My Dad, the 60-Year Old

On October 30, 1947, my dad was born. Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of that day. 60 years. Quite an accomplishment. We celebrated last night with lots of people. I took some pictures and I gave my camera to my kids and all three of them took pictures too. They did such a good job, I am having a hard time figuring out which pictures are mine and which are theirs. Maybe I’ll stop taking pictures all together and let them take over. Sadie pointed out that she’ll be my age when I’m celebrating my 60th. She’s exactly right. That’s kind of special. I wonder what life will be like then?

Happy birthday, Dad. Remember when I used to call you Daddy Sue?























Fall is here. It’s been glorious. We even turned our heat on for the first time the other morning. I love having the windows open all day, snuggling under the covers at night and then getting up in the morning, all bundled on the couch with a steaming cup of coffee in the dark.

My emotions are full of fragility right now. This has been an October like no other. There was the incredible joy of celebrating not just one, but two weddings, being involved in the beautiful ceremonies of both of them. I have never seen our church look so pretty. There was the reunion with our friends who now live in England, adding their family of six to our family of five in our house for the last week and a half. We were a family of eleven. And we gave another part of our family away to begin her own family unit this week. What joy and what heartache. I don’t know why joy aches so much. Our pastor gave a good sermon this morning on the faithfulness of God. That aches too. It’s good to consider His faithfulness. He is always good.

We replaced our air conditioning unit, fixed a toilet and bought four new tires.

In two days my dad will turn sixty. And today my mom and I wore the exact same sweater to church.

My friend Jackie ran a marathon today. A real marathon. She just decided to do it and she did it.

One daughter is wheezing with every breath in and coughing with every breath out, one is burning up with fever as she sleeps right now and one is struggling to understand her math homework.

I held my husband’s hand on the couch tonight while we watched a movie.

And there’s snow in Sarajevo.

God is good. And always faithful.

I think I’ll go find a piece of chocolate.

Let’s Talk About Me For a Minute

Okay, this is kind of fun. I am always up for understanding myself a little better. I stole the idea from my friend over at I Have No Idea. That’s kind of funny, isn’t it? Apparently she has some ideas after all. Anyway, there’s this thing called the Johari Window, where you pick five or six adjectives from a list of 55, that you think best describe me. Then it will show my results in categories of what I think of myself, but no one else thinks; what others think of me, but I don’t think; and what we all agree on. First, go here to take the test, then enter your name and click submit to see the results. Be honest! I think I can take it. And if I can’t, well it’s my own dumb fault. You can always set up your own page too and leave the link in the comments of this post and those of us who know you can go answer on your page too. Then this post won’t be all about me.


(known to self and others)

able, complex, observant, reflective, self-conscious, sentimental

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

accepting, adaptable, bold, brave, calm, caring, clever, confident, dependable, energetic, happy, independent, ingenious, intelligent, introverted, kind, knowledgeable, logical, loving, nervous, organised, patient, quiet, religious, searching, self-assertive, sensible, shy, silly, spontaneous, tense, trustworthy, wise, witty


(known only to self)


(known to nobody)

cheerful, dignified, extroverted, friendly, giving, helpful, idealistic, mature, modest, powerful, proud, relaxed, responsive, sympathetic, warm

Dominant Traits

52% of people agree that Fierce Peace is complex
52% of people agree that Fierce Peace is reflective

All Percentages

able (9%) accepting (9%) adaptable (4%) bold (4%) brave (23%) calm (9%) caring (9%) cheerful (0%) clever (9%) complex (52%) confident (9%) dependable (4%) dignified (0%) energetic (4%) extroverted (0%) friendly (0%) giving (0%) happy (4%) helpful (0%) idealistic (0%) independent (47%) ingenious (9%) intelligent (14%) introverted (14%) kind (4%) knowledgeable (4%) logical (14%) loving (28%) mature (0%) modest (0%) nervous (4%) observant (28%) organised (14%) patient (9%) powerful (0%) proud (0%) quiet (23%) reflective (52%) relaxed (0%) religious (4%) responsive (0%) searching (23%) self-assertive (4%) self-conscious (9%) sensible (9%) sentimental (19%) shy (4%) silly (19%) spontaneous (19%) sympathetic (0%) tense (4%) trustworthy (23%) warm (0%) wise (9%) witty (4%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 23.5.2011, using data from 21 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view Fierce Peace’s full data.

Alan thinks: complex, trustworthy, independent, confident, spontaneous, sensible.
Chris Linebarger thinks: complex, independent, reflective, organised, loving, quiet.
kirsty Bean thinks: introverted, patient, knowledgeable, intelligent, independent, able.
amberkever thinks: spontaneous, brave, observant, reflective, confident, quiet.
Scott Bean thinks: complex, organised, reflective, searching, tense, independent.
caity thinks: searching, calm, bold, able, wise, complex.
plunky thinks: brave, calm, complex, patient, searching, sentimental.
Mom thinks: complex, independent, intelligent, observant, searching, reflective.
e. thinks: reflective, kind, silly, shy, self-conscious, loving.
Matt Linebarger thinks: independent, sentimental, logical, adaptable, accepting.
Jackie thinks: complex, introverted, loving, quiet, self-assertive, self-conscious.
Carrie thinks: independent, observant, reflective, accepting, silly.
Tonia thinks: observant, silly, trustworthy, clever, loving, reflective.
anon thinks: caring, energetic, happy, spontaneous, trustworthy, sentimental.
Karen thinks: observant, reflective, wise, complex, religious, searching.
Rocky thinks: independent, caring, dependable, logical, organised, silly.
Jam-B thinks: ingenious, spontaneous, trustworthy, loving, witty, brave.
pamella thinks: complex, sensible, clever, logical, sentimental, ingenious.
knauerflower thinks: intelligent, introverted, loving, reflective, trustworthy, nervous.
James Johnson thinks: quiet, reflective, independent, complex, brave.
James Johnson thinks: quiet, reflective, brave, complex, independent, observant.


The bottoms of my feet are bruised. Literally bruised. How can I even begin to describe this past week? Definitely not by telling you that the bottoms of my feet are bruised. That doesn’t even come close. But my feet went through a lot. They bore my entire weight for much of the weekend. My rear end didn’t bear a lot of it hardly at all, if that says anything. But, oh was it fun, all that weight-bearing that they did. They held me up while we went out to the lake to take pre-married pictures of Carlee and Wilmar. They carried me, running out to the middle of the street when Kirsty and Zoe arrived one night and we hugged and yelled and jumped and then did it all over again two nights later when Scott arrived with the rest of the kids. They stood, barefooted, in the kitchen making all the goodies and coffee I could ever hope to be able to make for all the friends that I could ever hope to make stuff for. They stood and ran and rocked back and forth, again barefooted, on the sidewalk one beautiful Texas October evening as we played a competitive game of Ladder Golf while the kids played and rode bikes in the street. They stood in extremely uncomfortable but extremely happy shoes with extremely high heels two days in a row through all of the rehearsals, decorating, singing and ceremonies. They even climbed on the back of the church pews and held me as I balanced precariously while wrapping tulle and lights around the rafters of the church. I think the final straw was when they danced like crazy on a concrete floor at the reception hall while we celebrated with great joy the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Mejia.

I did not get even one iota of pictures from the wedding day or even of the preparations the day before. My feet were too busy doing other things. But we had some wonderfully talented and hard-working photographers (who are also friends) taking pictures of all of that. Maybe I can post some of those later, when we get them. For now, here are a few iotas of what I do have:





Scott, taking his turn in Ladder Golf, while Chris watches


Grace and Abbie


Kathy and Sally


Scott and Kirsty


Me, taking my turn


I’m not one to complain or anything, but our side did have the sun in our eyes


Zach and Zoe


Chris and Scott, probably discussing the Nicene Creed or something


Zoe…this girl is just a little tiny bit cute


Annie – another cutie


Kathy and Rocky, doing nails the night before the wedding


Megan and her friends spent the night exactly like this, looking in the fridge


Kirsty and Ruth


I shared Carlee’s foot bath because my feet were cramping so badly and someone told me to press under my nose to make the cramp go away – it didn’t really work


Yes, what a week it was…

My Best Friend's Wedding

Things have gotten pretty crazy around here and I imagine they’re not going to be getting any crazilesser anytime soon. Me and my overexposed soul are going to have to just deal with ourselves inside our own mind for a little while, I think. We’re just a little over one week away from my Carlee’s wedding. My Carlee is getting married to her Wilmar. My Bean family (Carlee’s sister, husband and four kids) are flying in from England. I’m sure I’ll have many pictures to share if things ever settle down. In the meantime, here’s one of me and my Carlee that was taken at her bridal shower a couple weeks ago:


Happy Birthday Chris

The love of my life turned 35 today. That’s halfway to 70. I’ve known him for longer than I didn’t know him. And I love him. We went out to the harbor in Rockwall and ate dinner and let the kids run through the fountains while the sun was setting. It was beautiful. Chris also got the distinct privilege of being the one to announce what the name of our new nephew will be when he’s born in February. Marisela wrote it on a piece of paper and let him read it out loud at dinner. It brought tears to everyone’s eyes. I love you, my love. Happy birthday. I better get these pictures posted quickly here or it won’t be your birthday anymore…

IMG_5114 copy














I’ve been feeling a bit overexposed lately. I go through these stages where I wonder why I’m exposing myself. What am I putting myself through this torture for? Even at church yesterday, I sat in the back with my husband at the computer desk, grateful for his shoulder to bury my overexposed face into. I’m feeling ready to return to the private sector. Not sure exactly where these feelings are coming from but sometimes I become paralyzed with fear that everyone may be looking at me and wanting a reaction from me. I have spent a lifetime refining the art of not reacting. I’m really, really good at it. It goes like this: somebody asks me what I think and I freeze. Must. Not. Show. Anything. In fact, I pretend like I don’t hear so that nothing more is expected from me. My poor children. I’m so good at not reacting that I often think I’ve communicated my reaction quite well, when the reality is that nobody else caught it. Sadie came up to me the other day, while I was working at my computer and asked if she could go play outside. I said “Mmmm hmmm” without looking at her or stopping my typing. Maybe I said it in my mind, but I thought it was audible. I did hear her and I did respond but she didn’t know I responded. She stood there for a while, waiting patiently for my response that I had already given and then walked away, probably thinking she’d have to wait forever to get one out of me. But then she thought better of it, threw up her hands in frustration and came back, saying that she really wanted to go play outside. Could she? It wasn’t until then that I realized she had been standing there waiting for me to answer. I saw her there the whole time, out of the corner of my eye. I guess I just thought she liked looking at me.

Sometimes I just can’t sum up this life. Not that I want it summed up. In fact, I want it to grow bigger, beyond its borders and to never be contained. The other day, when we were driving somewhere, Callie gasped and said “Look at the trees, Mom! They’re changing colors!” Sure enough, I looked across the street, to the other side of Gaston Avenue, at the huge, red oak trees that were shading the run-down apartment complexes. The wind was blowing the clouds so quickly that the sun was getting brighter, getting dimmer, getting brighter at an amazing rate of speed as it peeked in and out from behind the fast-moving clouds. It was like watching sped-up film in slow motion. I sat there at the red light and let my eyes fill up with tears at the beauty of the magic of the trees changing colors and the wonderment of the heart of the not-so-little girl next to me who noticed it. That’s where I live. There, in the inexplicable. I soak myself in it, sometimes wallowing, sometimes worshiping, sometimes dancing, sometimes weeping. Never knowing where to go with it or what to do with myself when my vision is clouded by the tears. What good does it do me or anybody else really if I write it down to remember the moment? I don’t know. But sometimes it helps.

This morning, Grace went to pour herself a bowl of cereal and when she opened the refrigerator to get the milk, she noticed that it was completely blocked by other food items on the top shelf that were impossible for her move. She stood there, hands on hips, refrigerator door wide open, neck craned back to see the top shelf and said to no one in particular, “Uhhhhhh…….we got a pwoblem hewre.” How can I contain this heart within this life? It cannot be done.

Yes, sometimes it helps. And sometimes it makes me feel sprawled. That’s never a good feeling. Unless it’s on a blanket near a mountain lake, on a mild summer day with sunlight on my face. But sometimes I need to pull myself in and retreat and just live in my head with the clouds and the wind and the refrigerator doors.