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The Waterslide

There we were, sitting in the backyard while the sun was shining down on us and the hum of the blower to the giant waterslide I purchased for our children was making me sick to my stomach. What. On. Earth. When the slide was fully blown up, it reached the top of our second story deck. It was a monstrosity, and it's grandness made me sick to my stomach. To top off the afternoon, our children didn't even like this new water feature. The water was too cold. The slide(s) were too fast. The pool in the bottom was too deep for one and too shallow for another. I had immediate buyers remorse.
For about a year, I had been trying to convince the hubby that a playset would be a great addition to our backyard. He wasn't super keen on the idea, but he came around to it about a month and half earlier. We actually decided to have people chip-in for it as birthday gifts to our one year old if they asked for ideas. Well, a month had passed since her birthday, and still, no playset. There was no way that I could purchase and put together a playset myself, so I was waiting. Well, during the waiting, I was introduced to the idea of the bounce house waterslide. I've always been a sucker for buying things to "grow into," so I began researching the top rated slides. While the hubby was on shift, the water slide went on promo, and I thought, "Hey! I can't put together a playset myself, but I can hookup that waterslide!" The purchase was made. The hubby came home the next morning and commented on my online "shopping spree" from the day prior, and I lost my cool. I went in to a full on diatribe about how he doesn't understand what it's like to not earn my own money and how what I really wanted was a playset, but I needed his help for that and he didn't seem interested and how I wanted to spend "my" money on the playset and the slide. What was wrong with spending $1,200 on these two items!?! BARF. What is wrong with me!?! Did I hear myself!?! I was in full on toddler tantrum mode and it wasn't even 10am. He called Costco and we picked up the playset that day. My sweet husband. Bless him for dealing with my crazy.
A few days later, the hubby is back on shift. We are halfway through putting together the playset, when the waterslide arrives. "Yay! P, this will be so great! I can hookup the waterslide. It will be so fun!" NOT.

Recap. I bought a ginormous waterslide (weight limit 120 lbs. per person). I acted like a spoiled toddler, so we picked up a playset. Now the actual toddler is crying because she does not like the waterslide, and the minute it was blown up, I felt it reflecting all of my ridiculousness back at me. My children are so privileged. Do they know they are privileged!?! There are starving children in Africa. There are unclothed and unfed children down the street. There are kids being yelled at in Target for asking their dad for a new pair of shoes when each of my children have no less than 10 pairs. I fell off the wagon. I started consuming. Over consuming. How can I fix this? Everything about the ginormous waterslide was just wrong. I repented.

A few days later I contacted a new local non-profit and donated some books, toys, and a dining table. My thought was that I just needed to get rid of stuff. We have too much stuff. I thought it would make me feel better, but it really didn't. I really just wanted to return the waterslide. I was thinking about trying to sell it for $100 less than I paid or something. Anything for it to just be gone. Then I decided to contact Toys R Us. I had ZERO expectation that they would accept it as a return since we had used it. If they had offered to charge a restocking fee, I was going to do it. But Toys R Us is great. They let us return it! PRAISE JESUS! The hubby walked into the store with our receipt and we were fully refunded. I couldn't believe it. That's grace. God's grace abounds even in the worldliest of situations. I did not deserve a full refund. I deserved to have this bright orange reminder of my consumerism staring me in the face. But instead I received grace.

Well, I'm not one to stay off of the FPU wagon for long. I remember what it was like before being financially secure, and I never want to go back. So we circled back to our FPU foundation and hosted a garage sale. To be honest, I didn't think we had enough stuff to constitute a garage sale. $300 later, I will tell you that we did. All that stuff you never use but might need someday, donate it. Sell it. Get rid of it. Find a local charity you can get behind, and donate regularly. Life is not all about us. Life is not all about our kids. Life is about celebrating, learning, sharing, & loving all of those around us. For you, that might happen through purchasing a ginormous waterslide, but for me, that waterslide was a great reminder of where I never want to be again.

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10 YEARS. 3,652 DAYS. 87,658 HOURS.

5,259,000 MINUTES. 315,600,000 SECONDS.  2 BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS.  COUNTLESS MEMORIES. MANY VACATIONS. HUGS & KISSES. GRIEF & JOY. GRUMPINESS & FUN. A WHOLE LOT OF LOVE.
24 more days, and all of those numbers are official. I am so incredibly thankful for the life that God has favored us with. 10 years. I truly am overjoyed to make it to this milestone. In a society that puts little value on a lasting marriage, we choose to celebrate marriage! We celebrated by recreating some of our wedding photos at Annie Wright School, where we tied the knot 10 years ago. And can I just tell you, it was incredibly fun, brought back so many memories, and gave me some warm fuzzies for my hubby all over again! Our original wedding photos are credited to the artistic work of Christy Pelland, and our recreated photos, plus bonus family photos, are credited to Miss Abby of Abby Joy Photography.
Whenever I get asked marriage advice, I always say something to the tune of, "Out serve each other dail…