tuesdays unwrapped

At the risk of sounding cheesy and sappy and slightly dramatic, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that I think Tuesdays Unwrapped is changing how I live. It has been four weeks since I started the series. Originally I told myself I’ll give it a month.living

After four weeks of reading your posts about everyday moments you are unwrapping, I think I’m hooked. Take, for example, the classic moment we all face nearly everyday: dinner was over and the dishes were screaming my name. The kids ran outside to play, giving me the perfect chance to clean up the kitchen.

But the kids were outside playing. Playing, living, enjoying the moment. The air was warm and the breeze was cool, just like May is supposed to be. So I sat in the rocking chair outside, closed my eyes, and let it all be around me.

What was once a chance to finish the task is now becoming an opportunity to slow down and enter in. Let me assure you, this is not my normal. And the task will eventually have to be done. But because of this focus every Tuesday, I am slowly remembering to remember. To notice, receive and celebrate.

You are essential to that subtle change in me. It is one thing for me to share ways I am living on purpose, but another thing altogether to have you share your messy, lovely and unexpected gifts. I read every post. I laugh, I cry, I eat ice cream.

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Even though I read each post, there may be times when I simply can’t comment on each one as much as I would like to. It turns into Emily being on the computer too much. I’m not sure how much longer I will keep unwrapping Tuesday, but for this week I want to invite you to join me again. You know the rules:

Link up below to the permalink of your Unwrapped post. To find out what yours is, simply click on the title of your post and grab the permalink from the address bar. If you do not use the permalink, your link will be deleted.

Link back here in your post so your peeps will know what it’s all about. Grab the pink button if you feel so inclined.

so I married a youth pastor

I don’t talk much here about The Man’s job because it’s his job and well, you know. That also means I don’t talk much about our church here because church is The Man’s job. But today, I’m talking about both.

Our church values students. I love that there are over 200 of them going on a 10 day service trip in June along with 50 volunteer staff. There was a line of adults who wanted to go on this trip because of how much they love these teenagers. I love that these students serve on Sunday mornings by volunteering in the nursery, making the coffee in between services or running video cameras in big church.

Youth ministry is our job. But I can’t imagine doing anything else, even if it wasn’t.

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Want to know something I do not love? I do not love that every year, we have to say goodbye to a whole bunch of them. See those students there on that stage? They are some (yes, only some) of our seniors who will be graduating in the next few weeks. Leaving, moving on, growing up. Not only do I not love saying goodbye to them, I think I might hate it.

As our kids get a little older, it’s becoming easier for me to slowly ease back into the lives of these students. This class in particular. I can’t really think about them leaving without tearing up.

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So I don’t really think much about them leaving. Not yet. But that is the thing about youth ministry. They always grow up and move on. And then we get a new freshman class to keep for four more years.That’s the only good part.

What a blessing it is to know them. I can’t imagine being the parent of one of these graduates. I’m having a hard enough time sending the twins to kindergarten.

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I know this is entirely unrelated to this post, but scroll down to enter the I Heart Faces photo contest this week. The theme is “your best face photo ever” and you should all enter because it’s so fun!

i heart faces: week 19

Angie and Amy are hosting another fun contest this week at i heart faces. This time they are accepting entries of your best face photo evah to be considered for the Blurb Photo Book they are working on. Fun!

This photo is of my nephew and I have always loved it. The fact that he isn’t really smiling, the blue of the eyes, the curly eyebrows. Classic. It’s hard to say what someone else may think is my best photo ever, but this one is at the top of my favorites so I thought I’d give it a go.

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And you should, too! You have until Tuesday night to enter your face photo. Just be sure to click on the button below and read the guidelines.

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I am submitting this photo into the www.iheartfaces.com Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I heart Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I heart Faces web sites.

chatting about photos

Since I’ve been talking about taking photos of myself a lot lately, I’ve had photos on the brain. Here are some of my favorite photo-type posts from blogs in my reader this week.
beyond the sea
Beth shares some simple fixes for bringing pop to your photos in About Editing @ I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Kelly posts a little montage of herself and her husband over the years in We’re Not Old, We’re Us @ Anah Na Uwr. Not a bad idea.

Susan writes a Silhouette Tutorial @ Short on Words. Her photos are simply beautiful.

That tutorial will come in handy for the I Heart Faces photo contest for silhouette photoraphy in 2 weeks. Will you have an entry ready? I will! Now go enjoy your weekend shooting into the sun.

and they’re always glad you came

My sister and I used to live half a block away from each other. Next month, it will be two years since they moved away. This time of year I get kind of nostalgic about it. Not to mention the fact that the Lost finale was last night so that just solidifies the season of goodbyes.

And my house is a mess. Used to, when my house was a mess and I needed a change of scenery, I would grab the kids and we would walk down the street and hang out with The Nester.

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Only she wasn’t The Nester back then. But she still nested. Her home is always so cozy and inviting. And she makes a great iced coffee.nester-desk

When you’re on the verge of losing your mommy mind, or your grown-up, work full-time mind,  or whatever kind of mind you might happen to have, there is something about having a place to go. Like Cheers except without the addictions.

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Something that seems so important and patient-testing when I am by myself turns comical and lighthearted when I’m with my sister. Everyone should have someone like that. And everyone should also have a jar of wooden eggs with a spoon in it. Don’t you just love her?

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She only lives a few hours away now, so I really can’t complain. Still, today I’ll have to settle for these photos I took at her house. It’s not as good as the real thing, but I’ll take it.

tuesdays unwrapped

On Mother’s Day, I had a small role in the service at our church. Because of that, they requested I send in a photo of our family.

Sue: Would you mind sending a photo of your family so we can show it during the service?

Me: Uhh…the whole family?

Sue: Yes, the whole family.

Me: You mean like, the kids and The Man and me?

Sue: Yes.

Me: So like, a photo with everyone in it? And me too? And The Man? And me?

Sue: *pause* *giggle* Yes. Everyone.

Me: slight panic. Sure. I’ll get right on that.

Because y’all? I have no recent family photos. As you know. So I had to grab a friend who was visiting to take a quick photo of the fam.

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photo by Alisa

There we are. The whole family. And me. So what am I unwrapping? Well, the fact that I have taken a small step toward following my own advice. I got in front of the camera rather than hide behind it. Because even though it was sort of required that I do it this time, next time I’ll do it for fun.

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What moments are you unwrapping on this Tuesday? Link up below so we can celebrate with you and maybe gain a little perspective in the midst of this busy time of year.

1. Include a story or a photo documenting your messy, lovely, unexpected gifts of the small and ordinary nature.

2. Link up below to the permalink of your Unwrapped post. To find out what yours is, simply click on the title of your post and grab the permalink from the address bar. If you do not use the permalink, your link will be deleted.

3. Link back here in your post so your peeps will know what it’s all about. Grab the pink button if you feel so inclined.

4. If you don’t have a blog, please feel free to unwrap your daily gift in the comments section!