Friday, January 30, 2009

Home is Where You Are

I took a big step yesterday. I actually got my hair cut by someone new. Gasp! Even when we moved to Virginia, I would wait and get my hair cut in Athens by the same girl at the same place I've been going to for a while now. I know her. She knows me and I trust her. But, I've decided to commit to this here little town for a while, so I made a leap of faith and an appointment based on a new friend's recommendation. Not only did I go to someone new, I decided to let her do what she "saw" would be good for my hair. It's a new cut for me for sure, but I don't have any pictures yet.

So, it was a good experience and besides finding a new hair person, my friend and I found this adorable little neighborhood/community where the salon is. While it is a little Stepford-wivish (looks very perfect on the outside), everyone we met was so nice. There's even a shop that sells the Volcano Anthropologie candles!

And, I've been mentioning friends-yes, I am making friends, which is huge because it took so long in Virginia to do so. Over the last several weeks, I have been blessed with some great new people in my life. I'm finding that military wives bond very quickly and it's kind of like being a freshman in college again. Everyone is lonely and looking for friends and things to do. And everyone understands this weird way of life that we live with all of its uncertainty and inefficiency.

More than anything, I am finding that home for me is wherever my little family is. Where B and Rumor and Charlie are. Soon, where Els is too (although, now I can't exactly separate her from me, so...). God has so greatly blessed me beyond belief in my family, big and small.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Els and Kels Whale

Here it is folks, the moment you've all been waiting for. It's me, immensely pregnant. Six weeks to go.

A Real Man

A real man will drive his brother in law's hand-me-down car for years even if it has paint chipping off of it everywhere, is missing the cover to one of the rear lights, and has a front bumper that is connected to the car with duct tape and bungee cords. All of this to save money and never complain about it once.

I've been meaning to post that about B for a long time as a compliment to him. He's long suffering, that's for sure. But this past weekend we were immensely blessed when my grandmother graciously gave us my grandpa's truck. I am so happy for B. I know I'm a bit biased, but if anyone in this world deserves something like that, it's him. 2009 is already looking up!


I'll be the first to admit that I have spent a good many posts in the last year whining about moving around. I remember posting in January of last year that "I [didn't] know nothin' except change [would] come," to use the words of Patty Griffin. Boy did I really have no idea. If you had asked me then where I thought we'd be now, I would have told you that I had no idea, but I hoped for Southern California. Not Carolina. But change did come and I feel blessed to be in South Carolina for as long as we get to be here.

And all of this to say that I really want to apologize for all of the complaining. God has done tremendous works in my life and heart over the last year that would not have been possible if He had left us snug in Athens. I have grown to love B more than I ever thought possible. Moving away from everyone and everything we knew last April forced us to rely on each other like we had not before. We've spent a lot of time just the two of us together and I love it. I have also started to become more comfortable with this whole "my life doesn't look anything like I ever thought it would." God's been teaching me about living simply too, in the day, in the moment because that's all I have, really. As an example, as much as I want Els to be born right now, I also want to savor this time I have, let's face it, for myself, because, as they tell me, life will never be like this again once she's on the outside.

Not to mention that I can now make a pie crust from scratch.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Either, Or

Grace, my six-year-old sister, is very opinionated. Like all of us, the subject about which she has the most opinions is her own life. Over Christmas break she had a lot of time to think about Kindergarten, and this is what she decided:

"Mom, I don't think I want to go to school anymore. I just want to take horseback riding lessons." (We think that this has something to do with the fact that it starts so early. She later decided that she'd be okay with going to school if the bus came to get her in the afternoon rather than in the morning.)

In a similar instance earlier last year, after reflecting on her two year long ballet career, she declared:

"Mom, I don't want to take ballet lessons anymore. I just want to take lessons about how to be a princess." Don't we all, hon.

At least the girl knows what she wants. And she's not afraid to ask for it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It's nearing on a year since I've worked. Becuase of the two moves last year and uncertainty of our living situations, I opted not to work in Virginia. Now that I'm about to be a new mom, I'm not looking for a job at the present, but some days it drives me crazy. Although I love my life, it looks nothing like I thought it would 5 years ago as I prepared to graduate from college. That said, I am finding that women my age without jobs have hobbies. They're involved, involved, involved. They sew and/or play the guitar and/or volunteer at lots of organizations and/or are gourmet cooks. The list goes on and on and on. This also goes for women my age that have jobs too. And, to tell the truth, this week it's overwhelming me completely. I can't even finish a whole book these days, much less have the attention span to develop a hobby. My hobby used to be running, but I haven't done that in a good ten weeks now.

Can I be an uber-woman? Do I want to be? What are my hobbies? Moving? All of the things that I do are just every day, keeping my house together things. Nothing special. I can't imagine the energy it would take to be a mom, be artistic, athletic, and either work or volunteer all at the same time. Maybe this thinking is just because I'm in my third trimester and I consider it a success to sleep for 4 hours without getting up to pee or stretch.

I'm so relieved when I remember that I believe in a God of grace. There is grace for even undecided, slothful me. And I am considering hobbies, I just need to make a list and set goals for myself, not trying to do everything all at the same time. God has plans for me and I have to believe that right now, I'm doing what He has set forth for me to do.

"Hast Thou not bid me seek thy face, and shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of Sovriegn Grace, lean deaf when I complain?"
-From "Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home

This week we have:
  • Had an exterminator spray for bugs
  • Had our septic tank pumped
  • Hired a plumber to fix our hot water heater
  • Painted a bookshelf
  • Bought a changing table / dresser
This weekend we're also planning to change the locks on all of our outer doors and I'm sure that there are other things, I just can't quite remember everything.

Welcome to new home ownership.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Just Because I'm Losing, Doesn't Mean I'm Lost

Today is just one of those days. You know those where you wake up feeling awful, not physically, but like an awful person. And for no particular reason either. I think it has something to do with the fact that I don't really sleep all that well or long these days. My precious little girl is carrying really low, which means she's right on my hips all day and night, which in turn means that my hips feel like they're being ripped out of joint during the night. Every time I get up to use the bathroom or stretch at night I hear multiple pops from my lower back and pelvis. Fabulous. I finally broke down and bought one of those pregnancy body pillows a week and a half ago. It does help a lot, but it makes me hot and it takes up a lot of the bed. I can't win for losing, I guess.

All of the above added together mean that B and I are often really grumpy with each other at night. I called him at work when I woke up this morning to apologize for being mean and keeping him up last night. It makes me feel awful.

If I could see a silver lining, it would be that maybe God is preparing me for the sleepless nights ahead when Els is in my arms and not my pelvis. (Right now I'm thinking that I don't care if I only get two hours of sleep at night if I don't feel crippled when I wake up!) Also, like every other pregnancy woe, I would have to say that she is worth all of the pain. I can't wait to meet her sometime in the next nine weeks.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Album of the Year

I love music. All kinds of music. The only problem is that I get stuck on certain albums or artists for a long time and I rarely listen to the radio, so I have absolutely no idea what music is current or avant-garde. That said, I've been thinking about doing this since last year, naming my album of the year, because it seems like there is always at least one album that I discover somehow each year that floors me and I listen to until I pretty much have every note memorized. So since I failed to name an album of the year for 2007, I am going to list them here too (album and honorable mentions). Better late than never, right? My only disclaimers are that these particular groupings of music have very little to do with one another and they may be popular music or they may be something few have heard of. Here goes...

Album of the year 2008 goes to Coldplay's Viva La Vida. I know it was widely popular and will probably sweep the Grammy's, but have you heard it? I swear I had chills through the at least the first five listens. It's brilliant. Honorable mentions for this year go to Punch Brother's Punch and Sandra McCracken's Red Balloon. Also discovered this year and worth mentioning is Chris Rice's Living Room Sessions. I know that this is old news for Chris Rice fans, but I never claimed to be current.

Album of the year 2007 goes to Patty Griffin's Children Running Through. Again, chills and sheer brilliance in her combination of folk, blues, country, and sometimes jazz music. She knows how to put experiences into words that not only turn out to be poetry, but that touch me to my core. Her music is always honest, whether beautifully or brutally so. Honorable mention for 07 go to Chris Thile's How to Grow a Woman From the Ground. I still cannot stop listening to this album. The only thing better is hearing these guys live. (And I did twice in 2007!)

There you go. If you haven't heard some of this music, check it out. It will at least give you a good idea of what I listen to.

"Oh-oh-oh-oh and I'm just waiting til the shine wears off..." -Coldplay