Friday, November 13, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real} there's not much funny in being sick, but plenty of happy all the same

| a weekly capturing of contentment in everyday life |

This week was a long stretch of a miserable cold, bookended by a sweet trip to visit Alex at Rice last weekend and the impending celebration of Brian's diaconate ordination and Natalie's confirmation this weekend.  I'm on the mend and feeling especially grateful this morning. 

A few photos to practice contentment this week

| pretty |

A few signs of autumn around our house, featuring leaves mailed to us from New York over the years

| happy |

Originally, when we were first planning our visit, I told him I wanted to do something college-y for our last trip out while he's still a single man.  I wanted to do something like go to a football game or lecture, and that was the plan until it rained, and half of Texas flooded.  Not the half where the Rice football stadium, but the part we'd have to drive through to get to Rice.  So we missed the game and the famous author lecture, and we stayed home for delightful trick or treaters, instead.

This weekend, I was catching a serious cold, but we had one window of opportunity to go, and go we went.  The most college-y thing we did was buy ourselves Rice t-shirts in the college bookstore (finally, after 3 years!).  The true gift was 24 hours to spend face-to-face, talking about his semester, Houston politics and his future.  I was getting sicker by the minute, and it was worth every one.  

this smile says between the lines: my head weighs 200 pounds of sinus tension,
but I'm so happy to be with my son I don't even care

Saturday brunch at Paper Co, Ecclesia's on-site cafe.  Alex loves his church, and has been welcomed warmly by so many good people.  We toured the unconventional space -- a former paper warehouse in Houston's first ward, turned church building / cafe for the common good. I especially loved the prime gallery space along two hallways. (Unfortunately, I didn't record the name of this artist.)

This exhibit, One Voice, is brilliant.  Just brilliant.  I came home wishing to replicate it in Austin.  May gallery space open up on church walls across the land, and may they impress upon us once again the virtues of truth, goodness and beauty.

Serendipitously, we were able to share our meal with Mike, a friend of Alex's who happened to be at the cafe when we arrived.  Mike is witty, warm, and full of knowledge and stories.  He is part of the Ecclesia community and in a small group with Alex's roommates.  He also happens to be homeless.  I don't understand how all of those realities fit together, but I'm so glad we got to eat together and hear each other's stories.  In truth:  I liked that far better than a college football game, anyway.

| funny |

Speaking of college football, here's a facebook status re-cap of our drive home from Houston on Saturday afternoon.  I sincerely wish I'd thought to take a photo of Brian, standing at the checkout line of a ginormous Buc-ee's, bright orange sweatshirt (with blue trim, the exact colors of the opposing Auburn team that day) like a bulls-eye among the sea of Aggie maroon swarming around him.  I got a couple dirty looks for my Rice emblem, but that was nothing -- nothing, I tell you -- compared to the looks he got for his guilty orange sweatshirt.

Texas + College Football = No Joke (still, hilariously funny to me!)

| real |

Most of the week, in reality, has been about me being sick, and Natalie recovering from a season of debilitating migraine headaches.  We've been eating a migraine elimination diet, working from home, filling out college applications and drinking tea like it's our job.  Hard days can really end up being some of the sweetest, you know?

Have YOU captured any contentment this week? 
 I'd love to hear about it!

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