Thursday, May 31, 2007

Surgery Update

This is Matt, by the way, posting on Charity's Blog.

Here is a little surgery update, for those of you who are concerned about my wife. Once she feels up to it, I am sure that she will give a much better update, with all of the fun, interesting details, but for now you will have to be satisfied with my version of what happened.

Charity's parents had come down a couple of days early so that we could spend some time with them before she didn't feel like having fun. So, we left for the hospital yesterday, the boys stayed home with Grandpa, and after a little while in the waiting room, we were finally ready to go, gown and all, by about 1:00. They gave her a couple of shots of the "don't worry, be happy" medicine, and by 2:30 she had left us for the operating room.

She ended up only being in surgery from 2:30 to 3:30. The doctor came out and told us everything went well. She had had a tonsillectomy and a septoplasty. (Don't ask me what that second thing is.) After a couple more hours we were able to go back to the recovery room.

Before the surgery she had some concerns about being able to breathe when it was all over. This is understandable since she was having her nose and her throat operated on. She was nervous that the doctor would leave "packing" in her nose, so it was a real answer to prayer when the doctor came out to talk to us when he told us that there was no packing in her nose. When I saw her afterwards, I asked her if she could breathe, and she told me that she could breathe better than before. We were all relieved.

There has also been no bleeding, which was my biggest concern. There has been a little bit of drainage in the nose, but nothing to be concerned about. The last issue though is the issue of the pain. I am not going to lie to you. It is bad. Of course I am just relaying it from the source, but she has told me that it is much worse than she anticipated.

So overall, it is not a pleasant situation. She is looking at a few hard days coming up, but she is resilient, and she will survive.

I know that she would appreciate your prayers. If you would like to drop her a note, her e-mail is

More later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Well, I had big plans for the blogging of my surgery tomorrow but as some might expect...

Reality has hit.

I had to get a dentistry procedure done today (REALLY bad timing) and because of that or stress or a bug(?) I have been sick all afternoon. That has left me not eating anything and my time to eat normally is slowly slipping away. Needless to say, I will be very hungry in about three days!

As of right this minute, I'm feeling better and so it still appears that everything is on. I'm glad that my mom is here because Matt starts to pass out every time we discuss what will happen tomorrow and frankly, I'm needing a little more moral support than I would have imagined.

Very scared...

So..whether things will be taped before and after surgery is up for debate as this whole experience has gotten A LOT less amusing in the last 24 hours.

*Small learning tip: When one is set to have a long surgery with multiple procedures, it is not neighborly to share with that person your own grueling personal experience of pain and suffering! This has happened many times in the last few days. It's mean.

I'll have Matt update you all afterwards!

Friday, May 25, 2007



Today I went to a surgery center to do Pre-Ops. This is when you go in and answer a series of questions to save time on surgery day and to be sure that you are still eligible for the procedures needed.

So far so good.

It was fairly painless even with the blood that they had to take.

Living Will was addressed yet again and I was informed that if I trust my spouse, it is actually better not to have one. Apparently in some cases they won't resuscitate you on a 911 call if the living will is produced? Wha-huh??

The nurse then wrote down all my procedures for my verification and signature..looked at me with as much sympathy as a nurse can muster when she's stressed and has 400 more patients to see that day and said...

"This is going to hurt."



I then had to sign a paper about being willing to accept a blood transfusion and informed that this particular surgery can cause you to bleed out.

Who would like to make a bet that I WILL definitely have to have a blood transfusion?

She reminded me that it would be better to get bad blood than to die immediately but somehow I feel I need to think about that?

I tried to reassure myself that I could get someone I love to donate their blood in case of need but then it hit me that...I DON'T WANT ANY OF YOUR BLOOD!!

(I think I'm connected to a risky crowd of peeps!)

But, I love ya' anyway!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Surgery Update-"My Living Will"

Ok. I've decided that I will attempt to do a video diary of my surgery. Mostly because it will give my sad little friends plenty of ammunition to mock me from afar and even more so, because I have nothing truly interesting to offer you all to read.

Hopefully taping and posting will begin tomorrow morning on my first venture to the hospital for preliminary activities.


This begins the real life story of Charity getting most of her head taken out...
"You may think you know...but you don't."

(Isn't that how MTV says it?)

Yesterday the hospital called to get some information to pre-register me and to make sure that I had addressed this topic of a "living will".

This conversation can make one of a more sensitive disposition a little uneasy. I mean, is that really necessary? Maybe they read my birth date wrong...I'm only 33. People of this young, tender age should not need to reassure their loved ones to let them live if possible!!!

So, I called my mom and she said she would feel more comfortable with something official written down or a solid conversation with my husband-so I obliged. Matt knows to yank the plug if what is left of my minuscule brain seems non-functioning and I'm going sign a post-it note that day that reads...

"If in doubt-Don't pull my plug out!"

(I SOOO amuse myself!)

I can't leave the decision to Matt or Steph-they'd love to keep me around without the ability to talk! It's like their dream!

I thought of compiling a list of people that would enjoy the job of off-ing me! Maybe we could sell raffle tickets?

Runner-ups could win a free bowl of the fruit jello from the hospital cafeteria!

I'm definitely going to make my mom promise to be sure to create something very "Day Of Our Lives" if it does come to the regrettable. Dim the lights...Matt holds my hand while weeping...all of my friends and family assembling to say how wonderful I was in life...Steph, having applied new lipstick and poofing my bangs for a lovely exit...Ahhh! Yes...

Well, we won't think too much about that. It doesn't actually seem that awful when I contemplate how long I will be paying for this little surgery! I got a letter from the insurance company today congratulating me on being approved for the procedures and explaining my benefits.

Of course, in big letters at the end of the last page was a huge DISCLAIMER about how nothing they have said thus far is guaranteed!

Why didn't they just send me a note that said, "Good Luck!"

LOST in thought...


When will I stop thinking about the LOST season finale?

When will I stop trying to figure it out?

When will I stop feeling sick for my characters?

(I think I'm going mad...Maybe that is what the writers were trying to do to us when they wrote the most confusing and disturbing season-ender EVER??)

Friday, May 18, 2007

To Be Or Not To Be...

...that is the question of the month.

A few weeks ago I went to the dentist. It had been about 6 years and so I was anticipating the worse.

But, not really.

You see...they did find one teensy cavity but more importantly after the x-rays they found that my molars had made a home in my sinus cavity. That's not so good. Apparently teeth and sinuses don't blend well.

That would explain the intense face and sinus pain that I've had everyday for the past few years.

Maybe one should go to the doctor more regularly? Hmmm...

So, that lead to the specialist which led to the cat scan which went hand in hand with the diagnosis not too unfamiliar...

Surgery Needed.

I had seen an ENT last year who hated the sight of my tonsils and wanted to take them out but my insurance was rotten so I declined.

Now, along with this sinus fiasco, I have a second opinion...

Tonsilectomy...addnoidectomy...and sinus reconstruction.

A two hour surgery with an expected 10 day recovery. It really "smarts", explained my doctor. The first three days they keep you asleep with high pain killers to prohibit the increase in blood pressure in response to the pain. It's too easy to "bleed out".

yeah. Terrifying.

I thought it was a go last week but I found that there may be some issue with my insurance coverage. Apparently there is the whole pre-existing issue and I am not allowed to have been without coverage for more than 63 days.

Latest lapse was 62 days.


Then I needed to find out what my portion of the surgery would be. I don't have a savings account for operations so I thought it might be good to know what the bill will be...

The grand total: (drum roll)

Yeah. even more terrifying.

I was dialing the surgery scheduler to cancel when Sandy reminding me that I have a maximum out of pocket so it will be bad but not 20% of $64,000.00.

Which does make $3,000.00 suddenly seem alot less. God does have a way of adjusting the shock for me. This recently happened with our septic replacement. It's like He knows how to work with my brain! Weird.

So...while I would like to avoid the whole thing and find a way to get out of it (frugal and wimpy...I'll admit it), my husband is forcing me to do it. He is also forcing me to believe that God will provide that money and keep me alive! seems like I go under May 30th.

I'm totally looking for feedback. You can freely give your opinion without fear of ridicule about whether I should do this or not! I'm still on the fence (even if Matt is trying to pull me off!)

Hey...I'm still me! Deal with it! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A break for fun

Oh...if I had a time machine for just a day or two!

One of the most humiliating cheerleading competitions, EVER!

Anderson University. My usual supplies to get me through study group for Music Theory. Cocoa Puffs and milk!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Soft Glove...A firm nudge..a GIANT POKE!

This post is primarily for me. I need a moment to go on a bit about the observations that I've had the last couple of weeks and mostly today and so for those of you that are short on time or uninterested in my extended thoughts, I'll post the facts...

Approximately 11:00am this morning I began to work in my yard. I love to garden and mow the grass and thought I would take a few hours while it was still cool to accomplish some much needed weeding and clipping.

11:35...I'm mowing the perimeter of our yard and something catches my eye.

11:36...I am ready to faint.

Here is what was sitting on the edge of my yard and driveway...

Your eyes do not deceive you...It is a hypodermic needle (used and still containing some left-over materials?) with the needle tip exposed.

For those of you that know and love me best, you are aware that this would make top 5 most terrifying experiences that I could ever have. It was horrible and I continued to wander around the yard with the mower (although never letting the needle out of my sight) and trying to figure out what a "normal" person would do to get rid of this unsightly intrusion to my otherwise fearless day.

11:45...I called my friend Sandy that is an ER nurse to see if said "normal" peoples would just pick it up and properly dispose of it. She reassured me that they wouldn't due to lack of proper disposal and that I was encouraged to call the police and let them take care of it.

11:46...made the call to police all the while never taking my eyes off the needle through my window!

(I was really afraid that it would get blown into the yard and I wouldn't be able to find it!)

12:00...nice and curiously un-phobic police officer pulls up and together we stand around the needle and make assumptions about how it got into my yard. He poked around at the handle with his pen which grossed me out a bit but it was just the handle...(many of my friends have since told me that they would have picked up the needle by the same handle for certain amounts of money...some as low as 50 cents! I, on the other hand, would not do such things for MILLIONS of dollars!)

12:05...police man is picking up needle with a scrap piece of paper (he didn't want to waste his gloves which puzzled me because this seems like the type of situation that one would NEED gloves for.). Disposed of needle in evidence bag and then went on to fill a report that I HAD TO SIGN WITH THE PEN!!! (I did feel that normal people would do that and don't tell me otherwise because certainty of that is keeping me sane!)

One funny thing...The officer asked me what color my eyes were and then quickly went on to tell me that it was for his report.

I started cracking up at the prospect that this man might think that I would misread his question as a come-on! Apparently the look of panic-stricken fear ALSO translates as potential admiration confusion!

12:15...police man leaves and I began to call one billion people to begin talking me through my crisis!


What does all this really have to do with Charity?

You know, it's funny because I am very predictable. I used to be very afraid of blood and it's problems because deep down, I was afraid to die. My roots here were so deep that the thought of leaving my family and friends was unthinkable. My fear took me places that were very dark and bleak and since that time I've come to see things differently.

What happened today does put a knot in my stomach but I think mostly because I'd made such a habit of being afraid of this sort of thing. My brain easily goes back to its old behavior. God has allowed me to be in all kinds of crazy situations to get me over this particular fear and this is just one of MANY stories that are so evident that God wants me to trust Him.

But, I don't think that that is what today is all about.

You see...I've been so angry these last few months. One after another of things has occurred to where I have felt like I was carrying pounds of concrete on my back. From emotional to physical to financial..and all spiritual-the trials have been hitting one after another and I've felt like I can't catch my breath.

It's been lonely, too.

You see, I've always been "crisis girl". That's my role. It's humbling to hold the title but after a few years, you decide to just accept it. I'm used to being able to call up my crisis hotline and have full attention to my needs.'s been a competition this year for who gets to make the calls! Many of the people that I love are enduring difficult trials and so that not only makes mine seem less unique but it also means that I need to be the one answering the phone for a change.

That has been so good for me, though. And I'm glad God has pointed me out instead of inward but it still leaves me wondering how to handle my problems differently than before.


I can feel it and I keep trying to peg it on other people but I know that my frustration is at God.

I feel it's time for Him to ease up and I want a break from the work that it takes to be righteous. When I think about trying to "transform my mind" every minute...I'm exhausted.

I want it all to be easier and less painful and so I decide that I just won't deal with God for a while. It's terrible to admit it but it's my tendency. I'll even tell Him that I'm not interested. "I'm not listening, God. I want to be left alone!"

When I think (when God enlightens my eyes) that I actually speak internally to the God of creation like that, I become very afraid. Who do I think I am?

So, He starts.

The soft glove of His Word. He reminds me of scripture and uses church to show me that I need Him. That I must accept who He REALLY is and not what I want Him to be. That submission comes easier with repentance allowing access to His grace. That He loves me. That He is good. That He is enough. That He sees me when I fear and suffer and cry. That I am apart of something bigger than just my own story.

Nope...I hear it but I don't want to accept it.

So, the nudges come. A trial here or there. A memory that stumps me for a few days. An argument that can't be resolved. A bill I didn't expect. A failure that humbles me. A sickness that keeps me in bed, thinking.

They come one right after another and I only feel more challenged to rebel. I know where a hardened heart leads. I know how dangerous these early moments are. But, I can't give in and besides I can find little "fixes" that make me content enough not to deal with the real problem....

I lose a couple of pounds or I make a new friend. I get a second job that I can stash cash back "just in case". I plan a trip. I just stay VERY busy so I don't have time to stop.

See...I'm cool. I'm okay. I'll deal with God tomorrow.

And then today.

The giant "poke" so to speak. He's starting to go to the bad places and I can't blame Him. I've made it happen. He should just strike me dead or be done with "crisis girl" but He can't. It is not possible for Him to leave me. It is not possible for Him to let me be for long. It is not in His character to give up on His family.

But the the needle....okay, God. You've got my attention! No need to go further.

I don't know what kind of Christian you are? I am so envious of those that love trials and seem to immediately run to God in a time of need. They are pliable and yielding.

And then some of us resist. We run. We escape. We ignore. We fight.

But, I believe that we don't have to always respond that way. We can change and it is better to be willing. That's the inspiring thing about true Christianity-there is the struggle in the cocoon but it produces someone far more beautiful.

Let me encourage you from my own transparency that you recognize God talking to you and respond early....

Because if you are really His-You will enevitably respond. Why not save yourself the headache...or the heartache? Pray with me that we will honor our Father with quick reactions of holiness. He is worth it.

God Bless!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Day

I hesitate to record the events of my Mother's Day weekend because I love my friend Stephanie and I don't want to cause her unnecessary pain by tempting her to envy me and my life...


Yesterday. Totally unplanned and unexpected...I was left the entire day with just Josiah (who is officially titled the easiest child to raise and other than about ten minutes I didn't hear a peep from him for 6 hours while he played with a rock?...or a string off his pants?) while Sam went to work with Matt. I cleaned up the house a bit due to the fact that I cannot relax in a messy environment (I'm a control freak and maybe I got some involuntary blood transfusion from my friend Sandy in high school) and then I sat down on the couch...

Where I read an entire book!


It took me about 12 hours but I read one of my new Sophie Kinsella books and it was fantastic. A few of my favorite Hugh Grant movies in the background and plenty of snacks and Mountain Dew...

It was paradise.

I awoke this morning-when my eyes opened!!! I was greeted by Milo and the boys who gave me the cards they made last night (somewhere around chapter 12)-and I sipped on some OJ and toast while watching Tyler Florence tell me how to make fish and chips.

Leisurely got ready for church anticipating wearing my Easter dress for the first time since it was TOO cold to wear it at Easter...

Church and out to eat at my new favorite diner where I was forced by my family and the waitress to order before mentioned Fish and chips ( NOT a usual for me-I don't do much fried food. I'm into "fresh").

I am home now and my husband (who is apparently trying to win some award) just whisked both boys off to work, again and I am preparing to sit in the sun and read the newspaper while I sip sweet tea.


Really, my boys are so big now that I love having them all the time but it is the quietness that is not familiar to my life right now. Almost too quiet...

But, I'll find a way to deal with it!

Happy Mother's Day, friends...I hope your day was as nice as mine was!

Always your Mom

Baby Joy

While I celebrate my sweet boys this Mother's day and what happiness and purpose they bring to my life...I remember my little one that I am waiting for the day that I get to hold.

I don't imagine that she is going to be a baby in heaven but I will hold her none the less.

Meanwhile, I carry our baby's heart...I carry it in my heart.

I Carry It In My Heart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Happy Mother's Day

...To both women that I'm so blessed to call "Mom"!

We love and miss you very much.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Winds of Change

Well...It's official. We are making a total transition next year (not unlike the Harmless clan) and are heading back to Christian school work.

Many of you know that Matt decided last year when offered an administration position at Blue Ridge Christian Academy that he would decline and take a break from teaching. It had been a long 6 years in the ministry and we thought that trekking down a different avenue might bring some respite and help us get a little more secure financially.


This has emphatically been one of the most difficult years of our marriage and thankfully we've got our heads on straight (and I'm keeping my mouth shut!) and are detouring back where we belong.

Fortunately for us, Blue Ridge still wants Matt (as a plain ole' teacher and we're fine with that) and he signed his contract last week.

I will also join the school's staff as one of their librarians and doing some afternoon work with the kindergarten class.

This will mean that for now, we are done homeschooling which makes me very sad but I know it is what is best for the boys and our support of the school.

I'm not sure when it happened, but I am now that mother of school-aged kids. What? It's not me...I'm a diaper mom...a play date mom...a YOUNG mom! Now that that stage is over, I really regret all the time I wished it away. While this age brings so much enjoyment and sleep, it also leaves a major part absent. I'm having empty nest syndrome.

I'll admit it.

Today we took both boys for the necessary testing to make sure they are ready for their upcoming grades. Sam will be in 3rd grade and Jo in Kindergarten. The testing was very stressful for me as it is the day of reckoning for a homeschool mom. Have I done my job? Have I taught them all they need to know? After much pacing back and forth to check in to see how they were doing, I forced myself to sit on the bench and wait! I was afraid that they would, of course, want my children to attend but frankly, want their mother to go away!

When we broke the news to Sam that he would be going to traditional school, he cried. Every time.

It was good to see that his new teacher thought he was very bright and he ended the testing with two thumbs up.

Jo also did very well but I almost broke down when he left me for testing. He barely leaves me for anything. Look how brave he was!

Our school is at the foothills of the mountains and it is beautiful.

I kept imaging Sam walking around the campus with his high school girlfriend..remembering all of the great times I had with my friends at our Christian school. I'm willing to give him for now if he will make even a small portion of the relationships and memories I did.

Matt is totally fired up about the transition and is looking forward to not hearing curse words every other minute (he's been at a public school this semester) and has already found a few other teachers that he likes and is connecting with.

And I...well, I'm a little of alot of emotions. I've talked to God and He's fully aware that I'm naturally really bad at being a Christian school teacher's wife. He's been informed that I am afraid of failing again in my struggle with this ministry and despite my straight forwardness and transparency...He continues to insists that we go. Strangely, He's heard that I think I can better protect my babies inside my little house and He still audaciously places them out of my control! Can you believe that?

I feel the winds of change and usually that means I slam the windows closed and pull the curtains.

Instead, I'm trying to enjoy the breeze.

Let's see how long it lasts!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A favorite

This is one of my favorite Mommy pics.

Intoxicated by the baby Sam

When did we become mommies?

I'm still scanning a ton and I spent a few minutes on the phone with my best friend Steph today and found her in great need of a smile...

It's strange to me to look back on all the photos and watch the progression. Steph and I met a long time ago and while I know now that we will always be close there was a time when I guess I just figured it would fizzle as most friendships do.

One of those times was when I had my first baby, Sam. Steph was single which still blows my mind because I would have pegged her to be married WAY before I was. More beautiful..More interesting...REALLY way more intelligent...more loyal-It makes sense now that she was merely waiting for Gary to improve and become the perfect man for her!

The unexpected thing was that when Sam came along...he was like "our" baby. Matt was schooling full-time and working full-time and so that left me at home trying to survive new motherhood with whomever would take pity on me. Steph would watch Sam...keep me from giving in to every on him and was really like another mom.

I missed her desperately when she moved away. (Although I will not forget Betty who was pushing her way into position as surrogate all along and also loved Samuel as her own.) I look back on those days with much trepidation but also with great fondness. Sam really knit our hearts together and I know we are much closer because of it.

Here are some of my favorite pics of Steph and then of she and Sam. Remember girlfriend, that while there is death to concern and grieve us...there is the greater joy of "life". You can't have one without the other so you must come to accept them both. I do not say that tritely..You know I've walked that road myself.

While you decide how to do that...I'll keep trying to make you remember and smile.

Life has been so good for us.

Spring Formal 1992

This is a classic look that I used to get from Steph..Maybe she could explain what it means?!

One of a BILLION self-portraits!

This was on our Senior Trip and Steph is uncharacteristically snuggling up with me because she ditched me the night before for a guy and is taking pity on me! For those that know me recognize that that is my "fake smile" that says, "I am smiling so I don't look stupid but I will never forget what you've done and will blog about it 15 years from now just to get even!"

Our Angel Baby

The first meeting...Hello, Aunt Stephanie!

Matt pretending to feed Steph while he was feeding Sam. Matt and Steph have always gotten along well and I'm grateful for that.

Monday, May 07, 2007

We Are Family

It all begins here...At least for me.

I'm the baby with the stickem' up hair that I genetically passed down to my own little ones.

Me at Christmas. I've always thought that I was a pretty homely little girl and maybe this pic just caught me in the right light...But I think I was kind of cute!?

Me and Trav. This is hilarious. While I think my sneakers are pretty hot, I am concerned about what motivated me to wear shorts that were so uncomfortably high! I actually can remember this picture being taken and was impressed with myself on how tan I was!


I discovered recently that I, in fact, already own a perfectly great scanner!


Watch out!

So, I lovingly dedicate my first scan to my best friend, Steph. First, I owe her this since she was so willingly vulnerable on her own blog and secondly, because she and I have been encouraging each other through a "mid-life" crisis of our own.

I can hardly look at this pic without busting up into laughter! The memories of this day flood back so suddenly, I can barely keep up.

Don't tee-tee when you see this, Steph!

Love you!

(Let me reassure you that I am NOT on drugs in this photo! My red eyes are the result of many, MANY hairspray mists to the face and a few minutes of crying over what was worse teased hair than what you are actually viewing in this photo. I actually tamed it down a bit! Wow...)


Every Thursday from 2-4pm, I sit with my neighbor Sanford.

I've told many of you (and I may have even blogged about it?) but when we moved from our rental here to our new home, I was very sad to leave my elderly neighbors there. I loved Lee and Daisy and felt a real loss at being clear across town from them.

Ironically (although, I think that word doesn't do it justice) the day we moved into our new home, my neighbor across the street walked over with cookies to introduce herself. Her last name surprised me as it was the same as the neighbors that I had just left. Come to find out...Her husband was Lee's brother!

Sanford will be 100 years old this coming fall.

He is officially the oldest "king of one-liners" that I have ever met!! He can totally crack me up!

I usually walk in and give him a pat on the shoulder and the conversation goes like this...

"Hey, Sanford...How are you doing today?"

"I'm kickin'...just not too high!"

"'re so funny. You're rotten, too!"

"I'm not rotten...I'm almost 100 years old-I'm ripe!"

He then says...And I mean EVERY TIME he says-

"I'm from Tomb County, Georgia. That explains it, right? I'm almost dead."

Sanford's wife Pat is 27 years younger than him so I have become really close to her. I watch her day in and day out take care of Sanford and still she leaves him notes around the house when she runs errands, telling him that she loves him.

It is true, willful dedication and I respect her for that.

My mom raised me to despise any neighbor that was less than a 1/2 mile from your house (Sorry, mom..but it's true) but I love my little couple across the street. They represent what so many from my generation need to learn to be.

I know I am...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Art and My Friend

Tonight I got to be a part of something very cool.

A few months ago my paths crossed with a special woman who I now consider very much my friend. She's an artist and owns a local art gallery called The ArtBomb. She had told me that she was having a gallery show in May and when I got my invitation to attend last week-I was totally excited.

It's amazing when you get to know someone on a personal level and then later get to see the outpouring of what they are passionate about. Diane's art is far more than what I expected and she has an intimate way of producing work that is lovingly dedicated to her family. I wish there was a way to show you all what she's done.

I almost cried as I looked on it for the first time.

I'm so proud of you, Diane and wish I could draw or paint or sculpt something so we could hang out every day!

(I could weed your garden for you...I'm great at that!)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pick or Protect


Does anyone know what this plant is?

I've recently put in an herb garden on the side of my house and these started to pop up before planting. My mom-in-law thought it might be cucumbers but I can't tell. The leaf is furry and has a definite smell. While it's nice to have something starting to grow...I'd kind of like to pull it if it's just a weed??

This is my first attempt at an herb garden. I have a great big vegetable one in the back yard but the anticipation for the first chive or bit of cilantro is killing me! I've spent countless hours outside this week preparing for it and I have to say...gardening is in my blood. I'm the most happy when I'm in the dirt!

Thanks, Dad!

(This is my new hat that I LOVE so much. It's brown and pink so it suits me fine! I must give a shout out to my friend, San, for facing a torrential downpour just so I could buy it! I am mocked severely for wearing it but I don't care.)

O'my goodness!

Today I met a few of my good friends for lunch with our kids at O'Charlie's. We did this in the attempt to find some time to chat but also because the kids eat free!

They definitely lost money on us today!

It was only a little crazy at the end so over-all I think that is a success.

I'm adding this picture of my friend Amy for Steph. Amy and I both showed up with our cameras and were laughing because I was planning to take a picture to show that she just cut her hair like mine. (Just for the record...I cut my hair like hers USED to be but I'm going to take the credit now!) Everyone says that we look alike (which is a definite compliment to me because she's a beaut). My best friend, Stephanie, has a theory that I find people that look like me everywhere we move and become their friend. I'm stuck on Watertown but other than's true! Weird.

This is a picture of my new friend, Melissa. I was asked last fall to participate on a panel for a ladies conference and I went alone with no one to room with. Through some other circumstances, she and I ended in the same hotel room. She was super nice and made the mistake of asking me "What brought you to the South?" (I hate that question!) and we talked to the wee hours of the morning. She had just moved from Springfield, that REALLY freaked me out! My sister is from there and so I know my way around pretty well and we compared notes on all the interesting places to go. Small world!

Of good friend Kim (Sam's piano teacher)-Kim and I have alot in common right now so that makes hanging out easy.

I seem to rotate about every three months or so struggling not feeling really down that we are so far away from our family and old friends. It's hard to be the new one all the time and to watch people interact and take vacations with others they've known for years and years. God has been gracious to me this week to not kick my butt for feeling sorry for myself but reminding me through certain events that He has new people all over the place that are what I need for that time in my life. AND...that there are many lonely women just like me that are much newer than I am that want friendship.

Well...I'm off to school Sam and JoJo..some more of my best buddies!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Soccer Mom

Well, I'm officially a "soccer mom".

Please do not be fooled...I am not yet completely committed. First, there is my utter ignorance of the today, when I bought the wrong kind of cleats?! Some for turf...some for grass...WHAT THE HECK?!?

And, I could really miss going for just about anything. Too hot...too cold..we need milk..

BUT, I am determined to help Sam be dedicated to his choice and even today we braved the rain and cold so he could play in his game. Matt is working a second job so it was just me and JoJo cheering but that's okay.

Cheering...I understand that!

Sam is loving it and I will say that he isn't terrible. Although, who can know for sure? I mean the entire game the whole team moves in one cluster together all over the field kicking and often just chatting about their days! Today I caught sight of one of the boys doing a cartwheel off in the corner.

I clapped loud...

It was a really good cartwheel.

We did have our first bad sportsmanship moment, though.

Sam's goalie for his team missed a ball and then sadly, (I was feeling really bad for him and his mom) missed another one. I looked over and saw my son marching down the field towards him and yelling, "Hey Man! You need to get in some practice!"

I said to myself, "Alrighty begins."

I was horrified and wanted to yank him off the field but I kept control and smiled my way to the car where I began to lecture him for ten straight minutes!

I will say in his defense that Sam is really a naive little boy and doesn't get that people can get their feelings hurt. Sam is not one you can ruffle easily and many of the mean things other boys do to him goes right over his head so he tends to relate to others with that same blindness.

His deflection of rejection is good for me, his mother, but bad for other little kids that come in contact with his "no nonsense" mentality.

For instance...I didn't realize that I should get him shin guards and the big socks and cleats the first night. It's a small league and frankly...the ignorance. When we pulled up and I saw all 200 boys dressed appropriately to play, I was internally freaking out! "He'll get made fun of or looked at weird!", kept circling round my mind. I actually counted how many boys came without necessary items and afterwards asked Sam if he cared.

He said, "Um..No Mom! *patronizing eight year old tone* There was like two other kids that didn't have them! Geesh!"

I must be such an embarrassing mother! Oh, how I do go one about such silly things?!?

Sam goes back to traditional school next year and it's going to kill me...literally.

Sam will be fine...

I will be 13 all over again.

Latest Guests and funny pics

We've had alot of guests here this past year and it's been so long since I uploaded my pictures from my camera that I was cracking up at this one...

This is Sandy and me on her last visit here. We were getting ready to hike through the mountains and it was REALLY cold that day! You know you've begun to age when you will walk around other people like this and not give it second thought! (We look like over-dressed bugs!) Don't worry though...we warmed up pretty quickly! In Paige's words, "This is horrible!" It was long and hard and we were happy when it was over!

This is me and my big sister when she came to visit last month. It is always such a treat when busy people can find a way to come 12 hours to see us. I means alot. The time together got my sis and I all fired up and we booked a trip to San Antonio this summer to my other big sister Julie!