Friday, April 30, 2010


This is the post I was going to write on my birthday - which was April 1st, by the way. Now that we're all the way to April 30, the very last day of the month, maybe it's about time I actually follow through and finish this! :)

Birthdays are a good time for looking back and remembering. So I did. Every year, I click back in the blog to read about what was going on when I turned 31, and 32, and 33.

And then I found some old family pictures that I had gathered to use for a "siblings" scrapbook I was going to make ("was" being the operative word...I've since discovered that scrapbooking is not for me...for lots of reasons...but let me stay focused here and try to stick to this subject). :) I had such a happy childhood that I feel nothing but joy as I look through these and reminisce about days gone by.

I'm the youngest of my family. Here we are (in 1977?) at my paternal grandparents' house. I know this isn't a great picture as far as quality; but even still, when I see it and focus on my brother David (next in age to me), I think - as I often do - that Josiah and/or Tobin seem to favor him.

Another photo of all four siblings. I'm guessing I was 4 or 5 at the time? During the later years of my childhood, whenever I saw this picture, I always thought of my brother David's suit as being a "banana suit." I suppose it was stylish in its day. :)

Oops...I got this picture out of order. How old was I here? Two maybe? Or three? This was also taken at my paternal grandparents' house. The stool/chest right behind me had a lid that lifted to reveal toys inside. It was The Place to head to for fun when we visited my grandparents.

This is my kindergarten picture, a fact which delighted my little David to no end when he saw it earlier today. "You were in kindergarten?" he exclaimed. "How old were you?" "Five, just like you are," I told him. He was very impressed. :)

My mom sometimes volunteered at the private school we went to; that's why she got to be in this picture. It's also why she got to wear the same oh-so-cool uniform that the rest of us were wearing. Isn't my sister beautiful? Growing up, I always wanted to be as pretty as her, but I never was. She's 10 years older than me, which was a big enough age gap for plenty of hero worship to be generated in me. :)

This is when childhood pictures start to change from "cute" to "embarrassing." But hey, my self-esteem is secure, and I can laugh at myself...which is a good thing, because would you look at what we're wearing? :) At the time I thought this wide lace collar was so cool, and my brother's pink shirt, white tie, and white jacket? Beyond cool.

David and I in our outfits for our high school Touring Choir. The good thing I can truthfully say about that dress is that it didn't wrinkle when thrown into a suitcase and carted from state to state.

David and I on the day of his high school graduation - 1992. If I remember correctly, my dress was a Gunne Sax which - again - seemed the height of coolness to me.

David and I yet again, this time after my senior piano recital in college - March 1997.

Finally, to the day of my wedding. My sister did my hair and make-up on that day; her daughter Sheena was my junior bridesmaid (and in this picture, is watching her mama attentively).
Every once in a while, it's good to look through old pictures. If nothing else, it provides a good laugh...and maybe an extra dose of humility. :)

Besides a time for looking back, birthdays are also an excellent opportunity to look ahead, so I did some of that, too. I realized that when 2010 began, I never wrote about goals for this year, which is uncharacteristic of me. I like to make goals. Even the knowledge that I'll most likely not meet all (or most) of them doesn't discourage me too much. But somehow the beginning of this year came and went, and I never took the time to jot anything down. And then my birthday came and went, and I still didn't make the time for this. But now that I'm 34 and 1/12 (as Josiah would say in his exact way), I'll make the time.

Actually, all I have to do when listing my goals is link to this post. That pretty much sums it up! What I was hoping to accomplish at the beginning of 2009 is still true almost a year and a half later: nurture my relationships with God, Jeff, and my children; do a better job of being a homemaker; and reach out in friendship to those around me. Everything else I could say just seems to be the specifics that flesh out the general goals that I've had for years. Sure, there were a few focused thoughts I had at the beginning of the year: lose enough weight to be where I was before I got pregnant with Josiah, take a photography class this fall, host fellowship potlucks in our home monthly, etc. But overall, the goals I have for this phase of life flow smoothly from one year to the next without huge revolutionary adjustments to be made. For one reason, my most important "projects" are so long-term: raising children, for example, is not something to be put on my list for a year, then checked off at the end of it. Of course, for the rest of my life (and particularly for the next 18 or so years), I'll be striving to be a better mother. I don't have to make a New Years resolution to know that! :)

One thing I do know: I am so content in my life, and I realize that my big dreams in life have already come true. I'm living out my dream. This is it! This is what I dreamed of as a girl. To marry a wonderful man and build a deeply satisfying relationship with him? Check! To have children and be a stay-at-home mom? Check! To follow God all the days of my life? Check!

It's not as if there's nothing else in life I'd like to do because there certainly is. But the big stuff is covered. I don't know how I would handle it if I felt like I was stuck in a position where none of my dreams were coming true and I was wasting my time. That would be so difficult, I'm sure. For me, even on days when I feel overwhelmed and I wish that I never had to clean poop out of the bathtub and I'm tired of the monotony of my life, I still have the certainty that this is what God has called me to do.

This is my dream coming true.


Teresa said...

Davene, I really enjoyed your blog this evening. You know that I don't often post comments on your blog, but I read it every day. I am so proud and humbled to have had you in my life as a spiritual leader and great friend. I brag on you often to co-workers and friends as a genuine woman of God and outstanding mother and wife. By the way, I really see Josiah in those earlier pictures of your brother David. Josiah will always be so special to me and the only one of your sons that I've met in person (but that will change). Your blog allows many of us who cherish you to get to know your other three wonderful sons. David reminds me of my own brother Phillip. Tobin is so much a genuine sweety (the other day I saw a street named Tobin in Fairfax, Virginia), and Shav to me has your shining smile. Always know that you are all welcome to stay at my home if you want to visit Northern Virginia/Metro DC.


Sally said...

This is such a good post. You do a wonderful job of bringing out the sunshine in life. I get so bogged down with some of the temporal stuff, some of the crosses I'm called to carry, that I lose sight of the big, wonderful dreams and goals that I am living out. Thanks for reminding me. And thanks for being humble enough to say you don't meet most of your goals, but that the ones that really matter, the life-long ones are being accomplished moment by moment. I could make a list as long as my arm of unmet goals.

I remember your family the most as the you all are in the picture with the "banana suit".

BTW, I finished the "Siblings Without Rivalry" book a week or so ago. I want to check with you to see what other books I might borrow to read next. I really loved that book! It gave me helpful insights on dealing with sibling conflicts.

Leah said...

This was such a nice post, Davene. I really would like to realize one day that I'm living my dream!

And, if the pictures are any indication, I think that both you and your sister were pretty young ladies. :-)

Sally said...

I LOVE the new look of your blog!

Morning said...

What a lovely post! I love your thoughts and reminisces -- and your new header is wonderful! What a dear little girl -- and lovely woman -- you were/are. And how nice to say that you're just at the place you want to be right now -- it's such a lovely feeling to be content.

Anonymous said...

I remember being little and goign along to Trinity with Gail, Sally & Rachel (although I never was a student I was there alot with Mom) and wishing I could be a beautiful as Donna when I "got big"!
I love your new blog look!!

Heather Baker said...

Ah, those touring choir dresses...Oh, the memories!

Margie said...

You made me do a little reminiscing, too. At 34, I was dating Wayne and was nearly 35 when we married. So you could say that my dreams were deferred for years, although I hadn't really thought about it except with a vague awareness that life settled into what I had always hoped it would be after I married and had kids. But I enjoyed this post as you reflected on your happy childhood and laughed out loud at the words "Gunne Sax." That was the height of fashion, wasn't it? I, too, had a GS dress, and felt marvelously "together" when I wore it.