Thursday, May 14, 2015

Besties

My best friend is coming to visit tonight. TONIGHT, people!! I am so very excited! I just can't contain myself!!!

We have been friends for almost 20 years, folks. What?!?! We met in August of 1995, the year my family moved to Texas and I started 10th grade.

I haven't seen her in three years...how is that even possible? We have great intentions of getting together, but life just gets in the way. I'm so thankful to her for making it happen this time.

It's funny to me that in our 20-year friendship we have only lived in the same town for 2 years. I was in 10th grade when we met and she was in 11th. She went off to college after two short years and I went off to a different college the next. She was at college in Dallas, and stayed in Dallas for a few years after graduating. She married and has lived in Gainesville, Valley View, and now lives in Denton. I transferred to Tennessee and ended up in Mocksville after I graduated. She and I both married our husbands in 2004. I moved to Charlotte in 2005 and then to Huntersville in 2013.

As I was thinking about how long it's been since we've seen each other it dawned on me that there are a lot of things that we don't know about each other because we don't "live life" together on a daily basis.

Things we don't know about each other right now:

We don't know of some of the crazy haircuts and colors we've had. (though we do tend to text pics of the crazier ones)
She hasn't seen my new house.
I haven't seen hers.
She has barely seen my littlest beauty who was only 9 months old when she was last here.
(Of course she's seen pics...we do live in a world of technology, for goodness sake.)
Both our boys are practically grown since we last saw each other - they've both started school.
I don't know what car she drives.
I don't know what make-up she uses, what her favorite flavor of ice cream still is, her favorite band, what her favorite pastime is, or how she relaxes at night.
I don't even know her favorite drink from Starbucks!
She doesn't know that I drink a green smoothie every morning, that I cried when I saw my baby dance on stage for the first time, that my kids and I like to play freeze tag outside, or that I lay on the couch almost every night snuggled up against my hubby and fall asleep to whatever show we're watching.

But we have such an amazing history. We know the important things from long ago and we still talk often enough to share the important stuff in our present. I am so incredibly blessed to have such a friend as her. Even though she lives so very far away and we haven't seen each other in sooooo long, we are still the best of friends.

Here are some old pics I stole off of FB. I'll have new ones to share after this weekend! ;)

A road trip I made after college to see her in Dallas. circa 2003

My bachelorette party
My rehearsal dinner




Friday, May 8, 2015

Loving him well

My man.
I love him so.
I am learning how to love him well.
Because real love is a choice.
This is a continuous learning process.
I'll never fully comprehend it, but I am committed to finding out as much as I can about loving that man for however long it takes, which I'm betting will be the rest of my life.
And that's okay with me.

We are learning to live with and love what we have.
We are praying together more regularly.
We are enjoying each other and the time we have together.
We are delighting in our children - the little creations that we made together.


I have to remind myself of these verses from 1 Corinthians so often:




Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.


When I can't think of anything else to do? Love. That's always the answer.


We had a great discussion at our small group a few weeks ago. The question was posed, "What causes the most conflict in your marriage?" Most of us (with one exception) have been married at least 5 years. So…we've definitely experienced conflict. And we all know that "thing" that keeps creeping back up.

There were a lot of answers ranging from "he doesn't lead our household" to "sex" to "communication" to "security" to "finances"…we pretty much discussed the whole gamut.  

When it was mine and David's turn to talk, we shared that communication is our number one issue. That's the thing that always crops back up. I LOVE to communicate. David, not so much. I am an over-communicator, if you will. I have a lot of thoughts, issues, ideas and interests floating around in my head that I'm constantly mulling over. And I like to communicate these things. I like to talk. David just doesn't. I like to ask questions, mull things over, discuss scenarios and options. David doesn't. His thought processes are pretty simple overall. And I don't say that to mean he's not smart - he's way smarter than I am - we just think about different things and we think about things differently.


If there's anything I've learned in these last 10+ years of marriage to my complete and total opposite, it's this: being different is beautiful, a blessing really, though it doesn't seem like it at times. But it has afforded me the opportunity to grow and change and learn in ways I never would have been able to do on my own. And learning to accept and embrace his differences has brought me an incredible amount of joy.

Though marriage is inevitably challenging and downright hard, it is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling roles I will ever have in this lifetime. I can't imagine being married to anyone else and I am exorbitantly grateful that God gave me that man of mine.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What you do matters.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that we're important in this world. It can be difficult to remember that we matter and that we're making a difference. What a sweet moment when we're reminded of that.
Mrs. Joy sent me this text of one of her student's essays. She's in 3rd grade now, so she hasn't been to Joy's in over 4 years. I am so proud of this little girl and how the things that Mrs. Joy has taught her have stayed with her. I'm so thankful that she took my joy of reading with her and that it left an impression on her. 

Today the library had a festival called Storyvine. Storytellers from all over the county went to 60 different schools and performed traditional storytelling. I remember very few things from my school experiences in childhood, but that is one thing that I remember - storytellers. How wonderful it was to give back in this way. I hope that children across the county were able to hold onto their storyteller's love of stories and reading and will carry it in their hearts for years to come.


Not only do I need to remind myself that I matter in my career, but I also need to be reminded of the amazing role and responsibility I have in raising my own children. That's my other "job" and certainly the most important one.

I must say that though my children are at the very tip-top of my priority list, I realize that my love for them is beyond compare - and there are children out there who may never experience the love and attention they need to succeed in this world. I think about that when I go to work and I look into those little faces with those bright eyes and hopeful smiles. Even when I'm away from my babies, I know that what I do matters. If they are able to see even a glimpse of Jesus through me, then my job here is done. I hope to empower them to be the best version of them that they can be in this world.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Driver's Ed

Oh my goodness.
Let me tell you - this little one is not ready to drive.
She's only 3, you say. She has plenty of time to learn, you say. She'll be just fine when she's older, you say.
Maybe you're right, but...
The girl can't steer.
This is why she still can't ride her bike or her tricycle very well. Oddly, peddling isn't her issue.
I have to admit that it was one of the funniest (and most exasperating) things trying to help her drive Lightning.

Xander has outgrown it (for the most part) so I thought I would give her a chance. Xander was riding his bike and I told him that she could follow him down the street. Well, not only can't she steer, but she also doesn't listen very well when I tell her to stop. It was pretty funny. Until it wasn't. We got down the street and she was over it. Tears, screaming, crying...and she was pretty upset too.
Xander said he would drive it back home which would have been fine except the battery started to die (my fault bc it wasn't fully charged, and because X weighs too much for it now). That's when I had to carry the thing back home. It was a disaster.

I guess I'm mostly so surprised at her inability to drive Lightning because it came so naturally for Xander. He got that car for Christmas 2011, he wasn't even 3 yet. We took him out in it and he was so good at it! He knew how to steer, how to push the gas, how to turn it around, reverse, and slow down - all on that first attempt! It was only days before he'd mastered a three point turn, for goodness' sake!!
So, yeah. Taking AJ out was quite the opposite experience and not at all what I'd planned for.

Here's the best video I could get of the event. And this was definitely the most controlled and best listening she did the whole time we were out there.




And here's my selfie carrying Lightning home on my back. That thing is not light!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Outdoor girl



Amelia Jayne loves the outdoors. She loves digging in dirt and sand. She loves planting things and watching them grow. She loves looking at pretty flowers. She notices every bug and small creature we come across outside. She's very attentive to detail and notices so much more than most.

I love seeing her interests and personality develop. She's so curious and excitable- and it's such a beautiful thing to witness.

Monday, May 4, 2015

President

President Obama came to Charlotte a couple of weeks ago and spoke at ImaginOn. I was kicked out of my office for a couple of days while he and the secret service used it as their headquarters. Although it interrupted my work schedule, it was pretty cool to be able to claim that the president was in my office. I didn't get to hear his speech or meet him or anything like that, but I have to say that it's pretty exciting to see the library and ImaginOn's logos behind the POTUS.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The dentist

My kids love the dentist. They have such a good time and have never had a bad experience. 
They went for a cleaning at the end of March. Just a couple of days before we went we discovered that Xander had his first loose tooth. Then on April 9th he lost it, biting into a chicken nugget at Chick-fil-A with Mimi. The tooth fairy brought him 2 very sparkly dollars and a certificate showing him what tooth he lost and congratulating him on having such healthy teeth!