Thursday, November 17, 2011


I am thankful. 
Thankful for the man who sings Adam Sandler 
to me while I wash the dishes...

"I'll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Need you
Feed you
Even let ya hold the remote control
All I wanna do is grow old with you."

Me too, babe.
 I'm thankful for a bright warm sun on a cold day, staying indoors to cut out paper flags and magazine letters. Thankful for how they glow in the light, reminding me how to glow inside.
 I'm thankful for random dancing in the living room, making music and dipping backwards until my hand touches the ground. Thankful for the strong arms that hold me up and pull me in tight. 
 I am thankful for barren twigs that come alive with heartfelt words of gratitude. Thankful for ideas that spring from a mind at rest, contemplative on the goodness of our God, the love and joy He gives me.
 I'm thankful for home-made pie crust, the golden globs that make my hands sore and counters laden with flour snow.
 Thankful for a hearty meal to share together, to last the weekend and sustain my husband while he works so long.
 I'm thankful to know him, to receive him, to break bread together and live in the peace and fullness of our Savior-Life.
I still have much to learn about being thankful... 
in all things.
Jesus, thank you for making me thankful today.
So thankful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

beautiful death

time to walk, to pause, to listen, to seek, 
to capture the moments, the freshness, 
the beautiful death of autumn...
colors that steal my gaze and catch my breath, 
vibrant as fiery gems burning in the sunlight
the movement of earth to gather in preparation, to travel, 
to build shelter, to savor the last of harvest's offerings 
before winter's eve sets in
time to be thankful, to be still, to know peace and feel joy 
in this glorious display of life...
knowing it will soon fall helplessly to the ground, 
barren and brown, cold and burried 
beneath the coming snow
the golden light will turn grey, 
the clear blue will turn to a misty haze, 
the warmth and fragrance will vanish in the 
sting of icy breath

but the memory will stay, 
the hope of green will grow in my heart 
and the waiting will be salved with the 
treasure of togetherness, the warmth of generosity, 
and the fragrance of love. 
my soul thrives in this beautiful death
 as the earth cries out it's last seasonal song
 to the Maker of all things new 
I too, am most beautiful when I let my colors fall to the ground
 allowing His brilliant light to shine through

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a week of birthday

 I love my birthday. To me, it is the most beautiful day of the year. The weather is always perfect. The trees display the height of their gorgeous colors just for me, and I gladly receive an abundance of love, attention, and blessings from those who know me best. Perhaps my parents spoiled me on my birthday growing up, but truly, what more could a girl ask for!? Sam & Hayley's beautiful backyard provided the perfect setting for a yummy meal shared around the fire ring, laughing and praying together, and trying out Sam's new swing! I can hardly wait to have a home like this someday...
 This year, the week of my birthday marked significant changes in my life. I had just started a new position at work and my body was still adjusting to sleeping at night and eating during the day when I traveled home to Kansas City to visit my family. My grandparents and sister were in town and it made for a lovely time of fine dining, shopping, savoring morning coffee and venturing on 5 mile walks together. Pretty soon, my body started thanking me for going back to a 'normal' routine!
 Elle and I made time to reconnect with our dear friend RuthAnn after many months apart. Such a beautiful sisterhood we three share! There's no way to explain the how precious a friend and sister can be. There's no better expression of love than to know and be known. 
 The change continued with my little buddy, Scooter. At 4 months old, he was as ornery and energetic as ever, fighting for my attention, and never wanting to leave my side. I loved him so much... which is how I came to the realization that I needed to let him go. Living in an apartment with no yard and having to lock him in a crate for 12+ hours at a time when we went to work was just not working for him or me. No matter how many hours we spent walking or playing, he needed so much more than I could give and it broke my heart. So, I said goodbye to my loyal companion and cried more tears than I can remember crying in a very long time.
 Only this little guy could make me smile :) The day Scooter left, we took Clay Henry Unruh to the Pumpkin Patch just to capture his adorable expression and match his hair to the bright orange balls he was so enthralled with. What a little pumpkin he is! Someday, a little person like him will capture all of my attention and affection, and I won't have to worry about letting go too soon.
 I traveled back to Springfield and sadly picked up all of Scooter's toys, his food and water bowl, his many bones and packed up his crate into the closet. To get my mind off of missing him, I baked the most scrumptious dessert I've ever made: Apple Spice Cake with Toasted Pecans and a Browned Butter Frosting from a recipe found in Southern Living Magazine. All the wonderful flavors of Autumn, yum!
 Curtis and I enjoyed a comforting meal of baked garlic chicken and roasted potatoes, a glass of wine and my delicious cake, then we went on a shopping spree! He bought me all kinds of cute clothes, new jeans, some home decor and my favorite latte. We went to bed that night watching a movie, then I got a wake up call at 2:15am to come in to work as they were short-staffed and my name was next on the list to come. I worked 17 hours that day, the day of my birthday and I've never been so emotionally, physically and mentally spent. Around lunch time, I received a special delivery from my adoring husband: a gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses! Everyone in my department was so jealous :) Thanks, babe!
All in all, my week of birthday had some ups and downs, but as this week often symbolizes a season's change, so in my life I found a new beginning, a new chapter to embrace and the desire to wait expectantly on the Lord to reveal his good plans and purposes for me. He reminded me that "To everything there is a season and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven... He has made everything beautiful in its time and has planted eternity in the hearts of men, and yet we still cannot fathom what He has done from beginning to end." 
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3.
I'm trusting, Lord, and believing that things will be beautiful... that they already are, and I'm just opening my eyes to see it all around me! Happy 24th. Here's to a year of change, growth, thankfulness, promise, possibility, peace and joy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


 September 11th became a sweeter day for me when the boy I crushed on from the moment we met asked to know me "better than friends". I was speechless then as I've been speechless many times over by his sincerity, boldness, passion and love for me. 

 He leads me confidently, always a few steps ahead, paving the way, trusting I will follow him...
and faithfully, joyfully, purposefully I do.

 I don't always know his thoughts. I don't always understand his reason. But I trust his heart, and I believe in the One he follows, I know the Love he gives is real; will last...

 He's so much funnier than me! I only wish I could have some killer come-backs 'cause it's really not fair how hilarious he can be... only downside is he doesn't always pick the best times to be funny... except this one:
Who needs a cork screw?
 From start to finish, the whole evening was planned... grilled Italian chicken salad, grainy bread with dipping sauces, and of course, the wine!
 My only touch was a glorious apple crumb pie to remember the sweet moments from our wedding day one year ago.
And the flavor of love we've now shared four years today.
What an incredible journey it has been! Many, many challenges, but so much more love than we ever dreamed of; so much promise for the days ahead...
 Happy Anniversary my husband! I love you so much more than I can say...
Thank you for loving me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

summer time

it's been a while since my words fell into memories to mark out our first year... and soon this year will fall right into the next and we will no longer be "newlyweds" but still best friends on a journey far greater than we ever imagined and so much bigger than we dreamed. how can i not record these precious and sadly forgettable moments? i do not want them to pass by unaccounted for.

summer has flown by like it always does and curtis and i are both anticipating him starting school this coming week with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. a whole new chapter is beginning! and it really is amazing that we are even here, at the start of such a great adventure...

the heat index soared to 115 degrees this year and our afternoons were barely tolerable outside of our air-conditioned apartment. we passed the time with late night runs (waiting until 11pm for the temperature to drop below 90), evening swims after working out at the Y, attending weddings and showers and get-togethers with our closest friends, watching their lives change just like ours, and adding a new member to our own little family: a mini beagle puppy named scooter! he is my little buddy, sleeping right now at my feet as i type.

we shared and witnessed truly incredible moments with family: the birth of our sweet nephew clay, angela's high school graduation, my mom's 50th birthday celebration, elle & matthew moving to d.c., sam & hayley buying their 1st house, eli turning 17, and curtis' mom flying all the way from oregon to visit with us for a week! what wonderful times we've had together! and it's really the small and seemingly insignificant hours or minutes spent sharing stories, laughter & tears, turning pages, starting over or starting something new that make lasting impressions and alter the course of our hearts intentions to be strengthened, renewed, challenged, and encouraged to open wider, seek deeper, and embrace so much more...

everyday we realize how abundantly blessed we are and how deeply humbling it is to live out our dreams. it compels us to give and share and touch others lives as we have been touched. LORD make our hearts willing to give it all away and receive all that you are and all that you have, for YOU alone are worthy of all we are, all we have, and all we ever will be. thank you for this promise, this wonder, this love!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

being home

this week we moved across the hall and down the stairs from our lofted-celine, one bedroom apartment to a more spacious 2-bed, 2-bath, still quite cozy rendition. i must say that after being married 9 months, "making house" is much simpler than it was on our first day together back in September. we have a history now, short as it may be, that allows the walls to speak and draw one into our story... the places we've been, the people we love, our favorite moments together. we feel we've come far and grown much closer than we ever expected. (although neither of us had accurate expectations to begin with). trust, our most welcomed guest, has now nestled in and made himself fond of tempting our palettes to try each other's tastes, and bidding our opinions to take in each other's views. his imploring exercises have become more natural, even enjoyable to us as we each participate in the giving and receiving of him, trust i mean. i don't have nearly as many melt-downs as i used to, and curtis has only exceeded his strong gift of accountability and still allow me to see and feel his struggles, frustration and doubts. he's learned to listen to more than my words and speak straight to my heart... although his teasing will never stop, i feel certain. making me squirm is his favorite game. back to moving... we were able to transfer everything down and over in just a few hours, but the process of piecing it all together took a few days. mostly things just fell into place as if they were claiming possession of their new home as much as we were!

when i think of home i still picture the brick and stone house on a sloping hillside, the creek and woods, the warmth of the fire on winter mornings, and the cool of the screened porch on summer nights, watching fireflies sparkle in the field below. i grew up in a place most have only dreamed about. and to be honest, it wasn't easy for me to leave. i've had to question so much of myself outside of my familiar background and in front of a strange audience. finally questioning what it is i was truly missing, and that lead me back to me! home is not a place or anything the senses can agree on. not peace or security, laughter or memories, love or even family. and it is surely not paint on the walls, a backyard and a barbecue grill (although i want those things quite badly). even the fragrance of a warm meal, the view from the front porch and my husband's arms around me simply calls me to something more certain, more real and sustaining than food, beauty or pleasure. it must be something more...

home is an attitude of the heart. it's choosing to be present and know oneself. it's also choosing to make oneself known. simple acts of kindness, playful words, vulnerable tears, telling secrets and making dreams come true. it's a warm, welcoming, joyous greeting every time someone knocks on the door. it's also acknowledging a world of possibilities outside of oneself, however big or small, plausible, practical or even just for fun. because home does not keep one trapped inside. it's calling up our friends to make salsa and margaritas. extending hospitality to strangers. it's taking time out of chores or studying to sit on the couch and remember we're still in the same room and how thankful we are that we're in love and will always be... home is in our hearts. and our hearts are where we truly live.

i'm so happy to be home.