Bluebells and Baby Talk












































I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

Yesterday was perfectly beautiful! Sunshine and a breeze, bluebells and fairy spuds, and a body of water begging our uninhibited play. We took about 300 pictures. I asked Mary Beth to upload a few. What you see above is what she chose. And you can't even tell it's bluebell season. We began the day with a long walk around the Bluebell Trail. There were plenty of flowers there, though it's not yet peak bloom. Then, we went and plopped down at our favorite creekside spot--the one that is  fairly short walk from the parking lot so we didn't have to haul all the food and water and photo equipment down the longer trail. And we discovered that a very large swathe of bluebells and trees had been obliterated. Not sure what "progress" is planned there, but it certainly doesn't look as glorious as the tableau God created. Makes me sad. And also determined to add some flower pictures to the end of this post.

::listening to 

rain and birds outdoors and utter silence inside. Yesterday ended in sleepovers--lots of children with "fresh air poisoning" are still sleeping hard this morning.

::clothing myself in 

Capris and a T-shirt  of Mike's. The temperature is due to drop 40 degrees over the course of this day. I'm sure my summer sleepwear will gvie way to jeans and a sweatshirt before the day is finished. 

::talking with my children about these books

Bull Run Regional Park (our bluebells playground) is right next to the Bull Run Battlefield. We've punged into a Civil War reading binge for the next few weeks. In addition to Ken Burns' series and this fun book to get us going, we're reading these great books, from a previous year's Civil War study. I started to cut and paste them here, but this post already has the potential to be ridiculously long.


::thinking and thinking

about babies. Kristin is due any day. I love babies. I love pregnancy and childbirth and, with one exception, I really love postpartum, too. I have a million things I want to share with her. Things that beg to bubble up and over in a rush of enthusiasm. I'm sure she feels like I've shared a million things. But I haven't. Probably I've shared about a hundred. The rest I ponder in my heart. (Or mention to Mary Beth;-). 

::pondering prayerfully

"We need saints without cassocks, without veils - we need saints with jeans and
tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang
out with their friends (...) We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs,
that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the
Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with
their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theatre. We
need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints
who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without
being callous or mundane. We need saints”."
– Quoted by Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2013 Or maybe not...

::carefully cultivating rhythm

These are our blubebell days. This is Holy Week. We are going to have a new baby in this family within a week. Still, there is rhythm. The days begin with deep draughts of Jesus. You should see the view from my "Bible chair." Oh, wait, I'll show you:

Bradford pear

So, it's a little difficult to get up and get going. I'd like to just sit here all day and look at that tree and journey with Jesus to the tomb and on to Glory. But the bluebells are blooming and the greatest feast of the Christian year approaches and, well, sitting isn't really for moms. So, the rhythm of the ordinary--laundry, groceries, even some lessons--is woven into the extraordinary: bluebells, babies, and resurrection. 

This is a pretty amazing time of life.

::creating by hand

over the winter, I created a workshop. I poured heart and soul into it and I felt God's hand guiding mine as I typed. It was a pretty wonderful creative experience. The workshop is nearly over and I can honestly say I've never spent a lovelier, more Spirit-filled time online. 

And now that those words are all said, I'm turning my attention to baby sewing and baby knitting that didn't happen. Maybe, just maybe I'll get some of it finished before our granddaughter appears.


 ::learning lessons in


::encouraging learning 

in time management.  Mary Beth is taking classes at our local college for dual enrollment credit. I consider these classes to be such a great gem in our high school homeschool experience. I am able to guide them very practically through the acquisition of skills necessary to succeed in college. She's been a joy to work with and her classes this semester have been thoughtfully presented. Still, learning to balance un moveable deadlines is a skill that homeschoolers don't have have. Until they do;-).

::clicking around

So, I've had very little online time at all this year. I spent January and February really focused on writing the workshop. I spent March on the workshop and some very intense weeks traveling back and forth to Charlottesville. And April? April is whipping by in a blur of bluebells and (hopefully soon) baby. The full step back from the online world has yielded some unexpected perspective. 

About 4 years ago, the internet didn't seem like a very friendly place to me. I had grown wary of nearly every click. Comboxes were especially terrifying. I tried to navigate around those uneasy feelings and I kind of limped along on old paths. With this break, I've had a chance to reframe from focus, to come back and explore and discover the online world of motherhood anew. I've also broken in a new computer and it doesn't know any of the old, haunting places. I'm visiting a few, friendly, familiar places and I'm finding some new-to-me ones. I'm even venturing into comboxes and enjoying conversation in mine. Mostly though, I'm limiting myself to just a few minutes a day and I'm very intentional about spending those moments only in places that encourage me and challenge me to better live my vocation. What are some of your favorite places to visit online?

::begging prayers

for Michael and Kristin and Baby Girl.

for cancer patients and for all the people who love them. Cancer is a hideous, horrible disease and watching it devour someone you love is incredibly painful.

for all the intentions of our prayer community. (I promise to be more faithful to our weekly posts, starting this week!)

For college students, especially the ones who are lonely and feel forgotten.

::keeping house

We managed to pull off some of my lofty Lenten cleaning plans. The garage is in great shape, comparatively speaking. We've deep cleaned some cabinets and closets and Ithought I had the laundry monster under control. Last night, though, I noticed that it has reared its ugle head  yet again in the little girls' room. I think they just have way too many clothes. Or something. I'm not sure what.

::crafting in the kitchen 

I think it's a good day to come up with an Easter menu. Got any great ideas?

::loving the moments

When I can sit in the sun with a friend and watch my kids romp in the water. Love those moments so very much!

::giving thanks 

for Joy Messimer, who took my Restore Workshop ideas and made something tangible and beautiful of the words. She's such a blessing.

living the liturgy

These are very liturgically dense days. The altar serving schedule, the youth group schedule, the straddling still between two parishes and the wanting to be at the basilica downtown, but not wanting to be too far should Baby Girl decide that Easter is a great birthday--it doesn't get much richer than this, if only I see the richness and not mistake it for complicated tangles.

::planning for the week ahead

The bluebells.


Kristin is due April 17th and they won't let her go more than a week, so... we're going to get to hold a newborn this week!