- Rebekah coming home. Not really sure if this counts as this week, but I'm throwing it in here. It was my absolute favorite thing of the past week. She originally was going to come home as a birthday surprise on Saturday night. Unfortunately that would have put her home really late and she had to leave Sunday afternoon. On a lark while I was talking with her Thursday I said, "well, you could come home tomorrow, that would be awesome..." and she did! I'm sure it would have been a lot easier for her to have stuck to the original plan, but she put everything aside and came home and it was wonderful having her here. I think every time she's home is just that much more special because I know these days are numbered. All too soon she'll be out on her own, working, building an independent life, realistically the clock is ticking and while it could make me melancholy I work hard at instead just being thankful for the times we have. She's an awesome daughter, she'll always be an awesome daughter, even when she is out on her own, and I'm proud to be her mom.
- Baking bread. I've made the same recipe three times this week. Honestly, I've had mixed success, one loaf was awesome! One loaf not so much, and one loaf, in my opinion, was "okay". Still, I enjoy making bread so much. I find it relaxing and soothes the sharp edges of my soul. It doesn't hurt any that my family always gets crazy excited when I bake bread. I'm going to keep working with this recipe and try to iron the kinks I'm having out. Have a recipe you love? Please share!
- Jacob's getting better. It's slow, the progress is not exactly as I would like, he struggling with some unpleasant side effects from medicine he's on: headaches, sore throat, stomach aches; but he is undeniably better than a week ago. It still scares me when I try to figure out how we're going to afford his medicines and I'm not sure we'll keep him on them long term, but for now he's stabilized and it's wonderful to see him in a better place. Hopefully a week from now he'll be in even better shape. It broke my heart this week when he told me he woke up in the middle of the night struggling some with his symptoms and all he could think was he didn't want to live like this. No one should have to and we'll keep fighting to make things better.
- Bloggers' books. I've read Rurally Screwed, Bloom and Heaven Is Here this week. Rurally Screwed by Jessie Knadler, was my least favorite. There were things I enjoyed about her story, to be sure, but overall she just isn't someone I could relate to. I have always been anti-drugs, Jessie seems to feel they're no big deal. She comes across as selfish and shallow and perpetually dissatisfied. It's a fairly well written book, but it left me feeling sorry for her husband and hoping she grows up soon. It was definitely a huge contrast to the next book I read, Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected, by Kelle Hampton. I loved this book. I loved it's raw, at times painful to read, honesty. I loved watching Kelle grow, I definitely related to the feelings that she shared about her journey after her second daughter was born with Down syndrome. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Beautifully written, it's a wonderful story. Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy is also a beautifully written tale by Stephanie Nielson. I was already familiar with Stephanie's story from her blog, but the book captures her life story, so far, in such a compelling way. At times painful to read, to be sure, but also such an amazing story of overcoming adversity and not only finding a way to go on, but to be thankful for every day. I loved it. It may sound corny, but it pushes me to be a better person, to count my blessings, to try and live my life the way I think God would want me to live it. I guess it's the ultimate in corny, but I think, at least temporarily, I'm a better person for having read it.
- Knowing how to cook. I'm not saying that I always love to cook, and we eat out way more than we "should", but when I do cook, when the stars align and I fix that meal that everyone's excited about, eager to eat, and it tastes exactly as I would like it too, it's a wonderful feeling. And, not to be too immodest, it happens more than occasionally. This week I made several meals that were so simple, yet so pleasing to my family, and it's fulfilling to meet this basic need in a way that gives them pleasure. Family dinner time is extremely important to me, I love when we all sit down together, talking, sharing, laughing and the meal we're enjoying is like a beautiful piece of background music; a symphony that ties everything together, no complaining someone doesn't like this or that, no reminding to try this or take a bit of that, just relaxing and enjoying that time together. Perfection. Trust me, it's not an every-night-of-the-week kind of thing, sometimes a week goes by and it just doesn't happen that way for whatever reason, but this week there were several nights like that and I treasure it when it does happen. Nothing is more important in my life than my family and our home and working to make our house a home. For me, my ability to cook is a part of making home, home.
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are…
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect Tomorrow.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in my pillow,
or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky
and want, more than all the world, your return.
- Mary Jean Iron
Friday, April 27, 2012
Friday Faves April 27, 2012
Five of my favorite things, in no particular order, from the past week: