Sunday, December 6, 2009

A cup of what???


So . . . I'm going to do a bit of unintentional advertising for Caribou Coffee in this post (despite the fact that I am a DIE-HARD Starbucks fan). Regardless, the story is worth the sacrifice in brand loyalty.

We stopped at Caribou for a cup of coffee on our way out of town earlier this week, and their new campaign for chocolate beverages is front and center on the large display windows. I jump out of the car and leave Aaron in charge of the kiddos while I run in for our beverages.

Mission accomplished, I return with coffee only to find my sweet husband in stitches in the car. I'm talking hysterical laughter. I start laughing simply because it's catchy! Once he finally catches his breath, he points to the large display in the window.

Aaron: "Hey Caleb, tell Mommy what's in that cup."
Caleb: *as strait-faced as they come* : "Mommy, there's a naughty word in that cup."

I must say, I'm a bit turned off to Guittard Chocolate these days. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Momentary Panic



Caleb: "Hey Mom! Look! I got my hair cut!"(Which is true—he got his hair cut this morning . . . but that it would be so fantastic is somehow alarming, especially as I remember that I left my scissors lying on the table . . . all of this didn't dawn on me right away however, as I was distracted with getting graham cracker out of every facial orifice Ella possesses).
Me: "Ya—ya you did bud. You got your hair cut today."
Caleb: *Giggles from under the dining room table.*
Caleb" "Hey Mom, Look! I got my hair cut again!"
Me: *Realization dawns. Drops everything and ever-so-slowly bends to peer beneath the dining room table* "What are you doing?"
Caleb: "Hair cut." *Brandishes scissors with flourish.*
Me: *Races to the scene looking for clumps of red hair or worse.* Nothing.
Caleb: *giggles and grins* "I couldn't make the scissors work."
Me: *hysterical little laugh of relief.* "Hey bud, we only get our hair cut at the hair-cut place, ok?"
Caleb: *with wisdom beyond his years* "But you cut your hair Mommy."
Me: "Ooo. Right." Out of the mouth of babes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thankful . . .


Confession: I am a selfish person. *gulp* And over the course of the last few days I've been quite convicted on how often my own interests are forefront in my mind. Naptime=quiet time for mommy rather than rest time or story time for Caleb. Husband and kids aren't terribly crazy about vegetarian entries for dinner? Oh well, I like them. Mommy is in charge of the radio in the car, even if Caleb doesn't like Sara Bareilles. . . I could keep going, but you get the idea . . .

But lately, every time a complaining thought or selfish vibe springs up in my mind, I hear a whisper in my heart:
"What are you thankful for?"
That will stop a girl in her tracks, let me tell you.

I try to be thankful, really I do. I'm thankful for food to eat, money to pay the bills, clothes to wear, and health—good things. But I forget, and don't like, to be thankful for all things, even things that don't go my way. Sick kids—not the sick part, but the staying-home-and-spending-time with them, part. Piles of laundry—not the vast amount of work, but the fact that my family has so many items to clothe ourselves with, that they end up in dirty mounds in the basement. Dirty dishes—proof that we eat good food on a frequent basis.

Slowly, my perspective is being forced to shift a bit, and I am being called to offer up my thanks regardless of my circumstances. A hard lesson, believe me.

However, how much better to give thanks than to wallow in self-pity and frustration? Even my children are affected. Proof that they really do WATCH YOUR EVERY MOVE and LISTEN TO YOUR EVERY WORD, (Scary).
Last night as I knelt by Caleb's bed and did the night-time routine with him—drink, story, bedtime songs, prayers—he said to me,"We have to say thank you Mom,"
Me: "What should we thank Jesus for, Caleb?"
Caleb: "Everything."

Out of the mouth of babes.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
—Hebrews 12:28-29

Friday, October 23, 2009

Word-wise.


Vocabulary has always been kind of a big thing to me. I love words, and given the option, I prefer to call things by their proper names: children, not kids; deer, not deers; red honda civic, not Lightning McQueen, etc. And while I am by no means consistent in this, I have apparently been consistent enough for Caleb to catch me in my wordy-ways . . .

Caleb: *quietly musing* "awe-dem."
Me: "What bud? All of them? All of what?"
Caleb: "No Mom. Awe-dem."
Me: *tries again with more articulation* "All. of. them."
Caleb: *sighs exasperatedly* "No Mom. Awe-dem."
Me: "Awe-dem?"
Caleb: *getting frustrated now* "Awe-dem!"
Me: "Autumn. Oh Autumn! Yes Caleb, It's Autumn.
Caleb: "That's what I said, Mom. Awe-dem."

Fall might have been easier to pronounce . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sprinkles

The other morning as I was helping Caleb get dressed he reached up and smoothed my forehead with both hands.
Caleb: "Mommy, you have stripes on your forehead!"
Me: *Laughs ruefully* "Yes. Yes I do. Those stripes are called wrinkles.
Caleb: "Wrinkles?"
Me: "Yep." *Helps pull on a sock*
Caleb: "Who gave them to you? Did God give you those sprinkles?"
Me: *laughs again* "Wrinkles. And I think maybe you gave them to me."
Caleb: "I did?"
Me: "Maybe."
Caleb: *Pauses thoughtfully* "I like them. Show me your sprinkles again."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pigtales . . .


What one has, so must the other.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When Caleb Sleeps . . .





. . . Ella totally gets into his stuff.
Don't tell him.

Updates

It has been brought to my attention that my blog posts have been lacking (read non-existent) as of late. And so I decided to remedy that little problem. So. . . for the sake of all interested . . . here's a rundown of our quadruple life over the past couple of weeks!

1. Potty training is going well . . . in fact, I think I'll give it a couple more nights with pull-ups and then we should be diapering only ONE child here at the RedHouse!


























2. Aaron and I played Scrabble. This is worth noting only because we are NOT game people. We don't play games. No games. Have I mentioned that we really don't play games? Well, we did. And despite my being a word person, I lost to Aaron, who is a picture person. Go figure. We still had fun, and we might do it again, sometime. Maybe.



























3. I went to Seattle for FIVE DAYS and had a wonderful, lovely, beautiful time! I went partly to research galleries (both as a possible venues for my own work—visit exhibitionb for a sample), and to research the setting for a book project I'm working on. Here's me at an outdoor coffee cafe in Pioneer Square, Seattle.


























While there, I also had a chance to visit my wonderful and beloved friend Rebekah, who is also an artist (AMAZING) and had a fabulous time catching up and tightening friendship strings. Here's a couple samples of her sculpture work-in-progress.




















































4. Since I've returned I have simply been enjoying time with my sweet family. And doing my best to keep up to Caleb, and Ella!



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best Friend



I suggested a Caleb-Mommy date to my son on our way to daycare this morning.

Since Ella arrived in our lives, the three of us are pretty much together non-stop, and I've been wondering lately if Caleb misses having time with me, exclusively to himself.

He is a remarkably patient little fellow, and even if I have to stop whatever I've been doing with him, to tend to Ella, he is always quick to tell me "my sister needs you, Mom." This, even when he knows his own interests will be interrupted.

Our conversation this morning went something like this:

Me: "Hey bud, what do you think about going on a date with me? Just you and Mommy?
Caleb: "Just you and me?"
Me: "Ya."
Caleb: "What about Ella?"
Me: "Well, I thought maybe you and Mommy could have some time together—just us. What do you think of that?"
Caleb: "We can't leave Ella. She has to come too."
Me: "Really?"
Caleb: "Yes. Me and Mommy and Ella. Ella is my best friend."
Me: *melts*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From Tip-Top with Love

I know I've already written a bit about our recent family vacation to Tip Top resort, but last night, Aaron surprised me and brought home the following video/slideshow of the pictures he took. (Keep in mind that Aaron is the one gifted with the camera—gifted.) Needless to say, I was overjoyed, and the results of his effort is so great that I just have to share it here. Enjoy!


video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Caption this Photo!


These days the chickens are doing just great. They lay in vast quantities and I'm not quite sure why . . . do they like my backyard? My son's swimming antics in the kiddy pool? Left-over baby cereal? Who knows! Regardless, I have eggs!

Aaron's caption: "Keeping all her eggs in one basket."

Sunday Morning on the Couch


This is how we spent our morning.
Pure sweetness.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rainbow Toes


























Caleb: "Mom! MOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!"
Me: *Comes tearing up the stairs from the laundry room looking for blood.* "What?! Caleb? Are you ok?"
Caleb: *Utterly astonished* "Mom, There is a rainbow on our floor."
Me: *Sighs with relief and then smiles* "Cool huh? That comes from the glass on our door! See where the sun is shining in through the glass?
Caleb: *Nods*
Me: "The shape of the glass makes a rainbow out of the light."
Caleb: "But God made the rainbow so it won't flood anymore."
Me: "That's right!"
Caleb: "Is it going to rain in our house?"
Me: *Laughs* "No. No rain in the house. The rainbow is to remind us that God won't wreck everything He made with a flood again."
Caleb: *stares at the rainbow on the floor and tentatively puts his foot in it.* "Look Mom, God made a rainbow on my toes."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ella Bird


Ella will be 6th months old on the 7th. Unbelievable!

She is currently sitting in her exersaucer talking animatedly to an elephant. Ella is my talker. She goes on and on, intonations rising and falling, explanations sans words, songs—the whole bit.

I can't wait till she has words so she can tell me what she's been saying all this time. Once and awhile she will turn and look at me and mumble something totally unintelligible to which I respond, "Ella, you're brilliant. Say that again." She obliges.

Six months with my daughter has made me so thankful for my Mom—for all that she did for me and gave to me as a daughter— All the conversations she must have had with me before I had words; the nights she continued to drag herself out of bed so that I was not left alone and hungry in my crib at all hours of the night; the thousands of kisses, the millions of hugs, the endless sacrifices of self so that I could truly know what it meant to be loved. Oh that I could pop back in time and utter my first words again.

Instead of "bla, bla, bla" I would say, "I love you Mom. You're amazing. Thank you for loving me as you did—do."

Maybe that's what Ella's saying . . . I guess can hope!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Smell of Memory


My Grandma Rita, 1944


What is it about a smell that can spark a nearly forgotten memory, igniting it and bringing it back to life?

My little family just returned from a week's vacation at Tip-Top—a small Mom n' Pop resort—where, for five days, we played absentee from the rest of life and celebrated the final glorious days of summer.

One night, as lay my infant daughter back down to sleep following a midnight feeding, I pulled the sheets up around my neck and caught the gentle whiff of memory.

Without warning the face of my Grandma sprang up before my eyes, and I saw her brushing her fine silver hair with a comb in her bathroom. Brisk, swift strokes. I stood beside her, watching, my three-foot-tall self just visible in the bathroom mirror over the vanity. Whisk, whisk—she brushed, and the smell of her clean hair and clothes, her powder and lotion, laundry soap, and something else, the smell of my grandma, filled the air around me. Even as a child I loved breathing her in.

Smells were very much a part of my grandma's life—or at least my memory of her. She was an Avon Lady—I don't know that she ever sold the products, but she certainly purchased them. I remember the beautiful pressed and loose powder cases, tiny mirrors, various colors of lipstick, and wonderful face creams. These are some of her smells. She was an utterly meticulous woman. Her clothes were always beautifully pressed—even her underwear and her white, flour-sack dish towels. She was so meticulous about absolutely everything, that I can imagine having me underfoot was not always terribly easy for her—though she always seemed delighted to have me around, dirty skinned knees and all . . .

I have one particularly beautiful memory of time spent with her—one among dozens of memories—

I was very small. Probably no more than four or five. My Mom and sister and I were visiting Grandma at the Lake. It was summer time and my sister and I had spent all day playing in the water, until following supper, we were so happily exhausted that even bed seemed like a good idea (and this to a child!). I'd had a bath in Grandma's huge ugly brown tub. I had delightedly propelled my small naked body from one end of the tub to the other, on the slippery bottom once the water drained away. My hair was still wet, and it made the back of my nightgown damp. I was tucked into bed and Grandma had come to kiss me goodnight. As she bent over me and kissed my forehead pulling the sheets up around my neck, the smell of those sheets, and the smell of her washed over me in a glorious aroma of summertime, lake-water, fresh-cut grass, and Avon products in a combination that I am still searching for.

As I pulled the sheets up to my neck in the darkness of our little rented cabin, that smell washed over me—transported me—drawing my heart into my throat and tears to my eyes. My own childhood memories flooded around me in the warm summertime night, brushing against the memories my own children were making.

They will never know her as I did—my Grandma. But the smell of her lingers like a lost perfume in the most unexpected places.

Three-year-old haircut

So after doing the bare-minimum in regard to hair cuts, (I could not bear to part with the gloriously-soft red baby hair), Caleb had his first real big-boy hair cut today. The kind you can style and everything. He looks seriously handsome. Back off ladies, the boy's mine. For now.

Before:














And After:














Handsome, non?

Roasting Marshmallows



Caleb and Daddy Roasting Mallows

video

Ella Roasting Mallows

video

Sandcastles & Swimming

We spent a great deal of time on the beach at Tip-Top.
There, we learned several things:
1. Caleb is an awesome digger.
2. Old sunscrean does not work.
3. Ella loves to take naps on the beach.
4. So does Beth
5. August is a great season for swimmers itch
6. There is nothing like a great beach sunrise!








video
Caleb has, for as long as I can remember, been terribly afraid of swimming in anything larger than the bathtub or back-yard kiddy-pool. In the land of lakes this has been a bit frustrating—for him too, I think. Finally, this week, Caleb and Daddy spent some serious time at the beach. They played in the water constantly until bit by bit, Caleb's fear evaporated. Now, rather than being terrified, he is cautious. Hooray!

Birthday Boy!

It's Official. My son is Three. THREE!
When did this happen? *Shakes her head and suddenly feels old*

This year we decided to take our first (one of many similiar to come, we have now concluded), family vacations. And for the venture we chose Tip-Top Resort, a little family-owned resort on the Whitefish Chain. Close to home and thus convenient for the inevitable trips home during our week away. (I think we made three trips home, to retrieve forgotten and necessary items).
This week-long stay coincided with Caleb's birthday, and so we celebrated at Tip-Top and had a fabulous time.
Though, Aaron and I have realized that vacations with little ones are much less relaxing than vacations with just the two of us. I know, we're a little slow.

The Birthday: A huge success! We kept it pretty low-key, but Caleb celebrated royally and loved every minute!

Officially Three.

video

Dancing.

video

The Long-Awaited and Much-Anticipated "Blue Mackie"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Super Man


Caleb has uncovered a superpower.
He can fly.
It's marvelous. All that is required to activate this power is a cape. * Fling ordinary brown cozy-blanket around neck, fastens securely with one of mom's binder-clips, raises hand above head and preso! Off like a shot.*

I don't know why I've never made Caleb a cape before today, I feel a little like I need a red check mark on my blackboard of Mommyhood. Two more and you have to see the principal!Regardless of timing, both Caleb and I are relieved that his cape has brought him so far in life so quickly.

I need a cape.
I am still trying to uncover my own superpower —Correction, I am still trying to uncover my SUPER-superpower. Right now I have all the usual superpowers . . . Multitasking, laundry-washing, house-cleaning, child-rearing, meal-making, bottle-washing, grocery-shopping, bill-paying, etc.

My husband and I discussed superpowers one night over dinner.

Me: "If you could have any superpower what would it be?"
Him: "Hmmm, I think shooting lighting-bolts from my fingers."
Me: "Wow. Lightning bolts?"
Him: "Yep."
Me: "I'd want to be able to read peoples' minds."
Him: "Don't you already do that?"
Me: *rolls eyes and smiles thankfully* "No, I mean, like I could walk into a room and know what going on in the minds of everyone around me."
Him: "Why would you want that?"
Me: "So I would always know the right thing to say and do—especially when it comes to parenting."

If I could get into my childrens' heads I could be so much better at this incredible, emotional, exhausing, fulfilling job called being a Mom. Was that sass willful disobediance or the result of a missed nap? Is she screaming because she is tired, or hungry, or both? Does he really hate hot dogs or does he just want fruit snacks for dinner?

Caleb just ran past with his cape streaming out behind him. Now he's back and parked at my elbow as I type this.

Caleb: "Hey Mom, whatcha doin?"
Me: "Writing about your cape."
Caleb: "My cape?"
Me: "Yep."
Caleb: "How come?"
Me: "Because I think it's so cool that you can fly, and I wanted to tell my friends."
Caleb: *long pause* "You should tell them about you too." *leaves me, and flies across the room again*
Me: "About me? What should I tell them?"
Caleb: *shouts as he zooms by* "That you taught me to fly!"
Me: *Long pause as the reality of that hits her heart. Stands up, hits 'publish' on blog, flutters cape out behind her and flies across the room*

How Many of You Are There?


Hello? Are you out there?

This is me, just curious if people actually read the silly stuff I post here at Quadruple Life.

I know I have a few followers (THANK YOU!) and a few who pop in now and then (THANK YOU!), and I just wanted to say that if you like what you read, or if you have suggestions, have an idea of something you want me to write about, or just want to say 'hi," please comment! (It's kind of the thing to do on a blog). And besides, I LOVE hearing from you!

A note on comments: If you have trouble commenting, let me know! I can make a couple of changes on my end to make it easier.

While QuadrupleLife is primarily about my little family (and I know it's not always that engaging), I am considering branching out a little and doing a variety of posts—life outside of the "Quadruple" part and more on the "Life" part . . .

For those of you who read my blog from the notes on Facebook, come on over to blogspot and click "follow."
I would love to know who's out there! :)

Bravo Charlie, signing off!

—b

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious


"HEY MOM! THAT'S YOU!"

Let me tell you, I have been personified as a lot of things as Caleb has steadily grasped the concept of language, and his imagination has grown as fast as his verbal skills—

Poop: "Mommy, you can be the big one."
Cereal: "Look Mommy, I ate you up!"
Bugs: "I just squished you!"

This morning, I have to say that I am quite pleased and even flattered by Caleb's fabulous imagination. This morning, as I stood blerry-eyed, coffee in hand, in baggy sweats—stained with spit-up from Ella's night feedings—my sweet son has personified me as the lovely Julia Andrews. No—not personified, identified! ("Hey Mom that's you").

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Sweet, darling, diluted boy. Love him to death.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm A Big Boy Now . . .


The past couple months have been strenously focused on Caleb's shift from diapers to "unders" and I am proud to say that Caleb has leaped the gap and entered the "big boy" realm! We are SO proud of him!

We used several incentives: stickers, skittles, new "unders," and once a coveted car when he used the toilet for "poo" the first time. It was a big moment. The true and final incentive, however, occurred when we told Caleb that he could not turn three if he still wore diapers. This did it. Every successful time he used the toilet he would clap and say to me,
"Mom, my birthday will be so happy!"

All this to say, besides the success of potty training, that my little boy is no longer so little. *sniffs and looks puzzled at the calendar* Where did the time go? Furthermore, even Caleb knows it is passing!

This afternoon as I tucked him in for a nap, kissed him, and told him to have a good rest, he said to me:

"Hey Mom, guess what."
"What?"
"My birthday's coming—right around the corner!"
"That's right!"
"I'm growing up so fast."

So fast.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cuts


Here is evidence that one must be very careful when it comes to writing authentically!

Last night, in a moment of desperation, I cut my hair. Off. Under the influence of my characters’ dialogue!
Two of my protagonists were having a rather heated conversation about things that really matter, and how our perceptions define us.

“Who are you?” MC 1 asked. “Who are you really?”
“I’m just—just me,” MC 2 replies. “At least I try to be real.”

And of course I was forced to think, who am I? Am I being real? I paused for a moment of reflection, and when I sat back down to resume the dialogue, I found neither character had anything left to say to me.

For four hours I battled a severe case of writer’s block and all the while the question rang in the back of my mind . . . Am I being real? Even to me?

Now, a girl’s hair should not have as much to do with all of this as it did. But for the past couple of months, every time I glanced in the mirror I have thought, “blech. I need a change. That doesn’t look or feel like me.” So as I got up to pace the room yet again, pushing my curly hair out of my eyes I decided, ok. I’ve had it. This bird’s nest has got to go.

I dug the sheers out of the kitchen drawer and chopped away.

When I sat back down at my computer thirty minutes later—liberated—I found my characters were finally able to continue their conversation. And I . . . I feel exactly like me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Using the Pedals

Last night was monumental at the RedHouse.
Caleb, on his own initiative, pedaled his trike.
This is a big deal. Up until last night, the whole coordination things has been a little tough to grasp and he has preferred to motor along, simply pushing the ground with his feet. But last night he rode his trike.

*does a victory dance*

video

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Potty Training Heroine


At my house we are well acquainted with the human ability to rid the body of it's own waste.
I am very familiar with my children's ability to do this. One in a diaper and one in the toilet. Sometimes. When I set out on this venture I never realized how nonchalant I would become about the whole matter.

My son just peed on the floor in the grocery store?
"—Clean up on aisle two!"
I am wearing poop?
"—Do you have a wet-one? Oh, never mind, here's a napkin."
My son just pooped his pants, at the library, and it's everywhere?
—"Define everywhere. Can I throw his underpants away and just let him wear his pants? Yep. Good. Story time!"
My daughter is covered in poop?
—"Oh, don't worry, I brought a change of clothes. For everyone."

This sort of thing really, really used to gross me out. This and vomit.
Now I have a toddler and a 6 month old.

I am no longer afraid.

These days, as I walk the halls of potty training adventure I carry the tools of my trade, ready to wield them should the armies of darkness show their ugly heads.

You can do almost anything with a roll of toilet paper, hand soap, and a public hand-blowdryer.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wish List


I'm working on the premise for a new story in which the protagonist, (a ten-year-old boy, who, after having a terrible, rotten, very-bad, no-good day), makes a list of things that would define utter happiness for him. Except that, when they start coming true, he finds perhaps he already had everything he ever wanted—and now he must find a way to stop the fulfillment of his wishes. . .

This idea came out of my own personal musings on what would make me happy. A dangerous game, but there are times when it's a wise practice to list a few wishes and examine them in light of what really matters.

I made two lists.

The first one was a quickly-written silly list of things I think I want. I'll not bore you with the contents of that list here. Chances are, you can come up with a few of the items that were on that list all on your own.

My second list was a little more careful. What if these things were fulfilled, I asked myself. What do I really want?

A few items from the second list . . .

1. To know, with all certainty, that I have accomplished what I was placed on this earth to do, and that I have done it beautifully.
2. To love well.
3. To give my husband and my children the best of me, even on the worst of days.
4. To have wise children, even if they are not always happy.
5. To instill joy in my children.
6. To have faith in the impossible and the improbable, regardless of what life chucks at me.
7. To be creative without being cynical.

Made any wish lists recently?

Tickle Monster

video

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sweet Moment


Me: Caleb, can I have a hug, please? I need a big hug.
Caleb: You sad?
Me: No, but I would love a hug.
Caleb: And a kiss?
Me: Sure!
(hug and kiss ensues).
Me: Thanks bud, that was great.
Caleb: Sure Mom. You the best in the whole world.
Me: *melts*

Friday, July 17, 2009

En-Courage or, My Life as a Writer


I’ve ben thinking a lot about discouragement this week. Not a great start, I know—but hey, at least I’m real.

As a writer, I think it’s pretty natural to become discouraged every once and a while. The very act of my profession demands that I bare certain elements of myself that I have put in text, for the world to read and alternately love or hate. Of course, that is part of the thrill—getting under someone’s skin just enough to cause a new train of though or spur a new perspective.

But change never happens without struggle, and writers—I among them—are some of the most struggling and “rejected” people on earth. We continually run up against the wall of commercialism, and often our best ideas are sacrificed on that alter so that we can continue living with the luxuries of heat, plumbing, and electricity.

There is nothing so discouraging as having someone say “no thank, your idea sucks,” over and over and over—and conversely, nothing so encouraging as having someone say, “maybe.”

The protagonists in my stories tend to wrestle with discouragement on various levels as well. And yet, I have never written a story where the bravery of said protagonists is not tested, tried, and then revealed. Which makes me wonder if perhaps I don’t think about encouragement in an confused light.

Perhaps I confuse encouragement with support or approval. To encourage is to impart courage—to illuminate the bravery that already exists within someone. How healthy is that? And really, I suppose the last thing I want, is for someone to tell me what my itching ears are wanting to hear, when it may not be the truth.

So there. Tonight, I am going to be encouraged—to allow myself to be imparted with courage—allow the bravery that I already posses to have the upper hand in my battlefield of self-doubt.

Wow. I almost sound like a heroine!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Words to Live by . . . and Chocolate


How many Dove Promises Chocolates does it take to find a descent quote?
Today: 5
Yesterday: 3
Tomorrow: Who knows.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Writing in the Rain


What is it about a good thunderstorm/rainstorm that makes me itch to set words on paper? Seriously, am I that melancholy? (Husband nods the affirmative). Maybe it has something to do with my roots that are still deeply planted in the pacific northwest, watered regularly by heavy rainfall. Regardless . . .

Tonight, as a lovely thunderstorm rolled through town and beat back the dust, the humidity, and the length of my mid-July day, I rejoiced. I couldn't wait till I got the kids to bed so I could blog these thoughts.

Caleb, Ella, and I cozied up in the front porch—newly refurbished with windows that actually opened—and flung said windows wide (sans screens), to the wild wind, resolunding thunder, and torrential rain. Glorious.

We are working on reassuring Caleb that thunder is not a thing to be afraid of—that God made it so that the skies could praise Him. ("It's just the sky saying, You are amazing God!!!") Caleb is still a little skeptical, but it got him thinking and with every resounding boom he looked at me with cautious eyes—

"The sky is praising?"

"The sky is praising," I assure him with a nod and he is satisfied until the next boom forces his wide eyes back to mine.





Ella is still too little to be bothered by much of anything, save an empty tummy or dirty pants; still, she too was wide-eyed and attentive tonight as we sat together and admired the chaos outside.

This is what I love most about Minnesota. We have thunderstorms like no one else, and also what I miss the most come winter.

There is something soul-straining . . . stretching . . . about a sky that nearly tears itself apart. And yes, I am well aware of the meteorological reasons behind our storms—cold fronts and warm fronts, rising and falling pressure, the whole works.

Nevertheless, I prefer to raise my wide eyes to heaven with my son and wonder over a God who is so amazing that even the skies would rend themselves for His glory.

Reign on me . . .

My Two Kids