A Haines Home Companion: A Few Days Home


Today I’m at the beach, which I know is ridiculous. I bit off more than I could chew. My rambling ways have worn me out, and I’m fresh out of babysitter money. This run of travels has shown me how privileged I am, and it makes me question. There’s blessing in it, but also there’s a great deal of challenge – that if I don’t go home and concern myself with the dirt in my own backyard, I’ll lose perspective, an actual grip on reality. In the past two weeks, there’s been a conjuring of palpable hope, and now I’m ready to scrub a toilet or plant a tree or something. I’m excited for my field time.


I was home all of 5 days, and I have to record some of it here. It is all totally random, and the photo quality is poor. No one ever accused me of being a photographer.

Here’s a photo of Ian on the dresser, where he told me he needed to give me a talk. He made me sit in the floor and listen to a sermon that mostly comprised of house rules. I laughed at our hilarious natures.


At Target, Titus saw a turkey hat, fell in love, and so suckered me into buying it. He sleeps wearing it.


The Haines family is becoming a bicycle family, and it makes me feel like a girl, which gives me joy. Joy has much to do with abandon.


In our neighborhood, I can take the boys one-on-one around the block. There is metaphor in the blur.


We’re settled enough now in our new house to sit at the table together. There’s something like an anchor about it, the discipline to sit still, the conversation. Everything spills at our house, too – the words and the chocolate milk. I’m convinced that I will never be out of bootcamp. Notice the lightbulb out.

Also notice that I have metal chairs, just in case I ever need to take one out to the water hose.


Here’s another boy standing up to give a talk.


This is just Lucy wearing a birthday hat. (Also my babysitter, Abigail, who is the awesome.)


Now on to the truly important things. If you don’t know about Stitch Fix yet, let me tell you. You answer some questions and somebody magically picks out clothes that you love. You also get an envelope to return the ones you don’t want for free. You don’t pay for anything you don’t want to keep. I have loved everything they’ve mailed me, even the jeans. See a few of the shirts below.


Other enjoyable things:

She is Beautiful by Lore Ferguson

In the Stillness by Karen Yates

 In Which You Gather at the Homemade Alter by Sarah Bessey

Bob’s Stage Four Cancer Sale by Seth Haines, who is legit and also my husband

About me


Ann Kroeker
Reply September 28, 2013

You encourage me with this real-life window into your world, Amber. Your imperfection shines brighter than a Photoshopped dream life. Your lecturing boys (the "talks") and laughter say more than a thousand words.

Mine are all grown, pretty much (12 isn't really grown, but 12 is my youngest), so the household hilarity is different. Still, you make me want to capture it, one imperfect, blurry, smartphone snapshot at a time.

Love to you and yours. Enjoy the beach for me. Be filled with joy.

Reply September 28, 2013

I canNOT handle Titus in that turkey hat. Y'all are so beautiful and wonderful and I miss you like crazy.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply September 28, 2013

Well now. There's my Amber.

I can't believe you got preached to twice in your own home.

And that turkey hat. I am slain forever.

    Reply September 29, 2013

    Amber is lucky if she only gets preached to twice in her own house. Normally, Jude fireballs it like an old school Southern Baptist, which is crazy, because he's never been to an old school Southern Baptist church.

    Isaac just laughs. A lot.

Reply September 29, 2013

Nice camera, lady! Look at that cute little leather case. Sometimes it's the little details that make me so happy to do the everyday things...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *