Choose joy. Choose joy. Choose joy. Those were the words I repeated in my head, over and over, as I drove in to work this morning. Today is my first day back at work since before the 4th, and if I don’t purposely “choose joy” today, I might go a little postal.
See, I’m taking one of Beth Moore’s Bible studies this summer – we’re studying Daniel. And in the first lesson, Beth tells us to “choose joy” - make it a conscious decision to have joy in your life…and joy is definitely lacking at my job.
My day is halfway over already, and so far I’ve survived. I probably had to tell myself to “choose joy” about 100 times so far, but that’s ok.
I had a GREAT time off...for the most part.
Everyone made it into town safely on the 4th, and our house quickly filled up with chatter and laughter and food and fun. The ‘Rents, my SIL and her family, and my cousin’s parents all came over for the 4th as well, so we had a full house. We BBQ’d burgers and ate and ate and ate, and then we sat on the deck and played dominoes and watched the crazies who braved the pouring rain to shoot off fireworks.
Here are my bro and sis hanging out in the backyard before it started raining. Sis is about 20 weeks along...look at her cute belly!
The nieces had a blast running around, playing baseball and golf, and loving on the dogs, and each other:
This is my cousin, Little Man. Still no word on if he'll be living with us this fall or not...pray that he makes a wise decision. I told him he has to let me know by August 1.
We did end up with a little drama later that night that put everyone in a tense mood for the next couple days. The fireworks were VERY loud (they went off every night for about a week before the 4th until just a couple nights ago), the house was VERY full, and the dogs just got fed up. My 2 babies, er, I mean dogs, were skittish from the noise, and Mom and Dad’s dog, who was ok at first, was starting to get nervous as well. While we were all standing in the kitchen saying our goodbyes, suddenly Daisy, M&D’s 80-lb. lab, had her jaws locked on my 18-lb Lucy. Everything happened so fast that we have no idea what started it or why.
B jumped on Daisy and pulled her off Lucy, and after we all put our hearts back into our chests, we found that neither dog was injured...but we were all a little freaked out. After talking about it, we came to the conclusion that we should keep the dogs separated from there on out. It’s not that we thought they would try to go after each other again, but we didn’t even want to give them the chance.
Keeping them apart is not as easy as it may sound. We started the “switch” process on Day 2 of the Separation in an effort to avoid more conflict. Someone would grab my 2 dogs and take them downstairs, and in a coordinated effort (which means yelling up the stairs), we would send 2 dogs out and bring 1 dog in. We’ve gotten it down to quite a science, but it was not fun at first.
Dogs are very important in our family, and everyone was a little on edge because of what happened. But, in a weird way, the uneasiness of dealing with the dogs brought out some deep feelings and good discussions that my family probably should have had a long time ago. I think we all ended the week feeling like we had grown closer to each other.
Here are the dogs (and me) when they were still friends:
Daisy really is a very sweet dog...we don't know what happened, but I suspect that my baby, Lucy, may have provoked it. Here's Daisy enjoying the backyard:
Here's Rerun, chowing down on a leftover Beef Rib bone...I think he's in heaven!
We spent the rest of the time together playing cards and dominoes, eating MASS amounts of food, watching movies, shopping, getting our nails done (girls only), golfing and going to a gun show (boys only).
A (very) late night of dominoes...
Girls Day Out...
Shopping results...nursery decorations...aren't they cute??
Boys Day Out (they got a big kick out of these signs)...
But, probably the most popular pastime of all was sitting on the deck, in our jammies, with the newspaper, coffee, laptops, and cards...just enjoying each other. We usually ended up on the deck until about 11 each morning when everyone had woken up and stumbled outside and the temperature reached an unbearable point where the ceiling fan didn’t help anymore. It was a great time, and I’m sad to see it go...even though getting my house back to normal sounds good, too!
Here's Dad enjoying the view from the deck:
Thanks for coming, everyone. I love you!