January 31, 2013

our favorite event...


The morning was simply made for sitting in the park... sunshine, crisp air and a soft steady wisp of a breeze. Green danced in the light. Being at the front of the line was the only reason we sat, but the enjoyment of just being makes me wonder why we never take the time to just... be. I cannot get enough of this weather... I cannot keep from breathing it all in.


Two and a half hours. We talked and read and laughed and planned while the line grew long behind us. Past the tennis courts and probably around the corner.  Eleven o'clock and the activity began. Covers pulled back to reveal treasure, and the steady forward movement of the line.  At eleven-thirty the end of the line bought their tickets and joined the fun.

I snapped my photos and chose my bowl quickly, knowing almost instantly it was the one...


and then found my boys in the crowd, already filling their bowls with steamy soup.  Creamy chowders of shrimp, crab and conch. Broths chock full of herbs and noodles. And even a chili or two! All donated by the community, all to be a part of this amazing event.

The basic premise is simple: 
Potters, crafters, educators, students and volunteers work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. 
Local restaurants donate soup and bread to serve. 
Guests are invited on the 4th Saturday of January to a simple meal of soup and bread.  
  In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked
to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the 'empty bowls' in the world.


And if the day wasn't bright enough, there was a Chalk Art Festival and a serendipitous visit with my forever friend! Walking and talking with Eric and her daughter, we laughed the morning into afternoon as we strolled Fifth Avenue and admired the art...


The fourth Saturday in January is always, always, beautiful...


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January 29, 2013

her day{s}

Her birthday comes quickly... but this year I was ready. 
Gifts chosen, plans made... only waiting on her.  Nineteen?  My breath catches at the thought. Still.


There has been a lot of growing in these last twelve months.  Many tough moments, but the oh-so-many bright-moment try to outshine them, as they always do.  And it is in the tough where lessons are learned... as long as you can muster up the courage.


She was celebrated twice... quietly over Chinese food and frozen yogurt, and then, finally, with candles and cake. Her favorite. Red velvet and white checkerboard.  When she said red velvet, I waited... and then I laughed because I knew what she was going add even before she looked at me from under her long lashes and asked checkerboard?  I cannot resist her when she is smiling real and true.


Just a few more months and she should be on her way... to her real life, to her dream. I hope and I pray and make that wish when she blows out her candles in one whooshing breath.

Happy birthday, my angel...

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January 28, 2013

faith wrapped 'round...

The afternoon sun slides across the yard and its glistening light falls.over me.
Warm. Lovely. Healing.
Today was a tough one. The appointment was supposed to be quick, and even with an added unscheduled procedure, it should have been. Only... God had a plan to show Himself, to make me lean on Him, to fit pieces of a puzzle together and reveal his picture, crystal clear.

Two hours later, shaken but surely ok, the tears fell.
Tears of tension and relief and okay-ness... but oh, they come in a mess. A quick cry out for prayer in the midst of it all was immediately answered... and later revealed yet another layer to our friendship. I could say funny how it all lines up and fits together when all the pieces are shown, but I don't. Because it is all grace. All grace.  And while I waited to feel the grace to cover me, my faith kept me together in the balance... believing that I would hold together and that all would work out, without seeing the pieces that were laid beyond my sight... 

January 27, 2013

sunday photos...3

The weekend has been beyond lovely.
We are having the kind of weather hat makes me breathe deeply and say outloud This is why we live in Florida.   We ran around town, we attended our most favorite event, and strolled Fifth Ave. admiring a gallery of chalk art.  I hope to share about them this week... but for now, it is time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday ...

The bowl is from Belgium... the delicate strands of porcelain lace are as much art as the painted rose.


It has been my go-to necklace of choice lately... quirky, silver and sparkly... just right.


Today Christmas has finally been packed away... a week before the Super Bowl
{which is the deadline my husband gives me!}  This nativity is my second from Africa, land that lives
in my heart.  See, Mom? I found it! And even had some time to enjoy it. If you find another set,
I can always use "one more!"


Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear...
well, Johnny the Polar Bear used to be fuzzy, but Laura has loved him beyond fuzzy. 


Fabric... these "fat quarters" have become an obsession...



Thanks, Ashley for hosting the Scavenger Hunt! What fun!  Looking forward to next week!



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January 25, 2013

friday letters...3

Here is to Friday and being back on schedule!


Dear Blog,
I have missed you... my creative juices have been stilled these past couple of weeks... so much going on. Slow starts to my mornings and afternoons that have begged for power naps... I'm hoping that this week will be filled with things to share.

Dear Friday,
Oh my! I am finally back on schedule. Our office move was exciting and exhausting, and working two five day weeks in a row was too much. But today is ours... and I am looking forward to nothing much!  Although... we might have to tackle the Christmas tree...

Dear Christmas Tree,
There you are, still, tucked in the corner. Still beautiful... still giving me joy. With a full week plus until the Super Bowl, we still have time, but I'm kind of thinking, this is it. This weekend. {I know I said that last weekend, too... but this time I mean it?}

Dear Birthday Girl,
Have you been looking for your birthday post? I have it in my heart, words to be typed. {please see letter one & two for excuses!}  I did love our celebrations!  Keep your eyes out next week!


Dear Mom,
It was amazing to see you in action at the zoo!  I was not surprised that you took it all in stride, the juggling of giraffes, guests and lettuce leaves, only in awe!  I could have watched all day.  I loved feeding the giraffes... but Camden & I both agreed, the best part was the double-take when you turned to us.  Such fun! I am so thankful that you have found this place at the zoo!

Dear Gingerbread,
I know that once you are baked into beautiful cookies, you only get better with time. But... what about in dough form? My thoughts for you have drifted from Christmas cookie boys & girls to sweet and spicy cookie hearts, but I need to check with Mom to see if this can still happen. Until then, keep chillin' in the fridge!


Dear Dunkin' Donuts,
How could you?! I was sure I was buying oatmeal... and then there they were... beautiful heart-shaped donuts! I maybe could have resisted the hearts, but brownie batter?  Not a chance... 
{note to self- do not use the rest of your DD gift card until after Valentine's Day!}

Dear Africa Bracelet,
Oh ring-of-beads-round-my-wrist... has it been two and half years? You are such a fixture in my life, and a connection. My left hand reaches for you when thoughts are spinning, and as I move each bead along the wire, I feel the connection to a far-away place I love. The gap of beads seems to be stretching longer, the twisted connection shorter. And I purposely avoid sweaters likely to snag on that loosening connection. I dread the day the wire no longer holds fast... but I am preparing my heart, and I know that just because you won't always ring 'round my wrist, you will always ring 'round my heart.


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January 14, 2013

friday night lights for the soul

Like the moon pulls the tides, so the shore called my name.
Come to the beach. Feel the sand between your toes. Breathe...

It took nothing to convince me... and I was out of the driveway and on my way only minutes after my boys took off camping. My mind was scrambling desperate... first week back to work after Christmas and vacation... and a full five days of crazy work, on top of everyday life. I tamed my breath and whispered that I was almost there... and typed out an SOS to my sister, in case she could somehow escape her own routine...

Surf and sand and salty air were waiting... and with just one breath, my soul settled. I think it is a whole package deal for me... and the wide open world I find at lot #3 has only one to-do on its list. Enjoy. And it is impossible not to...laughing at the scurrying sandpipers and training my eyes on the pelicans that dive in beak first, or fly in follow-the-leader-line.


The gulf was cold... sending an alive kind of chill through me... and when I turned back to my chair, there she was. Sister, in bright turquoise. Shirt and toes. I think she needed it as much as I did.  We walked and laughed and chatted with a couple who assumed we were on vacaction, which only made us laugh a little more.  And as we walked on, we gently scooped up fragile angel wings, scattered in the sand.


The sunset was, perhaps, one of His finest works of gold and fire... and we were only blessed watching this majestic gift unfold. 


When we finally walked away, after several one-more-over-the-shoulder-glance, we hugged, smiled, and sped on our way... each of us feeling a little more alive, a little more ourselves, hemlines splashed with salty surf and sand clinging to our feet.

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January 13, 2013

sunday photos...2

I planned out a week of posts... and life, as it often does, made a mess of my plans.  But pictures... there were pictures!  A Scavenger Hunt Sunday post... better late than not at all...

it was too nice a night to stay in...

the backside of a book that i am always reading...

they make me smile... the little pieces of the Christmas village... almost time to go back in the boxes...

a cup of tea on an afternoon whn it was chillier in than out...


a sunny ride out of town... bright blue sky and a reflection on the water...


These little bits of my week say to my heart that there was so much good laced in with the not-so-great...
And tomorrow we are off to a fresh start!
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January 09, 2013

sixteen


He backs up the truck and I can feel my heart being dragged along the coarse driveway. It burns. And my breath feels short.  My eyes stay fixed on him... until finally, he is out of my view, beyond the turn. How is it that this time has come?

Sixteen.
It kind of makes me want to sob.
His entrance into the world completed our family, our little circle of four. Although I was scared of a boy, I loved him instantly and fiercely... the way a mother does.  He loved having his hair washed...he cooed when I expected wailing. His deep chuckly laugh reverberated in my heart, and I would continue on whatever I was doing, just to hear it again. And his little quiver chin? I thought I would swoon each and every time. I soaked in those memories... and am so thankful that they remain, just a bit faded with time.

I watch him when I think he won't know, but he is not oblivious to the weight of my eyes on him. I give him the sorry grimace, and let him be. When I am busy, he offers his help. And when it is just us, he'll still lean in, and rest on my shoulder.  He continues to surprise me... and I count myself blessed.  So blessed.

I'm waiting for the door to swing open and his hullo to carry through the air... and before I know it, he is home, safe and sound.  And once again, I can breathe...
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January 08, 2013

pre-birthday fun

I woke him up too early on a vacation day... and told him a tall tale about a farmer's market and a new breakfast place. We totally faked him out.  It wasn't long before he realized we were up to something... but it was quite a while before he knew.  And once he did?
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Oh, that face!
It was worth the faking and worth the drive.

In the first ten minutes,we realized that any fear we had about LegoLand being too young for him was foolish... because we were already enjoying it as much as he was!  It took more than two hours to move beyond MiniLand, seeking Santas among the elaborate cityscapes. Between two cameras and three camera phones, we may have documented every brick...
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We exclaimed over and over... and laughed at every turn.  We walked many miles... and when the sun began to sink, we stretched out our legs and settled in for fireworks.  The perfect end to a star-struck day! 

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He is my Lego boy, through and through... and I think he will be forever and ever...
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January 06, 2013

sunday photos...1

I found it scrawled on a scrap of paper in my notebook... written so long ago I wondered if it was still going on. But seeking, I found that, indeed, Scavenger Hunt Sunday is still going on!  So here a few findings from last week...

breakfast...
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another cup of coffee in my new favorite mug... and a red velvet "muffin?"


multicolored...
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his tye-dye cake...

starts with the letter "c"...
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Camden... who melts my heart... every day

roll...
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his choice, mini golf. i rolled my way to 4 hole-in-ones!

future... 
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i look at her, and all i think of is the future. hers. and what it takes for her to get there.
and then i have to remember...
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:11


 
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