Tuesday, December 18, 2012


let me tell you about yang zhou (pronounced yong joe)

she's a wonderful woman. we live in the same apartment complex. she was nice enough to say "hi" to me last year. i think it started then, when she opened her heart and home to our family. i wondered how we would ever know each other beyond:

how are you. 
what did you do today.

[at this point yang zhou told noah that he doesn't really have to get that 
close to his face for him to understand something]

now she sends me a text letting me know she'll be here soon and brings baked goodness (today it was cinnamon rolls. but minus the cinnamon. and plus black beans instead?) from her mom. we talk about this and that. i nod my head pretty much the whole time she speaks [chinese] to me. i'm sure that's probably why she's still doing that. oh, if she only knew how little i understand.

[didi, a month younger than noah]

before she left my apartment today, she said "hey, tuesdays i don't work in the morning..." she said a few sentences after that but the only part i really cared about was the first.

because i knew what it meant.

i know i can expect a knock on our door these tuesday mornings with a didi ["little brother"] bursting through the door straight for noah's toys. there'll be cries and laughs and hits and total misunderstandings [neither knows what-in-the-world the other is saying].

best of all, there'll be company.

[noah and adelaide introducing didi to "ariel", noah's mermaid love.]

it'll be our tuesdays.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


i want a little priss pot for a daughter. i already think she's so girly. 
but i also heard a wise friend once say

"don't try to box them in before they've grown into who He's making them"

so how would it be fair to her to already speak what she's going to be?
only He knows, really.

but. i, without a doubt, know what she'll think of noah's devious behavior last week.
we walked out to find diapers [everywhere] right down from our balcony.

i was actually scorned today. over and over. by the sweet woman who cleans around here. all she ever used to give me was smiles. but since she knows that we've got the only kids that wear diapers, she drew her conclusions quite quickly.

amen, sister. amen.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

three months old

it's cliche, i i know, but i can't believe it.

she's just so pretty and sweet. just about anyone who is around her would say the same.

the other day, noah took one of his toys and smashed it down on her head a couple of times. it was awful. she didn't cry [super surprised]. i almost did. 

after a few spankings and a time out later, noah invited her to come and sit on his couch. i was impressed and i grabbed my camera.

these next blurry ones capture their relationship well.

 somehow that little addie joy is still fascinated with her big brother. he can run at her with his mouth and arms wide open and she still loves him.

i need a few lessons from our tiny little daughter.
glad she's here all day teaching me gentleness.

Monday, December 3, 2012

date night

our neighbors / friends (beth and michael) came over last night.

they did the dishes and rocked one baby:

while being very grateful (i'm sure) that the other one:

 was fast asleep.

scott and i hopped on our scooter and drove less than 10 minutes away to a new-ish mall thingy.

we ate ice cream and walked around in the new GAP. it was surreal. i can't believe we can now buy gelato and normal american clothes just down the road.

i am grateful for last night.

Monday, November 19, 2012

pinterest: more than hair

my pinteresting this morning led me to something good.

i can just go 'round and 'round in circles on that thing. i usually just end up on some random woman's page under the "hair" section which results in me standing backwards in front of a mirror trying to braid my hair in some trendy way. every time it ends up a normal braid. how does that even happen.

so, to my surprise, i clicked on something that led to substance. 

just yesterday the words "all i want is a thank you" came out of my mouth. i asked Him to meet me there. and oh, did He. i had just pictured Him choosing for it all to come from my husband's mouth rather than the redirection of my mind in Him revealing what it was that i actually needed.

"Christ never required praise. He never asked for it. He never wanted it.
...[choose] mothering as He would. Not for praise. Not for recognition. Not for a hug, a kiss, or even a thank you. Not because I can’t stand a dirty floor or because someone coming for a visit might see the display of animalistic behavior my children can exhibit. Not for any type of compensation. 

... [choose] sweeping up crumbs because that’s what He did. With a perfect love."

i hear Him speaking to me today...

it's a choice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


things i've insta-ed this month, or wanted to.


and there's the days when it does.
and it's glorious.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the morning sun

if you are friends with my friends, then you have seen pictures of what this city often looks like in the winter. it's interesting to see pictures of what some people think is "depressing winter" at home. as i read their blogs, i look out of my window. it kind of makes me laugh. kind of.
the winter here is just a different kind.

i stopped at the top of the hill to take a picture. i was on a walk, desperately needing it. 
time away and time with Him.

i had received an email that morning from my sister. attached was an iTunes gift of a song titled "the morning sun". and the bottom of the email read...

"that you would receive each day as if the sun was beaming there. 
because it IS. you just can't see it"

i love that beyond these clouds is a blue, crisp sky. i just have to believe it's there. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

every day

[love noah's airplanes in the background]

they're my every day.

and it's new.

i once heard a friend say she chants to herself...

"don't be afraid of your own kids. don't be afraid of your own kids."

honestly, each morning i have to say ok. i'm bigger. older. and smarter.

and then i have to convince myself i'm stronger after noah rams his head into my shoulder.

every day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

aunt beth

got an email yesterday. titled "halloween 2012".
of course it was none other than aunt beth. 

i'm very curious about how this picture even happened. 
but it did. and i love it. 

so there it is. not her family by the pumpkins, but her bull dogs. 
bull dogs that noah absolutely admires.

there are few people who could manage to get my grandfather [mom's dad] 
to do some rock-and-roll fingers.

my aunt is one of them.

she's always been fun. my poor mom had to deal with me referring to her being so much fun all my life. i always viewed mom as the straight "A" student who did no wrong.

and while most of that is true, she has a spunky side as well. but i'm convinced
that didn't come until she met my dad.

[during mom's recovery]

photo shoots with dad in charge.
they never disappoint.

bottom line.
i love random emails.
ones that make me do about a bajillion bunny trails
of just why i love those people as much as i do.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

knee how

for all i know, that's probably what he thinks it is.

 [these pictures are from home this past summer]

"Ni hao" = "hello" around here.
you say both the words like you are going
down a roller coaster and coming back up again.
sounds strange? i know, tell me about it. try figuring it out for
every. single. word.

and just because... 

well just because God was being sweet yesterday [all the time, i know, but i took of the blinders to see it that afternoon], Noah walked past a neighbor and said "ni hao!". to which the neighbor replied "ni hao!!".

[lake martin, summer 2012]

i got a snapshot. one that holds much, much hope for my kiddos to understand this language. and speak it back.

and that was good for my day.

[lake martin, summer 2012]

i might feel like my head is bobbing above the water,
 but that was like one long bob. 
high above the water.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


for a reason, not some reason unknown.

God is allowing hard days to happen. The crawl back in the bed under the sheets kind of days. We've been back in this country for almost 2 weeks. It's harder than I remembered (hello grace! thank you for not keeping record in the memory bank.).

Then John 9 happens.

There was this blind man.
From birth.
Not because he did bad things.
Or because God didn't want to give him what he wanted.
Being blind was part of his life.
A circumstance of his.

There was a reason. It was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.


I like the word displayed: [to be in a place easily seen].

I'm easily seen here. Not because I'm white [although yes]. Not because I have 2 kids [another yes]. But because I'm at the end of myself. And if you get close enough, my red nose and teary eyes can't hide when blah-ness comes.

I'm on display. He wants to illustrate something in me for me to see. For others to see.

I would rather it be none other than his glory being shown.
Somehow he's doing that.

Hard days aren't for nothing. They're for His display.
So that people can see it's Him that makes me function and endure and press on.
Not me.