I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hacky Sack

Tonight a neighbor kid introduced Harrison to the
hacky sack

and it was love at first sight!

While Alex was happy "trimming the bushes" 
with a broken golf club, Harrison got busy!

And - no - he doesn't always stand funny.
They're "action shots" - he was moving!

This kid of ours definitely LOVES anything 
that's round and you can throw or kick!!!

Male Bonding

First of the Harvest

The lettuce has come and gone.  

The japanese beetles finished off my basil.

The strawberries keep producing, and every day or two
Harrison goes out and helps himself to the ripe ones.

... And tonight on Dogwood ...

The beans are 8 inches long and so plump!
My grandma would have been SO proud!!!

And mushrooms like to spontaneously grow in mushroom soil.
Who knew?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perfect Love

Yes, my "love" is practically perfect.  Just ask him and he'll tell you. (grin)  But he's not what's on my mind right now.  

Alex just brought in the mail, and a postcard in it made me smile.  You know that smile, don't you?  The warm, knowing smile, of being reminded of someone (or something) you have a personal, intimate relationship with....  (Sigh.)  It really IS true love. 

You see - I LOVE coffee, and I LOVE getting rewarded for spending money, and I LOVE learning how "the system" works to make it work the best.  ... Combine all three and it's PERFECT LOVE!

I'm talking STARBUCKS people.  And those of you who've hung out with me at all in the last 10 years can attest - this isn't a fling, this is love - the kind he can tell you about

"wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... "

So - I'm sure many of you already know all of this info.  But for those of you who don't (and also are struggling with a Starbux addiction) - allow me to save you a little money.  


What you do is buy a re-loadable gift card at Starbucks, and use it (and only it) for all of your purchases there.  You can manage your card(s) online (we have one for Aaron's wallet and one for mine) - check your balances, add money, and see how close you are to getting FREE COFFEE!  Oh yeah - you read that right!  Let me say it again. FREE. COFFEE.  (You can read all about it HERE.)  

So - assuming you took the time to click on their website and read the link, you're probably thinking "one free drink after earning 15 stars, what a rip off!"  Yeah, no.  Let's look a bit closer.  What it actually says is...

"With My Starbucks Rewards, you'll earn 1 Star every time you pay with your Card. And as you collect Stars, you move up to bigger benefits. ... ... ... ... you get a free beverage with every 15 Stars you collect."

(Here's where my English literature degree comes in handy.)  "...every time you pay with your card."  So - allow me to explain in a cold-hard-real-life example.

Aaron and I (and the boys) are making a run to Home Depot - to pick up potting soil.  I'm going to decide which type I want - he's going so I can use his muscles - and the boys are going because they're our kids and go everywhere with us.  On the way there I decide I'm tired, and the boys would probably behave a little better in the store if they had something to distract them (other than poking each other).  So, I suggest we swing through the drive-in Starbucks on the way.  My fabulous husband (who rarely says no to anything I suggest), pulls in.  We order 2 tall skinny caramel mochas with whip, and 2 boxes of chocolate milk.  When we pull up to pay, and hand the card to the friendly lady with the british accent, we ask her to please ring them all up separately.  She grins, chuckles, and says "why certainly."  FOUR STARS!  Three more such trips and we get a FREE COFFEE - A FREE ANYTHING - ANY SIZE!

This is perfect love ... getting rewarded for something I'd buy anyway.  And that postcard that came in today's mail ... FREE DRINK #5.

"Hello.  My name is Julia and I'm a Starbucks addict."

The Ultimate Party

Any guesses what's on our calendar later this week?????

I'll give you a hint or two ...

Aaron's brother is giving Aaron and me a new sister!


I love parties!
Especially the wedding kind.
And especially, especially when we like love both people!

Congrats Field and Shelley!!!

Near Perfection

Weekend guest = the girl who first introduced Aaron and me.
(How can we ever repay her!??!)

Accidentally plan the visit for the hottest weekend of the year!

Get out of bed before everyone else, and start the coffee.

Make a morning run to Soergels for some local, organic, 
freshly-picked blueberries.

Decide to buy some local apples (first of the season), watermelon,
and corn on the cob that had been picked less than an hour earlier.

Take advantage of the toddler's extra long nap,
and the kindergartner playing with the neighbor kids,
and the other adults in the house for the weekend,
to make two batches of blueberry-lime jam.
(Using a pressure cooker for the first time!)
(And everyone burning themselves in the process.)

Decide to revamp the menu to eat the fresh corn,
instead of homemade stir fry.
('Cause there's nothing like summer corn!)
And then invite the neighbor kids to stay for dinner.

Decide that you're exhausted from the day's events,
and sit in the kitchen, watching everyone else clean up dinner.

Then, at dusk, head over to the neighbor's fire-pit for s'mores.

They provide the pit, and you provide the fixins.

Sit around watching the fire die down,
while the kids catch lightening bugs.

As dusk turns to dark, stare at the sky, and ponder
will those menacing clouds blow on by or let loose?

Make a mad dash for shelter when you learn the answer.
Arrive home drenched from the sudden torrential downpour.

Be so relieved that the temp dropped 20 degrees in 2 minutes
that you don't mind that you're dripping wet!

It was a good visit - even though I was too tired to socialize much.  Think part of the problem was the heat, and part of it is that I need a medicine increase (which will happen tonight).
Thanks for coming to hang out!

(Note: the ONLY picture I took for this post is the very first one - all the rest were swiped off the net somewhere.  I'm feeling lazy today.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer S'mores

Only the second this season.
And of course it was the hottest evening of the summer!

But the first for us on Dogwood
(at the neighbor's fire pit).

And Harrison's first EVER.

He absolutely LOVED swinging the stick at everyone...
and dragging the marshmallow thru the embers...
but he flat out refused to eat anything.

Alex, on the other hand, is an old pro.

And this year he'll finally eat a marshmallow.
(no s'more yet, tho.)

But at least it's a start!

And just after everyone had their fill of ooey-gooey goodness,
and it was nice and dark,
we were hit by a sudden torrential downpour.

It was a perfect evening!