Don't Let It Pass You By

I sat at my desk, coffee in hand.  I signed into Facebook and began my normal morning routine.  While scrolling it hit me, everything has changed.

Change and I are not really friends.  I crave familiarity and wrap habit around me like a warm blanket.  I would be perfectly content if people, relationships, families and circumstances always stayed the same.  Sadly, that isn't an option in life.

It makes me sad to see, in only a years time, how many of my relationships have changed.  Not to mention how many have changed over the past 5 or 10 years.  I wish I had known at the time that these were going to change, so I could truly value the times spent together.

So today, I celebrate the memories that I cherish and hold close to my heart ♥

* Staying before school and after school each day with my Grandma + Grandpa Strong at their house. Every single day after school my Grandpa would make me a hotdog and a piece-y (a slice of white bread with butter and apple butter on it). Then I would take my plate in the living room to watch Sesame Street. BUT before I was allowed to turn the TV on, my Grandma would have me say the 23rd Psalm, word for word. I loved those days, I loved the smell of their house, I loved always FEELING loved. I now live in their house and I hope I am creating those same amazing memories with my littles.

* Going to my Grandma + Grandpa Freemans house in TOWN (oh yes, that was a big deal). Getting to watch cable (uh huh, told you it was a big deal), watching Pinwheel + Romper Room + old school Nickelodeon + Woody Woodpecker + I Love Lucy + My Three Sons + Paddington Bear + I Dream of Jeanie. Playing outside with all my "town" friends. Riding my bike to the playground right up the street. I had amazing times there!!!

I can feel the water works starting...

* Going for walks with my Grandpa Strong out the road past our farm (where I still go on walks as often as I can). I can remember one time I saw all these beautiful wild roses and they smelled sooooo sweet. I told my Grandpa how much I loved them and he took out his pocket knife and got me one. I looked at his hand when he handed it to me and saw he was bleeding from a thorn. He never even uttered a word, just wrapped his handkerchief around his hand.

Yep, tears streaming down my face...

* Countless amazing days spent with my bestie Shari. We rode bikes almost daily. We would ride from her driveway down to the intersection and back again, over and over and over again. We had lots of sleepovers that included INSANE amounts of laughing. We did tons together (football games, shopping, movies, out to dinner) she was the sister I never had.

* Summer days spent on my Aunt Graces farm. Helping (or trying to help) milk the goats, feeding the animals, steering clear of the geese (seriously, why are geese so mean!), eating ham sandwiches with bbq chips of them, graham crackers spread with peanut butter then dipping them in hot tea (I still eat both of those to this day and have passed the graham cracker + tea bit onto my littles).

* My Mama telling me "oh go ahead and put your roller skates on then go down the hill...I’m sure if you start at the bottom by that sign you won't go THAT fast". Uh huh, well, by the time I got to the bottom of the hill I was flying and thought my wheels were going to fly off my skates. Somehow (no clue how) I didn't fall down. We still laugh hard about that.

* The yearly anticipation for family to come in for "family camp".  Nights spent there sleeping in bunk beds with cousins, tons of laughs, hugs, watermelon seed spitting contests, late night fires, 4 wheeler rides, amazing food, Aunt Vi's teeth out (a highlight for sure) and on and on and on.  I so wish my children could experience just once what it was like back then.

* The yearly summer vacation to the beach with my Mama and Grandma. We had LOTS of good times (and good food) there!!!

All equally amazing memories. And now that I've successfully bawled my way through this post, I think it's time I dried up my eyes.  Moral of the story, don't let life pass you by.  Recognize and appreciate the good memories.