Wednesday, December 27, 2017


As the New Year celebration and reflections begin, I would commend this old article to you.  Worth every bit of your time to read.

My resolutions in summation this year.

"I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic” existence."  

- John Piper, on a lecture by Clyde Kilby

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas, In Pictures

I always like for the grandparents to wake up to the pictures of our morning on the far side.  Here are a few memories from Christmas Eve and this morning. Last night, we went to a candlelight service at the international church.  And we worshipped Jesus with people from all over the world.  I made a big pot of tortellini soup for beforehand and we gathered with a few other families who are away from home.  This morning, Silas snuck out at 5am "for a glass of water." I promptly put him back to bed.  By 7:30am though, the excitement couldn't be held off any longer.  A flurry of wrapping paper followed.  Asher's outside riding his new balance bike by the mercat, the boys are racing with their new stopwatch, and I'm putting the roast in the crock pot for this evening after a Christmas hike.

I've been listening to Dickens's A Christmas Carol while I cook, with full eyes for all that God has given to our household.  Not those hilarious pajamas or the new toys, but the people that are right here with us. The ability to spend my energy and time on giving my boys a warm childhood, with joy and excitement and affection.

It's Jesus.

He's the reason I have anything at all to give.  He's the reason our hearts are awake.

That blessed babe, born in a stable while the angels proclaimed.

Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


A friend brought me an old copy of Little Women this fall.  I am not sure when I last read the tales of those little women, but it's been at least a decade. I can hardly ever resist a book with yellowed pages and it just seemed like the perfect December fare.

I love how good books change as I age.  They give me new gifts for new seasons.

Fiction can breathe perspective into my soul in a way that no straight forward lesson ever could. Marmee's wisdom, Jo's tempered passions, Amy's beauty, and Meg's sweetness all felt richer in a new way this time around.

Their stories help me see my own small story a little better.

Of course, my story is a bit different, isn't it? No little women in this household.

These little men are keeping me on my toes.  Christmas break, here we come!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Grand Finale

We finished off the week in a flurry of school and church programs, a visit to Santa, a day trip to Girona, a few final scoops of ice cream, and lots of hugs.  As a final gift, NanNan & PopPop bought new Barca futbol gear for the boys, and tickets to a real live Barcelona game for the whole family.  (The excitement of this in our household cannot be underestimated.) The boys are ecstatic.

Basically, our time ended as it began, with a lot of love, excitement and fun.

Mid-way through the week, I ran over to lend a hand to some girls who were working on a sewing project.  They asked how it was going with my parents, and I said something like..."Oh, you know how it is, the kids are just making such fantastic memories and having so much fun. My parents are totally spoiling them but it's like a year full of special moments piled into one special week. We're loving it."

My friend, whom I had forgotten has a difficult and complicated extended family, responded, "Wow. No, I don't know how that is.  But it sounds wonderful." There was no bitterness or rebuke in her tone, simply an honest, gracious reminder that it is a huge gift to have a family who loves us well and thinks of how to bless our kids.  Not a perfect family by any stretch, but a faithful one. That simple response sweetened the end of the week for me even more.  And turned my prayers toward a generation to come, that we would so build into our family and marriage now, that my grandchildren might receive that gift as well.

Farewell for now, NanNan & PopPop! We love you!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Silas's P5 Christmas Musical

Silas was a tree in his class musical.  Let's just say, generally speaking, Silas gets the backdrop parts in school productions.  He's not much of a stage man, but he did that tree dance perfectly and watching him recite the Catalan poem so confidently was a decidedly good moment for all of us.

He has really grown this year in his language skills.  Primarily because his teacher, who I'm guessing speaks a good bit more English than she lets on, refuses to speak to him in anything but Catalan.  While I didn't exactly have the warm fuzzies over this policy, I have to hand it to her...he's grown by leaps and bounds already this year in language.

Their play was a mix of traditional Nativity figures, hilarious miniatures of traditional reindeer and snow fairies, and a few songs and poems. Afterward, we were all invited to the classroom to receive our handmade Christmas ornament, and look at the latest artwork.  Check out his amazing self-portrait! I sure hope that makes its way home one day!

We've come a long way since last Christmas, and I couldn't be prouder of my hard working little tree!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An Early Christmas

We held our 2nd Annual Early Christmas Dinner with NanNan & PopPop on Monday evening.  The kids have been anticipating this particular dinner for weeks.  It's when NanNan pulls out the gift-laden suitcase that Silas has been dreaming of since last Christmas.  No one was disappointed.  My Mom knows how to give gifts.  

Love the memories that we are storing up with those sweet grandparents this week! 

Merry {early} Christmas!!! 

Monday, December 11, 2017

A blustery day at the beach

The weather said it would be 64 and sunny yesterday, so I planned a picnic at the beach after church.  But it was really a wind chill in the 50s, cloudy and super windy.  The wind surfers were out in multitudes, the sea was raging.  And we still had a fun time.  Asher was the only one brave enough to put his feet in that frigid water.  He is all in at the beach!

After dinner, we hit the Sagrada Familia Christmas Market, and found the hugest spool of cotton candy ever.  We threw caution to the wind, and let the boys eat all they wanted. One of my favorite childhood memories is getting cotton candy with my Dad at the Memphis zoo.  He's a legend now with my boys too! 

Poble Espanyol

There's a replica of a traditional Spanish village up on Montjuic.  The boys got free tickets from their school to go to the Christmas market there this weekend.  So we made the trek up the hill on Saturday with NanNan and PopPop.  Basically, the village was cool...but what my kids really got into was rolling down the astroturf hill at the top. It's the little things.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

Bon Nadal!