Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It was a good, weird day

I liked today.  I am tired after today.  I have cried today.  I have felt sadness with friends today.  I have laughed and smiled a whole bunch today.

I liked today.

It was a day where I feel like the Lord gave me glimpses of His goodness, designed to draw me into more.  To crave time in his words to me, to think (I mean REALLY think) about how to love others better, to show me how to find delight in the seemingly mundane.

I started the day by getting to meet with some women who each week pour into me and share their lives with me.  I am so grateful.  I love Tuesday mornings.  What I don’t love: it was a 3 iron day.  I always feel so silly ironing baby clothes.  Oh well, he did look darn cute.


On to buy sweet thing her school backpack…which I found out that they don’t allow backpacks.  What?!  That seems bizarre and silly.  They didn’t ask me though.  We then waited for 45 minutes for the store to figure out my gift card blues.  And it still didn’t get sorted out.  And I’m the schmuck who waited for 45 minutes in Pottery Barn with two kiddos.  After that…we needed Starbucks.  (Abi asked, I was more than happy to oblige)


Abi is not napping anymore.  Well, that’s a bit dramatic.  She apparently caught the “no-sleep” bug from her friends!  She naps 4 out of 7 days now.  I’m still adjusting to this normal.  Not sure if I like it.  I had asked her to really try and go to sleep (she was yawning her head off) and this is how she appeared 15 minutes later…

(don’t mind all the phone pics…that’s just how we roll sometimes)


Oh goodness.

Sweet little man – we’re learning avocados.  Can he get any cuter?


A certain child loves to take pictures and videos.  I crack up at what she captures and how she interprets what images she “snaps.”  It really is interesting.  Today…not so interesting…I have about 15 of these on my phone right now:


We went to Abi’s preschool parent's night.  Did you catch that?  Her preschool.  Sweet wee one is ready for preschool.  I can’t really believe it.  More to come, I know, but I am so excited for her.  I think she will just love it.  Meet the teacher is on Thursday.  But no backpack.  I don’t like that.  As Donald said, I think it’s harder for me to get over the fact that she doesn’t get to bring a backpack!

And then a date with aforementioned hubby.  So wonderful.  Dinner and then a brief stroll at the lake.  Complete with loads of bikes, loads of dragonflies, and loads of more bearable weather at 9 o’clock at night!


Ahhh, grocery shopping alone.  Enough said, am I right?


Oh, the ramblings.  It was a good day. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


There’s not been much of it in Texas, as of late.  In fact, today in church we heard that there’s been 2-3 days of light rain (i.e. moments of rain) in the past 81 days.  That is dry.  We need rain.

(a few weeks ago, on one of those 2-3 days of rain…we ran outside in the early morning and soaked it up…literally)


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oh, wet and messy feet!


I was reminded today of how much my faith in my supply of water is only as deep as our water pipes run.  My confidence and faith are not in the one who commands the storms.

(an old favorite)


I was reminded that while I hope for  rain to reduce my water bill – to keep the plants that are still alive (amazingly a few are!) hanging on – that there are millions in Africa who are desperately hoping for water to survive.  To live.  My heart sees its own ugly.  Gracefully reminded to pray for those who need emotional water;  Who need physical water.

Good Article to just get informed on the crisis

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The journey of the taj 3…

According to REI’s website…

“Offering luxurious living quarters, the REI Taj 3 is a three-season, three-person backpacking tent that won't weigh you down.”

So true.  Not luxury defined by all standards.  But, certainly ours.  Especially my hubby.  Can’t get much better.  Check out where this little tent has set the standard in luxury:

Backpacked across Europe with D, Kristian & Steven (I searched the archives that we have…but couldn’t find the tent featured…so here’s one of my favorites instead!)


The coast of California


And most recently, the Pacific Northwest (with some SMU buddies who had a more delayed start that Doons!)


Luxury at its finest, my friends.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sanctification through motherhood – blueberries & tatoos

Let’s be honest – we all love the stories when kiddos say something embarrassing.  Hearing the parents reactions and their desperate attempts to cover something up.  Or, when they just give into it and laugh at the awkward.  It’s just funny.  Especially when it’s not your sweet child.  But the other day…it was my sweet child.  I’m the awkward parent in the story.

And if you know me…when things get awkward…I talk more.  Talking more makes things more awkward.  Awesome.


(taken of miss thing after getting back in the car)

Just a normal day of grocery shopping.  Sidenote:  Abi, when you read this blog one day, I love grocery shopping with you.  Always have and always will.  One of our favorite activities together.  Anyways…onward.  We had made it through the store and were standing in line waiting to check out.  I noticed that the check-out chic had lots of tattoos…and that’s where my thoughts ended.  Not Abi’s…the tattoos sent her mind a-spinnin’.

Normal conversation – we talked about the dude in front of me who spent $45 dollars on avocados (no joke!) – how my handwriting on the little tie for bulk purchases was so bad (I blamed Nate) – etc.  I was getting my wallet out when Abi (who can be quite shy around strangers) decided to say quite loudly…”Mommy, what does that lady have all over her body.”  Oh no.  “Well, Abi, those are tattoos.”  Keep it simple, right?  “Well, we don’t like them.”  Oh my goodness, what do I say now?  So, I smiled.  And then I kept talking…and talking…and talking.  About why some people have tattoos and how it’s cool when you have something that means so much to you and you want to remember it all the time – and then making random small talk with the lady (and she was so great, telling Abi about some of them), all the while I was making things more awkward.  I know she was so ready to see me go.  She even had to remind me to sign the credit card machine-thing because I was talking so fast and so awkwardly.  Oh my.

We had a conversation in the parking lot about what types of thoughts we keep to ourselves – why it’s always great to have an opinion, but we need to practice wisdom when sharing our opinion.  How did what she said make that lady feel?  What’s a better way to have worded your opinion if you wanted to ask her about her tattoos?  Then, sitting in the car…it’s always good to play my thoughts back in my head.  I often realize that what I try to teach Abi, I frequently practice myself.  I mean we’re all opinionated (some more forth-coming than others!) – but the truth to act in wisdom and in love when sharing those opinions with others is always relevant.  It’s always being worked out.


(and then at home unloadin’ and talking tattoos)

I asked Abi what she would have as a tattoo (reminding her that you get a tattoo if something means SO much to you that you always want its picture with you).  Her response: a blueberry.  Look out 18 year old Abi.


Friday, August 19, 2011

A week of thankful and extraordinary women…

This is a birthday week in my life.  And the birthdays belong to no one in my “family.”  No one who lives with me celebrates their life this week…oh, but it is a birthday week for me!

God has been generous to me.  He has placed wise and beautiful women in my life who encourage me, make me laugh, convict me, inspire me, share life with me, and mostly point me back to our Lord who is the giver of every good gift.

I really love this week.

All of these women were brought into the world in different years, but I think that God has done an extra special work in the world during the week of ‘August teens.’

*How fun is it to visit archives and find old pictures that bring back great memories?!

August 16th: Dear Caroline


This woman will always be referred to as my faithful friend.  While we have not “done life” together in almost 18 years (gasp!), Caroline will always be close to my heart.   Caroline is faithful and is true.  She is passionate, yet grounded.  She is intensely talented and creative.  I just love her.

August 18th: Wonderful Jess.


*sidenote – I barely have any pics of Jess & I – but that is life.  Time spent with her is also time spent with our delightful kiddos…and they don’t take pictures very well.  When we are with our hubbies – I never remember my camera.

God gave me a special gift in Jess during this stage of my life.  Our eldest kiddos are months apart (I met Jess because our daughters were in the same playgroup as baby-babies), and therefore our lives look so similar right now.  Jess loves Jesus – my most favorite thing about her.  She is generous with her time and models hospitality in such wonderful ways.  I love to talk practical with her.  I love to talk spiritual with her.  I love to laugh with her.

August 19th: Amazing Katy.


Katy is a blessing of marriage.  She has known my husband for a decade longer than I have, and her husband is Donald’s best friend.  I received a friend for life in her when I married my wonderful hubby.  I loved getting to know Katy as teenagers in college…and here we are 4 kiddos later.  Katy is amazing.  Her life is such a beautiful encouragement and yet it gently convicts as well.  She loves her husband and family with a lovely and fierce grace.  Our hearts are often moved by similar things, and bouncing ideas off of her is always a treat.  Katy is wise and humbly offers beautiful perspectives on things.  I always anticipate with great joy spending time with her.  If I could have a weekly date of drinking coffee and eating a brownie with her…oh, goodness.


The August teens – what a week of wonderful women.  I am so grateful to celebrate their lives.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One morning in our summer…

I can’t remember…have I ever mentioned how we love the lake?


Well, just to reiterate…we really really love the lake.  After our friends and our house, it is the thing we are most thankful for regarding where we live.


However, our lake time is severely limited.  I mean it barely makes it into the 80’s at night!  So, we load up the car when the daddy-o leaves and head down the road for some morning lake time.  And hop back in the car so we’re home by 9.  Seriously.  But, we gotta get outside!  We Wallaces weren’t made for Texas summers!

First stop: Dog Park.  We talk about our future puppy.  How Abi will politely ask him/her if she can ride on them (yep, that is what she is most excited about with our hopeful new puppy semi-soon) – what color they should be – what their name should be – etc.  Here she is mid-statement “daddy, please can we get a puppy NOW?!”  Well, that may be what I’d be saying…


Then we have our breakfast and chit-chat.  I love just hearing what she thinks about.  ‘Tis great.


And brother here is along for the ride.  We hope it’s a good one!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Charity:Water – Abi:Party

First things first…check this out:

Oh wow, right?  Like break your heart, make your mind spin wow.  I know that we’re all pretty aware of the water crisis that is happening in the world – but at times it can feel frustrating not knowing how to help.  I think this is where Americans are recipients of a strange grace: money helps!  Donating money helps build wells, and that helps communities get the clean water that they need to live.  Not thrive, not have successful lives…simply live.


So, where does Miss Abi fit in?  God gave a special gift in her.  She has a compassionate heart at such a young age and a wise little heart.  We started talking about how Abi has been given much in life and while God loves all sweet children and so do their mommy’s and daddy’s (we shield her from the reality that not every parent is loving for right now) – not every child has access to the many things that she does.  Even water.  And her little mind remembered that.  And she wanted to help others get clean water.  And she thought the idea that her birthday could help with that was VERY cool.  Which we thought was VERY cool.

So, we hoped on Charity:Water and set up Abi’s Birthday Page.  We asked for our friends and family to give differently…and gracious and beautiful families helped!  And we’re on our way to raising money for other three year olds and their families to have clean water and enjoy the goodness that we have so lovingly and graciously been given.  Here’s her party…

Friends and Family: THANK YOU.  Our hearts are encouraged.

13 people have been given clean water in honor of Abi’s birth.  We are so grateful and excited!

In her sweet words:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What to do?

When you’re stuck in the consecutive 35+ days of over 100 degrees?


You grab the hose…


and chase your daddy…


and remember to be thankful and smile…


for that joy that even ridiculous heat can’t take away.


Monday, August 8, 2011


That word alone sends chills down a good Ag’s spine.

But…here he is…on our street


He really is a cool looking animal…but according to Abi “he smells”  Gig ‘em Abi, Gig ‘em

Hsssssss…(we aggies really are delightfully strange)


We weren’t sad to see him go :)  Oh goodness, just kidding, my love for animals may trump…it was pretty cool to have a HUGE longhorn on our street!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Roadtrip {Week 3}

Well, this mini novella is coming to end – week 3, the conclusion of our journey!

We savored and treasured this week a bit more.  We recognized that this time was coming to an end and we clung to each precious moment.  We were talking with some friends the other night (who also recently graduated SMU’s program and had the time to head to Africa and then Greece!) about the feelings of ending something that you know was just so unique.  Closing something that probably won’t ever be repeated in life.  It’s kind of anti my personality.  I naturally want to seek/recreate something out again and again if I really enjoy it/find it fulfilling (perhaps we all do?) – but in this experience, my option was to relax, savor, and soak up.  And move on to the next chapter of life with peace and hopefulness.

Week 3 Itinerary: Drive Highway 1 – End in San Francisco

Highway 1


Driving Highway 1 was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I had thought about doing this drive for such a long time (not knowing how it would really ever work in our stage of life!) and so I feel like being able to do this was an extra special gift.  We took about 5 days to drive from San Diego to San Francisco – camping and hotel’in it – along the way.  The CA weather was amazing – but it really was chilly in the evening.  And because of this, camping wasn’t totally the experience that we had hoped for.  Donald & I slept extremely poor (rained hard during one night…thankfully the rain fly worked great except for one area…right above my head.  Think Chinese water torture.)  Nate got the best sleep out of all of us – I think that was a gracious recipient of the “best sleeper award.”  But, our first night to camp – we could hear the ocean roaring.  So fantastic.  A beautiful way to sleep and an equally delightful way to wake up.

California Road Trip4

We then climbed these awesome dunes right on the coast – probably one of my favorite ‘3 hour’ segments of the trip.  Those moments will be engrained in my mind for a good long time.





What a great little resort town.  Famous for its beautiful bay and fantastic aquarium – we knew that we’d be making a stop here.  Would love to come back and spend more time in Monterey.

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Big Sur

I think this is Highway 1 at its finest.  Beautiful stretches of coast, cars pulling off EVERYWHERE to grab pics, but you still feel alone in the beauty of it.  Very cool camping site – some great hiking – no threats of bears.  All good things!


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Random Awesome

Along the drive – just snippets of what made this part of the trip so fantastic:




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San Francisco


We love this city.  Definitely a place we would move to in a heartbeat.  Donald & I spent our first anniversary here, so it was pretty much an identical trip for us.  HAH!  We did absolutely NOTHING the same way, except visit Ghirardelli way too many times and stop by the sea lions more than once…because really, don’t forget who you’re traveling with!

All those years ago…

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This was a great place for us to end our trip.  We were familiar with the city, and just enjoyed our final four days hanging out in parks – eating some delicious food – grabbing ice cream at least 5 times once or twice – and walking everywhere.  Love that.  Our stroller got some serious mileage here.

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CA road trip1

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.                  Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain