Wednesday, August 27, 2014
When we were dating, Alex would periodically take me to a park near the seminary he attended at the time. He is pretty fond of duck ponds and thought I would be too. He envisioned us sitting on the grass, perusing books on end while the ducks quack amiably around us. Unfortunately, when ducks that are almost as big as us persistently follow us for food, they don't rank high on my list for favorite creatures. I get a mild case of the heebie jeebies around them. Consequently, jaunts to the duck pond were fewer than Alex had anticipated. Until it occurred to him this week that it is on the way to the grocery store. He insisted we drop by so that Serene (and he) could see the ducks. She had absolutely no qualms about the gargantuan birds. They got up close and personal with them while I stood from afar in safety, snapping pictures. It makes my heart so full to watch them interact. Alex is elated to have nabbed a daddy-daughter date locale for the upcoming years. Until then, I have a feeling we'll be stopping by every so often during our weekly Trader Joe's runs.
P.S. Enter here to win a pair of Freshly Picked moccs like Serene's in the pictures above, except in the size and color of your choice! Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59pm PST.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Two weekends ago, I boarded a jet plane to San Francisco to celebrate the impending arrival of a sweet friend's young'n due the end of November. We threw a shower that was as sweet as can bee for the parents to bee, Matt and Elaine. We aimed to adhere to the honeybee theme as much as possible, with yellow, mint, and gray as the primary color scheme. Elaine is a crafty gal, so we used pom pom garlands from her wedding and her insanely lovely chalkboard signage to spruce up the tables at a local park, along with other odds and ends. I packed minimally - mostly flat decor like honeycomb printed paper that we folded into caramel popcorn cones, honeybee labels for the desserts, which featured bumblegum, honey-dew balls, babycakes, and more. One of the girls baked delectable cookie favors, which we pinned on a clothesline in between trees to contribute to the festivity. It was a beautifully mild NorCal summer afternoon to herald in the bee-ginning of a new chapter for the Youngs, who will be a family of three the next time I see them. Thankful for the privilege to celebrate with them, but I was also glad to fly home to Alex and Serene. We had decided after our road trip up north for the Lum baby shower that if I were to mosey up again in a month and a half for the Young baby shower, I would fly alone since Serene did not fare too well in June. The day of Matt & Elaine's baby shower was the longest I had been apart from the baby. 15 hours is quite a while, especially when the little love is still nursing. I totally could not have truly understood the bond fostered between a mama and her child before I became a mama myself. What a precious gift from God! And what a gift to celebrate motherhood for so many dear friends lately.
P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins for the baby or toddler in your life here before it ends this Wednesday at 11:59pm PST!
Friday, August 22, 2014
Having a forest for a backyard for a few days was grand. We hiked through pockets of it during our last day in Big Bear (see previous posts here and here), after which I became further convinced that woodlands are the natural landscape I admire most. Our hike lasted a whole twenty minutes, stroller detours and picture-taking included. Kudos to our friend for snapping some family photos for us in the woods. It takes so many attempts to procure one decent family picture, particularly since Alex or I can't be behind the camera to coax Serene into grinning. When I looked through the shots, I noticed that Serene waved or clapped in thorough solemnity in them all, which speaks to her favorite pastimes these days. They made me laugh and realize that these little quirks embody the stage she's in at this moment in time, more than her usual smile can.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
We made the most of our little cabin in the woods during our stint up in Big Bear two weeks ago. With four families (14 people!) in a 2-bedroom cabin, we had a most cozy time. We talked, played, ate, and thoroughly R&Red together. So thankful to share life with these fine folks who are a dear part of our community. They are a gift from our gracious God as we strive, by His grace, to love Him, one another, and others through the daily up and down rhythms of life.
Monday, August 18, 2014
We've been reflecting on the blessing to be able to live in California, where we could drive one hour in any direction and experience varied topography that speaks to our Maker's breathtaking creativity. On our drive up to Big Bear a couple of weeks ago for a mini vacation with our dear community group, we marveled at majestic, evergreen-dotted mountains; pristine, tranquil lakes; and jagged rock formations. Every time a body of water came into sight, Alex's kayaking itch grew stronger. It spread to the rest of us like a contagion, so one afternoon, our group of eight adults and six kiddos rented two kayaks to explore the great, wide, watery somewhere. Not only had I never kayaked before, but I also don't know how to swim. Naturally, I was terrified of drowning and leaving Serene without her mama ;) After much coaxing and gentle peer pressure from everyone, I went. I thought we weren't going to live to tell the tale, but thankfully, Alex was a great protector who coached and reassured me the entire time we were paddling (which he ended up doing solo half the time). We had a blast, and even brought Serene with us at the end. She was way more courageous than I was; she kept attempting to stand and babble at the gentle breeze on the moving kayak. In fact, all the kiddos had so much fun. Their audacity really encouraged me not to be that stuffy, boring grown-up who prefers to sit on the sidelines and not join in on the fun. Thankful to the Lord for using kiddos, especially my own, to teach me ongoing simple yet valuable lessons.