NYC, Turning 40, and Other Reflections from the Past Week!

Being away with just my husband this past week was such a welcome change.   Yes, I LOVE my life homeschooling my children.  I wouldn't change a thing.   It's nice every so often, however, to get AWAY and see what life is like somewhere else.   It's good to explore.   It's good to take some time for just you and your spouse.   It's good to have time with friends.

As I approach my 40th birthday next week, I've been doing a lot of thinking.   When I saw this picture my husband took of me at Rockefeller Center I immediately thought, "I look so tired", and then I felt proud of that tiredness.   It is the sign of a busy, fulfilling life.  The wrinkles around my eyes and on my forehead are signs I am getting older AND wiser.   I like getting older, actually.

I don't want to forget all the thoughts I had this past week; I thought it would be fitting to share my thoughts from my time away.   

 I have wonderful homeschooling friends!  
My two dear friends kept my children while I was away.  They loved them like their own and took such good care of them.  Right after we left GMan had a fever and stuffy nose... he got a lot of TLC from my friends Rhonda and Hope.

 There is so much more to the world than my little corner of it.  
Seeing the site of the 9/11 attacks and visiting St. Paul's Chapel was sobering.   As I read letters from children thanking the firemen on that day I wept.  Signs of 9/11 were all over NYC, and  I got a true sense of what it must have been like for New Yorkers on that day.   If you ever have the chance to visit New York City you must - for this one reason alone.

St. Paul's Chapel:    

The Fireman's Prayer (near Rockefeller Center):

I love my husband more now than I did when we married fifteen years ago. 
We had not been away together in four years.  (I could kick myself for not getting a picture of the two of us!)  We really need to go away together more often.  One evening we ate at a fabulous restaurant;  sitting on a roof in Manhattan eating good food and drinking wine is a great thing.  We talked about our blessings and what an amazing life we have.   I am in awe of the man God chose for me seventeen years ago.   I never could have predicted I would be a stay at home mom, submitting to my husband, and homeschooling my children.  Isn't it fortunate for me that God knows and guides our path?  

Something as simple as waking up leisurely, drinking coffee, reading the paper, and chatting with my husband is a luxury for me.  At home, he is leaving our house at 5 a.m. - and I'm certainly not up and coherent at that time!  I am thankful we had a few mornings to do this.   Even though he was attending a conference for work, we squeezed in a lot of time together.  He came back to the hotel one evening after a long day - it was (I thought) time for bed, but he wanted me to go down to the hotel bar and relax and have a drink.   Wow - we hadn't done something like that since our "younger" days... I loved it!

Blogging Friends Can Turn Into Dear Real Life Friends!
I spent one entire day with Melissa and Theresa.   I can't tell you what fun we had, and how blessed I was by their company.   Melissa and I met in Rockefeller Center and shopped for a few hours before lunch.  At lunch Theresa met us and we continued the fun for another three hours!   I don't know where the time went, but I do know there was a lot of laughing and sharing.   Two bottles (yes, I did say TWO) of wine later, feeling stuffed from fabulous Italian food, we headed out to explore NY a little more.  After strolling through the market at Grand Central Station, we said goodbye to Melissa and she led us in prayer.  This was so powerful for me -- I am connected to these ladies in a deep way.  

Later, after exploring The New York City Library and St. Patrick's Cathedral, I said goodbye to Theresa.   I went back to my hotel and collapsed after a great day.   God is good.  

My camera phone didn't do too great, but this is Melissa and I... she is gregarious, fun, and genuinely warm.  Melissa was one of my very first blogging friends/encouragers.  You probably know her from The Joys of Home Educating.  

Our lunch... and dessert.  It was delicious - probably the best Italian I've ever eaten.  

My fellow Thinking Mother, Theresa.  We had video chatted before, and meeting her in person was a dream come true.  I felt like we had known each other for years.  She took tons of wonderful pictures, which I'm sure she will be posting at her blog, Magnolia Lane.  

The truly miraculous thing about this trip (and if you ask my husband this he would agree 110%) is that I did not try to control any aspect of the trip. 
 Normally, I am a pretty uptight traveller - stressing out at the airport, second guessing my husband as he reads the map of where we are going - you know the type.  I was raised to be an independent, strong, woman, and sometimes putting that on the back burner is VERY hard for me.  

I honestly PRAYED the week before our trip that I would be able to let go and let my husband take charge and just enjoy the journey.   My prayers were answered IN ABUNDANCE!  I let my husband take the lead on everything and I know this made his trip so much more enjoyable.  What man doesn't feel good when his wife trusts and respects him?

Everything went off without a hitch for our trip... from the kids having a great time with friends to on time and smooth flights.  The only not so good thing was our cab driver hitting a pedestrian on our way home one evening.   No worries - the pedestrian wasn't hurt (just stunned!) and we felt like we were in the middle of a Seinfeld episode!  

It's good I got this practice traveling, because we will be going to San Francisco  in just two weeks.  And this time we're taking the kids!   It is a year of 40th birthdays, 15th wedding anniversaries, 10th birthdays, and so many more milestones.  We want to celebrate them and make lots of memories!