Sunday, September 28, 2008


... and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. ~ Psalm 23:6

Sometimes in this life we all need a sign, a reminder. That seasons bring with them different experiences, different emotions, different lessons. Yet what a promise we can have that no matter the season, no matter what we must weather, goodness will be there. And it will bring along mercy as its companion. Not just maybe. Surely.

The last three days were full of signs like the one above, full of following moments. In the sunshine and the pumpkins, the friends and the laughter, the sweetness of our little girl taking the hand of her sister on a hayride through the fields. Times like these are especially profound just after a season that is determined to weather you for the worse, but goodness and mercy get in the way. Another reason we welcomed fall this past weekend with big grins and open arms.

It all started with a dear friend surprising us by flying in for the weekend!
Then a baby shower celebrating a new life to come (see you soon, Baby Brody!) and the passing on of my maternity clothes celebrating less of a need for oversized elastic pants.
Followed by a trip to the pumpkin patch! I wait all year for this!
Filling up the tank...
Disgusted as these best buds seem to be at even pretend costs of fuel in the barnyard,
Nothing could put a damper on this good time! :)

(And just for a point of reference, this was Hope almost a year ago on the same tractor! What?! And now she has a sister?!)
Speaking of sister, those hands... those little, bitty hands.
The surprise herself, Auntie Brooke!
The joy of great friendships.
(I just can't help myself... another point of reference... can you believe how she's grown?! Is it just us? What?!)

Yes... those little, bitty hands.

We did. We surely did.

PS-- To make things even better, though bittersweet, we spent a next to last time with some of our first friends in this area just before they go off to follow their new calling. You may remember Natasha winning from the previous post; for inquiring minds, she took home a sackful of oatmeal raisin cookies as her prize. The fact these even made it past my security screener (a.k.a. Joe Martins) is proof that we do, indeed, enjoy a good care package. Be on the look-out; maybe we can do it again sometime!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Moments With Maddie- Month Two

Just about a week ago the littlest of our two, little girls turned two months! Here are just a few snapshots celebrating these quickly passing days as she grows and grows...

Have lots of great moments this weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hope Days of Summer

Before getting any more into this wonderful time of year we realized we never said a proper goodbye to the long, warm days of the last few months. Since Hope prefers to refer to herself in the third person these days, here's our chance to blow a kiss to "Hope days of summer" on this first day of fall.
MWA to you...
*runs with daddy without bundling up... spontaneous "pitnicks" by the headlights of the car... bubbles and sidewalk chalk (but not the meltdowns that often accompanied having to put them away for the night)... long eyelashes on a sweet, sunkissed face... park adventures... weekly lunch dates in the square- no mittens, hats, scarves necessary... hand-me-down sundresses patiently waiting maddie's turn (likely the obsession with washing "hans hans" knows no season)... backyard pool afternoons... evening soccer matches and walks through the neighborhood... memories with friends and family... the joy of watching Hope grow... and special to summer '08- becoming a big sister for the first time!*

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Silly Gene?

Will draw out the fall goodie winner on Monday, but in the meantime, a question for you that I'm pondering as I hear the "Tickle Monkey" get the "Tickle Cheetah" (don't ask me, I just live here)... Could it be that it's in her genes?

More seriously, just received news a couple hours after posting this about some friends of ours... please check out their blog and join us in praying for them!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Few Fall Touches

I love fall. Like I mentioned before, the trees themselves turn into colorful works of art. The smell of new school supplies (sorry, I am a teacher). Our wedding anniversary. The chance to pull out your favorite old sweater, sip on some cider or hot chocolate, linger through a corn maze, pretend to be some kind of wonderful, and pick pumpkins straight from the patch. Which is why, with the breeze in the air this afternoon, the girls and I started doing a little decorating. I could hold out no longer.

And, though, I should be doing a million other things right now before Maddie's last nightly feeding, this is why I'm showing you the start to a few of the fall touches we've now added to our place.

Now all we need is a few of those brightly colored mums I passed by on sale and at least two tiny pumpkins-- one for each of the girls. In fact, for fun, leave a comment under this post by Saturday telling your favorite part of fall. I'll randomly draw out one and send you an autumn goodie of your own. Another thing I love... care packages!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Own Saturday Morning Cartoons

Oh, to be feeling better... So this is what becomes of a long awaited, lazy Saturday morning, Daddy's old college skit box, Mommy's old classroom dress up closet, two questionably mature parents, and two very fun little girls:

This, um, beautiful wig made its grand appearance at our wedding reception where Joe's best man, Mark, did quite the impersonation of me during the groomsmen performed skit. (FYI, "Holy Matrixmony" is a best seller in our household if you're ever interested in renting it. Hurry, though, it's flying off the shelf!)

And it is my understanding this wig has had many a wearing among Joe's friends; one can ONLY imagine. Then again these "Many Mouse!" pajamas have started to have many a wearing too as they're requested every night at bedtime. (Luckily, no offense guys, the wig is not).

Oh yeah, this new one of ours fits RIGHT in! (FYI again, for truly beautiful red hair check out our friend Alissa and her awesome new video montage).

Maddie is somewhere under that hair... we think.

You'll never guess who this (Go, Fairview Cardinals!) outfit used to belong to some 22ish years ago...

Okay, so maybe you did?! :)

To end this silliness, "Many" herself gives you an official Mickey Mouse Club goodbye...
"See you later! M-O-U-S-EEEEEEE!"


Speaking of Saturday, happy birthday Auntie Marcie! Next visit let's share some more cake in honor of YOU, okay? XOXOXO!