It has been quite the week. There have been fevers and rashes and sore throats (oh my). I am a little tired and burnt out to be honest. We are not too good at being cooped up and this post could also have an alternative title related to the worst time ever to undergo a kitchen makeover.
As renters, we are privileged and subject to any upgrades that our landlord (who we really do like btw) wants to do. So when he scheduled the new cabinets to be put in this week, it didn’t seem like any big deal. That was before all of the said sicknesses.
So here we are, on day six of illnesses, not taking too many trips out of the house and tonight our living space looks like this:
However, right now I am typing at Panera because my husband knows me well enough to kick me out of the house and encourage me to work on something I will enjoy. So here I am. Writing our winter manifesto. We wrote one this summer and it really changed everything.
What is a manifesto you ask?
Ours this summer was a list of things we wanted to be about and do; it forced us to be intentional. We enjoyed every last trip to the farmer’s market, summer festival & porch party, thanks to this list.
I used to think that things like this were mechanical and unnecessary but the more I live, I realize that we have to put effort into making things happen and making them special. So here I sit, thinking about this winter and our list.
It’s better than trying to lysol the mess that awaits me.Read More
This is a small excerpt from my Sunday Sermon based on Ephesians 2:
“It’s clear that those of us here today will have a huge influence on the world, good or bad, we will have a lasting impact. If we (as Christians) claim to have a new life, a new path, a new status, and new shoes (you have to be there to understand this)…we need to make sure that the world coming through here sees us walking that new path. See, having all those things and then continuing to walk the same old path is nothing special, in fact, it’s why Christians are called hypocrites. Being a Christian is not just about being nice and it’s definitely not about getting some ticket or insurance policy. It’s so much bigger than that. It’s about partnering with God in his redemption project for the whole of creation. It’s about testifying first in deed, then in word, to the reality that Jesus reigns over our family, careers, workplaces, finances, recreation…all of it. We were rescued from something, but we were also rescued for something.”
*picture is me with the city of Ephesus in the back.Read More
Midnight last night marked a week since I was laying on the bathroom floor in pain and listening to Ryan’s instructions to get to the ER. Not your normal Tuesday evening. But we are past that and I’m so happy to say that I feel pretty much normal. It’s nothing short of amazing really that after you lay in a hospital bed all you want to do is sleep for four days. So I did. And after that, I was ready to get up and out.
So I did what any recovering individual would and I took a trip to Target. And Walmart because I like some good people watching every once in awhile. Since then we have walked to the park, to Eastown & even walked around the Festival of the Arts downtown. With relatively no pain. The fact that the body can heal itself so quickly is nothing short of amazing to me.
What surprised me during my recovery is that as I layed around and listened to Ryan play with Hannah & unload the dishwasher for the fifth time, I wasn’t stir crazy. I was content (and sleepy). I can’t remember EVER being inside that long. Even after Hannah was born we were out on a walk around the block a few days later. Here are pics for nostalgia’s sake (was Hannah really this little?!)
I know this is blurry but these flowers were part of my view see every time I stood by the sink this week. They are combination bouquet that Stacie brought from when Ryan was gone to the fresh roses she added once I got out of the hospital.
Little things like that along with afternoon visits from friends (frappucinos in tow), specially delivered meals and homemade cookies have proved to me again how cared for I feel when things like these happen. Of course we would always rather be on the giving than the recieving end but every once in awhile, it is good to remember that we aren’t alone.
I joked with Ryan that if we can either have a child or surgery once a year, we will have meals coming every spring! He didn’t find it too funny and in honesty, not hoping we have any surgeries in our future and not planning on a child each spring.
Now that we are back in gear, we have decided our moving date is tomorrow! One more sleeps in this ole house and on to the next. We have been spending zero time packing and instead, stacking things into piles that will be packed today. It’s our strategy and I like it.
Our thoughts are in Ann Arbor and my birthday is this Saturday so I’m scheming up ways to celebrate in our new town. The farmer’s market is on the list and we are so close that baby girl may just walk there the way she is taking steps these days! Signing off to get packing but thank you for all of the love and prayers as I recovered & as we go.
Next stop: Kerrytown!
As I awake from the jet-lagged coma stemming from my experience in Turkey this past two weeks there seems to be one theme continuously running through my head, LOVE. On the trip, we asked the question, “So What Changed Asia Minor?“ For me, the answer was that followers of Christ contended with a world who loved themselves by choosing to love others. They did what Jesus asked them to do. Hopefully we can all agree that love is not a feeling, but an action, a way of being and doing. It matters how we live, it matters that we love. Sadly, I have not chosen to love enough. I have been selfish. I have not contended enough. Today, I vow to love more.
“Make me an instrument of your peace (shalom)
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is darkness, let me shine light
May your love cause us to open up, cause us to open up our hearts
May your light cause us to shine so bright that we bring hope into the dark
All that we do without love, it means nothing
Grant us the courage to give as you’re calling
Make me an instrument of your peace (shalom)
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is darkness let me shine light
Hope for the hopeless, your love is
Strength in our weakness, your love is
May we love as you love”
-Song by the Brilliance, Open Up-Read More
This past Saturday was a day to remember. We woke you up signing Happy Birthday, a tradition I hope to keep for years to come. We hung paper lanterns, bought balloons, had a cake made and placed flowers in vases. There were presents wrapped and pictures hung with joy. But even with all of that planning, it was you who made the party what it was.
I know you won’t remember any of this but I have plenty of pictures to show you the day that we celebrated the first year of your life. According to the calendar that marker won’t come for another week and a half but I believe in birthday month and am willing that right to you. I thought I would feel panicky when your birthday came. I wondered if I would be holding on tightly to your last few days as a baby and squeezing them for all they are worth. In some ways I am and finding myself asking how this happened. But to be honest I’m excited because there is something new to savor at each stage as you grow. I like being your friend and the older you get, you feel more and more like my little buddy.
So Hannah, from your sentimental and detail keeping mama, this is what you need to know about your birthday party.
You wore a tutu for the first time and looked SO cute:
I threw my heart into creating banners and decor, all pink and sweet, just like you:
There was cake, of course:
Including a special one, just for you:
Pictures hung, documenting each month of this year:
We sang Happy Birthday and I insisted that your candle be lit:
You seemed a bit passive on the cake but were happy:
We opened presents and it was so fun to see the special things people chose for you:
By the end of the day, Toby was more than over it all:
I loved planning your party and seeing so many people that we love show up to celebrate you. But when you strip away all of the ribbons and the bows, the truth is that God’s faithfulness has brought us through a year with you. It hasn’t been our awesome parenting skills, or our ability to do what is best and right all of the time. It has simply been God’s grace. So decorate however I may (and believe me, I will continue to do so) that is what we are really celebrating as you near your first birthday.
all my love,
I’m thankful for a rainy Monday after a weekend that included all kinds of celebrations in this order:
HANNAH’S BIRTHDAY PARTY–which will certainly be getting its own post soon.
A birthday lunch for my 15 year old brother
A graduation fiesta party
High School Senior Picnic & Youth Group Year End Party
And now, this one woman party at my kitchen table with coffee and blueberry muffins. We also got family pictures taken somewhere in there. All markers that time is marching on.
I woke up thinking about time this morning while I was making the muffins. About how everything we do is about an exchange. About having Hannah’s party early so Ryan could be a big part of it before he leaves for Turkey. About how my laundry piled up last week because I happily chose party planning.
If everything in life is about choices then it seems important to know what our priorities are. It always seems easier to tend to the urgent rather than the important but then we end up with all of our chores done but no closer to where we want to be.
This weekend I felt like we were exactly where we were supposed to be, doing exactly what we were supposed to be doing.