Friday, July 27, 2007


Thought or said today:

"Don't pee on Pooh" (to Elli, in reference to her clean Winnie the Pooh sheet post-peeing on her previous sheet)

"Maybe we can just donate him to science" (in reference to Encore and no one's adopting him yet)

"For years I would avoid saying "Mac", bad high school/college dating relationship, and now all I do is spend time with one" (a Mac, not the bad high school/college dating relationship)

"Maybe Addi only loves daddy and she doesn't love you, that's why she won't say your name" (Wise words from Liam)

"Ooops, the poopies all fell on the floor" (CinderElli)

"...then we're heading out for a little bit before our dance lessons" (phone message from my brother Greg)

"Stop kissing your brother" (whisper-yelled so the neighbors wouldn't hear--Elli is very into kissing right now)

"His name is Green Magina Man" (Liam, naming a Blue's Clue's character while Dan and I try to keep a straight face and suggest a different name)

"God, I Iove you every day." (Liam at prayer time)

"Addi, no more toilet" (moi)

"Mom, I know how to spank myself with the paddle" (Liam to me)

"Mmmmmm...Dove Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Bar" (Addi...after eating half of mine)

"Ummm...who dumped water in the strawberry jam?" (Me, after discovering an inch of water poured on top of my cooling homemade jams)

"Ok, who put Parmesean Cheese in my water?" (Me again)

"Why is my iced tea all over the kitchen table?" (ditto)

"What is this floating in the water dispenser? Oh, a pretzel? Oh, OK." ( got it)

"Why won't anyone go to sleep?" (me to the heavens)

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I just haven't been quite right since coming back from Africa. I can't seem to get anything in focus, I feel like I'm in a constant fog. I find myself staring off into space a lot. Not because of anything that happened there--no great epiphanies or anything.

Just maybe spending an entire week living simply. It was organic and authentic. We were deconstructed to the point where all we had was time, unencumbered by physical things or mental schedules we bind and masochate ourselves with.

I'd love to say we've rid ourselves of more "stuff", become more content, find beauty and peace in this place of abundant blessing, but it comes and goes in nauseating waves. And ironically I more often feel more sick at what we do have than what we don't, and long to purge and expunge what is making me feel so bloated and unwieldy in my spirit.

I open our fridge full of food and just don't feel like eating. I get angry tripping over the myriad toys and shoes left all over the house. The pile of laundry up to my shoulder and the constant dishwasher full of clean or dirty dishes. It's just too much. There's stuff everywhere. I feel claustrophobic and suffocated by stuff. By people. By interactions. By responsibilities. By culture. By church. By me. By sounds. By everything. By nothing. By you.

For 30 years I've been in the habit of amassing, defining who I am by what I have, what I'm doing, how busy I am, and I think I've come to the point where I realize I've just been gorging all these years. It's time to binge, shed some weight, keep what's healthy in my life and stop nicking a little nibble of each and every "good" thing I come across, and only choose to feast on the best that life has to offer. Stop filling every day and week with so many events and errands that when I don't have something scheduled I don't know what to do with mysellf and am uncomfortable with the quiet, the un-busyness, the isolation. To stop giving tiny little pieces of myself out to so many people that I'm not giving any substantial pieces to anyone--especially those who most deserve and need those big pieces of me right now.

On to the oh-so-deep often asked question, "what does this life of healthful simplicity and contentment look like"? Well, if I knew what that looked like, don't you think I'd describe it? Do it? Live it? Not be writing this post?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

we make fire

this saturday night
new moon
old friends
new friends

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Puts a smile on my face

How many dads can make their daughters smile like this and capture it on film? At a park in downtown Grand Rapids, by himself with all 3 kids, all of them having a wonderful time? Everything about this scenario and snapshot makes me smile from the inside out.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Aaaaaaaaaye, love a parade!

I count my growing up place as New Jersey. The house we lived in was just around the corner from the parade down main street. So my parents invited everyone from our neighborhood, church, and family for a 4th of July brunch on our massive brick patio before we would walk out to secure a length of curb from which to watch the parade.

The biggest excitement for me each year was "(1) who all is coming to brunch? (2) what can I wear to make me red, white, and blue from head to toe? (3) what shape will I carve the watermelon into this year?" [I was in charge of finding the water melon carving pattern, finding and purchasing the correct shape and size watermelon to carve as well as to cut up all the fresh fruit that would go into the carved watermelon].

My mom and I would mix up myriad egg strata casseroles, quiches, coffee cakes, and my dad would cook bacon and sausage on the grill. Of course there was the watermelon, and I'm sure there were--but I never noticed-- the bunch of baked goods that everyone else brought because my mom's cooking was so good why bother with anyone else's?.

Needless to say there have been many different 4th of July celebrations since these American Girl-type memories painted so vividly in my memory.

The past two 4th's have been especially effervescent for me. Last year we celebrated the Independence Day in Ohio with a rag-tag assortment of rarely-seen family. We got a true taste of old-time Americana as we walked past a family with their pet monkey settled in to watch the parade, the parade having to pause each time a train went over the tracks and cut off the next set of floats and bands, culminating with the parade turning around at the end of the street to come back down main street again--still throwing candy, waving, playing their hearts out 'cause in this town the parade ain't done 'til it's gone up and back again.

This year we packed our kids into our Burley and stroller and walked from our house up to the parade route. Liam's ears were ringing from all the noise (hence the hooded sweatshirt and hands clapped tightly over his ears), but how could your heart not melt at teeny-tiny little Elli wearing her "princess" rain coat and holding out her Easter basket in one hand to catch candy and waving like Miss America to absolutely every person who walked within 16 feet of her. And Addi in her red white and blue regalia with two red-ribboned piggy tails?
The "fun stuff" set up at Cascade library was indeed a blast for us--next year will be even more fun when Addi is a little more mobile. Elli and I enjoyed spinning our guts out on a carnie ride, then she and Dan slid down the BIG blowup slide, and she would've done every ride there but we were hungry and definitely in need of some grilled Ballpark Franks. But not before Liam and I had an adventuresome time in a lovely port-O-John.

I ransacked the library book sale (so did Heath--she filled a whole BOX!). All day I basically thoroughly enjoyed myself and my family, and reveled in silent thankfulness that I live here and now. Free. For that I am thankful and celebrate.

On July 2, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that the day "... ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
I agree.