Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Roddys

It is so sweet to be our little family of three these days...

Thanks for all the fun we had at your wedding, drew and Mari!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Letter to my 16-year-old self


You're 16 years-old. The age you always wanted to be. You are full of dreams. Full of ideals. Full of hope. You believe that unless you do something extraordinary with your life, you will waste it. You imagine African safaris, Parisian cafes, falling in love to a backdrop of summer fields and evening skies. You don't want a typical American life: kids, a house, a 9-5 job. You want love and truth and beauty--as much as you can drink of it. You want God. To know him and be known by him and to bring his love to other people.

I know you are dying to know the things I do. Especially whether you find someone to love you and what he's like. I know you want to know what's become of you, where you've traveled, what your life is like. And I shall tell you this: you are well-loved. All is well. You have had many adventures and many still promise to come. I've not abandoned you for a paper cut-out version of yourself--a convention of the world, a cliche, a soul lost to the culture of conformity. You are dear to me and I'm still full of the passions and ideals you hold so closely.

Christmas-I'm on the far left, Ashley and Alisha on far right

Yet there are things I wish that I could tell you. No, not instructions to keep you from making choices I wish you hadn't. I won't ask you to obey my wishes when it comes to the road ahead of you. You have a good heart, a good mind, and good intuition. You'll do well, and you'll learn from your mistakes.

But I wish that you could carry some things inside you. Things I wish I could confide in you to make you strong. To save you grief. To make you freer. Truer.

The first thing I would tell you is the most important: There is nothing you need to do to make love come to you. Stop posturing, making yourself available, pining, and trying to be noticed. You are enough. You are not too much. Believe that and be at peace that the one God intends to love you will see you and pursue you in the right timing. It sounds so cheesy and it's so hard to trust. But it's true. You don't need to find someone to set your hopes on. You'll always settle for what seems the best of what's around you, instead of waiting for what actually is best. You'll squander your heart, your time, and you will fear that there is something wrong with you when your affections aren't returned. Trust me, when love comes, it will bowl you over in its extravagance. Just be patient.

posing, as usual

In the meantime, work on becoming the best version of yourself--but not for him. Be a good friend. Be concerned for others. Stop being so concerned about what people (especially guys) think of you. Learn to listen well. Learn to ask good questions. Learn to be quiet. Learn to let others steer, to not have to prove yourself or force your way. don't look to other people to tell you who you are. In caring for others' needs, you will find joy. All of this can be done, if you just rest in the knowledge that you are loved. It will free you to love others more wholeheartedly.

I love that you are a romantic, but you think that romance must lie with falling in love. There is so much romance in this beautiful world that doesn't require sharing it with a young man to be as winsome as it already is. You won't understand this until, having the one you love beside you, you encounter the world's beauties and see that though their charms are not diminished, they aren't made complete by his presence. Beauty was made to set us longing--no matter how much of it we already possess. Let the sweet ache drive you to the one who is romancing you all along--your God. It's not a cop out. It really is His beauty after all. But the ache of longing will always be a part of it so long as you are in this world. Meanwhile, drink it in. Let it wash over you. Your wonder at life's enchantments is romance and virtue in itself.

Epic journey to the Washington Coast with Ashley and Alisha spring break of sophomore year. Little did we know that Forks and La Push would someday become international literary phenomenons, nor did I ever dream that I would one day live a few miles from this Edmonds Macdonalds.

Another thing about beauty--your own: I know you feel insecure about yourself. You feel different from other girls who don't seem to struggle so much with food and exercise and weight. You feel sort of helpless. I will tell you something I wish I had known then: Food does have an affect on what you look like. You don't know this yet because, bless you, you've never really been on a diet. don't worry. I don't suggest you go on one. Just know this: sugar is not your friend, nor are processed foods and take-out. Fat is not the enemy you think it is now. Just eat whole foods. Learn to listen to your body--when it's really hungry, when it's full. Also, you'll be surprised how much you love the gym. In the meantime, learn to love yourself and give yourself grace. You are lovelier than you know.

Once Upon A Mattress--the first production of my theatrical career at Lake Washington High School, which later included playing Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible and Sandy in Grease.

Keep being creative and writing everything down. Keep acting and singing and making things. Keep falling deeply in love with cobalt skies, foreign lands, haunting music, moving poetry. Keep seeking God in everything, listening for His voice, fighting for what is true in the face of pettiness and disappointments. Keep striving for that extraordinary life. When you find yourself on some Mediterranean beach drinking champagne, or living in an Alpine village, or seeing things you've created take on a life of their own, it will prove worth it.

I have to say that so often, when I have thought of you and the person I must have seemed to the people around me in high school and college, I have been so ready to dismiss you. Apologize for all the ways you aren't enough yet. The rough edges. The immaturities. The silliness. But what's always true in life is that all the grace and the wisdom we need to get through something, we don't have until it's over. And the reason we don't have it until afterward is because it's the process itself that grows us up into it. And you are growing--willing and wanting to grow. And what amazes me now, is that in telling you all this, I find that I remember you. And what I really want to say is that I love you. And I hope that you can love you too.

***Remember to go here to post the link to YOUR letter to your younger self****

Monday, August 23, 2010


Joey and Ashley circa 1997

Remember that we're posting our letters to our 16-year-old selves tomorrow! Alisha will have a place on her blog to link to your blog post, so make sure to go there tomorrow to show us where we can read your post.

Looking forward to it. And remember, be kind to your (former) self!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Look who's standing!

It's a bit alarming to peek over into her play area from the kitchen to find she's pulled herself up onto something.

She's up...

and then she's down.

Kneeling too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School

I wanted to share a big change coming for our household in the next couple of weeks. I will be going back to work, teaching one class at King's High School this fall semester. This decision was hard to make, especially because it would mean leaving Avonlea in someone else's care for a couple of hours every weekday. Also because I have made a commitment to myself to work on my novel again for 1-2 hours every day. When on a normal day right now I can easily feel overwhelmed without any of these new responsibilities, I had to really ponder if I could go back to work and be true to myself and my home.

Even though I had these hesitations, in the end I felt like this was the right choice for our family. A lot of things just seem to line up--not least of which being that both sets of grandparents have moved within a few miles of us and are available to provide the childcare I will need. Also, I'll be teaching journalism, a class I helped to revitalize four years ago when I was on the faculty at King's. The software and structure I put in place then is the same now and I still have all my old lesson plans saved.

I'm trusting that this will be a blessing to King's and to us, even if it means I might be a bit more off the radar than usual this fall and winter. Now to my favorite part of all. School supplies and academic planners!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Couches!!

Just wanted to show off my new couches (*finally*) now that I've finished the pillows I was making for them. You might remember my dilemma over whether to recover my old couches. In the end, I decided that they were too nice to have me screw them up with an amateurish reupholstering job. Instead I found these beauties on Craig's List, found the cover color I wanted on eBay and bought pillows and fabric to add some personality. And thankfully someone bought my old couches. (Thanks mom and dad!).

If some of you are cringing at having white couches sharing residence with small children and pets, I know what you're thinking. But I bought this style specifically because it is slipcover based. Every cushion and the couch cover can be removed and washed (even bleached! It's white, afterall). In fact, one cushion already needed a few turns around my washing machine and it's still looking good.

As for the pillows, I still was able to incorporate that charcoal grey that I was hoping for originally. Then I found this gorgeous printed linen from Japan at Pacific Fabrics. What do you think?

Thanks for all the feedback on the first post. Maybe I'll get into the upholstery thing once I've had a class and gotten my hands on the proper tools. Meanwhile, this project has been fun and I'm glad it's finito.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simul-blog: Letter to my 16-year-old self

Alisha and Joey (and Ashley) circa 1997--both 16 yrs old

Alisha and I have decided to do a simul-blog posting (in which we simultaneously post about the same topic) and we want to invite YOU to participate with us.

Here's how it works:

~The topic is "A letter to my 16-year-old self," inspired by a post Alisha saw here.
~Write your blog post on this topic. This can be funny, serious, or whatever suits you.
~Simultaneously post with us on Tuesday, August 24.

We look forward to reading your letters! Leave a comment to let us know if you're considering joining us. We're so curious. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 on 10: August: Warm

I hadn't intended it, but a theme slowly emerged this month. Warm colors, warm objects, warm smiles. Cozy in!

Red gladiolas: my new obsession.

Yarn and books

Morning Joe

Smiling Avonlea (with a newly cut tooth today!).

Ina's Beef Bourguignon-my first attempt, a success.


Flower girl dress for later this month

Edamame at Alisha and Dan's

Avo pulling herself up, orange couch.

Alisha's ramen dinner, candlelight.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Backyard Wedding, Homespun Magic

Jon and Katie Chisum's wedding this past weekend was an unexpected delight. We were too busy having fun to take enough pictures of the event, but imagine Italian bistro lights hung from towering cedars, hand-painted signs directing guests through a winding path of antique furniture, ribbon-bedecked branches, and chandeliers hanging from the canopy above. An antique tub filled with beer and beverages. Hand-sewn buntings strewn over fence-posts. A bridal party dressed in vintage inspired frocks for the ladies and vests and shirtsleeves for the gents. I was taken with the entire evening.

One of the biggest highlights was reuniting with old college friends:

Best Man in our wedding, Sunny

Sobes (a charmer with the ladies)

And there were lots of babies to socialize with.

meet Ransom.
(I just love that name. Any CS Lewis Space Trilogy fans out there??)

They're just a week apart in age. He was born late on our due date; she was born early on his due date!

I just love his little rolled up hobbiton pants!

The dancefloor was constructed from lumber from an old barn

Avonlea came alive on the dancefloor! (Note her fancy pajamas)

A stolen moment with the groom.

As we departed under a darkening sky with handmade candy favors and the promise of fireworks later for the non-child-encumbered late-nighters, I sighed to Matt, "I wish our wedding had been like this one." Those brave enough to bank an outdoor wedding in Seattle can be rewarded handsomely. I am so happy for Jon and Katie--both for their lovely wedding and for their even lovelier pairing. Thanks for a gorgeous evening.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Avonlea 7-months-old

Avonlea, you are 7-months-old now! Your first year of life is more than half over. In the last month, we've discovered more about you as your little person emerges.

You love to laugh and crack up over the randomest things. Mommy said "Yuck!" one day and had you going for 20 minutes. You also crack up to silly voices when mommy reads to you and squeal in anticipation when mommy says, "I'm gonna get you!"

You LOVE your solid food (especially apple sauce and sweet potatoes) and make happy grunting noises as you eat, opening your mouth wide for the next bite. You've had lots of foods now: rice, apple, peas, squash, sweet potato, avocado, green beans, banana, zucchini, and pears. Next, carrots, plums, peaches, asparagus, turkey, lamb and lentils.

You've learned how to really splash in the tub. You love your Sophie giraffe chew toy. You could spend hours in your jumparoo (as long as you can still see mommy or daddy). And when you play on the floor, you scoot, roll, crawl (a little), stand on your head, and pull yourself up onto anything low enough. You can make it across the apartment in just a few minutes.

You also babble and talk to yourself and to other people a lot. Nana Maggie says that you sing to her. While we mostly hear "babababa," we keep hoping for a distictive "mama" and "dada" soon.

Overall, here are the words I would use to describe you: pleasant, joyful, silly, explorative, sensitive, tender, cute, playful, loving, cuddly, feminine, chubby, smart, talkative, homey, sweet, and smiley. You are my baby! I love you.