viral virus

I read a great quote from an author, speaker, mom whom I've come to appreciate. She recently said,

"Forget the numbers in your work. Focus on the net value of  your work. The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness — and focusing on numbers can make you nauseated" (Ann Voskamp, www.aholyexperiencecom).

Now my accountant, who also happens to be the father of my children, might think it's impossible to "forget the numbers" in his work. And I don't currently work with a lot of numbers in my job description, yet when you back away from the literal and view the deeper message, this quote is universally applicable. During a time when we can record and publicize everything, it's hard to believe that we shouldn't be constantly in the loop on whatever news has just gone "viral" creating in us a virus for constant connectivity.

The garden that we started in our backyard last spring flourished quickly reaping us a harvest of zucchini, tomatoes, a few strawberries, peppers, and a plethora of herbs. However, just as quickly as some plants bloomed along with my prideful green thumb, they begin to succumb to the perils of insects, rodents, fungi, and weather. I just learned from Ann Voscamp that many plants, like strawberries for instance,  should actually be pruned their first time around if you want to ensure a subsequent abundant crop. She maintains the life comparison explaining that we can't actually "have it all." When we say "yes" to one thing, we are actually saying "no" to something else.  "It takes courage to crop a life back — but it’s exactly the way to have the best crop of all." Looking at those vegetables and counting how many I plucked from the vine began a "viral sickness." Likewise, many of us choose to keep ourselves as busy as we can or as connected as we can to avoid any silence or possible seclusion.

We each have to make our own unique decisions about what is right for our lives, but I feel like I've come across a lot lately relating to "cutting back" or shutting down in an over-viewed and over-committed world. Even my iPhone and iPad have recently decided not to charge without me first completely shutting them off and restarting their internal systems. Don't we all need a shut down and restart on occasion? I think we all want to slow down, but we fear missing out on that first crop. While first may be best in every Olympic sport, I don't think it's always the best in life. But it's truly hard to cut away something we have worked hard to achieve if we can't imagine a future with something better. When did we stop using our imaginations?

I pray my children never stop imagining the impossible or letting themselves slide over to "power off mode" in order to gain a greater crop. May I also not be afraid to say "no" to things in their young lives that seem beneficial at the time but may hinder their future growth. What a balance beam we all teeter on as we grow in life.

I should have named this boy mango since he can consume an entire one every day if given the chance!

Silas has some thoughtful moments in his self-absorbed life. Like making sure I had an extra cup of his homemade coffee for preschool parent orientation. He didn't want me to miss a thing!

Annual "Touch a Truck" day in Alpharetta! YEAH!!!!

When summer storms keep you inside, make a tent!

Or simply take a walk in the rain! They loved the idea of getting soaked in their clothes. Free fun!

Levi is doing well with his double dose of formula before and after each meal via g-tube. He seems to be a little less volume sensitive, so hopefully he will have gained some weight when we head back to the nutritionist in a couple weeks.
I feel for him sometimes though. While he still wears size 9-12 months, it is obvious that he's mentally 17 months old. He understands everything! And because he has so many physical limitations, he gets very frustrated when therapists push him to do things he knows are hard. He's learned to adapt in many ways, but almost seems embarrassed when he can't do something he knows they want him to try and learn. He loves praise and success, so the trick is to give him tasks he can accomplish before jumping into the things a 17 month-old should be able to easily achieve.
I'm so grateful to see how much he's grown and how hard he works to keep learning even when it's tough. A life lesson many of our children don't have to learn until much later in life.
Love my boys, and thankful all three keep growing!

~Viral Buster