Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Lefty

Thirteen years ago today we named this girl, our left-handed and unique-in-many-ways-daughter.  At that time, she was just a hope for the future.

We were riding the Metro in Paris, stopped at the Madeleine train stop, looked at each other and had one of those totally in sync with each other moments. "If we ever have a girl, let's name her Madeleine."

We shook on it.

Well, she came exactly one year later and two months before her due date.

This Lefty surprised us from the beginning and continues to bless and amaze us now.

She has persevered over several months now to get this far in the splits and she keeps going. She's got that "practice makes perfect" thing stuck in her head.

This Lefty loves to tackle new projects and pitch in. The other day she learned to use a power drill screw driver thingy.

Recently, she's got more of that "grown up" look about her and she's showing maturity and wisdom in her young age.  She likes to hang around after dinner and be part of the "adult conversation."
This Lefty nearly brought her father to tears when he saw this image of her on facebook.


He was so proud to see her attempt, stay up, and enjoy Stand Up Paddle.

This Lefty loves her friends and her sisters. Her sisters are her friends. And her friends are like sisters.

She can still ham it up and giggle and goof around...I think that will always be a part of who she is. I really hope it is.  She's got that flair for the dramatic.  Wonder where that comes from?


(I'm not sure if I should be concerned about the above photo. She is wearing my prom dress from Junior year and holding a gun.)

This Lefty has shown a maturity in caring for others. I was not feeling well the other day and she reaches her hand across the seat in the van to pray over me. All on her own. So dear.  And actually helpful, I believe.

She loves her little cousins and the little siblings of her friends.


This Lefty, once just a hope in the form of a name, is a pure blessing, pure joy, a perfect Gift.

Happy 12th Birthday, dear one.  You bring the love of the Lord to our family.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's Nice to Know

I have the privilege of working in the same office once or twice each week with the Director of Advancement for Trinity School at River Ridge. She is kind of like a mentor in guiding our little alumni association along and helping me, the director, with her insights, wisdom and lots of practical support.  It is a pleasure to work in her company and learn from her.

Yesterday I heard the last three words of a phone conversation she was having with her husband of 25 years.  I was pretty engrossed in a project bur heard her farewell.

"Love you, too", she said.

Pretty normal thing to say at the end of a conversation. But it struck me as I drove myself home that afternoon, that her words, though normal, are hardly ordinary. They are a really nice thing to say. Especially to your spouse.

I was brought back to one of my favorite scenes from the movie Fiddler On The Roof. I love the dialogue and song between Tevye and Golde when he asks her if she loves him.  Her reaction is one I imitate a lot. "Do I whaaaat?!!???!!"  As, if to say, what kind of ridiculous question is that?  Honey, I got work to do here (for Golde, the Sabbath was fast approaching), it's a busy time, leave me alone. And my sentiment which is usually something like "You're catching me off guard here."

Tevye explains that since their marriage was arranged and he first saw her on their wedding day 25 years ago, he didn't really know if she loved him. He still doesn't really know.  She never expressed it in those words directly to him.

As the song continues, she reflects on the acts of love, her service and all their time together as proof of  her love for him.

Tevye presses her for an answer.  He still wants the words to be said and heard.

"I suppose I do", she finally says.  And he is happy.

The couple ends the song singing together side by side, "It doesn't change a thing, but even so...after 25 years, it's nice to know."

I agree. It's just really nice to hear and say those words. 

Let's just be nice.

I think Love depends on it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

These Two Guys

Can't tell you how much I love this picture. It's just beautiful.

My little brother and his little kid.

Just Love It.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Veggie Painting

Seems like I'm on an artsy craftsy streak here, but I think its just the cold weather.  I'm more apt to dig through the craft bin and art cabinet when temps dip near zero.  I also whole-heartedly just believe in the power of artistic inspiration. Sometimes it just hits you over the head.

Like the other day.

I was chopping up vegetables at my IKEA kitchen island as I always do early in the week for my meal prep. I chopped the end off a bunch of celery and looked at it.  I paused, decided not to throw it into our compost bowl as usual.  Instead, I was inspired with a new idea. An artsy craftsy idea. With one look I knew I had a new painting project on my hands.  I added a couple other veggie throwaways and now had a project to pitch to the kids.

Think potato stamping, just easier, in my opinion. And frankly, we're just not potato people.  I rarely prepare them. Don't tell my Irish relatives. I mean with a last name in my blood that starts with O' you'd think we'd be on the potato bandwagon, but we're not...we're more rice folks.

Here's what I came up with for vegetables to try.

I gathered a few more things to add to the veggies - paint, paper, paper towel and old pie tins.  I've saved a few for just this reason.  I pull them out anytime we paint.  Kids love smearing paint around in those tins.

Now this idea may be as old as the hills and I am just late in getting it, but here it is anyway - our creation.

As you can see, veggie painting became finger painting in the end.  Fine by was new and different and as we stamped the pink "flowers" I thought ahead to the homemade Valentines my kindergartner may want to make for her class.  I love the challenge her school poses each February with its strong suggestion to make ones own Valentines.

Besides just the basic picture to hang on the fridge or bulletin board, here are some other ideas I came up with for what to make with these veggie stamps.

Greeting Cards
Wrapping Paper (I buy a large roll of white or brown paper for us to personally decorate for the recipient.)
Welcome Home Signs, Birthday Signs
Place Cards
Decorating a solid color gift bag
Add a flower to an envelop and mail a letter to a friend (remember those days?)
Decorate a homemade book mark