Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm from

I am from burnt orange Tupperware and mustard yellow Kitchen Aid mixer and the fragrance of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

I am from home-with-an-open door and someone always there. Overnight guests, family friends and neighbors always welcomed to the table.
I am from book-reading, notebook-filling, diary and poetry-writing.

I’m from family reunions, dozens of aunts and uncles and too many cousins to count. Visits to grandparents on the farm and to the yellow house in the small town in the southwestern corner of the state.

From hardworking handyman father and homemade-cooking mother. From younger brother and 16 month-older-sister.

I’m from loudness and laughter, prayer before meals and family birthday celebrations.

I’m from Michael W. Smith cassette tapes, footprints in the sand poems, music concerts, spring break trips and “Our God is an Awesome God.”

I’m from small towns followed by life in the city. From warm sloppy joes, green bean casserole, hot dishes and mashed potatoes.

I’m from Sunday services and youth group Wednesdays. From Bible camp in the summer, youth retreats in the winter, and God-seeking moments in the midst of it all.  

I’m from sinful ugliness, hurtful words, tears and tough times. From a broken heart and a sad smile and would someone please take the pain away?

I’m from grace and forgiveness, from commitment despite hardship and messiness.

I'm from a long line of Jesus lovers and Bible believers and truth seekers. I'm from hope in the Everlasting God who brings beatuty from ashes and makes all things new.


Awhile back I read an I'm From blog post and decided to take a crack at it myself. If you're interested in writing your own I'm From, you can use the following template to get started (if you write your own, please leave a comment and link so I can read it!):
Adapted by Levi Romero

Inspired by “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon

I am from ________________________ (an everyday item in your home)

from ________________ and _______________ (products or everyday items in your home)

I am from the ___________________________ (description of your home)

_________________________________ (a detail about your home – a smell, taste, or feel)

I am from the____________________ (plant, flower, natural item)

The __________________________ (plant or tree near your home)

whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

I’m from _______________ and ________________ (a family tradition and family trait)

from ______________and ______________________ (family members)

I’m from _________________and _________________ (family habits)

and from_____________________. (family habit)

I’m from _______________ and _______________ (things you were told as a child)

and ____________________________________ (a song or saying you learned as a child)

I’m from_________________________ (a family tradition)

I’m from ____________ (place of birth) and ___________ (family ancestry, nationality or


_______________and _________________ (family foods)

From ___________________________________ (a story about a family member)

___________________________ (detail about the story or person)

_____________________________ (description of family momentos, pictures or treasures.)

_________________________ (location of momentos – under my bed, on the wall, in my


______________________________________________ (more description if needed)



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Little Man

Dear Samuel,
My sweet Samuel. I can hardly believe that tomorrow you will be five years old. It seems impossible that five years have gone by since we first laid eyes on you.

Your dad and I feel so privileged and honored to have watched you grow during the past five years. You make us so very proud Samuel. And never more so than in the past 13 days as we have watched you love on your new baby sister. Your world has been turned upside down with the arrival of a baby in the household...and yet you love her so much already. You want to see her, hold her, kiss her constantly, check on her, laugh at her, touch her. It's very apparent that you are as crazy about your little sis as we are.

I love that you have a tender side that is so gentle and loving with younger kids. I love that I get to see you be a big brother all over again. I love that God gave you a tender heart for little ones...while the rest of your heart is filled with love for superheroes these days :)

Waiting on the breakfast table for you are some batman toys, spiderman underwear, ninja turtle band aids and Vikings playing cards. These are your passions at age five. When you're not fighting bad guys, you are pretending to be a football player wearing your jersey multiple days each week. You make your Grandpa Steve, Uncle Scott and Aunt Sher (Vikings enthusiasts) so very proud.

Recently you learned to ride a two-wheeler. It was months in the works, but the day we took off those training wheels you took off -- confidently and smoothly. It is so FUN to see you ride your two wheeler. It also requires extra prayers for safety and protection. It's a reminder that you are growing up quickly and each season, each milestone is a lesson for me...a lesson in letting go just a little bit more and allowing you the freedom you need to experience life.

When I talked to you from the hospital after Lydia was born I said, "I miss you Samuel and can't wait to see you at home." Your response: "I miss daddy." I could only laugh and smile. You have always been a daddy's boy. You two are best buds. You take trips together nearly every day to the gym, Target, library, grocery store, Home Depot. The last time dad was "lawning" you followed him around with your lawn mower continually asking him to go slower so you could keep up. You love your dad so much and he returns that love wholeheartedly.

Your energy is endless Samuel. Your questions are constant (Which way is Africa? What's the Incredibles last name? Why is it called Minnehaha Falls?). Your memory and your observation skills are impressive. Your love for salami sandwiches, hummus and almond milk is second to none. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and it is a JOY to celebrate you today.

Five years little man. It's been a whirlwind. It's been an adventure. It's been so much more than your dad and I could have ever dreamt or imagined during our wait to welcome babies into our family. Five years ago today our family consisted of just your dad and I. And now we are a family of five. And it all started with you and your grand entrance into our lives, our world and our hearts. Since the moment we saw you in the nursery at the hospital, when they placed those wristbands on us declaring that we were your parents...we have never been the same. You changed us Samuel. You made us parents.

As always, we are eternally grateful to your birth mom for choosing us to raise you and love you and watch you grow. We are humbled and in awe that God has given us three precious miracles to parent. You are part of our story Samuel....and our story is part of a greater story that God is writing for our family.

Happy 5th birthday my son. I love you the whole, whole, whole, whole, whole way to the moon and back. I love you from the top of that beatiful head of blonde hair all the way to the tips of those oh so dirty boy toes.

On your birthday and always,