Monthly Archives: September 2011

Picture Perfect Picnic

Last weekend, we had a wedding shower for one of my best friends.
The weather was perfect for a picnic party.
My neighborhood has a pavillion that we decked out in red and white.
I loved the way it turned out!

We used mason jars to decorate the tables.

And to serve the veggies. (An idea I found on Pinterest.)

And we used old peach crates to hold the sandwiches.
(I made the little signs with my Silhouette machine.)


And then there were, of course, the whoopie pies I made which were delicious (if I do say so myself).

It was a nice evening…

…even if it didn’t get dark enough for people to really appreciate the mason jar candle wall.
Which was really, really pretty in the dark of night.

See how pretty?




Tale of Two Dresses

When we found out that Anna Alden was a girl, Lydia was so very excited.
From very early on, Lydia has been asking if they can be “twins”.
But because most of their clothes are hand-me-downs or thrift finds, that hasn’t been easy to do.
Until now.

Several years ago, I bought this dress at consignment for Lydia.
It was out-of-season for her and I knew it might only be wearable for a few weeks,
But I liked it and it was only $2 at consignment (c. 2007), so I bought it.

And then today I was searching through rack after rack when I saw this out of the corner of my eye:

Can you believe that?  Two identical dresses in the perfect sizes bought 4 years apart.

And then there’s this one that I bought at a different consignment sale a few weeks ago: 

And today I see this one in the perfect size:

Aren’t they going to be the cutest little duo?


Pardon the crappy cell phone pictures.  The dresses are a lot cuter in person (and on my little people).


Sometimes my brain can’t keep up with my body.
Sometimes my body can’t keep up with my brain.

Sometimes I’m too tired to try.
Sometimes I try to not be too tired.

Sometimes I want to need less.
Sometimes I need to want less.

Sometimes less is more.
Sometimes more is less.

Sometimes I get it.
Sometimes I don’t.

Just Write

Heather of the EO invited us to Just Write with her.
Don’t you want to join us?

What do you think this is? *Updated*

First person to guess correctly gets a million (Monopoly) dollars!

ETA: No one even got close.
It’s a used dryer sheet held up towards the light.
But it’s pretty cool, right?

The Big, The Bad.

It’s not often I let it get to me – all the Bad in the Big, Bad World.
But right now it is weighing me down.
Pushing, no pulling my shoulders down until it takes my breath.

I see stories of life lost accidentally,
Life stifled until it felt there was no other way,
And life tragically, horribly ripped from this world.


Senseless disease.
Unanswered questions.


Always there,
But tonight it’s thumping louder in my heart, in my mind.
And it’s tormenting my soul.

And I want to jump up and fix it all.
I want to scream at injustice and watch it slink away.
I want to rally against The Big, The Bad and prove that good is greater than evil.

But tonight…
I feel small
And insignificant.
And weary.

I hear the storms rolling in.
The thunder, the deep roar of thunder
doesn’t comfort me tonight.
It twists my being into more and more knots.

The wind swirls outside my window,
seemingly mirroring the thoughts in my head.
Dark and agitated.
Heavy and dangerous.

The lightening flashes, as does my anger.
And the rain comes.
Fast.  Furious.  Thick.
It whips around every corner
and slaps at whatever stands in the way.

The wind moans.
I ache.

The Big, Bad wins.

This is not about pencils.

I sharpened a whole box of pencils just because I wanted to.
I like the smell of pencils.
I like the little rippled shavings.
I like the perfectly pointy tips.

But after I sharpened 24 pencils I wondered why.
I never, ever use them.

I type.
I like the clickity-click of the keyboard,
The sound of my nails brushing the keys.
I love how fast the words spill forth
(and yet they still can’t keep up with my mind).

But you know what I like most?
When I write with a pencil
(or heavens-to-betsy a pen!)
and I make a mistake?
You see it.
You can see the scribble-through,
The shadows of letters gone awry,
The dust of words now wiped away.

I know I’m not a perfect writer,
But I want you to think I am.
And so I type it up all neat and pretty
With (hopefully) no mistakes.

I know I’m not a perfect mother,
But I want you to think I am.
And so I dress my kids neat and pretty
With (hopefully) no snotty noses or dirty hair.

I know I’m not a perfect woman,
But I want you to think I am.
And so I put on make up and fix my hair
With (hopefully) no dandruff showing.

I know I’m not a perfect person,
But I want you to think I am.
And so I get up each morning and put on my mask
And (hopefully) you can’t see the real me.
I hope you do see through it all.
And actually…
I hope you see that I’m not perfect.
I never will be.
And hopefully you’re ok with that.
Because I’m still learning to be ok with it myself.
(And not worry about what you think.)



People poured out blessings upon us both.
Heartwarming and humbling,
their words filled my ears.
I heard it all, and it settled in the warm spot between my heart and my stomach.
(I am certain that is where my soul resides.)

Words – my love language – find me again today and rain down in my mind.
The moment rises once again, catches in my throat on the way up.
And warmth floods my whole being.

I am chosen.
Say it slowly.
(And so are you.)

To be whole.
And honest.
And good.

To be loving.
And kind.
And faithful.

To be who you be.
To love who you be.
To share who you be.

I am ordained.
But I am no wiser.
No holier.
No prettier.
No fancier.
No more perfect and polished.

If anything, I am more broken.
My heart, my soul filled with love and cracked wide open.
And I’m not quite ready to put it all back together.
(Maybe I never will be.)


Just Write

Heather of the EO invited us to Just Write with her.
Don’t you want to join us?


Favorite Phrase Friday

Here are a few phrases I found scattered around the internet this week.
For one reason or another, they make my heart smile.

That is the gift of this mothering life that we lead, isn’t it?  The magic is there in every nook and cranny.
(from These Little Waves)

I must be doing something right no matter how many things are wrong.
(from A Day in Mollywood)

I don’t care who you are or how much you think you have to offer others or how much you think you lack. In the span of five seconds, you can make a deposit of grace into the life of another human being. A smile, a kind word, a timely hug, a short email, a silly text message. 
(from SortaCrunchy)

But inside, my heart smiles.
My soul feels a spark it hasn’t felt in months.
(from Sluiter Nation)

I smile to myself, lost in thought. Each morning is a carbon copy of the last, and for some reason today this thought comforts me.  
(from One Crafty Mother)

Sometimes I like to call myself a photographer the same way Addie likes to call herself a grownup. Sure she’s more grownup than she was four years ago but she still has a very long way to go. I’m better at taking pictures now than I was four years ago but I still have a very long way to go too.
(from Moosh in Indy)

I think I’m a pretty good friend. A thoughtful one. But something has occurred to me recently. I’ve realized that I am a really good friend during the best times, and worst…But am I good friend during the regular times, the times that are neither triumphant nor tragic? I don’t know. These tend to be the quiet times in my friendships, the times when days and weeks and months slip by without true contact or connection. These tend to be the times when laziness – or is it just real life? – takes over. I don’t know. But I think it is worth thinking about. Because maybe, just maybe, it is these “normal” times when friendship matters most?
(from Ivy League Insecurities)


Did you read a must-see post this week that you want to share?
Did you write something fabulous that I might have missed?
Leave a link in the comments…I’d love to read what moved you. 

Coming Soon to a Church Near You*

I have been hesitant to mention this online.
I have been hesitant to tell anybody, actually.
It seems…I don’t know…boastful or something.
But Marshall and I were both asked to be deacons at our church.
The word deacon means something slightly different in each church, but the basics are all the same.

Essentially being a deacon means I should(in my words based on the scriptures)…

  • be respectable and respectful
  • be sincere and unpretentious
  • not be a big drinker
  • not be a cheater
  • be a servant
  • not gossip
  • be trustworthy
  • be faithful to my spouse
  • love, care for, teach and guide my children
Do I think that I fit that bill?
Not always.
I can be a little too sassy and saucy.
I can loose my temper with my children a little too quickly.
I can easily find myself falling down the gossip hole.
But am I trying to fit that bill?
Of course.
There are days that I’m on top of it all.

But there are days when it’s all on top of me and I can’t climb out.

Will I ever get it right?

Will I die trying?
I plan on it.

We are both really honored to have this opportunity.
Neither of us feel like we’re “good enough”, but we know that being “good enough” isn’t what God requires.
God is looking for commitment, willingness and faith.
I am willing to commit to try to do my best.
I am willing to commit to reach out and help those who need my help.
I am willing to commit that even if when my faith falters, I will try to find it again.
I am willing to commit to trying to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Whew…just reading that makes me tired.
I’m gonna need some prayers, folks.

*Technically, only to a church near me.  But if you live near me, feel free to join us Sunday night at 6pm at our church.


I’m not a camper.
I don’t like sleeping bags.
Or creepy crawlies in my personal space.
Or peeing in the woods.

But tonight almost makes me want to go camping.
The harvest moon is heavy and bright.
And though I’ve noticed it a hundred times before,
I am once again dumbfounded at the detail I can see with my naked eye.

The breeze is light and it gently swishes the post-baby fuzzy hairs around my face.
(I really hate the post-baby fuzzy hairs.)
And the air seems cleaner, clearer than it was only hours ago.

I am almost tempted to go wake the big two.
They would love this, just sitting and looking at the moon.
(But I’m not completely insane!)

My mind skips from one thought to another.
Balancing facts I’ve recently learned about the night sky
With what I feel when I study the moon.
(Does emotion always trump logic?)

I try to take in every bit of this scene.
The dampness, the silence, the dark – all cradling me in this moment.
And the three leaves that appear to be just as large as the moon.
I can’t help but laugh at myself.
Because even when I’m trying to look at the big picture,
My mind, my vision is clouded by perspective.