Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween in Review: Part Tres

Yesterday's post contained a photo of me with a relatively nice Halloween costume and today's post will be similar...How lovely! A ballerina! It's almost as if we've finally gotten over the hump that was the costume curse!

Upon further inspection, I notice that this ballerina costume was actually on loan to me from the Elberton Children's Theatre. (Wait, you didn't know that I was a CHILD ACTRESS?! Why yes, I community theatre...with mostly bit parts...but I digress.) So, Mom gets a mulligan on this year's (1984) October 31st. You will of course notice the intense rouge with what seems to be an excess of freckles. Mom must have wanted to switch things up, hoping that she could keep me looking moderately innocent whilst satisfying my deep need to have "hooker face."

Uh-oh. What do we have here? (sharp intake a breath) Um, it seems my Mom suffered a relapse. I'm seeing a resurgence of the plastic costume. It appears that a last minute trip to Sky City occurred yet again and this time it was my brother who fell prey. (Note: after multiple searches on Google and Wikipedia I was unable to find the actual name for that bear character that appeared on Battlestar Galactica 1980. If any of you remember the name, for the love of all that's good and holy, leave it in the comments.) I think both Josh and I had crushes on Starbuck that year. But at least I didn't get sucked into wearing a cheap, store bought version of a costume...

No... no it appears mine is surely homemade. Um, I see a cloak, of sorts. And, and a pinwheel? (Of course there's a damn turtleneck because evidently it wouldn't be Halloween if I weren't dressed for Fargo, ND.) And the curse of the shoes that ruin the costume is still in effect. Those are some dirty tennis shoes on that fairy (?) there. I do think I was a fairy - even though THIS comes to mind:
Well, kids...that ends my rants on dressing up for Halloween. I must say it again: I love my Mom. She has given me permission not to feel the pressure of being supermom, and that's a nice gift. After all, whatever outfit my daughter wears this year will end up covered in vomit and smelling like sour milk.

Hope you all are ready for tomorrow! How fun that it's finally on a Friday!

And love you, Mom!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween in Review: Part Duex

So, back to my history of Halloween costumes...
Betcha didn't know that when I was 5 years old and was posed that ever important question of "what do you want to be when you grow up?" that I answered, "a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader." I was one of those girls who was both tomboy and girly girl. I rocked the jeans and brown shoes and the cheerleader skirt. As you can see below, this Halloween was a good one in my estimation.
Halloween of '82 ("ECCHS" = "Elbert County Comprehensive High School")
My mother would tell you that as long as she put make-up on me, I was a happy girl. Make me up like a lady of the night and I'd smile for the camera!Halloween of '83
Which is why I must have been smiling above. Because what am I supposed to be here? A granny? A slutty granny? A pilgrim who will soon be burned at the stake for her lusty ways? I think I'm supposed to be a princess, that ever-elusive character of All Soul's Eve. The afghan cape (and turtleneck underneath) was once again my mother's way of ensuring that I would keep warm. And since it was pink and since it looks like Lawanda of Harry Hines Blvd. got ahold of my face, I'm smiling like the damn Cheshire cat.

p.s: Please note that my brother looks pretty good in these costumes, cowboy and ghost, respectively...but just you wait. He, too, shall suffer under the curse of Halloween...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Two Years and Still Such a Story...

Two weeks ago I mentioned Hazel Mooney's birth here.

Today you can see her older brother's story on Oprah. Matt explains it briefly on their blog, Spectacular Vernacular (find it in my links to the right).

In 2006 a very large group of friends began to follow Matt & Ginny's experience with their first pregnancy. Matt, certainly blessed with a true talent for writing, chronicled it all here. I know that I read their site weekly, aching over the struggle they were in for and hoping for a miracle. Then Eliot, who had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18 while in utero, was born. And each day I would check their blog with both excitement and fear for them.

When you have some time, even in the recesses of night, I'd encourage you to go read their story from the beginning. God used that blog to touch my heart deeply, reminding me that He is always in control, even when it appears that He has turned His head. I know that Matt and Ginny did not start their blog ( to reach out to all of us in the blogosphere. They didn't plan to be an example of sweet, tentative faith put daily to the test. Ginny didn't dress Eliot up in adorable costumes so that they could post photos and we could all be impressed (though we were!). They were just being Mom and Dad...and they were soaking up every second that they could because they knew time was the most precious resource available.

I won't spoil the story in case you've never heard it. But you can also watch this:

Yesterday was Ginny's birthday, and a huge day for their family for so many reasons. It's been two years and Eliot, I still love you dearly! Thank you for all you taught me!

Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14

Monday, October 27, 2008

A V.I.P. Weekend

So this past weekend marked birthdays for Casey, my dad, and Caroline. We had a great time with all three of them but you'll have to take my word for it because I didn't take a single photo with any of them. I'm working hard on being photo-slacker of the year. Go see Chelsea's blog for Caroline's 1st birthday. At any rate, it was a fun-filled weekend and Russ put his culinary skills to the test once again: steaks on Friday and crab legs on Saturday, mmmmm.

One of my all-time favorite people, Wendy (aka "Wendle"), hung out with D. and I on Friday afternoon. Hanging out with Wendy is like eating comfort food for my soul.

Also, Davy's Gigi came over. I was finally able to get some photos with her.

Thank you, Emily Loerke, for the "green" outfit. So apropos of Em. Those are little recycle emblems all over it. Davy is doing her best Grandpa Munster impression.
Another with Gigi. You can tell it's getting colder. When I showed Russ this picture and said, "Look what your mom and I were up to," he responded, "Oh, torture?" C'mon, Russ. She's adorable.

Paul was finally able to get back in town this weekend. They got some bonding time in during the Tech game. Davy was in need of some Papa love.

Halloween in Review: Part One

I had mentioned awhile back that Halloween brought back certain memories for me as a child - both good and bad. While I relish the fall season and all the fun memories of trick or treating (back in the 80s, before all the razor blade apples and "Fall Festivals"), I need to share a little bit of the trauma that Halloween once was to me.

I need to first say, again, that Sweet Kay was and continues to be the very best mother in the world. She excels at SO many things; listening and being a source of peace and comfort being the best of her talents. At some point in her life, my mother had a seemingly endless well of creativity in her - she painted, sewed her own clothes...she was a Renaissance woman of sorts.

And then she had children.

I can now speak with a sense of authority on the notion that having a baby depletes your creativity supply. Perhaps it has something to do with the hormone levels in your body, or possibly the constant sleep deprivation...Anyway, it is with sorrow that I must now point you to Exhibit A:

No, your eyes do not mislead you: that is, in fact, a garbage bag with the words "The Thing" painted on it. Indeed I AM wearing my father's motorcycle helmet under that bag and I DO have my face painted in some sort of be-goggled mess. I think my 7 month old brother lying on the floor next to me, his young face contorted in a Mr. Blackwell-esque look, belies the truth that my mom was surely worn out that year. She had a not-quite 3 year old and a baby to contend with and we all know my father probably offered up the helmet as his only means of support. (The photo that I wish I did have has me sitting next to my best friend who is dressed as a girly, beautiful Raggedy Ann doll. It is a Yin and Yang of costumes, for sure.)Fast forward 2 years. We have moved to a new home in Georgia where all our Halloween photos would be taken next to a lovely backdrop of damask (?), patterned curtains. This young girl (?) appears as if on center stage. I remember wishing, hoping against hope, to be a princess for Halloween. Wish Granted! I believe my mom drove us to Sky City, my small hometown's version of K-Mart, and probably hurried me down the aisle of picked over costumes where I found this plastic apron/cape combo of what seems to be Cinderella. It's not even a dress. It's more of a montage of a princess, all hearts and swirlies and a cameo of the lady in question.

What's even sadder is that it was cold that night. Enter blue sweatshirt, sorrily rolled-up jeans and BROWN SHOES. I do remember that my mother had a Come To Jesus meeting with me over the shoes. It involved tears (probably on both our parts), pleadings, and much pouting. Looking back, it is the brown shoes that are really the nail in the coffin on this outfit. Mom? Seriously? Were you mad at me?

In all truth, I totally get how this happens. It's called time, folks, and how mothers have very little of it. My daughter is 3 months old and already I feel myself playing the comparison game with other mothers who have not only found outfits of homemade splendor for their child but have had the little one take professional photos in said outfit and have used that photo for their blog's monthly masthead. I went to Target last week and bought a onesie that says "Boo."

Oh Davy. I can't make you any promises. You come from a long history of mislaid plans, procrastination, and tired mommies. But I will let you eat as much candy as you want that night. And I will keep your father from picking out his favorite pieces first. After all, that's what a truly good mom does on Halloween.

More to come!

Friday, October 24, 2008

It won't be November without Harry

So, this is old news. But it just won't seem like the Thanksgiving holiday next month without a Harry Potter release. Seriously. My birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year and I believe I'll just pout the whole day since I can't go see "The Half Blood Prince." See Warner Bros' excuse for a 2009 summer release.

I don't think I'm buying that. Yes, summer is an optimal time for a blockbuster release but the HP movies have never needed a summer to blow up ticket sales. Also? Harry Potter movies? It's hard to explain but they don't fit a summertime day. They are always best in winter, when you can really sink in to the darkness and mystery of the movie. Noelle, am I right? This is just such a Big Bummer! Russ and I will simply have to resort to one of our HP marathons when we watch back to back on a Saturday because we're wild like that.

So, until that much anticipated (summer) day comes, I will leave you with this:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Like watching a car wreck

Fast forward to 2 minutes in and watch.

I laughed myself sick. Thanks, Emily.

p.s. do you think she made that song up?

Update: After watching it all the way through a few times I have come to 2 conclusions:
1) I think the song is real, but she has to try to remember all the words and that's why it seems she's making it up. (I have almost memorized the damn thing now.)
2) I love the Mr. Rogers quality of her performance when she puts on those wedges. Girl, you needed those wedges to really get your coffee table dance on, didn't you? Been there, honey.

Ode to My Daddy

Saturday is Albie's birthday and since I'm not a big weekend blogger, I thought I'd take some time to pay a little homage to the best Dad in the whole world.

Before I was born, my dad was pretty certain he was going to have a boy. Poor kid, he grew up with 3 sisters and as the only boy, I think he just wanted a little break from the estrogen he'd been around all his life. But he did a pretty good turn around with me, letting me be a daddy's girl while still teaching me how to throw a baseball like a boy (it involved a bloody lip on my part), how to play basketball, and taking me on motorcycle rides (at 4 years old).
My dad was always up for playing games. He was FUN. He made up nicknames for all of my girlfriends and when they would spend the night he would tell scary stories and play scary games. In fact, one of his favorites was a really scary version of Hide and Go Seek called "Fee Fi Fo" in which all the lights in the house would be turned out while my brother and I hid and waited for Dad to find us...except that my dad would start in the uttermost corner of the house, growling and snarling "fee, fi, fo fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman!" As a child, this was the kind of terrifying fun in which you're not so sure you're really having any fun. When Dad would find us, he would tickle us to death. The bad kind of tickle - you know, where you wish you could die instead of keep getting tickled! Anyone who grew up around my dad suffered from the horror of being tickled. (But I do remember my brother and I saying, "do it again, Daddy!")
As the senior pastor of the largest Baptist church in our town in Georgia, my dad had a lot on his plate. However, he came home for lunch every day and would read to us. In fact, two of the biggest memories of my dad are that he instilled in me a true adoration of reading and a vast love for music. My dad read "Les Miserables" to me when I was in third grade. I loved it.

He would have us all lie on the floor while he played Simon and Garfunkel on the record player. Or, on cold winter nights, he would build a fire in the fireplace and put on "The Nutcracker" while my brother and I would dance and act out the parts with our blankies wrapped around our necks as capes. My dad and I are both the kind of people who want to share new songs with our loved ones. We are those people who want you to be quiet and really listen to the words while we sing to the song not so quietly with tears streaming down our face.

It has to be said that my dad has had the biggest influence on my faith. This is not just due to the fact that he was my pastor for 18+ years. It has more to do with the infectiousness of his own faith. He simply loves Jesus with a sweet desperation. My brother and I were bathed in this adoration for God while growing up - sort of like a "trickle down theory." My dad worked hard to teach us about Christianity. We memorized bible verses after dinner while our family hung out around the table. We sang songs all the way to church. Before bed (my dad probably spent close to an hour each night with me at my bedside) he would ask me what I wanted to pray about and we would talk about the Lord.

Later, as I pulled away from him, I would still return to my dad when a crisis of faith arose. I can remember calling Dad from Texas Tech after a disturbing debate with a professor who once had been an Christian evangelist but had then denounced the faith after turning to Zen Buddhism. I had spent an hour in his office arguing with him and I could feel my convictions being mocked and shrinking to that power of intellectualism. I had to talk to my Dad! After all, he too had been a college professor and he would know how to argue with this guy! Dad merely reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4 and told me that arguing wouldn't fix things. Sometimes the gospel is veiled and we can't lose heart.
On the day of my wedding I was very excited and very distracted by all the last minute details that needed to be done. As you can see above, I was constantly looking around to make sure stuff was being taken care of in the way that I wanted. Control freak much? (and doesn't that photo say so much? the two Merediths, shouting orders, while Russ looks on contentedly)

My dad, however, was full of glee. It was like he'd had 7 Red Bulls for breakfast. While I was going through my to-do list, he kept bothering me: "Beck! Hey Beck! Beck!" I finally looked over and said, "Dad! WHAT?! I'm busy!" Then, with a sideways smile and in a small voice my dad said, "Oh...well, I just wondered if we could practice our Father-Daughter dance." It hit me. I was getting married and my dad was just so happy...but he just wanted a little more time with me. (Tears, again, while writing this.)My dad has always loved kids. He loves to tease them, loves to talk with them, enjoying their joie de vivre. While I was pregnant, his friends began to joke that he would be over the moon for his granddaughter. But Dad, very unlike him, began almost steeling himself for the shock of it all. He kept saying, "I'm sure I'll really be excited when she's a little know, during the first 4 months they are really just little eating, sleeping machines." I think that since it hadn't hit him that he'd be a grandfather, he wasn't sure he'd be all that into it in the beginning.

Um, I think it's clear he's smitten now.

Happy (early) birthday, Dad. You set a very high bar for me that helped me walk the bumpy road of life with Jesus, helped me choose the right husband, and is helping me try very, very hard to be the kind of parent that you've been to me! I am a huge fan, and I always will be! I love you.

Remember our secret!

Monday, October 20, 2008

In a Flash...

So I was watching "Life in the Fab Lane" (problem #1), a show I never watch but I was cleaning out my closet and...oh, get over it...I was desperate for entertainment. Kimora Lee Simmons is not someone I would typically be drawn to - I had her chalked up as that model who married that rapper; the cliche', you know? But I get this! Bless her heart, she's all upset because her little 8 year old daughter is old enough to get her hair blown out and she's hit with that constant reminder that mothers have:

Over and over again, by every mother I've ever talked with, I continue to hear the phrase, "enjoy it - it's goes by so quickly."

Last week I found this on my camera and it made me cry.

She's already cooing! In fact, this video is old - she now has added quite a few other phrases to her vocabulary! Oh my gosh. My heart hurts watching this. Her little newborn face is all gone.

I'm going to be a blubbering mess at prom, y'all.

Another Weekend, Another Win by Tech

Poor Johnna had to endure the Tech vs. A&M game with a household of Red Raiders, the loudest of whom was Nancy*! But she did it with class and humility, even when our kicker failed on the extra point. Such a good sport, though now she'll have to fly the Tech flag at her house this season.

*I promise to have a photo of the little one with her Gigi soon - it's not for lack of time together!

A sidenote to Katy: Chels and Johnna had never heard one of my, you know, poop stories so I shared one of them while we were munching on aged cheese and drinking wine. Girl bonding, and all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sad and Frustrated

I'm a little under the weather today but it has nothing on reading this post from one of my all-time favorite bloggers. I've read Heather's site since 2003 and have reasoned through countless posts on religion (she's ex-Mormon, maybe agnostic?) and politics (very left-wing, but conscientious to her small right-wing readership) and I've always chalked up those posts to a learning experience, knowing hers is now most likely a majority perspective.

I'm really burned out from all the political posting I've read lately but I really felt angry when I read that earlier today. It's not that I believe John McCain is our nation's savior or that I think Obama is evil and out to demolish the United States' religious heritage. But for me the issue of abortion will always be a core factor in how I vote. And even more so having just recently given birth to the miracle who is hollering at the other end of the house.

I don't get it. Seriously. And I'm not going to get it. What blows my mind is that other women, surely loving mothers themselves (as I know Heather is) sincerely see abortion as a "right" that women should still have. More than anything, it is their vehemence towards the pro-life political view that continues to shock me. I can understand their despair about health care for unwanted babies (the assumption being that abortions are only performed on women who are simply too poor, too isolated from any agency that would help, damned to face possibly even death by delivering a baby!), but to peg John McCain as "pandering" and full of "contempt" because he continues to want to support the right to life - it seems twisted on their parts.

I want to be clear: I am not condemning anyone who has ever had an abortion. I have many wonderful, loving, kind-hearted friends who have gone through the act of abortion. I don't say any of this now to undermine their characters or their decisions. I do believe most of them would say the decision was one made under great duress and one that came with an unbelievable cost: grief. The one aspect from "Alexa at Flotsam" that I did understand was that abortion, for many women, is not the easy way out.

But if it were not lawful...I dunno. Someone will hate me for even saying this but if it were not lawful, perhaps millions of lives of unborn children (I believe life begins at conception) would be saved as would millions of hearts of women out there. Some people might read that as cheesy. I firmly believe there are women suffering mentally and spiritually because they have been unable to work through their grief over an abortion...sometimes due to this country's cavalier beliefs about life, about choice, and about redemption.

So, this isn't necessarily a pro-McCain post. It's merely saying out loud how tired I am of hearing many beloved women (Anne Lamott, another favorite) are pissed about McCain's stance on abortion. I just want to say something in support of that stance. No matter how liberal I might be on other subjects, this will never be one of them. And I say that as a mother of a female, who I would continue to love unconditionally should she ever choose to have an abortion.

Ugh. The only real answer for someone like me is to more fully support pro-life causes. (Financially & with time)
Pregnancy Lifeline is a clinic in Ft. Worth committed to helping women with unwanted pregnancies.
Pro-Life Action League is a non-violent protest group that aims to also educate people about abortion and the right to choose life.

And I just noticed that I've done back to back Republican posts. The cat's out, I guess.

In Wasilla we just chill, baby, chilla

...but when I see oil it's, "drill, baby, drilla!"

Hope you saw this.

God bless you, Sarah. Prayin' hard for you, girl.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lump!

I said before that I fell in love with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed when I lived with the Orenders. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a huge Anglophile, that I love all things British: be it Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, tea and scones, the Royal Family, Westminster Abby, Oxford, C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen...I could go on but you're already bored, aren't you? So I had envisioned a corgi named Fatty Lumpkin long before he came along.

He was the runt of his litter and when we bought him his ears had been taped to keep them up because his brother and sister kept biting them. His parents were both show champions but the breeder told us, "he's a little long in the leg to show." Who knew that this little guy would be such a wonderful investment?

The hours of fun we have had with Fatty have probably lengthened our lives. I can say with total honesty that he makes us laugh every day. He is smart as a whip (bustin' out my grandfather vernacular) and understands numerous phrases, not to mention is hyperintuitive to body language. We love messing with his head by asking him, "Fatty, wanna go for a...bath?" To see his expression go from glee to despair cracks us up. Yes, we're cruel.

We nicknamed him Nana when D. came along. His interest in her can sometimes drive me insane as he must be right up against me anytime she's feeding or being changed. This is the nature of a corgi - they are herders and were also bred to lay at your feet during those cold English winters.

About a year ago after a night of gorging ourselves at Capital Grill, we brought leftover steak home for Fatty. My favorite part is how his growling (he has never shown us any kind of mean spirit) is completely cracking Russ up.

Happy Birthday, buddy. We'll be sure to keep our fingers away from any birthday treats.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For Future Reference

Tomorrow is Fatty's 2 year birthday. I'll write more about him then. Just wanted to let you know so you could, you know, like leave him a happy birthday voice mail or get him a Starbucks card or just, maybe, a birthday lick on the cheek.

Next week I'll begin to also post some pre-Halloween photos of what it was like growing up under the creativity of Sweet Kay...who I adore...but who I fear has influenced me when it comes to costumes for my kiddos.

Until then, here is what it would look like if Fatty had been raised by Sweet Kay come All Souls Eve:

p.s.: that is not my house or my dog...there is a Doc Marten's sandal in the corner of that photo and you should know that I would NEVER have one of those in my home...ungodly beast of a shoe.

Over the River and Through the Woods... (insert future name that is yet to really be determined)'s house we go!

I'm not sure if she should be Grandma, Grandmommy, Momma Kay, Momsie (heard that one last week and loved it), Gram or what. And I don't know if my mom knows what she wants to be called yet either. My dad is still struggling not to call himself "Dad" when Davy is around. (By the way, that green blankie in the photo above was made some 30 years ago by my grandmother who we lovingly called "Bumba.") Anyway...we went to Ft. Worth:

This photo was taken right before she ralphed all over him. He hasn't learned the importance of the burp cloth yet. Ah, grasshopper - vomit will teach you; it will be your master.
After this weekend there will be more photos of D. with her Gigi (a name with a perfect fit) and her daddy's side of the family. We are looking forward to seeing Sutton & Johnna as they haven't been in town since D. was born. Bring on the big family breakfast, the football games, the wine & cigars on the back patio, and the endless teasing of Sutton.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hazel Emerson

Congrats, Matt & Gin.
I don't know if she'll be Hazel or Emerson yet but I love that name. Hazel was my grandmother's name. (We called her Bumba...which just didn't go with "Page.")

Perhaps some day Davy will chill with Miss Mooney...and possibly with Piper (Canatsey) Wilmot...and Caleb (Koch) Raymond...and Nash Wasemiller...and Ephraim (Line) Neagle...and Bradyn (Fouser) Emerson...or any other Kamp staff babies born this year.* Seriously, what were we all drinking? (water, people, water...after all, that's a K-rated reference.)

*Andrea, don't get fired up. D. is already friends with Will...and Ginger Wells for that matter. There's probably a bunch of other babies I left off. Kamp people love the sex.

Anyway, yea for Hazel Emerson! Welcome to the World, baby girl!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

All I can say is thank God for the iPhone. Without it, there might be virtually no photos of this time in our lives. Much like my mother, I have the best intentions when it comes to things like chronicling our lives with photos in a creative way but when I'm in the midst of a special moment, my camera is nowhere near me. (note: we shall see if I am like my mother when it comes to Halloween costumes for my kids - but that's an entirely different post.) Anyway, I present one of maybe 2 pictures of me with my daughter:

Nice trash can, huh? Well, we're at the doctor's office preparing to get vaccinated. See how alert and sweet she looks? She was all smiles, was kicking away on the table, completely oblivious to what was coming. It broke my heart.
You can't see but those are REAL TEARS in her eyes. Not the crocodile infant tears they cry for the first few months but real drops coming out. The nurse had left us but suddenly came back in the room only to catch me snapping a shot of D. weeping. I'm sure she thought it was the height of cruelty but I'm just trying to capture all the important moments!
Ahhh, so like I was saying last week - one of my favorite things about this weather is that it inspires my husband to cook, especially to grill. These are the green chilis stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon that he made along with steak, new potatoes, and mushrooms sauteed with onions and garlic.
As you can see, I'm not very good at "tablescapes." And yes, we are that type of family that typically uses paper towels for napkins. People, I can only work on one thing at a time! And right now that's taking pictures with my iPhone! But it was a lovely night sitting outside with Russ, music playing from the kitchen, the sound of Highland Park football being played from a distance, the wind sort of dancing around the backyard. It was romantic right up until we spotted some rats running along our neighbors' fence. Big sigh. Texas Tech football at the Gillhams - you can tell it was a nail-biter by the intensity of both their faces! I think Russ and I watched college football from 10am to 10pm. Congrats to all Oklahoma State fans! (I purposely will not congratulate those from another Texas school...I have too much Red & Black loyalty to do so.) This is going to be an amazing season for the Big 12.
Everyone was tuckered out after all that cheering.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Reasons to love Dallas in Fall

1. Green, puffy Eddie Bauer vest comes out of the closet. (he's here, he's green, get used to it)
2. Outdoor concerts aren't a waste of money.
3. Texas Tech always starts with high hopes and the HP football stadium is only blocks away.
4. Dallas restaurants are all about the patios.
5. Big Tex, The Texas Star (N. America's largest Ferris wheel), Fletcher's hot dogs, and rides that will give you a migraine, double-vision, and a t-shirt splattered with funnel cake all in 5 minutes.
6. The Autumn Equinox 15K & the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning
7. That one week where all the trees finally turn the most amazing colors. Don't blink, you'll miss it.
8. Russ becomes obsessed with cooking: homemade chili, cornbread, pumpkin spice muffins and Sam Adams Oktoberfest will be consumed on the back porch.
9. Dad, Casey, Caroline, Fatty, Mr. Bill, Carol, Aars, Lindsay, Russell and myself all have upcoming birthdays...boy howdy, that's alot of cake.
10. Baby Halloween costumes
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


So yesterday afternoon I was in the shower and I found myself doing my usual shower routine. Not so much lather, rinse, repeat but more along the lines of fervently praying. I stopped in the middle of my prayers and realized that my time in the shower has been my place of prayer for at least the past year. I know it sounds crazy but it is around 10 minutes of truly alone time. It's quiet (without being too quiet). And something about the "ritual" of showering - you know, how you don't even consciously think about all the "tasks" you're performing - makes it easy for me to pray. My mind and heart just immediately jumps to it once I start the water running.

There are definitely other times during the day that I pray, one being when I'm up feeding D. at night. But I've sort of reserved that time to pray specifically for friends who are trying to get pregnant. I often say quick prayers at the computer when I get emails from our church's prayer website. There was a time in life when I prayed in my car an awful lot. But that was when I lived in Denton and worked in Highland Park. Those prayers were sometimes strewn with the cursings of road rage or the temptation to quit praying and tune back into Kidd Kraddick.

So I was just wondering, if you feel like it, where do you find yourself praying?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Give that girl a Klondike bar

...because she slept for 7 hours last night, people. At four o'clock I woke up and glanced at the clock. Surely my eyes deceived me...zzzzzz.

There were only 2 things who weren't so jazzed about D's 10pm to 5:30am snooze. To quote Mrs. Allen Pearl from Waiting for Guffman: "I called Joyce and I says, Joyce, bring Joshy. I gotta feed him at halftime cuz I'm bustin."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Popular Kid

It had been 2 and a half weeks since my parents had seen Davy - gasp! That's a lifetime for a Grandma, you know. So I trucked over to Ft. Worth on Monday afternoon to see Mom and Dad. I'm telling you, it's one of my most favorite things to watch all the grandparents love on D.
Not too long after I took this photo, my Dad pulled into the garage and Mom whispered to D., "my competition has arrived!" After dinner we decided to give her a bath and did so in the bathroom in front of a mirror. Davy put on her best Russell Page impersonation face as she checked herself out for the first time.

We were laughing the entire time. Who knew that giving a baby a bath could entertain 3 adults for an evening? What can I say? We're easily pleased.
This morning the Orender women came over for a visit. The only thing missing was Katy. If anyone needs the backstory here - I lived with the Orenders in 2000 when I first went on staff with K-life...and twas a glorious year of Katy and I constantly hanging out with her parents until her dad (Mr. Bill) would throw a few twenties at us and say, "why don't you girls get out of here and go do something fun...and you can take the Porsche!" It's sad when even your parents can tell you don't have a life. Anyway, that was also the year I fell in love with Corgis, namely the Orender corgi named Woofie (God rest his soul). So on the way over this morning, Alicia and Erin told me that Carol kept saying, "we get to see Fatty!" (one of the many reasons I love Carol!)

Carol would also want me to point out here that she was coming over mainly for Davy and did hold her for a long time - I just missed that photo opt. Archer got a little anxious about his mom holding D. for so long...course it might have also been the fact that Fatty kept confusing his face for a lollipop. However, Alicia didn't mind being licked to death.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Does Anyone Else Get the Sunday Blues?

Ever since I was a kid I get sort of down on Sundays. So I'm gonna recap the weekend just to get my mind off of the fact that tomorrow begins the whole cycle again..

On Friday we stopped at Centennial on our way to the Aars' for dinner and I saw this guy waiting for his dad. I rolled the window down and called, "hey buddy!" He didn't move. So I whistled at him. Not a blink. His whole body was trained on the door - and when his owner walked out he nearly shook the car wriggling with delight. This is why I love dogs.

We had great conversation, tasty food and too many walks down memory lane at the Aars'. Michael Page was in town and Noelle, looking completely gorgeous (Noelle, you could totally pull off the new Ellen Barkin 'do) came over as well.

Michael and Alli have the best outdoor courtyard complete with a fire pit, mesquite wood (or was it pinion?), Adirondack chairs and tasty cocktails. If you've never had a "white drink" made by Michael, ask him for it. (But avoid his wine-a-ritas after a pool party.)

By the way, Davy slept in her car seat the entire time. I woke her once to give her a bottle and then it was lights out again. Ahhhh...I almost felt guilty.

The cigars were left over from Davy's birth. (Please note that Alli, Noelle and I did not partake.) I always think cigars and outdoor fires smell heavenly...until I smell my hair the morning after.

Noelle & I.

On Saturday we went over to the Gillhams to watch Tech demolish Kansas State.

We wanted to get a photo of the girls together. Caroline started walking this week so there was quite a bit of each one of us trying to coax her over to us. Putting Davy right next to her made me realize how quickly this year has flown by. I remember when C. was this size and suddenly she's turning one. Crazy.

It's the one thing I hear over and over again from every mother: enjoy this time - it goes way too fast. I have found myself teary-eyed over how quickly Davy's newborn face is changing.

Uncle Russ with Caroline. (Colby, never far from the action, in the corner.) I'm looking forward to seeing how the two girl cousins favor each other!

It was the hands...

This almost made me wet my pants. I don't know if it's because I was so sleep deprived last night but I almost choked while laughing. The one person who I knew would quickly have the whole song memorized? You know who you are...

Thursday, October 2, 2008


This morning Fatty wasn't in his usual spot, which is to say he was not laying directly under or on my feet. He has a knack of being exactly where I need to step. I walked through the house and found him lying right near D's swing. This is an improvement from lying directly under the swing, thus hindering it from moving at all. Way to go, Buddy.
All ready for a walk. The burp towel is a recent addiction to her seat. She's been channeling Linda Blair for the past few days. (By the way, Target sells a great 12 pack of thick cloth diapers that are organic if any of you are having the same spit-up issues.)

Every Thursday morning I go for a walk with Malen and her daughter Campbell. For years, pre-babies, we would meet at Starbucks and get an hours worth of deep talking done. Once Campbell was born Malen was still able to get out of the house & meet me at Javalatto by 7am. I am not that industrious so now I make Malen walk with me and the 10am. Needless to say we still get our talking in, it's just smattered with interruptions of putting the paci back in or picking up the blanket from off the road. You know, the usual.