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Oh, the Stories

I read a book to my unborn baby last night.

I just discovered that Baby K. still might not be able to hear me, but it seemed like a good end to a full day. Rubbing my belly, reading to my baby, chilling out for a good night's rest.

This week has been a little chaotic already- in one of the very best kinds of ways. My brother is in his last week before he leaves our little town for I-don't-know-how-long while he trains for and tackles his dreams. My sister is visiting from Mississippi for I'm-not-quite-sure-how-long. 

On Sunday, my parents hosted a big going away party for Steven.

It was perfect.

Today, Katie and I are hosting a Great Things for Anika party.

No matter what happens, it will be perfect.

(It makes me laugh to think of the truly dangerous and crazy things my brother will be doing, while I find myself shaking in my boots over being an advocate for children who need adoption and women trying to raise their families in broken down places. It bolsters me and pushes me onward.)

Every part of the last couple of days has been wonderful. The chaos really only comes in to play with my emotions.

I'm thrilled to spend time with two of the most treasured people in my life. I'm sucking up every drop of the experience while I can.

I'm thrilled for Steven. He is on his way to doing what he's had his heart and mind set on for years. I know he will succeed. He is one of the smartest, toughest, most adventurous people I know. I'm already proud of him, but now I'm excited to watch him do what makes him come alive. It's a privilege to be his sister; it really, really is.

Katie? She's already working on what, for years, she's had her heart set on. She is tough, too, but she's really a mama bear for those who need it. She's stunning and witty and she has her heart set on justice in the classroom, in the courtroom, anywhere. She advocates for those without a loud voice, and right now, she's working on that in Mississippi.

Sometimes, I really miss Katie, and I want her here.

Sometimes, I really want Steven to stay.  

But you know, they couldn't. I wouldn't even bottom-line want that. Because one of the qualities I admire about both of my siblings is that they don't settle. They see a need, a passion, a path to travel that has sat deep in their hearts for years, and they're walking-running- towards them now.

It's inspiring.

My passion, my path, the needs I see that sit in my heart...are about seeing families thrive. Parent-less children being a part of those thriving families. Hard-working women in poor places being truly supported.

How can I not run towards that when I see my own brother and sister leave everything and everyone they know to follow the noble and deep-seated desires in their hearts?

So, sometimes, I shed tears.

I let them come, and I let them go.

I whisper the difficulties of the changing number of miles between myself and people I hold so dear.

But ultimately, I'm glad Katie and Steven are traveling the paths they are traveling. It's who they are-who they were made to be during this moment in time. I should desire nothing less for them.

So, for the rest of this week, I will continue to suck up every drop I can. I will be grateful for those drops. I will celebrate their journeys as I send them off.

I will celebrate my own.

And later? Oh, the stories we'll share.


New Year's Resolutions

Most years, I don't make New Year's Resolutions.
This year is a little different. You might have guessed that after reading the title of this post.

This year, Tim and I bought a house. On December 31, we move in to the neighborhood where my church is located, a neighborhood where I want to get to know people and get involved. A neighborhood where some kids don't eat meals with the exception of the weekly family dinner that takes place at the church.

I've been doing a lot of brainstorming and a lot of daydreaming.
When I picture my dream life, I see people in and out of my house all the time. In the kitchen, the living room, the dining room. There are neighborhood kids, my own children, friends, and people who just need a break from the life that they ordinarily live. Mostly, those people sit around a table and are fed with food. But there is so much more that happens around that table. Magic happens there.

Imagine what it feels like when you sit around and share a meal with people who you know love you. It's magic. Some people have no idea what that feels like, but I want those people to find it at my house.

My house is going to become a place full of hot meals, games, laughter, love, and peace. That is my New Year's Resolution.

So. This blog is going to change a little bit.

Over the next year, I am planning on blogging my adventures in feeding...everyone. I'll be writing about creating yummy, nutritious meals on a budget, coming up with resources for all those meals,sharing my successful (and sometimes unsuccessful recipes), talking about hurdles and joys, and posting about freebies and promotions I find (because I know I'm not the only one who'll be looking for a good bargain in the coming year!).

Happy New Year to you.
May it be a year of peace, joy, and new adventures.


Four years ago, my boyfriend was working as a construction worker, makinglots of money.

Then he proposed to me.

Then he accepted a job a youth pastor, making a lot less money.
And I jumped up and down, squealing that my dreams were coming true.

A few months ago, I decided that I couldn't take on any more commitments and do well at everything I am already signed up for.
And then we bought a house.
I'm feeling a little drained.
I'm not much of a squealer any more. I'm a planner.
I've been planning things like what kinds of pancake toppings to keep on hand and how I can keep things simple so I can have lots of people over often.
Because my dreams are coming true.

In one of my dreams, my home is a place where people come to find peace and rest. They come to get their hearts, spirits, and tummies filled up. The house is always full of the smells of something delicious cooking, and a new memory is always on the horizon.

Sometimes the food isn't fancy, because at my house, we feed everyone. Even if that means we are out of grocery money. But everyone leaves feeling loved. And full. In more ways than one.