Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Full Circle

Dearest friends, you know how I love to recycle.  This just might be the best story yet.

These chairs (there are two) have been in my acquaintance for going on13+ years.  Here is their story:

They were first bought by Julie & Steve Neiheisel.  They then traveled from X,Ohio to Rochester Hills, Michigan where they resided across the street from my parent’s home.  This is when I met these chairs.  As a freshman in high school, babysitting for Julie & Steve’s lovely little girls (well, upon first meeting, just one girl – Megan). 

These chairs hung out in the family room, and had lots of well wishers sit upon them, until J&S decided to redo their family room – right around the time that I was heading off to my junior year at Texas A&M and my house needed some chairs.  Lucky me. 

So, these chairs made the LONG journey in the back of a u-haul, down from Detroit, through St. Louis and ending up in College Station.  There they had a good home.  They saw lots of tears, laughs, and food/drink spilled.  This is a good life for chairs.  Yet through two years of school, they remained comfy and looked pretty good too!

Then came marriage.  D&A needed something to sit on in Dallas.  So, once again, they got loaded up in a u-haul and drove up to Dallas to sit on bamboo flooring in Uptown.  They thought, ahhh – this is it.  But then a cat came home.  He really liked these chairs.  As did his nails (because his silly owners – well, OK mainly one owner – doesn’t like declawing kitties, so he still has his) – and now I curse those nails quite frequently!  So, one chair had some pain.

And then came baby.  Momma found that these chairs were fantastic for nursing.  Plans were made to keep one in baby’s room.  But, by this time, chairs are looking not as good – but they still feel amazing.  So, they got loaded up once again and journeyed down the road, past a lake, and found a new home.  Where a transformation began.

Exhibit A: The sister-chair still sitting in our guest room/toy room / not quite sure what you are room, awaiting transformation in months/years to come:


Transformation made possible by the amazingly talented Mary Wallace.  Phenomenal.  Really.




We love it so much, it deserved to be the word of the day!


To complete the journey, I know these chairs would only be happy if they were being used.  So to continue their contentment – life as it should be:




Monday, January 25, 2010

A mini oasis of sorts…

Have I mentioned how clever my delightful hubby is?  He’s so brilliant at “mental” things, but is so good with hands-on projects around our house.  Again, so clever.  The latest addition to our humble abode, made with love by hubby:





The bookshelves are in the garage, awaiting their priming session.  Then the craziness that is our dining area will cease to exist, as all the boxes of books are stacked beneath the window.  I love being in this room.  It is quiet.  It has good light.  Ahhhhh.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thrilled and Waiting…

Three of my dear friends are having babies right now. THREE!  How often does that happen??!!  I am just thrilled.  And it has definitely thrown me into full-out baby fever / living vicariously through them.

Thrilled because…

GABE ETHAN DESS was born this morning at 11:15 AM!  Chelle and baby are doing oh-so well and we are just pumped to get our hands on baby Gabe.  HOORAY!  Wish I had pictures…they will come!  So, to suffice, here is emmy when she was a newborn…


Waiting because…

Our dear Caedmon hasn’t made his debut yet in NYC.  He’s still cooking.  Words cannot express…


Dearest Jess…so glad baby Lonergan is still in the oven!  April will be here so soon!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

But why and But what?

Haiti.  That word just brings a heaviness with it now.  A sadness.  Since last week I have been trying to wrap my head around the “why?”  I don’t know.  Why does a country with such poverty have to suffer the loss of everything.  Why do families who have nothing have to travel through losing their “someone’s.”  WHY?!  And then my response.  What can I do?  I can’t hop on a plane to go help.  Send finances, yes, but that seems limited to me too.

My answer to both?  Pray to a powerful God.  Pray to a God who is bigger than my imagination.  Who is more powerful than I can fathom.  Who is more loving that I can understand.  Pray for mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, those who are hurting and afraid.  Pray for wisdom as leaders in Haiti as well as countries throughout try and rebuild this place where it is impossible to even know where to begin.  Praise that many compassionate people have come from literally all corners of the earth to help their fellow man.  Pray that we wouldn’t forget and ‘move over’ the Haitians as their name drifts from our headlines.  That our minds and hearts would continue to reach out to a place filled with “the least of these.”  Pray that those who are alive would continue to heal and find comfort in Jesus.  Pray that a country would be impacted in a mighty way with the love and care of Christ.

*pictures from here

Sunday, January 17, 2010



Calling Dallas residents.  This organization is fantastic.  My involvement with them is extremely limited.  In fact, they have given to the wallace family really much more than we have invested in them.  You see, about 3 weeks ago, I got this bright orange cardstock flyer in my mailbox advertising that the Arc of Texas would be returning to my neighborhood on January 15th to collect any unwanted household items / clothes / etc.  I was intrigued as I have been meaning to clean out the garage / study for a LONG while.  I held onto it for selfish reasons really.  BUT, as January 15th approached, I hopped on their website to check out what organization I would be partnering with (you know, didn’t want it to be an organization that hurt puppies or that sort of thing).  I was blown away!  Their motto is this:

“creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be included in their communities.”

Fantastic!  Isn’t that what all of our hearts long for?  To be included in our communities?

Those of you who know donald and I both well know that we have very different “professional” minds.  He loves numbers (and is insanely brilliant) while I like to frolic with the furry, scaly, and feathered creatures of this earth (and the children who love to learn about them).  But, from being friends/dating/married to my wonderful man, I have grown in my business savvy.  The ARC collects all of your unwanted items (plus, I love recycling!) and then sells them to another community-focused store, and then uses the profits to help fund their non-profit.  What wonderful ideas!  So sustainable, so brilliant, so wonderful.  And, unfortunately, I am at times a very lazy person.  It was much easier for me to put my items out on my front porch than to load up abi, borrow my mother-in-love’s car, and drive them to their location.  The ARC even gave me grace and picked up my items!  Wonderful upon wonderful!

The scene in front of our home:



Friday, January 15, 2010

Good Morning, World

2.  Just two.  Two morning I have consistently awoken early specifically to spend time with my God during the past two weeks.  I wish I could list another number.  God is graceful – I have found time during various parts of the day during the weeks.  But for me, it is not the same.  The morning is good.  It is right for my soul to begin the day with its creator.  So this morning, I settled into our 1/2 remodeled (the first 1/2 looks AMAZING! pictures will come soon!), I had my juice, my fiber one bar, my vitamin, and my bible.  I had quiet.  I had stillness.  I had heaviness and and a feathery lightness as well.  As a church we are reading through the New Testament as a body.  Check it out, here.  It’s been fantastic.  There is also always an alternate Old Testament reading.  Trying to keep up with that as well (Thanks for the encouragement, Katy)!  And then prayer.  Prayer.  Joy.  Content.  Ready.  Aware.  Open.  Ready for my baby to wake up and love her.  To share with her the beauties of this life.  A good morning.

“Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are made not in the fear of men, but only in the sight of God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blogging anyway…

I don’t really like to post without pictures!  I know this about myself, but don’t know if I’ve really verbalized it before!  But, our camera has been on the sidelines due to a minor injury this week – and I am in camera-withdraw!  Hence, in a semi-blog withdraw.  But, I decided to power through, and think out of the box on what to blog on!  Oh goodness, I think I’m thinking too much now.

Here comes my random blog (with pictures of some sort where I can get them in…)

I love Twisted Root Burger Co.  Like the store downtown a bit better just because of its location – but I went with my sweet friend Jess and abi’s dear buddy Rylan to the locale in Richardson – and the experience was phenom.  Our little foodies were well behaved in their booster seat bar stools (not a lot of table seating!); the fried green beans were d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s; they have flavored root bear – and yes, also delicious; the have compostable cups and servewear (ummm, YES!); and it is a great date spot as well as can handle the crossover into bringing a toddler.  I am realizing that many places can’t claim both of those titles!

I can’t get enough of this song lately.  It’s so good!

We are getting used to donald’s school schedule again.  We miss him.  This time is harder.  Abi is so much more aware of donald being gone than she was even just 2 months ago.  Each time we come home she looks at me and says with hands in the air (like a question) “daddy?”  Ohhhh.  So sweet.  Oh, how she loves her poppa.  We are grateful for donald’s willingness to have a crazy life so baby and I can hang out in the day.  Woosh – a good man.

AHHHHH – there it is.  Blogged without pictures.  Hopefully not too many more of those to come!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So long to a beautiful 2009

2010 – we greet you with joy in our hearts and much anticipation for the memories and moments that lie ahead!

best of 2009

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The past 3 weeks

Whew.  I am tired.  These have been a crazy three weeks.  Crazy-full.  Crazy-good.  Crazy-fun.  Yet – C.R.A.Z.Y!  We are glad to be here in this little life of ours.

We went down to The Woodlands to see Ruthie McKinney get married!  The McKinneys have been dear family friends since we moved to The Woodlands in 1990.  It was such a joy to see her married!



Christmas brought wonderful time with family. 

Christmas Eve! 

Made dinner for donald’s parents and us.  Major flop.  Boo.  My chicken was awful.  Flavor = delicious.  However the absence of fully cooked meat kind of killed the flavor buzz.  Oh well.  Here’s to next year on that front.


Abi helped with the dessert (thankfully the rest of the meal was quite delicious!)





Abi was such a big girl and sat through the entire service without too many peeps!

Crazy one o’clock elves.


Christmas Morning!  We have much to celebrate.  It was such a special morning – just the three of us.  Abi opened some of her gifts, we had breakfast (a yummy dish that my mom has hade for years!), and just relaxed until after Abi’s nap.




One of Abi’s most favorite things – a page of stickers.  Love that face.





Oh, small sidenote – did I mention that it SNOWED on Christmas Day.  Truly – a Christmas miracle!  It was such a beautiful addition to the day!





The traditional Abi picture under the tree:


Harder this year than last!


Jenny, Brian, and Josh arrived in town Christmas evening!  Hooray!  Abi wishes that Josh would live here permanently.  They love each other so much.  Such sweet times.
















And to bookend the trip – my parents were in town too!  We are so thankful to them for flying down and giving us wonderful memories!



Oslo had a great time too…





My dad and I exchange angels every year (everybody should now say, “awwww” – it’s because of my name!) – it really is a wonderful tradition, we both look forward to it each year!  This year I gave him an angel that was made in Haiti (check out the greater good network/hunger site – awesome place to buy gifts!) – he is the mission coordinator-type person at their church, and they are leaving for Haiti at the end of the month!



My parents got me bop-it because: 1)I love it 2) have very fond memories involving it and 3) I think it is hilarious!



We planted bulbs on New Year’s Day!  Good ol’ Texas, letting us enjoy time outdoors when it should be the middle of winter!



Met wonderful Hood for Harry’s:




For anyone still reading this ridiculously long post.  Thank you.  You deserve a gold star.  Seriously.