18 April 2011

Campbell Crew

The Campbell Corner was started in 2006.  I've journaled for decades but this was the first time that I did it on-line and allowed others to view (and even comment) on my entries.  It was initially intended to allow family and friends that didn't live near us to stay updated on what was going on in our corner.

Surprisingly, more than just family and close friends began to read and comment.  Eventually the blog evolved to one where everyday life was documented - the ups, the downs, the tears, the prayers, the various journey's and seasons, victories and even struggles. It gave voice to a Momma who was new to staying at home with her kiddos and navigating through lots of "new-to-me" experiences - sometimes more than I ever would have wished for.

The Campbell Corner is treasured by me.  It's a window into part of my heart and holds lots of memories. 

So...why start Campbell Crew?  Simply put - my boys are not babies anymore and a corner is a bit too small for them.  Life has become way more bold and boisterous.  I could just do a complete overhaul of this corner - update the look and feel of the blog so that it is more fitting to our current life.  But I don't want to.  I love this little blog and all that it represents.  It's still a part of my life and I desire to preserve it for what it is.    

Campbell Crew will still have the same real-down -to-earth tone.  That is just who I am and no matter what season of life I'm in...that will never change.

Many of you have joined me on my journey over the last five years.  Know that you are invited to continue to join me and my crew as we continue to learn how to live intentionally and balance life.  If you view me in a reader, then you will want to update your reader.  

04 April 2011

Life's Essentials

es·sen·tial [ i sénshəl ] necessary: of the highest importance for achieving something basic: being the most basic element or feature of something or somebody defining: constituting the property or characteristic of something that makes it what it is.

Previously I wrote about living intentionally and being an active participant in this thing called life. One step I've taken in this is determining what is important to me and then attempting to work those things into my schedule.

This may sound silly, but when my day is so busy that it is blurred, my favorite thing to do is to take a moment and just breathe. I'm not talking about doing some major deep breathing exercises - although that is also good - but merely taking a moment to be mentally aware of taking a breath into my lungs and then releasing it out. It's like giving myself a time-out but in a good way.

Something else that I've incorporated into my life is PAUSE. For me, it is like hitting the pause button on whatever is on my agenda that day. I get myself a cup of coffee and sit on my glider in the family room (looking forward to moving outside to the patio when the weather warms up) and I read my new book. I'm not reading anything I haven't read before, but the Bible is organized in a different way in this book and I'm loving it. I don't get to do this everyday but I've been able to continue to chew and ponder what I've read and how it applies to my life until I'm able to pause again and read some more.

These are definitely some of my life's essentials.

02 April 2011

Living Intentionally

This has been something that I have been thinking about and in many ways applying to my everyday life.

As most families, we've experienced our share of ups and downs and have learned how to navigate our way through it, attempting to find balance. One way that I've accomplished this is by living intentionally - not just letting life happen but making and participating in the choices that I have the ability to make.

I know that I cannot control everything that happens to me or my family. I can't control the cancer in my Dad's body. I can't fix the residual ailments that still plague my Mom as a result of the sepsis. This is what we are living through now and it is not easy.

So what do I do with that? I can choose to become paralyzed and walk aimlessly through each day or I can be an active participant and maybe have a positive impact. I choose the latter. This does not mean every day goes as planned. Nor is my schedule always filled with things that I would choose to be doing. There are many nights I am just worn out and exhausted and sometimes I've awakened in that same state. But 'living intentionally' is what allows me to roll with the punches. This is why, no matter what happens, I can get up again.

Today I enjoyed watching Jeter and his team start the spring season of soccer. It was cold and Barber was getting a little antsy but I relished the fact that we were able to be there as a family.

Do you live intentionally? What does that look like in your everyday?

10 March 2011

Raindrops on Roses

Today was one of those days where we all slept in just a little bit longer. Maybe it was because of the grey rainy morning we were to awake to or maybe we weren't quite finished with our dreams yet. Whatever the delay, it was long enough (but not too long) that our day started out at a relaxed and peaceful pace. Kind of like 'raindrops on roses'...

Simms was bringing the boys to the bus stop so I was able to stay in my comfy cozy pj's just a little bit longer. The boys got ready for school, ate breakfast and were ready to get their jackets on right on time. Simms was ready to go with time to spare to crush up some boxes for garbage day. I was able to get to the dishes in the dishwasher, start the coffee and make the lunches. I kissed the boys good-bye as they hurried to Daddy's car with Barber calling "don't forget 'I love yous!'". He's referring to me signing 'I love you' when they leave each morning. When I bring them to the bus, I sign 'I love you' as the bus rides away with them looking out their window. When Simms brings them in the morning, I sign 'I love you' out the family room window or the front door.

This morning was no exception.

I stepped away from the window with a smile on my face...and then I saw it. On the family room table, Jeter's open-ended Q&A from his homework. I've been talking to him of the importance of including a summarizing sentence at the end of his paragraph. He balked at me initially 'because it isn't required at school right now' but he came around and proudly read his well written paragraph last night. The night when he had a tight schedule of get home, complete his homework, practice trumpet, run on the treadmill (soccer conditioning), eat dinner and then we all went to Barber's community night for baseball. By the time we got home it was time for bed.

In seconds I had my crocs on and jacket zipped, hat on and homework inside my jacket - to keep it from getting wet. What a sight I must have been running down the sidwalk in my pink, white and grey striped pj's (you could see the bottoms), orange crocs and dark brown winter jacket. This wasn't a vogue moment for me - no this was a mom moment. I was definitely a mom-in-action and I really didn't care what my neighbors thought.

I ran toward the bus stop - the bus was already there - hoping I'd make it. I was two house lengths away when she started to drive around the corner (we live on a circle of sorts). I turned and sprinted down the way I came...I needed to cut her off! There was about nine house lengths between me and that bus. Thankfully, I made it and with a smile I completed my mission. I then heard the voice of one of my neighbors behind me (he lives on the other side of the circle) asking if I needed a ride home. I said 'sure that would be great' and got into the passenger seat in my crazy mis-matched, definitely not-ready-for-the-day, no make-up on look.

Wonderful. Definitely not auditioning for a real housewives show here.

The best part is, it really doesn't matter to me. The setting of my day hasn't changed. I am still in a place of rest and peace and now I even have something to giggle about.

17 February 2011

Lessons in a Snow Tube

Have you ever learned something about yourself at a time when you least expected it?

That's what happened to me last Friday. We went snow tubing as a family. Simms and Jeter have gone in the past but this was going to be a new experience for Barber and me.

I went sledding when I was younger...and loved it. But let's face it, I was a teenager without a care in the world and a Long Island attitude that took on just about anything and everything. We'd go sledding at the local golf courses and I'd look for the iciest hill and even aim for the built jumps. And this was using the old fashioned wooden sleds when you were flat out on your stomach and came at everything head first and steering the sled as you went along. One time I flew so high when I came down my chin hit my sled. It hurt but I still came up with a huge smile on my face.

That's part of my past and I'm not a teenager anymore. Not only that...I'm a mom. I still love roller coasters and the thrill that they bring but those are a bit more predictable than sitting in a tube and going down a hill.

So what does a Momma like me do? I pray. Yup. I prayed for safety and protection and that we would have a lot of fun as a family and make some great memories.

We first went down as a family - all four of us. That was fast and fun and the smiles were bursting from our faces and giggles overflowing.

Then we went down in pairs. Simms took Barber and I went with Jeter. The smiles, giggles and squeals of joy continued until Jeter and I went in lane #5. I'm going to guess we were about half way down when his tube started to go up the bank of the lane. And there I am, his Mom, holding onto a handle of his tube, sliding down a hill of ice and there is nothing physical (that I know of anyway) that I can do. I know it all happened in a matter of seconds but in my mind, it plays in slow motion...his tube kept going up the bank and when it was about halfway I hear myself cry out "Jesus!" and just like that, his tube righted itself and we continued spinning down to the bottom.

Jeter thought that was the best run ever! Seriously?!? I'm thinking 'you almost flipped over crazy boy'! And then I remember that he is my son - a nine year old who is simply enjoying the ride of his life.

I also realized something about myself. In those crazy seconds, I definitely felt concerned and realized my limitations but dread did not come over me. I was not paralyzed by fear but rather cried out - almost instinctively - to the One who is capable of altering my circumstances in mere seconds.

I've learned a lot on this journey...some of which has yet to be realized...but one thing is certain, I'm enjoying the glimpses into what the Father is doing.