Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bits: Slow Shift

Nine years long. Tall. Wide.

Thanksgiving this year not only marked a wonderful holiday of gratitude and food and company.  It marked nine years of love.  A little blood, sweat, and tears.  Grace, forgiveness.  Hard core laughter.  Immeasurable joy.

Nine years since we said, "I do." Nine years of getting up every day and breathing that same message in and out, again and again.

On November twenty-second, we opened our little rental spot once more to Joe's students who couldn't make it to their respective homes.  It grew this year and about twenty-four of us stuffed inside where Joe and I had tetris-like crammed three long folding tables, dressed those babies up, lit candles, brewed pumpkin spice coffee and cinnamon orange cider, and ultimately hoped they'd understand, "Welcome! We get what it's like to be in your shoes, so grab a seat and eat too much and laugh real hard and- above all- may this feel like home."

Plus we rocked out a herb rubbed turkey and brown sugar maple ham between us.  Fancy adjectives, no?  With matching burn marks to prove it!  Might even call 'em our anniversary tatoos.  All I know is that bumping into my husband, googling cooking directions, laughing at ourselves, and realzing the dream that has finally happened-- serving students together-- was really good.
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The happy mess of dirty, upturned napkins

The next day, well, I guess Leesie summed that one up quite nicely right here:
Usually I'm ready the day after to get our tree and begin to deck the halls.  But, this year.  I don't know; I just don't feel the hurry.  It feels right to sit in this space of gratitude a bit longer, let the sunflowers steal the show until they simply must take their droopy bow.  Enjoy the last of our fat pumpkins and funky gourds, leaves gone crunchy at last.
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For the Christ Child is in all of that, to be sure.  I cannot wait for the slow shift this week to celebrating His coming in full.

Until then, I think we'll munch on the rest of the pumpkin pie slivers tucked into the back of the fridge.  To the tune of Christmas music, of course.
I've not completely lost it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bits: Celebrate Good Times

A month gone by?

Loads of travel, specialist appointments all over kingdom come, a sick computer, a defunct USB cord, no internet {alas, I'm just not a smart phone gal}, and-- oh yes-- the best saved for last.


Lots and lots to celebrate, in the middle of some hard and hurried and {battled against} worn and worried.  Beautiful moments squeezed in there, the kind that make us stop and see.

Goodness, blessings, so very many little bits.

Some highlights.
:: Hope gave away a friendship bracelet to a special friend, a friend who quite literally took her hand and filled it with courage that first day; plus she received her first trophy. Icing on her soccer ring cupcake, was a picture with Coach Aaron. He heads up the whole thing and gives devotions that have really made an impact on our girl. In fact, I think she may just be a little sweet on him. Photobucket Photobucket
She will get my camera and zoom in on this picture if given the chance. :)

:: Fall's winding down.  So it was only right to finally make some acorns. Celebrating a normal afternoon is good stuff.
:: I also feel it only right to document that we, indeed, balanced out some of October's sugary sweetness.:)
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Turn those green peas into stems, right? Dinner for October 31st.

:: Halloween. Pretending, giggling, visiting neighbors who enthusiastically take our pictures, bouncing those hearts out at our church's "Festival of Light."  The girls were far too interested in high jumps, tossing games, face painting, and first cotton candies to care all that much about the actual mini sweets they gained.  We came home with three tuckered out superhero gals who enjoyed their little handfuls over the next few days.
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Joe tells them these fantastic bedtime stories about Super Hope, Super Maddie, and Super Alysse.  Now we have the capes to go with those epic tales. For posterity's sake Alysse's shirt said, "My magical power is being cute!" True that.

:: Speaking of epic, the man of the house had a milestone birthday.  My guy, much to everyone's disbelief, turned the big 30-10th as our girls say.  We had all sorts of surprises up our sleeves.  And it started with putting together dinner, lighting loads of candles, turning out all the lights, and yelling one gigantic-- "SURPRISE!!!!" when he came through the door.
:: The next day we dropped off the girls for a time of major spoilage at their aunt and uncle's, and I whisked him away to a bed and breakfast where we had one of the best times ever.  Ever.  Like a freezer-full-of-help-yourself-ice-cream-warm-cookies-around-the clock-endless-collection-of-old-school-videos-upon-a-fluffy-bed...ever.
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His present? A scrapbook of letters written to him from many friends and family. He was overwhelmed in the best possible way.  Reading those words actually turned out to be a gift for us both.

Favorite lines from the girls' letters:

You are as hansum as a story... Hope.
Daddy you are greater than any other, except God... Maddie.
Makes me laugh when he tickles himself... Alysse.

:: We traveled to visit Pop Pop and Nana, plus all their little furry friends which Nana graciously babysits between stays.   Hung out with Uncle Billy and Aunt Andrea a lot too, which is always great fun.
:: Reunited also with aunties who like to share pizza and treats, window shop, and give us matching jammies in the good 'ol party van.  Whoop, whoop. 
Some sweet memories, calls for celebration right there in our whirlwind month.


Thank you for your prayers for Maddie.  I believe we have her on the right treatment plan and we are trusting for a full healing in every way!

Keeping My Eye Out for the Good,
A pretty good start