They’ve flown!

Both of my children moved away this week. Each pursuing the dream of furthering their education. My son left for the University of Illinois to pursue a doctorate in Geography/Geographical Information Science while my daughter left for Mississippi State University to pursue a masters in Biological Engineering. They will be separated by many states this year for the first time.

Austin and Catie 1990

As parents, we hoped and dreamed many things for them over the years. We watched from the sidelines as these two developed very distinct personalities. So much so that others are often surprised they are siblings. Yet both are unique, intelligent, and creative with an independent spirit and possess a kind heart that is motivated for the good of others.

Austin and Catie (1)

They have stood by one another and supported each other through the good and the tough years. They celebrated one another’s accomplishments even when one more scout ceremony and one more dance recital was too much. They have comforted, laughed, irritated, exasperated, and loved one another. Co-conspirators, these two.

Austin and Catie 2006 2

As they each went their separate ways to college, they didn’t grow apart but found ways to stay connected while allowing each other to grow and change. They embraced one another’s quirks and accepted one another regardless of them. They have challenged each other to excellence and critical thinking and refuse to accept mediocrity in one another.

Austin and Catie beach

The older they have become, the closer they have grown towards one another and value each other’s opinions. They often seek each other out for guidance. More than siblings, they’ve become friends. We thought our empty nest would occur much sooner. But one or both of them have lived with us even after their marriages. These two that have now become four enjoy the companionship of one another and value time together.

family pic Wisconsin 2015

The time has come. They’ve flown. What more could we hope for as parents? And it happened in the blink of an eye.

Blessings,

Mimi

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children-” Psalm 103:17 NIV Bible

Books, Books, Books

Hey!

Books and summertime go together, don’t you think? I do and I have been steadily reading this summer. I only wish I could forego all of my daily chores to sit and read for hours on end. Ah, that would be bliss!

At the start of the year, Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy issued a reading challenge: Read 12 books in 12 different categories in 12 months. She chose the categories and those participating chose their own books. I’ve been nibbling away at the categories and now have only 2 left to go! As far as my own personal goal to read 50 books this year, I’m on the right track with 32 read so far for the year.

#1 A book I’ve been meaning to read: Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner: This book sat on my nightstand for a couple of years. I enjoyed it and felt parts were spot on for me but I liked her book girl meets God more. A solid 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

#2 A book published this yearThe Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I loved this book as much as the first one, The Queen of the Tearling. The story headed into a different direction than I expected but I’m all in for the third one. I can’t wait to see the movie with Emma Watson!  4 stars

#3 A book in a genre I don’t typically readHorrorstor by Grady Hendrix: Creepy, easy to read, quick paced and not my cup of tea. I gave this book 2.5 stars because I did like the concept of using the store as a setting which added to the creepy factor and I liked the graphics used throughout the book.

#4 A book from my childhood: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: Still love this wonderful story. I gave this book 5 stars because of sentimental reasons and because I do feel the story is excellent as well as the writing.

#5 A book that was originally written in a different language: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke: Originally written in German, this story is about a young man seeking advice from the poet. Lots of wonderful thoughts and quotes on life and writing. 4.5 stars

#6 A book everyone has read but me: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult: I couldn’t finish it. I tried really hard. I read it for book club and I read half of it [200 pages] and sort of skimmed the rest. I just don’t like Jodi Picoult’s style of writing. Everyone kept telling me I would love this one because it was not like her others. I disagree. It was exactly like her others. No rating, wouldn’t be fair.

#7 A book I chose because of the cover: Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai: I’m reading this book now. The story is as beautiful as the cover. A girl accompanies her grandmother back to their native Vietnam to discover what happened to her grandfather and is learning about the value of family. Right now, the book is hovering in the 4 star region.

#8 A book by a favorite author: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good  by Jan Karon: I loved being back in Mitford with all of the familiar characters. The book did feel a little like a swan song. 4 stars because I adore this series.

#9 A book recommended by someone with great taste: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay: My friend Nancy suggested this book to me and I loved it and have recommended it to others. I ordered her second book the minute I finished this one. 4 stars

#10 A book thats currently on the bestseller listThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: This book is also not a typical genre for me but I read it for book club. I thought the book was well written and I enjoyed it but I was so stressed out reading it which is why I don’t normally read this genre, psychological thriller. 4 stars

My last 2 categories to conquer are: A book my mom loves and a book I should have read in high school. If you’d like to read my full review on any of these books (except for A Wrinkle in Time and Listen, Slowly), you can find them by clicking on the Goodreads bar on the right hand side of the page.

Blessings,

Mimi

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103 NIV Bible

Saying Goodbye

She was no bigger than a sprite. Audrey Hepburn, or more commonly called little black kitty, weighed about 5 pounds but she was everything a cat loving family would desire in a pet. Gentle. Affectionate. Playful. Rodent Hunter.

audrey 1

We lost her this past week unexpectedly and traumatically. We catch ourselves looking for her in her usual places. One of the amazing things about pets is how we can become so attached to them, isn’t it?

audrey 2

She was 6 months old and a young mom of four babies, when she adopted us as her family. She was almost 10 years old when we said goodbye.

audrey 3

I think the reason that we view pets as family members and grieve the way we do when they’re gone is love. No big mystery— only love and we loved this cat.

audrey 4

And she loved us.

audrey 5

Blessings,

Mimi

“How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24 NIV Bible

Which one?

Hey!

Every day we make decisions. Some are huge and others are tiny in comparison. Still, others are made without us ever really engaging our brains. We’ve made the same choice so many times we don’t even register it. More likely than not, we do what we do because our mama or daddy did it that way or we saw it done that way or perhaps we learned it along the way. Then one day, an opinion opposes our own and suggests a new alternate path. The suggestion might’ve come from a person or something you’ve heard or read but all of a sudden, you find yourself faced with this eternal question.

Which one?

  1. Thick or thin pizza crust?
  2. Creamy or crunchy peanut butter?
  3. Install the toliet paper to be pulled over the top or pulled from underneath the roll?
  4. Squeeze the middle of the toothpaste tube or squeeze from the bottom of the tube?
  5. Close the lid or leave it open when flushing the toilet?
  6. Sleep with the pretty side of the sheets against you or the seam side towards you?
  7. Eat with both hands above the table or 1 hand above and 1 hand in your lap?
  8. Coke or Pepsi?
  9. Leave book jackets on books or take them off?
  10. Remove the ‘don’t remove’ tags from pillows, blankets,etc. or leave them on?
  11. Take a bath or don’t take a bath before bed?
  12. Sweet or unsweet tea?
  13. Heinz or Hunt’s ketchup?
  14. Brand name or generic?
  15. Decorative pillows or no pillows on the bed?

So many choices – Which ones will I choose today?

Blessings,

Mimi

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV Bible

I’m Posting at Cara’s Blog Today

Hey!

Cara and I became acquainted through our mutual blog friend, Katie.  Remember the Giveaway this fall?  She was a part of that fun.  Cara writes a lovely blog about life and faith and family at be.mama.be.  I love her tagline, “Finding beauty in the most unlikely of places.”

Today, I’m guest posting for her.  I hope you’ll drop by and get acquainted with Cara and her blog and of course, read about the simple wisdom I discovered for raising my children.

Here’s just a little taste of the post:

I was floundering as a parent when my children started approaching elementary age. I did fine in the basic areas of love, comfort, feeding, clothing, and etc. but the older my children became, the less confident I felt of providing proper direction and guidance for them. I felt ill-equipped to navigate them through the preteen and teen years still ahead. The world, I felt, had become much more complicated and harsh than the reality that I had grown up in.

Then one day,…

Click here for more.

Blessings,

Mimi