Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Monday, March 29, 2010

the Wedding

How do I even begin to tell you about this wedding without losing my questionable grip on decorum? 

Bah...I'm just gonna tell you about this incredible wedding.

Oh, my word, it. was. grand. 

this is the conservatory the day after the ceremony...without the arbor beautifully decorated with flowers...but it gives you an idea

Really, the bride and her family thought of everything and lavished it on the guests. Goody bags at hotel check-in. A birthday cake at the reception for one of the flower girls. 

The ceremony was perfect...sentimental and poignant (those readings always get me;) structured, but rolled with the realities of the day (the priest was tardy, you see.) Most of all, it was joyous.

The significance of the seating of the guests had never occurred to me before this wedding. (And I swear, I am not stretching the metaphor for blog's really is what I was thinking during the ceremony.) We sat on Nick's side...and at first, I thought I wish I could see more of his face and his expressions. But it struck me that sitting behind him is meaningful. We are literally and figuratively behind the one with whom we have experience, history, familial ties:: this man that I've known since he toddled alongside his sisters is the one we entrust to this woman. The kid I've known all his life is a smart, compassionate, talented man and becoming a husband.  I was able to see the face of his beloved who I do not know as well. She gazed at him and whispered with a smile. Love emanated from her eyes. It was one of those moments where probably for them, it felt like no one else was in the room. But they graciously shared it with us.

Then the reception.... While the wedding party was posing for the last of the pictures, we were escorted into a cocktail hour. Drinks flowed and unbelievable hor d'oeuvres were passed by sassy servers. So fun....

I was able to catch up with some other cousins of Nick's who just recently lost their mother. I  suggested that we're not kind of cousins anymore but more like sisters in our experience. They may not want to claim me as theirs, but I'm not askin', I'm tellin'. I've always wanted a sister.

The wait staff gently ushered us into the beautiful ballroom where a four course meal was served throughout the evening, punctuated by dance breaks. Or maybe it was the other way around...dancing stopped so we could  eat? 

I had new conversations with people I've known forever...but I got to know them better or differently...I love good conversation. We were seated at a table with some of my favorite people ever. I may have told them something to that effect...once or twice...the levels of mushy-o-city I reach after a glass of champagne....embarrassing, really. 

She danced with her daddy to this song....

Yes, all of us, puddles on the floor.

He adores his bride...that is plain to see. Their love is fun to watch.

Much love and many blessings, Nick and Vanessa!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Sweet Man had never been to NYC...
and I had, exactly once...
so I, being the expert...patched together a plan. 

We had little do enough and not too much. 

Plan A, didn't work out so much...plans B, C and D worked out just fine though.

Central Park Lake from East side

the Guggenheim

 Rockefeller Center

On the experience list:

mass transit system ~ check
Central Park ~ check
5th Avenue ~ check
Guggenheim ~ nope
Serendipity for lunch ~ check
Top of the Rock tour ~ nope
mass humanity ~ check
random individuals screaming at unseen foes ~ check
my dogs barkin' ~ check

And today we celebrate Nick and Vanessa. Stay tuned.

Spring in Philly

An east coast trip means inviting ourselves to our beloved friend's home. She and her husband take such good care of us and so many others in her life. Thank you, sweet Gail.

She graciously joined us in a letterboxing adventure...
remember the journey is the destination.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Knitting and pulling

He lost his first tooth...with a little help....

I finished this shawl for Bean/scarf for me yesterday...and I really like the yarn and the pattern. It was another hair-pulling experience...but I have plenty to spare...glad I stuck with it.

Leaving Wednesday for my cousin's wedding and other adventures...without kiddos...thanks Grandma and Grandpa J! 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The call

Here we an undisclosed location, resting, planning, exploring new technologies, practicing our weaponry skills (okay, okay...we're up in the lovely Valley, enjoying a brief stay here)...and the PharmPhone rings....

Sweet Man is needed on assignment in NY/NJ...tomorrow. 

That's the life of my hero...jetting off to help those wiped out in storms put their lives back in some order.

And I take it all in stride...graciously, saying, "Love, how can I help you?" (errrrrrrrrkk...(hear the scratched vinyl as the needle is wrenched across it...)

Grumbling immediately erupted in my I have become accustomed to having my sweet and hairy man around. For almost 2 months work-y, lots of par-tay...

And we do have important and sort-of complicated plans at the end of the month. What do I do? What does this mean for my plans?

Grumbling, my mind began to swim...okay, if he goes to NY and I need to get there sans enfants for my cousin's wedding.... Do I leave them here, go to the event, travel back to fetch them, then back to join him? Or do I figure out how to take the babes with me and we pack to stay beyond the wedding for a long east coast adventure? And what do I do with them while we attend the evening wedding? I sat to stop the dizzies. I couldn't talk.... 

I decided to take advantage of my co-parent for possibly the last time in a long while and went for a long walk. You may know I'm a plan-for-the-worst, pray-for-the-best kinda woman, and so it plan ~ ha!

Get back to the house after taking Sweet Man to the airport, start packing, figure out a contingency plan if the house sells and we need to empty it (don't even get me started on that subject,) pray, talk to the involved parties, see what my childcare options may be, consider not attending the wedding, on and on and on.

I walked in a fairly straight line for an hour, even though my head spun.

Walking back up the driveway, I spotted him in the garage. Of course, cool as a cucumber...drives me crazy that he can be so calm, most especially when I'm not. I hurried to his arms to ask him what he wanted me to do.... After all, we signed up for this. I push and muddle through. I can do this...with him...and Him. 

He had talked to his boss...and was about to call his team manager. I listened in...shushing the babes and sweeping the floor...round and round.

He said goodbye. They've called me off. I'm not going. 

Okay, then...thanks for the reality check. Carry on...I'll be taking a nap after all that excitement.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Don't come a-knockin'

This post is PG: parental guidance...proceed with caution, you parents:
This means you, Dad, parents-in-law, friends of my Momma's, mommas of my friends, friends of Daddy-O's, friends of friends...basically anyone who might be uncomfortable with the fact that my husband and I may have had the sex....

I'm not saying we have...but you know, maybe..we have...

well, you may want to stop reading. right. now. 

The following has to do with what our children may have thought they saw.

Sweet Man and I were in our room with the door locked. Mind you, we were not. doing. anything. Justwannamakethatclear. 

Knock, knock, knock.

SM: Who is it?
Bug: It's Bug. What are you doing in there?
Me: We're talking. We need some privacy.
Bug: Why? What are you doing in there?
SM: What do you need, Bug?
Bug: What are you doing?
SM: Why did you come up? What do you need?
Bug: Can I have a licorice?
Both of us: Yes!

Pitter patter, pitter patter...fading footsteps.

Smaller footsteps growing louder...pitter patter, pitter patter.

Knock, knock.

Bean: Mom, are you in there?
Me: Yes, what do you need?
Bean: Are you naked?
SM: What do you want?
Bean: Can I have a lish-o-rick?
Both of us: Yes!

Bean: What are you doing in there?
SM: We're talking. We need some privacy.

yelling downstairs to Bug, she hollers: They told me the same thing...but they're naked and under the covers.

Editor's note: Now, who're you gonna believe? 
A four year old or me? 
Don't answer that...we must never speak of it again. I know...I am sooo seventh grade....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

nobody's perfect

bean has an issue...

with, ahem...halitosis

bug just asked her to put her breath somewhere else....

most mornings, sweet daddy calls her kitten breath...

as in, how many kittens have you eaten?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hope sPRiNGs eternal

A winter walk to blow the stink off as Grandpa J says...

I don't know to whose stink he refers....

Beautiful day at Dawes Arboretum...
paths of green blazed by the sun while persistent snow clings...

Snow, your days are numbered ~ be gone already.

I may or may not have punched up the color in these...
so sue me...I'm impatient.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Few more thoughts

bMy thoughts and my conversations keep going back to these Kenyan bloggers...very touching, provoking on the Compassion widget to the right and you can see the collection as the posts continue to come in. This week, I'm learning so much more about the organization and the way it works. (The focus is on Kenya in this season, but always aware that need is global as is Compassion International's response.)

The bloggers are meeting sponsored kids who refer to their sponsors with a word that means "hero." They know about, talk about, share news about their sponsors. They treasure the letters and gifts that come from miles away.

Sponsorship evokes celebration and joy. That is profound and humbling to me. And convicting that I am not taking our role in Wilma's life more seriously...I'm not talking to my children about her as much as I should. I'm not praying for her as much as I should. And that I don't have more Wilmas in my life...through Compassion, Campus Crusade (here's another partnering opportunity with Sara!!,) or down the street. I'm not anyone's hero, to be sure...I am common and broken and sleepy...but we all have need and we all have a Savior.

I have lulled myself to sleep with the comforts of this TV, my stocked pantry, my clutter, my squandered time. I live in the Land of Nod. Lord, help me to remember my need for you. Keep waking me up from my overfed, overstuffed, apathetic slumber.  

Monday, March 8, 2010

hands and feet

Learn more about sponsoring a child.

group of bloggers, two of whom I read regularly, have traveled to Kenya with Compassion International. They're sharing the beauty and great need that they have the privilege of seeing there.

Compassion International is doing the overwhelming work of Him in so many places around the world.  One sponsored child can elevate his/her entire family above the poverty level. And they do it in a way that is respectful of culture, financially wise, free of manipulation, and life-transforming...for all partners involved. Ministry watchdog groups rate them highly.

Stunning images and heartbreaking stories of the bloggers' experiences travel across the miles to my nation of relative abundance and tug on my heart. Honest stories, not exploitative. Read these entries for their touching accounts of need and the victory of meeting that need... (

One blogger on the Kenya trip, Shaun Groves, spoke at a church Sunday morning and said this, "Compassion International is trying to help release the poor from poverty, but it’s also helping to release us from our wealth.” Y-ouch...isn't that what I asked for way back in December? In light of yesterday's post...what conviction. I relish in comfort...feathering my nest, rearranging my stuff, planning for the next purchase, choosing what my family and I will eat ~ and there will be too much of it, trying to maximize the day for me... it's all about me. I need to have my comfort life's purpose is not to have everything I need, just the way I want it. No, my purpose is to glorify God in whichever way He chooses. 

We've sponsored Wilma in Bolivia for 10 years. We get to watch her grow up through her pictures and letters and can someday meet her if we choose. She is a presence in our family.

I know God calls us to do more...I just need to figure out what and how. There are so many children who need to be here and consider. Nothing but good can come from the examination and the answers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

35 to 60 to 0

Days are rolling by at a nice pace, filled with just enough work and just enough play. The rhythm is right:: purposeful, but not exhausting.

And spring is near...right? (do you hear the anxious strain in my voice?)

Friday we did a project instead of normal school. I say, embrace the cabin fever. It was a collaborative effort...really, really fun. 

I must confess I have been taking advantage of my live-in manny sweet man, as I run hither and yon. Time  off from momma-duty has been generously granted...walks, errands, dates with friends.... I like this two-parent works for us...well, for me anyway.

And then there was stars...a p-zacked schedule. It was fun...and exemplified our parenting partnership since we are a one-vehicle family right now. We synchronized rendevous times and hand-offs of bags packed for different purposes. Really, think Swiss timepiece precision. From 8:30am  'til 9:30 was pedal to the metal. And we got to see so many of our favorite people.

Zumba for me, dance for Bean, skating lessons for Bug & Bean, lunch with the Stelzers, Shug's birthday dress-up/tea party, dinner on the run, then church. Fun enough for one day.

Today we savor in our Sabbath. The crockpot's perking. It's 9:30 and my nest of creature comforts is growing around me :: laptop, current read, coffee, knitting, Sweet Man, oatmeal-banana pancakes with chocolate chips. That's all I need. Ooo, maybe "The Jerk's" on TBS today. That'd be swell.

Don't you dare try to pry my volumptuous, pajama'd buns off this khaki couch. I intend to rule my kingdom from this very seat all. day. long.

Friday, March 5, 2010

family of God

Please read these beautiful words.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sure shots

Well, not sure.

Soapbox alert: I am venturing into a controversial topic of vaccinations...what I know is my experience, my research, and the guidance in my gut of the One I Love. And as always, there is no judgment here...this is where my family and I and yours are probably in a different place.

Medical stuff...I proceed cautiously. I shiver at the thought of altering body chemistry because someone has told me I should.

The vaccine schedule set by the AAP is ridiculous, IMHO. Regardless of the anecdotal and scientifically gathered information that there are inherent risks in vaccines...that a body may be forever altered because of a shot...not to mention that I feel that some vaccines are made unethically...and all are pushed on people who may not know or feel compelled to examine the information given to them by the very ones who profit from selling the vaccines... yeah, put all that aside.... 

Back in the day, it made me sick to my stomach to consider giving my 2 month old sweet babe several doses of stuff in one day...the same amount that would be given to a 12 year old child or an adult. No, thank you.

So, today, our pediatrician was composed and as sweet as ever as we discussed vaccinations. I felt no condescension or impatience. We've had an understanding that she will continue to broach the subject during our visits and I will continue to consider them. 

You see, today, I have become a delayed-vaccines momma. Previously, I was a no-vaccines momma. But now that my kids are bigger and I feel like I know a bit more...never will I know enough, ever, ugh...the doc and I came to a compromise. One shot per visit...and only the few I feel are necessary. Off the list are the vaccines for the illnesses from which I believe our bodies can recover naturally.

I didn't tell them until we were in the office that they would be getting shots. Bug was brave and went first. Bean held back and was hesitant and then she cried. No fainting this time. Big brother had words of encouragement and hugs for her. Stickers and a sucker helped, too.

Coming home, lunch was a priority, so I put out a smorgasbord of veggies, fruit, and hard-boiled eggs to eat with toothpicks.

Bug almost immediately saw a connection that I had not intended. He gave his egg shots.