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13 December 2013

A Photoshoot... Of sorts.

Well, I'm proud to say, I stuck to my guns!  Today at the ultrasound, I did not find out the gender.  Whew.  And, so for those of you who can read ultrasounds, here is Miller Little #2!  For those of you who cannot read ultrasounds, the appropriate reponse is, "Oooohh!  How cute!"  Just kidding.  How can you even tell a kid is cute via ultrasound?  And P.S. I still find 3D ultrasounds creepy.  The tech was apologizing that the 3D machine was broken and I was totally relieved.


11 December 2013

A Love Letter to England - Just a little late.

Disclaimer:  Clearly, I wrote this a long time ago.  Well, a few months ago.  I meant to add more, but I think it's enough.

We leave England in just over two weeks.  I know that I keep mentioning this a bajillion times but international moving is kind of a big thing, okay?  And in the hassle of reducing all our belongings down to not enough suitcases and getting excited to eat enough Mexican food to make up for these last two years, it's really really easy to forget how cool it has really been to be here.  I mean, we live in ENGLAND!  A foreign country!  And anyone who says it isn't that big of an adventure because they still speak English has clearly never heard a Geordie or Scottish accent and never experienced the completely unplanned for culture shock upon moving.

So, to keep me thankful (and maybe make you feel just a teensy bit sad that you didn't come visit because almost no one did - guys, free room and board! but no, you all have to be on student budgets that can't afford plane tickets just like us), here is a little bit of love towards this wonderful place.
  • During the summer it stays light for soooooooo long!  It is still a bit light out at 11.30 pm and the sun is fully up by 3.30 or 4 am.
  • Free health care.  Whatever opinion you have about this, it was awesome to be able to have Mili Kay and not worry a bit about the cost.  Just don't mention our tuition,  Please.
  • We lived basically ON the beach.  I've always wanted to try that out!  And it was great in so many ways.
  • The people.  I can't vouch for much of those from the south of England, but there are some of the most genuine and loving people I've ever encountered up here in the Northeast.  And though we only got to go to Edinburgh a few times, I've got a serious soft spot for the Scottish.
  • English countryside.  It isn't the Rocky Mountains, but it has its own, soft and comfortable kind of beauty.  Even the rugged bits seem, this might be the wrong word, accessible?
  • Chocolate.  Oh dearie me, the chocolate.
  • Public transport is so much better here than what I have ever been used to.  Metros, buses, the tube, trains...
  • Everyone is so into Christmas here.  It's a tad overwhelming, but so festive!
  • The British are serious about their gardening.  Just a walk down the street and we get to see so many different flowers.  And ooooohhhhh the tulips.  I will ache for the tulips in the spring.
  • There are actually old places and buildings here.  Castles and what not.
  • When you go to cross the street at busy intersections, signs say, "Please wait for the green man."  Kills me every time.
  • People think homemade American cookies are seriously one of the best gifts they've ever received.  Do you know how easy it is to make cookies?  Little effort, big reward.
  • Masters degrees are a year long.  A very intense year.  But one year.
That may be the list of some of the most random things ever and by no means is it totally complete, but there it is nonetheless.  England, I do love you!  Though I still don't think you'll ever get me to sing 'God Save the Queen.'

08 December 2013

Happy Thoughts

This picture.  Tyler clicked the shutter as Mili got put down.  So, here is what happened in approximately 0.5 seconds.  She even handed Santa back her little goody bag of treats when he attempted to give it to her.

We finally have health insurance! And I went to the doctor! Who only lectured me a little bit about the whole not seeing anybody since 12 weeks into this pregnancy bit, though she gave me several completely incredulous looks.  And I get an ultrasound on Friday - they'd better not accidentally tell me what gender it is.  The following picture is totally irrelevant to this.  But it's too awesome to not share.

We got to watch one of our very best friends drive a NASCAR race car.  He rocked it.  Not surprising if you know Brad's actual driving habits.  And aren't he and his wife too good together?  Brad doesn't know it but he married Brea just so she and I could be friends, I'm sure of it.  She's the bomb.

It's Christmas time.  A time for really happy music, twinkly lights, copious amounts of hot chocolate, and people being nicer than they generally are.  And seeing as how we are poor, there's not much shopping happening here so I can remain completely oblivious to all that craziness.

This quote.  Right now, it says everything I cannot.  It is my motto, my mantra, whatever you will, it is what I am striving to live by everyday.

Confidence is not the certainty of success but rather the conclusion that failure does not determine our worth—
we lose nothing by trying.


03 December 2013

Outsmarted

Tyler and I have almost an embarrassing amount of formal education between the two of us.  But apparently, we can't get the most of basic of technologies to work in our favor.

We caught a last minute $2 theater movie with friends last week and Tyler's parents graciously agreed to last minute babysit.  Therefore, when we got home that night Mili was crashed out in her crib in the guest room in the big house versus our little casita.  Fact: It is way easier for us to sleep in the guest bedroom rather than try to successfully move a very content sleeping baby and crib.  So we did.  And in this lovely guestroom (aka Blake's old room), there happens to be one of those super shnazzy sleep number beds, where you pick the squishiness of your side and all.

I laid down a few minutes before Tyler and got the bed all adjusted with the remote before sleepily laying it near where Tyler would lay down.  It must've only been a minute or two, but I was out cold before Tyler slipped into bed and crashed out as well.  Somewhere in the roundabouts of 1am, I woke up to a cacophony of clicks, shifting sounds, and mysterious noises emerging from the bed.  Adding to my confusion was the fact that my side of the bed seemed to have become the softest of marshmallow fluff, from which I could not extract my round pregnant self.  I reached over to see if Tyler was awake and realized that he was elevated a good foot above me on a bed that felt something like a granite countertop.  And then saw him befuddledly mashing the buttons on the bed remote, trying to comprehend why on earth he was sleeping on a rock.

Turns out when you sleep on the bed controller, it changes the bed in your sleep!  And then when you sleepily have the remote backwards, you only get each side to do the opposite of what you are wanting. Then you proceed to get the giggles together about it for at least half an hour, making really lame jokes that seem hilarious about being the queen of marshmallow fluff and sleeping on bricks.  I don't think we'll ever get one of those beds...

22 November 2013

I'm trying to actually be a blogger. We'll see how long this lasts.

Hey look!  It's where we live right now.
Mili Kay fell asleep last night in the car at around 7.  She then proceeded to wake up at around 9.30.  So, you know, we had a party for about an hour and a half before she stopped squirming and finally went back to sleep.  And honestly?  It was really fun.  She was all giggles and sunshine and sleepy slap-happy.
She also proceeded to say this word, over and over and over, for approximately five minutes before we finally figured out what she was trying to say.  It sounded vaguely like "oof" but not like her little dog "woofs" and turns out that I think it was supposed to be "out."  As in outside.  Where it was raining.  We went outside anyway for a few minutes.  Mili is trying so desperately to communicate these days and it's equal parts cute, hilarious, and serious guesswork.  The good news is that she has mastered 'please!'  The bad news is that she doesn't really say please but does this little close-lipped hum thing with big ol eyes that means please.  And wow, is this a mom post or what?
Pictured above is a tender mercy.  I may or may not been having a crazy stressed moment.  Aaaaand then, in walks the juggernaut.  How can you be serious when you see this?
And voila, reason number 76 to like Washington.  Hiking.
Tyler and Blake made longboards that are legit.  Serious.  I was enjoying them until I ate it and realized that I probably should hold off on it at the moment.  You know.  Maybe.

19 November 2013

Working on happily ever after

I have a story for you.  It's kind of like a fairy tale, but the old fashioned ones.  You know, where the bad guys are actually pretty darn scary and sometimes they get a little gory?  The good stuff.  No Disney gloss here.

Once upon a time,
in a land far, far away, where Mexican food was scarce and rain was plentiful, there lived a wonderful husband.  His wife loved him oh so much.  This brave man took on a quest, a quest of learning.  He faced, head-on, not one but TWO Masters degrees.  In two years.  He wrote essays upon essays upon essays.  There were exams.  Group projects.  Sleepless nights.  Long days.  A wife not-so-gracefully adjusting to momhood. 

He slayed two full dissertations!  There were all-nighters and all-dayers and crazy amounts of research. Being locked out the night before deadlines! (I warned you about the gore...)  But he returned home not only a husband, but a father and a graduate.  Victorious.

Somewhere, in all the chaos of international moving, finishing aforementioned dissertations, grandparents dying to see a grandbaby, and attempting to figure out the future, all of the appropriate celebration got lost.  And so, though he is living in his happily ever after of sorts, there hasn't been so much as a card to say "CONGRATULATIONS!"  There won't be a graduation cap and gown.  And sadly his wife can't get him any of the presents she knows he'd really like.  So, while in Washington we had a little party.  With a giant chocolate chip cookie and ice cream.  And a banner that wouldn't stay on the wall.

But here's to that husband.  My husband.  My main man, Tyler, who is fun, adventuresome, and a dreamer.  Don't you ever lose that.

Congratulations. I love you.


23 October 2013

By Faith

40 days since leaving England:
  • One 8-hour flight to Chicago, a 7-hour layover, and one 4-hour flight to Phoenix.
  • A waiting casita and happy grandparents
  • A car ride to Tucson to pick up our new (to us) car.
  • Emptying out the storage unit.
  • A 2-hour (so easy!) flight to Denver, Colorado.
  • 5 great days with my parents with a new family addition of a baby doll that Mili must now have at least somewhere accessible at all times.
  • Another flight back to Phoenix.
  • Three (or maybe four) crazy days of packing and planning.
  • Driving 1600+ miles in 3 days.
  • Sleeping in over 6 different locations.
  • Bribing Mili with a giant marshmallow every time she gets into the car.
  • Remembering how I left a chunk of my heart in Washington.
  • Knowing Washington is not the place.


By faith Abrahamwhen he was called to go out into place which he should after receive for an inheritanceobeyedand he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Hebrews 11:8

23 September 2013

Not all who wander are lost.

This space has been intentionally silent for the past few weeks.  That time was a bit of a personal refiner's fire, all that I seemed to be able to write was terribly depressing.  I don't feel the need to portray my life as some never-goes-wrong and never-is-hard fantasy, but I also don't feel the need to spew negativity all over the internet.  There's enough there as it is.  Especially when, though it was so hard, I felt God carry me every.single.day.

So, to fill you all in, we are now in Arizona.

We aren't staying here.  Please don't ask us yet what we are doing or where exactly we are going.

Yes, I am pregnant.
-The due date is in mid-March and no, I won't tell you exactly when.
-We are very excited.

And there's still some wanderlust in me yet.

24 August 2013

Date Night with an Inventor

Conventional dates have never really been my thing.  I think somewhere amongst the fourth or fifth first date in a row where I was being taken goofy golfing, at the same place, yet again, this part of me up and rebelled and said, "To heck with all this."  Which is why it is incredibly handy to have married Tyler.

Tyler is an awesome date-planner.  Always has been, always will be.  But the whole date-night on the regular bit?  Not our forte.  Blame it on the dearth of excited 12 year olds to babysit the little or what have you.  That is not to say that we are lacking in love or exciting things to do together.  In fact, being married to an inventor provides for some of the most fun (and unconventional) nights being together.  This makes me incredibly happy.  Tonight was one of those nights and, as usual, it was awesome.



This is us working together.  Making a jet-testing device.  Actually waterproofing the aforementioned device that is mostly made.  Tyler is nice, he gets all the goop on his hands - though, to be totally honest, I don't mind getting all messy too.  We had a whole discussion on whether we think the caulk is going to work as well as the silicone sealant.  Earlier we found out how not waterproof the box originally was.  We raided our bathroom for toilet paper to help clean up some messes because I forgot to buy paper towels yet again.  The drill has been going fairly on the regular.  When Mili is awake she is learning words like 'socket,' 'bolt,' and 'drill bit.'  And the heater fan was even out so I could sit in front of it, hog the warmth, and reminisce about our first little tiny flat in England that was in an oh-so-sweet location by the beach but I may have failed to mention that the place was absolutely frigid for 99% of our time there.

To those of you who doubt that this is, in fact, fun - you don't even know.  Inventing brings adventures you never even dreamed of into your marriage!  Especially when you are two fairly laid back people who aren't too stuck on being right or doing it your way.  And so, here is one reason I highly recommend marrying an inventor.

16 August 2013

Puddle Jumping


This is unprompted, pure natural Mili bliss.  We went outside to run an errand and took a 20 minute play in the puddle detour.  She knew what puddles are really for.  It makes me feel like I'm doing something right.  Honestly, if I can just impart a huge love of outside to my girl, I know I'll be giving her so much.  The little exercise physiology/diabetes/obesity researcher in my head starts spouting off so many happy facts about kids who play outside.  And I love when that part of me spouts off happy facts.

11 August 2013

As of late


Here's our mornings lately.

Life is good.  August may just kill us with Tyler dissertationing and getting ready for international moving and cooling down weather already and probably not enough sleep but life is really really good.  I've neglected to mention how Mili Kay turned 1, Tyler and I hit our 4 year anniversary, Blake left us to head back to the AZ, and probably other significant happenings.  Me and this blog, we're working on getting it figured out.

We have a date to head back stateside - September 12th.  Don't ask about any other future plans just yet, we're getting there.  Just now we're looking forward to Mexican food and being on the same (or closer to the same) time zone as most of the people we love.  Most days I'm still pretty content here in England, but this little part of me is hankering for my beloved southwest and west coast US of A.  Adventures are ahead!

25 July 2013

Running

In October of 2010, I ran a marathon.  There had been a half marathon a year or two before that I loved.  The marathon was long, hard, and I did not love it past mile 15.  At the end of that race I felt hungry, tired, and very sick of running.  I swore never to run another one of those again.

Flash forward.  It is July 2013.  For three years now I have struggled to get back into being 'a runner.'  Running and I have had a touch and go relationship.  I want to be a runner.  I love everything about being a runner.  Except, for awhile, running.  Admittedly I was not as well prepared as I should be for the marathon.  Also, no one should ever train for a marathon during an Arizona summer.  And really, no one should train for a marathon without a real understanding of what exactly you are undertaking, which I decidedly did not have.  And 26.2 miles is a long way to run by yourself.  But anyways, that marathon almost broke me.  Add moving a few times, a new country, experiencing winter for the first time, and a baby in there too and I suppose it is almost understandable why my running self seemed to have gone into permanent hibernation.  Lately though, there'd been some good efforts, bordering on regular runs, the itch was showing peeks of reemerging.

Then Saturday.  I was roped into a race.  A mile race.  That start line was full of nerves and jitters and thoughts of "what in the heck am I doing?"  The first lap was torture, pure unadulterated awfulness.  I cursed every step.  I debated quitting, but I am not a quitter.  It didn't help that I had no watch and no way to pace myself and took that first lap at a sub-6 minute mile pace, ugh.  The second lap was minutely better.  My feet started to find a rhythm.  I remembered to ease my breathing, let everything relax.  That third lap I was ready for.  I went on the hunt, started to pass those pesky people right in front of me, and felt the competitive fire burning in my blood.  And the last lap?  It was heaven.  I pushed, I strained, I ran.  Each footstep was freedom, fire, and oh did I want to win.  Suddenly, there was the finish line.  Already?!  I was just getting going, I needed a few more miles!

And with that, I'm back.  This girl is a runner again.
Some of my recent runs.

12 July 2013

How to Inherit a Homing Pigeon

1. Find a lost homing pigeon wandering in a nearby industrial estate, clearly clueless and about to get run over by some big truck.

2. Take pity on that lost homing pigeon.

3. Catch aforementioned pigeon and bring him home.

4. Go through three different boxes because the pigeon keeps spilling his water dish and getting bumped by the door.  Eventually end up with quite a large box sitting on your kitchen counter.

5. Feed this pigeon unpopped popcorn kernels after much internet research on what to feed homing pigeons.

6. Track down his owner and get the guidance, "Just feed and water him, then let him go!"

7.  Follow this advice.

8. Be discussing this strange life happening several hours later with visiting friends when the homing pigeon 'homes' in and flies in your open window and onto your kitchen windowsill.


I love that I have a husband who would take pity on a pigeon.  It shows how big his heart is.  And I'm pretty sure this homing pigeon isn't ever going to make it back to Ashington.  (P.S. His name is Duck.)

09 July 2013

I love this excuse.

We've been out.  Outside.  Lots.  Not on the computer.  Hooray!   So here's a picture of today.  A little note about how Mili loves outside so much, she cries every time you bring her in (I'm serious).  And a little celebration - again - that summer decided to show up this year.

Oh the whiteness of English babies...

02 July 2013

Perks of Being First

When you are the first grandbaby on both sides AND the first great grandbaby for three of the four sets of grandparents, you get a bit spoiled.  In good ways.  This was taken back in January, but here is my little Mili Kay with a little bit of history - all of her great grandmas and grandmas and mama.

Baby girl, you have got a real legacy.  This picture can't tell you how amazing all of these women are.  And they all love you absolutely to bits.


27 June 2013

You threw off my groove!

In exactly two weeks my little turns 1.  And on that day we will party and love her even more to bits, but there needs to be a bit of a celebration today.  There needs to be a celebration because today I found my groove.  See, there is this mysterious thing that I've noticed successful mothers of all kinds seem to possess.  It doesn't make everything go perfectly and I'm certain every mom has a day where she can't find it, but it is what makes these mothers capable of their superhuman feats.  Moms who have a groove seem to be able to actually get dressed, have livable houses, and children who thrive with the love and attention they receive.

Now, I want to be clear.  No two mothers have the exact same groove.  You can't steal someone else's or attempt to copy it exactly.  You can borrow a few notes, maybe try adding a bit of a different cadence, or sample other pieces of the sheet music, but each mom has got to find a groove that is all her own.  Some grooves are jazzy, others are classical, maybe there's some banjo-plucking folk rock.  And thank goodness for that.

All that said, I have found it so hard to hit my stride, find that rhythm.  I mean, Mili is going to be 1.  That's twelve whole months filled with days where I found myself thinking, "I have one easy child.  Why can I not get the hang of this?"  I've said so many prayers where I've told Heavenly Father how much I knew I was falling short, that I felt like such a failure, and please could He just help me get through another day or just the next hour...

I know He was listening.  I didn't go through those almost full twelve months because He ignored my pleas.  He let me have what I needed, not just what I wanted.  I needed those twelve months of struggle to learn how important my role is.  I found that I don't need a job outside the home to have value or to feel satisfied.  I discovered that all that education I worked at is not 'going to waste' by me choosing to not have a career right now.  I finally started to figure out that selfishness never did, never has, and never will equal happiness.

As I stood at the metro stop today and did T-Rex and crocodile impersonations to make Mili laugh, I felt in my heart of hearts the deepest sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.  I heard the beginning notes of my very own theme song and they were jusssst right.

21 June 2013

Happynesses

1. One of my all-time favorite bloggers found my letter I wrote to her.  And then commented.  It actually made her happy.  I may or may not have told Tyler about this about 1 million times because I was so excited/amazed.  This here internet can be a pretty amazing place. #usetheinternetforgood #dontbeafraid 
2. Mili Kay had this name tag on for over an hour before I realized what it said.
Reason #862 why having my brother-in-law live with us is the best.
3. I made rolls.  With Mili.  It was a terrific mess and we both loved it.  She kept stealing handfuls of flour to eat.  Carb lover.  She is so my child.

4. London temple visit!  This temple has the largest grounds of all our temples in the world - 10 acres of just beautifulness, as if the amazingness and peace from attending the temple wasn't enough.
Love how light it is at night during the summer here.  This was taken at 8pm-ish.
5. Tyler did some prototype testing. (Have I ever mentioned how cool it is to be married to an inventor?)  He always includes the little and she loves it.

6. Aaaaaaaand a dinosaur!
An allosaurus to be exact.  Sorry to disappoint all you T-Rex lovers out there...

13 June 2013

public transport

the day started off warm and humid
moved towards cool
and then the winds moved in.
i think we experienced all
three weather patterns at once
as we waited
waited
waited for the bus to come.
fifty minutes is a blink during fun
but an eternity
to a girl at naptime who can't play
in the broken glass
at the bus stop.

09 June 2013

An Open Letter

Dear Katie,

I've debated long and hard with myself about actually writing this letter to you for quite awhile now.  Truth is, I'm too chicken to email it and far too bashful to even dream of getting a real address to mail it to.  But tonight, I can't get it out of my head.  Maybe you need it?  Whatever it may be, this is for you.

You know how the writing of a favorite author sucks you in?  You become so involved, so engaged that you are compelled to read on.  Even when you may disagree or you can't bear to think what is coming next, you read on.  I didn't know I could find that in a blog.  I didn't know that on a blog I could find someone who, through their writing about their life, could make me laugh with them, cry with them, and help me find my own wings to fly (p.s. I also hate lemon water. But I think cucumber water is even worse).  Through your words I feel a real honesty and sincerity.  You are you and that is a wonderful thing.  As I (re)navigate this whole darn blogging thing, I take courage from your example and I'm learning how to just be me.  And let that be enough.  I am enough.

Recently I've watched with baited breath and a prayer in my heart as you've taken some mighty leaps of faith.  I have cheered your optimism and your trust in God.  I have wished I could be a shoulder for you to lean on.  Sadly, I haven't even commented, though I have come close.  My words always end up seeming so trite, so trivial that it does no justice to what I really wish I could communicate.  My heart has been in my throat for another reason too.  You see, in September, I'm taking (along with my little family) a huge leap of faith of my own.  And I've needed your words to give voice to all that is flowing, sometimes raging, through me.  I've clung to your expressions because they say all that I cannot.

So as you move to Northern California - I love that place by the way - and find what God has in store for you, I hope you know this: You have made a difference to me.  And for that, I thank you.

Ariana

05 June 2013

General Awesomeness as of Late


  1. Mili Kay busted out her first word on Sunday.  Aaaaaand it was totally unexpected.  No mamas or dadas here, this girl knows her friends.  "Jack!"  Plus, I swear she did actually say "dad" that afternoon.  And she may have "woof"ed at a dog.  Blake thinks he heard a "please."  She has little conversations with herself all the time now.  So, you know, it's pretty fun.
  2. Summer!  IT IS HERE!  And it might even stay!  For those of you dying in the heat, you probably don't get this.  But all my English friends know why this is a huge deal in my life.  Last year we got exactly one - that's right one - week of summer.  It came in February.  This much sunshine is calling for bbqs, celebrations, and the kiddie pool every day.
    Mili's favorite part was definitely trying to eat the rocks from outside the pool. And don't be fooled - the sunglasses stayed on for approximately 0.5 seconds.
  3. Though it pained me to uproot so much successful growth, I finally got around to clearing my impressive weed garden in the front yard.  The knee high dandelions were making our house look a bit unloved.  We now are proud owners of a mostly barren flower patch.
  4. We took Mili Kay to the beach on another beautiful day, fully expecting a day full of eating sand and fun.  She h.a.t.e.d the beach.  Hated it.  Sand is not her thing.  Our beach stay was maaaaybe 15 minutes.  At least she loves the kiddie pool.
  5. Today an older man stopped me in town and asked if he could tell me something.  I braced myself for a critique of my parenting or some unsolicited advice.  Instead, he proceeded to tell me that Mili and I are two peas in a pod, that we are beautiful, and that my husband is a lucky man.  Dear older man, thank you so very much.  It made my day.  (Especially since today is one of my semi-regular no make-up days.

01 June 2013

First Pair of Shoes

Today my little, we got your first pair of shoes.  And with that, I helped give you another piece of freedom.  Your little steps are already more confident and your world is a little bit bigger.  In this whole beautiful, new adventure that is mothering, being able to encourage your independence is my favorite part.  While I've enjoyed learning how to be the one who does literally everything for you, learning how to be selfless enough to have someone completely dependent on me, I absolutely treasure the times I get to help you learn more for yourself.

From the time you first began cruising on the furniture and then the day you discovered you could go round the house using the wall, I've held my breath in such excited anticipation of the day when you will run.  The day when you find out the intoxicating feeling of feeling your heart pump harder and breath come stronger as you fly on your feet, temporarily escaping the heavy downward pull of gravity.  The day when you discover that this body of yours lets you see and do things that take your breath away.


I sat and washed dishes at the window while you, your dad, and your uncle were outside in the back, working on the shed.  I watched you totter on the uneven ground, stumble, crawl, and explore with a spirit of adventure greater than you've ever showed before.  It sent such a thrill of excitement into me.  But you still kept looking back and waving; checking that I was there, making sure I was still watching you.  In that moment, my heart felt fuller than it ever has before.  Tears came as I realized that the reason you were so unfettered was because you knew I was there.  You know that when I am there, everything in your world is okay.  And even if everything isn't okay, even when you fall and smack your head or pinch your finger in a drawer, you know that I will help make it better.

And with that, I understood a little bit more about God's plan for us and why it is so often called the Plan of Happiness.  A loving Heavenly Father didn't send us here because He wanted to carry us in every step of the way, but to let us learn how to walk it ourselves - to find the joy as we learn and grow.  He also doesn't just shove us off a cliff and tell us to fly.  He stands at the window, watches, and waves, ready to be at our side in a moment's notice if we need comfort or to rescue us when we are in a predicament, to keep us safe however He can.  That's why we can be so adventurous, because just as Mili kept checking for me, we can look to Him for reassurance as often as we need.

And so today, my beautiful girl, and tomorrow, and every day after that as long as there is breath in my body, I'll do my best to keep helping you reach as far as your small arms can go.  And hopefully you can feel how much God loves you, the only one who can love you more than me.


26 May 2013

In the Details

Our house has a squeaky stair.

Second from the bottom.  Loudest if you step dead center.

I love it.  In fact, it may be my favorite feature of this whole, beautiful dream that we’re living in right now.  I’ve got a soft spot for character-giving attributes.

Some old houses here have a trick step: one stair that is intentionally just a bit higher or maybe slightly crooked.  Or it disappears… Hogwarts, anyone?  Those who live in the house grow accustomed and unthinkingly adjust their climb to accommodate the step.  Those who don’t live there?  Well, they trip.  Or stub their toe.  Hard.  It’s really hard to pull off a good burglary if you trip or stub your toe.  Especially if you’re prone to loud outbursts when you stub your toe.

My squeaky stair is my pretend trick step.  (Minus the fact that I totally wouldn’t wake up just to the noise of it.)  But it’s something I’ve grown happily accustomed to and strangers to the house wouldn’t notice.  It’s my little reminder, saying in a language all its own, “Girl, look at all you’ve got!”

That stair reminds me that we live in a house.  Not a tiny flat with a lack of good windows.  Not a very-somewhat-sketchy apartment where small talk with your neighbor includes mentions of their recent arrest warrant.  A cozy, little house complete with backyard and washing machine.  That stair reminds me that I live with my best friend, who makes every room he’s in more fun.  That stair reminds me that I live abroad, in a different country, with new things, like terraced semi-detached houses, accents, and driving on the wrong side of the road, and what fun that really is.  That stair reminds me that I have a reason to go up and down the steps all day, taking care of a cheery little who gives rather wet kisses and excited high-fives.  That stair reminds me that, hey, this life is in the details and my details rock.


We’re gonna move.  In just a few months.  That’s a fact.  And I think I’m actually going to miss a stair.