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Showing posts from May, 2015

Home is Where the Heart is

The first Whitespace Challenge that stood out to me was sight - altering your view, literally, in order to alter your perspective. I spend a lot of time in a fairly small space, and we're about to have guests for Brooklyn's birthday, so that seemed like a perfect place to start.

Before beauty, a mess. I took most of our art off the walls (it had been hung rather haphazardly when we first moved in, in order to get it off the floor where it was awkwardly propped) yanked some books off the shelves, and rearranged furniture. Brooklyn was exceedingly interested in what I was doing and determinedly got into everything, but Tobin was happy to practice rotations on the new empty space in the middle of our living room floor.

I adore our couch (easy-care suede, purchased from a friend who was moving to a smaller apartment), and the pair of pillows that a friend thoughtfully made for us as a wedding present. I also really like the enormous painting that was left behind by a tenant who p…

There and Back Again

'Twas a big week for Littles, since we spent most of it in Fayetteville and managed to see all grandparents and great-grandparents over a 7 day period.

Brooklyn did very well (considering her already evident introversion), warming up to people, talking, reading books, and requesting kisses and hugs. And Tobin soaked up the attention, laughing and giggling and making adorable faces. It's interesting how different they already are - Brooklyn is a quiet wallflower, and Tobin adores crowds and interaction.

I discovered the hard way (by going out with a friend and leaving Tobin in the attentive care of his grandparents for a couple of hours) that, with this one, there's no replacement for Mommy and prolonged (in his perception) separation is cause for upsetness, cured only by being reunited.

But he's sufficiently easy-going that, for the most part, he can join me. On Sunday our church had a "packing party," assembling meals to distribute to a couple of food pantr…


The weekly reckoning...
1598. A walk downtown with Brooklyn and Tobin, and the rain holding off until we got back to the car
1599. Finishing rearranging before company came 1600. A glorious thunder storm  1601. Three real notes in the mail 1602. Having help with the grocery shopping (so much easier not just-us-three) 1603. Managing to replicate Adam's stir fry, since he worked late and wasn't there to make it 1604. Brooklyn bravely getting through church, lunch out, and an evening baby dedication having gotten up early and with no nap 1605. Adam's parents and grandma being able to come for the day 1606. A family photo, all four together (we don't even have a decent pic of all-three-together, preTobin, so this was exciting) 1607. Car tripping to Fayetteville not just-us-three 1608. Brooklyn cautiously exploring nature at a rest stop __________
1609. Watching the fireflies rise, while sitting on the back porch talking to Adam
I was a frog-catching butterfly-chasing kid. I dug holes (a…

A Whitespace Challenge

I spent the beginning of this year practicing pauses - examining the power of the small moment, seized in the midst of a busy day. As part of that, I journaled my way through Bonnie Grey's book Finding Spiritual Whitespace. Her whitespace is my pause, although she went a little deeper into it than I did; validating whitespace, discussing how to find it, and presenting ideas for incorporating "shots of rest" into your daily life.
Practicing pauses is definitely something that I need to continue doing, regardless of what point of the circle I'm at. But it's also something that I want - introvert that I am, I embrace opportunities to step back and take a deep breath (or a sip of tea). The trouble is, when walking away (even for a moment) isn't an option, I begin to feel trapped. In the back of her book, Bonnie included a Whitespace Challenge - a list of ideas (categorized as creativity, adventure, community, and soul care) for creating whitespace in your life -…

Little Critters

Such a big boy! He's getting better and better at grabbing things and putting them in his mouth - and he can hang on pretty tightly (I've had to pry Brooklyn's hair out of his grip several times).

He also grabs his own shirt in an attempt to move in the desired direction. It doesn't work, but he's starting to be able to roll and squirm his way around, taking a butterfly route to whatever-he's-after. I tried laying a blanket down for his Evening Rotations, but he ended up orbiting it instead of laying on it.

According to the {admittedly inaccurate} Step on the Scale Alone then Step on with Tobin and Subtract Method, he weighs about 15 pounds. He may pass Brooklyn! (Which might be just as well - she desperately wants to carry him, and I'd really prefer that she not.)

I got on a redecorating/organizing kick last week, and one thing I did was cover a couple of diaper cases with some cute (hedgehogs and foxes!) Duck tape to make bins for Tobin's room. We ha…


Last week's gifts...
1576. A stay-home recovery day
1577. Encouraging, unexpected, handwritten mail 1578. A book to read while snuggling Tobin to sleep 1579. Dempsey Bakery having apple fritters - I hadn't had one since last summer 1580. Adam being able to pack up his event day-of, instead of having to come back the next morning 1581. A gloriously stormy night - perfect sleeping weather! 1582. A sympathetic mama to sit in the the lobby with, while both our Small Persons made more noise than is considered appropriate for a church service 1583. The sit-down Sonic, and Brooklyn's excitement over a cup of ice water 1584. A Voxer book talk 1585. Rearranging furniture and moving pictures, and Adam not minding 1586. Ideas and the time/energy/money to see them through 1587. Reading a Psalm with Brooklyn over breakfast, and her paying some degree of attention  1589. A random mid-week zoo trip, all-four-together 1590. The cheetah being talkative 1591. Upcycling a bunch of empty boxes into cute, us…


On Tuesdays we've been practicing pauses - last week, I wrote about living with an attitude of plenty, and this week, a defense of pauses.

[photo by David Mao, via Unsplash]
"As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you / you alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship you." {paraphrase of Psalm 41:1} In the end, the purpose of pausing is not for selfish pursuits (although, I do definitely benefit) - it's to gather my breath and rest in my Father's presence. The obstacles that arise, the phantoms that whisper lies of Importance and Worry and Busyness in my ears, know that strength lies not in my own efforts, but in placing my concerns in Hands much larger than my own - and so the pauses are worth fighting for.

What inner obstacles rise up to keep you from pausing? [Join the conversation on Facebook!]


Baby giggles are the best - you can't help but laugh with them. And even their concern and frustration are cute.

Tobin's in the process of learning how to roll over. He can roll, but it's usually an accidental byproduct of attempting to grab both of his feet at once - he's such a roly-poly that when he curls up, he turns into a ball and rolls accidentally. He finds it very exciting and slightly magical every time it happens.

His squirming and tumbling makes Brooklyn very nervous. He makes lots of little noises that she translates as distress, and she wants to help but isn't sure how. Usually she just settles for a hug - she's all about hugs lately, offering and requesting them at random.

On Sunday, we 'ventured to the sit-down Sonic downtown - Brooklyn was highly intrigued by the concept of ordering by telephone, and ecstatic about her cup of water with tiny ice and tater tots (with ketchup - everything needs ketchup now, since Adam put some on her meatloa…


This week's gifts...
1552. Brooklyn and Tobin's naps overlapping so I could sit on the balcony and just Be Still
1553. Lots of letter writing 1554. Watching Fringe with Adam and Tobin, after Brooklyn went to bed 1555. Being near a bank mid-errand, since they locked my card again (it was actually me this time) and we needed groceries 1556. Successful completion of all errands in record time 1557. Figuring out where I was on a knitting project I'd set aside over a year ago and didn't have clear notes on 1558. Being able to do Walk for the Waiting all-four-together, even though Adam had to go to work right after 1559. A peaceable day at home with Brooklyn and Tobin (since we all got up early) 1560. Sitting and knitting at PF Chang's while waiting for a gift-carded takeout order 1561. Adam back from cleaning up a recruiting event in time for us to go to church all-four-together 1562. Frappuccino happy-hour at Starbucks - drinks for both of us for the price of one! 1563. Going for …

#fmfpartysnailmail {give away!}

Greetings, snail mailers! I hope you're enjoying this round so far - it's hard to believe that we only have a few weeks left! If you've fallen behind, now's the perfect time to spend 10 minutes catching up - some words of encouragement and maybe a favorite verse or quote are all it takes to brighten someone's mailbox. :)

This week we've got a very thoughtful giveaway:

-a handcrafted hat from Andrea's shop (winner's choice)
-a copy of Your Life Still Counts
-a gift card from Diana
-a copy of The Unveiled Wife
-a copy of Getting Real
-a ceramic cross
-a $10 Amazon gift card

Enter below - this is for Round 6 participants only, please! Open through Sunday (I'll have another giveaway soon that everyone can enter :)

#FMFPartySnailMail Round 6 Giveaway #3


On Tuesdays I've been writing about Practicing Pauses - last week we discussed being truly still. This week, why it can be hard to slow down and take things one at a time.

A recent journaling exercise had me write through how I did things as a child. One trait that surfaced was my tendency to wholly immerse myself in whatever I was doing, focusing on a single thing instead of multi-tasking.
I practically never just do one thing at a time anymore - I'm almost always alternating between multiple tasks, sometimes perforce (reading a book aloud to Brooklyn while tending to Tobin) but often simply out of habit. Realizing that I didn't used to function that way made me curious as to why I do it now.
Plenty. When I was a child, I wasn't worried about time. I could give my full attention to a project because if it took all day and I didn't get to something else as a result, then there was always tomorrow. Scarcity - the fear of running out - is what causes me to multi-task …


Chunky monkey gnawing on his fists while impatiently waiting for me to be finished taking pictures. He's getting better at putting things in his mouth - so I've been having to watch both him and Brooklyn more closely, because she tends to share choking hazards (for example, a petrified piece of a noodle that she found who-knows-where... I promise I just vacuumed...)

She tries so hard to include him in whatever she's doing... she's been walking around with a little laundry basket on her head, and trying to put it on my head, and the other day I heard her say "Tobin hat!" and looked up to see him caged inside it. She's also been carrying around a Cabbage Patch doll and reading it books, giving it pats, and sitting it in Tobin's various seats and offering it his toys. It's adorable to watch her caricatured imitations of what she sees me doing.

Very little that didn't directly relate to one or both of them got done this week - we were stuck insid…