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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Warm Welcome, Almost Humid

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For most, going to church on Sundays is a choice that is made each week.  People go for all sorts of reasons.  The reasons determine what church they go to and what happens at that church.  When I met Wil, I did not actively go to church.  I had wondered out into the woods of Appalachian State’s campus with a Bible now and then flipping to a passage, trying to make sense of what I had read.  I had felt and thanked God many times after a hike with Sylus to the top of the viaduct trail off the Parkway.  Falling in love with someone allows a person to join in each others beliefs.  Ultimately,  I started going to St. Luke’s, Asheville with Wil and I didn’t really like it at first.  The ritual, the standing, sitting, kneeling then standing thing, and what I referred to as “costumes” that the people in the front wore.  It was such a far cry from my nature.  It was important though and I knew it was so I kept going.  We moved and changed churches and eventually ended up at Sewanee where I learned why we knelt or stood at certain parts and what those “costumes” were actually called and why they changed colors every so often.  Stranger then that, I started to enjoy the ritual of it.  It became so familiar and comforting and I could either tune in and think about the words or tune out and just be in that holy space, with others who were there too.

When Wil got the call as assistant at The Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, I was excited for him to take that next step and I was excited for Lilly and I to meet new friends and explore new ground.  Today, a lot of those same feelings found me again.  Today was our first Sunday morning at Holy Cross Faith Memorial at Pawleys Island.  Today we met our new church family nestled within the old familiar liturgy of being Episcopal.



Three days prior to today, my folks trucked it North and I began a pity party for one.  All logic leaves me when I feel like that:  lonely, depressed, unsure of myself.  I hate being in that place emotionally and on Saturday morning, I found my way out of that dark place and watched as Wil prepared mentally for Sunday.  If there had been even the slightest bit of grey cloud following me, the people of HCFM brought the sunshine and the rainbows!  Willow, Lilly and I got there early because I had no idea where to take them for children’s church or where I should sit.  Beth Monroe and a herd of kids met us near the car and we followed them to the parish hall where Lilly and Willow were happily distracted by older kids and the promise of a story and a craft.  I then could make my way to the sanctuary which is so bright and inviting.  I sat next to the Quigley’s who have been a source of first friendship these past weeks and the service began after a few hellos and updates about how we were all doing.

When the organ started, my chest filled and I am sure I looked proud as the precession with little kid acolytes, diversified choir and Father Wil as head rector made it to their rightful places.  The sermon was solid, the music was amazing, the crowd was all smiles and God was there in that place.


Out the windows, I could see the parade of children making their way across the campus of trees decorated with Spanish moss ready to join the adults in communion.  Lilly holding the hand of another child with her pink boots while Willow happily hitched a ride on the hip of Beth, the sight made me so happy.  They had already made themselves at home.



After the service, the introductions were made, the cake was eaten, and so much excitement for our arrival hung in the air.  It was a great day.  It was great cake.  It is a great community where so much can be done to heal, to help, to come together with love.  To be Episcopalian means more to me now then ever before and I’m proud of my new church and happy to have that old familiar feeling.



Monday Blues

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I knew it would show up,  that bit of melancholy that follows me to new homes.   It took it two weeks to find me as I was trying to hide behind house projects, beach trips and errand running.  My motivation to fix ‘er up is null and my courage to invite new people over hasn’t found its place.  When I found myself reminiscing over dishes, going way back to college years, I knew the sadness was creeping in.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am still aware of that happiness and the fact that this place is exactly what we need right now.  Grieving my lost mountains and friend-full schedule I once had is to be expected.

My folks are still in town helping out and giving Wil and I a break from parenting now and then.  They leave this week as Wil has embraced his new office as his second home and I have embraced the craziness of grocery shopping in a beach town.

Lilly continues to adjust like a champ and is really into fairy tales.  I can’t tell you how many times I have acted out Goldie Locks and the 3 Bears.  Her favorite book right now is The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig which is one of Wil’s favorites too.  She loves to help Wil hang up things and fix things around the new house.

Willow’s new trick (besides getting her third tooth) is waving hello and goodbye.  Wil will turn around and leave the room and she’ll wave to him as he goes.  A little bit of gibberish comes out with it as she tries to imitate “bye bye.”  I have discovered how awesome a slice of watermelon is at dinner time.  I give Willow a chunk and she happily gnaws on it for awhile affording me time to chew AND digest my dinner.

As I stare at the stack of cards and list of thank you’s we need to write, I am reminded at how loved and welcomed we are and have been.  Now, to make some friends and find my groove with time for relaxing mixed in.

Beachy Keen

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5 loads of boxes to the recycling center and we have finally unpacked the items that have a place to be.  There are still boxes and lots of disorganization but I am feeling settled.  It has been one week since our move and I already feel like I know much about this new town.  Our house has a lot of character and we get excited and overwhelmed when we discuss all the things we want to do and the things that have to happen to make it more of our place.





We have ventured to the beach a few times figuring out that having a pass to get into Hunting State Park is key since they have restrooms and showers.  Going to the beach with two smallies feels a lot like being put in the back of a cement mixer:  dirty, chaotic, disorienting.  I know there’s a system to it all and I cannot wait to perfect it.   The car has still been filled with sand but at least it’s somewhat manageable. Willow loves the beach.  Between the sand eating and the fearless crawl for the waves, I think this girl was made for coastal living.  Lilly has had to warm up to the waves.  She still clutches onto my swimsuit straps like I’m going to throw her into the water and run away laughing as jelly fish circle around her but it’s getting better.  Soon, I know I’ll be wishing for that timid girl so that I won’t have to worry about sharks or the undertow.






Adjusting well to this life.

Wil is already busily at work and loving it.  The El Camino is quite the joy ride down Highway 17.  I feel like a parade as people peer into the windows trying to see who is in that beast of a truck car.  There’s still so much to do and so much to explore…….

Low Country Highs

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We have finally arrived at our new surroundings!  We finished our time at Good Shepherd with a delicious farewell gathering in the parish hall.  Many tears were shed and many “see you soon”s were uttered.  The movers came on Tuesday and spent 11 hours packing up the house and putting it into the trucks.  Wil and I quickly cleaned the house after they left and as I walked into Lilly and Willow’s room, the emotion spilled out.  The empty walls and bare carpet held so many memories and I could feel them lifting away to travel with me down the road.  One more walk around our mountain home and a mental goodbye to Sylus’s grave, Wil and I hit the road towards Atlanta and towards new beginnings.  The next day we made it to our new house on Crooked Oak Drive at Pawleys Island.  It seemed like a dream with all the many months of build up in our heads.  We can begin again.


With Lilly and Willow safely taken care of by my folks, I woke up in our new home early Wednesday morning,  looked out on our screened porch to a dim sunrise and sticky air.  After a local cup of coffee and some pastries left at our door by a new church friend, the moving truck arrived and our awesome crew of movers started bringing box after box into the house.  It didn’t seem like they’d ever finish but they did and with a deep sigh, we unpacked the first box.


It was important to get the kitchen and the girls rooms somewhat squared away before their arrival.  Wil and I shoved things in drawers and arranged their mini beds and changing tables in the new rooms.  After a welcome visit by some new friends, Lilly and Willow arrived.  Lilly ran through the house with pleasure and excitement and Willow was glad to be out of the car and able to play with her familiar toys.  The first night was a success with good sleep by all and a comfortable feeling.  It was finally our home.



So, we are settling in.  Still surrounded by a fortress of boxes and still trying to figure what all the switches do and still realizing that we have too much stuff, we are happily adjusting.  There’s a cat living under our porch that we just can’t have around since Wil is allergic but it bats its pretty eyes and twitches its one ear and wants so badly to be ours.  Lilly also has been exploring her new tree house and tire swing but has already acquired a dot to dot scene of mosquito bites all over her body.  We’ve been to see her new school and had lunch with new friends that have children almost the same age as Lilly and Willow.  Nothing is better then insta-friends when you tend to get lonely quickly.  And now to find those darn bath towels……


10 Months

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On July 4th, quietly and sweetly, Willow turned 10 months old.  She’s been pulling up, eating table foods, growing teeth, crawling fast, and with the help of adult hands, taking little steps.  Happiness shines from her eyes after a good nap and teething pain has slowed down after the two lower fronts finally came in.  Tomatoes and banana are her favorite foods and she shovels them in fist fulls at a time.  Her height has made things tricky for Lilly.  Lilly puts her coloring books or toys on the small kids table and Willow can reach them ultimately chewing on them and making them a pile of trash.  There’s still sisterly love there but there’s also some “mine!” happening too.




One of Willow’s favorite things to do is crawl over to the DVR and hit the blue button that turns the shows off and on.  I’ll call out to her, “No, no” and she’ll smile really big and shake her head back and forth.  It of course melts my heart and makes me laugh and she ends up winning the battle of the blue button.

Three more days of TN!  Wow people.  Wow.  Wil saw the new house and…drum roll…..


………………Loved it!  He said it was such a great space in a great location and we can’t wait to get started on making it more of our own then having the keys and the bill to go with it.

While Wil and Pepaw were gone to Pawleys this week, Lilly and a rotating combo of Daddy George, Nana and Willow and I have rode the Incline Railway, been swimming at the pool, and visited the Children’s Museum.  Chattanooga is made for kids and families.  I just love it here. Although I did very little for the fourth of July, we’ve been having some great meals with great friends.  Nothing like going out of town after having your belly filled and your hearts loved.







Lonesome Dove

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“Lonely is not only a word but faces I have known.”

I’ve reached a strange part of the whole moving process.  Wil and his dad have taken a truck full to Pawleys, my folks have taken Lilly to spend the night with them at the trailer, Willow is happily emptying toys from boxes, and I feel….a little lonely.  There comes a time when I have yet to make new friends but my golden friends are living their lives and moving on.  A week out from our big move and I am twiddling my thumbs.

Wil sees the house for the first time today!  I can’t wait for his reaction to a house that I have only described to him and shown him a few pictures of.

Lilly and I must complete our bucket list this week.  We will, of course, be visiting Rock City but we also have to ride the incline, visit the carousel, play at the Children’s Museum and possibly go ride some rides at Lake Winnie.  The heat is making these things less desirable but we gotta do what we gotta do.

Bonnie gave us our photo CD of the awesome pictures she took of the family.  I can’t wait to put these up at our new house and there are so many more to choose from!  Thanks Bonnie 🙂