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Jul 29, 2013

My People

These are my people. 

My God loving, music loving, beer loving, gifted, powerful, funny, awesome friends. 

I love these people. 

Yesterday was our last Sunday to play all together before Jamie and Will leave for their exciting new adventure in Nashville. 

It was a good Sunday. 

My mind was all over the place as we played our first song.  I was thinking of the band, of other friends, of our house, of about a thousand other things.  I said a quick prayer when I realized I wasn't feeling it.  I didn't want to miss my last Sunday hugging Jamie's melodies because my brain was floating around in an abyss of worries and fractured thoughts.  God heard me, because suddenly my mind was back in my body.  I felt every word and heard every note everyone sang and played. I was present in those last moments with this group of people.  And it was so good.

Then I cried, which isn't unusual for me. :) 

There were a few tears of sadness, but more so there were tears of gratitude.  Gratitude for having these last couple of years to sing with Jamie and, because of her, living out a passion of mine, meeting and loving all of these people, strengthening my relationship with God, and finally truly belonging to a church. 

Gratitude is a beautiful thing. 

Our band has a new lead singer and is looking for a new drummer.  And we will play on.  It will be awesome and fulfilling and beautiful to continue to lead people to feel fun and depth and freedom and emotions at church.  It won't be the same, which isn't to say it won't be great.  Just different.  And new.  Which I meet with equal parts anxiety and excitement. 

Jamie and Will head to Nashville soon to study and work and play music and make a life together. I will miss them too much to properly express and hope for them every happiness and success mixed with great times and good people and, always, heaps of love.

Jul 23, 2013

Forcing Fun

Why are my children crying about jumping on our trampoline?

"Why are you making us do this?", Sammy just cried as he sulked in to our backyard. 


I tell you why I'm forcing them to play on our super awesome trampoline.  They (Sam particularly) have been suffering from pent up energy with the rain keeping them confined to the indoors. They're like a couple of caged wild animals.  I'm not exaggerating.  Last night, for instance, Sam was spinning around in circles, laughing maniacally, and then proceeded to run himself into every wall in our living room.  It was like some kind of fenced in beast trying to find a weak spot in the perimeter. 

So obviously, any spare rain-free moment we have I make them go outside to burn off some energy.  It's either that or I'm dropping them off at Goodwill. 

I think forcing fun is the better option.


Jul 16, 2013

On Salt Fork Lake...

(Picture stolen from my sister's blog)
My parents (isn't that the best photo of rented a pontoon boat and, on Saturday, took our family and Lori and two of her boys out on Salt Fork Lake for a day of boating and tubing and fishing.  And, oh, what fun we had.  The weather was perfection with big fluffy clouds and the bluest sky, no humidity and lots of sun.  It was a scene straight from On Golden Pond (one of the best movies ever...EVER). 
The kids couldn't have had a better time.  Sam went tubing, pretty fast sometimes, all by himself.  Which made me so proud.  And a nervous wreck.  But mostly proud.  The nervous wreck part of my brain recalled an On Golden Pond image of Kathrine Hepburn's character, Ethel, gracefully diving off Charlie's boat into Purgatory Cove to rescue her Norman and Billy.  Only I wouldn't be as beautiful and graceful in real life.  And Sam was wearing a life vest.  And he wasn't as old.  But you get my drift.  I was ready to rescue.
Thankfully no rescuing was needed.  Sam was very brave and strong and you couldn't wipe the smile off that boys face. 
Lena went tubing twice with Rich.  But the last time she announced that she was going in "dat ting by myself".  What?  My three year old all alone in the giant orange tube in the middle of the lake??  Kathrine Hepburn rescue images came flooding back into my brain.  Oy.  But since Lena had worked up her courage to do it and was flexing her independent big girl muscles, we gave it a go.  A very, very slow and gentle go.  With Rich and I both poised to dive in to retrieve her.  But, again, no rescuing was needed and she was so happy and proud. 
Everyone was just so relaxed and happy, a little mood music in the background, beautiful nature all around, food, laughing, fishing, playing.  I've never seen so many purely genuine smiles in one boat.
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for one of the best days ever!  EVER.  :)




Jul 11, 2013

What's For Dinner?

Tonight is another straight from the garden meal for us.  And I have to share because I'm pretty darn proud.  I mean, I'm not really a gardening kind of girl.  And just look at this, all picked just this morning.
Which I'm going to make into this. has never steered me wrong with sweet scones, so I'm excited to try her savory recipe.  I'm adjusting a little with the fresh herbs we've grown (basil and thyme), but that's part of the fun of baking, right?
And look!  More green beans.  I think this is the last batch.  And it's a pretty good mix of the right size (thanks for the tip, Lori) mixed with those I left on the plants too long.  But I think it will be great cooked in the crock pot all day with some scallions (also from our garden), bacon and prosciutto, chicken broth and a tiny bit of white wine (used to deglaze the pan after frying the bacon and scallions-one of my favorite ways of adding flavor). 

Gardening and making this fresh beautiful food for my family makes me feel happy, makes me feel connected to God.  Like I'm part of his big picture.  Picking all of this from plants that grew up from tiny seeds in some dirt reminds me how smart he is and how he loves and provides for us. 

And we all know that I'm so lame that, while picking this bounty from our backyard this morning (still in my pajamas-don't judge), I was singing "Oh, the Lord is good to me.  And so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need: the sun and the rain and the big green beans!" 

Shark Teeth

Don't judge.
Tuesday was Sam's very first visit to the dentist.  I know, he's 5 1/2.  I know he's starting kindergarten in a couple months.  But it is what it is.  There was no specific reason I hadn't taken him yet.  Just never really thought about it.  Maybe there was a little denial going on that he is actually big enough to need to go.  Maybe. 
Regardless, last week we saw a permanent tooth peeking out...behind his baby tooth, which was absolutely not loose.  And then it's neighbor joined in a couple days later.  So now Sam has two rows of teeth along his bottom jaw.  
Shark teeth. 
Sam thinks it's cool to have shark teeth.  Well, it is kind of cool.  But the dentist said if those two little baby teeth in front don't loosen up in a week or so, we'll have to have them pulled out so his big teeth can get in the correct position.  Eek.  I absolutely don't want that to happen.  Neither does the dentist.  So he showed Sam how to work on those stubborn baby teeth with his tongue to try to loosen them up.  And they're a little looser today...a little. 
Here's my big boy Sam at the dentist.  He was, as usual, good as gold.  Even through the x-rays.  There were TV's playing cartoons on the wall and ceiling, so that helped.  And I'm happy to report that Sam has healthy teeth, no cavities and good spacing, except those pesky shark teeth.

I asked on the way out when I should schedule Lena for her first visit and they said, hey, we have an opening now.  So my baby girl had her first dentist visit right then and there.  Now Lena worried me a bit.  She's much more dramatic than Sammy and I had visions of her tantruming and crying and screaming. 
But that little girl was as relaxed as she could be.  Just look at her.  They didn't do x-rays on her since she's so little, but they did everything else.  And I'm also proud to report that she has healthy teeth with no cavities and perfect spacing and alignment.  
Way to go Lena's teeth!

My babies are growing up so fast... 


Jul 8, 2013

Catching Up

Our garden is crazy with all of this rain. We're getting loads of awesome goodies out of it this year, except I just yesterday learned from my ever-the-wiser sister that the secret to picking green beans is to get them small-ish before the bean bulges appear.  Which means most of those I've picked this year (about 2 tons) have been left on the plants too long. They're still pretty darn good, but I'm bummed that it was my fault they weren't better eating.  I gave a ginormous bag to Lori to try to crock pot cook and a huge bunch to Mom and Dad and we've eaten a ton of them ourselves too.  We just can't quite keep up with those beans this year.  Awesome problem to have.  I need to learn to can...maybe next year.  For now it's beans for everyone!

The rain has also brought with it an abundance of inside playtime at home. This massive fort aided us bravely in our mission to provide indoor entertainment for the kids. 

Waiting for the New Albany fireworks to start on the 4th.  Everybody was so excited.  It was a great show!

Our 4th of July picnic with cousins and aunts and uncles and parents and sister and brother-in-law and nephews and grandma and friends...and Delaware.  Even with our unwelcome rainy guest and without several family members, it was a great day!

Rich's latest house project.  Back splash.  It really looks great now that it's finished, but I don't have a picture of that yet. I mean seriously, is there anything this man cannot do well?

Speaking of things Rich does well, we can add gardening to the list.  Not only did he build the raised beds we plant in, honestly he tends to them much more often than I do.  He'll say it's a family effort, but truth be told he has the greener thumb between the two of us.

I mean look at that zucchini plant!

Our team at work went to Huntington Park for a Clippers game a couple weeks ago for lunch.  Our company has a box and, let me tell you, it's nice to catch a brief glimpse of how rich people live and play from up there in that box. Such an awesome treat!

Chilling in my favorite spot in the kitchen.  I love how the sun shines through our huge windows.  I'm a lucky girl to call this home.