Saturday, February 27, 2010

Here are my tired babies after a four-hour bike ride today! We had a tiny glimpse of spring, it was the perfect bike-riding weather, and the kids had so much fun...but, here's the amazing news...I rode my bike for four hours!! what a huge praise!! I haven't been able to ride in the car for more than 30 minutes w/o feeling somewhat nauseous or exhausted...and, today, I was able to ride my bike all afternoon with my sweet little family! I guess I had a glimpse of spring in my life as well!!

I cannot thank all of you enough for all of your prayers! I haven't felt better in months...

I have been on a number of prayer lists, which is awesome, and then on Thursday I spent some time in this awesome prayer room at church...I have truly been covered with prayer and I am so grateful to all of you for covering me.

"Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven." James 5:14-15

then and now

this picture looks an awful lot like the one we are ten years later

Friday, February 26, 2010

YouTube - Away We Go - Official Trailer - HD

YouTube - Away We Go - Official Trailer - HD

This week was my brother's, now ex, girlfriend's birthday! I have always loved shopping for the girlfriend, she is probably one of my favorite people to shop for b/c she is, well, my twin when it comes to taste! She loves bright paint colors, crazy and random finds at antique stores...she loves an open-air market, flea market, and garage sales as much as I fact, we have plans to open our own store together....

then, she and my brother went and broke up!!!

This year's birthday was incredibly sad for me because of what it could mean. I, of course, had to plan out what I would get her (and, I got excited b/c that meant venturing to my favorite stores...and purchasing something that I knew she would love and appreciate as much as I do, lol)...but, then I started to get sad as I realized that this could perhaps be the last bday that I celebrate with her (via UPS)...she graduates soon, and who knows what will happen from there?? and what does this mean for our store?? just kidding!!

Anyhow, thinking of their breakup takes me back to our dating years...and then for some reason it makes me ponder marriage,(and by the way, I do not want them to get back together for the sake of our store, lol!!! NO, if it is not God's will, then He has something better in store for each of them and they need to continue to follow His leading as they are doing...but...I certainly wouldn't mind....)

I think, so often, what begins as daydreams of a future of adventures together...finding the perfect career, moving someplace fun, having kids, naming them, taking vacations, etc etc...then leads to planning for the wedding, saving for a ring that's comparable to the rings of those who have gone before you, saving for a know, a nice little nest egg...b/c our example of marriage is that of our parents who have it all together (when we think of them as a married couple, we don't think of them as ever being the bright-eyed 20-something, with little money and not much of a career yet)...and then suddenly, we wedding planners start to panic, we aren't so bright-eyed and dreamy about our future anymore as we are scared. I really do think this is common, in fact I think being a guy must be really tough, b/c, it's in their nature to be providers, and to go from dreaming of a future to the reality of it has to be pretty scary. I have come to love the verse that I posted at the end of my last blog where the author asks simply for his daily bread...and, I'm beginning to think that maybe that's the key to it all. Marriage isn't about having it all together, it's not necessarily about having a huge nest egg saved up (but, that is a plus), enough money to buy an engagement ring, or even a ten-year plan (again, this is a plus lol)...I think it's more about finding this incredible person and deciding to take your journey together...whatever that journey may be. So often, we've created plans for ourselves, only to discover that God had something else in mind...and usually what He has in mind is a heck of alot better than anything we could've planned (it may not always be comfortable, but, the end result is more beautiful than if we had planned it ourselves), the time we bought a house, only to be told a few months later that we were being transferred!!! OR the time that I said I was never going to get married...then I met the most adorable man ever and couldn't help but fall for him and marry him less than two years later!

I think marriage is more about taking your best friend's hand and saying, "Come on, I'll walk beside you in this life," every time I think of marriage, I picture this big mountain in the snowy range where I grew up, at any time of year it could have snow on it, it's big and beautiful....I picture Matt taking my hand and the two of us hiking up it...snow and all...I couldn't imagine being with anyone else, and I feel so blessed to hike through this life (and that snowy mtn) with my sweet husband.

We were sort of blessed by the fact that we didn't plan our marriage out for years, we didn't really get the chance to develop the typical fears that arise because by the time we started wedding planning, our little Clairie was on her way, we were both in intense college courses, and both without nest eggs....I guess we didn't really have time to think about the what-ifs since we were sort of being faced with some of them. We found ourselves in the most difficult part of our college careers, penniless, and starting a family...but, honestly, I don't think I would've had it any other way. We weren't really terrified at all...we had so much fun, and we were so excited as we planned for our little one to arrive.

I knew the day that I met Ringo, that I would marry him. We both knew right away. In fact, what most people don't know, is that shortly after meeting, Matt and I held our own little ceremony for just the two of us (after a friend convinced us not to elope, lol) committing ourselves to one another for eternity. It was nothing official, just our own "I am yours" sort of thing before God...but, that was nearly a decade ago...and here we are now....we've hiked through some rough terrain and I can't imagine having had anyone else beside me. I am so glad that God chose to give me Matt as my partner for life, and to give us two little people to hike alongside us as well! Anyhow, I guess what I am trying to say is, marriage isn't about things, or even planning for's just a partnership, a blessing from's not about having our needs met by our spouse (b/c only God can meet our needs) it's just about being given a cherished companion to join you along the way...and maybe a couple of other companions too.
take a peek at the trailer for away we go...I just love that movie, it's so cute.
ps that's ringo and me the year we met

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years....

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land -a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your, God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Deuteronomy 8: 2-5, 7-18

I love this passage, it helps me to remember who is in control, it comforts me as I look back on times in our life...I am able to vividly remember times when we weren't sure how we would make ends meet, times, like now, when health problems arose...when life starts to get a little bit uncomfortable I can feel confident that my Lord will meet all of my needs. He promises to never leave nor forsake me.

What deserts are you walking through now?

What represents your Egypt?

what deserts have you walked through in the past? remember how you struggled? remember the fear of perhaps not making it this time around?

I guess the real question is, are you going to trust God to lead you through this desert? If you can look back on your life and see His work, will you trust Him to lead you through your latest "desert" and out of your "Egypt?"

"Perhaps we are all in the position of the man in Morton Kelsey's story who came to the edge of an abyss. As he stood there, wondering what to do next, he was amazed to discover a tightrope stretched across the abyss. And slowly, surely, across the rope came an acrobat pushing before him a wheelbarrow with another performer in it. When they finally reached the safety of solid ground, the acrobat smiled at the man's amazement. 'Don't you think I can do it again?' he asked. And the man replied, 'Why yes, I certainly believe you can.'

The acrobat put his question again, and when the answer was the same, he pointed to the wheelbarrow and said, 'Good! Then get in and I will take you across.' What did the traveler do? This is just the question we have to ask ourselves about Jesus Christ. Do we state our belief in Him in no uncertain terms, even in finely articulated creeds, and then refuse to get into the wheelbarrow?" Brennan Manning The Ragamuffin Gospel visual edition

"..give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." Proverbs 29:8b-9

Friday, February 19, 2010

My dad told me that he heard it snowed in 49 of the 50 states last week...ours was one of those 49!! The locals around here tell me they haven't seen snow like this in 15, 17, & 30 years! It snowed for about two days, giving the kids a snow day on Friday! I guess it even snowed in, we would've seen snow at our house on the island too! how crazy!!
We had to get creative with snow gear since we didn't have any on day all three kids (Tate's friend spent the two days with us) had my boots on...we even tried wrapping target bags around Claire's generic uggs!! Here are some pix of the snow that rarely happens in our hot state! Matt and I felt like we were back home...minus the wind.

So, I have about half a dozen posts that I start and never get around to editing or finishing b/c, well, life school projects, snow-days, play dates, orders to fill, doctor appointments, head-lice (yes, SO not kidding), and then the bags and bags of linens to wash b/c of that!! lol, what a week. Anyhow, here's hoping that I get this one finished and posted...I have a few minutes while the 103rd load of laundry is being washed on hot...thought I'd take this time to share...

On Wednesday, we attended the ash Wednesday service at our church. I had never participated in this tradition, growing up, so this is a bit of a new thing for me...I must say, I loved it. I think the symbolism is amazing...and a sweet little thing that happened during the service was so touching to me.

Lent= 40 Days of surfacing/purging the crap in our lives.

The word lent comes from and old German word that means spring.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run w/perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1 NIV

I was a diver well over ten years ago and I remember the swimmers on our team wearing "drag" (layers and layers of suits, plus NOT shaving) for practice and early Hebrews 12:1 it talks of the runners removing "drag": anything that slowed them down...

we need to see our lives in the same way and take an inventory of the drag in our lives...remove those things that slow us down and in turn then keep us focused on the wrong things. We can become so wrapped up in the little things that happen w/day-to-day life (like school projects, snow-days, play dates, orders to fill, doctor appointments, head-lice, and linens to wash) that we often forget what's really important...we are called to fix our eyes on Jesus and to imitate Him, to love others as ourselves...but, how can we do that when we are so consumed with everyday life? I think this is a really good tactic on the devil's part to overwhelm us with so much busyness that we become wrapped up in it just by default. How often have you become so consumed with something that's happening in your life at the moment?? I know it's a daily thing for me.

Linda Dillow, in her book, Calm my Anxious Heart, says that it's natural to be consumed with the day to day happenings in our lives that cause us to worry, however we should see them as an opportunity to pray specifically.

Lent is a season of making room for God in our lives. From what I've gathered (by observing all of my catholic friends growing up) people give something up for the Lenten season, they voluntarily choose something of importance in their lives (be it chocolate, coffee, TV, fast food etc) to "clear an area for God to come in and work." By giving something up for this 40 day period, we are able to re shift our focus and pay attention to our Lord...and the work that He's doing.

40 comes from the flood- a "washing" (flooding) of the impurities in our lives. It also represents Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness to prepare himself.

ash symbolizes sorrow and repentance. it represents the dust from which we came and the dust from which we will go.

During the service the sanctuary had stations for everyone to participate in, one of them had a huge black piece of fabric draped across the stage with black markers. We were to write the things that are entangling us, particular sins that we need forgiveness for, on the black fabric with the black markers...after writing, your words disappear because they are black....

Tate and I went up to the fabric and I explained the activity to him and what it represented, he grabbed a marker and started writing then yelled out for everyone around us to hear, "Mom, how do you spell hitting?" and "I know how to spell punch because it rhymes with lunch," then he began proudly writing/purging of his struggles. It's funny, at first I shushed him, showing him that others were praying and quietly focusing on this activity...then I looked around, and then down at myself and how I was covering what I was writing, in, this little guy just gave it all to God. He laid it there at the cross...simple as that..."he struggles with hitting and punching, he's sorry, help him to change, Lord." Sometimes I wonder if pride is one of the things that entangles me, that keeps me from clearing room for God. How precious to be like a child, humble and completely himself before the Lord and others.

I think one of the reasons I really like adding ash Wednesday to our traditions is because it's more than three days of remembering our Lord's death, it's a season or remembering and setting aside time to re-shift our focus. It's a practice that I highly recommend.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

so...we have an awful lot going on in our house today, and really, lately. I don't always understand it all, lol, and as I said earlier...I often kick and scream when the hike gets tough...I have been so blessed by the writings of Donald Miller through this season and today's blog entry by him was especially encouraging to me:

seriously, read it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

old photos

so, i've been searching through all of my photos trying to find this funny pic from valentine's day 2009...instead, I've discovered all of these old pix...thought I'd share since I've never been very good at keeping in touch. These pix were all taken 2008 and prior

"In ancient times...if you visited Machu Picchu on a pilgrimage, you had to take the Inca Trail...

'Why would the Incas make people take the long route?'

'Because the emperor knew, the more painful the journey to Machu Picchu, the more the traveler would appreciate the city, once he got there.'

...The pain made the city more beautiful. The story made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and showed up at the ending an easier way. It made me think about the hard lives so many people have had, the sacrifices they've endured, and how those people will see heaven differently from those of us who have had easier lives."

Donald Miller A Million Miles in 1000 Years.

What difficult and painful trails have we hiked (endured) in our lives?

I think about so many stories that have compiled to become my life...I fight certain stories, as if they are mistakes, as if the paths that I've encountered are the wrong ones, when, in actuality I wouldn't be the character I've become today had I not taken each of those "wrong" paths. How very much like a child am I. I enter into each new turn kicking and screaming, arguing that this path was not the path intended for me, not a part of the "master plan" for the story that is my life. I wonder how much life I've missed along the way as I've been fighting the pain of the focus was on the pain in my legs, on how steep the climb was, how whatever decision that led me to this particular trail must have been a often must I have missed the view from the top because I had been so focused on the ground, on the trail that lie ahead.

"Two women looked through prison bars

One saw mud, the other saw stars" Linda Dillow Calm my Anxious Heart

Thursday, February 4, 2010


It seems like just yesterday Claire and Tate were starting preschool...I cannot believe we have reached this season in life! My babies are both creating school projects...and...their dad is busy creating too. We had a snowflake competition...Matt won. We crowned him snowflake king.