To Read on the Journey

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


this past weekend we celebrated josie's 10th birthday. 

 78,840,000 blinks
my baby is 10.

josie wanted to celebrate with a "just dance" slumber party.
she began planning 6 months ago,
and knew exactly what she wanted...

bright colors and lots of them!  

i relinquished control and let her choose everything.

her party looked like her!

josie gave each of her guests a gift containing her must-have-favorite-things:
mismatched socks
silly bands
fruity chapstick
pixy sticks

for the cake josie selected rainbow cake-jars {seen on pinterest}.
these were easy to make, 
and fun to eat! 

as the girls "just danced" together 
i was entertained by the mini flash-mob in my living room.

the evening was filled with games.
 "twister" was a giggling must.
as well as  "spin the nail polish!"
{various colors of polish, played like "spin the bottle,"
when the polish lands on you, you paint a nail that color, and so on}.
and because no event of josie's would be complete without tutus, each of the girls made their own tutu to be fabulous in. 

our d.j. friend loaned us his disco ball for the occasion

and the girls "pumped up the jam!"
{i'm think'n a disco ball NEEDS to become a permanent part of our decor}.

i can't believe she is 10. 

after the girls were giggling in their sleeping bags i said to michael,
"i want to be like josie. when she enters a room she fills it with joy."
he agreed.

the moment josie was born,
 78,840,000 blinks ago,
she entered our lives and brought with her joy. 
it's who she is.
who God in His generosity and sovereign plan created her to be~
illuminated joy!

her joy shines on us through the songs she sings, the out-loud love she lavishes on us, the grace she lives in which splashes on us, and her uncomplicated faith.

oh! it has been a good 78,840,000 blinks!

and though i know from experience that the next 78,840,000th blink is just a blink away, i'm looking forward to   indulging in every blessed blink'n minute with my deLIGHTful girl!

may God be glorified in your life Josie, and continue to illuminate Himself to you and through you in Christ Jesus! i know He will!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

whispered hope

EDITED & REPOSTED from last year, because this is what i'm thinking about today, the day before Josie's 10th birthday. 

11 years ago on Saturday, February 10th, 2001 I was at a 4 day retreat, 'The Walk to Emmaus."
My husband, Michael, had joined men from all over central California the weekend before on "The Walk," and on this weekend it was my turn to join 60 unfamiliar women, at an unfamiliar church,  in an unfamiliar small town, in hopes to (like the disciples on the "Road to Emmaus") come face to face with Jesus.

To be honest, I didn't think I would see Jesus.... really, I didn't want to.
I was mad at Him.
It had been almost 5 months since He took Caleb home.
I was sad.
I wanted my baby back.
In my belly.
I wanted to be looking forward to the month ahead when Caleb was due with joyful anticipation.  Instead I was dreading it; mourning every single day without my son.

During the afternoon on this day of "The Walk,"  all the ladies on the retreat were lead into a sanctuary.  There we were given the opportunity to meet with a pastor for counsel.  After counsel and prayer we would be anointed with oil (freedom).  We could sit in the pews for as long as we needed, but we could not leave the sanctuary until we met with the pastor.

I sat there alone for what seemed like hours.

I watched one woman after another get up and walk, but I would not.

 I sat in that pew and ignored God.
He did not ignore me.
He spoke.
Teary eyed I pretended to ignore Him.
He cradled me.
I wrestled Him to release me from His arms.
Still, He held me.
He cupped my tearful face in His hands.
I closed my eyes.
He spoke, "Beloved."
I cried..."Why? Why did you take my son? I want him back"
He listened.
Still unable to look at Him, I asked, "Will I always feel such grief?"
He whispered, "Your life will look different a year from now."
"What?" I asked confused.
He spoke again, "Your life will look different a year from now."

I  took in Life-Giver's words.

Finally, the last one in the sanctuary, I made my way to the altar.  There Wonderful Counselor spoke words of Comfort, Truth, Peace and Hope through the pastor, and I was anointed with oil. 

I returned home from "The Walk" assuming God meant my grief would change within the next year.  I  didn't think God meant for me to take His words literally.

Fast forward a year to the Wednesday before Sunday, February 10th, 2002.  I was 38 weeks pregnant with a little girl.  Michael and I met with our o.b. for a routine check-up and asked about being induced (something I'd not done or considered before).  The o.b. agreed. He scheduled us for the upcoming Sunday.

As we drove home Michael and I discussed how odd it was that the dr. had chosen Sunday. We knew that was his day off?

"Why Sunday?" I asked. 

And the Spirit  reminded me of a promise made to me almost a year earlier, "Your life is going to look different a year from now." 

Exactly one year later
Sunday, February 10th, 2002 
at 2:58 p.m., 
(Josefine, "May God Add")
was born.  

How precious to me are your thoughts, 
O God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 
Psalm 139:17

Isn't God AMAZING,
too too Good to us!?!!

 now i must go and smother my baby-girl with hugs and kisses, 
on this the last day
of the first decade 
of her life!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

sometimes i do stuff...

like cook, 
and craft, 
and pay attention to my children.

one time this week i managed to do all three at the same time.

lucky for you i lived to blog about it.

while i was crafting and not ignoring my kids i made soup. 
pasta figiole.
ingredients: ground turkey, chopped carrots, garlic, 1 can kidney beans,
 1 can white beans, 1cn diced tomatoes, 2 boxes veggie broth, ditalini noodles,
oregano, garlic salt, pepper (seasonings to taste). 

first, brown ground turkey in pot. next, add garlic (to taste), broth, carrots, tomatoes, beans (drained & rinsed), seasonings. then, heat on medium for 30 min. finally, add in 1/2 box of ditalini noodles, and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
mmm, soup!

while the soup was simmering
the girls and i made this crafty valentiney banner thingy.

what you need to make a snazzy banner like mine:
7 sheets of scrapbook paper, heart-shaped cookie cutters for templates, scissors, glue-stick, sewing machine, and computer/printer.
we chose the words "Be Mine & XO" (freehand 521bt was our font choice). 
we cut out the hearts and words, 
laid out our banner pieces and selected the layout,
then stitched it together on the ol' sewing machine. 
too easy.
after finishing the banner we had enough left-over paper to whip up a 
little love for the entry way window/mirror.

AND then emilie had a brilliant idea for the scraps...
a little valentine's day love for her doll house! 

after helping emilie add her valentine's day banners to her doll house i snapped a few pix of what was happening around her dollhouse.
notice that dollhouse-dad is in the kitchen cooking, while dollhouse-mom is watching t.v..
yeah, my kid knows me well.
notice dollhouse-emilie playing with her dollhouse as dollhouse-josie looks on.
i can tell you what is going to happen...
as soon as dollhouse-emilie steps away, dollhouse-josie is going to do some rearranging.
dollhouse arguing will erupt, and dollhouse-me will have to get up from
my gilmore girls rerun and go referee the girls' dollhouse argument.
ah, life in dollhouse-ville.

have you done any valentine's day decorating?
what's your favorite winter soup?


Friday, February 3, 2012

another week of insta

happy february all!

i have to apologize that my blogging consistency has been a bit hit and miss lately... okay, who am i kidding, it's been mostly miss.  thankfully insta-friday is easy-peasy, requiring little thought and energy {does it take anyone else a few hours to complete one blog post!?}

life rearranged
with pix from the jan & feb's photoaday challenge
(see side bar for details)

tomato, basil, jack cheese panini with hot tea.
mmm mm good. 
{first time i had this was with kristen in portland, oregon. 
NEED another blog-friend get away}
light coming through my kids refrigerator-box-made submarine
inside your fridge
we grocery shop bi-monthly.
financially we have known both enough and want.
i'm learning to praise God in both.
every time we bag our groceries i say aloud,  "thank you God for giving us food."
   my family often echos me.
my backyard
you again
tuesday- before dinner, and youth group, and life group.
your view
{favorite from blog sidebar}
"only a good story has a character different at the end than it was at the beginning."
taxiing all day long
{3 rings on my finger, each one engraved with one of my children's names.
you could say i have them "wrapped around my finger"}

i had a hair appointment yesterday.
i planned on going in for the usual-
5 foils and a trim.
somewhere between the 5 foils and the trim i began feeling  a bit
i had it CHOPPED!!!
i loved it yesterday. 
today i'm in shock and experiencing the 5 stages of hair-loss grief: 
denial {when i crawled into bed last night i convinced myself, 'i didn't really chop it,
it's a dream, it'll be there when i wake in the morning'.... it wasn't.}
anger  {'what was i thinking!?!' how could i do this. it was easier long}
bargaining {'it'll grow back. it'll be fine. it'll grow.'}
depression {'i hate it! must. eat. chocolate. i can hide out at home for 6 months. where's my hat?'}. 
{'the new hair is kinda sassy.  you only have so many good neck years left- 
show it off while you can'}

have you done anything IMPULSIVE recently?