Friday, January 29, 2016

{pretty, happy, funny, real} in January

| a weekly capturing of contentment in everyday life |

Today I'm inserting a little "normal" {p,h,f,r} post before the Series of Fortunate Events finale (the wedding!) I really and truly can not believe that we're in the final days of January. I know everyone says this, but this time I really mean it. How is it possible? We began the month in what we call in these parts "full twirl" - holidays, family & friends and wedding festivities. We're ending the month kind of quietly, which has its own profound beauty. Brian and I are headed to a retreat center with a small group of Christ Church friends intent on learning new ways to come alongside lonely and overwhelmed people. January brought a lot of goodness, with some moments of sharp sorrow interspersed. Through it all, we hope to be grateful.

A few photos to practice contentment this week

| pretty |

Morning light in two locations

I was caught by the January morning light on a table centerpiece in my house, and then in the mostly-empty church sanctuary during Friday morning Epiphany prayer service.  

| happy |

Slow Cooking Saturday

It's been too long since we've made a good, old-fashioned meal for company. When Brian talked with two of his co-workers (whom we'd wanted to have over for the longest time) about what we'd eat, they decided to each bring one part of the meal and we'd prepare it all together.  I guess the idea came when Brian bragged about his (amazing) GF Chicken parm, and they wanted to know how he made it.  So why not cook all together?  Bekah made a hearty, delicious salad.  Sarah & Drew brought the most delectable homemade ice cream I've ever tasted.  (better than non-homemade, too!)  We had to fight with the kids to get our fair share of that yumminess.

Visiting the Newlyweds in Houston

I promise we waited a whole two weeks!  Long enough for them to actually want company, we hope.  We filled the back of our van with remaining wedding gifts, furniture and odds & ends they'd left behind.  I loved seeing their sweet apartment, their wedding gifts in use (note the lovely cobalt blue glass in the foreground above).  They made us coffee in a new coffeemaker, and we sat around and looked at the gorgeous sneak preview pics their wedding photographer posted.  

| funny |

Wedding pics & gifts

Speaking of wedding photos, I tried to snap a pic of us all trying to look at the same exact pictures at the same exact time.  It wasn't an exact science, but it was worth a try! There was one gift left unopened - this dreamy Nespresso machine from my sister-in-law's very generous mother.  Don't you love that reaction?  

Brian's church office

No, he did not order this nameplate for himself. Yes, he has been known to say this about himself on occasion

Making mischief at Aunt T's house

Even though it seems like it's been months since our family visited from the Northeast, I keep stumbling on sweet little reminders that it wasn't actually that long ago.  Take, for example, the original artwork on the pillow case above.  

You've heard of Making A Murderer?  Here's our spin-off: Making A Mischief-Maker.  Judge for yourself and start cranking out the conspiracy theories.  I, for one, am still not sure which sweet angel is responsible.

| real |

Kendra made the Dean's List!

We are | real-ly | proud of her.  Also, I'm learning that mothers never stop wanting to cover their refrigerators with their kids' accomplishments.  Someone once told me that God has a picture of each of us on his refrigerator.  I'm pretty sure that was metaphorical, but I totally understand the parental impulse!

Epiphany dinner with Christ Church staff

Someone recently asked me what these years in Austin have meant (assuming we'll need to move again for my husband to serve as Rector after his ordination).  Austin has been about healing, hope, hardship, growing up to be more like Christ and more like our truest selves.  I said a lot more than that.

This group of people -- the Christ Church pastors, staff and their families --  are forever imprinted on our hearts and intertwined in our way of seeing the world.  Sometimes Brian refers to this staff as "lightning in a bottle". In other words, it's almost impossible to gather in one place or to hold onto for very long. For this brief time in our lives we were part of something really special. I want to celebrate that, even if we won't be together for much longer. The kingdom of Christ has no end, and our hearts will be forever held together with this group of people.

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

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