I find myself:
::noticing God's glory
Oh my. I don't even know where to begin. I've spent the last week in northern California. God used a most magnificent paintbrush here. I've seen the rolling riches of Napa Valley, the wonder of San Francisco Bay, the redwood forest (and therein got Woody Guthrie stuck in my head for the rest of the week), the cliffs along the Pacific Coast Highway, and every dramatic shift in terrain and climate between those places. I'll tell you what: God is quite the artist on the west coast.
My husband make a business call. Today, we fly back to reality.
::clothing myself in
Jeans, tshirt, a sweater, and a scarf. This appears to be the standard dress code in California and I could not be happier. That's long been my happiest wardrobe place.
::thinking and thinking
We took this trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We've been thinking about the last 25 years and looking forward with hope and optimism to the next 25.
“No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
::Carefully Cultivating Rhythm
My sweet teenaged daughter took the family rhythm in her capable hands and ran my household for the little girls. She had some willing help from her friends and mine and they all had a great time. The little boys (who aren't little, but will perhaps forever be referred to as such) stayed in homes of soccer friends, homeschooled with them, and loved every minute.
::creating by hand
I've begun my California Shawl, the largest version of To Eyre, and I'm so pleased to have a tangible, wearable memento of this trip. I hope to share a bit more of it with you on Wednesday for Yarn Along.
::learning lessons in
Doing things that terrify me. I have a fear of airplanes, of heights, and of natural disasters. And I am afraid in a crowd. I flew here to spend a week on cliffs and bridges and mountaintops. I noted signs that warned that old structures weren't earthquake-safe and notices on street corners of tsunami evacuation routes. The grand finale was a concert at a huge outdoor venue where the crew noted for me that one of the challenges was earthquake damage. And I had so much fun.
I return home with a new picture book, some thoughts on a St. Francis unit and one on California missions, and a photo journal of our trip to share with my children.
for all the people who have joined our weekend prayer community. I carried your requests with me to Mass and I will keep a candle lit for you throughout the week.
for a dozen personal intentions--each of them precious and urgent.
Michael sent me a text with a picture of lots of neatly folded laundry. Here's hoping.
::towards being unplugged
I was very unplugged all week, with the exception of sending pictures to my kids. It was awesome:-).
::crafting in the kitchen
Mary Beth cooked all week. No one starved. On the other hand, I ate at some pretty incredible restaurants--all fresh, local, and paleo. I learned to ask servers everywhere we went about how something was prepared. And--though I was initially tenative and shy and felt like a nuisance--in more places than not, I made new friends.
::loving the moments
I'll share the moments with you this week. Fair warning: you're about to be subjected to blogging version of watching someone's vacation slides. For now, let's just say that my husband had a really great idea and I'm so glad I let him drag me out here.
for all the people who made this trip possible, and there were many of them. Homeschooling mothers of big families don't just drop everything and go off without a care the first week of school. I'm grateful for all the people who stepped in and made this possible for us.
I'm also grateful for a new friend, here in California. She fine-tuned our itinerary at every stop and sent us out on wonderful adventures. We were able to have dinner with her and her family in a storybook restaurant in Carmel. The memories are very sweet and I look forward to staying in touch.
And I'm grateful for my husband and for 25 years of living "I do."
::living the liturgy
Saturday night, we went to Mass in this church, 3,000 miles and nearly three hundred years away from the brand new high school auditorium that is our church home. And still, the liturgy was the same. The Church is universal. Pretty cool.
::planning for the week ahead
I am flying east today, to arrive home in time to tuck my girlies in for the night. I cannot wait to wrap myself around my children!