"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Monday, May 30, 2011

Phases We're In

"It's just a phase.  This too shall pass."
Phases of life.  Some are easy and you hope they last forever.  When a precious, pink skinned newborn lays on your chest in a hospital room and all she wants is your love.  Others phases push your heart and soul to the limit and you pray they end soon.  Calling my best friend and asking her how long my heart will ache after letting my daddy go on a cold winter morning. 
RIght now, I feel we're in a few phases simultaneously.  You know, the pinch of salt in the cookie batter that just balances things out.  The secret dusting of nutmeg that gives a dish something extra special.  
We see our phases play out more in depth when we're together.

Memorial Day weekend.  A barbeque brought many friends, some we hadn't seen in awhile.  Sweet gathering of conversation set to the background music of littles' laughter and play.
A great excuse to whip up some cookie dough truffles from a wonderful new recipe and enjoy them morning, noon, and night.  Because, why not?

Girls' gotta a lot of phases going on currently.  Responding with force when something doesn't go her way.  Wanting to hug and kiss every baby she sees.  Giving me the sweetest smiles sitting contently in her car seat.  She's just edible. 

When the phase of college roles around for Emma, I think she'll be out the door and gone.
Far away gone.  She will set out to go and do.  And my girl will love it.

 And time with little ones wouldn't be the same without a few tantrums and tears.  Her performances are actually really sweet and she gets me every time.  No worries, I'm totally okay with being a sucker.  

I love watching him love his girls.  This is one of those moments I wish I could just freeze both of them in time.  Because she adores him and wants him near.  And the phase when her Memorial Day is spent with friends will be here some day.  
yes, that's a bow...accessory phase is in full effect

This phase, I will miss when it's gone.  Sun-kissed babies napping pool side while her sisters swim with friends.  I'm convinced, nothing feels better than this.  
The pacifier phase, also one of my personal favorites.  A life saver for the phases of car seat battles, skipping naps, and grocery store runs with 3 kiddos.

Since Emma was a baby we've been tip toeing into little's rooms to hug and kiss them while they sleep.  There are nights when I feel like this moment restores the efforts and failures from the day as a parent, when dealing with phases of ugliness and disobedience.  When I can slide next to their sweet, warm bodies and say again, how mama is sorry, that tomorrow is a new day, and how I love them more than they know.

I'm learning, no rushing through the phases we're in.  The hard ones will pass and will be greeted with new lessons to be learned and joy to drink in.  It is only a phase.
A moment in time that will pass soon into a memory.  
Learning to proceed through the phases we're in with His perspective, peace, and joy.
Because this too shall pass.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


We've had a week that has tested our hearts and minds.  Coming into the weekend needing rest and time together at home.  Home base.  Nothing fancy.  Just the way we like it.
Alice is in love with her swing and loves to feel the wind on her face.  My girl is a tangible picture of joy in the midst of challenge.  Her sweetness and patience continues to amaze us.
And this one, Miss Rose, I tuck her in at night and wonder how did you get this big?  Time is passing too quickly for my heart. 
In her world, baby Lynn, the perfect accessories are a fluffy skirt and some mud.
Rock on, baby girl.
In their world, a messy kitchen means mama chose them over cleaning, pushing against any trace of the grain inside that says it needs to be perfect.

Slipping away from an ordinary day to celebrate friends choosing to love forever.  Give me a little black dress, some GaGa, and the hubby...and you've got yourself a dreamy night out.
And maybe a few cupcakes too.

Hanging lights and blooming flowers let them know summer nights are coming.

A celebration to come...sweet friends asking our girls to be in their wedding on the beach this summer, complete with sand toys, ocean-blue slushies, and roses.

Turning an ordinary cookie into something simply divine.  Because my girls think sprinkles and peanut butter are the jam.  
The morning starts with sounds that fill the house and the yard because they are making memories and letting their imaginations take the lead.  And a few feet away are darkened rooms with cold sheets, awaiting little sand dusted bodies for afternoon naps.  Then one by one, the house begins to stir once again and the night is ahead of us.  Our time together lately has been simple and sweet.  
Anything but ordinary.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Welcome, Rain

love rainy days.  Like, I mean I'm giddy when I wake up and the house is still dark because the clouds have overtaken the sky with rain and thunder.

We welcomed the rain and invited it to come in, stay for awhile.  Pull up a chair, coffee is brewing and the green light for all-day-pajamas has been given.  And the weekend has just begun.

Weekends are the greatest joy.  When he's home and he's ours.  
And these little ones carry an extra joy and excitement because he's present for the side walk chalk masterpieces and syrupy breakfasts, and she knows there's nothing better.

Movie palettes on the floor.  A rainy day treat...for the babies and the mama.

Piles of scones made by precious baker's hands.

Later enjoyed once the sun made a beautiful appearance with bright rays and promise of a day spent playing and sculpting perfection of mud pies.
mouth completely full of deliciousness
My girl.  She's a professional at this, you know.  

Mamas, dipping into the layer of friendship, rising early to celebrate a precious life, a tender gift from the Lord.  If you know this little one, then you are blessed.  She is so lovely and sweet.

Halle Beth, your delicate presence is an honor to know.

Welcome rain.  Welcome sun.
Welcome to His healing and restoration for her little body.
She's feeling good this afternoon.  And we are rejoicing and expect more!

Deuteronomy 32:2
"Let My teaching fall like rain and My words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants."

Monday, May 16, 2011

White Flag

Today has been an hour by hour day.  One layer at a time.  Every mama knows these kind of days.
It was a day of walking my bunny in the kitchen because nothing is staying down and the kitchen floor is more forgiving than the carpet.  Her tummy hurts today.
My white flag has been raised.  
This captain isn't going down with the ship though.  Instead, a hopeful surrender to the One who promises His yolk is easy and His burden is light.  Steady now.  Steady.
she was so proud of her gift for me...and I loved it.  Just what I needed.
While she is resting, the other babies need their mama too.  They are showing me grace in a way I never thought possible from little ones.
And they know...
The Doke kitchen will still be open and dishin' up smells that taste even better.
Today's smell-your-house-with-goodness recipe:
Banana Apple Spice Bread
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teas. baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup Crisco (because anything good has Crisco in it!)
2 ripe bananas
1 apple peeled, grated
1 teas. cinnamon
1 teas. all spice
- grease a loaf pan, mix and bake @ 350 for an hour.

They know we are proud of her, our Toni.  How He has plans for her, sweet plans ahead.
OU graduation
celebration of obedience, Classic 50's milkshakes

My babies know our time together is special, savored and sweet.
kindness at the Farmer's Market
This week's horizon, a stomach scan at Children's and appointment with a pediatric plastic surgeon for the returned mass on her eyebrow.  He has her in His hands, this I know.
And when I send up my white flag in desperation, tiredness, and being ever so stretched, I know He hears me and comes to my rescue.  
By His grace alone, this ship is fully sustained and steady.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Many Layers

It's all about the layers.  The more layers the better.  Stacking lasagna, dressing my littles, making a pie, piling on accessories.  
It's fuller, prettier, and just better.  

Moments where I peel off the layer of at-home-mama and embrace the underneath one of friend, to enjoy a rare dinner out with a life long friend.
She's a wonderful treasure.  And my time with her peels off another layer into sister.  That shares every piece of my heart because she's my sister.

How my littlest one shows me her never ending layers of sweetness in the midst of a season of tests, appointments, and exams to search for answers to her tummy problems.  And it forces me to trust in Him and press into His promises even deeper.  Meanwhile, I enjoy our slow dance swaying and her naps on my shoulders.
Today I only want what He has for me.  Whatever it is, I want it.  I want to taste and see He is good and savor it, one layer at a time.

Taking a cream pie recipe and layering it with all the goodness we love.  Get the recipe here and dream away, make it yours.  Our layers: graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding, peanut butter cups diced, peanut butter cream, fresh whipped cream topped with crushed candy bars.

Some days bring heaps of color and life from multiple calendar schedules.  Other days the choices are more simple, a load of laundry here.  A walk to the park there.  Watching the play and listening to the giggles, while the mamas sip coffee well into the evening.
Watching her burst with excitement as we wait in line at school in the morning.  She has her own layers to drink in for the day.  
And she soaks up every last drop.
Enjoying the many layers that make up this life, this day, this moment.  Trusting Him for the ones that seem too big to handle and knowing He carries them for me.

One layer at a time.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Love

This is a sign of a fabulous Mother's Day...

Five years ago today, my heart believed the lie I may not be able to have precious ones.
Little did I know, she was in my tummy already.  Being grown by her Maker, into this sweet combination of mama's detail-lovin'-heart and tenderness with daddy's social butterfly heart and intensity.  
adore this little girl.
Mother's Day celebrations began at school, a tea party with friends and babies who are now 4 years old and growing up before our eyes.
Abbey, her Beau & Sarah, her Haynes
My girl loved every minute of her performance.
And so did the mama.

I took my lovelies to the zoo because we just had to see the baby elephant.  
So worth the 30 minute wait.
We played at the park, went on errands, and enjoyed my mom and brother's time in town.  My mama loved having 2 of her 3 babies on this special day...all we need was some Roddy!
I wish every day was Mother's Day.  Not because there's gifts and flowers, but because I seem to forget all house hold responsibilities and I just soak up my baby girls like there's nothing better.  
Because there's not.

And every mama knows, a minute or a day with babies is just about the best thing ever.  
Wrap 'em up and put a bow on them and that's all I need.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Don't Want to Forget

My memory is not as crisp as it used to be.

I don't remember birthdays.  I'm the worst with names of new folks.  I still have to consult my recipe cards even if it's a favorite I can whip up in my sleep.
Although I am seemingly growing in my forgetfulness, there are things I don't want to slip away...

I don't want to forget how I felt watching my brave girl during her test.  My heart stirred as I wanted her to know she was safe as I continued to exercise the muscle of letting go of the control I want and contending for families who live this out every day.
gastrointestinal scans at the hospital

I don't want to forget how she looks at me when she's serving up love and I'm blessed to be the recipient.

Or how they follow him to his car every morning because they miss him already.

I don't ever want to forget what it means to be a wife and a mama.  That rising early to prepare and plan, to soak in His presence.  That providing meals and changing diapers, to teaching and leading them daily.  Reading Runaway Bunny for the hundredth time and doing heaps of laundry each day, laying down to sleep at night to do it all over again the next day.
That it's an honor.  
I will never forget the gratitude my heart is dancing in today as the doctor's report says my girl is healthy and fine, that her intestines and stomach will not require surgery but the mama will say farewell to weekly ice cream sundaes and add another medicine to bunny's routine for severe reflux.  
We will remember He holds her in His hands and He will grow her and increase her weight.

He is so good.  And I never want to forget that.