So Long, Jeans

Yesterday afternoon I suddenly realized that the jeans I was wearing had a hole, very near the crotch. I have two pairs of jeans that fit, so this was kind of a big deal. I spent the rest of the evening blaming myself, despite the clear knowledge that denim, while durable, does eventually wear out. Probably it was because they were too tight. Probably I should be skinnier. Probably I shouldn’t buy new jeans until I lose 20 pounds. And on and on.

This morning I showed my husband the rip in my jeans. He moved his leg to show me the enormous hole in the crotch of the pants he was wearing — on his way out the door to work.* Astonished, I asked why he didn’t throw them out.

He laughed and shrugged. “I like them.”

My jeans rip, I have an existential crisis and feel bad about myself for the rest of the day.

My husband’s jeans rip, he keeps wearing them without another thought. He likes them.

So today I went to Target and tried on some jeans. You guys. Target only sells skinny jeans. Leggings, essentially, in denim. Let me tell you, I am so sick of seeing everyone’s butts. And no one needs to see mine that clearly outlined. Isn’t it time for the pendulum of fashion to swing the other way and give us loose pants?

In the meantime, I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided to be a chinos kind of girl. I bought some nice, casual, comfortable, non-butt-hugging black pants. If I could figure out how to wear skirts and dresses more in the winter, I would. If you’ve got some tips, I’m all ears.

*If you’re wondering why he wasn’t in uniform, he’s taking a 3-month class off-base and gets to wear civilian clothes during that time.
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Hip Discipula

Me: What does “fidelity” mean?

Emma: Faithfulness?

Me: Yes, good!

Emma: I just guessed! Latin, boyzzz!!!

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VA Swim and MD Snow

Instead of posting to social media, I once again resolve to share news and family anecdotes here. Somehow I always feel that it’s too complicated to post here, although it’s really not. So. Stayed tuned here for all the waymel news you can stand.

This past weekend we all traveled to this pool ⇑in Manassas, Virginia to cheer Emma on at her swim meet. She had a fantastic meet, dropping time in all her races and qualifying for state champs in both 50 breast and 200 breast. She’d never even raced the 200 – no seed time at all. She won her heat in the 100 backstroke, which was funny and surprising because she doesn’t even like backstroke. My girl’s a little fishie. A championship meet or two next month – I’m a little confused about the schedule – and then she goes on to long course. We’ve never done long course, but I’m told it means racing in a pool of 50 yards instead of 25.

A friend’s mom took this picture of Emma cheering on a teammate.

In other news, we got a bunch of snow overnight and it’s been snowing non-stop all day. Everything was cancelled (you can sing that to the tune of “Everything is Awesome” – you’re welcome for the ear worm) but we did a little school in the morning. Then Ben went outside and hasn’t been seen for hours. Happy Snow Day! Or…regular Monday, as the case may be.

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What Will You Do to Hear the Word Preached?

It snowed last night. We got 3-4 inches overnight and woke up to a winter wonderland. Feeling somewhat reluctant to go out, I half hoped church would be canceled. Then I read something that set me straight in a hurry.

Rachel Jankovic, in her excellent new book You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal with It, talks about the importance of missionary biographies and how reading them has shaped her own faith and understanding of God. It’s only a small section of the book, but I’m thankful that I hit upon it this morning. She says:

“When I read an account of Bible smugglers, I read about my own love for God’s Word. Tears roll down my cheeks as I read about tears rolling down the cheeks of an old man getting his own Bible for the first time. I am part of him and he is part of me. When I read about preachers who preached at night in the woods to people who knew they might die for gathering, I read about their strength and think about what I will do to hear the Word preached. These are my people. This is who I am.” (p. 174)

Hm. Perhaps going out in 3 inches of snow, in a heated vehicle, along snow-plowed roads, to a heated church is not an actual difficulty. Not an actual obstacle. What will I do to hear the Word preached?

I am thankful that I read that passage this morning. I am thankful that my church did not cancel service. I am thankful for the church family who gathered together this morning to worship and hear the Word.

What will you do to hear the Word preached?

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We took a vacation to Phoenix over Thanksgiving break. Wayne grew up in that area, and though he went back a year ago for his grandma’s funeral, we hadn’t been there as a family since 2008. Which was before we even had Ben.

Day 1: Trip to Camp Verde

We drove about an hour north to Camp Verde, picked up Wayne’s dad (and his tiny dog), and went for a little hike.

This is how most of Arizona looks. Dry and brown with scraggly weeds and bushes. I’m not a fan of the southwest landscape.

Abby took a picture of me while I took a picture of her.

The kids posed for a picture on Larson Lane, named after Wayne’s family. This is the road he grew up on (although it was named something different back then).


Day 2: Phoenix Zoo

We spent the day exploring the zoo and enjoying temps a good 30 degrees warmer than what was happening at home.

Day 3: Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is more than 3 hours from where we were staying. We left at sunrise, stopping for an excellent breakfast in Flagstaff and again at a gift shop along the way. It was about noon when we got to the canyon. We had dedicated one entire suitcase to coats, specifically for this day, since it’s much colder at this elevation. But happily, the weather was sunny and warm enough to skip the coats in favor of sweatshirts. (Except for Wayne, as you see, who is never cold.)

We saw idiots going way out on small, unstable-looking ledges to get photos. We tried to position Ben so that it looked like he was doing something dangerous, but that was a fail. Emma, however, is standing sans railing. I didn’t breathe til she got back down.

Day 4: Thanksgiving. Wayne’s aunt and some cousins came over. We bought most of the food at Costco, since we were gone all day Wednesday. We ate, and then Wayne’s uncle made up some spontaneous games, mostly involving everyone guessing the word he was thinking of.  We tried to play a round of Telestrations, but that fell apart when Wayne handed me this drawing:


It looked to me like a house and someone making syrup. (It’s moonshine, for which I have no frame of reference.)

We had a little music, as well.

Also my children took some selfies on my phone.

Day 5: Local shopping

We did a little shopping – not for Black Friday, just to get out. We wandered around Goodwill, Old Navy, and another place or two. We found some clothes, but I was worried about extra things to fit in suitcases so I didn’t let anyone buy much. We tried In & Out Burgers with high expectations, but no one was impressed.

Day 6: Lake Pleasant

I noticed that many things in the Phoenix area are named with positive words. Lake Pleasant. Sweetwater. Happy Canyon. It’s like the street namers were on a positivity campaign. Anyway, we lazed around in the morning and then headed to a place called Lake Pleasant to feed the ducks and look around. On the way home we stopped to hike up a rocky steep trail that Abby and I did not enjoy. We went halfway up and then came down to wait for the others.

Day 7: Musical Instrument Museum

Some people wanted to go hiking again, and off-roading in the jeep, but Abby and I chose to avoid those activities and instead visited the Museum of Musical Instruments. It was pretty fun. We had lunch at 5 Guys and swung by Target, then relaxed at the house while waiting for the adventurers (who reported having an excellent adventure.)

This ginormous thing is tuned two octaves below the cello.

This is an animal, turned into an instrument. Abby was outraged.

Here she is playing a theremin, which seems like a hoax but apparently is a real thing.

Day 8: HLS Phoenix!

I got to spend the day at the Highlands Latin cottage school in Phoenix. It was really inspiring and a day I thoroughly enjoyed. Here they are at their school opening, practicing for their upcoming Christmas program.

One thing the kids enjoyed all week long was playing with the cats. Wayne’s family feeds multiple neighborhood cats, so there was generally a cat or two about.


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A Man’s Accounting of an Event

{Whoa, my last post was in June?! I once again resolve to write about the minutiae here instead of social media platforms.}

The other night Wayne took Ben to basketball tryouts. When they got home, I eagerly asked Ben how it went.

“Fine. It was fun.”

I pressed for a more detailed answer.

He hesitated. “I’m not sure what to say. We played a game. We did some drills. That was it.”

Could he sound more like a man?

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Summer Swim

This year Ben joined Emma on the summer swim team. He didn’t want to, but I made him because I wanted him to improve his swim skills and I thought he’d enjoy swimming more than sitting around watching other kids swim. Which is what he did last summer.

He took swim lessons in the spring as a refresher; it had been awhile since his Florida lessons. He enjoyed the class, and I think it really set him up for summer swim. The strokes were more familiar, he had worked a little on endurance, and his confidence was up.

Despite all that, he hated the first few practices. He complained. He asked if he had to finish the season. He asked if I planned to make him swim next summer.

Then, about the end of the first week, he changed his mind. I think it just took a few days to feel like he knew what he was doing, because he’s loved swim team ever since.




(I am editing photos in Google Photos, but for some reason when I upload them here, they revert to the original. I can crop in WordPress, but I don’t think I can brighten. I tried to link them a different way in the original post, but some people couldn’t see them. And the pictures my sister sent me have disappeared entirely. Sigh.)

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