Thursday, April 28, 2011

it's official...

kenna girl
We had so much fun in Florida, we decided to move there!
me 'n kate
Well, OK, the United States Marine Corps may have decided that one for us.
They want Shawn to teach people how to fly in Pensacola.
We think he's going to be really good at it
and we're happy we get to follow him there.
katie bug
So our adventure together continues.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

wonderful surprise

I woke up at 6:30 am to the sound of my niece, Lily, squealing about Easter baskets as several giggling pairs of feet joined her in a tumble down the stairs. I dragged myself out of bed, aware that an adult should probably supervise the opening of chocolate bunnies on the carpet. I retrieved the one unhappy little girl that was left behind in her crib, handing her a new silky-soft lamb as we headed down to find the cousins.
Beau's Easter bunny
"Happy Easter, guys! He is Risen!" I say to them. I try to teach them to respond, "He is risen indeed!" and they kind of humor me, but mostly they just want me to open their candy so they can eat as much as possible before someone starts handing out "growing food" for breakfast. Tristan says, "hey mom, is the egg like the big rock that covered the grave?" Kenna asks, "where is Jesus now?" Lily tells us, "he was buried but he rose again and was alive!" 
Oh precious ones.
cousins on Easter
I see it. I see why He said we must have faith like these little children when I see their excitement, their belief, the way they jump out of bed and run to greet the day, this Day!
He was dead, buried, but has risen...He lives!
And He has given us another day to believe in Him and cry thank you, with all of ourselves.
I know it was the wonderful surprise of a basket of treats by their beds when they awoke that brought us all to the table at dawn, but I also know they are learning that this all means today is a big deal. What Jesus did is a big deal. That there is a greater, more wonderful surprise at work giving meaning to the eggs and the stuffed lambs.
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!" John 1:29

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the perfect road trip that almost wasn't

On Saturday, April 16, I loaded the kids and left home early, hoping to make Jacksonville before the "possible severe thunderstorms" that would be "arriving late afternoon" according to my weather channel app. I grabbed breakfast for the kids at Panera and filled the gas tank as the rain started to fall. Then we squeezed our way into the crawling line of cars on I-95. Just after crossing into North Carolina, I gave up on that cursed interstate altogether and veered onto the back roads of Halifax and Northampton county. It was windy but the rain had stopped and the roadsides were lined with azaleas and dogwoods in full bloom. I sang along to the radio and the kids zoned out on Speed Racer cartoons. I felt so smart navigating my way out of traffic like that. I remembered why I always loved North Carolina spring so much. I talked to Christy on the phone and we had plenty of time still to make it to the circus. I was making good time now as my thoughts wandered, passing through Rocky Mount, Wilson, Goldsboro, Kinston...
(click photo to view larger)
I had no idea.
I had no idea that North Carolina was experiencing a "historic weather event" as the news anchor kept calling it later when we were sitting in Christy's living room watching, wide eyed with mouths hanging open.
I couldn't decide if I should laugh or cry.
I think I did both as Christy voiced praise and thanksgiving for us both, praying the words of Isaiah 40:11, He gently leads those that have young...

The trip turned out wonderful. I also had no idea just how much I needed it.
More on that later. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

11,688 days

15/52 how others see you...
project 52 ~ week 15 ~ how others see you...
birthday love

it was a good day - a gorgeous day! -and the weekend is bringing all kinds of fun
thank you, dear ones, who sent sweet words and cook books and garden books and flower jewelry and iron plant hangers...
you have spoiled me with all the goodness of spring.
he loves me
including you, my love. you always find a way to make my day special
even from a thousand miles away.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

tuesday night's train of thought

i like him
He's out in the desert and I miss him. It's really quiet. I'm tired and I should just go to bed but I'm bad about staying up late for no reason at all when he's not here.
So, hello.
jars of colorful sprinkles!
I turned up Madeleine Peyroux on Napster and the quiet is a little more friendly now. Scrolling through pictures of kids on the beach last week, tagging some to post later, I remember I still have these pictures from Georgetown to share.
Georgetown street
I really want to get up to D.C. this week to see what's left of the cherry blossoms and stake out good portrait spots around the memorials. The weather has been all over the place lately (which explains the flip-flops and winter hats jumbled together by the door.)
little piece of chocolate joy
My birthday is on Friday, so I'm treating myself to a trip to North Carolina. I get to hang out in Christy's cozy house once more before she sells it and heads out west. We plan to wander through some antique shops along with Mary and Tammy just like we did last year. (There are front row seats waiting at the circus as well, but I haven't told the kids yet.)
sara's happy place
I would love to score some colorful dessert plates and glasses to accent my cabinet full of white ware. I want them to be old and cheap though, not expensive and only-looks-old, like these at anthropologie (although if they were cheap, I'd take them too.)
I should remember to take more pictures in shops.
Sara, I wish you didn't live so far away and we could take regular photo walks together. I'm much more brave with a photog friend at my side. One day, girl.
biscotti in bw
And now that I've taken my little photo tour of Georgetown all over again, I really really want a cupcake. (Another reason it would be nice to live closer to Sara. The girl can make cake.)
Earlier tonight, before the quiet and the missing Shawn and the sitting here with pictures, I had a bunch of girlfriends come over to hang out. The kids ran wild in the basement while we talked and snacked around the table (and I ate one two three chocolate chip cookies which is why I don't need that cupcake at. all.) I am struck suddenly with gratitude, thinking about Sara, my dearest college friend, Christy and the girls I've known since we were all just baby marine wives in Whiting Pines, and now a neighborhood full of amazing women that I pray will remain close even as we all stuff our homes back into boxes and trucks next month.
cute Sara
I have been richly blessed with good friends (the first of which is that great guy up there in photo 1), and the uncounted blessings that have come with each one of them.
They are so much more than I deserve.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Washington's grounds

Washington's back porch
I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the Seat of Government by the Officers of State and the Representatives of every Power in Europe.
-George Washington, letter to David Stuart, June 15, 1790
Mt Vernon
Remember that it is the actions, and not the commission, that make the officer, and that there is more expected from him, than the title.
-George Washington, Address to the Officers of the Virginia Regiment, Jan. 8, 1756
spring lamb
Rise early, that by habit it may become familiar, agreeable, healthy, and profitable. It may, for a while, be irksome to do this, but that will wear off; and the practice will produce a rich harvest forever thereafter; whether in public or private walks of life.
-George Washington, letter to George Washington Parke Custis, Jan. 7, 1798
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
-George Washington, attributed, Frank J. Wilstach's A Dictionary of Similes
Mt. Vernon
If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.
-George Washington, remarks at the first Continental Congress, May 14, 1787
through leaded glass
The determinations of Providence are always wise, often inscrutable; and, though its decrees appear to bear hard upon us at times, is nevertheless meant for gracious purposes.
-George Washington, letter to Bryan Fairfax, March 1, 1778

Friday, April 8, 2011

in which I incorporate some random pictures of cake pops

cake pops
We're home! We left a cold and rainy Virginia last weekend and drove right back into that cold rain this evening. We watched the temperature drop over twenty degrees on the way home. With all the trees in bloom, it looks more like spring at least.
Tonight as we were unpacking, Tristan actually started crying because he "wanted to still be in Florida". Poor kid, I guess that means he had a good time. The rest of us were sad to leave the beach too, especially Shawn who has to head out at 3am tomorrow for 29 Palms.
I promised Tristan that we would find some fun things to do this week (ahem, like school), reminded him that we have a trip to see his buddy Peter in North Carolina coming up, and after that dad will be home and his cousins will come visit for Easter. We'll even get to celebrate Beau's second birthday here. I can't wait to try my hand at these cake pops Sara showed me how to make (see how I just made sense of the seemingly totally unrelated photos in this post?)
Tomorrow I plan to unpack, clean sand out of things I didn't know were sandy, edit photos while the kids catch up on all those missed naps (yeah right), and drink coffee while sifting through a week of Washington Posts. Some good energy burning hours at the park are also definitely in order. We have a full plate this month, so I'm thinking a take-it-easy Saturday is just the thing.
Have a great weekend! Turn off the news, eat some cake pops -whatever it takes!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

mobile blogging

At this moment I am sitting in a dark hotel room, half-way to Florida, trying to get three giggly kids to go to sleep. Since lights out, I have changed one's stinky diaper and allowed four trips to the bathroom between the other two. What in the world -surely they are done now. Yeah probably not.
Shawn got home last night from a short trip to Oklahoma and leaves again next weekend for California, so when friends offered us a condo on the beach this week we figured, "sure! What's one more thing?! Let's cram a vacation into that little hole on the calendar!"
So, here I am, dark room, giggling kids, nothing to do. Shawn is downstairs doing homework for the graduate degree he is working towards in his spare time. Because he has so much of that.
Since I didn't feel like sitting in the bathroom to read my book, I thought I'd find out if it's possible to blog by iPhone (so please excuse any strange or foul words the auto-correct may insert into this post- someone at Apple thinks he's pretty funny.)
One thing it looks like I can't do is add photos but I just so happened to have this old photo in a draft that was actually a perfect one to share today. It's a Lenten Rose that bloomed in my garden about this time last year. I really miss that garden. Today as we drove south into North Carolina and the temperature rose about twenty degrees and the dark rainclouds gave way to bright blue skies, I started picturing in my head all the things that must be blooming around our old house. The cherry and red maples are probably already leafed out. The peony might be a couple of feet high and the azaleas are close to flowering. I'm sure the lawn is weedy as always. I wonder if that picky gardenia is surviving at the hands of our renters? Yeah probably not.
I wonder if I'll have a new garden blooming this time next year? And where?
We are supposed to move in one month. One month! But we still don't know for sure where we are supposed to move to. Normally this might be a stressful situation but I'm actually ok with the arrangement. This month we have school to finish, museums still to see, cherry blossoms to photograph, a birthday to celebrate, girlfriends in North Carolina to visit (which come to think of it will also give me a chance to spy on my old garden) and now, a week at the beach to enjoy! Clearly, arranging a move would really just get in the way of April. Maybe I'll eat my words when we're scrambling through May though. Yeah probably not.
ok, so now my wrists feel slightly tingly and I see that I'm seriously rambling in my boredom. Here I am typing on a two inch keyboard and I've manged to write the longest post this blog has seen in a while. Sheesh.
Middle child just made bathroom trip number five but baby girl is snoring in her sleeping bag. One down at least.
I'll be back in a week with a tan and pictures from Florida but in the mean time I have some pictures from the past couple of weeks to catch you up on. Maybe not planning a move and not having a garden to spend all my time in this spring will allow me to better keep up with my photos.
Yeah probably not.
Happy April, friends!
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