Friday, December 26, 2008

the day after

Having busied myself in the kitchen most of yesterday, only occasionally promoting a random child into a sous chef, the meaning of the Day flickered into mental lamp light. The healthy, beautiful faces of the most precious souls on earth to me, ringed around a simple table heaped with way too much became for me a snapshot of the Abundant Life from the One who loves us extravagantly and perfectly. The food, decorations, and company were uncomplicated, familiar--and, well--just perfect. There was nowhere else I would have rather been than inside the song that played for just a time in our little home, the strains of which maybe only I could hear and savor.
There were a hundred little moments when I would just look at one of these faces, drink it in, will the image to be burned into some photographic plate, and then with open hands, let it go and be whatever it would be. I refused to take notes, choosing only to marinate in the forthcoming, free flow of blessing all around me. I know this is a window of grace and abundance and a special kind of perfect, and with a fullness I have not had in so very long, I can offer it back--and remain full. XO

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus!

It's been snowing and snowing and snowing. My mountain is gone.

But my heart is full.

Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus! Happy, happy birthday!!! XO

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a Charlie Brown Christmas

If it wasn't for the boys, we wouldn't have even this Charlie Brown tree. The snowthatwon'tstop has been daunting to us oldies, but the kids consider everything a grand adventure.

We did our one and only day of shopping today, had our traditional Christmas Eve pizza dinner, then watched "It's a Wonderful Life." We filled the stockings, albeit after three crashes from stuffing them too full and one hanger suffering two broken angel wings. Wah.

My precious ones are all home. I am completely content. In my tiny corner of the universe, all is well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

new sport

I went snow shoeing today--it was great! I thought I'd like it, but just wanted to try it first, so Kev borrowed a pair from friends, and I took off for a short trek. I knew it'd be a different kind of exercise, and sure enough, my hips felt the new, awkward action of lifting my legs that high over and over. I didn't expect to feel it by only the tenth step, but whatever. I hung in there and just kept a decent pace so I wouldn't have a heart attack. I forgot to bring my cell phone, and I've never wanted to die in the woods all alone. Well, I had Guido with me, but he'd abandon me in a heartbeat for a good deer chasing.

We're going to a pawn shop this afternoon, and I have this feeling that Kev will look for a pair of snow shoes for me. He's like that. If he thinks it'd make me happy, get me outdoors, and it doesn't call for a second mortgage, he's in. Not to say that he wouldn't take out a second for something I just "had to have" though. He's like that too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

poor us

This is what I faced this morning going out to the hot tub. It's been nothing but snow and negative temps all week, so alas, we chose to turn down the hot tub and wait until more humane conditions.

It's tough to be a spoiled Westerner, but somebody's gotta do it. As long as we have your sympathy we'll get through these impossibly tough times...

Gotta go and get the cookies out of the oven before they cool off and we're forced to eat them--oooie--cold.

Friday, December 19, 2008

3 Be Home!

We are five again. Every time I see these three faces together, it's better than a million snow days (which we happen to have two of)!

Yesterday I stayed based in the kitchen, baking four different kinds of cookies, R&J hunkered down in a room where J got some basic lessons in guitar, and B wandered in and out all day like he usually does, checking in on this and that and him and her and seeing how the cookies were coming along. K had a 2-hr late start, so he plowed the driveway before heading back to the salt mines.

We did lots of nothings--little side stories, youtube vids, putdowns, but mostly there was just a pervasive sense of content. It was a time for me to just marinate in them being under the same roof again. It's the only time I ever feel truly, fully at peace. I know I should be bigger and better than that, but it's where I am. We (the divine We) are working on it.

I am growing up as much as they are.

We still have no tree, no decos, no cards, no pictures, no gifts, and it's going to be one holy mission to get that all done with the snow assaulting this region. Kev's mom comes on Monday, weather permitting, and Christmas is six days away. But I feel no pressure. I am utterly and blissfully content. It is a supernatural gift, and I am profoundly grateful. We have one another, we are fed and warm, loved and loving, and I am enjoying this still pause in life.

Thank You, Lord, for Your Emmanuel. XO

Monday, December 15, 2008

homey again

It's soooo lovely to be all homey again. While I'm grateful for the occasional subbing work, I'm even more grateful to be able to curl up and enjoy this day that the Lord has given. Mmmm.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


My baby is 15 years old today! Here she is anticipating attacking her birthday cinnamon roll breakfast. She has late practice so she won't be home until about 8:30 tonight.

This is the first year ever that her whole life hasn't revolved around a party. Ever before, she lived to plan out the greatest party. We wouldn't see her without a notebook and pencil, and she'd cast out questions at all kinds of times, even seemingly in response to a question posed to her. She would plan and plan and plan, and I almost hated to see party day because she got so much enjoyment out of dreaming about it all. Her explanation for the absence of all that this year is "no time." That never stopped her before! She'd get in trouble for neglect of her chores or doing them poorly. My take: she's maturing. That both encourages and stinks.

Happy birthday, baby girl! You're my princess! Thank You, Abba, for this incredible JEM. XO

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

me my mine I self flesh, all over

My poor husband... He gets smacked around, and it takes him all evening to settle back down. He'll tell me about some gross injustice toward him, and immediately I get my mama bear on, and I get all furious and soulish about it! I got a lot accomplished working out my anger though. Sometimes it is a raging battle trying to get that flesh whipped back down. My faith seems so small, and my self seems so all-powerful and present. My inside eyes are all about me-my-mine-I-me-me-me!

When I feel backed into a corner, bullied, threatened, maligned, or mishandled, my reflex is not to react in the WWJD manner. It's more like punch-you-now, maybe ask questions later. Perhaps some fine day my reflex will show the result of a mature spiritual life pursued, nurtured, and practiced, so I do have a measure of hope. I just wish 'someday' was like, ten minutes ago...

Monday, December 08, 2008

isn't she lovely, isn't she funny.....

What hair, what wardrobe, what posturing...! These just crack me up!

My dad sent these pictures to me. I had asked him for some pictures of my brother, and I guess he thought it was just as easy to send some of me as well. These were all taken at Kirtland AFB right outside of Albuquerque.

While I don't remember these pictures being taken, what I do remember vividly are the grasshoppers there. They were like a foot long. Big, green, winged flying things with mouths that could devour whole flowers and leaves and maybe even little girls. I still can't hold a grasshopper with any degree of comfort. I'll knock you over if you try to stick one on my arm, I promise you.

Friday, December 05, 2008

in keeping with the holiday spirit, I guess

There's a patch in my backyard decorated with red and green confetti. Festive, right? They're actually shotgun shells leftover from the target practice held here on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. I thought at first it was Swiss chard debris I'd just never noticed before. Nuh uh. They were out there shooting all kinds of things my brother set out as targets. When it started snowing they all just came inside. Without picking up after themselves or mentioning the offending litter. Four men and a girl. Each one of them, a kid, I swear.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

where I am

My emotions are 'right there.' I thought it was because I was all excited about Ryan coming home--and in my Eeyore-ness future trippin' about knowing he would go back in just a few short days. Then I thought it was also going to a funeral on Friday. Then I thought it was also not having seen Brett since summer and knowing he's not even on the same continent.

I know now that I'm still dealing with my boys leaving home. They're all grown up, off at college, and they'll never live here like they always used to. There's no going back. I know that's the way it's supposed to be and that we really wouldn't have it any other way, but my heart doesn't know that yet. Lord spoke tenderly to me in the car one day and caught me completely unaware, "You're grieving. You miss the life you loved, and you haven't gotten over it." Tears ambushed me as I immediately acknowledged the truth.

When I spoke the words out loud to a friend this morning, I choked up all over again. This is so awfully hard to let go of something I absolutely treasured and drank in every single day. I love being a mom. I loved having my babies around all the time. I loved the wonder of their birth, feeling them move inside me, the excitement and anticipation of a brand new life. I think somewhere along the way I thought of them too much as mine, and now the motherheart inside me can't grasp that it will never be like that again. No cherub faces to kiss all over, no sitting on my lap and just absorbing them, no cute sayings or malaprops, no bedtime stories and toddler giggles.

I know there's a whole lot of positive to this new stage of life and that there will be a new normal that I'll adjust to, but for now, this is what I'm dealing with. I'm acknowledging this latest incursion of the interior, the so very sad place in my heart that is mourning, and I'm profoundly grateful that I don't have to do it alone. Your nearness and ever-pouring-out love are my constant Companion and Hope. XO

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

lookin' for a little relief

I wrote once about my new bff, black cohosh, and the merciful relief it brought for my hot flashes. It's been six months, and they're back, so I bought another bottle. I don't know if it's the different brand or my body reacting differently, but not only does it not help, but it gives me a headache that lasts about 12 hours. Being STP, it took about four headaches for me to realize the whole cause and effect thang. Bugga...

It's been about a month and a half now, and I haven't wanted to shell out for Estraven, not this close to Christmas. I'm trying to ride it out, and I don't know just how hillbilly it is to have a little fan on my nightstand to switch on for the night flashes. I do know that I LOVE living in the toolies because whenever one comes on that's particularly broiling, I strip off my sweatpants, immediately cool off a thousand degrees, and go on about my business until I'm ready to put 'em back on. I'll spare you a picture. I love that my doggies could care less.

They don't care, right...?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

  • "Bill" is Ryan's college roommate. He chose this American name when he was 12 because he liked Bill Nye the Science Guy. He was a wonderful guest, and we had a lot of fun with him.
  • Zeb, aka "my youngest son," hung out for 24 hours, including most of Thanksgiving Day. It was fantastic.
  • When I asked Ryan if there was a food he'd like me to make for when he came home, chocolate mousse is what he really wanted.
  • Jyllea was vacuuming the stairs, and it fell and hit her in the face. Urgent Care put a liquid bandage on it, and it made her look like she had a runny nose. It swelled too.
  • I used a flour sack towel as a splash guard while whipping cream, and the beaters ate it the moment I stopped paying attention.
  • Bill shot a gun for the first time ever, and clearly his instructors were ace because he hit the bullseye more than once! =)
With two Thanksgiving days/dinners this year, gratitude was a theme that was in the forefront of our thoughts more than usual. It was a pleasure.

I miss my family the most right after I've seen them. I want to be thankful for whatever time we have together. Having attended a funeral on Friday for a man killed in a car accident, this desire is more pressing than ever. Kev took the boys back to college yesterday. He drove them there and turned around and drove home, seven hours each way. I'm extremely thankful for their safety!

Thank You, Lord, for this past week. Help me to keep a thankful mind heading into the rush and press that the Christmas season can bring.