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.

pause. remember. one year. Aug 25

Hard to believe that you only just arrived a year ago. Oh, the wonder of welcoming a brand new person into your heart, knowing they’ll forever be a part of you, change you, help make you who you are. You wonder who they’ll be, how they’ll fit. And a year later, there’s no fitting. They belong, and life can’t be imagined without them in their place.

Hard to believe, on the other hand, that it’s been a year. Faster and faster, it flies. Kissing you, holding you longer, treasuring dimples and cries and baby-in-my-arms nights.

How deeply we love you, Fiona Elspeth. My blonde beauty. God was very, very kind to bless us with you.

Happy birthday!

Beatrice is 3 Aug 24

Last Sunday, the 17th, was the beginning of birthday season at our house. All but me will celebrate birthdays by October 21st. Suffice to say, my heart is both bursting and weeping by November (New grades? New ages? This melancholy Mama can’t take it!)

Beatrice starts off the birthday parade.

In my head, I still think we’re somewhere around here:

Oh my. What a sweet baby.

And now she is three. My mother in law says, “That child is perfect.” If perfect allows for moments of sassiness, a recent rise in talking back (testing boundaries, anyone?), and the occasional meltdown, then yes, she’s perfect. She loves people. She loves laughing. She loves telling stories. She loves singing. She loves singing conversations instead of just plain talking — we sing back and forth all the time. She loves her new baby doll and her spinny-est dresses. She loves to boss her brothers around (ahem), and loves nothing more than to go somewhere with her daddy. She loves to pray for every person who comes to her mind. She loves to pick the wild blackcaps in our yard and makes friends with every snail she sees.

You are a joy, little girl. Every day I am thankful for you.

Even though you keep getting bigger, and you do it faster than my heart can handle.

whirlwind. Aug 22

Life.

It’s all sorts of whirlwinds. All sorts of waves. Can I catch my breath before the next day flies by, the next wave knocks me around?

Highs and lows. Even lower. Can we get lower? Run to my high place, highest tower, rock above swirling waves: Jesus. Highest of highs, even on the lowest of days. Our depravity can never overwhelm His perfection of holiness and light. Joy and life eternal.

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*****

In a few days…

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…she’ll be one.

*sigh*

That’s all.

july, part 3 Jul 31

Then there are the miscellaneous photo memories: We came home from Maine and took an evening walk in pajamas, because that’s what you do in the summer. Grandma and Beatrice enjoyed Grandpa’s concert in the park together. A new skirt was sewn for my dancing girl. Mornings were started on my side stoop, soaking in birds and leaf-whispers and the scent of a new day. Evenings, too, were savored. My gardens, though dry and weed-covered after one week in Maine, continued to provide blooms for the kitchen table. The CSA is again a wonderful blessing, adding color and freshness and surprise and health each week. I love it. Sour cherries were the prettiest they’ve ever seen, and hours of pitting and freezing was rewarded by the prettiest jar of pink ever. Little girls, in their last month before turning 3 and 1, were adored and snuggled and loved on. Little boys, growing bigger and sweeter each day, played hard and worked hard, loved me well and were elated every time Daddy said, “Wanna come to work with me today?” This last week, I read a book and remembered why I don’t do that very often: I can’t put it down till it’s finished. Self discipline, out the window.

*****

Monday morning dawned, and there was fresh grace. After not having a “real” (read: paper) calendar for two months, I sat down with my coffee and sketched out August.

August.

A few more weeks of footloose and fancy-free. Some more family time, beach days, visits with friends.

Two girls will have birthdays. I’ll create a chore routine, and we’ll get it in motion. Pencils will get sharpened, books will come in the mail. And then we’ll turn that calendar page and be ready to start a whole new season.

My, how it flies.

july, part 2 Jul 31

It really was a busy month. And right in the middle of it, on a Friday evening, Jameson reminded me of Founders’ Day, a local reenactment event. I’d told the kids we would try hard to get there, since we’d been reading about the French and Indian War over the summer, and this would help bring it to life. Ryan said, “You should go.” And so, in spite of all of the grown up things that needed my attention at home, the kids and I packed water bottles and granola bars and drove all the way to the St. Lawrence River. “That’s it?”, they said when we arrived. After driving to Maine the previous week, they were thankful!

And I was thankful we went. It was a truly lovely, peaceful, quiet, interesting, I-love-to-be-with-my-kids kinda day.

*****

Long days that stretch into the night mean little time with Ryan in this season. We were so excited when one Sunday afternoon, he said, “Let’s pack a lunch and all go to a beach!” The kids talked about swimming with Daddy for days and days afterward. He is the star around here, you know. I’m so thankful for this guy!

july, part 1 Jul 31

It’s the last day of July. Sand through fingers, vapors in the wind, all of that — it’s true. It just disappears. No matter how deeply you savor, how much of its pain and beauty you try to memorize, how thankful you purpose to be, these moments just fly.

July, especially. My, did it fly.

So now I’m a solid month of photos and happenings behind on this blog, my little record of family life. It’s Thursday afternoon, and after four days of a blessedly quiet week, my soul (and my house, for that matter) are starting to catch up. I can sit and do photos, at last.

*****

The Fourth of July. Reading and discussing the Constitution, the Declaration, the heroism of men who choose courage and principle that would benefit us. Not for their own sake, but for us, they signed their names on that Declaration, as good as a death sentence. Courage: Choosing the right thing in the face of fear. Not everything they did was perfectly right, I know, but acting out of selfless principle and with courage, as men ought to do? That is pretty right. What a good heritage. Dressing in red, white, and blue. Heading to a local parade, joined by most of my clan. Spending a lazy afternoon on the side porch together, and ending things with pound cake topped with berries and loosely whipped cream. Perfect.

And then, a few days later, there was a trip to Maine. The kids, my generous sister, and me. It was absolutely wonderful.

There was good food, which the kids keep talking about. There was the pool, from about 7:30am till dinnertime and maybe even after. There was whiffle ball and golf, water balloons and bubbles. Dress up! Excursions to the rocky shore. A morning at a quiet beach inhabited by hundreds of hermit crabs. Rooftop views. Ice cream cones. Babies napping long, children playing hard, grown ups soaking in sun. Cousins we seldom see, aunts and uncles we love. Lots of tears the evening before our departure, because this was the time of their lives. Special memories. This little family went home feeling very loved by Papa and Meme.