Thursday, March 4, 2010

Photo Story Friday - Forever Grateful

May I say how stoked I am that Cecily asked me to co-host Photo Story Friday this week? Since most of my Fishful Thinking Thursday posts involve pictures, the two themes seem to get along quite well - much like Cecily and I. Although we haven't met in person (yet), I do consider her a friend and will be forever grateful to her for introducing me to the Fishful Thinking program.

It was actually last year about this time that I first clicked the link on Cecily's PSF post. Our life at that time, for the lack of a better word, was a mess. Pat hadn't had a a steady income for more than a year. He was tirelessly job searching and commuting home to VA from Florida where he had been working a commission-based temp job for almost three months. We couldn't make our mortgage payments. I was charging groceries. Our house was on the market. I was still teaching dance and had started substituting - when I could arrange childcare. We were dealing with all kinds of craziness from the demise of Pat's small business partnerships. I had pulled Abby out of preschool because we couldn't afford it anymore, etc... Stress and uncertainty had consumed our lives. And, for the lack of a better word, it sucked.

Seeing the words Optimism and Resilience on the Fishful Thinking site completely resonated with me.

Optimism is the skill of focusing on the
positive – without denying the negative – and channeling one’s energy toward what is controllable. Optimistic people expect good things to happen in their lives and work toward creating positive change.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failure, be motivated by challenges and believe in your own abilities to deal with the stress and difficulties in life.

I remember thinking - These are the things I need to be focusing on. We were healthy. Our kids were thriving. Our family was supportive. Pat had been interviewing like a mad man. Something was going to turn up...and finally, our prayers were answered.
Noah actually snapped this picture (June 09) after many hugs, tears, and waves goodbye as we pulled out of my brother's driveway and started our journey to Sweet NEW Home Alabama.

Then he snapped this one...
and this one...
Abby apparently snapped this one as we drove down the road...

I didn't have the heart to delete them. To me, these pictures capture that experience in such a genuine way. They captured the encouraging smiles of my family despite the tears. They captured my kids' excitement to be taking a road trip as they snapped away with the camera. They captured my complete disillusionment to the fact that the kids even had my camera.

And this one - taken soon after arriving at our temporary digs (miraculously provided by the new employer), was snapped by the self-timer (per Abby's spontaneous request while in our pjs) - captured our sense of gratitude, togetherness, and a new chapter for our little family of four.
It's been a big transition for me, to say the least, but between snuggles from my kids, a hard-working husband, skyping with my family, my bff as one of myFaves, generous blessings, opportunities to serve, and Fishful Thinking at my fingertips, I am "bouncing back"...

and THESE certainly help quite a bit too.
* For a double dose of Fishful Thinking - check out my post about the FT parenting workshop that Cecily, Lolli, and yours truly were able to be a part of earlier this week.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Kelli

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19 comments:

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh! Those cookies are my most favorite, favorite : )

Sadly!

I love your week in review with pictures. It looks like you have a lot of fun together and are very happy!

Cecily R said...

Ohhhh, this post gave me goosebumps! It is perfect.

I love love love that you kept those pictures from your kids and love that FT has helped you to focus on important things like it has me. MWAH!

Robyn said...

Cookies always help. You had quite the journey.

amanda said...

love, love, love the family pic on the couch! you all look so excited about your big new adventure :)

Jenny said...

goosebumps indeed...wow. I've seen Fishful Thinking around a lot, but I've never taken the time to check it out. I will now. Thank you.

And thank you for sharing your story.

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

Yay for resilience.. I love FT too.. sounds like things are so much better for you guys!

Your family is too cute, and the kid picks out the window are precious.. I love the moving tree one!

Plus I haven't seen a single girl scout cookie since we moved here over a year ago! :(

Ellemes said...

That is so neat how you let your kiddos take pictures. Great post!

scrappysue said...

this such a great post - i know great things are coming to you and your beautiful family

Jessie Oliveros said...

What an incredible story, Kelli! I love the picture of your saying good-bye through the car window. What a lot of love.

Chris said...

What a year.

I'm so thrilled to see you co-hosting this week, and let me tell you, as one who has met Cecily, she's as funny in person as she is in print :)

Last year we dealt with not only my unexpected unemployment, but also my wife's unexpected cancer. Optimism was a scarce and precious commodity, but it was amazing where we found strength, when we determined TO find it.

Wonderful post, I always love to read your well thought out, and uplifting posts.

Thanks Kelli!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Love the kids' point of view shots. Glad that you came across her post and have focused on the things that matter..... that is the key, huh?

debi9kids said...

What a lovely post. Well done seeing what needed to be "fixed" in your family and doing it!

raising4boys said...

That's why I love you and Cecily. You both have a way with words! I love how you explained Optimism, channeling one's energy toward what is controllable. I'm sure it's on the FT site but that's what I needed to hear with my own trials this week. Thank you.

Your experience was perfect for PSF. It's no fun being out of a job but I'm glad you made it through this trial and I love the picture of your family together at the end. Family is what is most important. You have a beautiful family and I'm sure you are closer because of this.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

What a wonderful reminder of what's truly important - family, being together and of course, girl scout cookies. Which reminds me that ours should be in soon - yum! :)

mommylounge said...

Hi! OMG...it's been a really long time since I have tapped into the blogging world. I'm so happy for you and your family--making your move and that your blogging is going well!

Krystyn said...

I love the journey and story that your kids captured. Funny how they think of these things (like the auto timer picture). They have such faith in us that we sometimes don't even deserve.

Glad your adventure is turning out so well.

Mama Zen said...

This is so uplifting!

Heidi said...

Hooray for Girl Scout Cookies! They even introduced a sugar free line of them. I had no idea how many struggles you had gone through in the past year. I am so glad that you shared them. I love getting to know my friends a little better.
Your family is adorable, I love the shot of all of you in your PJ's.
Thanks so much for sharing your opptimism. It's something that I look forward to reading every single week. :)

Emily said...

Love it. The G.S. cookies are awesome aren't they. You certainly have been through a lot and I really admire your positive attitude! Those are fabulous pictures documenting such a monumental event. I hope you're acclimating well to AL...my husbands from there. It's not too bad a place. ;)