Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear Father,

I am really struggling with my emotions today. The unknowns of my life erode at my confidence. I remind myself of all of the positives. We have a warm and comfortable home to live in while we attempt to bring healing to our finances. We are healthy. My husband loves me. Our little family is tight. We have jobs. I do feel better once I set my mind on things above. I do know your ways are higher than my ways. Your plan is far better than any plan I contrive. We really are blessed. I see it! Life is just hard sometimes. It is hard living between two worlds. The constant nag of this world versus the loving, beautiful, perfect world above quietly inviting, calling, wooing. It is so obvious to me which is the better road. I wouldn't give up our relationship, Father, for anything this world has to offer. My life belongs to you and my heart is awakened by your constant pursuit. I know my worries stem from the lack of time I spend in your arms. It often feels so petty to ask you about the cares of this life. In the big picture, does it really matter if Matthew is not a worship leader but an assistant leader? Does it matter how many children we have or where we live? Does it matter if I design hairclips? Compared to your glory, the answer would seem an unequivical "no". But for some reason, I feel you telling my spirit that these things do matter to you. Not just in the "of course you care about my life" way. I feel your peace covering me, blanketing me while you whisper, again, you have a plan. However meaningful then trivialized my cares are, you gave them to me. You sowed them into my heart for just this season. For what reason, I may not know. But this I know; I can trust you with everything.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What!? You want me to PLAY?

I know it must sound ludicrous but I just am not inspired to play with my daughter. It really takes all I can muster to sit and play. I have decided that it because I am really boring. I think that playing is really a fine art. One that requires a great many skills. I have listed the criteria necessary for fun play in the order of importance for any of you, who like me, are struggling.

Skill #1: Lose the agenda. Creativity only flows well in the absence of agenda. (Note the use of the word well. One can be somewhat creative with an agenda but probably will not enjoy any of its fruits in play with an agenda still clinging to one's back.

Skill #2: Use only the tools readily available. Taking your kid to the toy store to pick out a new toy to inspire creative play isn't really play. It is shopping. While shopping my fill many voids (maybe it's just me), it is guaranteed that your child will not be having much fun. It takes real skill to use something you already have to facilitate really fun, totally unique, and creative playtime.

Skill #3: Spend more than 20 minutes with your child in play. I know... it is hard. Many things beckon as you sit on the floor or the lawn. Do not become distracted, even if it seems your child is ignoring you. Even if it seems as though your child would not notice if you got up to do something really important. This skill comes with great patience. Do not give up. Just think, in 20 minutes you can get up and do something else. Once you hone this skill, chances are you will not want to get up after 45 minutes.

Ok... so that is all I have so far. Maybe some of you more experienced moms might have some more tips to help me!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Glorious Wool!

A package came today. I am leaps and bounds closer with these new samples of felt. My wool thread looks so beautiful with these colors. This wool is luxuriously thick and soft. Its texture is very appealing and interesting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Summer reading...

At the beginning of summer, I think I may have been overly ambitious in my summer reads list. It is not a formal list of books I hoped to read but a mere expectation that I would spend the summer enjoying many good books. While I have read more books in the past 2 years than I have in the previous 6, this summer did not rank high in the book reading threshold. I read the newest 2 books by Brock and Bodie Thoene (some of my favorite authors of historical fiction) in their A.D. Chronicles series. I always enjoy their books for the vast amount of jewish culture and history they pour into their stories. I loved The Shack by William Young. A must read! I read The Pianist and while I loved the jewish history, parts were very difficult to read now that I have a child of my own. The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. Dobson was very encouraging. For fun, I read Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, a fellow blogger. I am mostly through Father Wounds by Francis Anfuso. A life-altering perspective on loving and being loved. Last but not least, I am reading The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. I own every one of Sparks books and have enjoyed them all for the curl-up-with-a-blankie-and-a-cup-of-tea reads that they are. I had planned to read the unabridged tales of Mark Twain but I just haven't been into it (Dad, I will return it to you when I see you next).

I really am looking to identify some good reads for this next season so if any of you have any good ideas, let me know...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vacation... a blessed thing! Part 3

We spent out Labor Day at Apple Hill, a favorite place from my childhood and an annual family tradition. I just love the pace there and the beauty. The first group of pictures was taken at my favorite park there, a place where I have pictures of myself as a child.

We watched the stream, ran in the grass, and ate blackberries. Note the messy face!

Daddy picked a little flower in the grass and gave it to her. I think this one will go in the Favorite category!

We stopped in at another favorite spot for Evelina's first pony ride!

She loved the pony ride so much! She was yelling "Yee Haw!" and swatting the horsie's behind. It was a riot. When the ride was over, she cried and kept saying "More Neigh!" over and over.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Orla Kiely = Love

Vacation... a blessed thing! Part 2

After we left Windsor, we headed south to Dillon Beach where we joined a group of some of the finest people we know. We camped for 2 days at the beach. Evelina had a great time running around the camp. She wouldn't let us take her coat off for 2 days. I have never known a kid to love a coat so much! In true coffee-freak fashion, I brought my grinder and walked 1/4 mile to the bathroom to use the outlet to grind my coffee. Nothing stands between me and my coffee; except maybe God ; ) We took a long 3 mile walk to the pier, along the beach and back around to the camp. It was a gorgeous first day there. Then... the wind.

Here is Matthew setting up camp...

Ryan and Natalie setting up camp...

Me playing cards with my kindred spirit and my kindred Mama spirit...

Our walk along the beach... Daddy gave her a shell to hold. Note she is wearing the kindred spirit coat.

A lift from uncle Ry...

Our first night there we sat around the fire and drank tea. And tea. And more tea. I am telling you this so you get where I am going when I say I lay awake for hours trying to decide whether to get up and walk 1/4 mile in the moonlight to the yucky porta-potty, which incidentally was so full that not much more could fit. And we did not have a flashlight available. I would not be myself if I did not share indescretionately so here is the actual dialog I had with myself as I started slipping into a state of full-bladder delusion. "Should I just get up and go to the yucky-potty? Maybe if I just lay here it will be morning soon. Well, there IS the paper starbucks cup in the trash outside the tent. Why did I bring such small paper cups!? No, that will NOT do. What if I peed into a diaper? NO ONE WOULD KNOW!" Then, fully delusional but before doing something I would sooo regret, I quickly woke up Matthew and made him walk me to the yucky-potty. I was sharing this story with Charlotte after the fact and when I got to the part where I thought "no one would know", she so keenly informed that if I did in fact do the deed, no one know while I was doing it, but then in the morning I, being Alicia, would have to run and tell someone I did it. Spoken like a true friend!

Now where was I before the lack of discretion... Oh yes, the wind. The second night was so windy! It really sank into our bones and we all started to get cranky. It was so windy that the tent was blown near flat a few times. Our beloved friends and kindred spirits Mike and Charlotte so graciously offered to share their tent trailer with us. I do not know anyone so giving and selfless and Mike and Charlotte. They are such and example of love! I am not sure I would give up my bed being 8 months pregnant. Definately something to aspire to!

So the five and 1/2 of them and the three of us packed in for a night of hot chocolate and Dutch Blitz. Most definately the best part of the trip. And Charlotte so quietly and non-smack talkingly beat us over and over at the game. It was like old times, when we all shared a home together for those amazing and special six months before we all had little ones. That was surely a time I will never forget because we created a bond that will never break!

Ok... back to the camping. We woke the next morning to our kids peeking at each other through the curtain and across the trailer. We ate breakfast and headed for home. I am so glad we decided to join the camping group! It will be on our fun-times list for next year! Thanks to the Wrights, Turners, Bertrands, and Eiferds for making this a fun time!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vacation... a blessed thing!

We started the first morning of vacation off right by going to the Med 7 so Matthew could get his stitches out. (Not sure if I told, but he fell 6-8 feet at work when the ladder he was on slid out from under him. He is ok. He lacerated his wrist, needing 10 stiches.) We waited and waited and then they saw him. They removed the stitches but because we were going to be swimming, they put a kind of super glue over the healing wound. By the time he was finished, we had been there 2 hours!
We then drove a while and stopped in at Whole Foods to get some yummy stuff for our vacation week. I think we finally got there at 4pm, just minutes after Evelina finally fell asleep. I think she got a nap of about 20 minutes so she was a bit disoriented when we got there. She saw the pack and play and bursted in tears 'cause she didn't want to go night-night. Once we explained it was for later, the tears subsided.
Here is a picture of two happy girls ready for some VACATION!

We are here!!!

The sleepy girl upon arrival...
Our mornings were filled with strolls, while sipping coffee and feeding apples to horsies. Our afternoons - swimming, swimming, and more swimming. In the evenings, we sat on the patio and we ate yummy home cooked meals made by moi. I managed to read two books in 4 days (not unusual for me) and Matthew worked on his book. We needed this time together as a family so much! It was a beautiful and precious time!

Feeding some animals...

The gooey nose of an adorable cow...

A curiuos bird indeed!

Before we left, I went to Target and got this:I think it was the best $9 ever spent. We blew it up while she was napping and when she awoke, she saw it from down the hall and came RUNNING, all the while yelling "WATER NEIGH!!!" We could barely part the two of them!

Here are some pool pics...

What would vacation be without popcicles!

On our last morning there, we were blessed with this view from our patio...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm back... no, really, I am back...

I promise to post photos of the wonderfully relaxing vacation soon! I have hit the ground running... I have 2 lunches, a dessert buffet, and a party for 200 women I am helping to plan all within the next couple of weeks. I am sorry to be scarce but I will probably have some fun and interesting posts by the weekend.

In the meantime, fall is approaching. Are you ready? I know I am!