By Gabrielle. Photo by Katrina Davis.

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? It’s been another odd one here. Ben Blair left to Utah on Tuesday morning. His return flight was originally scheduled last night, but we decided to extend his visit until Sunday night, as all his siblings gather to spend time with their mother. Julia is still in the ICU. There have been some big improvements to her health this week, but she continues to be in great pain and death is on her mind. The whole family is praying and hoping hard for recovery, while trying to process the idea that it might not come.

And while I get updates on my dear mother-in-law, I’m trying to do the usual parenting stuff — get the kids ready for school pictures, finish their Halloween costumes, pick up dinner ingredients, and get everyone home on time for piano lessons. I’ve said it before, but it’s such an odd thing, living a life in the middle of young growing children and critically ill parents.

I was talking with Laura Mayes about it today, and she mentioned she’d read somewhere that this phenomenon is fairly new and unique to Generation X. Apparently, preceding generations mostly had their kids in their mid-20s, and their parents didn’t reach the “elderly” stage until their own kids were out of the house. But these days, parents are older, and grandparents are older, so you end up with families like ours — Ben Blair was born when his mom was in her early 40’s, and our youngest child was born when I was 35, which means we have both a kindergartener and a set of parents in their 80s. It’s not a complaint at all, more of an observation and odd sensation. I’m betting many of you can relate!

Mostly, I’m finding lots of reasons to feel gratitude this week. I’m thankful that Ben can be with his siblings and parents this week. I’m thankful for my kids who know it’s challenging when I’m flying solo, and step up to be even more helpful than usual — things like all hands on deck for dinner prep, zero commentary on what they would have rather had in their lunches, and helping Oscar practice his speech for student council. I’m thankful that I found a perfect dress for Betty’s Pippi Longstocking costume on my first visit to Goodwill. And I’m thankful for the sweet emails and phone calls checking up on me and the family. Big hugs to everyone!

I’ve got to head back to the sewing machine now and try to finish the costumes up before the kids get home from school, but before I go, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

– Is abuse killing Twitter?

– Also on Twitter, @manwhohasitall. I shared this on Facebook last week, but it’s still making me laugh super hard.

– This interactive portrait of what’s happening at Homan Square has my mind exploding.

– Before Google, there were librarians.

– Oslo is going to ban cars. If you could pick one U.S. city to become a no-car zone, what would it be?

– Yes! British library offers over a million free vintage images for download.

– An interesting essay by a doctor about the breakdown of systems within American healthcare. He says, “Yet if this is how much trouble I have navigating a simple refilling of my medication, I don’t know how the rest of America does it, especially those with much more complicated issues than mine.”

– An ode to dressing comfortably.

– Mom’s thing. Hah!

The Lonely Death of George Bell. Really good article. No call to action, just a solid, thoughtful read.

– A cute doll makeover I haven’t seen before.

– A whole town celebrates Christmas in October for a terminally ill boy.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


P.S. — I miss Ben Blair like crazy. He is truly my partner in pretty much everything, and when he’s gone, his absence is felt in a BIG way. I love the photo of us at top. : )