• Just Life

    Saying I Do.

    Jillian and John got married yesterday. She’s the daughter of my sister, my elder niece and goddaughter. In other words, she’s a woman I hold dear and close. She and John have been together for years (first here in Atlanta, then in Austin, TX and lately Nashville, TN) and I just was surprised as … anyone … when they announced their engagement a few months back. and an August wedding. um what?!? Of course back then (May?!) we all imagined Things would be Different by now and … they’re not. and I know lots of folks are putting things on hold and on the back burner and I just have to…

  • Just Life

    Looking Back | July.

    I’ve been saying for months that I wanted to Look Back before I said Hello. This month I finally managed it, and whoa, I can see the benefit. We’ve now been “at home” for four full months and this month really showed it. Save one Saturday (the 11th) on my sister’s porch and the four Sunday runs to the lake, every other photo was taken within less than 100 feet of where I’m sitting right now – and 15 of them were in the same room! wow. In Before Times, I would’ve made a goal to broaden my world. Today, I’m especially grateful to have such a warm, welcoming space…

  • Just Life

    Marmie & Poppa Camp | Week Nine.

    This week of camp was held at the last minute. Charlie’s LEGO camp was cancelled and Sam really didn’t want to miss out again. I texted Katie over the weekend “one night is no big deal”. and it’s true. We had plenty of food, the promise of our neighbor’s pool, and close to 2,000 LEGO pieces. On Sunday, Marc cut boards to build a treasure chest, then made two quick trips (Home Depot for hardware and Walmart for the infamous RED light saber), and we were set (of course we went to bed early too 😉 ). The fun began soon after they arrived on Monday morning. Marc led the…

  • Just Life

    And | July 2020.

    Charlie & Sam just left with their dad, bringing a close to the ninth session of Marmie & Poppa camp. In another time, those two ampersands might make a delightful topic for a post (or two) about this year’s One Little Word. This month, it’s just an opening and a photo.The boys are completely obsessed with Star Wars. When Charlie was here last week, he wanted to “build a light saber with Poppa”. Poppa researched and ultimately ended up purchasing a light saber for less than $5. Needless to say, Sam wanted one, too. a red one (I didn’t know that they even came in different colors). Sam’s favorite line…

  • Just Life

    Marmie & Poppa Camp | Week Eight.

    This week unraveled in a particularly delightful way. Marc and I hosted Charlie for two nights and the 8th iteration of Marmie & Poppa Camp. We had BIG plans … and we managed to do even more 🙂 On the left is the list we penned on Monday morning and on the right, the one we ended with before Charlie left yesterday, with lots of checks, a few revisions and only one missed activity (watercolor … maybe next time). Two-on-one camp with an almost six year-old is much different than what we experienced the first seven weeks. Based on Charlie’s feedback (most fun ever!), maybe we found our sweet spot!…

  • Just Life

    My Morning Practice.

    One of the things I took away from last month’s Looking Back was re-committing to my morning journal and prayer practice. The practice had evolved since I retired (morning practice time? wow!), and then Marc (what’s morning quiet time?!), and then SAH/COVID. Marc and I started walking together (which takes a lot more time than the treadmill/pilates routine I’d just started to embrace), I found it hard to sit still and focus on much of anything, let alone close my eyes and quiet my mind for 20 minutes, I expanded my Instagram follows to include more voices, we hosted the little boys for two days each week … and I gave…

  • Just Life

    Looking Back | June.

    Last month’s Look Back was late and I’m happy to be sharing this one to meet (barely) my “in the first week” commitment. Whew! It certainly gives the practice a different focus, which admittedly this month also feels partly due to the looking back that prompted Sunday’s post. Still, the lens of these daily photos always adds a fresh perspective. I love those five rows of Monday/Tuesday with the little boys. the lake views from my Sunday morning runs. the magnolias. porch time at my house and my sister’s. some knitting (and even some crochet). one fabulous sunset. and one freshly groomed little dog. 1. What am I celebrating? +…

  • Just Life

    Hello July.

    I’ve been counting our SAH days in my journal and today is Day 113. whoa. As a point of reference, I noted these “new prayers” in my prayer journal nearly 120 days ago  “COVID-19. early March. starting to get serious. 19 dead in US” … and right below “March 12 … shut downs/cancellations becoming widespread. feels like the country shifted dramatically in a 12-hour period…” And in the intervening days, weeks, and months, we’ve seen so many more shifts. For much of this time, I’ve felt like I was just reacting … to the (never good) news, the ever-evolving expert advice, and then the social changes … and I was…

  • Just Life

    Marmie & Poppa Camp | Week Seven.

    I did a double-take on the calendar … yes, it really has been SEVEN weeks since we started Camp. We’ve settled into a pretty comfortable routine that’s a nice mix of outside (Poppa’s “chores” and the neighbor’s pool) and inside (games, cooking, trains and LEGO’s). I swear the boys look older now than they did back in May! Charlie and I played a new game – Alphabet Slap Jack.It’s a nice mix of letters, early reading, and – of course – competitive play. Charlie won both games. hands down! This week’s art project was another book, this time with scissors, glue, and a pile of magazines a neighbor kindly donated.…

  • Just Life

    And | June 2020.

    I’m sure everyone else is just as amazed as I am that we are half-way through this year. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined how this first half of 2020 might play out. I’m not even gonna guess about how the next six months might go. I’ve written before about AND being the perfect word for surviving a pandemic. and I think it’s also the perfect word for embracing the kind of action required to address systemic racism. By its very nature, it’s additive. it invites abundance. it welcomes new ideas and other opinions. fundamentally, it MAKES ROOM. Honestly, my actions this month seem lame by last…