Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gratitude #476-510

476. A fat, happy baby, fresh-clean from a bath, wrapped in a ducky towel and content in her father's arms.
477. her father's arms
478. hippo-opposites
479. Atticee (actually)
480. "Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace forevermore. Till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest."
481. "...the gates of hell shall not prevail against her."
482. restoration from brokenness
483. rescue from a critical spirit
484. good music
485. "BonIver"
486. The sunshine state
487. Sunny days
488. Rain storms
489. the swimming pool in our "new" house (i.e. my parent's house...)
490. Friends and Cousins who will hopefully come swim with us!
491. Newark Iversons have become Orlando Iversons...for a few years at least
492. PILAT
493. pad thai w/ shrimp
494. crock pots
495. green tea, iced
496. Elephants on Annie's Sunday dress (thanks Ali B!)
497. Teapots on Lily's Sunday dress
498. Consignment store Sunday dresses
499. fresh cut watermelon, chilled in the fridge
500. friends who encourage us every time we are with them.
501. these same friends, who get the radical message of grace and also get what it really produces in our lives
502. For Ash and Hutch who made us feel so at home in their beautiful country cottage
503. a spirit of discontentment revealed in such a tender way
504. Authenticity
505. fresh garden fare on the table for supper
506. lots of new recipes to try
507. cooking in a new kitchen with lots of cool toys!
508. our little room in the back of the house, not really ours, but ours just the same
509. Anne and Ed who made space for us in their world
510. pictures on the wall that make it feel a little more like home...for now

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dear Little House,

Almost everything I own[ed] has moved on from me now: the kitchen table and chairs that my mother bought for us when we got married a little over four years ago, half my every day china, the waffle iron that we got for our wedding and that fed my hungry husband and sweet babies on Saturday mornings, the area rugs that made the floor even softer and covered the carpet to save it from spills and muddy feet tracked in so many mornings and afternoons over our four years in this little house. This little house. For us it was just perfect. Just the right size. Just the right place. It's ours. It's not. This was our first home. This was where we got to know each other. We moved in almost four years ago. The rooms were empty, but filled with possibility. We moved in with our belongings and our hearts filled with hope at the prospects of our own new beginnings and nothing about our lives has been a disappointment. Well. That's not true. There have been lots of disappointments along the way. But sitting here, right now, longing to linger a little longer in this little home of ours, I really don't remember any of the disappointments. We brought in our possessions and merged old memories from two different pasts to make a new present and begin our future together. But this chapter is over now. The rooms are almost empty again. Oh my heart. My heart is full to bursting, but the rooms are almost empty and this evening bids me leave a piece of myself here but also bring a little piece of this old house along with me. Maybe it's a trade. Can we trade, dear house? Will you chip away a little piece of you for me? I can't help but leave a bit of me for you to keep...
You have served us well in every way. You have kept us close to community. You have provided enough room, but not so much that we could accumulate stuff forever. You have reminded me daily of the many gifts we have, enough to keep me humble, but never soas to make me feel too proud. You have a big yard (even though it's missing half a fence) where my babies have roamed many a morning. You have tendered and nurtured our dreams. You have sheltered the souls that we brought into this world in December of 2007 and June of 2009. I brought them home to your walls. You kept us cool in summer and warm in winter. You withstood a couple of hurricanes and more than a couple of big, Florida storms. You survived falling trees and windy nights and drizzly days and late night fights and working out our hearts' language until the wee hours of the morning. You have grown our love from something sweet and young and fully unaware of what love is to something more grown up by death and birth and jealousy and humility and apology and joy and sorrow and learning and realizing we still have so much to learn and life. And now, life moves us on to the next chapter. A chapter I don't feel fully prepared to move into, but here we go. One last look out the kitchen window, wash one more dish in your sink basin, take one more stroll around the yard, tuck the babies in for one last nap under your roof and tonight I will clean all the last remains of us off the floors and walls and windows and say goodbye. Thank you for all you have represented.

With Love for These Past Four Years,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gratitude #441-475

441. Being away from the babes makes me appreciate them so!
442. "Reunited and it feels so good..."
443. A weekend away
444. with friends
445. at the beach!
446. Mary and Chris who got married
447. Ashlee and Barrett (and Ethan) who shared a room and their time with us.
448. Picking up where you left off with old friends
449. Friends whose greatest passion is Jesus.
450. Baby Ethan (so well-behaved!)
451. Great conversation over breakfast and bocci
452. A slight sunburn
453. Emmie Lura, born Saturday night.
454. Granne & Gee-Daddy who kept the girls
455. That sweet band that played stellar music all night long.
456. Live Music
457. SB who made delicious and authentic Japanese food for us tonight.
458. And who does everything with a happy heart
459. Mar-Noa's good attitudes
460. Patience with Annie's bad attitude
461. sticky rice
462. Blue Bell
463. The catharsis that comes with cleaning out old drawers and closets and finding the depths of the past and working through it all and coming out the other side free and clean of the cobwebs that cling to memories that so easily ensnare and punish me.
464. That my present doesn't pay me back for my past
465. That my present isn't dependent on my past
466. That my present is so clearly a gift
467. That by grace I've learned so much from my past
468. New beginnings
469. An almost empty house
470. Granne & Gee-Daddy are making room for us
471. Annie already feels so at home there.
472. Home is not where we live
473. Jimmy and Ray's "new" home
474. Their beautiful view
475. My favorite view...

Part I
Part II

Brown Bear, Brown Bear!

While it is a classic favorite for Annie,
(she literally "reads"/recites it to Lily several times a day)
it is fun to watch little sister enjoy some "Brown Bear" of her own volition.

A Thank You Note

Dear Mom & Dad,

Thank you so much for watching the girls for us this weekend. I know it can take a lot out of you. They're busy girls and they wake up early in the morning. Thank you for your sacrifice. I cannot tell you how rejuvenating it was for us to get away this weekend, though.

We really treasured the car ride. It's the little things you learn to appreciate after children enter the marriage picture, you know? We listened to several sermons and had long, uninterrupted conversations. It was heaven. I will say, that even though pit stops and meal stops were far easier without the kiddos, they were a little boring. What's life without extracting at least two children from their car seats every time you stop?!

We also loved the opportunity to get dressed up and go out without worrying about time or money for a babysitter. Thanks. It was nice to know they were in good hands.

It was such fun catching up with old friends, including our roomates for the weekend,
Ashlee & Barrett and their -26 week old, Ethan, due in October!!

Time away definitely revived our marriage...
not that it was cold,
but it did get hotter after three days alone together.
And of course, we were more than ready to get back to our little girls.
What they say is true, you know,
absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Just a little less than 24 Hours at the beach...

...proved more than enough to rejuvenate and relax this family of four...

Gratitude #421-440

421. The last of Belgium's dark chocolate (from January!) holed (squirreled?) hidden away for a rainy day, but then forgotten for a time and re-found (last night).
422. Eating that chocolate in bed. Decadent
423. Things lost, forgotten and found
424. "In Art Rowanberry's Barn" by Wendell Berry
425. Jonathan swimming with the girls
426. Fat, little Lilsy kicking like a frog in the water
427. Annie down to one floaty! Go Girl!
428. Jonathan, the wasp hunter
429. A weekend at Pawley's sans kids for a wedding!
430. Ash and B who are sharing a room with us!
431. Mom and dad who will be rising early with our kids this weekend...
432. Macy's gift cards left over from our wedding to buy Jonathan his first real pair of khaki pants for a Davidson wedding weekend.
433. Even when you sell "all" your stuff at a garage sale, it still feels like you have so much.
434. Coffee in bed
435. "But when the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy..." Heb
436. facebook, which lets even a terrible keeper-upper like me glimpse the lives of friends past (and even present) and glow with joy and satisfaction at all done in and through them:
opera singer, mommies, travelers, lawyers, bloggers, doctors, teachers, nurses, social workers, in-lovers, fiercely goes on and on and on and on...
437. Journey
438. My brain that thinks in songs
439. God gave me this brain, odd as it may be.
440. "By the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone." Heb 2:9