These last couple of months have been filled with endless activities to attend and people to tend to. Some have brought ecstatic joy, and some, undeniable grief. I’ve spent the week trying to soak it all in and catch my breath.

The holiday season is approaching (at seemingly lighting speed), but before the madness starts next week, I’m pressing pause.

Pausing to remember.
Pausing to refocus.

REMEMBERING…the activities


Lily started soccer for the first time this fall, and she did awesome! She scored 3 (or was it 4?) goals during a game (not the same game). Filipe even took on the role of assistant coach which made it that much more fun. It was quite a commitment for us though- two days of practice every week (an hour and a half) and a game every Saturday.

She still has a lot to learn, but it was a great start- especially considering she barely knew the rules of play at the start.Last Saturday she played her last game of the season. While it was a lot fun, I’m happy this was a short-term commitment.


It’s begun.
Lily came home several weeks ago and asked if she could use the computer for her homework. So I set her up with my “old” computer, logged her in to her class’s reading site. While I cooked dinner, she sat there for about an hour listening, reading aloud, and taking quizzes on the books she read.

Last night Filipe commented that her homework is getting harder. Hard enough that we have to stop and think a minute to figure it out. I thought we had a couple years before the “serious” stuff started.

She loves it though, and I love that she loves it.


I got glasses in fourth grade, and ever since, I’ve gone back and forth between wearing them, contacts, or going without. Right after Cailyn was born I noticed I would go days without putting my contacts in (I was so exhausted, it was the last thing I thought about) so I gave’em up. I figured if I had to focus that hard at the end of the day trying to figure out if my contacts were in my eye or not, then my eyes weren’t that bad.

It’s been five years since then, and lately I would try and read but the whole page was one big blur. I finally caved and went to an eye doctor. Let’s just say, I once was blind, but now I see. It’s a miracle or just me getting smart.

The first thing Cailyn said when I put them on was, “Mom you look like a doctor”. I told her I was fine with that and we took a picture together. I’m totally embracing the nerd look.


Lily has waited and waited and waited for a loose tooth. Finally she got one. It sat loose in her mouth for about two weeks when finally Filipe pulled it. She ended up losing two within two days.


The morning of halloween I decided chili and corn bread sounded good. So we called Filipe’s sister’s family and the Wood family and had a spontaneous little party that evening. Lots of fun and candy were had by all.

The kids were able to eat all the candy they could on Halloween night. The next day after school I let them choose two more pieces and off to the dentist we went. They each “sold” their candy for a $5 gift card to Target. Lily was eager for her $5 while Cailyn said, “I’m going to miss my candy” as she placed her candy one by one on the scale. I didn’t feel bad for her though, her birthday was the next day and I knew she would forget all about the candy. Sure enough, come the next morning it was the last thing on her mind. Momma might know best after all.


We had a blast celebrating Cailyn. On her birthday we had a family night at Bounce-a-rama and on Saturday we had a party at a nearby park. All she cared about was that her friends come and she had quite a crowd. She was so happy.

The theme of the day was strawberries. I made little jars of homemade strawberry shortcake (even down to the whipped cream) and gave them away as favors. I made one big strawberry shortcake cake. Can’t go wrong with strawberries in our house.

Our attempt at a group picture.

REFOCUSING…on what matters most. 

I love the excitement at the beginning of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
But I don’t like the stress it creates, or the complaining that accompanies it.
I want to be intentional this year.
I want to focus on the joy of it.
I want to teach of its wonder.

God sending His Son is a wonderful thing indeed.