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Monthly Archives: March 2013

As the lights go out….

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Last night held the Maundy Thursday service.  As wavering as I am in my faith, this service has always left me with a humble heart and an appreciation for tradition.  The first time I experienced the washing of feet was in Sewanee at All Saints.  I had no idea what was going on and as I took off my socks, walked barefoot on the cold marble floor and approached one of the chairs that encircled the alter, I had my feet washed by a favorite professor, Jim Turrell.  The feeling I had at that moment has stayed with me.  Tears weld up in my eyes and the simple act of a man who I respected washing my stinky size 8’s made my soul ache.

It was my first Maundy Thursday at Holy Cross Faith Memorial yesterday.  The music was spot on and once again I found myself peeling off my socks and walking on cold floor tiles.  At HCFM, we wash each others feet and as it was last time, I was a bit nervous at performing the task.  The person’s feet I washed was a girl that does so much for our community.  Always kind and welcoming to me, I read her tattoos that scrawled the edges of both feet.  I did my best to pour the water and scrub her feet with a huge yellow sponge.  Back at my seat, I watched as the others did the same as me and a few times I found a lump in my throat.

In a space that tends to be formal and predictable, the act of feet washing is messy and transforms with each new person that takes on the act.  The symbolic meaning is also one that I want to carry with me.  Like on regular Sundays, the words and songs help prepare me for the week.  On Maundy Thursday, the lessons prepare me for the year.  With a dramatic end and darkness taking over the church, I couldn’t help but think of Brother Ron in Chattanooga and I thought much of my husband and all the things he does that go unnoticed and unrecorded.

When we sang Were You There, it was one of those moments where even though we were all singing and together, my mind was silent and peaceful has I found myself taking in every word.  It was one of those moments where the raw emotions from everyone else in the room seemed to swirl through the air touching the hearts of everyone else.  For now, Maundy Thursday will stay with me and I will claim it as one of my favorite experiences as an Episcopalian.  We wait with stripped alters and heavy hearts for Easter……….

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The flowers are blooming and Kei Kei and Pepaw are here to celebrate Easter with us.  My dear friend Cyndi and her children just left from a relaxed and love filled visit and the weather is promising to get a little warmer.  Life is good.

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Color Me Accomplished

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Since July, I have been slowly trying to claim myself as a runner.  In the beginning stages, one mile was torture!  I could barely get through it and to do two miles seemed impossible.  Unlike so many times before when I had attempted to start running, I actually kept with it and a few months later I was running that first mile with no troubles.  Since all it took with persistence to get through that first mile without wanting to throw in the towel (or throw up), I knew that’s what it would take to get through two miles and then two became three……

The Color Run was coming to Charleston so I trained hard so that I could run my first 5K.  The thought of running while having fists full of colored powder thrown at me sounded amazing and surreal.  Yesterday was the big day and after an early wake up in order to get to the start line on time, I was surrounded by a huge group of motivated people all sporting white shirts of one kind or another.  I quickly learned that the Color Run is very laid back and no one is timed and it doesn’t really matter which wave of runners you fall in line with.  My excitement was barely containable as I joined the crowd and started the countdown.  At the shout of one, we were off like a herd of wild animals and all the adrenaline from the crowd pushed me forward.  The path was crowded and I had to dodge a few people in order to keep up my pace.  With a huge smile and my gleaming white shirt I entered the first  round of color.  I was hit straight on and my teeth were orange as I tried to regain my sight.  After the powdered smoke cleared as I left it behind, I only wanted more!  3 miles and a tye dye of colorful sweat later,  I had completed my first 5K.  With hugs for everyone on my team,  lots of commemorative photos were taken and as the rain began, we headed off for celebratory margaritas.  Now I am ready to set that next goal and will be looking forward to my next run.

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The Flight of Noodles and Joy

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I just finished one of THOSE days.  The minute my feet hit the ground this morning, I was trying for a different pace then the rest of life.  It all started……

Willow was nestled into bed next to me because she awoke very early in the morning due to teething and I was able to persuade her back into dream land with the promise of mom and papa’s warm bed.

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Lilly awoke close to 8am and wasn’t moving faster then our automatic Thomas the Train can make it across the room at full speed……which is very very slow.  I felt like all I did was cheer-lead her into some clothes that kind of matched with a quick brush of most of her teeth and a few bites of a lukewarm breakfast.  Somewhere in there I managed to get myself and Willow fed and dressed and we were only 10 minutes late for preschool.  My day already felt like it was a step behind and things did not improve as Willow and I circled Food Lion trying to fulfill my list, I had ignored the fact she had a bag of noodles and before I knew it, she had bit into the bag of noodles which broke said bag and noodles went flying all over the aisle.  I also witnessed the licking of a container of bacon, the crafty tearing of a box of gummies, and the throwing of a bag of lemons.  I couldn’t get out of that store fast enough.

The afternoon went.  I got a few things done but not without irritation of one kind or another. Wil was hanging about because he had worked Saturday so he took the day off.  For some reason though, I found myself getting increasingly agitated with pretty much everyone and everything.  No one was doing things the way I wanted them done.  I did a lot of stank eye giving and loud sighing but that was not improving anyone’s mood.  After putting the girls in bed, I discovered Lilly had a fever which shined light on her lethargic ways.  I then decided that I needed to vent my frustration to Wil about how the day just wasn’t up to par.  The conversation did not go well.  Wil is a great listener and tries very hard to understand me.  By the end of my rant about what HE did wrong that day, I felt completely empty.  It was almost like all my joy was circling around out in the open, waiting for me to get it together so it could find me again.  I decided to stop talking.  Talking was not the answer and it was only making things worse.  I crawled into bed, checked out Facebook and Instagram and found my friend Caroline’s blog.  After reading the quotes she had posted, I realized that not once, not even one solitary moment that day, had I taken a minute for myself.  I hadn’t prayed, I hadn’t breathed deeply, I hadn’t even been able to use the bathroom without kids testing the length of the toilet paper left on the roll.

So, I quietly got out of bed, turned on my blog and I have now taken my deep breath as I write it all out.  My hope is that next time I will remember to take a moment for me.  If I forget (which I probably will), I find comfort in knowing that I have God to help remind me and a husband that always gives me a clean slate.

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Birthday Breakdown

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A very special weekend has passed us by, a weekend where starting Thursday morning, we began the birthday celebrations.  Lilly and I share our birthday just a mere 30 year difference.  Remembering back on her birth, she was two weeks early and I started with labor on the 7th finishing with the last push at 9am Sunday morning the 8th.  My friends had brought me a box of thin mints and after the shock of childbirth had subsided, I ate the whole box of girl scout cookies and mentally sang happy birthday to myself.  I knew life had changed but I wasn’t exactly sure how.

That was 4 years ago.  So, on Thursday we celebrated Lilly at her preschool.  Sitting in the birthday chair, she shyly received the birthday song and we had brought in ice cream cups.  There was much discussion about what the ice cream tasted like and only one kid said it tasted like actual ice cream.

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On Friday, we went to Toys R Us with Daddy George, Nana, and Willow.  Wil had left for Charleston for the Episcopal Church Convention.  Lilly was given the daunting and joyful task of picking out one toy from the store.  When Doodle Bear had been found, nothing else would do and so the decision was made.  We also rode the mall train which was a huge treat and ate mall pizza.  I ended the day with a run on the beach and a gaze upon the ocean.  My emotions were mixed.  I was happy to be celebrating but found myself feeling a bit older and aware that I much prefer focusing on Lilly then on myself.

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Saturday brought mulch shoveling in the form of church clean up day.  The playground needed desperate attention and for over an hour, a group of youth from HCFM worked hard using buckets and rakes to make the ground a little softer and ready for spring and summer fun.  Lilly helped and eventually found a spot overlooking things.

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Our birthday party was scheduled for Sunday and after daylight savings time threw me completely off, we ditched church so I could organize and clean the layer of pollen off the porch.  Lilly had requested a chocolate cake with pink icing and I had requested friends and beer.  Both wishes were granted and soon our house and yard were filled with children laughing and the birthday song.  The day ended with Wil and I chatting on the couch and me asking lots of questions about the new series The Bible.  As my friend Amy pointed out, now that I’m done with tre-tre, I can look forward tre-quad and a year that will prove to be just as interesting as the last.

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Windsday

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March is a great month.  Besides being riddled with birthdays (mine and Lilly’s this Friday), we get that first whiff of spring and that last push from winter.  It’s time for the yard to get some attention, our faces to feel the sun, and the comfort food to be needed less.

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Pillow fort!  Since being outside hasn’t been ultra appealing the last week or so due to cold and wind, we’ve been inside a lot and finding ourselves spending just a little longer then necessary at grocery stores and at church.  Lilly continues to impress me with how grown up she has become.  At her request, I brought out the United States puzzle and gave it to her to play with.  I went about my daily tasks, unloading various washing devices and feeling certain she would call me to help her put the puzzle together.  Well, I walked by her, catching a glimpse of a completed puzzle!  I literally paused and did a double take.  Her face beamed as I made a big deal of it all and I could see the pride spilling over her.  Lilly is kind, smart, beautiful, and everyday she reminds me that I am so lucky to have her as my own.

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We helped make cookies at church for Youth Hosted Sunday.  Willow ran around and was passed from person to person.  Taking in all the attention and faces, she would see mine and reach her little arms out wanting my embrace above all others.  Happy sigh.  The youth made a lot of cookies, some better looking then others, and had a great time being together.

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It’s been about two Sundays in a row that having Willow with me in the church pew has been more then a spiritual experience. We have entered tantrum pitching phase and with Wil out of reach during church (even though Willow tried her best to get to him this past Sunday and succeeded!), I am trying to keep it all together.  She also danced in the aisle to the catchy beat of the hymns.  At Willow’s 18 month well visit, I was not surprised to learn that she is tall and skinny and just about right with everything.  More and more words and sounds come out of her mouth each day.

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Wil has been happily working away at church and ventures to Charleston for the The Episcopal Church in SC convention this weekend.  He has also been bummed that more fishing opportunities have not presented themselves…the weather and his schedule haven’t been cooperating.  My mom and dad are visiting and I’m trying to soak it all in before they leave for their next big western adventure.  In a few weeks, I will complete my very first 5K: The Color Run in Charleston.  I am excited and have been working very hard to reach my goals.  I love the feeling that running has provided and it is an activity I never thought I would love.

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