thanksgiving this year

Hello, friends. Happy Monday to you.

And this is not just any Monday. This is the first after Thanksgiving, truly Christmas season, twinkly lit Monday. Ooooooo, I'm giddy. Giddy that it's Christmas season. This year has extra sweetness woven through it for me but I shall share more about that later. Right now let's talk about Thanksgiving.

Did you all have a delicious Thanksgiving Day? I do hope so. I hope you watched those big balloons float down toward Macy's and ate that extra piece of pie and had those laughs around the table and played those card games. I hope that you made that list of what you were thankful for and that you aren't going to let it fall to the wayside now but, instead, let it weave a thicker thread of thankfulness into your everyday.

I felt that the Lord deeply impressed that on my heart this year. This Thanksgiving Day is beautifully set apart to ponder and share and remember what we are thankful for but it really ought to be an example of what we are seeking, often fighting, to do every single day -- to "give thanks in all circumstances." That phrase has been whirling around much in my mind this past week and I'm praying that the Lord will help me put feet to it even more. I always have something to be thankful for, even in the hardest of the hard. I always have something to be thankful for because I have Him.

This year we took our time. We woke up slowly. We went for a nice long walk, pausing to notice those last remaining gold and orange leaves and talk about the birds nest J discovered in a tree. We popped a can of pillsbury orange rolls and made eggs with tomatoes and feta cheese and watched the Macy's thanksgiving day parade as we sipped our coffee and orange juice. We made the feast, some things were from scratch because once you've tried Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes you can't have them any other way, and some things were pre-made because it was just simpler that way. We face-timed with our families and relished the fact that we could share stories and laughs with them hundreds of miles apart. We sat down to our decorated table with our plates piled high and gave all the appropriate groans of "I'm so full" by the end. We filled tupperware with leftovers and celebrated all over again the gift of having a dishwasher. We talked of what we were thankful for, we put on comfies and J built us a fire. AK went to bed supremely happy having finished off a s'more and filled with the knowledge that the Christmas tree would be going up the next day. We ate chocolate pecan pie, drank decaf and watched an episode of our current favorite tv show. And then the day came to an end, with several comments of how sweet and good and perfect a day it really truly was. 

It was the Thanksgiving Day we truly hoped it would be. Our hearts did ache missing the company of those precious people we get to call family, but we knew this was what we needed. The Lord gifted us these days to refresh our weary hearts. The past 4.5 days have been a nourishing balm for our little band, filled with all our favorite things that we enjoyed just the three of us....and Winnie too, of course. It was needed. It was prayers answered. The Lord's timing, you guys. I just can't get over it.

settling back in

Hi friends!

It's been some time. I've missed you guys.

Life has been a whirlwind lately, to put it lightly. To open up my planner and realize that we are close to the halfway mark of August just blows my mind. Where did the summer go!? To be honest with you, I am not mourning its passing as my crisp temperature-adoring, sweater-loving heart is eager to see the arrival of my beloved autumn come around the bend. 

I have missed this little space with you all. Though the load and the busyness of life the past weeks required the blog to sit silent, I have been so eager to return. An absence does good, though, for re-orienting and refreshing, and I've been grateful for that.

And I've just plain missed writing. I am far from an inward processor. No, no, it all must come out. Thankful, thankful, thankful for a patient, gentle husband who has logged maaaaany hours of sitting quietly next to me awaiting the thoughts to form into words that eventually result in my "aha!" moments. Jason Coobs, you are a good, good man. So, over the years, writing has become another outward processor for me. It's a help to see those words on paper; I see the patterns, the tendencies, the struggles. Through my writing, my journaling, my "word dumping" if you will, I more clearly see my heart. Though it may take me many a minute, an hour, a day to get those words out, it is sweet to me. So the longing to return to it has been great.

Now I shall dust off my keyboard, re-enter the land of blogging and give y'all a bullet point catch-up on the the last weeks of life:

-- We have moved. The full story shall be shared soon, but a little over a month ago now we locked the door to Springdale #311 after 3.5 years there and moved into our new apartment home. Though a bit unexpected and rather hurried, it was a move marked by a lot of grace, gallons of coffee, and a readiness to start this new season and fill the walls of this new place with memories.

-- A mark of that grace that was seen daily was in the beautiful people that make up the village we do life with. These people are kind, generous, thoughtful souls that are pictures of our sweet Jesus. Whether we see their faces week-in/week-out or whether they walk with us from a distance, they love us so well and we are thankful. 

-- We have been reminded, yet again, that parenting is an intense tool of sanctification and a very clear reminder of our constant need for the grace and strength of Jesus. Wowsers. The 4 year old stage, you guys. It's a wonderful doozy.

-- We went to visit our mountains. We got back last week from a sweet visit out west to our Colorado family. Always cherish those days with them; the laughter, the lazy mornings of coffee sipping and long chats, the dinners on the deck....so much goodness in those days. And those mountains and that open sky, they will always have a piece of my heart.

-- Our days are filled with good things: J is in the midst of studying for a major exam at work, we ordered schoolbooks for AK yesterday #alltheemotions, we are enjoying all the pool-time we can get, snuggling friends new babies, making fall plans, cracking open new reads, and settling into our new normal. 

It feels good to take some breaths after the whirlwind that has been our summer and look back and be reminded that the greatest mark over the summer has been that glorious, everyday faithfulness of the Lord. The resounding thought in my mind over the past days has been how very glad I am that I don't do this life on my own. He's given me my husband. He's given me my daughter. He's given me my tribe. And best of all, He's given me Himself. Thank you, Jesus, for holding me and all the pieces of this life. 

I'm happy to be back with you, friends. I hope you have the most beautiful Monday!

our weekend past | 10/52

Good Morning, Monday.

I want to welcome Monday more. I want to soak up every last bit of the weekend, be so grateful for it, and then turn my eyes to start of the week ahead, with all its glorious newness. 

This weekend was full of our favorite thing: each other. The plans we had were rescheduled so our Saturday and Sunday were as open as open can be, and, for this band of three musketeers, weekend days where the only set piece is spending time together are sweet ones, indeed.

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We did nothing "big", we just enjoyed the beautiful normal. We ate grapefruit and sunny-side up eggs and exercised our right to vote. We returned a coat that didn't fit and stopped by a local coffee shop. We made mouth-watering lamb burgers and watched our favorite Netflix shows. We heard an excellent sermon by our pastor and enjoyed the perfect afternoon walk. We had multiple discipline sessions, spent time reading, ate french silk pie, and talked about this life that we are living.

"Choosing joy" was a theme of our conversations over our weekend days. This season we are in has been hard, hard in the sense of waiting, hard in the sense of parenting an intense, strong-willed 4 year old, hard in the sense that you feel like discouragement is trying to seep into every corner it can. Our pastor Jim preached on Psalm 42 & 43 yesterday and the verse that makes an appearance 3 times throughout those two psalms is:

"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."

The timing of the Lord made me smile yesterday. As I sat and listened to this sermon I kept thinking, "He knows. He knows." He knows the words our hearts and heads need to hear. He knows how we need to be encouraged and how we need to be soul-pricked. He knows the very situations we need to be reminded that our hope must always be in Him. And He's doing that in me and us in this season, and He gently reminded us of all of that yesterday.

So, Monday, here we go. We are welcoming you, with gratitude for what's just behind, and a whole lot of hope for what's ahead.