Sunday, August 12, 2012

Keepin' it Real

i have this great "continuous shot" function on my camera.  i hold down the shutter button while the camera clicks picture after picture within milliseconds of each other.  The beauty is it allows me to take TONS of pictures of 1 pose so i can edit out 15 horrible shots, keeping the one where everyone is smiling perfectly into the camera.  Voila' ... i appear to be a fabulous photographer capable of capturing pictures of perfectly posed kids.  The caveat of this function is i sometimes forget to turn it off when i hand the camera over to one of the kids.  Kyle especially finds it hilarious to hold down the shutter for at least 50 frames just to capture mom and sister completely annoyed and suddenly lunging at him to grab the camera away. 

(Most unflattering but i agree funny.)

Scrolling through the many "outtakes" in my camera, i was deleting the bad shots to make room for pictures of our time in Switzerland.  It got me thinking about the real part of life, the part that is easy to edit out of a blog. 

Although, i've always preferred to drink from a glass half full than to one that is half empty, i also want to be REAL and not EDITED. 

i will be the first to admit we are blessed beyond measure to be able to have this opportunity to travel as a family.  Thankful, thankful we are!  But in all honesty we aren't always cheery faces set among varying backdrops.  There are lots of shots in our life are less than perfect.  We struggle, make mistakes, lose our temper, cry, miss trains, have to go days without our luggage and generally have hard days.   

My kids still argue and spill cereal all over the kitchen floor, except it happens while i am trying to figure out train tickets to our next destination which is in a foreign language on a computer i FINALLY got connected and i'm staying in a house that isn't mine so i have no idea where a broom is to clean up the mess.  Let's just say i'm not going to post pictures from my less than patient response. 

The water and swans are so accessible along the steep, slippery and rocky bank.  Although beautiful, it has resulted in an unplanned plunge into the water and squishy sneakers right before our dinner out.

There is a backdrop of loneliness that has settled in even while exploring the beauty of Europe.  Internet, Facebook and Skype have been our lifeline but it is difficult to transition from curling up on couches with our friends and family and conversing face to face to now having to schedule Facetime a few days in advance.

Burnett fact: self timed family photos rarely turn out and believe it or not we fight and argue.  Sometimes we spend too much time together in close quarters and sometimes not enough.  We can be short with each other and expect too much.  Emotions run high when we have been apart for 4 weeks.  Reuniting is sweet but can also be challenging as we try to readjust to our roles while balancing life in yet another new location.

Being in Europe, one would think Chris and i would get at least a few fleeting moments alone in romantic settings.  We are not the typical tourists, Chris is here for work so the majority of time we get with him is in the evenings and weekends.  Pictures of just the two of us only occur because Thing 1 is snapping our picture and Pink Thing 2 is running around in circles behind us.  

i know right?!  What could possibly go wrong in a setting like this? 
This twirl-a-whirl allegedly cause a MASSIVE injury to a certain one of my Little's Funny Bone.  (And for the record the unnamed victim says it is definitely NOT funny.)  To add insult to injury a few steps away from this hazardous spinning toy is a WURST truck which is the Swiss' perfect echo to the Taco Truck. 

The plump juicy brats (sausages, not kids) are delicious unless of course they end up in the dirt on the playground and not in a hungry tummy.

Random Fact:  Sometimes kid meltdowns are quickly followed by parental meltdowns.

Since gentle brown cows greet us with their chiming bells as we exit the gondola, it would be easy to think we have stepped out of reality and into the Sound of Music.  
Wandering green hills with goats, sheep and cows all within an arms reach, it's difficult not to let the thin Alp air get to one's head and break out into a Rogers and Hammerstein melody while running across the open landscape.  Reality sets in though when a little animal loving girls leans over to feed an already grazing animal.  Even though she has been forewarned...!!ZAP!!
~Experience is the best teacher ~
 When friends and acquaintances comment on our new traveling lifestyle, it usually will pendulate between,
"That is Crazy, i would never do that."
"You are so lucky, what an amazing experience!"

i would agree to both and say our life generally falls somewhere between crazy and amazing. 

We get to experience a bunch of amazing together but our breakdowns can feel more fierce.  This experience is bonding us together as a family as the last 81/2 months of our life have been lived completely out of our comfort zone.  The crazy is we often don't know the basics of language, money, food, directions, and at times we can't even plug in simple appliances.  It makes for some very exhausting and trying moments.  Daily i am reminded of my weaknesses and shortcomings and i will tell you, if i had to do this adventure in view of all my shortcomings i would be a complete mess on the verge of a breakdown.  Thankfully, i know where my help comes from.  My help comes from the Lord, maker of  heaven and earth.  He lovingly provides the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control that i so desperately need for each day.   

It doesn't matter where you find yourself, life is real and can't be edited to perfection.  Unfortunately, even if the background is amazing sometimes the only thing "in focus" is the messy stuff of life that's out on the table.

But thankfully even then the glasses can still be half full 




les said...

Try number 2. I gave a comment, but will try again. We sometimes, (dad anyway) figure that you all are having so much fun and exciting times, that you don't experience the normal run of the day challenges we all face. But you do have experiences that are experienced in a whole different part of the world, and that can make for more challenge. We will be reminded to just pray a little harder for you all. Love dad

Mom said...

Thank you for sharing the "unedited" and "real time" of your heart, Tami. It's completely understandable. We see your world travel to all the amazing places and forget that the birds don't really have a nest to fly back to. You are covered, surrounded and grounded with the love and prayers of your family and many friends. I praise God that He is truly "Lord of the nations." I love you, Dear Daughter!

Betty said...

Good reminder that the grass isn't always greener in another part of the world! All your traveling & experiences sound great, but, in reality, real life keeps happening, doesn't it? Now I'll know better about how to pray for you :)
Love to all of you!

Lyndsay said...

Thanks for keepin' it real friend. A great reminder that life happens on the other side of the world too. Miss you!