Thursday, September 30, 2010

Semi-Nole

"Hey Jimbo! Good to hear ya.
I am a little concerned about the prancey-dance Hopkins has.
How 'bout you talk to the Coach Gran about that.
Looked good Saturday - too bad we made that Wake Forest QB cry.
Maybe we can do it again this weekend in Virginia.

Good talk, coach. See ya on the field."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reconciliation

rec-on-cile: (verb) to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent

I'll get back to that in a moment - I promise, it's relevant to the next part.


Conversations are like clothes - there are some that you have that you wear all the time, every single day if you could. No matter how many times you've worn it or how tattered it may be, you will keep it and cherish is forever and ever. Amen.


Then there are some that sit on the shelf for years, rarely even glanced at, only to be taken down for special occasions - a wedding or funeral perhaps. You like them alright, you just don't need them on a regular basis.


And then, of course, there are the ones that old Aunt Gertrude gave you - you know the ones. The itchy, scratchy, stuffy, makes-you-uncomfortable-thinking-about-them sweaters hidden deep in your closet - that is, if you haven't offloaded them on some other poor soul already.

If I had to relate the conversation I am going to share to one of these three categories, it would definitely be the first one - and likely I would label this one: Chacos. Yes - near and dear to my heart to the point that it probably stinks.



In March of 2007 I had a conversation with a dear friend and former boss, Chris (of the other Chris and Beth) before committing to a new summer job that would require a lot of patience, prayer, and well, something I was/am not the best at - forgiveness and reconciliation. Without going in to great detail, it was very apparent that I would not be able to effectively do this job without first finding peace and understanding with someone who had hurt me greatly and I, them. Chris helped me to understand, in a way that only he can make me see, why this was so important, beyond just the job itself, but because Jesus teaches us that in forgiveness there is freedom and joy. And believe me friends, there were neither of these for miles in this present struggle.

As I mentioned, neither one of these things are my best attribute, and unlucky for me they go hand in hand. I had no idea how I was going to approach this, let alone resolve it. I knew it was pertinent for this job, but as I began to pray and ponder I realized that aside from the job, it was vital for the condition of my soul, the core of my being. Holding on to this ugly thing for three years had done nothing more than weigh me down, trip me up, distract me, break my spirit, make me angry and bitter, and it showed it's effects in more places than just this situation. Anger and bitterness are like the poison of life - both perfectly normal and acceptable to have, but not to hold onto.
I had to let them go - which also meant relinquishing control. And if I am not good at forgiveness and reconciliation, I am even worse at losing control.

Thus began this season of my life - the season of finding harmony in situations where peace no longer dwelt. Giving reconciliation my power and control and trusting that God would heal and make new. I have learned over and over that reconciliation is a relationship - it is not one-sided, it is not conditional, it is not a one-time deal. For the past three years I have been on this journey of seeking peace and harmony, love and truth, restoration. The more I struggle, the more I prosper, it seems. It's way more than just letting go - it's embracing the freedom to love. Freedom to laugh. Freedom to start again.

I don't promise to make all things right or good. I don't assure that we will be the best of friends sharing in life's little pleasures together. I don't even promise to be good at being a friend. I don't intend to create drama. I don't even always desire to go back to the time when things were good.

What I can give is my word that I will do my best to find peace and harmony where it can't be found. This may mean that we agree to disagree - I go my way and you go yours. But know that I love you nonetheless. And I wish you well.
If it is the moon you desire to have, I hope you hold it in your hand one day.

It's all about the simplicity - and life just isn't simple when there's all that baggage to lug around.

Oh, and the situation that spawned this season - it is healthy and well. I am thankful for this person in my life and the lessons I have learned in community with her.

I wear my Chacos everyday - just in case I might need them.




Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Friskies

Orange. Red. Yellow. Crunching. Leaves. Chai Tea. Thanksgiving. Hammocks. All Things Pumpkin. Cool Breeze. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Socks with Chacos. Long Sleeves. Festivals. Halloween (OK- really just the candy). Harvest. Change. Fireplace. Crisp Air.

I. Love. All. Things. Autumn.


I think I am not going to call it Fall anymore. Typically when something falls it breaks, shatters, hurts itself - all not-so-very-fun things. And Autumn is
so very fun.

I have decided to make a list - a list of projects I want to take on this Autumn for no other reason than they will bring me joy:
  • Dig up hosta plants that have taken over my yard. They are pretty and apparently expensive but I don't have a desire for 9,374 of them in my yard. I would like to plant other things - like tulips or carrots.
Hosta la vista... Hello, pretty spring time flowers!
  • Build chicken coop (I originally spelled this "coup" - and then laughed at the image of a bunch of chickens living in a rag-top hatchback) with my dad. Yes, it's happening. This spring we will get chickens. I haven't decided yet if we will try to hatch them or try to acquire them post-brooding, depends on how in touch with my roots I am willing to go. Chicken pox, you don't scare me.
Welcome home, chickens.
  • Hang our hammock. Sadly we have moved two hammocks to three houses and have yet to put either one of them up to enjoy since Kansas City where it's a frozen tundra three-fourths of the year. (I'm not bitter.) Operation: Hammock may happen this afternoon - I have to check with my boss. The little boss.
I need a lot more of this in my life... just up off the ground.
  • Sew. Sew. Sew. My goal is to make a stockpile of hand-grown goodness to sell on (deep breath) Etsy and then the Market Square Farmers Market next season. I also have Christmas gift dreams to fulfill as well. I think I will need to tune up my machine to prepare it for the storm - anyone know how to do that? Cinderelly, Cinderelly...
The dress I made for a little one who is loving life in the womb.
Come on out and meet the world, sweet girl.
  • Research and plan a year-round garden based on the Vegetannual starting in the spring to further our attempt at becoming locavores (Folks who eat local, in-season food as best they can). I gladly welcome any pointers. I am not trying to feed Roane County, just our little family and enough to can/freeze for the cold months.
Yummy - now when do I plant y'all in East Tennessee?
  • Paint our dreary living area. I say "living area" because it is just that - our kitchen, living room, dining room, entry way, sewing nook are all one big room. And the color on the wall is about as exciting as a root canal.
I am digging this color or something similar - bright and inviting.
I also like the green of the next room.

  • Create a business card. (Listen, I know I am nothing fancy, but a girl can dream.) Tell me what you think.
  • Throw my almost-one-year-old the most incredible birthday celebration this side of the Mississippi. I know, I am running behind, but this chicken pox stuff has thrown me for a loop - and now I am rethinking the original theme. This is what happens when I have too much time to think...
Celebrating a little early with Uncle Matt & Aunt Heather.
We are working on the whole "thank you" thing...
  • Carve pumpkins and reminisce on previous pumpkin carving parties. Do they have pumpkins in the northwest?
We've got mad pumpkin-carving skills in this neck of the woods.
Too bad half of our neck has run off...
  • Take a trip or two to the mountains. It's always good to go home.
Back porch view from HiZi - such is life.
Whew. I better stop while I'm way already way behind. Three days, folks, until the Autumn equinox. I've got a lot of goodness on my plate - how about you? What are your favorite things about the season formerly known as Fall?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Narcissus

Meet Narcissus, the poor boy who was so in love with himself that he dismissed any other who showed him affection, namely a nymph named Echo. Echo prayed out to the gods and finally the god Nemesis heard her cry. One day Narcissus was frolicking in the forest when he came across a pool of water and discovered this beautiful creature starting back at him and he immediately fell in love - this is where he would live out his days, hopelessly pining over a love he could never truly know.


How's that for digging out the four years of Latin and Greek/Roman mythology I took in high school? Who said I would never use that stuff...

Sidenote: All I can think about at this moment is sitting behind Paul Silivos, me pestering and inking him, him rolling his eyes at whatever romance was stealing my heart away at that moment. Oh, Paul Gus, come back into my life - I miss you, friend.

Anyway - enough blasting from the past.

Meet our Narcissus:

video
If that's not hilariously adorable then call me John Brown.

(John Brown?)

I didn't think so...

I mean, who wouldn't kiss that baby?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spread the K-Love

I am not sure who started this little dance, between the two of them, but I think it is fair to say that they are both equally entertained. Monkey see, monkey do - at it's best. Noah will have him jumping through hoops by the end of the second visit.

video

I love this fella. The little one and the big one.
Thank God for strong, amazing friends who weather the storms, bring the sunshine, and make you laugh regardless of the forecast.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What Came First?

Forget the egg or the chicken, the pox came first at our house.
There are many things I like and desire about chickens, but this my friends, is not one of them.

I think he is handling it way better than either one of his parents. We just want to take the pain away, the confusion away, the multiplying red bumps. We have never felt so helpless... this is definitely the first real trial as parents, to be patient and know that God will heal his little body in due time. Say a little prayer for our little guy - and maybe one for his mama and pops, too.

Noah shows us how he really feels about those pesky bumps -
or he's trying to lick the oatmeal bath off his chin.

Daddy always makes everything in my world much better.Can't nobody hold me down, oh no...
The crazy thing, or at least what I find wild, about Chicken Pox is that there is a vaccine for the infection but there are no antibiotics or salves that will speed the healing process, only things to make the child less itchy. I know it's a viral deal, but still, one would think that with the sickness that effects millions of kids and adults each year, there would be some glimmer of goopy hope.

And what better than to have Noah's very own, very special, personalized cape (handmade by the wonderful Liz) arrive during his first oatmeal bath of the day!

Yes, that's right - the wonders of this cape will bring super speedy healing powers and will have Noah bouncing off the walls again in no time! And he will be very cute doing it... But for real, go check Liz out and buy one of these for the little dude in your life - Etsy, everyone else is doing it.

We are on the outs right now, chickens and me, but I still think I want them in my backyard (I don't really have a "yard" per-say, but I like to think of it that way...). I will have to sleep on it. The thought, not the chicken.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eleven

The procrastination of creating this post is not coincidental. I assure you that.

This time last year I was counting the days, hours, minutes until Noah would grace us with his sweet, sweet presence. I could never have imagined the way my life would take on a whole new form, one almost entirely unfamiliar to the one I'd always known. More about that next month (gulp).

In Ford fashion, it's been a crazy busy month for us, capped off with a trip to Florida over Labor Day weekend. And in Noah fashion, he continues to amaze me, knock the Chacos right off my feet. It's phenomenal the things he picks up on and learns within minutes of seeing it for the first time. Blows my mind.

And in no particular order:
1. If he wasn't a flirt before, Noah has now added the wink to his repertoire. Cute as heck and will charm the pants off of anyone - if he isn't too bashful to show you. It's the double wink followed by a flutter of the eyelashes... guys, you better hold tight to your ladies.

2. His vocabulary is growing leaps and bounds - he will repeat, or at least try, anything you say to him. Among his easiest to decipher: hello - ayeee, fish - ish, daddy - da-dih, mama - behh (which we think is him calling me "babe" or "Elizabeth" because that's what Chris usually refers to me as), here - hee-ah, this - diss, duck - dah, Grits - giss... and many, many more that I am sure we just can't figure out yet.

3. The tooth count is up to eight - and they are pretty adorable. They sure do make him look big though, which is the part I am not so sure about.

4. Uncle Caleb came to visit and meet Noah for the very first time. Noah was none too impressed that it took Uncle K-Luv ten months to finally make it to Tennessee, but I think they made up for lost time rather speedily. We are hoping and crossing our fingers that we will get to see a lot more of him in the near-ish future.

"Whoa, I've never been this high before."
Noah, Uncle K-Luv, and Mama before C headed home, I mean to Ridgecrest.Ay-eeeeee!
5. I for sure thought that by this point he would be running circles around the house, mostly because he crawled so soon, but I think he figures he can get there just fine on all-fours, why mess up a good thing? He has started to let go of my leg, the couch, a bench, or whatever he is holding onto at that moment and balances for a few seconds before he realizes he's not touching anything and plops onto his fanny.
Nothing better than morning cartoons with these guys.
6. At the ripe old age of 11 months, Noah has started his first LDR (Long Distance Relationship) with one of his very first and favorites, Ms. Allison. We took her out to lunch at the Tellico Grains Bakery (if you haven't been, you must - I don't care if you live in another state, region, or country, this place is goooood.) for a last shebang before she headed west. We miss her already, but I think this is one LDR that will survive. I mean, this is the stuff love is made of, right?

7. Tantrums - have I talked about those yet? He has them. They are entertaining. He snatches his arm away when I try to make him sit back down in the tub - he waves his arms furiously in the air like the "all done" sign language if he doesn't like what you are doing or giving him - he has a fake cry which sounds similar to that sound they make on Dumb and Dumber, you know, the most annoying sound in the world. These are few and far between but his not-so-little personality is starting to show more and more. And show that he got a lot of it from his daddy...

8. The mullet is official. Yes, my precious son rocks the Euro-Mullet. His Aunt Dita would be so proud...

Look closely, it's there...

Now I can only hope as he gets older he can claim
the sexiness of the mullet like David Beckham...
with the money and humor of Terry Bradshaw?
9. Hello, my name is Noah and I like to greet you like this:

I have no idea how this started or where it came from, but apparently his pops and his Uncle Matt (of the Matt/Heather married combo) did this very same thing when they were little. I have always known Chris saw the world a little differently. This explains a lot.

10. My independent, do-it-myself, won't cry when I fall on my hiney-child has found a new love for snuggling. I will stop whatever I am doing whenever I am doing it to take full advantage of scooping him up, breathing him in, and lingering while time stands still and all is right in the world. He even let me rock him to sleep a couple of nights - he hasn't done this since he was probably 6 months old. We pray and hope and love that our babies sleep on their own and through the night, but let me say, rocking him in my arms those nights will stay in my heart for a long time.

...and last but certainly not least...

11. We are weaners! Yes, that's right, Noah has successfully weaned himself as of the beginning of September. Breastfeeding mamas, don't ask me how we did it, what we did, or if I have any tips because all I can tell you is this: let the baby take the lead. I know that many, many people much smarter than me preach wholeheartedly against "demand-feeding" during the beginning, but let me throw out there that once you have a rhythm going and it's good for mama and baby, I really believe that it will all happen naturally - at least that's the case for us. All along Noah has "dropped" feedings around the suggested ages without any coercion, and the whole experience has been fabulous. Do I miss it? No, not yet... I am just glad to have the girls back.

Let's take a look back real quick, to what I was doing a year ago today:
Holy guacomole, I looked like a rolly polly...
...and he still had a month to cook. I am woman, hear me roar.

So let the labor, I mean growing, pains begin... countdown to twelve months. I don't even want to talk about it.
Think I was late this month?
I may just have to resign from this blogging gig, it's giving me wrinkles.

Be still my heart, be still.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Meet my fellow mama-friend, Liz, creative and artsy as all get out. We go way back to Crestridge where she and I, along with two other wonderful gals, shared a 700 square foot cabin, surely built at least 50 years ago. And I may be generous with the 700...oh, if only walls could talk. She was the Crafts Director that summer - very fitting, you'll see - and promised to spend her life with a sailor as well. Big summer all around for that little cabin.

Liz is wildly creative, in words and craft, and keeps me well entertained on her blog with her hilarious stories of motherhood, wifedom, and her candid thoughts on religion and politics. Mostly, I love to see what handmade good she comes up with next... and lucky for me (and you!) she opened up shop on Etsy to sell her amazingly precious skirts for little ladies and eventually these awesome little superhero capes for the little dudes. I highly recommend checking her out, you won't be disappointed.


In celebration of the shop opening, and because she's cool like that, Liz ran a contest on her blog to win either one of her skirts or capes. Though Noah could definitely pull off the skirt because he is that cute, I opted to enter for the cape (to keep peace in the house)...
AND WE WON!

This is not the actual cape, though it does don an "N" - Noah's will be some combination of green, blue, and yellow because those are his favorite colors, he told me last week.

So in the spirit of Labor Day (what does this holiday actually celebrate, anyone?) go check out Liz's labors of love and creativity... and her kid is pretty terrific as well. It's well worth the time - and what's better than handmade loveliness?