Saturday, January 31, 2009

girls will be girls!

kyra's best friend, mayia, is here for a sleepover tonight... and it is the funniest thing to watch them. it brings back shades of me and cynthia back in the day - they are a perfect match. the funniest thing - they are in the same room, chatting via nintendo ds (so no words are actually being spoken), and all of sudden the two of them burst out into hilarious giggling, accompanied by "why did you do that?!" or "my brother!" or some other seemingly nonsense exclaimation. it's too funny.

i know we've got a long way to go, but i like this tween thing... :)

Friday, January 30, 2009


i was sitting here in the living room yesterday, when suddenly i realized what was going on.

kyra was lying on the couch talking to her friend, maiya, and she said, "then what did he say?"

5 little words. "then what did he say?"

and so it begins...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

happy birthday, curtis!

yeah, you heard me! happy birthday to my husband of 14, soon to be 15 years! wow - that's a long time!

here's a festive birthday list of 10 wonderful things about... you!! (by which i mean curtis and not you, dear reader... tho i am sure you are wonderful, too.)

  1. you make me laugh
  2. you are my "red tape" hero
  3. you let me feel your muscles
  4. you make excellent brownies
  5. you are a magnificent dad
  6. you give me the gift of letting me be myself - and love me for it
  7. you make all our technology work
  8. you do the dishes without complaining
  9. you are a thinker and a questioner
  10. you read out loud to me
and i hate to ruin the surprise, but your birthday measuring spoons are awaiting their first use...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

i am not making this up!

"Two doctors in Britain have confessed, after 34 years, to making up a condition called cello scrotum."

can i get a "WHAAA??" from the choir? the article goes on to say that this made up condition has been cited in medical journals for those 34 years! and they did it on a lark, as a joke... who says doctors don't have a sense of humor?

in the dailymail this morning (out of britain) there is a long, long article about the sexualization of tween & teen girls...and it was heartbreaking. the author ended it with this. "Perhaps it’s time for everyone to ... show each other a little more respect; and, since we’re supposed to be the adults, it has to start with us, with how we behave, how we draw boundaries and what we put in our newspapers and magazines and on our television screens

also, i had pudding for breakfast this morning. i haven't had a pudding cup in years, and it made my heart happy. that is all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

be yourself!

do you see this sea turtle? doesn't he look like the most joyous sea turtle in the whole ocean? you want to know why? because is being himself! he is swimming, doing what he was created to do in the place he was created to do it! look, listen & apply!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

a little thought to start your week

i am reading a book by eugene peterson called 'Christ plays in ten thousand places - a conversation in spiritual theology'. phew. even the title takes a minute! it's a vastly more intellectual read than i usually endeavor upon, and i've found it very slow going... but only because it's so rich & thoughtful. it's hard to "quote" because the ideas build on one another and are not easily encapsulated. but here is a little excerpt that i think is appropriate as we each embark upon our week.

"there is a great deal of so-called creation appreciation, or "love of nature", that prefers to look the other way when men and women appear on the scene. genesis 2 will not permit it. men and women are as integral to creation as the garden with it's trees and rivers, its animals and birds.

several years ago one of my students who lived a distance away and rode a crowded bus to the college each day said to his wife as he went out the door one morning, "i'm just going to go out and immerse myself in nature today." the next day his parting words were the same. on the third day, she called him back. "don't you think you ought to go to class today? a couple of days of walking in the woods or on the beach is okay, but don't you think enough is enough?"

he said, "oh, i've been going to class every day."

"then what," she said, "is all this business about immersing yourself in creation?"

"well, i spend fourty minutes on the bus each morning and afternoon. can you think of a setting more thick with creation than that - all those people created, created in the image of God, created male and female?" "

whether you believe God created man as part of a literal 6 day creation, or created him over eons of careful and intentional evolution is not the point of this little story. the point is we are all headed into a sea of creation tomorrow... schools, jobs, grocery stores, gyms, offices, malls. how would our time there be different if we realized it? we all stop in awe to appreciate the beauty of the mountain range, or the waves on the sand... how will we react to the creation we encounter tomorrow?

Friday, January 23, 2009


poor, sickly meg. day 2 of fever ... last time we checked it was 101.6. *sigh*

on the sunny side of the street, though, cadbury mini eggs are for sale at kroger! hooray! some of my favorite chocolate in the whole darn world... ahhhhh.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

public service announcement

people. 'lie to me'. watch it. if you missed the pilot last night, it's on
true, you have to get past tim roth's 'rob roy' character (if you haven't seen it, he is the epitome of insane creepiness and it scarred me for years!), but it is totally worth it. the mulders give it 4 stars!

the icing on the cake

i woke up with the joy of knowing it wasn't going to be a snow day today - that i would get the girls off to school and finally have a truly productive day: laundry, gym, groceries (waaaay overdue!) and coffee with a friend.


at breakfast, meg complained her stomach hurt... and to be honest, mostly just to stop her complaining i took her temperature, hoping to prove to her that she was fine. but no! she has a bona fide fever! ack! so now she is glassy eyed on the couch, and my day is taking on a whole new direction.

it's not that i'm not sorry she feels bad, it's just... it's just... i hoped for

we were going to try to get groceries together, but she just threw up all over my truck. poor kid...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

mm mm mmm!

people, alicia keys can SANG. i love her albums, but i love even more to watch her live, because (did i already mention?) she can sing her face off! beyonce may get all the press, but alicia has just as much of a gift. there is something mesmorizing in her voice - maybe it's passion, maybe it's just raw skill - either way, i could sit and soak it up like a sponge.

guess what i'll be listening to at the gym this afternoon?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

snow day II

that is one fine north carolina snowman! calvin & hobbes would be proud.. i know kyra and meg are! :) take a second to vote for your favorite snow day activity!

barack & snow days

we have an honest to goodness snow day here! it's only the second time since we've lived here that i've seen this kind of snow - and it's not a lot, comparatively to our former life as canadians. but in a city without graders, sanders or salt trucks, everything shuts down. not even starbucks will be open this morning! i had forgotten how beautiful a fresh fall of snow is, covering up all the brown and making everything new.

and i can't help but feel connected to The People this morning. i know that all across durham (and the country!) this morning, people are on their couches in their pj's, drinking coffee and watching coverage of the inauguration of barack obama. even though we're all in our own homes, all of our attentions & hopes are directed toward the same thing, no matter who we voted for. hoping for a new page in our history, a new page in our economy, a new page for racial equality...hoping that president obama is who he says he is, and can acheive what he hopes to achieve...hoping that as a country we will see a new optimism and resolve, a new unity and a fresh start.

it's like a dump of snow has fallen over all of us - our nation gets to make fresh footprints.

Monday, January 19, 2009

the death penalty

i heard an interesting discussion about the death penalty while i was driving to church yesterday morning. the most interesting thing was that it was taking place between my 11 & 9 year old daughters. it began with meg asking, "mom, do you know who adolf hitler was? is he still alive?" and kyra responding to the latter by saying, "he killed himself so he wouldn't get killed by the government." (logic not being hitler's strong suit, apparently.) it went on and on, and in an effort to change the subject i interjected and told the girls that it was a big issue, and it would take more than a couple minutes in the car to figure it all out and decide if you were for it or against it.

meg paused only one or two seconds before saying, "i think i'm against it."

"oh really? why?"

"because when they killed God (Jesus) and he came back, he didn't kill them."

she's got a point.

Friday, January 16, 2009

i am not defined by what i am not

curtis was reading to me out loud from his e-reader 'velvet elvis' by rob bell while we were in bed last night. he came across a passage that says - (paraphrased here due to me not having the actual book) - that our purpose isn't to "succeed" but rather to relentlessly pursue becoming fully who we are created to be, and anything else is sin. sin! that's a rather surprising end to that sentence, don't you think? i could see "counterproductive", but sin??

rather provocative, really. i can spend all my time trying to please others, to be the lived out version of whatever perfect person i have in my head, but all the while be killing, smothering or silencing my true & real self... and when i do that, i deny who God made me to be, and that is sin. yet if i were to let everyone else's opinion (real or imagined by me) go, i can live out of freedom and my personhood will grow and expand and my life will begin to be contagious for it's characteristics of, well, Life.

he ends the section with this thought - "i am not defined by what i am not". now there are words to live by!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


this is my new living room. ahhhhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


oh. my. goodness.

it is so beautiful in here i could weep! for a couple of months now, i've been dreaming and scheming about painting and redecorating my living room, and then curtis got me primer for christmas - best christmas gift ever!

today, his day off, we hauled all our furniture into the middle of the room, dealt with enormous dust bunnies, taped the whole thing - no small feat considering that it's got crown moulding and a chair rail! - then we painted and painted and painted! and it is beautiful. stunning. exactly what i hoped for.

people were cynical when i told them what i wanted. they looked at me funny. but wait til they see this! i will post a picture in the morning, when i have the energy to do more than sit here and soak it in... you will be so jealous...


my forward thinking mother bought vincent a tattoo gift certificate for christmas, and this is the tattoo he got yesterday. i've been immortalized! it's a little weird to see my name etched into somebody, to be honest. cool, but weird.

and in followup news, having read the entire book now, 'lamb' gets a grinning thumbs up. of course, i am easily amused and not easily offended! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



that's the sound your heart makes when it's happy. here's 1000's of words for you. :)

(and don't forget to vote in this week's poll!) :)

the poll returns!

huzzah! my poll is working again! and against all common sense, i have put up a political poll! yikes! what can i say? inquiring minds want to know! so vote over there to your right ... you know you want to!

i'm home from my journey, and have too much to do to post about my trip - but it's coming... i promise!

it's good to be me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


**i am only half way through "lamb", ergo my recommendation only covers half the book so far. :)

secondly, WHY WON'T BLOGGER LET ME UPDATE MY POLL!?!? i loved my poll. i want my poll back. boo for blogger!

coming home tomorrow! will post pics maybe.... :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

oh. my. gosh.

mark lent me a book called "lamb - the gospel according to biff, Christ's childhood pal", by christopher moore. people, it's freakin HILARIOUS. not a christian book by any stretch, but surprisingly not offensive! :) if you are looking for a surprisingly reverent irreverent and (did i mention) HILARIOUS book, go buy it! i laughed so hard on the plane that i was in tears, and the guy next to me stopped me to ask what i was reading! here is an excerpt that has nothing to do with the gospel portion of the story, but made me laugh so hard! the context is that biff, Jesus' friend, has been temporarily brought to life to write this gospel, and an angel is keeping him in a motel room while he writes it. the angel is obsessed with cable tv...

"i've tried to get the angel to watch MTV so i can learn the vocabulary of your music, but even with the gift of tongues, i'm having trouble learning to speak hip-hop. why is that one can busta rhyme or busta move anywhere, but you must busta cap in someone's ass? is "ho" always feminine, and "muthaf*cka" always masculine, while "bitch" can be either? how many peeps in a posse, how much booty before baby got back, do you have to be all that to get all up in that, and do i need to be dope and phat to be da bomb or can i just be "stupid"?"


moore actually handles his subject with surprising delicacy, and lets biff handle all the bulk of the insanity. :) soA if you like to laugh, give it a try!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


meg has her midterm 'benchmark' exams this week. they are largely to determine if the class is on the right road, learning what they ought to be learning at the pace they need to be learning it. for some reason, this year, she is all worked up about them, and has her first one today.

kyra and curtis leave the house before meg or i are up on school mornings (middle school is a killer!), and when meg and i made our way down for breakfast this morning, we found this note on the table, from kyra.

"good luck megan! i prayed for you! (keep this note, it will be very encouraging i hope for all your tests!)"

that is beautiful.

Monday, January 05, 2009


"Will you forgive me?" He clasped his paws together and looked at his son. "Son," he said, "please."

Despereaux looked at his father, at his gray-streaked fur and trembling whiskers and his front paws clasped together in front of his heart, and he felt suddenly as if his own heart would break in two. His father looked so small, so sad.

"Forgive me," said Lester again.

Forgiveness, reader, is, I think, something very much like hope and love, a powerful, wonderful thing.

And a ridiculous thing, too.

Isn't it ridiculous, after all, to think that a son could forgive his father for beating the drum that sent him to his death? Isn't it ridiculous to think that a mouse could ever forgive anyone for such perfidy?

But still, here are the words Despereaux Tilling spoke to his father. He said, "I forgive you, Pa."

And he said those words because he sensed that it was the only way to save his own heart, to stop it from breaking in two. Despereaux, reader, spoke those words to save himself.

wisdom from 'the tale of despereaux'

i am reading the book 'the tale of despereaux'. for those of you who've never read it, i highly recommend it... although it's written for young adults, it's got me hooked! there is a narrator now and then who addresses the reader directly, and it's very disarming. here is the bit i had wanted to post earlier today. (just in case you didn't know, despereaux is a mouse)

"Reader, you must know that an interesting fate ... awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform."

i'm not entirely sure why, but that sentence sends a little thrill through my soul...

in the immortal words of monty python...

... "now for something completely different."

monday morning, and back to real life. early mornings, school lunches and homework on the "con" side of the list, but .... kids at school on the "pro" side! :) i love 'em, you know i do, but they start going crazy at home, which makes me crazy... looking forward to breaking the cycle!

thank you to my readers who noticed my new "polling" feature! how fun is that!? for those of you going, "whaaa?", veer your eyes a wee bit to the right, and you'll see my poll - a feature inspired by the blog of josh hall. so vote! and if you have any ideas of good or fun questions i could ask, anything your inquiring mind wants to know, let me know... we can poll together!

there was a fantastic little segment of the book 'Desperauex' that i was going to include here as my "thought for the day", but it would seem that my daughter spirited the book to school with her. you will just have to wait. :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

moody sunday

i sang this afternoon at a memorial service for a 16 month old baby boy... it was unspeakably sad. i can't begin to imagine how a parent says goodbye to a child. the last song was sung through my tears, though i tried very hard to hold them in. my heart breaks for that mom, and the desperation she must feel to hold her son again, to smell him, smile at him, feel his velvet skin... absolutely breaks. and it makes me so thankful for my girls, even when they are fighting with each other, or creating chaos and mess, or just generally making me crazy - they are still one of God's greatest gifts to me. i have written and deleted several paragraphs here... i think i will let it be what it is. i can't give words to the feelings, and it would do them a disservice to try. thanks for letting me try to express it here...however modestly i was able to.

Friday, January 02, 2009

i think i created a monster

i took kyra to the mall tonight with her birthday money. my goals for the night were to have a great "girl" time, and to help her begin to find her own style, while keeping things modest and cute. and oh my gosh did we have great success!! she had $50 from her gramma, and spent $45 while saving $115! (you go, jc penny!) but the most fun for both of us were her first pair of heels. she lit up like a christmas tree, people! take a peek...OH. MY. GOSH. not to mention they were regular $50 and she got them for $14!! and then she wore them, blushing the whole time with glee, as we went to a couple more stores and finally kroger, clomping away, trying to learn how to manage her gait in them. it was glorious!! and, she loves them. who wouldn't?? best $14 she may ever spend. :)

happy birthday, baby!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

birthday eve

tonight is my daughter's birthday eve. tomorrow she will be 11 years old. my how time does fly! i love you, kyra-boo!


i just spent an hour cruising through my past year in blog posts. i had forgotten much of what was there - the silly things my girls said and did, the interesting and profound quotes, things i loved in the heat of the moment. i was left realizing that for all the difficult times, stressful days and worries of the past year, the overwhelming reality is that it was a great year. a beautiful year, even. full of people i love, funny things, new experiences and the simple pleasures of a life lived without pretense or pretending.

thank you God, for my life. all of it... the good and the bad. thank you for every gift, every person, every moment of beauty in the past year. open my eyes to see the beauty before me every day i have ahead of me this year. remind me to keep on loving out loud. amen.