...sugar and spice and everything nice...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

and so it goes

Im not quite sure how to say this, not sure what you are supposed to do in this kind of situation, but after three years and many many words I have decided to bring this blog to a close. It's something Ive been considering for a week or two now, and I am really feeling good about it. I have enjoyed writing and mapping out my journey thru parenthood and life in general, but Im not feeling passionate about it the way I did in the beginning. Maybe it's because Ive changed as a person, or maybe it's because I've got so many other things going on now that I just cant find the time to dedicate to it like I used to. Either way, I think it's time to hang it up.

One thing Ive always wanted to write about but havent gotten around to is what Ive decided to end with. It's something Ive never been very vocal about and it's a shame because it is such a big part of me. Ive always worried way too much about what people think, about how they perceive me and not wanted to ruffle any feathers or make others feel uncomfortable. I tend to go out of my way to make sure everyone is comfortable and taken care of. This is more with people I casually know than family and close friends. And of course, people who grew up with me would probably disagree with this, but then, they knew me before my life changed.

I carried a lot of baggage with me during my youth. I made a lot of mistakes, did things I still regret to this day. A lot of stuff that happened made me very angry and I carried that anger with me. I didnt care about myself or anyone else, I just wanted to feel better. And at about the age of 18 my world around me came crashing down, my family life was in pieces, I had no where to turn. The only thing to do was leave.

So I left, and oddly enough went to work in the mountains at a church camp I had attended with some friends in junior high. It was as far away from my real life as I could get with just a car and my clothes. No one knew me, no one there to judge me, it was the perfect way to start over. I signed on to work one week, then stayed on for another, and another, until 6 months had passed. And in the course of those six months I was saved. Saved from the person I was, saved from the road I was on, saved from the way things might have been. Like a boulder had been dropped in my path I was forced to take a different road, and this road has eventually led me to the place I am today.

A lot of people shrug their shoulders at the thought of God and Jesus and all that religious stuff, and I understand because I did too for a long time. I was in and out of church growing up but never took it seriously and didnt have an example in my home of what a God fearing family should be. But when I found myself with nothing, no one, no idea what to do, I found the possibility of God worth considering. And the more I examined my own life and learned what God wanted my life to be, the more I wanted to know. Very little in my life during junior high and high school had given me any confidence of being worthy of love, worth sticking around for, worth taking care of. But what I was hearing about God and His love for me was different. I started reading the Bible to learn more about Him.

It was during that time that I decided to live my life according to God's Word. I decided to believe what was written about me in the Bible. I decided to accept the truth, that I had been living for myself, trying to find happiness somewhere, anywhere, and instead was getting nowhere. I needed help, and who better to ask than God himself. I had always believed in God, but hadnt taken Him seriously. At that moment in time I decided to. I gave my life to Jesus Christ to see where the road would lead next. That was 1992.

This journey in faith has not been an easy one. My life was not suddenly changed for the better, although I made some very wise decisions to get out of old situations that improved things dramatically. I decided I needed to learn a lot more about my God and moved across the country to go to Bible College. That's where I met Nate and his family, who were obviously placed directly in my path by the Lord to show me a new example of what family means. I will forever be grateful to them for accepting me into their home and sticking by me thru many ups and downs over those early years. I have since seen my mom saved and remarried to a good Christian man, and have watched my dad return to the church he took me to as a kid. These relationships are healing and I believe that is a gift from God.

But it wasnt until this year that I was finally meant to deal with all the anger and bitterness Ive carried around for 20 years. This year, in fact this summer, I've finally been able to begin to let go. It has been a long work of me trying to do it on my own, and finally realizing I just plain couldnt. God has been faithful to help me find the healing Ive been searching for all this time, and I am beginning to experience a real sense of freedom from the person I was, the life I had before, and the baggage Ive carried for so long. Like I said, this journey has not been an easy one, but how quickly can a person become new?

So Im a Christian. Something that is hard for me to say, not because I doubt what I believe, but because it isnt comfortable for everyone I know. Im not a political person or an activist by any means, I am simply a person whose life has been changed by Jesus Christ. I am a person desperately in need of a Savior who is learning to see life in a new way. I hope that you too can someday experience the kind of love I have. It has changed my life.

That's it folks. My final words. I will surely miss these times at the computer and will maybe even one day start a new blog. Im kind of tearing up here...ha! Who'd have thought? Please leave a comment or a send off, I'd love to hear from you. God bless and so long!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Five

Five things Im diggin:

1. Cole Slaw. I am in LOVE with cole slaw these days. Crazy as it may seem I didnt eat the stuff until about a year ago, but Im eating it constantly now. My favorite way to have it is on a bagel with turkey, a few chips on the side. Delicious....

2. The Library. Never in my life did I think I'd be saying it but we live just two blocks away and it has been a lifesaver. We go once a week and check out about 15 books. It's one of the things I look forward to most each week.

3. A Model Life. Take America's Next Top Model remove Tyra and replace her with the beautifully humble tsunami surviving supermodel Petra, get rid of the drama and add real life young girls trying to make it in New York and get an interesting mix of raw truth and sincerity. It airs Friday evenings at 10pm on TLC.

4. Skirts. I am not a skirt wearer. Or at least I never was. But now I see what all the fuss was about. In 100 degree heat skirts are a must. I cannot believe it has taken me years to break down and wear a skirt. I cant get enough of them now.

5. Tuesday mornings. We love our church and look forward to any opportunity to be there, something I honestly wasnt sure I'd ever say until we began attending Calvary Chapel. Tuesday mornings the stay at home moms convene to enjoy each other and study God's word. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but dont knock it til you try it. There's something great about women at the same point in life coming together to help each other out and learn more about the God who gets them thru each day.

what are your five????

Thursday, August 23, 2007

part 3

so we arrived at the Portland home of Ava, Ezra, Andrea, and Ward after 4+ hours in the car and what a welcomed sight! Luxie immediately begged to be released from her car seat and ran to embrace her long lost cousin. Nate and I were out quick as a flash too, and little Zaine wondered what in the world we were all so excited about. It had been a long four months without our friends and it was a sweet reunion.

I dont think we saw Luxie again until the 6 day event was over. She spent the entire time sealed up in Ava's room drawing, playing Littlest Pet Shoppes, dressing up in big girl clothes, and giggling up a storm. Ezra and Zaine were thrilled to have someone to play with after being ostricized by their older sisters and got along perfectly. If I could only do "Ezra speak" as well as Andrea I would duplicate his sweet conversations with her and her "toddler grunt" replies as proof of their ridiculously cute friendshiip. We quickly fell into our old comfort zones and the visit was soon reminiscent of old times.

I should mention that one of the great parts of the trip was getting to officially meet (although it felt like I already knew them) Joy and her family of scrapalicio.us fame. They made the trip down from Seattle for Ava's birthday party that weekend and helped make the BBQ a success. I have to say, however, that that was one of the most exciting, thrilling, exhausting, crazy, explosive, energetic, fun filled events I myself have ever experienced...eight kids running on 10 for about 5 hours and crashing into a heap of tears, a pile of sugar overloaded emotion (namely Luxie). It was definitely a party to remember and a great time spent with new/old friends.

As the visit came to a close I think we were all painfully aware of what little time was left. We wanted to end on a high note but the weather thwarted our big plans. Still, aside from the minor frustrations that come from traveling with kids (Ive never seen so many meltdowns in such a short period of time) we were so glad to have made the trip. I think it was strange for Nate and I, and probably Andrea and Ward too, to realize that this was there new home. Portland is where they will stay. Life was different there, and it was odd to not be familiar with their new surroundings in the way we had been in the past. I think that was the hardest part. Realizing we had all had to move on, but still treasuring the familiarity that remained.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


this daily posting thing is hard! I sometimes have no idea what to write about. like right now.

im learning, thru this daily posting thing, that my life revolves quite a bit around my kids. when i try to post about something else i find little else to talk about! i mean, other than daily chores, a little tv in the evenings, and church on Sunday (and now Tuesday mornings...i love our women's bible study which runs thruout the school year on tuesday mornings) there isnt much that takes place without my kids. im learning to find other outlets, like the consignment sale, but to be honest, i like the way things go around here. sure, i'd love to have more time to myself, and i know i need it. but just what to do is the question. i need to figure out who i am outside of this mom thing.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hot Dogs

Luxie has become fascinated with hot dogs. This is probably because we have spent most of the summer grilling out due to the excessive heat down here in the south. Turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do around 430pm each afternoon with the heat and humidity we've been having. So, often we resort to hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill.

Luxie used to hate hot dogs but somehow this summer that hate has turned into an undeniable love of the things. She would happily eat a hot dog with or without bun for lunch and dinner daily. Her mind is so fixated on hot dogs that she has begun drawing them...and creating little stories about them. She recently spent several hours drawing pictures to compile into a story about our family. In the story we were grilling out and the happy hot dogs suddenly started dancing on the grill.

The above photo is the page in which daddy discovers the hot dogs dancing and by the look on his face he was quite surprised by it! The whole story was very elaborately drawn, complete with a butterfly fairly and caterpillars and ants joining in the fun. Im sorry to say she decided to give the book to her Sunday school teacher that evening and we will never see those pages again. But before we left I snapped just a few photos to remember this crazy tale.

I should also mention that the whole idea for making books was started earlier this year by her seven year old cousin Ava (known for her creative genius over at wardomatic's "Ava Thursdays." Luxie and Ava worked on books together last January and her own creative journey was begun.

Friday, August 17, 2007

there is

one thing that God has been hammering home to me lately and that is that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Not me, not my beautiful girls, not my husband, no one. This could be my last day...my last day here, or my last day with my loved ones. We just dont know what each day holds. And I know He is asking me, "How are you going to spend it? This day that you've been given, what will you do with it?"

Tragedy struck my friend this past Saturday, and without going into detail, while I shared in her heartache I also received a big fat slap in the face. "Wake up! You are not promised tomorrow either!" With a sorrowful heart I realized how much Ive been taking for granted. This is not to mean that God is some ogre pointing his finger down from his heavenly throne popping us off one by one at his leisure, but He is clear in His Word that life is fragile. "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14), So why is it so hard for us to see that? We think we have all the time in the world so for today we can punish those around us with our mood or for now we can put off saying Im sorry. This is not the case. Please, try to understand what Im saying. Love, live, hug, share, let go, relax, enjoy, treasure, take time, forgive, smile, rest, appreciate, and be grateful. Cherish what you have been given while you have it. Tomorrow may be too late.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


yesterday was some kind of day. we started out with a great play date. one of luxie's friends from school came over with her little brother who is zaine's age and we had a blast. their mother and i get along really well and i always enjoy their visits. then just after i put zaine down for a nap i got some devastating news about a friend. im still in shock and so very saddened.

later that afternoon luxie seemed to be having trouble breathing. she couldnt seem to catch her breath so around six we drove to afterhours care at her doctor's office and were there until about 7:30. thankfully it was nothing serious and luxie is fine. we headed home and I had just enough time to get the girls in bed before dropping off all of my consignment sale stuff at the church. yesterday was some day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

so you think you can dance

As a lover of dance I have been struggling with what to do about the absence of dance in my life. I danced for 12 years until I became pregnant with Luxie then, somehow, the days and weeks and years flew by and I have yet to find my way back. I still have this idea that once zaine is old enough i will get myself back in shape and be what i was before, but the realist in me tells me that those days are probably long gone. yes, i will dance again, i have no doubt about that. but i know that things will be much different. my body has changed significantly and it's been 4 long years.

so instead i watch tv! but really, is anybody watching this show? i love it, and so does Luxie. we've watched it since the first episode and we have loved every minute of it. the quality of dance portrayed on the show is excellent and the choreographers are amazing. i am living vicariously thru these performances and dreaming of what might have been. we are personally rooting for Sabra, as well as Danny (although Luxie is enthralled with Neil and wants him to win it all.) we will be watching Wednesday night to see the final routines before the winner is chosen on Thursday evening....will you be watching too?

Monday, August 13, 2007


i missed yesterday. it just blew by and i totally forgot to post. oh well, im back today with the second installment of our trip to the Northwest.

When i left off we had just arrived at my dad's house in a tiny farm town he and my mom grew up in many years ago. It's interesting when i visit because my grandfather (mom's dad ) held many high ranking jobs in this small town during the 50's, 60's and 70's. He was a well known tough attorney, held some city position at the courthouse that i cant remember, and was very respectable all around. My dad's dad owned the local grocery store during those same years and my uncles and dad all worked there until they went on to their own careers. Both grandpas are gone now, and my mom has sinced moved away, but my dad has come back to the city after almost 20 years in Alaska and is now County Commissioner. So whenever I visit Im running into people who remember me as a baby, or knew one of my grandpas, or are some sort of relative. It's kind of surreal, but also makes it "home" in ways no other place could be.

So like I was saying above, my dad moved to Alaska when i was about 8 years old to find better work. He and my mom had divorced when i was 3. He would come back to visit once or twice a year, and I visited twice during the years he was there.I went once by myself, and once when Nate and I flew up as we were planning to get engaged. He moved back down to the lower 48 when I was about 25, so as you can imagine there was a lot of catching up to do. The first few visits were pretty dawgon awkward, but it's amazing how the girls have helped us find a common bond the last few years. I think our relationship has grown by leaps and bounds lately and the visits to his home are now something I look forward to.

So we were there 4 days, and they were 4 very relaxing, laid back days. They were a perfect start to what was going to be a big journey!

We headed out to Portland a day earlier than anticipated because Dad had a few things come up and that seemed to be a good day to go. Of course Luxie was thrilled because we were heading to Ava's, her favorite cousin whom she hadnt seen in months! Again, Zaine was absolutely THRILLED to be in the car for 4 hours (who can blame her? ) But Luxie was such a blessing along the way, handling it all like a pro. We arrived during rush hour, or, um, normal Atlanta traffic and started cheering as we were winding our way to our long lost family's home. We drove up to find Ava waiting in the window and stop #2 of our trip had begun.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

i am preparing

for the mother of all consignment sales (well, a really big one anyway) that my daughter's preschool puts on twice a year. this particular sale is fall/winter items and i am under a mound of merchandise sized newborn to 6x as we speak. i love this. i dont know if it is the organizer in me (labeling and tagging and sorting by sizes) or the the thrill of the sale itself that excites me (sellers get to shop the night before which sweetens the deal.) so im gearing up...that's what im doing. ive got to turn things in Wed evening and at this point ive got LOTS to do. but it's something fun, and different from the daily routine. so it's exciting.

Friday, August 10, 2007

our trip

here are a few pictures from our trip to Portland, OR. We didnt take many photos along the way finding ourselves too busy with all the stops and starts.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


and I are always going back and forth about food. Last night we were getting ready to BBQ down at our community pool and she and I were packing up the supplies together. As I was loading the mustard, ketchup, and meat into the cooler I paused to steal a dill pickle chip out of the jar.

"Luxie, will you take just a little taste of pickle?" I asked. She has never tasted pickle and refuses to even smell it.
"No. I dont want to taste it."
"Look, it's delicious" I take a bite, "even Zaine will try it" I say and give a tiny bite to Zaine. She chews it for a minute, makes a sour face and spits it out. Thanks for the help baby girl.
"Someday will you try it?"
"Someday I will. Someday in a long, long time" she says.
"A long time, huh?"
"Yes, a long, long time. When I hear the trumpets sound (as in the second coming of Christ) I will taste a pickle" she says.
So yet another reason Im eagerly anticipating the return of the Lord...:)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

our journey

so just to get me motivated here, i am going to share our trip to the Northwest with you, although it may come in three parts because that is how the trip was divided.

im going to start out by telling you there was one overall theme to the trip...a huge lesson we learned along the way. that lesson was "Zaine does not travel well." we left home very early to catch our flight out of Atlanta to Seattle and things got off to a rough start because the Atlanta airport is a MESS. a DISASTER, i tell you, in major need of change. checking in at the kiosk is a piece of cake, it's the 2 hour security lines that kill you. im not kidding, the line was so long that they wrapped us in and out of the baggage claim area (as in snake like around each of the 8 circular belts that delivers luggage) and then down the main hall across the way and into another snake like formation that then divided you into 12 lanes that finally sent you thru the beeper! it was a FIASCO to the nth degree and i cannot believe a single person made their flight! Thank the Lord some person saw we had a stroller and sent us up to the second snake line after about 30 minutes cutting at least an hour off of our wait. Unfortunately we were sent to line 12 and they had a trainee on duty (why in the world they were continuing training with that many people in line i will never know.)

After finally making it thru security we had to catch the underground train to our gate and such and by the time we got there Zaine was a mess. She'd already been sitting for two hours between traveling to the airport and security, and she'd had it. Thankfully we only had a FOUR AND A HALF HOUR FLIGHT AHEAD OF US! the only flight we'd been able to get that worked with the dates we had to travel was the one straight across the country with no stops. Needless to say, by the time we boarded the plane and hit the skies, we were "that family". you know, the one with the hysterical child throwing herself in the aisle scratching at mom the first half of the trip. i thought to myself, "Lord, what have we gotten ourselves into! We haven't even gotten there yet!"

At some point she fell asleep and i think i heard a round of applause from the other passengers. We arrived in Seattle safe and sound and made our way to our favorite spot, the play area. Seattle has one of the best airport play areas ive ever seen in an airport or mall. The girls were thrilled (as were we) and we relaxed before our last short flight to my neck of the woods. Around 6pm (9pm Atlanta time) we arrived at my dad's and I think we were all passed out by 6:30! Thankfully, both girls slept thru the night the entire trip, an obvious blessing from God after that nightmarish flight out!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


yes, run quickly to your favorite movie viewing metroplex hole in the wall whathaveyou and see The Bourne Ultimatum. Wow. And i feel so ridiculous as a female saying this because for some reason i enjoy these films more than most of my female friends, but...wow. I loved it.

here goes

and here it is almost a month later...again! as boring as i thought this summer would be, im finding life with two girls, who seem to be running in overdrive most of the time, is very demanding. i cannot even find a moment to steal away to the computer until late into the evening and by then i am so tired of doing things i just sit for an hour and go to bed. the thing is i cant for the life of me figure out what im doing all day that is making me so tired other than listening to girls chatter away. Lux telling complex stories about her barbies, pollys, littlest pet shops, pictures she's drawn, or make believe world she lives in at the present, and Zaine doing her best to communicate thru toddler lingo, whines, tantrums, yelling, and what not. thankfully they do spend some amount of time playing together happily each day, which is a dream, but the bickering is more tiring than i ever thought it would be. my hat comes off to all the moms of the world. and dads too, of course, because they have to hear it too and most often are working hard to keep us all healthy and happy.

anyhoo, that wasnt my point! ive got two great girls and one great guy and i am very thankful for whatever time i have with them. but i do miss those days of having my own computer to sit down to whenever there was a dull moment and im looking forward to the day that happens again. nate is planning on getting a new computer because this ole one just isnt getting the job done anymore, so you know who's next in line for it! yes me! i will once again have my own laptop, whoopy! but until then i have decided to do something drastic.

im going to try to post once a day until the end of the month just to get back into the groove. this may be a lofty goal, but im up for something new, and Luxie will be starting school here soon so i will have more moments to spare in the near future. im excited about this, and hope to fulfill my goal. here goes....