Friday, November 30, 2012

What I'm Into {November Edition}

As I said last time this idea comes from Megan from SortaCrunchy. Here's what I'm into this month:

On the Nightstand:
Well, last month I shared how I was reading more than I had in awhile. This month was super busy, and my pile of books was very lonely. I hope in December (and even more in January), I'll be able to pick back up. Here's a refresher if you missed the post last month:

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
Still not finished. The book that never ends. Just kidding, it's actually a super quick read. We've just read it in parts while we did the "experiment" and well, we're slow experimenters.

Called to be Holy by John Oswalt
We only have one more chapter in this and it's been so interesting. Of the books I've read in my life, it's probably the most "theological" in the academic sense, but it's also very applicable and the reliance on Scripture is deep.

Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Heart by Jennie Allen
Still need to right that review (and read the last twenty pages). Also: probably the last time I say I'll review a book. I feel so bad for dragging this out.

On the Shelf:
Of course these are the same, too. Here are some books I'm hoping to pick back up sometime soon-ish:

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer
I started this book back in the Summer, but put it down to concentrate on Anything and Called to Be Holy. I love the type of education this book describes and am fascinated with it.

Photoshop Elements 10: The Missing Manuel
I'm the kind of girl who likes (um, loves) a manual. I learned a few things from this already, but I need to pick it back up.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Literally, I have no watched one full length movie this month. Again, chalk it up to business. I did share a few moments with Annie watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in between trying to clean up the house. Peyton watched a really interesting movie called You Don't Know Jack. It's a made for television (HBO) movie based on the life of Jack Kevorkian. I thought it sounded fascinating, but when it came in the mail from Netflix Peyton waited literally weeks and I just wouldn't carve out time to watch it. I almost always pick the computer over a movie and I did a lot of that last month. Anyway, I'd like to watch it at some point.

On the Small Screen:
Here again, not much new. I watch the news as I fall asleep and that's about the extent. I do have a couple of shows though that I'd like to start watching again, namely Parenthood and The Good Wife. Since we don't have cable anymore, it's a little bit harder to watch stuff and I use not having a DVR as an excuse. But they're all online and I have a good bit of catching up to do anyway.

In My Ears:
My November Playlist [I realized when I linked to that post that I forgot to include one song. I know exactly why, too. I was trying to figure out how to appropriately express my thoughts on it. The song is "You Are the Best Thing" (Ray LaMontagne) and it's just...steamy to me. We'll go with that.]

Also, remember how last month I loved this?

Well, this month, I love this...
 

Clearly, I'm in a season where I can't get enough of them.



Also worth mentioning is this song. 

Oh my gosh. Obsessed. It was playing at El's reception and I fell in love. It's one of those songs that I think I'll always adore and it will forever have a special memory to go with it. 

Around the House:
This was the extent of our Fall decor. But I loved him. So all is well. 

 
And so far, this is the extent of Christmas. A friend commented on IG that the trees would drive her nuts being upside down. Funny thing is, they do me too. But it was one in the morning when I put them on. I turned the sheet upside down and we all have happy faces now. Also, another thing that drives me nuts is putting on the top sheet upside down. It feels unnatural not to and besides that just what you have to do if you want to fold it back, but still. I really think someone should invent double printed sheets (and obviously the design on the back would be upside down in the cases of geometric things such as trees so that when you folded down it would look pretty). Overthinking the sheet sitch, I know. 

We also got out this old down comforter of Peyton's (lovingly called "The Downey") the other day. It was so comfy that I just left it out. It's not really my style for a legit bedspread, but our room is in such a state anyway, it matters not what it looks like.  

In the Kitchen: 

I actually only made one new soup this month. And I made chili again, but that's it. I'm hoping to do better with that in December, too. Anyway, this was another potato soup. I added turkey bacon and shredded some fresh cheddar on top and I made cornbread to go with. It was delicious, but it made a TON. Next time, I'll freeze half. 

I also baked my dad's chocolate chip cookies. They're really not that hard (making things "from scratch") intimidates me to no end and they're delicious. Bonus: I used fair trade chocolate chips, a decision I always feel good about when I can make it happen.


Last, this is an easy go-to snack/lunch I've enjoyed lately. This particular version has romaine, avocado, Feta crumbles, and Blue Cheese dressing. I really like it with cherry tomatoes and bacon- but I was too lazy to fry bacon that day (most days) and cherry tomatoes don't last long in a house where Annie lives. I used to eat these a lot when I was trying to gain weight healthily because avocados are full of fat. Anyway, it's delicious and so easy. Pour my Coke in a goblet, and it feels almost like a resturant. Minus the high chair, kids Bible, and whirring dishwasher, of course.

In My Closet:



I've kind of lived in this dress this month. Church more than once to avoid a trip to the attic for another Fall/Winter dress? Check. Junior League meeting when I needed something quick and easy and not yoga pants? Check. Attendant in my best friend's wedding? Check. Not the greatest picture (the second, the first is wonderful and will be held in my heart forever. Obviously). I actually took it just to text Minda to get the okay, which is why there are towels and junk all over the floor. Anyway, I wore it with slouchy boots to church and for the League meeting and with round toe pumps and dark hose for the wedding.

In My Mailbox: 
Not alot and I couldn't be more thankful. I'm excited about the Christmas cards that should be arriving soon, though!

In My Cart:
I went to a sample sale today and got some cute things for Annie and Graves for the Summer and Fall at way below retail price. That's always fun. I should do a Babykin Boutique post soon. It's been so long!

On My Heart:
So much. This month was exhausting for me emotionally. In (mostly) all the best ways. I had a total come apart in Nashville before Springsteen and the week that followed I had what I've now determined is going to be normal concert withdrawal, when and if I ever see him again. It was better though because Mistletoe was right on its tail. Mistletoe was physically exhausting and the beverage cart mishap could have sent me over the edge had I allowed it to. But I was also really overcome with it all, seeing it from a different perspective. I'll probably share more about this from a more general perspective, but it's awesome and humbling to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself. It was neat to feel that. And then El's wedding. I wrote everything I need to for now and I'll share more about the actual wedding later (soon!), but there have been few experiences in my life (the births of my children, my own wedding, and maybe a few more) where I have felt such deep joy. It was hard not to come undone. It still is a little bit.  I've also been (attempting to) daily number my blessings and this in itself has been powerful. With the raw state of my heart, I've been moved to tears thinking of many of them. To be honest, there have been very few days this month without tears. But they've not been sad tears (mostly) and I love that. At the same time, though I'm very thankful for this month and will remember it so fondly, I hope December is a bit lighter

In My Prayers:
- The holidays: that they will be spent in perpetual remberence of the true spirit of Christmas and perpetual thanksgiving for Him- Immanuel- God with us! 
- Our family. That we will slow down this month and enjoy and learn from each other.
- Guidance in the ways He would have us serve in 2013.


On the Calendar: 
Still not a lot of blank spaces, but not near as much.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Picture Post: Never Grow Up (Halloween in Nashville) {October 31,12}

I'm a little behind in blogging (as usual), but I wanted to share my Halloween pictures of the kiddos before the month ended.

I made Graves's costume using this tutorial and I was a little bit impressed given that a) I'm not really a sewer. Like at all. and b) my sewing machine "broke" halfway through and I had to hand sew his hat. I got AP a Tinkerbell costume at a consignment sale. It was by far the cutest (they had several...random?) but I couldn't find the size and was in a hurry. Well, it was way too big. Maybe they'll want a do-over when she's six. Anyway, I bought the new one of eBay at the LAST minute and it's a 24 mo. Ha! It's a bit snug, but she's obsessed with it and I've definitely gotten my ten dollars including shipping out of it as she wears it daily. I also ordered Graves's leggings off eBay. I couldn't find anything around town (okay, I didn't look very hard!) and it was getting down to the wire. The pants were cheap, but I thought the little border at the bottom would be much smaller. Turns out he looks like he's wearing some kind of crazy leg warmers or something. Whatever, we had fun and did it on the cheap and I was way more relaxed about it this year. Also, in the first pic with my mom, Baby Graves looks a bit stoned. Of course, Peyton used it as his Facebook profile pic for awhile.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekly Happenings Post #191 (November 19-25)-- My Best Friend's Wedding


Ovbiously, the big theme for last week was El's wedding. I pretty much hashtagged the fire out of mybestfriendswedding. It was a fun week, and we had a great Thanksgiving, but it was pretty draining, too. I tweeted this, but I sincerely hope December is gentle with me. Between surprise Springsteen, Mistletoe, and this wedding I'm emo'ed out.

I got up early on Monday and got ready and left for our last REACH day party at the cancer clinic right as the kids were waking up.

 This was the party that I helped plan and it turned out really successful. We mad paper bag vests and feather headbands for Thanksgiving and I think everyone had a lot of fun. Peyton met me with the kids and headed to work and I came home and attempted naps. AP was hungry and Graves had taken a car nap, so I wasn't really successful. They all keep needing something. I worked on a post, but it took the whole nap time. They got up and I straightened and they watched a little Dora and then I got them started with supper. Deanna, one of our favorite non-family babysitters arrived and I got ready again for my Junior League meeting. We had a training session at the Children's Museum. That was fun and Graves was already in bed when I got home. AP ate a little more supper and we did some school work and read a story and I put her to bed. I picked up around the house and got on the computer until Peyton got home and then went to bed.

Peyton had the day off on Tuesday and I was determined to cram a lot of stuff into the morning. To ensure this would happen, I made a hair appointment for myself and Graves at 8:00. I got up after seven and told Peyton I was exhausted and didn't think I could do it. He reminded me that the girl (not my regular hair girl- she's on maternity leave) would probably not otherwise get to work that early had I not made that appointment. So we all husteld and got ready. Peyton ran an errand with the kids while I got my hair cut and then he brought them in so Graves could get his trim. After the cuts, we renewed Peyton's car tag and then ran by home to pick up something. We took my sewing machine by the sewing store because it kept catching when I tried to sew with it last. We got that worked out and then we went by a little bakery for donuts. We had a lot of fun visiting with the owner! We stopped in Bargain Boutique (the Junior's League's thrift shop place) and then we went by the storage unit our church uses to get the artificial Christmas tree. We took it to the church and hung the angels on it that I had been putting labels on (and coloring a few) in the car. Once that was all taken care of we came home for lunch. The kids ate and I picked up around the house, started laundry, and did dishes. I got on Twitter a bit and we all took naps. When we got up, Peyton rode his bike (that's now in our room in one of these things) and I got myself and the kids ready to go over to our friends, the Deckards, house. We had dinner with them and some of our other friends from church. It was delicious and it was really good to discuss things going on with the church (we're just in a really big season of transition and hopefully growth) in a relaxed context. We got home late and put the kids to bed. I got on the computer and then Peyton and I chatted and went to sleep early.

The kids got up early on Wednesday morning and Peyton and I took turns with them. AP's pull up had leaked, so he gave her a bath and then I got them settled eating breakfast. He got up with them then and I slept a little late. He had to go into work for a few hours, so I got up and got ready and then folded and put up a good bit of laundry.
 

I changed AP's sheets and then played with the kids until lunch and while they were eating I unloaded and reloaded dishes.
 
[The ballerina and the pianist]

I put them down for naps and played on Facebook and Twitter and checked my email. I uploaded pictures and did my Bible study and ate my own lunch. Peyton got home and when they got up, we got ready and walked to the park. We ran into some church friends and had fun visiting and then came home. We had sandwiches for dinner and Peyton bathed Graves while I loaded dishes and scrubbed the counters and high chair. I dusted in the den and then Graves had an accident in the tub. Ugh. I was planning on cleaning the bathrooms soon anyway, so I cleaned both completely. I swept and mopped in the kitchen, started some laundry and folded some sheets and towels and then swept and polished the wood floors. Whew! I'm glad our house isn't too big- it only takes a few hours to completely clean it! Peyton went to the grocery store and I picked up where he left off with school stuff. It was late, but I let AP watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie we had bought on sale last year. I got on the computer while Peyton fixed food to bring to work the next day because one of his techs was leaving. When he finished, we chatted and went to bed.

Thursday was Thanksgiving! Peyton had to work and I got up with the kids and fed them breakfast. I straightened up the house a little and started some laundry and then took my bath. We played a little and then at 11:00 (TWO HOURS earlier than usual) I tried putting Graves down for his nap. He was so sweet and accommodating and shocked me to death by falling asleep really quickly. I told AP that as a special treat she could skip her nap and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. She watched a bit and then wanted to switch to The Cat in the Hat. I obliged. I got on Twitter and put some pictures on Flikr and the hard drive and then we got ready and I woke up Graves and we headed over to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner (lunch). Cookie, my aunt and uncle and my grandmother were there and it was SO good to see them. We had some delicious food and then my aunt and uncle left and shortly after my grandmother did, too.
 

Peyton got off work and met us and we headed to his parents for a bit. They were super sweet and watched the kids in the backyard while I visited with Peyton's sister. After that, we headed back to my parents'. We stayed awhile and just relaxed and then Peyton took Graves home because he was getting fussy. My dad made spaghetti and we stayed and enjoyed it and then came home. Peyton was making more food for work (the party was going to continue on Friday since a lot of people missed it on Thursday). I unloaded and reloaded dishes and we visited and then I got on the computer.

Friday morning was SO nice. Peyton had to work and I guess because Thursday had been so busy with all the grandparent visits, the kids slept super late. Graves wok up at 8:30. Since that's on the late end of normal, I figured he wouldn't want to stay in bed, but I decided it was worth a try. I put some toys in there and he didn't make a peep until almost ten! We got up and ate breakfast and then I started running my bath and AP woke up (at 10:30!). We just played and I made a phone call about our broken washing machine and texted a couple of friends about different stuff. I made a Mumford playlist and fed the kids lunch and then put them down for naps. I got on Twitter, worked on a blog post and did my She Reads Truth study. I ate lunch and then got dressed. I got the kids up and dropped them off at my parents and started my two hour drive for El's rehearsal dinner.
 

 I did great until the very end and then I turned around twice and then pulled in a parking lot to find the restaurant. I drove back down the highway and turned around and realized it was IN the parking lot I had been sitting in.   I actually enjoyed the time to myself and once I got there I had SO much fun. I was sitting way down at the end of the table, but Ellis's stepdad made room for me by him and Deidra. I had so much fun hearing stories about Ellis never sleeping as a baby and that kind of thing. Ha! I got on the road around 8:30 and got home about 11:00 (I got turned around again near home).
 
An introverted extrovert's perfect night- time spent celebrating people I cherish, bookended by hours alone with my thoughts. And these guys :)

 I visited with Peyton and callled my mom and then got on the computer for a minute and went to bed.

Saturday was the big day! I slept later than Peyton and the kids (8:30) and then got up and got ready. I got the kids ready and everything packed. I was scurrying around, but Minda texted me about moving pictures back and my dad rang our doorbell and said "Bud's ride is here". [He was staying with my parents, but we had thought we'd drop him off. Also, they were SO sad to miss the wedding, but with Cookie home for just a couple of days they just couldn't justify leaving her there by herself.] Anyway, we finished getting ready and then ran by Lemuria for a couple of books for the book exchange. We got on the road.
 
road trip ready!

I spent most of the trip going through church curriculum and discussing with Peyton to help him mark things he was interested in (I think I've mentioned it, but he's the layperson in charge of all the adult discipleship at our church). It was about three hours total and Annie did GREAT!

We were getting close, but I was super hungry, so we stopped at McDonalds and I changed clothes and changed AP's clothes.
 
And wedding ready!

We got to the wedding and I just visited with people and Peyton and Annie kind of explored. I'll post pictures and some of my feelings on the wedding, but it was BEAUTIFUL!
 
 

I think Bud had a fun time with M&M, too!

 We got back on the road around 8:00 and made it to my parents' to get Bud by 11:00. I got on the computer for a few minutes when we got to our house and then crashed.

Sunday was a relaxing day, thankfully. Peyton taught Sunday school and our associate pastor preached. We came home and fed the kids lunch and put them down for naps. Peyton and I visited and I got on the computer and he took a nap. I took a nap and when the kids got up, he played with them. We all just hung out some and we fed them dinner and I started straightening the house and unpacking (yes, I "packed" for a day trip). I had lost my keys, so we found them and gave both kids baths.
 
There was a book exchange at the wedding and Annie adores her book. Such a little reader- growing up in the spirit of her godfather. 

They went to sleep and I finished cleaning up and wrote a post and got on Twitter.

This week has been a bit busy, but not unmanageable. I'm glad things seem to be slowing down a bit. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Multitudes on Monday


 

I'm a little late this time with my blessing counting, but here are last weeks:

97. a handful of infrequently used, but always appreciated non-grandparent babysitters we can trust. 
98. faithful friends who deeply desire to bring people to Christ, grow people in Christ, and send people for Christ
99. pastry chef made banana pudding cheesecake
100. four family member strolls at dusk
101. chance meetings with friends at the park
102. a three year old who thinks Charlie Brown holiday specials are the "bee's knees" as Peyton would say
103. the unparalleled holiday fortune of having parents whose houses are within five miles of each other
104. The enormous joy of a day spent effortlessly spent bouncing back and forth
105. two hundred unfamiliar solo miles with zero wrecks, zero tickets, and minimal wrong turnage
106. the honor of standing with my best friend of fifteen years and watching him knit himself forever to another [only a handful of times in my life have I known such deep joy; a night I've prayed for for years]
107. when your what-feels-like-a-brother gets married and you gain a what-feels-like-a-sister

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." -G.K. Chesterton


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekly Smorgasbord

It's been FOREVER since I've done my "weekly" post of links. Here are some I've rounded up over the past few weeks. Some might feel kind of obsolete, but I didn't want to not share any.


    On Faith:
    Posted: 17 Nov 2012 12:03 PM PST
    " There's a right way and a wrong way to express your convictions about Halloween. If you choose not to celebrate Halloween, don't. It's your prerogative to do it or not do it."

    This was a great list of reflections. I've honestly never thought of number four, but how true it is!

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:06 PM PST
    "She's standing on a stage and she's holding out her bare roll of skin, a bearing of soul, holding out her cellulite and begging us to look in her eyes and why am I looking away?...And there are 10,000 women sitting under this domed roof holding out their hearts like empty cups....They're here right next to me — all these women rejected for the size of their pants, the size of their house, the size of their family, the size of their work."

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:58 PM PST
    "It seems impossible to walk in this world without robbing someone of their dignity...'There comes a point," he says, an ocean away, in the wisdom of space, 'When you accept that you can't do it all. When you accept that prayer still matters. When prayer is where you have to start.'"

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:37 PM PST
    "But offensiveness itself is not a great indicator of being on the right path. Being offensive is not a fruit of the Spirit. ...Jesus humbled himself to the point of death, but his Way leads to Life. He exalted the humble and loved us all, even those who disagreed, betrayed, and had him killed...The Truth can be offensive. Like the cross. Like love. Like Jesus."

    Possibly my favorite of the list. {Language warning.}

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:34 PM PST
    "This woman is unjustly treated as a slave by those who are in fact her equals. But she treats her inferiors with a grace that not only adorns but lifts them above their natures...Clearly this movie is interested in clothes, but not in a superficial way at all, because clothes first and foremost are figured as gifts that make visible a life of grace and virtue and its effect on others."

    Really neat take on it.

    Posted: 05 Nov 2012 08:30 PM PST
    "Here's my suggestion; both people need to be open-minded. Both people need to consider the possibility that the other person is right and they are wrong. They need to examine the evidence with an objective set of eyes (as best as they can – nobody is perfectly unbiased) and both seek to discover the true nature of reality, whatever that looks like."

    Very interesting article on an alternate way of doing evangelism.

    On Marriage and Family:
    Posted: 17 Nov 2012 12:03 PM PST
    LOVED this list.
    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:57 PM PST
    "I don't want my marriage to be ordinary. I know that peanut butter and jam on toast is good and nutritious and solid. But sometimes you need Eggos. Every once in a while, just to remember that life is worth celebrating with the one you love...Because sooner or later we'll be sitting on a plane, alone, doing crosswords and trying hard not to cry."

    Beautiful.
    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:44 PM PST
    This veterans day post had me in tears. Big time. May we not forget the heroes behind our heroes.

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:36 PM PST
    " I think we skip right over serving because it's sounds so, well, servant-like. But I'm telling y'all, that's where it's at."

    On Social and Political Issues:
    Posted: 17 Nov 2012 12:06 PM PST
    "I hope you vote wisely and thoughtfully tomorrow, but please, don't buy into the idolatrous lie that your future hangs in the balance. If you are a Christian, I would encourage you, regardless of the results of tomorrow's election, to be gracious, kind, and humble. Show the world that your hope is not in this life or in the things of this world, but in the One who offered Himself on the cross as a ransom for sinners."

     A little late, but still worth the read.

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:59 PM PST
    "It was then that I realized that American have this innate need to be right. And in order to be right, the person with the opposite or different perspective must be wrong, must become a villain, a foe."

    Interesting thoughts.


    On the Sanctity of Life:
    Why I lost faith in the pro-choice movement | LifeSiteNews.com
    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:34 PM PST
    "I saw an almost pathological level of avoidance, in myself as well as in the larger pro-choice community, on this most critical issue of when a fetus becomes a person, and when abortion becomes infanticide."

    This article was fascinating.
    Posted: 17 Nov 2012 12:05 PM PST
    "You will not find me holding the protest signs. You will not find me shouting in the streets...But you shall find me weeping when someone says war is the only option, drop bombs from the drones and find me unable to speak when it's only a fetus, my right to choose."

    This was a powerful post. An awful lot to think about. Most of it stuff I'd shared before, but articulated so beautifully I couldn't not share.

    On Living Life Rightly: 
    Posted: 17 Nov 2012 12:04 PM PST
    "At best, our attempts are feeble to convey the inner workings of intimate relationships of spouses and families, let alone the delicate balance of loving ourselves.

    Don't wait until you finally understand what a person's burden is, just give them the benefit of the doubt that they have a struggle, everyone does."

    Truth.

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:10 PM PST
    "The point is, you really can't categorize anybody, and any attempt to categorize another person is socially lazy. Categorizing people, in the worst instances, devalues them, and in the best instances is creates a false understanding."

     Interesting idea.
    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 12:39 PM PST
    "Today as we face our dishes, our proposals, our classrooms full of the future; as we sit to create, to write, and to live on purpose, may the promise of growth outweigh our fear of stumbling...May we remember how swiftly perfect love drives out fear...May our thousand brilliant excuses spin around into one brilliant act of belief."

    On Finding the Beauty:

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:02 PM PST
    "After a spell the sound of the train stirs up that verse about 'not in vain' so he lowers his hands and opens his eyes and steadies himself to step back inside guessing with age its not all that bad to be thoroughly happy, occasionally sad."

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:01 PM PST
    "We want heroes with grand lives to sweep us up into their stories and propel us out to save the world through their endeavors while we stay home and fold the boring laundry...Most heroes I know are brave because they keep going in the face of their overwhelming fears, their worries, the voices in their heads that tell them they aren't good enough, diligent enough, calm enough, prepared enough, or any other enough that can spit up out of the "perfect-o-meter."...But my guess is heaven uses a very different yard stick than we do. So keep on you. Yes you. The one up to your elbows in what feels like ordinary."

    A good word for me. For y'all.

    On Managing:
    Posted: 17 Nov 2012 12:04 PM PST
    "Those plans worked on paper–but I couldn't follow through in real life. Because time management isn't just about time: it's also about energy."

    Great list. I never really thought of number two, but it's so true!

    On Various Other Topics of Great Interest (or Silliness):
    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:17 PM PST
    HAHAHAHA.

    Posted: 16 Nov 2012 01:12 PM PST
    Just a fun little post!















    Enjoy!

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    When Everything Feels Like the Movies



    I don't know where to start with this post at all. AT ALL. But it's tugging on me and I know it's one of those times when I need to just "write it out". Honestly, I knew several months ago that at some point, this post would come. It's just a big, vulnerable full of emotion thing that feels like trying to put paper and pen to big chunks of my heart. So, there's all that. And there's also this: I have a huge fear I'll be misread. I'm afraid people will read things in this post that aren't there and that's kind of devastating to me to think about. It's probably why, though I've written about Ellis here and here, I do so pretty infrequently. And maybe this post won't be anything new. Maybe I'll say things y'all have heard and it'll be of no shock. But I've felt people's judgment over our friendship through the years, and more pointedly after Peyton and I got married. I have to admit a friendship like mine and El's is pretty much an exception in mine and Peyton's marriage. I don't think either of us would approve of the other going out and actively starting a friendship of this level of intensity with someone of the opposite sex. But it's there. And it's always been there and there's no way Peyton or I felt like any change was needed. I'm so thankful for Peyton for not asking that of me. And (I'll get to this more), but I'm deeply grateful to Minda for the same thing.

    I need to tell y'all about Ellis.

    When I was thirteen and my parents made me change schools I felt so alone. Honestly, I'm not sure if I've ever experienced an isolation of that strength at any other time in my life. I felt lonely and sad and like no one understood me. C.S. Lewis tells us that "friendship is born the moment one person says to another 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one". I've felt this connection with a number of people over the years, but probably never as powerfully as I did with Ellis my seventh grade year. It started out like this: "Perry" (my maiden name) and "Purdie" are right next to each other, and incidentally our lockers were, too. I thought he was cute and I liked that he was different from all the "cool" kids trying to be stylish in their Polo and Birkenstock and Abercrombie and Timberland. And then our locker-side conversations became lunchroom conversations which became phone conversations. Long phone conversations.

    We both over thought a lot of things (read: every damn thing). We both felt things deeply (read: a little too deeply). We were both very analytical (read: to the point of driving people- our parents, our friends, each other nuts). He didn't seem like anyone I knew my age. Heck, he didn't seem like anyone I knew period.

    Remember how I said that I felt things a little too deeply? Well, that translated to me thinking he was my soul mate, the person I was supposed to be with forever, my future husband, everything. I was frantically fearful of the idea of him not being in my life and terrified that something (or someone) would pull us apart.  Here's the thing: when you find someone who is alot like you, it's usually best *not* to involve yourselves romantically. I think El knew that at the time. I'm sure Deidra, his mom, knew that at the time. It took me a truly difficult relationship with a (in some ways) similar person to figure this all out. Over the past few months especially,  but most of our friendship and all of my adult life, I have consistently thanked the Lord that the thus far most lasting friendship of my life and arguably one of the most beautiful relationships of my life was not sacrificed on the alter of teenage hormones and insecurities.

    I'll spare you the details of me chasing him into the boy's room [his assumed place of solace] and confessing my thankfully unrequited love for him. Or of the time a few years later when I did what I'm glad I did once and far all and stuttered and stumbled and leaned in and kissed him....on the teeth [that moment was the decisive moment when I felt everything other than friendship leave and I knew I'd always be perfectly content to call him nothing other than my best friend]. I'll spare you the details of the (numerous) times when I lost all sense of emotional control our senior year and had multiple breakdowns over the fact that we would be miles apart and wouldn't see each other daily [sometimes he humored me and let the tears fall on his shoulders and sometimes he told me I was being absurd and needed to get a grip]. I'll spare you the details of the times when I [shamefully] ruined his relationships because of my fear that "things wouldn't be the same" and because of my jealousy for his attention. And the times when I'd ask him to promise me that if Peyton died we'd get married and life a celibate life [because hello, gross!] because I didn't feel like it would be appropriate to live life as room mates and he was the next best thing to Peyton [yeah, that was unfair]. And the time when he finally told me I had to quit talking about that, that in all likelihood Peyton would be fine and something terrifying did happen he'd help me in every way he could, but I couldn't depend on him the way I was asking him to let me. I'll spare you the details of the time in college [praise the Lord, we finally ended up at the same place!] when we met for an early breakfast and I, wearing gym shorts and a v-neck men's undershirt, stumbled to the cafe just out of bed and he said, with absolute seriousness of purpose, "Den. I really like your shirt. Where'd you get it?'. Okay, I didn't spare any details there. Because it was hella funny.

    So, I spared you most of high school and college and we're basically present day. As y'all know, El walked my mom down the aisle at my wedding, as my brother would do, had been blessed with  one. He stood on Peyton's side, only because I felt that was appropriate as they had grown to be close friends themselves. And when Ann Peyton was born, though it's really not typical of our faith tradition to do such, we asked him to be her godfather. Peyton and I had several conversations about who we would ask to be her godmother and I remember finally settling on something. "Whoever Ellis ends up marrying can be her godmother. If she's good enough for Ellis, she's good enough for our daughter".

    The truth is she's more than good enough. I could hardly keep it together at the shower my mom and I gave for Minda this past weekend.  Especially at the end, she said something that solidified so firmly one reason I adore her so. She told me something that made me realize to a greater degree, even though I already knew it so well, that she completely trusted me and that mine and Ellis's friendship was something that she was entirely comfortable with. I've had many conversations with her and she's grown to be a true friend in a very real sense, but that evening I just had such a peace that one of the most precious relationships of my life was safe in her hands. And I wanted to weep joyfully over it. And maybe I did, just a little.

    That's not the only reason she's special.  Listening to her the other day, telling stories about my best friend, I saw what I've seen a hundred times- how perfect they are for one another. She and Peyton are very similar in some ways, I've noticed. They are both laid back and care free. Easy, peaceful, calm. In a similar way to what I've felt with Peyton, I've watched Minda bring a light-heartedness to El's life that's such a gift. Their proposal story in itself is such a testament to her sense of humor and easy nature. So many things are. I know some of it is probably growing up or learning how to manage anxiety, as it was for me. But some of it is having a companion who is so different than you and who brings out a part of you you didn't know existed. So while "What! You too?" is a great basis for a friendship, "What! I can really be this different from all I've known?" is maybe a better basis for a lifelong partner. I'm so glad I found someone who could understand me when I needed it so desperately (and someone I still confide in about heavy things), but I'm also immeasurably thankful he found what I found- someone to lighten his load and help him not take himself (and life) so seriously.

    Titular reference from the first song El and I danced to, ever. Things aren't this beautiful even in the movies, are they?

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Weekly Happenings Post #191 (November 12-18)-- Shower the People You Love with Love



    Last week was pretty typical, but we did have Minda's shower on Sunday. That was so special and I had even more fun than I expected to! I think she really enjoyed it, too!

    Graves woke up at six on Monday. I got up in a daze and talked to Peyton. He was like "uh, this is too early", so I attempted to put him back down and he fell right back asleep. I had to wake AP up an hour and a half later to get ready for school after I rolled out of bed and got a bath. I packed her lunch, got her ready, and sent her off with Peyton. I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and then laid back down in bed since Graves was still sleeping. I kind of thought I wouldn't be able to fall asleep, but an hour later at 9:45, he woke me up! That extra sleep was so nice!

    I fixed him breakfast and Peyton texted me and said he was getting an oil change and getting his tag renewed. Graves and I snuggled and I read to him after he finished breakfast. Peyton got home (the tag place was closed because of Veteran's Day) and he made eggs and bacon for us. I tended to some Angel Tree stuff and made a phone call about our Christmas party and then I got Graves dressed and we took his monthly picture. Peyton left for work and I straightened up the house and picked up a few piles and then we headed out to go run errands. Target took longer than I thought and I realized I needed to run by home for something, so we did that and then left to pick up AP. We still needed a few essential groceries, like milk and bananas, so we went by the store on the way home. I fed Graves a late lunch and Annie a snack and while they were eating, I got the groceries put up, and the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded! I put them down for naps and ate my lunch and then got on the computer. I wrote a post, started another one, and checked Twitter. I read for the last part of naptime. When the kids got up, we cleaned up their room and then headed over to my parents' house for dinner. We had chicken pot pie and a very nice visit. I put them right to bed when we got home and then I worked on uploading pictures and finishing Graves's monthly post. I read blogs and then Peyton got home and we went to bed.

    I had a Junior League meeting on Tuesday morning. Peyton got up with Graves and I woke up about thirty minutes later. The traffic lights were out on Lakeland Drive, so I had to go a big round about way. I got ready and called and left a message about a haircut and sent a Facebook message on the way out. I made a couple of phone calls about Circle on the way. The meeting was super short and there was a bunch of delicious breakfast stuff! I got home and hung out with Peyton and the kids for a few minutes before he had to leave.
     
     [Her nutty Papa tied Snow White in her hair.]

    Here is where the day got crazy: I decided to cook. I'd been wanting to try another new soup, so I got started peeling potatoes while the kids played. Well, I realized I only had half the number of potatoes I needed. I got Annie dressed (she was in her Tinkerbell costume), but left Graves in jammies, and headed to the grocery. We got the potatoes and some block cheese to go on top of the soup.
     

     When we got home, they were ready for lunch (it was around the time I had planned to put them down for naps). I fixed their lunch and peeled carrots and cut up celery, sauteed the onion, and started boiling the chicken broth. The played some more and were getting antsy and then I realized I didn't have any corn starch. With a great determination of purpose, I loaded them up again and we went BACK to Kroger. We rushed in and out and I was putting Graves in the car I realized he had not only a dirty diaper, but a leaky one. I didn't even have my diaper bag. It wasn't too bad, and the store is like five minutes from our house, so we just went home. I changed it and put him right down for his nap. AP helped me clean up toys and then we did the final stuff for the soup and then I put her down.
    I had to take a picture because Annie had her first experience with environmental print and recognized the word "Disney".  Kinda a big deal.

    When the kids got up, we just had a relaxed afternoon/evening. They played and I did some stuff around the house and then fed them dinner. I went to bed after Peyton got home.


    I got up on Wednesday and helped AP get ready for school. Peyton took her and I fed Graves breakfast and then took a bath. Graves was super fussy again and we spent a lot of time snuggling. It was sweet how he wanted to be held. I watched some of The View (haven't done that in FOREVER!), sent some Circle and Reach Day emails, and talked to my mom on the phone. I folded laundry and organized some new kids clothes and then I read some in Called to Be Holy. I fed Graves lunch and cooked some cornbread. I put him down for his nap and finished reading and then Peyton got home with Annie. I got on Twitter and read some blogs. I uploaded pictures and worked on a blog post.  The kids got up and I ate a snack and we got them ready for church and left. We had some really good discussion. We ran by the Dollar Store on the way home. I put Graves to bed and Peyton did AP's nightime routine while I started laundry and did dishes and picked up around the house. I got on the computer and went to bed.
    I went in our room to(night) and found this. "I didn't hear him wake up." "Oh, he didn't. It's just been awhile". So sweet.
     
    Thursday was supposed to be Peyton's day off, but he had to go in to train some people. We were going to go run some errands that morning, but I had slept HORRIBLY. I think it was from the Sudafed I had taken. I had had some nights where I was up a good bit, but Wednesday I was up multiple times an hour! It was awful. Needless to say, I opted to forgo errands and I slept in a bit since Peyton was home. When I got up, I took a bath and then I put the carseat covers I had washed the night before back on the kids' seats (they needed a good cleaning after our trip). I vacuumed out my car and we were going to put the seats back in, but Peyton needed to leave. I folded a load of laundry and played with the kids until lunch. While they ate, I finished getting my playlist together. I put them down and kept working on that and got sucked down a Springsteen YouTube video rabbit hole. Anyway, I started my post, got on Twitter and did my Bible study. The kids got up and we cleaned their room and got ready and when Peyton got home we loaded up and headed to Fondren Unwrapped. Fondren is a neat, kind of artsy area of our city and twice a year they have a big night where they keep the stores open late and make a big production of it. It was busier than I expected. We had fun walking around and we saw the Harkins and visited a bit. When we got home, I put Graves to bed and Peyton let AP help him cook hamburgers and then we bathed her and did some school work and put her to bed, too. She had taken a car nap, so she was up late! I cleaned up the kitchen and we put the carseats in and chatted. Peyton went to bed and I stayed up too late finishing my post.

    I was expecting AP to sleep late on Friday, but not Graves. Peyton left SUPER early for work and Graves was up at 6:50. I snuggled his blanket around him and put him back down and he woke up again around 7:45. I knew it probably wouldn't work, but I turned on some music and gave him some books and he stayed in bed until around 8:30! We got up and AP got up a little later. We all had breakfast and then played a little and then I took a bath. We spent the morning just doing laundry and playing. Before lunch, I put them both in Graves's crib and vacuumed all the bedrooms and the rug in the den SUPER quickly. I didn't do the suction tools except for the couch because it really needed it! Anyway, it made me feel better about the house. I fed the kids lunch and then gave Graves a quick bath and put him down. I ate lunch while AP finished hers and then read to her and got her settled.


    I worked on a post and got on Twitter and then I ironed my dress for that night. We were going out to eat with the Howies, so I got everything together for that. The kids woke up and played a little and then I fed them supper and got ready. It took me FOREVER to get dressed even though I had everything laid out ahead of time. I'm such a dress girl,but one of the problems with that is finding a good slip. I have a big collection because there's just not one that will work with every dress. [Some of which are actually simple white nighties, HAHA-- it's so hard to find a slip these days; it's like they've gone out of fashion; what do people where under dresses?!?] Anyway, I tried on every single one and they all had some issue- too long; too "crinkly", too loose for the dress. Ugh. At least Graves was situated in his high chair the whole time. I finally got dressed about the time Peyton got home and he hopped in the shower and I finished my hair and make-up.  Peyton's dad got here and we left.

    Peyton kept calling it a "double date" which I thought was hysterical because it sounded like high school. He told me "Okay, if you get dressed up, go to a nice restaurant, and leave your kids, I call that a date. Or a victory. Or both". Haha. Anyway, we went to Local 463. It's a new-ish restuarant by the same people who own Walker's (our fave). It was okay, well mine was good, but Peyton wasn't that impressed. And for the price, we probably just should have gone to Walker's (it's supposed to not be as expensive and it wasn't, but it was still kinda high). Anyway, the company was FABULOUS. We had the best time visiting with the Howies and it was fun to catch up without any little munhckins around :) We went for ice cream aftereward and had more good convos.

    We got home around ten and Peyton's dad left. Annie was still up, of course (we don't even ask babysitters to try to put her down!) and we got busy with getting her to bed. I got on the computer for a few minutes after she went to sleep and Peyton started a movie.

    Peyton had to work on Saturday and for some reason it felt so long.
     

    I think because we've been so busy, a day at home just felt weird and I was exhausted, I think from not sleeping well earlier in the week. I got up with the kids and we all had breakfast and then the kids played. I started laundry, but I was pretty lazy otherwise. I took my bath mid morning and then started putting up a huge pile of clothes Peyton had built up in our room. The kids had lunch and then I put them down. I got on the computer for a bit and then tried to take a nap myself. I dozed a bit, but AP kept needing to go to the potty or wanting a cup of water or something.

    Peyton was going to a pharmacy friend's wedding after work, so I knew the night would be long-ish too. When the kids got up, we read books and I read some in Anything while they played together. One thing about that day- the kids did do really well playing together. They were super sweet to each other, which is always nice. I finished putting up more of Peyton's clothe and loaded dishes and then it was time for supper for the kiddos. They ate and I hung up clothes in their room and found directions to the wedding for Peyton. I bathed Graves and then we read and I put him to bed. I gave AP a bath and did some school stuff with her and put her to bed. I got on the computer for a bit and then Peyton got home. We visited and I made salads to send to the homeless shelter the next day and cut up vegtables for Minda's shower. I wrapped our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and went to bed.

    We were running late for church on Sunday. Peyton didn't even get to go to a service because he had to distribute Sunday school materials. He got our the stuff for the homeless shelter (I couldn't go because of the shower, but I wanted to send food) and the shoeboxes together and I got the kids ready and we headed out in our separate cars. I dropped Graves off and AP and I went to church. She didn't want to go to children's church and she did great in the service! I dropped her off in Sunday school and tended to some Angel Tree stuff and then went to our class. We had a good lesson on prayer and then we rushed home so I could feed the kids and get them down for early naps.While they rested, I got on the computer and then got myself ready because Minda's shower was that afternoon. I dropped the kids off with Peyton's dad and helped my mom get ready. The shower was SO much fun. We had a great time and it was fun to meet some of Minda's family and just tell Ellis stories. I was so happy. I picked up the kids and when we got home they were both asleep. It was pretty early and I knew it would be a long night. Peyton got home and we visited. Both the kids were up a couple of times, but it wasn't that awful.

    This week hasn't been too overwhelming, but it seems like everytime I check one thing off the list, I add about four more. It's a busy time, but a fun time!