Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Seasons

I've been thinking a lot lately about seasons. As long, warm summer evenings faded into shorter, cooler days with the beautiful colors of autumn everywhere, then as autumn froze into a very wet, cold, Washington winter, I couldn't help but feel a much deeper connection to the season's change. In some ways, this year's physical seasons has mirrored the emotional and spiritual seasons in the life of my family and myself.

The year started off with making preparations for the leap from being a family of 3 to a family of 4, celebrating the 2nd birthday of Malone, and not even a week later, celebrating the new life of Judah. We were so excited for this new phase in our family's life and so grateful that the Lord gave us two healthy, wonderfully unique and beautiful children. Bliss. Summer.

As the months continued on, Cameron started travelling again (he went on his first trip when Judah was 3 weeks old. Sink or swim?) and we realized that this is not the life we wanted for our family. Adjusting to having 2 children and being a single mom most of the time, proved to be pretty difficult. But we were still trucking along, doing our every day activities, just with a newborn now in tow, but looking forward to an opportunity for our little family to make some changes. And an opportunity did, indeed, come our way. We also visited my family in June, where we really realized the gravity of my mom's health, cancer. It was one of the sweetest family times I can remember, despite starting to see glimpses of what lays ahead for us. Beautiful leaves changing colors and starting to fall to the ground. Autumn.

Then as the temperatures started to drop a little in the fall months, the kids and I headed to Alabama to stay with my family for a while to spend some time with my mom, and help in whatever way we could. By then, her disease was progressing fairly quickly. We spent our time enjoying my mom, each other and tried to hold onto the faithfulness of God, even if at times only by a finger or two. An aweful (both terrible and full of awe) winter blizzard. September turned to October, October turned to November and soon we were at the time we were all dreading, but at the same time looking SO forward to for my mom's sake. She passed away on November 20. One of my favorite lines from her obituary reads as follows: "Despite fantastic accomplishments in her life, her greatest ambition was to be with her Heavenly Father, a passion now realized." There is a quiet beauty amidst a cold and terrible snowstorm. Winter.

I am reminded of the purpose of winter in nature. In order for a tree to grow, "the seeds of each plant have certain conditions that need to happen before the seed will break open so the young embryo can begin a new life cycle. These conditions often include a long period of freezing." A time of cold rest, maybe? Perhaps winter's wrath is time for the seeds of new life to be protected from a warm summer's insect infestation? Maybe winter's purpose is not for winter itself. Rather, the culmination of winter is for Spring.

So as I sit here on this cold, wet, winter morning, in every sense of the word, I long for Spring. Luckily its right around the corner.

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

From one of my all time favorite songs, Seasons by Nichole Nordeman, the video you see above.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Malone's many faces

Happy

Sad

Excited

Mad

A little confused



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

video

Family

I recently came across this little quote about family:

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

I love my family. I even like them. They are truth tellers. They are beautiful, each person in their own way. The are always additions to my life and never subtractors. And I like spending time with them.

At the beginning of June, Cameron took some leave and we headed to Alabama to see my family for a little visit. Ahhh, it was glorious! We took a C-17 to Charleston, SC and then drove to Tuscaloosa the next day. It was a bit of a long trip, gotta love the speediness and reliability of a military flight, but hey, at least its free. We arrived and immediately I knew it was going to be a good trip. It had been a couple of years since my whole immediate family had been together, and we were all pretty excited to be there.

It was such a sweet time. I think that when I think about what family means, this trip will always stand out in my mind. As some of you might know, my mom has been diagnosed with gastro-intestinal tumorous cancer. Although she is weak and sick in her body, her mind, sense of humor and spirit is as strong as ever (and she's as beautiful as ever.) To be with one another, talking each other through uncharted territory has shown me how lucky we are...especially because we got to have those conversations by the pool. :) Our whole vacation was filled with swimming, laying by the pool, eating great food and just visiting with one another.

Malone was spoiled by the whole family. Who gave her that ice cream?

I'm such a good wife, I cook, clean, and even carry my husband when he's on vacation and tired.

Lydia, Joel, Cameron, Christelly and my dad went to the lake for a little kayak trip.

Lydia bought Malone a little tea set. Oh she loved playing with her aunties.

My mom even made it into the pool a couple of times. Apparently, Cameron is REALLY excited about this. Oh, and lets talk about how the pool water was 90 degrees. Magical!


Yeah, boooiii! Christelle and my little ghetto thug



All the pretty ladies of the family. My mom is ready for her margharita...and the pool boys feeding her grapes and fanning her with big leaves. Oh the life.


We also had some other members of our "family" come visit with us. We have known the Engelbrecht family since...I don't even know. They are also from South Africa and now the sons and their families live in Atlanta. Oh how we love them. They are truly a part of our family.
I heart family.








Monday, August 23, 2010

A change of scenery

We love the Pacific Northwest. We love the friends we've made here. We even (GASP) like the weather. But we do not love Cameron's schedule. Last year, he was gone over 2oo days. That means he was gone more than he was home. With the arrival of Judah, both Cameron and I started praying for something different for our family. Alas, an opportunity became available and I'm excited to say that we will be moving to Las Vegas sometime this fall/winter/spring (yeah, you like that Air Force timeline?) Cameron will have a new job that will allow him to sleep in our bed, at our house, even if its at strange hours. We are sooooo relieved and excited.

So we took a week at the beginning of August to go to Vegas, survey the area and maybe even find a house. Here's the discoveries of our trip in order of how they happened:

1) Flying with 2 kids and a mom AND A DAD, is great.


2) In-n-Out- Ahhhh, delicious animal-style cheeseburger and the best milkshake I've ever
tasted.

Here's Malone before:

Here's Malone after.

3. Judah was not impressed by the Strip or the beautiful houses we saw

4. It is hot! A pool is a must. Luckily for us, we found a neighborhood that we
love with a community pool nearby. Here we are at the pool at the hotel.

And glamorous Malone is ready for her new life by the pool. "Mom, where's my virgin margarita?!"

5. Vegas' housing market has crashed in an unbelievable way. But, we found a house. Its a long story, and for now we're just waiting.

6. Vegas has some of the best restaurants. To celebrate a successful trip, we went to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. Lovely. Delicious. Amazing. Favorite. Delectable. Wonderful.

7. Although being separated this much is difficult, it has also allowed for some beautiful growth in our family, in every way. But I can't lie, this trip highlighted for me how much I love spending time together. My family is so beautiful and they bring life to my soul.

So for now, we just wait. Wanna come visit Las Vegas?

OY! Its been a while...

Its been a while.

Lots has happened.

Cameron gone for the whole month of May.

A family trip to see my family in Alabama for most of June.

Cameron gone in July.

A little trip to Las Vegas the first couple of weeks in August.

A broken computer.

FINALLY, a new computer.

Little boy sitting up and now crawling!!!!

Little girl so big and so funny and SOOOO independent.

One lucky/happy/tired/reading/loving mama.

Ok, so here goes....are you ready for all the updates?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother's day

a girl
+


a boy
=


a most adorable little #1

&
a ridiculously scrumptious little #2


But sadly said boy was gone on Mother's day. But it was ok, because girl and her kiddos has great friends. Friends who love her kids.

Friends who make incredible Mother's day lunches.
Not to mention dessert...the best pound cake I've ever had.

And then they play batche ball with us.
Don't we look athletic?

And they look pretty strong

And beautiful
No words.

LOVE. Can't you tell?

Then the girl tried to take a nice Mother's day picture with her children.

They are


clearly having
a hard

time.

She's still one lucky girl.