3 days + 1 week and a ‘thank you!’

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In 3 days, 1 week, and I’m not sure of the hours, we are planning to:

* drive for an extremely longer than long time
* look at mountains that are big & rocky
* hug smiling faces we haven’t seen for months
* {finally} wrap ourselves in long-sleeved sweaters
* tour a couple big cities
* tour one special small city
* fill our nostrils with fresh mountain air
* sip pumpkin spice lattes
* hike where we’ve never stepped foot before
* make memories for a lifetime!

Will we draw faces on our fingers and have a finger puppet show as well? That’s completely debatable!


 And, thanks to everyone one who made suggestions for my 31 day challenge I’m thinking about doing in October, whether is was here, on Facebook and on instagram! You guys are the best! I appreciate it so much and it was so good to hear from you and what topics are of interest to my readers! I’d like to keep my blog fresh and current so your input was most helpful. If I don’t blog about any of them in the challenge I’m def thinking about tackling them sometime down the road!
And, if reading this you thought of something else to add to the list of suggestions for topics, please don’t hesitate to share! Thanks everybody!

A chance to speak your mind! Tell me what you want to read about for 31 days

3 years ago I did the 31 daIMG_1629y challenge, on the blog for the month of Oct. Blogging daily on random topics. I remember it was fun, challenging and pushed my creative side for sure. Coming up with a post for every day was stretching and If I remember right, was glad when it was over. This year though, I’m thinking about doing it again. To get ideas on what do blog about, I read the more specific you make your topic for 31 days actually is helpful because you already know what you have to write about, verses having a broad topic (or none at all) and lots of wiggle room to write about AN-NEE-THING, is less helpful than it sounds. I like that idea. A topic. Therefore I’m in need search of a topic. I know it’s the beginning of Sept but I thought I’d ask my readers, you guys, yes, YOU sitting there on your couch or reading this on you iPhone at work, what topics you’d like to hear from me. Is there anything that you’d like to read more about here or get a different perspective on from me, learn more of or enjoy for me to research and then share with you? I might lapse here for a bit into the thought behind the name of my blog. Maybe that will provide further insight for inspiration on a 31 day blog topic. Thenwedanced is a phrase I dreamed up to write about life as I know it and no matter what happens on my journey, in my story, what I blog about, we (the people) dance. And, we keep on dancing. No matter how difficult, boring and joyous our days are, we dance anyway. I really like the idea of that… but I don’t know if I accomplish that idea for the name :)

I did, actually give this challenge some thought on my own. And the few that I fought of are:  

 

- understanding expectations~> this is something I’d like to understand better myself and to learn how to live and IMG_1379move with a better grasp on and getting beyond frustration and disappointment. This topic could get serious and heavy which could be difficult for a daily series. Not so cool.    

 

- life as a transplant -> my experiences then and now. I have a feeling I would have fun with this one IMG_2943and there would be lots to expound on!    

 

- baking -> not just cookies and bars but more challenge like donuts, breads, cake pops and things I IMG_1382never heard of but see in magazines etc. This could be fun but work, lots of money and LOTSA leftovers and extra weight increase! Would need to find me eating helpers before committing! (Would that be you?)      

 

So, you are my readers and it’s for you that I write! It’s for you that I do what I do (when I do it)! I love connecting with you guys and hearing from you more!

Any suggestions? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comments appreciated!

 

What do you do that you thought you’d never do?

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What things as a parent do you do that you thought you’d never do?

Goodness!, and aren’t those things rather embarrassing to admit much less on the world-wide-web? They really are not hip. Most cases we are afraid of what others might think of our parenting abilities.
Hopefully if I share several of my secrets it will encourage your secrets not to feel so humiliating or shameful. It may even make you laugh!
Who can live in an idealist, perfect world that we build in our minds? Not, me. I fall short so many times. If you feel shamed by some of the things you do -> you suffer not alone.

Perhaps you don’t struggle with what I do or maybe you do but with a different unique twist all your own. That’s ok. You are not wrong in your journey. We are all writing different stories testifying to God’s working in our lives. We grow and change and struggle in the midst of it all. Yes, struggle.

Here is my
“Gasp! You do that?!”
– couple of things that plague my mind.

1. Wearing a onesie on my big 15 month old

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My Fear: others will think I dress my child poorly.  I think he looks too big to being wearing such ‘baby clothes’. I think onesies on a big boy like Gavin look sorta girly – like a bathing suit :p

My expectation: my child has to look 100% stylin’ ALL-THE-TIME

My reality: we got the clothes, let’s wear it! Eventually he’ll outgrow it, right?

#2 Let him watch movies

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My fear: he’ll have ADHHHHHHD (emphasis on the hyper part) and be this energized terror

My expectation: I was NOT going to let my child watch movies – at least until he was 2 (like smart doctors recommend).

My reality: it bothers me and every time I intentionally sit him in front of a screen I feel a twinge of guilt, albeit, he likes movies.

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What do you struggle with as a mother?
What are secrets you hide away, too shammed to share.
We are not perfect. Each of us has an ideal of perfectionism in our minds. Yet, we easily let that dictate our conversations, actions and decisions, collapsing in many different scenes when expectations are shattered.
I don’t think Jesus meant for us to live in fear. Our secrets and expectations which we judge ourselves by freeze us from living in freedom.
Don’t you think Jesus wants us to be free – freely dancing with him on this journey of motherhood. Free to be who it is that God has created us to be and not held captive by the fears of others.
Let’s let God fill our minds and not fear of what others may think.  Let’s let Jesus be our “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable (and) think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) Let’s embrace who we are as JJ_CSMUCKER-3503individual unique ladies mothering our kiddos and seek God’s direction along the way – not others opinions.
Let’s let the truth of what God thinks about us be our motivation.

It’s what I want.
How about you?

“Our soul was tailor-made to be filled with God and his truth; therefore it seeps into every part of us and fills us completely. It is the only perfect fit.” – Lysa TerKeurst

It’s Here!

Take a deep breath. Can’t you smell it?

It’s Saturday!

You can feel it in the air!
You can hear it in the bird’s song.
You can see it floating on the clouds.
You can feel it’s tingle in the moist grass.

Inhale. Exhale.
Hello three day weekend!

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Hello – ‘Make-Ahead Breakfast Rolls’

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Sunday morning can’t get here soon enough!

10 Days Due East

The end of July I went home10295711_557150151063178_7084369117382111471_n to Pennsylvania to help care for my mother. She had macular hole surgery and for 14 days post surgery she was required to have her head down, as in not just tilted forward a wee bit but like parallel to the floor kinda down. This would allow the hole to heal properly. She could get up every hour for a brief 10min break.

So, here she sat.

The chair was courtesy of the dr office and mom found it for the most part comfy. For a different position she would lay on her side on the couch with her head propped on a pillow and her nose pointed down. At the end of 14 days mom was more than relieved to hear that all her careful effort and patience had paid off and her macular had healed.

Just Gavin and I flew up leaving poor Jason at home all alone. On the flight up we flew with Gavin’s cousin, Faye. And, for the record, I just want to say how fabulous she is. It was a complete stress free trip. I never had to even worry about Gavin-dear. Every time I even tried to worry, she was right there helping to care for him or just reading into situations and holding him or whatever necessary to help me out.

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Like I said, she was fabulous.
And, she is a fabulous friend to, by the way. If I could choose to fly with anyone in the stead of hubby, I would pick her. She’s a win-win. She helps care for baby AND we talk and talk and talk.
Fabulous.

At Nanna’s house Gavin stayed busy.


On trips to Pa, 2 people groups are a MUST see for me.

#1
My bridesmaids

This fun, encouraging, challenging, life giving group of 4 happens to have a name. I think one random wknd we were together, maybe we were like 19ish, we realized we all were donned in the color blue. Since then we branded ourselves – The Blue Crew. It’s weird. But it stuck.

These are my fiends that no matter what happens from each gathering to the next we chat and chat like good old friends. Yes, there is space between us and therefore we don’t always know every detail of each others lives but we connect. Like, family, we connect. We listen, learn, share and laugh. We get each other. We care for each other – even when we differ in opinion. Because we go way back. Because we are friends. We click. We’re besties.
I’m so glad I have each of you’re handprints stamped on my life, Lucy, Marie and Monica! I am a better person because of your mark.

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We picnicked at the park – dug in like a boss.

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This particular Maid of Honor I haven’t seen in over a year and a half. When I was up last winter she decided to hop over to Africa of all things.
Fun Fact: she randomly stayed at Mom’s house with us for the wknd. What was originally planned as one night merged into two nights. It was like my single, slumber party days.
Love you Teresa!

PS: Teresa, that Goodwill trip with you, dear, is treasured and tucked away deep in my heart for years to come. Shopping with a friend like you at a Goodwill like that was so, so, so every bit of crazy and chatty, filled with hilarious remarks and topped with laughter from you and me that it makes my heart sing. Glad that crazy hasn’t changed with us at our age.

 

Then there’s Lauren in the city. Of all my bridesmaids, she is the most recent friended. We meet 6 years ago but only really bonded and connected one yr later. She has a heart of gold. Genuine and real. Cares well for others and offers thoughtfulness and sensibility to our endless conversations. Having her in my life makes me a rich woman indeed.
She and her little family are rockin’ the city life quite well. Her little hudson jabbered as we walked the sidewalks like a true local while Gavin was to stunned from ALL of it to utter even a mere peep. I just adored how her son cheesed like he knew how for my pictures!

 

And,
#2
my cousins.

They were like my sisters growing up since this poor girl had none.

Relationships that go way back only mature as they go forward. I love how we can talk about anything. ANY-thing. N.nee.thing. This is the blood that I’m close to. That God orchestrated in my life. As children we played together and fought each other. We shared and took from each other. We laughed and several of us even cried together. These ladies I know are rooting for each other. We want each other to succeed. To be well and content in this world. To have babies and be happy. To know God more and more and show him to our children.

We might not look like anything great. This defiantly isn’t a glamor shot but it’s us. And, I like us. I can’t write this post without going off about these ladies and our thick bond.

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Yup, that’s us. Caring and painfully honest, opinionated and sincere – us. And, knowing our blood-type, it will always be us. We are Mussers. My grandma was coined - the Fusser Musser. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing for me to be admitting that here? It might strip some of that rose tint off your glasses you may see me with-Ha ha! Grandma’s blunt and just says what’s on her mind. You know the type. Ones with no filter. This is her.

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If you came to my wedding you might remember her? :)

Of course I had to take my boy child to see her. Sit in her presence. And know this is why Momma is the way she is. It’d be telling to say that I have to daily work on implementing my very own filter…

I love here dearly. We grew up as neighbors most of my kid-life and maybe I learned how to take her un-thoughful comments. I know she has not always been appreciated but I love her. She makes me laugh. I know how to take her and sometimes I say things to her just to get a rise out of her! It’s funny to hear what she might say next!
She sat for me and my brothers often, feed us pretzels and had super fun bikes and scooters at her house, a chalkboard that got overused in the kitchen and really neat new born baby dolls too. I remember playing marbles with her and grandpa, God rest his soul, and card games. Especially on those cold winter nights we would run over to grandmas house and hangout with them and warm up our hands and hearts.

 

 

Lots of family time for sure!

 

  BROTHERS!

The one evening at Justin and Rachel’s, Hayley made me a purse. She is the cutest thing! I can’t believe she loves sewing. It was so neat to watch her think and work it out. My mom wants to someday cut blocks and sew a comforter with her. I think that is the perfect thing for a girl to do with her Nanna!

A trip to my aunt and uncle’s pond with my Zimmerman cousins and their kids. Fun for sure!
I swam here often as a teen and in my early 20’s. Gavin got to meet his 2nd cousins on both sides of my family this trip.

 

Looking at my pictures, I realized I didn’t even take pictures of my dad and Gavin or mom in her different positions around the house or just the blah stuff – to remember everything from our delightful time up there. I’m not the best photographer (why do I feel like I’m always admitting that on here?) and Jason was missing from me. He’s the snap-happy-daddy! He was dully missed and for more reasons than the trigger finger – ha ha!

I enjoyed being at ‘home’ with mom. Cooking, cleaning up, dishes and laundry. Mom and I talked and talked – a LOT. I would say things like, “I should dust for you.” And she would say, “No, don’t worry about it. Just sit here and visit. We don’t get to do this very often. I can dust when I’m better.”
And so, sit and visit is mostly what we did. We talked about almost everything. It was so good soaking up mom time. Talking on the phone is good but not a great as being in the same room. It also helped the time pass by more quickly while all mom could do was sit.

I love how Gavin looks sad he has to say good-bye to Nanna!

 

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 After her eye was healed she soaked up as many chances she could muster with him. It was precious and so much fun to watch my mum dote on him and offer him one snack after the other. She really is a wonderful grandma! I loved watching her interact with my child this time. :)

 Flying home without Faye was different experience. We made this work. Gavin was a excellent airplane passenger. You didn’t even know he was on the plane.

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Coming home and not seeing these pretties would be so disappointing. I love how Jason often buys carnations for various reasons. I love being thought of. I’m not a huge gifts/flowers person but after almost 4 years with this man, I’d be deeply hurt to come home to a house carnation-less!
Two weeks later we are still enjoying their beauty :)

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Gavin was in for a surprise when we got home. Jason proudly showed his son what he had made -
a SANDBOX! Yay!
We play in it almost every day! (Yes, we. Somebody doesn’t know how to play alone…)


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~~~

Proverbs twenty-seven: nine:

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”

the Nuance of Sand and Waves

We arrived in Galveston in time for supper as told by our growling stomaches. Just in front of our hotel was an appetizing Mexican restaurant. It didn’t take long for an unanimous group vote and then to find ourselves seated outside under a tiki umbrella shoveling in tortilla soup, enchiladas, fajitas and a Mexican burger.

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Gavin eats whatever he can get his hands on from our plates. . . .

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We then hit the beach.
Though it was evening, it was still very warm and the ocean breeze was so inviting, and fresh and held a hint of salty midst. Just perfect.

 

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This year, for whatever reason, the beach was loaded with seaweed.
As in see the piles in these pictures.

 

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The beach in Texas is totally different than what I’m used to at the Atlantic coast like Ocean City, Maryland. Here the actual beach/sand part is small, pretty thin area and there is no board walk either. Straight up from the edge is a huge wall and then the main road, Seawall Boulevard. It’s different. But I’m slowing learning different is not wrong, it’s just DIFFERENT

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 In spite of the seaweed grossness – I was pretty amazed at how full the beach was! A lot of seaweed ain’t holding’ anyone back now!

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The reefs of seaweed hung around the edge of the beach in layers but we did find a spot that was slightly cleared for Gavin to have his beach experience.

Introducing Gavin to the waves was so much fun!

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I remember that first time feeling the sand wash out from under my feet as the water pulled back out to seas.
I remember sitting at the oceans’ edge as the waves rushed over me and then sucked back out again.
I remember squealing with my mom that if felt like I was moving!
The first time is just so monumental and captivating!

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 And, Gavin child loved it!

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 Let his expressions tell you everything!

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 I LOOOOOOVVEEEE this one!

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We were there maybe 20 min or so and then decided to go for a drive and see the rest of the coast as the sun was sinking fast.
We drove the whole way to the one end, which is a dead-end and got out and enjoyed view and sunset.  It was a complete gorgeous evening!

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A total perfect time spent at the beach.  When can we go back??? For a WHOLE DAY, please???

The next day we went to Schlitterbahn for the day.  It was wild crazy fun!

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