Archive for February, 2009

February 26, 2009

Ash Wedensday

 
Today the girls and I met Bridge in downtown and we went to St Andrews Episcopal church.  It was my first ever observance of Ash Wednesday.  It happened kind of last minute, on a whim, I may have been the only person there in jeans, but I love that it happened, the timing seems right .
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We walked to the church together.  It's one I've passed and noticed before.  It's grand and ancient looking.  Everything in it seems wonderfully heavy and intricately crafted.  Inside and out, the beauty of that place is almost overwhelming.  

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It was also my first ever liturgical service of any kind.
And the ceremony of it all was also almost overwhelming in it's beauty. 
From the sobering readings, to the kneeling at the altar for communion, to the ashes on our heads, the whole thing was so much more than symbolic. 
 I'm sure I'm not as educated as I could or should be about this day and this season, but I love that it feels like a call to something deeper.
A call to look at my sin honestly. 
A call to repent. 
A call to ponder death and human frailty.
Seemingly dark things made light by the Hope of Glory and His death on the cross. 
So it's more like an opportunity to reach out and grasp the grace handed to us. 
And I don't know of a more life changing opportunity.
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And these words from the Rev. Margaret W. Jones:
Ash Wednesday is the gateway to Lent.
We have forty precious days to open ourselves up most particularly to God,
to examine ourselves in the presence of one who created us, knows us, and loves us.
We have forty days to face ourselves and learn to not be afraid of our sinfulness.
We ARE dust, and to dust we shall return, but with God’s grace we can learn to live this life more fully,
embracing our sinfulness, allowing God to transform us.
Thanks be to God for this forceful, sobering day.
 May God grant us:
    the wisdom to know ourselves;
    the courage to admit our sins;
    and the grace to receive God’s never-failing mercy and forgiveness.
    Amen.

February 23, 2009

The Thomas Girls

These wonderful girls are four of my favorite girls in the whole world. 
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They are the daughters of one of my best friends, but much more than that. 
More than six years ago I fell in love with Haley, and Macy, and Abby.
As soon as I met their little selves, I was smitten.
I was there when Lily was born and loved her from the start too.
Before I had girls, Susanna did. 
I've had the great pleasure of seeing Haley grow from girl to young woman, and what a young woman she is! 
She is lovely, and warm, and quiet, and smart.  She is becoming more beautiful everyday.
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And Macy, one of the most charming girls you will ever meet.  She loves well, and laughs often, and she dreams big.
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Abby girl, she sparkles.  She is passionate and compassionate.  She is so full of grace for a girl of her age. 
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Lily Rose, a girl after my own heart, she loves words, sung or spoken, she loves 'em. 
She is spunky and gosh, I love spunky. And she is sweet as apple pie.
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They all are. 
Their pigtails, and tutu's, and sing-song-y ways have been bringing smiles to my face since before I had my own girls to dance with. 
I got to see the sweetness that is sisters in their home before it ever graced mine.
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They've been my willing little models since photography was just a dream. 
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They've helped me grow in more ways than that though.
And best of all, they've been blessed with one of the best Momma's ever. 
I see so much of her in them. 
They all have her big heart for children and her gorgeous smile. 
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Lucky them.

 

February 20, 2009

A Day Around Here

This is what yesterday looked like-

Breakfast with Grace.
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Of course.
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It brings an unexplainable amount of joy to me to have breakfast with her.
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Griff was home with pink eye.  He wasn't too sick to hang out with us though.
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We got a little Griff time and he got a little down time.
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And Emmy, hasn't been feeling great either. 
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She's ever the smiler when the camera is out though, hammin' it up.
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Gabe came home and inspected Griff's newly built Bionicle.
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And then, these two did this. 
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They are so similar in personality.  Both so full of attitude and stubborn. 
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And both so intensely sweet.

And then the kids went to their dad's house.  And  I went to Molly's house for a super laid back evening (except for the rather heated discussion about baseboards).
Somehow I made it through a whole visit with Cade without getting any shots of him, but he did brighten up an already pretty bright day. 
Amy crept in like a burglar and scared the crap out of us.
We munched on yummy pizza, (Archer Farms makes a great thin crust pepperoni), and Molly's special brownies and cookies. 
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Good food, good conversation.  Good times.

And then, laundry dancing.  It's kind of self explanatory.  About four nights a week I crank up my Pandora Jason Mraz or Adele staion and fold laundry. 
And dance.  Like this.
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And there you have it- A day around here. 
Never boring, just enough excitement to keep you guessing.
Guessing things like "Is that juice in her cup from today or yesterday?"
and "Did he brush his teeth at all yesterday?"
and "What can I make for dinner out of cinnamon raisin bread and spinach because I'm pretty sure that's all we have in the fridge?"
and "Does she really need socks?"
and "Where are your pants?"

February 16, 2009

This Goofball

Girffen just walked up to me and said "Hey Mom, I'm using technology to remind myself of things."  (because he talks like that, and thinks like that, I love that little nerd).   I said "Sounds great, show me." 
And then, I'm not kidding you, he presses play on his voice recorder and it says
"Hey handsome, don't forget about that toast you're making." 
That was the reminder he made. 
The first issue I have is the way he says "Hey handsome".  Wow.  Really?  Well, I guess at least he's confident.  But he has a little cold, so his voice is raspy and it kind of creepily sounds like Kathleen Turner doesn't want him to miss his nice, warm, crispy snack. 
The second thing is- Who needs to be reminded about toast?  I mean, you can hear it pop up in the other room, and it only takes like 30 seconds. 
Shouldn't he have at least a 30 second memory? 
But alas, he is my son. 
And I have to say, last week I made myself a bowl of oatmeal, put it in the microwave and somehow while standing next to the microwave that was running, and making the kids breakfast and my coffee, I managed to completely forget about it. 
So I made myself a piece of toast, and when the microwave beeped,
I was like "What the hell is that?" 
Oh, it's the oatmeal I made.  Like 60 seconds ago. 
Note to self- get a voice recorder. 
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February 12, 2009

Poses

So Em has become a poser.  She loves the camera, loves the attention, and she's started doing this:
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She is a mess, my prissy little princess.  This was a five minute session the other day.  She struck pose after pose and hammed it up.  I'm not sure if I'm happy or worried about that.
I have no idea where she gets it from…
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Okay, maybe I have some idea…
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I came home from court the other day and she was super excited to see me in my
"tea party" dress, (she doesn't know about my "getting divorced" shoes).  She wanted to take pictures too, because she's a big girl, "almost four you know."  That's what she said to me, "I'm almost four, you know."  Yes Em, I do know. 
It was my womb that you were expelled from "almost four" years ago.  Four going on seventeen.  This can not be good, these looks combined with this attitude.  Really. 

February 11, 2009

Single

So, as of 9:41 this morning, I'm officially single.  (or divorced I guess, but single sounds so much better than divorced).  It was a hard thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.  It was not done without lots of praying and thinking and working and trying and more praying.  It has only been a year since we separated, but it has been a long year.  This has been a hard journey and I have lots of thoughts and observations about the hows and whys of it.  It has caused more growth than I would've thought possible.  The most helpful thing has been falling out of love with the illusion that I was in love with and being freed up to fall in love with Jesus. And I don't care how corny that sounds, it's true.  And I'm sure it mostly has to do with the fact that I am closer to God than I have ever been, but  I am so, so full of hope.  And I haven't really gotten any further than that for now.  Not sure what I'm hopeful for exactly, just more I think.  Hopeful for more…
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February 10, 2009

A friend like her

My Bridge.  There is not a lovelier bridge in the world.   She is pretty magnificent already and intent about improving herself still.  I love that. 
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One of my best friends, the one who hugs me the most, the one who laughs the most.  I have more than once asked her to marry me because we would both make excellent husbands- and wives for that matter.  Unfortunately, fortunately really, we both really love men.  Anyway, she is changing and growing (and shrinking) in so many wonderful ways.  She inspires me with her determination and drive.  She makes me think I can do hard things too, makes me think they are worth doing.  Mostly she points me towards Jesus. 

We had lunch today, Bridge, and me, and the girls.  And it was super because she loves my kids so well. 
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It was super because they love her back. 
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We all do, so, so much.  My kids are lucky to have so many pseudo aunts that love them so well.  I am lucky to have amazing girlfriends that can be in my kiddos lives. 
We talked, and laughed, and reprimanded, and ate, and played, and maybe ran another errand that I will probably talk about later this week. (how's that for foreshadowing)
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It was laid back and fulfilling, as most times with Bridge are.

And then we met Julie and Sophia for some downtown fun.  We hit up Barnes and Noble and grabbed some hot chocolate and a cookie,
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and then we headed to Jamba Juice for smoothies. 
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Sophia is an incredibly sweet, soft spoken, beautiful, dancing and happy, wonderful girl. 
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Julie and I did not get to talk as much as we would have if the girls hadn't been there, but I love that the girls were there.  I love that we are facilitating their budding little friendships.  I love the thought that they will be forever friends.
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p.s.  if you hand a three year old your camera, this is what you get:
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and if you give her a little direction like "look through the thingy", you get this:
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February 8, 2009

Our Trail

We went out to this field last Friday. 
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Gracey, my fearless little tomboy, led the way until the grass was past her knees. 
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She would have kept on gong if I had let her, she had a fit when I picked her up.  She is pretty sure that there is nothing she can't do, and I am pretty sure she's right. 
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We looked for the trail that I had seen the last time I was there, but we couldn't find it, so we just marched right in to the tall grass.

We collected leaves, and rocks, and other interesting, nature-y things in a bag and we sat down in a flat spot to make some rubbings of our finds. 
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The kids thought it was a brilliant idea to color in the middle of the field.  The scenery was nice, the ground was soft, and the wind provided a nice little soundtrack for us.
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I will say that one advantage to being a single parent is that you get all of the cards, and notes, and flowers, and hugs to yourself. (and if you're lucky, you'll have Gabe to capture it)
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Along the way the kids wondered aloud about what might be in the field- bears, lions, snakes, not really in a scared way, it was more of an excited, adventure filled wondering. I was so proud of them for forging ahead through grass that they believed might be housing foxes or wolves. 

It got pretty tall and thick around about halfway to the woods and Emma got scared.  And then Griff grabbed her hand and said "Here, you hold my hand and walk behind me, I'll make a path for you." 
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And this was nothing really profound at all to anyone but me.  But it was profound to me.  Griffen is usually a little unaware of his surroundings. He spends most of the time in his own head dreaming big dreams, and pondering new inventions and far off worlds.  Friday though, very naturally, without me asking him too, he heard her ask for help and acted.  And his actions and words spoke tons to me of how he is growing.  I hope he does go through life looking out for others, grabbing their hands if they need it, and making his own paths.
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A little later we were on our way back to the van, and they were racing down the trail, and then all of a sudden Griffen turned back and ran towards me.  And then in a very winded and excited voice he said "Hey mom, Emma looks just like you!  I just noticed. She has your eyes, and your smile. She has your face!  I just saw it!"  He seems to be finally opening his eyes up to the world around him a little more and I love that.  

My beautiful Emmy, she is a dream.  She embraced the whole idea much better than I thought she would.  She didn't comlain or give up.  She walked the whole way.  She even wandered off away a few times to explore on her own. 
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Gabe apparently sees pretty well already.  He's got great eyes.  He asked for my camera about halfway through the trip and took these photos. 
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He took this one of the sky, because he loves the sky.
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On the way home, the sun was setting and Gabe looked up at the rainbow of clouds that was painting the sky and he sighed and then he said "It looks like God is coming out for somebody."  And he said it so nonchalantly, like 6 year old boys say things like that all the time.  And my jaw kind of dropped at his enlightened little mind. 
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He amazes me. 

They all do. 
Constantly. 
I am amazed at their ever increasing little minds and their already enormous little hearts. My kiddos, my loves, they teach me.

February 3, 2009

Tea Party

Yesterday we tea partied with E.  Just because.  And it was super. 

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Erin made tea and there were scones, and chocolate, and maybe some Capri Sun.
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We all dressed up.  We took a few pictures of course
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We chatted a bit, talked about important things like our favorite colors.  We danced a bit. 
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 Emma named Erin's baby spiders while Gracey finished off the scones. 
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We played outside a little, picked a few flowers, played a little tag.
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And then Grace and I went to pick up the boys and have ice cream while Em stayed with her Aunty E for a bit. 

Just because. 
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A great way to spend a Monday if you ask me.

Thanks Erin.  I am so, so thankful that my girls, and my boys I guess, and I, have you.  You are a fabulous Aunty.  You are an amazing friend.  And you're beautiful.  And lots of other wonderful things…
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Our Erin, she has been here in Texas longer than I thought she would be (longer than she thought too) and I am greatful for that.  Greatful for the example she is to my kids.  Greatful for the love she has for them and the love they have for her.  I am quite sure she has many big adventures ahead of her, and I am quite sure that I will miss her tons while she is off having those big adventures.  And I am also quite sure that all these memories we are making now will be treasured forever, great stories someday.
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