Tuesday, December 16, 2014

photo card GIVEAWAY winner announced!

Hello, friends!

Due to some Internet connectivity problems this morning, I'm just now able to announce our giveaway winner. 

First of all, I want you to know how very gratifying it was for me to see all the interest shown in my photo cards. Each of your sweet comments here and on my Facebook link brought a smile to my face. Truly. I really do thank you for all of these gifts, and especially for your continued presence here and interest in my life. 

As I wrote each of your names down to cut and place in the basket, I thought of each of you. You, wherever you are in this world, and how much love I feel for you (did you know I love you?) whether I know you or not. If you could look inside my heart, you would also know how much joy it would be for me to send each one of you a surprise package with a note and my cards inside.

But for now, I do have one faithful reader who will receive my gift. And this person (and kind comment) is:


Oh these cards are beautiful! Please add my name to your drawing. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

Congratulations, Sam!

Please send me an email with your contact information and I'll get the cards sent off to you just as soon as I can.

xo, Happy Holidays, and a hearty thank you to all!

Friday, December 12, 2014



outing: solo shopping outings, watching Isaac play his violin last night at his school winter concert, finding shoes for the wedding (hoping I can make it in heels), movie date tonight with Eliza, church Christmas dinner and family dinners to attend this weekend.

doing: crossing off my list bit by bit, but not feeling the stress or pressure like I have most years. Those early years of my motherhood where I felt like I was on a runaway train and couldn't get off...  homemade gifts for everyone on my list, sewing Christmas dresses for the girls and pajamas for all the kids, baking my guts out for the neighborhood, (churning out 18+ loaves of bread in one day was not an uncommon feat.), etc, etc. I'm finding that I've let go of a lot of the expectations I've put on myself over the years. Striving to only do those things that bring me joy. Trying to simplify and cut back, even when part of me feels like I should and can do more. But with all the extra factors of this month, I'm finding that simplifying is a true necessity.

It was nice to send out our Christmas card and letter this week. (a few more to mail.) So glad we had that family photo taken back in August. Still need to do some more shopping (isn't online shopping wonderful?), send Sam's and a few other packages off, and a bit of baking, but I know from all the experience of previous Christmases that things always get done if they are important enough. 

listening: Rachmaninoff, Chef AJ's plant-based eating teleclasses on Youtube, and of course, various Christmas music channels on Pandora.

reading:  in bed with Isaac the other night: Pearl S. Buck's classic Christmas Day in the Morning (my very favorite. I cry every time.) and Cajun Night Before Christmas (in honor of my heritage. Surprising myself how I totally rock the accent.) 

eating: that big plate of potatoes and zucchini for breakfast lasting me all morning, and probably through the afternoon.

missing: my morning walks. Oh, how I miss being outside.

enjoying: coming downstairs in the early morning to the light and warmth of the Christmas tree lights. 

Having all of us gathered around that beautiful tree all cozy last night. (G & G came over after Isaac's concert, Jane wanting to come home after getting off work). All of us laughing at something cute Isaac said. Gary's smile while his hands cup his mug of cocoa. Greta wrapped up and snuggled in the red throw. Me rubbing Jane's soft hands. Eliza (president of her school service committee) sharing with all of us the joy she's felt and the transformation she's seen in her fellow students throughout their school-wide "Service Week" which she spearheaded. Each day with a theme... Make a New Friend Day, Let's Honor the Janitors Day, Secret Service Day, and today's Service Auction to raise money for needy families at the school. So proud of all the work and thought that she's put into this huge project. 

smiling: these beautiful, perfect wedding announcements. The big day just a few weeks away.

Thanks to all who have left sweet comments here or on Facebook for my photo card giveaway. There's still time to "enter the drawing"! xo

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

a GIVEAWAY and a thank you!

The creation of this blog has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Each one of your visits and kind comments, my dear readers and friends, has meant so much to me. 

It's meant the world.

As a way of expressing my sincere gratitude and heart-felt thanks this holiday season, here's what I'd like to gift one of you:  A set of twelve seasonal 5 1/2 x 4 inch blank cards (some of my favorite photos from this year.) with accompanying white envelopes to use any way you wish. Birthdays, Get Well Soon's, I'm Thinking of You's, Thank You's... you name it.

So, if you'd like, just leave a comment here by next Monday, December 15th by 5:00 pm MST or over on my Facebook link. (Please, don't be shy!) If you have any trouble commenting, you could also send me an email at inmyhomeabide (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'll put all your names in a basket and draw out the recipient. I'll then announce the winner next Tuesday morning (one week from today). We'll arrange your contact info by email and then I'll send them off to you wherever you are in the world!

Lots of love and a heart that's full,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

finding joy:: even on the the hard days

yesterday was a hard day.
in more ways than one.
tears surfacing
uncontrolled and spilling
at another follow-up at the foot doc.
numbing disbelief at the news of another stress fracture.
(third one this year while recovering from these two surgeries on my foot.)
the ultrasound, too, dashing my hopes
of improvement and recovery.
torrents of hot tears spilled,
and why why whys
later alone here at home
as i try to muster up what it takes,
facing, accepting once again,
the continued disappointment and struggle
that's been such a theme of my life
this year.

but later,
with the help of his hope and his joy,
we gently place the ornaments on the tree
and read stories and make christmas plans
all cozy and snuggled close
in my bed.

and he looks at me in the eyes,
and with a tight squeeze,
wisely says to me,
don't let it get you down, mom.
smiling brightly with a simple, yet profound
don't worry, be happy.

and once again i realize with his gentle reminder
that, yes, i can and i will find joy.
there's always, always

Sunday, November 30, 2014


A list:

:: enjoyed sharing Thanksgiving leftovers and conversation (insert a much needed nap on the couch for yours truly) with two of Keith's sisters and their families.

:: "it's only a sliver" self-justification with all this leftover chocolate sheet cake and pumpkin pie.

:: long walks. hoping to burn all these extra calories from too much holiday indulgence. (see above.)

:: watching a few episodes of Middlemarch (a BBC production, of course), as well as the delightful documentary Advanced Style, also on Netflix. These fabulous ladies are awesome, full of life, and just plain inspiring.

:: after these six months of having Jane living at home after her return from Taiwan (rooming with Isaac), I helped her move back down to be with her old roommates in their college town apartment. Shopped with her to set up house. Felt that same old familiar ache in letting her go. Excited that she'll be closer to her friends and social scene. Glad that she can get back to the independence that she was used to for so long. Getting used the idea, the quiet, and the changing dynamics of having only two children living at home. So many mixed emotions about this.

:: scored some good finds at the thrift store. A few books, a beautiful blouse, and a perfect belt.

:: the niceness of getting the house put back to order and tidy.

:: Isaac's science fair project (constructing and learning about crystal radio) that he and Keith were working on all day yesterday. All these found objects gathered from around the house, all scattered on the kitchen table, and put together to make something not only really cool, but actually functioning.

:: Kung Pao Tufu, veg sushi, and lettuce wraps hitting the spot.

:: visiting G & G's new digs for the first time. Darling and charming and so happy for them. 

:: as kind of a last hurrah to autumn (gearing up next week to put up Christmas), I baked some loaves of pumpkin bread this morning to share.

:: preparing to address our church congregation this afternoon. Keith and I both asked to each share a 15 minute "talk", (message or speech) about parenting. Kind of ugh for me to do this (and especially with all that's going on this week), but at the same time grateful to recommit myself and be able to share the strong and tender feelings/experiences I have about my own motherhood and those who have nurtured me along the way. Wish me luck, folks.