Sunday, June 29, 2014

ways he loves me

441. Hattie's purr loud against my cheek
463. kind words that warm my heart and cheeks
468. answers to my questions - anytime
478. long dress blowing in wind
490. being held tight, being known
495. lunch with daddy
499. fresh flowers on cake
504. "heads up" with friends

Saturday, June 28, 2014

To remember..

Things I want to remember about today:

-Stella coming to me in the hurry of the morning asking "will you hold me?" ...Stella my in between girl. Not quite a little kid but not a big kid either. She has never once asked to be held. But I did what I have vowed to always do when a babe asks to be held - I picked up all 45 pounds of her and held her close. Her head laid heavy on shoulder, arms wrapped around neck. And my soul breathed deep into that moment. My hips swayed that gentle rocking motion that somehow intuitively happens when a babe is held close. And my heart? It was so blessed by that moment.

-Dropping the girls off for their second full day at "Rock Camp" ....a joke to me, but they love it. Saying "See you in the morning" to Maddie because she would be going straight to a golf tournament with her dad that day. I never thought I'd be sad to say those words, but I was bummed to not see her later today.

-Morning donuts with Stella and Jack. My favorite part? Sitting all quiet on a bench out front eating our donuts...watching Jack eat the chocolate and sprinkles off first. His hands still look so small and baby-plump.

-Stopping by the bay to let Jack practice some more on the Skutt bike. He is so proud of himself! Chatters the whole time he's on it, going sooooooo slow. Endearing.

Nothing very dramatic happened today, which I was glad for. I'd say we are maxed out in the drama department for this month.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Skuut skuut

Best deal ever!!!! $40 for a Skuut balance bike on Craigslist. 

Jack was hesitant at first, but after many hours of practice is loving it and can almost balance enough to go fast! 

Thank you Skuut for saving our walks! We were desperate for something to entertain Jack while we took our daily walk, he would often cry and need to be held instead of walking. I am so glad the Skuut worked out for us. Summer, here we come!


Things that make me happy: bay edition

I truly live in the most beautiful place. It is so glorious! 

How could I ever leave this place?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Last class

I just taught my last class at Dancing For Joy.

I don't quite have words. I am a lot more sad than I thought I would be.

It's not that I wish I wasn't leaving, because I know that this next season of my life will be worthwhile, but I am tearfully so grateful for the experience of working at DFJ...

Things I didn't even realize I was blessed by!

-the old slippery floor in Studio 2
-music, loud all over.
-plies at barre
-my sweet girls and their silly stories they HAVE to tell me
-my co-workers whom I dearly love and value
-stretching, always beginning with stretching
-the confidence I grew in as I taught there
-journals where my girls wrote to me about what's going on in their hearts
-praising God through movement much more.

I am blessed. I am so deeply blessed by Dancing For Joy.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Last DFJ show!

I barely have words. 

The usual craziness of show week. Long hours at the theater. Children glowing with excitement. The wonder and awe of it all.

....seeing God glorified through movement. 

nothing compares. It makes all the work worthwhile. 

with my Lyrical girls after they very proud of them!

This was my last year teaching at Dancing for Joy. The show was very bittersweet for me. I shed some tears. I tried to remember every detail of that week, to be fully present so that I could honor the moments because I wouldn't get a do-over. I treasure the time I spent at DFJ. It has been an unexpected and glorious gift in my life. 

Thank you, God. Thank you for the pure gift of that place and the dancers in it. 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

What it's like to not be (right there)

I'd label our strawberry picking adventure under.... Unexpected Drama and Why We Can't Have Nice Things.

It seems that no matter how well I plan, LIFE happens and things get crazy fast. 

Drove out to a strawberry field with all four sweet ones. Three hours after our planned departure time. The drive was lovely, no fighting or crying, country roads and excited children. 

The first few minutes of picking were picturesque. Girls in floppy hats, some of Jack's berries going into his bucket, the perfect amount of sunshine and breeze. 

...then the whining started.

...then the pleading.

...then the fighting.

...then Jack eating ALL the berries he picked, getting dirt and juice everywhere.

...then a full-scale Jack meltdown overtop the strawberry plants, piercing screams, kicking and spitting.

I almost lost it. But, I've been practicing "Life is not an emergency" and "grace. wait. breathe"

.....I was determined to make this fun. 

Pay. Pack everyone back in the car. Drive to the farm store.

"Okay girls, you can pick ANY FLAVOR OF ICE CREAM YOU WANT!" in a waffle cone! 

In an attempt to let the children be more free-range I let them play on the farm playground when they each finish their ice cream.

Jack goes over with Maddie. 

I see him start to climb the stairs on a very tall (9 ft high) old-fashioned metal slide. 

I start to walk across the field to keep an eye on things while I finish my cone. 

He makes it to the top. Cassie is there to catch him at the bottom. and then.. 

and I know what is going to happen right before he changes his mind and goes to stand up.

Jack loses his balance. 

and falls. hard. and far.

I drop my cone and run to him. I've never ran so fast in my life. The whole time?

Prayer. I pray to God that he is okay, that he's safe. unhurt. 

He ends up being okay, just needing some cuddles and kisses. And I can do that, I can be that person for him. But the whole time I'm kissing, loving, rubbing comfort into his back? I see him falling in my mind's eye. I hate that I wasn't RIGHT THERE when it happened. I feel disappointed in myself. I believe in free-range children. I believe in letting them be as independent as they want to be.... but I wish I could have gotten to him quicker. I wish I had been right there as soon as he needed me.

We drive home, children happy from a day spent in the sun, picking and running free.

the next time we see a slide? I'm cautious. I'm [right there]

Hows' that for free-range? liiiiife. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Growing up...

I used to think that I needed to accomplish many things and acquire various skills in order to become "a real woman"....I even had a list that I would add to when I found something worthy of carefully penning onto my "real grown up woman" list. know what?

I don't believe that anymore. I don't believe that I need to be able to cut a strawberry in my hand, cook amazing healthy meals, have read all the classic women's literature, be selfless, a good hostess, or have a closet full of fashionable clothing to make me into a grown woman.

Why did I think that all the things on my "list" mattered so much? What made me think that I wasn't worth it if I did not complete everything on the list?

I threw the list away yesterday.

and today? I felt like a real grown up woman. A woman who saw God in the faces around her, counted the ways God loved her moment by moment, and when things didn't work out the way she planned? She prayed for God in those places instead of throwing the moment away as a failure.

I'm growing up. It is glorious.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


349. coffee with Ilse
350. twin words at bedtime - whispered words countless times - knitting us back together after challenging days
354. the sweet memory of Les' ice cream
355. sweet sister coming alongside me and holding me close during worship. gift to my soul. 
364. torrential downpour and endless blue skies
368. loud frozen sing-alongs in car
375. hand caressing comfort into little back
390. trees around Alger - looming glory
398. fire-words at church
401. swinging. peace abounds.
408. remembering scripture when it matters 

Thursday, June 5, 2014