Thankful for the rain that brought us a laid-back Saturday complete with paint and puddles. I love watching my children delight in simple pleasures.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends…”
NYC-Bryant Park, September 2012
Brian and I just enjoyed a very beautiful and wonderful time in NYC. It was a retreat that led to many reminders of how very precious the gift of our home, family, and sweet children are. I realized for the millionth time how quickly the time passes and how fleeting today is. I am thankful I love a God who is constantly drawing me back to Him so patiently and lovingly. I am grateful He draws me to my earthly home, filled with so much love and happiness, and that He will ultimately bring me to my heavenly home one very joyful day!
Joshua, 4 years old
Mary Claire, almost 18 months old
Thursday, September 6, 2012
One thing is for sure—he is ready. Joshua is very excited to be in Mrs. Green’s class (he prayed for her tonight and I know Brian and I did, too!) and to start Kindergarten. As a family, we are looking forward to learning more about the classical model of education. It’s all very serious and scholarly right from the start. From the uniform to the three homework assignments before the first day to the procedures of girls unpacking their backpacks first so the boys can practice being gentlemen, the emphasis on respect and order is clear. I am excited to see the effect of this kind of instruction on Joshua during the year.
But tonight as Joshua practiced tucking his shirt in and unpacking his backpack properly, I saw the glimpse of the young man who is now still just a little boy. With each task his clumsy four-year old self attempted, he was determined to get it right! Over and over again on his own accord he practiced presenting his “All About Me!” page, introducing himself, and entering the “classroom” (AKA our kitchen). He was joyfully persistent in his efforts. Tomorrow he’ll probably be like most Kindergarteners, getting suddenly and adorably shy and having to rely on the teacher to coax him through the whole deal, but tonight he worked until he was satisfied and it was fun as his parents to watch.
And then as he went off to bed, we heard him singing Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” and Brian and I laughed together, wondering if he’d bust out with that at rest time and how that might fit in to the classical model. We’ll add to our prayer list that he picks “Amazing Grace” or “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” when he’s at school. Either way, we’ll be smiling and hopefully Mrs. Green will be too.
Monday, May 28, 2012
At church on Sunday we had the graduating senior celebration as part of the service. Each senior had a slide with the their baby picture and graduation picture. I’ve seen this kind of thing many times before, but this year I just sat and cried. I know it’s silly, but I kept thinking about how Joshua’s picture and then Mary Claire’s will be up on some sort of screen like that someday and how that someday will probably come much more quickly than I can even imagine. God reminded me to cherish each of the precious moments I have with my children and to cherish them just as they are in these moments. To cherish their emerging personalities, their blossoming bent toward independence, their laughter, their silliness, their desire to play outside all day, their messes, their requests for me to play with them…to cherish it all, the lovely and not-so-lovely altogether. Because they will not be as they are in these moments for long. They will be off before I know it. And I want to know that I was all there with them, truly engaged in who God was making them day by day and being a happy part of their childhood story.
So, here’s to the 14 and 17 more years (Lord willing!) until Joshua and Mary Claire’s graduation Sunday! May they be full of love and grace!
…just a few pictures snapped in our neighborhood today
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Our little girl is one. I cannot believe it. And I know that’s cliché, but it really is incredible that a year has passed since Mary Claire entered this world. This weekend, we’ve been reliving those first few days and weeks. Recounting stories and just plain being thankful. We serve a gracious and merciful God. We pray sweet Mary Claire grows to know Him and love Him well.
At 7:56 a.m. we sang “Happy Birthday” and recounted the quiet entrance MC made into this world. I remember Brian bringing her to me to see for the first time. She was so peaceful. I kissed her, and then the nurses whisked her out of my arms as they began working hard to help her breathe. Off to the NICU she went and the rest of the day passed in a blur of doctors coming in and out of our room, Brian going hourly to the NICU, and family reporting to me the events of the day…”she looks like a little doll,” “she has beautiful skin,” “she has Brian’s dark hair,” “she looks just like Josh,” “she looks just like you,” “she’s a fighter…” I remember drifting off to sleep exhausted and wishing I could just see her for myself. I remember praying desperately that she would be okay. I remember crying with Joshua when he was so upset that he couldn’t hold her like we’d promised him. I remember hoping that our story would have a happy ending.
A few days later a merciful God kicked Mary Claire out of the NICU. I began accessorizing, full of relief and gratitude. Bows, pink hats, and so many kisses and hugs. There were trials looming in the days to come…Brian getting the flu and being quarantined, MC getting pink eye, jaundice, thrush, not gaining back her birth weight fast enough, the need for hip ultrasounds and tests. God was with us through every moment, both those full of delight and those dripping in despair. He was with us always. He still is.
Now Mary Claire walks and laughs. She protests, she claps, she says “mama” and “dada.” She waves goodbye. She knocks on Joshua’s door during his naptime, hoping to play with her favorite friend. She dances to music. She loves being outside. She tries to walk on water and causes all of us a heart attack as she runs full speed towards the pool. She is lovely. She is a gift. She is truly our little “chosen” (Mary), “bright” (Claire), “joy” (Joy).
From this very happy birthday weekend…
Happy Birthday, sweet Mary Claire. May you grow to be all who God has made you to be. May your hope always be in Him. We love you!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
The last few days have brought an incredible amount of rain to Houston. As it began to thunder and lightning last night, I was kind of bummed that our Saturday would be ruined by a torrential downpour. Then today happened.
The morning started with strawberry pancakes, lots of syrup, and two shots of espresso. We played some board games, did some writing, hit up some fun iPad apps, completed a Mary Claire photo shoot, and had a dance party. Between rain showers, we fit in a bike ride and a “bubble walk.” It was an unexpectedly simple and glorious day.
From the MC photo shoot (some of these pictures were actually taken by Joshua on his McQueen camera!)…
The day provided far more snapshots taken with our minds than with our cameras, and it was amazing all around. The highlight for me was the bubble walk. Brian was taking the big bubble wand and making bubbles as Joshua ran happily after them, laughing and popping them while simultaneously jumping in huge puddles and piles of mud left by the rain. When we were almost home, he said this unprompted and out of the blue…
“Daddy, you’re fun. Really fun. I like playing with you. You’re the best daddy in the whole wide world. I’m never going to stop loving you.”
Beautiful day. We’re thankful.