Thursday, August 8, 2019

Light In The Wednesday Thursday Medley

Today is National Lighthouse Day. Who knew?

Actually it was yesterday, and I did write my answers yesterday but then it all got away from me and I never made it back to my blog to hit publish. Also, the only reason I know yesterday was National Lighthouse Day is because that's the theme in this week's Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri over at Your Friend From Florida. The questions didn't sound like a brain strain so thought I'd play along.

Here we go-

1. Let's start with a number-how many lighthouses have you visited?

Hmmm...maybe this will strain my brain? We have lived mostly on the East Coast which I'm pretty sure is where you'll find a fair chunk of the lighthouses in America. I'm sure there's more but the ones that popped into my head are Cape Hatteras, Portland Head, Mystic Seaport, the Baltimore Harbor Light, Point Lookout, and Thomas Point all in Maryland, Point Arena and Heceta Head in California, and Cape Blanco on the Oregon coast. I guess about ten, but there are probably some I'm forgetting. 

Portland Head Light

2. Have you been inside a lighthouse and did you walk to the top?

I have been inside a lighthouse, the most recent being Cape Blanco on the Oregon Coast. 

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

3. Do you seek them out when you're traveling or are you not that big of a fan?

I wouldn't say we seek them out, but if there's a lighthouse along a route we're traveling then we'll definitely make a stop. 

Point Arena

4. Do you have a favorite scripture or another reference to share with us concerning a guiding light in your life?

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

5. If you don't collect lighthouses when you travel is there something else tangible you tend to collect as a souvenir when on vacation or a road trip?

I don't collect lighthouses but I do try to purchase a Christmas ornament wherever we roam. It's one of my favorite things about our tree each year, the lovely reminders of places we've been all around the world. 

6. Please share something with us about your week.

On Monday I met daughter2 in her classroom to help with some of the cutting-taping-gluing-that needs doing prior to a  new school year starting. Technically she doesn't need to report until sometime next week, but she's already been in her classroom working on set up because that's how most teachers roll. 

Anyone who still thinks teachers have summers 'off' hasn't been around a good teacher in recent years. Sure there are a few who might do nearly nothing over the summer, but most of the teachers I know are hard at work preparing for the next school year in some form or fashion all summer long. 

My daughter took an online class that lasted most of the summer. She also took an in-person class, wrote curriculum for the county, read several new books on classroom discipline and related topics, attended tech in-services and assorted other meetings, and spent many an hour and dollar at Michael's-Target-Dollar Store-The Teacher Store searching for interesting, new, and necessary items for her classroom. 

Thinking of all the great teachers out there as they return to the classroom and the noble, often thankless, still honorable, hard work they do every day. 

"Teaching is the greatest act of optimism" Colleen Wilcox

Thursday, August 1, 2019

About Those Mysterious Ways

Sixteen years ago we moved to England. We spent six mostly glorious, sometimes challenging, oftentimes edifying, ever so memorable years living in a small village not far from London.

People moved in and out of the country on a regular basis which meant every single year you were forced to bid tearful goodbyes to once-upon-a-time strangers who had quickly become dear friends. And every single year you learned to re-open your heart and home and welcome the new strangers who in the blink of an eye would also become cherished friends.

For five years I hosted a women's bible study in my home, and the women who walked in and out of my great big front door, the one with no handle and the old fashioned bell, were some of the most extraordinary women I've ever had the privilege to know.

One of those women I'll call K. Her husband was in the Air Force so they left the UK around the same time we did and have moved several times since because that's the nature of the Air Force. We've also moved several times because that's just what we do. ahem I haven't seen my friend K since we left England ten years ago.

On Saturday night my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson had dinner in her home.

In South Korea.

Because she too is currently residing there with her family, and because God is so incredibly good to remind us He goes before us in the hard things. The not so hard things too but maybe we look for Him a little more in the hard.

I can never get over the smallness of this great big world.

The 'kids' are doing great as they settle in to their new life on the other side of the globe, but knowing someone is there to 'welcome the new strangers' is such a gift, and one for which I feel tremendous gratitude.

When I started this blog we lived across the pond and I had this verse in my header-

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:9-10

It was a verse I took great comfort in and one that came to the top of my brain as my daughter talked about having dinner in their home.

Even on the far side of the sea He remembers us.
He guides us.
He holds us fast.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Dear Little Man Cub,

Today you are two. Or maybe it's tomorrow which is your today? You're a million miles away from us geographically speaking, but never more than a millisecond from our thoughts.

Your mama made a video filled with snippets of your life this past year, and it's fun to see how much you've grown and changed. You're a full-fledged toddler boy now ready to take on the world, a new country, and a baby brother.

You like to lay your head on your mama's belly and say 'Awww'. I pray you and your brother are best buds from day one the same way your mama and auntie are and always have been.

Peas in a pod.
That's my prayer.

While everything about you is my favorite thing here are a few of my most favorite right now-

Grace. This tops the list because it's new and precious and tells me your heart is oh so tender. When a plate of food is put in front of you (definitely one of your favorite things) you stretch your arms out wide and grab the hands of the people beside you and shout GRACE!!

Everyone snaps too and smiles big and tries not to laugh as we bow our heads and say 'God is great God is good....' Then we say Amen and you say Amen, but you raise your hands high above your head when you say it so we all add a great big hallelujah and it just makes my heart beat wild with delight.

The way you love boats, planes, trucks, and trains, particularly one called Thomas. The world can say what it will, but I think loving all things that go is wired into a little boy's DNA.

Your minor obsession with rolling suitcases, backpacks, coolers, anything with wheels you can pull along behind you.

Your major obsession with balls of all sizes, shapes, colors, and sport. Footballs, baseballs, basketballs (or hoop as you like to call it), golf balls, balloons (boons) that look like balls, bubbles that look like balls, balls in books, people playing ball on TV,  the moon when it looks like a ball...just give you all the balls.

Books. Your current favorite is My First Book of Korean Words which I've read approximately 725 times in the last couple of weeks. You like the sing song rhyming and words that make you giggle-echwi (ahchoo!), kkachi (meaning magpie-that double k is fun to say), and especially the part where Nana reads the 'gimchi is so spicy it will make you squeal' and then we squeal.

Other current favorites are Bee-Bim-Bop (can't wait to taste some with you!), Fiddle-I-Fee, and In a People House. 

The way you say Korea when we ask you where you're moving-"Key-ee-ah"
The fact that when we ask you where you're moving you know the answer is Korea.

Doing laundry. Who knew this task could be so much fun? You like to help me put clothes in the washer and later in the dryer, but you especially love pushing all the buttons to make it go. Sometimes too many buttons and sometimes Nana isn't quick enough and you turn the machine off mid-cycle and we have to start over, but you don't mind.

The way you ask me for a 'bite' when I have a drink in my hand.

The way you say crouton, helicopter, gobbledygook, and onomatopoeia

The way you call me Didi. I know you're saying Nana but it comes out as Didi and now I'm loving Didi so maybe that name will stick. Secretly I'm hoping so.

The way you wake up happy and go to bed happy and sleep like a teenager and how you love to sit at the counter with a bowl of cereal like your Daddy and I get a glimpse of the actual teenager you will be one day.

The way you pronounce your Aunt's name. The way you look for her as soon as you wake up. The way she turns an almost melt down into something just the opposite. The way she is your person and how we all need someone to be our person and how lucky you are to know she's yours.

The way you want all the people you love close by.
In this way more than any other you are your mother's son.

Happy birthday my travelin' toddler boy-

You are so very precious and your Nana/Didi loves you deep and wide.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He makes straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Rhythm and Blues

So much to catch up on and write about I don't even know where to start. As we speak my daughter, son-in-law and the mancub are finally on their way to South Korea. They left the lake Sunday and made their way back to Seattle in order to catch an early morning flight today to the Land of Morning Calm.

That sounds nice doesn't it?

Especially after spending seven hours in an airport with an almost two year old waiting on a delayed airplane.

My girl said he was good as gold because he had his trusty suitcase and apparently right now that's all he needs to make him happy. He loves nothing better than a suitcase on wheels so we got him a little backpack of his own to wheel around, which let's be honest could also be more trouble than it's worth, but in this case was a huge win.

Hubs and I are home now, in something like recovery mode which means hosing down the highchair to put away til next time, taking down the port-a-crib and putting it back in storage til next time, although next time they're here the mancub will be in a big boy bed and his soon-to-be-born baby brother will be sleeping in that crib.

It means stacking books and shelving puzzles and putting Thomas the train with the basket of toys that gets carried downstairs 'til next time'. 

It means changing sheets, washing a million towels, and sipping coffee quietly on the porch with nobody popping up the stairs in adorable pjs, big smile, eyes a-twinkle, shouting HI!

It means everyday ordinary life with a little less life and a little more ordinary.

Ordinary is okay too you know.

This morning we sat on the porch and listened as a soft summer rain fell on the lake. The birds sang and we talked about our plans for the day and how I'm not cooking dinner but we still have to eat. About the car that needs another repair, the dog we've gained, the people we love.

And just like that we let ourselves fall, ever so gently, into this new old normal and the familiar rhythm of everyday life.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

Or 7,116 miles.

AKA the distance from here to there, with 'there' being South Korea and the mancub's soon to be new home.

My friend and neighbor (local peeps-Casual Moments Photography) is a fabulous photographer and since we'll be living 7,116 miles from the mister and his mom and dad too, we asked her to come snap a few pics of hubs and I with our grandson.

Be still my heart.

Baby boy's daddy was holed up in the library studying for his Boards, but his mama and aunt were in the house so they got in on the fun too.

Be still my heart.

Our little man turns two years old at the end of the month, and this time next year will have a baby brother to share life, adventure, and his mama's arms with. These shots with her are extra extra special-

There's a teeny tiny window of willingness to sit for a photo on a warm summer's day when you're almost two years old, but we persevered and are so glad we did.

 Be still my heart.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Easy Peasy

Summertime and the livin' is easy. 

Or easy peasy as the mancub likes to say. 

He and his mama have been at the lake with us for the past week, but he's gone to his other grandparents house this week. Sometimes people ask us if we dislike having to share our time with him when the kids are in town, but we don't mind. 

We might need a nap y'all. 

We're having the time of our lives with this sunny, chatty, busy boy in the house, and we're not thinking at all about the big move happening soon. 


Well maybe just a little teensy tiny bit, but mostly we're enjoying this time with our girl and her boy to the nth degree. Soaking up every ounce of sweetness there is and putting it in our pockets to pull out later when they're half a world away and we're missing them. We know how to do this and we are so excited for the incredible opportunity they have before them. 

Besides the mancub and his mama and his aunt we've had extended family coming and going and going and coming starting with hubs family at the end of June. Most of that weekend was spent in one of two

and here-

That's my mother-in-law in her happy place. Surrounded by all of her grown children which doesn't happen as often as she'd like. They're spread hither and yon so getting them all together requires planning and logistics. 

Or I guess you could just have a granddaughter/niece moving to South Korea. That works too. 

My neighbor has a backyard full of blueberry bushes and since she was going to be away she invited us to come over and pick. 

We've had blueberry waffles, blueberry cobbler, blueberries in our fruit salad, and blueberries by the 
handful. Yum!

Hubs family left on Monday and I did laundry and a quick grocery run before collecting my mom at the airport on Tuesday. 

She spent a couple of days with us at the lake then went on to my sister's for a few days there.

We hung out lakeside on the 4th of July and some friends and neighbors came by boat to watch the fireworks from our dock. Our across the cove neighbor puts on the most awesome display and boaters come from all around to see it.

I snapped this picture just as it was getting dark, but more boats made their way over as night fell. It's so much fun!

Boat hair. Don't care.

Actually that's a lie. I do kind of care but I also like the wind in my hair and you can't have it both ways. Baby boy likes the wind in his hair too so it's all good.

We had a couple of low key days swimming and boating and playing in the water which was grand, and then my sister and brother-in-law along with my niece and my mom trekked back to the lake for more family fun and a birthday dinner.

My mom and my brother-in-law share the same birth month and day so daughter2 worked her magic and made two fantabulous desserts to mark the occasion.

Carrot cake cupcakes for my brother-in-law and this super rich chocolate cake with a raspberry filling, chocolate ganache, and fudgy chocolate icing over all which was too scrumptious for words.

The Mister helped his great grandma read her cards and open her presents.


And now about that nap...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Sweetness of Summer

I guess I'm catching up here today. Again. That's likely how summer blogging will go and I'm rolling with it.

Daughter1 and her little guy arrived on Father's Day and we had a week of fun in the sun with the two of them before hubs and I headed to Austin to attend a friend's son's wedding. Why do all those apostrophes look wrong?

Anyway, each time the mancub is here he's a little bit better on the boat. He's big enough for a puddle jumper now as opposed to the life jacket and it's much more comfortable. They're Coast Guard approved unless you're skiing, but we don't have him up on skis (yet!) so it's perfect.

He is a huge fan of his aunt, and next to Pawpaw she's his favorite person. Or she might even be the favorite, but don't tell Pawpaw.

I'm third but I've already called dibs on baby number two-ha! Which (insert drum roll) is a BOY!! We're all so excited to have brothers in the house. The boys will be close in age and I hope they're best buds just as their mama and aunt have always been.

Also, baby boy loves his Nana plenty so no worries.

We spent most mornings at our neighborhood pool, and every day he got a little bit braver about leaving the step.

Is he just the cutest or what??!!

Afternoons were spent in the lake and looked mostly like this-

I know. It's a blur, but it's also an accurate reflection of what it's like keeping up with a not quite two year old on a dock beside the water. In he goes with a huge smile on his face, then back up the stairs lightning fast, then almost before you can blink he's launching himself back into the lake. We tag team him with someone on the stairs, someone on the dock, and someone in the water.

It takes a village y'all.

Friday we motored out to one of the little islands on the lake and he loved that. We loved it too because there was a sandy beach that allowed our water baby to walk into the lake hands free.

He splashed and paddled and chased the beach ball and played in the sand and had himself a grand old time. We all did! It was an absolutely gorgeous day so how could we not?

Saturday hubs and I had an early flight to Austin and Daughter1 and the mancub headed to her in-laws for the week. Her hubs is here too, but he spends all day every day in the university library studying for his Boards happening later in July.

This is why I'm not a doctor. Well one of the reasons I'm not a doctor. I lack the super deep well of self-discipline required to say I'll spend all these sunshiny summer days in a library cubicle instead of on the water.

Oh and guess who else is here?

Y'all he's cute. He wears his life jacket with nary a complaint and would happily run off the dock all day every day if we let him. And we might because he has some energy to burn. Hubs purchased a super duper deluxe pet hair dryer we've set up in the lower garage and so far that's working out well.

The pup is headed to a trainers for two weeks starting tomorrow and I think he'll do great. He's a really smart dog and he seems to have settled in. Of course we're wearing him out every day with the walking and the swimming and the ball chasing so he's pretty pooped by the end of the day. Getting into a routine with two is taking a little figuring out, but we'll get there.

Austin. It was hot. But we had a really lovely couple of days away and enjoyed sleeping in, eating queso and sipping margaritas-

visiting the LBJohnson Presidential Library-

and celebrating the wedding of a super sweet couple-

This is not that couple. This is us and we've been married thirty-five years. We are super sweet though.

We flew out Saturday and were back home Monday evening so a quick trip, but just what we needed in the way of rest and recharge. We have family coming in this weekend and the mancub and his mama will be back at the lake to enjoy catching up with everyone. More family will follow and there will be cookouts and bare feet, fireworks and ice cold watermelon, stories told and memories made.

If you need us we'll be right here...soaking up all the sweetness that is summer.