Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Welcome Sloan!

Around 4am Sunday morning I received the exciting news that my sister Sarah was in labor. I jumped out of bed, threw on a hat and yesterday's clothes and anxiously headed out to Ann Arbor to meet her at the hospital.
And many many popsicles and one too many jellos later
(Bear couldn't eat)...
we welcomed my new nephew into this world.
This is my third time watching the birth of one of my sister's children.
I still marvel at the miraculous gift of life and am privileged to have been a part of this.
SLOAN MATTHEW HIGGINS
born March 29, 2010
3:48am
7lbs. 3oz.
Practically perfect in every way!









Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reach for Me...

After Brayden got off on the school bus this morning, I began straightening up the house and found this puddled on the floor...
He has been sleeping with this blanket (his "snuggle") since he was a baby. Just recently Brayden began wanting to read his "real" Bible. He has been reading it at night after we tuck him in, and in the morning he has been bringing it downstairs with him along with his snuggle.
I couldn't help but see the symbolism in this visual. Although at age 6, it's his trusty old snuggle that brings him comfort and security--my desire is that as he grows, God's Word will eventually replace it.

This had me thinking about something else. I had no intention in sharing what I am about to share....it's not eloquent or poetic. In fact, these words strangely came to me in a dream a few weeks ago. It was such a vivid dream that when I woke up I began writing all these words and thoughts down on a notepad in my bedstand, where they have sat until today. The words spilled out and I could vividly see a visual picture from my dream of a child holding onto it's parent's hand. It wasn't me or my children in the dream, but I can still clearly remember this image in my mind. Anyways, since then, I have had several occasions where I have heard God whisper, "Reach for me..." Because of these occasions, I have felt a stir in my heart to share...

I reach for my alarm trying to steal a few more minutes of sleep,
You whisper, "Find rest in Me child."
"Reach for Me."
I reach for my computer keys, trying to escape reality,
You whisper, "Let Me be your refuge."
"Reach for Me."
I reach for my phone to spill my troubles,
You say, "I am listening, beloved."
"Reach for Me."
I reach for isolation as a means to run away.
You whisper, "You are not alone; I'll never leave you."
"Reach for Me."
I reach for validation
from a world that seeks to destroy.
You say, "Your assurance and worth are found in Me, child."
"Reach for Me."
I reach for something "new"
in a trinket box of earthly treasures.
You say, "Let Me make YOU new."
"Reach for Me."

And that's it...kinda unfinished, but that was all He gave me. Anyways, I think it was His gentle reminder to me that when life seems hectic, or busy, or disappointing, or difficult, it is Him I am to reach for first.

Thank You Father, for revealing yourself to me time and time again so that I may better understand Your heart and Your character and can love You more. My heart is so filled with adoration for You. You consume my thoughts. Thank You for being the One who is capable of meeting all my needs. You truly are more than enough. Your mercy covers me like a blanket. Thank You for being my own personal "snuggle"...that as I reach for You, Your arms have already been outstretched...on a cross...as far as the east is from the west...for me. And You are still reaching for me. As I go forth each day, may I always reach for You.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

family

enjoying much of this...
threaded together with laughter and love.
family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010




found this postcard at an antique store for $1.00 a couple of weeks ago...

framed it and love the constant reminder of what we are called to do...


making this my motto for the day...for the year...for life.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

the Big "33"

We celebrated Darcy's birthday this weekend. His actual birthday was on Saturday, the 13th, but he had to work that night (school dance) so we began our celebration on Friday.
The kids worked really hard on Daddy's birthday banner a couple of days prior.

They were so proud of their final masterpiece.
And weren't able to keep the "secret" from Daddy...However, the big reveal wasn't until the morning of Daddy's birthday and boy was he surprised! ;)
Friday afternoon Darcy and I took some time to check out a few bike shops.
He has wanted a new road bike for a few years now. Late last spring he was about to purchase one when he made a difficult decision to wait. We talked and prayed about it, and decided that the money he had saved would be better spent on refinishing Grandpa and Grandma's basement. We knew then that it was only a matter of months before we would be living there and that his summer would be consumed with working on the basement rather than taking leisure rides or training for races on a new bike. Darcy loves to compete in triathalons and they just weren't fitting into his summer schedule with all the work that needed to be done to get our family ready for the move. Darcy is a man of few needs and never asks for much. I know this was a sacrifice for him and my heart hurt knowing that the right answer to a bike at that time was "no." I thank him for that. ***(Ironically, the night of Darcy's bday this year, I was flipping through my old prayer journal and came across this very prayer and concern of my heart from last spring. How neat to see how God worked through this and has blessed us through this season.)
Last year I reassured Darcy that although the timing wasn't right for a new bike then, there was no reason why we couldn't begin saving for a bike for the near future. And that is exactly what we have done. So, this year we (I) decided that it would be the perfect birthday/father's day gift (and I wasn't taking no for an answer). Darcy has been online researching bikes for months. He knew exactly what he was looking for. Friday was a fun day of bike browsing and test riding.
And later Friday night we had a scrumptious dinner out with our good friends, Dana and Dennis, at Mongolian BBQ. Darcy made the mistake of declaring that he would not be wearing one of those silly foil hats and made us vow not to tell any of the staff that it was his birthday. Unfortunately for him, the manager overheard him say this as we were sitting down at our table. Moments later he showed up with this tin-horned treasure and placed it gently upon Darcy's not-so-thrilled head.
After dinner we caught a show at Partridge Creek...
(I must say it's more fun at MJR...gotta go where the good times are!)
Early Saturday morning we got up and hung our birthday banner and decorated the house for daddy.
The kids put out their handmade cards (brooke's is her and daddy on a date. bray's is he and daddy riding bikes together--in spirit of the b-day gift). After daddy woke they hung out with him for a bit while mommy fixed breakfast.
After breakfast I convinced Darcy to try a 15 minute ab workout DVD with me.
Brayden snapped this shot. I must say I held my own and kicked darcy's butt on this one. I guess 2 c-sections hasn't completely destroyed the muscles somewhere beneath all the flesh!
The kids have Saturday classes (Bray- a Lego-building one, and Brooke a Princess one) through the community schools. Once they were off, Darcy and I got ready to go make our official bike purchase. After I showered I came downstairs and he said, "Wow, we are both wearing white shirts, jeans and hats." And of course I exclaimed "We are two-two twins!!!" I told him I should go back upstairs to put on my army-camo hat and then we'd really match, but had second thoughts after he said, "You are such a dork...Now that would just be weird."
(OK babe...it's your birthday, you pull rank this time)
After much deliberation between two different bikes at two different bike shops...Darcy made a decision and we bought his first road bike! It was very exciting and my heart was tickled to see him so happy. We laughed and smiled the whole way home. I guess things seem quite a bit sweeter when you have to work and wait for them. Patience yields much joy in the long awaited reward.
This was one happy man...
getting one much deserved gift.
Such a blessing for us both.
Later Saturday evening we enjoyed a fabulous lasagna dinner. There is nothing like Papa's homemade lasagna...we never decline this meal!
And after dinner we had birthday cake (the kids placed the candles on the cake...can you tell?)
Butterscotch cake is Darcy's favorite...his request each birthday. It is by far one of the easiest most delicious cakes to bake. (and oh so good cold the next day...and the day after that!)
After cake the kids and I put on a little song and dance show for daddy
(brayden's idea from days before)
and the kids attempted a little puppet show for dad
Overall, we had a wonderful birthday weekend celebrating a well-loved man.
Birthday boy, you make life worth living...the trials worth going through...the triumphs worth rejoicing in. I can't imagine sharing life with anyone but you.
This is your year...good things are looking up...
blessings are in bloom.
I love you!
~J

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From a Mama's View...

From a Mama's View...
airplane rides make one's heart beat high with delight.
From a mama's view...
watching moments when her husband tenderly loves on his daughter
cannot be bought with a price.
From a mama's view...
those no make-up, no shower days make me feel prettiest because I'm showered with love from my own.
and playing a game with my loves seems like the most important and enjoyable way to spend my time on an ordinary Tuesday evening.

From a mama's view...
watching my daughter smile proudly before her date with daddy makes my heart swell with joy because I know she truly feels she is his princess.

From a mama's view...
marking milestones and charting growth encourages me to soak in all the moments with joy
because I know they are all too fleeting.
From a mama's view...
listening to the giggles and sharing in on the belly laughs instantly refreshes my spirit.

and exercising with my daughter quietly taking note beside me makes me feel that I am teaching her to take care of her body and that I am a good example for her to follow.
From a mama's view...
capturing father and son united in spirit makes my own spirit soar.

and watching my son's "manly" nature emerge tenders my heart toward the boy God is shaping.

From a mama's view, watching generations bond reminds me how important family is and how dear we are to one another.
and watching my kids
enjoy fresh air and freedom,
brings hope that spring is coming,
and blessings are budding.
From a mama's view, ordinary days become extraordinary when shared with the ones you love.
"normal day, let me be aware of the treasure that you are."
~mary jean irion