Aveline is finally asleep. The house is quiet for the first time in hours, silent except for the raspy motor on the overhead fan and the clink of the spoon against my cobalt cereal bowl.
My eyelids are heavy. I stare, unsure what to do with this pure, quiet, uninterrupted time. The need for sleep tugs at me, but it no longer captures me with the same intensity it once did. In the past year, I’ve adopted a new definition of what it means to be well-rested.
There is a profound peace in this stillness, tonight. I exhale, the sound of my own voice blending with the fan. I watch the blades spin, lifting and twisting the Florida air. I think of how one year ago, I and a five-week-old Aveline flew through the Florida air to join Josiah, who’d been here for a couple weeks already due to an answered prayer — a full-time job.
I think of the fear and hope of the past two years. I think how hope has been woven into our lives, how hope is the shining thread, the strongest cord, the lifeline of who we are — not because of hope itself, but because of God in who we hope.
I think of the myriad of ways our God poured down manna to us, sometimes as a raven in the wilderness and sometimes as a coin in the mouth of a fish. I think of how He always, always, filled our cups and let them overflow.
And I stand here now in the overflow, here in the land of our sojourn, filled with thankfulness and gratitude and wonder because today — today! — we are finally debt-free. I close my eyes and breath deeply. The glory is God’s.
I lower my spoon, resting the silver-scrolled edge against the bowl. I stand up, and walk toward the bedroom. The night pulled its dusky cover over the earth long ago, and sleep calls.
Before the sun burns off the early morning haze, Aveline will awaken, bright eyed. The sound of silence will be overcome by the sound of life, the sound of love, the clink of the coffee scoop. And the aroma of coffee will swirl and mix with the Florida air, Josiah will kiss me on the forehead, and the thread of hope will shine brighter than ever.
It’s crazy to look back at where we were on this day last year.
This morning, a year later, my love brought me flowers and a steaming cup of Starbucks coffee with a card that says coffee = ♥. I love that man! (Baby might be 13 months old instead of 3 weeks old, but sometimes, like last night, she sure doesn’t act like it.)
Oh Josiah, I love you.
“I had a dream I // stood beneath an orange sky…
it’s such a long road we’ve been walkin’ on
…you know it is, you know it is
here is what I know now // goes like this
in your love, my salvation lies…
you who are my home.”
The prompt for this week’s Inspiration Workshop hosted by Gussy Sews is…RED!
I haven’t linked up since my first time participating during vintage week, but I couldn’t resist this theme since red (along with black and white) was our main wedding color!
So, without further ado…a handful of RED pictures from our wedding…
All images via B. Sarah Klein
Three years ago today, I walked down a grassy aisle in Grandma C’s backyard to Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me.
I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won’t you try to come
Come away with me and we’ll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I’ll never stop loving you
And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I’m safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me
And so we were married in the mountains of NorCal, with the grass beneath our feet, the towering California trees overhead, and our family and friends all around us.
We had these verses from Isaiah 41 read during the ceremony. Non-traditional, yes, but oh, so beautiful.
I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
A dear family friend and missionary to Japan officiated the ceremony.
We walked back down the aisle to Coldplay’s Yellow.
Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah they were all yellow,
I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called yellow
So then I took my turn
Oh all the things I’ve done …
D’you know you know I love you so
You know I love you so.
It was all kinds of perfect.
All images courtesy of B. Sarah Klein, who, along with her sister, is preparing to launch A Sea Apart: Two Sisters, Two Countries, Two Photos a Day.
We wake up too early, to the uneven rhythm of traffic slowing and starting again as a multicolored ribbon of cars passes in waves through the toll booth. Aveline stirs and fusses, increasing in volume until the sputtering grunts grow into a jarring cry. She presses her teary face against the slats of the crib, gripping tightly with dimpled hands as she wobbles her way into a kneeling position.
I sit up, glancing upward at the cacophonous din of pigeons who’ve taken up unwanted residence in an opening in the eaves. The water pipes groan and heave, and I hear the splash of hot water making its way through the shower head in the adjoining room as Josiah prepares for the day. I rub my eyes, reach out my arms and smile through a tired fog as Aveline’s fingers quickly grab onto me. I pick her up and pull her close. She buries her warm face in my shoulder and breathes a sigh, kicking her legs in happiness.
I carry her into the living room, letting my eyes truly see all the colors and light and beauty the new day holds. The white light enveloping the chair in the corner. The bright hues of the yarn and thread on the table. The hint of red in Aveline’s hair. Give me strength for the day, Lord, I quietly pray. Thank you for life. I change Aveline’s diaper, tossing her green pajamas into the laundry basket, smiling to myself at the sight of the heap of tiny, rumpled clothes. I pull a bright yellow mod dress off a hanger, and slip it over her strawberry blond head. The sixties-esque daisies on the dress make me smile.
Josiah walks into the kitchen, his wet hair hanging in curls. He reaches for Aveline, holding her in one arm while he measures out coffee grounds. My heart nearly overflows. My two loves, sleepy-headed and happy, together in the kitchen in the morning light. She’s learning how to make coffee, he says, and she turns around to look at me, grinning from ear to ear.
Later, she sits on his lap while he works on the iPhone game he is creating. I sit across the room, letting the bold flavors of my coffee curl around my tongue. I stare into the steaming liquid. Coffee and chocolate, I think to myself. Exactly the color of his eyes.
I read Genesis, and Jacob’s blessing speaks to me.
The God before whom walked
my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
The God who has been my shepherd
all my life long to this very day,
The Angel who delivered me from every evil,
Bless the boys.
May my name be echoed in their lives,
and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers,
And may they grow…
Oh, I love him. I love him to pieces.
“The moon turns its clockwork dream.
The biggest stars look at me with your eyes.
And as I love you, the pines in the wind
want to sing your name with their leaves of wire.”
[Click photo to view a larger version.]
I missed yesterday’s photo (high angle shot). I lovingly blame a growth-spurting Aveline, who went on a sleep strike and ate hourly for fifteen hours. So you can imagine I’m quite glad to see tonight’s photo, a setting sun. It means bedtime is right around the corner. For how napless my bebe is, she lays her little head down obediently every single night and falls right asleep.
And every single night, I marvel at how incredibly blessed I am and how rich our life is. Like right now, for instance. Aveline is sitting on my lap, holding on to a wash cloth in one hand and beating on the desk with her other hand. She says, “Ahhh. Hahhh. Ahhh. Gahh. Eeeehaa.” while looking over at Josiah, who is sitting next to me clicking away at his computer. I think she’s singing along with Cary Brothers, who is softly crooning, “There is something about you baby so right / I wouldn’t be here without you baby tonight / If ever our love was concealed / No one can say that we didn’t feel a million things / And a perfect dream of life.”
Josiah gets up, walks into the kitchen and switches the light on. I hear the clink of dishes as he unloads the dishwasher. Aveline drops the washcloth to the floor and sticks her tiny foot up on the desk between my hands, still babbling away in her precious little voice.
“You’re the secret I keep, I just wanna be the one, I just wanna sing this song with you.”
[Click photo to view a larger version.]
i’ve taken to drinking an iced coffee every afternoon. i’m relying on the placebo effect, since it’s all decaf these days. but caffeine or not, there is just something so satisfying about coffee.
last week was a bit on the rough side. the wee one suddenly decided she preferred the newborn schedule of waking up every three hours at night. she also decided there was no need to nap during the day. by the time the weekend rolled around, i was ready to flop myself down on the floor and sleep for days. and glory be, on sunday afternoon i actually fell asleep on the sunlit bed, with josiah next to me surfing the interwebs, and aveline snoozing peacefully in her crib. when i woke up two hours later, i was utterly confused at the foreign feeling of restfulness, but deliriously happy.
it’s amazing what a little sleep can do.
and now, it’s tuesday afternoon and she’s napping. napping, people!! (in this new world of parenthood, a baby napping is an epic joy — something to be celebrated. i’ve celebrated by showering and eating a proper lunch.)
and you know? this new life is beautiful. even the chaos is beautiful, because it’s not a chaos of strife or contention. no, it’s a beautiful chaos. like the lapping waves of the ocean, it’s constant motion; changing always yet the sound is a steady rhythm. the scattered blankets and washcloths and teething toys on the floor of the living room are like the stones and shells scattered across a sandy beach. there is no precision, but it’s all beauty. there is high tide and there is low tide, there is the scorching high noon sun and there is the charcoal darkness of the new moon. but it’s life, it’s all life, pulsating with love and punctuated laughter.
and we are sitting here, joy-filled, holding our precious baby and reveling in the spray of the ocean air. our hair is wild with the wind and the salt, our eyes looking onward, looking forward, our hearts firmly planted in joy and hope and peace.
Some of you will recognize the following story — I penned it just months after 26PM and i were married in 2008, and published it on my old blog (Remember Xanga? That’s how we all rolled back in the day, ha ha!)
Anyway, I rediscovered these words again today, and realized that I never shared our love story on this blog.
So, here it is. The story of a love that spanned the distance between the Atlantic and Pacific. The story of two people who could not remain apart. The story of our lives.
once upon a time, he saw her. after church, playing football in the grass. she was barefoot. this is his first memory, but she did not notice.
she does not remember, except for the time he could not understand something she said and then she refused to speak.
[we were both sixteen. –yellowcard, ocean avenue]
well, seventeen, actually.
[they had lots of common friends. –dennison witmer, 24 turned 25]
the same church. the same ski slopes. the same junior college.
but they did not notice.
[you never even see me. you look right through me. –coldplay, shiver]
she remembers how he flew before he could drive, and how he drew color and life bursting from grey rubble. she told her mother he thought about things, deeply.
he did not know he was present in her mind.
she did not know she thought of him, even when she did.
So, last night with the family, we watched Disc 1 of the BBC/A&E production of Victoria & Albert.
Maybe my opinion will change after seeing the final Disc 2. I mean, I really don’t really know anything about the famed couple.
I know I’m supposed to like Albert because he’s Colin Firth’s brother and all. But after the first half of the film, my declaration is –
Albert, stop moping. Make your own darn fire. Nobody said you had to stand in the castle and stare at the windows. Go do something, Albert; you need a hobby.