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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I just googled Hazmat suits for kids

I had the unusual pleasure of getting away with my husband for a long weekend--alone--without children--by ourselves--just adults. There was no business or work involved, simply a much needed weekend of relaxation, warmer climate, and leisurely meals without interruption. Oh, and did I mention the rollercoasters? {And the ALONE-ness?}

Joe's frequent work travels result in a few perks. So free plane tickets and hotel rooms, in laws to keep our girls, and this maddening winter all gave us a valid excuse to GET THE HECK OUTTA HERE. I mean, leave for a short time while missing everyone terribly.

For all my husband's businessy-savvy-serious-workishness, he must actually be a big kid at heart, since almost every trip we take somehow involves a rollercoaster. But that's ok, since I like rollercoasters, too. And it's been kinda rare, in recent times, that we are able to enjoy a good rollercoaster ride together, seeing as how I have been pregnant or with a small child in tow for the past 8 years.

So we hopped a flight down to Orlando {ALONE} and immediately went to bed. Since that's how we roll. But the next day we took our fun rollercoaster-loving selves to Universal Studios/Isands of Adventure where I met a Transformer and drank an entire butterbeer.

 
 
And those, folks, are the only two pictures we took the entire weekend. We had other funs, like eating beignets at a piano bar and seeing a mid-day movie, watching people eat pureed worms at a Fear Factor show and, of course, riding rollercoasters.
 
We also saw the Barenaked Ladies in concert who, I had to later explain to my girls, were neither Ladies nor Naked.
 
It was such a great respite from the delirium that has become this forsaken winter. I seriously rebuke this winter. I'm just not even going to recount the various trials and tribulations {ie: very minor, yet annoying, illnesses} that have troubled us, but suffice it to say that someone has been sick in one various form or another, since Christmas. 
 
The insane and frigid winter has wreaked all sorts of havoc. Our backyard pool froze over like a skating rink. Our dog refused to go outside for a solid week {YOWZA!} and we had a great deal of family togetherness that involved us sharing many germs, apparently.
 
Imagine how thrilled we were when this week dawned gloriously warmer and brighter! I practically forced my kids outside yesterday afternoon. {I believe the words were "Go outside and play or stay inside and clean. Your choice."} So anyway they went outside to play and not 10 minutes later Audrey Kate came frantically running back inside to let me know that Abby was stuck upside down in the swingset.
 
Why wouldn't she be?
 
 
And then Audrey Kate immediately fell and lost her leg scraped her knee a bit. Maybe it would help if she wore her shoes on the right feet? I dunno.

 
{No children were seriously injured in the taking of these insensitive photographs.}
 
And I got them tidied up and unstuck and back to playing only to have Abby come sobbing to the back door 5 minutes later, followed closely by her sister, with approximately 1 wrist injury and 2 arm scratches, respectively.
 
At that point I asked, "Did you children forget how to play outside? Has it been that long, really? Do you need playing outside lessons?"
 
{And when I walked back into my kitchen I realized I had left the gas burner going on the stove and I had to ask myself, "Did you forget how to cook? Do you need cooking lessons?"} Yes. Yes I do.
 
But thankfully, as of yesterday, we had been illness free for approximately 4 days and it felt awesome and I was ready to declare ourselves "fit to go out in public" once more...
 
until Abby woke up this morning...
 
sick.
 
And instead of all the things I was going to do, I stayed at home and took temperatures and administered medicines,
 
and sat in front of the computer googling
 
hazmat suits for kids.
 
 
If you see this little green guy around town don't be afraid.
 
It's just Abby.
 
 
 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Busy Days


I haven’t meant to not blog, it has just been a gradual process of weaning it from my daily life.  Honestly, I got a bit annoyed with writing about myself, so I just had to assume that other people {you, dear reader} were equally annoyed.

But MAN! I LOVE the documentation I have had these past 6 years and I would not trade it for anything. Sometimes I get sad that my current 4 year old will not have the same glamorous paparrazi-like attention showered upon her as did my eldest daughter, especially as she is one of the funniest people to ever have walked the face of the earth. She is also extremely strong-willed, so I get to experience the challenges and joys of parenting this child who is part crazy/ part adorable. If I truly was convinced of the truth of such theories, I would believe that my 4 year old was the pinnacle of all evolutionary principles. She spends her days fighting hard for what she wants and looks cute while doing it. Self-preservation? Survival of the fittest? Yes. She is going to be just fine.

Me? Well, we will see.

I think you would enjoy hearing about her and her strong-willed 4 year old ways.  

So a lack of blogging can be definitely also be ascribed to my busy days of mothering this precious handful and her big sister.

These girls are growing up fast! All this growing up means for me that my days are busier and busier. I was under some strange illusion that once I had one child in school my life would be a slow roll of days at home with the occasional trip to the grocery store. How wrong I was! I feel busier than ever before, and while some busy is good, other busy is not, and I certainly cannot claim to have found the balance between them.

And very much besides the fact that my blog has had picture loading issues and script issues and been all around annoying logistically, I also have found myself purely and completely overwhelmed in many other ways that have kept me from blogging. Overwhelmed by life’s complications and hardships. Watching friends walk through some hard, hard things. Looking around to see so much hurt and confusion, anger and disillusionment has left me uncharacteristically speechless.

I don’t really know what to say. There just aren’t easy answers.

And so, probably wisely, I have been silent. It’s usually best when I am! J

I have been a {mostly) silent observer to some of the deepest pains of life that people can endure, and I’ve walked away with the knowledge that life is devastating and raw and at best perplexing. It’s never really what we hoped for, even when it is good and light. Even when our kids are dancing in the kitchen with full bellies and laughter rings throughout the house, there is always a subtle ache, a nagging whisper, to remind us that something is missing. Something just isn’t quite right.

We are broken and found wanting. All of us. And we all need Grace.

Grace because we will never live up to our own standards, let alone God’s. Grace because all of our efforts to be good and righteous don’t even guarantee us a happy life, let alone salvation. Grace because sometimes hope seems like it’s a world away, but we need it now. 

Grace because we are weak.

God’s grace is sufficient and abundant and doesn’t falter or discriminate and we don’t deserve it but He offers it anyway. It’s available to me, even me, when I am haughty and rude and prideful. When I am impatient with my children or snap at my husband or look down on others’ bad choices. When I make my own bad choices.

Yep, even for me.

And somehow the brokenness around me all makes sense. If we are all as broken as I am, things are bound to get ugly. We can’t escape our brokenness, we have to be rescued from it.

So on these busy days of mothering and errands and discipline and chores and school functions and playdates, birthday parties and moms’ nights and date nights, cooking and laundry (and the occasional exercise), I am immensely thankful for grace.  The truth about who I am meets the Creator of the universe and this is how it is reconciled: I get a righteousness that isn’t mine and He dies a death that isn’t His.

I don’t know much of anything about life. I know that the sorrow can be big and the hurts can run deep. I certainly don’t have many answers. But I do know one thing in these busy days, I can cling to Grace.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God. John 1:12

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Uninteresting Tales, Volume I

Have you ever accidentally made dessert? I've gotta say, accidentally making a dessert is one of the most amazing accidents one could experience in a lifetime of accidents. CRAZE-MAZING.
 
We have had a great deal of "accidents" here at the Grant house. Most of them are as un-amazing as you can get.
 
So the story of the accidental dessert is this: one evening we were all jonesing for something sweet, and because I am really mean to myself, I refuse to buy sweets at the grocery store. Most of the time I am thankful that I cruised right by the oreo display and refused to entertain the ice cream aisle.
 
But sometimes? SOMETIMES? (EVERY FEW MINUTES) I am really, really wishing for something chocolate to appear in the pantry. My kids have been known to gnaw on baking chocolate. Hiding behind closed pantry doors. With the lights off. I've seen the teeth marks, I know I'm right.
 
 That's how dry and parched things have become on the Grant home front as far as desserts are concerned. Except this one time I bought this CRAZE-MAZING concoction (Yes, I have a bet with myself on how many times I can use craze-mazing appropriately in a sentence.) (I am winning.)
 
known as Nutella (RIGHT? Hive five.) because I needed it for something I was baking and well, it ended up just sitting there in the pantry, half the jar unused. In the dark. CALLING TO US. Because that is how Nutella works, that unassuming jar of hazelnut and cocoa blend, it CALLS to you.
 
 
Can you hear it?
 
So some genius, I can not remember who (probably me), suggested slathering it on a tortilla and toasting it on the stove top.

 
What?! Delish.

 
Now to this day in our home this is actually a "thing." Like, do you happen to have any Nutella to make those Nutella tortilla toasty things? No? RUN SWIFTLY to the store. Hurry! (That is a true story, by the way.)

 
I like happy accidents, don't you? 
 
(Fortunately there was no accident involving knives and tongues.)
 
Other accidents aren't quite as delicious, but are just as entertaining.
 
I don't know about you, but making dinner every night can be a chore. Sometimes my days can be an outright marathon of activity, and finding the time to chop, dice, slice, stir, bake or sauté is a challenge. Even harder sometimes is the challenge of making new and different (and tasty!) meals that are healthy and that my family enjoys. I LOVE using my crockpot, and I found a recipe online that called for chicken, diced tomatoes and cannellini beans in the crockpot.
 
The thing about cannellini beans is this: Once upon a time, about 6 months ago, I went on a big kick to make home made hummus. And because I got bewildered and harried at the grocery store (my usual grocery shopping state) I bought about 2 or 10 cans of cannellini beans, because I confused them for CHICKPEAS (garbanzo beans.) And I got home, went to make some hummus, then realized I had 2 or 10 cans of the wrong bean. Back to the store I went for garbanzos. (and yes, I eventually made a small batch of, quite tasty, hummus that no one ate but me and I had to eventually throw out.) (Sad story.)
 
Now we are back to present day me who is at the grocery store shopping for ingredients and thinking to herself, SELF, YOU HAVE MANY CANNELLINI BEANS AT HOME.
 
Self, you needn't buy cannellini beans because of that one time, 6 months ago, when you bought 2 or 10 cans of them and they are sitting unused in your pantry. SCORE!
 
Right?
 
And self gets home, prepares her chicken crockpot dish, scours the pantry for the loot of cannellini beans that she is positive are taking over the canned goods shelf, and finds....
 
 
 
 8 cans of garbanzos! And not one single can of cannellini beans.
 
Really, it's positively a mystery. One observation to be made here is that I need to make better bean choices. Another observation is that I need to make some hummus.
 
ThE eNd

Thursday, August 15, 2013

3 months

How much has happened in 3 months? Well, let me write you a novel.
 
But I won't because I am much too kind for that.
 
So, in a nutshell,
 
Audrey Kate became a 4 year old. The haircut she gave herself back in the spring has now grown longer and is almost unnoticeable. She had end of the year dance recitals, precious in her tutus and headpieces, and went to dance camp with her two best friends. She swam like a fish. She had her "first" official birthday party. She spent the summer in princess high heels or a bathing suit. She stayed a week with her grandparents and had a blast. She changed clothes 230238420984 times a day.  She learned how to spell BOTH of her names. She still tells her daddy that she will never get married, never grow up, and that she will live with him forever.
 
Abby finished her first year of Kindergarten and started first grade. She went from being a 6 year old to being a 7 year old. She lost another tooth.  She fell off her bike on our family vacation and scraped her cheek, knee and thigh. That injury has healed completely. She swam and swam and swam in our backyard pool, sometimes with friends, sometimes just with her little sister. She grew into another size of clothes. She went to horse camp with her two best friends. Her hair grew longer. Her shoes are getting too small.  She went from telling her daddy that she would never marry and live with him forever, to telling him that maybe, just maybe, possibly she MIGHT get married some day, but probably not.
 
Joe went to work. :)
 
Ellen became smarter and wiser and more amazing, until she realized that she really wasn't.
 
And so now you have found yourself caught up.
 
It is quite interesting the changes that 3 months can bring.

Friday, May 3, 2013

There's a Coffee Pot in My Bathroom

Hello blog!
 
I hope you don't take my silence here to mean that there is nothing much going on in my life!
 
AU CONTRAIRE, MON FRERE.
 
{This blog, among its many other talents, speaks conversational French. Je Suis Perdu.}
 
{Ok, really it doesn't. It only speaks the occasional words and phrases it remembers from its Junior year in High School. And sometimes confuses them with Spanish ones.}
 
Donde Esta la Sanitarios, s'il vous plait?
 
Well, as if I didn't have enough going on, I decided to add a little bitty kitchen reno to my already play-date packed schedule, so that has left me a tad topsy-turvy these past few weeks.  Man! You really don't realize how much you use your kitchen until you, like, can't use your kitchen. 
 
My husband had me relocate our coffee maker to the master bathroom because I guess coffee is just THAT important around here. But it does feel strange to grind the whole beans every morning right next to the toothbrushes...and not too many steps away from the toilet. I try not too think very hard about it.
 
 
My Kitchen:

 
I will be pleased to put up before and after pictures if the AFTER ever gets here. It seems like an endless endeavor, but I am sure the end product will be Muy Bien.
 
In the meantime, here are my pretty girls. They just won't stop growing up!



Au Revoir, mis amigos!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An Assortment

A quick peak into life the last couple of weeks:
 
 
We went on a "family date" to eat lunch and see a move. The Croods, to be exact.
 

 
I keep telling my girls this is where I am going to send them to college:



 
My grandmother makes me laugh. She is so current, with her Iphone and everything. I got this frenzied text message from her:
 
(I love you nanny! Happy Birthday!)

 
Also? She said "cotton picking." Isn't that the cutest??
 
Abby is loving reading and writing. She wrote her Aunt Melinda and Uncle Andrew a letter. It was all about their new baby. Did I mention they are having a GIRL?! Woohoo!
 
 
Over Spring Break my mom and I took both girls to the Nashville Children's Theater to see Pinkalicious the Musical. It was so cute. They loved it.

 
I had a few moments to myself one day and borrowed my parents car to make it to an appointment. I couldn't figure out how to change the radio stations, so I ended up listening to classical music the entire time.  It was both annoying and relaxing all at once!


Easter happened and it was so fun. (BTW, have you ever seen an Easter Bunny costume that wasn't creepy?) (Me, neither.)


 
Audrey Kate and I spend lots of our day together, every day, all day. One day last week she accidentally spilled some water in the kitchen and I asked her to clean it up with a towel. It was just a tiny spill, really. So when I came back into the kitchen she had emptied my entire dishtowel drawer.
 
Yep, she got the spill up.

 
And LATER THAT SAME DAY

 
she raided my closet and emptied out my jewelry cabinet.
 
She is one funny girl that suprises me every time I turn my back. :)

 
Last but not least, Charlie-dog is getting to be just the sweetest.
 
Anyway, short but sweet post--full of pictures from a couple of weeks ago!
 
Now that it is getting warmer--yay! we are excited to get out and about. Or just stay home and play lots. Who knows?
 
Happy Spring Finally!

Friday, March 29, 2013

What Easter REALLY Looks Like

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin. (Romans 4:7-8).
 
I recently finished reading through the book of Romans. It took me a couple of months because I decided to read it s l o w l y and in-depth. At or around Romans chapters 7 and 8 my brain started to leak out through my ears. Heavy stuff. Truly awe-inspiring, heavy stuff. In fact, now that I am through with Romans, I think I might have to start reading it again, because it contains more information than this here brain can absorb. At this rate I will understand the book of Romans in the year 2034, and then maybe I will move on to Thessalonians or Colossians. However, I am going to try to avoid the book of Revelation for as long as possible. Maybe it will have all come true by the time I start reading it?
 
All joking aside, a few years ago I came to the startling realization that my Biblical knowledge was quite lacking, especially for a girl who was church-grown and bred, and I took steps to remedy the situation.  For a large part of my life much of my belief was based on what I was told, and surely all I was told was not incorrect, thought some of it was. But it doesn't matter much to believe something without going to the source of that belief, does it?
 
I recently watched the movie Argo with my husband, and we both thought it was a great movie. But then I ruined it by googling the actual, you know, facts.
 
The movie contained some of the basic elements of the true story but had put a twist on them, left some important parts out, or embellished the facts in order to, of course, make an easier to watch, easier to follow, and more emotionally- gripping movie.
 
(I have an annoying habit of wanting to know the real story behind just about anything. That is why I spent an entire week after watching Secretariat reading novels about famous racing horses, watching biographies about famous racing horses, and scouring the internet for videos of famous horse races. I became, for one week during the winter of 2011, a horse-racing expert.)
 
(It is a strange compulsion, but it is this very compulsion that led me to, finally, after many years of "doing church," want to figure out the facts. So to speak.)
 
So after watching Argo, and then finding out more about the true story behind the film, I bounced into bed that evening and exclaimed to Joe, "I figured it out! We've Argoed the Bible!"
 
And he said, "Huh?" and he rolled over and went to sleep.
 
But I couldn't sleep because I knew that I was on to something. At the very least, I am able to give a visual of what I see happening to the Bible. What some churches do to the Bible, what some Christian bloggers do to the Bible, what our sometimes well-meaning pastors, friends, teachers, spiritual advisors, priests, counselors or Christian authors can do to and with the Bible. What I can do to the Bible, if I am not careful.
 
We Argo it. 

Thinking it can't stand on its own feet, we embellish, twist, leave out facts in order not to offend. We want the Bible to be more palatable, we want it to be easier to understand. We want it to be emotionally gripping and we want to make it fit our purposes, instead of the other way around.
 
That is what I am thinking about this Easter. About the ways in which we have mangled the Gospel and made it look like but a shell of itself. We forget, or maybe we never truly understood, that the Bible isn't a story about us, it is a story about God and His plan for the redemption of mankind. 

We want to take the Son of God, who came to Earth wrapped in the flesh of a human yet never, ever sinned and portray him as simply an avenger of social justice, a really nice guy who wanted to do good things rather than convict men of sin and lead them to repentance. We say that the world would love Jesus if they could just get to know Him, but we forget that Jesus himself said he was hated by the world. He was rejected by it and killed by it. He was mocked and spat on. The world did know Him, and they hated him.
 
 We point our fingers in disgust at the Biblical pharisees and fail to see that we are the pharisees, haters of God, constantly writing our own versions of righteousness and attempting to live them out. Never mind that Jesus makes it clear that there is no righteousness apart from him.
 
Jesus drew hard lines, but we don't like hard lines, so we re-draw them. Yet Jesus said You are either with me or you are my enemy. There is no in-between, not with God. We are not just silent observers, we are not sideline cheerleaders, we are not thoughtful onlookers or innocent passers-by to what God is doing. Our sin is weighty and big. In fact, the Bible says that because of it we deserve death. Oh, and not just death, but God's wrath. But we prefer to gloss over sin, maybe even leave it out of our Bible teaching and churches, because it makes us feel bad. Who wants to be a sinner condemned to spiritual eternal death? Not me!
 
 The hard line is this: my righteousness comes from Christ, not of my own doing. My sin is real and it is big, and it trumps any good thing I might do. My heart is decietful and wicked above all else, but Jesus' sacrifice was enough to satisfy God's wrath against me and make me an heir to His incredible grace and righteousness!
 


I wasn't enough.
 
HE was enough.

The world does a pretty good job sometimes of looking "good." It doesn't need us for that.  But The Gospel has never been about looking good. It is about our hearts bowing in repentance and faith to our Savior. (Though out of our gratefulness for His salvation we spill out and overflow into the world, making Him known with words and deeds.)
 
So may our Easter not look like the world's Easter, an Easter that contains lots of rules but little hope. May our Gospel not be an Argo gospel: just a really neat story that only mimics the true story. The true story is much, much better. It is a story that saves.

 May we not worry about better ratings and critic's choice awards, but may we be faithful to the God of the Bible who does not change like shifting shadows or bend with the whims of current culture. His Truth is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Beginning and the End and He wants to bring Glory to Himself by saving sinners.
 
Sinners like me. Sinners like you.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

So that we, in repentance and faith in Jesus, may be called His friend.

And that is what Easter REALLY looks like.

*(John 15:18, Ephesians 2, Romans 3:21-26, Jeremiah 17:9, Matt 12:30, James 1:17,Revelation 22:13)


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Has Sprung?

 
I LOVE the cold, dreary and gloomy spring weather with a threat of snow in the forecast...
SAID NO ONE EVER.
 
Yes, we are so ready for Spring and warmth around here. This winter has just seemed long, long, long.
 
But we are making it. I suppose when the warm weather finally descends upon us we will be that much more thankful. Until it gets TOO hot, of course, and then we will be just ready for Fall. Such a vicious cycle.


Audrey Kate, Charlie-dog and I went for a walk in our neighborhood. Around the corner is a farm/ranch with horses. There is this one horse that is like a big puppy and he always comes to the fence for a pet on the nose. I didn't have my camera on me, but AK LOVES that horse. Charlie-dog does, too.

Audrey Kate collected sticks and rocks for me. So sweet! One can never have too many sticks and rocks.
 
Later that afternoon, since it was the first official day of spring, I took the girls for cupcakes!


Cupcakes can always make one feel better about it being a cold first day of spring.

And here is a video of Audrey Kate playing the game Temple Run. Have you played this game? It is hilarious watching her play. (Or, I find it to be so.)



Happy Sort-Of Spring!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rolling Along

We are rolling along here at the Grant house. Just staying busy. And I've almost begun to detest the phrase "staying busy" because I don't think it always entails "doing things that are important."

I am in the process of weeding through and whittling out those activities and such that keep us "busy" but aren't necessarily important. I also spend WAY too much time in my car.

I had a good laugh the other day...Ok, I cried, actually...but laughed about it later after I got pulled over by our local city PD for the SECOND time since living here (less than a year). I have been driving since I was a 16 year old novice and I have never, ever been pulled over by a policeman until I moved here. Is it considered profiling if they are targeting young moms in SUV's?

Anyway, I told the nice policeman that bit of information, after I cried, and he let me off without a ticket. This time I was only pulled over for a burned-out rear brakelight that, let's be honest, I knew was out but just haven't had time to get fixed due to the aforementioned "busy-ness."

The policeman kindly informed me that our town enjoys VERY low criminal activity due, in part, to his diligence. And I wanted to say, but didn't, that perhaps it was boredom that has kept the PD on my tail (no pun intended) these past months. But HEY! I guess it's a small price to pay for living in such a safe place. I joke, but I am thankful for that. And, the policeman was SUPER nice. Even though I couldn't find my insurance card and practically implied that my first amendment rights had been violated. It could have been worse! (And on a side note--why in the world do I suddenly turn snarky when talking with a policeman? Where does that come from?? Oh, my sinful heart!!)

Anyway, my little sidekick Audrey Kate told me the other day that, "I am a handful!" Referring to herself, of course. She had a note of pride in her voice as she said it so I am going to assume that she considers being a "handful" a very good thing. I also agree with her assessment that she is, indeed, a handful. Also, incredibly sweet. I LOVE her to pieces.

 
I went on a crazy health kick recently and, among other odd food purchases, I bought this vegetarian mayonnaise. I use it to make chicken salad, which I make quite a bit for Abby to take in her lunch to school. Regular mayo
 
TURN AWAY IF YOU EAT A TON OF REGULAR MAYO
 
has some strange preservatives in it that I am just trying to avoid, but the kicker is that Abby absolutely loved this mayo subsititute.

Vegenaise is the best name ever!

 
It really IS better than mayo.
 
And not to be confused with someone who has good taste, the Charlie-dog has taken to stealing dryer sheets--unused ones--from the laundry room, straight from the box.

 
I keep finding dryer sheets strewn across my floor. In other news, my house smells downy fresh!
 
My little handful and I took a detour through a nearby Starbucks. She asked for a (decaf) caramel macchiatto. I had the regular! And then she asked me, in all seriousness, "Mommy, do monkeys like to drink these caramel monkey-attos??"

 
She is a funny one.
 
And so, I recently got the new Iphone with the Siri feature. Before I could even figure out how to use it, Abby had Siri calling me by her name!

 
Do you see how it says "Abby" in quotation marks under my name? That is cracking me up. Also, I dont know how to change it.

 
Life with kids, right?
 
We just keep rolling along!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Missed Snowflakes

Big, drippy snow flakes were falling around us as we made our way to the car. It was cold, so we hurried. We are Tennessee girls, so we don't like the cold, and it makes us hurry. But then the three year old paused outside of the car door and looked straight up at the falling snow, sticking out her tongue to catch some of the passing flakes. I paused with her, and we giggled as the wet flakes stuck to our eyelashes and clung to our hair, but not a single flake landed on her tiny tongue. She turned in circles next to the car, waiting for the snow to fall in just the right spot at just the right time.

"Mommy!" She finally cried. "The snow won't come to my tongue!" And no matter where she stood, the snow fell in drops all around her, on the shoulders of her white winter coat and the tips of her fuzzy winter boots, but nary a flake would make it to her tongue. So she sighed, and we laughed, and shook the whiteness off of our clothes and buckled up into the heated car for the short ride home.

It is strange to be remembering last week's passing snow shower as we are headed into a weekend of sunny and seventy. But life can feel like that for me at times, like I am sticking out my tongue to catch the falling snowflakes and watching them fall on either side of me, all around me, but never landing where I actually want them to. Catching snowflakes with your tongue is not easy and will frustrate you, if that's what you set out to do. Part of living life is seeing that there is a beauty in the falling snow no matter where it lands.

One of the snowflakes in my life currently is this blog. Most days I barely give it a cursory thought. When I do blog it is out of obligation (which I know doesn't make ANY sense at all to those of you who don't have a blog--why feel obligated??), and sometimes, not quite as often as before, is a sense of sadness that I could never quite capture from this blog what I wanted,or used to think I wanted, which was a bigger sense of community. And, let's face it, a lot more attention for myself. Because I am selfish and prone to want things like that.

Last night Joe noticed some books on our upstairs, out of the way, bookshelf that just happened to be all of the blog books I have made each year, starting in 2007. Each year's book got progressively thicker and Joe laughed about that, commenting that we wouldn't have room left if I kept up at this rate. Feeling nostalgic, I pulled a blog book off the shelf and flipped through the pages. I laughed and then showed Joe a story. (The one about Abby eating pickled eggs. You really should read it!). He laughed, too, and flipped a few more pages, commenting on the girls' looks and the vacation we took and that funny thing Abby said. It has only been 3 years, but we had already forgotten.

Joe handed the blog book back to me and said, "Ellen, this is really amazing, that you do this. Our family will have these forever." And in typical Joe (man?) fashion, he went back to his television drama without a pause, not having any clue how much his words affected me. But he is right. Whatever else it might be, this blog is a link to our family's past, and I am so grateful that, even though I wanted to many, many times, I haven't stopped blogging. There really is no fame or fortune or illustrious writing career that should stop me from recording a bit of our family history.  Not that it has to be done publically, but this is just the medium I have chosen.

God is at work in me, and in my family, in big ways. My journey of faith is so much a part of this family story that is being woven and spun and I can not possibly leave it out. One day I am going to have a huge story to tell about all that, but it is still being written, and in the meantime you will get bits and pieces and just know that I am being completely enthralled with the One who made me. I can never be the same.

One day the last story on this blog will be told, but that day hasn't yet come. I can't anymore give in to gimmicks and give-aways, and I can't, for the life of me, blog for comments and followers, but only for a simple outline of life being lived, the good and the bad, the happy...the sad.

Controlling life is like trying to catch a snowflake on your tongue. No matter how hard you try, the flakes still fall where they will fall. I don't want to miss them anymore, those snowflake moments. The pickled egg moments or the hilarious moments or the blurg moments or the downright painful moments. I have chuckled and reminisced these past few hours, over times forgotten, and renewed in myself the desire to capture the small stories. One day the small stories will be big.

And you know, there is still a little bit of room left on that shelf.

 


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