Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer has started..

I let the kids stay up late and have a 'sleepover' in the living room. A couple of them had makeshift beds using the patio chair cushions. Why is it so fun to 'break the rules' and sleep out of your own bed and stay up late when you're a kid?! I only wish the thunderstorm would have allowed them to sleep past 6:30 this morning. By 6:37 a.m. I had two kids pressing into me in my bed. Chip was out of town overnight in Chicago.
It's probably a good thing he was away. We needed the extra space and he didn't have to watch back-to-back episodes of Spongebob Squarepants til 10pm. =)
Happy summer to all of the kiddos out there who officially kicked it off last night too!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Almost done.

Brock has his last day of third grade tomorrow. He's very excited about summer vacation and not having to wake up early for school. Yesterday, the elementary students had field day and we were able to be there and see lots of the events and fun unfold. The girls were more into the ice cream treats and playing at the playground and getting dirty than they were about watching the 'big kids' play games. Wyndham isn't pictured here because she was at therapy/rehab for most of the duration of this event.
My classes are done for the year, although I will still be doing some work into June. It definitely was a learning experience for me to be the yearbook advisor and I still find it hard to believe I actually 'taught' highschoolers. I don't think I'll ever get used to anyone calling me "Mrs. Ferlaak", and I have to say my favorite thing about this year has been the past month or so at school.
My senior students have been talking about where they are going to college, and their summer plans and just all the dreams and hopes they have for their lives now that they're moving on from high school. I want to laugh at some of the things they say- they have it all planned out and it's all so neat and 'perfect'. I see a bit of myself in all of them- that ideal you have of how life is going to unfold in the next 10-20 years. I don't mean to say they won't be successful and great at what they do...I just wish there was a way to 'warn' kids that things might not go as perfectly as planned.
But that's what life and living and learning are all about, right?! If I had known my future I don't think I would have faced it the way I have. I think that's why God doesn't give us eyes to see to far down the road. Some of us would stop dead in our tracks and never take another step forward. If I could tell them only one thing they need for their future, it would be this, "Hold on to God- tightly!". He's all you need, really. He gives you strength. He gives peace. He gives success. He picks you up when you fail. He points you where you need to go. He holds your hand when you think you won't make it. He gives you the ability to love, to forgive, to make tough decisions, to have joy in dark moments and gives you all the gifts and talents you need to become who He created you to be.
Nothing else in life matters, as long as you have Christ.
You may get lucky and earn a great degree, have the best job, the hottest spouse on the block, a padded bank account, the most fulfilling family life and even plenty of leisure time to soak it all in.
You can gain the whole world, but I have learned that without God, it means nothing and it's worth nothing. I just hope that my students learn that the less they hold onto this world, the easier it is to hold onto God. And that, makes all the difference in the journey. I wish them all the best as they graduate and move forward from here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For the grandmas/pas that read Nitty.Gritty.

Last Friday night both Wyndham and Isabella participated in their graduation ceremony. It was a big night and a big deal for them and all of the kids in their class. They did well in their special parts- singing and reciting poems and the pledges and standing/sitting at all the appropriate times.
Of course, I was feeling choked up as the whole night just was such a gift to us. We've never been given a prognosis for Wyndham since her head injury at age 7 months, other than "she'll likely never walk or talk". To have this night happen then, was a gift that I don't take lightly. It's just a reminder and picture to me that God is in control of all the things she will and won't be able to her Mom, I feel privileged to see these moments happen. These are big accomplishments in her life that are evidence to me of how much she has been able to overcome. Her grin before the ceremony took place was one of the best I've ever seen on her. It melted me.
Bella too, worked hard all year and her big moment that night happened just as I took off her cap so we could head to the reception for cake. She burst into tears and couldn't even talk because of her sobs for a couple of minutes. When I finally got her to voice what was wrong, she said {still crying} "I'm not ready for it to be over!... My class is done forever!" She kept crying well into the reception time- even when we let her choose the flavor of her piece of cake and got her some berries too.
Chip and I couldn't help but smile {and roll our eyes too} as we had a vision of her graduation day sometime in the year 2020. I have an idea it's going to be even more dramatic and emotional!
So, for my parents and Chip's parents and some of the other granparents/family that read this blog, I thought you'd like to see some pictures of our very special night.

At that same time, the Chapman family were surrounded by family and friends at Maria's viewing. My heart ached for their sorrow while I was experiencing joy. I remember in the early days of my own grief just how hard it was to accept the fact that life goes on and sometimes my hardest days were other people's most glorious. I hope that many of you will continue to pray for them and the journey of their hearts to accept, to realize, to surrender and to ulitmately find much peace and Joy even in death. Here is a link with detailed stories and updates into some of these intimate and difficult moments. I am thanking God that He is showing Himself to be real to their family- that He is giving them comfort in many ways and through many people. I will forever be touched by Maria's beauty and I hope that her legacy will touch many lives for years to come.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Many of you have emailed me and sent links and notes about your sorrow for the Chapman Family and the recent death of their little girl, Maria.
My heart has been aching for them and I can't stop thinking about them as today they embrace one another as they grieve her death and celebrate her life at her funeral.
I don't know their family personally, but have been touched by Steven's music for many, many years. Chip and I had one of his songs sung at our wedding, and we had a couple of his songs played at Teagan's memorial services. I wore out the first tape I got of his back in my high school college days, and somewhere I have video footage of me having fun 'dancing' to "The Great Adventure" while one of my sisters colored my hair. So it is just as much a shock and heartache to me as the rest of you, to hear about this tragic, accidental, sudden death.
And many of you asked me if it brings back memories of the death and loss of Teagan, and I have to tell you that it does.
Even after all these years, I still think about Teagan and miss her everyday.
What a situation like this does for me is makes me remember the details so clearly...the pain all over again...and my heart understands all too well, what the Chapmans must be feeling too. I hurt for them on so many levels, and find myself asking the questions they must be wondering.
Grief is something I didn't fully grasp until Teagan died and then my eyes were opened, not only to my hurt, but to the hurt of others and the depth that such agony reaches.
What I also know though, is that the Chapman family have a strong faith and understanding of who God is and I am praying that this will only strengthen and grow in the coming days, weeks and over the years. I find myself aching so much for their hurt, yet at the same time, I am 'years ahead of them' in the journey of grief, and I know a truth- that God IS faithful. He IS merciful. He DOES comfort and heal and bring joy out of suffering. But it's not an easy road, and so today, as I have been since Thursday morning, I lift them in prayer and ask God to pour out Himself into their hearts in lives and give them His Peace and Grace in full measure.
I understand that they will have waves of grief and questions and ongoing struggles as they begin to process and live life without Maria physically in it. It brings back memories of my own shock and horror- I just remember how surreal it was to read the stories in the newspapers and to see Teagan's name and picture posted with dates of the year of her life and death. My mind had a hard time wrapping around the fact that she was really gone- and how it all happened so quickly on a sunny, summer day without warning.
I know that there are those who will never fully understand, and that's okay. I actually think you're the lucky ones and as I said, I used to be in your shoes. But now that I'm among those who know grief firsthand, I feel as though it is almost a 'gift' to be tapped into and I take that role in my life seriously. I pray and hope that some of my experiences give others Hope- that God will somehow bring good out of this heartache, and that in His time, they will come to rest in His promises and they will see little Maria again.
Here are the links to the Steven Curtis Chapman song lyrics that we had at Teagan's services. I know that at such a time people often say "there are no words...". Thankfully we found comfort in these songs (as well as others and Scripture too) and my heart's prayer is that the Chapman family will find comfort too.
"With Hope"
"My Redeemer is Faithful and True"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A peek into my colorful week...

These photos tell just a snippet of all the things that have happened in our lives and home this week. From an afternoon of watercolor painting {my girls love to paint and they use handfuls of q-tips to complete their masterpeices- just a fun tip for some of you are scared of letting your kids paint and make a mess.- it's really not that bad} to Ava putting on a show and having Brock be her backup, to the smiles and thrill of winning a guitar. (Brock won the guitar, but they all think they did and they've had fun taking turns "playing" it- nicely.)
Bella is smiling and so proud because she got her report card today and I told her grades were great and she gets to go to first grade next year. She ran around the kitchen/living room shouting, "Hooray! I passed! I get to go to first grade next year!". It was so cute and I am very excited to see both her and Wyndham in the kindergarten graduation gowns/hat tomorrow. They have been praciticing very diligently for their program tomorrow night.
I've been cranking on the high school year book and was just about done for today's classes when suddenly there was a blaring alarm and lights flashing and doors slamming shut. Guess what happened?
My own adorable, mischievious Ava pulled the fire alarm in my classroom. It was about 3 minutes before school was out for the day- so needless to say there was a lot of running around and confusion- from the parents and the students. That cute little face you see single-handedly evacuated a building of more than 350 people.
Everytime the baby inside me kicks, I start wondering more and more what we are in for. {Here he is at 21 weeks and counting.} I know it is a huge blessing to be expecting another baby and after all we've been through I never take a minute of kids in my life for granted. I know they grow quickly and life can change without notice, so there is something to be said about just loving every single moment.
Even the ones that make you want to turn your head and look the other way. It's all part of the package- I think they've painted the picture very clearly for me this week. From baked potato upside-down on the dining room floor, to their little voices belting out their favorite songs and everything in between. I don't know how they do it, but they color my world. Everyday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sugar & spice and everything...Mmm!

These pictures are mainly for my two sisters...they should bring back some good memories. I took Bella and Ava on a special outing the other day to our local mall. I hardly ever go there...and very rarely bring the kids. In fact, other than a couple of trips to the attached Chuck E. Cheese, I don't think they've been there more than 3 times in over 4 years.
So it was a pretty special thing to go to the mall with mommy- and even more fun for them when they had their first cinnamon pretzel sticks at Auntie Anne's. I almost felt bad that they are 4 and almost 6 and this was the first time they'd had hot, fresh-out-of-the oven pretzels. You can probably guess what one of their new favorite foods is now! I couldn't help but tell them about how their own Aunt Jacque loves hot pretzels too. At least she did back in the day...
Speaking of back in the day, one of MY favorite foods has always been Carrot Cake. I especially love it moist with coconuts and walnuts and not too much cream cheese frosting on top- just enough to bring it altogether. Chip and I had carrot cake at our wedding reception and we also met and worked at a restaurant that for quite a long time served Carrot Cake Haagen Daz ice cream on their dessert menu. I loved it so much- it was no secret among the employees either! I'd sometimes skip my employee meal and just have a bowl of ice cream before my shift. And you can imagine how sad I was when they stopped making this favorite flavor of mine. I've craved it for years since then...but never found it anywhere.
Until this weekend.
When I had to make a stop at Wal-Mart. Some of you know that I don't particularly care for grocery shopping, but with the number of people in our household, it's a weekly chore for sure.
The only craving I've had during this pregnancy has been ice cream, and it's only been for about the past 3 weeks. The kids have been very happy with my new-found obession with ice cream for dessert and we've been going through lots of fun flavors too. I was just finishing up my grocery list and headed to the ice cream section at Wal-mart fully expecting to grab some plain old vanilla so that we could make some malts at home. I went straight for their 'cheap, store brand' knowing we would add our own fruit and malted milk when suddenly I spied "Carrot Cake" on the shelf. Needless to say, I am now a huge fan of Wal-mart, and I am hoping that enough people start buying this flavor so that they make it a staple in their freezers all the time! The best part isn't the bits of spices that you can see in the ice cream, but the swirls of cream cheese frosting. Mmmm.
My biggest concern is that I still have several weeks to go in my pregnancy and with this ice cream craving I've had topped off with this new found flavor, I will blown my total weight gain long before the 9-month mark! And if 'you are what you eat' really is a true statement, well then I have a feeling that this baby boy I'm carrying is going to be a whole lot more 'sugar & spice' than he will be 'puppy dog tails'. And that's perfectly okay with me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Asking for your prayers. Again.

Many of you will probably remember this handsome little guy from some time ago when I was following his story closely and even invited some of you to send gifts/cards as he underwent a bone marrow transplant along with his perfect donor match, brother Devon. Some of you have continued to follow his growth and progress and I was deeply saddened after reading so many positive posts and seeing the grins from Jaymun in all of his pictures- to hear that he again is facing a long road of chemotherapy and new treatments.
His mother, Jennifer, emailed me, along with other family and friends, the difficult, hard news more than a week ago. I also was given permission to share this photo and link to their blog where I, along with Jennifer, invite you to be aggressive in your prayers and thoughts for Jaymun and his family as they begin another journey into scary and unknown territory. My heart and prayers are with them every step of the way.
I think of my own journey- the ups and the downs, and I am comforted to know that they have a faith in God and His sovereignty...but I know that it is still very difficult to trust God with something as scary as your youngest son going through cancer. I hope that you will think of Jaymun often and I know I will be praying feverently in hopes of seeing yet another miracle unfold in his life.
He is a charmer, a fighter and an inspiration to many. I know God loves him more than anyone could...and so I, along with his family, trust and pray today and in the coming days. Thank you for your care for the Kaat family.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Speaking of laughing or crying...

A little someone cut her bangs behind a locked bathroom door this morning. I just knew it was too quiet for too long in there. Just when you start feeling capable at parenting, another challenge always seems to come along.
I remember writing in my journal after one particularly tough day with Teagan and Brock that "motherhood is a series of connected emotional highs and lows", and when a day ends on a high note you feel really great/qualified as a parent. On the otherhand, when you tuck in tired, crabby kids you feel like a failure at something that should come naturally and you can literally find yourself in tears over little, insignificant stuff!
Thankfully, I've been through years of highs and lows and they don't shake me like they once did. I find that now I just grab the camera to document them as they unfold. =) The laughter on the grassy hill and the pout after a scolding from cutting hair. It's still a series of connected highs and lows. And not a day goes by that I don't thank God for allowing me to be in the middle of it all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sometimes I don't know if I should laugh or cry...

To most of you reading here, these pictures just look like two sisters having fun outside in the grass. And you're right; Bella and Wyndham were rolling down the front lawn when Chip did the weeding and planting and it was just a mellow family night outside for a couple of hours.
What you can't see {and why I post this and make a 'big deal' out of these pictures} is that it really is such a huge thing for Wyndham to be in any of these photos...much less smiling and having fun. But our families know. And some of our close friends and her therapists know.
That this really is a big deal.
Wyndham's brain injury has affected her in so many ways, and honestly, since we have lived and 'grown along' with her special needs for almost 7 years now, they sometimes just seem 'normal' to us. It's not something I point out to people all that often- even though there are still so many issues with her. We have tried to make them a part of our lives and we try to treat her as 'normal' as the other kids and truly it is one of my favorite 'compliments' in life when we can go places and people don't even know she has issues at all.
It has come at a cost though.
Since August of 2001 she has had in-home or outpatient therapy/rehab from 2-4 times per week...from 1 to 3 hour sessions. I don't even know how to begin to add up how many hours that equals. I just know it is a lot.
She has had to try harder to do things that most kids do without even 'thinking'. She has had to overcome fears that don't even cross other kids' minds- like sitting on a swing, or stepping up to an 'automatic door', or even touching grass.
These 'fears' are real to her and there are medical terms for her sensory issues and needs, but I won't go into all of them here. I just had to post these pictures and {especially let our family and friends know} that God continues to be so good to Wyndham and it is in these little "big" moments that I am reminded of His ongoing love and care for us and truly I don't know whether to laugh or cry at times such as this.
I was watching Bella roll down the hill and she was laughing and having so much fun. I had taken a few pictures of Chip and had my camera outside and of course, I had to take some of Bell too. Wyndham had been watching Chip and was just sitting on blanket with a pair of big garden gloves on. She was content to watch and felt a part of the process simply because she had the gloves on her hands.
But then I saw her watching Bella too and she moved off of the blanket and sat in the grass. Now this in and of itself is a big deal. All last summer she wouldn't even put her bare feet in the grass. She wouldn't walk off of the driveway onto the grass- even to go to the swingset, by herself. She has an aversion to the texture and the uneveness of the grass/hill made her nervous too.
I watched her eyeing Bella and then at one point Bella came over to her and said, "Wyndham, you can roll too. It's fun!". And with that, Wyndham laid down in the grass and allowed Bella to help roll her down the front lawn. She seemed to love it as much as Bella! She rolled a few more times and then when she sat for a break, I asked to take her picture and she smiled and signed "grass" for me too.
I know it seems like such a small thing when there is so much pain and natural disaster and tough stuff going on in the world, but for me, at that moment, it was just a wonderful {loud!} yet tender reminder that God is in ALL things. The little stuff and the big stuff. I had to hold back tears, and even typing this gives me that familiar lump in my throat that has come so many times through the years as I have truly seen and felt God at work in our lives.
Sometimes I think we forget He is there- especially in the little stuff- because He just seems like He would be too 'busy' for us in the small things. Yet I am writing this, knowing in my heart that He is real and He cares and He loves and He heals and brings blessing and Joy when we allow Him into our lives fully. The big and the little.
I am sorry for the struggles that Wyndham has had and will continue to have in her life. But at the same time, I consider them some of my biggest blessings and I know that God will never let us down. Through it all. In those moments, I just breathe...because I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Before and After.

Chip's mom will appreciate this (Hi, Grandma Karen!). You can click the photos to enlarge them. What you see are a couple of 'before' pictures of Chip doing some maintenance on our front landscape and planting flowers for me for Mother's Day. Our weather has been cool and was wet over the weekend, but still he managed to get some projects done and the last picture is the 'after' as it looked today.
The kids helped to pick out flowers and loved trying to help 'dig' and plant and just be involved in the process. Both my parents and Chip's mom are avid gardeners and so I think this post may just make them beam a bit. Maybe we have some green thumbs developing around here. I am looking forward to seeing some color burst on the scene- very soon, I'm sure.
And thank you, Chip, for all your effort and thoughtfulness. He knows I'd rather have a whole summer of flowers out my front door than a week of roses on our dining table. =) I appreciate him and his and our kids' budding interest in gardening.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The simple, shining moments...

Brock had his first singing/speaking part in the elementary school musical {Cinderella} yesterday. I was so proud of all the students that had major roles. It was the sweetest production I've seen in a long time. So full of color and fun. I'd post more pictures, except that I didn't get permission from all the you'll just have to trust me that it was cute. =)
Brock doesn't have an edge against most of his classmates when it comes to sports and natural ability or speed, so when he had this opportunity, he jumped at it and I think that smile you see just after the show tells so much. We keep trying to encourage him to just be good at what he loves and in everything else in life always do your best.
Ava is just learning to ride a 'big girl bike'. {And don't worry, she just happened to not be wearing her helmet in this picture, but normally we make sure she has it on 99% of the time...} She is getting faster and better at stopping too. I love that I gave her a boundary- she can ride down the street a few houses to where she sees a yellow fire hydrant and then she's to turn around and come back. So far, she rides right to the 'yellow spot' and then comes back. It's one of the few rules she does obey lately and it makes me happy knowing that once in awhile mothering has its rewards.
The smiles I get everyday are enough to keep me going. The obdience is just icing on the cake.
Happy Mother's Day one day early, to all my Mom readers and friends. I think we should really get a week-long celebration and pampering for all our hard work. But one day full of smiles and obedience will be gift enough to me.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Scrappy fun~

I recently got a box of some of my favorite scrap stuff ever- the soon-to-be-released {May 12th} Hipster Collection from SIStv. I started scrapping an ultrasound picture... which you can view here, and I also took a picture of me 'wearing' a piece of the ribbon as a choker necklace- just for kicks. =)
I scrapped a door hanger which reads, " is sleeping" because I figured I will definitely need to post that for my kids to see soon enough! I'm thinking I should start practicing with it already- just to make sure they understand the concept by October. =)
I also have to follow up yesterday's post with another Happy Meal story that still makes the kids laugh each time I tell it.
This story is one of their favorites about Teagan- it happened when she was about 3 years old. We traveled many times up through Michigan's UP {Upper Penninsula} across Wisconsin and back home to the Twin Cities, MN. On this particualr trip we stopped and grabbed McDonalds for lunch and we were so happy to sit outside by their play area and eat in the fresh air. Teagan was tired of sitting, and I don't blame her. Twelve hours in a car seat is way too much for any little child to endure. We asked her to eat first and play as soon as she was done, but she wouldn't think of it. The slide was too tempting. She took a couple of bites of her cheeseburger and then said, "I'll come eat more in a minute". Just as she got to the top of the slide, she yelled to me to look up at her and as she started to go down the slide, a bird swooped right next to me and grabbed her cheeseburger in its beak and flew away.
Teagan saw it happen. I started laughing...she started crying. If my memory serves me correctly, Chip tried to scold her for leaving her food and playing first...but her tears got him- just as they did every other time she 'poured on the charm' for her Daddy. He got her calmed down and wiped her tears and headed back inside to buy her another burger. She went down the slide a few more times, and then ate her 'new Happy Meal'. She laughed about the bird eating her cheeseburger several times on that trip. We still laugh about it years later.
They may not be the most nutrious meal...but they definitely can be memorable and Happy. =)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The best Happy Meal ever...

We had our ultrasound today and the baby looks great. The girls and Chip came to the appointment and we were able to find out that we're having a boy!
I told Brock that I would bring him a Happy Meal lunch and if there were nuggets inside the bag, it meant we were having a girl. If there was a burger, it meant we were having a boy and if it was a fish sandwich, it meant we couldn't find out yet.
When I showed up at his third grade classroom door, he practically tore the bag open and his whole face lit up and he started to grin and said, "It's a burger...I got a cheeseburger for's a boy!". All his friends and classmates started clapping and cheering for him. It was definitely a proud, really wonderful moment.
We are all just so happy that everything appears normal and healthy and we look forward to the rest of this pregnancy progressing well. If you want to see the layout I made today, it's here. we really did have HAPPY meals. =)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Work and play-

Some of you have wondered how Wyndham is doing at home and school since her medical concerns zapped her body and energy so severly a few months ago. I took a couple of pictures of her at school the other day when Bella had her 'pretend birthday' and she was more than happy to pose for the photos. She did that one with her reading book all by herself. She is so proud to be able to 'be normal' like the other kids now and even ran a lap around the playground with her class at recess today. It is so nice for me to see her personality back as well as her physical capabilities too. We're very thankful that she seems to be doing fine with her current anti-seizure medication and look forward to a summer where she grows and plays and has fun just like the rest of our kids.
I had to post a picture of Brock and Chip because they had the chance to hang out and golf together this weekend too. The weather has been just about perfect here and as you can see, the grass is greening up nicely. My perfect temps actually happen to be even a bit warmer than what we've had so far- I like it right about 78-82 degrees F...which I get from my mom. =)
So, what's your favorite temp...I'll see if I really am in the minority or not.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Growing slowly...growing strong.

My sister sent me a quote and meditation recently from and it just is so well written that I wanted to share it here for you, but also for me to read through a few more times over the next few weeks. Many of you just left comments here when I invited you to share your favorite images and thoughts about nature; they were really wonderful and as spring continues to burst forth around me here in Michigan, these thoughts are just fitting for many of us it seems. I hope they make you pause and think of your own circumstances. I love that God has placed in all our hearts a sense of Him though nature... we can see beauty and power and be awed by the tiniest cell to the grandest mountain landscapes or vast oceans. There is a never-ending supply of inspiration, but I also find that nature is so humbling to me when I look closely too. I never cease to wonder at it all. I hope you love this as much as I do...
Daily quote from May 2:
All of nature offers lessons on living, free of charge. One morning I noticed a dead tree supporting many living things--fungus, vines, lichen--which taught me that even after death we can continue to support those who live on. Living trees on our property teach other lessons. One tree has grown around a barbed wire fence. Another has grown around a nail, and a third through a chain link fence. These trees teach me how to accept irritation, absorb the pain and grow around problems. Nature teaches me how to find my place, grow toward the sunlight and bypass obstacles. To survive, we must be able to change in response to whatever is required by the challenge of the moment. Our bodies know this,but our minds often rebel when change is necessary.
Today's Meditation:
Resilience and adaptation. These are qualities that can be quite beneficial to us, but with which we tend to struggle greatly. First of all, we tend to do our best to avoid situations in which we need to show these qualities, for they're very often unpleasant. Why do we need to show our ability to adapt unless someone's put some barbed wire in our way? Why do we need to adapt unless we need to grow around a nail or through a chain link fence?
If someone does put an obstacle in the way of the direction in which we're growing, we tend to complain a lot before we even think of adapting to the new obstacle. We tend to say it's not fair, and the obstacle should be removed! Unfortunately, I think, we far too often succeed in removing the barrier before we ever have to learn how to grow around it, and we end up learning nothing from a potentially great learning opportunity.
We can learn from the trees who stand their ground day after day, just doing what trees do. They grow to be strong but flexible, and it's not their strength that allows them to withstand severe storms, but their flexibility. When they meet an obstacle, they grow slowly but surely around it, without a single complaint (that we know of, anyway!)
This moment requires something from you, be it patience, understanding, strength, courage, or something else. There are examples of all these things to be found in the natural world, role models for us to learn from and to take valuable lessons from. The lessons are there for us, but the question is whether or not we see and accept them.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sending our love...

Today Chip's sister, Melissa was married to Wolfgang and we are two states away, but send all our love to them and hope their wedding was wonderful. I pulled up a couple of pictures of her and just know that they will an adventure together in life from here on out. That's what marriage is, right? =) We wish them all the best.
In honor of their wedding, I thought I'd post a few links to some of my favorite wedding websites. I have always loved everything about weddings and still enjoy looking at the fun/personal details and amazing settings and beautiful gowns and cakes and, well, just everything that goes into weddings inspires me. So here are a few special links: Snippet & Ink, Amorology Weddings and Emily Street. If you have some links to inspiring wedding sites, feel free to hook me up in the comments today. I will love you for it!
And finally, here is my latest scrap layout using the SIS Trendsetter Collection. Dedicated to one of the most inspiring scrappers I know... Happy National Scrapbooking Day too!