Day 16: Read #write31days

One of the ways that we spent time with Mom in the hospital and the palliative ward was reading to her.  She requested a long-time favourite of Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe stories (of Dave and Morley and family) and we continued to bring in all of his books.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Stuart McLean but his stories of Dave and Morley invoke a lot of emotion.  Sometimes you find yourself nearly in tears but usually loud laughs would escape from your mouth (and heart!) before you could even stop it (but why would you want to?).  Sometimes Mom would start laughing so hard that it would bring on a coughing/asthma fit and it would take her a while to catch her breath.  But she would say it was worth it.

Of course we read other books or passages of Scripture to her, but Vinyl Cafe stories were the main staple.  Oh the joy they gave my Mom!  Oh the spirits that were lifted!  Oh the gift of stories and silliness and laughter in such a dark period and place!

2 months after the day our lives changed for the better forever

Our baby girl turns two months old today.  Two months.  As I write this I still find it hard to believe that: two entire months have passed by and we have all survived; and that we ever had a life before our baby girl was born – it’s just so hard to imagine a time when she wasn’t a part of us and our lives.

There may come a point when I will write about the night she was born, or about her first crazy messy poo story (every baby’s got one, right?), or about how difficult the first month was, or how when she smiles the whole world literally does stop and stare for awhile – oh my goodness, my heart just melts even if it is 4am and we haven’t slept all night, her smile makes everything all right in the world – but for right now, I just want to say that we, our family of three, are doing well and loving being a family of three.  And because I don’t know how long this quiet moment will last – or when I’ll have energy again.  Let’s be honest here, people.  😉

Our little flower was born 10 days late but right on time in late June.  We call her “Kate” but gave her a very long and proper name, combining both cultures from her Mom and Dad.

Please say hello to Kate…

[Note: This photo was taken when Kate was 1.5 weeks old.  Now she’s two months old, much bigger and much cuter!  More pictures soon to come!]

old windows and reflections

77. Time with new and still newish friends over food and laughter.
78. Time to remember the past with gratefulness to God.
79. A full heart.
80. Loving arms to be enfolded within.
81. The miracle of life.
82. Our first year of blessed marriage.
83. Our covenant of marriage – first with God and then with each other.

84. Fun projects to do together.
85. Exploring new areas together.

86. Old windows.
87. Metal twisted pretty.
88. Faded paint.
89. Wood with a face of a happy and long-lived life.
79. Reflections of sky and tree lines.
80. Popping in to visit friends just on a whim.
81. Provisions that bless.
82. Sweet baby smiles being big brothers’ favourite thing of their new sister.
83. Excitement of new bugs and their unexpected movements.

84. Boys running, jumping, leaping up, down and everywhere they can find space.
85. Discovering new community.
86. Palates overwhelmed with scrumptious anniversary food.
87. Spontaneous dance parties in our living room with just us.
88. A saved treat shared at last on a fitting occasion.
89. Friends and mentors who have spent time with us and encouraged us in how to grow.

Happy almost anniversary

One year ago on August 3rd… legal marriage at city hall in Chiang Mai! Beth’s neighbourhood was under water and family was visiting from far away and we were all busy with wedding preparations. One year later we’re living south of Chiang Rai surrounded by flooded rice fields with family a 10 min drive away. Happy almost 1st anniversary!!!

creation rejoices with a new season – One Thousand Gifts

I don’t know their story and why they soar and dip and dance around the waiting vehicles but these birds come and play games and cause wonder to me sitting there in my truck with the engine idling.

Praise the LORD from the earth,
        you great sea creatures and all deeps,
     fire and hail, snow and mist,
        stormy wind fulfilling his word!

    Mountains and all hills,
        fruit trees and all cedars!
     Beasts and all livestock,
        creeping things and flying birds!
 (Psalm 148:7-10 ESV)

New buds have burst forth in the weeks I’ve been at home sick in bed and everywhere around me (except the sky on smokey days) the world has become a colourful pop-out book where blossoms can’t help but jump out and call you to admire their beauty.  Bright yellows in the trees, orange, red, pink and purple bougainvillea everywhere I look.  Even in the unmowed grass on my small front lawn pale purple flowers spread their petals broadly and announce their arrival.  It’s a new world on a new day.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

6. Birds swooping and diving in delight with an audience stopped at a traffic light.
7. Vibrant, new colours popping out from trees and bushes lining busy streets and highways.
8. Unexpected and joy-filled encounters.
9. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting eaten with Dear Dear.