Monday, November 30, 2009

Lovey


The hubs is a Superperson, in case you can't tell from his 1978 tee.


Look, even back then, he was a sweet, laid back boy. Truly, the guy is in his element when he can just relax and talk one on one with someone - a quality that quickly (is 9 months quick?) sucked me in...


This one is my favorite. So tuckered out. Dirty jeans. Dirty face. Boys, you know?

I married the coolest guy ever. Sorry. He's taken.

Happy Birthday to Russ! My sweet boy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Recasting Twilight

If you are burnt out on the Twilight phenomenon, please know that so am I. This post was written out of sheer annoyance.

Confession: I read all the Twilight books in a matter of a week and a half, voraciously devouring them (which is not hard considering they are akin to a "beach read" as far as depth & plot go) and reading late into the night. But. I thought the first movie was worse than a bad after-school special. Just terrible acting, worse casting, and the hair dye on the majority of the cast? Ohmalord.

Exhibit A:


The Cullen family is a joke to me. Peter Facinelli as Carlisle? Seriously? And the bottle blond hair? It's despicable! I was truly disappointed and thought I'd make some casting changes to improve this bajillion dollar trainwreck.

So let's start with Carlisle. Forgive me for not buying into Mike from "Can't Hardly Wait" as Dr. Cullen!


I'd go for this guy instead:


If you don't find John Slattery attractive enough, check your pulse. After all, Carlisle Cullen needs to have just the right air of youth and sophistocation to be believable.

And what about that chick playing Rosalie?



I don't know who Nikki Reed is, but I do know she's a natural brunette with tan skin. NOT A FIT! Rosalie is supposed to be beautiful, pale, and be able to act her way out of a paper sack. I was so disappointed with Ms. Reed in the first movie. My choice for Rosalie would be:


First of all, if you've ever watched "Big Love", you know that Amanda Seyfried can pull off the perfect amount of cold/yet cautious that the role of Rosalie calls for. Who's with me on this choice?

...Now onto one of the most annoyingly disappointing cast mistakes: Bella's Dad. This was really irritating to me, as if the casting director needed each and every actor to look like some kind of arm candy! I know the vampires are supposed to be very attractive, but Mr. Swan is a mere human. I'd change him from this:


To this:

You've seen J.K. Simmons play a dad in both "Juno" and "I Love You Man". I think he'd do a much better job as Bella's OLDER, introverted father. And I'd like to see his more serious side in a movie.

As far as Kristen Stewart as Bella, I'm fine with that. K-Stew plays the exact.same.person in every movie she has ever been in: pensive, tense, tight-lipped, boring, blah.

(Panic Room)

See? And here, too!

(Adventureland)


And Bella is a serious girl. But now I'd just appreciate it if Ms. Stewart would recede into privacy. Because I'm getting about as burned out on her as I was on Beyonce' for awhile. (AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, KATY!)

I'm a Team Edward kind of gal so I'm all for Rob Pattinson...except his faux American accent drives me batty...as does his "smell the fart" acting as Edward.




Rob, I'd enjoy Edward a lot more if you'd just tone down your English accent. After all, back when Eddie Cullen was born, most American still sounded a bit like the Brits.

That's it, folks. My rant is over.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Go Here for Therapy

I know. It's been over a month and a half. For shame. It's just that my job requires so much thinking. And words. And depth. And I have nothing left to put here when I'm home. Also? My daughter walks and (tries to) talk now! So blogging has been pushed waaaay down on that To-do list.

Due to all of the above, I've also stopped reading most of the blogs I used to keep up with. But this morning while Davy was busy not napping and squealing loudly from her bed, I wandered over to a blog I read every once in awhile. It never disappoints.

Matt lost his wife the day after she gave birth to their daughter, Madeline. I've kept up with him on and off and spent a little time reading about their extended stay in India - where he first proposed to his wife. I wiped away lots of tears today and thought, Grief is truly a Journey.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Back From the Grave

I know you've been checking back here repeatedly, dear followers (Mom), and must be curious about my absence. It's nothing exciting. Just a stomach virus. Last Monday night I lived through the one experience that I had been dreading: baby projectile vomiting. I used to see friends posting all the time on Facebook about their child being sick and throwing up all over the place. Each time I read something like that I'd begin furiously praying, "please God no may it never be" over and over.

And yet - it happened. I was putting D to bed after a normal day and a normal bedtime routine. While I was wrapping her blankie around her she softly coughed, spat out her pacifier, and proceeded to go all Exorcist on me. Wow. A wall of chewed tomatoes, corn, string cheese, yogurt, blueberries and milk sprayed across the bed, missing the bed entirely (small thanks) and landing on me and the floor. I was stunned. I was literally frozen while it happened, much like I'd imagine most folks are during extremely traumatic moments.*

Anyway, it happened um, around 11 more times that night so after 5 loads of laundry, 3 sessions of floor mopping, and two more baths, I knew I had been baptized into a more mature level of motherhood. That's the worst that motherhood gets, right? RIGHT? Okay, whew.

On a not so funny side note, both Russ and I got sick as well. Only Russ got sick hardcore, as Russ has been known to do - summer of 2007 anyone?* 8 And now, even though he's better, he's losing weight as if, oh, say he's training for a half marathon. Only he's not. But I am. But I have lost jack diddly and am starting to think about secretly adding mayonnaise to everything I cook for him. Can anyone tell me why this happens with men? I can't figure out how I can run 25 miles a week and still hold onto weight like my body is some toddler clutching her toys to her: MINE!

*Yes, I just compared my child throwing up to the trauma of say, refugees in a war-torn nation or surviving cancer. Don't you want me for your therapist?

**Ugh. I don't even like remembering the summer that Russ had some impossible to diagnose virus that made him run a high temp for 3 months and zapped all strength from him. Everyone avoided us like the plague and I had to mow the yard. THE TRAUMA I'VE ENDURED, PEOPLE!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Storms

I am sitting on my back porch while a huge storm rolls in. Tree branches shaking, rain pelting our windows, the thunder is deafening - I will need to go inside soon and find refuge. It is a physical depiction of what my heart has been through the past week.

Last week I got some bad news concerning some people I love and a place that has been dear to my heart. Someone who seemed as strong as one of the old live oaks in my back yard fell from grace in such a way that the damage will take years to clear away from so many lives. My mind couldn't even accept the truth when I heard it...denial, shock, anger, sorrow.

Some folks who visit here don't know what I do for a living. I'm a counselor. This blog is not the place that I talk about my work. But I do hash out my emotions here. So, I can share that what I do at work all day is weather some very scary storms with people. I walk with people through pain. I hear bad news all day. It's hard. I don't write that to garner pity from anyone. But it takes it's toll at times. Most days I feel the weight of the privilege it is to hear the stories and share the burdens - I truly cherish my job.

But the other morning as I was driving to a very early running workout I just began sobbing in my car. There were no other cars on the street and I had nothing to distract me. I began the dangerous business of thinking about this person who fell and about those who have been hurt by him. I also began thinking about several other people who I knew were hurting just then. And the only thing that came to my mind was: "Come, Lord Jesus."

Sometimes this old world seems to hold so much pain and sorrow that the only comfort is to wish that Christ would return and make everything new. My goodness...the gratitude I have in knowing it is so much more than a wish...

Just like this storm outside my window has forced me indoors, I believe in a Refuge, a Place to run for cover.

For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Psalm 61:3


In one of the most quoted sonnets by Shakespeare, he talks about love.

"Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove;
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken."
(Sonnet 116)

I need reminding that God is not shaken by all these storms in my life. This is how He loves me.

If you stopped by here will you pray with me for two people? Rachael's brother and sister-in-law gave birth last Friday to Connor, who died the same day he was born. Please pray for them as they grieve. I think of the empty nursery and I just can't keep it together. And will you pray also for Cari? A year ago tomorrow her beautiful, chubby, happy baby girl Caden died suddenly. I have never met Cari but I am so grateful for her honesty as she writes with candor and tears about the road she is walking. I've been in love with Caden since I found her blog. I know tomorrow (9/22) will be a hard day. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us eternity to meet these two precious babies...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Lovely Bones



This book deeply impacted me. It was scary, inspiring, heart wrenching and just very sweet. Here's to hoping that Peter Jackson can do it justice...

Thanks for the reminder, Buns!

Life Lessons from the Road

So I've been a little stale here. I've been lacking inspiration for writing. All day long I think of things to post and then time or lack of energy gets the best of me.

But today's hill workout reminded me of a few truths I've learned since I became a runner 8 years ago. I always wanted to be a runner. It sounded very sexy. I had played sports all my life and even worked at a sports camp during my summers in college and afterwards. But running was my nemesis. Every time I'd head out for a run, I'd end up with side stitches, sometimes even puking on the side of the road. I felt insecure and never wanted to run with others because I knew they'd smoke me. I was sure that running and I, much like Bella and Jacob, were simply not meant to be.

One hot July afternoon at the aforementioned sports camp, I was attempting a run (less than 3 miles) and was running up a long hill, paved with gravel, and a bible verse came shuttling into my brain: but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31)

See, I was so intent on becoming a runner that I had been praying, asking God, "please make me a runner!" When this verse came into my mind, and I am not exaggerating here, I looked up and there in the sky were not one, or two, but three eagles flying high above me. I'm not pulling your leg - it almost knocked the wind out of me. I slowed down and felt tears popping out of my eyes.

And because I slowed down, I made it up that hill. And it was suddenly apparent to me - I had to slow down. I had to ask for help and I had to focus on something else beside the pain of running.

8 years later and I've run 2 marathons, countless half marathons and have coached running classes for 6 years...and the following is what I've learned:

1. Slow down. I can't say it enough: we take life way too fast. Much like those days when I have over-scheduled my life and left myself with little to no breathing room, going lickety-split will only serve to wear you out. Slow down. It took me a year to learn that I needed to be able to carry a conversation during a run. How true is that in life? If I'm too busy to talk to you, then I'm too damn busy. Slow.It.Down.

2. Go your own pace. There will always be someone faster than you. There will always be someone slower than you. Don't compare yourself to them. It will only derail you. The minute you get focused on how great someone else is, you've lost the battle on coming to grips with who God made YOU to be.

3. Don't go alone. Now listen: I've had hundreds of lovely runs by myself. They can be wonderful. But in the long run, if you're always by yourself, you're missing out. My dad has a motto, "there's two things you can't do by yourself: get married and be a Christian!" I think that life wasn't meant to be lived alone. Isolation is the beginnings of death. Running with others provides accountability, welcomed distraction, camaraderie, and friendship - all necessary for life!

4. Tune your mind into truth. It is very easy on a run to let what one of my favorite authors calls "Bad Mind" take over. To quote Anne Lamott, "Bad Mind kicked in...It whispers to me that I am doomed because I am such a loser. And Bad Mind can lean ever so slightly toward paranoia." While running, as in life, I have to constantly change the channel of my mind from negativity to hope, trust, and perseverance. Will this be a hard workout? Probably. But look! The sun is coming up! My body is healthy! What a great way to start the day and thank you Lord for this lack of humidity! Be gone, Bad Mind! An old friend once described this process as keeping your head up and letting the dark clouds of your mind roll by...

5. The only person who can define you as a runner is you. Years ago people would ask me, "are you a runner?" and my mouth would go dry. I would stammer and explain that yes, I run...but... I had a million excuses about how slow I was, how sometimes on a hard run I still had to walk. It took about 3 years of me coaching running classes to see how ridiculous this was! I'm a runner! So I run! In fact, that's what gets me up at 4:45am to do those crazy hill workouts. I'm a runner. So I behave like a runner...and runners run. I've had seasons when either injury, or insecurity, or simply life took me away from running. But that didn't change who I was.

One last thing to add: SHOES. People, the right shoes will do wonders for you. If you're near Dallas, I highly recommend Run On!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Misplaced


via Don

A few years ago our friends, the McKeaiggs, told us they were contemplating a move to Portland, OR. We felt a little shocked, as we'd begun to imagine hanging out with them for a few more decades. As we sat and casually listened to their thoughts about the possible move, nodding and "hmmming" as they reasoned with us, I was silently warring with myself. In my mind, I leaned over and grabbed fistfuls of Emily's blond locks and screamed, TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!

Sometimes I just don't feel at all like I *fit* in Dallas. I mean, I got tears in my eyes watching that video, people. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the family and friends in our life here but I think about moving away probably several times a month. I suffer from a severe case of "grass is always greener."

I will now console myself by remembering that Portland has nothing like the State Fair of Texas.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love in a Choke Hold

The other day I stopped by Chelsea's to talk and we let the girls run amok while we drank wine talked about important things. I glanced over to see Caroline gingerly putting her hands around Davy's neck and thought, "uh oh - let's see where this leads" only to watch as C placed a very tender kiss upon her cousin's cheek. Caroline is practicing to become the world's best big sister. (Get on the ball, Chels) Anyway, we made her do it about 30 more times so I could score a quick video...


video

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Perspective

Y'all. You know about me...and Bravo...and my "issues". Like how I am addicted to (err, "struggling with") watching all their shows and then contemplating how I would sit each and every castmember/famewhore down to love on them and explain why reality tv should never have (ever) been a wise decision for them.

Enter Rachel Zoe.



Um, gang? Ever heard of the Congo?

I apologize for the really lame content, guys. I'm braindead - what can I say?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ode To My Baby Girl, on Her First Year

(Warning: long hormonal post to follow)

Lovey, nigh upon a year ago you went and turned my life upside down...



See that? That's me, suddenly wondering who I am, and terrified that I might get lost in the terror of a newborn baby, something I up and did real quick so that navigation back to my former self would prove impossible. Dear Kathryn Davy, this past year you took me on the ride of my life. And I would do it over...and over...and over again. Because I've never experienced the kind of love that makes you realize the bridge to who you used to be has been burned and you can't go back and you're even GRATEFUL for that loss of your bearings. Onward ho! With no other choice!




Davy, you had only been a part of my life for a month or so when I realized that suddenly my life had become scarier. It wasn't just that your Daddy and I didn't know why you were always crying, though indeed that was terrifying. It wasn't that the whole breastfeeding thing had me flummoxed and teary-eyed in the middle of the night, though I really thought it might be the death of me when I came down with the dreaded mastitis. It was on an ordinary afternoon early on in my maternity leave and you were laying next to me on my bed while I was watching "Hotel Rwanda" for the first time ever. I'd seen many movies like it in the past. But suddenly! My heart was in my throat and I felt the beginnings of a panic attack coming on! Those children! They could be you! Suddenly all the sorrow in the world was my own and my fear was choking me! Little did I know that from that day on, every sad Today Show story, every news article about children trapped in an earthquake or talk of an orphan's home in South Dallas...those children felt like my child. There would never be enough hugs, or tears, to push away the fear that every parent encounters: that they might lose a child. It haunts me to this day - the notion that life has upped the ante, that I have more to lose today than I did a year ago.

But. Aside from the crippling fear came joy beyond measure.



I never understood how people could carry around photos of their children and expect me to care. And yet: a quick study of my iPhone will reveal hundreds of photos of you. Daddy and I would find ourselves calling each other only to discuss the barely perceptible new thing you had accomplished during that day: "Guess what." "What?" "Today she turned her head and was watching TV." "Seriously?!" "Yeah. And she smiled when the dog barked." We continually marvelled over your obvious talents. Someone call the Gifted Program.



Davy, I'm not gonna lie. Becoming a Momma was HARD. Every step stressed me out. Your father can attest to this: I am an anxiety hound and the lack of sleep only made it worse. But, bless your heart, you really were a good baby. By six months you slept through the night (though that damned Babywise had me thinking it would only take 9 weeks!). We learned quickly that as long as you were fed, you were up for whatever. After about 7 months of you and I hanging out I realized that you recognized me and maybe even really liked me being around. By 9 months I was certain that I had never really lived before you.

Your life has given me a whole new way of looking at mine. Let's take Daddy, for instance. Honey, you'd only been born for a few hours before it was painfully clear that I was never intended to marry anyone but your daddy. I remember holding you sometime around midnight on the day of your birth and looking over at your father who was fast asleep on the chair/couch next to me. I just burst into an estrogen cry fest because I suddenly realized something Jesus must have known for a thousand years or so - that Russell Page was always meant to be with me and meant to be your daddy. No one else would do. And Oh! The joy it brings me when I think of the totally different way you will know him as Daddy. Trust me: I know a thing or two about good daddies and you got yourself a good one.




Little girl, your personality is out like Clay Aiken. You are so intensely yourself. Here are some things to remember: everywhere we go, people say, "Oh my gosh! What a beautiful baby!" I used to think this was just something folks said to most babies until total strangers stopped me to ask if they could hold you. You smile at everyone. Hell, you'll babble coyly to anyone, too. "Those blue eyes!" If I had a nickel for every time I heard that. My prayer is that you will somehow escape the pressure that most girls feel by the time junior high rolls around: may you never measure yourself by your looks. It's too fleeting a weight to carry. May you somehow get it through your head that the stuff that lasts is the stuff the years can't change: your love for others, your tender heart. But if you succumb to those demons that your own mother bowed to - may you realize quickly that freedom lies in your Heavenly Father, the One Who loves you regardless of anything you can do for Him. Who knows your worth has nothing to do with performance, behavior or beauty.

Little girl, God brought you into my life to teach me the Great Lesson: how to love without being loved in return. Oh my. I never knew how selfish I was until you came along. For as long as I live I'll never be able to thank you for relieving me of the burden of ME. I just don't matter as much today as I did a year ago. And I know this is of God. Only He could use such a little thing to give me such a great gift. I can say with tears running down my face that you've taught me that this ol' life is full of surprises and pain...and that I would never trade it.



I love you, baby girl.

Love, Momma.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Changing People: Recipe for Lexapro

I spend a lot of time thinking of things to blog about. But rarely do those ideas make it all the way here. I've been really lazy lately, posting videos of Davy, leaving one-liners. I'm working quite a bit these days so please forgive my lack of depth or insight!

My newest guilty tv pleasure is a little train wreck called "NYC Prep" on Bravo. I have a love/hate relationship with Bravo's reality shows. I think the network completely takes advantage of certain groups of people who are clamoring for their 15 minutes and makes glittery horse crap out of their lives. "NYC Prep" is the Real Housewives of wealthy high-schoolers living in Manhattan. While I usually cringe during each episode, I also find myself feeling protective and loving towards these too-big-for-their-britches kiddos...after all, who has already forgotten the angst and self-loathing covered with a thin veneer of bravado that is high school?

Below is a favorite clip of mine, mostly because brown-haired friend plays an excellent therapist to Jessi, NYCP's sassiest version of a budding Miranda Priestly:





So true. So, so true.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Someone Needs a Dose of Motrin and a Nap

...and that someone is me.



I don't know if it's teething or just general fussiness but my daughter has been acting like a premenstrual 15 year old. You wanna know how to get back at a fussy toddler? When they start crying, show them the video you took of them crying earlier! Hopefully the concept of time collapsing on itself will throw their little brain into sleep mode...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Things I Didn't Sign Up For

This heat (104+degrees) in Dallas is going to be the death of me. Yesterday I got up at 5am and went to the first workout for this season's White Rock Half Marathon class. It was already 82 by the time we started running at 5:30am. I tried to be peppy & encouraging as I led my group on the run but in my head I was thinking, "KILL ME NOW IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL TO SWEAT THIS MUCH AFTER 3 MINUTES OF EASY RUNNING!"

By end of day, I just wanted a good night's rest as our house labored to stay under 79 degrees indoors with the A/C blaring. I took just one lil' Tylenol PM hoping to sleep all night without any disturbances. Other people in our home didn't get this memo. At 3:30am I could faintly make out Davy crying through the haze of my medication-induced coma. Usually I'm fine with letting her cry it out but I also heard a dull thumping - suddenly my body went into Emergency Momma Mode and I flew out of bed fearing that she had gotten out of her crib.

On the way to my bedroom door, stumbling drunkenly in total darkness mind you, I sensed Fatty anxiously bumping against the door frame. Mystery thumping sound identified. I opened the door and he shot out of the bedroom like a bat outta hell. In my stupor I vaguely thought, "uh oh."

I've been weaning Davy for the past few weeks and it's been hard for us both: hard for me because it signifies the end of a sweet time in life. Hard for Davy because Woe to the one who comes between Davy and her food!! Woe, I say! The weeping and gnashing of teeth coming from the crib broke me so I nursed her in the middle of the night. Something I haven't done in many months.

Once she was down I was able to get my brain to tell my body, "left foot, right foot" back to my bedroom. But a nagging image of Fatty flying down the hall, toenails clickety clacking, was haunting me. I slowly made my way to the kitchen, turned on the light and saw what I had feared: Diarrhea Slaughterhouse 2009 all over the tiled floor.

The funny thing is that I barely flinched. It's like after almost of year of being a mom, liquid piles of poop on the floor don't even phase me. I just cleaned it all up, didn't even bother finding Fatty, who I'm sure had taken refuge in some dark hiding place, and shuffled back to my bed.

What a glamorous life I do lead.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Portrait of a Lil' Lady



My mother in-law has a dear friend who is an artist and she came over a few months ago to take some photos of Davy and I because she wanted to do a portrait for us. Last night she brought it over for the big reveal and I'm so pleased. While nothing can truly capture the loveliness of my daughter quite like looking through my own mommy eyes, this painting is such a neat gift. Feel free to go see Karen's website if you're ever interested in commissioning her!

Friday, July 10, 2009

11 Months: First Steps



Davy takes a few of her first steps for Mimi. At one point she took 10 on her own. Anyday now, peeps, and she'll be cruising around here like a tornado! I need life to slow down! You can see her doing a move we affectionately call the "bump and grind". When she's really tired, she buries her face in her blankie and does this move. Hilarious...I've been trying to catch it on video for months.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This One's For My Mother



Thanks, Facebook.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Stop Till You Cry Enough



I am so sorry, Paris. It's not fair, having to share your only daddy's death with everyone in the world. When everyone else is crying just as hard as you, it steals away some grief.

I've felt cynical and annoyed ever since hearing about Michael Jackson's death. The media frenzy that centers on exploiting every.last.tidbit of information about celebrity makes me feel weary. Even watching part of the tribute today I felt irritated with the god-status that some seemed to bestow on Michael Jackson. But then when Marlon Jackson spoke, I realized how painful it must be to try to mourn the loss of a loved one of whom everyone had a piece.

And now I feel sad. Just listening to his music has brought back a lot of nostalgia and memories. I have so many thoughts but I'll keep quiet and just listen to the music...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And a dash of Jason Schwartzman





thanks, A Cup of Jo.


Some of my all time favorites are covered!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Future Pronator



Getting a jump start on her running career.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Gosselins: an apology and some thoughts



It's Sunday night after the week of our vacation and we're home from a really great church service during which Todd preached again on temptation. Ironically, I'm now watching "Jon & Kate + 8" and reflecting on the precarious nature of marriage. I was blissfully away from the news last week when Kate filed for divorce. And I know that I recently blogged about her hair - something I now think was a trifling thing to do. I apologize for doing so, especially since this has been a week for me to think about how under attack marriages are these days.

It's been a rough week for marriage. And I can't say that mine was exempt. Not just an hour ago I was short and rude with my husband who was simply trying to get out of the house for a run. I was selfish and "harpy", something Kate Gosselin has been accused of being towards her husband in the few episodes I've seen of their reality tv show. I admit I've often thought her truly brassy and caustic. In AA there is an old saying, "you spot it, you got it." This seems to plague me when I'm working with female clients. There have been numerous times when I've been repelled by a woman who seems controlling, fear-based and manipulative. Hmmm, how ironic: those are all character defects that I wrestle with consistently in my marriage.

Watching the episode in which they finally bring up their marital issues (accusations of affairs, different paths in life, the stress of the media, etc.) is like watching a tough marital session. I truly feel compassion for both of the Gosselins. I'm sure that when they first agreed to do their reality show, they counted it a blessing and would never have banked on the fact that it might have been their very demise.

Tonight in church the worship team performed the song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns. You can go check out the lyrics but the gist of it is that most of us don't just implode one day...it takes a long time for us to fade into separation and sin. While watching this episode I told Russ that I want us to always be evaluating our marriage and striving hard to fight for it. I think we're both acutely aware (may we always be) that marriages don't die in one day.

Jon mentions in the episode that he and Kate have no real friendship anymore. And, wow - can't you relate to that? I have one little baby and I have to work so hard at a friendship with Russ. We both strive to maintain laughter, deep talks, faith, fun and everything else that friendship entails. I can't imagine us looking for time and sweetness together with 8 kids in between!

Jon also continues to say "I have to do what's best for my kids." Oh Jon, I just want to grab you and shake you. I talk to so many people who believe that divorce is far better for their children than the agony of working through the problems in their marriage. And, please forgive me for being so candid and crass: that is bullshit. I have to share this because I have personally been privy to marriages that have survived adultery, addiction, lies, betrayal, illness, tragedy, death of children, cancer, financial ruin...and their kids are the better for it. What a gift to give your children! Fight for your marriage and show them what God can do with death - He brings new life!

I'm preachin' now and I know it. I'm just lil' ole me in Dallas, Texas and there's nothing new I can say on this subject. But if I had their ear I'd tell them that there is no amount of money or security that is worth their marriage. Get.out.of.that.tv.show. Remember all the reasons you entered into the craziness of having 8 children. Remember the values that kept you from choosing to deem which ones you'd keep and abort. Cling to the fact that "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." Man, we need God to stay married. It's such a scary crapshoot some days.

So I am officially praying for these two. It looks bleak, especially now that papers have been filed. I'm greiving for them, all 10 of them. May God keep watch over you guys.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I Swear By: Baby Addition, newborns

While searching for nursery ideas for Johnna I was reminded of how tough it was to try to register for my first baby. Walking into Babies R Us and staring up into the great wall of bottles felt like I was visiting another country whose language I didn't speak. So I thought I'd throw my 2 cents into cyberspace to see if anyone cares! This addition of "Things I Swear By" is for babies in infancy.



First of all, we couldn't have gotten Davy home from the hospital without the Kiddopotamus' Snuzzler (see above). I remember convincing Russ to go get it the week before she was born and he was all, "Nah. We won't need it." But when we put Lil' Bit into the car seat there at Baylor Hospital, she looked so tiny and I was so grateful for the Snuzzler. It kept her from flopping all around on that precarious (to me) drive home. We used it for the first 3 months.


The Boppy was also immediately put to use. There are other pillows like Boppy, I'd just suggest getting something to help you breastfeed so that your back isn't killing you from slumping over your little one. *Even if you aren't planning on breastfeeding, the Boppy will save your arms - and Dad's arms as well!

Thank you to the Davidsons for loaning us their Fisher Price Nature's Touch Cradle Swing! Davy is now 20 pounds and she STILL loves to sit in the swing after breakfast. When she was just a smidge of a girl she would take naps in it. (note: most retailers will tell you not to do this - as if you're going to wake up that baby to go put them in the crib!)

See?


(for breastfeeding moms) There is NO way I would have made it through the past 10 months without this pump, the Medela Pump in Style. If you are forced to buy it for yourself, I would suggest that it might possibly be the best investment you'll make. Whether you are going back to work or not, this pump will ensure that even if you need to leave your baby with a sitter at the last minute, you can still pump a bottle's worth of food in just a few minutes. As I've increased my workload, this pump has also allowed me to keep my milk supply up. (Aren't you glad you stopped by here today?)

Oh people, we would be lost today were it not for baby blankets from Gymboree. We received one as a gift (along with MYRIADs of other blankets, all good ones) and something about the softness, the stretchiness, not to mention the adorableness of this blanket just made it so easy to swaddle Davy. We immediately began calling it "The Blanket." As in, "wait, where's The Blanket? These others don't work." I've since purchased several more. I think at least 3 are in her crib with her now. Anyone who has held Davy knows that if she's crying, just give her The Blanket and she'll hold it up to her face lovingly and calm right down.

I'm purposely not mentioning diapers or bottles here. We are Pampers and Medela bottle people but I promise every baby seems different in these areas - or, to be fair, every mommy has her own preferences! I'd welcome input from you on what you couldn't live without when your baby was an infant! I only had time for so many! More to come for older babies soon...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Some Nights are Just Good Nights...

It was yellow tonight in Dallas as we labored under a tornado warning. If by laboring I mean: watched two good movies over two bottles of wine with my husband.

Simple pleasures: we found out that Davy loves grape popsicles. We sat on the front porch and watched the sky go from yellow to orange to gold. Then we quoted Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay." Russ said, "Stay golden, Ponyboy." Which just made me love him more.

Sometimes you just gotta rejoice in the little things, you know?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beautiful Marriage

I know, it's feast or famine here at Bookmark This Page. I'm feeling a little better this week. So! I bring you this lovely song. You know from this post that I love Coldplay's "Viva La Vida".




This arrangement of "Viva La Vida" paired with Taylor Swift's "Love Story" is so beautiful. Even better is the explanation near the end of why Jon Schmidt married the two. Miss Davy was screaming her head off in her crib but when I played this for her, she began dancing.

Thanks, Kat Bennet!

It's Not Like She's Jennifer Aniston

Gang, can we talk about Kate Gosselin?* You know, of Jon & Kate + 8 infamy? Bless her heart. (There, I said, "bless her heart" which is Southern for "now I'm gonna gossip but it will all be done out of care & concern.")

I'm not going to harp on the lunacy of doing reality television and then wondering why your marriage is breaking up. And I'm not going to say anything condemning about complaining about paparazzi when you've subjected all eight of your children to almost zero privacy during their formative years. They had some major bills to pay and major pressure to provide for their family, I know.

I just wanna talk about her hair.

I don't know about you, but when the season opener aired, I tuned in to see that Kate's figure looks excellent (she's been very open about the plastic surgery she had to repair her tummy after all those bambinos) and that she was tan and had some serious French Manicure going on. But I kept thinking, "who is her publicist, stylist, or friend?" Will no one tell her how awful that haircut is? Then I went online and saw that people are actually going in to their salons and asking for the Kate Gosselin 'do.

Is it just me, y'all? I felt the same way about Kristin's hair last season on Biggest Loser:

I loved her personality and she looks so much cuter than this now...but the hair. Ladies, the skunk streak was always your hair stylist's desire to put his/her hair show talent into works. It should never have gotten popular.

But far, far worse than the streaks is the reverse mullet:


I forgave her for this the first few seasons of the show but now I'm concerned. I thought, "well, that's just some mom hair or maybe she's from a small town." But. The spikiness is just not flattering at. all. Please, please comb that part down. A nice bob would look lovely on her. Go for the bob, people!


I know I'm being terribly snarky and cruel in this post. I really feel for the Gosselins, especially since it would appear that they are both hurting and seem to see no way out of this hit to their marriage. I really think fame can be detrimental to people.

But the hair.

*this post is dedicated to Stacy Mangold, who will appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Opnions Needed!



I need some help. The other night while driving to Gloria's on Greenville to meet Emily for dinner, I happened to see this chair on the side of the road. I stopped, reversed, took a good look, then decided I needed a second opinion. After a margarita for us both, Emily came back with me and gave her approval on the chair. It had potential.

Since then it's been sitting on my back porch and I've yet to even wipe it off because I wanted to see if I'd still find it appealing in any way. Sometimes I just don't trust my own taste.


My question is what would you do to this chair? It is black leather with nailhead work on the sides. The chairback is damaged with some wear and tear at the top. Would you restore the leather? Recover it? Would you DIY or get it recovered professionally? What kind of fabric would you use?


Thanks, friends. My design friend Missy is in Africa this month. I'm thinking that she won't be checking my blog being that she's getting a microfinance company off the ground in the Sudan. Wah. She really needs priorities.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friends in High Places


I tell you what, I have some talented friends. I think I've mentioned before that my friend, Janet Wisner, took some lovely baby photos of Davy several months ago. I will shamelessly plug her again after receiving this little oval mat from her today. It's been so sweet to watch her love for photography grow over the years and to have her make a photo session with a 5 month old happen effortlessly!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The World According to Indigo Girls

Wow. It's been 2 weeks since I last posted. I've been in a bit of an emotional rainstorm of sorts...mostly of the hormonal flavor. But last week there was a sweet parting of the clouds in the form of an Indigo Girls concert. The Fates tried to keep me from it: Davy woke up sickly and I was afraid I'd have to stay home that night...which was, after all, a Wednesday night.


I will try to let the pictures do the talking...but I will mention that the night got more ramped up as the laughter (and the tequila shots) flowed. It's not every week that I get to attend an Indies concert AND celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite people: Miss Wendy Marie Buck Miller.


The night is still innocent. Wendy, Noelle and I had trouble deciding who would be the "X" and the "O" for the classic Chi Omega pic.


Tee hee! Just applying some Burt's Bees! (Liz and Emily prepare to impress the crowd full of estrogen.)



From left to right: Molly (one of Emily's besties visiting), me, Noelle, Wendle, Liz, Emily
Um, Molly? That clove cigarette is indeed in the pic...but you did a good job trying to hold it out of the lens' eye. (note: if you can see Molly's new tattoo, it says "I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in me." in Spanish.)


Classy ladies! Now, don't hate. Cloves are the ultimate escape to an earlier life. I blame Emily as my bad influence.


The Girls!


While Noelle rocks out Bon Jovi style, Wendy and I do another sorority pose. Doest thou see the couple in front of us? They were the extremely inconspicuous handsome gay men and they stuck out like a sore thumb. More to come from them...


This is me explaining to one of the very social young men that I, indeed, am talented in the art of fake sign language. In fact, after a tequila shot, my talent grows undeniable.


"Are you SERIOUS?"



Indeed I was. I displayed said talent during "Hammer and a Nail." See, folks? I aim to entertain. Oh, there were tons of more photos, many of which you can see the guys attempting to join me at my art. Let me just say - I felt good that night. I forgot how stressed out I'd been. I laughed...a LOT. It was such a gift to be with good friends...I even turned around at the concert only to see Jamie Elder Kerr, one of my favorite high school friends, standing behind me! (She joined in on the fake sign language immediately.) I had to sneak out early because I had an early morning (as in 5:30am) running class to coach. But it was well worth the exhaustion the next day!

Thanks, y'all!

P.S: I forgot to say that the title of this post came from a conversation with Katy the other day. We decided that the Indigo Girls have the answers to all of life's problems in their lyrics -

Ex: Want to go on a trip? "Get out the map, get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down"
Struggling with the existential question of life? "How long till my soul gets it right? Did any human being ever reach that kind of light?"
Worried about the weather? "But the wood is tired, and the wood is old, and we'll make it fine if the weather holds..."

I could go on ad nauseum, but you get my drift...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Know Her is To Love Her

I have to break my fast from blogging to wish my mom, Sweet Kay, a happy birthday.


There are both many and few words to tell you about my mom but I thought I'd let some photos do the talking. If you were to meet her, you might wrongly assume that she is either quiet or judging, because she might not say much at your first meeting. But she's neither: my mom can be shy. But this lasts only until the two of you have sat down and begun to talk about your life. She is excellent at asking questions and her demeanor is one that puts you at ease immediately, especially if a cup of coffee or a glass of wine are involved! At a large party she will stand in the background and wait for a one on one conversation with someone. She's the perfect match to my dad, the spotlight junkie. :)


I have no idea when exactly my mom came into her deep faith. She wasn't raised, like I was, with conversations about God at the dinner table. I know she began her relationship with Him in high school, as a result of dating my father. She's not the kind who delves into theological debates, though she surely can hold her own, but her spiritual strength is very quiet and sturdy. Every time I spend a meal with her, we end up talking about what God has been saying to her and I come away encouraged and convicted. She's not brassy with it - it's more like spending time around her can feel like a mini-retreat for my soul!



She LOVES to laugh. She probably won't want me to share with you but she thoroughly enjoys raunchy humor. Fart jokes? Man, you'll win her friendship for life. She is the antithesis of the "preacher's wife" in so many ways. I have no idea how she's lived the "life in the fishbowl" for over 30 years...but she has. She can be the perfect dichotomy: able to explain the prophecies in Isaiah over a nice Amaretto sour. Just don't tell anyone that she can't play a single hymn on the piano!

Remember that old Saturday Night Live skit with Mike Myers in the store called, "If It's Not Scottish, It's Crap"? Well, my mom loves the UK. She passed along to me a sort of anglophilia, the love of all things British and Scottish. Some of my favorite memories are being in England, Scotland, and Wales with her.


She IS a scholar: she has her Masters in English and to this day teaches classes at Weatherford college. One of the best gifts I have as a result of being her daughter is the joy of reading. If I am raving about a good book, chances are my mom passed it along to me.


Much like my BFF Katy, my mom often gets a totally blank look on her face when she's thinking. She is slow to process, a good match for me who is as discerning with my words as a bull coming out of the shoots at a rodeo. There has not been a single problem I've encountered that I haven't at some point taken to my mother. She is, without a doubt, the BEST listener I know. She is the opposite of judgmental (except when she's driving - then she might condemn all other drivers to hell for certain minor sins...Momma don't like traffic!) and is careful not to "fix" my problems when I bring them to her. My brother and I both know: when you're in a pickle, call Dad. When you just need to vent, call Mom.

My mom knew Russell was my husband before I did. It was because of her that I even began to think romantically of him. She is WISE.


She's also good at Mommy stuff. She has patience that I don't possess. But you will, at some point, hear her SIGH. That's it. She won't complain...but you'll know by that sigh that you're pushing it.


She's quick to forgive. I love that quality in people. She's a lover, not a fighter.


If you know my mom, you can leave a shout-out! And I guarantee, if she knows you, she loves you. She takes a shine to all who love on her cubs...that's the quickest way to her heart. I'm so glad I'll get some time with her today. I'm 33 years old but I still need my Momma!

I Love you, Momma Kay!