Thursday, September 29, 2011

flying solo

My husband has completed his instructor training and will soon be placing his life in the hands of student pilots. (You can all start praying now. Thanks.)
Per Shawn's request, I'm on a mission to take some "cool aviation photos" to hang up in the house. I suppose these walls could definitely use a dose of engines and props among the framed flowers and baby faces. I like an assignment and while he's out teaching the next generation of aviators to stay in the sky, I think I know just where I'll have to go. But now I have to figure out how to swing a few hours alone with my camera or else his visions of cold, hard, steel in black and white will unavoidably include a touch of cute kiddo. I just can't help myself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

let's not do that again

Last week at Tristan's soccer game we lost Kate. Somehow in the shuffle of moving our chairs to one field, she wandered off in the direction of another. It was probably only a few minutes, but  those few minutes lasted forever.
Worst feeling ever.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

pinteresting ideas

This weekend I was hoping to do a little project I saw on Pinterest. So far things are shaping up to be a little busier than I expected so we'll see. Maybe I'll have something fun to share in a few days.
As I was thinking about it though, I remembered the project Sara and I did back in June. We saw this and thought it would be fun to try so we put our kids to bed, served up brownies and got to work.
First we brushed some whites and browns across a couple of canvases and I fidgeted with my (at the time) dying camera. I gave up on my sticky shutter and decided to document the moment in Hipstamatics.
Then we painted on some branchy shapes and I noticed our brownies matched our project so far. Sara has a knack for reproducing art just like the original while I have a knack for always making up my own rules and then wishing I had just followed directions. (and this is where I wanted to link to a fantastic firetruck painting that Sara did and blogged...but I can't find it! Sara, link it in the comments!)
We added spots of paint with round sponge brushes and, for a finishing touch, mod podged some cut-outs from a stack of paint chips. We could have painted all the spots but the paper bits added some interesting texture to the whole thing.
diy art
The final result is a quirky pretty piece of art that perfectly matches all the colors of our new home. Mine looks absolutely nothing like the piece that inspired it but I love it. I love it because it reminds me of my sweet friend and that time we stayed up till 2a.m. crafting with paper and sponge brushes like kindergartners.
copycat art
(By the way, I saw the original at World Market the other day and it is a beautiful painting with depth and color and meaning I could never replicate. I am not advocating for copying artists work to sell or claim creative credit for, but art inspires art, so I see nothing wrong with studying a particular work and making your own version for fun as you giggle and munch brownies with your best friend. Just sayin.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


zinnia, beautiful zinnia
"We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves--that, though we cannot, yet these projections can, enjoy in themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face; but it won’t. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so..."
~ C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
zinnia love

Monday, September 19, 2011

photo editing catch-up day 4,783 (or something like that)

creeping ivy
Remember how back in August I was trying to use all that time without a camera to catch up on all those past months of photo editing? Well, as it turns out, Nikon has a super fast turn-around time on repairs. And August heat seems to put my brain into some kind of hibernation. And any brain cells I did find available, I used up as I was muddling through school preparations and other difficult tasks at hand like feeding my children and remembering to wear a shirt. And I could keep making up excuses all day so we'll just stop there shall we?
I've decided it's time to face reality. I will never ever catch up. Even if I do, I will then immediately fall behind the second I pick up my camera again, right? So let me just say it again for my own benefit, I will never ever catch up. And I'm choosing to be OK with that. There, that was freeing. Deep breath.
I took these pictures in May and I like them, so I'm posting them here in September because that's when I got around to noticing them. Freedom!

Friday, September 16, 2011

pieces of something (and a book winner!)

Wow did I love hearing from you all on Sunday's post. Isn't it amazing how many different stories in the world can center on one moment in time? That moment in American history has changed and defined and woven together the courses of so many, and all those millions of stories are pieces of a bigger story aren't they? Isn't everything?
The Bible tells us that story, the one about who God is and all that He has done; and as a result, we know who we are. We may never be able to fully understand all these pieces of the bigger picture that we live in but we can rest in the assurance that His purpose is unfolding, and that His story is one that ends in restoration. That's good news in a world torn apart by terror and famine.
pieces of something
So about that book giveaway. I swished the numbers around in a random number generator stuck in my virtual hand and pulled out the number 6. That means commenter number 6, Lisa, you are the winner! (Lisa happens to be a fantastic author herself as you may remember. She blogs here and recently had some beautiful thoughts on fear and being a marine's wife posted on Her.meneutics.) Congrats, friend! I pray this little volume is a blessing as you and Nathan prepare for deployment.
I hope you will all check out Faith Deployed...Again and be encouraged by this community where you play an important part.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

knock and the door...

"Some days I can just manage to breathe in God's direction and somehow, in the sacredness of that unspoken spoken, He breathes back. And, I've found, we can go a long way like that. Sometimes we wish prayer to be the rudder that changes the course of our entire lives. Yet I wonder if it's our hearts- through the small spokens, the actual truths, the directed breaths- that end up changing. And that's more the point than anything."

{the giveaway is still running so be sure to leave a comment on Sunday's post to enter}

Sunday, September 11, 2011

remembering (and a book giveaway)

I remember that day. Shawn and I were out for a run in our quiet Texas neighborhood. We had celebrated our first wedding anniversary, graduated from college, and pinned on his shiny new Lieutenant bars the month before. Life had finally slowed to an easy pace of waiting for the next thing -our first military move would take us to Quantico in a few weeks time. Life was so normal that morning. Until it wasn't.
I remember rounding the corner at the stop sign near the Campbell's house and seeing Pappy in his truck. He pulled up to us, and with tears in his eyes, told us about the planes, the towers, the pentagon. I don't know but it's not good he said, shaking his head. We walked down the street to the house, wondering. We watched on tv, confused. We drove to work a short while later and heard words we couldn't even fathom, towers falling.
As a brand new Marine Corps wife in 2001, I had yet to experience anything military beyond Shawn's commissioning day and the rude awakening that was uniform price tags. Before marrying, we had talked about possibilities and expectations for our life together. We talked about separations, wars, things he might be called upon to do, places he might have to go, but in that time of relative peace, how could we truly be prepared for what lay ahead? Since then, we've faced all of the things we talked about and then some. I think we know now that you can't truly be prepared, you can only believe that the One who called you to this place will never leave you nor forsake you. In the face of chaos and things unfathomable, He is unchanging.
In her new book, Faith Deployed...AgainJocelyn Green, along with contributing authors from every branch of service, offers wisdom and encouragement for military wives.
Written by military wives for military wives and "dedicated especially to those who's lives have been drastically altered since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001", this is one book I am eager to recommend. 
Reading it was like standing around a warm kitchen, talking late into the night with girlfriends who have been there -they get itTheir stories are honest and real, their advice rich and worth remembering, and every chapter centers on scriptural truth. I found myself marking pages, underlining passages and going online to read more on their blogs. I didn't want the conversations to end.
The stories of these woman are unique but each one pointed me towards the steadfast love of God and reminded me that I live to bring glory and honor to His name, no matter the circumstances.
Jocelyn has provided me with one copy of Faith Deployed...Again to give away this week so I want to hear from you (all of you!) How did that day ten years ago change your life? Where were you? What do you remember? For my military sisters -what's your story? What (or Who) has been your greatest encouragement along the way? Everyone who comments will be entered to win a copy. If you don't think you can benefit from this book, I would dare to disagree, but it would also be a fantastic gift for a military spouse or mom in your life so please, join the conversation.

{keep the comments coming all week on this post and I'll announce a winner on Friday}

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

to sum it up

her weekend happy place
Our weekend was relaxing, fun, and extra long.
We spent it with family and were able to celebrate two birthdays together -Lily turned eight and Shawn turned, well, more than eight.
Cousins swam past dark and giggled past midnight (but never, ever would they dare sleep past sunrise!) We watched movies and read books and ate too many cupcakes.
tutu swimmer
And when we came home, we were greeted by Fall, who apparently hitched a ride on the back of tropical storm Lee. We immediately opened all the windows and I've been in a fresh air delirium ever since.  
watch this!
I can't sit indoors for more than five minutes (so forget photo editing) and I can't seem to put two words together to save my life (I've been writing this little post for days). So I'll be back when my brain clears (or the weather goes back to it's regularly scheduled hot, whichever comes first). Right now, I have a garden to deal with. And a book to read on the porch. And a walk to take. And oh so many things that don't include a chair or walls or computer.......

Thursday, September 1, 2011

thoughts this new september day

The days keep flying by me, sunrise to sunset, over and over, again and again. Is it really September? How can that be? We did open new school books last week. And we are finding our way to ballet class and soccer practice and classical conversations with appropriate shoes for each, sometimes even on the right feet. Sometimes...
It is pouring outside as I sit here but these wild, afternoon rainstorms are coming less often, and while in my opinion it is still miserably hot, there is definitely a tinge of something different in the air. I stare longingly at the empty vegetable planter and barren flowerbeds outside my kitchen windows and realize that Florida and I have found something to agree on. This month we will garden.
waiting to plant
The school buses are rolling by but my three little monkeys are home to stay, and I'm thankful for that. We wake up slowly over toast and coffee and spend mornings alternating between lessons at the table, stories on the couch, and wiggle breaks on the swing set (that is when we're not operating on a delay due to Starbucks run). We have new books to read, lessons to learn, gardens to plant, friends to play with, and so much more on the horizon. I need only begin to count these blessings to push the daily fears and worries and frustrations of mothering aside. These days are ordinary and routine with the occasional different thrown in but always new. Each and every one, a shiny new gift.
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