Monday, January 23, 2012


 (pics of my Mom with Mia)

 My mom made a big move to the Middle East this past weekend for a new job.
I am so proud of her.
She's almost 61, and went to teach at a school that was founded with the express purpose of educating women to be leaders.
I think it's brave.  She went without knowing anyone.
I love my mom.
From her example she teaches me to think for myself, to stand alone if that's what it means, to be honest in my feelings and how I express them, to be brave, to be okay in my own skin, to not stop learning, to be considerate of others, to never laugh at or mock something different from myself and to respect all peoples.
That's a tall order.
I'm trying to live up to them.
I love these legacies.
This is something to be proud of.
Thank you, Mom.

Each day we're doing schoolwork, we do something with reading and something with writing.
So, we wrote letters last week. 
To my grandparents, who we were going to visit.

 To give well wishes to my mother, beginning this new chapter and adventure.

 We added scratch-n-sniff stickers.
 And wrote these cards for my sister who is recovering from knee surgery AGAIN.

These are so cute I couldn't not share them.
I am proud of these boys.

Mia wanted to write letters, too, so I helped.

As I was getting ready to post these the other day, I thought about how much I love letters.
Super heart heart love them.
They are so romantic and timeless.
There is something about taking the time to put pen to paper, to personalize them with your own handwriting, something that calls back yesteryear in today's frenzy of gmail and text and everything quick quick quick. It's a beautiful thing to take the time for personal, quaint, charming touches that say I CARE.
I've written a few letters in my day.
I think about the role they've played in my life.
I have cards and letters saved in the hope chest at the foot of my bed, in scrapbooks, tucked in corners of desks and stacks to be organized into meaningful reminiscences.
Each a tangible reminder of someone significant in my small world, of a specific time, of how that person influenced and blessed my life.

I went to the letters that Scott and I exchanged on his mission.  
We have four huge binders of letters.
 I looked at the fun letterheads, at the cutouts of Calvin & Hobbes' comic strips, various pics that were part of this or that joke, nicknames, bunches of hand-drawn flowers.
I choked up as I read expression after expression at the beginning or ending of his letters to me -- about what an amazing woman he thought I was, about being such a lucky guy, about how beautiful I was, how special I was to him.
He was so focused as a missionary, so dedicated.
(In fact, later on, I wished he would say a few more of those cute things because he was so into the work.  I knew he loved what he was doing, 100%.  But it was lovely he was so dedicated to truth that I felt so passionately about, too.)  
I knew he had me tucked away in a safe place, tho.
I was reminded of this the other day, and became pretty emotional.
I had forgotten.
One of my favorite parts that I read in those few minutes was a snippet where he remembered the night that he really kissed me for the first time.  And he said something like, "Honestly, I knew I wanted to be with you forever from that night."
I'm more grateful today for his companionship than I was then.
We've been through a helluva lot more.
I feel more bound to him.
But I look back and I see these seeds that were planted.
I see things I've forgotten.
I felt gratitude again.
I felt like a little dry, parched piece of earth in my memory of time got some rain, and little flowers remembered how to grow over there.
A beautiful, shocking, outcropping of wildflowers abloom again.

I plan to order a copy of THIS book I read years ago, but want to read again.
I keep thinking about it.
I loved it.
This is a lovely, lovely compilation.
So romantic.
So sweet and genuine.
Charming and heartfelt.

Maybe you wanna order it too and get into the valentine love?
And maybe you also wanna join my personal goal for the week and send out a few handwritten somethings?
A card, a letter, something genuine and with a personal touch?
I do, I do!

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