March 30, 2010

the lost get found

Not too many days ago Eric shouted out... Is this the one who was missing? I had to check here to be certain. Sure enough... the third wise man has been found.
And he finds me... still struggling to get out of the goo. This time bogged down by sickness instead of Christmas, but struggling, just the same. But I can see the light. Spring Break has me smiling and ready to relax.
Easter is just a few steps down the path... and my little wise man, he may have missed the manger, but here he is... ready to stand at the foot of the cross. In time for the most important part of the story. The part we cannot live without.
I'm not sure how he even got lost. That shining star may have held his eyes in awe, or maybe he stooped to tie his sandal. It just happens... to all of us. One day we are following the path we were meant to walk, and the next day finds us wandering. Lost. Wondering how we will find our way back. Bruised by daily life... often marked with stains from the goo that doesn't want to let go... or just plain tuckered out. But eventually, we find our way home... because Jesus pursues us, and He doesn't let us stay lost. Even if we are tucked way in the back of a dusty bookcase. I am ever thankful for His relentlessness. And that whatever condition I am in can be healed with His love.
Today I rejoice in not being lost. Or rather, being found. I am thankful that my little wise man has made his way back into my sight. Not because he completes the set... but because each and every piece is important in its own way... precious in His sight.


March 28, 2010

just four months...

To be in Africa is to realize a love for the earth- to look around you, to see elephants being elephants and wildebeest being wildebeest, and think, this used to be the world. The people who live here have such enormous respect for the purity of their environment- and they'll show it to you with such passion, such pride.
-Alan & Harriet Lewis, Overseas Adventure Travel

Four months from today I will set my feet down on African soil... after travelling further from home than I have ever been. Four months. And I don't mind admitting that my excitement has a bit fear rippling through it. Even though I have seen it in pictures and heard countless tales... I can't imagine that anything can actually prepare me for the magnitude. Because you never really know. But I want to experience it. Every bit of it. I want to see the sights and meet the people and I want to be unafraid. And so it is added to my prayers, along safety and good health for the journey (and leading up to it!)
Honestly... excitement and fear are not the only things I feel. I feel... a little guilty and spoiled. Because this is not a mission trip, it is a vacation. And although the travel company gives back so much through the Grand Circle Foundation, this really is a safari. When I read stories of others who are going strictly to lend their hands... that wave passes over me. And then I tell myself to get over it. Because I know that we will give in our own way. We will pack our suitcases as full as we are allowed, and come back with little more than a few souvenirs and memory cards full of photos. And full hearts brimming with memories that will last a lifetime.

with waving palms

The Hosannas were shouted today, amidst the rustling palms... and the Alleluias peeked through the branches in anticipation. With their turn still a week away, they quickly tuck back into my pocket, where they have been hidden away during lent. How I would have loved to be at that parade... clapping and waving for the Lord of my life.
But being there... would mean that I wouldn't know how the story ends, not for certain. And I'm afraid that I would have drown in the sorrow. Today... I wish for a way to skip over the darkness that this week promises. But the pain must be endured, the story retold. I try to hold fast to what I know... to keep my heart from melting into those tears. Three days of sorrow... for a lifetime with my Savior? No, it is not too much to ask. For just as the tears always come... the Son always rises. And the Alleluias will have their turn... wings unfurled and rejoicing.

Hosanna in the highest!
That ancient song we sing.
For Christ is our Redeemer,
the Lord of heav'n, our King.
O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice,
And in His blissful presence Eternally rejoice!

-Hosanna Loud Hosanna, Harold Flammer Music

March 27, 2010

in the quiet

Saturday morning. No cartoons... in fact, nothing at all. No place to be, no impending rushing about. Just quiet. Everyone else is still asleep, perhaps dreaming about what Spring Break has in store. Here I am, awake... with a steaming cup of coffee just within my reach. I haven't yet decided, but the possibility of me climbing back into bed is running 50/50. But for now... my mind is brimming with words and emotions... that may or may not be recorded.

It was the perfect way to kick off spring break. Dessert and cards with friends while the kids played. I suppose, at this age, it was more hanging out than playing. But me? I was playing. Cards. And not well. But it did not matter a lick to me. After a week of intense running in place, I was glad to sit and be almost mindless. With friends who don't care if you aren't totally on...

Before bed, the cooler, lighter air called us to the backyard and the stars. We grabbed a couple of blankets and laid quietly... just gazing at the night sky. The four of us, side by side. I love how the longer you look at the sky, the more stars you see twinkling. And I am reminded that it is that way with more than stars if you take the time to look, and really see. Before long the sillies set in and Camden was flipping up the blanket declaring Enchilada! And while my heart recalled the days of blanket enchiladas with cute-kid filling... so did his.

And so begins Spring Break. I have such beautiful memories of two years ago... and I wish for every Spring break to live up to those carefree days. Maybe... and maybe not. But sometimes having a goal gets you off the couch and out into the world. We will just have to see which plans unfold this week...

March 25, 2010

hello out there!

Just wanted to say hi...

Do you love this bird? There I was stalking it in my friend's backyard... all the while thinking about my bird loving friends! My Mom, Camden, Jen, and Kat & Fep. I love that one bird can round out my heart with so much love!
It has been a long busy week... and one that will not wind up on Thursday afternoon. But once in a while there is work to be done on a Friday. It won't be quite a full day... and it should be kinda fun. A day that includes a $6,000 purse. Really. It is pink... and ostrich. Yes... we are kind of disturbed about the ostrich part. Not that the $6,000 part is reasonable either...
We all faired well with the shots... although one of my arms is still aching. A fact, not a complaint! This girl, who is going to Africa in just about 4 months, will not complain about getting shots! Nope! Not me. One step closer... or maybe four.

March 23, 2010


There is anticpiation lingering here this morning. For good, for bad, and in my case... for denial. But anticipation, just the same. It feels like a vacation morning... all of us up before dawn and going about our business to be ready at the appointed hour. Soon, we will all head out together... a very unusual happening on a weekday morning. And it feels like an adventure.
Because today is the day.
The day for our vaccinations.
It will put us one step closer to our African vacation. Good.
Of course, shots are no one's favorite, and multiple shots are even worse. Bad.
And even though my Mom has told me that there is one that hurts... a lot... I am pretending, and hoping, that it won't. Denial.

Today I celebrate the little steps that preceded the big journey. Because every step is an adventure... all part of the story. And on a Tuesday... certainly worth unwrapping!

March 21, 2010

dinner party

She told me right up front that it had been that kind of day. The kind of day when there seemed to be a hitch in every plan. Seams stitched and torn out. Meat not quite thawed. But we just laughed about it and carried on with just being together.
Soon,the other half of the gathering arrived and the giggling and screeching began... along with some doorbell ringing, and a couple little noses pressed to the glass. There was bowling and birthday cards, chips & salsa and cheetos. But most of all, there was time. To visit. To play. To relax. Sitting out on the dock, we were in awe of the spring day. Beautiful and breathtaking, the sunlight shimmering along the surface of the canal.
When dinner was finally ready, there was an apologetic shout of no bread, and a wish that the meat had come out five degrees earlier. And not since the last time someone served me meatloaf had anyone seen such a face on a sweet little girl. But with a little ranch dressing, the scowl disappeared. There was a too-late thought about gravy, and we served up scalloped potatoes... which we referred to as macaroni and cheese, lest the scowl return with a vengeance. But... none of it was all that important. We sat and ate and talked... and then we laughed a little more.
Because when all is said and done, it just doesn't matter what is on the table. What matters is who is sitting around it. I love family dinners.

March 18, 2010

soothes the soul

The mornings have been chilly... and the afternoons lovely. And it is just the perfect weather for me. And today... after three and a half days back to work, I have a day to catch up. It isn't likely to happen... but at least I have the opportunity to maybe check a thing or two off this to-do list I have written in my head. No, not on paper. That would lend far too much accountability to this day. And I'm just not up to it. Not yet.
This morning I am awake hours earlier than what has become my new normal... and I kind of like it. I have missed these quiet hours and the hour when two are rushing about, getting ready for their Friday. Thirty more minutes, a quick drop off at school, and I'll have another hour... just for me. To sit and think and let the spicy warmth of a cup of tea clear my soul of the cobwebs.

I like both... coffee and tea. But while my frothy sweet coffee gets me moving and motivated, a hot cup of tea soothes the frustrations from the inside out. Prepares me for the next step in a different way. And I need both. Not often during the same morning. But it is good to have options... and as long as it's sweet, the options make me smile.
But just opening the cupboard makes me smile... when I see my tea all lined up and waiting for me. I happened to glance at the bottom of the canister this morning and noticed that my tea is best enjoyed before August 2010. I'm thinking that a tea party just might be in order...

But who can resist 90% off... when it is something that you love?

Hillary is hosting Friday Favorites... and this Spicy Chocolate Mint tea is definitely a favorite of mine. Happy Friday!


The day of green-wearing has past... and today I wore pink, even though it is not April yet. I suppose we made the most of the St. Patty's Day celebration; we dragged it on for days! The Parade on Saturday... corned beef and cabbage on Tuesday... and Reuben's last night. And we snacked in between meals! Camden & I got crafty in the kitchen... and it was fun to have a helper. I saw the pretzel idea on someone's blog (I wish I knew where!) and it was easy enough to grab the necessary items as I was running through the grocery store to pick up yet another prescription. And these silly Peeps? That came about when McDonald's was out of Shamrock shakes. On St. Patrick's Day? A crime! So I dreamed up these Peeps... and Cam and I assembled them, best we could. His smile was priceless.

Eric was the best husband ever (again!) and had a steaming loaf of Michelle's Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread baking when I got home from work... delicious! And after a snack, or two... we shared dinner with friends. Everyone's eyes were smiling... happy to be relaxing and laughing. And at the end of the night, because it is tradition, we lifted these oh-so-sentimental glasses in a toast... to St. Patrick's Day.

So, until next year... keep the rainbows wrapped around your hearts and shamrocks under your feet!

March 16, 2010

wearin' of the green

I was determined to rest... but I just couldn't pass up the parade. So Camden and I headed out early to stake out a parking spot... for the car and for our chairs. Laura and Eric headed off with the band. The only way I can describe sitting in the sun and breathing in fresh air, all while gazing at a big blue sky and swaying palms is... glorious. And more so after spending three full days on the couch.

We had a while to wait before the parade began, but the festivities had clearly already begun... and the people watching was downright spectacular. The big green sunglasses and the ridiculous hats. Red and green leprechaun beards... and a few larger than life leprechauns dragging around an inflatable one. Beads and beer bottles... everything, and everyone, decked out for the day.

Cam & I laughed and cheered and collected the candy and trinkets that were tossed into the crowd. We clapped along with the music... bagpipes and marching bands... and of course we cheered the loudest for our amazing Marching Pride. (Laura was on the other side so I couldn't get a picture! Although, I did catch that handsome chaperone on the side!)

I was glad we went... I needed the refreshment and the outdoors. And I couldn't resist one glimpse of the beach before we got back into the car. If I had had my choice, I would have kicked off my shoes and stretched out in the sand. I would have scooped up the waves and breathed in every last bit of the salty air that makes my heart feel alive. But I had more resting to do, and I was grateful for the few moments I spent with my eyes to the surf.

So here comes St. Patrick's Day.
Wear green. Smile. Have fun.
And don't be tricked into seeking that pot of gold...

The rainbow is more beautiful than the pot at the end of it, because the rainbow is now. And the pot never turns out to be quite what I expected. -Hugh Prather

March 15, 2010


His laughter has always been something special. From the time he was a baby. I recall snuggling right up with his sweetness and just touching under his chin... because it made him burst into the cutest baby laugh I had ever heard. And if I got the chin quiver along with the laugh? Oh. Heaven.
His laughter has never stopped. He continues to let it bubble on forth, right from his toes. And he just might take after his Mama... because that laugh is pretty loud, and he doesn't care who hears it. But that is not my favorite part. No sir-ee, Bob! My favorite part... is the space he needs to laugh. If he is watching America's Funniest Home Videos or Wipeout... he simply cannot sit on the couch. He will climb on down from the couch and declare that he needs more room. And so he plops down on the floor and rolls. Yes. He rolls on the floor with laughter. And I love the authenticity of it. Because it fits him.
The other night, he laughed from the chair... while we watched Home Alone 2. He laughed himself over the left arm, and half-way over the right. His laughter threw him backwards and then forward... and almost plopped him down on the floor. That chair... couldn't quite contain him. Nor could I capture it on camera. The way he lives his life... simply cannot be contained. The fun and the joy overflow right on out of his heart and spill onto the toes of the innocent by-standers. And I hope these bystanders are open to it. Because the way he chooses to live teaches me to grab the moment and the joy and the craziness. He reminds me to live outloud. And while I may have had a hand in teaching him way-back-when... grown-ups need reminding, more than we'd like to admit. And this grown-up... is really quite thankful to re-learn this lesson. Because it is just the way He wants us to live...

...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Unwrapping his laughter on a Tuesday... and happy that Emily provides a place to share it.

signed, sealed, delivered...

With a thump on the doorstep, his dream has come true...
And the grin on his face made my heart leap and laugh.

It turns out, by winning this contest, Eric will receive a package every month... right from Honey Baked Ham. But it isn't always ham... which makes me happy! This month? Prime Rib. And it was... delicious.

Again... thank you for being such dedicated friends and voting for his contest entry. You have made his year. Seriously.

March 12, 2010

another view

One of my favorite views from my couch (one I didn't share yesterday!)is this plate rack. It holds four plates... that change with the seasons. I have two sets for St. Patrick's Day... one set of two, and one set of three. But I manage to make due! This year's solution has me smiling, and hoping I remember it next spring. Pretty soon the Easter plates will be resting there... and then Cinco de Mayo, of course. I have quite a stash, and am always on the look out for another great set...

But these... are my favorite favorites... and the ones that started it all.

Since today is day three of rest... I have time to link up to Hillary at the Other Mama for Friday Favorites... and Emily at Chatting at the Sky for a Glimpse of Home. Yep... I really need to be feeling better soon...
Oh! And one more thing...
I changed my blog address to... But Blogger promised me that it will bounce over from the old address.
Blogger... please don't let me down!

back to the eighties

One of my best friends just celebrated a milestone birthday... eighties style. Big hair, big accessories... and a seven hour playlist. Her husband referred to it as the soundtrack. It certainly set the stage... for big fun. Because you just can't help singing along when Cyndi Lauper reminds us that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (and yes, we did!) And Madonna's Crazy for You brought me right back to the roller skating rink and calling certain boys on the pay phone (do they still make those?) Decked out in my strands of blue plastic beads, ruffle socks and faux Sam & Libbys, I celebrated a friendship and laughed at the 80's... Time After Time.

It is Flashback Friday... and music memories. While this party was just a week ago, the weeks of planning certainly dragged the past right on into the present!


March 11, 2010

the view from here

Don't let the jeans fool you... the top half of me is still in my pajamas. I had to drive my daughter to school this morning and I can cover up the top of me with a windbreaker... but I figure if I got a flat tire or something, Laura would never forgive me for showing off my panda pj's. Never mind that Eric would never live it down with his cop frinds if I got into a fender bender...

The essentials... phone, cell phone, tv controller & TIVO. I love you, TIVO.

Too much medicine. If I think about it too much I start to wonder about how it all mixes up in my system. Eek. The gum is not prescription... I just need it to get the taste out of my mouth after I use the inhaler...

Oh yeah. Can you be sick and not watch the Price is Right? I still miss Bob Barker. My dreams of being on the show retired with him. Okay... might I still be dreaming of playing PLINKO.

I pulled out all of my yarn and untangled and organized it. And I might as well start a small project while I am stuck here. What am I making? It is a scarf that reveals a geocaching way-point. Someone gave it to me at church and she keeps asking if I have knit it. At least now I can say I started it...

The book I don't feel like reading... and the ones I am clinging to.

I am resting. And hoping and praying that I will be well soon. But in the meantime... I am trying to entertain myself from the couch.
Back to Top