Saturday, November 30, 2013

Over the River and Through the Woods

We spent Thanksgiving in the Steel City. Forgive the crummy iphone snaps. They're all I've got, people. A shiny new SLR is on my list for Santa this year.

It was a quick trip, and great to be home. Our hours were filled to the brim. Superheroes raced through the hallways and selfies with toddlers were a fun new diversion while the bird was carved.

My sis and I continued our tradition of getting up in the middle of the night and trudging out to slay the Christmas lists. Mom met us at Pamela's for greasy, crispy Lyonnaise potatoes and crepe pancakes lopping over the sides of the plate. We were in our happy place.

Then it was home again, home again, jiggity jig. My kids are great car sleepers. Bless it.

Summing up gratitude into words on a page has proved difficult for me this year. I believe in the power of words, but even words can only go so far.

I'm grateful for peace that has passed my understanding. It has permeated my new home and filled each room. It has settled over my marriage and given me a greater measure of love and respect for my husband. It has filled my children's hearts - I can see it in their faces. I can hear it in their voices. I can feel it as I tuck their little bodies into their beds at night. They've left so much behind, and yet they are thriving. Only God could do this.

I'm grateful for joy. What an unexpected surprise it has been. There have been days this Fall when every part of me has felt heavy, weighed down by the loss of things that meant something to me. And yet, joy was there, refusing to heed my heart's call for it to get lost. I wanted to wallow in the heaviness. I wanted to stay in bed. But then there was a sunrise stretched across the backyard, bathing my kitchen in a pink glow as I sipped coffee and pondered the day ahead. There was the text from a new friend I was determined to ignore, asking where I had been yesterday, why wasn't I there, and where were my kids, why didn't they come? You were missed, the friend said. You were missed. There was the coffee shop I discovered down the block from Chloe's dance class, full of rag-a-muffin students huddled over good coffee and thick books. I'd order a latte in a big mug and sit by the window, looking out into this new city of mine, the weight lifting slowly as I got lost in the possibilities of new things. Only God could do this.

I'm grateful for a deeper understanding of the God I love. When you're on the mountaintop, you read the Words when you can fit them in among your busyness, half paying attention. When you're in the valley, you're desperate for the Words to be true. And when He proves Himself, when He takes one of those promises and shows you that it's true, that you can trust Him, you are amazed. You are changed. Nothing and no one can take that from you. Only God could do this.

Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friends. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. {Romans 15:13}

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bye Bye Baby

The curly blonde mullet is gone.

My big boy now looks the part.

I know buddy. I feel the same way.

Yesterday you were a baby.

Today you are a boy.

Time goes fast.

 I know it's true.

So grateful to spend all of mine with you. 

"How did it get so late so soon? It's midnight before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?"
-Dr. Seuss

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Kind of Science

We combined two passions during family science class today: 1) learning new things; 2) oreos.

We've been learning about the solar system the last few weeks and have really been enjoying it. 

There are all kinds of cool versions of this project on Pinterest if you have some little astronomers you'd like to entertain over the Thanksgiving break. Just search "oreo moon phases" and you'll be inundated with ideas :-). Happy eating... and learning!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Sled Instead of a Dog

Yesterday Max and I had a pretty adorable conversation. My iPhone happened to be sitting on the counter in front of me, so I grabbed it and was able to capture the whole thing.

This boy... His innocence. His curiosity. His boundless sense of adventure. I hope I can always remember him as he is right now, this brand new seven year old so bright and enchanting.

Here's the video: Max's Christmas List

After our conversation, the letter went into an envelope:

And out the door:

And down the driveway:

And into the world:

And the boy went back to his books and drawings and dreams. He spent the afternoon designing a birdhouse on paper and building it out of Legos, as his mom put a chicken in the oven and wished she could stop time. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Joyful Noise

It's Saturday night. Steaks are marinating for dining room date night. Chardonnay is chilling in the fridge. I'm putting groceries away and wiping down the pantry, as it is disgusting and I can't take it anymore. My towheaded toddler just came down in his favorite red jammies to tell me good night. I never want to forget his two-year-old "I Love You." Each word is multisyllabic, as if he's just arrived in America from somewhere in the Mediterranean: I-a Love-a You Mama.

There's so much laughter in our home. I remember years ago, when the twins were brand new and it seemed like someone was always crying. Sometimes it was them. Sometimes it was me. I would wash dishes as darkness blanketed the house, listening to the crying, praying for peace. Now our nights are filled with laughter. Daddy makes everything fun at bedtime, with his patience and servant's heart and hilariously animated book reading

He has made everything beautiful in it's time. 

 I've walked it. It's Truth to me.

Counting blessings tonight - a warm house, four healthy kids, an amazing husband, a faithful God.

I-a love-a you, babe. So glad to live this life with you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Just checking in...

... To say a quick hello. The fire is in the fireplace. Hot cider's on the stove.  November is here and we've been busy settling in to our new life. I think I'm finally getting my act together and have some exciting plans for this little blog! Fill ya all in the next time I can stitch five minutes together - I am hopeful that will be soon!

May this find you all warm and cozy...