Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wedding Stories Cont.

Here is story numero uno from the wedding.
The Pies and the Keys

It was a lovely evening in early March. The eve of a wedding, the night before the blessed event. There was a chill in the air and the azaleas feared a frost. The bride was late to the rehearsal, blame it on the pies. Key lime pies. Coconut creme pies. Lots of them. They were stowed in various vehicles in the church parking lot. Time was running out for them. They needed to be on ice and they needed it quickly. There were two coolers and some ice in various other vehicles in the church parking lot. What was to be done? They asked me. Probably not the best person to deal with a problem of this magnitude. So I did what any bridesmaid would do, I delegated. Unsuspecting young friends Nathan and Hannah sat complacently in the back of the church, not knowing what I was about to ask of them as I ran down the side aisle to confront them. A mission. A harrowing mission that would call forth all their powers of strategizing and all their mental fortitude. I handed them five sets of keys. Set one was for a white Isuzu Rodeo, set two a black Pathfinder, set three a green Honda Accord, set four a beige minivan, and set five an Audi convertible. I told them-go find the pies-search every seat, every trunk. Find the ice. Find the two coolers. And hurry up. The pies are melting. They laughed with a nervous expression on their faces, but they were up to the challenge. With keys jingling, they set out, and I resumed my post as a bridesmaid. Time crept by. Key lime pie. They wouldn't fit in the coolers. So a big silver freezer bag saved the day.

Why Weddings are for Weepy Women
This one is obvious. Weddings are emotional events. Therefore, emotional people love weddings, and I daresay most emotional people tend to be women. Rehearsal dinners are emotional too, but there is a certain expectation of great memories being retold and baby pictures being shown, and a gathering of generations. These are emotional, and also good. It is a time to reflect, rejoice and look to the future as two lives merge. So I am not ashamed to say I cried at the rehearsal dinner. I've never seen such cute grandfathers.

24 Dead Goldfish and a Flourishing Orchid
This story is one of those "you had to be there" stories. Which is sad because I laughed so hard I was literally crying/laughing uncontrollably (ironic how emotions get intertwined at times). This type of laughter is soul cleansing. And it only happens every once in a while. And no one ever laughs like the two or three people who were "there." So I will just say that Cary and I were driving around downtown Mobile, waiting for our third car occupant to rejoin us when we saw a not so friendly group of men walking our way. We instantly felt vulnerable, and me especially since I had a bucket in my lap containing 24 goldfish. They were sloshing around, oblivious to the danger. Not only this, but I had a lovely orchid, (Thaleanopsis I think) brilliantly purple and blooming it's heart out, on the floorboard at my feet. It was like a botanical garden, only in my side of the Audi convertible, which really isn't equipped for any type of botanical endeavor. So as I feared for my life, realizing my vulnerability and lack of ability to make a speedy escape, Cary and I were struck by the bizarre humor of the situation. And here is the headline we drafted for the Mobile Press Register, as the tears rolled down: Former Lapel Pin Winner Found Dead in Downtown Mobile-
body surrounded by 24 dead goldfish and a flourishing orchid-
foul play is suspected

Things I Don't Normally Do That I Do Do When I'm Pregnant

I have been long absent from this keyboard. It is because I am pregnant. I am experiencing my first trimester illness and it brings me down pretty hard. Right now I'm preheating the oven for my 16th mini meal of the day. Fish sticks. Gross, but it is one of the foods I can tolerate. I only buy fish sticks when I'm pregnant. Here are some other trends of the condition:

* Drive down the road with a huge bag of Lime Tostitos on my lap (consuming them as I drive)
* Sleep like one dead, at 8:00 in the evening
* Snap at my husband ( I know it's no excuse, but really I'm not a snappy person)
* Cry at the sight of little old men in plaid polyester pants
* Eat alot of food, frequently. Literally my life is dictated by my stomach.
* Long for Thai soup (Tom Kuh Gai I think it's called)
*Cry over longed for Thai Soup- quote: "I just love it so much. I can't explain it." (while tears are running down my face)
*Throw up two times a day
*Feel like I'm going to throw up all day every day

This is not a pity party, just a little insight into the crazy world of my pregnancies. We are praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby. Pray with us! Due date is November 11.

This summer would be the time for my 10 year high school reunion. "Ten years" sounds unbelievable to me! Am I that old? I was thinking about trying to organize a reunion with all 5 students in my graduating class. No I did not leave off two zeros. I can proudly say I was number 3 in my class. Anyhoo, our reunion would be more of an intimate or awkward dinner get-together than a major reunion. What I would do is try to get in contact with the class above and below us, that way we'd avoid some of the awkwardness. (What do you think Jess?No.2 in our class-way to go Jess!) Speaking of our school, a small Christian academy-there was a current teacher from ACA on Wheel of Fortune last week! Wow! She won some big bucks. And she gave a shout out to all the students at Aletheia Christian Academy! I shed a tear.

Now I will go eat my yummy fish sticks. They are not processed, but cut from whole filets. Quality.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bows and Airplanes and Belly Buttons

Here are some recent picture of my 14 month old sweetie. She loves reading, rummaging through my tupperware and playing at the park. The top picture shows her first "big girl" pajamas. She likes them because she can constantly check the status of her belly-button. She also likes to find mine and her dad's. It is one of her favorite things. She has also recently become mesmerized by airplanes and helicopters that fly over the house. When she hears one, even if we're inside, she'll say "oooh!" and point upward and try to see where it is. This morning she heard one and we ran outside to see it. It turned out to be a US Coast Guard Jayhawk and it kept circling and passing right over our house for about 30 minutes. This was so exciting for Ruth. She waved at it and tried to keep it in her sight as it flew around. Last night at dinner she was flying her macaroni around and making airplane swooshing noises. Maybe we have a future pilot on our hands. She gets it from her Papa Mac who was a Navy pilot, and her Great Grandfather Pop Pop who was a Navy flight mechanic (who she never got to meet.)

The other two pictures are at the park. If you noticed the bow in Ruth's hair, you should know that it is the one and only time I've been able to trick her into wearing it. She likes when I put it in her hair, but only so she can immediately find it, pull it out, and talk to it while examining it.
She is into everything- so interested in everything around her. It is so wonderful to share in all her explorations and teach her what to call things and how they work. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Jen and Brandon McShea!

Love Posted by Picasa

A weekend full of stories

This past weekend my friend Jen was married on a beautiful day- the kind of day every bride dreams of and keeps praying for. I was honored to be a bridesmaid, and I had a great time at every part of the wedding weekend. Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, which was a luau complete with a roasted pig with grapes in his eyes. It was an emotional time where friends and family stood up to congratulate the couple and tell the bride/groom how blessed she/he is to be marrying the wonderful man/woman who is his/her groom/bride.

I wanted to stand up and say something but I would have cried, and I'm not a good public speaker anyway, so I decided to pass. I did think of all the memories I have with Jen, how we were "friends by default" at first, but then we became true friends and have remained so for many years. We've spent two summers together, one at the beach, the other in Kazakhstan. We've traveled to Europe together and sipped coffee in the old cafes and walked the cobblestone streets of Prague and Budapest. We've watched plenty of girl movies and shopped alot, as all girl friends should. We used to email from our workplaces about how bored we were, how we hated working, how we longed for Friday...and do you want to go to lunch? We've met consistently to share what's really going on in our lives, and also to study the Scriptures. We've been roommates twice- once in a little house on Pillichody Drive, where we laughed and cried together many nights. The other was the last five months after she sold her house and needed somewhere to live until she got married. She has been a faithful friend to me, even when I had a baby and was not myself for many months. I love Jen, and I am so happy for her.

Here are some of the stories I'd like to tell from this weekend:

The Pies and the Keymasters
24 Dead Goldfish and a Flourishing Orchid
The Ceremony-The Beautiful Bride and the Adoring Groom
How My Feet Died
The Reception-Too much fun is a good thing
Why Weddings are for Weepy Women
The Case of the Two Missing Ferns

I'll try to get these done in a timely manner. I've been catching up on sleep after the whirlwind weekend. And getting my house back in order. Huge thankyous to my mom, who kept my daughter while Jay and I were doing wedding things. We couldn't have done it without her. Thanks Nonni! (I don't think she really minded spending a whole weekend with her grandbaby.)

The weather down here is bewitching, enchanting in its loveliness. The azaleas are building to a glorious crescendo, while the trees are beginning to send forth tiny green shoots. The grass is greening and the sun is beckoning all new life to emerge.

Today my little girl fell and busted her lip while we were in a store. Bloodbath at Bed Bath & Beyond (Blood Bath & Beyond?). It was her first official busted lip. The lady at the checkout thought I was bleeding because it was all over me. Maybe I need to carry an extra shirt everywhere I go. Or I could invent fabric that instantly changes to the color of a spill or stain. It could be called "Cotton Chameleon." That would be a big money maker. But sort of gross if you think about some stains. So maybe it needs to be fabric that can instantly assimilate stains into the color of the shirt. Whatever. I guess for now I need a Tide to Go stick. My friend Cary told me I needed one twice this weekend. Ok Cary. You're so right.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My recent post was very long. And heavy. Now I will write something of short duration and perhaps lightheartedness.

Today it is 80 degrees. Hot. I actually prefer it to be cooler on this, the second day of March. This is craziness.

I was thinking this week that the words "revelry" and "reverie" are a mere letter away from each other when pronounced. They are both things that I enjoy greatly. Mardi Gras just wrapped up here in Mobile, the birthplace of the festival. I don't enjoy Mardi Gras. I find it a tasteless and mostly pointless celebration by people who aren't even Catholics, which is who it is supposed to be for. The idea is to party like heck because, oh no, Ash Wednesday will come and then 40 days of giving something up until Easter. That is certainly some sort of hypocrisy. I love fun and revelry, but not with the idea of living it up "while you can," and then live a pleasing life that might make God forget all your excesses of pleasure during Mardi Gras. Hoping that our good will outweigh our bad is a fruitless hope. That's why we have grace. I like this quote by Nobel Peace Prize nominee/uber-musician Bono:

"You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics--in physical laws--every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the Universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "As you reap, so will you sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.
In Conversation with Michka Assayas

The whole idea, though, is to try to not do stupid stuff (Romans 6). Because you realize the price of grace was a cross.

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name
Grace, it's the name for a girl
It's also a thought that could change the world
And when she walks on the street you can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
Grace, she's got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She's got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma, karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work you can hear the strings
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark no longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace finds goodness in everything

(from U2's album All that You Can't Leave Behind)

Speaking of u2, I recently made a list of my favorite songs of all time. Making lists makes me feel organized. When I told Jay this, he laughed at me. Not with me so much as at me. So I will post an unflattering photo of him someday. I know that feeling is not being, but sometimes it can help you become. So there. So here are some of my favorite songs of all time, in no particular order. (this could be a Time-Life cd collection on TBS)

1. November Rain Guns N Roses
2. Closer to Fine Indigo Girls
3. Galileo Indigo Girls
4. Language or the Kiss Indigo Girls
5. Angel Aerosmith
6. Bobby McGee Janis Joplin
7. Sunrays and Saturdays Vertical Horizon
8. With or Without You U2
9. Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For U2
10. Beautiful Day U2
11. One U2
12. Drive The Cars
13. Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
14. Night Swimming REM
15. Satellite Dave Matthews
16. Ramble On Led Zeppelin
17. Babylon David Gray
18. Round Here Counting Crows

These are songs I can't get over. I turn them up.