I took a walk around Lost Lake while Colin was mountain biking. It was a good time for me to have some quiet time and think about life within our family right now. We’re at such a crossroads – the kids are all growing up – Lucas will be moving far away for college, and Micah to pursue his career. Cody is grown and has put down roots on the western side of the state, and Bongo is soon to be our only child left at home, in his last year of high school.

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. It was a feeling that pulled and pulled at me. I imagined that it would be so simple, that we would love our children with all our hearts and that would be enough. I honestly never thought about the challenges that would come up, like they do for all families. I had never really been around babies ever before becoming a mom and it was all learning as I went. At one point when the youngest three were all toddlers and in diapers, I remember just trying to make it day to day, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Looking back, I wish I would have known to soak in those moments and hold on to it like nothing else because the time is fleeting and there's no going back.

Faced with our impending empty nest, there's a frequent flip flop of emotions inside of me, running between such hope and happiness for what's to come for our children AND THENthe ache of our children leaving and life being completely different, for all of us. And as they embark on their new chapters, Colin and I will be embarking on ours. Sometimes I think okay, where do Igo from here?

What new interests will I explore? Will I consider a long held dream to pursue education in a field I've long dreamed of? What will become our new norm? I understand my aches will come and go for a while as we all navigate these life changing times for our family, and the joy will too. I'm so thankful that the boys are finding their way. We've all worked so hard for it.

There is a voice inside of you

That whispers all day long,

"I feel that this is right for me,

I know that thisis wrong."

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

Or wise man can decide

What's right for you - just listen to

The voice that speaks inside.

~Shel Silverstein

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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