And after hearing a lot of good feedback from my presentation, it’s got my wheels turning about future job possibilities for me. I look forward to seeing what God has in store as I look for my next thing.
The rest of the month was pretty routine, but nice (except for this Texas heat, which makes me so cranky…every year). Doctor’s appointments, work, a fun game night with one set of friends and dinner and a movie with another. Also I started mentoring a young girl from church and we are studying the book of John together. I also tried a low-cost vet clinic for the first time to update vaccines on our two dogs. It saved us a lot of money, but felt like a rodeo with these ill-behaved hooligans (the dogs, not my children).
In Our Very Quiet Down Time
For entertainment, Chuck and I went on a little documentary binge. Brooke Shield’s Pretty Baby was heartbreaking. Same with Shiny Happy People, an expose on the IBLP and the Duggar Family. And the one on The Secrets of Hillsong. Why do I keep watching these? I guess I have to admit I have a little voyeur in me. And I always think the best stories are true stories. Mercury 13 – the film about the 13 pilots who could have been the first female astronauts in the 60’s if their training program hadn’t been discontinued – was not very interesting. There are much better books and articles about them.
We ventured to a theater with friends after trying a new slider bar to see Asteroid City. Save your money. I feel like it was strange even for a Wes Anderson film. How he attracted to many big name stars to appear is a mystery to me. I feel like the movie was trying to say something, but I have no idea what it was!
I read The Record Keeper, the 3rd book in the Murphy Shepherd series by Charles Martin. Having read mostly novels from female authors, I’ve enjoyed this fiction with a masculine twist. Then I sank my teeth into For Such a Time by Kate Breslin. I have been mesmerized by this retelling of the book of Esther set in WWII. And for my Word of the Year, I picked up Choose Joy: Inspiration for Your Heart by Ellie Claire. It’s an easy read full of quotes and scriptures. Lastly, on our drives to and from Camp Blessing, Chuck and I listened to Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci. The actor’s cancer and treatment, similar to my husband’s, drew us in. Parts of it failed to hold our attention and I can always do without a sprinkling of F-bombs.
And now I shall close this out to go get ready for a visit from my best friend and her son. Yay! I hope you have nice plans for the holiday weekend. And as always, I love you, I thank you, and I hope July treats you well!
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