May 29, 2013

a short green adventure...

We had planned to head for home first thing... unless our girl needed us.  But a glitch with the car had us waiting for the all ready call from a nearby garage.  I suggested two nearby parks, and he gave me that looks that says not thrilled, this doesn't meet with what I had in mind.  I felt like I was still convincing him when I pointed to the trail marker that said only 0.6 miles.  The morning was clear and bright, and the trail was vivid green... and truly, I think he would have done anything to make me smile, warding off any chance of possible tears.

We skipped the loop in favor of the stairs, zig-zagging down into the limestone sinkhole.  The green pulled at me... so lush and wild, hundreds of shades and shapes.  The spiraling steps captured my eye, natural and out of place, all at once.  Streams trickled down through the stones, around fern and moss... and music of the earth sang to my heart.  Life, all around us. 

It was maybe an hour... both of us content with the time we spent.  Together, breathing in creation.  Then the call came, and we were heading home.  I tried to impress Camden by telling him that we went down into a sinkhole, but he turned it right around when his face lit up and said Oh! Devil's Millhopper?  He never ceases to amaze me...

May 28, 2013

scenes from memorial day

It was a beautiful weekend. 
Sunshine, breezy days, remembering, and living.

This was the year we were finally able to attend the special Memorial Day service at our old church... and I hope that it will become a tradition for us.  The click of soldiers heels as they crossed the marble floor bearing colors, wreaths presented and smart salutes weigh heavy on a heart, but the sweet strains of patriotic songs lifted us in celebration of our beautiful nation.  And I am forever proud to see my husband stand tall as the U.S. Coast Guard verse is played...

The boy scouts helped out at the cemetery Saturday... making sure each soldier's marker was celebrated with red, white and blue.  Camden was honored to help.  We drove down later to see the flags flying in the golden sunlight... and in the quiet of the evening, we were reminded that freedom is never free.  Seeing our flag fly in the breeze moves me... seeing hundreds brought me to tears.

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.
I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
-Abraham Lincoln


May 24, 2013

friday letters...

Dear Weekend,
A three day weekend plus my Friday off equals FOUR!  Thank you.  Four days to breathe.  And play. And remember.  Tomorrow Cam will head to the cemetery for a clean up and to place flags for the veterans... and we'll go to the ceremony Monday.  We also plan to relax with friends... and I am hoping that maybe I'll fit in another kayak adventure with my Mom!

Dear Mom,
I have loved seeing your art on facebook!  It surprises me everytime your name pops up!  I am so thankful and overjoyed that you have found such a wonderful niche at the zoo... and that they appreciate you so!  I keet meaning to tell you... when I mention to Tim that you were my mom, he said YOUR MOM IS AWESOME!  Yep, he did.  And yep. You are... I love you!

Dear Spring Football Game,
Hooray for the win! 
But also, hooray for making me remember how much I miss marching season.  I loved seeing the kids in their spirit wear, playing and dancing their hearts out. 

Dear Sweet Senior Bass Drummer,
Thank you... for this:

From behind me I heard Hi Mom and without turning around I replied Hi Cam... but then I turned and saw him with that big drum.  My smile?  A mile wide!  And so was his.  Thank you, for passing your drum along to him and taking his cymbals and giving him a chance to play back to the band room...

Dear Friends,
Is your prayer list long?  I am amazed at how mine keeps growing and growing.  But I just keep on... because it is the only thing I know.  I wish you a peaceful, full weekend... and some answered prayers.


May 21, 2013

when you dream...

We saw the email come through just after we said goodnight to Laura.  With a deep breath and a prayer, we opened and scrolled for the results... seeking his name.  Hoping, hoping.  The breath whooshed out of both of us at once, and we picked up the phone to call home...
: :
It seems that as soon as you have more than one child in school, the choices begin... because you are inevitably needed in two places at once.  Sometimes it can be solved with Mom going one way and Dad the other... but mostly you still ache to be in the other place. 

There was no compromise available last week, our plan to move Laura to Gainesville was set in stone before we knew dates for drumline auditions.  I would have liked to be there for Cam... offering encouraging words as he went to the audition, chatting about how it went afterwards.  I would have liked to hold his hands in mine while I prayed that this would be the right time... and I really would have liked to see his face when he whooped a YES! at the news that he was finally going to get to play the bass drum.  It is his dream-come-true. 

From the very first time he saw a drumline performance he knew that he wanted to be a part of it.  He worked so hard in his sixth grade year and earned a spot in the percussion section... and there, he fell in love with the bass drum.  While everyone was rushing for snare, he was happy with the slow and steady beat of the bass.  High school drumline is big deal... and while he has been happy with his cymbals, his desire has been to return to that big bass drum. I see a whole lot of hard work coming his way... but this young man, boy of my heart, he has it in him.  I can hardly wait for August!

May 20, 2013

a gift and a justification

Last night the thought crossed my mind that today I was going to get on the treadmill.  But as I was pulling up the covers, I realized I hadn't put out my shoes... so I knew the chances of me actually walking would be slim.  This morning, awake, but still snuggled in the warmth of blankets, Camden popped in and told me today was an AICE testing day... and so I got up and did what a good mama does and made him a nice breakfast (after making a deal with him to move my car from behind his truck while I cooked!)  We had breakfast together... and even a little morning conversation.  It was nice, and I realize that I mostly let this little blessing pass...

After a goodbye and an I love you, he headed out to school, but before I knew it, he was opening the door again with a Mom the sky looks really beautiful...  There we stood in the driveway, me in my pajamas and he with his backpack, and admired the sky for just a moment before he left.  If I had been on the treadmill I would have had the garage door open and probably would have seen the morning beauty unfold... but I count it a bigger gift that my son knows me by heart and came back in to let me know God had painted a masterpiece that I just had to see...

Some other gifts from the week?
-she mentioned that she met friends!
-and she went to the museum with them!
-meeting a friend for lunch, and her being such a good friend that she wouldn't let me breathe in the firey peppers on the grill and let me escape, while she ordered {and paid!}  I love you, Suz!
-laughter, a lot.
-a phone call that he was driving into town, a text that he was heading to the mall, and knowing he made the round trip safely!
-the chance to be a part of making a special place, honoring a friend
-finding forgotten chocolate in my desk drawer
-being able to take our son to a concert {third day, josh wilson + colton dixon!}
-ending up in the first row of the balcony, even with general admission seating
-that there is worship in the rock music

-listening to my husband sing
-knowing there is rest for the weary and the broken-hearted
-the disney store
-a friend's acting ability
-date night
-dessert before dinner
-a phone call with our girl, all is well
-singing two of his favorite songs in church... shine, Jesus shine + all you works of God bless the Lord
-how our eyes met across the fellowship hall and we bee-line in for our weekly hug
-plans, plans...coming together
-dove raspberry & dark chocolate swirls...

May 17, 2013

friday letters

Dear Me,
Please make a note to always keep evaporated milk and chocolate chips on hand.  Always.  Spur of the moment hot fudge is sometimes necessary.  Maybe next time you should make dinner first, but don't worry, I understand...

Dear Laura,
I have loved your texts this week!  And the way you added three "o"s to the "so" before excited.  I am trying hard to not to constantly bug you with my "voice" but I want to hear it all... or read it all.  And yesterday?  When you said you were going with friends?  My heart did a happy dance right there in the doctor's office!

Dear Doctor,
Sorry that I almost laughed when you asked me about steroids.  It is just that yes I have had more than my fair share of experience with them... the shot and the pills.  But I am willing to take them for the next six days.  Beyond that?  I hope not!  {and Suz, beware... you better keep your food far across the table today... because I'm already starving}

Dear Eric,
Well, we did it.  We brought our first off to college.  What a step.  Thank you, for reading my face and knowing that the first apartment just wouldn't do... and thank you, for fixing it.  I am so thankful for you... the laughter we create and the ordinary moments that turn extraordinary when we are us.  It won't be long now, before we are making this journey again... but I couldn't dream of making it with anyone but you...

Dear God,
Thank you for the blessings of the week and the weekend.  You carried us through... and are creating opportunities for our girl that will keep her in the palm of your hand.  Today I ask for extra care of some some very beautiful ladies... rest and a handful of spoons for my weary friend, comfort and assurance for a mama in the waiting room and as she enters the recovery room.  Also, can you find a way to knit a family back together?  Their loss was monumental, and the year has been long.  But maybe with time and the summer breeze, there will be a way...

May 16, 2013

when the time is right...

About a week ago we had a little Cinco de Mayo party... just family, and friends that might as well be family.   We never want to miss a chance to celebrate Mexican food, and with Laura leaving for Zoo School just three days later, the timing was perfect!  We had more chips than we could possibly consume, tacos, various dips and ice cream sundaes.  You can never go wrong with sundaes, especially if you are partying on a Sunday.  Laura received a few sweet going-away gifts, but always a shining star, Suz outdid them all, and also brought me a gift!  A nice big box of Kleenex, tied up in lime green ribbon.  I almost needed to open that box then and there{because she is always so thoughful!}

But a full week, and many miles later, the box remains sealed.  I kind of expected that it would be, although everyone assured and promised me I would need it.  And not actually needing it?  It could make me feel like a bad mother, but I have decided not to buy into that.  We are all just so excited, and there comes a time when they really are ready to go...

We spent three full days together... getting her there and moving her in.  We decorated, we shopped, and even took a trial spin on the bus, so it might not be so scary when she takes her first solo trip {it would be scary for me, but my girl is far braver...}  We lugged boxes, talked and laughed.  Explored book stores, and loaded up on groceries.  And when it was time, we let her take the lead on our  farewell. 

She decided Friday night, with a Saturday morning option, just in case.  After a stir-fry dinner, and talking her through how she could do it on her own, we said our goodbyes.  Eric pulled her into his arms and held on a little longer than usual.  I took her face in my hands and kissed her with an I love you, and then we left her smiling.  No tears... because we could see a confidence in her that assured us the time was right.

As we made our way home, I though of a million more things I could tell her... but I resisted.   She will figure it out.  Her tool box is full.  Lessons and bits of wisdom, nagging reminders and the echoes of my voice pressing on her to do one thing or another, recipes for favorite dishes and for life itself, and love... so. much. love

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
    -A.A. Milne


linking up to richella's grace at home party...

May 13, 2013

a weary, wonderful monday...

A five day weekend can be too much, and not enough, all at once... and no matter which, weary is the outcome. But facing a Monday with sweet memories tucked into this weary soul, I will make it through... because there is never too much wonderful...

-a long-awaited adventure
-fitting almost everything...
-wrapping my arms around my daughter and assuring her that this is always home
-a scruffy polar bear...pillow and friend
-pink wildflowers along the highway

-spanish moss-draped trees...everywhere
-moving her into God's will
-kilwin, kilimanjaro, killroy, kitty-cat, krill...
-books, books, and more books!
-his new hat
-baby iris
-two dreams realized
-someone having faith in your child
-lotsa lime green
-a make-shift window seat

-a date night
-mother's day, early
-her smiling face
-an unopened box of kleenex
-steps in the park

-heated seats
-putting my arms around her one more time
-safety on the road
-making it home in time for band awards
-putting my arms around my son after being away
-mother's day, again

-putting my feet in the sand
-watching the coquinas dig

I hope that if your Monday finds you seeking rest, you can re-play some beautiful weekend memories to help you through...


May 07, 2013

time racing...

There haven't been new words here in a while... and I've left you hanging at the balloon festival.  I will just plead sorry, and promise that part two is coming... sometime.

The words of my heart are moving at a rapid pace, creating a buzz in the center of my chest, racing so quickly that I cannot catch them, I cannot hear them. 

Boxes are piled in the corner of her room, ready to be transferred to the van.  Tonight. It has taken a few to-do lists to get us here, and every time we check something off the list, it reminds us of something else that should be on the it.  I am anxious to pull out of the driveway, and get to the either we have it or we don't part of this journey. 

The next few days will be exciting... in ways that will scare us and bring us joy.  I'm praying for the balance... and that when we kiss her goodbye, there are only smiles...

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