Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

The last day of August.  For now, we have settled into our back-to-school routine and are loving what the added intentionality has done for our life.  We'll see how long we can keep it going, but my Friday grocery order, Sunday meal prep, our morning breakfast and bus stop routine, and my one-load-a-day laundry endeavor has been good for all of us.

A quick post today with some of my very favorite pictures of these babes from our camping adventure this month.  Their bond is thick and their smiles are plenty.  And they melt me.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I turned 32 on the 13th of this month, and celebrated with a simple weekend at home that included the farmer's market, a flea market, Rudy's Tacos, a fun night with friends, and plenty of cupcake kisses from the kids.  I even received a crying baby mask from Cruz, and a large container of candy corn from Mila that she demanded "we share that" the moment it was opened.  It was a beautiful weekend of calm, simple, and grounded - three words that have become so important as I reflect on this past year of life and all it's shown me. 

This has been an unexpected year of growth for me, a year where I can honestly say I have learned more about myself, what drives me and challenges me and fills up my cup, than maybe any other.  I've felt called to invest time in areas of my life that I love, but have been neglectful of for many reasons.  I'm not sure what exactly sparked this fire lit inside of me - maybe the fact that we're a year out from being in our home and feeling settled, maybe the fact that I'm finally tenured, maybe it was the If:Gathering I attended in February, or maybe it's just age and the wisdom that comes from living one way for so long and finally recognizing the holes that it's created in my life.  Whatever the reason for this current season - one where I crave purpose and deep connections and moments that make me feel alive instead of depleted at the end of the day - it's a season that I think I've only scratched the surface of.

A few things I've come to learn this past year...

1.  Be intentional with friendships.  Invest in them.  And find women who will pray with you and sneak spritzers in a movie theater with you. :) 

2.  Instead of attempting to control five years from now, rest on the assurance that God is faithful and always in control.

3.  Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to continue his work after he left this earth.  It is present and powerful and waiting to work in me and others, for so much good.  Create space for it.

4.  I am an input person.  I crave information and inspiration.  In today's constant-consuming world, this is dangerous territory.  Be intentional and disciplined about what you let take up your time.  

5.  Life's best conversations happen around the table.  There is a reason Jesus made eating a sacrament. 

6.  In my quest for discipleship, start with what I enjoy.  Instead of compartmentalizing my life, see opportunities to serve within what's already there.  

7.  We live in a society that can easily have us running in circles.  Don't resign to a life that is overly busy and pressurized, disconnected, and exhausted.  

8.  Thirty minutes on the treadmill with Jamie Ivey's, Happy Hour, is the best way to start the day.

9.  The average parent spends only 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children.  Don't be average.     

10.  I love good food, pretty things, and small but important details.  I see God's existence in the daily beauty around me.  His beauty is speech, and it is in moments when I taste a garden tomato, or feel a breeze on my face, or really take in a sky filled with stars, that I feel most in communion with Him.  God is in the details - cultivate a life that allows you to be present to them.

Psalm 19:1-4 // "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.  In the heavens, God has pitched a tent for the sun."  

And there you have it.  And now if only I knew how to master these things.  While I'm learning everyday there is no blueprint, no program, and definitely no to-do list for living out these things that are on my heart, it's so important to take the time to dig in to what's there, put it out there, and see how they fit in with the rest of the story.  A story that's ever unfolding and always growing. 

A few pictures from my birthday weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Snapshots of a Kindergartener...

...Wednesday night, we attended your first "Backpack Night" on the eve of your first day of Kindergarten.  You were pretty quiet, but did ask your teacher where the principal's office was so you've got that covered. 

...You watched Battle Bots with Daddy before bed and then you and I had some special time together.  I gave you a new book called "If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!"  We laughed hard and then said some special prayers, asking Jesus to give you a really great day in the morning (and for Mommy to get some sleep).

...I was up half the night, thinking all kinds of irrational things.  It felt a lot like the night before my very first day of teaching.  

...We overslept on your first day.  Daddy dressed Mila in her Easter dress and tennis shoes and she looked ridiculous, but was too crabby to mess with changing her.  He took her to school and you and I picked out a snack for your backpack and talked about the kinds of things you get to do in Art, PE, and Library.  

...We had smiley pancakes at J's Homestyle, per your request.  

...We got to Southdale a little early, and Aunt Kelli and Charly met us at the front.  It makes me so happy to know they'll be in the same building as you this year.

...The front lawn filled up fast and it was so nice to see so many familiar faces.  Jaxon's mom and dad, Ashton, Addy and Alayna, and the Gabels.  You all looked so sweet in your backpacks and first day of school clothes.

...The only thing you said as we made our way through the crowd into the front doors of the school was "Yikes!"  It was adorable and your Dad and I both flashed a grin at each other as we squeezed your hands a little tighter.  

...We found your seat and you immediately started playing with your own small bowl of tiles sitting on your name tag.  I introduced you to a sweet girl named Lauren sitting next to you and you said, "Hi, Lauren."  She said hi back, but was careful to not look up from her tower building.

...We each gave you a hug, waved to the teacher, and out we went.  And I cried all the way to the car!

five hours later...

...I knew the minute I saw you that you had had a great day.  You had a grin on your face and said it was awesome.  And you talked a mile a minute all the way home.  Here are some of the highlights of your first day, in your words of course...

"We have trays!  And this cooker guy told me to walk faster but I was too nervous!"

"And they have strawberry milk!  And chocolate milk and white milk, too, but I choosed strawberry today.  And I tried a new fruit, even though no one made me.  It was yellow and had seeds."

"I think I made two new friends.  And I didn't use my shy voice."

"I saw Kelli in the hallway and she gave me a hug.  I wanted to ask her where Charly was but there was a gap in the line and I had to go!"

"We even went to the music room and learned a song about farm animals."

"I had to help Addy on the playground because she had to go potty and she couldn't find a teacher.  We found a guy together, probably the president or something, and he helped Addy in the building."

I will look forward to your stories for the rest of the year.  I'm so proud of you!               


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