SURPRISE!

  • 17 years of marriage
  • 18 shared birthdays
  • 900 hours of guilt
  • 1500 hours of regret

That represents my relationship with Marc’s birthday.

Marc was born on January 6, 1972. His mother, (by the way) earns extra medals for an impossibly long labor under a stupid doctor’s guidance; and his father earns extra medals for helping the stupid doctor to FINALLY make the decision to do a c-section.

January 6 is also known as Epiphany – the day we celebrate the King’s showing up with gifts for ToddlerJesus. And is also just about two weeks after Christmas.

You remember Christmas, right? The time when we celebrate Jesus birth in ways that can really wear us out. Even when we have the best planning skills and humble intentions. No matter what you do, no matter how simple and careful, there is still a huge decompress once Christmas season is over.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo for 17 years, Marc’s birthday has been met with me feeling like a balloon that has been blown up and deflated 20 times by an enthusiastic 7yo, with everyone agreeing that ‘it’s hard to celebrate a January birthday so close to Christmas’.

Until 6 days ago. On January 1, I woke up and wondered, what if I didn’t listen to the used-up balloon feeling? Did I want another load of guilt and regret to start 2013? And I decided NO.

So before I wimped out on myself, I sent out an email to a few people (at 10:38a). Not just about a birthday party – a SURPRISE birthday party. They all seemed to be game. So I set up a Facebook event. And more people were in on the ruse.

The kids and I set to work. Lists were made, and I invited Marc to go to LeMis (movies are one of Marc’s love languages and this three hour movie gave us the time get the house prepared and filled with friends).

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Caleb, Anna, and Sofia were absolute heroes. If you had told me even three years ago that I could leave my children alone to prepare a party for dozens of people I would have laughed at you. But they did it. They took the list, added to it and revised it, and got it done, all as I sat comfortably at Marc’s side watching the movie. The house was ready, and the guests were well taken care of.

  • 6 pizzas
  • 3 hours
  • 24 kids (including my 3 FABULOUS, AMAZING kids)
  • 20 adults
  • 1 great surprise

These are the new numbers that will represent my relationship with Marc’s birthday from now on.

100 Pound Loser – eBook review

300x250-01I had the opportunity review Jessica Height’s new ebook “100 Pound Loser”. Without even knowing what it would be about, I was excited to get the chance to read (and review it). I first ‘met’ Jessica at the Allume conference in October. She is the co-founder of the conference and was one of the keynote speakers. Jessica is a delightful, fun, engaging speaker and her book delivers every bit of her personality on each page and in each word.

“100 Pound Loser” is Jessica’s story of weight gain and weight loss.  It is honest, funny, and  dripping with grace. In a time when there is so much information about health and weight loss – this book keeps it simple. Jessica offers the perfect amount of information to make you agree ‘I can do this’ and encouragement to make you say ‘I am worth this’ about your health.

I honestly had no plans to make health resolutions for 2013. I have been working on morning routines that include workout for about six months and am focusing more on maintaining those as we head into the isolated winter months in Maine. But reading Jessica’s book reminded me that there are small habits, small goals that I REALLY do want to focus on as I maintain what’s been going right.

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This book will be a great addition to your kindle. You don’t have to read it now. But some afternoon or evening when you get to feeling *that* way (I know I’m not the only one), it is a book to pull up and be reminded of this truth – on every page:

“To every woman who has ever looked in the mirror and frowned:

you are loved. “

(from the introduction of the book 100PoundLoser)

A Special Thanksgiving Donation

This girl has been working for 2 1/2 years to grow her hair out to this length – as much as you can work at growing your hair.

The day before Thanksgiving, her first gift of the holiday season was to get it cut off and donate it through Locks of Love.

The timing of her gift is a little bit sad, because she(we) have just begun to find all kinds of neat LONG hairstyles to do with her hair.

We had a frank conversation a couple weeks ago about whether she still wanted to donate her hair and she was given full permission to change her mind.

But she had made commitment to a person or persons. And she was going to stick to it.

As we drove away from the salon, we prayed for the people that would be working with her hair and receiving her hair would be blessed, and that maybe even God would administer His comforting and healing presence to those people.

What a cool way to start the season of Getting.

Giving.

Five Minute Friday: Grasp

Five Minute Friday Today is the day when I set my timer for five minutes and write on a given topic – with minimal editing. This weeks topic — GRASP.

The first image that comes to mind is my hand grabbing or being grabbed. Reaching for my husbands hand, my children holding mine – one more tight squeeze before turning out the lights (do they want me or the lights on longer).

Then a desperate comes to mind – desperate to hold onto something. Life or death holding on to some sort of hope.

Finally a quiet understanding – a coming into the presence of understanding of another persons ideas or an algebra problem. (Yes I did look up “grasp” but I did truly have all these images before reading the definition.)

It seems that these different images can all be passages from one to another. A desperate need to understand leads to a quiet hand holding and then a revelation.

The grasp of a hand from the water of someone drowning will receive a hand of comfort as they are saved and recovered. They will eventually grasp what has happened.

Less concrete, how similar are my days with Jesus. Grasping for His mercy and grace and love – desperately, comfortingly, and every once in a while with a mysterious experience of understanding.