Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"I LOVE a Present"

Today is my Mom's fiftieth birthday. I know she is having a big party somewhere, I just wish it were here. That phrase, the title of this blog, was one of Mom's favorites. Her love language was gift giving, and she did LOVE a present. Big or small. Thoughtful or if it just "looked like her." It didn't matter as long as it was a surprise. While this may sound a little...greedy or something, the saving grace is that she enjoyed giving presents even more than she liked receiving them. She used to go Christmas shopping for her four girls with a TAPE measure. Can you imagine looking beside you in Banana Republic and seeing a little blond woman with a tape measure, stretching it across a pair of pants and eyeing every inch for possible defects? She didn't care if she looked nuts, it was a gift she was buying and she wanted it to fit perfectly.

Almost every time we saw her over the first two years of Pace's life, she had a gift for her. I can see her, standing at my door, her face in a big grin and her hands behind her back, gripping the surprise she was about to lay in my lap. She loved to see little Pace, wearing sweet outfits...that she knew I couldn't afford. She loved to see her playing with the toy she had labored over picking out. She just loved joy, and that was what gift giving brought her. Since she has been gone, I discovered a few gifts she had bought for Pace and stored away in a closet for the time when they would fit her. It has been a way I've kept her alive with Pace...pulling a gift from the closet and saying, "You know who got this for you?!!!" and then hearing her squeal, "Bebe!!" Or, as I dress Mary Aplin in all the sweet little dresses that used to be Pace's and saying, "Pace, Bebe bought this for you when you were a little baby, and look, now Mary Aplin gets to wear her love too."

The dress that Pace is wearing in these pictures is the last gift from the closet... She wore it to church on Sunday and then I let her wear it while we both cuddled up in my bed for her nap. As I lay there and felt her soft, warm body crumpled up next to mine, as I watched her rosebud lips pursed in slumber and heavy lashes laying on her cheek, as I looked at this little pink dress draping her now 3-year-old body, it made me hurt to think that Mom would never get to see what this present looked like on her little Pace. But, it gave me joy to think of her eyes and her hands, pouring over all the dresses in the store until she decided on this one and to imagine the warmth of her hands just having left the fabric. I felt a peace come over me that she can see how Pace has grown and how sweet she looks in her present.

Happy birthday Mom...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Saturday in Pictures

Since Jeremiah was on call/at the hospital all night last night...since he still wasn't coming home in the foreseeable future...I decided we girls needed to do something to make us feel like it was SATURDAY and not just another day of the week. So, I wore this (recognize it Mal? :))

And these (I would HIGHLY recommend you adding a pair of these Ugg bedroom slippers to your wish list this Christmas. John David's Mom gave us all--four sisters--a pair for Christmas last year and I have hardly taken them off these chilly months)
And loaded the girls up and headed here:

Oh how the sugar and coffee brought joy and energy to my morning! Then, I did the only thing one can do with two sugar-loaded, sticky children--I put them in here:

While they were playing happily in there, I did a little of this (can you tell I'm sitting on the commode...but don't worry the lid is down):

And my favorite verse was this: In case you couldn't read that, it's John 14:21 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

I was enjoying my little devotion so much that the girls soaked a little longer than normal--leaving twenty tiny fingers and twenty tiny toes looking a lot like this:

So, we dried off and dressed in some comfy, cozy outfits:

Because the rest of our Saturday held this--Christmas decorations (I know it's too early. I know you are supposed to wait until after Thanksgiving. But I know I'm about to go out of town and won't be back until after turkey day. And then there are blogs like this, from my friend Kellie, who have made me feel like I'm behind if it's the day after Halloween and I haven't even taken the first step to prepare for Christmas :))!!!! Are you all impressed by the sheer organization? Kellie, I know you're horrified and want to come over and help me make things right :)

Anyway, all those decorations had to be carried up from here--the scary crematorium (Our house used to burn coal before it had central heat and air, and this was the coal room. I lovingly named it the Crematorium long ago--feeling sure that people must have died in there since it is so frightful.)

And then all those decorations had to travel up these, by way of my sorry arms and legs:Jeremiah did manage to make it home sometime during that hub-bub, but he looked like this:

After spending all night in the OR fixing some crack-heads (literally) who were running from the cops and ended up having a head-on collision with them. SO all he wanted to do was get in here:

We let him. Lord knows he needed it, and we were having a pretty nice little Saturday all on our own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Little Walker

Well, Dapple Dapple took some steps over a month ago, but it has not been until the last week or so, that I would truly say she has started "walking." Here's a little video to prove it, and, as on all of these videos, please ignore my extremely high-pitched nasal voice...I don't THINK I sound like that in real life but maybe I do :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

It Keeps Getting Sweeter

We have been going to marriage counseling for about a year, and I LOVE it. Like, I scheduled a session on my birthday kind of love it. You are probably wondering why we started going, and what I said to myself (and anybody else who asked) was, "We have a good marriage, but I want to have a GREAT marriage. I just don't want to start out our marriage developing bad habits towards each other." That was most of the story, but the other part was that we fought and when we did it was vehemently. Jeremiah could (and still can) bring out an anger in me that is violent. Like, literally I have hit and scratched my husband in states of rage. Does anybody else have a picture in their mind of a cat, flying through the air, with its hair on end :)?

So, I was worried that marriage was turning me into a psychopath, and I wanted to find out why it was that this man I loved more than anybody else, could also send me into these flying rages. Hence you find us in front of Gordon. This man is so godly and so wise and just has the discernment of the Holy Spirit coming out of him all over the place. I don't think I've ever been to see him that he hasn't pulled out his Bible, because everything he teaches stems from the Word. He has taught me way more than one (or ten) posts could hold, but there are two main things that I would like to share. First being, that we are headed for beauty and not destruction in our marriage. I think that a lot of that anger I had was my old type-A personality trying to take control of our marriage--wrap my fingers around it and mold it into what I thought it was supposed to be. If I saw Jeremiah doing something, big or small, that I thought would develop over time into something horrible, I felt the need to hunker down and nip it in the bud. "Oh NO!, You think you can tell me you're going to exercise for 45 minutes and then come back 2 hours later? If I accept this now, just think, in a couple years you'll be working out for four hours--leaving me here by myself to cook dinner and manage both girls--and think of all the other areas you'll start taking advantage of me in if I let this one slip by!" You can see where that mind-set would be exhausting for both of us, and Jeremiah was beginning to think he'd married someone who was perpetually going to blow everything out of proportion. What Gordon has finally helped me understand is that, as Christians, we are becoming MORE like Christ as our walk continues--not LESS. Why then would Jeremiah, who I believe is seeking to be more like Christ, be treating me worse in the future than he does today?

The second lesson (and I don't think I am ever going to get around to what I actually planned to blog about this morning) is the "Tootsie Pop." I like illustrations. They stay in my mind a lot better than words, and when you're in the midst of a fight, you need something that can pop up there easily, because things are sure muddled. Gordon says that, when we first get married, we we are like two Tootsie Pops with a hard outer shell and soft chocolate middle. He says that it takes years of banging those two suckers together (which we were doing quite effectively :)) in order to get to that soft inside where we could mesh together. When he told me that it was normal, this fighting, and assured me through his great experience that it was leading to something magnificent (I feel I should point out here that my physical violence is not OK, and we all were aware of that need for change in me) it was like a weight was lifted off my back.

I felt the need to explain those things so that the rest of this blog would make sense...Couples who have been married a long time usually say things like, "It just keeps getting sweeter." or "We just know each other so well, that it's like we're the same person." These things sound good enough, but for some reason they horrified me. When I listened to them talk, it sounded like the passion had subsided into a friendship, and while I didn't like violence in our own relationship, I do enjoy the passion. It felt to me like our whole relationship was bright red, but I wasn't sure I would exchange the red for blue. Do you know what I mean?

For the last few months, I've been coming to Jeremiah saying, "Things just feel good. I can't really explain it, but I feel so much closer to you." I am not sure if he really feels this too, or if he is just so thankful that I'm not coming to him with the nebulous, "Something just doesn't feel right between us," but no matter the reason, he heartily agrees. Yesterday, when I was sitting in church I suddenly remembered Gordon's Tootsie Pop illustration and I almost shouted for joy in the middle of the sermon...I am nervous to say it, but I think we may finally have knocked off enough of that hard shell that we are beginning to really mesh our chocolate together. It's not that we don't fight anymore, but when we do, I am able to look at him and think, "He may not be showing me that he loves me right this second, but I believe that he does love me. I believe that partially because he is still standing there, willing to work on our marriage even after years of my craziness and partially because I know that Jesus is in there transforming him (and me)." I no longer feel the need to stay mad for the day so that he is adequately "punished" for whatever injustice I feel I've been dealt. The best way to express it, is just like Gordon said, I feel like we're finally together, on the same team, working together towards a beauty that we both desire.

I feel like our relationship has turned from bright red to deep purple. Purple is (I think, I am no art major) an extremely deep and passionate red, with a little blue serenity mixed in. It used to feel like we both had something to prove in every area of our marriage, and it was turning us red. Now, it feels like we've accepted where we both stand, and we've been able to mix in some greatly needed blue. I feel like (in my GREAT five years of experience) I can understand what those women were trying to express when they would tell me that things keep getting sweeter. You don't have to lose passion, it just means you don't have to prove yourself any longer. And y'all, it excites me to think that if it feels this great after only five years, what is it going to feel like when we finish meshing this Tootsie Pop together?

And now, to make a long post even longer, can I make the final point that I've been wanting to reach? If we know marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ, then I'd like to take that Tootsie Pop analogy one step farther. The first part of my life, I felt a lot like a bright red Tootsie Pop. It's not that I didn't have my tangy little issues, but I must say things on the whole felt pretty bright and shiny. I feel like God loved me enough to say, "There's more of you I need to get to. There's a chocolate layer under this bright, red, shiny stuff that you're going to have to let me touch if we're ever going to have the relationship I created you to share with me." Then, mainly through losing Mom, he allowed me to get banged up pretty bad, and I am here to admit to you that if I could have gotten a hold of Him, I probably would have beat on his chest just like I have on Jeremiah's...maybe harder. But today, at this moment in my life, I find myself going to Him, just like I've been going to Jeremiah and saying, "Things just feel good. I can't really explain it, but somehow I feel so much closer to you."

It's like I've got a huge magnet in my heart, and every time someone mentions His name, it feels like another magnet calls mine to attention, pointing north with all its might, and saying, "Are you talking about my friend Jesus?" Because, while I never would have asked to go through the pain of having all the bright and shinies knocked off my sucker, it has led me to a place where my heart has begun to mesh with His. Our relationship has turned a deep shade of purple. I understand Him in a way I couldn't have before, and part of that love is due to the fact that even after all our fights, He's still standing right here beside me. More real and present than ever, working through this relationship with me, and proving to me that He thinks it's worth it. It wasn't through the good times that I was able to find this sweetness in either relationship. It was through the hard times...Thank you both for still standing and believing it was worth the fights in order to get to the real heart of me.

Friday, November 14, 2008


When I was in high school, I was stressed about Organic Chemistry and Calculus. When I was in college, I was stressed about every single engineering test, to the point that I started having panic attacks as I sat in my desk and waited for the test to be handed to me. Now that I am a stay-at-home Mom, nobody asking my brain to perform tasks that I am afraid are out of my league, you'd think I would be over the stress. At least that was what I used to tell myself to help me get through all those exams. "One day Abby, you'll be a stay-at-home Mom and will have no more tests to get stressed about." I can remember rolling my eyes at my Mom in high school, since I was preparing for my big and mighty tests or projects, as she went into fits on the day before company came over. I can still see her vacuuming the rug in our den, so that it had perfect vacuum lines running across it, and then making us all (four children don't forget) walk on the TINY space of floor AROUND the rug so that we wouldn't mess up the lines on the carpet. Whenever she entertained, everything had to be perfectly clean and PERFECTLY planned.

Watching her, in my teenage smugness, I thought, "I will never be like that! She is a stay-at-home Mom, what in the world does she have to be stressed about?" I am here to confess that I am there. I have, as in so many other things, become much like Mother in this as well. I try to tell myself that these things don't have eternal significance. That people just want to feel welcome in my home and do not notice if I have dusted the top of my television cabinet. That this need to be "perfect" is nothing but pride and should be rooted out. There is some section of me, that thinks at least part of my motives are worthy. Those would be that I enjoy thinking about who my guests are and what would make them feel special. For some that may be fine china, for others it might be a particular CD playing in the background, or funny little theme (like airplanes on a runway Whit and Cole :)) as the centerpiece of our table. Whatever it may be, I take joy in trying to create an atmosphere that will, hopefully, make my guests feel special.

Is it bad to devote an entire day (or sometimes two if you count the grocery store trip and pre-cleaning the day before) to having company for dinner? Is it bad that I plop my children in front of movies and ignore their pleas to play with them because I am "stressed" and trying to make things perfect? Is it bad that I end up cursing this old house because no matter how hard I scrub it never actually looks or feels clean? Is it bad that I shy away from having people over (even though I know I would enjoy the fellowship immensely) because all I can think about is those days of hard labor and tight neck muscles beforehand?

While I have not had a lot of events at my house over the past few months, I have had a lot of events. To the point where I looked at Jeremiah last Thursday and said, "I think I'm about to have a nervous breakdown." It was not the most opportune time for a breakdown, considering he had a HUGE orthopaedic test the next day that he'd been preparing for for months, but you know, you just can't help when you start to have a meltdown. I must say that he deserves some major credit for walking away from his test preparation, taking me to bed (at 8:30 at night!) and listening to me cry and vent every little detail that had led to my collapse. I know they must have sounded stupid to him who stands in an OR every day with lives in his hands, but he didn't make me feel that way. What he made me feel was that no matter what, no matter what it cost, we were going to find a way for me to alleviate some of the impending stresses that were hanging over my head. Here, I have to give a standing ovation to my SIL Ashley and my sister Taylor and John David. They took my children for some long periods of time and have given me some time to feel like a human again and to think.

What I've come to is this. Some people just live life stressed. No matter what the occasion, no matter what life is dealing them, you know when you bump into them that they will have a long breathless list to rattle off to you about all that is on their plate. I am that person more than I would like to confess, and the hard thing to admit to yourself is that it's not about what's happening in your life as much as it's about a state of mind. I find that if I can broaden my lens and remember that I am exactly where I've always wanted to be, doing the job that I've always wanted to do, then the little things start to pale in comparison. If I can remember Who is in control (even though I usually feel like He is chuckling at my need for deep cleanliness--just loving watching me learn a lesson about letting things go), then I can turn life's problems over to somebody who can do something about them. Jeremiah's Aunt Jeanie gave me an illustration one time that I have gone back to a lot. She said, "Abby, when you feel like there's a whole forest in front of you that you have to chop down, and you look down to find that all you have is one little ax, then just know that God is on the other end of the forest with a bull-dozier, plowing it down. All He asks you to do is take care of one tree at a time."

I am going to try to focus on those things, and let the little things go. I am going to pray that Jesus will change my heart, and teach me to live a life of freedom and beauty instead of stress and darkness.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Apparently, God Loves a Color Change

This morning, I went running on a Birmingham mountain (really just an oversized hill), and I was overwhelmed by all the magnificent trees that surrounded me. I was sad that I was running such a narrow, rocky path, because I would have liked to spend the whole run looking up at those trees instead of down at my feet. It made me think about God (as nature often does) and about how well He does things. He could have said, "Ok, trees need to have life and death cycles once a year for everything to work like I need it to in the universe. So, when the weather starts to get crisp WHAM all the leaves will die, turn brown/black, and fall to the ground." Instead He gives us a profusion of color in their death that makes fall a magnificent time of year to be alive.

Apparently, God was loving another kind of color change this fall as well :) While I will admit that at 10:30 last night when the "OBAMA ELECTED!" signs started flashing all over our television screens, my initial reaction was a pit in my stomach, followed by some ranting about Democrats. My main issue is that, while this whole tax cut for people making less than $200,000/year is going to do wonders for us down here in the "just above food stamps" bracket, I think it is heinously wrong. I think our country was founded on the ideal of capitalism--the idea that if you work hard you should be able to get ahead--and KEEP your own stinkin' money as an incentive to continue to work hard and fuel the economy. I understand that there are people who physically cannot support themselves and I would be a heartless person to say I don't think they should be helped. However, I think that our welfare system is SO corrupt that that money is not getting to the people it is intended to reach. At this point, I am getting politically over my head, but I will end my rant by saying that I think we are slowly turning into a Socialistic country--so slowly that people will hardly notice the differences--and this will turn our already flailing economy into a pit.

All THAT said last night to Jeremiah as we went to bed, I was able to drift off to sleep and wake up this morning to the fact that we will have an African American President of the United States. I am sure you have all heard that so much today that you don't care to hear it from me again (so I'll spare you all my musings on why that is so incredible), but just like yesterday when my chest puffed with pride at the thought of being a part of diverse America, it puffed with pride for much the same reason this morning. I heard Bubba (of Rick and Bubba) say on the radio this morning, "If the Democrats want the keys, then, heck, toss 'em too 'em and lets just see what they can do with this mess. Good luck." (That was extremely paraphrased.) Those two things pretty much wrap up how I'm feeling today. Proud to be an American and interested to see what our next President (and majority democratic Senate and House) are going to do now that THEY are at the wheel. Just like the leaves in the fall, in my own little heart, it feels a bit like things are dying with this new color change in Washington. The death is not the fault of the color, but what's going on on the inside. I hope I'm proved wrong and everything comes back green again in the summertime.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Proud to be an American

(A picture from July 4th, but the only red, white, and blue I could find) I just did my civic duty. I dropped Pace off at MMO and took Mapple Dapple with me to the polls. I was assigned a fire station in Woodlawn, and as I walked into the open enclosure filled with tables and voting American citizens, I was amazed by the sense of Patriotism I felt. We were so diverse, and yet all there--Americans. I saw an old man with his hair perfectly combed, his collared shirt tucked into his belted khaki slacks, and his back held rigidly straight. I just know he fought a war so that I could be there casting my little vote, and I felt the urge to run hug his neck (don't worry, I didn't). Then there was the petite Mom, wearing a crisp black and white print dress with little black flats, her baby nestled closely to her body in a sling. The middle-aged black man, with worn blue coveralls. The tall, slender physician, in her scrubs and Dansko shoes, with her hair pulled back in a blonde pony-tail. The flamboyantly gay man with his spikey hair, small stylish glasses, and man-purse. The conservative business-man in his charcoal suit, red tie and briefcase. There were several middle-aged black women working the polls, offering guidance with a smile and cooing at my baby. Then there was me, sweaty and wearing my running clothes with a baby propped on my hip. It was America at work and it was beautiful to me this morning! I am proud to live in a country where we can all gather together and vote, each with our own passionate beliefs and love for our country--angst for the state of where we are, and still respect each other as humans and more than that, as Americans. And while I filled in the little bubble for a total "Republican" ballot, making sure that I marked McCain/Palin as well (just to be safe), no matter who our next President is I will be happy, because we're America and this is how it works. Besides, I know who's ultimately in charge of our leaders, and I trust Him completely.

What Would You Give?

This time last year, Mom was really sick and growing exponentially sicker. It was horrible and exhausting to watch her decline like that. We never called in Hospice, and I got to serve Mom in ways that I could never have fathomed. I am thankful that I was able to be a small part of caring for her, but there were a lot of times that I told myself, "Just be thankful that she's here. Even though she's like this, at least she's still here with you." And over and over I said to myself, "There could come a day when you'd give anything, even to be back here, because it would mean she's alive. Be thankful even for this."
Today, I was washing dishes after the girls had eaten lunch, and my mind wandered back to where I was at this time last year and all those thoughts I fed myself came rushing back. What amazed me today, was the realization that I was wrong. I was wrong to think I'd give anything to be back there--just so I could have her. I am here to tell you that I wouldn't go back there for anything. To see her sick like that again. To go through the agony of uncertainty--just so desperate to know if He was going to heal her or not. I wouldn't go back there, even if it meant having her alive, because what she was then was not her. It was a faint whisper of her life, entrapped in a perishing and painful shell. Why would I trade that, for the knowledge that she is whole and beautiful and happier than I ever even saw her. I wouldn't trade it, and I'm sorry I spent so much time trying to relish something that I wish I could forget.

There is a sort of twisted game I've found my mind playing at times like these--when these types of comparisons start to seep in. I call it the, "What Would You Give Game?" While I've determined that I wouldn't want Mom back in the form she was before she left us, the question that plagues me is, "What would I give to have her back whole and happy? And what if I could throw in the, 'Her cancer would never ever come back so you can alleviate that worry as well' clause?" I can tell you that trading my immediate family gets struck off the list immediately. The thought of trading one of their lives makes my stomach turn, but what about somebody else...? None of you may be safe :) What if you throw out the God complex--lives are too valuable. What if you start talking about "comforts?" Would I give my house--meaning live with my children on the streets and not be able to be taken in by friends or family? Would I give my sanity? Is there a monetary limit? I mean when you think about realistically having to pay back 10 million, 100 million dollars and what that would mean about the rest of your life? Would I give up my ability to have more babies?

Thankfully, I serve a God who doesn't allow me to make these kinds of bargains. He makes decisions, that He tells me are in my best interest, and I don't have to decide anything. But, what does He ask me to give up in return?...Everything. Even those untouchables like my immediate family, my husband, my precious girls,...He demands that I give them all up to Him. That was a point that my Dad reached several years ago with Mom, and I could never hear him speak the words, "Lord, she's not mine, she's yours. I give her to you," without losing it. Because for us to, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,..." there's a sacrifice of self and others that's involved. I know I haven't learned what it means to truly live life like that. But I imagine it would be a beautiful.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to Dothan

This weekend we went back to Dothan. We didn't want to travel again, BUT it was Dr. Maddox's 60th birthday, Josh and Berkley (Jeremiah's brother and his girlfriend) were coming home from New York, my friend Lindsay was having a wedding shower, the Peanut Festival was in town, and we just could not say no to all of that. We did take the girls "Trick or Treating" Friday night. They were both Tinkerbell, and I have NO pictures. I forgot my camera y'all, and I am just sick about it.

I got to meet one of you, which was a really fun surprise. We sort of randomly took the girls to the Garden District for their candy excitement and as I was saying, "Pace, what do you say..." (to remind her to say "Thank you" for her candy) the lady at the door said, "What did you just say her name was?" I told her, expecting to hear that she had a friend named that or something, and what I got instead was, "Oh my gosh, I knew you all looked familiar. I am one of your blog stalkers!" It was sort of surreal. I felt, I don't know, known. It was crazy, and I am SO glad she introduced herself. It made my night :)

Sunday was such an incredible day! Ashley (Jeremiah's sister) and I planned a surprise 60th birthday brunch for Dr. Maddox. It was Ashley's idea to surprise both her Mom and her Dad. I must say I was a bit nervous about pulling one over on my MIL in her own house. Especially since we busted out all of her silver and fine china, and re-decorated her very elaborate dining room. But we didn't want her to be stressed out either...she seems to be always hosting other people and we thought she deserved to just enjoy the moment. So we did it. Ashley cooked all her food in Birmingham before she left. I cooked all my food at my Dad's house, and we hid it all in their downstairs fridge. Then, when the door closed behind our family as the sweet little Christians went to church, Ashley and I got to work.

Ashley is a natural entertainer. It's her element. She loves to cook, to serve others, to plan meals, and she can do it all with such a laid back demeanor that it amazes me. That is why I love to throw parties with her. I just let myself get caught up in the swell of her excitement and enjoy the ride. Can I give you the menu? Is that boring? It was just all so good I don't want to forget. Ashley made a ham and Swiss quiche, a savory quiche, monkey bread, mini parfaits (filled with vanilla yogurt, granola, strawberries and blackberries), and an Italian creme cake for the birthday boy that was so moist and delicious it deserves its own post. I made a hashbrown casserole, stuffed roasted tomatoes, fried bacon, and Conecuh sausage on the grill (can you tell who's the better cook?). We served mimosas and coffee out of big beautiful silver pitchers.

Now the setting...We used white bone china with red glass accent plates. There was a fire roaring at one end of the room and a cut-glass bowl filled with floating roses from the yard was the simple decoration at the center of the table. We drank out of silver goblets and stirred cream into our coffee with the most adorable tee-nincey spoons I'd ever seen. And perhaps the best part was that everybody lingered. We didn't rush through the meal and run start the dishes. Everybody just ate and talked and ate and talked. After we finished that, the boys pulled out their guitars and sang, and finally we ended the day taking a big family horseback ride around the farm. It was a beautiful memory. Thanks for turning 60 Dr. Maddox! We'll have to do it again sometime :)

As horrible quality as these are (they are off Jeremiah's REAL hi-tech cell phone) they are the only Halloween evidence we have. At least you can get the idea. We figured out at the end of the night that I'd put Mary Aplin's wings on upside down. So, she looks more like Dumbo than Tinkerbell :)