Friday, January 28, 2011



An instance where a noun is bastardized and used as an adjective.
An adjectnounative in action: Upon finding a kitchen full of dirty dishes, the thirsty man says "It's O.K., I'll just use the biggest, plasticest cup i can find."

roll with the punches

When things don't go your way and you adapt to the changes and keep moving ahead instead of flippin out; coping with and understanding adversity by being flexible.

definitions brought to you by Urban Dictionary

I'm no boxer, though, I did see Million Dollar Baby once.  But I get that to roll with a punch is to lessen the blow, avoiding a direct hit.  Which is sorta what we've been up to.  'Cuz life doesn't always go according to plan. 

And when it doesn't?  Find the happiest, clothiest blanket and have a picnic next to the warmest, cracklingest fire you can make.

Turn on the awesomest, musicish station.  And dance, dance, dancity, dance.

Do a little of the things that make you smile, like perusing a flea market looking for the funkiest, treasurey finds you see.

Practice your clapping...


...and find the sunshiney...

...because it can be found. 

It's how we do (how we do: the manner in which we accomplish our goals. ex. Thing one: this party is sick. Thing two: it's how we do).

Hope you picnic, dance, peruse, clap, and find the sunshiney true roll-with-the-punches style.  (Stuck?  Give a few adjectnounatives a whirl.  You'll feel prettyish awesome.)

Happy Fridaying, all!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Much Ado...and Nothing

We planned, we listed, we got ready for Moving Day Part 2 this weekend.  My mom to watch the kids, friends to help move our furniture out of storage and into our place, moving food planned, room layouts decided.

And then, our house fell through. 

Surprised.  Disappointed.  We celebrated.  'Cuz for whatever reason, this season of life has been extended.  We haven't lived enough life to be wise, but we have lived enough to know that all seasons come to an end.  And so we soak up a bit more of this one. 

If we had been moving this weekend, we wouldn't have been around to celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday.  And since we were in town, we commemorated, impromptu-style with dinner out and cake in.  I'm so glad we didn't miss it.  (Photos by my sis, Kenna, who graciously shared them with me.)

My grandma was 17 when they got married.  And over the years my grandparents have weathered the storms of juggling jobs, raising three daughters, building a house from the ground up, cancer, hearing a doctor diagnose their baby with rheumatoid arthritis...and holding her hand through countless surgeries, holding another daughter's hand through a painful divorce...and giving her away twenty-some years later to a man who cherishes her.  They have celebrated the births of eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.

80 years.  And if you could talk to him, my grandpa would tell you that family is one of the things that matter, no matter the season.  'Cuz he has lived long enough to be wise.

Seasons change; they change you.  Your world spins through cancer or divorce or a sick child or a failed move.  Sometimes, your thoughts grab hands with your world and they go twirling down together.  And maybe you cry out that perhaps God is unfair or maybe fear sets in.  And when waves capsize plans and dreams and the shore cannot be seen, we need a beacon that calls out in the darkness, "This is home. You'll drown out there; this is home."

I cannot tell you how timely Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years has been.  I have read and re-read:
Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in.  We think God is unjust, rather than a master story teller.
I trust the Reference Point in the night, the Author of this life and give Him permission to rewrite our story.  He invites us to greatness.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
George Matheson

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All Love

We all have favorite movie lists.  This one is on mine:

I don't want to spoil anything if you haven't seen it, but the gist of the story is a man and an entire village who links arms with his crazy.  They look like idiots doing it, but they don't care.  They have compassion, they support, they love him to freedom...

We got to spend this past weekend with people from our village.  They know us and love us and have stood beside us, linking arms with our crazy over the years. 

It was so good; so delightful.  And we left wanting more.  More days, more time, more laughs, more stories, more of it all...  It was all love.

What greater thing is there for...human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories.
George Elliot
Thank you Phil, Julie, Jake (we missed you, Jonathan!), Jeanne, Matthew, Janine, Abby, Nate, Ellie, Kondo, Melissa, Judah, Jael... We love you.  And thank you for loving us...for being a part of our village.  We are so blessed to be joined with you all for life, arm in arm.

All love.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Perfect Weather

The weatherman said we were under a "winter storm" this week.  I guess 3-5 inches of projected snowfall can be a storm.  We looked out and decided it was perfect weather for a walk.

I know I don't need to tell you that we love the snow around here.  Even Silas, who's been squawking at me for days was still, mesmerized.

Snow makes everything lovely.  All the frumpy and overlooked slips like Cinderella into a brilliant white evening gown.  So long dead and dormant.  Hello showstopper.

Sometimes you look out and aren't even sure what's under the snow.  It could be a heap of garbage that just looks like a rolling hill.  But it's all just snow now.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'.  Forgiveness is like snow, covering up the brown and broken.  There may be trash underneath, but it's all just forgiveness now.

Current book love: Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (thanks, Kenna!)  And he writes that life is a story and that all good stories have conflict.  All great stories have heroes that overcome obstacles, propelled toward what really matters.  Harry Feversham in the movie The Four Feathers, braves his own fears to keep his friends safe from their war-time enemy, friends that called him a coward.  In real life, Steve Saint's father was killed in a remote jungle.  One of the men who killed his father?  Steve's kids call him "Grandpa."  (Check out more of the story here.)

These are the stories we love.  Overcoming the conflicts of disappointment and hurt  - not ignoring it, but giving up claim to it - doesn't make any sense, but it's fighting for what really matters.  As my dad routinely says, we are just broken people who break things.  And we are all in process...

Forgiveness stoops down and covers all in its brilliance.  And those who see it or those who experience it, cannot help but be mesmerized.  (And maybe even do a flying psycho-dog leap in the air.)

There's so much more to say.  And there's still so much undeveloped here.  But it's late and I want to share and say that I hope we snow storm forgiveness on the people in our lives.  I hope we live good stories.

Monday, January 10, 2011

At Random

Sometimes the components of my life can seem so undirected, random like the bits of tutu I find everywhere these days.  Soccer balls.  Tonka trucks.  Nature walks.  Chicken, hominy, tomatillo salsa on rice.  Word World.  Lip gloss.  Pandora.  Sacred fireside reading. 

Gretchen Rubin, in her book The Happiness Project says, What you do everyday matters more than what you do every once in a while.

And it's funny how caught up I can get in the once-in-a-whiles.  Like the time I was driving to Starbucks, ready for some all-by-myself-time.  I passed a man struggling, pushing his electric wheelchair in the cold.  His body jerked, giving up his cerebral palsy tell.  I drove by him three times before I finally stopped, parked my car at Meijer and pushed him home. 

His name was Jeff and the battery to his chair had died on his way home from the State school nearby.  As Jeff and I chatted on the way to his apartment building, I was humbled at how many times he expressed concern for me "wearing myself out."  I was humbled at the three chances I had to get it right.  To do good.  In fact, I walked, teary, all the way back to my car.  I'm sorry, did you catch that?  Let me repeat: I walked.  All by myself (okay, I'm sounding like Eden now.)  No assistance needed.

I lived there for days.  I atta-boy-ed Humility so many times, it puffed into Pride.  I was proud that I'd "done the right thing," (never you mind that it took me so long.)  I mean, move over Mother Theresa:  I walked a guy who needed help home once. 

I've been thinking about what I do everyday.  It speaks to my objectives, my values.  What does the everyday say about me as a friend?  A mom?  A wife?  A sister?  A homemaker?  A daughter?  A woman?  Does the everyday reveal that my heart's home is Heaven?  I'm not sure that a long look in that mirror would prove friendly.

And so I'm thankful for morning sun, that yawns and stretches and reaches over to kiss the snow. 

New days, opportunities.  Realizing afresh that I want the random bits and scenes to fit together to be something - more than just noise, or occupied space.  To be marked by kindness, patience, the everyday.