Posted by: x | May 13, 2011


Bethany and I were born so close together, that I can’t remember life without her.

She has always been there for me, and has kept me in check when I needed it.

And today is her birthday!

It’s been an exciting year for Bethany.

She married an amazing man, and will soon move to sunny Florida.

I could write paragraphs about how wonderful she is.

Some of you will remember my lengthy toast at their wedding.

But today, I’ll stick to her tradition.

Whenever someone else in the family has a birthday, she makes an acrostic of their name to describe them.

So here is how I would describe my wonderful sister in a nutshell:

Beautiful — obviously.

Entertaining — her lip-syncing routines are legendary.

Thoughtful — and always encouraging.

Honorable — she has high standards and she keeps them.

Agreeable — always the peacemaker.

Nice — it’s hard to find someone sweeter.

Young — she’s still in her 20’s!

Happy Birthday, my dear Bethany!

Posted by: x | May 11, 2011

My Man

My lover, my friend, my anchor, and the only man in this whole world for me…

…is 30 years old today.

Happy Birthday, my Love!

Posted by: x | May 7, 2011

A Mother is a Chalice

Much has been written on the subject of motherhood. There are scores of famous quotes about mothers. I have nothing profound to add, but I would like to share some of the writings that have affected me most.

One of my favorite authors once wrote the following about motherhood:

A mother is a chalice, the vessel without which no human being has ever been born. She is created to be a life-bearer, cooperating with her husband and with God in the making of a child. What a solemn responsibility. What an unspeakable privilege — a vessel divinely prepared for the Master’s use.

And in writing about her own mother, she had this to say:

I did not know the things Mother kept in her heart and pondered — things of far greater consequence than the physical care of the coming child. The fear of God was in her heart, the deep awe of receiving a gift, the sense of her own inadequacy to be to this child all that she ought to be.

Elisabeth Elliot, The Shaping of a Christian Family

I can relate to those feelings of deep awe and sense of inadequacy in this monumental task of being a mother. My own dear mother must have felt that as well. I’m not sure when I realized how much she prayed for me. Probably not until I was an adult myself. But I know that of all the things she has done for me (enough to fill a whole series of books), this is the greatest — she prayed for me. And continues to pray for me.

So, when I fail to be a good mother, when I am weak and tired, when I don’t know what to do or how to help my girls — I pray for them. I pray that despite having an imperfect mother, they might come to see and know a Savior, who is perfect in every way. I know that this is the greatest thing I can do for them.

Posted by: x | May 4, 2011

Spring in North Carolina…

…means new haircuts:

(no smiles, I know — you try to get their attention when they’re watching TV!)

our first beach day:

(which was just as perfect as it could be!)

camping in the backyard:

(attempting to camp anyway — only half the family made it all night)

lots of playing outside:

and working outside too:

Posted by: x | April 18, 2011

My Girl All Grown Up…Almost

This is a day late. Would you forgive me if I had a good excuse?

Like tornados and power outages?

Ok. Thanks. I feel better now.


Yesterday, at exactly 3:31am, my girl turned five!

She is practically an adult now.

I know this because I was practically an adult when I was five.

Just ask my mom.

But once upon a time, she was tiny.

She was a Daddy’s girl from the start.

And of course, I introduced her to the beach as soon as possible.

Her smile has brought us joy for almost five years now.

And for a long time, she was the center of our world.
Until one day, when she had to learn to share.
My girl loves princesses.
But she’s got some tomboy in her too.
She is a good little mommy…
…and a wonderful big sister too.
She loves the beach as much as I do…
…and of course, the Wolfpack too!
She is sweet, helpful, creative, meticulous, and I can’t imagine life without her.
Happy 5th birthday, my beautiful girl!
Posted by: x | April 14, 2011


Happy 2nd Birthday to my little nephew!

Posted by: x | April 8, 2011

Spring Beach Days

You might somehow get the idea from my blog that I live at the beach.

Maybe because it says “Where we are now” on top of a photo of the beach.

But unfortunately, I am actually two hours from the nearest beach.

This is the forecast at that particular beach today:

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

Chance of Precip:
SSW at 13 mph

This is also the first day this month with nothing on my calendar.

If you saw that forecast, and had nothing pressing to do today, what would you do?

You would grab some sand toys and sunscreen, and take your girls to the beach?

What a coincidence! That is exactly what I would do!


That photo at the top of the page is from our first beach day of 2009.

It was March 24.


For our first beach day in 2010, we were lucky enough to be visiting friends in Florida.

It was February 28. The sand is a little whiter there.


It’s been a cold spring, so we’re a little late this year.

But if you’re wondering where we are today, look no further than the top of this page.



Posted by: x | March 31, 2011

Terri’s Day

Today is Terri’s Day — the 6th anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo. She died after her nutrition and hydration were cut off, against the wishes of her family.

It’s a day to recall Terri’s story, and to pray that all would recognize the value and dignity of all human life.

Psalm 139 says that we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” — from the child in the womb to those nearing the end of this life — and anyone society deems inconvenient.

You may also be interested in listening to this sermon, given just a few days after Terri’s death in 2005.


Posted by: x | March 22, 2011

Current Events for 3-year-olds

Last weekend was the beginning of the NCAA Tournament.

Also known as March Madness.

It’s one of the best weekends in sports during the entire year.

My girls were very excited to watch the basketball with me.

At least that’s what I tell myself.

They were probably just fascinated that the TV was on so much.


Apparently, there was some other stuff going on last weekend though.

Between games, there were some news updates, and during one of these updates, they flashed a photo of this man on the screen.

My little girl knew right away who he was.

“It’s Captain Hook!”

Maybe she’s not too far off after all.


Posted by: x | March 18, 2011


Today is my Poppy’s birthday.

To others, he was known as Gene or Geno, but to his grandchildren, he was Pop-Pop, later shortened to Poppy.

He passed away just after he turned 70 years old in 1998.

That sounds so long ago when I write it down, but in reality, it doesn’t seem like such a long time because I am reminded of him constantly.

I see him in my little girl’s face every time she smiles.

I see him in my mom’s sweet care and kindness toward everyone she meets.
Everybody liked Poppy, and everybody likes my mom.

I see him in my man, a fellow engineer with the same calm demeanor, generous spirit, and love of American cars. Nana used to say, “It’s tough being married to a saint,” and now I get what she meant.

And although I don’t resemble him much in looks or temperament, I see Poppy in my own love for college sports.

He never missed a Notre Dame football game. I can still see him sitting in his favorite blue chair in the den, watching intently.

And of course, we always mailed him our bracket picks at the start of March Madness. (Hooray for Notre Dame — a 2-seed this year! Go Irish!)
Poppy despised Dean Smith’s “Four Corners” and that loathing of the Tar Heels has been passed down to the fourth generation now (yes, my girls will tell you that the Tar Heels are the bad team).

And there are so many more sweet memories….

Poppy getting up early to make us scrambled eggs for breakfast…Poppy shooting the moon every time we played hearts…celebrating St. Patrick’s Day…spending the week at the beach together…Poppy’s special homemade Khalua at Christmas…and the post cards he sent us from Florida.

I know the younger grandchildren didn’t get to experience all these things the way I did. The mixture of Parkinson’s disease and dementia made it harder to relate to Poppy later in life. But that couldn’t diminish his love for all of his family, even those who didn’t get to truly know him. So I write this post for them.


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