Gathering my Thoughts


::outside my window

We have been blessed with absolutely gorgeous early morning weather lately. I'm so grateful! The last three mornings, I've started out on my walks wearing a sweat jacket. Crazy! These walks have been really good for noticing the little pockets of natural beauty in my neighborhood. I think I was missing a lot when I was always only driving by...

::listening to 

Silence. And it sounds wonderful!

::clothing myself in 

Yoga capris, a t-shirt, and running shoes. I haven't yet showered since the morning walk and since I'm walking to meet a friend at lunchtime, I might just hold hold off until afternoon. Then again, I'm going to walk Karoline to and from dance this evening. Skip a shower all day? Need to work that detail out.

::talking with my children about these books

The Seashore Book

How to Hide an Octopus 

Hotel Deep: Light Verse from Dark Water

Seashore: One Small Square

The Underwater Alphabet

A Swim through the Sea

What Lives in a Shell?

Out of the Ocean

Hello Ocean

What's it Like to be a Fish?

Seashells by the Seashore

You get the idea. We're going to the beach next week. What are your favorites books about the beach? I'll add them to my list.

AND: tell me your very favorite audio book for long trips and your favorite beach reading for mom once we get there. Please.


::thinking and thinking

About blogs and blogging. The move from Typepad is tedious. And that's my gentle word;-). It has taken and will continue to take a giant investment of time and money. So, I'm naturally thinking about whether this is what I want to keep doing.

I love to blog. I love the words and the pictures and the medium for journaling. I'm not a huge fan of the techie aspect. The learning curve is steep and time consuming. I love to encourage people. I intensely dislike people who want to argue and insult online. So, yes, there has been tension in this decision. We've pressed forward, though, and I really am bubbling over with new ideas. So, hoepfully within the week, you read my words in a new space. As long as you are subscribed to the feed, nothing will change. If you subscribed when back in the beginning, bless your heart and thanks for sticking around. And also, make sure your feed isn't the ebeth.typepad feed;-). I'll share all the moving details with you very soon.

4July 4


When Our Lord corrected Saint Martha, He said, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things..." [Lk 10:41] Note that she would not have been troubled if she had been merely diligent, but she was overly concerned and uneasy; she was hurrying about and all stirred up. Rivers that flow gently through the plains carry along large boats and rich merchandise. Rains that fall gently on open fields make them fruitful in grass and grain, while violent storms devastate fields and pastures. A job done too eagerly and hurriedly is never done well. "He who is in a hurry should go slowly,: says the proverb. We perform actions quickly enough when we do them well. Drones make more noise and work more eagerly than worker bees, but they make only wax and not honey. So also, people who hurry about with tormented anxiety and solicitude never accomplish much, nor do they do anything well. St. Francis de Sales

::carefully cultivating rhythm

My children are at Vacation Bible School in the mornings this week and there is soccer almost every day and dance rehearsals every evening. The house is mostly empty and I'm understanding how people who send their kids to school and work from home are able to accomplish so much. The rhythm definitely offers a great deal of white space. I intend to not waste a moment of it.

::creating by hand

Sew! I will sew. Or at  least cut things now to sew later. Fat Quarter Shop has a bundle that I click through to look at almost every day. I love Heather Bailey's new Up Parasol. But will I use all those fat quarters or should I be patient and buy yardage instead? But that bundle is delicious and inspiring. I do use fat quarters for all sorts of things. But yardage could be clothing projects...

And around and around we go. 

needle & thREAD is returning!  I've been kind of waiting until the move is complete because every time I upload a picture here, that's another picture I have to upload individually over there (multiply that by 8 years of posts--yeah, loads of fun). But even if we don't finish the move before the end of this week, let's just get back to talking sewing and reading. I've missed it!

::learning lessons in

authenticity and when it's better just to say nothing instead of sharing my whole heart.


::encouraging learning in

An IT class. Yes, folks, during the summer where my own IT issues have me literally tearing my hair out, Christian is taking an IT class online with a professor who communicates horribly. That's the perfect storm for the kid with the print communication issues. Tearing my hair out, indeed. 

::begging prayers

 for Elizabeth DeHority

Please pray for people struggling with doubt and faith and fear and hopelessness.

The Pope asks us to pray for this intention in July:

 That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.

::keeping house

This is the week to make sure all the laundry is caught up and every hamper is absolutely empty before leaving for the beach. Christian will still be home, but the chance of laundry happening while I'm gone is ZERO. 

::crafting in the kitchen 

I'm planning beach meals and I'm super stuck. Last year, we had a three hour drive to the beach. I cooked ahead the week before and froze things and then pretty much pulled from the freezer. It was efficient but it was also odd. No one seemed to eat. This year, we have a 7 hour drive. I keep asking for meal suggestions and the only thing they want is tacos. But I don't think that means they want tacos every night. So, one night down, six to go. What shall I cook and bring to the beach or should I shop there (maybe not right in the beach town but an hour or so before we get there so that things can stay cold)? Beach week veterans, chime in. Quickly, please!  (Editing to clarify after some great tips on Facebook:  I need to be more clear. These are great tips, but I have a kitchen. We'll probably be eating most meals in the condo. I do, however, have limited space in the car to get food there and I'm not enthused about paying beach grocery store prices.)

::giving thanks 

for a lovely Fourth of July trip to Rappahannock Cellars. We enjoyed beautiful weather, a nice little picnic, the music of Marie Miller, and of course, delicious wine. Karoline asked Marie to pose for a picture with her and Marie ended up handing her the mic and playing guitar while Kari sang. I don't think she'll ever stop being utterly starstruck. (I did get that picture for her and there's a little video clip on Instagram.)


::loving the moments

When we can slip out together on a Monday night to a local wine bar and gather with our church people and hear our pastor speak. Kind of like "Theology on Tap," but for soccer moms and dance dads in suburbia. Mike and I enjoyed a very local date night last night. Sure takes the sting out of a Monday. 

living the liturgy

Leila and I will be talking about the Liturgy of the Hours right here, tomorrow. Please come back and listen! 

::planning for the week ahead

I'm working on bloggity things this week. And working that walking program. And working on getting us all packed up and ready to go to the beach. And working on housekeeping details. And then working my way into a vacation with the four girls and Nick for a week at a dance competition (Nick clarifies that he is only along for moral support). I use the word vacation with very few expectations that it will be at all "vacationy" for me. At the same time, I'm just a couple hours away from meeting with a friend and together, planning in such a way that we are intentional about making what matters most happen while we are there. We're headed to Myrtle Beach. Please feel free to chime in with suggestions!


 All photos (except Kari with Marie Miller iPhone shot) are the kindness of Kristin Foss, who has her own new blog these days.