Between pigtails, self-made bangs and the final cut I gave her here (I couldn't take the mullet look any longer), this girl has had more hairstyles in one month than I've had in the last ten years. We're done!
All is quiet around here. I can hear the clock ticking on our fireplace mantle and the coffee dripping in the kitchen as I type right now. Such unfamiliar sounds.
The girls left just a few minutes ago for a spontaneous (as in, five minutes from proposal to packing to out-the-door) overnighter with Grandma Carol. What fun. I know they'll have a blast.
Do I miss them? Yes, a little. But not long after the girls left I knew how I would use my "alone" time.
I'm going grocery shopping to buy ingredients. A bottle of wine, for sure. I'm making our home just the way he likes it. I'm cooking one of his favorite dinners. His most-loved dessert. I'll put on a dress and light candles just before he walks through the door. I'm hoping he'll want to take me on a walk along the beach afterwards.
I know he will.
I've always loved these excerpts from two letters written by Pietro Molla to his beloved wife, Gianna. Though I know I fall short, I still strive.
....you, who have given me the immense gift of a wife of gold like that of the most marvelous dawn.... (May 31, 1959)
I have always rejoiced to find in you the ideal wife of whom I had dreamed, and an incomparable mother to our children; and yet I always discover in you new virtues of sacrifice, patience, understanding, goodness and so much loving affection. (written February 19, 1959)
....but beforehand, a thought. I couldn't bear to post photos of a vacation, of happy children, happy family times last week. It just seemed wrong somehow, knowing another mother was, is grieving.
But today I post, because life is far too short, childhood is too short. We must be grateful for every moment we have. Enjoy life, enjoy our children, our husbands, love unceasingly, smile a lot, and show the world the joy that is motherhood.
Views from the lakeside lodge:
We spent a lot of time at the hotel's darling little beach here. Gianna loved swimming out to the yellow raft and laying in the sunshine. Madeleine loved it too. A relaxed husband is a very good thing.
Exploring lodge grounds.
What's a speedboat ride without a little snooze? This girl can sleep through anything.
My first knitting project is coming along. I originally set out to make this scarf as a gift for a friend, but it's generous share of gaping holes and missed stitches make me think I should keep this one around here. :) The yarn is so soft and delicate to work with. It has a really nice feel, but it tends to slip off the bamboo needles easily. I'm not quite sure how this thing is going to look like a scarf in the end, but I'm eager to see the finished product.
From the Bonny Blue House: Please pray for Mary Ellen's son, Ryan. He left on a father/son campout on Thursday morning and as of Thursday evening at 5:00 PM he has been missing. Ryan is 14 years old, and autistic. An extensive search is being conducted and Mary Ellen was driven to the site three hours away by a dear friend.
Please, anyone reading this, join your prayers with all who love Mary Ellen for the safe and speedy return of Ryan. Mary Ellen is hoping for Ryan to be covered in a massive prayer chain. Please post this request on any blogs or online groups you can.
Beautiful vacation. Sunrise to sunset scenery. Morning coffee on the deck. Lakeside meals. Fresh water. Clean air. Pristine. Relaxation. Activity. Hiking. Boating. Kayaking. Huckleberry picking. Childhood memories re-lived. Childhood memories made. Family memories made.
We're back from a lovely visit with my husband's family on Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho. I've got unpacking, laundry catch-up and a huge grocery trip planned for today, but I'm totally energized for it all. More pictures to come....lots to sort through.
I was surprised at how many of you asked me about First Communion preparation, and being short on computer time this week I thought I'd quickly post what we're using here for all who are interested.
1. St. Joseph's First Communion Catechism (Baltimore) "Eleven lessons on the essential truths of the Faith to prepare children for first Confession and first Communion. Full color illustrations. Lessons include: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist, The Mass, Holy Days of Obligation, and many more. Catechism also includes everyday prayers and night prayers as well."
2. First Communion Days "A collection of First Communion Stories about children who are about to receive or have just received their First Holy Communion. Unabridged from the First Edition in 1920. The author wrote these to "satisfy even the least of these little ones...that they may draw...closer to Him Who longed for children to come to Him..."
3. True Stories for First Communicants "This rare and beautiful little book is a companion to First Communion Days, by the same author. These stores are all about First Communicants, with stories of ordinary boys and girls, as well as St. Gerard Majella, St. John Vianney, and others. These are all true stories and of great interest to children of all ages." 4. The Mass for Children "Your child will experience the joy and wonder of the Holy Mass as early as possible with this colorful, motivating book. Mimi Sternhagen also illustrated Little Acts of Grace and Just Like Mary. Her childlike but rich style will attract your youngest children even before they can read for themselves. The clear but in-depth text covers each part of the Mass giving its supernatural meanings. This makes the book a fun but substantial catechism on the Mass for children as old as 8 or 9."
I've already had a chance to begin reading these materials with Gianna, and she's really enjoying them. These taken together along with your favorite Lives of the Saints books, I think make for a rich and beautiful first communion preparation. #'s 1 & 4 above are great for fundamentals, and 2 & 3 are lovely tools for inspiring a deep desire to receive Our Lord in the sacrament of Holy Communion.
I may not have a cinched waist, but I love that this dress makes me feel like Donna Reed. It's sort of an updated version of the 50's shirtwaist dress (otherwise known as the "house dress" back then. Ha!) The belted waist clearly says "vintage", but the splash of ruffles at the neckline give it a modern twist.