A Haines Home Companion: holding together

I bought an entire box of drink parasols in lieu of going to the beach with my (in)courage girlfriends. I bought them to be funny and write a blog post that says something like, “yeah sure! I could be at the beach with Ann and Robin and Emily and Sarah and all these girls, but I’m so glad I’m home instead.” I took photos of what I was doing instead, planning homeschool and eating caramel apples. But you wouldn’t buy that, would you? Writing in a planner just doesn’t compare with sitting on the beach with a Gypsy Mama.

I’ve only cried once. The chance to be with girlfriends can be so life-giving, so I guess I cried because of that (and hormones) – though the truth is that I stayed home for obvious, perfectly wonderful reasons.

Travel can’t win in certain stages of life. Conferences and long-distance family, none of that changes that it’s wiser for me to stay home. If you were ever unable to make it to a conference or a girl’s trip, you understand.

Have you heard yet about (in)RL? It’s the perfect chance to meet up with soul-sisters, so I’m really looking forward to that. Sometimes the gathering just needs to be in your hometown, huh? Seriously, check it.


I really am glad to be home. I get to be with these guys, and in this phase after baby, when I teeter on the blue, I feel everything so passionately. I feel in love with my brown-eyed boys, constantly throw worry for them into the deep. The two middles went to preschool this week, and Isaac and I got to spend alone time together, taking care of Titus, eating cinnamon rolls,reading a fictional account of WWII, and walking through the market. He asks me about Heaven and hypothesizes that he can make fireworks from pepper and sand. He cries when a creature loses a wing.

This has been my easiest transition. The church has provided meals for me these five weeks of having four children. It’s unbelievable. Next week will be my first week to make most all our meals and to start schooling Isaac again.

Titus’s heart hole has triggered many prayers on our behalf, and we’ve needed it, and we’ve felt it.

We hit a phase where many around us are falling apart. We hear words that scare us, make us hold each other, say you are rare. You, in marriage, are precious and fragile. We are no better. Who are we? All messy, all sloppy story interweaving. We walk, bare feet, holding Gospel to our ears as from a seashell, in our hands like a whisper, a weight to help balance. Marriage can feel like a graceful tightrope.

Even coffee together in the morning can be a seal over us, skin to skin at night, a laugh together – not just a smirk, but peeled open laughter, whatever turns us inside out.

Today Seth has written about our love in order to bunk a myth we’ve heard too many times. He can never say that he never loved me.