a tuesday afternoon: just thoughts

This winter has been the prettiest winter ever. I think. There’s fresh snow almost every day — or, rather every other day. In between, the sun comes out and makes yesterday’s fresh snow sparkle. There’s so little yucky sand/slush/slop. It’s all just white, clean snow.

It sparkles like diamonds. Of course, that can prove disappointing if you’re 4. Jameson and I were out on a particularly sparkly day, and he, in a dejected voice, announced that “it looks like diamonds but if you get close, you can’t find them anywhere!”

Of course, this house makes winter (and spring and summer and fall) just more enjoyable. I feel like I’m living in the most magical snow globe ever. Snow dancing and whirling, snow on pine tree’s branches, snow on split rail fences, snow in drifts like dunes… Snow in all the most beautiful ways.


It almost makes up for the fact that this has also been the dirtiest winter. Sheetrock dust EVERYWHERE. Always. No matter what. In my teeth, in my rug, in my bed, on my just-washed dishes. Spring cleaning never sounded so good. I’m trying to just patiently wait for the day they say, “Okay! You can now clean and be done!” Because I’ve lost all my oomph for cleaning in the midst of more dust settling. My mantel is as snowy white as the great outdoors, I know, but I just can’t care right now. I’ll quietly and happily wash my kitchen table and counters, vacuum a million times, and block out the rest. Oh, look, isn’t it pretty outside? Yes, let’s just look at the snow, shall we?


But there is a test swatch of color on the walls, and that must mean something, right? (A pale, pale, pale warm peachy-pink. I think it’s going to be just right: clean but warm and most of all, pretty. I just want light, elegant, pretty.) And Monday (!!!), our talented friend comes to lay floors. He and Ryan will hem and haw over which board is the prettiest, which grain to highlight, how to scatter the varying widths — and then, ta-da, we’ll have a floor! Maybe it will make us giddy and itchy with excitement, and we’ll turn around and just start tearing the up the kitchen carpet—

Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll just stand and sigh and love it and take a break.

And go to California.


For a week. Just Ryan and me. To what was home sweet home just one year ago (almost a year to the day, actually, I’ll be back where I started.) How strange and fun that will be! Strange to walk by “our” house and think that it’s not ours. Strange to meet my neighbor and realize she’s been strolling those streets for a whole year without me. To see friends from church and their kids-who-aren’t-babies-anymore and try to fill in a whole year. To walk out the door in ballet flats and a cardigan and laughingly remember that I willingly and joyfully left those winters for these.


Speaking of clothes, I’ve hit that awkward stage. The old pants still work, sort of, if I don’t eat too much, but I had to buy a few extra-long t’s to cover my already-generous belly. 13 weeks? Really? That’s what people say when they see this generous belly, but that’s nothing new. I seem to always get off to a rip-roaring start when it comes to baby bellies. And I tend to finish a bit on the generous side, too, I guess. Blame it on genetics, right, Mom?


Mostly, this is a winter to go deeper. For my roots to wriggle through another layer of rock and dry soil to find the water that’s always flowing, always life-giving, always sustaining. It’s a little happier, perhaps, when life isn’t serving up rocks and sand, but this is when it counts. So I wriggle away, reaching for the water I know is there, knowing that someday these root-strengthening days are going to prove to be oh-so-important. Never mind the extras: today I just set my feet a bit more firmly on these things:

Who does God say He is?
What has God promised to do?
How much does God love me?

Does anything else matter? Really?

No, not much.

A house won’t quickly be blown over when it’s built on the true answers to those questions.

Build my foundation, Lord. Make my house strong. I want to be standing at the end.

house projects!

Last week, we dove into a house project we’ve had planned since moving in: the long-awaited opening up of the living room and dining room!

When we bought this house, it was turn-key. Pristine. Solid. Ready to go.

Except that the dining room was designed to accommodate about 8 people, and I guess if you’re the oldest of 9 kids, that just doesn’t seem quite practical. And so, the very first time I walked down the narrow hall separating the dining room from the living room, I was already dreaming of openness.

Of course, although I had a general idea in mind, I hadn’t really gotten down to details, but Ryan’s never deterred by that. I guess he figures that if there’s a construction zone in the middle of my house, and sheetrock dust on everything, I’ll hurry up about deciding those details. “Hey, it works.” (Those are his exact words. :-))

Saturday, an official lull in the construction activities will take place, as we have guests arriving from California. But not too much longer, and we’ll have a dining room ready to seat as many as will come — provided, of course, that we can find a table. (And chairs. Oh, and a couch, too, and…)