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Lemons into Lemonade

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Monday, September 10th, 2012 at 12:12pm.

Well the summer is over and Clint and I are back from vacation in Sandpoint. Faith became really sick while we were away, and Trinity also became ill (though not as bad as Faithy) and I had my first experience in going to an American hospital. Thank goodness we had insurance!

Summer vacation can always go one of two ways, I think, and this year I’m sad to admit that I think I missed the mark. No matter how long you go away for, you have to have your head in vacation mode, and be ready to relax. I think I had it at first, but I lost it somewhere in the middle.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the circumstances surrounding you, and forget about the bigger picture. Faith had pneumonia, and going out by the lake or swimming in the pool was kind of crossed off the list. I enjoyed spending one-on-one time with her, but I was sad not to be part of the picture I had in my imagination before we arrived in Idaho. My picture while driving to Sandpoint included sunsets on the beach with the kids still playing in the water, and lazy mornings that slipped into afternoon picnics. My reality, was emergency room waiting, picking up antibiotics, and keeping my little Faithy entertained while trying to encourage her to sleep away the fever. I think sometimes, the quality of our lives depends on how well we can redraw the picture we started with because things don’t always go as we hope.

I spent a lot of time wishing things would be different---that Faith and Trin would be well---and we could enter into the scene of our family of seven sitting by the lake and splashing in the water. As I reflect on it now, I realize that I could have used my time more wisely, and shown my daughter what life looks like when you make lemonade out of lemons. It wasn’t as if we didn’t have a good time, just her and I, but when I look at myself honestly, I can see that my heart wasn’t in it. I could have created an indoor wonderland, but instead I looked wistfully out the window, and half-heartedly played dolls with her.

I think part of the problem is that we enter into this belief while on vacation, that this is it! This is the only time off we’re going to have this year, so it has to be the most wonderful, amazing, splendiferous, (holy cow, spell check let that word pass!) time of our whole year. Looking at it now, that seems a bit unreasonable, doesn’t it? How can the rest of our lives be so flimsy that 2 weeks in the summer seems like such a beacon?

Perhaps the extra pressure came because I knew that when we came home, we still had work to do in our lives in general. Daunting tasks were straight ahead of us.

Here is our pickle:

We started homeschooling the kids this year. We decided to make the bonus room our school room. In order to do that, we needed to finish the basement to create another living space and another bedroom. (Right now we have 5 kids sharing 2 rooms.) We needed another. So we set out to finish the basement. Which meant all of our “stuff” from the basement piled into the bonus room.

Our goal was to have the basement done before we left for Sandpoint. We missed the mark, but we were sooooo close. We just have to paint baseboards, build door frames, and install the sink and countertop in the wet bar. Everything else is completely done. But these last bits of work seem to be taking a lot of time, meanwhile I am panicking watching my Facebook feed go bananas with all these kids going back to school while mine are jumping on the trampoline at 11am waiting for home school to begin. Finally, 2 days ago, Clint and I had a showdown. I didn’t want to put extra pressure on him to finish the basement at the expense of family time and all other commitments (which just causes fighting), neither did I want to fall dreadfully behind in home school, so I suggested setting up a make-shift school room in the only place in the house where there was a bit of extra space to do it…the master bedroom. Obviously, this was not cool with Clint, but after what amounted to a light-sabre battle of the century talking it through calmly, we decided that it would be best. It’s only for two weeks.


Today is the first day that I feel like all the dust is settling, and I’m taking stock of what’s been happening in the Vander-world over the past 3 weeks. So naturally, I decided to flesh out our personal lives right here on our public blog. Thankfully, Clint rarely checks the blog.

Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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