25 May 2012

favorite things.

right next to christmas, summer is my favorite.

the young'uns have one last sliver of a school day and then they're home free. they are already missing their classrooms and best mates and teachers, and i'm trying to be sad with them, sort of, but internally i've got these marching bands all parading to the tune of backyard camping and evenings stretched bright and firefly nights.

it's my favorite thing having all my kids here with me. bring on the summer vacation.

so we did b's eighth grade graduation this morning, and i just have to say, PEOPLE. i still think of my boy like this:

but as of now he is a big bad high schooler, and that is maybe the craziest thing i've heard of.

back in the day, right when elle was born, i'd be carting around a 6, 4, and 2 year old plus a newborn, and little old ladies would stop me in the grocer and say, oh honey, treasure this up. it all goes so fast. and i'd nod and smile, half delirious with fatigue, but it turns out that little old ladies KNOW THINGS. they are a wise and stealthy bunch.

meanwhile, the mister's been leaving me love notes about the house again, stashed in my toothpaste cabinet or on the desk. and i have no idea what he was thinking, marrying me, but the more incredible thing is how he picks me again every day.

i do believe i shall keep him forever.


have a beautiful weekend, friends!

18 May 2012


-last saturday dillan and rebekah got hitched, and never mind the drizzled dampness: the whole day was sacred and gorgeous.

more soon. (or knowing me, not so soon. but i will post more wedding loveliness at some futurish date.)

-this weekend we are sharing about our upcoming missions work at our very first church. we might be a wee bit nervous, but it's a warm and familiar crowd, and we're trusting God to do His thing. please pray that we'll make His glory known, and that those present will get a good look at what He's up to in africa and want to join in.

-after much blind fiddling and a few test posts, i finally have our family website up and running. by next year i'll likely just be blogging over there, so if you'd like to tag along with us to kenya, pop on in. :)

-and now i am short on time and long on work, so i must be off. happy weekending, my friends!

ps peonies! the peonies have arrived. may is such a friendly time of year.

15 May 2012

a year ago.

a year ago today we sat nervous and small on the far side of africa, listening to our soon to be son clomp heavy down the stairs to meet us.

a year ago today he stood framed by the playroom door, his face bright with expectation.

a year ago today he laughed himself silly while the mister dribbled a beach ball, and he flipped through his family book in an endless loop, echoing each name like a song.

a year ago today little em teetered into our lives and we didn't have the skinniest inkling of just how inside out things could get.

* * *

today, our boy is growing and reading and cannot wait for school.

he's still silly and bossy and chatterboxery. he can run and hop and balance and brush his teeth. he has become a law-abiding citizen (mostly) when mom and dad are on the scene. we are still working on the part where we leave the room and all bets are off.

i'll be honest, i still have days where i wonder what rainbow of delusion i was living under, thinking i'd be any good at this. but i've learned heaps about grace these past twelve months. i've watched my pettiness and self-absorbancy flame and crumble.

i've learned (and am learning still) the fine art of surrender--of being at the very end of my wretched self and leaning all my heart's weight on the wisdom and tenderness of God.

and still, He carries us. and slowly, painstakingly, bone by bone, we're becoming a family.

08 May 2012


wedged between a rash of thunderstorms, we've had these sticky afternoons that sing of summer.

sunday we trekked a few miles on the greenway, the kids discussing the finer points of killer bees and why smiling in passport photographs is oft discouraged.

'twas a bit of a toasty walk, so we picked up a carton of thin mint ice cream on the way home, then doused ourselves in the backyard sprinkler.

something about the heat makes me crave all manner of salads, so dinner was a hearty cobb, which ended up a bit topping-heavy. the kids braved the diced avocados and decided they were not so fond of the green fellas outside of a nice guacamole, but as my eleven year old so sagely stated: well, i think we're about to get good at trying things we aren't sure about.

i don't know if the recent warmth means summer's going to be intense or just early, but either way i'm near dizzy with this rush of blue and sun.

feels like a bright snatch of eternity with a God who gives mighty good gifts.

02 May 2012

thoughts du jour.

we took a lunching-walk through the neighborhood yesterday, my littlest fellow and i, the sky cool and thick with the feel of coming rain. he nattered on about sunglasses and birthdays, clutched his peanut butter sandwich and my hand. the rain held off till we'd almost circled home, and we raced the drops indoors to shrug off damp jackets, little em flushed silly and me feeling like a drought had lifted. (ever since todd and i arrived home from georgia, we were back to square one with little em's behavior. so after three weeks of barely acknowledging the mister or me, he's finally relocating his chattery, semi-cooperative ways, hallelujah.)

also of grave importance, i'd been dreaming of chocolate chip cookies for six days straight: crisped edges, cakey middles, milk chocolate that coats your teeth. the unfortunate thing about being a so-called grown up is that one is responsible for making one's own cookie dreams come true. equally unfortunate is that usually we've eleventy thousand things to do, and cookie making falls somewhere in the late 10,900's.


monday night at 9pm i overruled the priority list and baked up a happy batch (and have been thanking myself ever since for such a fine decision).

so. may is now upon us. on the off-chance you're still ferreting out an uncommon mother's day gift, here are a few handmade/vintage items from the good ol' planet of etsy.

[pop on over here for clickable links]

and lastly: ten months ago today, little em and i trudged bleary-eyed through laguardia's jfk's* passport control and changed our family's trajectory for good. things started hard, and they quickly morphed from immature-behavior-hard to deliberate-defiance-hard. ignoring our better judgment, todd and i operated according to the pervasive theory that any and all difficult behavior has its roots in adoption issues. but we knew little em is very much his own person, and with an unusual background, so after eight months of no change in rebellion levels, we finally opted to employ our common sense: this was strong-willed child stuff, possibly complicated by adoption issues. tackled from this angle, we're suddenly seeing all sorts of growth and progress.

all this to say, adoption experts likely give sound advice for most children and most families, most of the time. but moms, dads, don't be afraid to consult your own noggin and heart. when it comes to your child, you out-expert the experts, and your instinct + love may very well trump theory every time.

*clearly i have no clue what airport we flew into. given the lack of sleep + crazy, i'm still pleasantly surprised we showed up in north america.