twelve looks good on him

The good news (for you) is that it’s Wednesday, my eyes are heavy and I have some photos to share so although I could get wordy, I’ll do my best to tell a little story with photos. Surely that story will be better than my ramblings anyway because Connor!

My favorite valentine is twelve. As hard as it is to admit it, he’s ready. Middle school is treating him well. He’s a social butterfly. He knows more about sports than I think one human should. And he’s getting taller. So, I guess it’s time. My only fears are his quick wit and facial expressions. They’re eerily reminiscent. So I worry.

For instance, I sang happy birthday to him this morning over the phone and his response after ‘thank you, mom’ was ‘don’t worry, only six more years and i’ll be in college.’ Umm, wha?

And this afternoon, as he opened gifts, he flipped through the book I had gotten him (sports-related, of course) and he chuckled as he asked why it wasn’t a picture book.

But, I just love this young man. He is growing in his relationship with Christ. He loves his mom and dad. His smile lights up a room. His energy is contagious. He is becoming a man, but still has the sweet spirit of a child. And his heart is bigger than all of snow-covered Michigan and it makes this mama so very proud. I talked with a friend yesterday about the fact that our children are on loan. Because they are. And I’m so grateful that God chose me to share CJ for however long He’ll allow me. (And don’t tell Connor, but six – and a half, to be clear – years from now when he’s in college; I’m already planning to find myself a cool little apartment just down the street because Lord knows I’ll still likely be picking out his clothes then, too.)


teachable moments

Did any of you even know that travel football was a thing? I didn’t either. Well, until about 3 weeks ago when Connor’s dad mentioned it was apparently a thing and that there was an opportunity to try out for a team not too far (far enough to be annoying) from home. That isn’t the travel part.

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saturday driver

I went for a drive today. I didn’t start with a destination in mind; it was actually more of a ‘anywhere but here’ style departure. I found my way towards Holland (second day in a row. i love that town.) and then, well … I headed north. I just felt like driving. I’m sorry. I can’t help but channel Forrest Gump sometimes. I stopped as much as I could all the while sensing I would end my route in Ludington. It made for a long day and seriously, a race into PJ Hoffmaster State Park when, at the last minute, I decided not to head home the quicker way, but to try and catch the remnants of the ridiculous sunset. I ran towards the beach and as the older folks were talking about how they were too late, I smiled because I’d just made it. Continue reading

wordless wednesday

Because it’s quick and easy; and because I haven’t posted since July (what the what?!) … I present to you a special birthday celebration edition of wordless Wednesday. Without further ado – which, by the way, I’ve literally always wanted to say but I usually just keep on talking which sort of negates the whole purposes of not further a-doing something. Oh, oops. – here are just a few selects from our little family gathering up in the absolute middle of nowhere in Michigan this past weekend. It was … everything. Continue reading

finding joy

Holy geez. This summer is a tough one. I may have actually told my mother today I’m giving up. But you know what? That’s not a dang option. That ain’t no … ? I don’t know. I’m trying to be grammatically correct, yet emphatic. Got me? Anyway, I’m going to find some joy tonight and you know what very quickly and easily brings the joy? I know you do.

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wordless wednesday

Raise your hand if you all love storms as much as I do! (you can put it down now.) When I was little, my dad quite literally scared the crap out of me when we had a tornado warning. He made me stand outside and I’m certain a funnel cloud was a foot above each of our heads while the flag turned completely around the pole. Because there was no good reason in all of anything to hang out longer, I ran outside vowing never to leave the house again. Hey, I was young.  Continue reading

long days, short years

It’s another one of those quotes that’s likely already reached cliché-status at this point, but I never promised originality up in here. I also happen to like human beings with the name Gretchen. How’s that for informed decision-making?

The days are long, but the years are short.

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guatemala redux (part 5)

Most often, I’d say after three months and five parts, you have to find a conclusion. There is honestly so much more I could share but I’ve lost my voice this last couple of weeks (mostly literally) from this lovely pneumonia-ish thing that’s flung me back with a reminder I’m just not in control. I’ve really felt for those who struggle to breathe due to chronic illnesses or worse. You have my utmost respect for the patience you must find on a daily basis.

But, Guatemala. Last I left you we’d finished our Wednesday and we were hungry for more. Today, I’m going to do my best to limit the words (no voice, remember!) and share photos of what our final two and a half days were like. Honestly, there aren’t enough words in all of ever to talk about Friday or the Saturday morning we departed. That’s what photos are for. So with that, let’s wrap it up.

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