Friday, November 29, 2013

Ode to Lacy

So today is my friend Lacy's birthday!

Lacy and I met...gosh, 6 years ago?  7?  I'm not even sure.  We were in the same small group together at church.  She is one of the best friends God has ever given me, and I cannot imagine having gone through the past few years without her friendship.

Lace is the very definition of a good friend.  She is faithful and kind, and able to empathize in a way that is truly a gift.

She is the type of friend who puts your needs above her own.  Case in point, when the same jerk wad who broke her heart just a few weeks prior broke mine too, she was the one I called.  And she was the one who came over to my house and cried with me and sat with me.  Do you get that?  She had just had her heart broken by this same person, and she came right over late at night after he had been a jerk to me.  Yeah. She's awesome.  Selfless and loving, and forgiving.

And did I mention awesome?

Lace and I bonded over that.  And over Disney movies and Icees.  We both worked as nannies and she's the one I would call and open by saying "How long would they put me in jail for if I threw this child out the window??!!"  and she totally got it.

I drove out to Texas with her when she moved.  I still remember where in Knoxville I was driving when she called to tell me she was engaged.  I still remember what it was like when she called to tell me she was pregnant.

The day that Dave and I first kissed (which was my first kiss ever) I called Lace in my excitement and rambled on for the longest time about it, completely forgetting that that day was also her birthday.

She didn't say a word, just let me enjoy sharing that first kiss.

Did I mention that she's awesome?

I love that even though we are so many miles away now, that we stay close.  That we talk almost weekly.  That she is the person I text when I need immediate prayer.  That she is the person I call when I am in a crisis or just need to vent.  I know that I could tell her anything, and she would love me and still be my friend.

I love that over the years we have prayed for husbands, and seen God bring them.  That we have prayed for answers, and doors to open, and windows to close, and hearts to change...and seen them all happen.  I love seeing God work through the life of my friend.  She has found favor with him, and I am so blessed to know her.

So happy birthday my dear, sweet friend!  My life is better because you are in it.  I am so thankful for you!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


So we've been decorating the living room:

Terminator used to rule.  Then we bought Hulk.  Arnold must have said something snarky, cause Hulk got angry..

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why Our Christmases Will be Over the Top

I know there are a lot of different opinions on parenting, and on what is right and what is best.  Especially among Christians.  This isn't meant to be a judgement or condemnation of those who do things different.  

This is just me explaining what we plan to do and why.

I know lots of people who have really embraced the whole idea of a simple Christmas.  Less spending.  Less gifts.  Less commercialism.

That's great.  We certainly as a culture have lost the idea of what the season is really for.

I know people who give their kids three gifts because Jesus got three gifts.  I know others who adhere to the "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read" idea.  And there is nothing wrong with those things.  At all.  I have friends who do things like this and I have listened to the reasoning and wisdom behind it, and have heard them explain how they will use these things to help emphasize Jesus.  And that's awesome.

That is not how we are going to do it.

Christmas will be HUGE in our house.  Our kids will have stockings heaped full of goodness.  And gifts coming out of their ears.  Christmas morning will be big and loud and messy.

And extravagant.

No, we will not spend a fortune.
Yes, we will keep Christ first.
Because here's what I think and why I want to do it:

I want my kids to know that no one celebrates like God does.  And that no should celebrate more than His people.

I want them to know that God is not always practical.  That He blesses us beyond measure.

And we will not have an Elf on the Shelf to try to manipulate our children into good behavior.  Because we want our kids to know that even though we try to be good, that gifts and blessings aren't based on behavior.  You cannot always earn them.

We will let them believe in Santa, because I want my children to know that magic is real.  And that some things cannot be explained, but simply can be believed in.  And that life is fun and beautiful.

We will read the Nativity story and I hope we can make it come alive for our children.  We will bake a birthday cake for Jesus just like my mom did for us when I was small.  We will give and be thankful.  We will sing and dance and have colored paper and a tacky, beautiful tree and it will be loaded down with presents.  Because sometimes, you need to stop trying to earn it.  You need to stop trying to be more, to be better.  And you need to experience an all out extravagant display.  Because my goodness, isn't that what Christmas was?  What Jesus coming for us was?  The ultimate, whoa baby, I cannot believe I got this, good thing.



And Jesus always loved a good party.

So, that's why our Christmases will be an all out, over the top affair.  So someday when we have kids and you hear of it and see of it, and you are tempted to contrast it to whatever it is your family does, well, you can.  And you can think we're over the top and emphasizing the wrong thing or whatever else you want.

We'll still let you come over and have some of our birthday cake :)

So, December:

Am ridiculously excited about this:

The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I nearly cry during the opening every time I watch it.  The dancing scene before they sing "Goodnight" is my favorite part.

December 5th, I am waiting for you!

Also crazy excited about this:

Because Mary Poppins is also in my top 10.  My movie love would be different without Julie Andrews.  Hubs is lovingly taking me to see this.

December is going to be a good month!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Some thoughts on happiness

So, lately I've been thinking about being happy.  And about what that looks like.

I used to think that happiness was a final destination.  Something you achieved or got to when things are settled or resolved in some way.

But last week I realized how happy I was.  And how there are some big things I'm in the middle of, and things that need to be restored and resolved.  There are things I have questions about and things going on that I'm not sure how they'll turn out.  There are things unsettled.  Not all things.  Just some things.

I guess I feel very much in the middle.  Not everything is roses and rainbows.  And so many things are up in the air.

But I'm so happy.

And it took me by surprise to realize it.  Not that I thought that I was miserable before or anything.  I think I just had this idea in my head that being happy was an event, like graduating or getting married or arriving at your vacation destination.  But it's not.

You can be happy in the middle of uncertainty and big, scary things happening.

Happiness is not determined by place or circumstance.  It's not confined by those things either.

So here's to being happy no matter where you are, or how in the middle of things you feel.

Find happiness where you are today.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

On our way to slaughter, but it will be sunny

So tonight we are leaving for sunny Florida.  

Hubs and I have tickets to the Syracuse/FSU game on Saturday.  If you know anything about college football this season you know that the game will be a slaughter. FSU will wipe their noses with Syracause.

But we will be in sunny Florida, which makes it easier to bear (at least for me).

We get to see one of our friends in Chattanooga which is very exciting.

My friend who lives in Tallahassee that I have not seen in...five years?  (Five!) will sadly be out of town.  Which makes me very sad.

But, regardless of that, we will have a good time.

Hopefully :)

It's been such a crazy week. I've felt a little under the weather all week so haven't gone to the gym or felt like doing much.  And you can tell.  Our house is a mess.  My car looks like a tornado ran through it.  I can't find my cell phone today (which is rare for me to lose...where is that sucker?)  I babysat last night for a couple who went to the Eagles concert here in town.

They got home at 12:30.

Which means I got home at 1 AM.

On top of that my brain has been strung out as if on crack this week.  I've started writing the sequel to my book and ya'll, it is intense.  And it's built up so much in my brain because earlier this week I finally pieced together my outline and then it was like fireworks going off in my brain:  dialogue and events and sequences all flashing through, keeping me from sleeping all week (boo!).

I really like my sleep.

So I've been working to get all of this things out of my head and stitched together in some semblance of order, making notes of things so I can go back and write them later.  I'm a little bit nutso when I get like this; so many story elements flying through my head.  The only relief is to catch them and make them mind by putting them on paper.

For now, we are off for a long weekend where hopefully I've written enough and I can be away from story long enough that my brain finally quiets down and I can sleep.

And if not, well, there will be sunshine. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wallpaper Woes

So last weekend I hallucinated.  I had this idea that I would tear down wallpaper in our dining room and paint all in one weekend.  Obviously I was delusional.

I painted the bottom portion and the trim and that went well.

And then there was the wallpaper.  I had tugged at a corner and it came up relatively easy.

See this?  That is deception.

Lovely, yes?  Exactly.  This stuff had to go.
So, I had my wallpaper dissolving fluid, a scorer, and a scraper.  They say this is all you need.


Here is what you really need:
Some of this.  Probably a lot of it.

One of these. 

And this.

I kid.


'Cause the problem with wallpaper that's been on your wall for 30 or so years is that it's gotten kinda cozy where it is and it doesn't want to come off.  Ever.  I mean really, the military should find a way to use this stuff as a weapon because it will either kill you or drive you insane.  Forget bamboo shoots up the fingernails, make someone try to deal with this, and I guarantee you they will start talking.  I am sending an email to the CIA with this recommendation.

Anyways, so after about the 20th coat of dissolving liquid it finally started moving.  And it did this:

Yes, it took my drywall with it.  Evidently they got married sometime in the midst of the wallpaper's lifetime here and could not be separated.  Fabulous.
So, after many, many hours of spraying and scoring and scrubbing and spewing forth some very unladylike and unrighteous language, I finally started making progress.

Finally, wall paper free walls!  

The walls look pretty bad, but I am hoping we can salvage what is there.  

So, it's still going to take a while because there is so much residue left on the walls that is so so hard to get off.  I did discover that white vinegar works just as well as the $16 bottle of dissolving stuff I bought at Home Depot.  So we'll use that from now.  It's cheaper.  And not going to give me cancer (double win!)

Once the walls are finally gunk free (which is going to take quite a while), then I'm going to putty and sand and see if I can make our bumpy walls a little smoother before I paint.  According to my calculations the walls will be done and painted about the time our kid enters kindergarten.

And we don't have a kid.

Baby steps.  I come home a couple nights a week and scrape away while blaring music.  It makes for a good time.  And is a good way to get rid of pent up aggression.

I still may end up burning the place down.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Today is your birthday!

Today is my husband's birthday.  He is hands down, my very favorite person.

After being together for four years, I still never get tired of being with him.   Which says a lot, because I am a total introvert and normally tire of people in general no matter how much I love them.  Never with him.  Some days at work I'll just miss him so much.  Saw him in the morning, will see him at night, but in the in between, I miss him like crazy.

He's sweet, and strong.  I love that he can fix my car and do things around the house.  He's handy.  I like it.
And he grills things to perfection.  No charred food at our house.  (You think this is silly but trust me ladies, you marry a guy who burns things to a crisp all the time and you'll see what I mean)

He's funny, and always, always, always can make me laugh.  I can hide my emotions from anyone but him.  He always can tell what's going on with me.  And he always tries to cheer me up (and's uncanny really) when I am feeling down.  I underestimate him a lot.  He's better than what I give him credit, or what I deserve.

He's tolerant of me which is saying something because I am border line neurotic and can't understand sometimes why anyone would want to hang out with me. But he chooses me, day after day, and loves me, even when I do things that elicit this reaction:

So happy, happy birthday to my best friend, my partner in crime, my love.

I'm so thankful God made you, and that you're you!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

So lately...

1.  Am loving this song:

"Lord I find you in the seeking,
Lord I find you in the doubt-
And to know You is to love You
And to know so little else."

I mean, slap you in the face, punch you in the gut, worship inducing words right there.  Sometimes I need those moments--those songs, those words--that break me over my love of Christ and His unmerited favor towards me.

2.  And, hello, the Divergent trailer:

Kill me now.  The movies will be nowhere near as good as the books (because they never are), but they will be fantastic.  I am starting to read the series all the way through this week.

3.  So Daylight Savings.  Ah, the abyss of darkness.  Boo.  Humans were made to enjoy sunshine.  I realized that on Wednesday it was gorgeous and 70 out and I went outside in the sun all of 60 seconds.  For shame.  I already miss the sun.  Sigh...

4.  Coffee is fantastic.

Enough said.

5.  I have been sleeping on our LoveSac (which is this huge, ginormous bean bag sofa type of thing) in the living room this week.  We started sleeping in the living room because Dave did a project in the garage that resulted in some serious get high odors wafting up into the house, especially our bedroom.  The smell left, but we stayed in the living room.  I think we continue sleeping there just because we can.

Do any of us really grow up?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A very merry unbirthday...

So yesterday was my half birthday.

I realized it in the afternoon, which was very discouraging, because hello!  I could have been half celebrating all day!  Eating half a cake, taking a half day off of work, having half a parade in my honor...Birthdays are a big deal to me.

And half birthdays are good markers of time.  They make me stop and evaluate.

It's been 6 months since my last birthday and a lot has happened.  On my last birthday we were trying to buy our house but in the middle of it.  And it was crazy stressful.

Since then, we bought the house and have done scads of work on it.  We've had 2 sets of visitors.  I've finished the rough (and I mean rough) draft of my story.  Gotten back into hour long workouts.  Had my car suffer a stroke.  (She's recovered mostly now, thank goodness).  And God has pulled me to intercede and pray more, which has been really rewarding, not just for prayers answered but for the power I feel He is showing me through it.

So what will the next 6 months hold?  I have some goals in mind.  Things in the house I would like to get done like finishing the trim in the kitchen and dining room, getting pics on the wall, doing some improvements in the yard.

I want to continue to craft my story and start on the sequel, which is going to be hard but wonderful I think if I can be disciplined enough to let it come to life.

There are people I am DYING to see and spend time with.  People I need to talk to on the phone more.  Letters I want to send and gifts I want to buy.

There are things I need to do to be obedient to God.  Things I want to learn.  That I need to learn.

I wonder what the next 6 months will hold and am excited and half scared out of my mind.  Six months isn't long.  But I've learned what it's amazing what God can pack into 180 days or so.

I'm giving him room to move.  Let's see what He does.

And in the meantime, enjoy half a cake!