Wednesday, May 31, 2017

You Light Up My Life...

This picture...who would've known how different our family landscape would be this summer...
We miss these two.
II Corinthians 4:8-10
These verses describe Aunt Sherry so well...
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but  not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."


Oh wait, this isn't Melanie...

The eyes that could pierce your soul...

A classic from last summer's middle school camp counseling gig

My work out pal

It's hard to fathom that our oldest gal is NINETEEN today. She's acted like she's in her 30's forEVER! (that's a compliment, Mel, though most 30 somethings I know act more immature than a 19-year old etc etc).

Melanie Kate Young was born on a Sunday morning at 4:06 am. She did not want to come out, I think she knew that she'd need to whip us all into shape...

Mel and I are going on a walk, a birthday walk, so I will finish this when we get back....until then...enjoy these awesome pix of MelKate.

**8 hours later**
Today...ohhhh, today...birthdays almost always seem to be less than perfect days, at least in my experience....and it's shaping up to be the same way for Melanie. Levi has been throwing up since 4 a.m...he's finally had a dry spell since 3 or 4 and has been sleeping peacefully. On the bathroom floor, mind you. I'll leave the gory details out. You're welcome. ahahaha. We've tried to go about a normal ish Wednesday but everything about it is weird. Piano lessons moved to 2:30 today. Levi didn't go. I've washed every towel, blanket etc that Levi uses. Maybe even twice....Poor fella. He feels rotten.

Will and Joy are hosting a little get together for Mel tonight, at their place. I'm so sad I'll miss it but Levi asked that I stay home with him. awww. Maybe we can both get some sleep.

Mel, I'm so sorry that your day ended up being totally weird and that I haven't been able to be available. Thank you, also, for being so thoughtful and getting me the infamous pink dress from Target. It's your birthday and you thought of ME.

Blown away.

Happy 19th Birthday to you, sweetness. You are my sunshine.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Treehouses, Trails and Times of Joy

Melanie and Julia

Just gotta love the SnapChat filters.

Ethan and I spent the evening together last night. We got coffee (that's original, eh?),
Walked the B-Line Trail in Bloomington and saw this cool AirStream trailer on the trail. We tried to steal it.
We finished the evening with a delicious dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. What a nice guy.

The Loft in Levi's tree house is pretty cool!
David and Levi have gotten a lot more finished on this project today but this was from Thursday.
Once we have the gables in and screens, L and E plan to sleep out in it. The mosquitoes are quite horrendous out there so screens are a must!

Good Saturday evening!
Today has been a home day (I'm enjoying these a lot), laundry is all caught up, treehouse is a bit more finished and we even got to see Will and Joy today. They have their midwife appointments here at the house, since Joy plans to give birth here at Young Manor. It's always so great to see Mary Helen.  Joy is feeling pretty good, considering that Oliver has officially taken over her tiny body. Have I mentioned how much I love seeing her adorable belly and how she interacts with her little son? Seems so amazing that our new member will be here in a matter of days/weeks. Over the cotton pickin' moon! They met MH's assistant today too. Visits like that take me back to the days leading up to Jack's birth...I'm a weepy mess. So thankful for how tender and remembering that Will is with me, and Joy too. Even though she wasn't here then, she is so very thoughtful of that time in all of our lives.  Overcome with gratitude.

I won't say too much...seems I can't put together a coherent thought heart aches. for so many. for those that are struggling, for those that are in toxic relationships, for those that are running from Christ, for so many, for those that can change, know what they need to do to change and won't...for those that are bitter. Give it to Christ. Give it UP.

We aren't good on our own. Fooling ourselves if we believe that...I'm one of the more horrible folks I know....any goodness I seem to have or share is only because of what He has done for me. The gut-wrenching trials I have faced for the past 6 months...have knocked the stilts out from under me in ways I could never have anticipated...

I had another big ol' paragraph typed out but instead, I'll leave you with this Josh Garrels' song that I've had on repeat lately...I'll save my ramblings early morning walk.

Until next time....

Adios !

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Shadow where I Hide

Soccer watchers....this pic makes me laugh.
If you know our Danish friend, Michael Baun, at will crack up at this.
Ethan has been working with him (and losing lotsa weight too, look at that skinny guy) and they dress exactly the same. Black overalls, hat, white scarfy things....I love seeing it. So thankful for our chimney sweeping expert of a friend
and the experience Ethan is gaining through him.

This guy is such a good sport. We stick roses in his glasses and say "SMILE" and he does.
But I figure it's only fair because we are subjected to his "dad" jokes on a regular basis.
Love him.

another funny moment.
He forgot his sunglasses so he grabbed whatever was in my van.
(Mel has been using my van)
hard to take him seriously when he does this.

Mel isn't sure what to think
Or maybe she's jealous because he looks SO good in her glasses.

Overhead, some Relient K is playing while David exercises ... "Look On Up"...not sure how he's running to this but he is....funny guy.

Such a good song...

I look on up
to the sky
I wonder why I put a filter between beauty
and my eyes
I look on up into your eyes
It's time I put down my devices and I start to
live my life
I look on up, I look on up to the sky...

Aren't the clouds awesome in the spring and summertime?
Have I just never really paid attention to them, until the foundation-rocking
death of my son? Is that what it takes to LOOK ON UP?

The process of pain and trust and hurt and growth that has taken place (and continues to) is so iffy and weird...

The only conclusion I have, to this day, is this...

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

He's not some pill I take or something that I only cling to when I'm struggling.

He's every day. I'm a diabetic and He's my insulin.

I grew up in the church and didn't even "know" this until Jack died. He's not some fun, occasional "opportunity".

HE IS THE NEED. He's not my ticket, He's the boat...I've got to get on the boat.

When I face people around me, those that I love to my guts, choosing the other path...

I have a tendency to be uppity, proud and sarcastic, gossipy, and I'm being re-worked. this does not mean I don't and won't still face these tendencies because I do.

It's honestly a harder process than when Jack died...that started it all...kind of a wake up call.

The days that have followed since that day almost 6 years ago have been, sincerely, some of the very hardest. The situations I'm facing right now are harder than when Jack died.

Never to down play the fierce pain associated with his death and the dark days after...because those were horrific and still rear up on occasion. But there was a peace beyond all understanding, knowing I'd see him again and all that. yeah, I still wanted him here but I've come to grips with the fact that that wasn't a part of my story...

But being filleted .... ahhhhhhh.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; a renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me, the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 51: 10-12

So forgive me for becoming so we approach Jack's 6th birthday, and the very close birth of our precious Oliver in early June, I will be on here more, I'm sure.

I'm avoiding social's honestly an almost 99% waste of time. I've enjoyed looking on up and not down at all the pain and rejection around me, the "in your face" of all that...(I do miss and so appreciate the encouragement I get from FB and Instagram but I'm thinking FB will not end up back on my phone...only Instagram because it's less invasive).

Feel free to leave me a comment, as my 2 faithful regulars (love you, Tory and Shellee) do and I so appreciate it, ladies!!

Standing on the Solid Ground!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

These are days to remember

Our friend, Brooks, brought an earth mover down to help us make more parking space and room for the tree house, which isn't really going to be in a tree, per se...but what a guy! Thanks for your amazing help, man!

Peonies always take me back to the carefree days
summers spent swimming at Grandma Taylor's
pool, and the beautiful peony bush that was right next to
said pool. Mel has inherited my love of the peony.
And to think, they only bloom in the month of her

standing in the spot where we spent some of our first "date"  25 years ago.... aww.

These 'em. We all descended on the canal
to celebrate Sarah on her 28th bday! We Love You!

what a crew! 

Sarah got me my first article of Grandma clothing to have at the house...can't wait to see Oliver in this.

This girl would stick her entire body out the window if she could. 

Julia made Molly's hair look so spiffy for the recital.

Levi on the big screen

Molly on the big screen

well, this is out of order...but Will and his two pals after recital fun.

Respectable at the recital...they really are such super cuties.  Don't Molly and Levi look so grown up?
Ahhhh. Slow down guys.
manliest of sons, awaiting the last tree house wall.  More pics to follow.

The following pics are from the Palanca Tour that Ethan hosted here last weekend. So much fun!

The Young Band rocked!

Rusty Vining on guitar and Jeffrey (not sure on his last name) on violin.
Very cool!

Brettan Cox and Jeffrey...loved her sound and mission!

Sarah came down for our weekly Call the Midwife viewing party. 

Happy May 21st to you!

We are in the midst of the most glorious of days at our house...May and June are some of the best months...peonies, zinnia, sunflowers, nasturtium and other fun things are all sprouting around the manor...these are the days that keep me going when the gray, dreary days of January and February strike! I pine for days of bare feet, spring rains and bright blue, chunky cloud filled skies. And they are here!

Thank You, Lord....This year, we anticipate with great joy, the arrival of our newest family member. We all giggle and wonder just what baby Ollie will be like. Will he be the spitting image of his father, Will, with his perfect bright face and perfect ducky hair or will he have his momma's dark eyes and skin tone and (from the many pictures I've seen of her) expressions of adorableness and pure wonder? We cannot WAIT! we can't wait.....we can't wait!! She is at 37 weeks now so she could technically go "any time" now. Home visit with the midwife has been completed, supplies in order and breaths are all bated. hahah. whatever that means...

I won't write much more now, as it is time for our weekly Sunday evening Starbucks visit but hope to be back later on this week with some tree house pix.