Monday, September 30, 2013

sun break

For the last four days we have been living underwater... I do not remember being in such a long and intense rain storm in Portland.

But in a strange turn of events, I went out for a run in the rain and found myself caught in a 15 minute sun shower! I stripped off all of my layers and walked like a zombie so my arms could soak in the rays.

And as if an egg timer rang, the clouds closed in as quickly as they had opened. Buckets poured from the sky for the rest of the day.

I was not prepared for a September winter. Not prepared at all.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

the free life

I went for a 6 mile run yesterday with one of the gals on my Shepherd's Door Running Team. I'll call her Rose for this post. I've been running with Rose since she entered the program 2 months ago. She had only two choices: stay in prison or live at Shepherd's Door and work on her drug recovery. Every time I see this girl I am amazed at her growth. She is the exact opposite of me really - or at least her lot in life is. She was handed captivity growing up. Taught to be a slave of drugs. She described her life as being tied down with a chain. She "could pull and fight but she could not break free". Over the last two months Jesus has been shinning light into her soul at Shepherd's Door and I can see her chains falling off. She never goes a whole run without telling me how she wants to help others to know Jesus.

I have many choices in my life. Unlike Rose, I was given the tools to live a very wonderful American life, but having choices is not the same thing as having freedom. Last week I caught myself in the middle of a project, a project where I was building myself up to be better (or at least equal) to the rest. I was packing in work and slighting the things that were important to my daughter. I was grieving over insignificant dents in my pride. I was wishing to get back moments where I could have "done better". I was hunting for loved ones to compliment me and assure me that they needed me. (I have worked on this project off and on all my life.)

Every time I find myself working on this project, I start to feel enslaved. I cannot climb high enough up the ladder most of the time...and those few times I do, I find practically nothing at the top. Leaping from praise to praise I do not find freedom; I grow weary.

Rose reminded me by her testimony that Jesus is the one who breaks the chains. If you feel constricted by your religion, your addictions, or the world around you - there is more out there. It's God.

I created a graphic this week after listening to one of my brother's sermons. This concept breaks my chains.

You could probably boil down my Christian life to a million little moments where I have two choices. Exalt myself or exalt God. And Jesus has shown me, when He is on top of the ladder there is just enough room under Him where I am sheltered....I am free. So I climb back down and breathe.

Monday, September 23, 2013

sunriver 2013

My parents invited us to Sunriver, OR again this year and we squeezed in a short weekend trip. Sunriver has always been all about family, swimming, and bicycles. It's a little resort town with paths winding everywhere you want to go. We always use the house bikes and I get a couple of runs in as well. With the date fast approaching I kicked Calli's bike training into full gear. She was recently getting very good at her balance bike so I had Tim put the pedals back on and I just let her go! It's always freaky the first time you let go of a child's bike. She made it 12 feet to Dad who caught her. With one more week left before the trip Calli and I practiced two or three times a day. Her motivation: in a few days she would ride bikes with Beba and Papa and Reese and Gabe and Grant and Daddy. Plus the short term goal: hitting the bottom of the Apartment driveway meant a trip to McDonald's! 

I skipped some work and some runs, I got a giant knot in my back, and had a trip to the doctor with an infected petal wound, but oh the joy I got from her success. She is amazing! Here she is reaping her rewards with Papa, Beba, and the gang. 

Bike loving Dad is so proud!

Swimming at the SHARC. All three went down the tube slide too!

Reading Strawberry Shortcake with Papa.

We missed Dawson and his family this year but I'm happy they didn't have to drive all that way for a long weekend. We barely made it the four hour drive. That's about our family max for car time right now. We did see some amazing forests and rainbows though! Calli said, "That's where the unicorns live that we can ride on!" Traveling on Unicorns sounds WAY better then the Honda.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Calli LOVED her visit from the Grandparents. We were very thankful they were able to come all the way across the country to visit us. Having Kateri already here was just icing on the cake! We love having her in our lives! She wisely made us all go to Multnomah Falls. It was time.

There were a few moments we ate, swam, and hiked without clicking pictures that weekend...but not many. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is this what everyone does at family reunions, or just us? I'll have more photos of the Grandparents' visit soon! 

Friday, September 06, 2013

second grade

G is off to 2nd grade. He's incredibly chill about it all. His only comment about the first day, "Are school days longer this year?"

This is my view every morning as I kick Grant out the door. I peek out until he hits the bottom of the stairs and waves, then runs off to the bus stop.

the blind can see

Calli wears her Dora goggles every now and then in the pool but we've never persuaded her to open her eyes underwater with them on.... until this week. After swimming into the top step with her face she put them on and she figured it out! She popped up at the edge of the pool and with all her enthusiasm she shouted - "Yes! I can see!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!". Oh my joy. She is a swimming machine.