on the lighter side

Lest my readers fear that this blog has taken a turn for the melancholy and pessimistic road, I am posting with the intent of being much more cheerful and sharing some photos! We are doing well these days. The kids and house keep me pretty busy, but I have been working on a quilt for Aubrey that I'm very excited about! It's my second (if you don't include dollhouse quilts!), and I'm having so much fun working on it. We got some Seinfeld seasons from Tuan's folks, so I've been quilting and watching Seinfeld--I never really watched them back in the day, and it's been fun to finally understand all of the Seinfeld references that have entered into popular culture!

Johnny is just growing and blossoming! He's hit the twos emotionally which can be baffling. "Why are you crying, Johnny?" (five minutes later) "Oh, I see, you're crying because you want some soy sauce on your pasta--how silly of us to not know that!" Apart from the emotions, things are pretty smooth. He is taking a cue from Thomas and learning to be "really useful." If you exist in the universe of Sodor and are a train instead of a human, being "Really Useful" is the pinnacle of compliments. Johnny helps me unload the dishwasher, picks up toys so we can vacum (sp?), throws away trash and fetches things. I'm so proud of him! I hope that these will become habits and as he grows he'll just do them when asked.

Aubrey Sue is just eating up a storm and laughing and making us laugh. She LOVES and adores Johnny. Anything he does is funny and worth watching. She actually sleeps better when he is in the room! Aubrey also likes to touch, taste and bite things. She's going to be a very tactile learner, I think. She turned seven months yesterday--it's so hard to believe we've only had her with us seven months! I think back to those hard and uncertain days in the NICU and am so thankful for her health and presence! As hard as it was, it taught me to value my children and not take anything for granted.

I'm posting some pictures via a Facebook link. At some point, I'll label them, but I need to run. Tuan desperately wanted a digital camera so he could take pictures unhindered by film and costs. Let me tell you all that he does! We have hundreds of photos of the kids and they are all cute! One day we'll sort them and get them developed--one day . . . . Enjoy the photos.



One of the most crushing things is when you've poured yourself into a job only to find out that another person thinks you're being underhanded or have wrong motives. It's like a smack in the face with a baseball bat. Particularly when the accusing party has no first-hand knowledge of what's going on. Life and sin stink.


The Times They are a Changing

This has been a year of change. I rarely straddle the fence when it comes to change. I'm either all revved up and excited or adamantly opposed to it. In the past six months, I've gained a daughter, lost my beloved Granny and "retired" from camping. Gaining our sweet, precious Aubrey Sue has been incredible. Losing Granny and "retiring" perhaps not so much.

I was very, very close to my Granny. When I was little, she kept me while Mom worked and even after Mom was at home, I spent heaps of time at her house. We were so close that when as a very little girl Dad threatened to send me to live with Granny (in a moment of disciplinary desperation, I'm sure), I was all for it and started packing my bags! Her house was a treasure trove of wonderful things to look at, and she was always willing to share those treasures and her skills. She taught me how to quilt, to crochet, to "save" things and had such a deep, amazing love for people. Before we moved to TL, we lived a few miles down the road from her, which was really fun. Sometimes, I'd go grocery shopping with Granny and her buddy Ms. Hazel. They'd take hours to get through Wal-mart because walking and talking didn't go together. We'd walk a few steps, stop, talk, walk and repeat! It was very funny.

In the last few years, due to a lot of circumstances, it was really hard to spend time at Granny's house. We still saw a lot of her, but because we couldn't be at "Granny's", a lot of good times were missed, and there was this burden there. Things needed to be done and intervention required that didn't happen. She died this spring very suddenly--for that I am so glad. Granny just got to go. Ten years ago, my Grandfather died suddenly and shockingly and things just seemed so unfinished. Not so with Granny. Her life was full and settled. Grieving over her has been slow, though. Rather than a big flood of grief and tears, there has been this pounding rhythm under the surface of my daily life: "my Granny is gone, my Granny is gone." I'm making a quilt for Aubrey and can't talk to her about it and show her my neat seams. My Granny is gone, my Granny is gone. The usual weekly letter during camp filled with the latest doings in Mt. Olive didn't come this summer. My Granny is gone, my Granny is gone.

She was a constant in my life. No matter what happened, she was there, her name address and phone number were always my "emergency contact info" for forms and such. Now her phone is turned off and 797-3645 will go to someone else. We are going through her house and things and letting that go has been incredibly hard. The thought of someone else living there and changing all the things I hold sacred is very difficult.

This year also marked an end to an eight year run of being on Summer Staff out here. Right now I am glad to be done with camp. It is impossible to do both camp and my primary job (wife/mommy) well. I'll be out here, but not "here." This is a good thing, but I know that it will not be easy. I'm going to miss the feeling of usefulness and being needed and frankly "in charge" and "in the know." I think next summer, I'm going to feel a total loss of a part of my "identity" when camp starts and I'm not running around, planning, making decisions, on the "radio" and working with staff.

Two things have been "constants" in my life for so long: Granny and camp. I use parenthesis because in all truth they never were truly constant. When the storms come and go all that remains is Jesus. Oh, may I be wise and build my "house" on him. May my hope be in the Rock of my Salvation.