I love this.
But it does not come naturally for me. In fact, I have lived many years (mostly in high school) only anticipating things that were to come in an effort to get through each day and week by just looking forward to what was next. (As an aside, I pretty much hated high school and was probably slightly depressed through much of it...never feeling like I truly "belonged". And then I went on to teach high school for 10 years. And loved it! Go figure...)
So in the year to come, I decided it was important to have some guiding principles, and being "all there" is one of them. And I started to live this way a couple months ago. As the school year ended and people began to hear of my future plans, I heard a lot of "Are you so excited?" Of course my response was "Yes!" But I was also excited to be "all there" and take advantage of all my favorite things in the valley that I'd miss for the next year: lunch with friends at Eat! Drink!, dinner dates at Sato, workouts at my new found obsession of Pure Barre, hikes to the Homestead water tower, worship at Calvary Chapel, chai and bran muffins on my patio, fellowship with the Bible Study Beauties, book club conversations (a record breaking 2 meetings in 3 weeks!) with the Booksies, graduation festivities for the amazing EVHS Class of 2013, a haircut from the infamous Norman...ok, now I'm stretching it... Whatever opportunity I had. I wanted to be "all there."
Then I was "all there" for the amazing 6 nights/7 days in the wilderness with our Young Life girls. And the 1,050 mile drive from Edwards to Peoria... I decided to embrace it and be "all there" as I had the opportunity to be alone for the first time in a week and rock out to a 15 hour music marathon.
When I told people my first stop on "the journey" was Peoria, Illionis, I often got an eye brows raised, sarcastic: "Oh! Wow!" But I am "all here" for the next 2 months and I'm excited about it. And the first week gave me much to be excited about...
I rolled into town an hour before the much anticipated "Wines and Polo on the Prairie" benefit for Easter Seals. I was "all there" as I had the opportunity to connect with family and catch up with friends at an awesome event.
|Watching polo with cousin Annie, Grandpa and Grandma Weaver and my dad holding Hudson|
I am loving being "all there" as I hang out with my little "Huddy Buddy" my brother, Zack, and sister in law, Carolyn's 4 month old son. I get to spend Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with him throughout the summer. He is definitely a MAJOR reason for my extended stay in Peoria. I mean, seriously, how can you resist this sweet face?
|Huddy Bobby contemplating life|
Wednesday night, I was blessed to be "all there" as I ventured to Bloomington with my cousin Annie and her husband Mark to rock climb at a climbing gym converted from some old silos. I loved the climbing, but loved the company just as much.
|Climbing with Mark and Annie Bell at Upper Limits|
Thursday evening was the first gathering for a summer Bible Study with some of the women in my family. I was so grateful to have the privilege to be "all there" as we shared our hearts and learned more about joy and humility as we study the book of Philippians.
I was "all there" for an amazing weekend in Chicago. It started with taking the train from Princeton to Chicago's Union Station... arriving in the midst of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory celebrations on Friday. I was blessed to spend the night with my college roommate Missy, her husband, Todd and their 2 month old precious boy, Chase.
|Missy and Baby Chase|
The weekend continued with meeting up with my brother, Luke and his girlfriend, Rachel, in town from Dallas for the festivities. I was "all there" for a sweet conversation with Luke and meeting the lovely Rachel for the first time. I'm looking forward to more time with these two later this summer!
|Rachel, Luke, Me and Sarah - Rachel's sister at Moe's Cantina|
And then it was time to celebrate the youngest Weaver cousin, Travis, as he turned 21. About 20 members of the Weaver clan descended upon the Windy City for the event. We started with drinks at the Wit, then dinner at Carnivale and finally some good laughs at The Second City. Thank you, Uncle Chuck and Aunt Laurie, for helping to make an amazing memory for our family! This was another event I was excited to be "all there" for!
|The Birthday Boy, Travis, arrives at the Wit|
|Aunt Laurie and Uncle Chuck enjoying the festivities|
|Zack, Carolyn, Rachel, Luke, Me, Dad and Mom at Carnivale|
Bottom line... it's been an amazing first week home. I don't necessarily anticipate nor desire having such busy weeks the rest of the summer. But it has been a great way to kick off a summer in Peoria!
And regardless... Activity or rest, rain or shine, joy or sorrow, work or play... "Wherever I am, I'll be all there."