Monthly Archives: August 2011

Weekly Winners {Aug 7-13}

I should probably have called this Daily Winners, because I’m only including pictures I took yesterday.  I attended the Becoming Conference (which was wonderful) and after sessions were done, I wanted to walk around and take pictures of flowers.  Little did I know that the flowers would be the side dish in these pictures.  I couldn’t believe how close I was able to get to these bees.

Find more Weekly Winners (or add your own) at





There is a woman running up and down the steps,
iPod (and, I assume, thoughts) separating her from the world.

There are new friends laughing at shared stories of life, home.
And old friends playing cards.

There are frogs singing their songs
And crickets echoing back,
Each happy to just be.
(Oh, what we could learn from nature.)

There are sticky-fingered children blasting air hockey pucks
Back and forth and back and forth.

There are workers – tired from a long day –
Sharing pleasantries as they begin heading home.

There is a young mother cradling, rocking her babe.
And her husband gazing at them,
Obviously smitten with them both.

All this around me.
All this so simple, so happy.

I sit on a big porch scattered with rocking chairs,
Watching the heavy clouds glide past the moon.

Away from the mundane,
Taking a step back to re-connect with me.
And become who I know I can be, am made to be.

“I am happy,” I proclaim aloud.
(More  to myself than to any one else.)

And as I sit and with happiness gently on my shoulders like a soft knitted shawl,
My mind drifts towards home.
A place from which I so desperately craved an ounce of respite.
The chaos.
The frustrating.
The always-more-to-do-right-this-very-minute.

But still…I miss it.
And I realize that even there,
Even when I’m having a bad day,
Even when I feel like I just.can’
I am happy.
(It’s just a different kind of happy than I thought it would be.)


Thanks to One2One Network, I am currently at Ridgecrest Conference Center for Becoming ’11.
Tonight was movie night and although I didn’t stay to watch the whole thing, one phrase really stuck with me:
There are different kinds of happy.

This moment

I write this with you in my arms,
Wiggling and squirmy.
Surely it would be easier to do it another way –
Your bouncy seat or exesaucer,
Play pen or even just a blanket on the floor.
But you like to be with me.
(And I with you.)
And so we sit.
And I type.
And you babble.
And I am happy.
And I am so very grateful for this moment,
This moment when you fit so perfectly in the crook of my arm.
And you can’t quiiiiite reach the keyboard
(although you try).

And I, with great purpose, begin to wrap my mind around this moment, in all of its simplicity.
And I, with great purpose, try to observe and remember every little detail.
The way your hands reach and grasp with their own great purpose.
The way you lean forward slightly and quickly but gently breathe in and out.
The way your toes curl toward heaven, one leg snuggled close to you, the other stretching, kicking.
The way the hundreds of small strands of hair on your head wave at me.

And I try to wrap it all up and tuck it away in a secret corner of my heart, my mind.
And yet I know that although I am being so very meticulous…
This moment?
I will never be able to bring it back.
I will never again be able to breathe in this moment like I can right now.
And it makes me wonder…
In all this cataloging and remembering and documenting…
(Oh, how I document!   The words, the pictures…so carefully collected.)
But in all of this savoring and saving,
Are we losing some of this moment, this right-here-right-now?
Are we so caught up in what we want to remember
That we don’t see what is really here.

And yet here I sit, still documenting, still filing away memories,
Hoping that I will be able to recall it some day.
And realizing that I am glad that have the pictures, the words.
Because only a few months ago, a precious few months,
You didn’t smile.
You didn’t roll over.
You didn’t babble.
You didn’t reach.
And although I documented that all,
My mind betrays me.
And I can’t really remember it.
When I close my eyes, I can almost feel you on my chest.
And I can picture freeze-frame moments of time, but it’s hazy.
And I can pull up from deep within me the feelings I felt,
the emotions that surrounded me in that moment.
But they aren’t as vivid as they once were.
And I know, oh how I know,
That my memories will slowly evaporate,
Leaving me with nothing but a foggy cloud of “I vaguely remember”s.

I hold your brothers, your sister in my arms.
I see them as they are now.
And some say that with closed eyes and an open mind,
They can see you as you are now and as you were.
But I?
I can’t.
I close my eyes and see you as you are.
And I open my heart and see you as I hope you will be.
But looking back is difficult for me.
And so I write, I photograph.
And I capture you as you are now.
So that I can look, I can read,
And I can come back to this moment.
Because this moment is incredibly beautiful.
And I am so very grateful that we are both here.


Same song, second verse…

Carter will be back at the same school as last year.
Lydia will join him there as a full-day Kindergartener.

We all greet the year with excitement,
But I would be lying if I didn’t admit it’s also with a twinge of sadness.
Time does indeed march on.

 My, my…look how they’ve changed.

“Young boys (and girls) should never be sent to bed… they always wake up a day older.
And then before you know it, they’re gone.”  

Finding Neverland, parenthesis mine

More Than I Imagined

I thought I was ready for school to start.
I have been frustrated with the kids.
They have been frustrated with me.
We have spent way too much time inside.
(But it’s just so dang hot!)

But as I watched the “Back to School” pictures post on Facebook,
I found myself thinking, “I’m glad that’s not us today.”

I wasn’t expecting to wish for more summer.
The days are long and exhausting.
I am frequently tired and overwhelmed.
(Even more so than usual.)

But we’ve had so much fun,
Made so many great memories.

Snuggled this little cutie.

Visited the wildlife rescue center.

Celebrated Gaga’s life

Did a lot of swimmin’!

Washed the car (and each other).

Celebrated our country.

Rode the waves.

Had lots of bedtime giggles at the beach.

Hit the lanes.

Played scientist.

Gave big googly eyes while painting.

And so much more…

So…so long, summer.
You were more than I imagined you would be.

(Also?  I am not excited about having to set an alarm clock for the first time in months.  Ugh.)

Hidden Happiness

On my refrigerator is a birthday card that is several years old.  I honestly don’t remember what the front of the card looks like, but I know that the inside is bright pink.  And I don’t know exactly what is printed on that card, but I remember the exact feeling I felt when I read those words.  The writer of those words quickly jotted down a few sentences, placed a stamp on front and popped it in the mail.  End of story.  For her.

But for me, it’s still there.  It’s gotten covered by a multitude of other things: notes from school, wedding invitations, birth announcements, drawings and original works of art by my favorite artists.  But occasionally I’ll get a little glimpse of bright pink and I smile, the warmth of the moment I first read it rushing back into my center.

Today I got another letter in the mail.  The front is multi-colored and bright and happy.  The sentiments printed inside are even more uplifting.  Full of kind, yet personal, words it doesn’t seem right to display on the fridge.  And so I’ll tuck it away in my “love box” with all the other little paper keepsakes that mean something extra-ordinary to me.

A few weeks ago, Stephanie had a little giveaway on her blog, Adventures in Babywearing.  I was one of the first commenters and as a result, a nice, big package of Hallmark cards showed up in my mailbox.  (Squeee!!!) Once upon a time I was the queen of card-writing.  It was rare for me to go more than a day or two without sending a card to someone.  Some were long letters.  Some just little one-liners.  But all written with love.  Somewhere between child number 2 and 4, I managed to stop writing.  I type away and connect with hundreds more people a day, but it’s not the same.  Clicking ‘Send” can’t compare to clicking up the little red flag on my mailbox.  I miss that.  And so I’m re-committing myself.  I’m going to buy a fancy pen and find a day when I can slip away from the children for a few hours.  I’ll take my time perusing my favorite card store and then sip a diet coke while rediscovering one of favorite old pastimes.

Do I have your snail mail address?
If not, I should.

This is not a sponsored post.  Hallmark doesn’t even know I’m writing it, actually.  But I do love their product and back in the day, I could spend hours in my local store.  Maybe some day soon, I’ll be able to do so again…

Weekly Winners {July 31 – August 6}

It’s been a while since I linked up to LotusWeekly Winners.
Even when I don’t post, I love looking at all the pretty pictures.
Seriously, go click here and be impressed with the beautiful art.

Her Favorite Birthday Gift: Giggles and Ice Cream

Mini Me

Sister Love

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. -Picasso

Serious Artist

This one is (admittedly) not the best picture, but it’s special to me.
This is the day before Lydia’s birthday, the last day I could say that my kids were 0-2-4-and-6 years old.



Grace in Small Things

Today we tackled the chaos and the clutter.  I’d say we’re a pretty good tag team.


Well, three outta four ain’t bad!  I’ll get the table tomorrow!


I’ll Tell Ya What I Want (what i really, really want)

I really wish I was one of those people who loved to clean.
While we’re at it, I wish I was one of those people who loved to run.
But, alas, I am neither.
And, okay…if I’m being honest?
I don’t really want to be a neat freak or a runner.
I just want the results of being one.

Pssssstttt…Marshall!  This is what our room looks like when it’s clean.  Who knew?

Every single day, all day long I pick up.
I pick up toys.
I pick up dishes.
I pick up clothes.
I pick up books.
I pick up men.
(And women, actually.)
(Little men and women, that is.)
I pick up trash.
I pick up…you get the point.

It is exhausting to constantly be battling the clutter.
I’ve followed the suggestions of fancy organization people.
I’ve set up system after system:
Labelled boxes, baskets, hanging compartments.
I’ve tried it all.
And for approximately 3.637 minutes, everything is happily tucked away in its home
And it looks great.

But then one small person grabs this and another grabs that.
And then they play with this and that.
And then they trade this and that.
And then this person thinks that that person should put this away.
And the other person thinks that the other person should put that away.
But neither person thinks that they are responsible for the putting up of either item
Because either “I didn’t have it last” or “I didn’t get it out”.
And all that clutter finds its way onto the table and the counter and the “save box”.
(By the way, Lydia, you can’t put every single thing you’ve ever made in the save box!)
And in trying to fight that clutter, I produce my own.
And it piles up onto of the other clutter
And before I know it, we haven’t eaten off the table in well over a month.

I currently can’t see my kitchen counters.
Nor can you access our breakfast table.
It is more common to have them this way than cleared and accessible.

Very frequently we will all work together to clean their room before nap time.
But by the time Marshall gets home from work, it’s a disaster area.
I’m shocked that we haven’t yet had a trip to the ER.
(Did I just jinx myself?)
It is maddening.

And not only does this drive me insane,
But sometimes I get downright angry.
I JUST cleaned up!
How in the world did this happen so quickly????

So, you neat freaks and domestic goddessses…
I don’t want it to be perfect,
But how do I at least get it to be manageable?
I’m not seeking a magazine-worthy home.
I just want to walk to the bathroom without falling over pieces of train track and baby dolls.


Throw wide your arms
Stretch your heart, your mind
Push yourself beyond where you’ve gone before
And     o pen     up

Throw wide your arms
Pushing away your doubts, your fears
And simply be you
Seeking simplicity

Throw wide your arms
And look toward heaven
You will shine
And be shined upon