Tag Archives: Love and Marriage

2011 Best of Bigger Picture Moments {Sarah}

We’re easing into 2012 and looking back at our favorite Bigger Picture Moments of 2011. You can join in by linking up your favorite moment from the last year.


This is Sarah’s

This is the loveliest time of the whole year.  Maybe even the loveliest day of the whole year.

The sky is full of wispy white clouds that blend invisibly into the endless blue, and the wind falls down in gusts.  Nothing is standing still; everything shudders and rattles to the thrill of autumn’s rhythm.
On the blacktop road lies every color of leaf.  They are, allegedly, dead.  But to be alive with such color makes up for a shortcoming as insurmountable as death.  Even the brown leaves, dull when still clinging to a branch, are infused with brilliance as they mingle with golden ochre, ginger, and ruby on the ground.
A burst of air kicks up a cluster of leaves where they rest.  But they don’t simply scatter away with incoherence; they move in tandem.  Maybe one or two started it, and the others in close proximity joined in the swirl.  They become a whirlwind.  A cyclone.  A burnt and crumbling rainbow of color, marking a path of what might be destruction. Chaos, perhaps.
But the circularity of their dance seems too inevitable for chaos.  It has to swirl.  It has to gain momentum.  What choice does it have?  The wind is its only master, and nothing can stop the wind once its mind has been made up.
Except a brick wall.  Or a parked car on the roadside.  Or even, innocently, a child’s foot, placed within the circumference of the windy swirl.
Then suddenly, everything stops.  The cyclone melts away into a carpet of leaves once more.  Gusts may disturb them again, but never will the same group of neighbors make up that exact whirlwind. It’s disbanded.
The leaves can rest.
I’m bounding through the house in past-our-bedtime mode:
Pick out pajamas, gather tomorrow’s clothes, pick up those toys, the baby’s crying, the girls are being too loud in the bath tub, my eyes are burning, what time is it?, find the blankie, grab some towels, he’ll need a diaper, the phone is ringing, I forgot the laundry, Mia’s backpack!, ‘I’ll be right there’, the baby’s still crying, OUCH! (I stubbed my toe), please hurry, let’s go let’s go let’s go.
Then, in the hallway, my husband blocks my path. He stares down at me without saying a word.  I try to move past him into the bedroom where there arethings that need to be done before bedtime can happen, but he stretches one arm out to the wall, and I’m pinned.  I can feel the momentum building inside my chest – I have to move because I’m tired and the baby’s crying and the girls are up too late.  I need to keep going.  It’s a compulsion that I can’t control.  To slow down or (good Lord – don’t even think it -) stop my forward motion is almost painful.
I sigh and raise my brow with irritation.  “What?”
But I already know what he’ll say, and he knows that I know.  So he says nothing.  Instead, he pulls me to his chest – trapped – and forces me to pause.
I’m angry.  I hate it when he does this.  It’s a brick wall that I cannot escape.  A foot in my whirlwind, messing up my perfect circle of purpose.
But I turn my head and rest it on his heart.  He drops his face to my hair and I go limp inside, wrapping my restless arms around his waist.  I breathe in the scent of his skin; even under his shirt, even after a long day, even with the smell of soap and chaos still swirling around us, even then – the scent of his skin is enough to make me calm.
My eyes close.
The baby is still crying.  Someone is splashing with too much gusto in the bath tub.  Tomorrow’s clothes are still unchosen.
But I am still.  I have paused.  He has made me pause.
When we move away from one another, towards our mutual but separate tasks, the carpet of necessary work is still under our feet.  There are still gusts of disturbance and motion, but I know – I promise –
that I will not become a whirlwind again.  Not tonight.  I will rest.  Things will get done.
They always do.
And this might be the loveliest time of our whole lives.  Maybe even the loveliest day of our whole lives.
So while our family shudders and rattles to the thrill of this season’s rhythm, I’m thankful for the chance to experience it.
I’m thankful for the pause.

Live. Capture. Share. Encourage.

2011 Best of Bigger Picture Moments {Melissa}

We’re easing into 2012 and looking back at our favorite Bigger Picture Moments of 2011. You can join in on Thursday by coming back HERE and linking up your favorite moment from the last year.


This is Melissa’s 

If you truly want to feel this moment, I suggest listening to this while you read it. 


The late afternoon sun is streaming through my kitchen window. The sunbeams dance across the counter and bounce off the bits of chrome on the blender sparkling like diamonds. I am barefoot (always) wearing a red checked apron, left over from my Halloween costume (Betty Crocker). I decide the afternoon needs music and pull up Dean Martin radio on Pandora. I’m humming along, dancing a little bit and smiling.

This is not the life I dreamed of, but I love it more than I imagined.


We dance around our small kitchen. Not even a real kitchen just a half galley, one counter, a small space between a stove and sink separated from the rest of the living space by a counter/breakfast bar. We are practicing some dance steps for our wedding, dancing and laughing to Rosemary Clooney’s Hey Mambo!

We are young, in love! The future is unknown and can be anything we dream of. It’s a blank canvas laid out before us full of excitement and adventure and most of all love.

I dream as we dance laughing at how different I thought my life would be.

This is not the life I dreamed of, but I love it more than I imagined.


In my college dorm room I’m sitting cross legged on the floor with friends. We are laughing and talking, discussing our dreams, or plans our future.

I will be in health care. I’m going to be working at Children’s Memorial. Living in Lincoln Park in a beautiful old brownstone. I will walk everywhere in fabulous shoes. Marriage? Oh yeah, someday. Kids? Not until after 30. I will be independent, have a career, be on my own first. Stay at home, be a wife and mom? Oh no! That’s not me, that’s so 1950s. I am a modern women I will hold a fabulous job and still be a mom.

This was the life I dreamed of, I never imagined not having it.


I grab that same man, now 10 years more mature. Braver, smarter, more amazing than I ever imagined. We dance around the kitchen to the same mambo. Crumbs stick to our bare feet, we side step a teething toy thrown at us, twirl around the tackle of a four year old and side step the baby.

This is not the life I dreamed of, but I love it more than I imagined.

I never imagined I would love being a mom so much that my heart literally hurts form love.

I never imagined that I would grow to enjoy being in the kitchen; Planning cooking and providing for my family.

I never imagined I would stop working.

This is ot the life I dreamed of, but I love it more than I imagined.

So we dance, new steps to the same old song and we dream of the future, and where it will take us. I’m sure it’s nothing that I can imagine.


Live. Capture. Share. Encourage.

I Don’t Care How Absence Makes The Heart Behave — I Prefer Presence

Though he was only gone for two and a half days, it turns out that we ladies are allergic to Justin’s absence.

He spent this weekend in Texas, pushing his bike-riding limits at a big, hot event, while we became sicker and sicker.  Lauren woke up with a head-to-toe rash, bright and flaming on her sweet cheeks, trickling down her belly and legs, but causing her no apparent irritation.  Mia bloomed with fevers, complaining of headaches and sleeping more than usual. And I, his resilient, capable wife, floundered.

I was bored.

I was lonely.

I missed him to the point that I couldn’t sleep and had no desire to anyway, without him beside me. It’s been so long since he’s spent any time away from home that I’d forgotten how much I dislike it. The dullness of it. The unbroken hours. The quiet. (Conversely, the noisiness of a house settling at midnight evoking images of burglars and unseen creatures…)  But also the busyness that comes from being the only one caring for things.

While I stay at home with the kids all day, it’s different: he might feed the cat in the morning or check the mail at night.  He takes the pressure off of me for bath and bed time rituals. He’ll stop in for lunch midday, showering us with kisses before rushing away again.  He’s present. The promise of him is enough to keep me going when the afternoons become long and tiring.

And without him, it’s all me.  Every chore, task, ritual, and moment is mine.  I do them — and I do them just fine.  I’m not incapable of anything (save mowing the lawn and wrestling….).

But I’d rather depend on him.  I’d rather let him tease me for forgetting to give the cat water.  I’d rather gaze out the kitchen window as I make dinner, waiting for his car to arrive.  I’d rather flip through a magazine while he rough-houses with the girls.  I’d rather have him by my side in every activity and place.

The old adage is true.

My heart does grow fonder.

But I didn’t like the absence one bit.


Written by Sarah, originally published 30 August 2010. Sarah is a wife and  mother to two girls . She writes about her little piece of heaven, which she is sure messier and louder then the real thing at This Heavenly Life.