Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I've been quiet for the last month, mostly due to the fact that the holiday and travel in addition to school, dance, and real life was pretty much all I could handle. I'm working on getting back into the swing of things and figured when Sara needed an off day I'd jump back into blogging. Yep, that's how all the wildly overachieving kids do it...guest posting on GitzenGirl. Wink. I plan on being much more regular. It's good for the spirit, and reminds me that I'm something other than a mother and wife and homeschooler...


Such a simple word; it brings to mind images of stars in the night sky, engagement rings, and bright, wonder-filled eyes.


I’m taking liberties and off the cuff calling it a scientific phenomenon that was witnessed and documented copiously with digital images.


It is what five humans are capable of doing when put together in a cozy condo for four glorious days.

We did all of the “usual” stuff...trips to Sonic for Happy Hour, a stop at Hy-Vee for soup and crackers, movies on the bed, filling the dishwasher, doing laundry, loving all over the white pooch, writing with a calligraphy set, and working on our creative flair with stencils and colored pencils. We opened gifts, sang, laugh, cried, and prayed. There was even fingernail painting and the two oldest in the house I won’t mention who is really the oldest and who’s the runner up managed to put on makeup every single day in case the camera came out of nowhere. I think we both secretly hoped it would.

The ultimate goal was to capture the moment and freeze it in both perfect stillness and absolute motion so our eyes could witness later what our hearts were holding now. I wasn’t sure it would be possible, but between the two of us Canon toting shutterbugs (with Jay thrown in for good measure) I figured we’d get a few shots. Golden memories that my camera shy sidekick would allow me to print and display.

In total, hundreds of images were amassed. Some were off center, others blurry because I’m still working on shutter speedand aperture and all of those other big fancy camera words that make photos pop. Sara’s, of course, were the bee’s knees. As I was going through the pictures on the camera and transferring them to external storage, I had a nagging feeling that there was something weirdly similar in all of the shots. I was tired, it was late, and I decided I’d go back and figure it out later when the kids didn’t need my help with piano and I wasn’t making dinner and correcting math and grammar homework and preparing Jay’s lunch and setting up the teaching schedule for the next day and folding the laundry and yelling at the dog to STOP BARKING NOW.

In complete honesty, it’s a miracle I went back to these photographs so quickly. I’m the girl who meticulously documented my first girl’s days, complete with date, time and location. Even if I didn’t scrapbook them, they were organized and booked.

Then came Little Bit, and it all went out the window. It will be a miracle if it ever gets done, but that’s a post for another day
Hence, back to the photos, and the similarity. At first glance as I paged through snapshots, the rational part of me was looking for the parallels. I noticed clothing, lighting, and location. That wasn’t it. Then, it hit me.


Not in a new engagement ring sort of way, but in a full of love and joy and completely and utterly surprised in every moment by God’s wondrous grace sort of way.

I’ve decided that it’s the way friends look when they’re crazy comfortable with each other. How babes appear when basking in the love of adults who simply adore them. How a married couple seems when nothing in their life is ordinary and they seek to view every single day as gift.


It’s what we did for the hours we spent together, sharing moments. I didn’t realize it then, but it’s what the camera captured in every shot. It was the moment, frozen in both perfect stillness and absolute motion. Forever paused, my eyes are able to look at what my heart captured.

Guess what...just thinking about it?

I’m sparkling.



  1. I read this over on Sara's blog & found it so inspiring. I am disabled (wheelchair-bound) but am able to leave the house, condition allowing, of course. Sara is such an inspiration to me, seeing how gracefully she takes what she's been dealt reminds me that life can always change in an instant and to enjoy what we have, while we have it.

    As for you, well, I have my own "Shannon" in my life. No matter how many ways Sara could tell you, I'd bet you could never truly realize just how much a through-thick-and-thin friendship means.

    What great examples you both are.

  2. I love your Sara, and this post is beautiful. Your family + Gitz = so, so inspiring (+ sparkly).

  3. i like you. a lot. in case you didn't know :)

  4. Marla, I love my Sara too. She's really "our" Sara, though, because we all feel like she's a part of us, right? Just wanted to let you know I'm praying for Joanne and Toben daily... I know you're IRL friends and wanted to tell you that my heart is with all of you.

    Sar, I like you. A lot. Too.

    Java, I've been in a wheelchair as well as used a cane...so my heart is with you. I'm so thankful that you are not homebound and can get out and experience our amazing world (condition allowing). I'm most greatful for your thick-and-thin friend. What I don't think that you realize is what an amazing blessing you are to her, and that her life wouldn't be as rich, beautiful or complete without YOU. Never forget the treasure you are. Ever.