Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jack & Jade

I was a teeny little girl when I was first introduced to Narnia. So young, in fact, I was frustrated by the language of the story and threw the book across my room and said "this is so stupid". I was attending a Church of Christ at the time with my family, relatively open to obedience, and faith, and books. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe once, and never touched it again until my middle school days. I re-read it, which was like reading it for the first time, and I liked it. Only mildly, but I enjoyed it enough to keep the book. Then I made my way to my high school years, and read it again. Only this time, I read it long into the night, went straight to the pretty bookstore, and bought some other Narnian books. I began to absorb everything about this world that had become so dear to my heart.

Lucy was my favorite. She was brave. With a beautiful heart. And an even fiercer determination. She loved her siblings through their failures, and through their victories. But most of all, she loved Aslan with abandon and the tears she shed for him when he lay on that stone table mirrored my own. She loved him. And I loved him.

Then, Peter, Edmund, and Susan also captured my heart. The siblings who bickered, who were young and ridiculous, also grew to be regal Queens and Kings. They were imperfect. So many flaws. But they persevered.

Map of Narnia
And Aslan. With all of his goodness. All of his sacrifice. All of his wildness. Of course HE isn't tame. But HE is good. My beloved.

Then, I began to read beyond Narnia. Who was this man who had written these stories and wound his way into my heart? How I wished I could weave a tale like him. Who was he and why did he make me feel like I could fly? He encouraged my own bravery. My own love for people. And my own quest for queenship. For I knew in my heart that I was no simple human, but a princess in the making, and a future queen of a kingdom far away. Who was this man?

He was a simple fellow, from a simple family, who served in a war, and who had died when my parents were the age that my sweet firstborn is now. He was oddly named. Clive? Staples? Lewis? Three names that were unfamiliar to me. Though, of course he went by his childhood nickname of "Jack" and lived a strange life in a big old house with some obscure people.

I was in love. I read every book that I could get my hands on. My favorites still were among the Narnian tales. Once a King or Queen of Narnia, always a King or Queen of Narnia. We even named our second-born son, Lewis, after this man.

Happy Birthday Jack. You've made my life so colorful. I struggle, even now, for the words to express my deep gratitude.

xo, jade....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{Twinkle}

Tis the season to be silly!
Yep. Found us a big, gorgeous Christmas tree to sit under (near my parent's house) and I grabbed a few pics of my fam + my bff and her mama. It was a fun ol time.


:)

Here's my favorite of the night.
Me and my oldest at our finest....

And, do you see those sparkly, twinkle lights in the background???

YES! It's one of my favorite things about Christmas.
TWINKLE LIGHTS!

Happiness....

xoxo, jade.....

{editor's note: I changed up our blog background+header [slightly]. Let me know what you think!}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

{On Giving Thanks}


My favorite time of year. Quality family time. Beautiful things all around me. Twinkles in the eyes of so many. I find myself sitting in silence and overwhelmed to the point of tears by how much goodness really does surround me. I won't make a list. I won't spill my heart now. But I will leave you with this poem penned by my favorite artist, Andrew Peterson. And PS if you don't follow the goings-on of the Rabbit Room, then please, do some research, meet the proprietor, and feast yourself on the beauty that is the RR family.

THANKSGIVING
(A CONFESSION AND A PLEA TO THE ALMIGHTY)
{O God, Magnificent Confounder,
Boundless in mercy and power,
Be near me in my apathy.
Be near me, Savage Dreamer,
Bright Igniter of Exploding Suns,
But not too near. I’d like to live,
By your grace, just long enough
To taste another perfect steak.
And to see my children marry,
And, perhaps, to pen a memoir.
Great redeemer of my lechery,
Bright Dawn of Blessed Hope,
Lay waste to every prideful thing,
Each black infraction of your law.
O Swirling Storm of Holy Anger,
Be patient with me. I’m certain
I will make a second gluttonous
Trip to the festal spread of food.
And I might as well admit, O King
Omniscient, I plan to make a third.
And that will lead to sloth, I know,
If only for the afternoon. Awake,
O sleeper! But not yet, not yet.
I want to dream a dream of light
In Heaven’s towering splendor.
I long, my Lord, to walk its streets
Or better yet, to drive them.
I’ve always wanted a motorcycle,
A cool one that blats and rumbles
Like a herd of flaming zebras.
I could totally impress the ladies
With my holy rolling zebra steed,
But only by your perfect pleasure,
Ruler of the angel armies, blaster
Of the horn of strength, would I ride
The golden highways awesomely.
O Wisdom of the Ages, speak!
Sing to me of secret knowledge
Open wide the gates of truth,
And let me learn it, by your grace,
Through the medium of television–
Smartly written situational comedy,
Perhaps, or an epic space opera.
Let me taste the honey of your word,
My beloved savior. Seriously. Save me
From my wit, my words, my songs,
My sin, my bad poems, my vanity,
My every single human impulse,
Except the ones I like and am able
To justify using my corruptible
Reason, my imperfect understanding,
And my belief in your inexhaustible
Forgiveness. When I awake, saintly,
I will consume a dish of pumpkin pie.
And, as I politely swallow a belch,
I will lean my heart on yours, Almighty,
To whom, alone, is due thanksgiving.}


xo, jade....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Confessions}

My beautiful friend Julie posted this sweet little Do's & Don't's of her life today.
I appreciated the humor. The honesty. And the perspective.

More often than I'd like to admit, I battle with those rotton feelings of insecurity and I ask myself those comsic questions "Am I doing this right?" "Am I messing up?"

You human beings know what I'm talking about. Whether your story is leading you on a road of motherhood, fatherhood...or if you're walking the mighty walk of singleness. Or you may be a teacher, a student. Whatever your story, you're human, thus (according to our old natures) giving you the ground to fight with yourself.

I very much enjoy it when a window is opened for me and light shines in and I realize my moments on this earth are directed by a much higher, and much more beautiful God of hope. If I were doing the directing of my story, it would be quite the mess. (You KNOW how unorganized I am).

So reflecting back on Julie's post (she's pregnant with her fourth son and one of my most favorite of women) I smile with pleasure at the thought of all that DOES and DOES NOT go on in our house. :)

Shall I share a few with you now?

I DO
  • I do have a morning and afternoon playlist of music for our house to listen to
  • I do take the boys for lots of walks
  • I do let art happen
  • I do read to my boys often and in different voices
  • I do tell stories that come out of my head
  • I do get on the floor and play with them
  • I do feed my boys fruits and veggies...and crackers and cookies
  • I do sing to my boys (not very well)
  • I do take pictures every day and show the finished work to the boys
  • I do take the boys exploring the city
  • I do emphasize the need for salvation and pray with and over my children daily
  • I do serve cereal. For breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • I do let tv happen
  • I do enforce chores with my 3 year old
  • I do allow imaginations to fly and dirt inside the house
  • I do cook....sometimes :)
  • I do give lots of hugs and kisses
  • I do take my boys to Camp Zephyr to play and explore
  • I do let them have a dog to love and be loved by
  • I do turn shopping trips into educational experiences
  • I do laugh (a lot) with my kids
  • I do allow them to see me cry

I DON'T
  • I don't allow bad manners
  • I don't shop organic
  • I don't have my own chickens
  • I don't get 8 hours of sleep
  • I don't mind reading the same stories over and over
  • I don't sew. At all.
  • I don't do math. Ever
  • I don't eat canned green beans, so rarely does my family
  • I don't put the boys in school or day care
  • I don't enforce bedtime
  • I don't sort laundry.....or keep up with it, often
  • I don't pressure for perfection.
  • I don't mind listening to every David Crowder album in one day
  • I don't always have a game plan
  • I don't take showers every day. (that ones for you Julie)

The list goes on, but I'm thankful for the perspective. The things that I do and do not allow to happen in my home are all wonderful, silly, learning experiences. And while I don't have a "parenting" game plan, I'm thankful for wisdom from others, for my own intuition, and for the direction of an Almighty God. 

Thoughts?

xo, jade....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{To Narnia}

I can't get Narnia out of my head tonight.

Ever have those days where it moves so fast, that suddenly it's nearly 11pm and the moon is quickly climbing high in the sky.....and you find yourself wide awake.

My house is quiet.

Well...except for the whirring of the fans
and Andrew Peterson and Jill Phillips playing in my iTunes rotation.

I wish they were my real friends.

Not to say I'm not thankful for the friends that surround me daily. I am blessed indeed by such a beautiful community of caring and loving and creative individuals.

But sometimes I feel like I'm in the wrong place.

I don't love South Texas.
I love many many people here.
But I don't love it HERE.

But I wonder. Would I love it anywhere?
(the mountain dweller within me is SCREAMING yes yes yes!!)

But truly. Would I be happier in the north? Or maybe even further south (NOOOO!)

Did you know that it has been twelve days since we flew home from Colorado.
And I have looked at a picture of the mountains every day since.

No. I know it's not the mountains that I'm thinking about tonight. Beautiful as they are.
I know it's not my dissatisfaction with a region that makes me restless.

It's because I'm living in a temporary place.
This is not my home.

I think of how I read Narnia every year. A couple times, actually. It's in my head. In my brain. In my heart. In my very being.

I must remember to thank good ol Jack Lewis for his nice words. They are such pretty words that have wound up my heart until it feels it might burst.

Not to mention the thunder I heard today. I heard it in the distance as I drove home. I felt this strange giddyness, just hoping that I would see some lightning.
And sure enough...a bright streak across the sky.

And Rich filled my head with his pretty words. Ah, they are such pretty words.

This is me smiling. ::smile::

Ah. back to work.

xo, jade...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

{on kissing}

"The decision to kiss for the first time
is the most crucial
in any love story.
It changes the relationship
of two people
much more strongly
than even the final surrender;
because this kiss already has within it
that surrender."
--Emil Ludwig


xo

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby, baby, oh baby!

Yea. I've had baby fever bad.
Several of my friends are pregnant.
Spencer has turned one.
I told myself I'd give myself until his first birthday before I even THOUGHT about any more kids.
But truly, I've been baby feverish since he was born. Daydreaming about another baby, thinking how wonderful it would be to have kids close in age.

It was a weird feeling, holding my sweet, little Spencer in my arms at the hospital. He was perfect. Healthy. Whole. And so beautiful. So, so very beautiful. Wesley was beyond amazing. The superb big brother. So much joy was just rolling off him. Our sweet little family of four felt so, so good.

But I still felt like our family was incomplete. Don't call me ungrateful for what I've been given, but I just felt it in the very depths of my being that our family was still missing a piece. I cherish my little men, and my beautiful husband so closely to my heart. I wake each day with a thankfulness that I cannot even begin to express in the language of men.

But I still feel like there is someone missing from the equation.

Mom friends of mine who are "done" having kids have told me that  you just "know" when it's time. I know we could get into all sorts of discussions about that, but I can honestly understand the intuitive feeling of "knowing" that you just aren't done having babies. Even when our society says STOP making babies. Even when people suggest that the world is only growing sadder and more chaotic. Even when the economy fuels hopelessness into the human heart.

I still feel like our family isn't complete. Nate felt it too.

I'm not saying we're going to get pregnant soon. I'm not saying adoption is out of the question. I don't know where our family is going. I can only cuddle my children, kiss my husband, and keep living each day full of thankfulness.

This is the month that we celebrate thanksgiving.

And I am so, so thankful for the babies in my life. Especially the two that look like me and Nate. :)

xo

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


"If you want to see the stars you must go out into the country where there are no lights to dim them.
But if you really want to see the stars then you must be out in the middle of the ocean.
Then you can see them as the sailors and navigators saw them in the days when stars were known as very few people know them now."
- Madeleine L'Engle, Arm of the Starfish

Monday, November 07, 2011

{all the pretty mountains II}

snow kissed :)
 Yes, my friend Abby said it best: snowflakes and mountains are in my soul. I'm a south Texas girl who looks out her window and sees Mesquite trees and burnt grass. I live by the Gulf of Mexico and I see wishy washy beaches. Though, to be fair, the waves do {always} capture my interest, and often I stand at the waters edge and think of those I've loved and lost, and am often swept away by the beauty of the salty seas and my own memories.

But the mountains and their majestic wisdom tower over me with a power that I cannot explain. Their rocky halls are mysterious and beautiful to me and I am often left speechless. The first time I met the mountains, I was 15 years old and quite dreamy. (Who am I kidding? I'm halfway to 28 and I still have fluff between my ears) The first time I laid my eyes on those towering cities of rock and moss and tree, I stood in silence and wonder. I was anxious to explore them, and hike I did. With a group of people I barely knew, but was anxious to impress. Thankfully, I didn't need to impress them and they loved me in spite of myself. The mountains, they loved me too. And I felt peace. And I felt whole.

My husband, he loved me in spite of myself too. He married me with sparkling eyes, and swept me away to the mountains surrounding Estes Park for our honeymoon. And it was perfect.

And finally, nearly 6 years later, we were able to go back to the mountains that I love, even if the trip was brief and busy. My heart swelled with peace again and I longed to have my little explorers there with us (though I quite enjoyed the special alone time the husband and I celebrated). I just know the first time I bring my sons to the mountains, they will marvel in the beauty and majesty that has stolen their mama's heart. Wesley is very attuned to the matters of the heart and soul, and I am excited to see him fall in love with those old hills just as I have.

the view from our hotel
So the reason we went to Colorado was that Nate had some training to do in Denver. He was in meetings for about 5 or 6 hours during the day, and we were free to explore and have fun in the evenings. For any mom, getaways are vital. But it's rare for mamas to get alone time. Usually the "getaways" involve the daddys (which is a GOOD thing) but the alone time for me in the land that I love was beyond magical. I was able to explore, and eat by myself, and sit on a bench outside and just absorb the beauty around me (with a peppermint mocha in hand). It was splendid. I also was able to spend some time with one of Nathan's co-workers charming lady love. She was wonderful to spend time with. I enjoyed her company immensely.


The best part of the trip was the snow. God knew it was just what I needed and on the second evening we spent in Denver, Nate and I were curled up on the big bed with our books and computer, watching the snow fall out our window. We were like kids, jumping up every so often and pressing our faces up to the window to watch the snow fall. And when we awoke, the snow had blanketed everything in this glorious, magical white veil. It was perfection. And really, really cold. :) I loved it. I dragged Nate's co worker around and made him take pics of us. He was a good sport, for sure :)
One of the most comfortable hotels I've stayed at



Thankfully, our fabulous hotel (Element by Westin) had a shuttle service, so i didn't have to drive myself around through the snow (I wasn't ready to test my snow-driving skills on a rental) so the driver dropped me off at the mall. {Let me also insert here that I absolutely LOVED our hotel. One of the best we've stayed at} I walked around the mall and met mall employees and had lunch with my new friend, and just enjoyed myself. A policeman saw me walking around outside in the snow (it was still snowing pretty steadily) smiling to myself, and I squeaked "I'm not from here...." to which he just smiled and gave me that look that said "i knew that already".


At one point, we drove around to one of the local state parks and the big sky, meeting the big cliffs, meeting the wide, open prairie, made me swoon and I couldn't get this song out of my head. It just bubbled out and I couldn't stop squealing from the joy of it.

We missed Wesley :)
We missed Spencer :)
I am so ridiculous, but I am so so thankful for our little trip. Four days away from my babies was tough, but four days away with my husband + some bonus alone time was magical.

Magical. :)

xo

Thursday, November 03, 2011

{all the pretty mountains}

Denver, Colorado


Sigh. I just arrived home to our little blue house from one of the most magical places on earth.

Denver, Colorado, you gorgeous town, you. You have stolen my heart.



More details on the trip to come.
Stay tuned, I know you are just sooo anxious to hear about it.


xo