Thursday, May 23, 2013

Around Here

(Around here, it's always 10:25.)  :)

We're in that famous wind-down. I'm tripping along between believing summer is around the corner and trying not to rush it. Same song, different tune. The story of my life.

We're planting tomatoes and thinking about beans. I'm excited about the possibilities of our little wonky yard, but I feel like I need to start seeing tangible, quantifiable progress being made. And yes, I'm a super fun, easy-going wife. Why do you ask?? I just get weird, guys. That's all. I get all amped up about something and before I know it, I'm worried that it'll be over soon. Meanwhile, it hasn't even started yet. I have a gift-card for a massage that I got for Christmas but I'm afraid to use it because then it'll be, well, gone. I've started saving my Country Living mags for a month before reading them because I just like to know they're there. That's how I'm being about summer right now. It's annoying, even for me.

So yes, there's still time for the beans. There's time for the patio, even.

We've been yakking around about it for a few weeks, but inspiration finally struck this week in the likeliest of places.

 Just stop it, Meg. Stop your radness, already. Stop your chippiness and your container gardens and your bunting. You're making me covet. 

Long story short, I want to copy the whole nine yards.

Speaking of copying, we've got an outbreak of it around here. Cannot even tell you how many times a day I hear, "He's copying me!" "Stop copying me!"

WHY does every kid at some point find unparalleled glee from copying their brothers/sisters/bosses????

And now, some Howard.  This is a blurry pic of Howard sitting at his "office", set up for him by our resident tech geek, Silas.

Oh my word, I don't even really like pets. Don't hate. Don't hate.

I'm just not animaly. But I die for this right now. I showed it to Calvin and we both cackled like twin church ladies. It's too much cuteness, even for me. I hope my mom and Holly aren't reading this because they won't possibly be able to handle it.

The thing is, Howard escaped yesterday morning. It was a tricky scenario and there was some finger pointing, but it was an accident. Dude bolted. It happened right before the kids left for school and it was just so upsetting for everyone.

We prayed and I told them to keep praying, but I wasn't feeling confident that we'd ever see him again.

All morning Silas fretted and stewed. He asked if we could pray again.
You'll have to sit down for this, because I memorized it then real-quick copied it down.

Dear Lord help Howard come safely home and thank you for our wonderful cat and him to come back to us and thank you he is a bootiful cat and he's our best cat ever and that he can come home soon to be back in our family and thank you for our love to be good in Jesus' name Amen.

Then I very nicely prayed, "God, thank you that you always hear our prayers" but in my head I was gritting my teeth, all, "God, you have a big opportunity here to show these kids that you're real and you mean business. Don't you even think of not bringing Howard back to us, because this doesn't feel like the right kind of day for 'God always hears, but sometimes he does the opposite of what we ask'. Amen."

One hour later I was standing at the sink, getting ready to make tuna melts for a friend. I cracked the lid off the can of tuna and that very second, I kid you not, I heard Howard whining outside.

The prodigal had returned. Hallelujah. I almost teared up, and that's no joke.

I emailed Calvin's teacher and asked if she could let him know, because it was only lunch time and a soul like his can only take so many hours of worrying. (Can I say one more time how much I love my kids' teachers? They are the BEST.)

Speaking of teachers, we're doing this teacher gift. $3 each. And super cute. Hot dang. I think I'll keep you, Pinterest.

Last thing. Or as Silas says, "Last more."

My presentation on Monday night went so, so well. Thank you to all who sent some prayers along! I rode over with my friend Jessica and it's been a long time since we've had 90 uninterrupted minutes to talk. All the chattering kept my mind off my gig. It was perfect.

In the end, I went over my allotted time.

What? You're not shocked???

I also cried about eighteen times, several of which required me to focus intently on the clock hanging in the back of the room in an attempt to thwart the all-out ugly.

But it seemed like the people in the room were really listening. Maybe like they were even understanding. It was such a reminder to me that God is crazy-alive in each of our stories. And when we share them, His power reigns down. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to share the one I've been given.

 This is the only shot I got of me speaking.

Okay, fine! You win! It's staged! We didn't know what to do, so we faked it up after. FINE!
(You can tell it's a fake because I'm smiling and not weeping...)

Also? My mom surprised me and drove almost 3 hours with a friend of hers to watch me. Best Mom EVER!

Cory is still at work right now, the kids are all in bed. I have a tub of salsa calling my name and I might go ahead and start a movie, because Sarah said The Odd Life of Timothy Green made her bawl so I'm curious to see if it works on me.

(Around here, we always stay up late.)

Hey-Hey! Tomorrow's Friday! Long-weekend Friday! Let's plan a party or something.

Ever Yours,


  1. channeling a little AD tonight, I see. love it! loved at least 10 random things about this post. at least. and that Howard pic got me too! lol. i don't know what I will think if I'm off about Timothy Green.

    -love to girl who lost it completely over When a Man Loves a Woman, so there.

    1. Also, already abandoned TG for Nashville. I'm SO behind!

  2. can't believe I'm #1 commenter tonight! yahoo!!!

    1. Has to be a good sign of...something??! Like maybe I'll get to SEE you soon??

  3. I'm a 21-year-old college student, and no where near being married, having kids, or anything resembling a real live adult. But I absolutely love reading your blog for you and your realness. Hope that one day I may be as wonderful as you. Thanks for inspiring. xoxo Kaitlin

    1. Oh mah word. You're making me so sentimental. I love this comment. 21 was SO fun! I know you're probably ready for all the stuff that comes next...but you're in a pretty rad place right now. :)

  4. I love that song. I love that your kitty came home & how your mom came to hear you. I can't get enough of the cuteness :) I always check late at night for your posts because they are favorite.

    1. Girl. Thank you! I get worried that I chase everyone away with these overly long, rambling posts. :)

    2. Thank you! For sharing so much of yourself & your amazing family. And for your TV suggestions I am currently watching season 1 of scandal:)

  5. No lie. As Cory ate his pie tonight I asked if he was headed home to salsa and a movie. Wish I would have come back with him. After three cups of coffee... I'm buzzing and awake.

    1. I kept the salsa to a minimum because...he said he's bringing me PIE!!! Woop woop!
      And yes, you and I need a movie night. Like soon.

  6. Timothy Green: Bawled all the way through. Took my 10 year old daughter, my 12 year old daughter and my 2 18 year old might-as-well-be-mine daughters. The 18 year olds and I sobbed. The other 2 looked at us like we were crazy. Have a box of kleenex handy!

  7. I say paint your door a wild color!! I have been waiting forever and I think it would do all our souls good!!

  8. Howard ... the cuteness & his office

    So glad he came home

    Love Siley's prayer

  9. Obviously, the non-animaly love kind of found you in the end (it does that). But if if you ever decide it's really not working for you, Howard can move in with me!
    I can see him now on his transatlantic flight, red suitcase in tow (why red I dont know - I just think it would suit him) - watching movies on his ipad (hec - he has a high tech office at home, there is no way he wouldn't travel without an ipad and a few feline-friendly downloaded movies to watch on a long flight).
    You can tell Silas I think his gadget loving kitty is cute (yes!) and wayyyyyyyyyy COOL!!!!
    (I clearly am not 'cool' because I still use that word....and 'trendy' - no one says trendy these days either.
    Well have a great long weekend

  10. A little Counting Crows action...I dig.

    Can you try the whole "copying is the greatest form of flattery" bit on your kids?? Or is that imitation is the best form of flattery? Is there a difference? I don't know.

    You crack me UP. Bottom line.

  11. So I read the part about your porch, looked at the picture and said, "wait a minute!!! that's MEG'S porch!!!!". :) You should totally copy it!!

    BTW, I don't think that we've seen pictures of your yard or porch....that's gotta change!! Please :)

  12. So what did you think of the movie??? Hadassah and I watched it last year while enduring the flu - such a beautiful story :)

    Love it that you now have one beautiful "return of the prodigal" story to share forever with your kiddos......and their kiddos....and on through the generations - God does answer, and for this circumstance He said yes! Had to be a priceless moment when Calvin heard the news from his teacher - Hillelah is blessed with an amazing teacher just like that too! God and all His grace poured out, so blessed!

  13. I've been saving a massage gift certificate I got for Christmas too. My husband bought it for me and I'm so excited to go...that I'm saving it...weird huh? When I eat supper I save the vegetable I like the most for sounds like I'm 10 years old but I'm actually 44 (yikes). Right now the lilacs are blooming in our yard and since they are my all-time favorite I want to pause Spring. That porch picture made me jealous...maybe it will motivate me to mow my lawn...or not.

  14. You know I hate the cats. Well, Howard's picture did me in.

    Also, last week Keeks had me petting a big fat kitty named Snowball at the goat farm.

    Who am I?


    P.S.- I appreciate that you also talk sassy to God.

  15. As soon as I saw the title of the blog post I burst out singing Counting Crows.
    Thanks for not leaving me hanging with that one.

  16. I always feel the look of condemnation when I say "I don't really like animals" but I know I'm justified because they just walk around your house with no pants on sitting on the furniture.

    Mine might be a germ thing but still happy to meet someone else who's not animally.

    I will give you the "Howard the Cat Contemplating" shot though. I may have cracked a smile.

  17. Yeah, I agree about Meg's patio!! I "pinned" it too to my "HAPPY" board. ;)

  18. oh ma lawd!
    i have that SAME pic of our kitty witty in his 'office' too. no joke.
    and? the pic of howard posing on the stairs? have that one, too.
    my husband was raised on a farm and cats in the house were always a no go, but SOMEHOW this cat wiggled his way in. AND nathan even spent an hour driving around the neighborhood calling for him from his car while neighbors were yelling at him(it was 11:00PM)! haha!
    needless to say, the dumb cat was in the basement the whole time while i was worried and practically crying, recklessly waving the cat treat bag in the yard. yah. weird.
    SO, i covet everything meg does(and you, too) because you are both RAD!

  19. Leo LOVED that shot of Howard. It helped break him out of a mid-morning funk. Cat! How!

  20. shannan.
    you have cat to be kitten me right meow with these cat pics.

  21. I've only loved one cat in my life but Howard could possibly win me over.

  22. Speaking to grown-ups is scary stuff. Yay you! Any advice? I've never cried, but my hands shake something wicked and I never remember a damn thing I said. Too nervous to listen to myself. That patio is 50 shades of happy. Love it.

  23. I love how God cares, really cares, about the little details of our lives ~ like Howard and being real to your kids through answered prayer. Love it. Love that you are gardening in the city. Love it.

  24. you crack me straight up...the end. oh...right there with you on the animaly thing.

  25. That cat is adorable!

    I'm a lover of pets, but I understand not everyone feels the same - my BFF is lovely but nervous around pets. Because of this, Curtis our labraweinie has fallen deeply in love with her. He will not leave her alone!

    The last time she was here, she sat in a barstool in my living room to stay " up high and away"- lol.

    So glad Howard returned.

    I now feel like I need more color and possibly.. Bunting due to your friend's backyard.


  26. pinned her patio.
    we need to get to work around here...ours is so boring.

    glad you did well in your talk...knew you would. didn't doubt it for a second. also knew you'd cry.

    you're not alone in the "he's copying me" part of this post. in our story, i'm the one crying kids LOVE to copy all of my words as i'm saying them...makes me bonkers.

  27. I don't know if I've ever commented here...but I read allll the time!

    I shared my story this past weekend, too. Did anyone record yours? They recorded mine...and although I was partially mortified to listen to it, I'm glad I did. I even shared it on my blog this week (eeek!). But we all have a story, don't we? Blessed to be able to share mine with lots of ladies I love!

    Thanks for sharing your heart...!

  28. ummm that movie made me BAWL! i watched it with my girls and a friend of theirs and they were very concerned about me.
    annie kept coming over to wipe away my tears.
    it was a beautiful movie.

    i hope you copy my patio. it was so much fun. we were sitting out there tonight saying how much we love it out there. ahhhhhh.

  29. We LOVED the Odd Life of Timothy Green! I rented it for me to watch when my husband was working late. My two bigger boys - 15 and 11, scoffed at it bc it was too baby-ish - they thought. I put it on and told me they could watch if they wanted, and they were sucked in right along with me. I bawled - they tried not to. It was beautiful. Your posts are so enjoyable. Thank you!

  30. oh happy day that howard returned. i was so worried this was goign to have a sad ending and all.
    and i love the staged photo. you're hilarious.
    i love that you shared your prayer about howard. the real prayer.
    i love that you were going to watch that movie. my girls mocked me because, "mom. its about a boy that comes from the ground? really?"
    and He does reign down when we share our story. we are all so inspired by yours sister

  31. Hi, I just visited your blog for the first time and totally enjoyed reading about you and your lovely family. Have a wonderful Memorial Day.

  32. did you like timothy green?? it's one of our FAVORITES! all 8 of us (parents AND 6 kids ages 11-3) love it!

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  34. Here's a yummy arugula recipe to spur on your new addiction. I have absolutely no business being in a kitchen, never even tried to convince my husband otherwise. When I'm on the list to make a meal for someone it would just be cruel to make them a home cooked meal...their getting takeout. You know the saying do unto others...I would rather eat out. So if I'm giving you a recipe you know it's easy and good. Hope you have a Trader Joe's nearby. You will need lavash bread, tub of cream cheese, Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Tapenade, arugula, and sliced turkey or chicken. (Trader Joe's one stop shop for this recipe). Mix 1/2 and 1/2 the cream cheese and tapenade as much as you think you'll need to smother all over the bread. Then throw down some yummy arugula all over. Then add the meat and roll. That's it. I cut it into 3rds. Easier to eat that way. Once your finished check yourself before you wreck yourself in the mirror for loose green bits. Enjoy :)

  35. Hello,
    I just recently discovered your blog and immediately I was hooked. I grew up in the rolling green hills of NE Iowa (one of the most beautiful places ever - it makes my soul sing) and for the last 10 years our family has found itself smack in the middle of Minneapolis. We're anchored here due to my husband's military job. We like it, adore our church family, see God moving here, etc. But there are no spectacular starry skies, no fireflies. A girl's gotta have fireflies. All that is to say, you and I are kindred. Much of what I've been reading feels like you might have plucked it right out of my brain. So thanks for putting words to so much of what I feel, and thanks for reminding me that God owns concrete just as fully as He owns black dirt, that skyscrapers and enormous oaks are equally His. You've got skills FPFG, I will be a forever reader.

    1. Friend, thanks so much for this. It came at just the right time for me.
      Sometimes God sends down a kindred heart to remind me that He's got me, I'm not alone, and I'm loved. xo