Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Could that title be any more dramatic? I just wanted to tell y'all that a friend told me this morning the new site does not automatically feed into google reader. Apparently, you have to add separately. I don't use reader, so I'm unsure how to direct you any farther...I do know there is a little icon that looks like sounds coming out of a megaphone in the top left corner of the new blog screen that has something to do with feedburner (apparently it's linked to google reader).

As long as I'm issuing warnings, let me give you something that really does require a warning...This Youtube video. I am usually the last to hear about these things, but if you haven't seen Antoine Dodson's reaction to his sister's near-rape experience, you should do yourself the favor of watching it {Not that rape is not extremely serious, and I wouldn't be thankful for a brother so willing to...defend me. It's just the way he goes about it...oh my}:

And then, really reward yourself with a good laugh by watching this remix:

So hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife, and hide yo' husbands, causetheyrapin'ereybody out here. And then update your google reader :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big Announcement and A Giveaway

Well, I have some big news... ... ...I have a new website!!!

Everything from this blog has a new home there:

We could only leave poor Mary Aplin out of the url for so long :) I explain the title on the About page, here.

I can't wait for you to see! And you better run on over and check it out, because I'm doing a giveaway to celebrate the big news.

I've loved this little space, but I hope you'll all follow me over to the new one. I told Kendall today I wasn't sad about it...but now I kinda am.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trip to Dothan

The girls were absolute angels for their first airplane trip. I felt like they were old pros.

And besides the fact that I got "felt up" by airport security (Have any of y'all had that happen?! I've heard the jokes but I was not prepared for the, um, intensity and thoroughness. I could not stop laughing the whole time. I was totally inappropriate.) for the sippy cup in my carry-on, the whole experience was uneventful...even fun.

This little baby was marvelous. Thank you for your prayers. I feel sort of ridiculous now about how anxious I was.

It's hard to describe how wonderful it felt to be. home. I stopped in for a visit with my friends in our old neighborhood. I love when familiarity rolls over you like it never skipped a breath.


On our way out of town, Bryan asked us to drop by his studio for him to try out some new lights he'd gotten for taking natural-looking photographs (It was way more technical than that, but that's the gist of what I came away with). We looked a bit bedraggled after a hard day of playing, but I never miss an opportunity to be a part of a A Bryan Photo. He is so awesome. You can see a few of his shots of the girls here. Thank you Bryan! It was a blast and an honor, as always.

Then, we headed down to Dothan. All my sisters came home for the weekend, along with their husbands/boyfriend. This was the first time in a really, really long time, that we've all been under one roof... It felt bizarrely wonderful and normal. Although normal is not what comes to mind here:
Watson was leading everybody in a football workout in the front yard.

I smiled when I saw this rolling by the house. Not something I've seen a whole lot of in Seattle :)

Kendall tried to drop a subtle hint or two to the only remaining "boyfriend" in the group.

I'm not sure he took it quite the way she wanted him to ;)

Sometimes my camera gets hi-jinked. I'm not sure what Taylor was trying to capture here, but I know what it captured for me, "Oh my! Look, there are boys in the backyard with Dad!" It still feels surreal to see the men we all hoped would come one day, be real in this day.

I spent much of the time doing this:
On the phone with Jeremiah, the only one missing to make the joy complete, trying to describe all the houses I'd been seeing.

On Saturday, Dr. Maddox invited our whole big Clark family crew to come out to the farm for a horse drawn wagon ride through the woods.

And they weren't just any horses. Meet Heidi and Maggie:

Two of the cutest Clydesdale horses you'll ever meet.


They're both rescue horses.

And my girls couldn't resist a little time on their backs, despite the availability of a perfectly good wagon.

'Ol girls had quite a heavy load to carry. This isn't even everybody. A total of TEN adults and two chicken wings. Keke baby, we're not in New York.

These guys were staying far away from us. Who could blame them? I wouldn't have wanted to be strapped to our raucous party either.

Dapples and Popon "hemmed and hawwed" us together for a bit.


There was something magnificent about seeing these girls work their way through rough cut wooded trails. They seem like they should be clipping across pavement through a parade. Instead, it felt like we were using them in the way they were made to be used.

Until we wore them out, utterly and completely.

And hopped out and walked for a while to give them a much needed break.

Sashey met us after the ride, so we could meet Coco...

...her new friend who she's trying to train to barrel race.

On their first ride, Coco apparently stopped to try and drink water off the top of the barrel. She's come a long way!

We also celebrated my Dad's 53rd birthday!!!

My Dad with his brother, Uncle Alan. Does anybody else see George W?

We had a huge crowd of extended family, and my Aunt Sheila prepared a Mexican fiesta to satisfy my Mexican-loving heart. Unfortunately, I blanked out on taking pictures. Thankfully, Caroline snapped a few for us.

Grandma and Grandpa made their famous homemade icecream.
I looked at a lot of really wonderful potential homes while we were in Dothan. I'm still excited about what God's going to do...but He hasn't done it yet. I thought He was gonna, but apparently he didn't get my memo with the schedule ;)

This was my lap on the plane ride home. We're all feeling pretty drained, but thankful for sweet family, friends, and home.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Can't Seem To Resist

If this is your first year on this blog, you may not know that Valentine's Day is my thing. Truly, in a bit of a psycho-pathic way, I love the heck out of Valentine's Day. I explain how it is that I hate hearts and candy but love V-day, here.

Last year, I loved a lot of people who had loved us throughout the years, in a bread and butter kind of way. The year before, you can see a little bit more of my manic-ness, through all the preparation here and execution here.

I still have on this V-day sweater today, as I did three years ago. It's been part of my V-day uniform for the past five years.

And if you want me to go back farther--old school, we can sometime, over a cup of tea. I bet I could make you laugh pretty hard. Especially if I told stories with Jeremiah sitting beside me, reliving the embarrassment. It's not that I like to embarrass him (which is what it sort of looks like from the outside), it's an issue I have with big love statements...and wanting to make them. I have never had one of those scenes in the airport. You know the slow-motion-run into a kiss so big you don't care who's looking you just drop your bags and make out right there. But I feel like every Valentine's day, I let myself get wound up into wanting to create one of those type moments. I can't help myself. The first one, I attempted in an actual airport. It didn't go so well. I actually posted it-comment form-on someone else's blog recently. If you want to relive my embarrassment, you can, here (I'm the 9th comment down).

So this year, I determined to NOT cave to all the hype. We are flying out in the morning and I could use some Prozac to calm my frazzled nerves. The girls have never flown before, and I'm doing it by myself. Some of our flights have only two seats on each side of the plane...who would you leave by themselves? I'll let you know how THAT goes.

Even with the anxiety, I just could not let the day go without a little V-day ghost action. Especially after Pace said, "Mom, why am I going to school? Valentine's day is about doing things for people you love with your family." That's her Momma's girl. I couldn't disappoint that heritage I've been instilling all these years :) So, I made a simple chocolate brownie cake:


Picked up a CD I thought my Valentine would like and wrote a note (that I hoped would make him blush ;)) in a big red card. Then, we headed to his office--where he'd forbidden us to come. Pace got nervous once we got inside (and I did too). Have you walked through a busy trauma center carrying a heart-shaped cake, and dressed in various shades of pink and red lately? It can be a little unnerving. Pace asked if she could stand outside the office while I took it in. I knelt down to my ghost-in-training and said, "Baby, Valentine's Day is all about making a fool of yourself for the one you love. Be brave!" We did it, and he was sweet and thankful. You'll have to forgive me though...I couldn't add the whopping camera to the embarrassment. I did take a shot in the parking deck:


We got home to find that Daddy had sent us some surprises too:


That man knows me a little too well.
I may or may not be currently eating some of each type...How was I supposed to choose?! Evil gift!

Mrs. Konie and Papa had sent a whole big box of goodies that the girls tore into!!



Hopefully, tonight, I'll be dancing off at least one of the aforementioned cupcakes :) Jeremiah and I have a date, and it's of a very different type. I'd tell you more, but it's a surprise for somebody else who might check this. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures to share later.

Happy V-day!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Soaking It Up

We are soaking. it. up. over here.


What? You may wonder. Or why is my child wallering on the concrete with her feet stretched up in the air? Just trying to take in every last drop of this that we can:


We have had three gorgeous days in a row. And not Jeremiah-kind-of-beautiful days, but REAL blue skies and sunshine.

I can hardly get myself out of a window, even when I'm inside.


I realized how hungry I was for sunlight and blue skies on Monday morning when I was describing an Alabama fall day in my book.

Milton was in the raging height of her fall season, with skies the color of blue flame and as painstakingly bright. Alabama springs are smug in their warm sweetness and demure flowers, but fall brought a beauty that was as sharp as her crisp leaves and nipping winds.

I must of sat there for a solid five minutes trying to think of just the right word to describe the color of the blue skies painted in my memory. I wrote and erased several different phrases, trying to taste the blue of our Southern skies. I had begun to wonder if the blue of the sky really existed or if it was all in my imagination. The next day, I was reminded that they not only exist, they even exist in Seattle.


I wanted to take a break from playing building blocks on the porch with the girls to thank y'all for your prayers. We haven't left town for Dothan yet, but God has already answered your prayers for wisdom for an amazing and vivid way. I'm not ready to tell the story yet, partly because it's not over, but I believe I will be back eventually with a story that will speak of His provision.


God is good, and so is sunshine! We're basking in it all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Book and a Song

My reading has fallen almost to non-existence since we've been in Seattle. My quiet moments (few as they always seem) have been devoted to writing away at my little book or embroidering. The past three days, however, I went on a thrilling reading adventure. It much revitalized a heart in need of being swirled in the delicious whirlwind which only a good book can bring. This is the book: When Knighthood Was in Flower by Edwin Caskoden (pseudonym for Charles Major)


My friend Lanier put me onto it here, and I've learned to trust whatever books she recommends. If you want to read more about it, you should follow Lanier's link. I call this type of writing high Victorian--full of (hard-to-believe but wonderfully refreshing) virtue and (over-the top but oh how it will make your heart swell) love. If you like Augusta Evans, I feel very safe recommending this one to you. If you tend towards the might not like it so well.

This is my favorite quote from the book:

I do not mean that Mary was in love, but that she had met, and for the first time felt the touch, yes even the subtle, unconscious, dominating force so sweet to a woman, of the man she could love, and had known the rarest throb that pulses in that choicest of all God's perfect handiwork--a woman's heart--the throb that goes before--the John the Baptist, as it were, of coming love.

I love it partially because I know precisely what it means, having experienced it myself. When I first met Jeremiah I knew, I just knew, he was the one God had been protecting me for. I had never told a boy I loved him before Jeremiah, because I knew I was still waiting for something that had not been given to me yet. However, on a summer night in May, sitting on the tailgate of a white Dodge truck, with stars reflecting off the little pond we were pondering I heard the words, "I love you, and you don't have to say anything back, but I do." And finally, a heart who had been waiting for, what seemed like forever, could finally burst forth and answer back, "I love you, too."

He may have said the words first, but his heart was not the John the Baptist of the rest of our dating relationship. There was actually one point when I worked up the nerve to tell him, "I know you're the one, I've always known, and I'm just waiting for the time." I was answered by silence. "Do you not feel the same way?" And his answer, "I can't say that for sure." Oh there were some dark days on our road! But don't all good love stories suffer twists and turns and snags?

Before the days of iPods and iTunes--even before Napster!--Jeremiah used to call and leave songs on my voice mail. I would rush out to my car each day after school, to see what message he had left. The first song he left on my phone was John Denver's "I'd Rather be A Cowboy." When he started recording, the words were saying this:

We were just beginning it was such an easy way. Layin' back up in the mountains makin' songs for sunny days.

It was a perfect description of how this springtime beginning to our relationship felt, and if you could have seen me in my car as I listened to those words, you would have thought my face was going to break off if my smile grew any larger. However, if you know the song (you can listen here if you like) you know that it quickly makes a turn for the worse:

She got tired of pickin' daisies, and cookin' my meals for me. She can live the life she wants to, yeah, it's alright with me. I think I'd rather be a cowboy. I think I'd rather ride the reigns. I think I'd rather be cowboy, than to lay me down and love the lady's chains.

Now, as a man who loves music for music's sake, I now know he was just taken up by the song and wanted to share it with me. As a woman who listens to music for poetry's sake--searching for hidden meaning everywhere--I thought I was being broken up with over voicemail.

Anywho, we worked that one out, and that song has become one of our absolute favorites, partly because it expresses a deep desire that we've been fostering since those very first days together. The idea of wanting the freedom of fresh air and open spaces--

I'd rather live on the side of a mountain, than wander through canyons of concrete and steel. I'd rather laugh with the rain and sunshine, then lay down my sun down in some starry field...

And there have been moments, during all of this long medical training, when I've reminded him of those very words. When I've said, "I can't do this any more. I just want you. Can't we just go live in the woods somewhere. I'll learn how to garden, I swear!"

But now, we're almost through. Almost finished with the training, and we stand here still feeling a lot like those two kids who wanted nothing more than to disappear to a mountainside together,...but we also feel like two adults who have learned that we value and need community. We have signed a contract to move back to Dothan--I don't think I've told y'all that yet. We are so, so very excited to move back home, but are feeling really torn about where God wants us to put down our roots when we get there. I'm flying home with the girls next week to look at houses. Pray for me friends! It's such an exciting time in our lives, but pray for us if you will. That God will make it clear what His plan is because, ultimately--land or no land, community or countryside, we want desperately to be in His will.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Light Heart

After the last couple of blogs, I thought we might could all do with a happy one :)! Not that they haven't been happy...just maybe some light-hearted happiness. What could be more light-hearted than flying a kite...and eating chocolate?

This Sunday was a typical Seattle day:


I have laughed at Jeremiah, because he's started calling these days "beautiful." I hear him on the phone all the time saying, "Yeah, it's beautiful here today!" I look out the window, thinking maybe I missed something. When I question his truthfulness he says, "Baby, it's all relative." I guess he's right. Rain is not actually falling and for us, that's a beautiful thing.

So on this beautiful Sunday morning, while I was getting the girls dressed for church, Jeremiah packed us a picnic lunch and threw the kite that the girls got for Christmas into the back of his car. After the church service we went to Gasworks Park to have a picnic and fly a kite.



I'm really glad Jeremiah didn't tell us the plan, otherwise I would have taken play clothes for the girls and I wouldn't have gotten these shots of the adorable dresses that Moogie and Sashey gave them for Christmas. I love the bright colors of their dresses and the grass against the charcoal sky...That's one good thing about this weather.




(I think the dresses came from here, but my MIL got them at a little shop in Dothan, AL, and I didn't find them on the website, so I'm just not 100% sure.)

Some new, and already dear, friends of ours joined us. They have a little girl named Hannah.


Can you tell they're from the South too? Most people in Seattle don't dress their kids in cutesy dresses. You can pick us out pretty quick around here.



After the kite flying, we were all nearly frozen (I didn't know to bring play clothes OR jackets), so we went to a coffee shop to warm up. And then, we went to a chocolate factory just down the road. We'd heard about Theo, but never gotten to experience it for ourselves.

You can smell warm chocolate as you walk down the sidewalk. It's almost impossible not to go in.


And then, piles and piles and piles of free chocolate for the was like a dream.




Thanks for all your sweet comments on the last blog. I love y'all. Thanks for sharing in our lives and adding a beautiful richness. Happy week!