Gathering My Thoughts




::noticing God's glory

We spent lots of time in the yard last weekend. Kristin started plants indoors late in the winter and she brought her little baby tomatoes and peppers over to plant in our ground yesterday. After much weeding and dirt hauling, a few new whiskey barrels, and a trip to deBaggio’s, my little piece of suburbia is looking much greener.

::listening to 

The cappuccino machine in the orthodontist’s office. Seriously, this guy makes me want to start drinking coffee again. Then again, his tea selection is impressive, too.

::clothing myself in 

Lightweight jeans above my ankles and an oxford cloth shirt. My feet are happily ensconsed in crocheted TOMS, a Mother’s Day gift from Mary Beth.

::talking with my children about these books

Shakespeare. Christian is taking a Shakespeare course this summer and I’ve seized the opportunity to immerse us all in the bard once again. His first assignment was to read this article and a few others. Well, that’s interesting! Perhaps Shakespeare wasn’t the Shakespeare we thought we knew? I’m planning to tweak these plans, gathering baskets of books today.

::thinking and thinking

that I wish I could see myself the way my husband sees me. Particularly when I’ve been stung by the words of another woman, Mike’s insight is always such a revelation to me and I come away from our conversation wishing that I could just see through his lens occasionally. 


::pondering prayerfully

“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”  ― Henri J.M. NouwenThe Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

You know? I think this one suits me again this week.

::carefully cultivating rhythm

Could we please talk about email management this week? There are currently 1265 unread “new” emails in my inbox. These do not include blog emails. Clearly, I am a poor email manager. Everything pretty much gets dumped into the same box (except blog mail). I read it (or not) and then move on. If I know it’s an ad or whatever, I’m likely to just skip it. Why don’t I delete it? I have no idea. I never archive. I never trash. It’s just a giant mess. So, how do I clean it all up and unclutter without losing something I might actually need or missing someone with whom I might need to connect? Oh, and I’d rather not spend hours fixing this. Ideas? Suggestions?


::creating by hand

The girls need some summer clothes as soon as possible. My sewing mission is critical. This week, I’m focusing on tops.

::learning lessons in

time management. Always. But more than that, I think I’m learning lessons in emotional investment. There’s only so much of me. Where is the best place to invest my time and emotional energy, even my affection?

::encouraging learning 

It’s been about five years since I made detailed plans. I think, back then, that I was planning on paper (or digitally) because those plans gave me a sense of security and maybe of control. To some degree, they were also a creative outlet. Sharing them was an opportunity for community. But then Sarah was born and we leapt as a family into a new season. Somehow, I’ve been propelled into an incredibly active existence that leaves me little time for pondering with pen and paper or even keyboard...

Besides, keyboards make me ache: my neck and shoulders and fingers and wrists. Writing is laborious. Words have long been my constant companions and, in many ways, my comfort and joy. They still are. Giving them voice in print, however, is exceedingly challenging for a myriad of reasons. I remind myself all the time that God has a plan. 

::begging prayers

for our prayer community, particularly for veterans and their families, who still struggle mightily with scars both seen and unseen.

::keeping house

I’ve started to get some deep cleaning, decluttering, and organizing in the works. My house looks very neglected lately (probably since I haven't been home nearly enough to keep things running smoothly). I’m trying not to go after it all gung-ho. My style has always been to make a long list and then prusue it relentlessly until the job is done and I’m totally spent. That’s not going to happen this summer. I can’t afford to deplete myself that way. So, I’ll chip away at it, certain that no tragedy will befall us because my house isn’t ship-shape perfect.

::crafting in the kitchen 

I’m going to roast chickens from our co-op tonight. I’ll smother them with herbs from our garden and garlic from the farmer’s market. Alongside, we’ll have summer squash from the farmer’s market and a salad with greens and beets from the same farm. Nothing inspires me more in the kitchen than local food with which to create. 

::loving the moments

When we manage to squeak out a date night despite the ridiculously demanding weekend kid schedules.

::giving thanks 

for good news and the promise of new beginnings.

living the liturgy

This is not some earthshaking revelation, just a simple truth: the most effective way to live the liturgy is to go to Mass as often as possible. It’s all there, available every day. You don’t need a craft closet. You don’t need a grocery shopping list. You don’t even need much advanced planning. You just need to show up. And a priest who gives relevant homilies is plus, too.

::planning for the week ahead

Tomorrow is orientation at James Madison University for Christian. Mike’s taking him. I’m going to spend my day with Mary Beth at physical therapy and Stephen at a soccer match. I will be actively working to silence my inner teacher that would very much like to hover.


Nutcracker auditions are this weekend. See? It’s not my imagination. There is no offseason.


Stephen will play in the State Cup semi-finals on Saturday. If he wins, the finals are Sunday. It’s seems so incredibly unlikely that we could have two state champions in the same year. We are, however, only two games away. Say a prayer for him? It would be most unpleasant to lose this one;-)

Memories Captured on an iPhone last weekend: