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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Put Your Little Claw In Mine……..

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Wil and Amanda 1

10 years.  That’s what I’m looking at this May 29th, 2014 as Wil I celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  As I scanned the photo albums looking for pictures to post, I was reminded of where we’ve been and what we’ve been through.  Pictures are a funny thing, they are usually taken at the good times, the best times, the “Say Cheese!” times.

I remember the first time I had a real discussion with Wil’s mom.  Talk of how “this time was different” seemed to be the theme as I rested from camp, sprawled out on the couch at his family home.  My love for that family was instant and familiar.

In the beginning,  I didn’t know if it was worth it but we both hung on and somewhere we knew this was a relationship worth the work.  We had those conversations that last hours and the weird coincidences that can’t be explained.  On the receiving end of many a love note, written on the sleeves of records, I was falling.

Wil and Amanda 2

Well, we graduated college, moved to Colorado, moved back and lived at a house in Black Mountain.  Many adventures were taken as we tried to live life as fully as we knew how and with as much money as we could make which wasn’t much.  All the while, I knew Wil wanted to be a Priest.  When Wil went to what I can only imagine was a very heavy dinner with my folks to ask for my hand in marriage, he learned I came with no dowry so he was like, so totally out of there…..nah, obviously he went through with it no matter what baggage I came with.  My dad asked me if I knew what marrying a Priest was going to be all about.  I had NO clue.  What I did know was that Wil was a guy that fought for what he thought was right.  I hadn’t yet seen the ambition he could muster but I knew that his battles were battles I wanted to fight with him.

Wil and Amanda 4

The blur that is a wedding happened and the awesomeness that is a honeymoon happened.  Then came the steps towards Sewanee.  It was pretty crazy and intense at times but again and again the path lead towards Seminary.  I was never one with my heart set on a career or a certain way things had to be so I was ready for the adventure, the change, the challenge.  So we loaded up Sylus, the bestest dog ever, and moved into a house in the Woodlands on the campus of The University of the South and I remember being so incredibly excited about our new digs.  We had a dishwasher and it was a much nicer house then we had lived in.  Sewanee took our relationship out of the young love phase and bumped us into the trials and tribulations portion of marriage.  We also laughed a lot and began to compare our relationship with other people on the same path.  Somewhere in there we were given the gift of Lilly.  We were also given the gift of having no idea where to go next after graduation.  As it always does, it worked out exactly how it needed to and we moved to Lookout Mountain.  I missed my Sewanee friends badly as we entered into the role of clergy and clergy spouse.  I was bitter sometimes and lonely a lot but what that ended up doing is forcing conversation and forcing me to rely more on myself and more on Wil as a best friend.  Willow came along and Sylus passed away and we moved on to Pawleys Island.  The lessons learned along the way have made us so strong.  Our faults are many but we recognize and honor the human part of this journey together.

Wil and Amanda 3

When one of us is stewing in our own pity, the other will bring them their favorite treat.  When Wil reads the girls a book, he will have me laughing with his silly voices.  I know that he loves me.  I know that he thinks that I am beautiful.  He encourages me to do what is right and supports me when I mess up.  These next 10, I can’t help but be in awe of what they might bring and so happy that I get to live them with my best friend.  Wil, you are my lobster……

Wil and Amanda 5


Come And Knock On My Door

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Like a plant bends towards the sun, I was searching for the light this past week and I found it!  I found so much of it that I was able to stand tall and bloom.  It started with a surprise visit from my folks.  We spent our days at the playground, eating ice cream, and hanging out at the house.  I know they will be going on a major road trip soon so each moment is special.


Smack dab in the middle of my folks visiting, we had a visit from Simon, Alyse and Sawyer.  They are the kind of friends that I always learn something new about but can sit in silence and watch the waves roll in.  It was perfection.  Simon is given the award for visiting Wil and I in every single town and house we have ever lived in together.

The boys caught some fish for us to eat the first night then we had a huge low country boil with local shrimp the next night.  We ate well and worked some of it off playing in waves and paddle-boarding.  Sawyer, their 2 year old, was so sweet and quiet.

Over the weekend, I was surprised at how much Lilly loved the beach.  She has discovered the joy of jumping waves and couldn’t get enough.  Willow is still timid but would go in if someone held her.  When Sawyer was playing at the house, Lilly would be such a great helper and would ask Sawyer if he wanted to play.  She made me so proud with her gentle kindness.





At the end of the week, we enter summer vacation.  It will be the last summer I don’t have children in “real” school.  I’m looking forward to travel and lazy summer mornings with my two favorite little people.  As the daylight sticks around, I look forward to after dinner walks with Wil and sitting on our back porch, listening to the frogs …….and snakes….there’s a lot of snakes.

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Claiming My Island

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Have you ever felt like an island?  Nah, me neither EXCEPT when I run.

This week tried to defeat me.  Willow has been sick again, Wil is having some major back pain, Lilly has needed extra attention that I haven’t been able to give, newsletters and projects have been due left and right, and my children’s preschool is “reformatting” itself which is causing major confusion.  It was a lot to take in all at once.   By Thursday, my patience was at negative and I was just needing for me to be taken care of.  I got my break Friday when a window of time opened up where I knew everyone would be fine if I slipped out the door for an hour.  I headed directly for the beach with my headphones lodged in my ears and the tide low enough to leave me plenty of room to run.  Running has become some of the only time I have freedom in my own head.  It has become one of the only moments in the week where it is truly just about me and no one else. It’s the only time I get to feel like an island.  Since I haven’t been running long, I wonder where I found my encircling waters before?  I realize that for me, it has always been a connection between physical activity and nature.  That’s my sweet spot.  For others, they find an island within the covers of a book or making furniture in their garage or cooking a meal from scratch. Whatever it is, that island time is crucial to mental health.  After running and smiling at the ocean breeze, I came back a whole lot happier, a bit more patient, and ready for a night that could be restless for my sick girl.

Today, everyone’s a little bit better and I was able to go play putt putt with Lilly to give her some of that attention she so desperately wanted.  It’s a better day which will lead into a better week.  I thank God for the ability to see the sunshine at the end of the rain.

Rock Star Status

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Well well well….we have come to the end of a weeks worth of awesomeness.  You know life’s been busy and satisfying when a night to pound the keyboard and light your new candle sounds like the best idea ever.

It all started with Lilly’s trike- a- thon at school.  St. Peter’s does this every year to raise money for St. Jude.  Somehow we missed it last year but we were there for all the scrapes, helmet wearing, and face painting this year.  As I watched Lilly make laps on her bike I realized that the girl has grown so much that she needs a bigger bike and I also realized that she doesn’t ride enough.  Some kids were even riding without training wheels which I found very impressive.  I had ridden my bike there so we could ride home together and as we found our way out of the parking lot headed towards the house, I noticed Lilly’s tire was almost flat!  Talk about using those leg muscles.

On Friday and Saturday, we found ourselves busy with the Presiding Bishop’s visit to our church.  Having the Most Reverend Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori (I had to look up the spelling on that one) speak at our church was a huge honor and something Holy Cross Faith Memorial will never forget.  Wil’s sermon was fantastic (this coming from a very critical spectator) and I was totally picking up what the PB was putting down!  It was an Episcopalian’s dream come true…..


 Wil’s mom, Kei Kei, came into town to lend her awesomeness as babysitter extraordinaire so I could be part of it all PLUS Wil and I…….wait for it……wait for it……..went out of town and slept at a hotel in Charlotte!  Wooooo hoooo!  I write that with the hopes that I can convey how desperately we needed our time without kiddos.  Of course while we are gone Willow had a fever which is diagnosed to accompany mouth soars in the most horrendously named virus ever: herpangina. Herpangina.  Seriously?  Who names this stuff?  So Kei Kei had to deal with a pitiful, no sleeping, no eating, 2 year old so she wins some major Grandparent award because she did it all with no complaints and tons of compassion.  We brought her back an IKEA cutting board as a trophy.  Sort of the same thing.

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Almost as awesome for me as the PB’s visit was the fact that I saw, in concert, only mere herds of hipsters away, my band:  Foster the People.  They delivered.  I mean THEY DELIVERED.  And yes, I was that annoying sweaty person that other concert goers stand next to, but not to close) that hippie dances and head banges and sang every word even if it was my own made up word to every song.  It was fantastic except I do now realize that I am getting much too old for sardine style concert settings.  We were packed into that place and the tallest man ever stood to my right and the crankiest girl ever stood behind me and the drunkest guy ever danced spastically a few people away and at one point I actually questioned all the efforts but then they played my second favorite song (because they played my favorite song first) and the joy of live music washed it all away.


We came home to 90 degree weather, lots of bugs, and the sound of frogs in the night.  Summer is almost here in this beach town.