Thursday, March 27, 2008


I sent the kids out the door this morning in picture day clothing. William is growing like a weed and seems to follow the "growing overnight" schedule. He went off in some khaki cargo pants and a light blue polo shirt. His class has a field trip following the photos so I had to send the class t-shirt (You know, the one with the school phone number on it just in case! LOL!) so the teacher could change him.

Here is the big change I noticed...about a week ago Jordan approached me about the photos. She wanted to make sure that I would do her hair on hot rollers for picture day. We did that for the Father-Daughter dance and she was thrilled with the results. I guess she wants to immortalize it in a 5th grade school photo. Funny thing was that she said it was too bad that the fall photos were used for the yearbook. At least the hair decision was easier than the clothing decision. I see this being an issue far too soon.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter photos

We had a great Easter weekend. On Saturday there were two egg hunts (neighborhood + church) and a soccer game. Following that we had some friends from our old Navy days come through on their spring break. We've known Kent and Melissa for almost 18 years and it was so great to see them again. The last time we saw them was for their shipmate's funeral after 9/11 -- six years ago. They came in Saturday afternoon and we shared a southern meal of "Who loves ya baby back ribs" on the screened porch. The weather was beautiful and since they had left Ohio with snow they were thrilled to be nearing the 80s. They stayed overnight and we had lots of fun watching the kids tear into their easter goodies on Sunday morning together.

Here is a snapshot of Kent and Melissa's boys with Grace and Jordan. We quickly threw a kids table together once we saw how excited they were to dine outside.

Old shipmates, Dave and Kent:

Our Easter morning photo. As you can see it is difficult to get all three smiling sincerely at once. I got two out of three in this photo and considered that a success. They absolutely refused to do retakes this afternoon. Grace had begun the morning with a smocked orange dress. As I was completing my makeup she comes into my bathroom showing me where she got dry erase marker on the front. She was playing with a new toy of William's. (Any secret solutions to clean that???) I threw another dress on her and we headed out the door.

I did finally get a smile out of her at church with her first grade friend, Adelaide.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, March 22, 2008


With all the Easter fun today I felt the need to remind myself of the true meaning of the holiday. The beauty of this gift give freely to us is that we can access it all year long. No need to wait for a holiday to celebrate the completion of a promise made long before Jesus lived on this earth. Because of this promise fulfilled we have a grace given to us beyond our wildest wishes. No need for an Easter bonnet to celebrate that!

The Resurrection

1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' " ~Mark 16: 1-7

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the importance of girlfriends

Today we were at Dave's office. We delivered a bbq lunch to him since he had a day full of teleconferences. Grace thought it was awesome to visit Daddy in the middle of the day. Dave sent Grace on a little mission to the office of a friend named Donna. Donna is known to have the candy stash so Dave sent Grace after a little treat. Nothing like a little girl with pigtails showing up in your office to beg.

Dave and I ended up following Grace to eavesdrop. We hung out with Donna for a few minutes and I asked what trips she had in the works. Donna is so cool because she travels for pleasure several times a year. She's single and I like to live vicariously through her. She's talking about three dream trips (You know, a Mediterranean cruise, a trip to Mexico, and a quick jaunt to Northern California) so Dave asks if her boyfriend is going on any of these. Turns out that they are all girlfriend trips. Dave looks perplexed. Donna and I exchange glances and laugh. Dave wanted to know why an all girlfriend trip is such a popular thing. Donna and I laugh again. She says that she prefers to travel with her friends.

Now if you've been off with a set of girlfriends it is almost guaranteed that you can relax and have a few laughs while shopping or just doing nothing. Girlfriends don't mind going to an art gallery. They don't mind just sitting on a bench and talking. Discussions are long and intense...the kind that most men abhor. No hurry, no deadline other than the occasional movie or dinner reservation. After living in Georgia for five years I am beginning to develop some new girlfriend friendships to enjoy. I've got friends all over the country I enjoy already from military days, work, and motherhood. Our little conversation with Donna reminded me today that I need to keep investing in those relationships, both near and far. One day this chaos will quieten down a bit and I hope to have lots of friends with whom I've laughed with along the way.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a small gift

Oh my goodness, I think I've just had a true heart to heart with my big girl. Not that we haven't had serious talks before, but this one came out of nowhere and was simply "what was on her mind" in subject matter. Know what she was worried and upset about? How complex all the friendships and hierarchies were becoming in school. How people are different between school and home. How she doesn't really know what tier she fits into among her peers. Gulp and double gulp.

My heart ached for her. She has friends, lots of friends, but those relationships are becoming more complicated. Girls and their insecurities become very pronounced at the end of elementary school. I didn't discount her concerns or patronize her. I know the frustration is real. She's gotten ridiculed for befriending a few outcasts or new people. She knows its the right thing to do and yet cannot understand why others are being petty. She feels different because of the way she processes ideas and approaches problems.

I still wonder why certain people are still playing these games into their 40's, don't you? I've often felt comfortable among many groups and at the same time I know I am different than others. I suppose we all are never quite a perfect fit...

What a tender hearted almost 11 year old. I pray she will always keep that heart kind and caring, thoughtful and insightful. I dread what is ahead, but as I told her tonight I believe that God has already planned great things for her spiritually and academically in life. Her job is to move through these day to day distractions with that ultimate goal in mind. She was crying thankful tears when we finished. She seemed almost relieved that I had felt these feelings before her. I was reminded tonight that fifth graders have deep worries and concerns just like adults.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

cinderella, pele, and the ballerina

Here are three photos from last week's events:

Dave and Jordan ready to attend the Girl Scout Father Daughter Dance. Dave took Jordan out on a date that night for a nice meal and then the dance. Apparently Jordan taught him some new dances and they had a great time together.

Grace at her ballet "recital". She takes ballet at the YMCA and they do a skills performance at the end of each session.

William at soccer practice. He really loves the sport so far. It's a true match of his strength and energy level.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

finding the time

Yesterday I was at soccer practice for William. It's only our second practice so I am getting to know the mothers who were all together last season. I sat there talking with two sweet women who were probably 5 years younger than me. As we spoke the first woman talked about taking time to go on a date with her husband that weekend. The second woman gasp and said that she was never able to find time to either date her husband or ever wanted to leave her dear children. In fact, she said that once she left for a church led women's retreat weekend and came back early because she missed them so much.

I know from previous conversations that this woman homeschools both of her children. That alone is not an issue with me, but I began to wonder if she ever finds a quiet moment for herself or her husband? I suppose it got me thinking about the all consuming nature of motherhood. That is the one thing I was not prepared for when I became a mother. I am thankful that Dave has made our dates a priority thoughout the years. Six years ago, while I was still surrounded by nursing infants and little ones (have I left these stages yet???) he made it clear that we needed to find time for a monthly date. I cannot tell you how much this has meant to me through all these changes. He was right to do this and even more right to encourage me to maintain our relationship as partners.

I'll admit that finding a quiet moment is tricky among our household chaos, but I've been trying to recapture this more often. I need time to study my Bible properly, I need time to pray meaningfully, and I need time to remember who I am outside of Mommy. At first glance this all seems so selfish...but I think we need to feed our minds and souls while still in the midst of motherhood. So, I'm just wondering how you feel about all these things? How do you recharge yourself and your relationship with your husband? Do you think it is important? How do you make time?

Monday, March 03, 2008

weekend wrapup

I'll start the weekend on Thursday so I can mention that my parents (along with one niece, Alana, who is Grace's age) came into town from Alabama to watch Jordan perform her last elementary school chorus event. A friend of mine called it Jordan's Elementary Swan Song...It was a bittersweet moment watching her sing with a group which has been together seriously studying music since third grade. Jordan played several instruments throughout the program and then had the beginning solo in a song titled, "I am but a small voice".

I am but a small voice
I am but a small dream
The fragrance of a flower
in the unpolluted air

I am but a small voice
I am but a small dream
to smile upon the sun
be free to dance and sing
be free to sing my song to everyone

Her voice is so young and pure right now. I'm so proud of her ability to hit her mark during the strenuous requirements of the program and hold herself together during a solo. It was a sweet moment. My only complication that night was that my little bit had to make visits to the bathroom at all the wrong moments. Sigh...such is life with a family. I got to see most everything despite that and thankfully had heard her solo in completion earlier. My parents were thrilled to hear her sing since they love music so much.

On Friday night we went to the Atlanta Hawks basketball game with the YMCA. William played last season and got a free ticket because of that. They offered discounted family tickets so I got four. We ended up leaving Grace with my parents and taking one of William's neighborhood buddies, Jackson. Jordan moaned relentlessly that she did not need to go since she did not enjoy fact, she acted like I had punished her by including her on this outing. It was so painful getting everyone out the door that I almost lost my parental cool. By the time we got down there and to our seats all three kids were oohing and aahing over the event. We had eaten at The Varsity prior to the event so we only at snacks there. It's a good thing since just a few snacks and drinks cost us $32! Good to feed the hungry masses before an event like that. I was happy Dave had suggested it. We had a good night seeing something together. It was a decent game against the NY Knicks and the Hawks won. We were way up in the nosebleed section, but we could see all the action. After the game the YMCA group was allowed on the court and got to throw freethrows for a long time. Security was a bit strict, but it was a neat opportunity.

Thankfully there were no sports obligations this weekend so Saturday was pretty much a free day. Saturday night Dave and I attended the Murdock Elementary School Foundation Gala. I had helped on the solicitation committee. Lest your mind wander on that "solicitation" phrase perhaps I should explain that I went out to community businesses and asked for donations of things to be auctioned off on Saturday night. The solicitation group harvested over $40,000 worth of merchandise and services. It was a silent auction held at a nice hotel near the perimeter area. I haven't heard the final totals, but I think things went fairly well. I could not believe that someone paid $400 for a parking space in front of the school...or $2500 for an Italian vacation. It was a cool night. Dave and I were so busy during the auction that we didn't eat much so we slipped off to PF Changs after the event to have a quiet midnight meal together. Dave was an awesome date and we actually enjoyed some time together. Rare nowadays.

Sunday was a good day together. We had an interesting sermon at church and some lively discussion in our small group that night. I said goodbye to my parents and Alana that afternoon and then goodbye to Dave after small group. He's headed out of town until Friday morning to the Seattle area. He made special arrangements to be back in town for the Father Daughter Dance next Friday night with Jordan.