Friday, May 17, 2013

hope heals

Whatever I can say right now to tell you to watch this video
to glean wisdom from this young woman's story.
I feel it isn't enough.  I can't do it justice.

click image to be taken to the video
I can tell you that we have many, many mutual friends.
We attended the same church.
And though before this part of her journey began we had not met,
her story and her family's faith through it touched me so deeply.

I came alongside so many praying for her and her family.

Her mother's writings through that time were so beautiful
and painful and raw and awe inspiring.

Katherine Arnold Wolf wasn't supposed to be alive.
And if it weren't for her six month old baby boy,
the surgeon said he most likely would not have tried to save her.
Plus, her husband Jay was in law school.
He was set to take the bar exam I believe that very day.
His chosen profession also had people advising against the risk of a lawsuit.
Other doctors admitted by the look of things they would not have tried.

It looked that bad.

That hopeless.

But her story of recovery and survival is against all odds.

It's a miracle and the Lord's hand is seen all throughout it.

It still is.

And her life is a testimony to how Hope Heals.
I've since met Katherine and can tell you she is every bit as sweet and kind
and caring and full of life as I had read and heard.  I love that she hasn't lost her spirit
through it all.

Katherine's story of courage and hope and optimism
through continued struggles and life altering changes is still awe inspiring.

You just must take the time to watch the unfolding of her story.
It's better than me trying to explain it all.

What Katherine doesn't know is during my deepest struggles
with lupus, which I know is absolutely nothing compared to
what she was going through.  It was her story of fighting
through something so extreme that would inspire me and help me push through.

And I think her journey has touched many in this way.
Because we all have struggles.  We all have trials.
We all have days where it feels too much.
But we can learn from Katherine's tenacity, her faith, her determination.
And the healing power of hope.

insta friday - whew

This week began fresh off the heels of the whirlwind Washington DC trip.
A trip where we left at seven in the morning to return around 11:00 at night

It was both fun and exhausting and this year for Mother's Day 
all this momma wanted to do was stay in bed 
and do very, very little but rest.

So the tradition of breakfast in bed was a start.
And the sweet little gift from my girls.

And my middle one who cut the orchid to place with my breakfast.
My first reaction was ooh, oh, don't cut the orchid.
But my husband smartly hushed me.
And that cut orchid is still living in that glass of water
by my bedside.  I honestly would have never thought
to do that.  She has an eye for beauty I tell you.

This week I have very much been moving to the
next thing I need to do.  And feeling all the while
that I'm still not recuperated from the trip.
My bedtimes have been as early as the kids.
And somehow we've made it to Friday.
But here is a look at some of our full week's of activities.
Monday began with a lab at sea field trip off the Channel Islands 
in Oxnard where they pull things up from the depths of the sea
for the kids to touch, see and learn.
My favorite part is on the real camera.
They showed us plankton under a microscope.
The stuff living in the sea water we don't see.
There were dance classes.
 And the end of the year brunch for my
Community Bible Study.
I recycled some of my willow of wonder
booth things for our centerpiece.
I knew it would be down to the wire and it was.
I was gluing this garden of grace banner in the
wee hours of the morning Tuesday.
Each lady added a tag with a favorite scripture to hang
 from our garden of grace tree.
 It's always a bittersweet ending.  At this point
we've traveled through a book in the bible over
the course of nine months together.  Sharing our
hearts, our lives and our love of the Lord.
And then we say goodbye, and the groups
are reassigned in the new year.  And it starts again.
This year in particular was an amazing group.
The Lord put me right where I needed to be.
A stop at Trader Joe's stopped me in my tracks
with the sight and smell of these beautiful peonies.
A worker there saw me trying to photograph my
girls amongst the flowers and offered to take one 
of me in there too.  So there you go. 
And on to the playoffs this week for baseball.
I'm so proud of how hard my son has worked
and how diligent and dedicated he is to baseball.
He thrives here and channels every bit of his
determination in a good way.
Gymnastics is the same for the girls.
And this one hour respite for me is a little
bit of bliss.  
Sitting and chatting with some really great moms.
 Not pictured, cause well I forgot, is my small group
of women I get to meet with.  We're starting a
book study this summer on the Bridge of San Luis Rey.
That was Wednesday night.  I am honestly so blessed
to have this as another touch point of grown up connection.
This week I realized gosh it has been SO LONG
since I read a novel.
Life turned into parenting books and Christian
books.  Which are all good and I love them.
But I didn't give myself any breathing room to 
read a novel, to dissect its deeper meaning.
To savor the words and the symbolism.
And we're doing that this summer.
So yea, for being a grown up again.

But this scene of childhood, 
well it's a bit of bliss to me too.
You too? 
I think I'll forever be caught between
my grown up and childhood loves.
And I think that's ok.

And here's the orchid plant.  Just making me
smile as we go about our homeschool day.
 And I know typically pictures of food, especially
food like brussels sprouts really aren't too pretty.
But I just had to document this last night.
My eleven year old son kept exclaiming, "these
are so good."  He has come full circle from
being an amazing eater to a really picky eater.
So hearing this, well it was just one of those
mom moments where I was like, 'yes.'
 That, and two of the three were so excited that
I made them salads for dinner.  
I was having a pinch me moment.
My kids are growing up.  
They truly are. 

And I'm just so looking forward to this.
Lots of little plans for our summer.
I'll be sharing them soon.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

the queen bee wrap up

here it little shop at queen bee!
I had so very much fun.
And was told I'd be hooked.
It's true.
I kept saying it's like playing shop as a kid.
Only it wasn't playing anymore.

I'd love so much to give you all kinds of details.
But I leave at 6 am tomorrow for a week long trip to DC
chaperoning my son's fifth grade class on a whirlwind tour through
our nation's capitol.  
The things I need to clean up, lesson plans and meal prep I need to
leave for my family here's a bit overwhelming.

So I'll do my best with the cell phone pic's I have.
Here's how the finished booth looked!
 My husband got this of me while I was setting up.
The whole day went so fast, I really didn't get many pictures, nor leave my booth
for very long to look around.
 I'm going to back up a minute here and thank my helpers here at home who were so kind.
Supporting and encouraging me and asking how they could help.  
Always wishing they could do more.
The whole backdrop idea out of pallets fueled a slight obsession, 
scouring for them whenever we were driving.  
I know, bad taking a photo while driving, but I had to get this.  
Texted it later to my husband as a joke.  Ahhh, pallet heaven no?
 And I nearly buried my children in pallets in order to get them home.  It was pretty hilarious.  And I learned, those pallets can be mighty heavy. So I modified my original design idea.
I got some help with the power tools. The whole process turned into lots of teachable moments.

Oh and to keep it real, the couple of days before the queen bee were 
C-R-A-Z-Y busy and that friday before I thought I'd get on the road
by two and leisurely spend the day at my parent's house.
But everything took so much longer than anticipated and all of my
loose ends that needed wrapping up meant we didn't leave til 9:30.  And even though
I spent many late nights in the weeks leading up to the market, 
I had so very much fun with the whole process.
This was a bird's eye view looking down at my dining room table.
The table that I must get off of here to clean up!
So back to the market we go...
These survival bracelets with whistle clasps were made by my son.
I love his entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to encourage him.
So here are the real camera pics my husband took.  I didn't even
know he was capturing these candid moments, but I'm glad he did.
There you can kind of see my new booth mate friends, Julie from Rais Case
They were beyond happy daddy let them pick the cupcakes to share with others.
 Here's me using the square app function to take credit cards.  I think this technology is just so neat.
And a final pic before they said goodbye.
And here are some of the other booths.  I barely got away to take pictures.
Wish I could have done more.  Everything was so beautiful!
This was my favorite booth from flea market sunday.  And she won the best booth award. 
It was also her first time at the Queen Bee.

I met so many kindred spirits and had so much fun
talking with people in ministry and youth pastors who were excited to
use my work in the rooms where their children meet.
It's so awesome to know the story behind where the art will go.
I so wish I would have taken pictures of the ladies in the booths right near me.
They were the sweetest and so helpful!
Since I don't have pictures here are their shops.

They gave me such encouragement and helped
with advice when I needed it.

One of the best surprises,  my best friend didn't tell me she was coming down
and she surprised me by showing up at the market.

And my family all took turns stoping by.  I didn't get a picture with
my mom or son. And the one with my husband is on our 
good camera, which I'll have to add later.
But here's one with my girls, enjoying the yummy cupcakes
All in all, it was a mighty sweet day.