Sunday, November 9, 2014

What-EV-er!

"What-EV-er!"

I heard her say it with all the, like, Valley Girl flip she could muster.
Yaknow?
She, like, had to, um, make a point. Totally.

Except she couldn't.

Yeah, well, whatever! She can speak how she wants.
And whadda u know, anyways?
She's totes adorbs and u r just, um, yaknow, old.

It fits with the purple hair and the bare midriff and the black nails.
This carefully crafted look needs a carefully crafted soundtrack.
And that mom is just begging to be sassed at.

Come ON!

I wonder if she practices the little stomp,
or the snort,
or the perfectly executed head move.
We used to flip our hair, but this is definitely better.
She's got it down, that finger in the air and that head move.

Like, yeah, well, yaknow. Whaddya expect? It's all cool.

Cool bananas.

I wonder if Mom thinks it's cool bananas.
This tired, haggard, defeated-looking mom
who's committed the ultimate sin.

How could she!

We dressed them up and called them Bratz and nobody batted an eye.
That's what they are, but it's not insulting anymore. Just true.

True, 'dat.

Yeah? Well, whatever.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My entry for the November 2014 prompt—Slang!—at Poets Online

For this prompt, select a word or phrase that would be considered slang as your title and starting place. Your poem can be about the slang itself, but it could be about language or go off some other direction.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Goodbye, Facebook

Simultaneously, I am both addicted to Facebook, and I can't stand Facebook. Truly. It is my only contact with pop culture since I don't watch television. It is the easy, lazy way to get the news when you don't have time or inclination to comb internet news sources or read a real, live newspaper. So many great, thought-provoking articles and blog posts come through from people I admire and respect. I can watch the children of dear friends and family members grow up from across the miles. Truly, in many ways, it's wonderful. 

In many other ways, however, it is maddening and infuriating. 

Having already whittled my "friends" list down in a mad, moody moment from 800-something to 100-something, I am still considering deactivating my account. 

I really hate it even as I love it. The fact is, sometimes it stilts true relationship. It can make people mean. It can cause people to speak and behave in ways they never would in person. It can make me draw assumptions and form (sometimes unfair but always ungracious) judgements about people based on the stuff they post. It keeps me "involved with" and "worried about" far too many people I never see and no longer have actual contact with. It can cause or exacerbate relationship problems. It can cause hurt feelings. It can cause unhelpful comparisons with the self-presentations of others that are just that: carefully crafted self-presentations. 

So, anyway, I'm in a mood and tired of it all and have too much I should be doing in real life to be wasting so much time in virtual land. Goodbye, Facebook... at least for a while. It isn't you. Truly. It's me. Perhaps one day I'll grow up enough to use you responsibly. In the meantime, a week off couldn't hurt!

Monday, October 27, 2014

If I Had A Million Dollars

This is what a $180.00 teddy bear looks like!



*Entry 10, October - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is a line from the song If I Had A Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies


Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Tradition Is Born?

Here are the official photos at the start of the half marathon. OG is the second of our children to run a half marathon with their dad and their aunt. I wonder if one day their little sister EL will join them?

 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Motion Media in Action

I recently received a letter from a young friend of mine. She is at an art school studying motion media. I was unfamiliar with exactly what that was, and I found this visual explanation interesting... fascinating, really. So, here is a video explanation in case you, too, weren't sure what this is.

So, just what is "motion media"?
"Motion Plus Design" Center : "What is Motion Design ?" from Motion Plus Design on Vimeo.

Here is my favorite example of it in action:
Sherlock Holmes end credit sequence from Danny Yount on Vimeo.

Finally, here is a motion media video that my young friend made for class. I find it cute and fun as well as moving, haunting, and a little sad... pretty impressive array of emotions for something only forty seconds long and made entirely of animated images.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two for One

When, "Get in your crates, boys!" yields some confusion.


"But Mom, he has a soft bed! I like his better!"  (Yes, that *is* Finley in Pippin's crate, having gone in there before Pippin... and stayed there.)

Don't feel too bad for Finley. Pippin only has a soft bed in his crate because he hasn't puppy-eaten the last two I've bought him!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Me, Myself, and I

I've noticed you like to write to people, not about them.
Yes, I enjoy writing in first person.
Are they all real?
Who? The people in my poems?
Yeah. Did all that stuff in your poems really happen?
Yes. I'm sure it really happened to someone. Somewhere.
But not really to you?
No, not all to me. Not really
So it's really just lies?
In the strictest sense, I suppose you could call it that.
Fanciful tales from my brain.
Written strangely
In choppy
Phrases
That make you
Crazy
Sometimes.
The next guy will want to know if you were real.
And I'll have to tell him no, not really.
Then he'll stop
And wonder
If he's really real, after all.
And I'll smile
Because the poet
Has done
Her
Job.
Why do you write in short, choppy phrases?
And why do you ask me questions when you don't really exist?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This poem was written in response to the July 2014 prompt on Poets Online. I didn't write it or submit it in time--July 2014 was a blur of grief and busyness for me--but I found the prompt intriguing, so I came back and picked it up now.

Questions Asked of the Poet

July 2014
If you are a poet and publish or give readings, you may have been asked questions about your poems. Readers and listeners often wonder how real or autobiographical the details in your poems might be.

Some readers expect that the first car you owned in that poem must, in fact, be the actual first car you owned. That Francine who was your first kiss - Was she really your first kiss?

How honest do you need to be in your poems? How autobiographical are your poems and how much poetic license do you allow yourself? Is there a line of fiction that poems shouldn't cross?

For this month's prompt, we consider the questions readers ask (or might ask) about your poems. There are two poems by Aimee Nezhukumatathil that serve this prompt. First is her poem, "Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?" I like the way she answers the question in several ways and I think for many poets the answer does depend on the poem and situation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your Name Is an L Word

I love the exercise of writing poetry to a prompt. It stretches me as a writer to have to work within someone else's confines. This month's writing prompt at Poets Online was as challenging as it was interesting: write a poem about sex, using tweet-like stanzas of fewer than 140 characters. That's it. 

So, with a blush and a sigh, I offer you this month's post. 

Your Name Is an L Word

I really, really didn't know what I was doing, all those years and all those climaxes ago. Never mind the virginity. It was intentional.

Yes. I had decided to bottle all of it and save it for you. Every last drop. Every once in a while, we uncorked it and tasted a little.

Scary how it almost consumed us, those few little drops. It was sweet and savage and I knew it would be the death of me. In the best way,

like she said as she sang about the dark and wonderful unknown. It *was* wonderful, this unknown passion that threatened to undo me

and send me careening. There came that point that the wine tastings of the future glory were too much for me. Drunk on you. Drunk

on the need. The craving that was most certainly going to eat me alive--or at least my resolve--was staring me down. I wanted it to win so bad

I could taste it... but I corked it back up and I made it wait. Starved it for a while, to make it hungrier and hungrier.

They called it old-fashioned, and truly it was, for who waits for this sacred moment anymore? I felt it in my throat. The longing. I felt it

in my gut, the aching need. I became aware of words like "loins" because I needed a word for it. Such a good Bible word

for the good Bible girl. Longing and loins and lovers. Luscious L words.

Lingering. All the waiting had made you patient. When the day finally came and the dam finally broke, you were ready

to wait a little bit longer. Just long enough to play skillfully and work wonders, without any training save a book and a song. We learned

together, those many romps ago. Your fingers worked me like they do that guitar, and I could barely breathe from the desperate hunger of it

all. Craving. One flesh. I consumed you, and you filled me, and it was unspeakably worth the wait. Every. Single. Time.

Who knew it could be new every time, and that every time would be my favorite? The years are swirling, and the taut flesh is aging,

and the guitar fingers ache a little in the morning. But you're still the best thing I ever tasted, and I'm still so glad it's been you.

Only you.

Listen to Ingrid Michaelaon's "Wonderful Unknown"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Run On Fumes

My husband and my daughter OG are training for a half marathon in October. They've done several small runs in preparation, the most challenging of which was this mud run.

 
 

I ask you: Who looks this good after miles and miles of running in sand and mud?! (I think I would be dead. I am not kidding!)

After this, conquering the half marathon next month is just a matter of context.

*Entry 9, September - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is a line from the song I Run to You by Lady Antebellum.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

There is beauty, beauty everywhere

Taking a page out of Mark Rodriguez's play book and looking for beauty everywhere, my daughter OG grabbed my iPhone camera and snapped these shots on the way out of Home Depot, of all places.


Mark's thoughts, shared from his personal journal by his mother on God Is Super Good, are really encouraging me in my walk with God.

Despite his youth, Mark had a strong faith and an exemplary devotional life. This is journal-writing at its best!

It really does seem that Mark lived life with one foot here and one foot already in heaven. I, too, want to see beauty everywhere, and to give God glory for all of it.

*Entry 8, August - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is a line from the song Beauty from Starship--The Musical.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

...but you will know they contain great gain

"If you have one hug left, give it to P. from me. You know there are no greater moments in the life of parents than to see their fledglings spread their wings. We take these moments as if they represented a loss, but you will know they contain great gain."


Words of wisdom from my dear father-in-law as we return from having dropped our son off for his freshman year at college. Such bittersweet, happy-sad days those were!

So, now it's official. He is a college student, about to spend his fourth night in his dorm room. I'm learning to trust God with my son in a whole new way, and I am so thankful that I can trust that He loves him even more than I do!

We are so grateful for this opportunity for him to be there on full scholarship. I trust that they will teach him much, and that he will teach them a few things, too!

Blessings, PT! We truly couldn't be more pleased or more proud!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Every Damn Day

Below is my submission for the August Writing Prompt for Poets Online:"Your task this month is to write a poem about a negative wish (or wishes)--a wish to undo, wishes that change the past. Those are the wishes that pull you right back to the present and have you thinking about the future."

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
They keep telling me not to think about those.
That's pretty easy for them to say.

("Who the hell is 'they' anyway?" you always asked me
When you didn't agree with what I was saying
But knew I was probably right.
I remember that about you,
Back before Shoulda came to visit
And stole you away.)

They is the people who knew better than me.
I wish to God I'd listened to them.
I wish to God that I'd listened to that white-coat man--
The first one--
When he told me to give you the medicine.

"Time is of the essence," he said
(Yeah, when is it not? Ever?)
And then he pushed me to say goodbye too soon.
I wasn't ready to say goodbye
So I got that second opinion.

Damn the second opinion.
That's what we get when we don't agree with what they are saying
But know that they are probably right.

Well, Second Opinion served his purpose,
And I got the answer I thought I wanted.
At the time.
Before Shoulda came to visit.

What he didn't tell me--
That second white-coat man--
Was that either way you die too soon
And either way I have to say goodbye.

I wish to God I'd just been brave and said,
"Yes sir, you give her that shot right away.
Don't waste any time now.
We need her to walk again.
We need her to talk again.
She won't want to live in a bed the rest of her days."

But I didn't.
And so I got my wish.
The one I wish to God I hadn't wished.

I didn't have to say goodbye too quick.

Now I have to say goodbye too slow.
Every damn day.
While you lie there and look at me with wild eyes
In sunken sockets
And wait for Shoulda to come calling.

Every damn day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wagging My Finger at Wednesday

You never packed up a bag of stuff
And marched out the door
Like a runaway train.
Your little self was happy at home
Just like my mommy self was happy to have you there.

Your best lady.

You told me so once,
Long ago,
When it was still true.

They say that often
You miss the "lasts"
Because you don't realize them at the time.

("Who is 'they' anyway?" you always asked.
"They," I always said.
"You know.
The people who know more about something than we do.")

Turns out they did know more about it than I did.
And I did miss them, those lasts.
Precious.  Unrecognized.
They slipped by,
unannounced,
and were gone.

The last time you crawled up into my lap and stroked my hair.
The last time you climbed into my bed to snuggle in,
You held my hand as we walked down the street,
You extended pudgy arms and mumbled, "Hold you,"
Or carried around that night night
with the regular corner
and a thumb in your mouth.
The last time you looked up to me.

("Literally or figuratively?" the pirate had asked.
And we've asked it, too,
A thousand times since then.
And that is the question, isn't it?)

I thought I would want to know
When the next last came around.
But I don't.
It's better when I miss them, and look back wistfully,
Than when they announce themselves
And I have to live them.

Your last Wednesday at home introduced himself this morning
And rudely made me cry.
I told him to go away
But he didn't.

And so I live with him
And the tears he brought with him
(Which I hide from you like a shy schoolgirl
because you'd never understand
and you'd be embarrassed
and so would I.)

The friends he brought along--
The ones I'll greet every morning this week
Over the lump in my throat--
Are waiting in the wings
To introduce themselves, too.

If you look for me
(which I'm sure you won't)
I'll be careening toward
the end of a season
I have loved very much
And wagging my finger at Wednesday.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mesilased

There were bees buzzing round my feet
The day we opened the ground
And gently placed you in it.
I remember that much.
Bees on clover
Like any ordinary day.

It wasn't you at all
(Not really)
In that box of cold, hard granite that
could never hold you.

Your bright, warm spirit would never feel at home there.
Which is good
Since this isn't home.

I know you must spend some time looking in on us
Between walks on golden streets
And visits with your mother.

And I think you must have smiled on us that day
We, who tremble and ache with grief.
We, who just don't get it.

Did you and Lulu and Mims and Pips
All stop by together
To watch the silly ones?
Crying during the meantime darkness.
Missing you.

I remember thinking how strange it was
That life went on
For you.
And other people.
And bees.

The blink of an eye
Is longer than I thought.
And longer for him than for me.
Longer still for the old man,
Who leans on a cane and God
since he can't lean on you,
Though he wants to, desperately.

It won't be long now
(What are days and weeks and months and years?)
When I'll watch the bees again.
And you'll watch me
Watching them.
I'll be crying, because I just don't get it.
Crying, because I can't get past
my own missing.

And you'll pause for a moment with us.
(I'm sure you love this spot.)
And then the Delightful Laugh
And the Smiling Eyes
Will dance off hand-in-hand,
Leaving me with the cane
And the bees.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#FirstConcert

My son PT is heading off to college soon, and I think it is so fun that he planned a last "date night" with his little sister EL, taking her to her first live concert ever.

What a memory this will be for her! (And for him, too, probably...but don't tell him I said so!)

Here's to great big brothers who love their little sisters well!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Baby Bluebirds and Baby Boys

From this:


to this:




Apparently we missed the laying of a fourth egg while we were off with my son to his summer orientation for college.  As our little bluebird couple prepares to fledge their second brood of the summer, we are preparing to fledge our second-born off to college.  Soon after we recover from that, we will "fledge" our first-born in marriage.

Hooray for our little bluebird house, and our first batch of babies!  Someday they'll look like this:

 








Someone with more time and photographic skill on her hands than I have, chronicled the entire process here

I'm viewing these little birds as a living reminder to me of the normalcy and naturalness of sending your babies off--once they're ready--to face the world without you. It is strange to think that soon two of my children will be living elsewhere. I will miss them desperately. (If one's children are burdensome or irksome, I would imagine it might be nice to arrive at the, "Bye, see you later!" stage of things. But when they're delightful--and you count them among your very best friends and enjoy being with them as much as anyone on the planet--it is pretty difficult!)

I would imagine in the end, it feels a little bit like this:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We Had Seasons in the Sun



As I read this post from Shauna Niequist this morning, I was filled with nostalgia and family memories of summers gone by on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We don't have our own little island, and our memories don't house conch fritters and row-boat rides, but I loved reading about her precious times with her family, and the million little memories that have stacked onto one another over their years of visiting the same place, together.

Ever since my parents scraped together the funds to buy a piece of heaven-on-earth when I was in high school, we've been able to stack memories, one on top of the other, of yearly summer weeks spent together.  And Memorial Day.  Labor Day.  Cold winter weekends to get away during the off-season--just you and some folks you love sharing nothing in particular, but doing it together.  Retreats for church women--that much-needed get-away for harried young mothers, afforded only because of the generosity of my folks.  I doubt they knew all they were providing when they made that purchase all those years ago.  My family has precious memories I could never have afforded to provide--not even once, let alone year after year--because of the generous provision of two parents who gathered the generations by the seashore every summer.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for providing us with this blessing for all the years of our married life!  Our family trips to the NC shore are precious to me.  I'm full of precious memories with precious people over many precious, fleeting years.

From quiet, carefree, joy-filled days getting to know each other as husband and wife... to a tiny newborn sleeping in a drawer... setting up sun tents for sandy, sleeping infants (who no doubt have sand clutched in their teeny fists)... fits thrown at bedtime, or when it's time to get out of the hot tub... little cloth sun hats that cover tiny heads and necks, and shade little pudgy cheeks...  toys and games in the owners' closet, like old friends who meet us for a once-a-year visit...

Fresh fruit and veggies from Powell's on the way in... little pink, sunburned cheeks... meltdowns on the back nine as we play putt-putt past bedtime... sandcastles... working on puzzles together in the hot room with the ice machine... little girls fighting over who has to sleep on the trundle bed... MuMama's blue beach chair... Tripoly... making t-shirts together at that cool clothing shop... stopping for BBQ buffets... looking for shells and sea glass in the cool of the early morning...

Stepping on Pooh guys by the upstairs wood table... fireworks on the beach... chasing sand crabs in the dusky twilight... five little girls always pairing up to leave someone "out"... that bouncy, green cart with yellow wheels, full of shovels and buckets and coolers and all manner of fun... the respite of shade under a colorful umbrella... Rummikub... watching the neighbors' illegal firecrackers catch the dried sea grass on fire--and having to call the fire department!... Cabin Boy... bike rides to the pool... a buried body with a sandy mermaid's tail... honey buns for breakfast... Yahtzee... boursin... spying on feral cats from the balcony...


Lazy naps in a hammock... having to take turns with boogie boards and skim boards and huge, floating rings... offering your great-grandmother an arm on the walk to the ocean... knowing your great-grandmother--and I mean, really knowing her...

Taking refuge in a dark theater on yet another rainy day... Lighthouse bagels... late-night neighbor-partying keeping everyone awake... little fits and tears over sunscreen in little eyes... swinging on the swing set by the community pool... sunburned ears or feet because someone forgot about coating them... "Ssssh!  Aunt Nita's still asleep on the couch!"... early morning walks through Pine Island...

 
Looking for a bargain at the "all merchandise 50% off" spots... adding whatever is needed to the community grocery list... baths in Nanny's big, jetted tub... "reapply!"... dear dogs running on the beach, which may just be what doggie heaven is like now for Huckie and Zach and Little and Winston... guitars and fiddles and ukeleles...

Skinned elbows and knees from bike-time wipeouts... a huge lazy Susan... a row of bikes heading to the grocery store or to get Duck Donuts... Nita's spaghetti, and Nanny's pound cake, and MuMama's banana pudding: the tastes of beach week... "and now we're having fun writing songs with the fam..."

"There will be a day when memories will be all we have," said Shauna Niequist.  Tears spring to my eyes as I consider how true this is.  I think of many people I have loved, those I can now only meet in my memory.  I know the time is short... with our parents, one of whom is already passed from this life to the next.  With our children, one of whom is already pledged to another, beginning to dream about what life will look like when "home" isn't the same place as my own four walls.  I cry for my pastor, whose son was unexpectedly snatched from them a month ago by a gunman's stray bullet.  I cry for my sweet friend Jeanine, who entered her final rest from her courageous battle with cancer just 36 hours ago.  I cry for their family members and friends, who now visit with those they love only in memories.  The time given us is short, and life is fleeting, and in a matter of moments we have to say goodbye... whether we were ready to or not.

I am driven to a desire to live each moment to the fullest--in connection--and to never waste another precious moment of life fighting or arguing or taking those I love for granted!  I am driven to a desire to capture memories better than I do--more pictures, more videos, more snapshots of daily-day life with those precious ones who live in my circle, at least for this day.  I am driven to a Savior, who comforts my pain--and that of my friends--and who has made a way of lasting comfort and joy for me: that I may know Him in this life, and that I may know Him--and my loved ones who also know Him--forever in the life to come.  "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" - John 17:3.

"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" - Psalm 23:6.  And until that day, may I live life deliberately, like one who is "stealing against the inevitability of time," and loving every minute of it I'm given.  Thank you, Shauna, for the reminder!

*Entry 7, July - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is a line from the song "Seasons in the Sun," recorded by Terry Jacks, and then by the Beach Boys, and then covered by many others.  It is an adaptation of Rod McKuen's lyric poem, which is itself an English translation of a French one, "Le Moribond."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lost With You in a Poem I'm Writing

A few key moments
Reside in my memory
Differently from the others.
Strong.
Stubborn.
Tenacious.
Relentless.

Permanently preserved—
Perfectly preserved—
By the intensity of emotion
Of a single, tragic moment.
Chemicals, I suppose.
The same stuff that makes you fall down
And faint
When they knock on your door
At 2 a.m.
And a uniformed voice asks you if you're you.

Others reside deeply,
Intensely,
But vaguely...a hazy blur of emotional swirl
Of memory
And feeling.

I feel them in my gut, yes, but softly.
Tenderly.
A strange blend of nausea and euphoria
That eats at me in a delicious way.

I savor these moments,
The beautiful ones.
I call them up into my mind
and feast on them sometimes.
Just "hang out" there,
Remembering.
Reliving.
Reveling.

Like the first time your hands cupped my face
And your lips touched mine.
Urgent and tender.
Long-awaited connection.
Like the look on your face
when you saw me hiding on that bunk bed.
Like the night after you said, "I will" and "I do."
I still feel the golden rope being carefully fastened
by trembling hands,
The hair swept aside from my longing neck.
Your lips finding me from behind
As I gulped and sighed and burned with longing.

A little hand reached up to that same face
(Only older. Always getting older.)
And touched me.
And he whispered,
In the bedtime darkness of
once upon a time,
"Mama, you're my best lady."
I could live in that moment
Like the bass line of that one William Ackerman song.
Breathing, touching, living—
just barely—
thanksgiving.
And praise.
And worship.

But life isn't all good moments
And they're not all clothed in hazy mist
and smiles.
Some haunt me by stubbornly refusing to be hazy.
By being sharp and clear and focused and terrible.
Relentless.
That pink beach ball of a baby
Floating face down in sparkling blue.
The cry of our sweet Dog Mom,
Bursting through the door,
Screaming that Little had been struck by a car.

And now, your face.
That look on your face.
Disbelief and grief.
("Oh God, what's wrong?")
First-morning news that there was a message
(Has any middle-of-the-night message
Ever been good
In the history of the world?)

Grief and disbelief.
Your eyes meet mine.
Your face is scaring me.
(And those damned chemicals have
Burned it into my brain
Forever.)

"There's a message from Rico
(You are shaking and visibly shaken.)
That there's been an accident
(Your voice is strange. Weak. Halting.)
And apparently Mark Rodriguez has been killed."

Hands on my face again,
This time my own.

I place my trembling hands over my mouth
As the guttural cries of "What?" and "No!"
Burst out anyway.
I've lost control of my body.
If I weren't on my bed I know I'd be falling.
The pain in my chest has climbed to my throat
And I think I may throw up.
The pit in my stomach grows
And I try to make sense of the words
But I can't hear you
And I can't breathe
And these damned tears blur the texts
That were sent my way as I slumbered.

Yes, some moments are burned into my memory
Like scars on nail-pierced hands.
How do we do this, Lord?
You, who lost a son,
Who gave a Son,
How do we unclench the fist
And let him go?
How?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

This past week, my son graduated from high school.  It is a milestone, to be sure, and one I hope to commemorate here someday soon.  I am so proud of him, but not for what he's accomplished or what he's done or what he will do or even who he is--though I love (and really like!) who he is.  No, I am feeling today the reality that my son was five years old three weeks ago.  I remember hearing someone at the annual homeschool convention say one year, "I'm here to tell you, mamas, the days go by slow, but the years go by fast."  How right she was!  How can it be that I have graduated a second student from our homeschool already?  Didn't we just start this journey, curling up in bed with flashcards and learning to read?

I heard an old Stevie Nicks song yesterday that just made me start bawling.

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older, too...

So, can I handle the seasons of my life?  I don't know.  I really like this one I'm in, and I know that it is careening me toward another one, when these little ones entrusted to me won't be with me anymore and the Lord will call me to be mothering in a different, less active, less daily-day way.  For now, though, I'll enjoy every moment and buckle up for the ride.

*Entry 5, May - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is a line from the Stevie Nicks song "Landslide."


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Life Is Beautiful

Once again, I find myself in a season of life that is too busy, and I'm falling down on the Blog Challenge I issued myself and my students.  There are so many things going on, and I keep meaning to grab a few minutes and write about them here, but I just can't seem to find any spare ones.  I hate it when my schedule gets like this.  I'm grading some really exciting final stories from my students, which I love doing, but it really does eat up a lot of my time, and my chance to do my own crafting and creating and musing goes out the window.

My husband and my son spent ten days together in China last month.  What an amazing opportunity!  What a special memory!  I had hoped to post some pictures and some thoughts about that, but it flew by, and now it is a month later.

This Easter weekend, my husband and I are celebrating 22 years of marriage, spending our wedding anniversary apart from each other for the first time in our marriage.  (I think, but I can't be sure, which shows you how much of a not-big-deal it is--or isn't!  We can survive being apart on an important day!)

But it was also just my father-in-law's 80th birthday, and I had so wanted to be able to be there with him to celebrate that.  Perhaps it was its being juxtaposed against our wedding anniversary... or perhaps it was the nostalgia of not being with the rest of my family there in NC for the celebrating... perhaps it is the ever-present awareness that my sweet mother-in-law is no longer with us... Whatever the inspiration, I am feeling nostalgic to the point of weepy this morning.

But alas, student papers call, and the screaming roar of editorial deadlines is ever before me, and so I must leave the musing to another time.  Oh, may I not miss one moment of the glories of life--both the beautiful, easy moments and the painful, poignant ones--even as I do miss the opportunity to get it all down on a blog!

Happy birthday, Opa.  Happy anniversary, my love.  And happy happy-sad day, world.  Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of life.  Thank you for beauty from ashes and for the certainty of Your loving Presence, which walks with us through it all.  And thank you for the amazing reality of Your death and resurrection, which we celebrate this weekend.  May the reality of it--the truth of it--be ever in my heart and ever on my lips!

*Entry 4, April - The 12 Months of 2014 Blog Challenge
The title is the title of many a song, but I had no particular one in mind when I chose it.