Friday, December 30, 2011

The Wonderous lights of Christmas

     A few days ago, my sister-friend, Angie, and I took a bunch of our chilins and escaped to see the all the Christmas lights at the Lights of Christmas which is hosted by Warmbeach Camp. Now this place has always held a special place in my heart as I have been going there for various functions as long as I can remember.
     Many of my most memorable moments with friends have occurred on it's grounds. There was the un-killable spider, the furry couch that reminded us of a horse, trail walks with machete totting boys, Bike riding freedom, silly camp songs, caffeine induced late night laughter, freedom from adults, scary stories which had to be believed, bible smuggling wounds from running through the woods in the dark, new card games learned, friendships made deeper, heartfelt praises sung to the Lord and my favorite, long walks along the dyke trail toward the abandoned cabin.
     As we were walking through this place I know so well, I still felt a bit of a stranger to this  different world of splendor that only occurs during Christmas. I can see my children building their memories as we take our long awaited train ride,  talk to the tree that knows who we are and eat the fresh baked donuts that we look forward to each year. And just in case you've ever wondered, Angie and I think we are onto their "secret ingredient". Having just learned that hunger is usually the best ingredient. What do you get when you combine said hunger with 46 minutes of waiting for, while smelling awesome hot donut sugary goodness with 7 children in the cold. I think it could be called desperation although I'm sure anticipation is a better word. Either way, that combined with the typical ingredients makes for a sugary doughy, chewing silent experience that is out-of-this-world!!
     I, of course, do not have any pictures of this wait and following donut joy because I was tired. Happy, but tired.  But, you may, of course, enjoy the pictures that I did take.

We're finally here!!!

Entering wonderland
Yes, our children ARE animals!

Takes attitude to pull a carriage.

What does it look like from the other side???
Levi is too tall for the Pony Rides.

What IS in there?

Primrose like a Lite-Brite.

Talking to Bruce the Spruce
A whole bunch of kids.

My Favorite Tree

Some major prayers

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Birthday from Before

    So, on October 8th, my son turned 8. This is his golden year. I'm not  really sure he realizes that life isn't ever going to be near as much fun as it is right now. For the next few years he gets to enjoy being young enough to trick or treat, old enough to ride his bike to his friend's houses alone, no more responsibility than a few chores, and just enough responsibility to spend the night with his friends. His bike is his car, no insurance, no fuel. His job is to learn, no tuition, no expensive text books. His relationships are simple, no dating, no hormones. Ice Cream can still turn a bad day into a good one, God's love is easy to trust in, and sharing a birthday party, no matter how simple, with your friends is simply awesome.

3 Legged Race

Corbin spys the finish line

Straight up Relay Races....To wear them out....maybe.

Three Cheers for the Birthday Boy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Much Taller Little Brother

     I guess it doesn't matter how much they grow, or how grown up they act, because your little brother will always be your little brother. Mine, in fact, is quite tall, strong and grown up. Calling him my little brother seems silly, yet, it's the best way to describe the joy I feel when I am around him. He's special to me, he is just amazing really, I simultaneously adore him and look up to him. My heart is always wanting to hug him, while my brain wants to have deep conversations and hear all about his ideas and dreams. With a guitar in his hands, he can't help but create beauty. He is simply awesome.
     He is also quite lucky, lucky of course to have found a wonderful girl. A girl who's spirit matches his own. Beautiful inside and out, kind and loving. Together they are like the wind, restless and free, you can not help but find yourself irresistibly drawn to them and their love for life.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I am a.........Photographer???

When does it happen? That magical moment when you know you have become what you always wanted to be? What if you never knew what you wanted to be, but have found yourself headed towards a goal you didn’t even know existed, or that one day it would appear in front of you.
Did you really feel like a Mom when you first held your baby, or did you feel like an imposter put in charge of something very special and unsure if you were up for the job. I did. How about a few weeks later as you deftly changed diapers at midnight, without a single light, or found clean clothes for yourself and the little one without a bit of sleep. How about a few weeks after that, when you realized it had been at least a few weeks since the last time you showered, or maybe it’s when you realize it’s been a few years since you were able to go potty by yourself. When did you officially realized you are a “Mom” now.
Some jobs seem easier to define, while others are a bit harder. When does a Nurse become a Nurse, is it when she passes that all important Test (I know it has a name, but I don’t know what it is, because, well, I’m obviously NOT a nurse)  and gets to officially put that “RN” behind her name, or is it the first time she watches one of her patients die. Or maybe it’s the first time she saves one.
Is a Teacher one, because she has a degree, is it when one of her students pass a test, or not until all of them do? Maybe it’s when she sees a student’s eyes light up in understanding, as she explains something new.
What makes a person a writer, poet, artist, singer or photographer? Talent can give a person an edge, but without training, it can go to waste. Going to school can add skills but does not make a person talented. Talent and school can bring a person to the brink of a career, but without a head for business, even then they may fail. But is a Career the goal? Is Making $$ the measure of “making it.” What about the cliché ideology that “An Artist is never appreciated untill they are dead.” Would you consider Picasso a failure? But didn’t he die penniless? Hemmingway?
When I filled out my google+ profile, it asked for my profession. I typed, deleted and re-typed photographer 4 times. I felt like a fraud, but I left it. What makes ME a photographer??? Is it because I’ve taken around a million photos? Or is because I have a DSLR camera? Maybe it’s because I don’t use “Auto” mode anymore, or possibly because I’ve read my camera manual. Is it because I was born with an “artist’s eye” and I’m a bit analytical.  Is it because I’ve taken photographs of sunsets, sunrises, flowers, families, weddings, baby bumps, childbirth, newborns, toddles, teenagers, engaged couples and puppies? Or was it when I received my first twenty dollars afterwards?
I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think it’s when you fall in love. Remember when you first fell in love with your man, and everything you talked about came back around to him, no matter how hard your friends tried to talk about something else. That’s it. It’s when you have a few moments alone, and find yourself wondering what the light must look like outside, or you open another book on photography. It’s when you drive somewhere and you catch yourself saying out loud; “Look at that light” even though you are alone. And when you’re with someone, the conversation keeps turning in that direction. It’s when you ponder white balance and ISO during church, or forget to pray because you are trying to catch the moment when everyone else is. Or like this morning, at 2:54 am, I woke up and couldn’t sleep, so I went outside and took 64 photographs in the dark, and then wrote this blog..
It’s when you know that no matter what happens, bad experiences or big mistakes, and that if you never make a dime, that you will never stop. That’s how you know.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Ghost Luna.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is your label?

Church "Lifers" have a few got-to labels about people from the bible that we've absorbed without really thinking about the reasons for, or maybe lack of reasons for them.
Such as, what comes to mind when you see.....

Thomas or better known as Doubting Thomas. Yes, this is easy, the disciple who doubted.

Simple enough, what about Lot's wife. Ohhhhh, the woman who "looked back" on her sinful life, who is now a pillar of salt somewhere.

Here's another. Job's wife. What did she say, "Curse God and die." Not such great advice I guess. Here's one that are a bit harder, King David. The man after God's own heart AND the Adulterer.

Here's a tougher person to label, for me at least. JosieRae. What comes to your mind?

As I stood in church on Sunday, I was overwhelmingly filled with thankfulness that my past doubts have been forgiven. Just awestruck at the awesome work God has been doing in my family despite my unfaithfulness. For you see, just a few months ago, I was begging the Lord to send another man, one who could actually love me. A year ago I was pleading with God to kill me or my husband, thus freeing me from this stupid vow of "till Death do us part" and all the pain that came with it. Several years ago, I was asking God why he let me follow my own path. And almost a decade ago I told God, that I loved him, but wasn't "into" serving him right now. And that I'd be back, but first I needed to spend some time on my own. Dark words for dark times. These were not my only prayers, they were my prayers of doubt.

There were other prayers too, prayers asking for forgiveness for my selfish choices, prayers of love for my husband and prayers of thankfulness for the blessings God has given me. But do these prayers make me a faithful follower? Or does the list above label me as a doubter.

Think on the people listed above.
Sure Thomas doubted, but if you read a few paragraphs up, ALL the disciples deserted Jesus in the Garden. And only 2 disciples went to the grave with Mary and Martha when the ladies reported an empty grave. All were hiding in a locked room when Jesus did appear. It was Thomas, who asked for a little proof, so we labeled him the doubter. Peter denied Jesus 3 times right before he was crucified, yet he got the lucky label of "the Rock." That sounds a lot better than Peter "the Deny-er."

Let's look at Lot's wife. Seems to me that it was likely they had lived in Sodom for some time (which, I'm sure Lot had nothing to do with, right???) and probably had a few friends, and maybe some family that she loved in the city. Can you claim you've never looked back on a few of your favorite past sins longingly. Maybe you've even indulged in them a time or two, only to be reminded of how ugly they were.

How about Job's wife. Now if Job was such a faithful guy, don't you think he'd have a faithful wife? It's possible he didn't, but if we look farther and see that before she muttered the infamous words, "Curse God and die." 10 of her children were killed. Maybe not all of them were hers, but it's possible that  at least 1/3rd of 1/2 were. Either way, 3 or more of her children were killed in one brutal blast of the wind. Personally, I'm pretty sure I'd Curse God and hope to die also. That pain couldn't have been easy to bear.

So, it stands to reason, that all of us have two names, like King David. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord and truly seek him, we can  become men and women "after God's own heart." Yet watch out. David got a little lazy and spent a little time with a woman he shouldn't have, and suffered much pain as a result.

So here I stand, constant sinner, often doubting, forgetful, un-thankful, lazy, undeserving, often judgmental, prideful and self serving.

Yet God, he works. He works in my life, my heart and my desires.

Thank You Lord for hearing my Prayers and changing my heart and that of my husbands. Thank you for loving me, despite my faults and for never giving up on me!!!


And if our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against us.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tooth Fairy Fail

The Tooth fairy Saga. Sienna lost her 3rd tooth in the last 2 weeks.

Tooth #1, Forgot to put $$ under pillow the first night, Sad girl the next morning. Barely remembered the 2nd night.  -partial FAIL.

Tooth #2. Put tooth on counter above the sink for safe keeping. Left tooth on the counter, forgot to put under pillow. Again, sad morning. Next night, forgot again. 10 pm, I remember, grab the tooth (and $$) and Violently try to wake up Sienna, (ya right) and SHOW her I am placing the tooth under her pillow. (placed the $$ instead) and waited for morning. Sienna went to school, nobody remembered to check for tooth $$ till after school - FAIL

Tooth #3. Sienna placed tooth under pillow almost immediately but as bedtime came, Andy and I forgot...again. 5:30 am, I get woken to an extremely loud whisper of "TOOOOOOTH FAIRY" I jump up, (And this is where I went wrong, we both know Andy is the more graceful one) grab a few quarters and sleepy stumble....quietly?...downstairs in my giant white robe. I bet I looked like a ghost. I check under her pillow, nothing. I check under her bed....nothing. I do another, larger check under pillow.....sleep sounds cease. I drop to the floor and listen to Sienna smack lips and roll over. No sleeps sounds resume.....still none. While hiding on the floor, I see a glitter of plastic from the sandwich bag containing, the tooth. I slowly reach under the bed and carefully grab it. Have you EVER realized how loud a small plastic bag is!!! I slowly pull it towards me, Sienna rolls over......."Mom....Why are you here?" I quickly stand up, "Oh, I just came down hereto check on you, to see if you peed the bed." She replies, "Yep. I did. But why were you down there?" "Just checking for Tweakers (our cat)." Then I act shocked and exclaim "Oh, there she is, she's on your bed! I knew I heard her."  We fixed the bed, changed clothes and went back to sleep. I try to pretend it's still the middle of the night by saying, "sleep good, you need your sleep, see you in the morning."

6:30 am..Mom, You put the $$ under my pillow when you came down there.             FAIL

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

31 and Getting Older

It's my birthday today. Today I am 31 years old.

Yes, I admitted it, because age is just a number, and I never understood why it is supposed to be a big secret. I mean, maybe if I was single and interested in some 28 year old guy, but then again, I've always liked a more mature man, so obviously this situation is highly unlikely, besides the fact, that I am not single.

This has been a weird birthday for me. It's not the fact that I am out of my twenties, or the fact that I am over 1/3rd of the way through my entire life. It's not the fact that I have, or haven't accomplished my dreams, or the fact that I am older.

Age is just a number.

How many times have you heard that. Sounds cliche, right?

Well, My Great Grandma taught me something very important about age. She was 97 when she passed away. Actually, she was 96 1/2. But just like when you were 17 1/2 years old, and your Mom gave you a curfew, and you said, "But Mooaaammm (all long and whiny like a 4 year old), I'm practically 18." Well that's how it is, she was practically 97.

What she told me, a few years before she passed, is important. She said, "When I wake up, I feel 25. Then I try to move, and I realize I'm not."

I woke up today, and I felt 23.
Not 31, and not 25, because well, when I was 25, my son was practically 3, my daughter was 15 months and I was pregnant with twins. Although, that fact, I did not know yet. I did know I was pregnant and very, very sick.

So, I woke up today, and felt 23. Will I continue to feel this way, forever, and just have to watch my body break down around me. Like watching your carefully built citadel fall before your enemies, right in front of your eyes.

That your sinful, broken, earthly body will betray you, and you will be left in it, even when it doesn't work anymore.

Yes, that is just what is going to happen. Sort of sucks! Another thing my Great Grandma would say was, "It's hard to get old. You get to watch all your friends die."

Well, I'm 31, and I've already lost 1 friend, I have some pain in my hip, now what.....

Well, I have to choose to be young, regardless of how I feel. I'm going to laugh out loud in public, I'm going to try on sunglasses, and make turkey sounds when that silly tag hits my nose and bounces around regardless of who looks oddly at me. (True story, my Great Grandma, Grandma and I actually did this, in Target when I was about 12. Favorite Memory)

I'm going to kiss my husband, tickle my children, and really listen to my friends and NEVER forget, when I see an older lady, or gentleman, who is struggling with something, because their body is old, that, if I can help, to help, and not treat them as a child, or a weak person. But with respect, because on the inside, they feel the exact same as I do!

   More of the reflections, in 1 place

     They real website, of Tom Hussy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Stranger in my Bed.

I woke up, the other day, rolled over and saw this bulk of a man in my bed. Now, this is not an odd occurrence. I am married, and the man is not a new one. In fact, it occurred to me as I stared at him, that I have been waking up next to him for almost 10 years.

10 Years.

When you are young, 10 years is the same as Never or Forever.

As soon as you can appreciate that you will drive a car, it will be 10 years before you can. That  will take  FOREVER

Once school becomes not-so-much fun. You have just 10 more years of it. So, you'll NEVER be done.

As a teen, you think things like, I'll never have kids, knowing that you really want some in, oh, like, 10 years.

Or, We'll be BEST friends FOREVER, but your life is taking you in different directions, and in 10 years, regardless of how hard you try, you barely ever see each other.

Or, I'll NEVER be 30.

There's just something very adult about saying anything and adding "for 10 years." To even say you've had the same job for 10 years, or the same house, bad habbit, car, or spouse. You have to be old. Not like super old, but usually, near 30.

Which was OLD, 10 years ago.

So, I look at my husband, and wonder, "Do I know him better than I did, 10 years ago?"

Sure I know more facts about him.

I know he really wants to own a Jeep,
I know he is a big football Fan,
I know he gets sick of  regular sandwiches, but never gets sick of sub sandwiches,
And I know he loves me and our kids.

But often, he gets this mystery look, and I can't figure out what he's thinking about. Or he tries to explain something, and I just can't understand what he is saying. Sometimes, we even agree, but our process was so very different that we begin to debate our reasons for agreeing.

It seems like the more I know about him, the more I want to know.

Maybe this is the desire that grows true love. That the ever-changing person God made us to be, builds up your love, because there is always something new to learn, understand, and desire.

(click Play)

His mind is a mystery that I will never unravel,
His determination is a force that I will never grasp,
His love is a gift, I will never fully see,
And our journey together is one I will never be able to plan.

This man in my bed is a stranger.

I wonder if I will feel that way FOREVER (you know, for the next 10 years.)

...A bit of info...
(The song posted above was sang at our wedding by an amazing couple that we love.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not a Super Hero

So, I apparently started a blog that seems to imply that I have something super spiritual to say. Something that, perhaps, indicates that I should at least read my bible before posting, pray a lot and then type something with deep meaning.

So I didn't post.

Finally read my bible yesterday but did not have some amazing breakthrough. Nothing that made me say "WOW" That's what I MUST blog about. Didn't happen.

So I didn't post.

Maybe this is because I am currently feeling stuck in a bit of rebelliousness. I feel like a toddler who fell down in the dirt, immediately ran back to God for a hug, but afterward ran right back into the dirt.

All this, when I know, that when I am right by his side and holding his hand, that THAT is where I want to be. So why do I keep finding myself in the dirt?!?!

Well, I have sat here for a few minutes trying to think of something fun and witty to type here, something that sort of eases the pain of the truth. But, if I'm honest, all the answers that I can currently think of aren't pretty.

Basically, I love my muddy, squish-between-the-toes, cover me in filth, smelly, quicksand sin better than I love my Savior. Even though he faced sin, directly battled the devil, and took my dirt with him to the cross, so I wouldn't have to battle it at all. He did that, so I wouldn't have to get muddy.

Just like a parent who yanks a knife out of their young child's hand, by gripping the blade, and cutting their own hand, to spare the child the pain.

So, here I am, in the mud, trying to say thank you, yet feeling a bit too dirty.
But he loves me anyway, and keeps washing my sin away.

over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over......(infinite)

So, if you were wondering, I'm not Super-Spiritual Girl, not Super-Best Intentioned
Girl,or even Super-Thankful Girl.

nope. I'm just a muddy girl.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why am I Blogging now?

Some days I feel words are building up inside me, until I'm going to explode. That's how I feel today.

Yes, I am the girl who promised herself to never start a blog. I spend enough time on the internet as it is. But as I am weening myself from the mind drain also known as facebook, I am finding words just building up inside.

I have made an art of making my Facebook posts, cute, short, sweet and lacking any real meaning. I found ways to sound clever or intelligent within the 420 character max. Spent hours thinking up the prefect soundbite. But face it, 420 characters, (ever wonder who picked 420, I mean seriously,) will only temporarily contain a person's real need to write.

And I have a real need to write.

I love to write. I love to put my thoughts, which, seem jumbled up in my head, into beautifully, if not misspelled, arraigned sentences. I like taking disorder, my thoughts, and creating order and beauty. I love to write.

But blog.....NEVER.
Why not??? Well, it's simple. I did not want to be exposed.

When I write, it has usually been so long, that, I, in a fit of emotion, just grab a notebook, run to a quiet spot, open it up somewhere in the middle, where my kids have left a blank page, throw down a date on the corner and off I go. Out pours days, weeks and months of emotion. Thoughts I didn't know I had, tears I hadn't cried. Fears I didn't want to fear. All on this random piece of paper which I will tear out and eventually throw in the garbage. Albeit I WILL feel much better.

Here's the catch, the first thing I write, after the date, is "Dear" and then I wait....Dear who? That is the question.

NEVER Dear Diary. I hate that. Who is Diary? My daughter pronounces it diarrhea , which makes it even better.

"Mom, can I read Diarrhea of a wimpy kid? Can I?"

This is always the hardest part. I have sat with that empty page and a "dear" on it for what felt like hours. Who am I writing to??? I can't put down another word until I know. And, if I'm honest, most of them end up letters to my Husband, who has currently offended me, or to God, who apparently hasn't been listening to my prayers correctly.

Who I am writing to means everything to me, and blogs are for everyone...right? How can you write to everyone? So, I decided to never blog.

Yet here I am.

Today I learned something. I can't nail down what verse it was, or why the sermon today, at church, even led me here, but in the car, on the way home, it came. Who would I be writing to, who would I share my thoughts, concerns and, intimately, my exposed soul to. The one who already knows it....God.

So if any of the stuff in my life, will help any of you with yours, you can read this too. But otherwise, this is the story of God and me. How he loves me, despite all my sin, how he holds me even when I run away, how he protects me, when I'm the one who put myself in danger and how I really do want to know him better, even when I often don't choose to spend any time with him.

And because he made me with a LOVE for writing.