They emerge from the water, weary from a morning’s work with stiffness in their calloused fingers. The boats are marooned in their resting place on the beach. Later, they will be cleaned, nets repaired, supplies restored, sails inspected. But for now, hunger beckons.

The smell of a coal fire emanates from the other end of the beach. A familiar figure hovers over the glowing coals. Breath that once brought life into being, now blowing on the embers in order to make a hot breakfast.

It is still unbelievable that He is here. The dark days a few weeks ago are deeply imprinted in their memories. They fled, they wept, they hid. They wondered what they had done with those last three years of their lives. They feared arrest and imprisonment. And then the women came that morning, bearing news too good to be understood.

Now some sense of normalcy has returned, as absurd as that seems. They asunrisere back at work, in regular routines and places. The repercussions of Jesus’ resurrection — what would they be?  What did it mean? What would happen now? He’s still talking about leaving — when will that be? What will become of them then?

For now, breakfast. They will sit down around the warm fire, smell the coal, and hear the sizzle of fresh fish. They will hear His voice again, giving thanks for the bread that will be broken — that has been broken. For them.

(John 21: 1-14)

And Now, Some Frivolous Questions

Does it really make a difference that I use undereye cream? Am I going to notice a difference when I’m seventy, or would that time have been better spent going to bed two minutes earlier?

When will my four year old daughter stop talking like she is two?  We spent so much time on speaking properly, and now she has scrapped it all and started baby talk again.  Yucko.

Why is fall so AWESOME?!!  (nevermind, that is not frivolous.  It’s because IT IS AWESOME.)

What is it about those little “pods” of laundry detergent that makes doing laundry somehow more accessible to my kids?  (For you faithful readers, we have taken a break from this stuff, and I might not go back.  The clothes started to stink, and no amount of Oxy was helping)

Does anyone know when season three of Downton Abbey airs over here across the pond?  I have a few Brits in my twitter stream and they’re torturing me with the Downton tweets.

Not a question:  Fall is awesome in the South for the same reason that spring is awesome in the Northeast.  It’s because you have experienced the same weather pattern for SO LONG that the relief causes you to completely lose your head in jubilation.

In conclusion:

College students in Boston sunbathing in 50 degrees

is equivalent to

Southern women wearing tall leather boots and scarves in 70 degrees

Hither and Yon

Well, we have almost survived the length of a two-week stint without Dad home. It’s the longest we’ve been apart since we married, and definitely the longest the kids have gone without him.  In some ways, it’s been easier than when he left when they were littler.  The older boys help a good bit more now and the little ones come along for the ride.  We’ve even had a dog here for the last week, since some friends of ours were out of town and they needed a sitter.

We started school this week (dang!  STILL haven’t taken a picture!), and it’s going really well so far.  This year’s history covers a broad swath, from the Middle Ages to early Colonial America.  I am really glad to be out of Ancients.  Ancient history just does not excite me.  It brings about memories of my freshman year World History book with an Egyptian head on the cover.  So dry.  So boring.  I know, I know — bad for a teacher, but there it is.  We all have our preferences.  For their part, the boys are eating up the information about knights and castles, and they even like the stuff about how barbarians didn’t bathe and they ate their meat raw.  Plague and pestilence for the win.

Friday is our lighter school day, where we wrap up loose ends and finish up the details of the week.  Today we were done before 11.  I know that won’t always be the case, but it was nice for today.  And then we finished up our work with a bang, by watching this video and laughing ’til we cried:

A Very Happy Date-a-versary

Fourteen years ago tonight, David and I went on our first official date.  It was to see the following terrible, awful, movie:

But since it was our first official date, we are inextricably linked to it for all eternity.

We don’t usually share this information with people, but now all of you can join us in a collective groan for our sad late-90’s selves and our small town and how there was nothing else to do.


You can read the story of how we met and married here.

Brain Dump

Just some thoughts I felt the need to unload:

1.  When a kid is yelling at the top of his lungs from the deep end of the pool, “OH, I’M DYING!  I’M DYYYYYIIIIING!” it’s a pretty sure thing he’s not.

2.  So far I’ve learned that owning a pool means:  having a lost-and-found box; endlessly hanging up towels; and forgetting when it was the last time your kids actually showered.

3.  Jonathan is on the verge of really swimming.  We are very excited about this development, because it will bring us up to 80% proficiency.  Andrew decided that he was done being scared of deep water about two weeks after we opened the pool.  One afternoon he just jumped in and that was that.

4.  As usual on Father’s Day, I made a bunch of Mexican food and David watched the US Open whilst yelling at the television in a Scottish accent.  We are nothing if not multicultural.

5.  Before the golf yelling started, David and I both went in the pool and then laid on towels in the sunshine.  I don’t think we’ve done that since our honeymoon.  It was weird.

6.  I’ve been really loving Sara Groves‘ newest offering, Invisible Empires.  Here is one selection from the album which Sara wrote for IJM.  On the album, it begins with an inner-city youth choir singing the original  “Eyes on the Prize.”

The Rational Explanation

I’m just going to go ahead and confess that I currently have an expired license in my wallet.  Yesterday was my birthday and my license was due to be renewed, but I haven’t done it yet.

There are many very rational reasons why.  Here is my plan if I get pulled over and am forced to hand an expired license to an officer:

Step One:  Pull over quickly and safely, not like that time I drove for a long time not noticing the lights until the officer finally had to put on the siren.

Step Two:  Put on Harried Mom Face (where’s the challenge in that — you hardly ever take it off).  Open window, keeping hands in full view at all times.

Step Three:  Hand officer license and registration.  Immediately confess that license is expired, before she/he has a chance to see it.

Step Four:  Here’s your moment.  Launch into your airtight explanation:

I’m so sorry, officer.  I know it’s expired.  I received the notification six months ago in the mail, but then:

  • We were planning to move, and I thought it would be better to have my official address on there rather than go through the additional step of getting it changed again after we moved.  So that takes us to February.
  • My hair salon closed and moved to Cotswold.  They rescheduled all the appointments and mine got put off.  I don’t have to tell you how critical it is to have a good haircut for your license picture, right?  It lasts for ten years!  My last one was really good, because we had just moved from California…and my hair was long…and my face was thin (living in California will do that for ya).  I have a lot to live up to with that picture.
  • The day I finally had my hair appointment, I ended up in the emergency room with a kidney stone attack.  I had to text my friend who’s a colorist at the salon from the ER and have her tell my stylist that I wouldn’t make it.
  • Then I spent a week in a holding pattern, ready to collapse into blinding pain again at any moment, until the doctor and I agreed that we’d do surgery to remove the 5mm kidney stone.  Do you know what that’s like?  5 millimeters in a teeny little 1 millimeter tube inside your body.  And it’s not smooth.  It’s like a peppercorn. I mean OW.  I’m just saying, OW.  Did you want me to go get my picture taken at the DMV in that state of mind?
  • Then I had to finish up homeschooling for the year, picking up the shreds of learning we’d done while I was on narcotic painkillers, and then we took off for Indiana for a week because my oldest niece was graduating from high school and we needed to be there because all the siblings were going to be there, and we can’t be the slacker branch of the family who doesn’t make the trip, right?
  • And that brings us up to yesterday, my birthday, the day my license expired, and the day I finally got a good haircut.  I will right this wrong as soon as possible, but as you can see it has been utterly impossible for me to renew my license until now.  I hope you can understand.

That’ll work, right?

Little Graces


  • Jonathan began swimming without a noodle helping him
  • Andrew touched the bottom of the deep end with his toes
  • We cleaned out the second side of the garage, which has been a disaster since we moved
  • Jonathan found the treadmill key, which has been missing since before we moved
  • I held a four-day-old baby girl
  • I sold a couple things on craigslist within two hours of posting them
  • Cameron began Harry Potter book five
  • Strawberries were $.99 a quart at Aldi
  • I caught up with Erin after many weeks of both of us traveling
  • David had an extremely successful test of a new design — “the best we could have hoped for”