March 28, 2016

easter reflection...

The journey to Easter breaks me. Always. It doesn't matter if I have trudged through Lent or skipped through it. I arrive at the tomb crushed with the weight of sin and sadness - even though I know how the story ends! It makes me realize, though, that the only way to fully receive the gift of the Resurrection is to have your soul open wide. The trumpeting lilies and the golden alleluias sing a song of victory that heals the broken in me.
Then sings my soul...
And if you can't all be together for Easter, at least there is SnapChat...
It does my heart so much good that Cam has found a church home in Iowa. Thank you, God

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March 24, 2016

that sweet, sweet scent

I was three steps down my front walk when I noticed it, at last. I can smell the orange blossoms. I stopped and just breathed it in for a few moments, savoring that heady, rich scent. I was beginning to think that I might have missed it... or that with all of the building going on in our area that there were no longer any fruit trees close enough. But no, this morning, as I breathed in my fill of Jesus air, a peace that I have been craving washed over my heart.
: :
There are some years I am so in tune with the journey to Easter, intentionally taking every step from Ash Wednesday to Easter. And there are other years, like this one, where I find myself on the fringe, letting it happen without me. I let the Sunday sermons carry me to Easter, knowing full well that my heart needs more. I was so thankful, this past Sunday, to sit alert in my seat, and hear the whole story, word for very word.

Sunday night, we watched the live Passion event from New Orleans. It is the very place I associate with the journey, as it is the place I have grown the most in my faith, seeing the story played out in so many ways {here and here.} As that illuminated cross traveled the dark city streets, it felt so familiar, so personal. The music was divine... and as Trisha Yearwood sang her goodbye, my soul was shaking, tears were streaming down my face.

And so here I find myself, in the midst of Holy Week, needing to be filled and overwhelmed by Easter... and knowing that sweet scent was sent to do it.
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March 21, 2016

a fair day... sunflowers and boots

Our weekend started on Thursday night... it has been a while since that happened.
We have spent seven months adjusting to Eric's Monday through Friday schedule, and while I cherished our every-other-three-day-weekend, we are making due just fine. {And now I am laughing at myself, because not only did he work this Saturday, he took me along to work, too!}

We had a quick preview of the county fair on Thursday night. Just a stroll through, and a snack here and there. The real fun was Saturday, when the whole fourth grade in the whole county is invited to spend the morning at the fair and have it all to themselves {with many, many sheriff's deputies!} We arrived at Eric's school just after 7am, and in the next hour we checked in and loaded his fourth grade Jr. Deputies onto two buses, and headed for the fair. They were so excited. For a lot of these kids, from this school, this is probably their first and only chance...

As we walked the fair loop a few times, I smiled as Eric would shoot out his hand for a fist bump, or be surrounded by kids, excited to see him. He was made for this, working in the schools... even his really tough school. If these kids can have a few friendly encounters with the law, perhaps it will do them more good than we can know in the long run. Planting seeds...

We survived the fair... with the help a barn roof over our head in the downpour, four baby bunnies. and sunflowers galore. Life is good.

And... it got a little better.
After a solid nap, we dressed up in our boots for an Upscale Hoedown. Good friends, great food, more sunflowers, and a whole lot of laughter. It was so much fun {that I almost forgot we "worked" the morning away!} and I even managed to get my husband to dance. That's what happens when he tells me he is ready to go, but still has a drink in his hand.
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March 17, 2016

happy st. patrick's day

Tonight we'll celebrate with friends... corned beef sandwiches and Baileys in the shamrock glasses.
 It is tradition. Just like Friday night pizza and camping together.
May love & laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam...
-Irish Proverb

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March 16, 2016

life lately... catching up

Hello there...
I am still here... but it seems that I have had these big happenings that stop me in my tracks. The anticipation, the enjoyment of the event, and then the recovery. I need to be better at scheduling my time so that I make the most of it all. Story of our lives, right? But here, in the every day, life has been happening.
1. I love early mornings when he says let's go to the farmer's market.
These apple roses were as delicious as they are beautiful!

2. This project has been going on for years... but I am finished at last.
I love watching my friend's children grow almost as much as I love to watch my own!

3. A little beach walk is never a bad idea.

4. And a walk on the boardwalk? The same. And it turns out the beach
is not the only place he can find heart shaped rocks.

5. Yes, we are taking one more group to the National LCMS Youth Gathering.
I told Eric I am retiring after this one.

6. Mardi Gras = King Cake

7. We tried something new this year... the Greek Festival!

8. We took a detour off the highway and found... strawberries.

9. Our Valentine treat was seeing Rend Collective in concert.
They are so much fun and it was nice to have the day away from the world.
1. Date night in the police car! It was my first time ever sitting in it!
Our destination was an awards dinner that the Sheriff was hosting.

2. The breakfast of road-trippers! Empanadas from the Farmers Market.

3. The destination of the road trip... meeting up with a dear friend and
watching her daughter ride her way to a blue ribbon. Last time we saw her ride she
was wearing braids & bows, but now she is all grown up!

4. A beautiful way to start any morning.

5. We had to take Camden's friends to see the Swamp Buggy Races.
Can't see them anywhere else!

6. We had to skip the championship game because of our 3am surgery wake-up call,
but we watched it on TV and cheered FGCU on to their win.

7. Cam & One-Eyed-Ida. 

8. Flowers sent from my office after {yet another} surgery.
I am fine, all is well... just another chapter in the series.

9. Honeycomb granny squares, crocheted with prayer.
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March 15, 2016

three days that meant the world...

At Christmas, when I asked him what he thought about coming home for Spring Break, I was surprised that he already had an answer. It was a no, and a yes. He and his friends had already started planning a road trip... and the destination just happened to be our house. Other than the worrying about four college kids on the road from Iowa to Florida, I loved the plan.

He arrived late Saturday night with his three friends. I heard them pull into the driveway and couldn't help but run outside {and maybe jump up & down... a little.} He let me fold him into my arms, and I loved that he held on as much as I did. That alone was worth the miles.

They played in the sun for three days. The house was full, Laura was thrilled to spend time with her brother, and we really got to know Cam's new people. I knew he would choose good ones, but to actually meet them and see their friendship in action was a joy.

On their last morning here, everyone wanted to sleep in. Maybe Cam, too... but after a sleepy goodbye from Eric, and a second from Laura a couple hours later, he was awake when I wandered by his door. We slipped out of the house quietly, and headed for the safari road and a walk along the trail.
Our walk was short and slow... and maybe the best hour I have spent with him since the last time we took this walk. He had so much to tell me, and I just listened. As the details spilled out of him, his set in stone plans and his maybes, I held them close and savored each one. It reminded me of what I have always known... he is going places. In his own time, making his own way. I can't help but join in his excitement.

And then it was time to say goodbye once again. My face was smiling, my heart was aching.
But this is what I was made for. Raise him up, and let him go.
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March 14, 2016

days to waste...

The weekend was full, as it always is.
Somehow, even on the nothing to do days, we find some way to fill them.
I still can't get used to the fact that we have weekends with nothing to do. No kids to tote here or there. No band to cheer for. No pressing schedule. One of these days we will find a cause, but for now, we rest a rest that includes not-too-many obligations. As much as I lived for the hustle and bustle of the high school years, this is bliss.

We have time to go two hours early for a two hour parade...

We can say yes to a basketball game invite, last minute or not...

or we can just stay home and do nothing together.

Sometimes we just waste the day away... except I don't think it is a waste at all, as long as we are together. I really didn't think I would like this stage of my life... but I really, really do.
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