Our Friends

We had a wonderful surprise last week when friends that we hadn’t seen in ten years called and said they were headed to Texas for the weekend and would love to see us. Diane and I became friends sixteen years ago when we were both pregnant with our first babies, due at the same time. Tessa and Callie ended up being born two days apart. I’ll never forget all the phone calls to one another as we navigated the new waters of mommyhood together, the rides to Bible Study together, the sitting on one another’s couches and talking while the kids played, the babysitting one another’s kids once a week so the other could have time alone to get stuff done…

When they left Dallas a couple years later, our families had continued growing at the same rate as one another, but in the years since then they have beat us by a long shot. Tessa now has six little brothers and one little sister! It was so, so good to see them. It is really a wonderful blessing to have friends in this life that no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen one another or how many ways your lives have gone in different directions, getting together is just like picking up right where you left off. You can always be yourself and the conversation is so rich. I love this homeschooling mama of eight so much! What a precious, beautiful family they have.

Here are Tessa, Callie and Marshall ten years ago:

Callie & Tessa & Marshall

And here they are today:


And (I sure hope I have this right) from left to right, starting with the back row…Marshall, John, Alan, Tessa, Ellie, Josiah, Diane, Micah, Noah, Jonathan!


What a wonderful time we had. I thank God for these beautiful friends of ours.

(To see the rest of the pictures from the evening, go here)

Don’t Let it Slip Away

What a beautiful, beautiful day. The kind where going from inside to outside does not have a noticeable difference in temperature, but somehow there is an immeasurable difference in feeling and it heals to sit outside. It heals the hurts of the darkness of the night and it minimizes the anxiety of the fuzziness of the future.

And when one is done sitting outside and must get in one’s car to pick up one’s children, there is a possibility that a song will just be starting on the radio. A song that one has heard a million times and loved for a million years.

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?

But suddenly, this song will be heard from a new perspective. Because what’s on the mind on this beautiful, beautiful day is a lovely, emotional, complicated woman-girl. And suddenly one might wonder if this song was actually written to this girl. From her mother.

Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame?

It changes everything on this beautiful, beautiful day. This woman-girl who grew into life inside the very body of another has been slowly detaching herself since the day she came into the light. Wet, helpless, squawky and naked she burst forth from the womb, covered in water and blood, involuntarily switching her reliance for life from water to oxygen. She drew a breath. On her own. And has been doing it ever since, absolutely dependent (and yet, independent) and unable to cease even if she wanted.

You say…
One love
One life
When it’s one need
In the night

And as one drives, another involuntary need takes over. Without thinking, one reaches out and turns up the dial until the bass can be felt pounding through one’s veins. It all becomes a part of everything.

One love
We get to share it
It leaves you, baby
If you don’t care for it

It’s possible that one may find that she can’t see the road very well anymore on this beautiful, beautiful day. And the lyrics may start to run together, like water.

Did I disappoint you… you act like you never had love… we’re one, but we’re not the same…we get to carry each other…carry each other…did I ask too much…we hurt each other then we do it again…we’re one, but we’re not the same….

And the blood may pound as one realizes what she has. The absolute most incredible blessing and privilege one could possibly know in this life. The blessing that both gives life and takes it. The gift that one can’t understand, nor deserve, nor fully embrace, nor ever figure out how to do without. But it somehow sustains while sucking up all in its path.

One love

One blood

One life

You got to do what you should

One life

With each other


And somehow, one may arrive at the school all in one piece on this absolutely normal, simply extraordinary day. This beautiful, beautiful day.

Carry each other
Carry each other

Double Digits

I know a girl who loves easily. She thinks most everything through carefully and is constantly figuring things out. There must be a right way to do and to be and to speak and she sure doesn’t want to be the one to get it wrong. She loves her friends and her sisters and her cousins and her parents very much. When parties get too big, she finds a quiet space. When a quiet place can’t be found, she finds her mom and snuggles in close. She is the snuggliest ten-year-old I know. Her smile can light up a room and her humor can light up any dinner table. Attention is great when that’s what she’s going for. And when she goes for it, it’s hilarious. But most of the time, she’s content to be on the side, off the stage, out of the spotlight. She is tenderness and love and happiness and grace.

I know a girl who was born on this day at 2:37am, ten years ago. Her dimples have held me captive ever since.

Today, we added a few more indentions to her head.







Fire and Water

Camping at the end of March. Balm for the soul. Cold days and colder nights. Fire and wood smoke by day and by night. The lake to our back and loved ones in front of us. Winds so strong we had to come home one night. Wind but no rain. First driving experience for my fifteen-year old. Come to think of it, first for the thirteen and the nine too. The nine didn’t like it too well. Too scary. Only lasted a few seconds. Food and song. Little boys and big girls running and biking and rocking out to U2 in the car together. Talking about church and family and government and living while huddled around the fire. Drinking my brother’s freshly roasted coffee, ground and pressed. Discovering that trees and lakes and fires and coffee make all things more easily discussed. Making my fifteen year old stop the car so I can run across the field and get pictures of the full moon. Throwing myself down in the field to get the pictures. My cell phone falling out of my flannel shirt pocket and laying there all night until I come looking for it the next morning. Trying to call it but not hearing it since the ring tone is chirping birds and we are in a field with millions of other chirping birds. Seeing the sunlight reflecting off the blue metal when I’m about to give up and doing the happiest I Found My Phone Dance with my dad right there in that field. Talking about how it’s kind of worth losing things to experience the elation of the finding. Playing games and eating food that always tastes better than it does at home. Cuddling under seven blankets at night. Family Morning Prayer by the water in the early morning sunlight. Knowing I can go forward from here. This is enough. It’s always been enough.































(For a glimpse at the rest of my pictures, go here)