Wednesday, January 26, 2011

what I love

Just a quick post... to tell you what I love...

1. College students.  I know that's not a shock to most of you, but I'll say it again.  Heck, I'll SCREAM it.  I LOVE COLLEGE STUDENTS.  And know what's cool about getting to know people when they are college students?  Some of them keep you around for a long time even after college.  Today, I got to hang with one of my favorites... from 9 years ago.

David, back row, third in from the left, somehow hasn't been able to shake me.  We met his freshman year at UNC when I was the College Minister.  Not only did we fall in love with David, but he fell in love with us.  I was able to hang with his sweet, social self... and Dan?  Well, Dan was able to hang with his (ahem) nerdy self.  (Come on, David, you know it's true.)  The three of us formed quite a unique bond and haven't been able to get rid of each other yet.  His precious wife came in the mix a few years back... well, we met her when she was his crush then his girlfriend... let me tell you, they are a perfect mix.  Today, they were in town with a family member who was being seen at Baptist and I got to have 30 good minutes of David and Sarah time.  Joy of Joys.

2. Shopping.  I won't lie... I love it.  I love it for me, I love it for you.  Right now, I love it for kids.  While I was at Target getting the final stuff for our trip, I made sure that Tinkerbell was stocked for the treats she leaves in our room.  She also found some things for some friends going to Disney in another week, and both of us (me and Tink) got pretty excited about it.  (My love language?  Gifts.  Shocking.)
you sassy pixie, you...

3. The smell of my Mom's lasagna.  It's what's for dinner.

4. Seeing tell me that Monday it'll be 74 degrees where I'll be.

5. That I have multiple boxes of Jen Hatmaker's books to take to MOMS tomorrow.

6. Brewing a fresh pot of coffee in the afternoon.  Thanks, Jenny Pie, for the amazing treat.

7. That try as I might, when I need to get a whole list of things done, I still feel like it's exam week and I'm procrastinating... now by blogging.

8. Wrapping presents.  (See #2)

9. That E sang "Cruella DeVille" on the way home from school and immediately needed to watch the movie.

10. iTunes.  It's what procrastination is next.  Gotta have some good tunes for our upcoming car ride.

What do you love?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reclaiming January 25th...

January 25, 1989.  Possibly one of the top 5 worst days of my life.  The evening before, right around 9:00pm, my parents sat us down in our playroom and told us that they were getting a divorce.  It was right as "Roseanne" came on the Wednesday night line-up... and her maniacal laugh at the end of the opening credits still gives me the heebie jeebies.  That day (the 25th), I came in from school to find that while I'd been there all day, my Dad had indeed moved out.  I remember walking in the door and the first thing that hit me was that the coffee pot was gone.  Daddy always drank coffee, Mom didn't, so he took it.  That, in a nutshell, pushed me over the edge to realize that it was real.

January 25, 2004.  A super hard night, again.  One of my good friends was in the process of leaving her husband (what is it with that date?) and it was a nasty, ugly, scary evening.  My heart hurts as I remember that time period.

Various January 25ths in between?  Craptastic.  Generally, this date just sucks for me.  I used to nearly "celebrate" the craptastic-ness of the day by claiming that it was going to suck right out of the gate.  I think sometimes I created self-fulfilling prophesies by announcing that the 25th was coming up and I was going to hide out to avoid the drama.

So, although I'd acknowledged today's date mentally, I refused to let that infiltrate my brain today.  I woke up prepared to take on the day- in all of it's chaos.  I started putting dessert together for my supper club that was getting together tonight.  I did loads of laundry to get ready for our trip.  I helped Elizabeth organize all of her new princess goods.  I ran up and down the stairs... and then I noticed it... I couldn't breathe.

Because of my busy schedule, I tried to fight it for a bit... then remembered... that usually doesn't work.  I'd been struggling to breathe for a while now, but this was definitely heading into nasty breathing-territory.  So, I loaded up to go to the doctor, and a couple peak-flows and lung exams later, I'm home with some steroids.

That alone could qualify for a "typical" January 25th.

But here's what I didn't include about my day:
-My dear friend came to pick up Elizabeth- originally to let me have time to pack, but ended up keeping her while I went to the doctor.

-Waiting on the doctor, I drank coffee and enjoyed some quiet for the first time all day.

-I ran into 2 church friends at the doctor and got to have a second to catch up with them.

-When I came to pick E up from my friend's house, she had some unexpected guests (she was babysitting for another friend, too) and we were all able to enjoy dinner together.

-Her precious daughter, who I've loved since the moment I met her, brought me to tears tonight with her unscripted graciousness and sweet spirit.  I freakin' love that kid.

-Our families have morphed into one big family over the years, and I notice it most on nights like tonight.

-I got news today that one of my dearest friends found out she is having a GIRL (!!) (oh, and her first child is a boy, so I'm not knocking boys... I'm just pumped for one of each!) and I was moved to tears as she shared with me the news and her precious baby's name.

-Elizabeth fell in love with the label maker today.

-I ended up not being able to make my trip to Asheville tomorrow.  Craptastic?  A bit... I'm aching to see my family.  But the reclaimed blessing?  That I get to slow down a bit, put E in school, and pack in peace.

All in all, it would have been easy to focus on the lack of breathing and the canceled Supper Club and the canceled trip to Asheville.  But as I call it a day early, I choose to focus on His goodness and not my weakness/disappointments.  I got a song from Passion today (they have a pass that updates periodically with things available for download)... here are the lyrics for today's downloaded song.  Today's song.  TODAY'S song.  This is what I'll cling to... for January 25th.

Precious cornerstone, sure foundation 
You are faithful to the end 
We are waiting, on You, Jesus 
We believe You're all to us 

Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church 
Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns 
Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives 
We believe You're all to us 

my girl, waiting to be picked up for her afternoon playdate

Monday, January 24, 2011

God is Good.

Want to know about my day?  Fine, I'll tell you.

I am mildly overwhelmed.  We are headed on a trip soon... I have lots to do before then... I am making a trip home in the next couple of days to check on my dad (who broke some ribs by falling on ice! ouch!)... yeah, there's a lot going on.  This is one of those days where I "need"ed to be task focused and get a lot done so that later I'm not overwhelmed.  Oh, and have I mentioned I have asthma that gets worse with stress?  Cause I do.  And it does.

So anyways, I got up this morning and had some good morning time with E... some days are restful, some are rushed.  Today was just good.  I took her to school where I went in to see some of my favorite MMP ladies (the staff there is awesome), then went to brunch at a new friend's house.  She'd invited a bunch of us a few weeks ago, but that date got snowed out, so we rescheduled for today.  It was super: good food, great conversation... an overall nice time.  We laughed about our crazy families, our cute kids, and our amazingly clean houses.  Okay, some of that was embellished, but...

I left there and went to lunch (did I say I left brunch and went to lunch?  yep, I did.) with one of my favorite friends who is heading on the adventure of a lifetime.  She and her husband have been obedient to God's call on their lives and they are packing up and heading out to Botswana!  It's so amazing to see where He has brought them (and us, for that matter) in the 8+ years of our friendship... and now to see them ready to head to Africa to fulfill His plan for them.  Just... amazing.  And lunch at Cherries to boot?  Double amazing.

I left there, ran to Target to get some last minute stuff for our Disney trip, then went to Music Class with E at school.

We came home and were blessed with some time with my favorite 18 month old, Emma.  Big E hung out with Little E this afternoon and continued to kiss and hug her the whole time that she was here.  Presh.

As soon as Emma was picked up, we headed back over to my Brunch Friend's house to get a LOAD of princess stuff.  She had loaned us a Cinderella dress (see above... the big one... because E thought she could still wear the little one) this morning, and when her daughter (L) got home from school and heard that my E was excited about that, decided she was finally ready to part with some more things.  (That was an insanely long sentence.)  And we are the proud recipients of All Things Princess in this house.  Here's what I love about that: as soon as we left, it finally clicked with E that when I tell her to pass on her things she's outgrown, it could bring someone as much joy as inheriting L's stuff brought her.  Sometimes she acts like I'm just out to get her to make her get rid of stuff (and let's be honest, sometimes I am)... but now she's so excited to go through her things to pass on to other kids.

We left there, grabbed a quick dinner, then I came home to head up the street to pick up my Gal Pal to head for our weekly Bible Study group time.  We used to meet on Friday mornings, but that got tricky... so we're aiming for Monday nights now.  And, other change, we're aiming to use that time to pray.  And, (lots of "and"s here,) pray we did.  It's a beautiful thing to spend a couple of hours with people you know and love best in the presence of God.  Sandy Mercer first showed me that beautiful near-out-of-body experience in her classroom years ago... it's amazing to be part of it with these women... just beautiful.

I came home to the news that one of my favorite childhood friends- who has had multiple heartbreaks of miscarriage- is pregnant.  That news thrills my soul.  She will be a terrific momma... and it's about dern time.

All in all, my day was... well... beautiful.  I got to be a part of friendships, excitement, tasks, prayer, blessing... it's just cool.  It's neat to be right in the middle of where God is moving.  Sometimes you learn from those who are there in His midst.  Sometimes you get to be still before Him.  And sometimes... you just get swept away in His goodness.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Growing Up.

Twice this week I've had people tell me I'm "growing up".  In a good way.

The most recent "growing up" moment was tonight before I went to hang out with some cool ladies and paint pottery.  I came downstairs and said to Dan, "I look different than I've ever looked before.  I'm not in any way claiming to be trendy, funky, or anything of the sort... but I feel like I look more like myself than I've ever looked, and I'm not sure why that is."  Dan said, "It's not because of your fun hair, or because of your fun new bling... it's because you are growing up, and you're comfortable in your own skin."


So in the midst of my growing up-ness, let it be known that I am not totally grown up.  I still giggled in a horribly inappropriate way tonight with one of my favorite girls about the offensive-ness of my initials.

But I am grown up enough to appreciate that spending a Friday night with women from all stages of life is just as much fun as getting cute to go to Frat Court... and here's some proof of my good time:

 one of my favorite sights...
 our birthday girl friend!
some of the best ladies I know... 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hark, The Sound....

I've lived in 3 places my whole life.  Asheville, Chapel Hill, and now Winston.  Asheville was the longest, ringing in at 18.5 years.  Chapel Hill made it 8 years.  And now, I've been in Winston 8.5... longer than Chapel Hill.  Weird.

Usually if I say I'm "homesick", it's for Asheville... which I love.  But Winston has truly become home now, and I'm content here.

Tonight, however, I'm homesick for the land of Carolina Blue.

I came home from a super time with some girlfriends at the call of Dan telling me that Elizabeth had thrown up three times.  At last count, we're up to eight nine.

From the time that E was born, I would sing her some of my favorite songs as lullabies.  Sure, we had the traditional "Rock-a-bye Baby" and "Hush Little Baby", but our own songs were "Elizabeth" by the Statler Brothers, "Carolina In My Mind" by James Taylor, "My Jesus, I Love Thee" by any good Baptist Hymnal, and "Hark, The Sound"... by any self-respecting Carolina Grad.

In between wiping her mouth and rinsing out the trashcan tonight, I've been singing my baby "my" lullabies.  What calms her most- which was the only song that would soothe her when she was colicky- is "Hark The Sound".  After getting soothed myself in the music (which happens to be the same tune they sing at the end of "Dirty Dancing"... "at Kellerman's the friendships last long as the mountain stands"), I decided to try to find a good rendition on YouTube.  Home of all good media, right?

Looking through all of the Chapel Hill "stuff", I got sucked in... and I got homesick.

So, coming to you live from Mommy's Bed of Sick Girls, I bring you: my blue heaven.

It's amazing to me that 8.5 years later, I can conjure up memories from EVERY place he films.  Each step/location has something associated with it.  Amazing.

I'm sad this starts late, because I know E would love this version.

I cry nearly every time I watch this.

And somehow, I stumbled upon this one...

All you haters?  This post is not for you.  Seriously.  I'm not trying to begin some ACC fight, I don't want to hear your thoughts on my alma mater's basketball team, I am not looking to discuss your thoughts on your school versus mine.

This post is for me... and for those of you who understand that there is nothing better than Cheddar Munchers with an Orangeade at Sutton's; those know know that peeing in an alley on Franklin Street on Halloween somehow feels normal; those that think that Cafe Trio Shakes were straight from heaven; those who know that beer tastes better in a Blue Cup or at Bub's; whose who understand that the Old Well really can be beautiful every day; those of you, like me, that can smell your dorm lobby if you think about it really hard... and who miss (Janice) who cleaned; those of us fortunate enough to understand that the omelets at "Downstairs Lenoir" can rival those at Grove Park Inn; those of you who experienced the Pit Preacher who pissed you off and made you sad in the same moment; those of you who knew that magic could happen in the Upstairs Union or in Large Group; those of you who spent hours in Suite C; those of you who thought that the Undergrad was super fun to hang out in... and you're jealous of those whippersnappers that get to do Flash Mobs there; those of you that wondered why the crap you had to walk allll the way across campus to get to Student Health; those of us who remember that the walk home from the Dean Dome was either a magical moment or... well, miserable; those of us that giggled every time you passed someone doing the walk of shame- unless it was you; those that still call it "Smurf Village" even though there is some other sign out front; those that miss The Ultimate from Yogurt Pump; and those of you who know what a perfect spring day feels like... this post, my friend, is for you.

I'm a Tarheel born.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mean Girls

I've blogged before about how tumultuous adolescence was as a girl.  I'll stand behind it... it's still true.  But tonight as I was at Book Club, several of us shared experiences of times as an adult when girls have been just as brutal.

WHY?  For the love of God... WHY?

Whether in organized events (read= organized meanness), social clubs (read= social meanness), or just as friends who say and do mean things (read= meanness), it appears that it's universal... girls are mean to other girls.  Apparently Tyra did a show about it.  We've talked about it.  I've blogged about it... so why do we do it?!?!?!?

I know why-- Insecurity.  Jealousy.... oh, wait, that goes back to insecurity.

Tell me, ladies... what were some moments that you remember where people tore you down?  And, on the flip side, what were moments where people built you up?  I'll start... my first big memory of being torn down was 6th grade when people called me "Big Butt Becky" supposedly behind my back.  But I heard them.  And, no, I don't think it's funny if you call me that now.  I will not laugh.  I will possibly even cry.  From that drama, a special teacher built me back up by pouring into me that I was a leader and could make a difference.  I bought it- hook, line, and sinker.

Now, it's your turn.  Seriously... welcome to group therapy.  Share your pivotal moments here:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dear Diary....

This is a boring blog post.  I'll just tell you that now.  I'm going to proceed to tell you what my weekend was like.

New Hair Day!  I had to reschedule my hair appointment to Friday because of snow earlier in the week.  I told Jenn, who I love, that I wanted to do something new with my hair.  I kinda meant a cut.  She kinda meant a color.  Jenn, who I love, said to me, "Do you trust me?" and I said... yes.  Now, along with my new face bling, I am the proud recipient of hair that is way funkier than I am.

color not as "drastic" in real life... 
the flash added some shine

I, and my new hair, had the joy of going on a triple date on Friday night with some old friends and some new-ish friends.  We went to Brixx, grabbed some coffee, and went to see my boyfriend (Kevin James) in a movie with my girlfriend (Queen Latifah)... it was cute.

the boys... who all look photoshopped.

Saturday, I had the privilege to co-host a baby shower for one of my best friends, bridesmaids, and former roomies.  Jenny and I ended up randomly living together after running into each other at a Barenaked Ladies concert.  During the year we lived together, we became fast friends... and Jenny got a front-row seat in my relationship with Dan.  (I honestly thought he was "into" her when we first started dating!)  Her baby shower was at a Tea House in Kernersville and was just... lovely.  I am so excited to meet her baby girl in just a couple short months!
amazing cake by Lindsay!

diaper cake (that fell apart)

tasty treats!

former 1204 ladies

Sunday, I attended a shower for another dear friend- Carrie.  Carrie is two weeks (!!!) away from having her third baby.  And believe me... we love to throw a party for babies!  The food was amazing, Carrie got a ton of loot, and, well... I made my favorite new blog-find: Salted Caramel Brownie Bites.  Oh.  My.  Word.
seriously good stuff.

so, my camera was dying as Laurie was taking our picture...
we didn't get a good one, but several funny ones

Last night, the students came over and it was just a good time.  They have all grown leaps and bounds in the last 17 days... it's been fun to be around such rapid and exciting growth.

Today, I fixed a yummy (if I do say so myself) lunch for some friends.  Then I was unable to enjoy it due to my third-ever migraine.  As soon as they left, I ran upstairs, got violently ill, then went to sleep until 5pm.

So I'm totally jacked up now.

A weekend of fun friends, a weekend of sickness (migraine AND allergies AND asthma... oh my...), and now I feel like I'm entering crunch time until we go to Disney.  Still trying to stay focused.  Still trying to keep it all in perspective.  Trying to figure out how God wants me to spend my time these days... wonder if He's cool with me using some of it to blog...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Prosperity Gospel

Asthma.  It sucks.  Literally.

So, here I am, up in the middle of the night... and with basic cable, my options on TV are mind-numbingly horrid.  I can either watch an infomercial or a religious program.... and neither of them are the "good" ones.

For the last little bit, I've listened to a man (who is quite scary) take scripture that I know and love and preach to his "flock" about how said-scripture will bless their families.... er, um... financially?


Several of you are familiar with the whole "Prosperity Gospel" movement... but let me tell you... it's... ummm... bullcrap.

Yes, God will bless you when you serve Him.  For sure.  But don't serve Him hoping to be blessed FINANCIALLY.  It's crap.

Wow, hot of the presses... he "sowed a seed" and was immediately blessed (just seven minutes later!) with a check for $20,000.  Guess I should quit blogging and go garden... my bank account needs it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why being married sucks...

(No, Heather W., this is not a cry for help.  Do not pick up your phone to call a divorce attorney.)

So, Dan is my biggest fan.  Being my biggest fan, he is also my biggest critic.  After yesterday's blog post (don't try to look for it, I deleted it) he said "are you sure about that?" in that luring way that made me think he knew something I didn't.

Apparently he did.

I wrote from my heart... and apparently scared people that something in my life was falling apart (which it often is), so I just deleted it.  End of story.

Tonight, Dan is in even more trouble.  I'll get there... but let me give you some background:

For years now, I've had a recurring dream that we have an entire wing of our house that we don't use.  Sometimes in the dream I'm living back in the RMH and if you go through the guest room, you find this hidden wing.  Sometimes it's our current house, and I find out there's a whole 'nother area that we don't actually know about.  It's magical.  And, I won't lie, when I wake up I'm often disappointed that I don't have that space.

I'm not psychiatrist, but I think that dream stems from the fact that I have a WHOLE FLOOR of my home that doesn't get properly "used".  Downstairs we have two enclosed rooms (and some bonus storage under the stairs) that end up being junk rooms.  One is a room purely for storage... it has been less than functional for the nearly 3 years we've been here.  One is a random room that houses our treadmill and Ms. Pac-man game and liquor cabinet and gift closet.  (This sounds like the perfect room, huh?)  Recently it's where Dan's mom unloaded boxes and boxes of his childhood crap (don't hear me say that my mom hasn't already done that same nasty trick) and our other stuff has been just, well, cluttered on top of that.

So today, on the perfect day for such a task, I conquered the downstairs rooms.  If I were cool, I would show you a before, during, and after picture.  However, I was so overwhelmed and embarrassed by the "before", I wouldn't let the paparazzi downstairs to capture it in all it's glory.  The "during" was one giant purging and sneeze fest.  And now the "after" is, well, still "during" to be honest.  While I will take some time away for it for now, it will need some attention later.  But, all that said, I spent over FIVE HOURS pouring through the crap of my Americanized Hoarding Pack Rat Emotional self and could not feel better about that time.

While all that was happening, Dan was upstairs with Elizabeth... watching TV, reading books, watching videos to prep her to ride "Test Track" in a few weeks, baking homemade cookies, playing dolls (don't tell him I told you that), playing Jenga, and being the recipient of loads and loads of unexpected kisses.

For sure, I chose to be downstairs cleaning.

And, for sure, I am jealous of Dan's day.

Now, 60% of the time, Dan goes to work and leaves me to have my own days with E.  However, I live by lists... and if I took entire days doing what he did today, we would run out of groceries, never have clean clothes, never have paid bills, and lose touch with all of our family and friends.  But why can't I grasp the simplicity of how he chose to spend his day and at least have more days that are kinda like that?

Here's the rub: given the chance to do today over, I would still choose to clean downstairs.  Seriously, people, it's been YEARS in the making... and it affects my stress level constantly... but why do I feel as though I am talking about both sides of my mouth here?

So, with an exhausted mind and body, I went to bed before Dan did.  I grabbed my book (an excellent read that I bought someone for Christmas and they've already passed back to me!) and crawled in bed... and soon after fell asleep.

Here comes the hard part: Captain Dan, unaware that I am asleep (as I am still in the "reading" posture) comes in and loudly says "Have you looked outside lately?!?!?!?"  (He wanted me to check out the snow... nothing major.)

Um, nope.

Because I was asleep, dummy.

He apologizes, brushes, flosses, gets in bed, and within minutes, begins to snore.

And me?  Well, I'm now awake.  His intrusion in my dreamland has left me WIDE awake.  Left with the only logical thing to do: to blog about how much being married to him sucks.  Because it does.  It sucks to be married to a man who loves my daughter, who will constantly be her prince as she plays princess, who will allow her to pick her own ingredients for their homemade cookies, who disciplines lovingly, who helps her clean her room when she can't figure out what she's missed, who reads my blog and questions whether or not I meant to say something in the way in which I did... wait... I guess it doesn't suck.  My bad.

This post, however, will have to wait to get his discerning eye until the morning... when he wakes up... because HE IS ASLEEP AND I AM NOT.  Right, he sucks again.

I'm off to finish my book... stupid marriage.