I waver between playing photographer and forgetting to take photos altogether. Lately, I've been forgetting. I hope it's because I'm attempting to live more in the moment than trying to capture them.
Still, I love how pictures can capture precisely how we are feeling at any one time. Funny, too, that photos can be manipulated to show a feeling that isn't really there. We've all captured beautiful shots that make our kids look like angels when moments before (and after) they were engaged in a mighty tantrum.
So here are a slew of really bad photos that hopefully show life as it really is for us right now:
Carve out time. Six years - that's all we have left to nurture and care for this girl before she is managing herself in the World. I guess that sounds like a long time - some days it might. But it's really not since we've already been raising her for double that time. Scott just said yesterday, "Can you believe she's already been through 2/3 of her 18 years with us?" Not that we expect she will be out of our life at 18 ... it's just that we expect she'll be officially carving out her own life at that point, leaning on us for support and comfort - not depending on us. Our influence will be different. And our influence now is more critical than ever.
So we've been giving her life experiences to take with her, and will continue to focus more and more on that in the coming six years.
Rest assured those experiences also include learning to do her own laundry, dishes, and scoop kitty litter.
Celebrate big. Last Friday, we had the honor of celebrating two dear friends who turned 40. The first event included a feast for the ages, for which I brought copious amounts of bacon-covered delecacies. I know that is incredibly surprising. I smelled like bacon the rest of the night. Life lesson? It's OK to smell like bacon all night long, because bacon means love. Bacon means I am celebrating big.
So does this:
We overcome hard things. A year ago this week, Peyton was super sick. Hollow-eyed, desperately thirsty all the time, eating like a machine, his skinny little body trying hard to use the sugar in his food to give him fuel. But his pancreas wasn't churning out regular amounts of insulin to unlock that sugar from the food. And today, it's likely not working at all. He is a Type 1 diabetic who doesn't like to be a T1D, but is powering through like a champ. We wanted to celebrate this year milestone with all of you, but he was more comfortable with just the four of us paying any sort of attention to his condition.
So we ate ribs and drank lemonade.
We watched a friend play his basketball game, then ventured to Knuckleheads in the Dells to blow off some steam. Turns out, that was more fun for Sam than for Peyton. Something in him shut down. Maybe it was low blood sugar. Maybe it was the focus of the day. Maybe it was just being a 10-year-old boy. We didn't push it, just let him keep a low profile while Sam killed it at all the arcade games. Life parallel? Disappointments abound sometimes. It's OK to take the space to process them.
Other good things:
A few weeks ago, I heard this message at church that helped me remember that God wants us to delight in Him first. Since then, I have been pouring my energy into doing just that. One things that helps during the workday is Gungor Radio and Bethel Music Radio constantly streaming on my Pandora. Heavenly.
(For the record, Hipster Cocktail Party Radio is also keeping a smile on my face this winter.)
Do yourself a favor, and add this blog to your weekend routine. A quiet place and some of the most inspiring stories happening in the world. God still moves mountains.
Shauna Niequist has a new book coming out in March: Savor. It's a devotional ... with recipes ... I really can't imagine anything better.
Sam and I splurged on a couple of cookies at Manna Bakery in Madison (off Sherman Ave). Best, buttery sugar cookies ever. So I leave you with this:
Proof that love is all you need.