Monday, January 31, 2011

List of 10 Things I Love Then Grow Weary of

Oh human nature is so fascinating. I know that I am not alone in this. I'd love to hear from some of you and see what your list looks like.

1. Snow and winter storms. SO excited, especially before Christmas! Pretty, softening effect. Then about the third or 4th storm come late January or February...BLAH!

2. A new artist or style of music that I get into. I will play them/it to death and then realize I haven't listened or played it for months and months.

3. Hairstyles. When I used to do lots of different styles with my hair, I would LOVE certain new dos and then one morning wake up and think "YUK!" That's probably why I am just letting it grow.

4. Wall colors in my house. These usually take years for me to get tired of, but the initial "WOW!" wanes quicker than my hubbie wants to know.

5. Any trendy type shoes. No explanation needed for any woman reading this!

6. Working in the yard. I am SO ready in Spring and kind of get carried away sometimes planting, mulching, getting inspired with new projects. THEN by late summer the humidity and heat waves and the maintenance is no more fun. I just want it all to disappear.

7. Fall and Spring! I love them until I start having my bi-annual allergy symptoms because of mold and pollen, then  I say bring on a cold snap or get the blooming over with.

8. Restaurants we discover. We burn ourselves out so fast...EXCEPT for Nacho Mama's:)

9. Recipes that are yummy, healthy and easy. I really need to show some restraint on this one, it's just hard when I find something new and we love it.

10. Travelling. I will go, go, go. Short and long trips. With Fred, on my own, with friends. Then I want to just stay at home and not stress over what to pack or the TSA or my schedule.

So there you have it. Anyone else have ideas?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Winter Day With "Nice Princess Belle the Fighter"

Saturday I struggled to get myself together to meet with friends that are getting married and have asked Fred and I to play and sing for their wedding ceremony.
I actually felt pretty good as the morning wore on and we had a productive time with them and it was lots of fun.
We got a call from Josh that they would like to meet us for lunch at Nacho Mama's. We said sure. He also told us that Sonya had some pictures for us and had asked if she could come to our house and spend some time with us. How do you say no to that? Fred promised he would entertain her if I needed to go lie down, and I know he would have, but of course that wasn't going to happen. You only have these young years with your kids and grandkids for such a short time that I wasn't planning on sleeping through any of our time with her.
I have purposed to start sending little letters and cards to Sonya and Teddy when he gets a little older because I know how much I love getting mail, REAL mail, that's not junk or bills! AND I remember how much I loved getting letters and things in the mail from my aunts and Grandma. Well, I sent Sonya some Zoo stationary and told her to draw some pictures on the sheets of paper and those were the pictures she wanted to give to Nonna and Poppi yesterday at Nacho Mama's.

This first drawing is of me, Nonna...

The next one is of four plates which represent their family at sweet!

Well, we left the younger Langs and went to Forest Park to take a walk in the sunshine while we could.

The "Water's Stiff" as Thumper said to Bambi. Sonya was fascinated by the ice and the water.

I don't know, there's something so sweet about a granddaughter and her Grandpa, or Poppi walking hand-in-hand.

Wonder what they're talking about...

Sonya is so full of wide-eyed wonder that I don't ever want her to grow up!

Of course we kept trying to find the dry walkways, but Sonya...well she IS a kid!

Then we went home and started out with Poppi reading two princess books with about a million stories in them!

Then we had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and milk (eat your heart out Erin), watched some really funny youtube videos of Darth Vadir and Yoda in recording sessions for TomTom GPS directions. Which of course inspired us to watch...The Empire Strikes Back. It's funny, Sonya's daddy at a little younger age than she is now, was scared of this movie, but she embraces it, it's her favorite of the trilogy. We snuggled on the couch together and she asked questions all the way through it and loved it! Then we had homemade chicken noodle soup and then it was time for make believe...Enter "The Nice Princess Belle the Fighter"...

She fought Darth Vadir and the Wikki, Wikki Wtich. Fred and I got to play both of those roles as well as Yodda (that was me with my almost total laryngitis voice), the Beast and Luke Skywalker. This last picture is when she was telling Poppi who was washing dishes and pretending to be Darth Vadir, that,

"No, I'm not Belle. I'm the nice princess Belle the Fighter!"


Oh yeah! One week to the day after my last blog I dropped into the recesses of the nasty winter virus making the rounds in St Louis right now. Thank you to whomever gifted me with this! I eat healthy (MOST of the time). I take good supplements and use a Netti Pot and TRY to get enough sleep and exercise and fresh air and sunshine and drink LOTS of water (ask any server at any restaurant I frequent) and yet...
So after the initial three days of the flaming sore throat I of course went to Walgreen's Take Care Clinic to get my throat cultured. If you don't feel yukky before that little procedure it's amazing what depths of yukkiness gagging can put you into. "Sorry, I just want to get a good swab of both sides here."
Anyway, I returned three days later because I felt the trend in my illness was going the wrong direction.
"No, it's just that virus that can last up to fourteen days."
So every morning I wake up from just okay sleep thinking, "Is this the day I'll feel better all day long and finally crawl out of this hole?"
So far the answer has been, "No, but we'll tease you a bit and make you think you're on the road to recovery, then yank the rug out from under you!"
Well on those days I thought that I was feeling better I actually left the house and did some enjoyable things besides lie on the couch, in bed, or in my chair and read, try to sleep, watch movies that I  really don't care about, or drink fluids, pee, and try to keep track of my meds so I don't overdose on Sudafed.

One of my sweet friends called and asked if I wanted to go grab lunch one day and I said yes, yes, yes!!
Then the next day was a "not-good" day.
However Friday I felt better again and thought, "Hey it's in the forties and sunny, I'm going to the Gardens and walking in the sunshine. I forgot my camera in the car and these pictures are from my phone. Yes, I am low enough energy that walking back out to the parking lot to retrieve my camera, which I might add I NEVER leave in the car, was not an option.

The Gardens this time of year hold a different type of beauty. Stark and big. I love the wide open feeling of being there after being cooped up inside.

I completely did not think of taking pictures until after I had been there for over an hour and had already gone over the babbling brooks gurgling through the snow banks and around the lake that was partially frozen and beautiful!

I love how angular, linear, and geometric everything looks this time of year.

I also love the late afternoon light for winter photography, NOT driving West!

And the shadows.

So I left here thinking " I feel great!" But by the time I got home Fred had to cancel the dinner reservations I told him to make for us because all I wanted to do was get comfy and lie around... AGAIN!!!!

I will say though that while I was there I stood on a stepping stone in the middle of a brook near a waterfall with my face towards the sun and felt so loved by God. I just need to be still more often and yet that is so hard for me as I stated in the last post.

Friday, January 14, 2011



I know that I am smack dab in the middle of my year of grieving the loss of my mom.

I also know that I don't do well with winters in Missouri (BLAND! DREARY! BORING!)

I have no more children to raise, get through college, or help plan weddings with, and no more parents to care for. For the first time those losses feel more concrete now that my mom's care is not a 24/7 concern for me as it was the last several years and I am not working or involved in formal leadership somewhere.

However, I don't think that this is the only reasons for my restlessness.

I think that I want to have a more regular, consistent ministry or outreach of some sort.
I do not think that it will be in church leadership or church staff work. I somewhat feel I've "been there, done that". I also know to never say "never" :)

I feel God is opening up a huge panoramic cornucopia of any number of places and people and things I could serve in some capacity and saying "It is good! It is ALL good!"

I know that my heart will always be more open to some sort of volunteer work or help and not a job per se. It's not that I spurn money or income, but I've never had a big need to earn a wage or contribute to the family's income. I am not a career oriented person. I am grateful that things have worked out at this time for me to have that freedom and I don't take it for granted ever!

So, I see how God gives us total freedom in allowing us to align our passions and our calling. I do not think that there is a right or a wrong way for me to serve in the kingdom, just some ways that would be a better fit than others.

Having said all this, I have been counseled by several trusted advisors to take this year and listen to God and hone the skill of "being still and knowing that He is God".
I have not done a great job of doing this.
It is me - not God - that has not been showing up for this training. I don't do "still" very well. Yet, when I do spend any time at all there, it is so revitalizing and refreshing that I wonder why I fight it so.

So, if I seem somewhat removed from things at times, know that I am choosing that for my spiritual and mental health. Hopefully I will be an even better wife, mom, friend, sister, mentor,whatever.

I'm not planning on not continuing in those relationships and things I already am doing now, I just might not be as flexibly available as I have been for a time.
I'm not leaving.
I am letting the dust settle after an awful lot of years of kickin' it up trying to do ANYthing, but "be still"...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas 2010

Oh Joyful Time of Year!

"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart." -- George Matthew Adams

"I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses." -- Taylor Caldwell

Quote from Sonya upon arriving at our house Christmas day.

Happy Chaos!

Joyful Faces!

Teddy wanted Audrey Hope's noisy play phone.
Audrey wanted Teddy's Hot Wheels.
They each got a cuddly monkey of their own to hug!!

"And NOW what do I do with this, Dad?"

 "Will So like our gift?..."
(And they gave her a blue one as well!!)

It was an exhaustingly good time.
As soon as it was dark outside Sonya said,
"Oh, it's nighttime! Time to change into my blue ballet dress!!"
And what else could you ask for on Christmas Day?
(Most of the photos by Missy with my Nikon, then I edited them. Good team eh?)

Pre-Christmas 2010

First came the bitter wind and cold -blowing snow a week or so before Christmas!


Then Jessi and Kurt came in right after all the snow melted!!! And they were hoping for snow becuase there really had been no real snowfall in Denver yet!
But, there were other things to get them in the Christmas Spirit...

Guess which was her favorite M&M Color?
Thank you Trader Joe's and Auntie "J"

While we were busy making our gingerbread man ("Run, Run as fast as you can!!")
Teddy was having much mercy with his sister's princess shoes. Oh boy!