Category Archives: enjoying

Friday Fun

Today I will play and be grateful for the gift.
Grateful for an adult daughter willing to love littles overnight.
Grateful for a husband who works hard every day.
Grateful for a love spanning half of our lives.
Grateful for the time we have to laugh and reconnect.
Grateful for friends to visit and enjoy.
Grateful for places where relationships are deep.
Grateful for moments when there are no guarantees.

Today I will not allow myself to be robbed of joy by
Listening to the lie that it’s not enough
Feeling discontent that others have more
Taking for granted that we are high school sweethearts who are still together and in LOVE
Dragging emotional dead weight around instead of relaxing and laughing
Disengaging from conversation
Self-protecting my heart
I will choose to enter the gift that is now with the one that I love.

Happy Friday!


Mommy Muscle Monday ~ I Wish

Mommy Muscle Monday

Mommy Muscle Monday

I wish that my outside body was working out as much as my inside one is.
I wish that I could see amazing external results.
I wish that things could be easy and predictable and not so chaotic.
I wish that this were a life-changing series to click on and wow everyone with 8 easy steps.

Truth is…I was in much better physical shape over winter when it WASN’T bathing suit season.
Truth is…my externals mirror what is going on inside. Nothing amazing. Daily struggle.
Truth is…I am sitting in the fallout of another family trip that was disruptive and chaotic. Even good things can be disruptive and chaotic and need recovery time.
Truth is…this is MY life and not a spectator sport, and I will continue to choose to live and engage with it.

That said, enjoy some images from the week…

We are a happy family, we love each other, too. And in our happy family, this is what we do...

We are a happy family, we love each other, too. And in our happy family, this is what we do…

The dynamic duo.

The dynamic duo.

Come on, ride the train...

Come on, ride the train…





Fireworks. Of every kind.

Fireworks. Of every kind.

The rest of July is full of people and travel and summer and celebrations and Bible school and birthdays. In the midst of all of this, I hope to continue to work on those mommy muscles that need strengthening such as planning and organizing and staying on task. Not my favorites!

How are your mommy muscles holding up?

A Peek at the Week

For the past 3 summers, we have spent a week at Camp Mardela as volunteer staff. I direct the Culinary Arts Camp, Steve is a support person, and the kids are campers. This year Kieran was the pianist for Performing Arts Camp and part of the CIT Staff (counselor-in-training), meaning he did whatever was assigned to him from kitchen help to leading the name game.

Enjoy this peek at our week as we re-enter regular family life back home. It was a full week with a lot to process and marvel over regarding redemption and the faithfulness of God.

Which way?whale

Here I am in my camp kitchen, wearing a custom designed (using Sharpies) apron, with everything lined up to prepare the day’s creation. And there is Mr. Steve, always close by to lend a supervisory hand or toss in a load of laundry.

Chef JulieMr. Steve

Kieran accompanied the music for the performing arts singers using lead sheets. I am a proud mama. He played well. Kirk discovered that he could play the djembe, which meant that after the first two nights, I was back to just singing during worship time.

PianoManDjembe Player

The girls kept busy, too. This is Coco at breakfast and Roo enjoying some quiet time with her book of memories.

Good Morning!Memory Keeper

Little Mae enjoyed having ice cream over baked oatmeal for breakfast one morning! Her dream meal, for sure! There is Steve in Krabill Hall, the dining/multipurpose building, in conversation with another counselor.


It was a fun, full week of growth for all.

Father of Eight


Father of eight, I love you, and your children love you, too.
You are much appreciated for everything you do.

babymoon 003From playing tickle tunnel


To making memories with your kids,

101_2639And helping out with homework,

1 a4Building sandboxes with lids.

101_2501 101_2503From creating the surprising thing, like quadruple layer cake

101_2435 To fixing what’s not right, whenever it decides to break.

011You built this piece of furniture that brings order to our home.

006And pushed the double stroller on the walks when we would roam.

101_2462Heading off to work each day, with children at your side, you never did complain about your less-than-stylish ride.

101_2626 101_2631Using talents you’ve been given to teach your child’s Sunday class ~


Honestly admitting when you might have been an…unreasonable person.

Father of eight, I’m grateful that I have you in my life.
That in the midst of all the craziness, I get to be your wife.

Happy Father’s Day to an AMAZING dad!

Mairi's Birth 129

You really are the BEST, Steve. I hope you know how much I love you. j


Held Securely

I’m held securely
in the free fall that is life.
The scary climbs,
the gut-wrenching drops,
the moments of anticipation,
racing through in
the blink of an eye.
Letting go.
that I can dangle my feet,
and they won’t get caught.
My harness is secure.
I won’t fall out.
I can keep my eyes open
and loosen my grip
and enjoy the ride
that is life.

Lessons from a Date Night Redo

When your husband makes an effort to redeem a date night fail, graciously accept.

When you are struggling with ambivalence, keep pushing through it.

When you don’t do fun well, keep trying.

When the babysitter arrives at your chaotic house, acknowledge your awkwardness with the mess and be grateful she was willing to be there on short notice.

When your feelings get hurt during the long car ride over, don’t let it ruin the entire evening, even though you might be tempted.

When the parking attendant waves you through, because you don’t have enough cash to pay for the parking that was free yesterday, be grateful.

When you find your ADA ticketed seats and are immediately swooped down upon by an ancient usher to prove your right to sit there, just show your ticket graciously. It’s not personal. (ADA must be Americans with Disabilities Act, because they were chairs in a great location. So nice not to feel claustrophobic in the middle of a row.)

When the music to West Side Story begins, sit back and enjoy the show. Be thankful for generous friends who gifted you with tickets for a fabulous date night that actually worked the second time around!


Lessons from a Date Night Fail


When someone gives you free tickets to an event in Charlottesville, telling you it is on a Wednesday, read the day for yourself on the actual ticket before making elaborate travel and babysitting plans.

When crunched for time, Jimmy John’s make great eating on the run. Hold the oil and ask for extra napkins.

When you need a boost of energy, stop for coffee. Always.

When traffic is easy and parking is light, try looking at your actual ticket.

When you are a day early for the event, try to stay present and enjoy the moment for what it is.

When you decide to visit Whole Foods Market, keep an eye on your man. Or at least stay close and engaged. And buy sea salted caramels to eat on the way home.

When you are driving home, look out the windows and be blessed by the beauty.

When riding in the car together for an hour each way, take advantage of time to talk. Risk talking about real things.

When you get a date night, enjoy it for what it is. Time together. Enjoy the person you are with fully, and it’s never a fail!

Awake, Alive, Aware

It doesn’t settle a mom’s heart when she’s not sure if her son running out at the last minute, music flying, to take his place behind the drumset, is part of his jazz act, but it does bring a smile when a rhythm starts, pushing the music forward.

My son is a drummer. He marches on drumline, plays percussion instruments in band, and sits behind a drumkit most Monday nights practicing with the Jazzalopes.

Tumbling in my heart is that all four littles are sitting through a percussion concert. A first. It is a bit stressful sitting next to the youngest, but she makes it almost all the way to the end before Daddy takes her out. At least this time he got to hear his son play all of his pieces before leaving. Another first.

Though my body feels exhausted, my heart is energized as I sit soaking up atonal percussive beats of drums and haunting tones of marimbas.

I feel full of hopes and dreams. Where it used to seem I was just plodding along, getting by, there is now forward movement into possibilities. This is exciting.

While I long for for extended periods of time to write the deeper thoughts that dwell within, for now I am content to use the stolen moments I can grab along the way to scratch out ideas.

I am trying to stay awake, alive, and aware as I learn to recognize redemption.

Friday Fun

Remember that space we all need? It’s important to take a break from the work, and sometimes that looks like PLAY.

How do you plan to play this weekend? Yes. Sometimes you have to plan it. I work really, really well.  Play doesn’t come as easily.

Tonight I get to watch my husband play with his Improv Troupe in their First Friday Free show. If you  have never been to a show, come join in the fun!