1–10 of 14 entries in the category: Blessings

All the Goodness of This Year

December 22nd

Mexico City trip

This time of year, I like to look back and think about all of the wonderful days that we celebrated in some way. There was the trip to Mexico City, which remains one of my favorites of all time. Jason and I loved the culture, walking the city, the food, and definitely the art. Mexico City knows public art. It’s the first place I’ve visited that I loved so much, I’d prefer to go back in lieu of a new destination.

Mexico City trip

There is so much good food. And so much excellent public art.

After the earthquake, our friends from the DF rushed back to help friends and family. It was uncovered, unsurprisingly, that many of the buildings that fell around the city did so because the building codes had been ignored, inspectors paid off. It was also shown, equally unsurprisingly, that the Mexican people flooded the city with offers of assistance. They had to turn volunteers away, so many came to help their fellow countrymen in need.

Mexico City trip

Mexico City trip

Mexico City tripMexico City trip

Have I mentioned how much I love this country?

Yes, there was the slight blip of us wandering into a tequila bar near the Condessa neighborhood only to realize two steps inside that we were actually in a narcos bar and very, very much out of place. But hey, a quick shot of tequila before any other shots could be taken and we were back out on the streets with a great story in our pocket to elaborate and share with friends back home.

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

Also this year, my husband and I both changed jobs. I’m in the same field, and he’s returning to something he loves. We bought an all-electric car and expanded the garden to grow more of our own food. We hiked the Grand Canyon. We enjoyed our first full year of marriage, much of which we spent arm-in-arm happily arguing over who has the best burrito in town.

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

For media, a few things to share that I absolutely fell over myself loving:

  1. Novels by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson. His stuff is so weirdly creative, it is a true pleasure to read.
  2. The Crown, season 2, and what it is teaching me about the royal family and 1900s history.
  3. Til the Well Runs Dry, a novel by Lauren Francis-Sharma. I’ve thought about this book several times this year. The characters and the plight of immigrants stick with you.
  4. Africa Solo, which is my favorite non-fiction of the year —namely because I always want to be on the road seeing new places and Africa has my heart. I enjoyed traveling alongside this author.

Let us also remember this year, 2017, as the one where Robert Mugabe was removed from power. I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the day. I hopeful the people of Zimbabwe will find true leadership and inspire the people of Cameroon to boot Paul Biya next.

Wishes for 2018 include more travel, democracy, compassion, and peace around the world.

xo,

K

Posted in
Blessings, Celebrate!, Family
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Let Me Count The Ways

November 29th

Baby Quilt for Nonnie

Some family friends recently opened their home to a foster baby, just a few days old. They have welcomed this child into their family fully — loving her with all their hearts. I made this baby quilt for that child, whose future custody is uncertain but may she always know she was loved. By many. By those who haven’t even met her.

Baby Quilt for Nonnie

Baby Quilt for Nonnie

Nonnie, your future is bright!

xo,

Auntie Kelli

Posted in
Blessings, Colorado, Domestic Art, handmade
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Get Away

July 21st

This weekend, we got away for a quick break north to Prescott — where it was mercifully a good 20 degrees cooler.

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Prescott trip!

Three cheers to: excellent coffee and breakfast burritos at The Raven Cafe; fun thrift, the courthouse weekend art show, great people watching, time away alone with the man I love, and did I already mention the cooler weather?

Yes. Sweet Mary and Moses, I cannot wait for another break. I’m melting this summer.

Thank you, Prescott! We’ll be back soon.

xo,

K

Posted in
Arizona, Blessings
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Papi

June 13th

Dad

This is my dad, Rex.

He is my hero, and my brother’s hero. He is my mother’s best friend. He is kind to animals and strangers and loves nothing more at this point in life than playing in his men’s club at the golf course with a bunch of guys who have 20 years on him. Or hunting with his son and brothers.

He also likes to talk about the weather, water the lawn while sipping a beer, or and chase those noisy raccoon out of the church attic; those golf geezers might be wearing off a bit.

This week a DJ was asking radio callers, “What is the one skill you use most that your father taught you?”

Immediately, I knew. Kindness.

Sure, he taught me to ride a bike, throw a ball, take care of a car, stick with goals, and a handful of other skills. But sincerely, he (and my mom) taught us kindness. I vividly remember him telling us when we started elementary school that our jobs as Donleys were to find the kids on the playground no one else wanted to play with, and to be their friends and protectors. No matter what, we were to be kind to everyone.

Granted, I still fail at this — but I remember the pep talk when I’m walking into difficult conversations at work, or dealing with the exhausted and rude postal service clerk. Kindness goes a long way. And my father is one of the most generous, kindest people you’ll ever meet. As a result, my life is rich with friends far and wide, interesting people I know in person and from this blog. I’m really lucky to have had the examples in my parents that being kind and creating friendships makes life much sweeter.

Thank you, Papi. You really are the very best dad in the entire world, and you are beloved.

xo,

K

 

Posted in
Blessings
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Baby Kimono Wrap Sweater

February 2nd

Robyn and I don’t really know each other. But we have long read each other’s blogs and supported each other. Well, really she has supported me. She and her community of knitting friends regularly pitch in for my variety of projects. Boxes of hats, scarves and other hand knits have arrived from around the country for homeless vets, for example. Her generosity knows no bounds.

Baby kimono wrap: finished

She is expecting a little girl soon. Her first! I thought it would be nice to send some non-pink or purple love her way to celebrate the addition to their family.

Baby kimono wrap: finished

 

Pattern: Kimono Wrap in Mason Dixon Knitting

Yarn: Peaches and Cream cotton

Time: This knit up within a couple weeks. It took far longer to decide what to do about the closure. With the move, my sewing supplies are packed (and machine is in the shop) so when Sue suggested braided ties, I jumped on the idea. I love the colors of this yarn; they remind me of the sea.

Baby kimono wrap: finished

Next up: ball band cotton dish cloths — a pattern from the same book. I have a lot of small bits of cotton yarn remaining from a variety of projects I’d like to clean up, and a few friends moving and settling into new houses. Perfect fit.

~K

Posted in
Blessings, Community, Domestic Art, Earth Mama
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Thanksgiving!

November 28th

Autumnal Walk with Nelson

Where ever you may be in this world — may today be one of great company, food and laughter.

And now, I’m off to pour myself a glass of champagne, find a clean apron, and pull out the board games.

xo,

Kelli + the gang

Posted in
Blessings, Celebrate!
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Sisters In Spirit: Gratitude

November 27th

Sisters in Spirit is a series of essays by a group of women who felt a spiritual perspective lacking from the steady stream of daily news.  They each agreed to carve space monthly on their blogs for a spiritual conversation.  The topic this month is … wait for it … gratitude.

Mom + Dad

I know! Gratitude. Before you jump away, your eyes rolled so far back into your “If I read ONE more ‘thankfulness’ post this month I’m going to shave off every Movember mustache and shove them into the turkey” head — this is a little different.

I’m not going to get overly sentimental and gushy; I’m going to give it to you straight, Internets.

The older I get, the more I realize 99% of my success and survival has been thanks to my parents. My folks, who met as teenagers and somehow, by the grace of God, have made it work for nearly 4 decades. I find myself in situations daily where I am using lessons they taught me. And not just, say, washing my hands after using the restroom. More like, speaking up for my views even though I’m the youngest in the room AND being ready to listen to the advice and wisdom of others present.

There wasn’t a day of my childhood when I didn’t hear, “You can do anything you want. You can be whatever you want to be. The sky is the limit.”

Mama y Papa

I thought all kids were so lucky.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my parents Rex and Karel. They are two of the kindest and most generous people in the world. Thanks Mom and Dad for not only loving us knuckleheads, but for also loving each other. You’ve set the bar high, and my family is my greatest blessing.

{I’m I’m only a little weepy that we aren’t all together for the holidays.}

P.S. Love you too, Codeman.

Cody + Raj

I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting other perspectives on Christianity with my other Sisters in Spirit. Become part of the conversation:

 Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to two boys, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife.  (She does not play the organ.)  She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice.  Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler.  Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net

Bianca is a Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband welcomed their first child in the fall of 2012. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs & her son, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com

Rhonda is an attorney and native of Missouri.  She is known for being overly-emotionally invested in her three, elderly dogs and dabbling in a ridiculous amount of hobbies, including sewing, music, and writing, while mastering none.  She was baptized in her late twenties and is amazed and grateful that Jesus continues to put up with her.  She blogs atbigsnafu.com

Posted in
Blessings, Faith
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St. Francis

October 13th

This week my mom was in town to help take care of family after Wenard’s passing. Coincidentally, she brought her new dog with her — Dixie, and our church was having a blessing of animals to honor St. Francis.

I got my crazy love for animals from my mother, who needed a light-hearted break this week during the otherwise stressful visit. So, we drove over one early evening to join a handful of other folks with their dogs and cats on the church lawn. The reverend was ready with holy water, a Bible and sermon, and poop bags.

The blessing of the animals

The blessing of the animals

The blessing of the animals

The blessing of the animals

The blessing of the animals

 

I’m not sure Nelson could look more guilty or uncomfortable in this photo, which cracks me up. Little devil.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Blessings, Faith
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Thank you

October 9th

I snapped a few photos this week to remind me of Wenard:

Wenard

Wenard

Wenard

Wenard

JB was their beloved pound puppy who died last year. SB is by gram. LC was Wenard. T is their last initial. This is the step into his workshop. 

Thank you all for your kind words and messages. We were very, very lucky to have Wenard in our lives for 25-plus years. Several other friends have lost grandparents this week; it seems this is the season of life for many of us. How blessed we are to have had these elders for so much time!

WIth love,

Kelli

 

Posted in
Blessings
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The Birds Sing

October 7th

Ivy climbing up a tree

A week ago, my grandmother’s husband and sweetheart of more than 25 years died unexpectedly. Leonard was a carpenter. He was also a southerner, a pipe smoker, a father, grandfather, sibling and former preacher. He fell in love with my grandmother like a teenage boy, even though he was well into his 50s when she knocked his world off kilter.

He loved her. Loved her, loved her.

I remember one of their first Christmas’ together, he surprised her with a Gucci watch she’d long wanted. We were all there when she opened the gift, quickly attaching the gold G around her wrist and beaming with pride. He’d purchased exactly what she wanted. It was the rare moment of emotion from my British granny — one etched on my teenage brain.

Looking back on that holiday, I can only imagine how annoying and complicated it was for this man to go to a department store to buy that silly watch. Leonard, or “Wenard” as my brother and I lovingly referred to him, was anything but fancy. His daily uniform was worn blue jeans, a white, front pocket Hanes t-shirt and a wide smile. He had a dusty workshop at their house, where he would escape for hours. (That shop produced my beloved hope chest, and our family dinner table, among other cherished gems.)  He loved both gardening and dogs. And he could talk about the Bible like he’d written it himself.

One summer day, my brother and I were at their house, nestled between a few remaining farms and encroaching stucco suburbia. He had just planted a sapling in the front yard, and asked us to help him with some yard work. He warned us to watch for that new baby tree as we mowed the yard.

Of course, perhaps foretelling my future driving abilities, I ran right over the sapling on accident. My brother and I both felt miserable. Wenard was nothing but sweet to us, and here I had done the one thing he’d asked me not to because I simply wasn’t paying attention. By grace or luck, the tree survived. During the next two decades, Wenard would point at the tree and laugh.

“Remember that day you mowed right over her?” He would smile and we would chuckle.

Wenard should have known better than to buy my first car. Charlotte the AMC Hornet was shiny and old and in the driveway on my 16th birthday, because he and my gram wanted me to have a car.

Last week, I drove quickly to that same house to find my grandmother, after hearing the Wenard had died of a heart attack. (Thankfully, it happened when he was doing carpentry outside of their home. My gram, who doesn’t think as clearly today as she once did, got the news from two police officers.) In shock, I drove from work, unsure of what to expect.

Painfully, it was my first visit to their home since returning to Arizona several months ago. I hadn’t seen Wenard in months. Powerful, ugly guilt made it suddenly hard to swallow. I thought of all the things I’d done instead of making that drive to spend time with them. Hiking. Movies. Dinner with friends. Sleeping in. There were too many excuses. Tears of shame fell as I drove. I cried for how sorry I was I hadn’t had one last Wenard hug, those always tinged with the scent of Old Spice and pipe smoke. I prayed for him to forgive me.

When I arrived at the house, I walked to the front door, passing the little tree that could. Today, it stands 20 feet tall, and that morning with my cheeks still wet, it was full of birds. There wasn’t another bird in another tree for a hundred miles. Wendard’s tree had them all. And they were singing.

That tree was more alive than I’d ever seen it, and in that moment full of grace and forgiveness that felt like a cool breeze, I knew.

He was okay.

He understood why I hadn’t visited.

Now, we had to care for my grandmother.

As he’d always promised her, he’d done his very best until his very last day.

We will miss you, Wenard. You were a great man, and your kindness will long live on. I love you very much. Thank you for being a wonderful grandfather!

~K

Posted in
Blessings
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