Daybook on the Feast of St. Augustine

Outside My Window

A beautiful, unseasonably cool day.


I am Listening to

The little girls “reading” What Do You Say Dear?

Stephen and Nicky talking about how they’re going to work out and get really big and make the National Team…


I am Wearing

A yellow t-shirt that says Virginia State Champions  2009 U14 and a pair of Umbro sweatpants that I’ve long coveted. They are were Paddy’s. He’s sponsored by Nike now and can’t wear any of its competitor’s clothes. Adidas anyone? We have plenty.


I am so Grateful for

~dear friends who have been tender and kind in so many ways.

~ a bushel of peaches on a day when rhythm and beauty around the kitchen island brought comfort and

~ the person who knew that peaches would be a very good idea. That would be the same person who got up early to sit with me at Nicky’s soccer game right after Paddy took off and just talk about normal stuff.

~my mother and stepfather who made a computer possible for Patrick and thereby guaranteed we’ll see and hear him often.

~the chance to see how much my kids care about each other.

~sweet blond heads on my shoulders.

~gifts and blessings, even when it’s really, really hard to see that’s what they are.

~ Patrick, who assured me it was good enough.

~ Mike, because…


I'm Pondering

I have sometime placed my hopes in my own virtue, which was no virtue; and when I attempted to run, thinking I was very strong, I fell very quickly and went backward instead of forward. What I expected to reach, disappeared, and thus, O Lord, in various ways You have tested my powers. ~St. Augustine


I am Reading
Nothing. I can’t concentrate right now. Surely this week that will improve.


I am Thinking

I think that any time a child leaves home, it’s only natural to think reflect on our role in that child’s life. When we homeschool, the role is such a large, all-encompassing one. When a homeschooled child graduates and moves into the next stage, we think about a job completed—what we did right, what we’d do differently. I did that when Michael left. It prompted stinging criticism at a time when I was already raw. So, we’re not going there this time. And this time is different. This time, I wasn’t finished. I had four days to take a child who’d never stepped foot in a classroom and ship him off to boarding school almost a thousand miles away. This time, he left three years earlier than I thought he would. And so, I’m definitely thinking big thoughts. This time, I know better than to share and I’m keeping them very much in my heart. But I offer this for your pondering: if your child unexpectedly left home and went to school next week, no doubt there would be things undone, well-laid plans untouched. But off he’d go and you would be left to think about what you did do, what you did offer. Are you doing things in the right order? Would the important things be done?


I am Creating

Zilch. I am so exhausted that I’m just sitting here waiting for life to happen. It always does.


On my iPod

My Wish. I’m not listening to it though.


Towards a Real Education

On Monday, we will settle into our new normal. I will be grateful for the sweet faces around my table and the opportunity to begin again, a great deal older and wiser, I think, than I was just a month ago.


Towards Rhythm and Beauty

Remember this line, from last week?

Until the inevitable unplanned….


Oh my. The inevitable unplanned. And then some.


To Live the Liturgy

Having trouble getting through Mass without crying. No doubt that will improve, too.


I am Hoping and Praying

~for Patrick, who starts school on Monday, for his teachers, his coaches, and all the people who will touch his life for the next fourteen months. Please, God, be with them all.

~with gratitude for the Campus Ministry at George Mason University, which has been everything I prayed it would be three years ago, and so much more.

~for Michael, who begins his final semester on Monday.

In the Garden

Paddy, I promise—I really, really promise—to take very good care of your roses.

Around the House

The house is trashed. I’ve been gone for the better part of the last two weeks. And the people who moved out of here? The left huge messes in their wakes. Monday we clean. Cleaning is always healing.


From the Kitchen

Peach pies and peach crisp. And we cooked a lot last week. Paddy in the kitchen is a happy thing and we were going for lots of happy. This week, we tweak the menus and make sure they work with the fall schedule. And there will be apples—lots and lots of apples.


One of My Favorite Things



Sarah Annie this week

Sweet darling. Snuggle in and sing to me in that dear voice. Be patient as I hold you and inhale your baby head. Know how much you are loved and hear me promise again to treasure every moment.


A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week

Colleen and her boys will spend part of this week with us. We’re planning to go apple picking on September 1st. I am astounded by God’s providence. Last year, I wanted so badly to be with her. This year, we’ll mark the anniversary together. God is good.


Picture thoughts:

Sarah picked the picture this week.