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When we moved to Austin 3 1/2 years ago, we were delighted to discover we'd be living about an hour away from my cousin Jared and his sweet family. This means that we not only get to see Jared and his wife Natalie but we also get to see my aunt and uncle whenever they drive (!) from Pennsylvania to Texas. Last week we got together to celebrate sweet Anna May's 5th birthday (a Fancy Nancy birthday, nonetheless!)
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Brian attended a conference that his seminary hosted in Dallas. I tagged along and we got a Saturday morning to roam a tiny bit. Naturally, our first priority in this city we haven't really explored yet, was the tragic JFK site. It occurs to me in these sorts of visits how ordinary the objects and places of infamous historical events. The former Texas Book Depository is just a rectangular brick building on the corner of a city intersection fringed by grassy knolls. The top right corner window just a plane of glass with a good view of traffic headed toward the highway. And now two plain, unornamented X's mark the spots we lost a national leader. In contrast to these ordinary markings I felt like the monument the city commissioned as a memorial to JFK to represent more apathy than hope. It's self-conscious attempt to make a statement about the questions of life and death say less about the dignity of humanity and more about the misleading rhetoric of self-determination. Blech...
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An added bonus to a Saturday in Dallas? Meeting our college girl for a quick lunch. Perfect timing to catch up on all the details of her first week back for spring semester. AND we got to see her cute, new haircut in person!
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Winter in Austin is just plain weird. As you know, Austin fancies itself a weird place so it seems quite fitting. One day, happy hour with co-workers on the outdoor patio, shirtsleeves and cold drinks. Another day, cuddled up under the (gorgeous! hand-knitted! Kendra-crafted!) afghan. Next day, long warm walks around Town Lake spying on sunbathing turtles.
I prefer weather that makes up its mind about what it wants to be for more than 3-4 days a time. But -- most days -- I decide this regular dose of sunshine all winter long is a pretty sweet deal.
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Did I ever mention that TOYS were the theme for our family's name-drawing gift exchange this Christmas? Dear Amber found me this Princess Buttercup bobble head who now provides queenly affirmation over my cubicle kingdom each day.
Her first duty, however, was to lend an angelic presence to our reconstructed Nativity scene for the 12 Days of Christmas. She lost the part of top angel to Han Solo, unfortunately.
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I mentioned the Pear-Infused Vodka gift from sweet Rebekah but didn't get to show it to you (which is the next best thing to tasting, I guess) Don't you love her branding?
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My momma is the best at sending mail. This arrived on the perfect day this week -- full of old photos and letters and memories. Some I'll probably share here and some I'll probably never let see the light of day again.
--- Other good words online this week ---
Finding the Words For Faith: Meet America's Most Important Christian Writer by Matthew Sitman at Deep Dish:
This book is still speaking to me: "But the essential point Wiman always circles back to is that, while his suffering can settle into bleakness and doubt, it relates to his religious life not in the form of hoping for a better afterlife, but through a fragile awareness that God is somehow present in and through that suffering. [...] And it might be in the midst of such suffering that we discover what love really is, and when we perceive the meaning of Jesus, his arms stretched out on the cross, in all its abiding power. 'Abundance and destitution are two facets of the one face of God,' Wiman writes, 'and to be spiritually alive in the fullest sense is to recall one when we are standing squarely in the midst of the other.' "
See How Much the "Perfect" Female Body Has Changed in 100 Years (It's Crazy!) at Greatist- Crazy and shameful as hell that we all keep falling for this lie.
This Girl Can: Sort of a part 2 to the Always #LikeAGirl campaign. I love this video. It makes me like ourselves as women again.
Hoping for a content weekend for us all, friends.