June 29, 2010

Lots And Nothing

There are a lot of things swimming through my brain right now. Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains... Sorry. I'm telling you, lyrics run through my head all the time. Anyway.


The kids are getting settled. For the most part, they are reacclimating well enough. There are moments where I need to remind the two bigs about who runs the roost, and inform them that yes - there ARE rules at our house, but they are few. It is wonderful to cook dinner for them again. [I am looking forward to cooking for 6!] So glad to have them back for a few weeks before they leave for their dad's again. [Why the two visits? Because of Moo's age, we thought it best to break up the long summer visit into two parts this year. Next year, we can do the long 6 week visit all at once.]


B and I are good. Rockin' awesome good. So good that we are making plans. I'm still going to protect those plans for now and not share just yet, but we're making them. Wholeheartedly. I promise to share soon. Point being, it has me thinking.


Still MUST have some pictures taken.










First things I thought of when I saw this next photo? P-Dub's livestock photos. My leather couches. This is Da Plains you know. I would totally rock some B&W horses on my wall. And you bet with B being Mr. Horticulture, I will absolutely have plants allovertheplace soon. Which I love.









[Nope, not the baby. Nobody get any ideas about THAT.] Love the iron bed and the quilt. The quilt is why I nabbed this photo of Nettie's. I have several quilts to make: for us (finish Trevor's), for Andy (finish Trevor's), for Moo (finish Trevor's), and for H (oh yes, that is a new initial isn't it...)... though our girls may share a quilt.









And the baskets in this kitchen. I love the open, under-counter storage. The fresh colors with the earth tones.





So yeah. Hmmm. Lots to say and nothing at the same time.



*Sources properly credited on my Tumblr.






And Dear B: How I treasure our evenings of gazing, laughing, and listening to music. I love watching you continue to fall in love with my kids; last night was the full routine as 5. It was the bomb! And I love that you provided me a report of the new HD channels you have and included the Contemporary Christian radio station. You so know me.

You're My Best Friend

The other day I received a blog comment that said, " I love how your blog is becoming a little set of love notes to your B." I really wasn't paying attention but yes, I guess it is. Lots of love notes to B. Makes me smile.


WARNING: Bring on the bucket.







And Dear B: Read this, yo.





My Best Friend
by Tim McGraw



I never had no one that I could count on
I've been let down so many times
I was tired of hurtin'
So tired of searchin'
Til you walked into my life
It was a feelin' I'd never known
And for the first time, I didn't feel alone


You're more than a lover
There could never be another
To make me feel the way you do
Oh, we just get closer
I fall in love all over
Everytime I look at you
I don't know where I'd be
Without you here with me
Life with you makes perfect sense



You're my best friend
You're my best friend


You stand by me
And you believe in me
Like nobody ever has
When my world goes crazy
You're right there to save me
You make me see how much I have
And I still tremble when we touch
And oh the look in your eyes
When we make love


You're more than a lover
There could never be another
To make me feel the way you do
Oh, we just get closer
I fall in love all over
Everytime I look at you
I don't know where I'd be
Without you here with me
Life with you makes perfect sense


You're my best friend
You're my best friend

June 26, 2010

Now ABCDEFG

Right. So Mabel grew up by like 5 years while she was gone. All of them did, but she... she is BIG.

(As a tangent, please let me tell you that the purple & green Adidas tennies that B got her were too small when she tried them on; I exchanged them on Sunday for a SIZE 10. For my two year old. That is all.)

Here is Moo demonstrating her vocal skills by singing her ABC's. This is on the way through Iowa. It's boring in Iowa. Beautiful, but boring. And you must turn your head sideways to see it (sorry). Bring on the ABC's!



Thanks Be To God, They're Back

It's late. I just finished a snack, folded a basket of laundry, and kissed B goodnight as he left. Upstairs, my three are finally sound asleep.

They came back smelly and with furry teeth. There were, however, smiles on those three little faces when they saw us.

Which means, yes. B met Shoes. Oh yes he did. Walked right up and shook his hand. It was awkward, but it is the next step. Had to happen. And I couldn't be happier that B and I did this wholly important thing today.

Tomorrow, the kids and I will pick up B and go to church. They haven't been in a month. I can't wait to see them there with us... for a month we've gone alone. Can't wait to shout God's praises again for their safe return. He is good. All the time.


And Dear B: Another road trip with you, one that involved some very important conversation. Thank you for always being there, for holding my hand and being so wonderful. Knuckles, Baby. That's spelled with two K's. Oh, and yes. We sat beside Kurt Warner, which was super cool.

June 25, 2010

Travel Prayer Request



Isn't B cute while driving? Maverick, I tell you. I snapped this while driving back to Where We Were From almost a month ago.

It's time to hit the road again. Tomorrow, the kids come home from their dad's. We'll meet at the halfway point at 1pm and then drive back to Da Plains with them in tow. I'd love your prayers for safe travel for everyone and a happy exchange. And please, God, let the rubberband of dad's-house-to-mom's-house NOT be a disaster or lengthy in any way.

Thanks, Folks. I'll blog again after I wade through the laundry that is certain to accompany them.


And Dear B: Last night we wrote a note that I want to look at in 20 years. I love the K.

June 24, 2010

I Mean Business




Yesterday, I bought running shoes for myself. I made an investment in my health and overall life balance. These shoes fit so well they might be my most favorite shoes ever. B and I went after work. I tried on 10 pairs (I didn't keep track, B did - to tease me later). The Mizuno Wave Precision 11's were the last ones I tried on and I loved them.


I am still doing about 2.5 miles per run. More than I ran before, but I want to get up to 5 in time. B and I run together a lot; there is something deeply HEALTHY about having that time together. We are planning the 5K Run For His Glory in September. It's a run to benefit the LifeLight Christian Music Festival here. The run is on the festival grounds and the bands play during (little bit of running to Lincoln Brewster and Remedy Drive, heck yeah!).




And if I'm back from Ethiopia in time, this:






So I have made the habit (GLORY!). I got the shoes. I am signing up for races to push myself. Clearly I mean business!



And Dear B: Yesterday was important. Thank you for trusting me and letting me in. You will never be alone. Not only is the big JC always with you, so too is my love. Knuckles all in, Batman.

June 22, 2010

Almost...




Pardon the wonky lighting and blur on the Droid phone. I was standing on the back of my couch after 9pm to take this sucker.



So I finally took some time last night to work on Trevor's twin quilt. I assembled and sewed the entire quilt top. Quite easy really, just sewing square to square using this method.


Still to do: sandwiching the fabric with the batting and backing and then deciding to send it away for topquilting, or do it myself.


Next up: Drew's red, blue, and puppy quilt.

June 20, 2010

It's Father's Day

Written on Sunday, June 20.



Today, I am spending time with B and his daughter. It is lovely.

I am also allowing myself, for the first time in YEARS, to really think about my dad. I finally feel like I have the backup needed (B) to let my guard down and miss him. Might be because I desperately want to introduce him to my dad. My dad would absolutely love B. Not just because they have hunting and fishing and dozens of other things in common, but because I know that B meets and exceeds what my dad's expectations were for a man in my life. No man has ever truly hit that mark.

Oh how I miss him.







My boys never met him. They never got to fish with him. And Mabel... my father would have been flat out smitten with her. Especially her spunk. Instead they will have to wait until Heaven to meet.

Last night I laid in bed and struggled to remember a Father's Day with my dad. Not because we didn't make memories, but because its been so long ... my father has been gone for 13 years. The memories I have include some fantastic ones from my childhood... fishing, cleaning squirrel (oh yes I did), telling bedtime stories. Him singing Elvira to me as a baby.

My dad and I were pals when I was a kid. But as I grew up and got snotty (as teens are want to do) we weren't close for a while. My parents divorced and I missed him. I am grateful daily that we reached back out to one another before he died.

My dad grew close to Jesus toward the end. He spent days on the banks of the Ohio river in prayer about his life. There is no doubt in my mind that my daddy will be waiting for me on the inside of those pearly gates. And that makes me smile.

So, go kiss your dad. Indulge yourself in his memory if he is gone.

I'm so glad I had the dad I did. He made me who I am. My Heavenly Father has taken over for him since calling him home and that's just fine... but I miss him.








And Dear B: Thank you for being the father that you are. It is absolutely one of my favorite things about you. All four of our children are blessed beyond measure to have you in their lives. Thank you for wanting to pass on the good that your father gave to you. Thank you for holding me as the sobs came, remembering my father's voice. You are right; Larry and Richard are both watching over us right now, pleased. Probably fishing together.

June 17, 2010

Enjoying

Photo via Ali Edwards


I want to do this. Somewhere. Laundry room, hallway, entry... somewhere. Easy enough to do up the bordered squares in PSElements and print at Walmart. Couple of those are scrapbook layouts, too - can you see them? Way freaking cool.


Speaking of scrapbook layouts, guess what I did last week?! I had 50 prints made. As in, to scrap. [GASP.]


While the kids are gone, I should have done all sorts of things: scrap, finish Trevor's quilt, start on Andy's quilt, paint the boys' room, paint Moo's room... see? Tons of things to be done. Except, this time, I didn't pack myself full of productivity makers. I am just living. Enjoying. I've never been on my own for this long... it's nice, actually.


June 16, 2010

Dream House











So, so much to love in this home. The cement countertops have me slobbery. It's modern, but so warm and layered and textural. A lot of white. And my Lord, that mudroom!!! There are so few things that I would change. I love it.



June 15, 2010

Scatterbrained

Love The Schultzes





Did you know that good couples' photography will run you over $2,000? If you want super awesome, you're paying over $5,000. It is especially frustrating knowing, KNOWING I could shoot the same shots myself for free. If I could perfect the shooting and posing at the same time part. I picked the wrong career path I think, sometimes. Geez.


Hmmm. Maybe one day.


So. I feel scatterbrained today. I would like to ask for some prayer for that, actually. A coworker noticed this morning that I was a bit... grouchy (very unusual pour moi). So we read the Bible together. A verse from Malachi, a bit of Hebrews, and into Joshua. Oh, how I love the book of Joshua. Perfect for when you want to throw on some arrows and kick someone in the ass. And of course, beautiful B and I went to lunch where he made me feel much better with his listening, his eyelashes and soft kisses in the parking lot.


Today I wish I could go home and mow my lawn. Run a couple miles and then mow my lawn. About the running, I'm being lazy. But I can't mow because it's rained so much the ground is too soggy. Instead, I'm driving to B's to make spaghetti dinner and enjoy a nice glass of Pinot as we unwind about our work day. I love that we share that.


Also? The Book of Eli is out and we're a'watchin' that tonight, too! SUPER PSYCHED about that.


Enough rambling. And cute yellow shoes up there.



And Dear B: Today I love you. More than yesterday and less than tomorrow. Did I tell you how great you look in red? Did I also tell you that, when we are walking through the halls at work all professional-like and bump elbows it sends a jolt of electricity through me? Can't wait to share your kitchen tonight. I plan on kissing you repeatedly. Hope you don't mind.

June 14, 2010

The Hat Which Is Most Dangerous





Don't ask me what I said that made us laugh. It's our secret.






Word of advice: be careful when you go in for a kiss when your dude is wearing a cowboy hat.








I advise holding up the brim and aiming for the lips.








And then, much nuzzling.









PS: These shots from our weekend make me think of a few things. LOVE (that one was obvious, I know), our matching blue shirts, the hat which is most dangerous, and camera shake. I am either going to have to teach new friends how to eliminate camera shake on the Droid or (my favorite) fly Lulu here to (meet B) shoot the camera (meet B) for us. And also, to MEET B.




Ugh. I miss you, Lulu!

June 11, 2010

Forever In Blue Jeans


Yesterday was a unique day. Can't put my finger on it, but it was odd all around. Good odd. Just unique enough to grab our attention so that we could savor the day as it passed by. I think part of it is the continued realization of our lives clicking together more and more, of our love growing some really deep roots... some days you just feel it.

Work was brutal and thick. Coarse, like swimming upstream. Homeboy is gaining more responsibility and with that comes a bigger headache. But he started the day with a men's Bible study, so his heart was full and his head was clear and ready for the challenge when the day began.

I drove to pick him up before dinner and couldn't settle on what music to listen to. Over and over I changed CDs, shuffled my discs until I landed on Neil Diamond. B told me once that "Forever In Blue Jeans" made him think of me, so I chose that song. The disc started to play just as I turned into his driveway. B was waiting for me outside and walked to the passenger side with a awe-struck look on his face. He opened the door and grinned so big. He proudly held up his phone, upon which was YouTube, playing "Forever In Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond. On a whim he wanted to hear it and think of me, he had said. We wallered around in that moment for a while. So cool.

Dinner with his family was lovely. We shared a meal... ordered one thing and split it. Shared. Sat nearly on top of each other at the table. I mean, we were absolutely respectable, but so stinking obvious - our arms crossing each other, both of us holding on to the other's knee. At one point, he put his head on my shoulder. Kissed me on the cheek. We laughed. Talked with his sister and mother and daughter. Made plans to get together with them as 6 peeps. You know, I have never once been nervous with them. Really. Not ever even once. I've only ever just been ME. Such a satisfying feeling.

Back at my house, we danced in the kitchen. Then B wrote a poem for me. I thought of sharing it here (and he implied that I could) and maybe I will one day. But for now, it is all mine. Tucked away in my heart to hold with precious care. His eyes teared up as he wrote, as he talked. And then I read it and told him he had amazing "game." Dude doesn't even try and he has me in the palm of his hand. I was so touched.

We talked about God a lot. I love it when we talk about God a lot. God and Bible study, God and our story, God and how wonderfully included in our relationship He is. How He is guiding us. He is in charge. Talked about a Bible verse he'd read. We faced our Death Dot (that fear that creeps in from past relationships, consumes you just long enough to know what you never want to take for granted).

We stared into each others eyes and kissed each others hands a lot. Such a good, good day. But different.


And did you know that "Forever In Blue Jeans" is a beautiful way to tell someone that your priority is not money or work or fame or anything else, but only them? See what I mean? Dude doesn't even try...





June 10, 2010

An Anthem




When I saw this photo by the ultra-amazing and talented (and I hope I am amply crediting her rockstar self) Tara Whitney, it hit me like a ton of flippin' bricks.


You only live once.


I say that constantly. I remind myself, I tell others. MAKE IT COUNT. Every single day.


Life is short. Don't let the sun go down on something you want. Go after it!


Don't let the sun go down on anger either, for that matter.


If you love someone, tell them as often as you can. Don't wait.


Say thank you to God for all that you are grateful for.


If you want your life to change, grab it by the nuts and go for the gusto. Do it yourself. Where there is a will, there is a way. God wants you happy, but you have to do the legwork to get there.


I never knew how different my life could be or was supposed to be until my life exploded in front of me. People have asked me how I kept the faith after all that I've been through... just like the song, "That question always amazes me. How could circumstances possibly change who I forever am in You?" God kept my head on straight. He gave me the confidence and clarity to figure out what I needed and wanted in my life, and then courage to go after it.


I moved to Da Plains to work with a woman who would later become one of my best friends. Then got a job (where that same woman now works!) at a company where we pray at the end of meetings and I can make a KINGDOM impact with what I do every single day. Then I met my God guy and life changed even more. All the while learning and respecting my kids more than I ever have. There have been bumps along the way, absolutely, but I barely notice them anymore.


We have a mighty God.


So yes, this is an anthem for me.


You only live once. MAKE IT COUNT.




And Dear B: Yesterday you left our journal on the seat in my truck to surprise me. I rambled in it for a while and snuck it back in your lunchbox today. I may or may not have referenced hickies. Thank you for texting me early this morning after your Bible study, when God was fresh all over you. I love that you think of me then! Love you all the way, Baby.

June 9, 2010

Yesterday

Yesterday, I wore these shoes.







with a purple skirt.


Did I ever mention that when I was a baby, my nursery was painted red and purple? Not pink and lavender, but blood red and plum purple.

Just sayin'.

As Big As Horses




Here she is: one of my best girls. My BeckAY hosted B and I last week while we were in Ohio for an overnight visit. Nice, huh?


B and I started out that morning having breakfast with Judy, where she told him the story of how my dad gave me a spanking with a 6" ruler when I ate a Fruit Loop off of the floor (another time, People...). We laughed until we cried. Well, I did. In fact, B said he had never seen so many tears of laughter fall from my eyes before. [I also saw my teenaged niece at the restaurant - a niece on Shoes' side of the family... that girl flew into my arms faster than a fish finds bait. It felt so nice to be called Aunt Rachel again.]


After breakfast and hugs, B and I headed south to see Becky. Just another 2 hours together in the car. Talking and holding hands. And actually, while B knew my story already, I shared more detail than I ever had during that drive. He spilled more details on his story, too. Doubled the love on that drive, we did. Didn't plan it; it just happened.


We arrived, hugged, and unpacked. Kicked our shoes off. Becky immediately said something about B's feet and stink. Which they did not. But it was kind of her to check with him about it.


After stretching, we got back into the car and went to Haiku for sushi with half a dozen friends. Not to be outdone by my first piece of sashimi, B had 20 rolls with smoked salmon. Such a trooper. Kind of hot watching him pop those rolls into his mouth without so much as even trying to use a chopstick, too. Stinker.


We had planned a bonfire, but the 100000% mugginess eliminated that from the agenda. Instead we sat around and shot the shit, learned naughty slang from Beck's southern friend, and talked about the old days.


At one point, Beck took B next door to meet the two great danes she dogsits for. They were gone for 45 minutes. Apparently, the dogs disliked my homeboy and tried to eat him. Then he tried to escape into the dark laundry room only to slip on her friend's underwear (I know, right? BLECH.) All of this while she hammered him with dozens of questions about his intentions with her bestie (c'est moi). Homeboy passed with flying colors. Later he told me that her questioning did not bother him at all, but the altercation with the danes might have caused permanent scarring. Emotionally speaking, of course.


Later he also told me that he loved me twice as much as he did the day before. (Bucket check, yo!)


I am so lucky to have this woman in my life. Sticking up for me and all. So lucky to have this man, willing to be eaten by dogs as big as horses and skid on a pair of nasty panties, just to prove his love for me.


Dang.
My love for the two of them is as big as horses, is what I say. What? Are you confused, too?

June 7, 2010

It's A Chucks Thing, Part Deux





The epitome of coolness right here, Baby. A pair of exhausted chucks. And yes, they match. LOVE.

Cowboy Up

My cowboy and I are back from vacay. It was most amazing.

We:

Slept in every single day
Laughed with Judy about childhood stories
Had awesome hashbrowns at IHOP
Learned how to use the Footprint app
Took turns driving (though he did take over on the way home, all chivalrous and stuff)
Car-danced to the Hollywood Undead
(I) Met his brother for the first time
Had a lot of Mexican food
Stood FOUR FEET from Brad Paisley wailing on his guitar
Teared up listening to love songs
Teared up telling stories
Teared up being honest and letting honest in
Held hands for about 40 hours
Had 2 shots after a Mudhens Baseball game
Drove 1,685 miles
Listened to Brian Wilson
Fell more in love
Had sashimi for the first time
(He) Fought off 2 attack horses and endured friendly interrogation from BeckAY (he so totally passed)
Missed 2 tornados and severe devastation by HOURS (Judy and the kids are fine, in case you've been watching the news)
Finally had a real, actual and for-true shoot before the concert, wherein I learned that B can actually be a little shy when I'm looking through the lens... but he promised to practice anytime I want...









And honestly? I will need hours and hours of practice staring at this. Perfecting the way I adore him. The smile, the gruff, the eyes... and oh holy shit, the hat. I was a puddle of mess, People.


Awesome outtake.












Hmpf. Totally said something stupid and made him laugh. Got You Where I Want You, Babe.




Dang I love this cowboy.









And Dear B: Thank you doesn't cover what it meant to stand, holding your hand, Back Where We Were From. I love you doesn't cover what is in my heart or head for you anymore at this point. I would throw myself in front of a turbo orange beetle for you. Thank you for trusting me behind my lens and looking me in the eyes while I captured the beautiful you that I see. And I adore that you couldn't wait to see me at lunch today, just to spill about your morning... you called me your best friend this weekend and you meant it. Hit me in the heart, Smalls. Know what else? You standing beside the staircase today and saying,"y'all" twice? Yeah, that more than doubled the love in my heart for you. Just like when I wiped your bogey the other day. That is the real deal.

June 1, 2010

Got You Where I Want You

I flash right back to B's truck on the drive home after our first date. I'd heard this before, but had no idea where or who sang it. I LOVE this song.


It's now Our Song.


Got You Where I Want You, by The Flys.