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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Monster Mash

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Lilly is my sensitive girl.  Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I’ll blindly find the worn path to her room as she cries in the night.  I know she isn’t really there.  Her eyes hold no understanding of who I am or where we are.  Then she’ll talk, sometimes yell.  She will say things that don’t make sense unless I think back on the day and conversations before.  I’ll piece together her dreams and then I’ll ask God to smooth away the fear.  Calling a babysitter by the wrong name, monsters in the closet, looking out for Willow: her nightmares are those of the most innocent.  Her shaky little body will look so small as I try to hypnotize her with my words back into sleep. Again I pray that God will bring the good dreams, the ones with baby animals, cotton candy and sparkle fingernail polish.  At 7:30am, Lilly will emerge from her room with blanky and teddy beside her.  She will give a sweet smile and I’ll get my morning hug.  The battle fought in the night will not even be a memory.  I thank God for that.




Willow is my clever girl.  Dumping out the dress up bin until she finds the cape and shield, she brings it to me to put on her.  As the velcro barely holds on, Willow runs through the house smiling a toothy grin at the humans she passes.  I call out from my mom task, “Super Willow!” and she’ll fly in and pretend battle with my poor excuse for a laser noise.  When she is tired of that, she will take the cape and shield off and leave it where her mind has decided to change gears.  With another rummage through the dress up bin, she emerges with a massive hula skirt dragging behind her.  I use clips to get it to stay on and then push the button for the music box that has been sewn on the inside.  A cheesy island tune fills the kid scented air.  Her hips are only delayed a moment by her little laugh and huge grin.  She holds onto the skirt, like Urkel holds onto his suspenders, and she dances until the music stops.  Then, she is into the bin again….



I am reminded that with age comes understanding.  With understanding, out comes the monsters.  Hoping I choose the path to dress up like the monsters and dance but knowing that they might enter my dreams.


New Towns

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This past week, we celebrated our one year anniversary as residents of Pawleys Island.  In some ways, coming here was very familiar to me.  For most of my childhood, my grandparents lived in Surfside which is right up the road and the Pavilion and putt putt were in my veins at an early age.  Living at the beach is a wonderful, unexpected adventure and our church felt so right so soon after arriving.  Sure, buying a house was scary and I miss the mountains at least once a week but we are settled beyond settled and in love with this place.

On Thursday night, we took a trip to Greenville, SC.  Wil had to go there for a burial and I had been looking for a change of scenery.  Growing up in Asheville, I was always so close to Greenville but I had never been there.  We arrived late and the girls were super duper awake by the time we got into the hotel.  By midnight, they had calmed down and fallen asleep. In true form, they were up with the sun. Kei Kei came and whisked the kiddos away to her house and I waited for Wil to be finished with his meeting.  We then headed downtown and walked the main street, eating and drinking along the way until I just couldn’t consume anymore!  The food was great and I loved the park centered in the heart of the city.  It was nice to stroll casually as the sun went down.



The next day, we woke late and then Kei Kei came back with the kiddos so we could go to the zoo while Wil worked.  The Greenville Zoo was the perfect amount of excitement for tired children (and tired adults!) and we loved seeing elephants, monkeys, and even a baby giraffe.  Willow loved the cool mist tent- we had to drag her away from it in order to leave.  Lilly is a great map reader.  She was able to tell by the pictures what animals were coming next and which way to go to see them.  Getting to spend time with Kei Kei was wonderful and I hated to leave so soon.  We got back to Pawleys after bedtimes and everyone went to bed willingly.




The perks of having a Priest for a husband appear suddenly and thankfully.  It was a quick trip but lots of bonding occurred….even in the late hours of the night or after only one hour in a 4 hour trip- Are we there yet?

Feeling like a Zombie

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We’ve had a good week full of the usuals.  I am loving my book clubs. Yes, I am in two which is funny because I have a hard enough time finding myself through one book every two months but I’m doing alright and I get a lot out of the discussions and company if nothing else.

Wil and I saw World War Z Friday night.  You know, I really liked it.  Brad Pitt hasn’t disappointed me yet.  I haven’t seen all his movies but the ones I have seen I have liked or even loved (Legends of the Fall!) so WWZ was the perfect mix of suspense and plot.

Lilly and Willow have been fun to be with.  Lilly has gotten very courageous in the pool and has stopped using a floatie for the most part.  Putting her head under water and for a few seconds gets her very excited.  We still need to work on the actual kicking of the legs and movement of the arms but she has passed over the toughest hurdle.  Willow is talking up a storm!  Attempting most words that are thrown her way, she has mastered cheese ball and cookie.  What does that tell you?  Beyond junk food, she is babbling with more intention and I can understand so much of what she wants.  It makes me happy but I also want time to freeze because we are in a sweet spot.



Here’s something personal:  I have mild surges of depression.  Knowing exactly what depression looks like, I started to suspect something was up a few years ago.  I had some extreme postpartum depression but then I realized that some other feelings I was having weren’t completely logical.  So, the last part of this week, I was in my “mood”.  It starts out with a normal feeling or concern like, “Wil seems to be on his phone quite a bit” and that turns into something like, “His obsession with the phone is ruining our relationship and leaving a bad impression on the girls” and then that turns into a nasty mirage of nagging and stank eye giving.  It can get pretty bad sometimes, even lasting days and of course the ones I love the most seem to bare the brunt.  Classic.  Semi quoting a video about depression I watched recently, “It’s being sad not when something wrong is happening in my life but, being sad when everything is going right.”  The depression streak leaves me as mysteriously as it found me and all is right with the world until the next time.

The solutions are there.  One of the books I am reading, One Thousand Gifts, is in my head.  Being thankful even when it’s hard to, that’s a solution.  Praying, that’s a solution.  Exercise and the beach help me a lot.  These are keeping me in check for now.  Having a husband that is patient during these times and tells me he loves me even after I have been not so lovable helps the most.



Proud To Just Be

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Last week we had rain, then we had some rain, and then I think we had a bit more rain.  I was just about to throw one of the Groovy Girl dolls that I had been coerced into playing with for what seemed like hours into the garbage disposal and write it off as “doll spa day” when a ray of sun came beaming through the sky light and I was sure I could hear the faint sound of The Beatles singing in my ears.  Everyone threw themselves into the car (well, I threw Willow) with whatever they had on and we headed to the ultra windy beach to put our toes in the sand.



That moment set us up for one of the best Fourth of July’s this girl has ever experienced.  Where I’m from, Fourth of July entailed a cookout and some late night fireworks that you hope are visible over a mountain top but if not, at least you have the mountain to look at.  Here, at Pawleys, it is a whole different event.  On the 3rd, we headed to church to help prepare the decorations for the HCFM float.  If we rewind to the previous Saturday night, Wil and I had a conversation about Holy Cross NOT being in the parade.  It came as a surprise when during church announcements, he advertises that HCFM WILL in fact be in the parade with our organist, Brian, playing a keyboard in the John boat that will be pulled by no other then the El Camino.  Always the last to know, I was then picturing the whole thing in my head with the Team America Theme song playing away (which is wildly inappropriate.)

So, we helped with the float (even though I pretty much just pushed Willow in the swing while Wil and Lilly helped the efforts) and got to bed early for the big day ahead.




The Dent’s had invited us to join them at their home on Pawleys Island to watch the parade and stay the whole day if we’d like.  Mid morning, I drove along the already busy street of Pawleys and came to a really nice set up, with tents and chairs and a cooler all ready for the big day.  Well, I was delighted to see that it was the Dent’s set up!  Willow and I parked it there and Lilly headed off to be on the HCFM float with her Papa.  Since I had such good company to be with, it wasn’t long until we could hear the fire trucks coming and the parade heading our way. It was silly and fun and much too short but we saw it all.  Lilly’s face was priceless as she rode by in the back of the El Camino as Wil wore his collar and waved from the drivers seat.  He said one of the most memorable moments was when he called out “Happy Fourth of July” and some of the crowd responded, “And also with you!”







IMG_7622(this photo courtesy of Geales Sands- see, you’re not so bad 😉


After the parade, we ate some lunch and sat watching the beach until the Salute to the Troops Fly Over.  It reminded me of the video game “1942” with its classic planes and formations.  After that, we headed home to regroup and nap because we had food to eat and fireworks to see.

We had never taken Lilly to see fireworks before.  It just never happened, we never attempted it.  I think her sensitivity to noise was one reason and we also never had an offer we couldn’t refuse….until this year.  So, after stuffing my face with all the things that make America great : corn on the cob, watermelon, ribs, blueberry crumble (Thanks to the Quigleys), we headed to Debordieu where we sat on a pristine golf course and watched the mosquitoes come out and the kids run circles around the grass barefoot.  Then they started and Lilly stayed on a blanket with the other kids for awhile.  Eventually she covered her ears and later she found her way to Wil’s lap.  I watched her face when it was illuminated by the light of the sparkles and it was pure amazement.  It made me laugh out loud more then once and made my heart so full.  She kept wondering when it was going to end but then she wanted to see more.  Willow sat in my lap totally relaxed and snugly the whole time.  After someone started the “Oooooooo’s and Aaaaaaahhh’s” she joined right in until her small voice was the only one heard in the peaceful joy of the moment.



I thought more then once the past few days about how I am in a gorgeous place with wonderful people.  Thankful for all those who have made it the way it is.