Archives for December 2011


I’m away from home and out of my usual element. I’m absent from schedules and thinking time and my own bed. I miss my bed. I have a pain running between my shoulder blades, and I wonder if it’s the unfamiliar mattresses or if that’s where I’m carrying the weight of what’s left of this year. I feel it bearing down on me, begging for one last look before the new one arrives.

These last few weeks have been busy with very little time for wonderings and wanderings. I’ve tried to squeeze together a few moments, but mostly it’s been a holiday of here, there and everywhere. I went so far as to sit in my parked mini van while the rest of my family watched The Muppet Movie on the big screen. I had a pen, and with it I swept up the crumbs of moments and memories I wanted to keep, and placed them in a red Meade notebook. It was good, good but also impossible to place the year neat and tidy onto college ruled lines.

I think 2011 is more deserving of a collage in all of it’s colorful, chaotic glory. It would look like castles against a gray sky, rolling hills and water falls, three grinning faces, and pretty words strung up in a row. It would smell like the sea and the cold mountain air that hurts going down. It would sound foreign and familiar, a symphony of laughter and tears and looks that say more than words could ever do. And it would feel like giving birth, over and over again.

Yes, that’s exactly it. It felt like giving birth, like carrying the weight of something beautiful in my womb and then watching it come to life before my eyes. It wasn’t without pain and more than a few sleepless nights, but the joy in watching my dreams take their first breath was worth every bit of the laboring.

Thank you for coming alongside me this year. You are midwives, each and every one. You are here when the words are birthed, and I thank you for reading and commenting and giving me the chance to practice an art I’m not always sure I possess.

I hope to meet you here for the next one.

Tell me about your year. Was it what you hoped it would be?

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Expectations

Today is the last link up with Emily for Tuesdays Unwrapped. I’m afraid traveling between countries and states hasn’t allowed for a quiet walk, so I have something else on offer today. I’ve so enjoyed unwrapping the gifts of this month with all of you. Join us at Chatting at the Sky one last time?

We were ‘home’ a grand total of four hours before I found myself on the phone with 911. I’d had a premonition/feeling/God whisper that there might be a health issue on our trip, so I wasn’t surprised to find myself standing in the kitchen giving details about shortness of breath and increased heart rate. Later, after we heard that treatment had begun and discharge the following day was likely, I mentioned to my husband that I knew something was going to happen, I just hadn’t counted on it being so early in our trip. He laughed and said, ‘Well, there’s always a 50/50 chance around here that someone’s going to the hospital.’

He’s right. Some of our family members have a penchant for self diagnosis and treatment that usually ends up with me needing a glass of wine, and their taking a trip to the hospital at our insistence. We haven’t decided whether to call it maddening or endearing. I’m leaning towards maddening. And that’s the thing about families. They make us crazy. They make us love them. They make us want to wring our hands and fall apart and hold them together and pick up the pieces and laugh like a hyena and treat them to a coffee and thank God that He saw fit to put us in one.

I didn’t need a premonition to know that my kids would be jet-lagged and waking up at four a.m. every morning. But they are and they do. For days, I’ve begged for the mercy of more sleep while my daughter curls into the curve of me in the bed. She wants to talk. And while I want to cry because, good gracious I’m exhausted, I bend my head into her neck and and her brown hair tickles my nose. I hold her hand in the dark, and I remember her in my womb, curling into the curve of me. I remember the call to 911, the crazy that is family, and that God saw fit to place me in this one. I lie in the dark and I unwrap each name and I call them a gift. Then I shush my girl, because if Momma doesn’t get some sleep there isn’t enough red wine in the world to make that look pretty.

If you have expectations for this Christmas, but find that things aren’t going according to plan, you might enjoy reading this post. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy unwrapping your gifts this season.


Given our travel schedule and limited time with family, I’m likely to go a bit quiet here for the next few weeks. I’ll pop in occasionally, but not very consistently. If you’d like to receive email updates, there’s a little gadget at the bottom of the blog where you can sign up.

Even when

I am an anticipator. I like to anticipate. I do not like surprises (unless they sparkle and come in a little blue box). I like to plan and look ahead and imagine what the end result will be. One of the negative aspects of being an anticipator, is that the end result doesn’t always live up to the imagining.

Too often the dream isn’t the reality. The day might start with a rainbow but culminate in a hail storm, with you white knuckling the drive home. Or it might begin with perfectly obedient children and end with you wondering which child you might accidentally on purpose leave at school for the weekend. The dream may look like a beautifully crafted photo book, but the reality might result in a need for marriage counseling when your spouse attempts to edit all of your hard work. 

This time of year lays heavy on the imagination. We breathe in and breathe out anticipation. The fireside and fairy lights cast a glow on this season, tricking us into sugarplum visions when the reality might look more like fruitcake. I know this, and still I dream, I long for, I anticipate.

Even when the gift didn’t get a cheer.

Even when the family photo is blurry.
Even when a loved one feels disappointed.

I’ve learned that even when the vision doesn’t look exactly like I’d hoped, it is still worth the dreaming because grace will cover the rest. I encourage you this Christmas to dream big, but embrace grace. Wrap it up in sparkly paper and a white satin bow, place it under the tree, and anticipate that you will both need to give and receive it.

Even when…

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Taking notice

Tuesday December 13, 2011

I am in the process of a tedious blog overhaul, so please excuse the weirdness that is my blog at the moment. Apparently, I have nothing better to do this time of year than make myself nuts over posting format and date placement. In the midst of the crazy that is the holiday season, I’m so happy to be joining up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped. She encourages us to take one month, one day, one moment to stop and see. Join me there?

December days feel rushed and hurried and fuzzy around the edges. I sat and stared at my calendar today, and realized that as the days stack up so do the commitments. I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw my ‘Mom’s Plan It’ calendar across the room. Who are these moms and why are they always planning things? I wanted to pencil in ridiculous events like ‘throw hissy fit’ and ‘eat ungodly amounts of chocolate’. These things will probably happen anyway, but it would feel good to know that I had delivered and executed on a plan.

Most of the other things on my calendar will happen as well. I will attend a concert and watch my little snowman melt onstage. I’ll do drop offs and pick ups. I’ll travel miles and miles across oceans and time zones to watch my little people unwrap gifts with loved ones. I will spend lots of time and some money shopping the aisles at Target.

What I don’t know is how the house will smell on Christmas morning. Cinnamon or pine? When my little girl opens her gifts will she giggle or cheer or fist pump? Will we fill the Christmas crepes with sugar or Nutella? Who will sing off-key at the family Christmas party and who will pull me aside to tell me a secret? Will I remember Emmanuel, and know that God is indeed with us, in the fist pumps and drop offs and Target aisles?

Photos taken at the Nuremburg Christmas Market.

I wish I could pencil it in, this need to notice. This longing to see the beauty in the everyday, to see Emmanuel. But it’s a heart thing, not a head thing. So instead of scribbling in my Mom’s Plan It, I’ll pray that my eyes would remain open, my spirit awakened, and my heart ready to store up the treasure, to take notice.

PS If any of you can recommend someone who knows how to write html/java script as well as incorporate some small design work, please let me know. I’d like to have all my hair for Christmas, and at the level of stress this is causing me, I might be bald by then. 

Work in Progress


I’m playing around with the blog this weekend, so excuse the construction site. I asked my husband to gift me with a new website this Christmas. I wanted to hire a professional. He decided to be the professional and I ended up with a partially reconstructed blog with the following tag line:
Find Time for Tea
A kick a** blog by Kimberly Coyle
I have no words. 
The result is he is now asleep on the sofa, and I am googling things like Tory Burch Handbags. There will be a gift. Oh, yes, there will. And there won’t be anything referring to one’s hind quarters on it.