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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shadow Boxing

     As some of you may already know, my grandfather passed away in November of 2008.  We had the AMAZING opportunity to see him in California the weekend before he passed.  One of my favorite memories of that weekend consists of him, zipping around on his motorized scooter, giving us a tour of his assisted living home with the large hills of Southern California in the background and the sun shining brightly.  I should also mention that, as a proud WWII Veteran, he had TWO American Flags attached to the back of his scooter.  He was a sight.    

This is, admittedly, a picture of a picture...hence the blur.  Didn't want to take the time to travel "all the way" to my husband's computer to scan.  Please excuse.  

     After I graduated from College, I spent a few ((ahem)) years living at home with my parents.  After my grandma died, he would come to visit for weeks at a time and it was during those visits that I felt we really clicked.  

     He was one of my favorite people, and I was very sad the day he died.  

     With that being said, I will share with you a project that has been a long time in the making.  When we went to visit, he was very concerned about us sorting through the contents of his desk at his old place.   He had squirreled away years worth of tiny treasures in that handmade roll-top desk, and he wanted to make sure it all found a proper place; a good home.  I managed to save a few goodies and make a shadowbox of the things I love the most. All that's left is to slide it into the glass-covered box- frame.  I think he'd really like it. 
      I told my husband, this is one of the things we HAVE TO GRAB should our house ever catch on fire.  I can't just pick one favorite but I will tell you that if you look closely, in the top right hand corner, you can see where he wrote down my birthday on two index cards.  Precious.  Also, I adore the "third grade" handwriting practice.  
I have a tree, a green, green tree to shade me from the sun.  
Ack. I can't read it without crying!  Anyway...
I also love the "photobooth" photos and the pictures-of-him-taking-a-picture...a 1940's version of a "facebook profile pic" perhaps.  :)  

Towards the top at the center, you'll notice a torn brown piece of paper.  During one of our chats long ago, we were talking about hardships and Grandpa said to me, "'ll still sweat and cry over it..."  and then he took a pause and let out a long sigh, as if he was thinking about Something and said, "But The Lord will be there."  
And that was a quote that just stayed with me. So, I typed it up and soaked it in a funny concoction of soy sauce, tea, and diet coke cause I'm crafty and creative like that.  It turned out really aged-looking and just awesome (I lucked out).  
Here's to you Sweet Grandpa Ken.  
(I also want to mention that there are some gorgeous pictures of my grandmother as well.  Wasn't she lovely?)  :)  
Now, where to hang it?  

Love and no more tears, H.

PS. If you have a grandparent(s) still living, go call or better yet, hug them immediately.  I am being dead serious.  No matter what kind of relationship you have, you will miss them when they are gone.  

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Since the wreck, I know more what you need.

     With winter lingering a little a lot longer than we'd like, I requested insisted we build a fort using blankets and our pub-height dining room table. After 30 minutes and some Chinese Take-out, we were well on our way to constructing  (((a huge mess)) and a place we like to call Ft. Young:  The Most Easily Destructible Fort This Side of The Mississippi.  

But it was fun.  

     After dinner, we stretched out under the table like two fat, happy cats, and Tim looked at me for a long time like he sometimes does.  It is a look that is so amazing but also a bit elusive.... like I am a present he has just opened. He looks at me like I am a shiny new toy that he doesn't want to break.  Sometimes it makes me feel Very Shy...just like it did that night.   I coyly looked away and sighed, "Life is good."  

And he whispered back the only two words I really wanted to hear.  

"I know."  

Love, H.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, George!

This is a little scary for me because I realize I have just clicked "New Post" without any kind of game plan as to what's going to go on "here,"  on this, the 22nd Day of February.  Dangerous?  Sort of.  

Well, in case you missed it, today was George Washington's Birthday.  Happy Birthday, George.  Thanks for, you know, everything.  According to my clock, you have about 89 minutes left to celebrate. Go make the most of it. :)  

I have been thinking a lot about babies. That's right. Babies.  But not for any particular reason (you nosy, kids, you!)  

We need Time.  That's right.  With a 'big' T.  

However, I can't get the thought of little kiddos out of my head these days and I find it wonderfully distracting to tell you the truth.  

As I'm sure you already know (because I have complained and complained about it...), January and February are hard months for me.  

I think this "Time" and these months are our Advent...our Lent Season....our time of waiting.  

Although what we are waiting for, I'm not quite sure.  

I guess we are waiting for the part where God does what he said he would do.  

We are, literally, waiting for a promise to be fulfilled who's central theme is...none other than...a baby...and the idea of rebirth, in a way. it just me or was that like, super-deep?  Wow.  I pulled that from absolutely nowhere.  I guess this is just proof that sometimes, our brains "sit on" things we didn't even really know they were sitting on and then one day...something interesting just falls a tooth we didn't know was loose.  

And now, a little something to lighten the mood.  

I find this oddly amusing...if I were writing a "Baby blog,"  I might actually make this a weekly give away. :)  If you are pregnant or planning on becoming so in the very near future, I will probably give this to you as a shower gift.  I apologize in advance. ;) 

where in the world do I find these things?  

My best to you.  


Friday, February 19, 2010

Si...or No?

I wanted to quickly post an update and hemmed and hawed (that's right, I hemmed...and then I hawed) over what to write/put/create/post.  

Tonight, we are eating homemade tacos and playing volleyball with Our New Pals from church.  On a whim (so now I'm hemming and hawing on a whim?  Sounds dangerous!)  I googled, "tacos," clicked on  "images" and found THIS  

which I think is just hilarious, not to mention sound advice.  

This cluster of people in our Sunday School Class is totally something we stumbled upon by chance.  Desperate for change, Tim and I switched churches (BACK to the one we originally left...yes, we were 'those' people). ;)   

During our first meeting, there were 4 or 5 of, months later, we run three or four times that, and as far as I can tell, we are staying put for a long, long time.   What I love the most is that we are such a hodge podge of folks...single moms, married no kids, married with grown kids...married with tiny kids...not married...working days...working nights, etc.  Never in a million years would I have thought to put such an odd mix of people together but somehow, it just works.  

So, here's to tacos and volleyball and things that just happen to work out in the end.  


PS. This was WAY longer than I had originally intended...and now I'm late.  Shhhh!  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

And now, it's time for something a little different.  

As I was ((ahem)) RE-organizing my office/craft room, I found a notebook I had used as a journal during a hard/wonderful/ interesting/painful/fantastic time of my life.  I was about 24 and broken and well on my way to getting fixed.  

never "publish" parts of my personal journals...ever.  But, in light of a conversation I had with Tim last night, I just kept coming back to the idea of posting this.  It just seemed important.  This section is about love. About how much I wanted it at the time and how unsure I was of how to get it/find it/prepare for it/make it happen...or even know it when I saw it.    

I was actually in D.C. at this time, staying with my Aunt and Uncle, falling even more in love with my sister, and taking in the sites.   

D.C. is my solace.  I could go on and on and on about That Great City.  I love the city in general, but it is also the home of my Aunt, Uncle, and a few various other family members.  ((Swoon, Swoon))) What FANTASTIC people.  They could make even a rattle snake feel welcome.  And the cooking?  Oh, the cooking is amazing.... 

But enough about that.  

      July 2005 

I need to feel protected, to not be "giving" all the time, to be comfortable taking, to be held onto tightly and pursued urgently, to laugh and take my shoes off and be silly, to have honest and absolutely unconditional consistency.  

I need to laugh on the couch with my shoes off.  I need to whisper in the driveway with the porch lights off and the radio on.  

I have so much "life" stuff to do.  I don't want to go home.  

Tonight, Heather showed me a picture of Dan and their dog, Jake.  She casually said, "Look at my family."  I felt so happy for her.  * a house * a husband/a lover* a dog

and so incredibly lonely for me.  It is sad and funny and ridiculous and unfair how you can be homesick for someone you have never even met.  

I always used to think I had to fight with in a boxing ring.  but as much as it hurts to it is also very liberating and I know this lonely and precarious way is better in the long run.  

Just go with it.  

I don't have to be DESPERATE for love, but I do have to be OPEN to it.  I know it is right and healthy and good to be feeling lonely and anxious about whoever "He" will be, but by acknowledging it, I seem to have opened up a flood-gate to where loneliness is the only thing I can feel about love...perhaps it is like laughing in church- when you hide it and smother it and try to hold it in, it comes out in little spurts- it is only when you can stand in the foyer and throw your head back and let out a monsoon of laughter that you can truly feel free. 

My mom always says, "It has to get worse before it gets better."  

Now, almost 5 years after that entry, I can see how God's hand was at work in my life, even before I realized it. 

My conversation with Tim last night revolved around money and jobs and staying home with our babies.  Hopefully, we still have a year or two to sort it all out.  It was a good conversation, but also scary and hard.  

 I am worried about money and babies and the possibility of ((someday)) quitting my job and whether or not that purse at Target is ever going to on sale  :)   But even so, this notebook is full of truths.  Truths that are, for lack of a better term, self-evident.   It is full of truths.  Now, at 27 ((ahem))) and 1/2, so many of these truths still ring true: 
God provides.  

Love, H.

P.S. I didn't edit for spelling, grammar, or content.  I thought it might take away the authenticity or something smart/ethical sounding like that. The "teacher" in me felt the need to point that out. :) 

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Fall: A Story in Pictures

This is a story about a girl who looked a little (okay, a lot...okay, exactly) like this:

 She is the one on the right.  

     This girl loved a lot of things (in no particular order, okay, if she must pick, then Jesus is first) like coffee and dogs and Jesus and dresses (okay, clothes in general).

      Every Sunday, she drove to church (late), and every Sunday, she vowed to never be late again.

     However, today was different.  Today, the stars aligned and The Gods God acted in her favor.  Today, she was early.  Feeling quite proud of herself and wearing her New Favorite Dress, she marched out the door, (((Two))) mugs of coffee in hand along with purse, keys, and yummy granola bar.  She looked a little like this:

However, she began thinking about the clock and her new dress and How Fabulous She Was


...and then she fell in the snow-covered driveway.

And her face looked like this.

     Once she dried her hands...and knees...and shoes....and mugs....she started thinking about how life has a funny way of making us humble exactly when we need it and then she laughed...even though she was now, considerably...


The End 

(((Sigh))) There's always next Sunday.

I want to teach my kids that it is okay, and more often than not, necessary to laugh at ourselves.

H. (Vanessa Hudgens)  (white rabbit) (surprised baby)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Life Right Now.

Can't believe I'm up THIS early on a Saturday, no less.  A million things to do, and somehow, I've landed here...?  Always drawn to This Little Site.  Cleaned up my office yesterday (more pics. up soon).  Love the cozy little space and can't wait to do a little crafting and all the other adventures that entails!  Spent the better part of yesterday traipsing around the house in my new favorite dress and cowboy boots.  Ahh...four day weekends, what's not to love?  

My best to you,

Love, H.  

Friday, February 12, 2010

I've Got Your Heart On A String

I have a friend who wrote about the  chaotic life of being a mom, but she described it as beautiful chaos, and I really loved that.  I think some  most days, that is the life of a teacher in one tiny, noisy, crowded nutshell.  

Yesterday, we had a two hour delay- on top of an assembly AND a Valentine's Day Party. 

It was a rush, to say the least.  I always have a hard time wrapping my head around 2 hour delays.  I feel I have to get up early and lay around so I can really enjoy it, but I also want to use the time wisely at school.   Not that I'm complaining, but I often spend those mornings looking at the clock, re-evauluating my to-do list, and doing clock-math in my head.

And I hate doing math in my head.  

So in between worrying about "enjoying" my delay, feeling eager to get to school, and digging my car out of the snowy-snowy driveway, my morning at home was blur.  

Sometimes, I get to work and feel as if I've already lived an entire day...and it's only 7:30.  Do you ever feel like that?  

As I was running out the door...hands full-coat on-coffee in hand, I spotted my camera on the dining room table and it called out my name.  I thought about my newly-discovered-desire to start taking more photos (((and have even tossed around the idea of doing  a 'photo of the day' for this here blog))).  I threw it in my coat pocket, heaved a sigh, and thought to myself, "You just never know what the day will bring..."  


As we were passing out our Valentine Cards, one of my Little Guys grabbed me out of the crowd and leaned in towards my ear.   

In a tiny voice, he said to me, "I've got a big tangled mess."  I opened the sack to find this staring me in the face.  
(Those are yo-yo's, in case you can't tell)

My first thought was, "There are 1,000 metaphors for this picture right now."  (((I just don't have the time or energy to list them))). 

A wide smile spread across my face, and I whispered, "I'll take care of it."  

I'm not going to lie, as you can see, there were scissors involved. However, after squinting and tugging and pulling and tracing each string with my fingertips, I think this officially qualifies me to be one of those agents who runs into buildings and dismantles bombs.  Pliers in hand, beads of sweat on my brow, yelling, "I have to cut the blue wire!"  All while wearing some really gorgeous shoes. 

Okay, back to reality.  

So, what can I say?  I rock.  And it was a super-fun day.  Like, super-fun.  I know I said I wouldn't write about my job, but I think we will operate using what I like to call, "The Thumper Rule."  If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.  So, this post is my "Something Nice."  

When it is all said and done, I have fallen in love with these kiddos.  It is a tough business and gets quite hairy at times, and I don't  never know what the future holds. 

 I do know that yesterday, I loved my job.  

Did I also tell you that during our party, I leaned on my desk while talking with a parent and sat on TWO cupcakes?  It was HILARIOUS, but let me tell you, there is NOTHING more humbling than having 21 second graders pointing at your bum and laughing.  I am very sorry to say, there is NO photographic evidence of this incident. You'll just have to take my word for it. :)  

Chaos. Beautiful Chaos.  

Love, H. 

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 live by the Girl Scout Law...

     I can't remember if it was The Girls or The Boys, but some KIND of Scout proclaimed, "Always be prepared!"  (Yes, I was a Girl Scout as well as a Brownie...and a Daisy...and I still have the 'pledge' memorized! Maybe more on that later!)  :)      

 So, in the midst of all my de-cluttering, I stumbled upon this adorable vintage "Barbie" tin (it actually used to be a Christmas ornament and is a replica of a teeny-tiny lunch box!) :)  I decided to create a make-shift "emergency kit" for my purse.  I included the following items:  

* q-tips
* bobby pins
* hair ties
* two over-the-counter pain pills
*safety pins
*extra earrings (lest I forget!) 
Am I missing anything?   What do you think?  What do you keep your purse/drawer/glove box stocked with?  Love and your-favorite-kind-of-girl-scout-cookie, H.  (ooohhh, I heart thin mints!)  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Sunday Kind of Love

I am sitting here wrapped in a blanket, listening to Tim play guitar in the other room....looking at old pictures and thinking about How Far We've Come.  

Live moves so fast.  These are truly wonderful days.  I hope we can enjoy them to the fullest.  My best to you.  Love, H.  

Friday, February 5, 2010

1,000 Flukey Things

Fluke: (noun) an accident or chance occurrence  

     So, it should come as no surprise that I.Love.My.Dogs.  I am a dog-loving nut.  A weirdo. A fanatic.  We have two dogs who are very lovable, but both very very different.  

      To be honest, Scarlett and I have bonded.  That doesn't make my love for Noel any "less."  Just different. Sometimes, you meet another living thing, and you just click. 

     She sleeps with her tail end curled up towards her nose so she looks like an arctic fox or an armadillo or something.  We say she makes a "Scarlett ball" and often refer to her by that name. Sometimes she is Scarlett Ball, sometimes Scarlett-ball-dog or sometimes just "Ball."  

Yea, we're crazy.  

     You see, I cannot function without this dog.  She is my best friend.  My buddy. My clone (that's right, my clone).  She is my shadow.  We rescued her from a foster home in Indiana (she was very sick and going to be euthanized at 6 weeks until a volunteer took her and her siblings under her wing).  Hers is a story of hope and healing and grace.  

And she is the wildest, naughtiest, stinkiest dog you will ever, ever meet.  

     The other night, I had parent-teacher conferences, and I came home in a rush and then left once again to run errands with Tim.  It was a weird night.  I left my phone, purse, keys, wallet, everything at home, and I have no idea why.  I just got in the car with Tim and left.  

I was tired.  

     When I came home, I remembered I had left my lunch bag in her reach and she had drug my tupperware all over the living room.  I never do that.  

     I also realized that several doors had been left open (our bedroom, etc.).  Again, we NEVER do that.  

     I turned the corner and realized I had done yet another "thing" I never do...left a bottle of ibuprofen in my lunch sack.   There were all these uneaten tablets piled neatly on our bed with the open bottle close by.  

 It's incredibly toxic for dogs.  

     That's right.  1,000 flukey things and the odds were stacked against us. There weren't many pills in the bottle to begin with, and from what I could tell, ALL of them were still there.  Untouched.  That's right, untouched.  

     This is the same dog that ate large chunks off nearly every Christmas ornament we own and pooped glitter for a week...yet she left a gazillion, tiny candy-coated tablets alone....? Do I feel like the Worst Mother of The Year?  Probably.  Then again, there's always this one 


that makes me feel a little bit better....

(((sigh))) Sometimes accidents just happen.  You live. You learn. The hard way.  

I hugged her and breathed a sigh of relief and also a prayer, "Thank you, Lord." 

  And The Scarlett Ball's fine.  In fact, she was back to her old tricks, digging in the recycling bin the very next day.  So, on one hand, I am tempted to say, "I choose to believe."  But on the other hand, I think it is more like I HAVE to believe.  I believe there is a higher power "out there," and I ask Him to intervene in my life, everyday. And he does.  

The Mutt is living proof.  

I also believe that we find what we are looking for.  So, this week, I encourage you to ask for intervention. You never quite know when it's going to come, but yowza! when it does you just know it.  Be it a green light when you really, really needed one, a $5 bill you forgot was stuck in your pocket or a phone call from a long, lost friend.  Suddenly, it becomes kick-you-in-the-crotch-clear that Help Is On The Way.   Look for those little hints that Someone's Got Your Back.   I'll bet you a milkshake, you'll find what you're looking for.

Plus, I'm convinced that Scarlett's death will be as random and exciting as her life.  Losing her to old age or toxins would be like a stuntman dying from a head cold.  I think she will die in a cage match with an elephant and a monkey or while chasing a ball over a vast canyon.    

Or she will live to be 9 million years old.  

My money's on the latter. :)  

Love and dog-proof pill bottles, 

P.S. I used the word "crotch" in this post, and I feel really weird now.  :/  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Reason #6472 Why I get a kick out of...

living with a boy: finding  lost guitar picks in the laundry. 

Love and no more fog, H.