How I Recharge

I think because I presently spend an obscene amount of time at home,

escaping from the house is the very best way for me to recharge an extremely dead battery.

During the week I’m running on a hamster wheel, furiously motoring toward a destination I will never reach.

You know what I’m talking about moms- the maddening cycle of cooking, feeding, cleaning, bathing, dressing, picking up, and putting away.  It never ends.

The moment your kitchen floor is mopped, a child crosses it in dirt-filled shoes.  The second your washer is empty, the diaper fails during nap time.  You bathe your little one and dress him in clean clothes, only to find him covered in food, dirt, or art supplies a short time later.

Can you tell I desperately needed to escape from within these four confining walls?  I wasn’t well.

I needed a short hiatus away from it all, to catch my breath and simply enjoy my family.

Raven Rock State Park


So I mentioned to my hubby the idea spinning inside my head.

I feared he (who often craves a Sunday-afternoon-couch nap) would shoot me down… but he didn’t.

He jumped on board with me and the plan began to take form.

It was such a beautiful vision.

We didn’t have to serve at church this Sunday. Finally. Can you tell I’m a bit burned out?

We would sleep late, catching up on some Zzzz’s before the week commenced.

We would enjoy a leisurely morning of getting everyone ready, worshipping, and listening to God’s word.


Then we’d head out to Raven Rock State Park, a beautiful sanctuary of rolling hills, forest, and water.

A place where children’s yelps and screams, bounding and leaping, are effortlessly absorbed into the landscape.

The weather would be perfect.

There would be no ‘What can I Do?’ or ‘I’m bored.’

It would be the ideal escape, leaving this momma alone with her thoughts for a bit…enjoying the peaceful quiet.


And on this day, a quick run past the most convenient drive-thru window was in order, because planning and preparing a picnic lunch was altogether too much.

So Bojangles it was, for some fat-laden fried chicken and biscuits.  We didn’t even mess with any sides.

Just grabbed sweet tea, plenty of napkins, and off we went. No fuss, no muss.  Easy peasy.  Exactly what I needed on this Sunday.

And following the tenth, ‘Are we there yet?’, we really did arrive, and it all happened just the way I needed it to be.


A quick lunch on the picnic tables, everybody contentedly eating something they found to their liking.




Finger Lickin' Kin


And then we were off…




to find the perfect walking sticks.



Walking Sticks



Because apparently walking sticks are a must have for this clan.


The Crew


I loved watching this adorable chain of my people meander through the woods.


Disappearing around the corner


I especially liked seeing this girl keep up with the pack.  She was determined to prove herself a mountain goat on this day.


This Girl


This kid climbed every tree in sight.


Luke Meister


My family…


Lifting Contest


we like to take pictures in which we ‘appear’ to lift heavy limbs.


Lifting Contest 2


Even my biggest child could not resist. ;)


Lifting Contest 3


Then I spotted a giant tree trunk lying on the ground…


My Crew


It screamed for a family photo op.


My Crew- Crazy Faces


We began to descend this giant staircase in the woods and Luke cautioned Gabrielle to be careful. I love that he looks out for her and tries to protect her.


The Stairs


Her spunky response (in an exasperated tone) was absolutely precious, “They’re stairs, Luke.  I know how to do stairs.  I do them all the time.”


Just look at that little face peeking up at me so very proud.


The Stairs 2


We arrived safely at the bottom.  The rock structures bordering the Cape Fear River were just beautiful and the lighting made for some great pictures.




There’s something about capturing photographs.  You’re framing all of these smiling faces, zooming in, and clicking away.


Luke the Shepherd


You’re making sure the picture’s in focus and at the same time it’s changing your focus.




It’s causing you to pause, study, and really reflect upon each of your subjects.




You’re capturing images with your camera but also taking vivid snapshots with your mind.


Duff and Girls


Your noticing and appreciating details about each of your people.


Daddy and Gab


Your heart is becoming completely saturated.


These Two


Saturated with gratitude for every one of the amazing blessings that God saw fit to place in your life.


Best Friends


You find joy in the mess of little boys sliding down filthy rocks.


Can't Keep Him Clean


You find joy in the relationships these little people have developed between each other.


She Went Back for More


You find joy in seeing how your oldest son is growing and changing into a man.


Gavin Kicking Back


God takes you away to that place, wherever it may be, and your mind is no longer being sabotaged with questions and demands,

Your eyes are freed from the chaos and the mess,

You can once again begin to experience joy in all the gifts that surround you.

This is how I recharge.

Raven Rock State Park


I step away from the responsibilities and the never-ending list of to-do’s.

I turn away from this world’s agenda.

I’m reminded that I love them with all of my being.

This is where I find the energy to press on.


Me and the 7


This is where I realize I like hanging out with my children.  I have a blast with them.  They are so much fun to be around.

The budding sense of humor, the witty remark, the silliness, the laughter, and the bubbly happiness- I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I mean who else would understand how we like to stage pictures of twelve-year-olds jumping off cliffs?

One person’s morbid is another person’s funny, I guess. :)


Jumpin off Cliffs


See. He’s just fine.

Rest Assured


And then Luke started to slip,


he was hanging on for dear life,


Had You!


Gotch ya!


Really Had You!


Love my family! Yes indeed.


  1. I love your sweet family to, Kell. They are growing up so fast. Hugs and Blessings!

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