Chase Fireflies

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Hope for Haiti

Paul and the team returned from the Dominican and Haiti on Monday.  Their trip was amazing.  So many stories of hope and healing.  And so many more to tell.  I look forward to hearing more:) 

For now, check out Paul’s photo blog to see his photographs.  They are incredible!


A Postcard from Paris

If I were to sit down with postcard and pen in hand, I would say…

the croissants are incredible
there is deep history and beauty here
my favorite thing is spending time with my brother and mom

The last two days have been a whirlwind of subway trains, decadent food, incredible sights, much learning, and time spent together. 

We have visited a history museum, Notre Dame, and the Museum D’Orsay.  We have made memorable scenes, of which I will never forget:  feeding the birds along the Seine, taking a French cuisine cooking class, learning how to make chocolate, and splitting one sandwich on the 58th floor overlooking the entire city of Paris. 

I have always thought that I have known my mom and brother well.  Yet, somehow this country has allowed me to develop a deeper love and gratitude for them.  I have always loved Dan’s pursuit of life, yet France has taught me to also respect his quest for continual knowledge.  As for my mom, she has always been a strong and independent woman.  Yet her resilience, flexibility, and courage to even make this trip has been unparallelled. 

I guess I’m trying to say that I am grateful.  For:

my mom and brother (and an incredible dad at home)
Paul for encouraging me to come here
the kids whom I also miss like crazy
Paul’s parents for loving our kids in my absence
my grandfather, whose generosity has made this all possible

There is much more to unpack than this.  Like the beggars and thieves, God’s Word draped in architecture, the big-bellied Italian waiter with three girlfriends, and how Monet was only good at two things. 

But the crew is asleep and I better get there too. 

Much Love and God’s Peace, 

PS  I would treasure your prayers for continual safety on this trip, both in Paris and in Tournes, where we will be spending  the weekend with an old friend.  Also for Selah and Adden to have peace while I’m gone.  Thank you!


Bonjour Amis!

We’ve made it!  I’m sitting here now in a little Parisian hotel, typing out this message while my mom gets ready.   My brother sits next to me, map in hand, planning out our ventures for the day. 

Yesterday was insane, but we made it.  A long flight with awful turbulence, not being able to find my brother from the get-go (and no way to communicate with him), 33 hours without sleep, and a trek to our hotel complete with three subways, miles of walking, 27 or so flights of stairs with bags in hand:)  We had to laugh!

But we are here.  And yesterday was like a dream.  So far, we’ve hiked the L’Arc de Triumphe to witness an incredible view of Paris.  As I rounded the top of the monument, the Eiffel Tower caught me off guard.  I had to catch my breath.  It is more astounding than I ever fathomed. 

My brother looks good.  Actually, he looks French to me.  And his French is amazing!  I am so impressed!  He is getting us around the city with ease.  He is more fluent than I had anticipated.  More fluent than I ever was after three years in Korea.  We couldn’t be more proud. 

Well, we are ready to explore.  Museums are in the plans for today.  More updates to follow!

Au revoir!


Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure

I never thought I’d be running in my first 5K at 35.  It makes me giggle.  I’m by no means a runner.  I’ve got an awkward stride.  My arms do weird stuff.  And I’m not dainty when I huff.  

Plus I’m slow as all get-up. 

But I love it.  It’s much harder than I thought it would be and yet so much more rewarding.  My legs feel less likely to collapse all the time.  And something in me is more resolved, determined, resolute.  It’s been good.

With it being my first race, I’m pursuing realistic goals:

To break 30 minutes (my best so far is 31:40)
To have fun
To raise money for a cure

Proceeds from the race fund education, screening and treatment programs for local women affected by breast cancer and also go to support the national search for a cure.

I’m running for many women affected by this diagnosis, but close to my heart are two. 

I’m running in memory of Carol and in honor of Gail.  And of course, their daughters, friends, and family members that have been rocked by this illness. 

If you would like to support me in this run, please donate online here.  I’m hoping to raise $100, but anything would be incredible.

 Thanks, friends.

With much love,


Big Ticket Winner

So far in the history of me I have won 4 tickets to Kennywood, a couple of cheeseburgers, a frosty, and a small Pampered Chef recipe book. 

I am a sucker for all things free, so I sign up to win everything.  And I always think I’m going to win.  This week I dropped my name in to win a free night at the orchestra and 10 days with a personal trainer.  Wouldn’t spot the crazy cash for either, but if it’s free…

Because of said tendency to register for everything, my name is on every mailing list.  You should see our mailbox. 

I always wonder if the mail carrier wants to hunt me down or if he relishes the challenge of stuffing all the junk into that little box. 

Anyway, I shall not complain about junk, nor about the hundreds of times I haven’t won.  Instead, I shall freak out that I won a 3 Month Family Membership to the Y!  Such a win calls for excessive screaming and jumping and scaring the small children.  AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

On Tuesday, we officially paraded in with our prize.  I’ve logged in miles since then, swam with the kiddos in the pool, and am still freaked out by the free weights. 

One day I will brave the mass of buff people and figure things out, or at least look like a skinny fool. 

Till then, I’m enjoying lapping everyone on the track.  I am so not competitive on the treadmill in our basement, but tracks are another story.  I’ve already bragged to Paul that I’m the fastest human on that thing.  (I’m also the youngest by about 20 years – this fastest human thing won’t last long.) 

Anyway, I am very excited.   This is the best win ever! 

Here’s to free stuff, three months of burning legs, and playing with the kiddos!  Yeah!

What is the best thing you’ve ever won?


Husband of Mine

Husband of mine does not like to be embarrassed. 

Balloons are not really his thing.  Nor loud birthday songs in restaurants.  Nor anything that may draw attention to himself, such as…. well, this. 

The man is flushed already, no doubt.  Oh well.

I first fell in love with a quiet guy with a huge heart for God and a sensitivity mixed with strength.  He made me laugh.  He made me think.  I am still in love with that same guy. 
Some things have changed.  Some have not. 

He’s not as quiet anymore.  He speaks up for people who need a voice. 

He’s lost the swagger that comes from driving fast cars and a motorcycle. The Van and Bonnie the Beast don’t really compare.  He is the King of All Things Yard Sale.  And we live like a royal family because of it. 

He was never really a small people person.  But once he became a Dad, he became the greatest.  Our kids adore him.  I love the way they look up to him.  I love the way he gets on their level.

He still walks humbly with a good God.  Gives generously.  Practices patience.  Speaks gently.  Holds out hope.  Makes me laugh. Challenges me.  Believes in people.

I am crazy about this guy.  Still can’t believe he’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Paul.
Love, Me.


Training, Thomas, and One Good Fall

When one is training for a 5K, one should probably not begin that training by careening down half a flight of stairs.  No, that wouldn’t be good. 

And when one is potty training a small child, one should probably not begin that training by allowing said child to do everything himself.  No, that wouldn’t be good either.

You see, Little Man had to go potty.  And that he did.  But targeting the potty is really not his strength.   Really, not at all.  So new Thomas undergarments were needed (as well as much scrubbing of the floor.) 

I run upstairs to grab the goods while Little Man runs around the house yelping, “Me go potty.  Me go potty.”  Mind you, there is nothing on his bottom half.

The sight of her brother in such a state somewhat traumatizes Big Sister until there are loud disagreeable protests.  Which expedites me in my personal mission to get Thomas.

I am flying down the stairs.  And then actually flying down the stairs.  The last one I made contact with was in the middle somewhere.   But I made solid contact with the bottom one.  Yeah.

As a fall goes, it was a 10. 

When Paul came rushing home, Little Man told him, “Mommy flied and cried.”  Yep.  I cried.  Then Little Man cried.  And Big Sister bit back tears, opting for questions instead. 

Meanwhile, Little Man still does not have pants on. 

The good news is that our diaper costs have officially ended.
The bad news is that chiropractor costs have officially begun. 

Oh well, I guess you take the good with the bad.  And the exuberance of our Happy Little Man in Thomas undergarments, might just tip the scales in the good direction.  Maybe.