31 August 2010

backyard ball.

dusk settles on our shoulders, cloaking the earth with thick, cool air.

the kids scramble after their father and a leather ball, giggling from deep inside their bellies. to them he is a giant, mythic, indestructible.

backyard ball.

their steps crunch the august grass and stir up swarms of buzzing things, bright in the leftover sunlight.

and my heart catches on this scene, the way my husband jostles for position, laughs, talks smack, the way he relishes this game and this evening and this moment flanked by smallish people every bit as much as they do.

fast break

he's a good man, this husband of mine. my heart spills over.

* * *

More everyday miracles at emily's.

26 August 2010

a quarter peck of joy.

fresh peaches, quarter peck

they came by with peaches, lisa and her boy, just popped up on my front stoop bearing luminous smiles and bags spilling with fruit.

the kids clamored for an extra snack, so i parted velvet skin and carved flesh into wedges of gold. and with peach juice dribbling sticky down our chins, i thought: this is how God shows up in my everyday, through a knock and a friend and glassine bags heavy with summer globes.

so often i am cleopas fumbling along on the road to emmaus, missing Jesus as he unpacks truth beside me. i inhabit that contradiction of the slow and burning heart all too well.

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?"

it takes a while, but in the end i see it's him. and oh, how my heart ignites.

so today, determined not to let the joy stop with me, i knock on a door and hand a bag to the surprised, then crinkled-into-a-smile face of my neighbor. and i think perhaps God multiplies the peaches and the grace, that the good news is for us all, and that the best part of today is how i am lucky enough to share it.

* * *

more imperfect prose at emily's.

24 August 2010


beginning a list of joys, from scratch:

1. kernels of hope with neatly thatched caps [and the miracle of an oak tree housed in something so small and shyly green]


2. the mystery of God's Spirit housed in a flawed, inadequate me

3. fresh quilts for almost-here babies

baby coins quilt

baby coins quilt

4. my five-year-old songwriter

elle's song

SHePHerD I Love you GoD you Are GreAT
AND MiGHTY BuT Love is Miy FavorTa worD
AND I Love you GOD you Ar Big GreaT

[sing it loud, my sweet girl]

5. glimpses of the other side, of shimmering-firefly mornings

other side


5b. knowing that these here-and-now joys are the barest echoes of the unspeakable joy to come.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [2 Corinthians 4.18]

* * *

joining the gratitude community at ann's place.

holy experience

and, per tuesday's usual, celebrating the miracle of everyday with emily.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

17 August 2010


a couple thursdays back, we spent an evening in the weedy green of our front yard celebrating birthdays with the hubby's family.

they are a rowdy and big-hearted bunch, and i love that they are mine.

driveway hoops.


little e.



buckets of fun.



birthday scooters.

aunt kristin smoked everyone.

there's something about late summer light on the faces of people i adore that hints of heaven, of things to come. things yet unseen, but so warmly familiar to my reaching soul.

* * *

more everyday miracles at emily's.

16 August 2010


melissa and paul are anticipating the arrival of their first child, and boy do they make expectation look beautiful.

the evening we photographed outdoors was so thick with humidity we felt near-drowning with each breath, but melissa was as flawless as ever. she is such a gorgeous mama.








i wish y'all could know these people. they are playful and generous and have this pronounced sense of humor that i adore.

they will be amazing parents.

thanks, melissa and paul, for the opportunity to photograph this time of expectancy. i can't wait to meet your little girl.

11 August 2010

first day.

first day.

a certain smallish someone began her educational career today.


[do not believe that face for a minute; she was perfectly giddy about cubbies and mrs. wilhelm and popcorn and pink erasers.]

just a bit nervous.

we stepped outside at ten till seven to grab a few photos, but the sky was pitching a fit and hurling white-hot bolts to the earth, so we promptly stepped back inside. [you can't tell so much since i cranked up the iso, but it was wicked dark out there.]


elle and her olderish brothers guttled pancakes and milk, scrubbed their pearly whites, and wrestled cowlicks into place. they velcroed shoes and slid into backpacks and bounced around the front door with nervous happiness.

backpack on.

and as the sky split and dropped a river of rain, we saw all four kiddos safely onto their sturdy buses.

lovely weather for the start of school.

in case you were taking bets, i didn't cry, but i did miss them all today. every now and again the stillness startled me, and i had to think about where all the quiet was coming from.

right. public education.

but i worked on orders and editing and before i knew it, the clock hit 2:40 and i hiked up the street to meet my littles.

the day was good to them.

'twas a good day.

down pat.

second grade.

yet another begrudging shot.

[and despite all evidence to the contrary, even He Who Shall Not Be Photographed had a smashing first day of fourth grade.]

all in all, 'twas not so bad.

now i just have to survive tomorrow.

05 August 2010

birthday kid.

my dearest em,

you are quite possibly the bittiest eight year old in the history of unfortunate gene pools, but you carry a heart as wide and luminous as the moon.


and that, hitched to your impish grin and sweet cleverness, will take you just about anywhere you and God need to go.


hold fast to the One who so relentlessly pursues you. effuse your aspirations at His feet.


stand as tall as the mercy that rescues and heals you, and be grace with skin on in your small circle of the world.


happy birthday, my sweet boy. go on and take the world by storm.

* * *

more imperfect prose at emily's.

03 August 2010

dear ones.

they found me straight away, in those early, nervous days of freshman year, before i had time to notice i needed finding.

annie was just my kind of girl: solid, steady, insightful, not given to preening or giggling. she was smart and a musical maven with calves of titanium: i liked her on the spot.

jer had this way of making you happily spill your guts, loyal and disarming, his trademark snigger as obnoxious as it was endearing. he was a dead-ringer for my older brother: i liked him on the spot.

and so we passed notes and spooned cookies and camped under a shelf of kentucky rock. we treaded frigid north atlantic saltwater off the coast of portugal, kicked up spanish dust in a pick up soccer game. we sometimes studied. argued. drowned lettuce. shared homework and half-baked poetry.

and through those formative, fantastic years known as higher education, i watched them flirt and tiff and fall in love. i stood witness in velvet the color of currant wine as they pledged a lifetime of devotion.

now, some dozen plus years later, annie and jer are as beautiful together as ever. and with the arrival of their gorgeous little guy, i had the recent and distinct pleasure of photographing their family.

(isn’t it bizarre and miraculous that we all have lawns to mow and water bills and grown-up jobs? that they trust us with the welfare of smallish, actual human beings?)










so here’s to the rich, simple pleasure of an afternoon spent with dear friends. with people deeply familiar with my eccentricities and flaws, but who still stand shoulder to shoulder with me, ready to take on the messy brilliance of this life.

* * *

stop by emily's place for more everyday miracles.