Let’s be a bug on the wall and listen to the Ludvigson Lace Lady and the Ludvigson Lace Lady CEO at supper tonight…
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “She’s quite lively falling asleep, in her bed.”
Grandma LLL: “Yup. And in ours!”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “She was so curious about your little white porcelain balls on our brass headboard. The delicate pink and blue flowers attracted her attention.”
Grandma LLL: “She wanted to touch them. Over and over again.”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “Yes, instead of sleeping.”
Grandma LLL: “Ahh, but then she would crawl all over you, just like her daddy did at two years old.”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “But ‘Grandpa’ and ‘Grandma’ enjoyed her unrestfulness a bit more.”
Grandma LLL: “Oh yes. So sweet, she was. Love her so much.”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “A darling. Sensitive. Thoughtful. Even at such a tender age.”
Grandma LLL: “And pillows! Her love for pillows! She piles them high!”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: Pillows, pillows and more pillows!”
Grandma LLL: “Our little Princess and the Pea.”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “Princess Pea!”
Grandma LLL: “And so Princess Pea she will be!”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: And she was so attracted to your doilies!”
Grandma LLL: “Used one for a blankie, while we cuddled.”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “After all the boyhood in our home, I was immeasurably amazed!”
Grandma LLL: “Moves constantly, though!”
Grandpa LLL/CEO: “Our Princess Pea.”
Grandma Ludvigson Lace Lady and Grandpa CEO look forward to many miles of travel and FaceTime to continue building relationships with Princess Pea and her baby brother.
In the meantime, we will reminisce.
Grandma LLL: “And maybe plan a Princess and the Pea tea party!”
Life is Lovelier with Lace. . .
Oh, I know I am not the only Grandma that misses her grandchildren! But that doesn’t make the burden less burdensome. We just learn to bear it gracefully. Right?
And gracefully I intend to bear it! With the gracefulness of lace! On with the show! The show of LUDVIGSON LACE, that is! With all my additional time availed, I expect to have even more lace creations to share with you, in my Aftcra shop!
Ludvigson Lace Lady: “UPDATE: Drew and Josie are newlyweds, on their way to Alaska! ”
I guess there will be more to blog on this in the near future! In the mean time, the Ludvigson Lace Lady whirls the crochet hook all that much faster!
Ludvigson Lace Lady: “Too much excitement! Gotta handle it with my Lover’s Knot and my CloverField! So calming. Love that left-handed hook activity! Stay tuned in for more about Drew and Josie and LUDVIGSON LACE!”
“I’ll take the trash out,” can be routinely heard every morning as the goodbye and the kiss are issued, starting another day.
This would be Tim and me. Trash, for us today equals only one, maybe two, Walmart bags, collecting any throw out item in the whole of our dwelling.
“It’s rather fun to joke about it,” is really what we are saying. Our belongings have so dramatically shrunk in size, so as to fit in our miniature penthouse, more lovingly referred to as our Treehouse.
Historically speaking, we have done our share of collecting treasures…and trashing treasures! And, ooh… how the trashing hurts! How do you decide what to keep and what to donate to the thrift store? Quite a personal matter, to be sure!
Truly, what is trash to you, is treasure to someone else. And visa versa. Across the board. No second guessing.
So the event of our last move was a major emotional whip lash for Tim and me. Each item had to pass through two sets of hands with a ‘yeh‘ or a ‘ney.’ If we both said, ‘yeh,’ we could place it in the ‘yeh‘ pile. But when the ‘yeh‘ pile had grown too large, we had to both grit our teeth, shed a tear, and ‘ney‘ it.
The ‘ney‘ pile became carload after carload of thrift store donations! The carloads were so frequently presented to the thrift store staff that you might have heard me under my breath blurting out, “I’m sorry.” Followed by, “Oh, this is glass. You might have to handle this box with both hands.” Or “This is a very fine stemware collection…please handle with care!”
But I could only whisper those words through my teeth, because I have been a regular on the other side of the thrift store counter: a consumer. And I know how callous shoppers can become when combing through the goods.
So, when Tim and I managed to fit what we could into our Treehouse, we grievingly forfeited any forthcoming right to add anymore items. For true living room!
The Walmart trash bags was – and will be – removed gleefully by either occupants – Tim or me!
Because of this excruciating experience, I seem to have a heightened awareness of the personality of taste. Not everyone likes what I like! I do not like what everyone else likes! And what a colorful world we live in, as a result. Colorful in size, shapes, eras, hobbies, all displayed in our own (large or small) living quarters.
And the Ludvigson Lace Lady has enjoyed acquiescing with all the different styles and colors of lacey apparel and home decore. Yes, there is more than one way to create beauty!
But back to the trash issue:
Life is Lovelier With Lace…
The Ludvigson Lace Lady must remain firm on this one thing:
Lace is Beautiful. Always. New lace. Vintage lace. It is a treasure.
Lace has a place in this always changing world. Lace somehow magically makes the place it occupies a little more gentle. A little more softer. Hard reverts to soft. Anxiety to calm. Furrowed eyebrows to smiles. It just does. Period.
So, acquiesce with treasures. Or trash. Or visa versa. But join me with a complete, wholehearted agreement that lace… is always and forever, lovely.
Our move to Arkansas from Minnesota was initially defined as for change of occupation. Tim had resigned from over 10 years in Sears retail and I was working for an insurance company in downtown St. Paul.
The dual occupation we endeavored together at this point was with a ministry focus. We were excited to begin using our energies to encourage The Family. Marriages, specifically. Since only wedded five years at this point, we were great candidates for FamilyLife staff: we were still in the magical newlywed mode, but we were also aware of its feisty reality.
Even before the moving truck had been loaded in St. Paul and unloaded in Little Rock, Tim and I knew part of our southern adventure would be prolife involvement, in the name of Bethany Christian Services.
Our hearts had already been prepared for passionate involvement. The combination of the heartbreaking discovery of our infertility and a first-time comprehension of abortion defined, created an energy within us to do something. We did not know what that would be, but it would be something .
That something was first of all Bethany Christian Services (BCS) foster care. And soon after that, adoption.
BCS foster care and adoption process was a wonderful experience for Tim and me. We were privileged to work with the finest of social workers. As counselors to the infertile couples and the birthmoms, they brought comfort. As advocates for the the unborn, they were resolved to see the end of abortion.
Wading through paperwork was a necessary discomfort in the application process. But truly strengthened our resolve in the pursuit. For both foster care and adoption.
The foster care program for us meant caring for each newborn baby only until the adoption process was legally completed and the baby could be delivered into the arms of the adopting parents.
We were preparing to keep each baby in our home for an average of two weeks. “That is how long it usually takes,” our BCS social worker shared with us.
After we were approved, we began to create the baby room in our little apartment home, for each and every short term love affair with each and every sweet newborn foster baby assigned to us. In the end, we had all that any baby would need! Crib. Changing table. Rocking chair. Drawers full of newborn sleepers. Onesies. Clothes in hues of pink, blue, yellow, green, purple and all the colors of the rainbow.
Also, I found – in one volume book – a library of baby information! In this large resource we had all the answers for any question regarding our babies to come!
We were ready!
At first, there was no foster care needed. More waiting. Something Tim and I had already grown accustom to. Then, the phone rang! We were to receive our first baby! We were to go directly to the hospital, and bring her home.
“Bring an outfit. She will be in a hospital gown,” our social worker informed us.
She was so tiny. “5 1/2 pounds,” the hospital staff claimed, as they laid her in our arms.
Tim and I placed her in the car seat, and cautiously drove home. Her crib awaited her. Diapers galore. Drawers of clothes…
But the rocking chair was my favorite. I rocked her, and rocked her. And then I rocked her some more. Praying for her and singing to her as the rocking chair ruts grew deep into the carpet.
“Only temporarily in my arms, sweet baby. You will be with your Forever Family soon.” I lovingly reminded both her and me. “I will give you all of my Mommy’s love until then.” And then, I followed with a silent warning to myself, “Only two weeks, Debbie.”
Two weeks turned into more. “There was a legality. It will take a bit longer. Will you continue caring for her?”
“Oh, my! I get to hold you in my arms a little longer,” I silently whispered to her. I loved her. I prayed for her. And her Forever Family. “All is in God’s Sovereign hands.”
After many, many weeks and after all legal issues were ironed out, this precious foster baby’s Adoption Ceremony was held in the BCS office, a special adoption suite. We lovingly referred to this suite as the Adoption Hospital.
“No less joy-filled pain in delivery here, than the other hospital delivery room,” Tim and I decided.
The simultaneous joy and pain in this adoption hospital was not the usual physical pain of childbirth, followed by the joy of a baby’s cry of the first breath of life outside the womb.
But it was the emotional joy and pain, mixed into one pot, which ultimately brings to a baby a loving plan of life. Somehow the birth parent, the adoptive parent, the foster parent and the social workers have been straining through a kind of labor pain, to bring this life plan to birth. And this all happened in the adoption hospital.
Tim and I were happy for the adoptive couple. And sad for the baby’s difficult transition. But happy for the baby’s ultimate Forever Family. Happy for the BCS staff for the adoptive plan fulfilled. Sad for the same staff that walked through the grief with the birthmother. Sad for the grieving we were about to experience as long term foster parents.
All in all, how very helpful to observe all the love given for the sake of one baby. And we knew all this was soon to happen again to us. With one difference: we would be acting a different role. We would be the adoptive parents.
Yes, our own adoption file had recently been activated!
One question required in the adoption application process for Tim and me to answer was, “Would you want a girl or a boy?”
No hesitation in our response! After the agony of infertility. After comprehending the injustice of abortion, the answer was simply, “Either, and/or both!
With a smile under my breath, my unstated desire was twins. I had their names picked out. But how did we know what would be best for us? “That is something only God knows.” A learning curve learned through our infertily struggle.
We knew now that any life was perfect for us! Boy! Girl! Twin boys! Twin girls! Twin boy and girl! And beyond!
And so how blessed Tim and I were to receive our own adoption call only a few months after our foster baby and her adoptive parents had received theirs!
On that wonderful day, emotional overflow, once again! Of course, exceedingly happy for ourselves! But grieving for another. Our baby boy had also been in short term foster care , and as foster parents, we knew there would be a sense of loss for them.
Most certainly we knew of grieving loss felt by the precious birthmom. And my our hearts broke for her.
This scenerio has been played out in Tim’s and my life even three more times. Exuding joy beyond imagination. But also the grieving loss felt by their birthmoms. Grief and joy, simultaneously. Bittersweet. But good.
Good, because life is always good. It’s an easy choice, really. Life. It is good.
Now for the grand finale: “Boy or girl?” asked the Bethany staff each and every time. “Either, and/or both,” our answer each time remained.
Yes, God’s choice for Tim and me, “Boy!” “Boy!” “Boy!””Boy!”
A Male Delivery each time! And yours truly has been living as Queen, in a House of Males!
Life is Lovelier with Lace. . .
How do you exist in an all – male environment? For a time, I thought I should make myself fit more into their mold. Male stuff ruled! Even in decorating my livingroom!
But I began to rethink, “No! these young men need to see the girliness of life too!”
So, I brought out my lace… and made more!
With the loveliness of lace all around them, each one has proven to man-euver quite well!
It was midmorning. April, 1989. We were enjoying balmy spring day in Minnesota. I was inside, packing for a flight back to Arkansas.
What a delightful time we had had the past week reuniting with friends and family, while helping facilitate the FamilyLife Conference in Minneapolis.
What a joy it was to have our precious 14 month old son with us! Many were able to meet him for the first time. Grandma had made herself available to babysit in the hotel room while I assisted Tim in the FamilyLife bookstore.
After the conference, we headed north to Grandpa and Grandma’s for a short visit, before returning home. We had a wonderful time! But now the packing had to get done and the flight time was on our minds. “Don’t want to miss the fight, you know!”
Grandpa was prepping the car for the trip to the airport. It would take the same amount of time to drive to the airport as to fly from Minneapolis to Little Rock. “Good time for a quick nap,” thought Tim, from the left side of the back seat, after luggage, baby and wife were all settled in the car.
Baby was in his carseat, brought from Arkansas, knowing enough car travel would merit its lugging along. The car seat was located on the right backseat of Grandpa’s car. And I sat in the middle.
So Tim rested his head on the left windowed door for a quick shut eye. I was attending to my wriggling little one. “He will soon settle down for a nap too,” I hoped.
Twenty minutes down the road. Just south of town. “Ready for the longer treck to the Cities now.” Tim is sleeping. Grandma took her seat belt off, “just for a minute – I must take my coat off; car is toasty warm now.”
“Good for her,” I thought. “I don’t even have my seat belt on. Not while riding center in the back seat!” It was a nice car, though. Brand new. Plymouth, Acclaim. Factory ordered, 1989. Blue. Mom’s and my favorite color. So happy for them.
Then, life went into slow motion for me as I watched my dad grip the steering wheel with both hands, pushing the brake seemingly through the floor and warning us, “Hold on!”
And just like that, it was over. We were sitting askew in the center of the highway. All was quiet in the car. All except my baby. I looked toward him, my right. There was a bit of blood coming out of his mouth. I could see, because he was crying. He was otherwise safely snug in his car seat.
I looked to my left. Tim was awake from that shut eye. Blood was everywhere. His head had hit the clothes hanger hook, above the left window.
My attention then turned to my mom and dad. They were both conscious. My mom had a huge goose-egg right above her right eye, which was swelling fast. Dad laid calmly behind the steering wheel. “There goes your new car, Audrey,” was the next words from his mouth.
Friendly help gathered outside the demolished vehicle, hoping to stop oncoming traffic. We waited for police and ambulance assistance.
Grateful we were alive. Grateful for baby carseats. Grateful for protection – even though Tim and I were not wearing seatbelts. We were all transported to the local hospital, for emergency care.
~A Left Turn~
It was a driver making a left turn onto the highway, blinded by a truck making a right turn off the highway, at the same intersection. And we were right behind that truck…
My dad had seen it coming, and tried as best he could to stop our vehicle. Dad had been taken by boarded stretcher. After examination, we were informed that if going any faster than we were at 40 mph, he would be quadriplegic.
My mom, because she had removed her seatbelt, ‘for just a minute’ had crashed the windshield, making a mess of her head and the windshield! Tim had stitches where the hanger hook hooked his forehead. Our baby had only just bit his tongue and was romping around wondering, ‘what in the world happened to the rest of us!’
Surprisingly, I walked away fromy the totaled vehicle with a small gash on my left leg. After examination, I was prescribed crutches.
Needless to say, we did not make our flight home. After mending at Grandma and Grandpa’s for a few days, we finally flew home, successfully.
In another month, everyone had seemingly mended. Or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me, I had injured my back.
Add another 3 months, back surgery was scheduled and completed. Slowly but surely I resumed to my job as ‘mommy’and ‘wife.’
Very grateful for the ability to walk again.
After decades of years, I still cry out with a thankful heart for the same.
The following June,1990, Tim and I went shopping for his Father’s Day gift. A Lazyboy recliner! Only when we arrived at the store, he insisted I was the one to try out all the many options, to find the most suitable, for him.
‘For Tim, or for me?’ He insisted it was for him.
But I am the one using it. I have enjoyed his Lazyboy every day since the day of that purchase. It has been the most satisfying therapy for my back than anything else.
Still he never claims it as his…♡
Life is Lovelier with Lace…
Tim’s blue Lazyboy is my crochet office. It is in this chair where I have found opportunity to rest my back and to crochet. And my Crochet Counselor, namely ♡ Jesus,♡ meets with me regularly in this place, offering me comfort – body, soul and spirit.