Our summer with Allie has seriously flown by. The last two weeks of our time together is kind of a blur. haha Sandwiched between all our responsibilities, we did squeeze in some quality time with new and old friends in around Atlanta.
One fun evening included a backyard Crowder concert hosted by our friends Kyle and Juliet.
Our 4th of July holiday was spent at our annual family reunion up at Lake Junaluska. We love this place!
Sitting on the porch listening to Dad tell stories. :)
Kayaking/ paddle boarding on the lake!
Dad and Al, waiting for the Grand Marshall!
Normally as the end of our summer with Allie draws near, I am battling anxiety, worry, and grief. I am restless and jumpy and it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. The looming separation has always been extremely painful for all 3 of us, but this year… gosh this year has been so different. So surprisingly, delightfully different. It’s been different because intermixed in all our adventures and family time, the decision for Allie to live with Zach full-time was made. Honestly, we always dreamed of that happening, but due to a variety of circumstances we never thought it would come to fruition. And now it has- in the most unexpected miraculous way, and we are awestruck. And grateful. Although this is a huge answer to prayer, it has also been extremely stressful trying to furiously get everything in order for Allie to begin school here in August. Lots of doctor appointments, summer reading/ required assignments, etc. As I am sure you can imagine this will be a huge transition for Allie on every level.
For our faith family, please pray for Allie and the year ahead. It will be full of so many amazing new things, but also... the transition from homeschool to public high school is going to be challenging. Please pray that she finds amazing friends at her school. It has already been so incredible watching God create a life and community for her here virtually over night. (Some blessings in the midst of the madness: The school is 1.5 miles from our house and my MIL works across the street. A friend of mine has worked at Allie's new school for 7 years and has been so incredibly kind to help us make class decisions and just... get all our school questions answered and be a resource for Allie. She is also the sponsor for FCA. We also found out her Principal is a christian as well as the 9th grade Assistant Principal and her chorus teacher. There are a handful of families from our church who have kids at this school and everyone has been so great - reaching out and wanting to get all of us plugged in. This summer Allie also had the chance to hang out with some Young Life students from her new school. We are just so grateful so many connections are happening before school even starts! Thank you Jesus!)
Again, we are left humbled and amazed at all God has in store for our girl! It's gonna be a BIG year and hey... if you've got extra prayer time, say a few for me and Z. haha Our whole life in being recalibrated - new routines, rhythms, responsibilities, expectations, family balance. You name it, it is changing. We are going from having Allie 75 days a year to 300 and although we are over the moon about it, it's a big shift for all of us and will take time to find our new life balance that isn't centered around vacation and holidays. Pray for wisdom, patience, and open eyes to see the important stuff amongst all the details. For our friends and family who have walked with us and been praying for Allie for years, THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts. We are so grateful for each of you and how you have lifted us up.
Before Allie left on July 10, she sent me this Snapchat. I thought it was cute so I took a screenshot before it vanished.
A week later I stumbled across it going through my camera roll and I saw her caption in a completely different light. Am I ready for this? As parents - we worry and try to anticipate what is ahead. We try to protect her from pain, heartache, and struggle.... but in my heart I know she is ready for this change. She's ready for the new adventure and the challenges too. It's the scary (but necessary) part of growing up and we are as ready as we will ever be to walk beside her every step of the way and help her become the incredibly special person God has made her to be. So here's to starting 9th grade and a whole new life! I can't wait to see what happens!