Sunday, December 30, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012


"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves,
and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
Thomas Merton

Walking past a little mirror in my Dad's house, I caught his reflection.
The reflection of this dear, sweet, wise daddy of mine.
He's known....
Known how to let me be my self.
Known how to let my brother be himself.
And to love both of us just as we are.

He has parented well.
Helpful, not hovering.
Guiding, not governing.
Answering questions with questions. Teaching us to think for ourselves.
Listening, not lecturing.
Available, not authoritarian.
Always learning and curious, we've watched him change with the times.

I do love this guy!

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and
Sharing a quote with Tabitha for Sunday Citar

Six Word Fridays ~ Rest

The billboard said "DINER - easy off -
easy on - Exit 10" Sounded perfect.
We were both hungry and ready 
for a road trip rest stop.

As we neared the exit my
brother's the Newtown exit.
Yes, that Newton. We were silenced.

This place was familiar - I'd stopped
here there were black
ribbons hanging with the Christmas lights.
Baskets for donations. And wrist bands.
Today we remembered. And as we
remembered we shared our hearts, spoke
of our children, of our childhood.
We are glad to be together,
grateful for this special time with
our dad...holding on to the
good. Rest in peace, little ones.

My Memory Art

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Best Gift {Bigger Picture Moment}

Stress swallowed me whole at about six o'clock on Christmas day.

Turns out, the brakes on my car were shot - started hearing a funny noise on Christmas Eve...and when my son used the car Christmas day, we knew it was time to take the car in. Quickly.

Especially because there's a road trip happening. My brother and I are driving from Boston to Philadelphia to spend four days with my dad. This is a rare treat - a never before {who knows if ever again} rare treat. And I'm happy about this. Very. About time with my brother, and time with my dad...and a little time away.

But have you ever been happy/sad? Or happy/stressed? As Christmas dinner was winding down, the lists started churning in my mind. Laundry, packing, maps, brakes....all this with work on the day between 'brake emergency' and 'road trip'....add to that feelings that come with travel - it's been a really long time since I've been away from my husband for four days. I've never been away from him at this time of year. Throw in the tension that always accompanies my mom's visits (and there have been two of those in two days - eek!) .... well, I was sliding quickly down that slippery slope towards the pit where 'cranky-mess-of-a-me' tends to hibernate.

At the end of the day, after the dishes were done and the candles blown out, I climbed the stairs, walked into our familiar bedroom, and melted into my flannel pajamas. I got a little teary, putting words to the feelings ... telling the man that knows me so well things he could have guessed to be true. He knew how to tell me he'd miss me. And reminded me how important and special it was to get to go. He rubbed my shoulders, held my hand and brought reason, perspective, comfort and love to the end of our Christmas day.

Those few moments...those moments of being known and loved and taken care of...that was my favorite gift on Christmas day. This man...who has helped to untangle the most hurt parts of me over many years...this man who brings laughter to the faces of my children as, together, they shine the light that gets me out of my serious, dark places....this man who's faithfully there - really there - every morning and every night. This man I love....the one who continues to help me unpack...yes, this man's the best gift I'll ever be given this side of heaven.

Simple BPM
Linking up at Brooke's today.

{Photo is mine, Quote's author unknown}

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Black and White Wednesday: Christmas Dinner

I'm honored that Heidi passed me the hosting baton ~
I hope you'll continue share your black and white photos
and the stories they tell 
here on Wednesdays.

My Memory Art

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve!

Coffee is a guilty pleasure all year long...and it's even better in a Christmas mug!

 No elf on a shelf at my place....just a little angel!

 Kisses. Wrapped in and green. Yes please.

 The lights behind my manger scene are tangled and resting on the greens.
Love the reflection in the glass blocks!

And this is my JOY!
{sharing this again...cause I love this picture THAT much!}

Linking to:

Thursday, December 20, 2012


They are my treasure. Then, now,
forever and always. They bring the
magic. They light up my world.

My Memory Art
Join in the fun - link up!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


"Those who cannot understand
how to put their thoughts on ice
should not enter into the heat of debate."
Friedrich Nietzsche 

"Constant kindness can accomplish much.
As the sun makes ice melt,
kindness causes
and hostility
to evaporate."
Albert Schweitzer

Black and White Wednesday

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Since Friday....

 "The Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will."
Romans 8:26-27

The only thing I could think to do on Friday evening, was to take myself to the water's edge. I watched the setting sun paint bold stripes across the twilight sky. I stood still, breathing in the frosty air and let the tears come.

I prayed.
As heaven's door was opening wide to welcome God's children home, I prayed.
Prayed, knowing that heaven's door was open...
Prayed, knowing that millions were lifting their eyes heavenward, hoping for the beyond...
Prayed, knowing that goodness was embracing those that had been taken....
Prayed, willing the heavens to send us goodness.
Send comfort and peace to those left behind.
I asked for faith. I begged for understanding and hope.
Mostly there were silent prayers. Wordless prayers.

Saturday morning, that same sun brought a new day.
Sparkling frost on the window sent chills. How would I, could I .... as a parent, greet a new day without one of my children? These are not the first parents to face this, nor would they be the last. It is so utterly unfathomable to me. As I got into my car to go meet a life went on...I knew that more of those wordless prayers were groaning and working their way heavenward.

It was later last night, as we spent an evening with my daughter, her husband and some of our dearest friends that I felt my heart begin to settle. A bit. My daughter, who loves to decorate for Christmas, has her childhood manger on a shelf in her newlywed home ... it's surrounded with light and mementos from her wedding. And I'm overcome with gratitude for the life that she's had...that she has. And pray that her future children will be safe. Children should just be safe. And I groan, and the Spirit pleads.

It was wonderful to get to play with three gorgeous children last night. Their laughter, innocence, energy and hugs began to fill up the broken open places in my heart. For me, as I'm sure is true for everyone reading here of my favorite, absolutely favorite things, is to look into the eyes of a child.

As Sunday morning draws to a close, and I sit with this space, searching for words...I know, as so many have written, that there really aren't any. So, I will, again, close my eyes, and offer silent prayers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winter Walk

the days grow crisp as I
walk under a bright, winter sun

a hint of autumn red catches
the sun, then catches my eye

leaves have flown, leaving thorns exposed -
thorns and branches, stalks and stems

berries linger long, the more subtle 
reds of winter adorn the landscape

the evergreen, forever green, celebrates the
season while cradling flakes of white

o, 'tis my season - my favorite -
i'd like the promise of a
white christmas...and a long, brisk
walk through some new fallen snow

My Memory Art
Please join in ~ link up your Six Word post below!

Star of Wonder

I don't wonder
what the star that tops our tree
will, this season,
look down and see.

We're warm, and safe.
We're home and loved.
Our hearts, closets, cupboards and lives so full
that gifts
have been canceled this year...
....or already given.
All that's left is to spend lots of delicious time together.
Lots of it.

I do wonder
what the star that tops that Portland mall tree
will, this season,
look down and see.

And, I wonder
how many homes have no tree...
no star
no heat...
how many children aren't safe
or loved.

I wonder
about what to do, how to do it...
how to give
and make a difference, make it count.
So I ask the
Star of Wonder,
guide me, lead me, show me more.
Open the eyes of my heart
and shed your light
on a path
you've chosen for me.

O Star of Wonder, Star of Night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide me to Thy Perfect Light.

Linking up with 'Twas the Write Before Christmas
and Bigger Picture Moments

Monday, December 10, 2012


When the night is
when the lights are bright...
when the house is sleeping.
Tender moments cradling a swaddled babe
or glorious moments gazing upon a star lit sky.
We catch our breath and allow God's gifts that surround us to
coat us,
soothe us,
soften us,
calm us.

Yet it is the gift within.
His very spirit
that fills me
guides me
hears me
moves me
His spirit
that brings calm when storms rage...
when nights are restless
when good seems absent
when darkness looms
when nightmares wake us
when babes are screeching
and skies are cloudy...

That we can find calm
stay calm
even dare to hope for a calm, a peace that passes understanding...
That is His gift.
His power
His grace and his love for us
this day and always.

Linking up with Bigger Picture Blogs
for 'Twas the Write Before Christmas

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Love the Lights at Christmas Time!

"Oh, Christmas lights, light up the street,
Light up the fireworks in me.
May all your troubles soon be gone,
Those Christmas lights keep shinin' on."

 'Tis the Season...
Falalalala, Lalalala.

The weather outside is frightful...
I just wish it was snowing!

 All is calm ~ tree lights on, carols are playing

O Christmas tree!
This colorful tree is my favorite one on our street!

Away in a manger! 
My new silhouette manger scene...isn't it beautiful!?!
When my daughter got married last year she took our traditional creche to her new home...
It was always her favorite part of decorating!
So I searched and searched...and found this idea
on our beloved Pinterest.