Wednesday, May 25, 2011

bank tellers & pizza delivery guys

2 things of note happened today.

the first happened while i was hard at work being a banker. a regular customer pulled up to the drive through to cash a check, and as i sent the drawer out to her and said my hello's through the microphone, she smiled at me, twirling a stem of jasmine in her fingers. she gently dropped it in and said, "you have to smell this!" so i drew the drawer in and held the fragrant white blossoms up to my nose while she endorsed her check, and for a moment we traded places. i was outside in the hot carolina air, breathing in jasmine and grass, and she was ensconced in the business of money and signatures. i traded back her jasmine for the check and the spell was broken - but it lingered in my smile and in the lightness i felt at being passed the small gift of summer's fragrance.

the second occurred driving with the girls to shelly lake for an early evening stroll. we were passed by a pizza delivery car, and meg promptly said, "i do NOT want to be a pizza delivery driver!" a quick litany ran through my mind of all the reasons why (a) that was true, and (b) i was glad she recognized that fact. all of my illusions were shattered, though, when she finished her thought with, "because you would have to drive around all day smelling that glorious pizza and it would be torture!" oh, well. i guess if it keeps her out of the pizza delivery game it's good enough for me. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011


you know, i think that life is not necessarily "what you make of it". you can work really hard and build a rich, successful & powerful life and be terribly unhappy. you can make all the "right" choices and end up miserable. you can surgically alter yourself, make yourself "better"... but still be lonely. life isn't what you make of it. i think that maybe a life is made of the people who populate it.

i mean, take for instance my job. it's just a job, an 8 - 5 thing i get paid (not-so-great) to do... but i really love it. and you know why? the people. i have great co-workers - they make me laugh, they help me when i don't understand something or when i need a hand getting something done in a flurry of activity. considering that we spend all day within fingertip reach of each other, these are important things! i like going to work in part because of the three of them. (not to mention our customers, who run the gamut from lovely gift-bearing folks to run-of-the-mill to plain old odd.) :)

truly, my whole life isn't what i've made it. last night, our housewarming party revealed that loud and clear. our life is what it is because of the presence in it of all the crazy & wonderful people who were represented there ... and those who couldn't come. the richest, most fulfilling, most life-giving thing in my life i didn't make or cause to be. it's you guys. our friends. who give, laugh, listen, garden, support, love, feed, haul boxes and share your lives with us. we have the best people. not to mention my family, far-flung but wildly loved. that is what makes my life.

if i have made any of it myself, i can only claim to have excellent taste in friends. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

misery loves company

i am not unreliable. i'm NOT. i used to be, but it's one of the things that i really worked hard to overcome. i learned - i thought - to make plans and stick to them. let my "yes" be "yes" and my "no" be "no".

but dammit, i missed a really important appt this past weekend, and i missed it 2 months ago, too. so today i got an "i am very disappointed in you" email, & now i feel like i don't even know who i am. maybe i just totally suck. maybe i am flakey and flighty and lame. at least that is how i feel. :/ i want to quit my life and hide i a hole where i can't disappoint anyone.

welcome to my pity party.

in the past 5 months, i started working full-time for the first time in 10 years - with a 40 min commute one way. 3 weeks ago we moved into our new house - selling, buying, packing, uhauling & unpacking. now our kids have the 40 minute commute. we are trying to get the girls transferred to the schools we hope they can attend. curtis is going to africa in a month, and i don't even know the dates on which he leaves & returns. we are in the first year of our church plant. (that alone is enough insanity to make a grown woman cry.) our girls have had chorus, jr. national honors society, ib ambassador events, violin lessons, and the rest of the scheduling nightmare of tweens & teens. i am lucky to have one free night a week, and even luckier if it's the same free night curtis has. there are 4 or 5 couples we are trying so hard to find time for socially, friends we love and barely speak to, let alone get to spend time with. there is always a saturday event (or 3), and sundays are full from dawn til dusk - the last 3 weekends for me were children's ministry, worship team, children's ministry. (all of which is good, but... sabbath? what is that?) . i collapse into bed every sunday night swearing that "this week will be more relaxed"... but it never is. if nothing else i have laundry, dinner, housework, work-work, homework... and squeezing in time to blog when i should be doing the dished & doing pilates. (not to mention finding time to be sexy ... again i have to ask ... what is that?)

i know i'm not the only one with a crazy life - i know. but today, that email made me feel like shit. (again - sorry if my profanity offends you. tell it like it is or don't tell it at all. my new philosophy.) i didn't MEAN to miss it! i thought it was this saturday. i am not a terrible person. i am an overwhelmed person. where is the grace for that?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

formal pics

my oldest friend, cynthia, commented that the 8th grade was not kind to us... and boy, was she right. i have the pictures to prove what an awkward girl i was! :) kyra does not seem to suffer the same malady.... she was absolutely breathtaking last night. and i laughed when i picked her up and asked, "did any boys asked you dance?" and she rolled her eyes at me and said, "i said no to all of them... the kind of dancing they wanted was NOT appropriate." that's my girl! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


my brain is a scramble. there are 3 or 4 posts i have all rolling around, and i've started a couple of them. but let's go with these abbreviated thoughts. :)

materialism. i thought i wasn't in it's clutches, but apparently i am. it's an insidious little mo'fo. (did i just offend you? i'm sorry - but you have to call a spade a spade.) the pergola for the deck leads to pulsating desire for new deck furniture. and new deck "decor". and patio lights. i am not buying any of it... i am going to fight off this hydra with every bone in my body. i refuse to let my life consist of my possessions. (luke 12:15)

kyra's formal. seriously - how wonderful is it to be 13 and lovely, with friends and a, hair & makeup...heading out to a big dance at a "fancy" hotel (all hotels are fancy when you're 13) for a long night of food and laughing and pretending to dance. obviously, some poor girl will end up in the bathroom crying, but that's part of the experience, too. hopefully it won't be kyra. if the pictures aren't too .... scary? grown up & alarming? ... i will post some for you. :)

new house. funny how i don't miss our old one. or even think about it. i think my heart had left that area a long, long time ago, and the house was really the last thing that kept us there. we are fully in our new life now, and it's achingly beautiful. our new little home, our people, our church, even my job ... it's like God dumped heaps and heaps of undeserved happiness all over us.

family. as in, extended. since moving, i have had a deep and sustained longing for my family. mom and dad, ben & kari, mark & tina, vince & emily... i miss them. we live so far from all of them that i am well accustomed to it, and i usually don't think twice about the distance. we are all in pretty good touch, and that's just the way it is. but lately, man. it's just not enough. i need them.

curtis told me last weekend that he's been with me (including dating) for half of my life. for some reason that has really thrown me for a loop. maybe it's just that it makes me feel old? i can't shake it, though. weird.

thanks for letting me get that all out. :) ttyl

Sunday, May 08, 2011

a real mother's day weekend

this was a weekend that truly encompassed all that it means (for me) to be a mom.

first, a looong overdue date with curtis friday night. then saturday i was up early, helping kyra empty out her room and get it ready to be painted. spend 4 hours painting - with a trip to lowes for more paint...ungh! - and in the midst of the painting washed and dried 2 giant loads of laundry (altho it is admittedly still unfolded). then i made a delicious supper of tortilla pie, fed everyone, cleaned the kitchen and got the girls settled for curtis to have a quiet night to write his sermon.

sunday dawned bright and early, dragging the girls (and myself) out of bed to get to church early for set up and worship team - my first sunday singing in ages. i hauled tables, put up giant curtains (wrong) and then did the service and went for cheap chinese for lunch with a bunch of folks. stopped at kroger on the way home with the girls (curtis drove separately) and while there for laundry soap & lunch snacks there was much attitude & stalking about the store with arms crossed from smaller people in my family than me. finally home around 2:30, and then off to lowes (again) with curtis for (hooray!) my mother's day present... a gorgeous pergola for the back deck. an hour or so assembling it, just in time to have friends over for chips & salsa and when they left (around 7) it was get the girls into bed (disasterous, but that's another story) and collapse into my own bed with curtis to catch up on our hulu queue... but one 43 min episode of 'house' is about all i can manage tonight.

tomorrow it's off to the races again (at the bank), with frozen lasagna for dinner tomorrow because i didn't have time to get anything more than stopgap groceries at kroger. someday i'll catch up on everything, and the laundry will be folded and the girls will be content and the pantry will be full of food... right?

Saturday, May 07, 2011


i have been a mother now for 13.5 years (yikes!) ... and if i've learned anything in that time, i've learned that just when you think you've got your kids figured out, they change. and it's one of my favorite things about motherhood.

i love watching who The Girls are becoming unfolding right before my eyes. i love seeing their personhood develop, their minds expand & their intellect grow. i laughed today to open kyra's door and find her asleep in half in/half out of her closet on the floor because her bed was covered in the detritus of a 13 year old girl. i secretly love how meg is hanging on to her love of american girl dolls & imagining them alive. when kyra sits and read to meg it melts my heart, and when meg does kyra hair all up in braids so it will be curly the next morning i feel a great contentment come over me.

yep. i hate it when they bicker. true, meg can really push my buttons and kyra is passive aggressive. yes, motherhood is relentless and no one can make me crazy the way The Girls can. but they are also becoming interesting, beautiful, complex and wonderful young women, and that makes my heart fat & happy. :)

and so, i leave you with my favorite quote about motherhood. "every mother is like moses. she does not enter the promised land ... she prepares a world she will not see."

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

an open letter to my husband - (or why i think God wants us to get a dog)

dear curtis,

i am so happy with our new house, our beautiful family and with you. you are the best husband any wife could ask for - truly. i love your courage to follow your calling, and i love the community we are all building together. i know that it is sometimes hard for you, and i am proud of how you persevere. i love you. (for some reason that all sounds sort of sarcastic, but it is all really, genuinely true and sincere. you are the best. i love you.)

i've been thinking lately about how we want to get to know our neighbors, and how building relationships is so important to us...and i've been wondering how that will look for us here on this little street with all it's various people. and after much soul searching, i think God wants us to get a dog. it hit me while i was having my quiet time this morning.

people with dogs pass our home dozens of times a day. they smile and talk to each other while their dogs sniff and spin and sit. they get to know one another at dog parks and vet clinics. they even get more exercise. but most importantly, the first point. they get get to know one another. it's a great way to engage the neighborhood!

so i think that we should consider getting a dog....not because *i* want one, but because perhaps God is calling us to get one. of course, let's be honest, i won't be the one getting up to let it out in the wee hours, but that's why we have children. :)

Monday, May 02, 2011

1000 hours

according to the "powers that be", and vaguely scientific things like "surveys", it takes a thousand hours in a space before it feels like yours. this is probably why kitchens feel homey, and tv rooms win out over living rooms - and why being in this house, full of all my things, feels so weird.

not that i'm not happy with our choice of home - i definitely am! not that i wish we hadn't moved from durham - it was overdue. and not that my things look out of place or odd - they actually look quite lovely! but i'm not even close to a thousand hours in this house... and we haven't really made any memories here yet... and i'm on the adrenaline let down from the stress of moving... so it's ours, but it doesn't feel like ours. even holly & satchmo wander around looking out of place. poor kitties.

but every day logs another set of hours, early mornings and dinner hours, to put ourselves into our house, until our house becomes our home. 72(ish) hours down... 928(ish) more to go...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

my backyard smells like honeysuckle

i used to write, and once i wrote this...and now my yard smells like the vine. bliss.

pull the wild honeysuckle from the vine
and put it in my hair

with your too large fingers
tuck the stem
behind my ear and
lean into me
and breathe

i will be the vine
and you can be the branch
the two shall be one
and we will be
wild honeysuckle

pulled from the vine
tucked behind the ear of a pretty girl
by the boy who loves her