Saturday, August 30, 2008

lucky girl

i am a lucky girl. i was laying awake last night, unable to shut off my brain (despite the tiredness seeping from every pore of my body!), and i got to thinking about the men in my life. in a world where so many women & girls experience victimization, abuse and cruelty, i have been gifted with a life full of some the best men around. from my dad, to my husband, and even the husbands of my friends... beautiful men.

my curtis... whose love i can trust... who is an unbelievable dad... who has worked hard our whole marriage to provide for us so i can be here for our girls...

my dad... who would still move heaven & earth to rescue me, even though i'm a big girl now...

jv... whose contagious curiosity about life he has passed onto my daughters... who has one of the most beautiful hearts i've ever seen... owner of the whitest horse i know...

mark... who is a gentle and affectionate with my girls... who encourages me and reminds me of my value when i feel lost... who is generous not only in big ways, but all the small ways, too...

ben...(who i don't have a digital picture of! ack!) who loves his wife extravagantly... who makes bold choices... who loves his kids to distraction... who has patiently taught me things without making me feel silly for not knowing...

so to these men, and the others i know and admire, i tip my hat. i am thankful to have you in my life... and i wanted you to know that you make me feel lucky to know you. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

the end

mark & tina & their baby girls left today. i've so enjoyed having them around; being able to drop by to see them, to hold aly & zoe, just to hang out and be together... i will really miss them. when my girls were small, and we used to drive away from mimi & papa's house with them sobbing in the backseats, we would tell them "it's good to miss people, because it means that you love them." turns out we were right. :) i love that little family. they are my peeps. :)

this is also the end of the first week of school. my 10 year old daughter, she with the tenderest heart you may ever find, is taking a 9 week exploratory class on "law" in her middle school, where today they read a story of a family of 5 who were robbed in their home and then shot execution style in their living room. as a mom, it seems to me that perhaps they could choose a less explicit, or less violent crime to teach 6th graders about "victims". she spent a long time in tears talking to her dad about it... poor girl. i realize that kids have to learn about what is out there in the world, but i don't know - this seems like too much. thankfully, other than that, both girls have had a week that's been victory after victory...

and now i am d.o.n.e. i am spent. my heart is tired, my body is tired, my brain is tired. but we have company staying with us this weekend... one final night (tomorrow) to be the hostess and hold it together. thank goodness monday is a holiday! if i didn't have that to hold on to, who knows how i would get through the weekend...although there is that bottle of wine in the rack... :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


my meg has a soft, mushy side a mile wide. you might not know it to watch her - if she were a young man in the elizabethan era i would probably say she comes across a bit rakish! :) but her charm and flamboyance notwithstanding, there is, just under the surface, the most gloriously mushy & sentimental heart. all that to say that she wrote a book last night, and i would like to publish it here for your delight. my only regret is that you will not be able to see the illustrations. they are fantastic - you'll have to take me at my word. (also, i have corrected spelling for your ease of reading, but the misspellings are charming!)

"the love book" - by meg mulder

there once was love, but it didn't have a place to go
because a boy threw it out.

the reason he threw it out was because he loved a girl
but didn't want her to know
so he threw it out.

but the love wanted to Love, and not to shrink
so he grew instead

he grew sooooo much he did not fit in anyone
'cause they did not love enough

but one time....

love found a person to fit in!


i want love back!
said the boy.
soooo... his parents gave him love.

they lived happily ever after.
the end.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

and now back to your regularily scheduled programming.

it never fails. life sweeps you up in the grandest and most beautiful moment, only to dump you out into daily reality again. new parents go from the bliss of counting tiny toes in the hospital nursery to staggering around at 3 am trying to find diapers/wipes/bottles/something that will make baby quiet and sleepy. kids go back to school and come home dumping homework and permission slips and pencil shavings onto a peaceful kitchen table, creating chaos out of thin air. dad gets sick with "whatever is going around the office" and disappears into a cave of quilts upstairs, perhaps never to be heard from again. and the tired mom sighs, sips her coffee and slips with bare feet into the car, driving her daughter to school after having a useless, but passionate, argument about breakfast foods.

great writers and thinkers of faith, ranging from de caussade (17th century) to c.s. lewis (20th century), would say that these are the moments when God truly speaks... in the insignificant happenings of every day that add up to a whole life. beuchner writes, "it all adds up to very little, and yet it all adds up to very much. our days are full of nonsense and yet not, because it is precisely into the nonsense of our days that God speaks words of great significance - not words that are written in the stars but words that are written into the raw stuff and nonsense of our days, which are not nonsense just because God speaks into the midst of them. and the words he says, to each of us differently, are ... be brave... be merciful... feed my lambs... press on toward the goal."

so today, this tired mom chooses to care for her sick husband, even though she'd rather have someone take care of her. i choose to relax and let go of arguments over toast, to go slow through the day and find the small things i can do - it will definitely be a day of small things - to create peace and grace in my home and my family. and maybe in the midst of the chaos and nonsense i will hear a whisper of something ...

Monday, August 25, 2008


"of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless. it is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impossible stronghold which is the human heart. it is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent."

- frederick buechner

Saturday, August 23, 2008


well, guys, i did It! the biggest, hardest, grandest, most love-filled Thing i've ever done, and may ever do. i was in the middle of It on tuesday, (sorry - for those of you who don't know the actual story, i'm not going to go into It here. you'll have to use your imagination...), when i felt again - really tangibly felt - how incredibly worthwhile all the work has been. i felt such peace and contentment in the midst of what many would consider to be the hardest part...a real and settled joy that flooded me. all the feelings that have been elusive for the last couple of months, (which is why none of us should base our choices entirely on our feelings, especially in the heat of the moment...they are fleeting!), almost bowled me over. they aren't what made It worthwhile, they just reminded me that it had been one of the best and most right choices i've made in my whole life. so even now, in the winding down and getting back to "normal" (whatever that is!?), my heart is happy - so happy. and my word to you, dear reader, is live big... say yes to impossible out loud... i hope you find your own "It".

Saturday, August 16, 2008

i misspoke...

not enough for an original thought, but enough to quote frederick buechner:

"if the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the last supper is the mad tea party. the world says, mind your own business, and Jesus says, there is no such thing as your own business. the world says, follow the wisest course and be a success, and Jesus says, follow me and be crucified. the world says, drive carefully - the life you save may be your own - and Jesus says, whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. the world says, law & order, and Jesus says, Love. the world says, get, and Jesus says, give. in terms of the world's sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion."


Monday, August 11, 2008

talk to you soon...

(singing) "so long...farewell... aufweidersien (how on earth do you spell that?!)... goodbye..."

i'll see you in a week or two... got some stuff to take care of! :)

talk to you soon...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

i'll take 'things i believe' for $500, alex

here is something i believe. really believe. and it may surprise you, but i've seen too much evidence of it, heard too many testimonies of it. you may find it surprising that i hold this belief so strongly - you might think it is counter to some of the other beliefs that form my inner life. you'd be wrong, of course, but i suppose it's your prerogative to think that. and here it is: there is something about a fabulous haircut that can change a woman's entire perspective.

does that seem shallow to you? tough. it's true. :) a really great haircut, the kind where you feel like your stylist 'found you' somehow underneath the outgrown, overgrown or out of date mop on your head, can transform a day, or a week, or an outlook. i used to work at a shop, and the difference between watching a woman, however confident, walk in, and then watching her walk out never ceased to make me smile. most often her shoulders were a little squarer, her smile a little freer, and her gait a little springier.

the desire for beauty is innate in the human heart - we seek from the smallest to the largest things: art, music, written and spoken words, parks & gardens, wildlife, decorating, little girls who paint their fingernails, the sweep of the rocky mountains in fall, fabulous shoes, snowflakes, even the perfection of a thought, idea or scientific formula. (hey, to each their own!) so it doesn't surprise me that having someone help you uncover a bit of your beauty is, even if only momentarily, transformational.

how much sweeter when it helps reflect the beauty of the inner woman - the heart, passion and life. strangely, i feel freer to be myself when i think i look like my true self...

maybe this has never happened to you, but there you have it. it won't change your life, but a great cut can be a lot more than just a cosmetic fix. trust me.

on the couch with my feet up....

i spent the last two days at the leadership summit - and it was so good for me. all the wisdom and all the challenge is sifting through me, and i am looking forward to seeing where it settles...

meanwhile, while i'm here in NC, my parents have The Girls. and they are spinning glories every day. today is the 400 mile yard sale - a literally 400 mile yard sale along an old KY highway, where anyone who wants to can pull up to the side of the highway and unload their truck o' crap. and hundreds and hundreds of folks drive past in their cars and stop at the ones that look good, or keep cruising for a "good" one. we did it a couple of summers ago, and i bought a great chair, but the danger is you can end up a good hundred miles from home without realizing it! :) the girls each have some pocket money from papa, and i told him to try to steer them away from every child's garage sale joy.... the unwashed stuffed animal. not sure why kids love these things so much, but they make me shudder. so i they better not come home with some new, mangy stuffed creature. or my dad is toast.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

time flies when you're having fun

we can't really believe it - tomorrow is our 14th anniversary! yes, you read that right, fourteen. somehow that seems entirely too long, and yet not long enough. we've covered a lot of ground in our marriage, literally & figuratively - from edmonton to miami, back to edmonton and now in north carolina. we've managed to raise two beautiful daughters fairly successfully so far - tho we have yet to reach the teen years! our love has survived financial meltdowns, big fights over little things, the (very rare!) hormonal outburst, my putting garbage in the sink, his not putting away the laundry, job stress, differences of opinion in the important things & the foolish things, the usual extended family things, babies, insecurities, and all the accompanying life of 14 years.

and if life gave me a do-over, i would choose him again. no one could love me as well, (or put up with me as well?), as curtis. he is a secure foothold for me in a shifting sand world. he believes in me - in my dreams and my abilities. he knows the real me, with all my small (and big) craziness, my flaws, fears & insecurities, and he loves me anyways. i don't have to be anything i'm not with him, and he can handle all that i am. no small feat.

most of our 14 years have been unremarkable - the romantic & astonishing moments are far outweighed by life day to day, working life out together. but it reminds me of a lyric or two from a sara groves song: "loving a person just the way they are is no small thing...let's find out the beauty of seeing things through..." thanks, curtis, for loving me just the way i am - and let's do find out the beauty of seeing this through the next 14 years... love me.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

redemption is so sweet

i had a great night tonight. a personal triumph, if you will. i sang the canadian & american anthems for the canadian olympic baseball team v. the american olympic baseball team.... and i kicked anthem ass! oh, yes i did! and thank goodness, because it makes up for last night, when i did the same thing, with a wee error.... starting with the wrong anthem! eep! i was mortified! i had to stop and restart with the right one, much to my embarrassment. (but once i got it right, i did a fine job.) tonight, though, i knocked it out of the park - pardon the pun! :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

men are a mystery

the girls were going to get a parakeet. but my husband thinks parakeets are ugly. and since the "pretty" finches need a friend to thrive, he wants the two finches instead. so now, we are going to have not one, but two, birds. he put his foot down so adamantly when i wanted to talk about getting a pug, but for some reason, multiple birds are just fine with him. men are a mystery.