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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tourist Season

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I knew I had to go to the mountains this October.  Besides the gorgeous leaves it brings, just the way the breeze blows and the air cools always makes me feel happy.  Lilly, Willow and I made the 6 hour trek from Pawleys to Asheville.  This was my first trip outside the low country since moving this summer.  Let me tell you, Asheville did not disappoint.  It was an amazing week of blue skies and bright leaves.  As we pulled off at one of the parkway overlooks and joined the crowd of leaf lookers, I had this surreal moment where I fully realized that I am now one of the tourists.  My camera doing no justice to the view we were taking in, I couldn’t help but want to yell, “I grew up here!”  I am now such a stranger to the new Asheville but the parkway is a familiar friend.

After looking around Pawleys for a good pumpkin patch and coming up short, I was glad to go to the Farmers Market and have our pick of pumpkins.

As usual, Kei Kei and PePaw spoiled us all rotten with amazing food and love.  Lilly took to the Keith family friend John LaRowe like she had known him for years.  He is pretty darn adorable.

One night, Kei Kei hosted my side of the family.  It was great seeing my brother and his family (missed my mom and dad!) and even Aunt Rita came which is always so special.  I think back on my time with cousins and at grandparent’s homes.  As far as memories are concerned, those always seem to be such strong ones.  I can see the old trestle and feel that scary back bedroom.  I remember objects like the domino set at my grandparent’s house and the way the garage smelled. When Lilly is running around her grandparent’s home with cousins Rachel and Kylie, I hope she too is having some of the best times.

In the middle of all the family gatherings, I saw my old friends and quite a few of them which I always make a priority.  For me, the time with them is stress relief and my thoughts are always so clear when talking to people who have known me for many years.  I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see but what I did get has filled me up and carried me through.

The whole time we were having fun in Asheville, I wasn’t really missing Pawleys.  Wil was very busy with all kinds of church happenings and I was absorbed in Western NC.  Then I saw pictures from Wil:

As if on cue, it felt like I was being beckoned back to my new adventure.  The mountains and people are so steadfast and I am so lucky to have two gorgeous places that I call home.

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Simply Sisters

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Instead of discussing weather (which has been awesome BTW) or my views on life I want to talk about Lilly and Willow.

Lilly

It takes a photo to remind me how much more kid and how much less toddler Lilly really is.  Looking back on the many pictures I took this week, I can see an older Lilly, a wiser Lilly, a more independent Lilly.

The minute she wakes, she recalls all the thoughts from her dreams and verbally prepares me for what her needs are going to be the minute my feet hit the floor.  As my eyes are barely adjusting to the rising sunshine, she says, “Mommy, I made a pattern.  I went to bed then I woke up then I went to bed and I woke up! I’m thirsty.  Can I have some juice? May you please get me some juice?  We better go get Willow.”  My daily narrative has begun and the minute I start to tune her out, she brings me back with a question or a frantic “Mommy!  Do you hear me?”

I’ve noticed lately how great her drawings have become.  We are seeing less scribble and more intention to her art work.  This picture of a cat was impressive, I was wishing it was on paper so I could keep it in her art-folio.  At a restaurant meal, her and Wil spent much time drawing churches and Mr. Josh on the provided paper.  She gets that her accomplishments are being noticed and brought the papers home to take to her teachers the next day.

On Sunday, when we picked Wil up ate the airport, I stopped at an Air Force memorial to check out the jets.  Lilly has so many questions:  How do people get in?  How does it go?  Why are there stars on the sides?  I was wishing Wil was with us because he is super knowledgeable.  I knew some of the answers but not all.  After checking out jets for awhile, Lilly decided, “I’m going to be a pilot when I grow up.”

Things at the beach have gotten better too.  Lilly actually went to the edge of the water with me and watched the waves come and go.  She also helped me save a few starfish by retrieving sticks so we could pick them up and throw them back into the water.
Now that the waves aren’t as scary as they used to be, I think next summer she is going to love getting into the surf and wave hoping.

When she laughs, it is pure joy.  When she cries, it is pure sadness.  Lilly is quirky and silly and giving.

Willow

At 13 months, Willow prefers walking to pretty much anything else.  The doctor visit informed us that she is 95% for height and only 25% for weight.  She is thinning out and losing a bit of the baby fat.  I try to kiss what’s left on her chubby little cheeks as long as she’ll stand me.

Teething has been the word of the month.  I can’t help but wonder why getting teeth has to be so traumatic.  A friend reminded me that babies don’t remember this time in their lives but it sure does stink while it’s happening.

Walking has become more of a speed walk lately and she wants to go every direction but the way we are going.  Willow is definitely strong willed and stubborn.

Preferring fruit and crackers, getting Willow to eat can be a challenge.  She just doesn’t like many things and we end up watching her throw food off her highchair tray and then getting mad that there isn’t anything on her tray to eat.  I decided to let her try out a spoon to see if it would get her excited about eating.  The spoon lasted a few minutes and then she went straight to hands and general messiness.

While walking through a store the other day, the muzak was pumping and Willow entertained the small crowd of folks with her sweet dance moves. (Basically just shaking her head and squatting a few times.)  It was a huge crowd pleaser which she loves.  She definitely flashes folks her smile and shyly looks down as she does it.  Along with dancing, Willow loves animals!  All animals, even the softball sized spider hanging out near our porch.  With a serious look on her face and her 4 teeth gnashed together, she will point to animals and babble the same noise over and over.  It’s almost like, “This, this” but I’m not really sure.  I just stop and point to, telling her the animal and the noise it makes.

Willow, with all her frustrations and wobbliness is a bright spot in this world.

A gentle rub of her head or taking the blanky to wipe away tears, Lilly is a great big sister to Willow.  Wil and I are constantly reaffirming to each other how cute our girls are and how sweet they can be.  Proud parents, happy parents, tired parents……

Keep it Simple

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A discussion I was part of today highlighted the benefits of leading a simple life.  I think for most of us that leans towards less material stuff and less chaos.  There are those that have taken living simply to heart and live so frugally and leave such a small footprint that I can only mentally applause and cheer them on over and over again because our lives don’t seem to cross very often.

When Wil and I moved this past summer, we cleaned out the closets and tried to get down to the basics as best we could not knowing what our new house would hold.  Even after months of putting things in boxes to take to the Community Kitchen for donation, we had an unbelievable amount of things come off the moving truck into our new space.  It all ranges from Christmas nativity scenes to a wooden comb that was carved at an outdoor camp I was once a counselor at and even a Darth Vader helmet with light saber that pretty much just stares at us in our sleep.  Of course my clothes and shoes take up a huge chunk of space in our closet and my pottery!  I love my pottery so much and love displaying my favorite pieces around the house, out of the way of little fingers.  Some of the treasures that have journeyed with us to so many places are beyond sentimental and I have the hardest time even knowing where I would take them to set them free from the dust of our forgotten bookshelves.  Those new shoes, they go right there, in that pile of other shoes that I just knew were going to make me into the fashion goddess that I never knew I could be.

Sigh, living simply just doesn’t seem to be in my nature.  But why then do I love the openness of the beach, with its bare sand  and cleansing waters? Why do I love to hike in the mountains where the only sound can  be the rustling leaves and crunchy footsteps I make?  I can truly feel like my home is suffocating me sometimes with all the things I need and want to do daily and all the stuff that makes it uniquely ours.

Things here in Pawleys are really coming together.  A routine of sorts has been made, I have found friends and new activities to make me whole.  Wil is happily busy and satisfied with life.  Willow and Lilly are wonderful.  They tend to remind me of the needed simplicity with their “the box is way better then the toy” mentality.  Lilly is sweet and wanting to please (most the time).  Willow is what I call, “the beast” with her quick legs and mischievous personality.  With a simple life, I think clarity of purpose would unfold so much easier.  Since simple isn’t what I have just yet, I continue on the cycle of things and the pursuit of happiness.