Tuesday, December 28, 2010

jewelry project

Problem: lots of necklaces, all tangled up in my small jewelry box, and laying all over the place.

Available supplies: old window stored in the attic, tacks, glue gun

Purchased supplies: cork board squares

Now: I have decoration for over my dresser and a lovely new way to organize my necklaces. It has become a artwork piece while serving a great purpose. I had the idea and did it while my husband was at work, and when he came home I showed it to him. He was thrilled, because he finds my necklaces all over the place, hanging on whatever I could find. I think I might want to place some scrapbook paper behind the glass, but I haven't decided yet.

Totally love it. Can't really imagine why I waited so long to do it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

images from our christmas...

The snow started falling about 11:30am on Christmas morning. A white Christmas! Kinda rare in North Carolina. Hope you enjoy these images from our day!

Our house.

Payden opens a present.

Cheyenne opens a present.

Phoebe investigates our gifts.

A wok from my mom!

A scarf I knitted for my mom.

Align Center
Charlie bakes cookies. Don't you love the apron?

Hope you all had a wonderful day and were able to spend time with your families.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

spending time

I am not sure how much to say about what is going on in our lives right now, because it is one of those things I'm not sure how I feel about. It's hard to put things into words when I'm not exactly sure where I want to land on it. It's confusing.

All I really want to say about it is that we have been spending time with two kids from our church that need a little attention. The parents aren't in the picture and they live with their great-grandmother. Charlie came across the situation a while ago and God really pressed on his heart that these two needed some love.

So we've been spending time. Those are the facts.

Maybe more to come later.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a busy week

So here's what I've been up to, in photos.

1. Bought and decorated Christmas tree...this is a plastic-made-to-look-like-glass mistletoe ornament. Lovely, huh?

2. Random photography. This happens to be my shower curtain with sunlight coming through it. Just thought it looked cool. It is cool when enlarged, so go on and double click.

3. White dog in extra white snow looks dirty. Two inches of snow and my husky loved it, running around like a puppy.

4. Attempting to get a photo for our Christmas card and really only ended up getting a this random one of me while Charlie was adjusting the camera. I look nice though, I think.

5. Birthday party for three year old nephew Harrison, with a Wow, Wow Wubbzy theme. Lots of toddler and cake.

Busy, busy, busy season. And there is more that I didn't show. But I'm tired and blogger only does five pics at a time, so you'll have to wait for more. We did, however, finish our shopping for the holidays so my husband is wrapping gifts as we speak.

What have you been up to?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dear Prayer Buddy,

I want to be in that photo right now. Warm, the sun on my face, away from winter. And I love Christmas, just not winter.

The more you grow up, the more adult you become, you realize that you can't run away from the things that hurt you. The wounds heal, the scars fade, but sometimes the memories take longer to fade.

My dreams get come back to get me. I'll think I've forgotten the sadness, the issues, but at night they come back to me. Then I spend the next day thinking about the world I've left behind, wondering if I haunt them the same way. If my colleagues are thinking about what happened to me, silently asking what I could have done to make the big bosses treat me that way. Maybe, maybe not. Over time, I know these dreams will fade too, but for now they are my companion, a ghostly reminder of what was and what is no more. I dream about the person who took my place, about the people who took it from me. I yell at them, or push them, or in one really random benadryl induced dream, threw a bowl of ice cream at one of them.

I don't mean to say that my life is horrible, or that I'm abused in any way, because I'm not. It's just that I'm not where I thought I would be at this point. I'm not who I intended to be. And notice all those I's. I think I must be where God intended me to be, but it looks different than I imagined. And I'm still hurting. One day I won't be, and I know that.

So, prayer buddy, prayers that would help me to follow God's will and path would be appreciated. Prayers for a child to come soon would be appreciated. Prayers that might spirit will lift would be appreciated.

Monday, November 29, 2010

through the trees

There are images I store up in my mind, as a virtual scrapbook of happiness ready at a moment's notice. Sunlight through the trees. My father's crooked smile. Long winding roads through the Florida countryside. Lit up Christmas trees in a darkened room.

There are sounds with equal recall power: water rushing down a river, a motorcycle, Jim Brickman piano cds and my niece and nephews laughing.

You know how it feels when the warmth of memories rush back and flood your body, and your fingers tingle and the corners of your eyes are mysteriously wet. All of a sudden, you are transported to the place and time where the love was overflowing and the arms of your loved ones were especially warm.

This is also the feeling of worship.

How precious is the gift of words put to song on a Sunday morning? Well, any morning. Well, any time of the day, thanks to my iPod and some earphones. I am thankful for the whispered words of inspiration given to songwriters who can so eloquently express what it means to be loved by our God and to worship him wholly. Now, my voice is not what you would call beautiful, or even halfway nice, but I worship with enthusiasm.

Hands raised.

Side to side shuffle.

Eyes raised to the sky.

Thanks to a quirk of fate, I sit in the balcony row behind the sound booth, because that is where my husband is on Sundays. At first, I didn't like being out of the crowd. I felt on display. But then I realized that I had more space, which oddly makes it more intimate. Without the crush of the crowd, but with the swell of the music and the flow of the Spirit, my little balcony perch is the perfect place for me to enter into worship.

I am thankful for our worship team and their commitment to the excellence at each service, but I am more thankful to a God who holds my world in his hands. As our pastor said yesterday, sometimes we have to quit whining about where we are and look for God in the spot where he has placed us. My life isn't an accident. Worship him where you are at, and he'll show himself to you.

I've felt broken, but he is my repair.
I've felt alone, but he is always there.

Lift your eyes to the sky and experience the light through the trees. Take a moment and tell him your worries and burdens...release them.

I promise you will feel pounds lighter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

she looks happy...

Normally when I get out the camera, Phoebe runs away, or at least averts her eyes. Strangely, once we had to put a cone on her to stop her from licking the fur off her paw, she lights up for the camera.

What a happy smile!

This photo freaks Charlie out, but I really love how close she let me get to her face. I tell you, normally she is SHY when it comes to the camera. That's why I normally have pictures of her sleeping.

In reality, she hates the cone and because she is such a big dog, it is a big cone. A really big cone. The first couple of nights, she knocked several things over moving around the house, and now she uses it to push us around too. That part is annoying.

Still, recorded for history, she looks happy in the cone. I will choose to remember this reality.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

an ode to dad

I've got Sammy out today, as today is Veteran's Day and my dad passed away 13 years ago today. But, instead of being sad for you, I thought I would share some funny things about my dad with you.

Here goes:

  • My dad ate his buttered popcorn with a spoon, since he didn't like to get his hands greasy.
  • He named all our dogs Fuzzy. We never had more than one at a time, but they were all named Fuzzy.
  • He called our Ford Festiva a Ferrari all the time, even though it only had four speeds.
  • He taught me to drive stick shift.
  • He introduced me to James Bond, Garrison Keillor, Michael Crichton and the Shadow.
  • My addiction to magazines comes from my dad.
  • He drove us from Alaska to Florida in a two door Cadillac the year I was eight.
  • He collected antique radios and all us kids have one now.
  • He recorded Dave Letterman every night and we watched the monologue and Top Ten list every morning over breakfast.
  • When we were kids we had these things called "run-and-hold-you-ups" in which we ran down the hall and jumped into his arms and he held us up over his head. Fancy name, I know.
  • He would dance with me in the kitchen. He was killer at the twist.
  • He was 6 foot 6 inches tall.
  • He loved Grey Poupon.
  • He wore flannel shirts before they were cool and let me steal them when grunge was cool.
  • He encouraged Senior skip day.
  • He laughed like Bill Cosby. He pulled pranks like Bill Cosby.
  • He loved a La-Z-Boy recliner which I have inherited.
  • He loved Wendy's Frostys, McDonald's Hamburgers, and pizza with salt and pepper.
He loved me, too. And I miss him.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

foster care?

Today we went to a meeting about Foster Care and Adoption, hosted by a couple at our church that adopted from Guatemala. It had been on their hearts for a couple of years to connect all of us at our church that our interested in any kind of adoption, whether international, domestic or through the foster care system. Charlie and I thought it was a good idea to attend, and we did.

It was an interesting hodgepodge of information, testimonies, and information from a couple of women in the adoption industry. One from an adoption agency, one from an agency that licenses couples to foster or foster/adopt. There was even one speech from a teenage girl currently in the foster system who was encouraging couples to look at adopting teens. We all wanted to instantly take her home.

It was an emotional lunch and the lady who spoke about fostering is thinking about offering 30 hour course at our church in the new year, that we can take over 10 weeks. I think we are going to do it, not because we are certain we are going to go the foster care route, but because we feel God pushing our hearts to expand. Who knows where it will lead, and I haven't really had time to process all of this with Charlie yet. I came home after the meeting, but he had to stay and work. I went home and curled up with my nook. And some cold medicine. And my doggies.

So, just pray that we will know the will of the Lord and it will be clear to us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

rooting for the wrong side

Only recently I started watching The Good Wife, and I love it. I really like the characters and have been a fan of Josh Charles forever. The premise is very interesting, and something ripped from the headlines. How can the wife of a prominent politician stand by his side when the whole world knows your husband is scum. That he cheated on you, paid for it, and isn't shamed by it.

L to R: Josh Charles, Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth

Now, I'm all about keeping your marriage vows and working through any problems you might have, but if someone's infidelity is splashed around the internet and public media it brings a whole other layer to it. It's not just in your home, it's in EVERYONE'S home.

What to do? Hmmm.

But that isn't the point to my post. The point of this is, I keep rooting for the main character Alicia to leave her husband and get together with the romantic love interest. Her husband is a cheat, obviously, and kind of a shady character, but shouldn't I want her to work it out. I mean, that's what I would recommend to a real life friend. I would want them to at least try and work it out. But on this show, the chemistry is between Alicia and Will, her boss and college boyfriend. There are long pauses, stolen glances, and that one kiss. (If you've seen the show, you know what kiss I'm talking about!)

It is in the writing. I know it is entertainment. It is designed to make you want to root for certain characters. And they know you want to give her a "get out of marriage free" card because her husband cheated on her with prostitutes. And the husband character, although he does profess his love for her, just doesn't seem to get the whole situation. He doesn't understand why his wife doesn't just want to take him back.

So, in this situation, I don't want her to cheat on her husband. I want her to end it and move on to the other guy. I want this because this is television, and not real life. I want this because I have had a crush on Josh Charles for years (remember, I already said that.)

What do you think about television shows that make you wonder what you would do in real life?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

pumpkin time!

This year we went to a local Methodist church and picked out a pumpkin. Normally we go for a squat, short pumpkin, but this year we went for a tall pumpkin. It was very heavy! Very.

The deal was that I was cleaned out the inside and Charlie would design and carve the pumpkin. I did it last year, while Charlie played video games.

The pumpkin really was heavy and Charlie thought it would be lighter when the guts were cleaned out. It wasn't.

Phil and Bethany had a really nice pumpkin too! They carved two really big eyes into their pumpkin.

Charlie carved a smiley vampire pumpkin. It turned out really cute. The candle kept blowing out because the mouth is so big, so we're going to get a battery powered light for it so we can put it on the porch.

A fine time was had by all!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

good hair day

This was the day of the picnic and the weather and hair combined for a great day.

When this happens, it has to be photographed and shared for all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

birthday picnic

Last Saturday we held a birthday picnic for my mother-in-law Judy. It was a fun afternoon and the weather was wonderful. Christal made the cake and it was beautiful. The whole afternoon was a great time with everyone and there were so many laughs, only a few meltdowns and cake crumbs cleaned up by my dog. And spilled juice cleaned up by my dog. She never had such a fun time.

There was patient waiting for cake.

There was cousin helping cousin with a craft activity. Actually, this was after the put the craft together and they decided to take one apart and decorate themselves with it.

There was swinging.

And there was a hot pink iPod for Judy. Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

new growth

These are the first blades of grass that we planted several weeks ago. Our backyard is very patchy, and Charlie and a friend sprinkled new grass seed and ran that thing over it that digs the holes, whatever it is called. An aerator? I don't know.

They are lovely and green and it is new growth in a time that the rest of nature is preparing to sleep. Pretty cool, huh? I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

vacation options, with pictures

Just thought I would provide some images to go with the question I asked last week. So many of you said mountains and city, but here are some actual places. Look, and vote in the comments.

A. Lovely (and expensive, I'm sure) mountain cabin.

B. Spa like setting.

C. City view

D. Tahitian over-water villa.

E. Bed and breakfast.

I also just found out that my favorite bed and breakfast has closed down. I'm so sad about it. The woman decided to sell the inn and isn't running it anymore. SO SAD. I'm going to have to find some where else to stay.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


My birthday is coming up in November and I was thinking that what I would like is an overnight stay at a hotel with my honey. Yes. Doesn't that sound wonderful? To get away from your life, your dirty dishes, the barking dogs, the laundry, etc.

Don't you just want to unplug?

If you could get away from your daily grind for the weekend, where would you go/do?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

on being a girl

After our social worker left today (more on home study update later) I wanted a some girly time and so I headed to the nearest makeup store, Ulta. I needed some hair junk and some face powder, but that was really an excuse to buy sale cosmetics that were more fun. I also made an appointment to get my hair cut and highlighted on Halloween.

I happen to love the way that the Ulta name is stamped into the eyeshadow. I really, really loved it. I loved it so much that I came home and took pictures of it out in the sunlight. I loved my sparkly lip gloss and my cool new trendy bluegreen nail polish.

See, isn't this the prettiest purple eyeshadow for a smokey eye you've ever seen? Don't you just think the letters stamped into it are wonderful? I guess I'm just all about the aesthetics.

Lovely nail polish. Lovely.

This is when I like being a girl. Clothes may not always fit, but makeup is always friendly and fits.

So, now I am going to watch a movie and paint my nails and relax before Charlie and I babysit our nephew this evening.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sharp edges

This is a time of jagged edges in my life. The path is not straight. The road is too winding. The trail is uphill.

I'm down in the valley. I'm searching for water.

Do I need anymore metaphors?

Here is the tricky thing about blogs when you are in a bad mood: people with good news only make you feel even more crabby!

Caveat: this is my bad mood and no reflection on your good news.

I wish that my heart was lifted every time I read about someone who finds out they are pregnant or gets "the call" about a baby to adopt. And sometimes it does. But in this season of job loss and adoption home study update, I feel like everyone around me is living a blessed life and I am missing out.

And I know some of the women who get pregnant or adopt babies have been waiting just as long or longer than me, and I know that there are women who will still be waiting AFTER our baby comes along. It's just part of what adoption blogging is...the befores become afters, eventually. And I know that just because I lost my job, and many of the people I worked with have suddenly forgotten me, it isn't really a reflection on me. I wish I had good news.

Oh, I guess I do...it looks like my temp job will become full time soon.

And see? I'm not celebrating it the way I should. Because it isn't the thing I want to celebrate. I want to have a baby in my nursery and a carseat in my car. Or a minivan in my driveway.

I'm in a bad mood.

Sharp edges around here.

And I bite my lip every time I read a blog with adoptive parents waiting for a baby to be born and crossing their fingers that the birthmother will sign the papers. Because I have only had it fall through. I know, one day, when I am here hold my baby, I might be able to offer more comfort to those women, but all I can say is "give it to God and let him handle it."

Sharp edges.

This blog isn't graceful right now, but it is real. This is where I'm at and who I am and in the midst of this season of sharp edges, I'll keep pushing on and muddling through.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

i love fall

I really do like autumn. I like the way that the air cools off, and the way the colors of the leaves are a great contrast to all the green of spring and summer. I love the shapes of the leaves and the way a great wind and the corner of a building can make that whole "Pocahontas" leaf swirl happen. I love the way the sun warms up everything during the day and how the sunset is so dramatic.

I love apple cider and pumpkin pie (with cool whip, of course). I love my birthday, which is in November. I even love this pretend song I made up about turkeys that I sing every Thanksgiving ( Charlie does NOT love the song, btw.)

I love to decorate for fall and Christmas. It's a problem, since I still work part-time at Michaels, and am in the arms of temptation every time I work. Yes, I get a discount, but I don't want to spend my whole paycheck there. I love all the sparkly, jeweled fruits and garlands and leaves and pumpkins. And the store has a curious mix of potpourri and silk flowers that I love. It's smell that I can totally identify with and love.

What do you love about fall?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

making the headaches go away

Headaches have been part of my life since I was a teenager. Around the time my hormones kicked in, the headaches started. Migraines, actually. Throbbing, pounding, behind the eyes headaches. Headaches that make me want to crawl into a hole and lay in the dark and put an ice pack on my head and close out the world.

My dad was a chiropractor and neck adjustments helped immensely. Our family wasn't big on pills and I only rarely took something for my headaches, until I went to college and my dad wasn't available. When he passed away, there went my headache management. During college and after, I just suffered through it. One night, my junior year, it was so bad I had someone take me to the ER. Ugh. Pain in your head isn't something you can escape. It stays with you, it surrounds you.

When I started teaching, one of my students was the daughter of a chiropractor, so I started seeing him and it was great. He adjusted like my dad and was soft spoken and kind.

But we moved and it was a 45 minute drive to see him and so I tried to find another chiropractor. I made a bad choice and saw a guy that was a crook, telling me all sorts of lies about my insurance company. So I didn't really know what to do, but the headaches came back.

I finally saw someone else today. A nice chiropractor who adjusted my neck and made me feel better.

But I got in the car and cried. I called Charlie and told him my appointment went well, and then I cried some more.

He wasn't my dad.

My dad wasn't perfect. My mom could certainly tell you some stories, but he was a great dad and a great chiropractor. He took care of me and made me feel better and rocked me in his lap up until the month before he died. He had a huge heart and loved people. And I know I have told you all of this before, but I was thinking today about how I wasn't there when he died.

I went to college in North Carolina and my parents lived in Florida. I went home in October for fall break and my dad and I had a great weekend. He was in great spirits and was feeling pretty good, and we had some really special moments. We talked and shared and rocked and cried. After I went back to school, he went back into the hospital and we said our goodbyes over the phone. They weren't sure how long the downward spiral would take, and I was a junior in college. He didn't want me to come until it was over. My brothers both visited and stayed with my parents and each had time, and I guess I did too earlier that month. He came home from the hospital and was pretty much out of it for several days, sleeping in a hospital bed in the guest room.

My mom called me on a Monday night and said he wouldn't make it the night. I told her to call no matter what time he left us. By the next morning, she still hadn't called, so I called home. She said he was still hanging on. I told her to go in there and tell him it was time to go home. That he could let go because we would all be okay. He had taken care of us long enough. She called back 20 minutes later...he had gone home.

I think about him when I am at the chiropractor. I think about him when I have car problems. I think about him when I make his special spaghetti recipe. I think about him a lot.

I know that he kept me away out of love. He didn't want me to see him like that, and I appreciate it. I probably wouldn't have handled it well, and I'm sure I would see it over and over again in my memories. The memories I have are happy ones. And my mom has told me the story of sitting with him when he died and it is very emotional.

I guess the point of this is that there are times when the memories just sneak in and get me. I'll be walking along and not thinking about it and then he'll be with me and sometimes it is wonderful and sometimes it is painful. When I watch other people waiting for their parents to die, I grieve for what I know they are about to go through.

This time of year brings those memories about more, since he died on Veteran's Day and it is coming soon. I think about it, dream about him, and miss him. He isn't here for the things I wish he were here for.

He isn't here to make the headaches go away.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

when you feel small

Time passes. All the time. Each moment passes by without giving us the chance to grab it. A blink of an eye can change things. One phone call. One red light. One lost dream. Missed chances. Things unsaid.

The past year has been difficult. This summer was an experiment in the emotional roller coaster that was my old job. August was a time of desperate looking for work while hours and hours were spent at Michaels. The past couple of weeks has been a time of learning at my temp job.

It has been a season in a valley. A season at the bottom. A season thirsty for water that was not offered me.

Ever have the feeling that you are small? So small and below notice? When you stand at the base of a building and stare up at the sky and realize that you are just one small cog in a machine that chugs on everyday?

I am a complex person. An overthinker. A dreamer. A girl with an overactive imagination. I am not simple or easy. My husband says he fell in love with me because I was a girl that was absent of drama, but if he only knew all the crap that bounces around in my head and didn't say, he might have me committed. :) I am not easy. I feel pressured and left behind and under appreciated and like a victim and without courage to face my attackers and I feel small. Wasted.

Looking back two years, when we started down this road to adoption, I felt so hopeful. I felt right in the middle of God's plan. And when our adoption fell apart, I was sad, but I still felt like there was something around the corner. Now it has been more than a year since then and I don't know how to feel. I don't know how to plan or think or keep moving forward. I do know we are updating our home study and the social worker is coming in a couple of weeks.

I feel small.

I want to feel like a mother, but that isn't happening yet.

The world keeps moving around us all, and even in my pain I know that. My self-centered little world is not a bubble, even as much as I wish it might be. My tendency to keep pulling inside and isolate myself isn't a good one, and I've been trying to force myself out of my shell a little. Share a little of myself with people. I'm not always good at it, but I'm trying.

All this rambling is really to say that I'm trying not to be small. I'm trying to let my world get a little bigger, invite more people in. I'm trying. I want to make my world bigger. It's all I can say.

Because my God doesn't ignore small. He works with small all the time. I know in my mind that he will take care of me, but in my heart I'm feeling overwhelmed. I know in my mind that there will come a time when this season will be over, and my thirst will be quenched. I know there is a time when someone will call me mommy. I believe it.

When you feel small, take a breath and puff yourself up and know that you are larger than your problems. You are bigger than the pain. God's love is exponentially bigger than my bubble. For now, I continue to pray through the worry, the butterflies in my stomach and push myself outside my box. I will not let small defeat me. I will not let my bubble be my only world.

Do not let small defeat you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

mystery berry

These are the mystery berries in my yard. They are in season this time of year and I totally love the purple color, but I have absolutely no clue what they are. They are fun to photograph though.

Anyone have any idea what they are?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

tis what season?

Today I saw the first red leaf on the ground, but when I looked up, the leaves were still green.

Mother Nature hasn't made up her mind yet, because it is still hot here in NC. So hot. I'm wearing shorts and flip flops and we're going to a BBQ later. It is still summer here.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

how did you know?

Infidelity has been on my mind lately. Not because it happened to me or anyone close to me, but because of several different tv shows we've watched. Who knows why people cheat? And almost anything can be explained away by selfishness and circumstance, and some people cannot deal, and some make it a point to get past it.

I do know that it is a choice. Maybe the choice comes as you slip into that hotel room, or find an excuse to call someone who you have no business calling after hours. It might seem like something you need to do, but in reality, you need to think about the vows or commitments you made and make a different choice. If not for choices, things might be a lot different.

And how do you decide the relationship is worth the getting past the infidelity? I mean, in a marriage, I think you do what you have to do to get past it and move on. You do the work. Now, I've never been faced with this, but I have seen it done. I've also seen the reverse, where infidelity is the deal breaker. Did God give us a deal breaker clause? I don't remember it.

The other night we watched Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carell. And while the movie is silly and funny and an adventure, the best five minutes is at the end when the two characters are sitting in a diner after surviving their horrible night and they share a moment. He looks up at her and says "I would choose you every time." That was quite a moment. A real marriage moment. I thought about my husband and wondered how he ever chose me.

So that brought me around to asking a question. How did you know that the one you married was the one who would be your forever? What made him the one? Was it something you checked off on a list, or something you just felt? With Charlie, I just knew. It was something that grew on me ever so gradually (although quickly, since we only dated a few months.) It was something in the way he held my hand, like he never wanted to let go.

And so, we stood up at our church one July and said the words. The ones millions of people say, but I don't know that everyone knows what they mean. "For better or for worse" means SO much, probably way more than any of us will ever know. There is much encompassed in that statement, and it is what tests us all. The highs are easy, but the lows are where we see the backbone of our partner. Infertility is a deep canyon, and if you can come out the other side with a stronger relationship, consider yourself blessed. Infertility opened up lines of communication and broke down some walls in my marriage. It isn't easy. And you all can testify to that fact.

So, share with me your story. Please.