8 days to find the best place in the world

8 days to find the best place in the world

8 days to find the best place in the world

Day 1:

I am a planner. I make lists. I make schedules. I like to check things off.

Fill cat food - check.
Pack car - check.
Gas in car - check.
MIL show up 5 seconds before I drive off? Nope, not on the schedule.

2 hours and 2 headaches later we're on the road. Hmm, where is the stylus to my Nintendo DS? Guess I need to add stop at Walmart to the list. ;)

Day 2:

My heart is fluttering. Hubby is being so charming. The kind of charm men exhibit while still dating. A touch here, a kiss there.

We stop somewhere in Ohio. The beauty of the tiered downtown captivates us. I have this wild crazy feeling that we could live here, but I think that must be hormones talking. They are telling me to keep hubby away from work forever, to let all the dark places of my soul bask in his light.

Seeing Trader Joes we stop for organic cookies and peppermint toothpaste. Yum! Spotting Chipotle we buy Thumper her first burrito that is bigger than her head. This day feels like an adventure pulled out of story you long to think is real. It is real. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter who both adore me and fill my heart.

Day 3:

I'm hungry. The kind of hungry that makes you grumpy and snappy. The last food place we saw was 70 miles back. Will I die of hunger in this frozen tundra?

5 minutes later. We got a speeding ticket. I haven't cussed in a long long time, but it seems appropriate now.

We're here.

Thumper is being such a good girl. Going to everyone. Talking, using all her words. Dada - up! Mama - boobies! Cat -lubyou. Is everyone this amazed with their own child? Or is it just possible I have THE most amazing and beautiful child ever?

Day 4:

It is Christmas and I have the flu. Chills, throwing up, 104 fever. I suppose I'll get to visit the local emergency room after all.

Day 5:

A visit to my Nana and Papa. They are on their last leg. It is time to pass the baton onto us this next generation, but I don't want them to let go. I don't trust our wisdom. We don't write enough thank you cards. We don't remember birthdays like we should. No one disciplines their children anymore. Perhaps they are just as scared to let go. They have met Thumper and cried that there is hope for a future generation to get things right.

I don't want them to go. I don't want to see my own parents take thier place as ... old. I don't want to be middle-aged. I want all the possibilities of life to lay ahead of me, but they become more narrow each year.

Watching Christmas movies, eating Christmas cookies, and enjoying Christmas gifts. These will be good memories. I will be proud to tell Thumper how well behaved he was her first Christmas sharing her toys with her cousins, but not her cookies. Guess I passed on my sweet tooth.

Day 6:

We leave family in search of the majesty of God's creation. We see mighty mountains and soft snowfall. Everything delights us. We play an impomptu game of snow tag where we try to put more footprints in the snow than the other. I lose the game, but shiver with joy. My life is so good.

At Niagara Falls hubby is content to ponder the power and awesomeness of the falls. Thumper and I find ourselves preoccupied with the freezing sleet and pelting hail. I suppose we are both cursed with a streak of realism.

The ride home is not as easy as the ride there. Thumper is playing a game called 1000 and 1 ways to get out of my car seat. Unbuckle it, poopy diaper, throw-up, shriek for an hour, choke on a froot loop, and many variations of the same.

Day 7:

I have had 4 or 5 hours sleep since day 1. The thrill of wearing the same clothes for 2 days and not brushing my teeth in 24 hours is wearing off.

We are creating games to help keep each other awake.
Game #1: How many booger pickers in nearby cars can we find in the next 5 minutes? 46!
Game #2: How much money would you pay to be home right now? Only $100 as our funds are dwindling. If we could use fantasy money I would have gone much higher. Hubby declares he wouldn't give up one single second of having my attention all to himself and I am as euphoric as day 2.
Game #3: The alphabet game. I am so good at this hubby wants to cheat. Shameful really.
Game #4: What would have to be happening in the car next to us for you to call the police? This game is really only fun when fueled with delerium.

Day 8:
It is 1 am and we are home. Hmm ... apparently while we were gone a golden retreiver moved to our porch. After helping her bed down for the night we go to sleep in our own bed for the first time in 8 days and I realize there is no better place in the world. Even a stray dog thinks so.

A Rare Sense Of Accomplishment

Without any help, I fixed a computer related problem I was having. I had already had a friend that is a computer technician give it a looksee and he wasn't able to find the problem.

I didn't think I could do it.

But I did.

I usually just deal in words and relationships, numbers and logic.

I am not into technology. I don't even know what the heck all those buttons on my remote are for.

Doing this on my own just made me feel ...


Free to defy people's expectations of me.

Free to try something I'm not typically good at.

Free to be completely amazing.

I Wrote a Poem For You

I Wrote a Poem For You

I Wrote a Poem For You

I wrote a poem for you blog,

but it turned out too personal.

Too pointed.

They would "know."

They would shake their heads,

instead of their fists.

They would feel awkward

instead of compassionate.

And either way

I would be


Sofie at 7 Months

Sofie at 7 months


Sofie riding to Nana Barbie's


Showing off her big mouth


Hanging out in the laundry basket

Selling the crap out of my crap

That might sound crass, but it's stuck with me. I was browsing around the Invisible Children website wondering what else I can do and stumbled upon that phrase.

So, I'm going to do it. As of today I am finally picking up all the extra stuff I just don't need and putting it in a box to sell or give away. All profits will be given to the Invisible Children.

You might think this is Spring cleaning, but then - you don't know me. I am anti-pack rat.

I am talking about getting rid of the little additives that we Americans think are necessary ... like the third can opener, and the clock in the living room.

I am sick to death (spiritually) of convenience.

I am tired of keeping up with the Jones's, and honestly most of my friends and family too.

I just don't need the stuff (crap!) more than the Invisible Children need a safe place to live. I don't need comfort more than children need food and water.

I don't need to impress you.

The Jones's don't care about me.

And God, well I'm pretty sure He wants me to stop serving two masters.

So, if you need the crap please come buy it from me. I have way too much.

Matthew 6:24

The Last Couple of Months

I have taken recent pics of Sofie, but have neither the time or the money to develop them. Hope to do so soon. She is beautiful and amazing. She can walk now. The threat level has been updated to orange.

I haven't been writing since I moved here. It has been too crazy. There is also the issue of not having the perfect journal. I always have to find the journal with just the right feel to it. The feel is always different, but one that encourages me to pour out the depths of my heart and wit. Less of the latter. The world just isn't ready.

I am in a gulley - not a desert. It's not dry here; it just seems that trials and obstacles have slowly worn a gaping hole in my faith and perseverance. How do I keep a flame burning in a hurricane? I don't want to take the metaphors too far. I just want to tell someone (anyone) that Christians disappoint me. I disappoint me. Our love for sin and self disappoint me. Most of all my infinitesimal disappointment and consciousness of sin shames me.

Anyway, I will save the majority of my thoughts for the previously mentioned journal.

Pictures from July 3rd and 4th

Sofie Sprouted Wings

Where to go...

Conscientious Objectors to Independence Day

Sofie and Daddy

I graduated summa cum laude and all I got was this lousy tassel. :)

The explanation I was getting to

The Explanation I Was Getting To

I haven't talked to any of you since my last post. Hope did call, but I continue to fail at returning phone calls. *Hint - calling my house phone is the real solution because my cell phone doesn't work in my apartment and I never leave these days.* Sigh. I am tired.

Back to the point, we are moving back to Dallas. This all started with a suggestion by a certain Quentin McGhee. We were not totally convinced by his angle on things, but then we found out that Michael's mom was really struggling. Sigh. Then I found out Hope and Faith were moving back to Dallas. Which made me like the idea. Then I remembered how there are lots of yummy restaurants I like in Dallas. Yea! Then I also remembered my frustration with aspects of church in Dallas. Big sigh.

As you can see, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I am surprisingly not too upset about not going to AGTS. It had been the plan for so long, but I am more flexible than I have been in times past.

I am feeling better about the decision as we have found a house to rent in Red Oak and Michael has secured a temporary job until he can find a job teaching. I am a little relieved that he is going to teach. We have been offered so many pastoral positions these last couple of months, but I keep dreading the idea of working so closely with a church again.

More on those thoughts later or in person.

I miss my "Dallas friends" so much. I wish I could have shared more of the last 2 years with you all.

And yet ... some of you FL friends have been just what I needed to see my own faults, sins, and blind spots. I am less self-absorbed, less materialistic, less criticizing, and more loving because of your godly influence.

I wouldn't trade the experience of Southeastern (well, I could be persuaded to go back and skip a couple more classes) and yet I am sad to have been through some things that were so special without my older friends.

Enough. I am tired. I hope to see some of you before I leave and others the MOMENT I arrive back. :) Pictures coming soon.

Leavin' on a jet plane

Looks like we are definitely moving. BUT after some thinking and praying looks like we are moving back to Dallas. You'll have to ask me about it. :)

Easter Pics

I am the easter bunny. I guess that should be the Holy Week bunny for Faith. :)

Love my Daddy!

About to fall asleep.

Nana got me a new dress!

Easter morning.

Don't you love this dress?

First Bath Pics

I hate cold water!

Friday, February 03, 2006

So happy in the tub.

Should you be taking pictures in here?

Thumper loves getting clean!

I told you she looks like a Thumper.

3 Months

2 months old now.

I love trying to stand.

St. Patrick

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Hey, it works for Daddy.

Thank you for the dress Auntie Faith.

In One Month

In one month, I've learned that a mother can pass on her strong will and determination. 
My darling, may you always defy expectations. May you always pick yourself up after you fall. May your spirit be overcoming and ever moving forward. Lifting your head and scooting at four weeks old. You delight and amaze me. 

A New Addition

Gray Eyes

Ooo look at the flashlight...

Sofie and Nana's "See How Big I Am" Bear.

Thumper's Tummy Time.

Can you believe this is my only headband?

Napping on Daddy.

The Family Kiss.

I've Loved too Small

Every moment with her expands my ability to love others. Oh God, forgive me for loving so small before I met this gift from you. Teach me to love her well. Expand my capacity to love others and specifically those she will bring into my life. 


Your sharp dark eyes
Watching my every move
I must remember this
In years to come
You're watching
Taking in more than I realize. 

1st Pediatrician Visit


We left the hospital at 11 p.m. on the 11th and had our first pediatrician appointment the morning of the 12th at 11:10 am.

First of all, Michael and I are sleep deprived and a "little" delirious when we get up. Then I realize I have only given myself enough time to get myself ready and forgot to factor in time to get the baby ready for the day. So instead of showering, brushing my teeth, or doing something with my now crazy hair - I must get Thumper changed, dressed, and fed.

Okay, I also forgot that I am now down quite a few sizes so I am wearing maternity pants held up by duct tape! That's right I have nothing that fits except pajamas. I try to put this behind me as my husband is starting to look like a wild bush man and surely I can't look that bad. :)

Well we get to the office about 22 minutes late (who knew the new daddy would drive like an old granny now that we have a baby in the car?)

My husband is nervous and announces "this is our first day" to the
secretary who has no idea what he is talking about and anyway it is not our first day Thumper is almost five days old. I find this very funny and start giggling. (Again remember we've had no sleep this week.)

We get called into the back by the nurse and she asks us to strip the baby down and bring her to the scale to be weighed.

Well, we try to take off her clothes, but I can't get the onesie past her big head... turns out that when dressing her I have actually put her head through the arm sleeve (which shouldn't be so big if you don't want to confuse new mommies) and one arm has been trapped inside her shirt. The nurse shakes her head a little, but waits patiently while we get past this.

Then surprise! Thumper has a very dirty diaper. You do remember that I changed her right before we left the house right? Well, I ask if she can hold on while we change her real
quick and she is now tapping her foot a little.

We pull out our diaper bag full of new baby products and guess what? We can't get the diaper wipes out of the plastic wrap (do diaper wipes really need to be locked up like Fort Knox?). The smirking nurse is now sent to retrieve us some scissors.

Okay, back on track we get the wipes open (brand new pack mind you) and they are completely dry! We are EXTREMELY embarrassed and are trying to hide this from the nurse who is starting to smile a little.

We give a valiant effort at wiping her sticky little butt with dry wipes, but nothing is moving. The evil nurse is now hiding her mouth behind her hand and shaking a little at the shoulders.

She has mercy on us and suggests we drip a little water on the wipes from the sink that has been hiding behind us. We do this and manage to get Thumper's little butt clean and
not too much leakage on ourselves.

While I am washing my hands, Michael goes to put the diaper on the baby and while my back is turned the nurse starts a little fit of giggles. I turn around and see that Michael has put the diaper on backwards. Come on! He has practiced this dozens of times in the hospital. I tell him to switch it around and he does while I grab the diaper bag.

Now the nurse has stepped out of the room and is laughing uncontrollably. I look over and the diaper is just hanging off of Thumper's right foot because her daddy put it on so loose!

Is there any chance that she did not talk about us the whole rest of the day? I think we were lucky no one tried to take her from us!

Welcome to the World

My beautiful baby. Welcome to the world.