31 December 2008

this is not my year

I think I've heard it said that whatever you're doing at midnight on 12/31 is something you can expect to do a lot of in the coming year.  At midnight 42 minutes ago, I was lying next to my son while he went to sleep much too late and praying that God would help me be better.  This shouldn't make anyone think that I'm a wonderfully pious person because the truth of it all is that I'm not... and that sad little fact occurred to me just then and so I said some prayers about it.  It hit me all of the sudden how selfish I've been being about a lot of things but especially (unfortunately) toward God.  Losing faith in one's church family is no reason to give up and stop trying.


I said it.

And that's all I'm going to say about it.

I also want to go on a little about new year's resolutions and how I think they're pretty much a crock and I don't really do them, but I do have some hopes and thoughts about 2009 that I wanted to put down somewhere.

As I was lying in bed with my son (before I settled into any kind of serious thought patterns), I was noticing the general clutter of my bedroom and thinking about how nice it felt just a few nights ago to lie down in a very clean house.  It really brought me a lot of joy and satisfaction just knowing everything was in its place (for the most part) and that I had a clean house to wake up to.  Maybe that's a chick thing... I don't really know.  I'll admit that some days, I fart around and don't get the laundry done and sometimes the toilet could stand to be cleaned and it doesn't happen because I just don't feel like it.  For the most part, though, when things don't get done it's because I'm doing way more important stuff like sitting on the couch with my kiddo watching Blue's Clues or building something really tall out of blocks so he can knock it over or, ya know, playing peekaboo through the crack in the laundry room door.

My point here is that tomorrow my baby is going to be another day older and another day closer to not being a baby anymore.  And guess what... the laundry pile may be another day older too (and a little taller) and the toilet may need to be cleaned even worse, but those things are still gonna be there needing to be done.  And the day after my baby isn't a baby anymore... they'll still be there needing to be done.

And furthermore... in May I'm getting another little bundle to add into the mix, so I'm sure it will bring with it tons more way important stuff to do.

So, maybe someday I'll be the person who doesn't have several purses hanging on her bedroom doorknob and a bottle of nail polish sitting on top of a CD on top of the television.  Maybe someday I will be so on top of getting my laundry done and so there on getting my toilet shiny that people are gonna be like WHOA.  Maybe someday I'll hang up clothes when I take them off and wash dishes as soon as the meal is over and put things where they go instead of on the kitchen table or counters.  But I don't think this is my year for that.

Maybe someday I won't have a junk drawer that you have to talk into closing and maybe someday all of my closets and the garage will be in order, too.  I don't think this is my year for that either.

Maybe someday I won't lead people to believe that I have only ONE junk drawer...

I think what I'm getting at in a rather long-winded fashion (if you can only imagine that) is that this is not my year to strive for perfection of any sort.  I've let myself get way too caught up in worrying about attempting to keep the house perfect, making the perfect grocery list with all the coordinating coupons, and worst of all trying to keep up some grander illusion of myself than what I really am to fit into what other people think I should be.

Well... this is not my year for all that... and I'm not going to do it anymore.

And in 2009 I hope to...
...achieve the best version of myself and to be satisfied with whatever that is.
...be a good wife and mama based on my standards and what's pleasing to God.
...let God make me better and to seek that on a daily basis.
...be able to stop focusing on negative people and things.
...think/care less about what people think of me and my family.
...play with kiddo #1 a whole lot and produce a healthy and whole kiddo #2 (and then play with that one a lot as well!).
...read a lot.
...write when the mood strikes.
...and maybe learn to sew a little better.

With all that being said... happy 2009! And goodnight to all.


15 December 2008

postdiluvian post

I don't know if I spelled that long word in the title correctly, but I know what it means so I get points for it anyway.

I have to expound upon the day's adventure... because there always is one, you know...

My plans for today involved a lot of laundry, as much crocheting as possible (to finish up Christmas gifts), and wrapping presents in any spare time I had.  So after breakfast I got right on top of the laundry and did, lemme think about this... a load of colors and had a load of socks going in the washer.  The socks were washing away and I had already finished folding and putting away some stuff that had been sitting the basket waiting on me and getting wrinkly, so I wasn't in the back of the house folding anymore (unfortunately).  At some point, thought, I came back to the bedroom to do something (no clue what), and thought I could hear water running in my bathroom.  The bathroom door was shut which muffled the noise, so I figured I was just hearing water in the pipes from the washer draining.

I got a little closer to the door... and the water noise got louder.

I opened the bathroom door and there seriously had to be a waterfall happening... it was loud.

The faucet wasn't on, so it had to be something going on with the toilet or the shower.  So, I started into the bathroom to check it out...

... only to find myself WADING in water up to the bottoms of my pant legs.  I'm pleased to say that I refrained from cursing because (you're just going to have to take my word for it) I do not make a habit of using fowl language, but for whatever reason when I'm taken by surprise or am startled or am about to be rear-ended by a very large and quickly approaching red truck, it's the first thing out of my mouth.  I think I said "schneikies" (thank you, Tommy Boy).  Whatever the case may be, it wasn't anything worse than that, and I really felt like that was worth mentioning.  Maybe my subconscious is becoming better behaved...

But I digress...

So yeah, there was water pouring over the side of my shower stall.  Don't panic too much... it's just a step-in shower, not a full-on bathtub.  That really would have been terrifying.  Not that it wasn't... because it was.

The first thing I noticed was that I had set my foot down right next to my little electric shaver deal which was, of course, plugged in.  Thank the good Lord above that He was looking out for me and I didn't get electrocuted.  The next thing I did was either call David or turn the breaker off for the back part of the house... I don't remember what I did first.

Regardless... at some point, I called David and said something like, "There's water like pouring out of my shower, what do I do?" and his response was, of course, "Call your dad," which is what everybody says when practically anything goes wrong.  Computer crashing? Call your dad.  Transmission fell out on Plano road? Call your dad.  Having a mental breakdown because you're newly married and can't figure out how to live with another person in your space? Call your dad.  Bathroom flooding? You get the picture...

Another aside here... my mom will tell you that she is not electronics savvy and it's pretty darn often that their small collection of remote controls gets the best of her.  Every grandchild that knows how to speak so far knows the solution when Mam-ma's about to lose it because she can't get the TV and the DVD player to jive: "Call Poppy."

So I called my dad and basically all I had to say was, "There's water coming from the drain in my..." when he delivered the joyous diagnosis that the septic tank was backed up and I needed to call somebody to come pump it out.

Now there's a fantastic occupation.  How does one settle on septic tank work? It's like proctology or driving the dead wagon or working at Wal-Mart.  Four guys came and dug a hole in my back yard.  One of them literally sat on the side of hole and stared down into it... another one stirred.  Yes, I know... lurvely.

What is the dead wagon, you may ask? It's a large truck in which a man drives from farm to farm collecting any dead livestock.  I assume they do this year round, but it's really the most obvious in the summer.  And you, ya know, hold your breath when you see you're gonna meet him on the road... and, ya know, dead carcasses swell and split open and stuff like that.

I think I'd still rather do that than deal with other people's crap for a living.

Back to the topic at hand... obviously when I turned the washer off, the water eventually stopped running out of my shower.  It was such a mess though... oh my gosh, was it a mess.  And after the dudes came and took care of stuff (p.s, there was a root growing into our septic line, by the way), everything drained properly and did fine.  So, everything was happy in Carter land again.

I still had to clean BOTH bathrooms, though... since water backed up into the tub, too.  Errr... not pleasant, but oh well.

We discovered through all this though that Scotty is capable of sleeping in the daybed in his room.  I would explain how this relates, but it's another long tangent and I'm sure anyone who's reading this is utterly exhausted and probably a little (or a lot) confused by now.

There's my interesting story for the day.

Oh and...

Amount of laundry done = 2 loads 
Number of presents wrapped = 3
Amount of crocheting accomplished = zip, zero, zilch-a-roonie

Best laid plans...


05 November 2008

Political attitude ponderments...

I have my own pet soapbox issues and politics isn't one of them, but there are a few things on my mind that I wanted to expand upon. And while I realize that probably no one but no one reads my blog, I decided to go for it anyway. I considered posting a note on Facebook, but I didn't want to leave the impression that I was ranting in the faces of some friends out there with whom I don't exactly see eye to eye, so here - in the nice safe general forum of my blog - is the place I chose to verbalize.

I don't pretend to understand all the issues surrounding the recent election. I wouldn't dare say that I'm smart when it comes to political stuff, but I am happy to say that I feel more informed in these areas than I have ever in my life. Up to recently, I was unfortunately fairly apathetic when it came to politics because it just all seemed so big and vague and like none of it really affected me in the long run.

I guess this is a pretty common outlook for a lot of young people. Sure there are a lot of college kids who are all fired up and rockin' the vote and all that stuff, but there seems to be an alarmingly large number of kids out there who want to take the "I don't care" stance. Similarly (and this isn't just among young people, unfortunately), there seem to be a lot of people who want to say, "Well, none of this stuff is really that important because God's in control and we just need to trust Him... so I'm just not gonna worry about it anymore."

Don't get me wrong... I agree 110% that God IS in control and that doing His will and serving Him are the most important things in life, but that doesn't excuse us from caring about other things that we surely must face in our day-to-day lives. God isn't and never has been a puppet master and He didn't put us here to say, "Oh well, God will handle it." He expects us to know and to trust that He will care for His own and He doesn't want us to be afraid, but it is utterly foolish to just go along la-dee-dah blindly through the world we were sent to tell about Jesus uninformed and ignorant. If these things couldn't directly affect how we do serve God, then maybe we wouldn't have to care so much.

God gave us (and continues to give us, thankfully) the rights and freedoms we enjoy not to take for granted but to USE. We have freedom of speech to share with others the things that are right - whether it be things of a purely spiritual nature or things having to do with the right and wrong ways to live in this world and, yes, even conduct business and deal with governmental issues.

The fact that so many young people seem to have such a flip attitude when it comes to how they handle their rights is nothing but an ugly show of the selfishness that has infiltrated every part of our lives, and most frighteningly, our churches. How easy it is to think that I'll get up tomorrow and still be blessed with the same freedoms I have today and still be under the protection of our great God and this wonderful country.

I used to be able to go along happily in the "I don't care" group... and it certainly would have been easier to remain there. But then I got married, I started being directly affected by things like taxes and health insurance, and then (and perhaps the thing that opened my eyes the most) I had a child of my own. And I found that I couldn't not care anymore.

I know it's hard for some people to consider the real world if they haven't truly entered it yet, and maybe I should slack off and let them enjoy their ignorance for a while, but I really think they should consider some things about the future before they so firmly state that they don't care:

How would it be to have the government in your face every day telling you what you can and cannot do? Coming into YOUR home and dictating every facet of your life - from how many children you can have to whether or not you can ask God to bless your food before you eat it.

How would you like it if the few honest reports you can get in the media were taken away and you knew you were being fed absolutely nothing but lies?

How would it be to have to go to bed every night wondering if your family was going to be torn apart? How about having to wonder whether you were going to be able to step out your front door without getting blown away. What about having to watch your child be massacred because of something YOU believe and refuse to say otherwise.

I'm not saying that any of this stuff is going to happen and I don't want anybody to get the impression that I'm one of these crazies who think that Obama is a terrorist or anything along those lines. I'm not saying that because of the outcome of the election that these things are more likely. None of us know what the future holds and that fact would hold true no matter who was sitting in the White House.

None of this is to say that we should become so wrapped up in politics that we lose sight of God. I believe that we should instead be looking at these things and other issues that affect our temporal lives here BECAUSE of God and through the precepts we learn in His Word. The Bible does say that we are to be IN the world but not OF the world. We have to live here and we have to know HOW to live here, so we have to care to some extent.

So, all I'm saying is that there are a lot of good reasons to care. There are a lot of good reasons to not take our freedoms for granted. And while God IS in control and He so mercifully holds the end of all things in His hands, that doesn't excuse us from using the brains He gave us and it certainly doesn't give us permission to be so reckless as to say "I don't care" about that things that certainly do affect us (as well as future generations) so explicitly.


25 September 2008

School days

My pre-school days and school days kind of all run together since I don't really have a good separating point. I remember the summer before I was going to start Kindergarten because I had to get shots, for one thing, but I also remember going with my mom to the school I was going to attend, Richpond, to pick up papers of some sort I suppose. I don't remember much about that trip except that the school seemed enormous (it's not... I've been back since then). Before school started, though, and I'm not really sure when or why it all came about, my parents thought better of sending me to public school. I vaguely remember them discussing the possibility of homeschooling, but hey, I was 5 years old... I wasn't really concerned. The shots were over, I got to go shopping afterward, life was grand.

Anyway, my folks kept me out of public school and homeschooled me themselves that year... and for the next 4-and-a-half-ish years. That's why I don't really have a good separating point on before school and after school, since there weren't any huge changes in my life. The first year my folks pretty much built their own curriculum out of stuff they found at the Parent Teacher Store. After Kindergarten, they began using the A Beka Book curriculum, which worked out quite well for me.

My memories of the whole homeschool situation involve no hard-and-fast start or stop time, popcorn during classes, and breaks whenever the phone rang or my granddad stopped in for a visit. Other memories involve knowing without a doubt that school was going to happen every day, no questions asked (except for planned breaks and holidays), that what was supposed to be covered in a day would be covered in a day without fail, and that my mother had very high standards and goals that she expected me to meet... period. If the curriculum said we were supposed to find the Virgin Islands on a particular map, we would find them on that map... no other map would suffice. If the curriculum said we should go over every single multiplication table 14 times a day, we did (ok, it was never really 14...). I only remember one occasion when I was sick and was not permitted a "sick day" until I literally nodded off with my head on the table (Benadryl will do that to ya). I don't want to make my mom out to be cruel or anything along those lines, but she was definitely a driving force in my academic successes and every success I've had since those homeschool days is due in part to her great influence (and stubbornness... hehe).

In 1996, Old Union School opened. I was going to be starting 5th grade and was (supposedly) old enough to make my own decision, so my parents left it completely up to me as to whether I wanted to go there or keep homeschooling. My folks (my dad especially) were avid supporters of the school and my dad was one of the few who helped it get started, even serving as the school board's chairman for a few years. There were 5 students starting out, 3 girls near my age (2 of whom I knew from church, 1 of whom I had at least heard of from a sister church), and a boy and a girl who were younger (who I also knew from church). The 2 teachers were women who had been my Sunday School and/or VBS teachers and I had known both of them since I was born. I decided to continue homeschooling. I don't really remember much about my decision... I do remember that my mom had some questions and some uneasy feelings about me switching to OUS, although I don't recall anything specific now.

So, we started another year of homeschooling and went until October, when I decided that I wanted to go to OUS after all. My first day there was Halloween, October 31, 1996. I was 11 and I made the 6th student. As it turns out, my not-so-sure-about-this start would turn into the next 7 years of my life... and I graduated from Old Union in 2004, in a class of 2... I was the valedictorian, in case you were wondering.

I had a lot of good days at OUS, but unfortunately in some ways the bad outweighed the good, and my overall memory of my time spent there has a dark cloud over it. At this time, the school is a completely different place than it was when I was there, but I'm afraid some of the things which were such a frustration to me and my family while I was there still persist. I support the school's mission and I think the one-to-one teaching that they're able to have there is great. David and I support and will continue to support the school, but I doubt our children will ever be students there. This isn't written in stone and I know that it very well could end up happening, but as of right now, I can't see ever feeling totally comfortable with sending them there. Our children will most likely be homeschooled.


09 September 2008

More story...

I had happy childhood years and was always a fairly laid-back, easygoing child (as far as I can remember, at least). I was pretty much a loner, usually playing alone, and a lot like an only child since my only sister, Stacy, is nearly 15 years older than me.

I don't want it to sound like we had our own little family life separate from my sister and she wasn't included or anything along those lines. I adored her and wanted to be in her shadow (or drawing on her carpet with a highlighter) as much as possible. And I was, actually. I vaguely remember her living at home, but I don't ever remember her really acting like she minded me being around. I remember her getting ready for dates or to go out with friends and how she looked when she came out of her room all dressed and made up and hair fixed. I remember always noticing her clothes and particularly the way her perfume smelled. I still remember it actually and I think it was Calvin Klein... Eternity, maybe? That doesn't sound right, but it was one of those.

I think she graduated from high school in '88, so that means she started at WKU when I was nearly 4 years old. She stayed there only a short time, though, before transferring to EKU to be closer to her then boyfriend (now husband), Stephen, who was at UK. I remember vividly leaving her in a bleak-looking dorm room and driving 3 hours back to Bowling Green... and I was sad. Turns out, so was she, and she ended up transferring to UK shortly thereafter... only to transfer back to WKU after Stephen graduated from UK and moved back to Bowling Green. They got married at some point during all that.

Another early memory for me is the birth of my oldest cousin, Caleb (a cousin older than him has come along since then, but she doesn't enter the story until later). Up to that point, I had been the baby of the family and I do have some memories of always being the only one at my grandparents' house. I was thrilled at the prospect of a cousin and I remember going to see him at the hospital. I remember holding his squirmy screaming self and loving him to pieces. I still do.

The only other definitely-pre-school memory I have is going every afternoon with my mom on her newspaper route. I was obviously very clingy to my mother and actually chose to go with her on that route rather than to stay home with my sister. Granted, I did end up staying home on some days and I stayed with my great-grandmother on other days, but most of the time, I went on that awful route. Most days I ended up asleep in the backseat. I remember one day, I had the bright idea that I was going to wear panty hose under a pair of shorts I had been playing in all day. And for some reason I decided that I could just dispense with the underwear... it seemed kinda pointless after all. So, at some point during the route, my hosiery got uncomfortable and I removed it. I figured I'd be more comfortable and able to rest easier, but all it did for me in the long run was make me paranoid. Every time I'd doze off, one of mom's customers would come up to the car window for something and I was just convinced that some old codger would be able to see my tush.

This seems enough for now... more later!


04 September 2008

12 months behind me

I'm going to take a quick detour tonight from my story to spend some time talking about the special day that it's been.

Today was my son's 1st birthday. A year ago right now, September 4, 2007 at nearly midnight, I was a brand new mother.

It was around an hour in the operating room, another hour in recovery, probably the biggest part of an hour persuading my baby to nurse for the first time, visitors filling my room, nurses practically standing on my belly, and a "teaching session" on caring for my newborn I might add (yes, this took place around 1 AM)... I was drugged, cathetered, compression sleeved, IV'd, not to mention exhausted...

...but I had a baby. No, I had my baby. Resting in my arms all warm and round and pink and perfect laid the child I'd been loving for 9 long months. This precious little person who was, just a few hours ago, kicking me in the ribs was suddenly here... next to my skin, soft and smelling like a baby.

I blinked and now he's 1. The bittersweetness of it is almost too much to bear. My baby is growing growing every day. Time is such a thief and even though I thought when he was newborn, 2 months old, 6 months old... "I'm really making an effort to enjoy every day. I'm not going to take any of this for granted," those days of newborn stillness, those late nights of being alone with him in the darkness of our livingroom, the first smiles and coos, his little hands folded against my chest... are nothing more than sweet sweet memories. And yes, I believe with all my heart that I have enjoyed it all and I will be the first to say that I'm surprised every day at the patience God gives me, but I really don't think you can know how much to appreciate something until you look at it in retrospect.

I know that there are a lot of fun times and firsts ahead of us if God grants that, but there's something truly special about this 1-year mark. I couldn't let it pass without saying how thankful I am that God placed S. in our lives. The bright spot that he is in my life is the greatest blessing I've known next to my salvation. It simultaneously tears at my heart and fills it up each and every day.

My life has been made so much sweeter by this precious little gift from God.


Fast forward...

Happy birthday, sweet boy!
Mama loves you!


02 September 2008

My story

I have no idea why, but I've had a lot of trouble writing lately. It's something I've always done and have always taken refuge in. Anytime I've tried to write in the recent past, though, my thoughts just don't come together. There are tons of things on my mind and there are plenty of times that something crosses my mind and I think, I should jot that down and write about it later... but it either never happens or when I try I can't get my thoughts organized. So, I've decided to take a little different slant on the whole blogging deal. I've wanted to write about my life for a long time... all the things that have shaped me, my triumphs, my mess-ups, the stuff that has made me... well, me (up to this point, at least). I'm not conceited enough to think that anybody out there will be particularly fascinated with my life and I'm certainly not interested in "talking myself up"... it's just something I want to do.

So, all that being said... read it if you want, or don't. Be interested, or don't be. I do plan on being as brutally honest about myself as I can without invading my own privacy or making other people uncomfortable. If you have been in my life in any capacity, you may just find yourself here. Other than these vague things, I've set no ground rules. So, if you choose to go with me, enjoy the ride... if not, seeya later, alligator.

Installment Numero Uno

I was born on a Friday. October 18, 1985 at the Medical Center in Bowling Green. I don't remember the particulars, but I think I was somewhere around the same size my own son was when he was born and that I arrived around the time Sesame Street came on when I was little. This is how my mom explained it to me... 5 PM in the adult-time-telling world. From the pictures I've seen, I was little and wrinkly and red and the doc held me by my feet. I had my mama and my daddy and one big sister, Stacy, who is nearly 15 years older than me. I've been told that I was brought home to a small farmhouse in the middle of a couple of corn fields in the Richpond vicinity. My folks rented this house from Jason Young, who continues to farm land in Richpond. We moved from that house before I turned 1 year old, I believe... and I have no recollection of it whatsoever.

My family moved from there to the place that would become home to me. This house sits on land that has been in my family for many years and is situated just up the road from my grandparents' house. At least one field separates that house from its 3 nearest neighbors and the view from the back porch is nothing but farmland. This scene is one that I hope I'll never forget... woods to the west, pond straight ahead, and nothing but pasture beyond that. The prettiest sight in the world.

The house itself is small and old, its original structure consisting only of the present-day den, master bedroom, and part of the kitchen. That part of the house is over 100 years old and still has the original barn wood walls beneath the drywall that covers it now. It was in a constant state of renovation throughout my entire life (and apparently many years before my life) until sometime soon after I graduated from high school. The rest of the kitchen was added before my lifetime as was the master bath and possibly a second bedroom. What was a long front porch was also closed in to make a third (and very narrow) bedroom. After my family moved in, they added a small bathroom to my sister bedroom (the 2nd one). The narrow room was mine, as you might have guessed, although I used it for little else than playing. When my sister went off to college, I got her room and we completely re-did it from the floor up and the walls out when I was 12.

Throughout the years, they updated the master bedroom (and slept in the living room floor on air mattresses for an entire summer), closing in 2 unnecessary doors, taking out a closet, somehow chopping through a wall to make what used to be my room an office and walk-in closet. They also tore up the carpet to expose the original hardwood and tore off some old wallboard or paneling to reveal the backside of the beautiful old chimney, which remains part of the decor of that room.

Later, they re-vamped the kitchen, removing the old blue cabinets and replacing them with hardwood, tearing up the old repetitive pentagonal (I think) linoleum and replacing it with something much nicer, and adding a utility room and patio in the back. All of this was attended to by a random builder my parents found somehow whose name was Rob Woodard, I believe. And some part of it involved a whole being cut in our kitchen floor (maybe for running pipelines or something), and Rob being in that hole laying flat on his back looking up... sorda coffin-like. Too weird. Anyway, he was at our house A LOT and we all got really comfortable with him being there... and there's really no telling what he saw and heard.

The biggest project, though, was the den. The floor slanted badly (which made the room impossible for dancing, according to my grandmother). The walls were covered in horrible brown paneling, and there were 5... count 'em 5... doors in the room. Granted, the aforementioned unnecessary doors accounted for 2 of them and they were nicely sealed up from the other side, but there were still these random doors that couldn't be opened in our den. So we ripped off the paneling, wallboard, wallpaper, pasteboard, NEWSPAPER, and I can't even remember what all and finally got down to those original barn wood walls I mentioned earlier. It had to add a good inch to the room. They ripped up the floor and somehow built up the joists or something to even things up. Then we drywalled, put up the finishing woodwork, carpeted, and the whole shebang. This whole process happened in 2 different instances somehow, but a big part of it involved our living room being sealed off from the rest of the house with plastic in some attempt to keep dust out of everything and ALL of the living room furniture being in the kitchen INCLUDING the piano. It was insane to say the least. All of this fun was attended to by the Hunton gang... including Mr. Johnathan, who was then most definitely a Mexican and is now most definitely Guatemalan. Either way, he speaks Spanish.

All of this adds up to the house that it is now, which is no longer my home, but still I place I dearly love.

So there's a bit about the house I grew up in... which I think is plenty for the first part. Especially considering it's 1:30 in the morning... ugh, horrible habit I've gotten into.


18 June 2008

"let's all say it together..."

I guess the thankful posts could begin to get a little old if anybody actually read this (which I doubt), but I have been so totally overwhelmed lately by God's goodness that it has to find an outlet somewhere.

I've taken up the new and fascinating hobby of reading other people's blogs. I'm sure there are some happy, normal-lifed folks out there writing blogs... but the vast majority of blogs I'm finding are all about a person's mystery disease and all its attending maladies or daily updates on a child's NICU progress or treatment for some horribly deforming congenital issue... and it seems that every last one of them, no matter what the main topic is, has at least a little something in it about miscarriages or pregnancy problems at the very least. I'm talking pretty downer stuff. Not that they're all downer blogs... far from it actually. I've discovered several women of wonderfully amazing faith in these "random" blogs I stumbled upon. I feel very sure that there is absolutely nothing random about me finding them, actually... but I think I already addressed that briefly in another blog.

All of it has added up to one big, huge, ginormous question for me... WHO AM I?

...or maybe an even better and even HUGER question would be... Who the heck do I THINK I am?

I remember when I found out I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant and I remember wondering... actually forming the thoughts, "How is this happening to me? Why is this happening to me? Stuff like this just doesn't happen to me..." As if I was some kind of fairy princess living in a bubble... all favored by God and totally removed from those things that happen to mere mortals.

What I'm coming to realize (which I feel like is the big reason for me "happening" upon so many similar blogs) is the truth of it all. I am the merest mortal of them all and am just as susceptible to all the sad, hard, hurtful things here as the next guy. I could be the one battling cancer, I could be the one looking through my tears each day at my child's deformities wondering what the world was going to do with him when I wasn't there to shield him from it, I could be the one missing a piece of myself and taking flowers to little gravestone, I could be suffering any number of horrible trials, I could be struggling, fighting every day for my own life and the life of my child. I shudder at the reckless thoughts I've had... that I might be "special" in God's sight. Thank God for His mercy.

But... every morning my husband kisses me goodbye before going to work. I wake up to the bright little face of a perfectly healthy and normal little boy. My entire immediate family is healthy and whole. I go about each day in complete normalcy and never really wonder about whether or not the next day is going to be anything but normal all over again.

Who am I?

Why is God's hand so faithfully over my family?

How am I one of the ones who is so blessed beyond measure?

I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Because I know me. And I know that I have to be one of the vilest, darkest, back-slidden, doubting sinners out of all of God's creation. I take it all for granted. The amount of thankfulness in my heart is absolutely ludicrous and I'm totally ashamed.

The amount of temporal blessings in my life is overwhelming in and of itself, but if they were all gone...

One night in July 1999, God looked down on a little punk 13 year old girl with a bad attitude and gave her another chance. How many times had I turned Him away? Some very large scary number, I'm sure, but He overlooked it. Somehow in the midst of the upset fit I was throwing that night, my heart was right and God was close. I had known my entire life that Jesus died for me, but on that night as I lay stretched out across my bed praying some unutterable prayer from the depths of my being, His blood was applied to my doorposts.

Who am I?

I don't know.

What I do know is this... God knows. And He knew when He saved me. He knew what I mess I was then and He knew about all the messes I would make from that point on. He knew I would spit in His face so many times. He knew I would totally slander His name and His cause by my actions. He knew that I was going to forget about Him time and again. He knew what kind of unworthy servant I was going to make... and on and on and on...

...and He saved me anyway.

How can I be thankful enough for that? How can I even approach being thankful enough?

I don't know.

...but I'm going to start trying a whole lot harder.

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalm 116:1


13 June 2008

thankful some more

I've been thinking a whole lot about what it really means and what it really should mean to me that I live in the time and place that I do. Alongside that, it's really hit home to me lately how thankful I should be (I am, but I could never be thankful enough I don't think) for the family and home that God has provided me.

I was looking at my gorgeous, wonderful, amazing baby boy the other day and (as usual) just became overwhelmed by how much I love him. It's no wonder I spent the first little while after he was born sitting around in a big puddle of mush and sobbing every time I looked at him. Motherly love is the strongest, deepest, and most encompassing and bittersweet thing I've ever felt. It's wonderful and horrible at the same time.

But I digress...

As I was sitting there looking at him, I thought of something I read somewhere a while back. Many years ago, it was very common for a child to never reach his first birthday. There were so many diseases and so few treatments that it was just a given that, yes, your family probably was going to be affected by the loss of a child. This was so common, in fact, that many families refrained from naming their children until their first birthday.

I read this before I had Scotty, and while I had some idea of how deeply I would love my children, I didn't have a clue. I remember thinking that you would end up calling the kid something... like how when a dog doesn't have a name people just end up calling it "Dog." I missed the point up until the other day when it crossed my mind for no reason really (other than God putting it there, I'm convinced).

Not naming their children was some kind of attempt to not become too attached to them. They decided that since there was a good chance they would die, they would do their best to keep them at arms length until they were more assured of their health. These mothers, these strong, hard-working, tough-as-nails women made themselves hold back this love that comes so naturally and like so much water from the flood gates. They clothed them, bathed them, comforted their cries, and no doubt held them at their breast day in and day out of that first year... and still desperately tried to hold back that love. I can't imagine how anxiously they must have watched for the rise and fall of their chests as they slept or how their hearts tightened with fear at the sound of each cough or the tiniest hint of a rattle in their little chests. I can't imagine the relief that first birthday brought to the ones who got to celebrate them. Not that the 365th day is any more significant than the 364th, but a milestone is a milestone nonetheless.

I remember doing the same thing when I hit the 13 week mark. "Phew, past the scary part," I thought.

We named our son the day after he was born. And it wasn't terribly long after he was born when we first mentioned the then-far-off first birthday party. Oh, how we've taken it all for granted! Infant deaths are not nearly as common anymore, thankfully, but I know they still happen and that to those mothers who've lost babies, it's just as huge as if it did happen to nearly everyone. My heart goes out to them in whatever small way it can. I know (and I pray to God) that I can't understand all the many breaks in their hearts. I do know that if I had as many breaks in my heart as I have love for my baby, it would seem that I had no heart left at all.

God is so good to me. He blesses us every day with health and peace and freedom and I so easily take all this for granted. The beautiful squirmy little blue-eyed blessing that He's placed in our care is too much to be thankful for; I don't think I'm capable of giving enough thanks yet.

Maybe someday when I get to Heaven, after God makes me like Jesus, and after I get done praising Him for saving me, He'll let me thank Him properly for giving me a mother's heart and for filling it to overflowing... over and over and over...


09 June 2008


It's not often that I have reason enough to put everything else on hold to sit down and write anytime before midnight, but today I feel that I do.

For weeks (or months, if you'd rather, although there have been a couple short reprieves) I've been dealing with all these nagging worries. I suppose they were pretty irrational, but as any fellow worry-warts/obsessive freaks like myself know, irrationality and all of its attending darkness, depression, and otherwise certainly seems real and absolutely humongous at the time. During those shadowy times, I spent many a night after David and Scotty were in bed pleading with God to just make me feel better. "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief," "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature," "For God has not given us the spirit of fear..." These were my mind's constant companions and I begged for God to apply them to my heart.

But He wouldn't. Night after night, despite all my passion and all my attempts to diligently seek Him, He would not comfort me... at least not to the extent I was so desperately longing for.

He did direct me to the blog of a dear woman named Angie Smith, who lost her sweet baby Audrey Caroline and chose to share her family's story with the world. I'm so glad she did, because reading about her strength and willingness to accept God's will has affected my life so much. Besides admiring her character, her story has also made me so thankful for the things I have in my life. That's not to say that I'm anywhere nearly as thankful as I ought to be, but I'm more thankful than I have been and that's something of a start. And since "a thankful heart is a happy heart," I'd been feeling somewhat better, although the same stuff was still lurking around in the back of my mind somewhere.

This morning we got up earlier and had to rearrange our normal schedule to get to Scotty's 9 month checkup. So once we got all ready and got everything together, we hit the road about 9:30. There's an S-curve near my house, and I was in the straight stretch between the two curves when I saw that I was going to meet a truck. It was one of those little white service trucks with an orange light on top. I didn't realize how fast he was going until I watched him skid sideways as he came around the curve; he dropped off the side of the road completely and kicked up a big cloud of dust, but somehow managed not to flip and actually made it back onto the road. My initial reaction was something along the lines of, "What an idiot," but then God reminded me of how many car accident related deaths I've heard about that involved someone missing a curve, dropping off the side of the road, and over correcting -- sending them into a tree or another vehicle on the opposite side of the road. And it was like God was right there saying, "I kept that from happening this time. I was right there then and I'm right there all the time."

And there was the comfort I'd been seeking.

Why do I always forget how intimately God knows me? Why can I never remember how He knows that I have to be shown things? The evidence is there throughout my life up to this point. Even in my salvation experience, as He gave me such a quiet stillness of peace with Him... one that I have to continually seek out in my soul... one the requires He show it to me again and again so that I might remember that He is the one in control, the one who holds my salvation and who is my salvation.

When I got a little ways down the road and managed to get past the initial fear and amazement of the moment, I noticed that Great Is Thy Faithfulness was the song playing through it all. How appropriate. Because the faithfulness of my Father is always playing in the background... whether I'm scared or rejoicing, so thankful that my cup runneth over or too busy to notice... He is always faithful and always sufficient for my needs.


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!


05 June 2008

spending time with myself

It's been a nice evening.

After putting Scotty (and David) to bed, I took a bath... which isn't or wouldn't be anything too out of the ordinary, but I mean like a real sit-down-in-the-bathtub kind of bath... with bubbles and a towel-y pillow. I hadn't done that in a really long time because our bathtub, for whatever reason, refused to hold water... but since Scotty started taking baths in the tub we were forced to get one of those sink stopper-upper things, which enabled my bathing as well. It was lovely. I used Scotty's lavender soap, which somehow added to the allure.

After my bath and a thorough lotion-ing, I preheated the oven for a cookie. And while the oven preheated, I took off my cruddy looking bronze-ish toenail polish and put on my back-to-normal and brighter, I might add, pink. When my cookie (white chip macadamia nut, by the way) was done, I sat down with that and a glass of milk to watch The Holiday (which I enjoy because Kate Winslet is beautiful and British and Jude Law is amazingly hot and also British).

The best part of all this time spent with myself, though, was my line of thought while I was in my bath. It was odd and uncharacteristic because as I lay there looking at my toes Michelle-Pfeiffer-What-Lies-Beneath style, I noticed the stillness of the moment. No over-active, overly-aware crazy death-and-dying, planning my funeral or that of someone close to me, picturing torturous POW death-cell scenes. I actually had to think for a minute to remember what I had been thinking about. That in itself was more luxurious than the bath or anything else. Not that the bath was all that luxurious, mind you, since I don't exactly fit in the bathtub. The fact that I didn't fit in the bathtub brought me back around to what I had been thinking when I stopped to consider what I had been thinking...

I want a big bathtub...

and the big bathtub thought led to the wrap-around porch thought and the wrap-around porch idea led to the dum dee dum dee dum...

So, to wrap up this much-happier-than-usual-recently blog... here's a (you guessed it) list of all the stuff I want in my house someday:

-A big bathtub with jets and bubbles... I mean one that I can actually stretch my legs out in.
-And as long as we're in the bathroom... I want one of those big walk-in showers that are big enough to not need a door... with multiple shower heads... and one of those waterfall thingers.
-And since that would use a lot of water and I would want to be able to take ridiculously long showers, we would need one of those in-line water heaters.

...and 3's enough for now since it's 1 AM. I'll finish later.


03 June 2008

feeding the addiction

I like making lists, so while I'm up and totally alert at 12:26 AM, watching You've Got Mail after just having finished watching Sleepless in Seattle... I'm going to make a couple.

A random smattering of stuff I like:
You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, therefore Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, movie lines which David only recognizes because I say them a lot, "Hello, Diane! Take a look at these swatches!," making up my own punctuation rules when I'm not feeling Nazi-ish about it, school supplies, asparagus ferns, asparagus if it's fixed right, the smell of fall and all those memories attached to it, wrapping presents, fresh flowers in my house, long-haired men (but also bald ones...), mohawks for some reason that I've never yet understood, words like ache and mouth and perambulation, chai tea, the idea of a book club, tobacco barns, reading before bed, handkerchiefs...


02 June 2008

...and the night closed in.

Night time used to be my favorite time of the whole day. When I was in high school, I loved the time I would spend alone in my room while the house slept around me. I would usually talk to folks on instant messenger while I was getting ready for bed and then I would settle in with my 47 different pillows and a good movie. Many nights, though, I would spend at least a little bit of time writing. Just writing... about nothing and everything. Getting my heart out there on the page. There was time for it then and I needed it; I loved every second of it. Getting all that angst and passion, love or lust, sometimes anger, sometime jealousy, sometimes just nonsense out of me for a little while.

So many times still... all I want to do is pour myself out of an ink pen. It's the call of the open page that I long for so often, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. These 11-o'clock-and-later blog entries certainly show the truth of that.

But I didn't really sit down with the intention of writing about my writing habits and lack thereof. I sat down with the intention of just writing about normal life stuff in a helpless, grasping-at-straws sort of way to regain some normalcy in this brain of mine.

I planted flowers in my window boxes today. Celosia in the long one under the livingroom windows (to go with the begonias which were already there); pink and white impatiens paired up with asparagus ferns in the 2 shorter ones. They look nice... we'll see if I can keep them watered throughout the summer. Maybe it won't be as hot and dry as it was last year.

The rest of the day prior to that was uneventful... just the normal never-ending cycle of laundry interjected with the occasional dishes and Scotty-tending.

We did get to go hang out with my sister's kids while she and my bro-in-law went out for the night, and that was fun. It had been a really long time since I'd spent such a long time with the 3 of them. My niece fell asleep on me before we left, which reminds me of the Thanksgiving after she was born. She would have been nearing the 2 month mark and she fell asleep on my chest after lunch. I think I fell asleep, too. That seems like a lifetime ago. She'll be 4 in October. She was playing with her kitchen set tonight and I asked her if she was making my birthday cake. She informed me that it was not my birthday, so I asked her if she knew when my birthday was... and she said, "NEXT TO MINE!" Hehe... hers is the 8th, mine is the 18th. She's a sweetheart.

And then we came back home and it was dark and the day was over.

Depression or something grey and creeping has been an all-too-familiar companion these past months. I don't have any desire to be jubilantly happy every second of every day, but I know there was a time when I felt like there was some hope for tomorrow. My mind is weary with racing and my heart is tired of living in the shadows.

Night comes at least once every 24 hours for me and I watch each time as it approaches knowing that this will be one more time that I struggle to stay in the light as darkness closes in.

Night time used to be my favorite time of the whole day. But it's not anymore.


A thing I like

I read this today and I think it's amazing... it's the May 30th entry in Streams in the Desert, which was compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth (Rev. 14:3).

There are songs which can only be learned in the valley. No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung. Their music is in the heart. They are songs of memory, of personal experience. They bring out their burden from the shadow of the past; they mount on the wings of yesterday.
Saint John says that even in heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of earth--the strain of redemption. Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free. But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.
No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can. To sing it as I sing it, they much pass through my exile, and this they cannot do. None can learn it but the children of the cross.
And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father. Thou art being educated for the choir invisible. There are parts of the symphony that none can take but thee.
There are chords too minor for the angels. There may be heights in the symphony which are beyong the scale--heights which angels alone can reach; but there are depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee.
Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow. I have heard many say that He sends sorry to prove thee; nay, He sends sorrow to educate thee, to train thee for the choir invisible.
In the night He is preparing thy song. In the valley He is tuning thy voice. In the cloud He is deepening thy chords. In the rain He is sweetening thy melody. In the cold He is moulding thy expressing. In the transition from hope to fear He is perfecting thy lights.
Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song. -George Matheson

Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He'll give you a new, sweet song.
He'll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He'll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.

And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music
"I learned it in the night."
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father's home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this devotional book. There are many revised versions, but I have the original with only the simple scripture references, thoughts on that reference by various people, and a short poem by Mrs. Cowman (I linked to the exact version I have above if anyone's interested). It's been downright amazing how God has used each day's entry to apply directly to something going on in my life.


30 May 2008

At all times...

At 12:35, what in the world am I doing 1) awake and 2) writing a blog of all things?

1) I have no idea because I'm so tired my eyes feel like they have silly putty in them and
2) because I wanna.

I was just reading another blog by a lady whose writings are all about her family life and the loss of an unborn child (at least I'm pretty sure she died in utero... haven't gotten that far yet). I was reading along for a long time (another odd thing to be doing after midnight) before I realized that this lady is the wife of one of the guys in the Christian group Selah, which I love.

Anyway, all of that is quite beside the point, since the main gist of what's on my mind concerns more the spirit in which her posts were written. They were full of such faith and strength and even humor... and they inspired me so, especially given the mood I've been in tonight and the past few days.

To sum it up in very short order... I'm discouraged. Admitting such a thing makes me sick since, as a good friend once advised me, "Don't get discouraged... that's exactly what Satan wants you to do." I know, I know... and that's what makes me sick.

I feel a whole lot like the person who says, "I really want to be healthy, but when I want another cookie, I just can't stop myself." (p.s., I've been that person before, too, actually). So many times (I'm talking every single day... especially lately), I actually have it go through my mind all about the kind of Christian I'd like to be... I wish I had a better prayer life... I wish I could feel God's presence all the time... I wish I could just say "God" and He would be right there comforting me in every circumstance. And again... I know, I know...

David and I had gotten totally out of the habit of watching television (except Veggietales and Baby Einstein...), and we were both loving it. Likewise, we'd gotten totally out of the habit of listening to anything on the radio other than Christian/gospel or at least something quieter and more reflective/less distracting. Well, I've watched David Letterman and Craig Ferguson for the past 2 or 3 nights... and I fell out of my good radio habits a while back as well... and oh my gosh, can I ever tell a difference. I was sitting here reading that blog I was talking about earlier and had Craig Ferguson on in the background... that's sorda when it hit me...

I am such a hypocrite. I am a Pharisee's Pharisee.

Here I was sitting here reading all of these wonderfully uplifting and God-glorifying things with a bunch of garbage just rattling on in the background. And I would actually look up and laugh at things from time to time. What a telling scenario. I put on a nice front and I go to church practically every time the doors are open, but the dull roar of the world is ever present in the background of my life.

Multiple times I find myself completely disgusted over something that I see going on around me, but I still allow myself to be a part of it every single day.

I'm so glad that I serve (in my own very weak way) a God who sees the desires of my heart... because in my heart of hearts, what I want most is to be found serving Him at all times... not just when it's convenient or easy or popular or whatever. It's so easy for me to turn to God when I'm hurting; I want it to become so easy for me to turn to Him every day. It's wonderful to be able to go to Him in times of need, but I want Him to help me prioritize a bit better so I'll remember that thanking Him during the good times is just as wonderful and important.

This is a rambling thing that I've written... but it's been more for me than for anybody else, so take it for what it is.


04 May 2008

a poem I just wrote + some thoughts

I raise you, my Lord,
my Salvation, my Rock,
I raise you, the One who was slain.
It was my sin, those nails,
My sin, those scars,
My sin, that caused you such pain.

I raise you, my Lord,
my Redeemer, my Prince,
I raise you, oh, Conqueror of grave.
It was my soul you loved,
my soul, you died,
it was my soul that you came to save.

I raise you, my Lord,
on the wings of my prayer.
I raise you, oh, my Mighty Tower.
For the height and the breadth,
extents I can't understand,
The width and the depth of Love's power.

I raise you, my Lord,
in my weakest of ways,
I raise you in the midst of my sin.
The petition of my heart,
the plea of my soul,
O Lord, let me raise you again.

It's been a good day and I'm thankful.

I wonder and, all too often, worry about what lies ahead for me and my family. I spend far too much time considering the "what ifs" and working myself into a panic over things that don't even exist in the here and now. But sometimes, just sometimes, when I can get even an inkling of the closeness I should always have with my Lord, He gives me the sweetest clarity of mind and the sweetest overflowing of that peace that He placed in my soul... and I'm able, if only for a moment, to really feel the control that He has over everything.

If I knew there was a mansion next door with a swimming pool and big fluffy feather beds and some kind of nice spa bathtub with warm towels all the time... and cheesecake and pizza... and every other luxury you can imagine... and this mansion was open for me to use 24/7 anytime I felt like it... why wouldn't I just move in? There's a higher plane of living. And it's just there for the taking and there are 10,000 charms there... things better than pizza and spa bathtubs. How foolish of me that I should refuse to move into that mansion!

The length of my life here should be of no concern to me, only how I live for whatever length of time God grants me. I have a great, wonderful, powerful, awesome, enormous God who is
worthy of more praise than my mortal body is capable of giving Him. But I should fill up every nano-second of every day with willingness to do whatever it is that would glorify Him most and look forward to the day when He's going to make me like Jesus, so I can finally FINALLY give Him the praise He's worthy of FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY!


24 April 2008


I think it may be safe to say that it's actually springtime now on the street where I live. Why oh why would a born-and-raised Kentucky girl say such a thing without knocking on wood or some other equally superstitious and supposedly helpful in these situations kind of thing? I dunno... just seemed like the right thing to say at the time. But regardless of that digression, I do believe that the temperatures will not be dipping back into the 40s again anytime soon. It's supposed to cool down considerably (from the present and not-so-much-like-April-now-that-you-mention-it 82 degrees) in the next week or so, but I don't think it will be drastic.

Of course having said that, I'm sure one of the evil weather gods is laughing his cumulonimbus off and will smite my upcoming graduation party with torrential flooding, murderous zephyr-type winds, and hail stones the size of...... something large and menacing.

Not that I believe in any such weather god and as far as the real God goes, He can send whatever kind of weather He wants and I'll not complain because... duh, why would I?

But yes, 82 degrees out there today. I've only been out once so far, which is not due to anything having to do with personal choice but with the increasingly frightening pile of clothes taking over my laundry room. They were clean, mind you, but still piled precariously in several baskets just waiting to topple over and kill or at least maim the next person who walked through. I defeated them, though! With almost no effort and all while enjoying some nice bluegrassy gospel music (including at least 2 songs which sound scarily like
Bob Evans commercials) and watching my son play in the floor.

We've had similar weather the past few days and I have to say that my body is not reacting well to the semi-hottish weather, which is frustrating, but I haven't let it stop me. Yesterday I was thoroughly outdone by my 72-year-old grandmother. She was going all over the yard with her sharp shooter digging up starts of some bushes for me and I was totally pooped, sitting in the shade feeling depressed and disgusted with myself because I had no energy. P.S., when I say "sharp shooter," I mean
this and not anything along these lines. David gets irritated with me because I refuse to call it by its proper name, but I just can't bring myself to call a spade a spade... har har. And by the way, if you do any gardening whatsoever, I highly suggest you invest in one of these things.

Point of interest, my grandmother noticed my lethargy and informed me that she had no energy when she was young either, which she attributed to having periods......... your guess is as good as mine, folks.

I had plenty of energy the two previous days, having gotten up, gotten breakfast for Scotty and myself, gotten ready gone to church, come home and worked outside, fixed supper and gotten ready a second time (usually from the "ground up", having worked outside and not wanting to drive the general population to madness with my raw and attractive animal-ish magnetic aroma... aka, I stank from working outside) and gone to church again. I just wrote all of that in a really awkward tense, so if it's hard to read blame something hormonal... I'm sure my grandmother would.

But enough of this folly... I most certainly do have flowers growing around my house in the ground, in pots, and in the barrel. I just hope that I can keep them all alive this year. I had a lot of things going against me last summer. The late frost got things off to a rough start and the drought did absolutely nothing to help, but the fact that it was over 100 degrees most days and I was in the last stages of at-least-40-pounds-heavier, ankles-no-where-to-be-found, what-there-are-actually-bones-in-those-doughy-things-I-think-are-my-feet pregnancy... well, suffice it to say that my yard looked quite desolate and very crumbly. It was the yard of death.

But this year it shall be the yard of life. And I shall add pictures very soonly.

Happy days are here again because - write this down, kids - spring is better than Christmas.


08 April 2008


Spring has arrived! Ok, ok... I know I shouldn't get too excited since we have about 14 false starts before warm weather actually sticks around for good. But I am anyway.

Because, oh my gosh... have you been outside? The grass is green and the sky is blue and the trees look all furry because they have little buds all over them. Phlox and forsythia and bradford pears are blooming. And have you even smelled the air? Ahhhh... I know it HAS to be better than Christmas.

I planted something today! I dug in the dirt and got it under my fingernails! Yesterday, I started seeds in 72 peat pellets and stuck a hydrangea in a pot to get started. It all just makes me happy.

Best of all (maybe not, but it was awfully fun), I busted out the
sidewalk chalk yesterday and decorated my driveway.


20 March 2008

Blast my pituitary gland!

...at least I think that's the one that controls when you're sleepy or not.

Let the record show that I have actually tried just going to bed to see if I'd fall asleep. It didn't work. Unfortunately, I just laid there like a slug thinking of every single unpleasant thing my brain could dredge up (i.e, house fires, paralysis, leprosy, being buried alive). I've made an executive decision, though... I'm going to get up early in the morning regardless of the time I do actually end up asleep tonight. I'm going to force my body out of the bed and I'm going to deny myself a nap at any point tomorrow, thereby making sure that I'm sleepy tomorrow night.

Anyway, I figured I could do something
ANYTHING other than just laying there making myself crazy, so I decided to come back to the office and this is what I ended up doing. Sitting here jabbering on to a text box and listening to random music.

I followed this same pattern last night, didn't set an alarm, and ended up not waking up until 11. How this happened with a 6 month old in bed with me, I'll never know, but I wasn't happy about it. My alarm is already set for 8 AM. Not really early, I realize, but it will be an accomplishment for me.

I went and picked buttercups on my grandparents' farm this afternoon. I was going to just make a short trip of it and get them from "the bottom" (the low parts of the fields surrounding the branch), but I thought, "Now am I really going to do this without walking over to the old home place?" (the area where the old home place of my grandmother's people used to be, that is... it burned down in the 30s). I had borrowed my grandmother's old shoes, but I still didn't want to get them wet, so, I took 'em off, rolled up my jeans and waded across the branch. My great-grandmother probably rolled over in her grave. It was against everything she believed in to get your feet wet in March, no matter how warm it was. The water was chilly, but it felt good. I walked barefoot through the pasture the rest of the way back to the house... and that felt good, too.

It had been too darn long.

You know how in movies, people have these flashbacks of sorts where they look at something and see something or someone who's not there or someone who used to be there maybe. Think, Cold Case at the end of every show where the main blonde chick pictures whoever she's allowed to R.I.P. Anyhow, I had that sort of sensation looking out across the field where the old home place used to be. Not as in I saw the house and people who occupied it or anything, but I could imagine it... as well as my great-grandmother and her sister as children standing next to the porch with their dog like in that picture I love so much. It was just a perfect day. The light was just right...

Why don't people sing like
this guy anymore? It makes me sad...

A recent back-and-forth on Facebook made me stop and ponder something... what makes a person "country?" Or so it was termed in the back-and-forth. I have to say there isn't a good answer to the question, unfortunately. I remember when I was in grade school going to a rodeo with a few friends. Some of the older girls in the group went totally out of their way to dress for the occasion... I mean, they actually borrowed people's Wranglers, Ropers, and belt buckles... and cowboy hats, too, it seems now that I think about it. So many people that I can think of even still seem to think that their country-ness (or really any other label) is determined by what they wear, or what they drive, or what they do...

That just seems silly to me since clothes can tear or burn or rot, trucks and tractors can go kaput, and a person could (for whatever reason) not be able to do the things they've always done and defined themselves by.

For me, I'm satisfied just being who I am with no labels and without trying to fit under someone else's heading or subheading. I do what I do and am what I am based on nothing more than the fact that I like what I like (with the obvious exception of some things that I do being required of me by my Lord, which I try to do whether I
like them or not).

Ahh... it's 1:33 in the AM. My crazy body...


19 March 2008


Made ya look... haha.

No really, my maternity clothes are OUT OF THE CLOSET! Completely. Well, ok... there's one pair of fat pants still in there because I forgot about them until I had totally taped up the box and I didn't want to re-do it, so I just put them waaaaay back in the catacombs so I'll never see them (and probably won't remember them the next time I need them, but oh well).

So, yeah... I also cleaned out all the stuff I never wear anymore and am sick of looking at. Aaaannnnd... you should see my sock drawer. I also finally went through my terrifying underwear drawer and threw away all the hooker-looking
things I wore in high school (had I any idea of the trashiness of which I was capable back then? Not the first clue, unfortunately...).

My little man was a complete and total angel the whole time I was doing this, but I kept him well entertained...

That pretty much sums up my productivity for the day... I'm so behind on laundry it's not even funny.


07 March 2008


So I finished reading my book...

...and I have to say that I liked it overall. There was quite a bit of it that I disagreed with (as you might have noticed by my earlier post), but there was quite a bit of it that really spoke to me, to coin a stupid, cliche little phrase. Besides that, I love LOVE the way this woman writes. I went and checked out another book that she wrote called The Last American Man, which is the biography of a man named Eustace Conway. Never heard of him. But I brought it home anyway hoping that it would at least be written in the same manner. We'll see.

Anyway, in the end, I guess you could say I liked Eat, Pray, Love in the same way that I like a field of flowers. The whole thing is beautiful and definitely fun to look at. Some of the flowers are nice to look at up close, but there are only a handful I'd pick and bring home with me. Was that maybe a little too oblique? Probably...

Anyway, so I brought that one book home with me from the library and a few others... an Anne Lamott book, as well as a couple of sewing books (since some schlepp checked out every last crochet book before I could get to them). The book I got that I'm reading now, though, is Into the Wild (by Jon Krakauer, whose name reminds me of the word sauerkraut), which I'd been interested in reading for a while.

Meanwhile, it's my hubby's b-day today! Happy birthday, Dave-o!

(that is a from-scratch pound cake, thank you very much, made by yours truly)


05 March 2008

Latest Creation

You guessed it... another scarf. Shocker, right?

I wasn't thrilled with the finished product, but it's an accomplishment regardless, right? It's basically 3 rows of double crochet rounded once with
shell stitches. If anybody's interested in the pattern, I can post it, but it's in a book that I bought so I don't know if it's technically legal to include it...

The book is...

...and it's pretty much amazing! (p.s. I have no idea why my font insists on changing, but I'm just gonna go with it). But yes, as far as I'm concerned, Debbie Stoller is a genius. My husband insists that I put the book away when his parents come over and really, I guess I could remove the cover, but that would take all the fun out of it now wouldn't it?

I also just bought its sister (and the original Stitch 'n' Bitch) book...

Which also seems to be a great book with all the charms of the crochet guide... it's just that, sadly, I am a retarded knitter (so far). I keep trying and am beginning to feel like that cock-eyed bird who repeatedly flies into the kitchen window regardless of curtains, tin foil, and even the occasional doily. Ugh. I really want to like to knit... really. But every time I try to hold needles in BOTH hands, I just want to use them to gouge out my eyes or something equally violent. I'm hoping that Miss Debbie will help me love it eventually... I SHANT GIVE UP!

That's all folks :-)


26 February 2008


So my friend April went to Spain over the past weekend (jet setter that she is) and brought me back this cool stuff!

A beautiful pitcher to add to my collection, so that when people are admiring all of them (which happens really often, as you can imagine) I can say, "Hey! That one's from Spain!"

And this amazing print of some Gaudi catherdral... which I plan to mat and frame and hang in our bedroom.

On a completely different and unrelated topic (and forgive the font switch... I'm tired of messing with the HTML formatter which rudely changes all your settings every time you blink)... I am currently reading _Eat Pray Love_, by Elizabeth Gilbert and find it maddening and fascinating all at the same time. In a nutshell, it's a chronicle of this woman's search for the ability to be constantly "in tune" with God, but without ever denying herself any wordly pleasure. Yeah... I find it really hard to read anything without writing all over it and making notes in the margins, so when she implored a Balinese medicine man to help her learn "how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God," my marginal response was, "NOT POSSIBLE, lady..."

Anyway, here are more of my thoughts on why I simultaneously love and hate this book.

The "eat" part of her journey is spent in (where else?) Italy, where her main goal is to learn the art of pursuing pleasure.

I LOVE how she describes the food:
(speaking of a place in Naples, the Pizzeria de Michele, which supposedly has the best pizza in the world) "They have only two varieties of pizza here -- regular and extra cheese."

And as if that right there wasn't enough to make me want to move there indefinitely...:

"[The crust is] soft and chewy and yielding, but incredibly thin. I always thought we only had two choices in our lives when it came to pizza crust--thin and crispy, or thick and doughy. How was I to have known there could be a crust in this world that was thin and doughy? Holy of holies! Thin, doughy, strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise. On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzeralla, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance, much the same way one shimmering movie star in the middle of a party brings a contact high of glamour to everyone around her. It's technically impossible to eat this thing, of course. You try to take a bite off your slice and the gummy crust folks, and the hot cheese runs away like topsoil in a landslide, makes a mess of you and your surroundings, but just deal with it."

Now I'm hungry.

On the flip side, though...

I don't go for all the religion/spiritualism = hocus pocus crap. I don't like the whole "I pray to the Divinity and I am the prayer and I am the Divinity" hoo-hocky. It just doesn't work for me. I like the thought of dwelling in God and God dwelling in me, but it doesn't make much sense to me to think that God and I are one being as in "the drop dwells in the ocean but the ocean also dwells in the drop" sort of thing. The way she puts it all just makes it seem sort of like, I couldn't exist without God, but God couldn't exist without me either.... and that just... ugh... sends chills up and down my spine. I guess I kind of see God as, of course, my creator and kind of like my boss (an ultimately loving boss, thankfully) who blesses me to let me do some things for Him and in His name, but Who I also know could accomplish it all without me or anybody else's help, ya know? I dunno... this got a whole lot deeper than I had intended.

I did find this interesting concept, though, which is still sort of in the spiritual line of thought, but more pertaining to temporal relationships:

She had been talking to a friend she met at the Ashram in India about how she believed that an ex-boyfriend of hers had been her soulmate and she's lost him and was now totally at a loss... and here's what her friend said (he calls her Groceries and her ex-guy's name is David):

"He probably was. Your problem is you don't understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let this one go. It's over Groceries. "

His whole point was that the point of a "soulmate" (er... somebody you want to call a soulmate but didn't manage to end up with) is to break down some of your personal walls and show you how capable you are of loving and being loved.

I could expound more, but this is already long and ridiculous and I've gotta get ready to go to a proofreading party, so that's all for now...