Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Famous and the Farm

We went to Dothan this weekend, so that I could work on wedding plans with Caroline (translation: spend the day dreaming with my sisters)...However, I also managed to run another long run with Ashley (and nearly kill myself, yet again), look at some beautiful land,and hang out with some famous people. Yep, all of you out there in blog land. I hung out with Darby (and Justin and Tommy...not quite as famous :)).If you've been under a rock somewhere and don't read her blog, then you should check it out, but I feel pretty sure most of you know who I am talking about :) And she had some hard news she wanted me to reveal here first...She has a major problem with armpit hair. Seriously though, we were getting out of the car and Jeremiah asked what I was doing as I reached down to grab my camera. I answered, "Jeremiah, Darby's kind of famous now. I need to take a picture for my blog." He just shrugged. Despite the stalking pictures, I was glad I brought the camera in, because I ended up getting a (very valuable) little camera lesson from Darby.We stayed WAYYYYY too late (check that clock behind Jeremiah--12:19--crazy late) but the boys were having such a good time...doing whatever it was they were doing in there...and Darby and I actually got to complete sentences, thoughts, even STORIES, since all the little rascals were tucked in bed.The girls had such a great time in the wide open spaces.Do you ever start aching to just let your children run free??? I may be weird, but there's something about letting them run, without saying, "Don't touch that!" "Watch out for cars!" "Leave their toy alone!" that makes my heart feel free. And there's too :)Pace even got a little pensive in her old age.They got to feed the horses.And I feel pretty safe in saying that Dapples is going to be (already is, really) an avid horse lover.Or maybe horse fanatic...There were two new babies on the farm, and Popon and Jeremiah took the girls for a ride with them. (I didn't know this before, but babies will stay right beside their mama's no matter what. Even if there is a Dapples screeching with excitement on her mama's back while she walks down a narrow wooded trail.)All in all, it was the best weekend I can remember in a long time. Do you think my little girls are making wedding plans, like I was doing with my sisters??? One day...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So Now You Think You're a Photographer

I don't know, this just moved me, and although I am not a photographer, I did happen to have my nifty new camera on the seat beside me in the car :) So I took this, through the windshield...after I started crying. This is a church about 2 blocks from our house, that burned down (DURING COMMUNION ON SUNDAY MORNING--if the rumors are true). But apparently...they're still alive.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When DADDY'S in Charge

When Daddy's in Charge...
Things tend to get messy.

I suddenly hear "YES" to my unending requests to build a hidden fort in the backyard.Most of my questions go unanswered......but we certainly get a lot done.Locks is always allowed.Sister fusses...like always.Life can get magical.When Daddy's in charge...I am so happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Angel Tea Party in 30 Minutes or Less

Pace's dear friend (and our neighbor) Natalie turned four recently and was celebrating with an angel birthday party. Pace helped me come up with the idea of angel dresses for 1) the birthday girl's present and 2) for she and Dapples to wear as part of their costumes to the party. Unfortunately, these great ideas did not start taking shape until a few days before the party, sooo I was still stitching like a madwoman on Friday night when I got a text from Natalie's mom (Lauren) telling us that the birthday girl was horribly sick with a fever and the party would have to be post-poned to the next weekend...WHEN WE WERE GOING TO BE OUT OF TOWN. I think I was even more devasted than Pace was. All the cute dresses and nowhere to go.

So, to appease both of us, I told Lauren that as soon as Natalie felt better, we'd like to have an angel tea party at our house to celebrate (and wear those dad-gum dresses I'd spent all that time on :)).
Do things ever slip your mind??? We'd set the date for the mini-party. We'd talked about it several times. Still, somehow, when the morning rolled around and we were all still finishing up a late breakfast at 9:30, it hit me that we were throwing a tea party, in 30 minutes, and I had done NOTHING to get ready. Now, I sure didn't want to be the one to face the birthday girl who came over for the SECOND party she was supposed to be having that had been way-layed. I turned it into high gear. I said a quick prayer of thanks that I try to always keep a box of yellow cake mix on hand...and there was half a tub of icing wedged in the back of the refridgerator.Then, I started picking up the knee-deep toys in the playroom so that we could actually get to the kids table without breaking something. I thought I remembered seeing a pink candle in the bottom of my purse at some point...AWESOME (what does that tell you about the state of my purse?). Next, I gave a nod of thanks to my mother-in-law, who has taught me by example that beautiful things are no good if you don't enjoy them. I applied this theory to my china and decided I'd rather have it be broken being used by some little girls who I'd made feel extra special, than be kept perfectly safe always resting in my china cabinet. (Pace ran out and picked that flower/weed from our yard...what a sweet little touch)And there we were. Just in the nick of time. A tea party for three little angels.This is how we handle hot tea for little lips. Pour it hot. Add lots of cream and sugar. Then dump in a couple of ice cubes...perfect.Mary Aplin wasn't so sure about how to handle her fancy cup that didn't have a lid or a straw. She decided the doggy lap was the best option. I don't know if they had as much fun as I did...but I think so.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Excuse Me While I Gush

Meet. Lucy. Is your heart melting like mine is? Lucy has made Whitney (my best friend since second grade) and Cole an official "family." I've been counting down the days until her arrival, but I wasn't ready for how much I was going to love her. I love her mama...and her daddy, and I knew she would be special to me...but it's love. We didn't have long together, she and I, but can you see how she bores into you with those eyes? She's so alert; it's startling. It's like she takes you all in, immediately, and holds you prisoner. Then there's her soft olive complexion, and those kissable lips, and those tee-ninetsy little feet, and that baby smell. I'm gone.You know how there's some people you know, and then there are those few that you actually know even better than you know yourself--that's Whitney to me. I would say that I am probably my worst self around her, and vice versa. You know why? Because she may be the only person (well, besides my family) that I feel ok to let my absolute self out with. You know the self that had a bad week and needs somebody else to absorb a bit of the blunt force trauma. She gets that from time to time. I did try to spare her that side this past visit...only because she was in a hospital bed :) She's one person who I know will tell me if the outfit I'm wearing looks atrocious or if I need an attitude adjustment (she is often one of my blog screeners :)). Although, she still hasn't completely forgiven me for the time I dogged her brand new shoes, in a VERY loud voice, as she lay helpless in a chair, with hands stuck down her throat in the crowded orthodontist office in our home-town. Hehehe :) But enough about us, this is about her. Little LucyThat afternoon, after I left the hospital on a joyful puff of air, I kept trying to figure out what exactly it was I was so happy--relieved even--about. I decided there were two main reasons. The first was the joy of seeing my best friend become a mom. As said before, because I know the good AND bad of Whitney, I'm gonna be honest and tell you there was a part of me that was nervous. I know how she likes her sleep (I was once literally clawed in college for trying to wake her), how she shies away from all things nasty (I always had to do her share of scooping horse poop at summer camp), and how pain is not something she deals with lightly (I think she took more trips to the campus nurse at Auburn than any other student. Sickness was not an option). So maybe (especially those of you who are moms already) you can see why I could love her and be scared for how childbirth/motherhood was going to settle with her. But y'all, as soon as I saw her with Lucy, I knew it was all going to be ok--better than ok--perfect. I just kept telling Whitney how proud I was of her, and I think she was sort of confused. But what I was trying to say was, "I was stupid to be worried. God made you just perfect for Lucy, and it's beautiful to watch you fulfill this new role with grace and style all your own. Sorry my heart ever doubted friend." The second reason I was so happy, came more slowly. For some reason the line from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 kept playing over and over in my mind, but I wasn't sure why. It's a love sonnet, as in romantic love sonnet, and while I love Lucy, I wasn't sure that particular sonnet was appropriate. The line was this, "O no! It [love for those who haven't read the rest of the poem] is an ever fixed mark/ That looks on tempests and is never shaken;/ It is the star to every wandering bark [ship],/ Whose worth's unknown though its height be taken."

As I watched Whitney and Cole, I think I saw Jeremiah and me after we had both of our girls. I was aware enough, then, to know that I felt like a "deer in headlights," but I could not step out of my fear/love enough to see what I was truly experiencing. And that was it, the poem. After you hold the new little life, that God has miraculously trusted you with, for the first time you are bombarded with all the emotions that you do feel and all the ones you think you're supposed to feel. In actuality, you don't really know this new little person at all. You don't know what they'll look like, or enjoy; if they'll be spunky or demure; if they'll make you laugh more often than cry; and (more immediately) if they'll let you sleep or keep you up all night...you just don't know. It's like the picture Shakespeare created of the boat. You're out there, floating along in an unstable little craft. You can plot out schedules and make plans, just like a sailor of old, plotting his course by the height of the stars, but you can't know the true worth of what you hold in your arms. You can sense that the love is there, and it's big, but the magnitude of it, the nebulous force, is frightening.

It was amazing to be able to step back and see the beginning of all that love. To know that they were scared stiff and excited and feeling confident and useless all at the same time. It made me so happy. Little Lucy, the culmination of all those feelings, made me so happy. I love y'all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good To Be Back

Hello??? Anybody still out there??? It's been a long break, and I feel like we have so much to talk about. I think I'll hit the major things that have happened in the last month...as briefly as my wordy self will allow.

My little family:
Jeremiah is on a (what we thought was going to be easy but instead has been) hard rotation right now. That has left me with an over-abundance of time with the little chicken wings...who've been acting like two rotten creatures from the deep, to put it mildly. Pace is going through some type of "fear of abandonment" a lot later than I thought it was supposed to happen. In all seriousness, she will not tolerate being in a different room than me and has started waking up multiple times at night scared. Lovely.
Then, there is Mary Aplin. Oh my word! I think she is frustrated because she can't communicate (as in say words), even though she has caught on that WORDS are how you get things done in this world. So, in frustration, she pitches fits about E V E R Y T H I N G!!!
Don't y'all want to come over??? :) Have Pace hang out and hold onto one leg while Mary Aplin pitches a fit by the other. Tell me it's just a phase, and that this too shall pass. Even if you don't believe it, tell me anyway, cause I am going BANANAS.

My big family:
Caroline (my sister) got engaged to Riley Blair!!!! He flew her to JH Ranch (in California) where they met, and got down on one knee. I love that guy, and there's something about adding a brother, in a family stocked full of estrogen, that is an exciting breath of fresh air. Let the planning begin!

The Running: I ran 20 miles on Saturday morning. TWENTY!!!!! Jeremiah asked me if anything was hurting on my body. The answer is, "Everything. Is that abnormal?" Everybody told me running a marathon was mental. SOOO mental. And it is. But I'd like to add that it is PHYSICAL as well. Somewhere around mile 17, every time, my body starts to shut down and I want to cry. I feel like my legs are made out of jello and it sort of amazes me to look down and see that they are still, not only holding me up, but moving. I seriously don't know how I am going to run six more miles. I am scared.

There has been some exciting stuff happening with my little business. I can't go into all the details, but check out my etsy, cause I've added some new items, like this:
something for fall, like this:

and wouldn't you love to get a onesie all packaged up in a little bird's nest like this: :) The Camera:I spent some money and bought a good camera. It feels like Christmas as a kid, when you get that toy you've been dreaming of for so long. You keep looking at it lovingly and thinking, "You're mine. ALL mine!" Jeremiah and I had been talking about it forever, but he just kept saying, "I think you're right, but let's go look at them together and decide." I saw that the likelihood of him being off work during normal business hours AND willing to spend the time shopping--was slim to none. So I just went, on a random Wednesday morning, and bought the one I'd been drooling over. I made sure I could bring it back (if Jeremiah had an aneurysm), but I did it. It was sort of surreal.

That night (around 10) when Jeremiah got home, I showed him what I'd done. He was excited at first, looking at the cool pictures I'd made, and listening to me spout off (like a used-car salesman) all the reasons I'd decided on this one in particular. I thought it was over. The conversation had wound down...when he looked over at me curiously and said, "How much did you say it cost, again?" I answered. Truthfully. And I watched his face drop in a way that I had never seen it drop before. "On a camera??!!! You really think it's justified for US to spend THAT on a CAMERA at this stage of life?" My face burned bright red, and I told him I'd just take it back...although we went to sleep with me still rattling off all my very good reasons. It took a day or two, but he told me to keep it :)... EEEEeeeee!!!!