Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Did On My Thanksgiving Vacation

(Alternately titled "Oh the troubles, we had 'em.")

**Disclaimer!!  This was not a vacation in that I have a job and was chief cook and bottle washer for the fam, but I thought the title was kind've fun and kitchy and reminded me of my childhood, when I had neither job nor bottles to wash.

So I honestly don't even know where to start.  I spent most of the week laughing and saying things like Ohmygoodness this will go great on the blog, or It's all good.  Then a couple of days ago I started with the upchucking and suddenly it wasn't so amusing, and I got a little bit of the cranky. 

It's all fun & games until it's my head in a trash can.  Just sayin.

I'm feeling a little better now and oddly enough have seemed to have forgotten most of the horrifying details.  Kinda like when you have a baby or a kidney stone.  It's like a bad dream that gets fuzzier and fuzzier as time passes by.  God is good to us like that.

However, here is some of what I remember from, what I like to call, The Great Thanksgiving Disaster of 2010.

Minutes - literally like two minutes - after my family arrived from North Carolina I retrieved my granddaughter from the car and stepped in a hole (yup, you heard me) and twisted my ankle, leading me to hobble around like an 84-year-old man for the rest of the week. 

That might have been the high point of the week.  I can't rightly say.  

I'm not sure why I hobbled like an 84-year-old man, but that's what came to me so I'm sticking with it.

(You will be happy and relieved to know that although I was carrying Miss Audrey at the time she did not hit the ground when I did.  I protected that child with my last ounce of strength and she came through the fall unscathed.)

The weekend was crazy busy but relatively healthy, but then...then...Monday morning struck.  The plague hit our home and we still haven't quite recovered.  For the ensuing seven days we've been in varying degrees of misery and uncomfortableness.  I will spare you further details in this regard, but suffice it to say there was much moaning, and groaning, and whining, and complaining.

...and that was just me.

None of us were particularly interested in actually eating Thanksgiving dinner but most were terribly interested in the leftovers, so I dragged my tired, pitiful self to the kitchen to brine that blasted turkey... and subsequently flooded half the kitchen.  I didn't care so much about the kitchen, but my cell phone was in the direct line of water fire and died an instant, ugly death.  This was distressing to me because I love me some Happy Thanksgiving texts from my people, and the ensuing silence was deafening.  Deafening, I say.

In between all that misery and mayhem we did manage to sneak in some baby Owen snuggles, a whole lot of Audrey cuddling, some interesting television viewing, 5-gazillion loads of laundry, two seasons of Blue's Clues, a most excellent pumpkin pie, and a whole lot of Pepsi and Dr. Pepper drinking. 

...and I may or may not have used my cranky voice with Miss Audrey three times; things are a little hazy on such matters.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;

The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;

So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;

Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet relief

So I am happy to report that we have survived our current maladies, and I am cautiously optimistic that we may indeed be spunky enough to consume large quantities of a variety of casserole-type dishes tomorrow.  If I can drag myself into the kitchen, that is.  Time will tell, people, time will tell. 

I'll tell ya all about it until your ears are tired - after I sleep for at least 2.5 hours in a row.  Just sayin.

In the meantime, I hope your day holds no tummy onslaughts and is full of  all manner of wonderfulness :)

Happy Wednesday!

p.s.  Isn't my granddaughter just the sweetest thing ever??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seriously and I'm not even kidding...

...the throw-up is a-flyin around here.

If I survive the Great Tummy Onslaught of 2010 I'll see ya tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gifts Undeserved

holy experience

Thanksgiving is quite possibly my favorite holiday of the year.  It's not that I don't love celebrating Christ and all He has done for me in December, but as a holiday Thanksgiving feels so pure somehow.  There is no shopping chaos...no financial woes...no insane schedules that sap the life right out of me.  The only list I have to make is the one I take to Kroger, and I don't expect anything from anyone in return for the turkey I will roast.  My family gathers together and we simply enjoy being together...and as long as there is pie, all is right with the world. 

I love that our country set aside a national holiday just to thank God for taking care of us.   Good thinking, forefathers!  :)

I'll never understand why some people have so much and others have so little.  I don't know why I was born in the USA and so many are born into utter poverty with little likelihood of ever escaping it.  Millions of people are born, live, and die without ever experiencing a fraction of the material blessings I have enjoyed...and far, far too many never experience the freedom or the hope found in knowing Jesus personally.

In America I am certainly not considered to be wealthy.  There are a lot of things that I would love to have and a few things that I need.  However, there is nothing I need that I cannot live without, and nothing I want that keeps me up at night. 

In most other parts of the world I would be considered wealthy.  I have a home to call my own.  I have locks on my doors and an innate feeling of security and safety.  I have never awakened at night afraid of anyone.  I have never had to scramble to protect myself from the rain, or the cold, or the heat.  I do not have to walk until my feet hurt to get water - and my water is always clean and safe.

If I don't feel well I can get into my little car, and approximately six minutes later I'm at my very own doctor's office.  I can see my doctor most any day of the week for just a $20 copay.  I might then need medication that is readily available at a myriad of  pharmacies near my home. 

Many, many people are never able see a doctor.  Many die from treatable illnesses because they have no access to routine antibiotics or other medications that are readily available to me.

I am never hungry.  I may slide a bit past a meal time every once in a while, but it's only a scheduling issue.  I will say this again so maybe I'll remember it for more than 3.7 seconds.  I am never hungry. 

I have lived 45 healthy years without ever being truly hungry. 

Thinking about it that way makes me want to cry.

Why do these realities not knock me to my knees in abject gratitude to the God who has shown me such generosity and mercy?  How can I go blindly through day, after day, after day just accepting all the wonderful things in my life...as my due?

Sometimes I wonder how God must feel as He watches my complacency and attitude of entitlement. 

How sad I must make him...

I try to be aware of the good things that God has given me and how He is working in my heart and my life, but honestly I fear most of the time I wander through my days completely inattentive to what God has done for me. 

I so want to do better.  

Would you pray with me that I will recognize, with ever-increasing clarity, how much I am given?  The more I realize how much God has blessed me, the more I realize I have no idea.

What a ridiculously fortunate dilemma.

Thank you, thank you, dear Father for taking such wonderful care of me all of my life.  Thank you for loving me even when I don't love you so well.  Thank you for gifting me with so much undeserved.  Thank you for sparing me what I do deserve.  I love you for who you are and am grateful for what you've done, and I would like to ask you to open my eyes to all that that includes.  I love you, Lord!

Thanks for letting me share my heart a little bit today - have a very happy Monday Y'all!

(A Thousand Gifts 118-129)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Somebody help a girl out, would ya?

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I face a rather familiar dilemma.  How to make Thanksgiving special when my family will be celebrating more than once?  My girls will be eating two yummy dinners that day and I hate being redundant.  I could change things up a bit and serve chicken fried rice with a big ole helping of beef & broccoli, but where's the tradition in that?? 

And much more importantly...where are the leftovers in that?!!

So I stick to the at-least-mostly traditional, familiar fare.  Mamaw Honaker's sweet potato casserole is a must of course.  Amelia's recipe for brining and roasting the turkey is a never-fail.  Pumpkin pie for Jeremy and apple pie for Drew.  There's the must-have stuffing which we do not stuff and is never particularly wonderful.  (I need a good recipe for that one!!  A recipe that has nothing weird in it that my kids will reject!)  And of course we have to have the usual mashed potatoes and gravy. 

And the bread!  We can not, must not, forget the bread!  This year I'm thinking I'll serve up some of Pioneer Woman's rosemary rolls - they are out-of-this-world and a sure crowd pleaser. 

Something green would be good but I don't think I can bear to slap together the awesome green bean casserole this year and I don't think the fam will approve of the healthy version I found.  Maybe just some steamed broccoli.  No?  Not on the most decadent eating day of the year?  How about broccoli casserole with a lot of cheese and stuff that's bad for you?  I thought so.

After typing all of this out I'm not impressed by the, well...unbalanced-ness of it all, but seriously I don't think the offspring will tolerate any variation on the traditional. 

However, I sure would like to get it a try.  Do any of you have any good suggestions?  Any favorites around your house that you just couldn't face the holiday without?  I can't stray too far because of the aforementioned issues, but I would love to shake thinks up a little bit beyond the rosemary rolls. 

Because seriously, how many 5-gazillion-calorie buttered rolls can a girl eat in one sitting?

Happy Friday!

p.s.  Don't forget the cranberry sauce! the canned, jelly kind!  Yumm-O...  There was a most excellent-looking recipe for it on PW's site, but I'm afraid I might shock and horrify my children.  What is fascinating and somewhat pathetic about that is the fact that I'm pretty sure my children do not even eat cranberry sauce.  well, that and the fact that my children are grown adults.  Good grief I'm such a mom. and a goober. and not particularly in that order. 

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How I've missed our little talks

So oh my goodness gracious it has been a while since we've chatted!  I've missed going on and on about absolutely nothing important with ya, and I have some terribly uninteresting and perhaps irrelevant things to talk about.  Remember people, I live alone and have words! and a lot of 'em.  Now let's see... where do I start?

First off, thanks to all of you who were so kind to me after this post on Monday.  Your kind words made me feel better & I'm so thankful for you all :)

Well of course you know we finally have a new baby, and he is perfect, PERFECT, I tell ya.  He's chunky, and snuggle-y, and smiley, and warm - and he smells like a new baby, and he makes those sweet little irresistible baby sounds that new babies make.  I'm telling ya he is a full bundle of wonderfulness and I'm not even kidding. 

Audrey's pretty terrific, too.  She is so funny I can hardly even stand it.  How can such a tiny little person be so laugh-out-loud funny?  I have no idea but I'm glad, cause seriously, how much fun would a boring toddler be?  I would hate to have to pretend to find her amusing - that could get pretty tedious over the next 20 or 80 years.  You can't fake a sense of humor, folks.

(Wow.  it just occurred to me that in 80 years I will be like 125.  I could be wrong but I'm thinking I probably won't be doing too much pretending by then.)

My point is that Audrey is a funny kid who makes me laugh, and I enjoy every minute I spend with her.  Thank goodness!

So I've been wondering about this since my use of the word "elucidate" last week.  (Please give me a shout out if you know the answer.  I've learned more than one or six things since beginning this adventure on the worldwideweb & don't want to stop now!)  So here's my question.  Do I "elucidate the list," or do I "elucidate on the list?"  I just can't be sure and it's bugging me.  I tried to google it but could find no clear answer.  I like the word but I'm embarrassed and chagrined to think I used it incorrectly.  and I suspect I did.  use it incorrectly, I mean.

In other news, I am pleased and relieved and happy to report that I did not, in fact, gain 10 pounds while at my daughter's.  I might have gained a pound or so if I were counting, but I'm not gonna lie, there was some joyous woo-hoo-ing going on in my house when I finally, with great fear and trepidation, stepped on the scale upon returning home. 

Although this leads me to more questions.  How can I eat like a maniac for days on end with virtually no weight gain and yet lose no poundage when eating NONE of that yummy terribleness at all?  Life is weird sometimes.  just sayin.

On that note...is it strange to eat sloppy joes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner just because it's there and therefore requires no effort whatsoever?  Don't judge me.  I'm single and on a tight budget.

And you might be wondering about my Christmas shopping progress... You may be pleased to know that I have purchased two more items.  Unless you know me well you will not recognize the enormity of this information.  Many times I have waited to do any shopping whatsoever until the week of Christmas, usually around the 23rd.  (Just so you know, there are usually wildly wonderful sales going on around about then...but you will have a difficult time finding good jammies.)  you're welcome.

One last thing...

Hey Darlene!!  I am SO taking you to TGIFridays when you get to Roanoke.  We will have the sizzling chicken with cheese! with garlic mashed potatoes! and then a big ole serving of the vanilla bean cheesecake just because it is the yummiest dessert ever to be served at a chain restaurant that is not The Cheesecake Factory.  EVER, I'm saying.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A favorite...

Things That Remain

Faith = Knowing He can whether or not He does.

Hope = Knowing He will whether or not He has.

Love = Knowing He died whether or not we live.

Beth Moore (Things Pondered)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

He is worthy of our praise from the beginning to the end

holy experience

It's been a strange week.  On the same day my daughter brought home her newborn son from the hospital a beloved family member, my grandmother-by-marriage (although she never felt like an in-law to me!), my daughters' great grandmother, went home to be with the Lord.  She was over 100 years old and very ready to go home, but still it feels bittersweet to say goodbye. 

This weekend at home there was also a memorial service for Mrs. P., a dear friend who passed away recently from cancer.  She was a teacher for many years and a blessing to so many of us.  It feels odd to have the goodbyes intermingled with such a joyous time, but for us these goodbyes are only see you later's because we know we'll see each other again in what will seem to be the blink of an eye!

It's been hard for me to articulate the specifics of my thanksgiving this week for many reasons, my swirling emotions being part of it, and I'm sure fatigue and distraction also comes into play.  It's odd to me how difficult it has been because I have been feeling sooo grateful!  I'm thankful that God knows my heart and recognizes the nuances of what I'm feeling even when putting them into words is a struggle.  He loves me so...and I'm so thankful!

A Thousand Gifts #103-117

precious good health - and safety - of both my daughter and my grandson

mild, sunny, beautiful weather in november

that first snuggle with my daughter's just-born son.  heaven on earth.

increasing glimpses of little audrey's hi-larious sense of humor

a gilmore girls-style dinner during a gilmore girls marathon with my firstborn

chocolate chip cookie dough

sleeping smiles

psalm 23

the hum of a fully loaded dishwasher doing its work so I don't have to at the end of a long day

the gift of time this past week with my family, time to offer what little help I have to give, time to giggle with my grandchildren, and enjoy the sheer pleasure of sleeping under the same roof with my daughter again for just a little while. 

the refreshment that comes with morning after sleeping a good sleep

the complexity that is life... the gift that is life... the responsibility that is life!  ...the potential of a life just begun... and the beauty of a life well-lived

Mamaw (Elsie) Farmer was a wonderful woman who loved me for what feels like my whole life.  She loved me like she was my grandmother, even though I was "only" a granddaughter by marriage, and she never stopped loving me no matter how circumstances changed over the years.  She showed me what having a grandmother looked like....and felt like.  Over and over, and time and again she made my heart happy, and I will miss her.

And finally, I'm so grateful for the priceless certainty that she is no longer tired, or in pain, or sad, or homesick.  She is now with our Father who loves her more than we could, hard as that is to fathom, and she is strong and happy.  She is with many of her loved ones who died before her...and best of all she is with our Father and finally has perfect, beautiful peace.  At 101 she lived an honorable, productive, loving life and left behind a legacy that inspires me to be better, to work harder, and to love more.  I can never ever thank God enough for allowing me to be loved by her, but I am grateful.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ten on Friday

It's been a long week, people.

A long week.

That's not to say it hasn't been a simply wonderful week because it has.  It has been packed to-the-brim full of wonderful goodness, or perhaps good wonderfulness.  Hard to say at this point.  I have a bajillion things to talk about but I'm so tired I can't move seven of my ten fingers and I'm not sure I'll be in any shape to chase a toddler around for another 12 or 200 hours unless I get some rest.  If I were a person who was prone to whiny complainy-ness I would tell you that approximately 92.65% of my body is either numb or aching, ACHING! this morning.  But as you know, I am not one to complain and I prefer to keep my aches and pains to myself.  No sense burdening you kind friends with my suffering.  I will say this, however...boy oh boy is my sweet Audrey full of energy, and enthusiasm, and perhaps a teensy bit of moody drama these days.  just sayin.

Therefore, I am just going to slap ten things on a list for journaling purposes and call it a day.  Hopefully this will help me remember this blessings-filled, activity-packed, crazy-terrific week that we have had around here.  Feel free to read on or run for the hills, whatever floats your boat.  I may or may not elucidate* said list at a later date.  I suspect it will depend on my mood.  Sad but true. 

1.  Mamaw Farmer

2.  Blue's Clues (aka "Dog")

3.  Dental Hygiene

4.  Banana Pudding

5.  Lemongrass

6.  Gilmore Girls

7.  Pumpkin Spice

8.  Roaming, roaming, and more roaming

9.  Vroom Vroom

10.  "That was so fun!"

Happy Friday, Y'all!

*elucidate = to make clear or plain.  you're welcome.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Owen...

...You were oh-so worth the wait  :)

Owen Tyler Naff
November 9, 2010
9 pounds, 4 ounces; 22-1/2 inches long

Praying your Wednesday is filled with its own sweet joy,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Keepin it Real

So it's confession time, folks.

For starters, in the last 52 hours I have consumed an entire serving of vanilla bean cheesecake from TGIFridays, one Krispy Kreme glazed donut, a Snickers bar, two fun-sized candy bars (100,000-Grand and Butterfinger to be specific), five Pepsi's, three Dr. Peppers, two pumpkin muffins, a Chick Fil-A combo breakfast complete with minis and potato rounds, an oatmeal raisin cookie from The Great American Cookie Company, a couple of Oreos, and some Chef Boyardee ravioli, but who's counting.  I may or may not have also had a couple of strawberry Pop Tarts for dinner around 11 p.m. last night, but I can't rightly say for sure.  This is quite a feat for someone who's favorite snack is homemade granola.

I fear I have lost my mind.  I am so glad I stuck with that un-sweet tea before beginning the insanity or I might be in trouble.

On top of this disturbing information, for some inexplicable reason I feel you should know that I am completely and totally and utterly hooked on Green Acres.  I can't even explain it exactly, but this show brings me such pleasure and joy and delight.  I have been known to laugh - and laugh - out loud all by myself.  I love-love shows that poke fun at themselves so we don't have to.  I always thought Newhart  was kind've like that.  Remember Larry, Darryl, and Darryl? :)  I don't know why I am always decades behind the cool, but I suspect it may have something to do with all the catching up I have to do.  I mean, why become enamored with, say, No Ordinary Family during its first season when I can decide I love it 40 years from now?

It's kinda tricky being as cool as I am, kids, but it works for me.

How weird is it that I'm kinda sorta missing my dog.  You know, the dog that drove me crazy and at times made me dream sweet dreams of doggycide?  Yep. that dog.  Please, for the love of all that is reasonable and rational and sensible, explain to me why this would be.  Checkers has been in a better place for lo these last four-ish years, and my floors have been clean-ish. 

I need to visit the old homeplace and take a look at the carpets.  I'm thinking that would clear up this nostalgia in a New-York minute.  (I'm pretty sure that's a bonafide saying; if it isn't please don't tell me as I do not want to know.  Thank you kindly.)

This might not keep you up nights, but it is a problem for me...I have had You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille playing in my head since way back on Tuesday!

Help me?

Finally, on a happier note, I feel it is safe to assume that I shall have a grandson in my arms before I keep it real air my stark-raving craziness again, and I will be one happy, albeit somewhat nutty grandmother. 

And life will be even sweeter than all the goodness I have ingested these last couple of days.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The one in which I reach 102 of 1000

holy experience

Another week has come and gone, a week filled with good health, good hugs, a few good lessons, and more good times than I deserve.  Below are just a few of the things I'm thankful for on this wonderful Monday morning.

a spontaneous lunch at chick fil-a with these characters...

my ten-year-old car that still gets me where I want to go

nehemiah - I just love him

TGIFridays' vanilla bean cheesecake


the view I wake up to each day...

my tired little laptop that just keeps, going, and going, and going

the opportunity to begin again, and again

baby kisses

fuzzy slippers

a lovely drive on a november afternoon

new neighbors who are old friends

the internet and how it helps me stay connected with loved ones half a world away...

...and taxi cars in the mall :)

Happy Monday!

(A Thousand Gifts #89-102)

Friday, November 5, 2010

This kid...

cracks me up,

and I love her...

...a lot :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An Open Letter to My Grandson

Dear Baby Owen,

Naynay is getting very tired and fatigued and pooped from being on pins & needles for days and days and weeks, anticipating your arrival.  We recognize that you are your mama's son and your daddy's son, and therefore it is inevitable that you will likely feel the need to do things your own way, but would you mind getting a move on this whole being-born thang?

Seriously and I'm not even kidding.  If you keep this up I'm going to be too tired to chase your sister around like a crazy person while you holler in the background as only newborns can do.

And don't even get me started on how crazy anxious I am to see what you look like, and smell your sweet little baby head and kiss your nose...and toes.  just sayin.

Also, you would be shocked and amazed and delighted to understand how excited Wiwi and Doo - (seriously, how do we spell those names?  i'm befuddled and at a loss) - are to see you. 

You have 6 or 200 people who simply cannot wait much longer to meet you and tell you in person how much you are loved, so let's get this show on the road...okay??


Your Naynay

p.s.  Yes, it is true that your family members seem to have very odd and weird and nutty names.  You can thank your sister.  Don't be too hard on her.  She's awfully cute.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More kicks & giggles

So I'm not even kidding.  This tickles me every. single. time.

Have a giggle or two on me, or well, Anita today :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Things that make me sad when I'm being silly and ridiculous and superficial

1.  My favorite Shell station switched from Pepsi products to Coke.  Coke.  Seriously?  I have no words.

2.  The mere realization that all the other things I will list below have to do with me being old merits giving that realization it's own numbered status.  Just sayin.

3.  While cleaning my house to the Footloose soundtrack the other day (yes, my musical taste is diverse and sophisticated) it suddenly occurred to me that the hip & happening songs I enjoyed as a youngster just yesterday would now be classified as "golden oldies."  I'm not sure there ever was a soundtrack better than Footloose for some good ole car dancin.  (Don't judge.  You know you've done a little car dancin from time to time.)  And has there ever been a song more tragic than Kenny's You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille?  I always wanted to weep with that poor farmer with the four hungry children.  I won't play it here, however, because after review with old-lady eyes I realize they're hanging out in a bar and that is just plain wrong.  

I digress. as usual.  My  point was How can this be?  Does this mean I am an oldie?  And what makes an oldie golden, anyway?  Can I be golden?

4.  I appear to have the metabolism of a 72-year-old woman.  No offense to 72-year-olds everywhere.

5.  And finally, my nephew, my sweetie, my Shayne, is driving a car.  A CAR.

If I thought he would forgive me, and I could sing, and I knew the words, I would break into a rousing rendition of Sunrise, Sunset right here, but seriously people?  that song was a golden oldie back when I was hip and happening. 

Happy, happy Tuesday!


Monday, November 1, 2010

A friend is a blessing most precious

Once upon a time, many years ago, I made a friend.  We would see each other every now and again and we would be glad.  We would say "Heeeey" in unison with big smiles and share hugs.  We would ask about the children, and we would have pleasant chit-chat about mostly not much.

She was my friend and I loved her.

Then one day, not so terribly long ago, things started to shift.  We started to make a point to see each other more often than every now and again.  We started to talk about things that mattered more than the mostly not much. 

We started to get beyond the general pleasantries that so often inhibit actual communication.  We started to talk.  Tears were shed.  Heart-prayers requested.  Love and compassion, hurt and ugliness shared.  Realness beyond the prettiness.

Many years after first meeting her, I still have a friend, but she is now family to me, a sister/friend, if you will.  An unexpected depth, and fullness, and beauty has developed.

And I am oh so very thankful

God has blessed me with several such sisters beyond my actual, real-life, born-to-the-same-parents sister.  I love them more than me because I can't even help it, and I think they know this to be true.  I'm not at all sure what my life would look like if I hadn't walked through these last 20 years or so with these precious presences in my life. 

This morning as I am still excitedly awaiting the birth of my grandson and looking forward to seeing my precious granddaughter again I'm struck anew at how not alone I am in my joy, even though I may live alone. 

Why on earth has God gifted me with such treasure? 

I have no idea, but I will never, ever stop thanking Him and telling them how very much they are loved.

holy experience
(A thousand gifts #81-88)

friends who remember me when I was 20 pounds lighter with far fewer lines on my face and far more questions than answers

friends who have seen me at my worst and didn't think that was so terribly bad

friends who have laughed with me over the silliest of the silly things and wept with me over the most serious of burdens

friends who have prayed, and prayed, and prayed for me...and with me

almond treats, target cards, panera trips, frequent flyers, and the myriad of other random acts of kindness shared over a lifetime

birthdays, and christmases, and new years, and cornhole, and spring rolls, and chicken salad, and pound cakes, and passion plays, and weddings, and babies, and funerals shared...

the beauty of priority in long relationships...priority to work through time, and distance, and hurt, and misunderstanding...priority to forgive and love unconditionally. 

the precious certainty that what we've shared so far is nothing compared to what we have to look forward to... here as we grow old together, sharing the joy and pain that comes with life...and continuing on through eternity (yaay!).  this certainty brings me much joy, because there is simply never enough time to love enough.

Happy Monday!