::noticing God's glory

The garden is utterly waterlogged. I was seriously tempted to cover it all with big plastic tarps today. Just way too much rain. Tomorrow, it's going to be all about cutting away a whole lot of yellow leaves-- basil, tomatoes, roses-- lots of waterlogged, fungus-ridden leaves. So sad.


::listening to 

Girls giggling in a room that is nearly perfectly clean and tidy. Sigh...that  was a project. I slowly took every single picture book we owned off the shelves and then reshelved them all neatly and with some sense of order. Such lovely shelves, now. 

::clothing myself in 

An ESPN 20th anniversary T-shirt (that's 14 years old but hasn't been worn until today) and boxer shorts. It's 3:30 on Sunday afternoon. My two little girls have been fever-free for about three hours now. Here's hoping we're on a roll. It's been a long week.  Karoline has had a fever for days and days. Still does...


::talking with my children about these books

Still Shakespeare. Karoline really, truly loves Shakespeare! It's so much fun to watch how engaged she is. The girls (under the influence of Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire) want to add Poetry Wednesday to our Shakespeare Fridays. I'll dust off these plans, breathe some fresh air into them, and slowly finish out the alphabet of poetry lessons.

And I've begun to slowly page through Inner Excavation. Looks like good inspiration for summer renewal.


::thinking and thinking

about battling back from burnout. I have to admit that I'm burned out. I tried to deny it, tried to defy it. Now, I'm "battling back." Actually, I plan to retitle that chapter in its new edition. "Battling back" sounds like so much work. Instead, I'm embracing renewal. I've got lots of new ideas about burnout. When I wrote that chapter a dozen or so years ago, no one was emailing with team updates every ten minutes. There was no constant barrage of social media. My phone didn't go with me when I left the house. I was thinking about survival in the near term and not necessarily sustainability over the long haul. It just seems like there is so much more noise, so much input.

Ah, but I was also unable to pray the Liturgy of the Hours while sitting in the waiting room outside an college IEP meeting.  couldn't text a friend when I got stuck on the renewal journey. So, it's not all bad. Can the internet be a tool in renewal? I'm pondering that.


::pondering prayerfully

“As an antidote to time-wasting and sometimes even alienating indulgence in superficial media programs,” the document proposed that the students should be “guided to the love and practice of reading, study, silence, and meditation. They should be encouraged, and be provided with the necessary conditions for community dialogue and prayer. This will serve to remedy the isolation and self-absorption caused by the unidirectional communication of the mass media . . .”  [emphasis mine]

as quoted in this great article sent to me by Elizabeth Williams.

::carefully cultivating rhythm


Aimee is my renewal coach. (This might surprise her; I recruited her;-). I texted her on Friday, my first full day without something gridded in the calendar. I truly was at a loss. What to do? I'm not overstating this befuddlement on my part. I'd been so looking forward to this time, but in the wake of an utter adrenaline crash, I couldn't make the simplest of decisions.

She insisted I not look at a clock. Such good advice! I spent the weekend listening to my body's cues and moving within my own rhythm. This wasn't entirely perfectly executed. Two sick little girls definitely dictated many of my movements and I peeked at the clock to time dosing meds. But mostly, I rubbed a lot of peppermint oil and On Guard on the soles of sweet, feverish feet. I sipped tea. I only ate things that would nourish me. I made cleansing, refreshing, clean smoothies. I pulled weeds. I took a nap with Serenity blowing across my pillow (diffuser is here). A nap! A real afternoon nap and I didn't even worry that it would disrupt my sleep at night (it didn't). I soaked in a tub full of Epsom salt and lavender and eucalyptus. I rubbed Balance on my neck and shoulders and feet and palms before working out--every day two or three times a day. Then, I took long showers and then doused myself with Citrus Biss. The rhythm wasn't imposed from without, but grew organically from within.



::creating by hand

Finishing some projects, sewing some buttons, and working up the courage to start cutting pieces for Mary Beth's quilt. 

::learning lessons in

listening to inner cues and making time for self care.

::encouraging learning 

Christian and I got an education in IEP college-style. We visited James Madision University last week and we were introduced to the resources available there. I'm so impressed! He's on his own to tap into those resources--I'm not a part of this picture much at all--but there are resources there and we met some really good people.

::begging prayers

In the last three weeks, three people very close to me have confronted a cancer diagnosis. In the last three weeks, the children of three families close to me have struggled with the realities of new divorces. There are reminders constantly near at hand that we live in a fallen world. We send up our sighs, mourning and weeping. Please, please pray for all!

::keeping house


I promised Aimee I would only "putter" for the near term. There is so much digging in to do here! I did text for clarification when I began the great bookshelf project. There's another bookshelf project awaiting me downstairs, too. The reality is that the way my brain works, bookshelf organizing accomplishes about 80% homeschool planning. So, even though I promised Aimee I wouldn't plan--and I really, really didn't put a single plan to paper--it's all in my head, friends;-).

::crafting in the kitchen 

The boys have been in New England for the Region 1 Soccer Championship. The girls and I have hit the Farmers' Market hard for our meals. There's even a really lovely slow walk to be had there early on Saturday mornings. Katie and I could live solely on vegetables and legumes. She told me--and I agree-- that "beans and greens" is the best lunch ever for summer. Mary Beth is hanging in there and holding me to the promise of caprese salad. Ah, fresh mozarella! Will that be where I cave and eat dairy?






Watermelon, cucumber, lemon, and mint: morning happy in a glass.


greens from our garden with garden rosemary, garlic, and slow cooked beans

::loving the moments

when I awaken feeling rested.

::giving thanks 

for someone who understands burnout and renewal and is gently encouraging recovery.

::planning for the week ahead

I'm planning to blog this week:-). Sometimes, when I'm really running on empty, I don't have the heart to even open the computer. I know that it's time for a shutdown, time to nurture the introvert that I am by shutting off the noise--all the noise. For a few days last week, I didn't touch the computer, didn't check in with social media on my phone, even refused to watch a chick flick with my big girl because I didn't want to make an emotional investment. We watched that movie last night. This afternoon finds me here with you. I'm on my way...

Memories Captured on an iPhone last weekend:

Mike is in Rhode Island with Stephen and Nick. They are playing a tournament in Kingston and staying in Middletown. I was born in Kingston, Rhode Island and I lived in Middletown until I was 8. I wish I were there. There's surely sea water in my veins and I think I might even be able to navigate the way to my favorite seafood restaurant. (On second thought, maybe not. It was a dive that served steamers. My dad always called the place "Dirty John's." As I look back, it occurs to me that that wasn't its real name.) My sweet husband sent me a picture of my old house. And he also sent me pictures of our boys here on hauntingly familiar rocks.

Oh, I miss my men!
But stay, guys. Stay until you've won it all.
We'll pray for you!
Breaking update: the fever has hit Nick in Rhode Island. Game time: 9:30. He's hoping to be like Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals and not like Ronaldo in the World Cup...