Hi, I’m Danica.

I guess I’m a lot of things: a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a crafter, a cook, a reader, a writer, a homemaker, a pianist, and probably a lot more too. But at the end of the day, I’m just a Christian trying to find and obey God’s will.

our resident pip Sep 26

William had my phone and took these. I’m dying.

Wait. What?

I may or may not be laughing out loud.

apple season Sep 26

There’s an orchard nearby that sells delicious cider (not too sweet, just the way I like it!), crisper-than-crisp Cortlands, and APPLE CIDER DONUTS. When I say, “apple season!”, my kids hear, “DONUTS!!!”

Last Friday, we went. We held off on breakfast, because DONUTS. Our tummies rumbled, but we didn’t care. They went to bed the night before already imagining the taste of donut dunked in cider. We drove the 35 miles with sunshine, autumn’s bright blue sky, beautiful farm fields edged by just-beginning-to-turn trees, and we were loving it.

We loaded a 1/2 bushel bag with Cortlands, grabbed a gallon of cider, and without hesitation ordered 2 dozen donuts, 1 plain, 1 cinnamon-sugar, thankyouverymuch. They were still hot. Did you know that the number of donuts one can consume increases exponentially when they’re served fresh and warm? (We did not eat 24 donuts, however. Ha!)

There were errands afterward, and since it was a bit past lunchtime, we drove home via the new Bagelry, which I had yet to visit during hours of operation. We got home with enough time for some backyard football and baths for church. What a lovely, lovely day, celebrating fall’s abundance. Mostly, though, celebrating life with these beautiful kids.

Jameson turned eight. Sep 25

Yup, eight.

Eight is kinda old. But only kinda. Traces of little mingling with shadows of older. I watch him swing between those worlds, sometimes with joyful abandon, sometimes the struggle of a soul trying to grow and stretch and realizing its own brokenness.

He’s not much for talking. Not really. More doing, less talking. But once in awhile, I’ll notice him suddenly beside me, lingering, and I know his heart has something to spill. Even if it’s just to tell me about the great book he just finished. Some things need to be heard by another human, and I’m happy to be his go-to hearer.

Pushing him forward to new capacities for thinking, working, diligence, creativity, servanthood. Wanting to see the flame of love for Jesus grow into a blazing passion as he grows. Teaching him to study the Word a bit deeper, to ask questions, to watch rubber meet road and Jesus be enough.

Loving his freckles, fast multiplying across his little boy cheeks. His crinkly eyes when he smiles, which is often. What joy he brings! His eyes dart constantly, as he thinks, thinks, thinks. Never sit still. Not really. Even when he sits, his brain is moving. His front teeth are oversized, just as they should be on a lanky, Norman-Rockwell boy. He loves baseball, football. But kickball with me is best. We laugh, and it warms my soul. (I need to laugh more. He needs me to laugh more.) He plays piano. He would blow right through, never fixing a note, if I wasn’t calling from the kitchen. He’s a fast learner, which means working to learn is something he has to learn. Drumsticks are his new best friend. Everywhere he goes, they go. He has rhythm in his body, all the time.

Learning to love people, even more than his own ideas. Being an oldest brother brings that out in him, sometimes with more effort than others. But his siblings love him completely. William is his best friend. They forgive instantly. I can’t believe how strong and pure that love is.

This boy. I just really love him.

Celebrating his birthday with Dutch Babies, playtime with siblings, adventures in the woods with two friends, and dinner with Grandpa, his birthday buddy.

He’s a keeper.

cute things. Sep 11

Boys with dimples, being so excited about new lights for a new season of dark evenings…

…and who begged to rearrange their beds so they’re almost touching. Despite the utter awkwardness of the arrangement, who could say no to brothers who are best friends?

Spun-gold hair. It just gets lovelier.

Siblings chats. Very serious.

And last. I mean, come on.

Lots and lots of cute things. Not always the first thing I see when I take note of life around me, but goodness. It’s a treasure trove of adorable people here in my world.

all in a week. Sep 6

What a week!

One week ago, these fine young gents were trying out the window seating at the Canton Bagelry, which was then open only to adorable children related by blood to Mr. Dunphey or Ockrin.

At 2:30am Monday morning, the Mister and I turned off the lights and locked the door behind us, completing a grueling summer of preparation by Ryan and Gabe and so many others. Done, ready. Launch.

(Another tractor pic? Oh yes. You have no idea.)

Cue the next four days: sick babies and mama.

Yes, I cut flowers for the sake of sanity.

Sometimes she would sleep for 15 minutes. Pretty girl.

Sometimes she didn’t sleep. But then I could just eat this.

One of my kids has a sense of humor, apparently.

Then we started to feel better. We even did our Friday errands, which included peaches!

And I’m not big into the ombre trend, but when I cut into this tomato, I repented of my ways and declared it the most beautiful thing in the world.

Just in case I thought this week was going to end with quiet and calm, Beatrice had an accident that had me driving her to the ER for stitches this morning.

Whew. I’m not a whirlwind kind of girl. But apparently this isn’t my universe, so things don’t always cater to my temperament. I am going to go out on a limb, though, and say that I’m hoping to slowly start school on Monday. A fresh set of colored pencils, brand new composition books, and Mama creating a little semblance of order-on-a-page (hoping to make up for the tangled-mess-in-my-brain) is all that these great kids need to get excited about a new school year.

After the last few weeks, I’ll hold my hopes for Monday loosely. Better to hold tight to the right things: Jesus.

where did it go? Sep 6

And by “it”, I mean summer.

It is, you know, almost a week into September, and I’m still just sort of standing here clueless, saying, “Wha–?”

A strange summer. Even my photos reflect the helter-skelter life lived these last few months: uploaded in bizarre and random fashion, almost impossible to sort.

Tonight I just browse through. Smile. Laugh. Cry a little because you know? It was a blur. But it was full of joy.

My dad rescued me when I was having tractor troubles — over and over. And over.

Matching dresses. And a little too much love.

“Take our picture, Mom, can you?”

Two sleepy-head girls after several nights of being out late while I helped Ryan.

Just a smidgen of the abundant joy I have.

(Not pictured: the redeeming work of Jesus in my heart every day, and the presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling this frail, undeserving soul every moment. Joy unspeakable.)