Thursday, July 29, 2010

birthday blessings

a day my heart was repeatedly gladdened.
a day i felt loved, known & appreciated in this world and beyond.

"How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up
for those who fear You,
which You bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in You."
Psalm 31:19

Monday, July 26, 2010

The House that Built Us...

Today is my Mama Jo's birthday! All 5 of us "Carter kids" were privileged to spend the evening with her in Saline. We had planned a special birthday surprise for her and were so excited to watch it all beautifully unravel.

My siblings and I recently went back to our old childhood home in Saline and took photos (with new owner permission) outside the house and around the property. It was such a wonderful experience for us all- we laughed, cried, reminisced, bonded and got a sweet taste of childhood memories and closure. It had been a while since all 5 of us had spent uninterrupted time together, and many years since we had all been out to our old farmhouse. We moved into this farmhouse when I was 5 years old and it really is the only home I can remember. This house holds a lot of dear memories (rope swings, riding bikes on old country dirt roads, family wiffle ball and homerun derby in the side yard, lilac trees and peony bushes, rhubarb, catnip, stray cats, playing barbies on the front porch, standing over the furnace in a nightgown on a frigid mid-winter morning, the crisp clean natural smell of the old dirt basement, the clawfoot bathtub, our names engraved on front porch, mom painting the porch steps red, bay window and a tiny kitchen, her sewing machine on the dining room table, one main bathroom for a family of 7, hot steamy summers and cold chilling winters, black starry nights and shaded summer days, fresh sun tea right off the backporch, turtles from the creek, snakes and machetes, huge piles of autumn leaves, corn fields and wide open spaces, Ernie Harwell and Tigers baseball billowing out the open kitchen window, cicada bugs and queen anne's lace, not having a lot but not realizing it because we had so much with each other...)

We thought it would be a nice birthday surprise for my mom if we took some photos of all of us kids outside the old farmhouse and had them framed to give to her on her birthday. In addition, we gave her this DVD that was put together using the photos we took from our recent journey down old familiar country roads, and we watched it together with her this evening.

This is a tribute to her and all she has built into us over the years. We love you Mama Jo!

The House that Built Us from Amanda Schrieber on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday Mom and Dad!

I've mentioned before that my mom and my father-in law share the same birthday (same day, same year). And this year they are turning the big "6-0!" It was my father-in-law's wish to have a joint party. And since he retired this year, we had plenty of reason to celebrate. Dayce, Tannia and Gabriel were also in town from Pennsylvania...seemed perfect timing for this occasion. So, this past Sunday, we decided to honor these two special people and throw them a party.
(dennis, my father-in-love)

(my mom and bob)
(my manly manly grillin' man)
(my bro-in-love matt, and his new son sloan)
(brookie and her "on-the-go" cousin blair)
(aunt tannia)
(uncle dayce and gabriel)
(my youngest brother greg and his girlfriend kendra)
(my mother and father-in-love)
(dennis and dana)
(aunt j and sweet baby sloan)
(the kids)
(beautiful day...all the rain avoided us! it was definitely God's favor on us because there were thunderstorms encircling the areas around us, but we didn't get a drop!)
(me and my lovely sisters)
(natalie jane)


(the birthday boy and girl)

(me and my mama)
(uncle greggy and berlyn)
(berlyn and you can see, she was happily passed around all day like a hot potato!)
(piano lessons with grandpa...)
(and grandma)
(a little R&R for grandpa bob)
(it was a day of hard play and much relaxation)

(the birthday boy attempting the waterslide)

(natalie and brooke all "gussied" up)

(aunt florence and uncle steve)
(my other bro-in-love, nate, with yummy)
(daddy and son)
(belryn with her grandmas)
as i was going through and editing these photos today, my heart was just flooded with joy. joy in seeing generations come together to enjoy and celebrate life. mothers with daughters, fathers and sons, aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents...this is family. and if summer were to end today i would be perfectly happy and content. i've had more than enough memories built and good times shared with the ones i love. i love the celebrations and i equally love the times of just "being." they mark our family history and enrichen our story.
so blessed to be a part of this.