Monday, July 21, 2008

Swimming Lessons

One of our fun activities this summer has been swim lessons for Ruthie. The lessons were at the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center (ATC) in Mobile, which is conveniently located for us, and fun because of the helicopters and airplanes landing and taking off nearby- a 20 month old boy's dream. (You can see the HH-65 "Dolphin" in the bottom picture.) In retrospect I would have had Mac in lessons too, but I didn't think it would work out to do both of them back to back. Ruthie cried at the beginning of each lesson for the first couple of weeks, but then she really looked forward to it. She loved her teacher Miss Autumn, and she really has become more comfortable in the water. They learned how to safety-slide in, float, "crab crawl" around the edge of the pool, and even backstroke and freestyle swimming. I think she could swim on her own, but she still freaks out about it and starts going under. One-on-one intense lessons would probably do the trick. I'm sad the lessons are over, and we'll definitely do it again next summer.

The Portrait

This is the amazing portrait I commissioned my friend Amy Oaks Bailey to do last year, based on a picture I took, and now it is done and I love it! Check out her blog for her comments on doing the portrait. Amy is so talented, and her heart for the glory of God in what she does is very inspiring to me. Thank you so much Amy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bucket List

Who needs a pool when you have a 5 gallon bucket?

Dream come true

I love hammocks. I have always wanted my very own and now I have one! It was my 30th bday present from Jay, and I am so happy about it. I love the carefree, laidbackness of the simple little woven rope strung between two trees. I like the airiness of it, the instant feeling of relaxation. Hammocks embody relaxation to me. When I saw the three trees in a row in our backyard, when I first looked at the house, it instantly said "hammock location" to me. And in fact, two of the three worked perfectly. One of my roommates when I lived in Prague once told me, "Merrill, you know how to chill." I thought that was hilarious, but it is true, to a fault. So all you tempest-tossed hand-wringers, come on over and we can chill- I'll provide the sweet-tea, and God will make the breeze.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Cruise- Top Ten Reasons to go on one when you turn 30

10. Two words- colon cleanse- oh, and free medical care including cow-sized shots of phenergan, ahhhh, no bueno.
9. Sleeping in -in a stateroom the size of a closet with 3 friends. Roomies again!
8. Laying in the sun on deck as the ship sails through the Gulf.
7. No prices on the dinner menu! Ordering two appetizers!
6. Coming back to the room after dinner to find towel animals and chocolates in the room.
5. Sunset up on deck, wind in your face, delicioso.
4. Snorkeling in the beautiful waters off Cozumel, Mexico, with guides Pancho and Nacho, que?
3. Red jeeps in Mexico are muy bueno.
2. Stamp in passport, lots of memories packed into 3 1/2 days.
1. Unhurried time, conversation, laughter, with four dear friends- priceless.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I hear ya James

Oh, Mexico
It sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low
Moon's so bright like to light up the night
Make everything all right

Oh, Mexico
I never really been but I'd sure like to go
Oh, Mexico
I guess I'll have to go now