Saturday, December 17, 2011

Addie peed all over my worship experience.

I personally believe that this could possibly describe all worship experiences had by parents of toddlers:

My child peed all over my worship experience.

She didn't literally pee all over it.  Afterwards.  On my newly-cleaned floor.  After bedtime.  And tracked pee down the hall.

Here's how it happened:  Tonight I went to Dawson's Candlelight worship service.  To say it was beautiful would be a vast understatement.  I've been before, but it's been a while and I don't remember loving it as much.  If you are in Birmingham tomorrow, Sunday the 18th, BE THERE.  I am often moved by music; it is one way that I enjoy worshiping.  I rarely cry, though.  Tonight the Holy Spirit used the music, the candlelight, my week, the old man singing "Silent Night" too fast and off key, and the random row of kids holding their candles awkwardly high to move me to tears.  Tonight I was reminded of why I used to live for singing.  I wish I could commit to something like a choir again.  But I digress...

Do you ever start doing "good" at something, and then let it go to your head?  That's me.  Always.  The moment I feel I can check things off my list, something changes - pride? arrogance? self righteousness? - takes over and I trick myself into believing I've accomplished something on my own.  When we moved here I was determined to be okay about all of it, but knew I would need the Lord's help.  I have been very specific to set my alarm early enough to do my quiet time before Addie wakes up and Brad gets home from his run.  I've really enjoyed reconnecting with college friend, etc.  I felt like the things I had done had made our move a success.  That, however, is where Satan sneaks in and takes root in our hearts in the form of bitterness.  For example...

This week has been more than a little iffy.  Brad's been gone all week and is coming home tonight.  (Yay!)  Addison is doing this somewhat new, super independent thing, and it has totally worn me out!   I am not unused to Brad being gone; as a youth minister in Pensacola, he was gone several weeks each summer.  Toddler Addison has made it considerably more difficult.  I also felt continuously more and more bitter about being alone this week, and away from our friends, and Brad's busy work schedule coming up, etc.  By Friday I was in one of those moods where you just want to stay on the couch watching (gasp!) Lifetime Christmas movies all day.  The Spirit did some talking to me yesterday and today.

I was certainly ready for and in need of a reminder of what Christmas is about!  When Addison and I got home from church I felt like a totally renewed person.  Then dinner (and throwing food) happened.  And after a shower she peed before I could get a diaper on her.  And tracked it down the hall.  In less than an hour and a half I was back to square one: not living as one in freedom and grace found in Jesus, but as one just barely making it through the day.

So now I am thinking in metaphors: pee = life.  Just as Addie's pee took me out of the "good" place the Holy Spirit had finally put me in, life can do the same to us.  We need to be on guard against the experiences that draw us away from our sweet Savior and the life He has for us.  To be on guard, we have to be in the Word, and remind ourselves that He is the creator of every good thing, attitude, experience.  In other words: I do nothing good on my own.  There are no words to tell how I wish this came naturally for me!

I heard a song tonight that was new to me: Joy, from Seed Family Ministry.  I could not write down the lyrics fast enough, but they were based out of Luke 2, when the Angel appeared to the shepherds and told them that Jesus would bring...

Joy that will be for all people....  Peace to men... on whom His favor rests.

It made me think about God's favor.  Oohh sigh.  How did I get this favor?  These many, many blessings?  Why was I lucky enough to?  Oh Lord, thank you for resting your favor on me!  Continue to do so.

Another song, That Night (Huff) made me think about how God the Father felt on Christmas.

And the Father rejoiced, for He did not lose His son, but regained those who had been lost. 

Imagine, God rejoiced that I was returned to Him, in spite of what it would cost Him.  Wow.

And now for the little toddler who "don't want too"...  Addison's newest phrase leads me to believe she doesn't want to do anything.  Ugh.
Waiting to see Santa....  She was not this excited when the moment came.

Caught eating oreo peppermint bark before we were finished.

Now may the joy that seems to pass us all by be yours this week as you celebrate a wonderful, Holy day.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

My one year old likes hummus!

My one year old loves hummus!  Right now I am sitting next to a very quiet - and very sticky - gal with lemon-garlic hummus all over her Christmas shirt.  Addie loves to dip things, apparently anything, into any kind of dip!  I believe this started with her eating waffles from her daddy's lap.  She would not (and still won't) eat waffles or toast or a biscuit plain, or with jam or peanut butter or honey or something on it.  She did however steal some of Brad's dipped in syrup, several days in a row.

That prompted me to offer her slices of waffles and a small cup of syrup the next day for breakfast.  The rest is history - it was a hit!  Addison loves to dip things.  She now has two breakfast choices in her vocabulary!  ("Cereeah" and "Waffwe") Yay!  That was about six weeks ago, and since then the dipping craze has included ketchup for anything, salsa (even the spicy stuff!), hummus and ranch dip.  I am always amazed when she eats hummus, and I keep trying to get her to choose more kid-friendly, although no less messy, dip options, such as peanut butter or cottage cheese.  Today I gave her some fruit, crackers, cottage cheese and hummus.  She took one look at the cheese and handed the bowl back to me, as if to say "that is too bland for me Mom." 
So every dip begins with a request from her for "seebop" or "kaybop."  Am I a bad mother if I do not correct these words?  It is too precious to listen to her request things in her toddler language.  I use the right words for most things.  When she calls a catepillar a turtle, I correct her.  When she points to a picture of a goat and "moos," I explain that it's actually not a cow she's seeing.  When she says "peas" or "gank ooo," I repeat with "Please" or "Thank you."  When she wakes up in the morning and calls out for "seebop," however, I am sincerly tempted to write the folks at Webster and request a new word be added to the 2012 dictionary.  Seebop: noun, for any kind of dip. 
Another new word too adorable to believe is beautiful: bweeeufull.  Last night Addison pointed up to the moon and looked at me to give her a word.  I told her it was the moon, and I pointed to the stars.  She did well pronouncing the words herself, and repeated them while we walked around outside in the dark.  She even pointed to a street lamp and called it the moon.  (Close, right?)  Before we came in she pointed at the moon again and said "bweeeufull."  Like that was part of the moon's name.  It's so amazing to be there as she sees things for the first time, and experience a part of her wonder and awe.  I pray I don't forget how awesome this time at home with her is; it's so easy to get frustrated and isolated and wish I were at work instead.  Especially in a new-ish town.
I believe I just saw her dip a strawberry in her hummus.  yuck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Things I forgot to enjoy...

Well, we have officially been Birminghamians (Birminghamites?) for one week.  We are over the stomach bug - phew! - have all the boxes stored or unpacked, and have moved stuff around in our kitchen 3 times.  Busy week!  As we have been running to the store (I have been to Wal-Mart 5 times in 7 days!), trying out the library, and exploring our house and neighborhood, I've been reminded of some things I forgot to enjoy while I had them...
1. Not-white kitchen and bathroom floors.  Seriously folks... who in the world ever thought that textured white linoleum in the kitchen was a good idea???  I am going to have to mop these things every day!

2. A quiet house.  I kinda thought our home in Pensacola was noisy.  NOPE!  Yesterday A woke up early from a nap.  In order to get her to go back to sleep I had to be completely silent: no drying my hair, starting dinner, watching TV, talking to the phone, or anything.  I didn't really appreciate how nice a quiet, non- squeaky-floor, -creaky-doors, well insulated house was!

3. A quiet corner lot.  I love, love the location of this rental.  We can literally walk one block to a pharmacy, coffee shop, ice cream shop, pizza place, Mexican food, BBQ, and shops!  It's so close to everything!  However, that means lots of traffic.  When the near-by middle school lets out, we get lots of kids in our front yard!  Poor Rosco is going to have blood pressure issues from barking!  The teacher in me almost came out yesterday when this chubby kid was walking back from the ice cream parlor and came within two feet of our front steps.  He almost walked right into A!  I considered giving him a "talkin-to," but thought better of it.

4. Play dates on rainy days.  I mean, I enjoyed these things every time we met with our friends.  This week it rained for two days straight... A and I thought we would go crazy!  We missed friends nearby we could meet to take up a few hours with.
Here are a few snaps from our last play date before leaving town:

 So I miss all the things I forgot to enjoy in Pensacola, and hope we find some of them again when we find a place of our own here in town.  In the mean time, we're coming up with a new schedule, which today involved keeping A up a little past her naptime.  She let me know when she was tired, though.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Or, as Addie would say "gobble gobble"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Downsizing Stinks!

Downsizing stinks!  Not for the obvious reasons - that you have less space.  I have no problem with a smaller living area, fewer rooms, and zero counter space.  I can function (barely) in a kitchen about 1/4 of the size of my kitchen in Pensacola.  I can deal with one bathroom, and even smaller closet space than before.  Brad and I are both organized and we can both be minimalists.  (Brad would probably disagree with this; my version of "minimal" is just not the same is his.)The reason I say "downsizing stinks" is because we don't have easy access to our stuff!  Some examples: We cannot find the lids to any of my pots and pans.  My favorite hurricane to use on our dining table is missing in action.  Brad's favorite coffee mug is stored somewhere.  I won't be doing a lot of Christmas decorating, to avoid getting all of it out.

We talked all of this out before leaving town, and I labeled as many things as possible for the movers: the china cabinet and bookshelves were marked "storage;" we moved anything we wanted access to out of the guest bedroom and let them store everything in there; etc.  The movers were great to mark things appropriately, but I think that things like lids and small pyrex dishes were put into boxes with other items to take up space... now I can't find them.  Poor Brad had our storage area organized so well until I made him take it all down to help me hunt for these silly lids!  We never found them, but Missy lent us a couple of hers to borrow.

I forgot how much I love the location of this street, though.  We can walk around the corner to wonderful restaurants and a coffee shop.  We are less than a mile from a great park and library and more shops and food.  Everything is so convenient.  We are considering rethinking where we want to buy when it comes time for that!

Other things to note: the dreaded Stomach Bug attacked on our way out of town.  Literally as the movers were loading our truck, Addison threw up.  Later that day, as I was driving up here, I felt worse and worse, and wanted to die by the time I was in Birmingham.  (You would to if you came that close to barfing in a stall in Wal-Mart on Lakeshore Drive... not exactly the cleanest toilet to be crouched over, if you know what I mean.)  Brad and Bob have thankfully avoided it, but the Bug still plagues Missy in Pensacola and me here in Birmingham.  A is getting acclimated to her new room and our home... the rainy weather today has forced that a little.  She suddenly says "gank oo" (or Thank you, in English) any time you hand her something - so sweet!  She and I tried out story time at the Homewood Library... she made it through one story, but is a little rambunctious for more than that.

Brad is ready to start work tomorrow!  He is excited to get re acclimated to Dawson and the Rec Center.  A and I are looking for some pre-Thanksgiving projects to keep us busy in our new little home!  Any ideas???

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

shout out

We are leaving town tomorrow.  The packers boxed up all of our belongings today, and will load them in a truck tomorrow; Brad and I will follow them north.  Sniff sniff.  I've been in denial about how sad this is for weeks! The first time I tell Addison we are going for a walk and she asks for "Amy, Will?" I will be sad.  When I tell her we are going to meet some friends and she says "Henrah?" I may cry.  When I ask her if she wants to go to the park and she says "Emma?" and I have to tell her we're going by ourselves, it will be lonely.  The first time she asks for Brammy I will definitely cry!  Not because I think we will never have friends to play with, or will be lonely for long, but simply because I am sad to not see some sweet folks every week.

I've written over and over on here about how I have been abundantly blessed by my friends, both here in Pensacola and in the past.  It feels a little cheesy to say this, but I don't express it very often.  I have been ministered to in a profound way, especially in the last year, and I am feeling like perhaps this next season in our lives will be a chance for me to love on others in the way so many have loved on us.  So I'm taking a few moments to give a shout out to some sweet friends who I am so sorry to leave behind.  (In true obsessive-compulsive fashion, I'm listing them in alphabetical order.)

Ali - I am so glad you were never mad that you gave me your phone number!  I sort of feel like we have not stopped talking since we met.  I love how fast you talk; how you refer to "Friends" characters as if they're your close, personal pals - it allows me to do the same; how you seek to honor your husby in all things; and how you love your students and want what's best for them. I love that we share a birth- month (well, really a week), and that we both enjoy celebrating the entire time with food.  Thanks for "getting" me.  I feel like we were meant to be friends.  I love your kid.  I love that you want a bunch of kids because, let's face it - they're just going to get cuter.  Can I selfishly wish Ben would want to go to UAB for med school?

Amy - Officially you've been my friend for a long time, but I don't feel like I really took advantage of you until the last year!  How much time I have wasted!  You are such a good, sincere friend.  You always remember everything that's going on with people, and are always so careful about checking up.  (How do you do this?  I am always in awe.)  I strive to be a friend like this.  You are tireless in your quest to be a good mom: you look for the best ideas or things for Will, and share whatever you find.  You are absolutely the best researcher I know.  If I ever have a question about any issue, you either already know an answer or you look high and low to find it.  Also, I love that I have my own etiquette expert... so perfect for a gal like me who knows little of these things.  You have always been like family for Brad, and I'm so thankful for Addie's "Aunt Amy!"

Frency & Jana - Ahh, my surprise friends!  How thankful I am for our mutual friends who got us to hang out together!  The stories you share about parenting and wifery are stuffed with wisdom and humor!  Thank you for always opening up, sometimes sharing too much, and being okay with me doing the same.

Gran-Jan - With my sweet in-laws in town who do so much for us, you would think I have no need for another mom figure in my life.  I am so thankful that you forced your way into that position, though!  You are so, so thoughtful.  I want to be the kind of person who shows up with soup whenever a friend is sick.  You and Glen are role models for Brad and I, and we love all three of your kids.  I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for your family.

Kara - I love that one of my friends has girls Addison's age!  I have so enjoyed getting to know you this year.  You want to do what's best for your kiddos, and never stop asking questions to try to find out why, how, or how to find something better.  Thanks for sharing your girls with me.

Leslie & Lindsay - Neither of you had any connection with me when we moved here, but you immediately opened your arms and I felt like I had known you forever!  You are such sincere friends, always quick with a prayer or word of encouragement or phone call to check up me.  I am so, so thankful to you for being generous with your time, love, encouragement, and prayers.

Lindsey - I love your laugh.  If anything tickles you the right way, you laugh all-out.  I want to live all parts of my life like this.  You just say what you think, and ask direct questions, and I am never caught off guard because I've come to be grateful for friends who talk about all these aspects of life ("I heard you were pregant?"  Haha!).  I like to think of you as an old "double friend:" Brad's friend from high school, mine from college, and ours together now.  I love your crazy kiddos, and hope that our babies can grow to be so close.

Missy - No, I can't really say I'm leaving my mother in law "behind;" I know you'll be looking for any excuse to come to Bham.  I can't list the ladies I'm going to miss without including you, though.  I tell people all the time how thankful I am for my in-laws, but do I tell you?  Yes, you raised and prayed for the man I love, but you also took me in and have always treated me as if I was your own child.  Since moving to Pensacola you have also become my good friend, and I am so thankful for our relationship.

Stephanie - How can you ask "what are my gifts?"  What a ridiculous question!  In the brief time I have known you, I have experienced first hand several unique and beautiful gifts that you share so frequently.  Leadership - you jumped right into our Sunday school class and we all followed suit!  You lead at so many other things, lovingly and with the rare combination of good ideas and follow through.  Hospitality - you open your home so often, make others feel comfortable whenever they're around you, and are a great cook.  You are a wonderful mother.  Honesty - I believe this is a gift, and I'm blessed to have several folks around me who have this gift.  I love, love, love having a friend who I can email about something God showed or reminded me, or a crazy thing I am nervous about, or something new we should pray for or against.  I have not had that in a while, and I am so thankful that you took the initiative to get this started.  Thank you for challenging me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our calling...

I've been thinking about this for some time now: what is "God's will" for our lives, or what is "our calling."  So often it sounds far-off, and long-term or permanent.  Why can't God's will, or my calling for that matter, be temporary?  I wondered that when I quit teaching; I assumed that if I was truly called into education then that's what I was supposed to do for life.  (Aren't I teaching now?  I teach constantly!  "Addie, that's a pumpkin."  "That sound is an airplane.")  Then I read an article that touched on this, and today we talked about it for a minute in our Sunday School lesson, so now it's on my mind...  Don't we have multiple callings in life???

Take my mom for example.  She is a gifted educator.  I don't know very many others who could work for so long with preschool special ed and not lose their touch.  That is one of her callings.  She is also our Mama.  She get's multiple phone calls each week seeking advice on everything from should I take my child to the doctor to what kind of cleaner do you use on your new counter tops.  She came to help me pack our house 3 years ago when we moved to Pensacola.  She is also a daughter.  Mom takes care of, listens to, shops for, and often has to ignore my crazy, ailing Tutu.  She helps lead a young adult Sunday school class, hoping to grow that population in their small church and looking forward to mentoring young couples.  Most of all my mom is a wife.  That is certainly a calling!  She has given up all sorts of things for the sake of my dad's job.  She's is supportive and loyal and loving.  If we asked my mom what her calling is, her answer might depend on what she's doing and who she's focusing on that day.

I guess what I'm saying is, what is your calling today?  This week?  This season in your life?  Several years ago it became clear to me that God has blessed me with husband who is a minister.  (I know that sounds obvious, but it took some banging my head against the wall for me to get exactly what that entails.)  This means that Brad is not mine alone, and our plans for our family, like all followers of Him, are not really ours to make.  As a part of that, I feel that I'm called to be Brad's supporter and encourager.  When he feels led to do something and go somewhere, God showed me that I am to pray for Brad, talk through changes and plans, and to be open to whatever.  Now please understand: this does not come easy for me!  I am a planner by nature; I like timelines and concrete calendars.  The Holy Spirit is making me available and willing to face this new adventure.  I am "called" to be open to squeezing into a tiny rental.  I am "called" to make the transition as easy as possible for Addison.  I am "called" to make this move as easy as possible for Brad, not making him feel guilty or wrong for wanting to follow the dreams God gave him.  For the past year or so I have been so blessed by friends who have ministered to me almost constantly.  Perhaps this move is to put me in a place to do some ministering to others?  I guess that starts with my family.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

leaps of faith

Well it's official: we are moving to Birmingham.  Want to buy a house???  The seller is VERY motivated!

In just two short weeks, we will be packing up this sweet home and unloading into a different (and much smaller) one.  We have been praying about this opportunity for months, so while it feels rushed right now, I have felt like the process has lasted forever!  We decided about six weeks ago that this is where God is leading us.  Ever since, we have had that decision confirmed over and over again.  It just became official last week, and now our move to the Dawson Baptist Church Recreation ministry is in the works.

Phew!  It has been a few years since I have had such conflicting feelings about an event inside of me!  I spent some serious time in prayer against this move.  I've said for a long time that being an Army brat is good preparation for becoming a minister's wife, but moving is never easy.  That said, the move itself is not what held me back for so long.  There are several things, the biggest being that a stay at home mom survives on play dates, parks, and mom-friends who share not only children but joys, fears, laughter, and (for me) a passion for serving God and their families.  (Actually I'm pretty sure all moms survive on those things, but you know what I mean.)  We have several friends in Birmingham still, but few who are on the same "page" in life that we are.  In spite of Scripture ("be anxious for nothing...")  I am anxious to see what Addie and I's days will hold.  Leaving our sweet friends and wonderful family had me praying for weeks that God would allow us to stay here in Pensacola for a little while longer.  He has drawn me out of that place, though, and into one where I am holding my breath and looking forward to new adventures.

And I am thrilled about the opportunity for Brad.  He served at Dawson before; we were married and he was ordained there.  More than that, Brad loves recreation ministry, and Dawson has one of the largest in the southeast.  He is so sad to leave the kiddos that we are so close to, but excited about being a part of a ministry like this.

So, with all of the pros and cons involved, we are taking this leap of faith to head back to Birmingham.  Last week when we drove up there to finalize some things and house hunt, I couldn't help but remember how I used to feel driving into town every year for college.  I love, love, love that city!  Uncle Lewis (a band from Samford when we were there) had a song that plays through my head anytime I just think about being there; it's like a soundtrack for me and the "Magic city," about coming to a place that feels like "home."  It may not feel like home when we pull into town on November 10th, but I am confident that God is faithful and it will soon.

I was reminded this morning during my quiet time that we've done this before: when we left Birmingham five and a half years ago I was not at all happy about it.  When we left Dothan I was upset about leaving my amazing friends, my wonderful job, and my sweet cheerleaders.  Each of those "leaps" has eventually led to a deeper faith, stronger marriage, and therefore a happier me.  I stress the word "eventually" because there were some serious trials in the mean time.  (I'll spare you most of the stories, but one involved a huge student backing me into a corner and asking if I wanted him to kiss me (he was later accused of raping a girl), and another student who was so pregnant in class that her belly got stuck under the desk, all in the same day.  Yikes!)  I do not doubt that this is where God is leading our family.  The "eventually" is what concerns me.

So until we leave I'm avoiding all of the unpleasant moving tasks by spending lots of time out and about.

More to come on the crazy life of the Gowings as we work on leaving town.  Happy Halloween!  Our gal's going to be a duck - of course she started refusing to say "Quack - Quack" about a week ago.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Month in Pictures

Good grief - it's been a whole month!  I had good intentions every week or so of updating this silly thing, but  each time thought of something else that needed doing, or was too lazy, or thought "who even looks at that stupid thing?" so I put it off, and now it's been a ridiculous long time!  Two people have mentioned it this week, though, so I need to update.
Hmm... what have we been up to?  Lots!  Here's our month in pictures:
Addison and I went to my NC to visit my family...
on our way to a "Hoe Down" at my grandmother's assisted living residence
with  Addie's newest cousin, Holmes

Favorite thing to do with Holmes?  Give him kisses!

Fewer toys at Rara's means we play with Mommy's makeup!
We got home to a long list of "to dos" around the house... I believe in fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning I guess!  We cleaned out the attic; Addison helped clean out my school boxes.

We went to the beach "one last time" this year.  Please check out the narly pig-tails.

Our friend Big A taught my "little A" how to give the "Stink Eye."  She does it well, huh?

We went to the zoo for the first time.  The Gulf Breeze zoo is kind of a hike from here, but it was so worth it!The pigmy (is that a word?) goats in the petting zoo area got a little out of hand... they practically over-ran our sweet kiddos and nosed through bags looking for food, and one crawled into my stroller!  It was hilarious!  And A has been making animal noises ever since!

I've also been taking monogramming "lessons" from Brad's mom. She has an embroidery machine and does such a good job on stuff for Addison, but I feel bad for always giving her "orders," when I know she has other things to do.  So she's teaching me how to use it!  Yay!  I'm a slow learner, but here are some things we've worked on:
I embroidered Holmesy's little pumpkins... which thankfully you can't tell are the
slightest bit crocked.  Missy did Addie's shirt.  So cute!

It started with this series of pants I made Addison, which turned out really great after a
couple of really dumb blunders on my part, haha.  Here are the brown cords...
Here are another pair of cords.  I took the extra fabric and appliqued this "a."
The backing of it is a little off, but you can't tell from the front.  Trial and error.

This is my favorite!  I guess Brad's mom technically made it, but I'm going to steal credit for the design!  I love the sweet colors and the Kath Cidston looking fabrics!

up close.  Notice the "vintage" stitches!
This whole monogramming thing could become a serious addiction for me!  Well, I need a room that I could close off and not see the mess when I wasn't working on something.  I don't have that right now, so I guess it's not too big of an issue.

Lets, see, what else is new???  Did I mention on here that I'm a rep for 31 Gifts?  I love their bags, and didn't know anyone else selling them, so I started a couple of months ago.  I've recently started my Christmas shopping and driven Brad through the roof with a few new bags for myself.  :)

Oh yeah - tomorrow is my birthday.  I turn 30 - woah!  The number does not bother me at all, but the gray hairs I keep finding in my bangs do.  Coloring my hair is simply not in the budget right now, so we'll just deal with a few stray strands.  :)  Add that to the list of things to try to be thankful for I guess, haha.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Middle of the Night woes

So, I've been up since 1:47am.  Ugh!  I am feeling okay right now, but am afraid that at 3 o'clock today, as I'm getting on our second flight of the trip, I'm going to want to kill myself.

One thing on my mind, among many things, this morning was an article I read last night in the August Home Life before going to bed.  In "Stripping the Veneer," Casey Avenriep talks about what it takes for a Christian to truly be authentic with people in our culture where looks and image matter so much.  A quote from the opening paragraph caught my attention:

Why is it so difficult for me to be authentic, to admit failure, to boldly defy worldly standards, and to cry out to God for help in the process?  Could it be that I desire acceptance more than I do obedience? 

Good questions.  They should have come out of my mouth first!  He sights reading a book called Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society, by Willard and Locy as being inspirational and challenging.  (Maybe I found a new book to wreck my world?  I'll have to hunt it down.)  If we as Christians are called to be not of the world but in it, and to be Christ's hands and feet, how is it that my life seems at times a little "cookie-cutter"?  I lay awake last night thinking about parts of my life where I need to be more honest, more authentic, more deliberate in my conversations.  At first look, I thought "well, I'm pretty honest with these people," and that's true: I am basically an open book.  I talk about how dirty my house really is, how I picked a fight with my husband, things that frustrate me beyond belief, and when the last time I washed my hair with some people, particularly my friends.  I thought about why that is.  I have a few friends who I believe will love me no matter what I say - even when I admit to being hateful towards someone.   (I am thankful to you, by the way, more than you know.  I need to say it more often, but I'm so thankful to have people to share my life with.)

I guess that's the problem at hand, then isn't it:  Are we afraid of not being loved?  Are we afraid of judgement?  Are we afraid of not meeting the standards we believe others have set for us?  Or the standards we've set?  Do we imagine that if we don't look or act or behave a certain way, then we can't be a part of a certain group?  If I lose face and people see how I really am, will they want to be around me?  I think all of these things fall into play.  Oh when all these things were running through my mind (at 2:30) I became so disheartened!  I know I am guilty of not showing love in all circumstances!  Whether by a look or a comment, to someone I know or a stranger in Publix, I have passed a quick judgement and moved on, instead of pausing and listening and loving someone.  I am called to show Jesus to people!  As He loves my soul, I am called to love others'.  What a poor lover of souls I am.

I finally got out of bed at 5 and got my Bible and study book out.  As I sat over orange juice and the Word, I thought about all the places my mind wandered in the middle of the night.  It crossed my mind that maybe I needed to spend time thinking about those things.  Lately my quiet time has been hurried and less than ideal.  Perhaps because I did not set time aside yesterday (or all week) for prayer, the Lord set aside some time for me.  When I think about it like that, it's pretty cool that the God of the Universe woke me up last night to deal with me on some things.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!

I am fully aware that it is still summer, according to both the calendar and the weather.  (The shorts on my legs testify to that, too.)  However, as fall is one of my four favorite seasons (haha), I need to enjoy it for much longer than the weather allows me too!  That means I plan to bake pumpkin-butter bars, and I've already gotten my pumpkin decorations out, appliqued a cute pumpkin on a shirt for Addie, and lit a "fall harvest" candle!  To all those things Brad said "oh goody."  He's such a stick-in-the-mud!

Speaking of Brad: this week he celebrated his 31st birthday.  What an old man, right???  I ragged him about it for a little while, asking him how it felt to be "in your thirties," (you know, as opposed to just thirty) etc.  That, however, lost its entertainment value when he reminded me that I'll turn 30 in October... boo Brad.  Seriously, though, I'm not one of those people who's fretting over it.  Now the gray hairs in my bangs, on the other hand, I have a problem with!

Tomorrow Addison and I will travel to visit my family.  I'm super stoked about the trip, but am VERY anxious about the flight!  Way more so than I have been the other 3 or 4 times we've flown.  I feel like I need to be more relaxed, but my gal hasn't been acting normal - teething or something -  so I'm a a bit on edge about it.  If you read this before Thursday, or before our return flight on Tuesday, pray for us!  I can't wait to see my sister and her sweet baby, Holmes (which Addison says like "How-wes"), and our brother Drew, and of course our parents!  Rara and Grandaddy are ready, I'm sure, to have their home invaded by their kiddos, and a one year old who has just pulled out every single pot and pan I own... good grief!
I love this picture.  She's not wearing anything cute - a $3 shirt from Target I think - and her hair's a mess and she's got drool everywhere, but it's just so her!  I was trying to get a picture of Addison with the swiffer (the new favorite toy), and when she saw the camera she threw the swiffer down and raced towards me to ham it up!  She's so ridiculous!  Every day I'm amazed at her sweet, pleasing spirit, and the love she wants to shower on Brad and I.  Now, don't get me wrong: we have our moments, but I'm in awe of the blessing she is, even on days like today when she's been a bit fussy, I've got packing to finish, and all she wanted to do was pull the suitcase down off the bed!  I'm praying that as she gets older and I get more used to this motherhood thing, that Brad and I will have wisdom and discipline to raise a godly daughter, I will continue to recognize her for the blessing she is, and I'll be more ready to accept help on days when I need it, haha.

Does this ad make you cry?  I just looked at it for the first time today, and it is ridiculous!  I love it!  Check it out.

All of that said, Happy Fall Y'all!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

child neglect

So, I don't think you can see the results thus far, but I've totally been neglecting my sweet child.  It started with AMC's "Mob Week," about a month ago.  I kept "The Godfather" and other fabulous film classics on tv while she and I played, for about a week.  (How wrong is that???  On a scale of 1-10, I'm pretty sure letting a 13 month old see the scene with the horse's head in the dude's bed is a 17.)

Then I started a novel while we were on a road trip.  (note: I was not driving.  We were stow-aways last week with Brad's folks on a trip to see the ever-growing McPherson clan in West Palm Beach.)  I handed Addison some "car toys" while I opened Lisa See's Shanghai Girls - FABULOUS!  When my gal finished with one toy, I passed her another, and on it went... anything for me to be able to keep reading.  I was sucked in!  I stayed up late several nights reading, and finished on the drive back home.  Then, to make matters worse, I convinced my wonderful mother-in-law to download the sequel on her Kindle so I could start it in the car.  ALSO FABULOUS!

Then I started looking at  How have I not seen this before?!?!?  Have you looked?  You should.  I don't care who you are or what your hobbies are, that is a fun site!  Yesterday I was literally on it for hours.  Before I went to bed, I'd basically designed my dream house from other people's pins!  How ridiculous.  I've got things to do around my house (walk the dog, do the laundry, ENTERTAIN ADDISON), and projects I want to get started on (a new pattern for pants for Addie, refinishing a desk, etc.), but all of these things sit un-finished or not done so I can sit and look at other people's plans.

All I'm saying is, don't call DCF on me.  My father in law threatens to do that every time Addison has a new bruise.  So, daily, haha.

We did enjoy some time with the nephews last week.  Will, Matt, and Ben started school, and we got to see a football game.  The baby, Jake, is huge and adorable and so sweet; he and Addison passed toys and spoons and germs back and forth.  Addison's new word is "Aunt B," so Britton's even more in love with our gal than before.  Every time Britton has a new kid, he's cuter and smarter than the one before... I can't wait to meet the new one that's on the way!  Maybe we'll have a little girl cousin for Addie???

Friday, August 12, 2011

On a wing and a non-prayer

I just re-read my last post, and I have to admit something: that day was rare.  All those "Prayer" inserts do not happen frequently.  When I just read that I thought "how arrogant; you don't do that all the time."  Case in point, Wednesday, when this happened:
My down-the-street neighbor, Lynn, was in our yard with her boxer, Scout.  Rosco and Scout were playing, chasing each other and practically knocking Lynn and I over.  (That's just what happens when two big dogs are owned by two small people.)  Addison was just standing on the driveway watching, laughing at the dogs, and barking at them.  Cute, right?  Well, the dogs got closer and closer, and I stepped in front of Addison when Scout ran by, but didn't even think to when Rosco came bounding towards us.  Rosco nicked her shoulder and she hit the pavement face-first, with her arms out behind her.  There was blood - so much blood!  And screaming (Addison), and running (me), and barking (the dogs), and crying (both of us).  Lynn ran in front of me into the house and got ice and towels and helped me figure out where the blood was coming from.  She told stories about her kids and their multiple facial injuries, and sang to Addison, and prayed out loud.  Not like, "okay, I'm going to pray. 'Dear Jesus'..."  In the middle of her sentence, while I was on the verge of tears and saying "what do I do? what do I do?"  Lynn just said "Sweet Jesus!  Make her feel better and help it stop bleeding!"  She simply cried out, then went on with her story.  It didn't even occur to me to pray.  In fact, I was surprised by hers.  That makes me embarrassed of myself.  I'm ashamed to admit that an acquaintance from down the street thought to pray for my child before I did.  The entire situation was so beyond my control, and while I was scurrying around trying to fix it and help my daughter, prayer didn't even cross my mind!  It did the other day, during the "small" things that happened, but not during this.

After several minutes, Lynn went back outside to track down our dogs.  I called Brad's mom to come check it out, then called the pediatrician.  That afternoon, Addison was back to trying to chase Rosco.  She looks a lot closer to normal now, and I'm trying to be a little more careful.  I'm so thankful for three things: (1) Lynn was there and taught me something.  (2) My mother in law lives close by.  (3) Kids are resilient and have short memories.

I finally finished Francis Chan's Forgotten God.  (Folks in Pensacola, it will be back in the FBCP library on Sunday for you to check out!  Sorry I've had it all summer.)  Something Chan writes in the last chapter struck me as important, and in light of my lack of prayer when I know it's power, applicable to me this week:

     "Our Scriptures teach that if you know what you are supposed to do and you don't do it, then 
     you sin (James 4:17).  In other words, when we stock up on knowledge without applying it to 
     our lives, we are actually sinning.  You would think that learning more about God would be a 
     good thing... and it can be.  But when we gain knowledge about God without responding to 
     Him or assimilating His truth into our lives, then it is not a good thing. According to the Bible it's sin."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A day in the life with a one year old

These days are hectic!  If I plan to get even half of the things on my "list" accomplished, I rarely stop to take a breath.  I feel like even on laid back days, when I don't have anything on the calendar, Addison keeps us (or me) running.  When I used to think about what motherhood would be like, I envisioned learning a lot about prayer when my kids were older, like in the terrible twos, or as teenagers or something.  Instead, I'm learning about it now.  The whole "pray without ceasing" thing is becoming necessary.

Today was one such day.  We played at the house longer than we usually do in the morning.  Before 8:00, every piece of tupperware I own was on the floor, as well as all of the pots and pans, the trashcan, trashbags, and the box of coffee I keep in the pantry.  Prayer.  Addison took all of her books out of her bookshelf in her nursery.  Prayer.  She took the blankets off the shelf in her closet while I was putting the books up.  Prayer.  Then she took the books off the shelf while I was putting the blankets up.  WHAT???  Prayer.  

We met some friends at the Naval Aviation Museum on Pensacola NAS.  If you're in the area and haven't checked this out, you should!  Addison's new word is "airplane" (which actually sounds like "aipai"), so that made it a little more fun.  We walked around the museum and the kiddos were good in their strollers for almost an hour.  The museum has a neat play area for little kids, with a slide and pretend airplanes.  The area for tiny ones had a one-year-old size steering wheel and buttons (Addison's favorite toys all have LOTS of buttons).  Of course, these three munchkins were not satisfied with the little kid toys; they wanted to climb up the stairs with the big kids and tackle the scary stuff.  (I actually laughed at my friend Stephanie and I as we broke the rules to follow our kids around; no prayer needed, just a good friend.)  Addison and her two friends Henry and Clayton played there for a while, with the mommies scurrying and crawling after them, before we sat them down for a quick lunch and headed home.  (Now, a "quick lunch" included her not eating half of what I brought for her, and screeching while trying to crawl out of the stroller.  Prayer.)  It was a great inside activity for the day!

Nap time did not go so well: Addie fell asleep in the car and did not transfer into the house.  She sang and played in the crib for an hour or so, while I stewed about how the rest of the day would be tainted by a sleepy baby.  Prayer.  I had just gotten some things done when Addison's singing turned in to "maaamaaa," so it was on to the next activity: get Rosco to go outside.  (He's been on an outside strike lately, since it's so hot.)  This involved Addison walking towards the street, stepping on an ant bed, and Rosco refusing to come back.  Prayer.  Then off to the grocery store, and home.

Running away from Mommy, naked except for the
towel on her head.

This is actually from yesterday; she threw every single piece
of green beans on the floor during dinner!

This is what I saw after I put her to bed.  Please note the
scooter standing upside down.  How did that even happen?
I guess what I'm getting at with all of this, is that I'm learning that we're constantly being prepared for what's to come.  I can only imagine how many tiny prayers I'll have to say when my sweet, loving, independent red-head turns up the volume on her temper tantrums, and pitches toddler-sized fits in Target, and one day (gasp) breaks curfew.  Or if / when there's two of them tag-teaming on the whole pulling blankets and books out.  Haha!  Crazy fun.
Right now it is thundering and lightning and the electricity just flashed and I wish Brad was here.  Prayer.  There's water seeping under my backdoor.  Augh!  Prayer.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What a day!

So, my heart has gotten quite a workout today.  It started out fairly normal: I had several errands to run this morning and a gym class planned.  We walked into the living room to find a HUGE ROACH in the kitchen!  In case you don't know, I freak out over the three "Rs" - rodents, roaches, and reptiles (and amphibians, but that's a different story).  He was upside down, so I thought it was dead.  I was in the process of scooping him up with a big cup (I can't touch it, of course), when his legs started going and he tried to run away!  I screeched and grabbed the broom from the garage to sweep him out.  Once I got him in the broom, he, of course started crawling up the handle towards me!  I am glad it was just Addie and I at the house, because I'm sure I looked outrageous: I was hopping from one foot to the other, in my pajamas, trying to get the broom out of the house, while holding it as far away from me as possible.  By the time I got that stupid, disgusting, enormous roach outside and dead, both Rosco and Addison were considering leaving... probably together.  They're the cutest pair; I'm sure they could find some nice, sane woman to take them in and love them.  (By the way, I killed it by banging the broom handle against the house; I'm pretty sure the neighbor saw and also thinks I'm nuts.  Get in line.)

That is crazy, you might think.  Maile is nuts.  You'd be correct.  But it got worse... way worse.  After the Roach Incident, I made breakfast and sat down with Addison.  We finished and I cleaned her up.  I'd just poured my coffee and put Addie down to play.  I turned around to go back and grab my coffee when I saw it: A TINY BABY LIZARD!  What?  Two of the "big three," and I hadn't even had my coffee to cope yet!  It wasn't even 7:30!  Back to the broom!  (Because although they gross me out, how can you kill a lizard?)  This poor, unintelligent thing was trying to blend into the rug; close, little guy, but not quite.  I moved all the chairs, and tried to gently sweep him towards the door.  After a few minutes of slowly getting closer and closer to outside,  I must have hit him too hard, because his tail came off!  Seriously - there was a tiny, tiny, wriggling thing about two inches from the actual lizard, who was too stunned to move for a second.  So was I!!!  Again,  there was screeching and hopping... way more than with a simple in-tact roach.  Addison thought I was dancing and started swaying with me.  It eventually took a cup and a large envelope to get that stupid little thing outside.  Then I had to hunt down his tail.  GROSS!
I'm pretty sure my sweet gal thought I was possessed this morning.  Then again, she might think that every day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

the Holy Spirit at work...

You know that saying "God works in mysterious ways."  Well, sometimes He doesn't.  At least sometimes he doesn't speak in mysterious ways.  Good grief.  I've mentioned that I'm reading Francis Chan's Forgotten God. (Yes, I'm still reading it... it's taking me a while.)  The chapter + that I read today has totally kicked my butt!  I lost my place, so I re-read some stuff that I totally needed to read/learn/be reminded of today.  If you're like me and the "little things" can sometimes dictate how your day goes - a fussy baby, a dog with allergies, a messy house, a question about the future, a disagreement with your husby, a doubt that you're making the right decision for your child- then some of this is for you too:
from Chapter 5 "A Real Relationship"
"This is the Spirit of God choosing you and me to be His dwelling place.  That means... the Spirit of the living God is inside me.  I might wake up on a particular day feeling physically tired or stressed or impatient, and humanly speaking, those things would probably define my day.  But the reality is that I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  And because of this reality, stress and tiredness and impatience don't have to define my day.

"If you have received by faith the promise of the Holy Spirit, you are also His temple.  As you drive your children to school.  As you go to work every day.  As you embark on a new, unknown season.  As you face tragedy and pain.  As you buy groceries.  As you give of yourself in relationships.  As you walk the dog.  As you make decisions.  As you live your life, the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you."

So, I guess that means I should be folding laundry and mopping the floors with vigor, instead of begrudgingly?
from Chapter 6, "Forget About His Will for Your Life"
"There are very few people in the Scriptures who receive their life plan from God in advance (or even their 5-year plan, for that matter). Consider Abraham who was told to pack up his family and all his possessions and start walking... A lot of us need to forget about 'God's will for my life.' God cares more about our response to His Spirit's leading today, in this moment, than what we intend to do next year.  In fact, the decisions we make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree to which we submit to the Spirit right now, in all of today's decisions."

Does that make you think "wow"?  It does me.  In fact, it stops me in my tracks.  I get caught up daily in the stuff around the house, whether or not Addison needs more sleep or more to eat, whether I have a God-honoring marriage, whether I should go to the gym or take Addie to the park.  I'm not sure I've ever considered those in the scope of God's immediate, here-and-now will for my life.  When I pray, I pray for future stuff; Addison's salvation, my marriage, our future kids, our future ministry, etc.  I pray for immediate needs I know about, but not like Chan's talking about.  
I definitely needed to read this today.  I hope it means something to you, too.

I have a one year old.  Addison is amazing.  She tries to repeat everything: words, animal noises, Rosco's barks.  She's walking all over the place, trying to tell us what she wants, and being specific with how she plays with her toys.  I can't believe that only a few months ago she could barely sit up.  Now she's a healthy, happy, smart toddler.  Time flies when you're having fun.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I can't believe it's July!

I can't believe it's been a whole month since I last took the time to sit still and write something down!  So many "little" things take up my days and it's like I blink and a week has gone by!  Seriously; I have good intentions to do a lot of things every day, but it doesn't work out.  I might put on my work out clothes, and find myself work-out free 6 hours later; or get the exercise ball out for crunches, and wind up using it as a toy with Addie instead; or I start separating the clothes to do laundry, but when the gal comes in to play with the dirty clothes I sit down and play with her... yes, it's gross.  Oh well.

June was such a busy month.  It started with a week at the beach with my sweet in-laws and 4 nephews.  I would argue with almost anyone that I have the best in-laws, hands down.  They have always gone out of their way to treat me like I was their daughter/sister, and they go out of their way to include me in lots of things that Brad can't attend.  This summer was a great example: Brad was in Arizona for a class, but the Gowings insisted that Addison and I take up precious space in the condo they were in for the whole week!  (With 4 boys, space was in high-demand, haha.)  In fact, my sweet father in law took the "big boys" (ages 6, 5, and 3) camping in his RV every night so there would be plenty of sleeping room. 

Addison enjoyed the beach - she LOVED the sound - and the pool every day.  It turns out our gal is part fish!  She crawled right into the water when I let her, put her face in at every opportunity, and drank what I'm sure is entirely too much chlorine and salt water... her diapers testified to that.  I had a great time too; I got to catch up with my good friend and sis-in-law, Britton, got a little sun, spent time with my 4th nephew, Jake (who is 4 months younger than Addison but bigger!) and I was proposed to.  My 3rd nephew, Ben, asked if he could kiss me on the lips and marry me!  That little guy certainly has my heart!  I told him that I couldn't marry him because I already had a husband, Uncle Brad.  Ben thought about that for a few minutes, and told me that "he been gone a long time" so it was okay to marry him instead.  Is that the best, or what?

Vacation Bible School was next... "B-b-b, b-b-b, big apple adventure..."  is still ringing through my head!  My sweet boss for the past 6 months, our children's minister, is retiring.  This is her 24th year at First Baptist Church, and she has led the ministry to grow and change with the times.  She has such a heart to bring children to the Lord.  That probably sounds like an obvious statement (shouldn't all childrens ministers?), but she goes above and beyond to make the Gospel understandable and accessible to children and their families.  She's great at reading people - of all ages - and meeting their needs.  I have learned so, so much from her, about ministry and ministers, about children and how to show them love, about God and different ways to share Him with those around us, even those who already know Him.  She is so quick to give the Holy Spirit credit for all that He does.  I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know her and learn from her. 

My sweet sister is a mommy.  Her father's day present to her crazy husby was a new baby boy - William Holmes Morel Jr. - Holmes.  Isn't he so sweet looking???  I just can't wait to get my hands on him!  Addison and I are making the drive up to meet him this week... please pray for long naps and an easy traveler for me on Sunday!

July will be an even busier month!  We start off with our trip to meet Holmes, and the 4th.  Addison's birthday party will be on the 9th, and we'll be visiting with my mom.  And Brad will be busy, busy, busy with youth stuff this month!  I hope to make a trip up to Birmingham before the summer is over to see some friends, but we'll see.

Addison turns 1 in just a few days.  I am simply in awe of how fast time has flown by.  She's walking a little more, and is so expressive!  Every time we repeat something she watches our lips and mimicks the movement with her own, whispering her version of whatever the word is.  She says all sorts of important things in her "language" that I can't understand, and makes sure we know she's talking to us too!  She dances whenever she hears music; you should see her little hips shake.

God is busy with me, too.  I've been reading Francis Chan's Forgotten God, on the Holy Spirit and how modern Christians don't fully enjoy or experience all that He is for us.  If you have never read or listened to Chan, DO SO NOW!  God has blessed him with this incredible way of calling out his readers in very personal ways.  He uses scripture, respected theologians, and his own experiences to teach truths.  Here are some examples:

If it's true that the Spirit of God dwells in us... shouldn't there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God and the person who does not? (Chan)

The Christian's life in all it's aspects – intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness – is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all.  (J.I. Packer) 

What would your church (and the worldwide body of Christ) look like if everyone was as committed as you are? If everyone gave and served and prayed exactly like you, would the church be healthy and empowered? Or weak and listless? (Chan)

Re-read that last one.  Slowly.  I am praying that the Holy Spirit shows me what I should be doing.
Happy Fourth of July!  Check out my little Patriot...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Word count...

Addie is getting bigger by the second!  No, I'm not kidding: I watched her on the video baby monitor today (while she was supposed to be napping; joke's on me) and she was significatly taller, when compared to the side of the crib, than just a few days ago!  I feel like I've blinked and missed the entire spring... now it'll be June, then July, and I will have a one year old.  Where has the time gone?  This must be what it feels like for the rest of parenthood: a strange mix of excitement at watching your child grow and do and learn, and nostalgia for her to come snuggle up in your lap for a few more minutes. 
Word count: 7.  That's right, SHE CAN SAY 7 WORDS!  Now, please do not come ask her to say them; she absolutely refuses to do anything on command any more (she's like Brad).  But these are the words we've heard her say: mama, dah dah, bye-bye, bop (for Pop, Brad's dad), yit (for light), baba (for baby, her doll), duh (for duck), and today she pointed at Rosco and said "rah."  I think that counts.

I tried to get some shots of this couple together; it's hard.  She's always trying to kiss him (which involves putting his gross hair in her mouth), and he's trying to make sure she doesn't grab his whiskers or tail.  He's so good and gentle with her around; I turned around the other day to find her hand in his mouth (yikes!), but he just stepped backwards.  She gets so excited to see him, no matter what.  I'm kind of surprised "Rosco" wasn't her first word. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

a "best" friend

I have a sweet, sweet friend Denise who is possibly the best friend I've ever had.  Not like "my best friend" - that girlish thing we tend to do where we put friends into levels of importance, to describe a person who I tell everything to and is my closest friend.  She is simply, legitimately a good friend.  We met at church in Dothan, and in the two short years we lived there we became very close.  Since then we talk regularly and visit about once a year.  Yes, she's someone I share a lot with, who I ask to pray for me when I need it.  She knows me well, and - maybe just as important - she knows my husband well and understands our relationship.  Denise is so good at being a friend and showing love.  She reads people well - what they need and whatnot - so well, in fact, that as a women's ministry in our old church, she and a few other women have assigned groups of women to each other for mentoring.  When Brad and I sold our house in Dothan and we had to move out ourselves, Denise showed up at my house with boxes and tape.  My mom was helping me pack - Brad had to work - and Denise arranged dinner for us and stayed for an entire two days while we worked furiously to get it done!  At the time she had a 1 year old, so I know she had to scramble to find someone to watch her baby.  She is selfless like that.  I pray that I have a chance to be as good a friend to her one day.
Denise brought her two girls into town earlier this week, and we had a great time!  Mary Selwyn is almost 4 and Adeline is 2.  We played at the park, the girls "performed" on my fireplace "stage," and we went to the beach.  What a great start to the week!

Addison was enthralled by the big girls, as she always is by other kiddos.  I'm not sure she'd call them her "best friends" though... today that title seems to go to her daddy's foot - gross!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's tough being the center of attention...

Not me; Addison.  Not to brag, but I often think that my kid is the coolest thing ever.  (Although at this moment she's fake-crying in her bed because she doesn't want to take a nap.  This part is not cool.)  Apparently other people agree.  It seems like everywhere we go people are so considerate and nice and loving towards Addison... even on an airplane where she bugged the woman next to us and fussed for the entire 40 minute flight, our neighbors were very accommodating.  Folks in restaurants comment or smile at us; while walking through a grocery store, people stop to wave back at Addie - she can be very persistent. 

Last weekend Brad, Addison, and I flew to Charleston to meet my family and celebrate my brother's graduation from college.  Between the commissioning ceremony (Drew is now a 2nd Lt. in the US Army - that's crazy!), a parade during a rain storm, a long fancy dinner, graduation, and lots of time in the car, Addie sat threw a lot of not-fun stuff for her!  She was so good.  She was not actually the center of attention - after all the weekend was about Andrew.  She did get a lot of love and attention.  Well, I guess everyone did. 

With the exception of a very stuffy waiter Saturday evening - who obviously was not used to kiddos and looked nervous the second we asked for a high chair - people everywhere were accommodating.  I really expected to get dirty looks and to be one of a few babies around all this college graduation stuff, but there were a lot of babies.  Addie was pretty great.  She didn't sleep a lot, and it caught up with us on the way home on Sunday.  Happy Mother's Day to me.  :)  It was a yuck way to end a fun, short weekend.  Too short to enjoy my parents and grandparents, and to watch my goofy brother-in-law torture my pregnant sister, and to ship my brother off to his life in the Army.  Sigh. 

We worked on Addison's immune system for a few hours Sunday, as she crawled and walked all around the Atlanta airport.  Speaking of the airport: I had a hard time finding a TV that was showing the news.  I thought that was weird; they usually have tons of TVs with CNN or something on throughout the terminal.  When I got home and realized that there had been 3 planes diverted due to suspected terror alerts, I was first thankful that it wasn't one of the planes I had been on, then amused that the ATL folks apparently were nervous about what we passengers would do if we heard about terror threats.  I guess they thought we'd revolt or something.  Funny, but in an ironic way.