Tag: family

those upturned faces

I have started and not finished several posts this week. It’s a full week. Rod, thankfully, has been home. Randa & KK wrapped up their current school year. Josh & Kirsten will be here Sunday. And Paige is back to her role as the glue.

Along with the week being full, so is my heart. The inevitability of change is my cloak once again. I’m pondering some decisions, probably taking some of them more seriously than I need to.

In the mean time, I read this quote on a friend’s FB page, and for today, I’m going to wear it:

“While they are at your side, love these little ones to the uttermost. Forget yourself. Serve them; care for them; lavish all your tenderness on them. Value your good fortune while it is with you, and let nothing of the sweetness of their babyhood go unprized. Not for long will you keep the happiness that now lies within your reach. You will not always walk in the sunshine with a little warm, soft hand nestling in each of yours, nor hear little feet pattering beside you, and eager baby voices questioning and prattling of a thousand things with ceaseless excitement. Not always will you see that trusting face upturned to yours, feel those little arms about your neck, and those tender lips pressed upon your cheek, nor will you have that tiny form to kneel beside you, and murmur baby prayers into your ear.
Love them and win their love, and shower on them all the treasures of your heart. Fill up their days with happiness, and share with them their mirth and innocent delights.
~ George Townshend (1876 – 1957)

Of all the things I can fail at in my life, I want to succeed in my mama role.

They deserve it.

the Chicago ones

they are the ones who text random moments so I feel like I am still part of their everyday lives, and the ones who text from the emergency room because we know mileage does not equal distance.

they are the ones who book a flight, extend an invite, or “swing by” (even 8 hours out of the way) on the “way home” from Florida.

they are the ones who send a card or picture in the mail.

they are the ones who kiss my children’s heads and hug my mom and dad.

they are the ones who will meet late at night, drive 30 miles early in the morning, or help me clean out the basement trash on the way to dinner (we’ll laugh about that…someday…).

they are the ones who appreciate my laugh.

they are the ones who know my cousins’ names and ask about my grandma.

they are the ones I don’t talk to for months but then connect with for hours.

they are the ones who have read all about it and prayed for us and cared.

they are the ones who wish we were still here but love that we love where we are.

they are the ones who listen to a story and understand a struggle and appreciate an answered prayer.

they are the ones who want to meet my dog.

they are the ones who extend genuine curiosity over sweet tea and chicken biscuits and pork BBQ, and barely make fun of me for saying “y’all.”

they are the ones whose children feel safe in my arms.

they are the ones that song* is about.

they are the ones who are far away, except not really. they are the ones I left behind, except they are still with me. they are the ones who welcome me with hugs that say I miss you and smiles that say But we’re still doing this life thing together.

And they are so, so right.

*Friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them. And a friend will not say never, ’cause the welcome will not end.* – Thank you, Michael W. & Amy!

bread alone

Ah. Today. I have big plans for you.

Spring is upon us, although it never much felt like winter here, thanks be to God and South Carolina. After 10 days of house guests, who are missed, I have some cleaning to do. I also have a plan: clean and declutter one room per day until done. There are many, many toys that need to go, and many, many boxes in the garage that probably should have gone to Goodwill a year ago, in Chicago.

I am feeling inspired by this article based on a book by Jen Hatmaker (a project I am seriously contemplating) and our very, very vague plans to move (calm down) closer to ‘town’ later this year. We have too much stuff. Even after a year of purging leading up to our move here, we have too much stuff! And I want simple.

I am feeling less inspired due to a little random condition I call “Sunday night insomnia,” which for whatever reason, included Charlie Horses and hot flashes last night.

Please tell me it’s too soon for those hot flashes…!

So, I started slow this morning: fixing a bug on Rod’s website, catching up on some mail I need to send, throwing an easy load of laundry in the washer, and finally, having a simple breakfast:

(That’s some slow cooker apple comfit and white cheddar toast) Since discovering this recipe for ‘Amish White Bread,’ I have finally convinced my dear husband that the preservative-filled, flimsy store bread is not the only way for him. I am 100% baking our bread these days. The recipe is easy and so yummy. This week I am going to try freezing some for a little road trip next week and see how that works out:

Chicagolina White Bread

2 cups warm water  (I use the hottest that comes out of my faucet)
– 2 tablespoons white sugar
– 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– 1/4 cup oil (one part natural/unsweetened applesauce, 1 part oil works well)
– 6 cups all purpose flour

  1. In metal bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water. Add yeast and allow it to proof (looks foamy).
  2. Add salt and oil/applesauce; mix.
  3. Mix in flour, one cup at a time. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes in a stand mixer).
  4. Place in oiled bowl, turning over once to coat. Cover and allow to rise for one hour.
  5. Punch dough down. Divide in half and place in oiled, standard load pans. Allow to rise about 30 minutes, more if you want the bread to rise above pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with butter, cheese, apple-something-or-other, jam, soup, stew, deli meat, garlic…um, you get my point…


full with life

It’s a pretty wordless Wednesday for me. My heart is full with life, as I sort through sweet reconnections, warm memories, high hopes, a glorious ninth anniversary, and one sad goodbye.

I visited Pawleys Island for the first time this week. I am in love with many things about it, my idyllic vision of a beach town come to life. Maybe we will live there someday.


This was the view outside a cafe where I had lunch with my friend Rick yesterday:


Today I celebrate nine years since promising to be Mrs. Burton until death parts us. This week, two people I love and respect so much – my sis-in-law’s amazing parents, showed us what that looks like. I was not there when they said goodbye. I can only imagine it was done like everything else I’ve seen them do: with quiet determination, loyalty, and grace. We will also miss Papa B.

And our mourning and remembering and rolling with it and hoping and celebrating life will occur like everything else we do: together.

remember, helmets are safer…