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6 Gifts Texas Gave Me…

texas state flag blowing in wind spring

I just returned from spending two nights in Dallas, Texas, last week for Blissdom.  It was a last minute, whirlwind trip that came with too many perks to list, but here some of the gifts Texas gave me while I was away…

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1. An opportunity to catch up with one of my favorite quad mamas on the planet.

Suz and I go back to when my quadruplets were around 3 months old, and she was on bedrest.  I’m so thankful for God placing her in my life during such an important time, and the ability to keep in touch even when miles and the busyness of life make it challenging.  There is no one who gets you like a fellow quad mama.

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2. A taste of spring.

It’s been a LONG winter in Indiana. Nothing like 9 inches of snow to ring in the new season! I could have cried over the blooming trees, the warmer temps, and the glimpse of new life in Texas that will eventually come north! 

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3. Brilliant minds and inspiring hearts.

If blogging conferences were only about PowerPoint presentations and swag bags, I would come home empty. Instead, it’s the heartfelt connections with people like Jill, Mary, Lisa, Heather, Cris, Casey, Abby, Stephanie, Tricia, Alli, Barbara, Mandy, Tonya, Ang, Danielle, Ashleigh (I could go on…) that fill me with inspiration and gratitude.

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4. A greater passion to do good in this world.

I nearly finished Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted during my flights, which stirred me up all the more.  I was a guest of BlissDom Events who invited me to participate in a round table discussion with their partner Johnson & Johnson to discuss the Global Mom Relay{Share a post and unlock a $5 donation from Johnson & Johnson and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to one of these four efforts helping women and children: Girl Up, Clean Cookstoves, MAMA, and Shot@Life}. And before I left for the airport, I was able to chat with Shaun Groves about my heart for Compassion International and how they continue to  impact our family. More to come on how God is working in my heart…

blissdom 2013 sponsors

5. The opportunity to connect with some amazing sponsors. 

It means so much when sponsors believe in our voices, and there were plenty that did just that at Blissdom!  Since my bliss was shortened, I wasn’t able to connect to all of the amazing sponsors, but I able to chat with Duck Tape, Carnival, GoGoSqueeze, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Famous Footwear, One2One Network, Stitch Fix, and SoybuThank you for your genuine investment in our community!

indianapoilis airport arrivals

6. A love for returning home.

As much as I loved Texas and all of the Southern hospitality of the Gaylord Texan, there isn’t a better feeling in the world than stepping into the terminal and into five boys’ arms.  I’m so thankful for where God has called me, and these lives that surround me each day.

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Back from the Jungle and Into Reality

We’re back from The Opryland Hotel or “The Jungle” as the boys affectionately referred to it.  It was a busy, yet refreshing time away – an opportunity to be free of routine, be in new surroundings, and even being stretched from our comfort zone.

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My boys spent some time both at the hotel in Nashville and visiting friends in Alabama, while I attended The Blissdom Conference. Their highlights included seeing twin baby goats being born, hugging The Lorax, visiting the US Space and Rocket Center, swimming at the hotel, and hanging out with their little buddy Ridley.

My personal highlights included reconnecting with some of my dear friends that live in my computer, gaining some insights both professionally and personally, and taking some time to reflect on my my life goals and purpose.

 It’s so easy to live life in the now, in the immediate moment, without taking in the entire perspective, isn’t it? 

Michael Hyatt led us in a writing exercise in how we want to be remembered to those most important in our lives.  It was a sobering, yet constructive process – and I would encourage you to write it out for yourself.

I don’t want to be remembered as the mom who stressed over trivial things. Rather, I’d like to be remembered as one who is content in all circumstances, fun-loving, and encouraging.

I don’t want to be too distracted to show my husband that he is valuable and my teammate.   Instead, I want to honor my husband through my thoughts, actions, and words.

I don’t want to spend my life trying to please others, when my focus should be on Christ.

I don’t want to be so caught up in the here and now that I miss my calling.

Brad and I had some great conversation on the five hour late night ride home, and have already implemented some changes in both our business and family life.  {A quiet long drive with uninterrupted conversation – now that was BLISS!}

How about you?  How do YOU want to be remembered by those closest to you?

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Trying NOT to Make the Headlines

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Have you ever watched one of those political talk shows on TV where they invite several “adults” on the show and they all talk over the top of one another.  You can’t understand any of them! I personally find it annoying.

As our boys continue to grow and gain more intellectual independence, they also have four differing opinions about nearly every subject.  Sometimes the conversation is laced with lots of giggles, sometimes with passion, and many times with tears.  I could not help but draw the similarity to our political leaders and pundits on TV.  Maybe our boys have a future in this type of work, they are getting lots of practice!

Jen and I readily admit that the noise level in our home has reached a point where it can quickly take you right to the edge.  We have to remind ourselves and each other regularly of the importance of stopping to take a deep breath, pray, remind ourselves of God’s Word, and then reengage our children in love.  We want to make sure you never see us in the headlines, sent to a padded room somewhere.  This is one difficult part of having four ALMOST 4 year old boys. (less than a week!)

While it is difficult, I cannot express the joy that the current stage brings us daily.  I LOVE this age, and wish I could freeze them right here.  NO MORE GROWING PLEASE.  Our gracious God has given us really amazing kids, I am really looking forward to another great year with them!

Brad (Quad Daddy)  :)

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