the small everyday things, like a hot cup of coffee and conversation with a cute old lady.
the winter things, like snow and tomato soup and grilled cheese and pie and piles of dishes we don’t feel motivated to do.
encouraging words from people, I’ve been struggling with my strengths and weaknesses lately and feeling blah, so those kind words mean a lot!
two new healthy babies, born to friends this week.
music by Ellie Holcomb, I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. It’s very sunny & comforting, good for a long winter!
how a long stressful day makes me think of our epic meltdowns in the dorm days. We really knew how to completely crash!
people who help me.
and people to help.
my butter and cereal stockpile.
blue mountain coffee in 82 degree Jamaica.
when something is funny and I can almost hear Billy (our friend and driver in Jamaica) laughing about it. For his laugh, imagine a younger, happy, casual, Jamaican Santa. Makes me smile from ear to ear. It’s so good!
learning new origami on a Saturday morning with friends & coffee & blueberry lemon muffins & fruit salad oh and also a cute little baby girl.
how my family makes me laugh.
my dad sending me an article on the history of Dailey, I love my little ghost-town-ish hometown.
11 o’clock lunches with fashionable old ladies.
funny stories that are not really my stories, but I adopted them and will tell them for years to come anyway.
our Friday morning group talks about the Bible verse we memorized, the entire rest of the Bible, ourselves, the hard things, travels, snowmobiling, and who knows what else.
eggplant parmesan for dinner. It didn’t work to make Hanna’s baby come, it’s one of those things people say works so we decided to try it. But it was a good meal anyway!
friends named Hanna who leave monster cookies at our house on purpose. Between Kathy and me, they did not last long.
wedding chats, supper & buying several tree’s worth of paper products with Anna.
how basically 90% of things I’m thankful for are food-related in some way. Sigh.
Cast your burden on the Lord, & He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
-Psalm 55:22 esv
rest after that long, busy, awesome week in Jamaica.
Kathy caving in and getting a Pinterest. Just like with our milk percentage disagreements, I knew in time she’d come around to reason! She’s planning a wedding, she loses track of recipes she likes on the internet, she should use Pinterest.
hot tea & juice & staring blankly at the snow outside. Yes I’ve had a cold. It’s got me feeling very “meh-ish” to use a Skip term.
how mesmerizing curling is.
the Andy Griffith Show valentines I made for my family, I love them. (The valentines AND my family.)
Why have a brown door when you can have a purple door?
Why have a white classroom when you can have a lime green and yellow one?
That’s one thing I always enjoy about being in Jamaica- all the different, bold colors. And not just in the places everyone sees, but in tucked away classrooms, storage rooms, sheds. Why not?
When I was a teenager and we remodeled our farmhouse. My violin teacher Miss Linda went through all this trouble painting my closet the same light buttery yellow as my room, just because she knew I’d enjoy it.
My lifelong best friend’s mom painted their farmhouse a vivid light aqua. My mom thought it was the ugliest thing! And against the light browns, dark browns, brownish greens, and light blues of northeast Colorado… yes it is a bit shocking. But transplant that house to any street in Montego Bay, and it would be just another normal, boring, brightly colored home.
(I’m in Jamaica this week for Bible Quiz Nationals! Thanks for praying!!)
It’s an unfinished villa in Montego Bay, across the road from the ocean. Think “tropical hobbit.”
(I’m in Jamaica this week for Bible Quiz nationals!! And to decide which room I’ll use for second breakfast, obviously.)
the best kind of Sunday dinner. Cinnamon rolls and biscuits and pasta and Jamaican soda and haricots verts pronounced in every possible way.
how a 5 year old boy will talk about football, Legos, and his favorite pair of underwear, all in the same serious, conversational way. It was a fun night babysitting for Erin!
the ups and downs of caregiving.
my work of creative genius- a children’s book of sayings from Psych, illustrated by me. According to Kathy “This is the weirdest children’s book ever” but Han & Caleb laughed alot when I gave it to them so I say it’s a success!
a new Flavia book, I’m trying not to race through it. Jill and I were #1 & #2 on the library hold list, we’ve been anxiously awaiting this book!
26 teams signed up for the Bible Quiz tournament in Jamaica next week! That is the most we have ever had! Very awesome. We are taking a smaller group of teens this year though, which means some of us will be running a quiz site solo. Doable, but I know from experience you end the day with no voice, a shattered brain and crossed eyes. Pray for us!!
photo by Jenny Schwager/Seasons Photography
fun night supporting Anna in her new career as a model! haha. (It was just for a church women’s event and she’s still planning to be a doctor as far as I know.)
my planner. May I never lose it.
my most battered old quiz book. Using it to re-learn verses for memory group this week. 1 John was and is a favorite of mine!
A cross between Red Riding Hood and Santa and a caregiver. I would travel the world, bound by neither time nor practicalities, and bring goodies & help to people who needed them.
Naming/creating spotify playlists.
Ina Garten’s personal assistant.
Working at a donkey sanctuary.
I’ve been mistaken for:
a Hobby Lobby employee.
a Mangelsen’s employee.
Despite that last one, a “catch me if you can” style movie of my life would be very boring. “They discover that she is NOT a craft store employee…. gasp!” At worst, they ask me to leave, and at best, they offer me a job for real because they recognize that I have the necessary skills.
I miss her for who she was. But I also miss her because of who I was to her, if that makes any sense at all. I have a unique relationship with each elderly person I get to work with, but with her it was a bond that doesn’t come along often.
She trusted me.
Looking back, I am amazed by how special that was, and what an honor. That kind of total, confident trust is rare, especially in someone who can’t trust their own brain or memory.
She recognized my voice and remembered my name, clear till the end. She had an excellent team of caregivers, of which I was one; but I was the only Frances.
As she often got tangled in panic and delusions that were very real to her, I’d try to meet her there and reassure her and pray with her. Once she told me, “I feel like I’ve been let out of prison, by you.”
She showered on the praise and appreciation. It was over-the-top sometimes but to a greenhorn caregiver, it kept my spirits up! Working with her, I learned so much that I will use and build upon for the rest of my life. Not just “professionally” but personally.
It’s a year now since she died. Missing that kind smile today.