Saturday, May 09, 2015

7 quick family update takes

I'm not sure I've mentioned yet that I've moved back to working part time after a season of full time.  If you're keeping track of that sort of thing here, I wanted you to know.  You might also have inferred it from the drastic uptick in published posts.  You should also know that I am so grateful for this change I can barely stand it.  

Here's 6 quick updates on what the rest of the family is up to and 1 quick take of other good things I've been reading online lately:

Our son Alexander asked the beautiful Rebekah to marry him!  I'm working on a whole post about this to share soon.  In the meantime, we are celebrating. 

We can't believe how lucky we are (in the holiest sense of that word) to not only be parents to our 4 kids, but now get to welcome those they love into our family too. Mazel Tov and L'chaim!

Alex is on his way back to Austin after a semester in Washington D.C.  where he had some amazing experiences working with and for the sort of people that require me to not share any of those things with you on this blog.  Clearly, they have no idea what it's like to be a Mother.  

Andrew's competing for Funniest Person in Austin again. This is his third year of sticking his neck out with epic courage to see what judges from Comedy Central, the Jimmy Fallon show and the rest of Austin's comic community.  He's made it to semi-finals and we'll watch him on Monday night to see if he gets voted to finals.  GAH - I'm so nervous for him!  

Here's a post Andrew wrote way back in his rookie year:  8 lessons from 9 months doing stand up in Austin, TX

--- 3 ---

A week ago today I was visiting Kendra at her dorm in Denton.  I wrote about the visit for this weeks p,h,f,r post.  It was one of those posts that started out as an excuse to show you all photos of my beautiful daughter and then turned into a reflection on parenting.  I gotta admit, I was a little bit nervous Kendra would not approve.  Instead, I got this text:


Kendra served as the Philanthropy Chair for Simga Phi Lambda this semester. One of their projects was to raise money for World Vision through 30-Hour Famine.  Kendra explains both the project and the Puppy-Kissing Booth (!) fundraiser in this video.

Can't believe she's finishing her freshman year this week and will be headed home for the summer next weekend!  She's got a nanny job in Austin, a trip to her beloved Potter's House in Guatemala and bridesmaiding at a couple weddings this summer.  Should be a good one!  

Any tips from you Moms of older people on living together under one roof in peace and harmony again?  Both Alex and Kendra will be living with us this summer.  Natalie won't be here (which is good because we'll need her bedroom) because...

Natalie's off to New York!  She's taken a job as camp lifeguard at Mapleridge Ranch (formerly, El Rancho de Paz) and is counting down the days.

The first thing you see upon entering Natalie's room -- a camp poster.

In the meantime she is finishing her Junior year of high school.  My brain can not quite compute this fact.  While I was walking with a friend this week she actually reminded me of the fact "In a few weeks, Natalie will officially be a senior?!?"  I looked at kind of stunned.  "YES, you're RIGHT!"  And then my brain shut down.  

One of the recent articles Natalie wrote for 
The Shield (McCallum's award-winning school paper).  
Natalie is an assistant editor.

Assistant Editor mug shot

Brian is in one of the busiest seasons of his life right now, closely rivalling the days he was working, going to school full time, coaching basketball and we were having babies.  Recently, as part of a normal, healthy conversation with some marriage mentors, we were encouraged to find ways to comfort each other during the stress of this season (rather than just politely acknowledge each other's busy, stressed existence).  This morning, as he told me about the work he needs to get done between now and Monday night (including his last seminary final ever!) I told him I'd probably divorce him if he ever got this busy again.

Shortly thereafter, it occurred to me that probably wasn't the sort of comfort our counsellors had in mind.

Don't take me seriously.  We're married for better or worse until death parts us.  We both know when I say "I'll divorce you" it's a sort of code word for us that things will be very, very unhappy and worthy of serious boundary setting and some tense conversations between us.  It's not a joke, but it's not literal either.  Just thought you should know.

In the meantime, I AM so very proud of this man.  He turned in his last paper yesterday, takes his last final on Monday.  I've been saving a bottle of champagne in the fridge for us to celebrate.  Or we'll just toast him at Andrew's FPIA show on Monday night.  

Either way, we're really looking forward to Tuesday. (here's a picture of us holding a wedding photo to prove that we do, in fact, still love each other.)

And it's a good thing we're still together because, in addition for our four children and the beautiful people they love, Brian and I are new Godparents! 

Until a few years ago, I wouldn't have considered this a possibility for us as Protestants.  I love learning the rich tradition of welcoming a little one into the arms of the Church and committing ourselves to his instruction and care as one loving tribe.  Now, Brian and I are asked to walk with Emmett in particular -- as godparents.  I really am not sure what this will look like over the years but gave my loving vow:  

Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life? 
Parents and Godparents 
I will, with God's help. 
Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ? 
Parents and Godparents 
I will, with God's help. 

Emmett's Daddy is a priest, thus the man with the robe holding him as he is presented.

Father Cliff marks the sign of the cross on Emmett's baptized forehead. 

We have been lucky enough to know Emmett from the very, very beginning.  Here's a little collage from the day he was born and his older sister Lucy (Kendra's goddaughter) played at our house.  Kendra was crocheting a blanket, Brian and Lucy bonding over books and toys and we watched Wall-E 59 times (per Lucy's request) before getting to see the little man in person.  What joy to be part of this beautiful family's tribe!

Brian and I aren't really sure really how to be a godparents.  I feel that I should definitely be in ownership of a magic wand and Brian feels that the boy should forever refer to him as "The Godfather".  (we seriously almost gave Emmett a canoli at his party)  Clearly, our understanding has been more shaped by pop culture than church history so the first order of business is to get studying.  And also, Pray for this sweet child to grow up to embrace Jesus, His Church and this needy world.

While I'm catching up here on my quick takes post (maybe I'll get to Easter Sunday next week?!?)  please join me in my weekly Eastertide blog series:  Easter Daybook (on Sundays) and Practice Resurrection Photo Stories on Mondays.  Join me as I keep looking for the Risen Christ every place I find myself. I'd love to hear how you are practicing resurrection during Eastertide.  

Check out the #practiceresurrection2015 series and send us a photo story or two in these coming weeks, won't you?

Here's some other good words online this week:

  • Sometimes, my heart cannot hold it all by Katie Fox:  A beautiful reminder of the way our kids need us to see them. "I see you, my sweet girl. I see every bit of progress that you make, every bit of ground that you lose. I see your struggle and your frustration, and I see your joyful spirit that captivates everyone you meet. I see when you get tired, and when you persevere. I see all of you, and there is so much love, it bursts forth from your smile and your laughter and comes and fills me up inside. And sometimes, it overflows there, too, and my love is a river bounding over its banks after a hard rain. Sometimes, my heart cannot hold it all."
  • We are back in business at Christ Church Garden:  We're so excited to not only have a permanent home for our church, but also a permanent home for the garden!  Matt Evans, our gardener and humorist extraordinaire tells the story like only he can.  "And he [a new neighbor] shook his head in obvious frustration at our ignorance and walked off before we could tell him why we want the homeless, the hungry, the hipsters to have free tomatoes as a gift from us. OK, maybe not the hipsters. We love them too, but they can grow their own tomatoes."


Hoping for a good and content weekend for us all, friends.


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