Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm moving!

Come find me at my new blog, Living Love.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

be like a tree

"...he shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water; that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper." from Psalm 1

We are in the gorgeous season of plump berries, rapidly growing squash, tomatoes that seemingly ripen overnight. Still enjoying from the freezer the sweet strawberries, and looking forward to the juicy peaches that are coming soon.

Fruitfulness that just asks to be enjoyed. Abundance delights and fills us with its beauty and flavor.

And this is exactly what I've come to realize is, perhaps, the greatest gift I can ever give my children.

Since having our first baby, I've gotten excited about a lot of things that I thought were really important for our children. Not to say that these things aren't at all valuable....but as I've weeded through them all, had another child, and gone through a few moves, I think I've had an opportunity to evaluate, over and over, what is important. What's important for me, what's important for our family, what's actually important for our children.

It has never been so clear to me how simple it all is.

"Parenting" is not a divorced area of life that you can read books about, study-up on, get your ducks lined up and check off. It is not a separate series of lessons you must conquer before earning the badge: "effective parent". It is not a bag of tricks which must be memorized and applied at appropriate times.

It's all about growing. And, I'm not talking about the children. I'm talking about me.

It's not what I can give them, do for them, prove to them, teach them, impress upon them, or expound for them.

In so many ways, it comes down to: me. That's it. The most profound impact I will have in my children's lives will be the life I live out in front of them.

Because growth is contagious. Abundance is enticing. The man God calls "blessed" is a verdant tree, planted by a cool, rushing stream; that bears delicious fruit. As my children view the grace of God flowing into my sinner's heart, they will thirst for it. As they watch me change because of the love of Jesus applied to my spirit, they will long to know Him, too.

God doesn't call me to be perfect, to know-it-all, to have eyes in the back of my head, or to exhaust myself trying to be the super-mom that my kids don't need.

Take all that stuff away that we Mamas pressure ourselves over (whatever are your areas - I have mine!)...all the time I can devote to reading books about whatever (crafts, parenting, discipline, health, routines....) That stuff won't be worth much in the story of our family.

I am just so thankful that God continues to call out to me to seek after that which He knows is most desirable.

He calls me to sit at His feet, to come to Him for rest, to seek after His wisdom, to learn from His humble heart and find peace. And in that living as His child, I will give my children the most precious gift I could ever imagine.

"seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Our little family: soon-to-be FIVE!

That's right! There will soon be five in our family. We're expecting baby #3 to arrive sometime in January of 2011! As Graeme said when we told him: "Mama, God gave us another baby!!"

I am feeling fine so far. I am often ready to fall asleep at 8:30 and finding myself craving protein and vegetables. I think I'm around 6 weeks, but an ultrasound in a few weeks will hopefully help pinpoint a more precise timetable. Then we can safely add on 2 weeks to that and get a pretty accurate idea of when the baby will arrive. Wouldn't it be something if I were actually early this time? Not holding my breath.....

Boy or Girl, I cannot wait to meet our new baby! Graeme thinks the baby is a girl...I just know it will be as precious as these two:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a poem and some news

The News:

I'll be moving blogs in the very near future. I've done a lot of thinking about blogging, and have a different direction I'd like to go, which will be reflected in the new blog. I enjoy writing and journaling a lot, and this blog is kind of stuck in a rut. So I'm going to go more towards the journaling side of blogging, though I'll be including plenty of pictures and recipes still - it's unavoidable ;-)

So stick with me. Stay tuned. I've already got the new blog up, but have some tweaking to do before I'm ready to announce it.

And the Poem:
Trust me, not the greatest. It's been awhile since Poem Composition 101. But I literally composed this one day while taking a shower, and thought it fairly quaint and descriptive. It made me laugh as I made it up - hope it makes you laugh, too!

An Ode to Laundry

Laundry, will you never end?
I'd really like to be your friend!
To you I ever try to be
faithful; but, as you can see,
I fail in that - most miserably.

I guess I could see this as my chance
(while ironing shirt and folding pants)
to learn lessons of patience, discipline, grace;
of everything having its own place;
of making sure my house isn't a disgrace.

All of these, sure, are possibilities.
But, Laundry, I don't mind saying: "Please,
(and I pause, with a bright, persausive smile)
"Could you, just every once-in-a-while
go rest in someone else's pile?"

Friday, February 19, 2010

days with my boys

we're moving this weekend...but since I'm sore and tired from all the boxing and lifting and painting and such, and not up for much blogging, I thought I'd post some pictures of some of our favorite moments - probably the two things my boys love to do best are:


and play outside!

my heart is full with love of these two munchkins! Cole is talking up a storm these days - will try to post some soon =)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Outside my window::
:: a very still night after a lovely, nippy, sunny day.

I am listening to::
:: pages turn as my husband studies here in the office. This counts as "together time" right now. Flight school has begun, and the first 4 weeks are the most intense (and most crucial). So I get a chance for more time on the computer while he studies aeronautics and weather patterns and the basics of physics.

I am wearing::
:: not-so-stylish black velour pants with an apple-green shirt. and sneaker ankle socks.

I am thankful for::
:: spontaneity (and spell check because I couldn't spell it). A bit of out-of-the-ordinary can turn a long day into a full day. Big difference.

I am pondering::
:: living a faithful story. Making the hard choice when no one except God would know. Being kind, loving, gentle and purposeful, even though only my children see it. Read the whole post here, but here is the inspiring summary:
...don't resist the trials--they will be the making of your character, the galvanizing of your integrity, the defining of a great story of your king working on your behalf in the history of His redeeming the world back to himself. Your opportunity to show forth your true love for Him.

I am reading::
:: Time magazine and Teaching your Children Values

from the Kitchen::
:: baking day tomorrow! Meatloaf and mashed potatoes tonight. Four more days until grocery day, so a week of freezer/pantry cooking ahead.

I am thinking::
:: that no day is risk-free in my husband's line of work (or anybodys, I realize)...a T-34 crashed last night in New Orleans, killing the instructor. The student pilot was okay, thankfully...but made me realize that what my husband does is full of risk. Thankful that a Sovereign God knows exactly how many days each of us have; my husband will be with us as long as my Father ordains. Praying that is a long time =)

around the House::
:: going through the boxes and piles again, in anticipation of our upcoming in-town move. Is it possible to get addicted to this? My favorite part of moving is going through all of our stuff and weeding out the unused things; discovering something that I'd forgotten about; reminding myself of a project that really does need to be started (or finished).

I am creating::
:: a picture prayer journal for our family. Been on my mind for awhile to do, but put it on the top priority for my week. A journal full of pictures of family and friends for us to pray through after dinner. Gives a face for the children to know who we're praying for, and also gives us a opportunity to track how God works in their lives. Can't wait to get it done and USE it!

one of my Favorite Things::
:: nursing my babies at night. pure peace and trust.

from our day::

:: We took a spontaneous trip to the Riverwalk here in Milton for a picnic lunch. After sitting on a blanket (for all of 4 minutes - I thought that was pretty good!) and mostly wandering around while eating crackers and pasta salad and yogurt, we bundled up for a jaunt along the river. The seagulls seemed interested in us; no less interested than my boys were in them. I think Cole tried to verbalize "sea. gull." and Graeme laughed every time they flew away when we got too close. Then we stopped by the Milton bakery for a chocolate chip cookie (and a donut as a treat for Daddy). It was so much fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One of my favorite authors... releasing her new book, Dancing with my Father, today.

I can't wait to read it! I recently finished Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood. It came at a wonderful time for me, and changed my perspective on what this Mothering business is all about. It is the best book on Motherhood out there (at least, I should say, from what I've read and seen, which is a good bit.)

If you can find her book at the library, order it from Amazon or from wholeheartpress (the Clarkson's website), I highly recommend that you do.

I'd like to find the time to right up a post about both Sally's book, and Clay's (Heartfelt Discipline). Meanwhile, just go read it! =)

Monday, January 11, 2010

three words. the computer. and my story

Proverbs 4:7 says "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding."

inspiration. information. insight (i.e. wisdom).

How are these three words related? More specifically, what do they have to do with the computer? =)

Well, as you may have noticed, I haven't been as bloggy lately. In fact, I think I've had one or two posts per month for the past several months. For awhile, I was working to be more consistent so that people would keep it's pretty "bad" to neglect my blog so thoroughly! Who wants to visit if I only pop-in once a month?

However, it hasn't been just my blog that I've been spending less time on. It's been the computer in general. Could I chalk it up to this season of life? New baby, crazy life for awhile, moving, settling in...sure, that's a lot. But plenty of folks manage to keep up with blogs through crazier times, no?

So there must be something else. Yes, there is. My relationship with my computer has changed. A lot.

It began gradually. Before Graeme's birth, the computer opened up a whole new world to me. I discovered a whole sister-hood of women who did parenting differently than the mainstream. Wow, was it fascinating! I spent hours perusing websites, jotting notes, printing articles...trying to figure out cloth-diapering, whether to vaccinate, how long to breastfeed, when to introduce solids. And after Graeme was born, that didn't change. Not only was the whole Momma thing new - so much of what I was trying to do was "weird" and I knew no one "in real life" who did it: cloth diapering, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, delaying solids, green cleaning, mama cloth, holistic medicine, naturally treating common childhood illnesses, not vaccinating. And I spent a lot of time with the computer.

Too much. I'd let Graeme watch "one more" video, or wait just an extra minute to go get him when he woke up from his nap so that I could finish a particular train of research or a post on a forum. Granted, I gleaned a heap of information from this period of time. Indeed, I was greatly helped by many a forum post or chat with another Mama who gave me helpful information...sometimes even critical information, as Graeme went through a series of ear infections. But we all know how easy it is for one-thing-to-lead-to-another in the world of the Web. You can start by looking up one thing and an hour goes by, seemingly without a blink. Boy, did I become informed, though!

While Mark was gone for OCS, the computer was my friend. I formed some fairly close relationships with other women with common interests on a forum, and blog-hopped late into the evening many times. I had a little knitting business that kept me busy online, and I started running co-ops (going in with other folks to buy things at reduced prices). My time on the computer increased. I often strived to balance it better - trying not to spend gobs of time on it while Graeme was awake. But much of my time and energy away from the computer involved things that needed to be taken care of online.

I knew it was taking up too much, so I cut back on some things. I spent less time on the forums. We were moving and in a new place, and I was pregnant, so a lot of my time online was spent in practical matters (finding new doctors, researching pregnancy-related tests and birth stuff)...

until I got bit by the blog bug.

Oh, can you be inspired by blogs! Friend blogs. Food blogs. Craft blogs. Kid blogs. Mom blogs. Marriage blogs. Green blogs. Simple blogs. Sewing blogs. Reading blogs. Picture blogs. Fashion blogs. Um, yeah.

I have to put a disclaimer out there that I got to know some pretty amazing women, read some incredible stories, discovered a great wealth of material to use in my kitchen and in my home, and learned a lot from reading blogs. Nothing at all wrong with them. Thanks to all of you who invest so much in your blog!

So I feel a little bad to say this, but I learned that I really had to cut back on the inspiration. It could gobble up time just as bad as anything I'd done before.

Not to mention the aspirations that filled my head about my own little blog. Should I rename it? How can I generate more traffic? Could I actually make money through my blog? And I invested mental energy on and off the computer: creating posts as I took my menu plans were fodder for a great blog post. How could I encourage my readers? How could I get more people to read me?

Fortunately, this phase was short-lived for me. I don't stick to things very well, and I quickly realized this was a downhill slope for me. Too much. Again.

God was working on my heart. After Cole's birth, the pressures of TBS started taking their tole on our family. Newborn baby-life can be tiring, but add to that my husband's schedule (3am mornings anyone?) and the fact that we were with one car after January '09. In D.C. (traffic makes everything more stressful). Trying to train a toddler to sleep in his own bed. Trying to minister to a husband you only see an hour every few days (it seemed). Realizing that when you join the military, whether you're the one that signed up or not, you're giving away parts of your life. It was a tough time, for sure.

For my sanity, and the sanity of my household, I had to give more of my time and attention to them. I started cutting back on anything that wasn't directly related to tangibly being with my children, caring for my home, thinking about how I can serve my husband and my family. Me and the kids kind of clung to each other. It just became less important, this relationship between me and the computer. The knitting business went bye-bye. I stopped doing co-ops. I still blogged. But I began to realize, I didn't need any more inspiration. I needed to live it.

I needed wisdom. Insight.

After all, it's not about the first two words that Solomon tells us to GET, though it cost *all* that you have.

It's about the last one. Seek after wisdom; search for her as for a hidden treasure, Proverbs 2 says. All the information and inspiration in the world cannot serve-up wisdom for you. It is something you must seek after. It is something you must give-up for.

Finally, me and the computer started figuring out where each of us needed to be. I needed to be away from it more. It needed to be a tool, not a master. A resource, not a relationship. Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for its information. I still utilize search engines and forums occasionally to find out something I need to know. I learn about new things. I glean much inspiration from well-written blogs. I like to check in on my friends, see their pictures, keep up with their lives.

But I do all this with a greater degree of insight. I don't really care whether I keep up with my blog or not. That's just how it needs to be for me right now. I am not very active on forums or in blog carnivals and such. Hey, we don't even have cable and I often don't know about disasters or votes or important things like that until I hear it on the radio or see posts about it on facebook =)

I love not feeling obligated to check in on the computer. I love not needing to check my e-mail, even being okay with skipping a day...there's nothing that important going on.

Please don't take from this post that you ought to feel guilty if you keep up with your blog faithfully (thank you for doing that!). Don't take away that you should spend less time on your computer (unless, um, you should). Don't think that I find the internet, blogs, or forums evil (they are not).

Just take from it that technology and me are finally at a comfortable spot. I am the happiest I've been in years about it. Maybe in the future I'll be able to be more faithful posting on my blog. I'd love to get to that spot. Maybe not, though.

Meanwhile, thanks for reading! I hope this post is helpful. For some reason, it's been on my heart to share. Speaking of balance and's high time for me to head to bed. =)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Picture Party

I thought I'd share our last month or so in pictures (since I haven't blogged at all since before Thanksgiving!) This is actually from Thanksgiving, as that was Cole's first birthday.

We had homemade cinnamon rolls for Cole's birthday "cake" - yum!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy! This guy is almost always smiling.

The "hit" birthday present - a pounding tower. He took it very seriously

Our other boy, growing up so fast. He'll be 3 in March.

The "boys" and their beanies. I knit Cole's and Graeme's.

An impromptu hat that made Graeme the drummer boy (he loves the song)

Some of our Christmas shots:

Cole and cousin Noah (only a month younger)

We had a very special time having my grandparents with us for Christmas Day at my parents' house. Nana, the boy's great-grandmother, quilted each of them a blanket. Hard to put into words how wonderful it was to spend Christmas with four generations. We took pictures, but it was on my Mom's camera - once I get those, I'll share.


Graeme's quilt - the teddy bears are just up his ally - he loved feeling each one. I'm sure, eventually, they'll all have names and personalities =)

A sweet blanket for baby Cole. Cuddly, just like him.

Plates the boys made for my parents (little reindeer, the antlers are the boys' hands and the face is one of their feet.)

Funny how the simplest/least expensive gifts are sometimes the most fun. This little puppy from Walgreens gave hours of giggles and silly antics. Graeme especially found it hilarious.

Just loved this shot. Looks like he's trying to catch snowflakes or dancing with the lights...ah, to be one year old.

There were many other moments, and I left out some of the "family" shots (especially those with people in pajamas ha!)...but that has been our last month. Full of special memories, some sickness and down-time, lots of being at home, preparing our special gifts, talking about birthdays and Jesus and gifts and balloons (Graeme's gift of choice for Jesus and baby Cole).

We did something neat this year, a Jesse Tree, that I will post about in the next few days. Happy New Year, everyone.