Sunday, December 18, 2011


Photo courtesy of Urban Rose Photography.

"And God," I squish my eyes shut, lean against the bunk bed, "please forgive me for being so cranky today." I sigh.

From the top bunk, "I couldn't tell you were cranky," Jane whispers.

A smile pulls the corners of my mouth, "I know you don't want me to treat these kids and Daddy that way," I pray. "I'm sorry, God."

The night rocks in quietly like a ship docked in still water. We snug covers around children's shoulders, kiss their warm foreheads.

I climb the ladder and smile at Jane. "Did you say you couldn't tell I was cranky today?"

"Huh uh," her voice like a songbird, "You were just your normal self."

I hug her, her warm cheek against mine. "I love you."

I trundle down the bunk ladder, step into the hall. My normal self. Am I cranky so often it's the normal-me or does she just see normal-me in all I do?

Like most days, I pray for grace to cover me.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose Photography.


1732. How Lucy breaks up our writing lesson with a whispered, "Momma, you have stinky breath."

1733. How she mimics Jack sounding out words.

1734. Her charge to Jack, "Let's pretend we're RATS."

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose Photography.

1735. A day of Christmas shopping, a new vest and Christmas clothes, the festive clomp of our feet on tile floors and camaraderie of looking together.

1736. Jack's examination of Daddy's Lincoln Log house, "How'd you DO that?" And Jane's spontaneous, "It's cause he's amazing." And Jack's, "You're TOO amazing Dad."

1737. How Myra keeps kissing the characters of the nativity on our hearth.

1738. Jane and Jack's chorus during dinner, "Dad, you're the smartest man in the world."

1739. Craig's appreciative, "Wow. THAT hit the spot," as he polishes of a plate of pot-stickers. And Lulie's, "Why'd you eat a SPOT?"

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose Photography.

1740. Jane's continued infatuation with my growing belly, "Do you think people think you're fat or pregnant?" We stare at each other a moment. "Probably pregnant," she adds.

1741. The gathering of family to celebrate Christmas with my side. And how weaved between the gifts and fancy food: two days that unfurl like a long sigh.

1742. Playing Pit for the first time and laughing to tears in the playful banter.

1743. The full feeling of spending time with a people who love me for who I am, the weight of that anchor.

1744. Loving them the same.

1745. In the teetering excitement, Craig's question to Jane, "So, do we need a present for you?" And her confident, "No. I don't really need anything."

1746. How every gift is perfect in that moment.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose Photography.

holy     experience


Brandee Shafer said...

Amazing photos. I LOVE Jane's hair.

Goat said...

Those photos! Love how they speak the language of your family. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, my kids do know when I'm cranky!!

amy in peru said...

beautiful as always.

normal = cranky? this is my worst fear... I am praying moment by moment for grace. I absolutely have NO more excuses. I must learn it before they leave! only 4 years left...

praying grace for you too :)

amy in peru

Amy said...

Love this: "The full feeling of spending time with a people who love me for who I am, the weight of that anchor."

your heart is so beautiful, friend. Truly.

amanda d said...

what sweet pictures ... cranky was in the air in our home today. tomorrow will be better. merry christmas to your sweet family :)

Adina said...

I had a similar exchange with Ruth a few years ago when I apologized for being grumpy and she said she hadn't noticed. It was funny but also humbling! It's comforting to know you're in the same boat sometimes. :)

BEAUTIFUL family pictures!

Coffee Is My Love Language said...

Hi Bethany! So fun catching up with your blog. 1740 had me laughing out loud, "we stare at each other a moment..." oh so funny. Your lists give me much to smile about!