christmas time is here

The first week and a half of the much-anticipated Christmas season is already past. A month that is full of “musts”, and yet simultaneously is a blank slate each year, waiting for me, the Mama, to plot a course led by the Holy Spirit for this year. What will be the big rocks for this particular year? What are our hearts especially needing? What opportunities are arising that we are uniquely fitted to engage?

How can I help these little hearts see Jesus?

And so I try to listen to that small whisper, and we dance and celebrate and bake and read and play (and crash and repent) our way through these special days. We bring boughs and lights and most-special ornaments and figures into our rooms, and our everyday home becomes a place of beauty and celebration — and I remember how God Himself comes into the everyday place of my heart and makes it beautiful and heavenly, something altogether amazing.

So far, our month has included decorating, getting a tree, snuggles with Daddy, working on embroidery projects and other things, playing in fresh snow, Christmas concerts, outings, playing piano at a nursing home, and just enjoying candles and “special.”

october 2



Just trying to let that sink in.

Geese, by the dozens, fly in continual Vs overhead, winging their way to warmer climes. I stand and watch, following with my eyes until they are lost in thick gray clouds, and their loud honking gradually fades. Summer is flying away, fading quickly, lost somewhere in the cool mornings and scarlet maples.


So, too, fly the moments of my days. Moments I want so desperately to fill with projects and accomplishments: garages emptied of broken sidewalk chalk and stray tire pumps, closets sorted and stocked with wool sweaters and neat oxford shirts, spiders seeking warmth in the corners of my kitchen ceiling given the boot. These are my morning dreams, but they fade, too, lost in the thickening activity and real needs of children and babies.

Funny. We are dream-clingers, aren’t we?

And I remember each day that He gives true joy — if I will just open up those white-knuckled fists of mine, let go of my own little dreams (of fewer dust bunnies, finished laundry, picture frames hung) and let Him fill my hands with His life. His dreams for today look more like hearts nurtured. The gospel shared through real life moments. Smiles, tears, firm looks, gentle hands. Baby carried. All day, carried.

His thoughts are higher than mine, His ways so much better. And this Heavenly Father — He invites me to come and share His dreams, to be a part of bringing them to pass.

Dreams that will not fade. Hope that is secure.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.”


Dramatic autumn skies, perfect baby toes, and moments with these beautiful children: The Lord God made them all.

autumn in the adirondacks

I love Upstate New York. (And by Upstate, I mean upstate. Westchester County doesn’t count.) I love living in the wide space of the St. Lawrence valley, I love the rhythms of farm life all around me, I love the seasons and colors and variety of the year, and I love the blue haze of mountains in the distance.

This weekend, we got to celebrate autumn a bit.

First, apples. The first Cortland of the season, just picked that day, with locally made fresh cheese curd. Enjoyed at a picnic table with these favorites:

And apple cider donuts, still crispy from the hot oil bath from whence they came.

Second, mountains. Yesterday, we packed up our four kids, our friends packed up their four kids, and together, we shocked the world with our small-human population! With lunches packed, we journeyed a short distance into the Adirondacks and enjoyed trails just perfect for young explorers and strollers alike. We passed lean-tos and bridges that brought back fond memories from my childhood days, and watching my kids enjoy the world in the same way was just too fun. The sky was blue, the temps warm (thus the white undershirt gang!), and the trees at their peak of color. Three hours later, we parents were warm and tired — and the boys were ready for Round Two.


I just go. Non stop.

So do you, I bet. You know. You fall into bed and wonder where the day went, remember how you meant to do this and that, and somehow you never even had half a chance to remember. Does it count as forgetting if you never had a fighting chance??

But some days, I get to pause. And sometimes, in highlights, it looks like beautiful sunrises during early walks, homeschool opportunities right out your own window, babies who love each other, simple lunch turned into a end-of-summer hurrah, a spontaneous trip to the playground with friends, and beautiful boys who play their hearts out and enjoy each day until they just can’t keep their eyes open another minute.

seven fleeting years

I remember sitting on the second story porch of our first apartment with my 8-day-old Jameson. It was a delicious September afternoon, with warm sun and a breeze stirring the trees around me. I remember what he was wearing — soft baby jeans and a navy cardigan from my mom — and I remember holding his little bundle of a body so close. He nursed, and I sang to him. And I cried as I sang, my heart hurting with the gift of that moment and the simultaneous knowledge that it was disappearing as quickly as I savored it.

Today I continued to persevere through the semi annual Great Clothing Exchange, and as I stood folding load after load of freshly laundered summer clothes, I pulled a pair of pajama bottoms from the dryer — and paused.

I held them up: skinny waist band, custom made for my thin as a rail son. Long legs, custom hemmed for his bean pole body. I made them last summer out of vintage robot fabric, and his face beamed when he realized the project running through my sewing machine was for him.

Robots. Skinny waist. Thrill over Mama-made clothes.

Those things don’t last forever.

I folded them slowly, not really wanting to put them away. Can we just stay here? Can he be my little boy forever, and can he jump up and down with sheer glee when I make something for him?

He’s seven now, you know. Seven.

Out with Daddy on his birthday-eve. This is his first ever medium cone. Next time you order a medium cone, try smiling like that. I have a hunch that it’ll turn your whole day into one big thankful fest.