indian warrior princesses

Have I ever mentioned how much I love (love love love) being a big sister?

Lilly got a teepee for her seventh birthday a few weeks ago and these two turkeys dressed up and played indian all day long.

And Mariam has taken to randomly giving me big hugs and telling me that I'm beautiful just when I need it.

Life lately has been a flurry of college searching and preparation, and while I'm excited to begin a new chapter of life, oh, it's going to be so hard being away from my family. Even though I'm a grouch about it sometimes, it's such a joy to watch the littles grow up.

And in watching them grow up, I am really, truly looking forward to the day when I have a little fam of my own. I'm only sixteen years old and that might be a strange thing to say, but I cannot wait to be a wife and mama.

Gosh, my family is the greatest blessing I could ever ask for.

pippa girl

People talk about the weather when there's nothing else to talk about--it's something everyone has in common, thus making it prime pickings for a nice round of small-talk. Perhaps the weather shouldn't be considered an inconsequential topic of conversation, though. After all, it governs so much: the clothing we wear, the food we eat, the mood and state of health we're in, the condition of our gardens, the activities we engage in, the type of art we produce, and yes, the things we talk about too. The weather pulls people together. And yesterday, it pulled in another member of our family. I can't quite tell you how it happened, but somehow, through the cool temperatures and golden afternoons that have put us all in a good, affectionate, generous mood, we have a new cat, at least for the time being. Pippa is the sweetest little thing, so content and happy to curl up in a crook of our bodies or thread her smooth, slight, gently purring body through our ankles. And a few days ago, when I joined her on the roof of the car, she promptly fell asleep on my outstretched stomach (I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm a nut job if they didn't think so already [they probably did]). I'm looking forward to more chilly October mornings made more pleasant by my Pippa girl, a mug or four of steaming tea, and the book of Romans. The weather makes a lot of decisions for us, but that's not always a bad thing.

picnic in the caves

It was Jeremiah's twelfth birthday and we did the only thing we knew to do: pack up the car and head out to the caves for a little hike. The clouds hung low and rain came down in a fine needle-like spray, but we pulled up our hoods tight and it only made everything seem more enchanting. We found ourselves a nice nook in a cave and laid a blanket on the dusty rock; mom opened the basket and a lunch of cold french toast, cheese, grapes, bell peppers, and salami was spread like the most royal of feasts. Dining in a secluded cave, with a sweeping rainy panorama of mossy rocks and trees laden with the first changing leaves, I felt like a queen. After lunch, we took our time meandering on the crude path, looking for cacti and talking about vacations past, then piled back in the car (boots thick with mud and faces damp with mist) to head home for more birthday celebrations of cheesecake aflame with twelve candles and those other things that rainy afternoons entail (reading and coffee, of course).

Happy birthday, J! I love you, bud.

ps spruced up/simplified the blog at bit and updated a few of the pages...feel free to take a look around!