Monday, May 25, 2015

The kind of freedom people die for

I am thankful for the men and women we remember today, and for their families and friends. Thank you...and a thousand words more.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Two years ago: The Texas Chainsaw Episode

Two years ago today I posted this.

This little baby doll was 17 days old:

We had just returned from a followup visit to the surgeon who did this beautiful stitch job:

A lot has happened in two years. So much change. So much life. So much tough. At least there have been no more altercations with chainsaws. Faith did have a play accident last summer that required surgery and some stitches (don't think I blogged about that one). Other than that, though, no blood is good news, right?

Speaking of good news...

We're looking for a house.  After 18 months of living with my good parents, we're ready to venture out of the nest. Or something like that. Really it's just that a lot of things have come together finally to move us in that direction. All in God's timing.

Is it terribly ungrateful of me to admit that I'm not having much fun so far with house hunting? I don't remember it being this stressful the last time around.

Our first home in Houston was literally the third home we toured. Michael and I both knew it was The One by the time we got back to our little apartment that night. I will never forget the moment that we decided on that house with our little handwritten budget and a prayer.

Please pray for us! For more patience and more trust. For unity in perfect discernment of His will.

That'd be so great, sweet friends...:)

Chivalry, thy name is Michael. In his manly matter-o-fact way, he ran inside to get an umbrella to shepherd me and the kids into the house during a rainstorm this afternoon. He does little things like that all the time. Chivalry to me and others is just a no-brainer to him. It's as natural as breathing. Michael is Mr. Can I Get You Another Drink? Mr. Let Me Pull the Car Around. Mr. I Put Your Cell Phone in Your Purse Already because I Know You Always Forget to Grab It. I got a good one, girls.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

There's no place like home: Radio interview with Olivia Gulino

What does home mean to you? How do we define home, and what do the art, architecture, and contents of our home say about our souls?

Head over to Staci's blog today for my recent "Faith and Good Counsel" interview with Staci and Olivia Gulino about what "home" really means to us. Olivia is a graduate of the University of Dallas.
She wrote her thesis on the philosophy of home, and how art and architecture over time reflects a culture's spirituality and values. She brings her lofty thesis down to the lay man's level in this great interview.

Here's a teaser:
"Home is where we are existentially satisfied. It is where we can be who we were created to be and want to be. It is where we feel fully satisfied."  
Oh, and don't miss this "after the interview" bonus audio. We discuss the fact that Christ spent 30 years quietly learning the meaning of home so that he could teach us how to dwell in Him.

We do spend some time at the beginning of the show talking about the awesome University of Dallas. (Have any readers gone there?:) If you're already a big fan of UD--fast forward about ten minutes into the show.:)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I had a lovely Mother's Day (ducks, shoes, fried chicken!)

I had a lovely Mother's Day, ya'll. I have to share. Skip down to the pictures if you want, but you might miss the story about the shoes...

8:00 a.m. - Wakeup call. Michael let me sleep in.:) Slobbery wakeup kisses from a two-year-old. Eggs, bacon and grits already on the table. And he made the eggs "with the cheese in them" (instead of sprinkled on top afterwards) because he knows that's how I like them. Brownie points, my good man.

10:30 a.m. - Mass. Kids were sorta-kinda-awful-ish, but the music was heavenly. The gorgeous music today helped me lift my heart to God in those few moments I wasn't wrestling the kiddies.

Noon - Drove around a few neighborhoods close to our church to scope out some houses we've had our eye on. Knocked on the door of one FSBO that has proven elusive to catch by phone--and they answered! Have a call scheduled for tomorrow. :)

1 p.m. - Picked up Cane's and headed downtown to Capitol Park for a no-naps-but-let's-roll-with-it impromptu family picnic. Fried chicken fingers, garlic bread, fries, the sauce!, Coke, and precious moments with my little family. So nice.:) Also, we fed some stale hamburger buns I stashed in the van to the local duck, turtle, and goose populations.

2 p.m. - Got home and put kids down for naps. Mom and aunts were home to babysit (a nice perk that comes with living with your parents) so Michael and I left for a date afternoon at the mall.

2:30 p.m. - Michael stopped at my favorite coffee shop and treated me to a grande turtle Mochasippi. And I got it with whip since we were going grande already for Mother's Day. Total splurge.:)

3 p.m. - Ran into DSW to look for some new work shoes for Michael, and were each handed a $50 gift card. No joke. It was FOR REAL. They were running a special surprise promotion for Mother's Day. DSW really knows their customer base I think.:) We ended up buying two pairs of much-needed new shoes for Michael, plus a new pair of flip flops for me. All for half of what one pair of shoes would have cost us. The Lord really knows the way into this girl's heart, let me tell ya. Shoes are kind of my favorite.

5-6 p.m. - Made "Mother's Day Cards" for all the neighbors and all the kids' friends. Had a picnic dinner of leftovers outside with the kids. Visited with my sweet grandmother and my wonderful mom. Brainstormed with Mom about maybe going to Charleston for a girl's trip in July...

7 p.m. - Baths and bedtime, then family prayer with the Franklets. Nobody fought over who got to blow out the candles. Only one meltdown to handle from a little girl who was desperately sure she needed cough medicine in order to sleep.

8 p.m. - Jumped online to check emails and got a precious Happy Mother's Day email from a reader (thank you, Carolyn!).

This guy...and those sunglasses. Gotta love my cheap Target aviators. I can't wait to get some presciption sunglasses one day. I have to drive with my glasses because I'm silly and won't get contacts. I just kind of layer these over my glasses and look totally dorky, but I don't care. I'm already driving a light blue scuffed up old minivan, so I don't even try to look cool while I'm driving anymore.:) 

While we were at the park, I handled no fewer than TWO #1 and one #2 potty trips in our little travel potty. I ended up having to empty the potty out in a plastic bag (thank goodness I had one left in the diaper bag--SUCH a handy thing to keep in there!). I ended up stuffing the bag with some Spanish moss I found near the trash can so that it wouldn't leak all over me as I took it out and threw it away. Sorry, TMI. Totally one of those gross and awkward Parent Tasks that we all just do because there's no one else to do it. And totally caught on camera. Maybe Mike's only questionable act of the day. Other than making ME handle the three potty trips. Maybe I was on a chicken finger/idyllic family picnic high and didn't notice he was completely not volunteering to help with those...

Fellow mothers, may God bless you and uphold you and give you abiding joy. Our children are truly "the hands by which we take hold of Heaven." Let us continue to walk together as we work out our salvation in the work of our days.