Saturday, August 25, 2012

right now Silas is.....

  • "reading"--mostly about animals and their sounds
  • 21 months old
  • sporting some long curls that I love
  • talking up a storm
  • very attached to his Mama 
  • obsessed with the Beethoven movies ("doggie? dogg-eeeeee?")
  • coloring on the walls, and on paper occasionally
  • trying to get away with riding in Nicky's booster seat instead of his own carseat. He climbs in, sits in the booster and tries to buckle himself in, all the while saying "yes, okay....ummmm" and avoiding eye contact
  • having a much easier time with bedtime and taking naps. He's used to his big boy bed now, and seems to really enjoy being in the same room as Nicky

  • telling Penny to sit, then giving her his snacks
  • bashful around people he doesn't know well, even other kids. He'll just freeze and look down. And yet, he says Hi! to every person we see at the store if he's safe in the basket.
  • quite the collection of emotions; very much a toddler
  • so excited to see big brother when he gets home from school
  • very sweet with Little Miss
  • waking up really early. One morning this week, I set my alarm for five (five!) so I could have some quiet morning time and he was awake before it went off.
  • starting to enjoy helping and picking up. The other day he handed me clean dishes from the dishwasher, one at a time, saying "here" loudly with each one. It took forever of course, but it was so cute. 
This little guy has been such a blessing from the start. He just melts my heart. I can't believe he's almost two.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

today's things are for today

faith-full or faithless
numb or still
kind or angry-to-my-core
and I am always tunneling, toward or away

grace the biggest one of all:

every day i need
you to step in and save
from myself

today's things are for today,
they will expire

but I still try to stack them up in a closet, so
tomorrow I can just be needless


I am here, and so, still is my anger
my not-enough feelings
my humanity
and the grace-filled moments look
different that I thought they would

Still learning.....
still, learning.
We don't do this alone.

You incline, and hear my cry
every day I call out, in some way

every day you answer, in some way

I just stand and watch my babies, amazed by
all that hope running around
little rib-cages, arms reaching up

the weight slowly settles on our shoulders;
you reach down and lift it off

every day, glory.

*Psalm 40 inspired

Monday, August 20, 2012


This week I am going to do things that are good for my soul. Things like:

  • checking facebook a whole lot less
  • setting the alarm and finally trying out that cycling class that scares me
  • going outside in the evenings, taking an honest-to-goodness walk
  • reading a book that's not criticizing or recommending anything, just a good book
  • speaking kind words to myself more
  • speaking kind words to my family more
  • taking some time to make eye contact
  • prayer and meditation (the practice of lectio divina has intrigued me for some time now)
  • taking time to be creative
  • breathing more, sighing less
  • writing down ideas before they float away
  • planting something for fall
  • cleaning out closets and drawers, just for the feeling of it afterwards
  • loving my littles exactly as they are, right now. Holding them close.

....and maybe at the end of it I'll find some things that have gone missing. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

a lot of new for Nicky

Today was Nicky's first day of first grade.

To commemorate this event, we had our (now annual) back to school dinner last night.

This year's theme: Build Each Other Up. A goal for the whole family. And yes, this setup was demolished promptly once Silas was released from the boys' room where Ricky was keeping them hostage while I threw it all together.

This boy is in a building phase for sure. He made three robots and a carwash with a fancy tower. There's some deep spiritual significance there I'm sure.

Seriously though, we'll be working on being more intentionally encouraging of each other this year. I'm intentional about plenty of things because I want my life to look a certain way; because I want my kids to have certain experiences and I want my marriage to be good. But--things can change so quickly right now. What I want them to remember is not that things were perfect or that we always did this or that--but that there was love and kindness intertwined in all of it. And Nicky is a natural encourager, so I really want to run with that. Really, most days I just want to be more like him. 

I thought it would be fun to build our own pizzas and fruit salad in keeping with the theme. And it was, but we were super hungry by the time it was ready. That's why Ricky has his rally face on, and Silas is just going for it.

I had a little game planned but the interactive dinner turned out to be all we could manage before the babies started melting down (Little Miss played on her mat just long enough for us to eat, which was kind of amazing for her). So, we skipped it and went straight to baths.

Nicky's starting a new school this year, out where Ricky works. It feels like we're leaving a safe, warm cocoon--that's what kindergarten was. He had the kindest, most patient teacher imaginable. So, Ricky and I were a bit nervous this morning as we got everyone ready and headed out. I managed to get a few pics before we left:


Our friend describes it as "a little school right out of the 1950's". Definitely has that vibe to it. We've heard nothing but good things so far, and I really like that he's going to school with such a diverse group of kids.
I think he'll learn a good deal there.

We found everyone outside. I think we were much more nervous that he was--he ran off to play and then lined up like a pro, smiling and carefree as ever. 

He was happy and jumpy and full of things to say when we picked him up. I breathed a sigh of relief and listened to his stories. It was a good first day.

Monday, August 13, 2012

a last minute vacation

Last week we packed up all three littles and drove to central Texas. Yes, in August. I was dreaming of some summer fun before the start of school and needing a break from the everyday stuff, and we all wanted to meet our sweet new niece Emma and see family. As is usually the case, when you have littles it's important to be flexible....especially in ridiculous heat! Overall, I'm glad we went. We came back exhausted and a little sick, and Little Miss is out of sorts and in need of a routine again. But--the boys spent so much time together, and we all had to work to make it work in a tight space for so many hours (we are dreaming of a times have changed ;) The iPad saved the day on many occasions; wedged between the two front seats, with Curious George playing over and over (and don't you know the boys watched it again the morning after we got back....guess they don't have it memorized quite yet). Indoor play-places helped too, and lots of rallying the troops by Mommy and Papa. I would just like to say that Ricky is awesome. I couldn't ask for a better parenting partner. When he rallies, I can rally, and vice versa. That is a powerful thing.

Moments from the trip:

watching these guys together

staying in downtown San Antonio, walking to the Alamo (Ricky the Texan had never been), finding the best climbing tree ever (off limits, too bad) 

(this is Ricky's rally face)

both of us wearing sundresses (yes, I'm letting myself enjoy having a girl :)

the Riverwalk. We enjoyed walking here, and planned what we thought would be a fun lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Total disaster. I had to walk Silas around most of the time, and Little Miss was fussy, and Nicky said later "it was kind of creepy." $63 for the lunch from hell, folks. We even have two souvenir glasses to remember it by. Lesson: slightly creepy blinking jungle animals, simulated thunder, and a forty minute wait do not help kids who are already exhausted by humidity. Got it :)

It was nice to be just a few blocks away, though. We recharged with naps and swimming, and did some more walking around in the evening. 

 I tried taking Little Miss in the pool and she wasn't having it. So we hung out by the side of the pool and watched the boys and she gave me the best smile ever. Wish I could show it here. I can honestly say that in that moment, I was filled with hope and gratitude. I want to be her biggest cheerleader.

We went to Sea World. It was very hot. There was a splash pad. Thank you Jesus.

I loved watching Nicky's face during the shows, and feeding sea lions, and Silas watching the otters. Nicky said he wanted to see the show where the dolphins team up and kill the hammerhead shark. Thank you, Netflix and the movie Flipper for that one. We had a pretty nice Panera Bread picnic outside on a shady, grassy spot. We've pretty much decided picnics are the way to go with this bunch.

We drove our sweaty selves to Austin at the end of the day, and let the A/C work its magic. Ricky's sister and brother-in-law were so kind to let us descend on their house with our sweaty, exhausted crew. They fed us some amazing burgers too, and even retrieved barbecue from Salt Lick (an Austin must).

We got to know sweet Emma too. Good thing Silas has had lots of practice being gentle lately. I'm so excited for the boys to have a new little cousin.

We had a fun afternoon in downtown Austin doing indoor things--the Austin Children's Museum and frozen yogurt. Absolutely all we had energy for--it was perfect.

We had to ditch our plans to go up to Dallas and see friends; it became increasingly apparent that it was just too much. So we made the sad but wise decision to go home a day early. We drove to Fredericksburg, swam some more,  had a "hotel picnic", complete with Olympics and some Food Network of course, and got some sleep.

Who knew a German Texas town could make the best Margherita pizza ever? Paired with German wine, not bad at all :) We had a stolen moment after the kiddos were asleep. Did I mention I love this guy?

It is good to be home. We're feeling inspired to start up new routines and do some things more intentionally. School starts in a few days...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

how to be

The question keeps me up at night lately: how to be a Christian? How to really follow Christ? So many all around me are acting like it's an easy thing, with a clear path to follow. I don't know. What would He do? That statement, less a popular bracelet and more a wrestling of the soul, keeps me up at night.

Church sometimes smothers His voice, but sometimes I still hear it there.

Numbness is a short-term solution, but then I return to the Good News, like a magnet drawn back. Where else would I go?

These culture wars make me want to chuck away all the obvious stuff, all the church going and right-stuff saying--communes start to look mighty good. Running away, always so appealing.

Maybe I'll just set up a stand, with a sign that says "Free Listening. No Advice, Promise." We could even bow our knees together, in need and gratitude.

Can any change come from the inside? Or do I need to find others who think like I do? A cause I can really get behind, body and soul? An end to the exhaustion, the constant fight against criticism....

I don't know.
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