Sunday, November 29, 2009

Because every kid deserves a cheering section.

When you are holding your new baby girl in your arms for that very first time, something indescribably magnificent occurs and your heart simply melts into a puddle inside your chest. You cannot even believe you are capable of a love so big. And immediately it becomes impossible to separate your own beating heart from that of your child's...her wishes, dreams and experiences somehow become your own...and you pray that her life's purposes are fulfilled.

So, when the boy who is important to her, in ways that I can never be, needs a few fans in the stands, I will be there. He's a part of her life, so he's a part of mine as well. Since his own family is unable to to watch him start each game while fulfilling his captain role, and my sweet, sweet girl recognizes how much it means to him to have someone in the stands rooting just for him...I will be there. With camera in hand, we sit side by side admiring his athletic abilities and giggle at the silly dances and faces...because every kid deserves a cheering section.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Sunset Kinda Girl

Sunsets must be one of God's favorite teaching tools...

Teaching me about brevity... because i love the way in which the sunset reminds me to grasp hold and be present for each moment before it disappears.

And the importance of is it possible that while standing amidst huge throngs of people i can feel so completely still and in His presence while staring out?

The necessity of confusion...while the crazy collection of mixed-up colors can quickly confound my mind, I notice that each individual strand possesses a unique brilliance...if i just look closely enough.

Boy, is He good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

PEOPLE SUCK...some of the time

Steven says it all the time. It might sound jaded and harsh and negative...but he may have a point...especially since his job consists of listening to all of the stupid decisions, hurtful acts and misguided efforts humans impose upon one people who cheat...repeatedly...and learn nothing from their selfish choices, until they are faced with divorce and the fear of losing it all...or when parents screw up their children by hurting them over and over again...both with and without intent, leaving them lonely and filled with despair because their own flesh and blood has grown up and moved on without ever looking back.

And while our choices certainly do affect not only ourselves, but those that we profess to love, I pray that the relationships I am building with my husband and girls are going to last...because they call me out when I make mistakes and forgive me for my faults...not simply because we share genetics. And while we may all suck a whole heck of a lot from time to time, I'm convinced that if we recognize that suckiness for what it is...the flaw of being human...and strive to reduce our tendency towards it whenever possible with the help of true friends, family and faith...we can keep the suck factor to a minimum!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Family will be arriving in just minutes and I can't wait because the fourth Thursday in November is one of my all time favorite days of the year. It's not the huge feast planned and prepared, the Detroit Lions playing loudly on the television screen or even the celebrated Macy's Day parade...but it's the opportunity to stop and truly reflect on all that I am blessed enough to have as part of my humble little life...healthy and happy children, a husband who loves me in spite of myself, and those special friends and family members that can always make me smile. I am very, very thankful.

Oh, and Alissa is very thankful that Tim Tebow stayed at our hotel last weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Young Life... and a room full of teenagers!

Putting last night's emotions into words is so difficult for me for fear of sounding sappy or silly. And as you can see for yourself Young Life knows how to throw a party...the theme was perfect, the decorations were incredible and the festivities overall were quite amazing.

But, what I didn't expect was to be so humbly and completely moved by the honest and raw expressions of love and teenagers. The same teenagers that are surrounded daily by incredible pressures and situations...which are all outside of their control. They have learned how to finesse their way through these sometimes impossible circumstances...making decisions with a "Young Life" mindset. And, thus, these kids are making the conscious choice to live their lives differently than the majority...following their hearts.

So, after listening and witnessing firsthand the impact He has had on their young lives as teen after teen shared his or her personal story (and mind you they each exposed themselves in front of both their peers and an entire ballroom full of parents) brought tears to my eyes more times than I could begin to count.

It was an awesome Young Life night.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Super Saturday

Our Saturday began with my oldest daughter quietly stating to Steven and I that she wanted to have a family day. So, after breakfast with grandma and grandpa, we set off to the park on our bikes...with kites in tow. The wind was perfect, the sun was shining and we were all together...what more could I ask for? Here are just a few pictures chronicling the afternoon.

After scanning this post, Steven quipped, "We have two daugthers, ya know." Yes, but only one will ALLOW her photo to be taken!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Similar Sentiments

"Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?"-Hal Borland

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."-Andrew Wyeth

"The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July."-Henry David Thoreau

"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."-Sir Walter Scott

While we South Floridians may not be able to witness the searing red leaves as autumn continues to descend, I still like to fill my home with everything that is November. Although the fall foliage is of the silk variety...I love it. And while I may not be able to wander over to the nearest cider mill for some fresh Honey Crisps and mulled cider, I can burn fifteen autumn wreath votives from Yankee to get my fix. For me, this season is a time of reflection and contemplation...and that's a large part of why I love it so. A time of self-examination if you will. And I'm pretty satisfied with my life thus far. As this season progresses, I find myself pulling my family closer, wanting to develop those relationships more fully. As the year draws to a close, I am pleased with the way God has stretched me spiritually and pray that He will continue to do so. Yep, I love November.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Transitions Are Interesting!

This has been a difficult Halloween. Let me rephrase that. This has been a very different Halloween. From the time we became a family of four, we have followed the same Halloween traditions. The girls always planned their costumes for weeks prior to the big night and began dressing for the festivities three hours before dark. Steven prepared his famous homemade chili with steamed hot dogs, corn bread and all the fixings. My in-laws and folks joined us at the house and simply enjoyed the evening...some staying behind to greet trick or treaters while the rest of us traipsed around the neighborhood accumulating bags and bags of goodies.

But, our former traditions have been set aside this year and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it...a little sad, maybe, a little unsettled, definitely, so many things these past few years...I have to recognize that the changes aren't necessarily bad, just different. So, when Alissa began preparing for Homecoming and dressing in her beautiful gown looking every bit a woman...ready to conquer the world...I surged with pride. And when my Kinsey set off for a Halloween party with her girlfriends without us..I was oddly at peace. I have all of these wonderful Halloween memories to look back on. So, as I notice the neighborhood kiddos dressed for the night with their parents following closely on their heels...I will remember and treasure those not so long ago traditions. And I will work hard to embrace the new traditions that now seem to be.

Senior Night

Whew! It's over...after countless hours spent chasing down teen girls for their quotes...after sleepless nights spent fretting over the details (the presents, the program, the dinner, the posters, the decorations)...after many minor meldowns, too many trips to Target to count and a few tears's done. And I learned a few things about myself along the way.

First and foremost, I don't delegate well. But, I love to volunteer my time and talents for others. Second, I am a perfectionist and I have ridiculous expectations for myself. But, I love spending time with teens...because they really do notice when you put forth the extra effort.

And I'm thrilled to report that Senior Night was a huge fact, it exceeeded my type A expectations. And, looking back, I would do it all over again...exactly the same way.

(By the way, that's Alissa's boyfriend on the left!)