His birthday, my gift.

This guy is celebrating #43 today. And every year after he opens his gifts from us I end up thinking how grateful I am that he was born. We should have never met. But, somehow we both ended up in Camden at the same time in 1996…the rest is history. Jeff is outrageously extroverted and…

Braving the Wilderness

This book arrived on my doorstep yesterday because I pre-ordered it the second I found out about it. I have mixed feelings about Brene Brown. She completely messes me up with her books. ¬†I either feel like I should enter therapy immediately to deal with the fact I’m a hot mess or I take her…

Our family mantra

Yesterday I shared with the girls our prayer for them as they begin this next school year. Re-entry back into our life in New Jersey has been especially hard this year for many different reasons and we wanted to make an intentional family pledge that would guide us this year. Be brave. Be brave enough…

Holy Week

   A couple of weeks ago, in a fit of WestCoast optimism, I planted some seeds. They were fairly old, poorly stored seeds that I found at the bottem of my garden basket. I didn’t really hold much hope, but this week I spotted some signs of new life. I wasn’t able to attend a…

Awake my soul.

   Faith is the touching of a mystery, it is to perceive another dimension to absolutely everything in the world. In faith, the mysterious meaning of life comes alive. Beneath the simple, explicable, one demensional surface of things their genuine content begins to shine…To speak in the simplest of terms, faith sees, knows, senses…the presence…

Trying to simplify.

  For a brief time this January I thought that we would have to pack up our life and move at a moment’s notice. Despite living in less than 1000 square feet, there is still clutter in our space.  One of my goals/habits for 2016 is to live simply. So every week I try to declutter…

#BuynothingLent

This year was the first time in a long time that I have felt compelled to give up something for Lent. I struggled for a while to discern/decide what it was supposed to be and couldn’t figure it out.  When the idea of not spending any money during Lent came to mind, I was not…

Rediscovering the local library.

For the last year and a half I have been ruthless in my reading habits. As someone who both loves to read and can read fairly quickly, my self imposed rule of only reading for school was difficult. However, now that I am finished with school, a whole new world is opening back up to…

A glimpse in the mirror

I am not one for spending lots of time on getting ready for the day. I am a pretty simple woman. If I take more than 20 minutes in the morning, shower included, I get flustered with myself. I DO NOT understand my girls’ current obsession with Bath and BodyWorks and their need to have…

A strange infestation 

Living in an old stone house has its quirks. Lots of creaky spots, random dead zones for our phones and rattling windows. But perhaps the strangest thing about living here is the ladybug infestation.    

Getting ready for Advent.

Almost as soon as Halloween was over, the girls started thinking about Advent. Not Christmas, not gifts, but Advent. I was simultaneously proud and annoyed by the incessant prodding. Advent is kinda a big deal around here. We have a little tradition that I’ve blogged about before. But I guess I assumed that as the…

On concussion protocol.

Imagine you are at work on a Friday afternoon and you get a call from the school nurse. ‘Mrs VanderKuip? I have KJ in my office…she walked into a wall and hurt her head.’ OK, I will admit that I laughed. KJ is all arms and legs and gangly right now and is a bit…