My First Blog Book

Well, I did it. I worked on it for about a year. I’m not obsessive or anything. Here’s the link if anyone is interested:

The First Year
By Leslie Linebarger

I can’t believe how happy I am with this book. It’s the whole reason I started this blog in the first place. I wanted something in writing for my girls. And now I have it, in a beautifully bound hardcover book. It is such great quality, I’m actually excited to begin working on the second year. And that’s saying something, because I was ready to tear my hair out by the time I got to page 100 or so. This book is 287 pages long too so you can imagine how much hair I’m missing now. The good news is that if there’s anybody out there who wants to do something like this with your own blog and you just have a straightforward regular old blog, then I highly recommend visiting this site by clicking on my book up there. If you’ve got blogspot, wordpress, typepad and probably a couple other regular old blogs, all you’ve got to do is press a couple buttons and SLURP, your blog will be imported, just like that. Me, I’ve got some kind of other party-hosting blog that my fun-loving party-hosting husband set up on our own little site so I was out of luck. We sure do have fun around here! Woooooo!

Anyway, I took the long route and copied and pasted every post and every comment and re-uploaded all my photos at full quality and changed all the fonts individually and basically had not a clue if a year’s worth of tedious work was even going to be worth it all. But it was, my friends. It was. I love this book. I don’t even care that it’s filled with little odd weird things, like comments pushed off to one side or page numbers missing or fonts gone screwy. I’m obsessive, but I am by no means a perfectionist. So here it is, in all its imperfect glory. You can even order a copy, if you’d like. But I realize that at $69.95, probably only my mom will.

I Remember

One year ago today, our dear friend and brother went to be with the Lord. He went home. We didn’t know he was going to do that. I have thought about him every single day since he left. I have thought of his family. I have lifted them up in prayer.

Lauren asked for stories on her blog of ways that Nathan’s life affected people. I have been thinking about this all day. He was a remarkable young man. Through his life and his death, he has inspired many people to live bigger and love deeper. I am one of those people. Seriously, the stories this guy lived are truly amazing.

But I find myself on this day simply remembering. Nathan was a part of my life since the day he was born. He was like family. My memories of him are mostly from childhood. And childhood memories can be kind of fuzzy, but they’re mostly good and warm and feel like home. I have some pictures that I have taken over the years that I want to share here today, so that he can be remembered. It’s good to remember. In fact, I’ve learned a lot about remembering over this last year. Jesus told us to remember Him whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup of communion. I didn’t live on earth when Jesus did, I’ve never looked upon His face and I didn’t watch Him die or see His resurrected body. But His life and death and resurrection have affected my life more than can be expressed. In fact, without Him my life is meaningless. Somehow, that all makes a little more sense to me now than it ever did before. Whenever I walk by my refrigerator and see the picture of Nathan and think about how he’s now with my Lord, I remember. I remember my Lord, even though I’ve only ever known Him in my heart. And when I take the bread and the cup, I remember. I remember better than I did before.

We sang a hymn in church again last Sunday that has become very meaningful to me. I love the whole thing, but I especially love the last verse:

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Nathan 3

Nathan 2

Nathan 1

Nathan 5

Nathan 4

cover page

It Ain't Pretty

Do you see that? That’s my arm. My forearm, actually. One would think that one would know how these things happen, wouldn’t one? But I am one and I don’t. I don’t have the slightest idea how my arm came to look like this. These things happen to me all time. I don’t know if I’m just the clumsiest person alive or what. Last month I was putting clean sheets on Sadie’s bed and for the next week and a half I had the ugliest bruises on both of my hips where I kept bumping into the corner of her bed. Both hips…identical. At least I knew how those got there. This thing on my arm is a mystery though. And it itches! But when I scratch it, it hurts. Speaking of hurt, going to the movies hurts. I went twice this week and I am finally realizing that my knees always hurt all day after I go to the movies because they just make those seats too high. I’m not all that short either. I’m what you call average. But tall people rule the world, I think. Tall people and hot-blooded people. When you have to sit in a seat that’s just a little too high off the ground for two or more hours, it kinda hurts your knees. There are only so many ways to try to get comfortable. I try to cross and uncross my legs a dozen times, put my feet on the seat in front of me, sit criss cross applesauce, and even use my purse as a footstool. But nothing works. By the end of the movie, my knees are aching. Maybe that’s why my legs are always bruised up. Maybe I bruise them when I cross and uncross them fifty kazillion times. Maybe they’re bruised because they’re always cold. Maybe poor circulation makes me be always cold AND get bruised easily. Maybe. But I wonder how this bruise got on my arm…

The Day Before Thanksgiving

I just spent a semi-sleepless night with five 12 and 13 year old girls. In case you don’t remember (or never were one), 12 and 13 year old girls are very silly. There was quite a lot of giggling and stuff. I slept some, waking up every half hour or so to go and check on them. I walked in the living room once and they were all crowded around one of the other girls’ cell phones, yelling silly things to some boy named Trevor. Hmmmmm. I finally came out around 4:00am and found all five of them asleep with all the lights on and the main menu to a movie on the TV screen, loudly repeating its endless loop of a 30 second music clip. It was like five human girls had been turned into statues of stone in Narnia. Four of them were sprawled on the couch, arms and legs everywhere, mouths wide open in deep slumber. One (my daughter) was on the floor with the blanket over her head. She’s slept that way since she was a baby. I used to check on her every night and unwrap the blanket that she had tightly wound around her head. It’s a wonder she’s never suffocated.

It was a fun night. They played three games of laser tag, ate lots of junk food, danced to Grease music, watched M. Night Shyamalan movies and giggled. Boy, did they giggle. Sadie has officially taken over my role as the family photographer. She took a million pictures with my camera last night. I like the way she sees. Every single one of the following pictures was taken by Sadie, except for the one of Sadie, which was taken by Grace. I have been replaced. I can now be the one dancing to You’re The One That I Want instead of the one taking pictures of everyone else dancing.















I didn’t sleep too well. I’m what you might call a not sleeper too weller. Even after I did the final check at 4:00am and all five girls were sound asleep, I just went back to bed and laid there wide awake with my heart pounding, thinking about how I have a teenager now. I didn’t even take the blanket off her face. I used to, when she was two but now she’s thirteen (or will be in four days) and I figure she must have it there because she wants it there.

There’s a cold front blowing through on this, the day before Thanksgiving. You should see the Fall leaves swirling like mad up and down my street. What a great day for a cold front.

This day is the Lord’s. I will rejoice and be glad in it.