are you one of them?

This question has been nagging at me for quite some time. 
So I just am going to ask it:

Are you one of those people that have all normal, non-flashing Christmas lights with ONE STRAND of flashing ones? And if so…WHY? 
Why the ONE STRAND? 

Did you mess up? 
You can admit it if you did. 
Did you THINK you were buying all normal, strobe-free lights?

When you got home and you strung up the lights did you stand back in awe at your job well done, only to plug them in and think, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! How in the heck did those flashing lights end up right there, above the window?"

If this isn't the case, and you have all normal lights and one strand of flashing lights on purpose, what is your reasoning? 
If it wasn't a mistake, what's the point you're trying to make? 

Someone please enlighten me. 
I just don't get it. 


a little santa




MERRY CHRISTMAS, from our family to yours. 


Christmas thoughts for my daughter

My dearest daughter, Blythe:
Last year I gazed lovingly and longingly down at my expanding stomach, whispering "I love you". At 26 weeks pregnant, we celebrated Christmas and I knew it would still be awhile until I held you in my arms. 

I ached for you in the hustle and bustle of those days. 

 I trimmed our tree with little reminders of your presence. I wondered and dreamed about the next year, when I would know what your nose looked like, would know how your lips parted into a smile, and would know the sweet smell of your face.

I read Mary's song, as she waited and prayed for her child, who would be Christ our Lord. She was scared too, just like I was last year. Just like me she wondered if she was really capable. 

I waited with baited breath for the moment I would hold you for the first time. 

 And then you came so quickly I could barely catch that same breath as I looked into your deep brown eyes.

And now I know you. 
You are my joy. You are my sweet Blythe Kathleen. 
Now we sit under the tree and point at the lights and the ornaments. 
Now you clap and laugh, snuggle and scoot around. 
Now I know what my heart was aching for last year at Christmas. 

 I can't wait for more Christmases with you; Christmases when you know the excitement; Christmases when you know the meaning of a Savior. 

But this year I will be thankful that I get to hold you in my arms. 
I will be thankful that I get to watch you move around instead of just kick inside of me. 
I will be thankful that your dad gets to share in knowing you. 
And I will be thankful, mostly, that the Lord knew it was YOU all along.

I will be thankful for the gift of you, Blythe. 



I have been on a kick lately. 

That kick is called: CLEAN THE CLOSETS IN MY HOUSE. No closet is safe. I have two left to tackle.

And to be honest I am quite looking forward to it. 

Yeah, you heard me. 

Projects like this always take more time than they should because I become ENTRANCED in my junk. Entranced, people. 

I make discovery after discovery. 

Yesterday while cleaning a hallway closet I discovered what appeared to be a scrap of paper. It had scribbles all over it and I could barely decipher my own writing. After inspecting it closer I remembered that I had written on this particular piece of paper while sitting in on one of Brent's college classes. One year we decided that we wanted to do that- see what the other experienced in class- and arranged visits and checked with professors accordingly. 

In the top left I had scribbled a note to Brent: "he sounds like Gpa Schoon!"

Underneath I had signed my name with my soon to be new last name over and over and over, perfecting its loops and swirls. 

Under that another quick jot to Brent: "my womb loves you" Interesting. 

And then, as many a scribbly note book page of mine became, it turned into poems. The first a short one, starting with a line I had heard over and over again in writing classes of mine:

"Write what you know"
& I write about the field of grass between my toes
& you touching my face that way
& children laughing & babies sleeping

& I write about being tired
& being fully alive
& the way the rain falls in Missouri

& I write about family
& teaching Shakespeare to freshman
& singing off key LOUDLY

& I write about writing

"Write what you know"
& you'll never run out 

And then a jagged line juts through the page, as if all of a sudden I had a new idea. 

I turned the page over and found more treasures on the back; treasures of this day I sat in Brent's class and wrote with a blue ink pen. 

Another note to Brent: "I hate when ppl ask questions just so they sound like they know what they're talking about." 

And then I'm guessing he gave me a look, a  now famous look , of his.  
Because just beneath that I wrote: "I do it." 

Beneath this I must have gleaned a nugget from the professor because I wrote "WHEN YOU MATCH NEEDS WITH ABILITIES, IT'S A MINISTRY." I boxed it in, three lines thick. Remember this, I must have thought. 

And then I was off again, another poem emerging from my pen. In half cursive, half print I wrote:

Teaching Shakespeare to Freshman

kids in a classroom
eyes hungry, and tired
listening absently

they want more than 
Romeo and Juliet's words
they want to experience
"lips doing what hands do"

and they want to feel
the poison on their lips
"oh give me my sin again"

they misbehave because they don't understand
the significance of Lord Capulet disowning his daughter

they misbehave because they don't understand
the reason their father disowned them

"a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet"
and the girls think it's romantic
and the boys have checked out

Juliet is a "house bought but not yet owned"
and there are no snickers
so it's obvious they don't understand
or their puberty could not refrain from laughing

how do I reach them?
how do I touch them with 
timeless words?

how do I show them meaning 
in the midst of real tragedy?

tragedy, comedy, history
they see this everyday
and they scream from their desks
"let the show begin!"

their "poverty consents
but not their will"
and I pay their poverty
and I do't know if I've hit a nerve

but I hope they see beauty here
if no where else
and as they taste the words
of a play from then
that they taste life

In the top right on the back of the page, as an after thought I'm sure, or out of force of habit, I wrote: 

I doubt I thought I'd come back to it four and a half years later, while crouched on the floor of my hallway, covered in the dust of my memories. 


8 months of BLYTHE

I didn't snap as many pics this month, mainly because we were here, there, and everywhere. I know these aren't ALL of baby girl, but this was how she spent her days this past month.

She still is not crawling..which I'm totally okay with [and it made decorating for Christmas easier :)]. She get up and rocks and rolls and scoots around though. She still loves to stand and play. 
And she loves to eat! 

She's developing quite the little personality and we are enjoying her so much. 

I love her sweet post-nap faces

We got to see some of our favorite friends, Meagan and Shane!! And good news for us-- they are moving HERE! Well an hour and a half away and we'll gladly take it! 

Blythe got to see her cousins again when they came for Thanksgiving. 

They had quite the time, matching pjs and all. 

And Blythe was excited that her Paige was home on break too! These two like each other. 

Modeling her new outfit. 

We had BEAUTIFUL weather and got to eat dessert outside at Great Grandma Ann's

Everyone is SO THANKFUL for you, Baby Girl. 

We also got to see her OTHER cousins…life was good. 

Kylee getting ready to fly a kite 

It cooled off, but that didn't keep us from going for a walk! 

My dad and Dan even got into the fun and games and played a round of Just Dance

One of our favorite games to play together- THings.

Is there anything sweeter?

And basketball season started!! Supporting our #22. 

I have also been making a lot of baby food…as Blythe is eating more and more. 

I'm trying a new 'do

Her eyes are ablaze with the lights of Christmas

Watching Daddy put up the lights

First trip to a local dairy farm

And one of my college dreams was realized this wekeend: My child got to play with my college roommate Renae's children, Jaden and Jera. Jaden is almost two and Jera is 6 months…but clearly bigger than Blythe. She is also super snuggly which I loved because Blythe isn't really a snuggler right now. 

So happy when she gets to stand

And another month has come and gone. Keep growing. We love you.