Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Life is funny. I had the beginnings of a post swirling around in my head earlier today. Something about how peaceful my house felt because there was chili in the crcokpot and the smell of yeasty bread rising was filling the kitchen. A baby was asleep and projects were getting ever closer to completion. Big decisions had been made and plans were moving ahead.

And then the phone rang and life feels off-kilter again. No, nothing earth shattering is happening, but we feel as if the world is conspiring against us. We thought we knew what we were supposed to do, but we are back to square one again. And there was no peace in my heart, or anywhere to be found in the circumstances of life.

I read this earlier today and it was a gentle reminder that He is my peace. He is my only circumstance. The world is conspiring against me, but I will take heart because this is true:

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33 NKJV

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another week gone by

I can't believe it's Thursday already. This has been one of those weeks that just flies right by. Recipe Club was really fun on Tuesday night. Many of the women didn't know each other so it had a little awkwardness to it, but by the end of the night things had picked up. I am really looking forward to how God is going to use this in each of our lives to build relationships.

Yesterday morning we had another first here at our house. I mentioned last week that Haven had taken off her diaper while in her crib. Well, she took that to a whole new level yesterday. I went in to get her in the morning and discovered that she had removed her clothing from the bottom half of her body once again. There was pee in several spots but right in the center of her bed was a large pile of poop. Poop that had been walked in and that my daughter now had all of her legs, her feet and even in between her toes. Two baths were required with a tub scrub in between. And this was all within the first ten minutes of even being awake (for me, obviously Haven had been really busy!). Let's hope we don't have a repeat performance any time soon!

There is really no appropriate transition from the previous topic so I'm not even going to try.

I'm not sure that I have been completely honest with everyone about my deep love for the show Friday Night Lights. I have never loved a show the way I love this show. I watched a few episodes towards the end of last season and thought it was a really good show. But then this summer I discovered that all the episodes were available to watch online at I watched the pilot and it was all over. I was completely hooked. Cale laughed at my new obsession until he started watching over my shoulder. Then he was the one saying, "Just one more episode" when it was already way past my bedtime. I am even the proud owner of the first season on DVD. (Can I just say that I think entire seasons of tv shows is one of the greatest inventions ever?!!?) I could not wait for the new season to start and I have not been disappointed. I was delighted when I came across this article yesterday in our latest issue of World. If you don't already watch this show you are missing out on the best show on tv.

Our week has rounded out with a trip to the dentist, meeting Cale and Haven for a free dinner out (thank you for the gift card!), and a rather overwhelming trip to JoAnn's. I am almost giddy about all the delightful fabric I purchased last night. I am feeling ambitious and empowered after reading through Bend-the-Rules Sewing (and I know everyone has talked about this book, but it really is fun and full of great ideas for a beginning seamstress) and have several gifts to make on my To-do list. My quilting squares are going to get pushed to the back burner to make room for all the goodies I plan to churn out in the very near future.

Tonight friends are coming over for dinner (and we are having this and this- yum). The Office is on and tomorrow is Friday (which means FNL). Haven gets to try out her zebra costume again this time delighting all Cale's co-workers as they open up the office for Trick or Treat.

Fall is finally here. I love my life (well, minus the poop!).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall fun

This weekend was super busy and fun and I've got pictures to prove it! We went to a fall festival with our neighbors at a state park and Haven got to take her zebra costume for a trial run. We all enjoyed the beautiful fall day and getting to spend time with friends.

The flying zebra

I'm not so sure about this

And as a little bonus I will tell you that I just took this granola out of the oven. I saw it on BooMama's site a few weeks ago and wanted to give it a try. It's delish. Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow.

This week promises to be a lot less eventful than last. Tomorrow night Amber and I are hosting our first ever Recipe Club here at my house. We have 12 women coming to share a meal, their favorite soup recipe and a night out. I am really looking forward to this and hope that it becomes a monthly event for all of us. Who doesn't need a girls' night complete with good food and good conversation?! I can't even tell you how excited I am to see that it's going to be cooler and rainy tomorrow, too. It's perfect weather for our soup night. It's going to be fun!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Today is our five year anniversary. In honor of my best one and the day I became Mrs. Cale- a list of fives.

Five things I didn't know about you when we got married
1. You snore quite loudly, but can be shoved on to your side to stop
2. You have an amazing ability to sleep through your alarm
3. You are exceptionally handy- I think you even surprise yourself sometimes!
4. You can fall asleep in less than 30 seconds
5. You eat very slowly

Five things I love about you as a dad
1. You get such a big kick out of Haven and love to just watch her
2. You love to get down on the floor and play monster, and ark and let her ride on your back
3. You love to sit and rock your baby when she wakes up when we go to peek at her before bed
4. You are willing to do anything for Haven, especially if it makes my life easier
5. You are modelling to Haven how a godly man lives his life and loves his family

Five places we've travelled to
1. Chicago
2. Las Vegas
3. Boston
4. Namibia
5. Atlanta

Five new things we've done together
1. Did a short stint as missionaries in a foreign land
2. Got a mortgage
3. Remodeled a house
4. Became parents
5. Dreamed about adopting

Five foods that you will now eat (almost without complaining)
1. Eggplant
2. Mushrooms
3. Tomatoes (if cut into small enough pieces)
4. Spinach
5. Macaroni and cheese

Five things we've learned about each other
1. We are very different
2. We are a fantastic team
3. We can and will work through anything that comes our way
4. We are each other's biggest fan
5. We dream big dreams

Five places we've vacationed
1. Banff, Alberta, Canada (where the ruining began!)
2. Cape Town, South Africa
3. Norris Lake
4. Lake Martin
5. San Francisco

Five things I admire about you
1. You have a strong work ethic that challenges me
2. You are a gentle leader
3. You know what is important to you and will do whatever it takes to protect it
4. You want to be a better version of yourself and set about to make that happen
5. You are level headed when I am not and this is greatly needed to strike balance in our family

Five songs that will forever make me think of you and smile
1. "I'll Catch You" The Get Up Kids
2. "Fell in Love at 22" Starflyer 59
3. "New Year's Project" Further Seems Forever
4. "We're at the Top of the World" Juliana Theory
5. "U Got it Bad" Usher (we'll thank Jess for this one!)

Five things that I appreciate about you
1. You love my cooking
2. You make me laugh
3. You are a great encourager
4. You aren't always the best listener, but you at least admit it when you aren't!
5. You always want the best for me

Five reasons why I love being your wife
1. You are easy to serve because you are so appreciative of what I do
2. You make me feel like the most important person in the world
3. You push and encourage me in a gentle way that makes me want to grow
4. You know me and yet still love me
5. You are disillusioned about my greatness

Five things you didn't know about yourself before we got married
1. You give great back rubs
2. You can change a diaper pretty darn fast
3. You like to go shopping with me (well, we're still working on this one)
4. You are a Steelers fan
5. Your favorite place in the world is wherever we are together

Five things I hope for our next five years
1. Adding more little Zs to the gang
2. Traveling to Ethiopia to get at least one of them
3. Serving alongside you in ministry
4. Growing together to be more like Him
5. Learning to love you better

Happy anniversary, Cale! I love you!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A little bit off

To say that our week has been off-kilter is a dramatic understatement. Haven punctuated our week perfectly when I went to get her this morning and found her pant-less, diaper-less and with a bed soaked where she'd peed on it. Delightful. It actually made both Cale and I laugh because it was either that or cry.

The details of my week involve the words "investigation" and "inspection" and had strangers walking around my home with little booties on their shoes and rubber gloves and "samples" and and x-ray machine. Sounds like a crime scene doesn't it?

But the week has also found us celebrating first birthdays- one of the sweet little girls in our house church and our very own nephew, O. New babies have been welcomed into the world and marriages celebrated. When I look at that part of our week there is a lot to be thankful for. And I'm learning that when I look at the inconvenient, hard stuff going on, there is much to be thankful for, too. God is shifting and changing my perspective on circumstances and stretching me to trust Him in a new way. Enough of my whining and complaining about what's happening to me. There is something to be gained from walking through this and if I don't take my eyes off myself, I will miss it entirely.

The interruptions are life. ~C.S. Lewis

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Daughter Remembers

It has been eleven years since I first had to say the phrase, "My dad died." Back then I probably chose different words, but the meaning was all the same.

"My dad's gone. He passed away. He's in a better place."

I probably thought that saying it a different way made it not sound so bad, but is there any good way to say that the person you loved most in this world was no longer going to be a part of your daily life? I don't think there is. In fact, I'm sure that there isn't.

Eleven years later the words still sting. They don't have the power they once did in my life when the wound was fresh, but it hurts just the same. Now the pain has a different type of depth as I think about how different my life is. A 17 year old senior in high school with all the world ahead of her to the 28 year old happily married mom that I am today. Now the sadness is laced with all the things my dad doesn't know about me and my life; all the joy that we are both missing out on.

My dad never met Cale. He would laugh to know that I did marry a man much like him. Cale's life isn't quite as complete without his father-in-law to encourage, inspire and learn from. My dad would delight in our sweet Haven and I have no doubt that his daughter's daughter would hold a supreme place in his heart. Haven's life will be a bit less rich because her Grandpa Jon is only someone who exists in stories.

And while today is a sad day for me (you never "get over" the death of a dearly loved parent, you just learn to live life in a new way without them in it), I am trying to think of all the wonderful things about my dad that have shaped me and made me who I am. My dad left a rich legacy and I treasure it and pray that I will be able to pass it on to my own children.

My dad taught me to love Jesus. He lived a life of faith. He taught me about grace and patience and love that knows no bounds. He taught me how to pray and that wherever you are is the best place to practice it- on the phone, on the street, in a hospital corridor, at home, in the car. He taught me how to think for myself and to form intelligent opinions. He helped to develop a mind that cares about what is going on in the world around me and to not get so caught up in my little corner of it. He talked to me about politics and current events and helped me to understand my part in it.

And no, my dad was no saint. I assure you that my memory of him has not become foggy with the passing of time. I recognize his strengths as well as his weaknesses and hopefully have learned something from both. I just know that my dad made me set high standards- for my self and the people around me. He is why I didn't settle for just a husband, but married my best friend and the love of my life. He is why I don't get hung up on seeing God as my Heavenly Father.

I cling to the hope that we have through Jesus of being with my dad again in Heaven. And while it may be true that he is no longer alive here in this world, I am completely confident in the truth that he is alive in Christ. Sometimes there isn't much comfort in that. I want him here, now, tangible, available. But for today I will find joy in the thought of having all of eternity together. The pain of this world forgotten- all of the moments of wishing he were here and all the sadness of the things we never got to experience- GONE.

Now that is something to remember.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My new pastime

I have been spending my free time learning a new skill- quilting. Well, making squares to be quilted. I still don't have a clue how to actually quilt anything, but we'll get there eventually. My neighbors and I are making a quilt together that will be raffled off as a fundraiser for our community. We are making a modified crazy quilt and I have been making some of the "crazy" patches. It took me a while to warm up to the idea that anything goes and now I love the creativity that goes in to each square. We are using beautiful fabrics in browns, oranges, reds, blues and tans. I love that since there are six different women working on it, that all our patches will be different and somewhat an expression of our personalities and tastes. I can't wait to see it all put together.

I'm sure you will find this riveting, but I'm proud of my squares so here you go!
Starting off simple

A little more complicated, but not really!

This is my favorite and one I'm most proud of. Do you have any idea how long this took??!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It is dark and cold out today. Unfortunately my heart feels much the same. It's not been the best day at our house; some based on circumstances and some are the result of how I've handed it all. We have had a rush of bad news today, some was bad news that only got worse and some was new. Either way, it stunk. And it still does.

I've been angry today- probably more so than I have ever been. Angry at people making stupid decisions. Angry at being out of control and at the mercy of people who don't have our best interests in mind. Angry at the cold heartedness of people. Angry at the timing of all of this stuff happening at once. Angry at how mad I have allowed myself to become.

All that anger makes for a long day. And a very heavy heart. I am very aware that it's my choice to carry all of this around. I'm choosing to not let it go and trust in the Lord. I'm letting myself be controlled by my emotions and circumstances.

Thankfully tomorrow is a new day. Tonight I will try to rest in this truth:

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22, 23

Thursday, October 4, 2007

An early celebration

We are hitting the road this weekend. Haven is going to Nana's house and Cale and I are continuing to head east. We are going to a B&B in western New York on a small lake to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, which is in a few weeks. We have been planning this trip for a few months and I am so excited that it is finally here. I'm also thankful for a nana who is thrilled to have time to spend with her sweet Hay and doesn't really care if/when we ever come back to get her.

Since we are heading "home" for me, the weekend will not be complete with out some friends and family thrown in. We will enjoy a meal with an old friend and her boyfriend we have yet to meet. We will celebrate with friends as they find out the gender of their THREE babies. A visit with grandma-great, quality time with my mom and enjoying a little bit cooler temperatures.

It's going to be a wonderful weekend with my best one. Enjoying one another in a way that is hard to do when life distracts us. Praising God for the life He has given us together. Dreaming about the future and His plans for us. Resting in a peaceful place with everything taken care of for us. Celebrating five amazing years together as husband and wife. Loving each other and the Giver of all that is good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch

Tonight we decided to brave the heat and mosquitoes and head out to the pumpkin patch. We went to a new place this year and it was complete with chickens, horses, and goats which were a big hit with Haven. She was also a fan of the scarecrows, just don't ask her to sit too close to any of them. Even if it doesn't feel like all, we are going to act like it is!

I'm not so sure about this!

Oh this one is heavy!
Too much to see- she can't be bothered to look at the camera!

Look what a year can do! Here's Haven on our trip to the pumpkin patch last year.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ode to fall

O, fall...where are you? I see glimpses of you here and there. But I don't like your teasing little game. I sense you in the cool morning air that requires a coat when we go for a walk. I smell you in the breeze as we crunch your falling leaves underfoot. I know you aren't far off when I need to use the extra blanket at bedtime. But where are you now? I can't seem to find you anywhere as the blazing sun warms us all to 80 degrees again. Why can't you come to stay? Why are you being so volatile?

I long for a day when flip flops would not be adequate footwear. I hope of a day when my sweaters won't be lonely on the shelf. I dream of wearing my new jeans with some boots and not having my feet sweat. Am I asking too much of you? Do you not yet realize that it is OCTOBER already?

What do you have against me wanting to cook soup for dinner? Why do you insist that my down comforter remain in hiding in my closet? Do you not like the apple cider this season? Are the pumpkins not to your liking? What is it that causes you to tease me? Tell me and I will fix it.

O, fall... please come today. Please come to stay.