Sunday, March 31, 2013

this easter weekend and a farewell to jane

the sweetness that greets from these Easter lilies
right when you walk in the door,
spring preview outing and Wendy's with a Papa and the boys,
three generations of girls sitting side by side
the older, the middle, the younger
just holding each other
close on a red love seat couch,
support and a listening ear
from a Mama who loves,
little bunches of happy, yellow daffodils
scattered here and there,
coloring eggs with still eager children
late on a Friday afternoon,
their baskets all lined up in a row by the fireplace,
filled once again after all these years,
seeing their smiling faces, hearing their laughter
balm to this mother's soul,
hunting under the couch cushion for that last, lost one,
all day and late night baking marathons,
making ready,
giving all I have
to give
singing friends,
faithful friends,
remembering Him
through surfacing, spilling,
hot tears,
table full and house filled and full to the brim,
you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful,
sunshiny spring day,
her sincere, from the heart, and tender sharing, 
the joy,
the tears, 
the beaming,
the beauty,
the confidence,
the growth,
the faith, 
the sacrifice,
the love.

this is joy
and this is peace.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


things are really happening.

things are getting done.
just like i knew they would.
all nature waking up, springing forward, life-force bursting.
everywhere i look.
within me, too, i see.

i think i've caught the spring cleaning bug.
which is a good thing. 
a really good thing.
painting, organizing, cleaning, de-junking, shopping, 
planting, planning, studying, 
packing, baking, pretty-fying.

it's good for me to stay busy.
almost kind of a distraction if that makes any kind of sense.

spring's arrival has been so welcome. 
so lovely.
keeping me grounded through it all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

good morning, friends!

Isn't this a pretty little cottage? Eliza and I went out last evening for a little photo shoot, just wandering around our small town. The light was just right and it was a relaxing way to wind down after such a busy weekend.

I look at this little homestead and wonder about those people who first settled here. The hardworking hands that built this home. It sits just off to the side of one of the busiest roads and I know I've passed it countless times throughout my life, but I don't think I ever really paid any attention or acknowledged its existence until now... Until last night, when I stopped the car and walked out there, gazing and taking it all in with these eyes and with this camera lens. Looking forward to seeing if those vines will fill out with green leaves in the next few months. The alteration that will come with the changing seasons.

Sometimes you just have to open your eyes and really see what's been there all the time.

Well, this week will be a busy one for me. It's Easter week. I love this time of year. Everything bursting and blooming. The hope and renewal and rebirth that comes with spring's arrival. So much symbolism throughout it all.

I'll be busy today planting pots of pansies and getting the front porch looking nice. Preparing for Easter. Running last minute errands for next Wednesday's departure for Jane. Helping her pack. Finding a place to store all her stuff from her apartment that she'll be moving home tonight. Cleaning, baking, and readying the house for all of the folks that will come to our church services (and then join us afterward here at our home for eating and visiting) on Sunday to hear Jane share her love, feelings, and testimony of Christ.

Some of you may be new here and might wonder what and where this oldest daughter (she'll turn 20 in June) is headed off to. She has decided to devote the next 18 months of her young life as a missionary for our church in Taiwan. (Go here to learn more about her decision to be a missionary, as well as the day she received her mission assignment.) As you can imagine, it comes with great sacrifice, love, and a long held desire on her part. Leaving her dear friends and social life behind, taking a break from her university studies. Her brother Gary (my oldest who is 22) is currently serving his own mission in Finland, and just like Jane, left a year ago last April. He has another year left to go.

Preparing for Sunday brings me right back to Gary's own special send off.

So, as you can probably imagine, my heart is filled to overflowing with so many, many emotions.

I may be popping in here near the end of the week to share some of goodness and goings-on. Hope your week, wherever you are is filled with love and joy and hope and miracles and sunshine.

Just for fun, here's some peeks into Easter at our home from previous years. Here, here, and here.

Love to you,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

can-do-girl, and a little home library talk

It's amazing what gets done when company comes. 
Like getting to those long procrastinated around-the-house projects that I want to do, but don't ever seem to find the time or the motivation for. 
This seems to be the case more often than not.
I will say that tackling home improvement projects just for the improvement aspect is nothing new to me. I've practically painted this whole house (and a previous one) and all that entails when we did a remodel overhaul here about five years ago. I know how to work, how to get things done, and I enjoy the satisfaction of the whole process-- especially after everything comes together when drop cloths, sandpaper, and paintbrushes are all put away, when we settle back comfortably into a more beautified and functional space.

Anyway, after I finished Friday's post about wishing for a little bit of get-up-and-go, I decided that it was now or never. This weekend (before next Sunday's crowd) seemed like a good time to tackle our home library situation. 
And this, too: After thinking things over for a while now, I've decided that doing all my massage work on-sight is something that I enjoy and would enjoy, (traveling to client's homes with my table), but I'm feeling more and more like I really would prefer to have my own studio space here in our home.
Since our schoolroom/library seems like the ideal spot and isn't utilized now as it used to be (it's become rather a dumping ground), I figured that with a little bit of rearranging, our "music room" could fill that purpose, as well, for a library/study. Also, another clincher in my motivation was finding out this week that instead of it being June as the beginning of my Saturday internship giving massages (at school), it looks like May 11 will the date, leaving even less time than I thought for these kinds of Saturday projects.

See all the books that I needed to move out of our schoolroom? (One wall pictured above. More about book love here.) Well, a trip up to Ikea Friday afternoon helped solve the problem, in addition to some unfinished shelves Keith  built and put in a couple of years ago over an existing cabinet in the music room.
I must say how proud I was of myself for putting those three shelving units together. No assistance from the mister necessary.
(Yeah. I'm handy.)

Needless to say, I stayed up past midnight Friday moving pile after pile of books to this new library space, as well as  rearranging books in the family room and boy's room. And what a trip down memory lane it was. Organizing and looking at all of those books we've accumulated over these twenty plus years of parenting. Each of those picture books that endow such sweet and precious memories of the best years of my motherhood-- reading to my babies and toddlers and preschoolers. As well as all the books we read together on the couch throughout the intense homeschooling years.
All of these emotions and memories came flooding back.
And even as I tried to pare down-- taking a car load to the thrift store yesterday-- I realized how much I still want and need to hold onto these books. Even in this digital age where so much information is available on-line, I realize that we will always be book lovers. This home will always be filled with actual, tangible ink and paper books.
We eat. We read. 
Both nourishment and both a necessity in my way of thinking.  

As I spent most of Saturday painting those shelves, Isaac was my right hand man. Him all cozied up in this new little nook and me off on the other side of the room doing my thing. Calling out brain teasers to me from the forgotten Childcraft Puzzle Book. (This kind of stuff so him. Me definitely not.) Smiling to myself hearing him softly singing along with Hey Jude playing in the background. (How does he know all the words?)
 Amazing how this little bit of rearranging brings fresh interest back again. So fun to see even the big kids gravitating, pulling and pouring over the picture books I read to them all those years ago. Delight in their: "Mom, remember this one?"
And with grandchildren coming along down the road before we know it,  more reading and book joys to look forward to. 
I think we are going to love this new space. So excited for the paint to dry. (I love the smell of fresh paint, don't you?) To fill more shelves. To add those little nesting touches. To "home-ify". To settle in. To welcome in.

Friday, March 22, 2013

notes from a friday morning


creating:: It's the little things that seem to bring me the most contentment. A perfect capturing with my camera. The color of the vegetables I chop. The beauty that surrounds me that so often goes unnoticed until I mindfully bring my total attention to it. Like gathering bits of nature indoors, making little arrangements. March seems to be the month for blossoming, burgeoning tree branches.
noticing:: Softly falling snowflakes outside the window just now. One minute sun, the next blustering snow. Spring is so fickle where we live.
listening:: This mellow mood I'm in finds me gravitating to Eva Cassidy on my Grooveshark playlist. this and this.
eating:: Favorite and go-to breakfast lately has been a bowl of sweet cherries from the freezer, sliced banana, handful of raw oats topped with almond milk and a sprinkling of chia seeds.
reading:: Wallace Stegner's The Women on the Wall. A collection of short stories.
viewing:: The Scent of Green Papaya. Vietnamese film. So beautiful. Wanting to find more like this one.
dreaming:: Russian sports massage hand positions for the past few nights. A new class in the lineup this term. Those drills our instructor has us doing over and over must really be making an impression.
smiling:: Opening up the mailbox yesterday, the wonder, the surprise, the gladness over that cheery yellow envelope amongst bills and ads and junk mail. A "Thinking of You" card from a thoughtful neighbor some streets up from mine. Warm tears welling at the same time as the smiles. To be thought of in this way.
feeling:: At first I thought it was springtime seasonal allergies, now I think it's more like a cold. Stuffy, itchy, achy. No energy to do all the things that need to be done around here. For her soon- to- be departure. I had so many plans, so many things to cross off on my list this week. I probably can blame it on the cold, but I thing it's more like I'm in denial.
tender. teary. longing. overwhelmed. scattered. inward. reflective.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

good and full and happy: a look at my week

After a week filled with

...all-nighter Pinewood Derby (cub scouts)
 and mousetrap car (physics class) building,
yet another trip to the periodontist,  
mistaking a stray rabbit for Eliza's Mr. Rochester,
chasing him all around our yard
until I finally found the real Mr. Rochester
 safe and snug in his own cage,
the truck breaking down and in the fix-it shop 
on more than one occasion,
multiple marathon shopping outings
getting Jane all outfitted for her 
18 month mission departure to Taiwan,
feeling the looming dread, this aching heart, this letting go
 that comes with another separation
with one of these best friends of mine,
(these young adult children of ours)
while at the same time,
feeling such profound gratitude and awe
for the growth each has and will experience,
planning for and sending out invitations
 for her big Easter Sunday send-off gathering,
posing with hands outstretched
for Eliza's art project and noticing 
an undeniable and alarming orange-ness in my coloring,
 (bet you can't guess which hands are mine!)
studying my brains out for finals week
-- rejoicing and marveling at another term of straight A's,
putting together a resume and preparing
for Monday's mock job interview,
(and really enjoying how beautiful and confident I felt in those new heels!)
finally finally finally being able to get out and run,
loving these perfect days of going short sleeved
and even no jacket outside,
taking the kids to a Friday night at the movies,
inspired today, as my parents reach the summit of 50 years
 of marriage, love, togetherness, and commitment...

I feel like taking a deep breath.
Letting out a big, contented sigh.
Of relief. Of gratitude. Of joy.

Life is good.
And so very, very full.
Happy Weekend, friends!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


even though his wasn't the speed demon of the group, he still had fun and that's all that really matters.  seeing that smile on his face always puts one on my own.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

bits of my world

Just thought I'd pop in and say hi.
I really should be studying for tonight's heavy final, 
but playing with my camera-- capturing little bits of my world-- well, it makes me happy.

And happy is good.

Beauty is whatever gives joy.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay