May 18, 2012

Project 52 | FREE

52:19

Love is:

FREE

…and after this week, free is amazing.  It goes beyond being freely given and freely received, it is free of constraints, free of judgement, jealousy, and ill will.  Free of expectations, or the expectation to be given back to the giver.  There is freedom in love, to be who you are and know there is nothing you can do to lose it.  That is true love.  That is God’s love moving through.  Love is free and free to pass on… and with the very little resolve I have after such a crazy, endorphin-less week, I plan to focus on giving some free love.  Beyond what I think I have left in my tank.  I never want to take the love I have been given for granted.  

Freely you have received; freely give. 

Matthew 10:8

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

May 13, 2012

Project 52 | ROUTINE

52:18

Love is:

ROUTINE

Some days feel like groundhog day in my house, and I know I am not alone in that feeling.  It is the place we are at with the kids being young and commitments to school, sports, work and family events generally dictating the schedule.  It is consistent but about as mundane as a circus act.  I am thankful for that, because as someone who is basically a right-brained, creative type who excels in procrastination, routine is a foul, foul word.  It grates.  It extinguishes my creative flow and at the same time I know there is no other option.  I’m thankful for a husband that recognizes this and attempts to make it fun.  I attempt to do my best with our daily schedules because I know how it makes his day easier and allows the kids some consistency.  There is love in our routine.  Is it passionate?  Not always.  Is it exciting and new?  Not when you generally do the same thing day after day.  But does the love grow?  You bet it does.  Am I more in love with my family day after day?  Absolutely.  There is something very special about sticking out the norm with your loved ones.  You realize they are people you can count on.  I was waving to Omar as he backed out of the driveway last week when a thought hit me:  In all of our twelve years together I have never heard him complain about having to go to work.  I have complained about him going, but he never has.  I always knew he had a superhuman work ethic, but even hard workers sometimes complain.  I asked him why and he shrugs it off… says we are all doing our part.  I love that.  Love is routine, and it gives us a baseline so we can recognize what is truly exceptional in our lives.  Love grows even in the confines of the terrible “R” word, as we all do our part, knowing we can count on each other.

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

May 2, 2012

Sweet. Ness.

I love that I can wake up on the wrong side of the bed, be frazzled beyond belief before 9am, question my skills as a mother, and have the whole day turn around in an instant by the little peepers on the other side of the lens. It is therapeutic to do what I love. 

May 1, 2012

Project 52 | LOYAL

52:17

Love is:

LOYAL

She really is the best friend anyone could have… why she loves us so much is beyond me.  We forget her out in the rain.  She eats after everyone else is fed.  She doesn’t get brushed nearly often enough, and never comes in the house.  But when this little guy wants someone to play with, or one of us needs a companion, she is ALWAYS there.  Unashamed happiness from her giant smile to her wagging backside, just to be a part of what is going on.  She is a loyal friend, sister, confidant, playmate and exercise partner.  We love her, but I know she loves us in a way only a dog can.  Loyally and consistently no matter what we do (or don’t do) for her.  Love is a furry four-legged creature that you can always count on… and my only other ally in this house of boys:)

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

April 24, 2012

Project 52 | SUPPORTIVE

52:16

Love is:

SUPPORTIVE

It’s only t-ball but you would think it were the major leagues… All of this love and more at every game.  I could always picture my little men one day going off and participating in their own activities, working for their own causes, letting them go so they can be men and do what God has created them to.  Right now it is little league, but on a very small scale it feels the same.  I suit him up… prepare him and make sure he is well fed… check that he has all of his gear.  I give him one last kiss and tell him “have a great game.”  He drops my hand and runs out to the field, joins his team and I am a mere spectator- sidelined for the time being while he does his thing.  I feel a swell of pride with an undercurrent of sadness as little by little my baby grows up and tries out his wings.  But I am not alone, my village is here… supporting the boy, and unaware that they are supporting me too.  Love is supportive.  It is the wild crowd on the sidelines- eating pistachios, laughing and cheering, talking and enjoying another aspect of being there for each other.  Love doesn’t care that the bat is bigger than the player, or that the player is in outfield daydreaming about other things… Love shows up anyway, every time.  

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

April 18, 2012

Project 52 | FULL OF SURPRISES

52:15

Love is:

FULL OF SURPRISES

 Like how fast they grow… how fast time flies…how much I love my men more and more as time goes by.  Every year these three days are the happiest, the most reflective, and a little sad all at the same time.  It is always a roller coaster of emotions as we celebrate anniversaries, remember the birth and loss of our little Emmanuel, and party it up with Lucas.  This year we got to surprise him with an epic trip to Disneyland; a birthday I know he will remember his entire life.  Watching his face light up as realization dawned is what I will remember the rest of my life.  I love giving to these boys, knowing they are not expecting it, and that they appreciate it.  The last couple of days as we’ve  recalled all of the funny and awesome times from this weekend, he must have thanked us a thousand times.  If only he knew the joy was definitely in the giving.  Love is a life full of surprises.  Each and every one of our eleven years, without fail, God has surprised us with an epic trip of our own… this ride called life, with its spins and turns and free falls.  Sometimes it is a lot of waiting, most of the time it goes by too fast.  But the fun is in the not knowing what lies around the next bend, and looking back with happiness and gratitude on what we have been given.  

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

April 10, 2012

Project 52 | GRATEFUL

52:14

Love is:

GRATEFUL

All my life I have known the verse John 3:16… “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  Lets face it, that verse is everywhere from In-n-Out wrappers to billboards, to Tebow’s face.  It can be a challenge to feel the gravity and power of those words of promise when you have heard and read it more times than you can remember.  Like a song played out.  I know I sound like a spoiled church girl right now, but this is my blog and I am just being honest.  The truth is, I don’t take my salvation for granted, and I don’t want to take God’s words and promises for granted either.  I was cleaning up from our fun and busy weekend when I saw a sad little face moping at the table.  I asked Lucas what was wrong, and he answered that he was sad Easter was over.  I asked him why.  He said he would miss how happy Easter made everybody.  Word.  I agree… There is something so overwhelmingly happy and joyful about Easter.  It is the amazing spirit of resurrection.  That is what brings us together and gives us hope.  It is that verse of love personified.  As in everything else, kids have a way of bringing gravity and meaning to things… today it is that verse of love and promise of salvation.  But love goes both ways and sitting at the table with Lucas I realized that this spoiled church girl had some gratitude to give.  He made a beautiful card with colorful markers… I prayed and thanked God for his Son… for the promise of life after death; for the little guy who worries about so much in life, that he has a child’s faith where Jesus is concerned.  Love is grateful for a God who is bigger than us.  I am grateful for a God who loves my family more than I do, and gave his most precious son so we could live and be free.  

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

March 30, 2012

Project 52 | MEDICINE

52:13

Love is:

MEDICINE

Heart medicine. Love in sickness as well as in health. This is what we did this week… loved each other back to health. It was a rough week (I’ll spare you the details) but nothing else matters when the babies aren’t well. Poor Omar has been scrounging everyday for towels & a clean pair of underwear. My mom and dad wore out the pavement on the backroads from our house to theirs. I washed bedding. And bedding. And more bedding. And I cried because Lucas missed his starstruck performance. Ya, you heard that right… they are the poor babes wracked by a terrible virus and I’m the one feeling sorry for myself! At one point, after days of this “shut-in-ness” and not enough vitamin D or showering, Luke began asking relentlessly to play Candy Land for the gagillionth time. I took a deep breath and instead of biting his head off (like I felt like doing,) gave him the run down of the next hour… that I was going to SHOWER, SHAVE, BRUSH MY TEETH, PUT EVAN TO NAP, EAT MY LUNCH, and then we would play as much Candy Land as he wanted to. He says, “OK Momma, turn on that shower, put toothpaste on your toothbrush, put it in your mouth, and LET IT RIP!” Oh boy, this boy… he has the ability to push me to my very last limit. And just when I think I can’t do another day of this (again, poor me, THEY are sick) he snuggles into me, hugs me and kisses me and tells me that he’s so grateful he’s not alone. That I take such good care of him. That when I hold him he feels better. Love is the best medicine. Holding each other through the scariness of being sick. 144 hours (& counting) of uninterrupted time at home, bonding with my guys. Kicking butt at Candy Land. Giving up what doesn’t matter, for what truly does. Love is the heart medicine that has gotten us through.

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

March 27, 2012

Project 52 | CHOOSING EACH OTHER

52:12

Love is:

CHOOSING EACH OTHER

“Sometimes being a brother is BETTER than being a superhero.”

~Marc Brown

This week was Lucas’ second and last field trip for Kindergarten, and we went to the zoo.  I was planning on chaperoning and making it a special day to devote all of my attention to Luke.  He said it would be a perfect day if Evan could come.  I am not sure what he enjoyed more, seeing all of the animals, or watching Evan discover them for the first time.  It is so surreal to watch them grow, and grow together.  And even after all of the arguing and bickering as they learn to work their stuff out, they choose each other.  Every time.  I am so proud of Lucas and how he handles his relationships with Gabe (who talks and plays through hugs and smiles;) and Evan, who wants and takes EVERYTHING that Lucas has with toddler ambition.  It can’t be easy being in the middle, but I know it will build in him a character that accepts and overcomes.  I have already seen this happen.  Love is choosing to have your brother with you on one of the most special days of your five-year-old life… wanting your built-in BFF with you on the journey.  I love watching my babies choose each other.  

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina

March 16, 2012

Project 52 | PERSPECTIVE

52:11

Love is:

PERSPECTIVE

I get very distracted by sunsets.  I have to stop and watch and try my best to capture it on the camera.  (To the major exasperation of my loving father, I took the above sunset pic while driving down Hwy 5 in Friday traffic… eeek! and yay… I got it!) I can’t help myself!  Really it is Mom & Dad’s fault I love nature and especially sunsets so much.  When I was growing up they were always stopping to point out God’s amazing beauty in the sunsets, the powerful surf of the sea, the refreshing, cleansing rain.  One night they woke my brother and I up at some crazy hour to witness an electrical storm.  The four of us huddled on the front porch to see lightning flash, and count the seconds until thunder boomed.  IT. WAS. AMAZING.  I will never forget that night, and somehow all of the times they pulled me aside to point out the natural world around me became engrained in the fabric of my life.  It changed my perspective from someone who lived, to someone who lived in God’s amazing creation, to someone who should take responsibility for how I treat and respond to nature.  In 2003 my perspective took a tailspin.  The words “your son is blind, he will never see again” hit me so hard that for a second, I couldn’t see… I couldn’t hear anything but the blood pumping through my head.  My response to the well meaning doctor was something like “you have to be kidding me… you’re lying… how will he ever see a sunset?”  In the early days of Gabe’s life there were many things we had to grieve.  Though we had a beautiful son the doctors projected that he would probably not walk or talk… he was headed for a lifetime of surgeries.  But nothing hit me as hard as the physical loss of his eyesight.  I would pack my little man into the Baby Bjorn and walk the two blocks from our house to a little hill where we could watch the sun set, and transform the sky into a mosaic of color.  I would watch him for any sign that he could see the beauty, and every time lay down that desire once again.  He didn’t see it… and he wouldn’t see it.  But I kept taking him out there, and one day my perspective once again changed forever.  As the sun was setting I held my now two-year-old in my arms and I just hugged him and watched…  as the warmth of the sun washed over us, I could feel his body melt into mine.  I realized then that he saw the sunset… not with eyes, but with every other sense.  He felt the warm sun cool as it dipped below the horizon.  He smelled dusk, which until then I didn’t know had it’s own refreshing, musky scent.  He chuckled from deep within as the breeze picked up and ruffled his curly, wispy hair.  He saw the sunset with his whole body, and what I was grieving in his blindness, God was rejoicing in;  in this special son who saw the sunset in a much more profound way than we could imagine.  This was the beginning of a life of changing perspective.  Loving Gabe has changed my perspective.  Life continues to hold a deeper meaning thanks to “seeing” through Gabe’s eyes.  

***

To enjoy other wonderful Project 52′s, click on the links below!

styleberryBLOG | Love & Life | Lucas & Mahina