Tuesday, July 30, 2013


It's official. I am 31. It's going to be a good year. A growing, hungering after the beautiful and good kind of year. I can feel it. A year of 'less of me, more of Thee'. That is what my restless heart longs for. To know God more fully than ever before. I am ready for this adventure of 31. Bring it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

birthday week

(the Boss man.... also known as my date.... also known as my husband)
So. It's the week of my birth, and there is nothing I like more than celebrating a good birthday week. This week has already held many spectaculars.... sleeping for nine hours one night (with just one feeding snuck in there, also known as my baby is a rock star), sharing a pizza with my family, serving the Lord and the people of South Cumminsville with friends last Sunday, participating in national ice cream day (also known as I love Graeters), going on a little shopping trip with my boys for birthday pretties (also known as Target makes my heart happy), lunch out with my mama, a clean house, and tonight is date night. That dashing fella you see in the picture there is taking me downtown for dinner and dancing. And then I hear there are going to be fireworks over the river at dusk. Maybe he will even hold my hand! A girl can dream.

It is my birthday week, after all.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

glass half full

A summer afternoon rain is falling, lightly tap tapping against the windows.  On the stove sits a flickering candle, filling our darling duplex with scents of cranberries and orange. Light quilts are tucked around, soft piano music fills the air, and my littlest love is resting peacefully on my lap. And for the first time in weeks, my heart feels totally and completely full. Full of goodness and hope and joy.

I am, by nature, a glass half full kind of soul. But for the past several weeks my cup bordered on empty. It made no sense. God had answered our prayer for a new home, and a new baby boy was in my arms. Boss and I celebrated ten years of love in May and we are constantly surrounded by good, good friends who inspire us on a daily basis to live life sold out for the Lord.. Our four children are healthy and happy and growing .

I could count my joys, but I could not feel them.

I just hadn't felt like me. Not since we brought our little one home from the hospital some two months ago. Some might have called it the baby blues. Some might have said it was exhaustion wearing me thin. And I don't know what it was, but the longer my cup bordered on empty, the greater my thirst for more became. And I began to feel as though the life I was living did not matter in the grand scheme of things.

On paper my days are nothing significant. I have no grand title or degree. I am a mother.  I nurse babies and wipe bottoms. I put peanut butter on bread and I peel apples. I correct character in my children and wipe away tears caused by hurt feelings. I visit with friends, spend too much time on the Internet, and avoid doing the laundry at all costs. This is how I spend my days. And recently, although I adore my children completely, my life was feeling like not enough. Like perhaps I was made for something more. So I would sit on my couch and nurse Luke, and as the milk flowed, so did my feelings and sometimes my tears.

And then yesterday, THIS....

Somebody said that there’s this restlessness among the next generation of women, that they fear more than anything – wasting their lives. I’ve felt that before. Feelings can last for years but they can lie and change your forever.

So, look — There’s no fear: You aren’t wasting your life when you’ve poured out for eternity — wherever you are.

There’s no fear: You are doing something great with your life – when you’re doing all the small things with His Great love.

There’s no fear: You aren’t wasting your life – when you aren’t wasting opportunities to love like Christ.

- Ann Voskamp (A Holy Experience)

And just like that my cup began to fill once more. Because with every bottom that I wipe and with every apple that I peel, I am pouring out and into my children. And the small things don't have to remain small when a big God gets involved.

The point of this season of my life, is to point my children to Him. In all things. And that is more than enough.

So today our Luke is over the two month marker. The new baby fog has lifted and I am ready to carry on, each day discovering a bit more of what it means to live a beautiful life. And I am full. Full of goodness and hope and joy.

Monday, July 22, 2013


So. She turned nine, which means I have now been on this journey of motherhood for nine years, too. I remember clearly the night she was born. I labored hard for twenty two hours before they finally placed her in my arms and I became a mother for the very first time. Of course she was perfect, all pink skinned and blinky eyed. The love was instant, but the confidence that 'I could do this' took time. At twenty one years old, I wasn't ready for all that becoming a mother would require of me. I wasn't ready to be up all night (because someone had to watch her to make sure that she kept breathing), and I wasn't prepared for all of the time and the energy and the sacrifice that goes into growing and nurturing a tiny person. Most days I felt inadequate, a girl who still needed her mother, instead of being the girl who was the mother.

But the love was always there, the constant that kept me going, determined to get this mothering thing right.

And over the years that blinky eyed girl turned into an inquisitive toddler, and then a precious preschooler, and now she stands before me, stunning, at nine years old and reminds me that we are halfway through our journey of being mother and daughter. And then I remind her that our journey together is not half over. She very well may leave our home in nine more years, but I will be her mother forever and ever, no matter how old she gets.

Some days I still feel inadequate. Our issues are no longer how to get that pink skinned baby girl to sleep through the night, but rather how to get our growing girl to always walk in the light. Gone are the days where I just wanted silence, and in their place have come days of teaching our daughter to use her voice for good. To speak boldly for the Lord. The fragile, innocent infant is no more, and in her place now stands our nine year old girl. Her heart is still fragile, but her body and mind are strong. Her innocence slowly being stolen by the sin in this world. And most days I feel like a mess. I am too strict on some things, frustrated when I should have been patient. I don't spend enough time investing in her life, and I use the words 'not now' and 'later' far more than I should. I blink and she's another inch taller and another month has passed us by. And I just want to go back. Back to the days where she was my baby. But time has taught me that there are no do overs. There is only today.

So today, I do the very best that I can. Today, I hug her a little bit tighter and for a little bit longer. Today, I look her in the eyes when she speaks to me and I care about the things that she cares about. Today, I laugh at her jokes. Today, I don't say 'later'. Today, I love her nine year old self with all that I have. 

And together, we journey on.

Happy ninth birthday to the girl who made me a mother. There is no one else that I would rather journey with.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

dear children

My Dear Children,

Today was a good day. A quiet Sunday. We worshipped God this morning and your dad did yard work. We picked up Subway for lunch and everyone was happy (minus Em. Subway is not her thing). After lunch you played outside with your friends. I am not sure what you played, but I am sure it involved frogs and Ninja Turtles. Maybe a little bike riding. Your dad spent his afternoon building a shelf for our new(ish) home here, while I nursed your baby brother and napped under my favorite patchwork quilt. Sunday afternoon naps are the best. Remember that. We had dinner with our friends and neighbors, and before we came in for the night daddy took us for a ride in the golf cart. All of us. Now that our family number comes to six, two of you must stand. It is usually you girls, but you never seem to mind. Tonight we rode as the sun began to set. The soft rays burst through the clouds and it was beautiful, so we stopped by the office to stare for awhile before moving on. We drove over the dam, around the lake, and up the lane. All around us were deer, and bunnies with white cotton ball tails, geese, and squirrels. We all liked the bunnies the best. As we drove home along the road the fireflies began to dance and I noted in my heart what a charmed life I lead. It was just an average Sunday, but it was our day. Another day in the story of this life that we are living together. And I just wanted you to know that today's page held beauty and contentment. I am so very grateful to be your mother. I have dreamed many big dreams in this life and not all of them have come true. But this dream, the dream of our family, it has come true and my heart is so full when I think of your dad and of you four, my dear children. I love you. I always will.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Party Picture Post (Messy Style)

(smashingly seven)
(sparkly eyed seven year old)
(happy birthday happening here)
(cool cup)
(mama's sweetheart)
(singing of the birthday song)

(seven is so sweet)

 (the gang)

 (silly string)

(cool whip cuties)

(caught red handed)

(still smiles)

(messy madness)

(human ice cream sundae. sprinkles please.)
(messy party success)