What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


Putting on a large wedding a few days after Christmas is not for the faint of heart.  

I feel like an overachieving juggler in that terrible moment when he realizes he may have overstated his abilities- right before all the balls start pelting him in the head.  So far, the balls are still in the air...  

but they are coming.  Any second now.

Every normal accomplishment (getting dinner on the table, for example) seems like a feat.

 Anything else feels almost miraculous.
What?!  I got through Adele's birthday?  WOW!  
What?!  We got the Christmas tree up?!  INCREDIBLE!
What?!  I actually pulled off a trim-the-tree party?  HOLY SMOKES!
What?! I filled up klompen in time for St. Nicholas?! AMAZING!
What?!  I have presents for everyone?!  NO WAY!

I am surviving through checkmarks at this point- but I am surviving!

What have I been up to?  

Oh, you know, catering a wedding for not quite 300.  We chose Chipotle taco bowls for the wedding food because 1) the bride and groom kinda love it and 2) we happened to butcher two cows last year and because we keep a constant supply of rice and beans on hand.  

It isn't FREE because at one point in time we paid a butcher, we fed the cows, we bought the rice and beans... but all of those expenses were long before any wedding was on the horizon.  I am very thankful that we do not have to shell out money for 100 pounds of beef or rice or beans...and we can't afford to get an event this large catered... so this has been a real mercy from the Lord and also a very large task that He has put before me to do.   I can tell you- I am sick of the smell of barbacoa at this point!

So making wedding food is a daily occurance.  

As is stitching of some kind or another...

I converted a completely backless $5.00 bridesmaid dress from the thrift store (no wonder it was so cheap!  It had no back! 😉) to one that is more modest.

(I still have to somehow convert a substantially more expensive dress to fit me.  Wish me luck.)

As is crafting of some kind or another...

I used marigolds from the garden and baby's breath from Annie's wedding to make some flower girl crowns that delight both the bride and the flower girls.  (And me!)

And Matt.  OH MATT!  Matt has been working tirelessly in his spare minutes on a timber-framed arbor for Corynn to use at the wedding.  Grandpa has helped.  And I get teary just thinking about the symbolism of Corynn getting married under the tender blessings of her Papa and Grandpa.  It is truly a work of art. 

As is dealing with drama of some kind or another...

Did you know Christmas is not a great time to send out important invitations?  No less than 10 invitations, turns out, have been lost in the mail- and for some really wonderful people who can't upend their schedules in two weeks.  Such a shame!


Everything is going to continue to ramp up in these next two weeks and I am going to continue to wonder how I will survive but I miraculously will...  I will check things off of lists, I will check lists twice, I'll eventually be pelted by a bunch of balls in the air... and even then, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

Jesus, He came into this world.  God sent His son off.  And all the darkness, all the pain, all the work and fear and overwhelm are just shadows behind the Light of the world.

God gave me the strength to bear our girl, to raise our girl and He will give me the strength to send her off too.  He strengthens me with joy.

Merry Christmas to you- may the Light shine brightly in all the dark crevices this Advent season! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


November was a Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good month, not gonna lie.

No need to go into details but my monthly checklist is a pretty good indicator that I pretty much gave up on life entirely for a bit (or on marking it, anyway).  

 On a side note: I promised myself that I would treat myself to a massage if I was able to complete 3 exercise days per week all year long and I missed my goal by two weeks and poor record keeping at the finish line  (SO STINKING CLOSE!  And now no massage for me...*sniff*

But even still... there were much-needed haircuts turning wombats into handsome menfolk, beautiful pomegranates (and learning the ACTUAL way of opening them... wonder of wonders!), saddleback potatoes by Andrew, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, warm day walks, a Thanksgiving feast that I didn't host,15 years of service recognition for a hard-working hubby, fingers tickling ivories and a kitchen chalkboard chock full of "thankfuls".   Moses actually cried when it was time to erase the "thankful tree" in December, saying "Mama!  We CAN'T erase it!  I have more THANKFULS!"

There are, indeed, many things to be grateful for... 

not the least of which is that NOVEMBER IS OVER.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Annika's Bridal Shower

Those trays truly were filled up with food- I just spent the first half hour or so of the shower taking photos without a camera card in the camera!

By the time I retrieved one, snacks had dwindled.

*These cookies were made by the Mother of the Bride and sister of the bride.  Not by me.  Why?  Because I don't know how to make beautiful cookies like that.  (But it IS on my bucket list...) 

They were not only beautiful but outrageously good.

Millie created all sorts of entertainment and fun for the shower, a real feat given that she was out of town for nearly the entire previous month!

I purposely darkened this photo for discretion of the lingerie that was presented to the bride-to-be. 
But Jesse's and Ineke's expressions kinda say it all...

Corynn found the whole ordeal hilarious but the joke is on her.  Embarrassing presents are in her very near future...

Like Mother, Like Daughter...

as well as... Like Mother's Mother

This is me trying not to let her go.  (It didn't work.)

I hosted a bridal shower back in late September/early October (who can remember?!  Not I.) for one of my favorite people.  The sweet girl that I watched grow up hand-in-hand with my own Sweet One.  

So many, many smiles that day.  

It was a happy day despite several VIP's (including the Bride-to-be) swooping in from a trip to Iceland less than 24 hours before.  And the embarrassing presents (Annie was such a good sport and handled opening unmentionables with tremendous grace.) And the lack of sleep.  And the emotional strain of letting go of someone that you just can't seem to fathom letting go of.  

There were lots of smiles on that day... but lots of tears today as I look back on it.  What can I say?  

I really miss the girl.