the smitten word | 10.1.11

 {reads and favorites shared}

across the interwebs:

hyacynth, undercover mother
But there was warmth found beneath jackets and blankets, in the creases of fingers strapped together in a clasp of unity and in arms wrapped around shoulders, face buried into chest, soaking tears into cotton and skin.

It was our life, together, -- the Chicago autumn, in all of it's unpredictableness and uncertainty, like romance in the middle of busy lives with kids. And the beauty beat into the grayness
kristin tennant, halfway to normal
It seems to me that if we buy this rags-to-riches, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, look-what-I-did—why-don’t-you-get-off-your-butt-and-do-it-too attitude, we’re fooling ourselves. We’re not admitting all of the help we’ve received along the way, and all of the opportunities we’ve been given.
amber haines, a deeper story
What makes us normal, and is the norm the right, the more holy? I testify that Blemish is Beauty. There are some things we’ll just not understand on this side of the veil, but I do know that the love of God pouring into and out of special needs children across the globe is something at the very heart of Christ.

on my nightstand:
i am reading Playful Parenting, recommended by sarah, and though just a few chapter in, its wisdom is transformational.  it's about using play and silliness to (re)connect with kids and help them work through difficulties.  the simplest suggestion to draw into--instead of recoil from--a child who is acting unpleasant has made a radical difference. we're spending less time frustrated and more time enjoying one another.

thomas keating's Open Mind, Open Heart is about centering prayer, a practice i began to learn years ago and haven't done much since the babies were born.  i look forward to digging in anew and being more intentional about creating space to be still and know.

i tend not to pick up fiction unless someone recommends a title, and then i remember the girl who inhaled books like airwould you share a favorite, please?

on tv:
last year we started having friends over to watch Glee and the one we call "The Yelling Show" (perhaps known to you as Parenthood.)  this year we decided to have Family Dinner beforehand and enjoyed the company of four friends and staffers over chili and show choir;)

i've been streaming Mad Men and was so happy to see it win the best drama emmy. last season was truly artful.

on screen:
while my whole family was together at the beach we watched The Girl in the Cafe. everyone enjoyed this quirky british gem about the unlikely couple and the G8 conference.   jim watched Babies with james who LOVED every minute of this nearly wordless documentary about four babies and their life in four diverse countries.  milk! eat! baby! dada, cat!  he was in heaven.

in my kitchen:

today jim came home with a bag full of pawpaws, a tropical fruit that ripen in pennsylvania (and more northerly points) in october.  i had never heard of or tasted this fruit before: a cross between a pineapple, mango and banana, with hints of coconut and a consistency similar to an avocado but custardy enough to eat with a spoon.

in short:  magically delicious.

this month jim picked grapes and we made jelly.  he also canned pepper relish and shot and grilled up a few geese.  {i told you this was the life bucolic.}

i made a lot of tomato soup and my roasted balsamic tomato basil sauce.  at the beach, jim made chocolate mousse with raw cream and our eggs and mercy, was it good. 

in my ears:
i am hardly on the cutting edge of music anymore, but our decemberists pandora station gets a work-out and blisses me out on the daily.

on the horizon for october:
a certain boy-babe turns TWO.  a certain relevant conference and meeting sweet friends like hyacynth and kamille.  our town's three day festival, replete with crafts and crowds, a parade and food.  dylan's first field trip--to a pumpkin patch.  more mild weather and hikes like this with the wee set:

playing along with SortaCrunchy's What Are You Into? and sharing my poem commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with Elizabeth Esther's Saturday Evening Blog Post
death is a gaping wound that fifty years won't heal
this side of heaven.
time never warmed a bed or walked a daughter down the aisle.

innocence lost, too
and we mourn that.  it may be the rose-colored glasses, but did we
love each other better then, before we knew how different we were? 
{are we really all that different?}
[click to read the rest of lost and found here]
what, dear friends, is capturing your attention of late?

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