Well, I MADE IT! I mean we…. we made it. The last day of school has come and gone, and we are officially on summer break! Can I get an A-MEN from all the parents out there? (And really, “I made it” is a pretty accurate statement, because those last couple weeks of school are pure craziness for working mamas!) So not only did we (*wink*wink*) make it through the last week of school, but the kids are already in Coeur d’Alene hanging out with Grandma & Grandpa for a couple weeks.
Can I be real and say that I feel like I can finally breathe for the first time in a handful of weeks?? Last night I slept with earplugs in and all ringers and alarms turned OFF! Good grief, that felt like a gift from the Good Lord Himself!
Even though school just got out Tuesday, summer break really started for us last weekend, so I’m a few days into “Operation Unwind,” the annual catch-my-breath-a-thon I embark on the first couple weeks of summer each year. We spent last weekend in Cle Elum, a super cute little mountain town in Central Washington that I’ve driven through, but never been to. Corey works for Edward Jones Investments and every June we get to attend Summer Regionals, a weekend-long work event that celebrates the hard work and achievements of the Financial Advisors and the firm. It’s a super-fun, family-friendly event that we look forward to every year. It’s always at a different place and this year it was in Cle Elum and man, it was beautiful.
As I’ve stated for the record, I’m a beach girl, BUT… there’s something about a beautiful mountain sunset that makes your soul stop and take notice.
Am I right?
We did a little light hiking, swam in the indoor pool (it was a drizzly June weekend here), went horseback riding and generally relaxed. Abbie doesn’t do well with lots of late nights in a row (neither does her mama…) so she and I snuggled up by the fire one night while Corey and Jayden went out to the fire pit and roasted s’mores (they’re the night owls of the bunch). So, as it always is, it was a pretty great way to kick off our summer.
You know, there are so many people that are a part of this journey we’re on. Of course there are our family and close friends, even the people we see and interact with intermittently at church and around town, etc., but this weekend I was moved beyond words by what Corey’s colleagues did for him, for all of us really, at Regionals.
Unless he’s hamming it up for the crowd and telling jokes, Corey’s a pretty private person and not really a lover of attention. His Regional Leader, Julie, and the rest of the team have really honored that but they also wanted to find a way to let him know this past weekend that they’re supporting, praying for and cheering him on in this fight.
Saturday night of Regionals weekend is the formal dinner and Awards Ceremony. I love this dinner because we get to get all gussied up (and jackpot, they have separate activities for the kids!), and it’s always so great to see Corey, and all of the Financial Advisors, recognized for their hard work and dedication to their clients, the firm, each other and their families. I wish I could bottle up the support and excitement in that room as they all celebrate one another. It’s really a pretty special thing to be a part of.
This year, after they’d given out all the awards, Corey’s friend and colleague, Robert, got up to make a special presentation (which was a surprise to us) to Corey from the Region. Robert gave a beautiful and moving speech (queue the ugly crying face!) about how Corey hasn’t missed a beat and has gone out of his way to make sure everyone else is OK and comfortable, which is so true, and about how they, as our Edward Jones family, wanted to show us their support and love.
Throughout the weekend, a table had been set up for people to write messages of encouragement, scriptures, prayers, etc. on these beautifully colored pieces of paper and then fold them into cranes. The idea comes from an old Japanese legend that promises health and happiness, and this was their prayer for Corey.
They presented us with this beautiful vase of “1,000 Cranes,” and oh man, I could hardly see it through the tears welled up in my eyes! (Why did no one warn me to wear waterproof mascara??) I was so proud of Corey, who was able to compose himself and thank everyone, pointing to his faith and family and the support of all of his colleagues as a huge part of how we’re getting through this.
Isn’t it beautiful? I’m such a visual person and looking at this every day moves me so deeply. Gah! Even writing about it now makes me cry! Honestly, I can not imagine trying to trudge through this without the love, prayers, support and kindness of the people around us.
If I haven’t said it before, thank you. Thank you to each of you who take the time to read this blog, to support us in your own ways and who encourage us and spur us on. We feel every bit of your love and it gives us the strength and courage to keep going.
And, Region 174, might I suggest waterproof mascara in the welcome kit next time you do something like this?? Please & thank you. 😉