The pre-evacuation notice for our neighborhood had been lifted by the time we arrived home from our vacation last Sunday. We spend the next day putting everything away that our friends and house-sitter packed up and moved out for us. Of course we came across dozens of things we would have grabbed had we been her to prepare for evacuation ourselves, but we were just so grateful for our friends and their willingness to jump in and take care of us in that way during our absence. I ran some errands on Friday and was finally able to see some of the burn scar. It was pretty hard to take it all in and pretty hard to process what happened. I feel somewhat disconnected from everything because we were away during the most intense week of the fire, but we are so grateful that of the many friends we have who live in the fire-ravaged area, NONE of their homes were lost. That is obviously great news for our friends, but my heart aches for the families who lost everything. I simply cannot imagine.
2. Will left for YoungLife camp last night. He's at Lost Canyon in Arizona this week and although we'll miss him (already do), the girls have lots of girly stuff planned, including Sarah's 14th birthday celebration. You might want to pray for the lone male in our house this week...
3. I have lots of photos from the beach that I want to post and I hope to do that this week. We had a such a GREAT time! I've always considered myself more of a mountain girl than a beach girl, but after this trip I'm open to changing that. Sand, sun, and surf? Yes, please! It was such a relaxing vacation. I hope we can do go again next summer.
4. I didn't take many pictures on the 4th of July but it was a little non-traditional for us this year. Our neighbors that have always hosted our 4th of July neighborhood pancake breakfast moved last summer, so my next-door-neighbor and I hosted a potluck breakfast instead and it turned out great! Our small town-parade that I love so much was cancelled for reasons relating to the wildfire. I think everyone was pretty bummed about that but my neighborhood rallied and hosted our own kid parade and street carnival and I must say it was AWESOME! Kids decorated their bikes/wagons and even built floats and paraded around the block a few times. Afterwards, kids went from yard to yard for different carnival-type games and activities, one of which included making thank-you cards for local firefighters! I've said it before but I need to say it again: I LOVE our neighborhood! Our local fireworks show was cancelled long before the fire broke out in our area and even though it was understandably the right thing to do, it was still hard to not end the day that way! However, we were thankful to see not one but TWO fireworks displays when we were driving through Dallas on our way back to Colorado the weekend before the 4th. We drove so close to one that I made John roll down the windows so I could smell the smoke from the fireworks. I love that smell! Even though things felt different than normal this year, it was still a very fun day!
5. I have to go to court tomorrow for the speeding ticket I got at the beginning of June. Yuck. I'm sure I'll have a hefty fine. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. After buying new tires for the van before our trip, and replacing a valve on our hot water heater this week, July is proving to be a spendy month. Blech. I'm thankful for provision and for a husband who works hard to take care of those necessary things and still take us on fun vacations and send our kids to camp!
6. Speaking of vacations, John and I are going to get away by ourselves for a few days next month and we're trying to decide where to go. We want to stay in Colorado and we'd like to go somewhere we haven't been before. I think we've narrowed it down to Telluride or Crested Butte. Anyone been to either place? Have opinions? Recommendations? Favorite places to eat? Hike? Please tell!
7. We're taking the girls to see Spiderman this afternoon. We're kinda movie-crazed these days! We took the kids the other day to see Brave, but I was pretty disappointed with it. Have y'all seen it? I loved the Pixar short film at the beginning of it, but I just didn't think the storyline was very good. Definitely not my favorite Pixar film. One night last week John and I trekked down to the Kimball to see Moonrise Kingdom. We LOVED it. It's one of those indie films that some will find weird, but that's kind of our speed and we both want to see it again.
I took this picture of the theater marquis that night... I think it sums up the feeling of our entire community! Again, thank you for all your prayers for my community.
Peace out, peeps. Hope you have a great week!