Wednesday, March 30, 2011


To all the people I scared: My friend did NOT pass away. She's moving to another state. Sorry for the confusion, and for the fact that I laughed till I cried over all the misconceptions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

For a Friend

This is for the friend that I met in Bob Kennedy’s second grade Sunday School class.

This is for the friend who knows who my first crush was (and would never tell... probably because she had a crush on him too).

This is for the friend who never said anything about my dubious fashion sense in the sixth grade. Although I’m not really sure I should thank her for that.

This is for the friend who stayed up all night with me, telling jokes, talking boys, crafting soap opera worthy futures, and designing “The Most Beautiful Dresses In The World!”

This is for the friend who didn’t slap me when she said, in reference to her then current boyfriend, that they “had so much in common! I hate watermelon candy and HE hates watermelon candy!”, and I laughed in her face.

This is for the friend who held me when I cried broken hearted tears over a guy, while telling me that he wasn’t worth it in the first place.

This is for the friend who gave me my first "tattoo".

This is for the friend who gave me a french mani-pedi the night before my wedding, and cooked biscuits for me the morning of the big day... even if I only ate half of one.

This is for the friend who held my hand (and possibly a leg) during both of my daughters’ births.

 This is for the friend who looked at my bare toes the other day, and said, "I just had a flashback to when we were kids, sitting on your bedroom floor." A true friend has known your toes your whole life.

This is for the friend who has known me longest; at my worst, and I hope, will know me at my best... although I’m still working to get there.

This is for the friend who I said goodbye to tonight. The one who is crossing over to her own “Promised Land”.

This is for you, Friend:

Always remember, I’m here for you.

Always remember, I love you.

Always remember, any tears we've shed are counted, and are well worth it.

And always remember, after 20 years, countless laughs, fights, hugs and high fives, closet raiding, and secrets, what’s a few thousand miles?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tomorrow's Steps

This week marks a big step for our family. Tomorrow is Jeremy’s last time working his “day job”. After that, he officially has a career. Not just any career. A calling. A calling he has been waiting to fulfill for 10 years. My husband is the new worship leader for Genesis Ministry.

Tomorrow ends the morning search for work jeans, and trying to decide which of the two pairs has the smallest hole beneath the belt loops. The holes in both jeans are big enough for me to put my fist through.

Tomorrow ends dingy t-shirts that advertise fence and deck companies, Busch Gardens shows, and, my especial foe that I have been trying to burn for 6 years, a powder blue Ezekiel Skateboard Co. shirt with orange and white down the sleeves.

Tomorrow ends shoes with the soles ripping off, work boots with paint scuffs on them, and ladders on top of a truck. Tomorrow ends worrying about him working in 100º weather in August, and 18º weather in January. Tomorrow ends rainy weeks cutting our income in half.

Tomorrow begins a pastor and a church who believe in us. Who see something in Jeremy that’s been there all along. Who know we're not perfect, and make no pretense at perfection themselves (thank God for that!).

Tomorrow begins Jeremy getting paid to do something he’s passionate about.

Tomorrow begins a place to call “home” for our little family of orphans.

Tomorrow begins a little piece of a promise made 10 years ago. A step that has been a long time growing; a long time hurting, making mistakes and learning; a long time being angry and faithless and doubting; a long time coming.

And tomorrow, it’s finally here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Family Ties

I can’t see “Family Ties” without singing the “Show Me That Smile...” song. I hope it gets stuck in your head too.

This past Friday I got to sing at a little local coffee shop, The Circuit, with two of my brothers. For those of you who haven’t picked up on it yet, I love my family. I couldn’t live without them.

And at the end of the night, the compliments on our singing, on our song choice, or on my outfit, were far outweighed by the other compliments I received:

“You look so much like your brothers.”

“I can see how proud your dad is of all of you.”

“You guys are so much fun to watch together.”

“Your family dynamic is incredible.”

“It’s so obvious how much you love each other.”

So, to all of you who came out, to all of you who observed, noticed, and commented:

Thank you. I’m glad it shows.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Facets

Today was a long day. Not a bad one by any means, but definitely long. And yet, here I sit, at 2 in the morning, blogging about it. Go figure.

My husband’s band, Day of Grace, played for a wedding today. The bride and groom rented a quaint little beach house in Sandbridge for the band’s use, and I (and the other band wives) got to tag along. How excellent is that? After a late night of Uno, Apples to Apples, and Reese’s eggs, it was a task to get up early to get ready for the wedding. Worth it though. Really.

The ceremony was small. So small, in fact, that at first I pitied the couple. I thought their friends must have forgotten about their wedding. The bridal party and the band easily outnumbered the guests. But let me just tell you. After the first five minutes, I knew it didn't matter. I have never, ever seen a couple so extravagantly in love. I've never seen two people MEAN it so much. It was beautiful. Inspiring. After I watched them together, all pity vanished. In its place were happy tears, and joy. I watched the groom burst into tears the moment his bride appeared in the doorway. I watched him exuberantly hug her- not a gentle embrace. I mean full out, veil crushing bear hug. The OCD in me winced every time I saw him squeeze her, pat her head (under the veil), pull her head down onto his shoulder, crumple her dress... but the woman in me smiled. When the minister pronounced them husband and wife, the bride literally jumped up and down, squealing. Her husband picked her up, twirled her around, and carried her out the door of the church.

Later at the reception on the beach, when she crammed cake in his face, he chased her around, finally capturing her, rolling on the ground, and began covering her with sand. She just laid there and laughed. If JT tried to cover me in sand, I would’ve punched him in the nose.

I spent all afternoon watching them watch each other. Watching them love each other. Jeremy and I talked about it on the way home. He said, “Seeing that kind of love... it’s inspiring, isn’t it?” It is. But it’s not so unattainable, is it? I said to him, “Here’s the thing. It’s a circle. I watched it. The more he loves on her, the more she loves on him. The happier he makes her, the happier he is. And the happier she is, the more she wants to make him happy.”

I think what I’m trying to say about my day is that I feel like, for the first time, I witnessed Christ and His Bride in this couple. I can’t describe it. They didn’t do anything extreme. They didn’t line up and wash their guests’ feet. They didn’t evangelize to the tourists walking the beach. They simply loved.

They loved.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

That’s it. I saw Christ loving the Church today. I saw Him woo Her. I saw Him watch Her every move, memorizing Her face, gazing into Her eyes every chance He got. In every expression on His face, every smile on Hers, every tear of joy they wiped away from each others’ cheeks, I saw Christ giving Himself up.

I saw Christ loving ME. Believe it or not, today, attending the wedding of perfect strangers to me, I somehow saw and understood a new facet in my Groom, that 27 years of churchgoing couldn’t show me.

I was wooed today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reasons To Be Happy

Do you hear that, my friends? That’s the sound of angels singing. Here are a few reasons why I’m happy tonight:

1. I'm happy about the way my blog looks right now. Special, heartfelt thanks to my beautiful friend Maggie, over at Where Grace Has Gone... who spent 4 hours in the wee sma's making it look so awesome for me!

 2. I finally have the internet back after two days without it. You may laugh- two days doesn’t seem like very much. But trust me, to a spoiled American girl, it is. Atleigh has a habit of messing with our wireless router. Why haven’t we moved it, you ask? The answer is... I don’t know. I guess we’re gluttons for punishment. Or I’m a glutton for Jeremy’s punishment, since he always ends up fixing it. Somehow the connection gets messed up... the wireless won’t read the modem’s signal, but the computer is still reading the wi-fi’s signal. It’s confusing. Anyway, sometimes we can fix it in five minutes. Sometimes it takes a few hours. This time it took two days and a 45 minute call to Verizon.

3. I’m happy that it wasn’t me on the phone with Verizon. Jeremy told me last night that if he ended up staying home from work today, he would call. If he went to work, I had to call. When I woke up this morning and it was raining outside, meaning he couldn’t work, I came home from taking Ashton to school, curled up next to Jeremy in bed, and nudged him, saying, “You get to call Verizon.”

4. I got my new camera lens in the mail today (and my new camera bag is on its way)! For those who read my blog without actually knowing me (you are out there, aren’t you?), I am an amateur/aspiring professional photographer. More on that later.

5. I guess I should have said this first, but Ashton finally went back to school this week! I felt like bursting into the Hallelujah Chorus when he exited the car. As I said before, I love the child. Like he was my very own (ha!). But a week with him home changed our entire family dynamic. The girls are usually fairly calm on their own. The play together, color, feed baby dolls, whatever. Ashton can’t stand to sit and do “nothing”, even with a fever. So, he incites rebellion and chaos (much like his father, I might add). He steals blankies. He hides babies. He mocks and mimics. He basically acts like a bored 7 year old boy.

6. I have, after much trouble, convinced my oldest brother to play some music with me at a little local coffee shop! HUGE. We got together tonight to put together a set list. We had so much fun, listening to favorite songs, singing harmonies, joking that we were going to sing The Monkees theme song, and play Scotch and Chocolate on kazoos. It felt good to be singing again. If you live in my area (and if you don’t, please don’t travel to see me, because that would be creepy), come out to The Circuit on Friday, March 25th. Adam is nervous, so it will make him feel better to see a couple dozen strange faces, I’m sure.

7. I’m happy that you’ve stopped by to read why I’m happy. If I haven’t said it before, thank you.

Friday, March 11, 2011


My favorite app on my iPod is a game called Whirly Word. It’s an anagram game, and I am hooked. There are 6 letters on a little wheel, all scrambled up, and you have to find as many words as you can using the letters. This isn’t a recent obsession either. It was one of the first apps I got when I got my iPod Touch a year ago. Thankfully there are updates for the game every few months, because I’ve gone through some of the words over and over.

I play it in bed at night, listening to Bedtime With the Beatles, until I fall asleep. Some may argue that falling asleep with earbuds in can be dangerous. They’re probably right. But it’s a surefire way to keep me from thinking. I keep playing until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Jeremy doesn’t understand my addiction- he’s not much of a letter monger, he’s more of an Angry Birds type guy.

I know I’m falling asleep when I spell words like “APED” but pronounce it “A-PED” in my head. One time I spelled “BIBLE” on accident, not even paying attention, but my brain saw it as “BEEB-LAY”. I thought, “What the crap is a Beeb-lay?!” When I start to drift into dreaming, all while trying to stay awake and play, I get resentful of the letters. It’s true. I don’t understand what this is about, but I think I have deep rooted letter issues that make themselves known in my in-between state. I feel sorry for K and J because they don’t get used enough, especially when there’s a D or something in there. I get mad at S for being before T in the alphabet because I feel like T is a more important letter. And then sometimes I wonder if S feels cheap because it’s just used as a tack-on to turn words into plural.

I’ve played this game so much that I can’t even get on my high score board anymore. I have to find over 1300 words just to make it fifth place. I know I can clear the records- but why would I want to do that? All of my Whirly Word achievements gone, with the touch of a finger. No thank you. I’ll just keep working harder. I’ll keep pushing my way back to the top.

Here are some words from my beloved Whirly Word that you can solve. See if you can find all the anagrams (No two letter or “inappropriate” words).





Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things I'm Thinking

Everyone is in bed. It’s just me and my cat. I typed that and looked at it, and I think maybe it sounded a little pathetic. Especially since my cat is ignoring me right now.

Ashton is still sick. I really need that boy to go back to school. My mother in law has been bringing me all his work so he won’t fall behind. Trying to cram three days of 1st grade schoolwork into a few hours has again proven to me my wisdom in deciding not to homeschool. I was homeschooled- and God bless the women and men who do it, my mother and friends included. But I know my limitations. Every time I watched him erase an “h” until it was perfect, every huff and sigh and muttered, “This is BORING”, every repetition of 11-7=4, created an ungodly wave of impatience in me, until I wanted to huff and sigh right along with him. My son is smart. Incredibly so. But with that goes a perfectionism inherited from my perfectionist family- which is fun to laugh at on the sidelines, but not fun to sit through for three hours.

Tonight I had a guitar lesson for the first time since I was 17. At that time I was the singer in a band (that sounds so snazzy, but it was really just a little local thing... and also it sounds like Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da), and I practiced chords until my fingers bled, anxious to show the guys that I could hold my own. After the band, I put the guitar down and never picked it back up. When Jeremy started “liking” me, the first thing that got my attention was him changing my guitar strings for me. He didn’t tell me he was going to do it, he just took it home and changed them. Melted my heart a little. We’ve been together for nine years- tonight was the first time I ever really sat down and made him show me some chords. I don’t know why it took me so long. But lately I’ve really been wanting to write songs again. I don’t know where I’ll start. I guess with G,C, and Em, and a “one two threefourfive” strum. Jeremy actually told me I had to practice them. I hope he doesn’t think this makes him the boss of me.

I got a new pair of Toms today. If any of you have read my elephant blog, you’ll understand why these made me squeal.

My elephant appreciation has grown rapidly over the past year. I want to go out and buy a bunch of black and yellow and orange just so I can wear these everyday. Well, actually, I already have a bunch of black. So now I just need the orange or yellow. I love Toms. I love that one person with a passion is making such a huge difference. If you haven’t heard of this organization, go check them out. Every pair of shoes you buy, buys a pair for a child in a third-world country.

These are the things I’m thinking of tonight. Little random pieces that I guess I felt needed to be recorded.

Oh also, I’m watching Antenna TV. I never knew until recently that there was a spinoff of Three’s Company, called The Ropers. It is so awful.

That is all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just Like A Man

It’s been a rough two weeks for my poor boy, Ashton. As I’m writing this, I just realized that I rarely blog about him. I guess Atleigh just sucks everything up in her larger-than-life, look-at-me, can’t-live-with-me-can’t-legally-put-me-up-for-adoption-personality.

Ashton, as oldest, and the only boy, already has a hard life. Or so he says. He doesn’t have his own bathroom. He has to watch Tinkerbell and Princess movies. There is no one to race cars, play baseball, or pretend to be Superman with. Even the cat is a girl.

To top all that off, he’s inherited my analytical, introspective brain. So instead of accepting his fate like a trooper, he broods about it, grumps about it, and comes up with all types of hypotheses about how different things would be if 1.) Chloe had been a boy. 2.) Atleigh had been a boy. 3.) Paisley had been a boy. 4.) Mom went to work instead of Dad. 5.) He had his own room/bathroom/house.

I suppose all of this is neither here nor there, in reference to his rough two weeks. Just more hardships to add onto his 7 years. Two and a half weeks ago, Ashton broke his thumb playing volleyball at Awanas. With a BIG ball, as he has been faithful to inform me. I still haven’t figured out what kind of ball it was, if it wasn’t a real volleyball. I took him to urgent care, where they x-rayed, splinted, and wrapped said thumb. He missed two days of school.

Three days later, over the weekend, he came down with some sort of sinus infection. Although he wasn’t feeling terrible, school rules are strict when it comes to fevers. He missed another day of school.

This past Thursday, I took him to the pediatric orthopedist for a follow-up (he left school early), and it turns out, the splint and ace bandage hadn’t been doing a lick of good. Not that I was surprised- he is 7, and it’s impossible to keep him still, even on threat of a crippled left thumb. The splint gave him way too much wiggle room. So, they casted it in a brilliant shade of red, gave him some stickers, and sent him on his way. On Friday I sent him to school with a Sharpie, and he arrived home flushed with triumph at his instant Megastar status, and his cast so covered with tipsy lettered signatures that there was hardly any space left.

Saturday he started running a high fever. Sunday, when the fever was still hovering around 100º even with Motrin, I decided to take him back to urgent care, where they did chest x-rays and a flu test. The flu test was an ordeal in itself- if you’ve ever had one, imagine being 7 and completely unprepared. He broke my heart, telling me over and over that he “wasn’t crying, it just surprised him”, all while tears streamed down his face. They told me he had a “flu-like” virus, apparently a copycat that has been going around. It acts like the flu, feels like the flu, is contagious like the flu, and should be treated like the flu. Don’t ask me why they don’t just call it THE FLU. He'll miss at least two more days of school, or until he has been fever-free for 24 hours.

Anyway, we’re home now. Ashton is already asserting his manhood by growing up to be a terrible, whiny invalid. He writhes and cries, forces me to cajole, plead, and threaten until he takes his medicine, and generally acts in every respect just like a grown man of 32 (ahem, not that that’s his daddy’s age...).

Don’t get me wrong. I hate that he’s sick. He’s so pitiful, even in all his drama, that I just want to cuddle him (if he’d let me). But I’ve gotten to where I don’t know what’s worse- the high fever and the crying and squirming that goes with it, or the medicine that makes him feel just well enough to whine energetically.

I say all of this with the best humor I can muster. I love my boy, and I don't blame him for the way he's handling being sick. I suppose I should be proud of the great strides he’s taking towards maturity. After all, he’s acting just like a man.