This morning I got a tiny bit side-tracked.

I sat down with my cup of coffee before anyone was awake. And what do you know, but my computer was right at my fingertips. So I opened it. And I remembered something I needed to do. But, I opened iPhoto instead. I’m sure I had something of great purpose on my mind, but in true Motherhood-Induced ADD, I saw something that grabbed my attention. Then that thing led to something else – then to another something else – and before I realized it, I was lost on memory lane – completely oblivious to whatever task started the trek.

Oh – but it was such a sweet road to travel. I relished in

IMG_1061_2the silliness,


the stuffed animals,


the missing teeth,


more silliness even at special locations (outside the West Wing)


very special & fun friends


so much love


and smiles (well, smiles and a couple lame Halloween costumes!),


tender together,


and gum.


I smiled remembering the day when a little girl asked Santa for a violin (even though she didn’t play the violin) – and believed he was real when that toy instrument showed up on her bed (since somehow “Santa” forgot to put it by the fireplace where “he” normally puts  special presents.)


And family,







I was good at memorializing birthdays.


And I was surprised (grateful) to have been in more than one photo.


But more than anything, I was encouraged. Because during today’s stroll down memory lane, in the midst of all the photo clicks, was life … the good, the bad & the ugly.

Maybe a memory lane stroll is just the ticket to remind me:

  • of the good in the midst.
  • that we survived… that we more than survived even when it didn’t feel like it.
  • of all the smiles and laughter. Those moments were/are like medicated band-aids that healed the hurts below their surface. And the smiles more than dried any tears.
  • that friendships endure. In photo after photo, images of literal lifetime friends prove that relationships weather the storms … as long our priorities are in order. And just to clear any confusion, the priority is people.
  • of all the love and all the together – even though the togethers sometimes bickered and fought and maybe whined a teensy bit.
  • that my outward appearance wasn’t quite as questionable as what I thought in the moment. I look at pics and find it hard to believe I would have ever wasted a moment being less than satisfied. And I wonder … am I going to look back ten years from now and think the same thing? Then why not be satisfied today rather than waste time wanting.
  • to never, ever, never ever wish any moments away … NEVER, EVER, NEVER!

More than anything, these pictures gave me hope and perspective.

Looking at those photos, I could be tempted to think that everything was rosy. But those happy days had struggle, too. The truth is, I landed on one first-day-of-school pic that I had to skip because the memory of that year is still too painful. I don’t know if I’m harboring resentment, if I’m still angry, if the hurt needs more time to heal, if I’m forever in the faith part of that journey – putting my eggs in the “sure of what I hope for” and “certain of what I don’t see” category. Trusting that the Lord does as He says. Because I know from Scripture that God promises “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3, NIV)

Each and every captured moment – even (…ok, especially) the goofy selfies …


provide a glimpse that proves to me, smiling/good/GREAT exists in the midst.

And I can know with certainty that the same can be said for my today. A today that presents something different than lost teeth. A today that will involve college visits and driver’s licenses. A today, that may be filled with carefree laughter, or might threaten another beginning of a trial to end all trials. It won’t matter.

Tapping into perspective, in the form of that photo stroll down memory lane, reminds me that the worries and the cares that tempt to captivate my thoughts today aren’t worth much attention. Instead, here’s to living life to its fullest, focusing on the smiles and laughter in the midst … resting in faith.  And here’s to capturing pics along the way. Then, one day, maybe years from now, I will do the same photo stroll and be as grateful as I am today.

Thanks for walking the road with me.



The littlest guy on Day 1, hidden in the arms of a sister…


and today … on top of best friends – who happen to be family.

A reminder to savor, because time flies fast.

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