Monday, June 24, 2013

Challenged: Life is Good?

I sure did fall down on the photo challenge! Oh, I think I might resume again with the list.  It is fun. But obviously it won't be done in the month of June! What really happened was that life itself became too challenging.  Plain and simple. :)
I just got back from town.  I followed a vehicle down the hill that had the worn out "Life is Good" slogan on the spare tire cover.  I see it all over- on all the Subarus, and Jeeps, and SUVs, and Land Rovers.  I really don't have a problem with it; it can be taken as a reminder to count your blessings. But, everytime I see it I think to myself, "God is good." Kind of like mentally correcting peoples' bad grammar the instant they "seen" something.
Today I was trying to deal with my overwhelmed emotional state of mind.  I kept running into walls.  I understand how blessed I am.  I understand God's call to me as a wife and mother.  I understand that hormones and fatigue are playing a huge role in how I am carrying out my calling.  The conflict is between what I know and what I feel . I finally decided to let the tears go in the shower and then to quit trying to reconcile my feelings with the facts.  I don't think feelings can be rationally reconciled with facts. So my memo to myself is: do what ever you have to do, whether mandated by God or circumstances, and hold on; you'll feel better eventually. The thing is, maybe life is good, and maybe not. God is good. Always.

Grandma has beautiful poppies right now.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June Photo Challenge: Dots

foam and bubbles at the bottom of the water falls

red spots on a leaf

freckles and the pupil of my eye :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Photo Challenge: Self Portrait

I'm doing the June Photo Challenge in a Facebook group like I did last year. This year I'm going to try to post each challenge here, too.
Today's challenge was "self portrait". Talk about bringing out the adolescent in this 34 year old! I can't say I've ever left the adolescent insecurity over my looks behind; but somehow I've learned to, you know, deal with it, and love life anyway. I've never got the clear skin I wish I had. Nope, I've brought the ol' acne right along with me. And two years ago I started to go noticeably gray. And then the crows feet began to dig in. And then that cute dimple I had in my twenties turned into a trench beside my mouth. That's just the facial load.
Somewhere along the line I looked in the mirror and discovered that I got my mother's legs. I'm not sure how that works; she still has her legs. Anyway, she has nice legs. But they don't look 17 anymore. Mine don't either.
Most of the time I'm too busy doing life as a wife and mother to get hung up on these things. I see it, but I don't have time to agonize over it. But it hits me now and then. It gets me. I look in the mirror and I see a (tired) thirty something woman with two kids and a thirty something husband. Seventeen years ago I thought a life such as this looked liked pure drudgery. Seventeen years ago I was filled with big dreams and a melancholy heart full of beautiful music just ready to spill out to an adoring audience. By the time I was 24 I was lonely and pretty disillusioned with music-it was all hard work and debilitating stage fright. So I married my best friend. I worked hard on music for another two years, but the clock said it was time to have babies.
So here I am. I'm 34, definitely maturing, and nothing to show for it. I go to do a self portrait and spend a morning feeling like a thirteen year old, trying to find an angle that's kind.
Not that it took until today to have these thoughts. They've been kicking in there..... Hair dye? Wrinkle cream? Hours on the elliptical machine? Thoughts like these in between "what's for dinner?" and "who made this mess?" And somewhere in there the things that I've been taught: that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. That charm is deceptive, but a woman that fears the Lord shall be praised. And the things I've been blessed with: being married to the kindest man in the universe, being the mother of the two sweetest little girls I've ever known, learning that I love flowers, learning to love music again now that I'm not trying to achieve anything.
I still dream. My heart is still full of music that I wish I could express to the world-probably that is the dream that lingers. But the world is full of far better musicians and I've learned that that dream held tightly kills my joy. So I let it be.
And no, I'm not above wrinkle cream and the elliptical machine. Somewhere in all these thoughts I'm at peace. I'm not particularly happy with all externals, but well, I'm not thirteen anymore. God is good and He knows how to deal with wrinkles and dormant dreams.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Rest Of The Trip

We left Mississippi Tuesday morning. Today is Sunday. Tomorrow we are planning to GO HOME!!
Tuesday we traveled to Tullahoma, Tennessee. The next morning Jay dropped me and the kids off at Joy's house. We did what we used to do back when we were neighbors. We took a walk out in God's fresh air. They have goats. And bikes. And then we had lunch, took a few pictures, and hit the road again.

Wednesday we traveled to Medford, Wisconsin. The next morning we had breakfast with my brother, Eric. And then we traveled northwest to see my cousin, Lovina and her family over lunch. My aunt brought spring treats over for the kids.

In the afternoon we headed north to come here to Arla's house. On the way we went past the road and the house where I was a little girl. Things change, but not too much. I don't miss it, but I still feel fond of it.

Here at Arla's we've been doing a lot of this:

We took a walk in the melting snow yesterday.

Arla has nice geraniums.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gulf Shores, Alabama

This will be pretty much a picture post. We went to Gulf Shores with Jay's family last weekend. It was Olivia and Mima's first time to see the ocean. Half of these pictures were taken on the beach and the rest were taken on a big long fishing pier. The beach was windy! It was too cold and windy for the girls, so we found a part of the beach that came inland a bit and was much more sheltered. The sun peeked out a time or two, and when it did it was lovely! I love the ocean, so the bad weather didn't really bother me. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it too.
The pier was worth the $2.00 fee for sure. There was a lot of fishing going on. There were some large sinks and cutting tables for cleaning fish about halfway down the pier. That was where the pelicans were hanging out. Have you ever watched a pelican eat? When the fishermen would toss them what was left of a fish after filleting they would snatch it and gulp. And then there would be all manner of contortions and regurgitations until it was finally properly "stomached". Yuck. No manners at all.
It was a good memory making trip, including the pelicans.

beach pretties

flying kites on the beach

us, over on the windy side

we buried the little girls in the sand for the novelty of it and because it warmed them up

the view from the sheltered side

pier pictures

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Goodbye, Mississippi

Here we are on the road again. This time we are headed up the road only five hours or so to Tullahoma, Tennessee. I get to see a friend I haven't seen for a year. She used to be my just down the hill neighbor, but she moved away a year ago.
The girls are in their car seats, softly snoring. They played hard in Mississippi. Their little cousins are the same ages as they. Two three-year-olds and two four -year -olds. And one mellow little boy, six weeks old (he's theirs, not ours). They painted and played they were chickens and mommies and sweeties, and jumped and ran, and ate candy and crackers, and melted down, skipped naps and crashed. Charmed their nana and granddaddy and tias too.

What more can be said? Little ladies posing.
Nana's swing.

Granddaddy's pond and the ancient sea shells to be found around it. I guess Mississippi must have been under the ocean at one time.
Olivia digging in the red sand. We took a little nature walk there at Granddaddy's place.....

Jay, brother-in-law Jeff, and Granddaddy worked on building Nana and Granddaddy a car port. They need one. Last weekend we came arrived home from the coast in a pouring rain. The five steps between car and house were enough to get you very, very wet. It sho' can rain in Mississippi.

Jay has been craving crawfish. He lucked out; crawfish was in season this visit. We got to enjoy a crawfish meal with family and old friends. Eating crawfish is a fairly organic experience. Not nearly as organic as eating raw oysters; the crawfish are cooked. But there is some sea weed and sand to be found in the crawfish pot..... Not to mention the optional step of removing the little crawfish colon before eating...... It's good-tastes like shrimp.

Next post: Gulf Shore Pictures.