Thursday, September 22, 2016


Life is pretty much one great big party for our family from the beginning of August to mid September.

Every year.

We begin with Cassie's birthday.

She was super opinionated about her cake this year. We finally agreed on this castle cake.  Although, if you know Cassie in real life you would know that she does NOT fit the princess mold.

Oh well. Whatever.

We flow with it.

Cassie had  two of her best friends over to celebrate with her. Unfortunately I cannot post any photos of their cuteness because of legal stipulations.

 Cassie enjoyed helping throw the confetti on her cake. I was beyond excited to hand the icing bag over to Miss Capable.

Mid month we celebrated our 13th anniversary. We shared a quiet dinner together, which is a rare treat at this stage of our lives. We know by now that it is not wise to try any sort of get a way with a baby in the house. That will have to wait for another year.

End of August is my birthday. Some years my birthday is but a small blip that passes by nearly unnoticed. Other years it's a bigger deal. This year was a big deal year as we celebrated with my twin brother and his family.  My husband and SIL are super at pulling together fun birthday surprises for us.  We spent the weekend together doing fun things like boating, swimming, fishing, eating and talking.

School year 2016-17 kicked off the same weekend as my birthday. 

The excitement was high in our house. Not only were the oldest 3 excited about getting back to school, but this year we sent off a brand new Scholar.

Faith Builders Christian School never fails to pull off an astounding back to school celebration. The spirit of the day made me want to be a school kid again!

Before I could turn around and touch the ground it was time to flip the calendar page to September and that means it is time to celebrate Christopher's birthday.

 6 years old is a pretty special age.

Christopher was really anticipating his birthday this year since 6 years old is a party year at this house. He invited 5 of his buddies over for the evening and night. Wow.  For some strange reason we were all tired the next day.

The only criteria Christopher had when choosing his cake was that it included a heap of candy.  He was beyond thrilled with his treasure chest cake even though he has no special interest in treasure chests. :)  I was happy to send the birthday guests home with brown paper bags of candy.

I thought the coolest part of his cake was the lid of the treasure chest, which really was just  a piece of cardboard covered in dark brown paper to match the chocolate icing on the rest of the cake.  But the coolest-est part was his name written in cursive with licorice. Thank you, hot glue gun. You're still my hero.

Christopher with his much hoped for fishing rod.

Last, but not least by any measure, Angeline celebrated her 12th birthday on September 17.

I absolutely LOVE that she is now thrilled with a beautiful dessert rather than a sticky, icky decorated cake. 

Angeline invited her BFF over for a sleep over.  

I can't say how much I love celebrating with my 12 year old daughter. I mean, really. I was having the time of my life hanging out with these girls.

We went to Campbell's pottery to watch a glass bead demo and browse the pottery store/gift shop. Basking in all that beauty was refreshment for my soul.

After dinner we headed downtown and did a quick photo shoot, mind you, in the rain.

I couldn't get over how much these two girls are miniature ladies. 

Now I realize why I am breathing a sigh of relief today.

That was just a lot of partying for this 35 year old mama.

There was also a lot of this happening between the parties:

Autumn, I couldn't be happier to welcome you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

a few scrambled thoughts on failure



What about failure???

Some of us are more vocal about our failures than others, but I don't really think any of us are 100% exempt from failure.

Unless. Maybe you're perfect.

And if that's the truth about you, our relationship may have to come to a halt at this point.

But. Back to the issue of failure.

My current thoughts have grown out of my previous post on Summer Reflections in which I wrote exclusively about the accomplishments of our summer.

I intentionally had to keep myself on the accomplishment track.


I promise. There were enough failures -on my account- to drain an ocean of ink dry with all the counting and recounting of them.

I am keenly aware of my own failures, weaknesses and short comings.

They bother me. But yet it can be fairly easy to dismiss them.

Oh. I'm struggling. 

Oh. I'll work on this area of my life when I get a chance....

It hasn't been that difficult to extend grace to myself, especially when I know the intentions of my heart.

What has stopped me in my tracks and caused me tremble in the recent months is that not only do I pay a price for my own failures, but my failures are touching the people around me.

Often in a negative way.

This very fact is what cause me to push forward on this subject. I can't afford to destroy the people around me by continual failure.

A few things that I am learning about failure:

-Failure is part of life. I will not grow if I never fail.

-Failure itself is usually not as critical as is my response to it.

-When I expect perfection from myself it is natural to then expect it from those around me.

-When my response to personal failure is one of shame and striving, I will in turn cause others to feel shame when they fail.

I'm trying to learn how to process my personal failures and the failures of my family in a way that brings redemptive change rather than the continual battering of oneself and  endless striving to do better.

I'm asking Jesus to help me kick the Accuser when he is the one showering shameful lies on me.

I'm also asking Jesus to open my eyes to my own sins. To show me where I need to fall on my face in repentance and how to then stand up and change my course.

I know that I do not always hear perfectly.

But in His faithfulness He continues to speak.

I long for Him to make His strength and power known in my failures.