I wrote this last night and meant to post this morning, but then, well, there was life. Good luck keeping track of time herein;-).
Outside my window::
::another gorgeous sunset in the over the soccer field house. It never fails—every night is more spectacular than the next. I just jumped out of the car to take a picture and several people turned to look and ooh and ahh. They looked as if the sunset were a complete surprise. Makes me wonder how they’d missed it until I thought it camera-worthy.
(All the rest of today's pictures were taken last week in Miami:-)
::the bass of the car stereo next to me. Not a teenage driver. Soccer dad. He’s going to go deaf…
Clothing myself in::
::long sleeves and jeans. There’s a crispness and a chill in the air. Very welcome, indeed.
Talking with my children about these books::
:: Nick is reading The Red Pyramid. Mary Beth is reading The Last of the Mohicans. Stephen is reading The Iliad. Honestly, my head is spinning and I’m wondering how to balance all of this with my newly reignited appreciation for lighter fiction. Adam Andrews, in Teaching the Classics, is taunting me with his assertion that I can’t teach it if I haven’t read it. Really? It’s three-on-one and I’m a voracious reader, but still…
In my own reading::
::well, yeah, I admit, there’s been some of that. I read Kathrine Switzer’s Walking and Running for Women Over 40 on the airplane on the way home from Miami Friday. It was fine, but nothing to light a fire. I do want to amend my thoughts on Running Like a Girl. In hindsight, I did learn a lot and actually, as the words run around in my head almost a week later, I am inspired.
In my own reading::
::well, yeah, I admit, there’s been some of that. I read Kathrine Switzer’s Walking and Running Over 40 on the airplane on the way home from Miami Friday. It was fine, but nothing to light a fire. I do want to amend my thoughts on Running Like a Girl. In hindsight, I did learn a lot and actually, as the words run around in my head almost a week later, I am inspired.
Thinking and thinking::
:: about the direction of this blog and the direction of my life. When I started blogging, I was pregnant with my eighth baby. And then I had another baby. I was a mom with a full house and I could write about anything from the college admission process to morning sickness on any given day. Things have changed since then. Life has changed since then. I find myself wanting to hold things closer, to share less generously. Some of that is because sharing has stung at times. But that’s not all of it, or even most of it. With every year comes the clearer recognition that all of life is about finding one’s way. It’s all about figuring it out. Do I want to keep writing about figuring it out forever? I really do not know. And so I’m thinking and thinking, which is actually another way of saying “finding one’s way” or “figuring it out”-- so I guess I just did write about it again.
::”It’s in your broken places where you are most often used by God.” Christine Caine
Carefully cultivating rhythm::
:: I’m actually earnestly craving rhythm. We spent four days in Charlottesville, then came home for a day. Then we left for Miami for two nights. Then stayed home for a day. Then I drove to Williamsburg and back for a day. In two days, we leave again, for San Diego, this time. I’m a total homebody. But I have my eye on the day after we return and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to sit still and I’ll want to return to Charlottesville. So… Sometime in early October, my life will have rhythm. In the meantime, my children are following carefully written plans. They are adhering to a very fine-tuned color-coded list of places to go and people to take them. They are reheating and putting finishing touches on meals from the freezer that I cooked and for which I left detailed directions. And they are (more or less) following a chore chart. And yes, this level of organization rivals anything I ever did before having a baby. And such June Cleaver efficiency makes me tired. But generally satisfied.
Creating by hand::
:: first up tomorrow is finishing a sling for Sloane. She’s coming with Bobby and baby Grey to hang with my kids in my absence. I think Grey deserves a cozy place to put his feet up.
Learning lessons in::
:: packing. Air travel. Car travel. Travel with children. Travel without children. Running while traveling.
Encouraging lessons in::
:: independence within limits.
:: for safe travels. And for people left at home.
:: this is the one part of the plan that needs major fine tuning in the next couple days. And not a little elbow grease.
Crafting in the kitchen::
::I’m telling you, Fix, Freeze, Feast has been the book of blessing these days. Good stuff here—lots of two thumbs up kinds of things.
To bit fit and happy::
:: Last night, I had a super fun chat with my friend Chrystal about the Couch to 5K, among other things. We laughed a lot and I shared my heart a bit about how I’m running into myself at midlife. Do listen in—it’s a gift. (At this current moment, her blog is down. I'm trying not to entertain the idea that everything I touch on the internet, breaks.)
::Mike’s project in South Beach was a huge success. I went with him to the grand unveiling of the studio and I was blessed to hear how much all the people he works with down there genuinely respect and love him. We spent two nights in a cozy old inn and we ate like royalty. I attempted a pathetic run on the beach and returned again the next day to at least get endurance points in and walk a good 8+ miles. I may never be much on speed, but I can keep going and going and going. Mike worked most of the days we were there and our evenings were filled with official functions, but it was still good to be together after so much being apart.
Loving the moments::
::when my little girls come running to the door to greet me. And then the moments when I wrap them into myself and inhale their sweet heads. And then sleep in my own bed with no alarm set for the morning.
Living the liturgy::
:: I’ve got some feast day planning to do this week, beginning with Padre Pio today (ideas here). Adding the plans for the rest of the week to the list…
Planning for the week ahead::
:: Seriously, I’m in planning overdrive. We will begin birthday week the day I return. Y'all, Birthday Week gets me every single time. I must provision for the marathon that is the celebration of 4 children's births in 6 days. But first, I must provision for the days I will be gone. The most important part of that plan? To persuade Mary Beth that really, she does need to consult the plan. Or at least remember where she put it;-). In all seriousness, she is pretty much running a household of six children these days and she’s doing an admirable job. Even if she does fly by the seat of her pants a bit more than I would… (This must be amended to note the fact that I saw her making a list of her own, even though I was making a detailed list. When Sloane gets here, her most formidable challenge might be finding time to read all the lists.)