Monday, May 30, 2011

laid back

When my mother-in-law asked, "Hey, do you want me to watch Lila for a night so you two can go away for your anniversary?" the only acceptable answer is, "YES please!" I was so excited at the idea of getting away just the two of us. We have not had a lot of dates lately and our lives have just been one giant ball of stress, so we were in need of some laughs and silliness. And then we started calling around and realized how crazy we were to try and book a mountain B&B on Memorial Weekend...when you start calling on Monday. 
Finally we found a beautiful European styled B&B in Hendersonville, NC. We had the best stay at this inn, very focused on hospitality with a fridge in our room stocked with drinks, cocktail and dessert hour in the afternoon and amazing breakfast. We drove to Hickory (about half way to the mountains) and dropped Lila off with Brian's mom and grandma at lunchtime before heading off to our night away. Apparently they then headed off for an afternoon of shopping and lots of family time that night. So it was a mini-vacation for Lila as well. 
After arriving at Mélange Bed & Breakfast, we found out that we had happened upon Hendersonville during the largest festival of the year, the Garden Festival. We're lucky like that. We walked around the adorable downtown looking at plants that we obviously have no interest in since I do not "do" landscaping. No joke, Brian's grandma felt so bad for my yard when she stayed at our house last weekend that she went out, bought fertilizer and plants, and planted me a little vegetable garden. Anyone want to bet how many weeks it will last before I unwittingly let it die?
We ate at a fabulous restaurant called Flight, remodeled in the old downtown bank. Between the homemade honey butter and bread, fried green tomatoes, roast duck for Brian and rack of lamb for me, I was done for. Okay, so maybe it was the pre-dinner wine at the B&B and the very strong cosmopolitan at dinner that really pushed me over the edge, but regardless I was feeling pretty good while we walked around town after dinner. 
Waking up at 8:15 the next morning, enjoying coffee out on my porch before I went downstairs for a fabulous breakfast served to me while we enjoyed more coffee was exactly what I needed. It is actually what I need every day, but sadly my private cafe attached to my house has been under construction for some time and who knows when the custom iron furniture will be delivered? And Lila doesn't sit still very well at little tables with china cups. We felt so relaxed as we hit the road to drive to Gastonia for our next adventure, Brian's first NASCAR race as he heads to the Coca-Cola 600 with his brother. I am pretty sure they have french roast in tea cups there as well?
Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, 
listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. 
~Pooh's Little Instruction Book

Sunday, May 29, 2011

how sweet it is

 May 28, 2005

Yesterday was our six year anniversary. No longer newlyweds, but it still feels like the years are flying up faster and faster. So many memories, so many changes. I still remember sitting in the upstairs bedroom of the historic B&B on our wedding day waiting to pray with Brian before the ceremony. Praying about what our life would be like together, the building of a home and a family together, holding hands with our eyes closed.

I do not think I could ever have imagined how joyful our life would be. The way we laugh and fun with each other. The dancing that still happens spontaneously in our kitchen while cooking dinner. The way Brian still kisses me goodbye before we head out the door our separate ways in the morning. The way he loves Lila and I unconditionally.

We have the best friends that constantly challenge us, laugh with us and give out hugs and prayers in tough times. We have built a community of people who strive to keep each other real and support each other in all walks of our lives. I am so blessed by the people we have in our lives. 

Our families take such good care of us and Lila. They both are there for us in times when we are a little more...high maintenance. We love having both of our parents and my sister and her husband within 3 hours of us, always up for Lila babysitting, home repair projects and impromptu family dinners. 

Here's to sixty more years sweetie! 
Thanks for always being my best friend.

You were better to me than I was to myself
For me there's you and there ain't nobody else
I want to stop and thank you baby
I just want to stop and thank you baby
How sweet it is to be loved by you
~"How Sweet It Is" by James Taylor
*our first dance song at our wedding*

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

when you walk on by

Oh Lila Bean,
Momma has neglected the baby book aspect of your blog lately. She got caught up being a momma. And talking about momma things. You are growing and changing so much every day right now. Two weeks ago you started walking. After 14 long months, you started walking! You have been holding on to furniture for several months and walking around but you finally decided it was time to step out on your own on May 11. Two weeks later, you are still only taking about 10 steps in a row and then plopping down on your bottom.

You hate walking and standing on grass. You cannot understand what this wet, cushy substance is below your feet. Why would anyone want to touch this dirty stuff? You love being outside staring the birds, taking long walks in your wagon or playing with push toys in the driveway.
You are now telling us exactly what you want and don't want all the time. Pointing at something and taping your fingers together for the sign language for "more." And when we get it wrong or tell you no, you make sure we know we did not get it right. You can be singing Baa Baa Black Sheep ("baa baa baaaccckkkk") and then crying on the floor at the travisty of the world the next minute.
You are so silly, taking every chance to sign and make up words. You play peek a boo around every object...your sippy cup, your blanket, our comforter, around the shower door. You love to be tickled and always throw your hand up so we can nibble at your fingers. You can brush your own hair, put on your own shirt, drink out of your sippy cup, point the remote control at the TV, open and close doors, climb stairs and push chairs/toys/Zaxby the dog/boxes around the house. You LOVE all cell phones, immediately picking them up and holding them up to your ear saying "uh oh!" You can scroll through photos and dial numbers on the phone and heaven forbid if we take the phone away to answer an actual call.

Mornings are your favorite, waking up singing in your crib until we crawl out of bed and come into your nursery. You peek through your crib bars with the biggest smile and throw your hands in the air to be picked up. You love to snuggle in bed while Daddy gets your bottle, waving goodbye to him as soon as gets up from bed to remind him it is time to go downstairs, because even though you are big girl, you love to sit in Mommy's lap playing with her hair while you drink milk in the morning.

I am not sure how much you weigh, but you have been in size 4 diapers for a while and wear 18-24 months clothes, hate wearing shoes and reach over to pick out a bow as soon as we put on your outfit every morning. You are the sweetest, silliest joy of our life, our Beanie Bean.

Mom-Mom-Mom-Mom and Daaaaaaaaaaddy

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine, I walk the line
~"I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash

Monday, May 23, 2011

do the herman munster

Thanks everyone for all your great suggestions on Nook cases and books. I did decide to go with the Gussy sleeve and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive on my doorstep. My very first Gussy! If you haven't checked out Gussy's beautiful ruffled items, GO RIGHT NOW. Her stuff is adorable and no, I was not paid or given any item to write that. She is just that awesome that I want to throw her a promo.
I know my blogging has slowed down a little lately and I am trying to eradicate that (SAT word, what what). One thing I have been loving reading on other blogs lately are cool tips. About finding deals, about reusing common items, about distractions to keep little ones from throwing temper tantrums in the check-out line at Target. I am thinking about starting up a blog hop to post your favorite Tips for other moms/lady bloggers. I don't think we will have themes at the beginning, just a lot of cool tips each week. Thoughts? Would you like to hear other fabulous tips? Leave a comment and tell me what your first tip would be about if we did a blog hop.

Another reason I have been gone a lot lately is a little field trip into my favorite waste of time of money - medical issues. I have been having some lady problems lately with lots of pain and other symptoms and they determined I have a big ol' uterine polyp. We call her Polly the Polyp for fun. It was originally just going to take some an in-office procedure to get 'er done, but after some more testing they determined that it was a little too large for that. So last Friday, I took a nice long nap (EXPENSIVE and long) while my doctor did surgery to remove Polly forever. It went really well but now I am trying to recover while hobbling after a toddler who decided to start walking last week. Oh yeah, THAT JUST HAPPENED. I promise to do a cute video of Lila doing the Herman Munster around the house at some point this week.

So excuse my lack of blogging as I try to keep up. And let me know if you have any tips you want to share!

Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants.
~William Osler

Monday, May 16, 2011

nook nerd

Mother's day was a little different for us this year, as we were at Brian's home following his grandpa's funeral. It was both different and good, since we don't often get to spend Mother's Day with Brian's mom and grandma. We really enjoyed seeing Brian's mom open up her gifts in person and wishing her a happy Mom and Grandma's Day! The day started out with breakfast in bed, a tradition at our house, although last year, I certainly did not have a little one crawling over my lap trying to steal bites off my plate. Lila can eat a whole piece of french toast, no joke.

Then Brian surprised me with a scavenger hunt, one of my favorite things! I love running all over the house finding clues that lead me to a gift. When I finally made it to the wrapped box, I was shocked when I opened it up. Brian got me a Nook Color!
We do not usually buy each other big gifts like this and not as a total surprise. Brian had done his research, asking friends and talking to the store, figuring out which E-Reader was best for me. I LOVE this gift because not only does it allow me to read lots of cool books at a discounted (or free!) price, but it is also a cool toy for kids. They have "Read To Me" children's books that have an actor reading the story outloud as you turn the page. It has acts as a tablet PC, with email, web, Pandora, pretty much anything I could want on the go.

I am also discovering that you can lend books to other people that have a Nook for 7 days. Any Nook owners out there want to be my friend? Email me at and we can exchange real email addresses. My next big decision is a cover or sleeve? I love both of these beauties below but need advice from other Nook users as to what is the best protection in your purse but is also convenient for reading. Nothing like a new gift that means you get to shop for more accessories! Thanks Brian, you are the best!

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
~P.J. O'Rourke

Friday, May 13, 2011

full of holes

My worship was not spent in a row of chairs, listening to a worship leader on stage. It was not sitting in a pew with the sound of an organ raising high. It was staring at the crashing waves of the ocean as the sun rose high, listening to my favorite worship songs on my iPod. Closing my eyes and feeling the warmth of the sun. With a full cup of coffee in my hand I had the pleasure of finishing uninterrupted, while it was still warm.
The girls weekend came at just the right time. Waking up whenever my internal clock went off and not having anyone to run to the second I jumped out of bed. As a mom, there is a sense of guilt that we need time off. We think we should always take joy out of our role as a mom and wife. It seems wrong to say we enjoy eating our breakfast without little hands grabbing food off our plate. Or not hearing anyone call our name five times in a row. But sometimes, we just need time to recharge. Time to talk with other women about our lives. To sit on the beach, staring at the ocean, flipping magazines and not constantly on high alert scanning the sand for roaming little ones.
We ate. We chatted. We sat quietly by ourselves. We read books. We drank wine. We went out to eat and got exactly what we wanted, regardless of it was toddler snack worthy. As I searched for shells to take home and remember this weekend of rest, I came across these two next to each other.
The one on the right represents how I feel when I try to do it all. Full of holes, opening myself up to the elements. Never knowing if I can stay whole through another crashing wave. When I wake up to a screaming alarm, jump in the shower, change a baby, iron clothes for Brian, pack lunches and diaper bag and purse, jump in the car, try to scarf down a cereal bar and at least one cup of coffee while driving and singing songs with the little voice coming from the back seat, drop at daycare, hurry through traffic back to work, try to jam as much work as possible in 8 hours, force myself to take bathroom breaks and drink water, drive back to daycare in traffic, give big hugs and praise for a good day at daycare, rush home, make dinner, serve toddler food and grown up food, spend QT listening to Brian's day, laundry, blogging, thank Brian for vacuuming and dishes, crash into bed.

The one on the left is what I want to be. Smooth and round. Rolling through the sand. With the ability to hold up to whatever comes our way. Strong and firm in my roll as Lila's mom and Brian's wife. I hope I will get there. I will get there.
The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.
~Isak Dinesen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

dancing queen

Lila's new favorite thing is dancing. And who can blame her? Who doesn't love to dance? We often turn on music and break into some dance moves mid grocery store. Anyone have a favorite dance song to add to Lila's playlist?
We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine
~"Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats

Monday, May 9, 2011

how great thou art

This last week has been a little crazy since the last post. After getting home from girls weekend last Sunday (to be recapped in all its craziness and laziness in a later post), I worked like a crazy person for two days to catch up. On Wednesday morning we got a phone call from Brian's mom that his grandpa has passed away in the night.
Harold was a strong man, so tall I had to look waaaaay up at him. The last few years of his 89 years of life life were hard and there is so much relief that he is with Jesus, celebrating and finally out of pain. Last week was spent helping make arrangements, run errands and just spend time with Brian's mom and grandma. As I held Lila, taking a nap in my arms, as How Great Thou Art was sung at his funeral, there was a sense of promise and hope that life continues. There is always a plan and life goes on.
For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.
~William Penn

Monday, May 2, 2011


I along with the rest of the world watched the initial news reports pop into our Sunday evening shows (Brothers & Sisters was stopped at a very critical moment). I watched as the first reporter boldly read the words off their Blackberry when everyone else was hesitating. I watched my Twitter and Facebook feed blow up with celebration in the death of a man none of us knew. And I listened to the President give a speech that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.

This is not meant to be a political post. I don't think this is about politics or religion or teaparties. I have never lost someone I love in the hands of another. I have never felt that pain and I cannot imagine what it is like. Just the idea of someone hurting Brian and Lila is enough to make my heart pound and my hands turn to fists. And I certainly don't know what it is like to have my husband fighting against a man intent on terrorizing their home. One of my best friends puts her two boys to bed every night while her husband is in another country for the second time since the towers fell, defending those of us still behind.

I do not know what any of those things feel like. But as a Christian, I felt something stirring inside me as I read comment after comment, claiming victory in Christ at Bin Laden's death. Shouting praise and celebration. Condemning him to hell and wishing him torture and pain. As a Christian, I don't know how I can celebrate the death of a man. A man who Christ died for, just as he died for me, no matter how horrendous his sins were. If Osama Bid Laden called out to Jesus in his final moments for forgiveness, would Christ open his arms? Is he any less deserving of the redemptive grace I accept so freely?

I don't know if Osama Bin Laden went to hell. I don't know how God serves justice after this life. I don't know if Bin Laden did yell out to God in his final moments if he could ever join me in Heaven one day. I am glad I don't have to make these decisions. I am glad it is not my job to do justice. I am glad I can love mercy and all that it means to me and any other who chooses it. Christ died for my sins and I will continue to hope for a peaceful world, one where assassinations are not needed because hatred will not reign. One where Christians will not cry out in Jesus name at bloodshed because of their hurting, scared and confused hearts. One where mothers will not weep for their fallen children.

All I know is tonight, I hold my daughter a little tighter. I kiss my husband a little longer. And I pray even more fervently for the protection of the men and women away from their families, fighting for my freedom to be safe at home with mine.

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
~Martin Luther King Jr