Can anyone else feel how important it is to stop and see beauty right now? It’s been a long political season and I don’t feel like engaging anymore. The news seems overwhelming this week with Oakland’s warehouse fire and other hard stories. Friends are struggling with surgeries and hard relationships, their children’s hardships and financial needs. That’s not all mine to handle, though my heart tries to tell me it is—oh the negatives of being empathetic, right? However… at some point in my day my fellow DPPers are forcing me to move slowly, to see beauty, to capture it, label it, hashtag it and share it with world. There is beauty to be found. And we’re doing it! We’re finding the gracious moments God’s given us, the blessings beyond all counting, all right here in the midst of the ugliness and hardness of life.
The bright white clouds in their furrows against a rich blue December sky. God’s sweet gift to my afternoon middle school pickup. White orchids on my dining room table. Elegant and extraordinary, they send birthday love from my family.
Lord, open my eyes that I may see this amazing world. Open my heart and remind me that You control it all. Amen.
The sun begins to set so early these days. It’s time for indoor exercise with loud music, stretchy pants and commitment to the promised endorphin rush. It’s time for candles and Christmas lights to warm up a room. It’s time for hot tea and hot chocolate and decaf coffee with lots of cream. It’s time for Koselig cooking once more. Pork Shoulder Ragu, One Pot Bolognese and Chicken Soup for my sore throated family members.
There’s comfort to be found. Even in dark hours we can snuggle up at home and take life slowly, savoring tastes and smells and goodness indoors while it’s cold outside.
The story goes like this:
Boy loves girl.
Girl loves boy. And peppermint ice cream.
But only one ice cream—and boy—has her heart.
Boy orders the most perfect of perfect peppermint ice creams.
Ice cream flies through the air.
Ice cream is still frozen upon delivery.
Girl loves boy even more.
Sometimes my love for her feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest. I want to give her all the ice cream cones in the world—even the ones that fall apart like this one–and wrap her in clouds and tuck her in a treasure chest to keep her safe and close to me forever. That’s what I’m feeling the most, these days that are fleeting. Sixth grade will turn into 9th will turn into 12th. I know enough to know that these years will sweep by. And then there are the moments that are so aggravating you want to rip out your hair. Thank the Lord they’re mixed up with this crazy huge parental love. It leaves me breathless, all the feelings.
I’m so grateful to be this person’s mom. Like I tell her, she is my heart. And then she reminds me, “Isn’t Dad your heart, too?” Yes, yes he is. That’s how being a family works—we are each other’s hearts.
December is finally here!! I awoke to a note on our kitchen chalkboard wishing me a happy early birthday and that kind of nailed it in terms of my love for this month. I start out anticipating both my birthday and Jesus’ (um, you really can’t ask for more than that) and the entire month feels celebratory. Love it.
This year I am super indecisive about a theme for my DPP shots. My general desire is to not carry my professional camera around town with me, but I also really love shooting with it (even though it’s got focus issues that will not get fixed to due to its age). So for now, I’m going to post iPhone documentary-style photography on my Instagram feed—and push them through to Facebook. And I’ll post Nikon D2x images here, just because I want to. When that gets overwhelming, as I imagine it will, I’ll shoot just one image and post it somewhere. There, that’s my plan.
Happy December, friends!
Are you wondering what in the world I’m talking about? Head over to the December Photo Project page and read a little bit more. And then sign up for the DPP. It’s a good challenge!
Today was my dad’s last day at Chick-fil-A as he’s moving back into a position in his chosen field. Though based on the comments I’ve received from friends and strangers alike, you may have thought hospitality was his field! Anyone who has been around Dad in a hospital environment or church nursery knows that he’s the Chief Baby Whisperer. He’ll grab your baby and willingly walk the halls while you worship or run to the restroom or, say, eat your chicken sandwich in peace for a minute. It’s been a joy to watch my dad’s smile light up the restaurant and I’ve heard time and time again that he’s shown grace to parents and children alike within that space. I’ve heard of his sweet care for a little one with Down’s Syndrome and of his humility in cleaning up those common-yet-unfortunate playplace pee accidents. Many of my girlfriends have met and hugged my dad at Chick-fil-A and another friend, upon meeting my mom and learning the Mayor was my dad, looked at me and said, “Now you completely make sense!” (which was perhaps the greatest compliment I’ve ever received).
So as David Lawton moves back to the realm of nursing, we all suspect that his care and hospitality will simply move locations. I’ve learned so many things from my dad, but perhaps most important is knowing that his heart, which loves God first, reflects that love to others wherever he serves. May God bless this new journey, Dad! We’re proud of you.
Meagan & Ryan’s family is a gem. I just adore their children and am always super pleased at the results of our time together!
The leaves on the ash trees out front have already fallen—a harbinger of both the coming winter and the coming emerald ash borer it seems—but there are still glorious signs of fall to be found. Lincoln has been especially lovely late in the season this year.