Thursday, October 27, 2016

And I Thought I Loved You Then ~ Happy Birthday Corbin!

Corbin ~ on this happy birthday ~ I'm taking an opportunity to pause and remember how smart I was to marry you. Now that I've spent half of my life as your wife, there are a few things I didn't realize I was getting in a husband when I said "I do."

...and then when they got big, you humored them as they showed off their muscles
Rescuer. Ready to help those in need... here, a drenched and terrified Ruby
Date planner (extraordinaire)
Tutor. Available. I'm sure you had just walked in from work
Listener. I just love the expressions on both of your sweet faces
Hair trimmer
...many, many

...many times
All-in. Helping me decorate, helping kids decorate, you just make things more fun
Delighted father. Win or lose, you're always proud of our kiddos
Oak tree. As in, no matter how many times Branson asked for a phone in 5th grade, you remained strong, unwavering. This pic ~ taken at the 5th grade lunch when his friends began unwrapping their new iphones as "graduation" gifts... little did he (or we) know he'd have to wait until EIGHTH grade (this may be the only time you could be caught smiling in all those conversations)
Security provider
Babysitter. Sunday after church at Chipoltle, and we couldn't all fit at one table. You seated yourself at the kids' table, while the rest of us ate our adult lunches across the restaurant
Teacher. In this case, how to fold cloth napkins for the Thanksgiving meal
Helper. Late night, post-football game for our big 8th grader, and he had a LOAD of homework. You stayed and worked alongside Bran as I dragged myself upstairs to fall in bed 
Trainer. And playmate. Hudda in that batting helmet...
Devotional attempter... 

Instructor. Chances are you started to leave for a run when this little one wanted to "join you on her bike"
Available. How many times did you meet us at a park during lunch to get some play time in with the kiddos?
Accessible. Your Sunday ritual ~ that was really never a ritual ~ sitting down to read the paper. And Essie totally plopped down in the MIDDLE OF IT to get your attention. Good thing she's cute
Out-of-the-box thinker. This ~ because it's just too much. Kudos to BOTH of us for letting her leave for church like this
Caretaker. Even in the SNOW. I probably took this pic from the porch snuggled in a blanket holding a hot cup of coffee.
Smoocher. Fits and fits of giggles.
The constant I see in all of these (mostly candid) pictures is selflessness. Thank you for living with me in an understanding way, living with all of us in such a way that you are giving, giving, giving. We are happy recipients of your generous heart.
Thinking back to that summer twenty years ago, to borrow Brad Paisley's lyrics... We've come so far since that day... and I thought I loved you then. 
Happy, happy 46th birthday, Corbin!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Practicing Gratitude 10.21.16

- Hudson's PHS Homecoming 2016 ~ Freshman year
Hudson and Sadie
Oh my word, what an awesome group of kids
Hud's quick change after Saturday's baseball tourn ~ with a last-min request to help tie bow-ties
Ready or not, here we go!
Pics at Colonial ~ he's still tying bowties
Just a few freshmen boys
John, Elliott, Hudson

Hud, Mitchell, Alex
obligatory somber pic
Matthew and Hud
Not all is serious
Hud and Julia ~ they match! Long-time friends
Nina, another of Hud's long-time friends
All set and ready for dinner
Marty blessing the meal

Hudson and Sadie ~ love this girl and her family
- Meanwhile... Corbin got to take the rest of the family to cheer on the Bears ~ a big win over Kansas! Even more fun cheering alongside the Keisters
Essie, Emma, Basden
Claire and Essie
- A really sweet Sunday morning conversation with Corbin, Alan and Vicki. You never know if you're going to get a couple hours of heart talk, but this time it worked

- Lunch with mom at Local Foods, carving out a little time

- Watching tv with Corbin - on a school night!

- Basden's hair masterpieces
pretty cool
All set for church!
- A Saturday morning that we didn’t have to get up early; Marty coming over for coffee with Corbin, their version of a porch party 

- Student of the month ~ now this is cool! What an honor

- Getting this pic in the middle of the day ~ makes me happy!
Mr. Boerner, Sam, and Essie - senior service day at Tanglewood
- That Brighton didn't want a birthday party without Basden Joy

- 93 on a physics test ~ and how excited he was for it

- Elvia!! (she shows up a lot on these lists...)

- Mama Bear shirt in a gift bag just showing up on the pool house counter... some sweet friend did this for me??!

- Increased awareness of my words (good grief will I ever learn?!)

- These two cuties

- Coffee ~ yes, even black

- What the Tulsa Jameses are going through. Thankful in all things, even with so many emotions connected. That you created Jenna, and Your lamp searches her spirit, it searches out her inmost being ~ both spiritually and physically. Be so, so present with them, Father. 

- In making these gratitude posts, it makes me realize how much I am enjoying this season of parenting. I love these ages of the kids, love that Bran is driving and Hud's about to, love that we have adult conversations with all four kids, but they're all still kids, and we go to sleep most every night with all four tucked in their beds upstairs. I am so, so grateful for this time. Grateful for Corbin, for his provision and hard work, for the stability he brings our family. Grateful for Branson's strong leadership in our family, and what Hudson adds to that and how he stabilizes his big brother in many ways. Basden's leadership as the oldest girl, and Essie's spunk and tender affection she offers. So, so much to be thankful for. Lord ~ I really can't express in words, my heart overflows.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12