Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Back To Reality

Oh, the pain of keeping schedules, making beds, obligations to act responsibly and productively!
Oh, the shameful waste of sunshine to be sitting here in an office instead of on warm sand or a quiet deck!
Oh, the sorrow of leaving Christian and Sean in daycare instead of going on adventures down the beach and to the aquarium and watching boats and feeding birds and eating birthday cake and falling asleep cuddling, breathing in their sunscreen-scented skin!
Oh, the agony of wearing shoes and full outfits of clothing!

Oh, how I truly miss thee, Vacation!

Yep. I enjoyed my weekend at the beach.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Happy Weekend!

After work, I will be heading down to Atlantic Beach with Neil and the boys. This is our first family vacation since 2004, so I'm super excited. I'm looking forward to sand castles, spectacular sunsets, long walks, and the sound of waves crashing. I love the ocean in all its moods and majesty - to me, it fully reflects the might and beauty of God.
So I won't blog again until Wednesday...but I'm pretty sure I'll have fun stories to share with you. After all, hanging out on the beach with a one year old and a three year old is guaranteed to bring some sort of adventure...
Hope your weekend is relaxing! Later, ya'll.

Ode to Coffee (or love song for a bean)

You are the reason I can get up every morning. I hear babies stirring and though I want to bury my head under the covers and go back to sleep, I remember you will be there and so I get up, care for my children, and reward myself with time for you.

You, o precious java, have been there for me countless times through the years - by my side as I've crammed for exams, a muse when creativity fails, a sweet member in my circle of friends. Everywhere I've gone, there you have gone with me. On walks by the river, on roadtrips through mountains, in my office, in malls, in homes - your presence I can depend on. Thanks for the memories, enchanting joe( and for all the pet names you put up with).

You let me dress you up however I please - in the curve of a purple mug, in a tiny china cup, and you don't even complain when all I can offer you is plain styrofoam. And you never, ever care about how I look.

Your love is steady, and yet never boring or stale. You romance me with intriguing changes - a shot of mocha here, a dollop of caramel allure me with your complex personality of bitter and sweet.

There are those who say you are too much for me - that you're wrong for me in so many ways. They blame you for stunting my growth as a person, they say you'll discolor my teeth and speed up my heart with your wild dose of caffeine. But, baby, true love is supposed to make your heart race. Those naysayers are simply jealous of the purity of our feelings and I refuse to give in to their pedantic propaganda.

I accept you with your flaws, as you accept mine. Even when I've been unfaithful to you - indulging in the fleeting temptations of tea or soda or milk - you've stayed true to me. Despite your timeless popularity in society, you remain humble and available and I know you always will. When I meet with you - morning, night, or during those impromptu rendevous we sometimes have in the middle of the day - I know I'm in for delight, whether you're feeling hot or cold, bold or mild. You offer exactly what I need.

Dearest mud....I'm grateful that you're a part of my life. There's simply no replacement for you. I look forward to growing old with you by my side. Love, Dawn

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Knock-Knock, Who's There?

Noah's Ark! Click read the article about an expedition finding what appears to be chunks of the ark, as well as evidence of pottery and other such artifacts.
Personally, I really hope this pans out. Nothing annoys me more than hearing people say that the Bible is mythical and this would be one more slice of evidence that the Bible is HISTORY that HAPPENED.
Even more than that point, I just have an interest in the ark and the backstory there that we can only imagine (which I did in my first novel, Earth Undone. Um, no need to rush over to Amazon to buy it. It's currently unpublished. :) But if that ever changes, feel free to do the rushing and buying!).
John Kasich did a special report on this last Saturday night on Fox News, which I missed. I'm hoping to see more about this in the near future....I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

If You Give A Mom A Cookie

This is in the June 2006 edition of Parenting magazine. I LOVE it because it is ABSOLUTELY correct!

If You Give A Mom A Cookie
If you give a mom a cookie,
She's going to want a latte to go with it.
But before she gets a latte, she has to find her toddler's pink ladybug boots.
To find the ladybug boots, she has to venture into the playroom.
When she tries to straighten up the playroom, she finds Daddy's left shoe, the salad bowl, and an open package of graham crackers. She also finds her cell phone.
So she'll yell at her toddler about the cell phone and wake up the baby from his morning nap.
But if she goes to pick up the baby, the cell phone will ring.
When she answers, it'll be the doctor's office reminding her that she had an appointment this morning and would she like to reschedule, say, sometime in November?
While she's trying to mentally re-create her calendar, the baby will start to cry.
Then her toddler will run in to see what's the matter and find the graham crackers.
When she finds the graham crackers, there'll be crumbs all over the playroom.
So the mom will get the broom from the hall closet and notice that Daddy forgot to buy diapers last night, as she asked.
But she will find her toddler's pink ladybug boots.
And when she finds the pink ladybug boots, she'll remember her emergency stash of diapers in the car.
So she'll wrestle her toddler and her baby into their car seats and drive to the store to buy more diapers and milk.
While she's buying the milk, she'll remember that she wanted that latte.
And if she manages to order her latte without a tantrum or poop episode from either of her kids....
Then she's going to need another cookie.
(Inspired by Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give A Mouse A Cookie)
Amen and amen.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Happy 50!

Yes, believe it or not, this is my 50th post. And to celebrate it, I'm going to share 50 random tidbits with ya'll that will be life changing and very, very helpful. Wisdom from yours truly.

Ahem. Clearing throat.

1. The best way to eat Oreo cookies is this - pour a tall glass of milk. Crumble cookies into milk. Eat with spoon. Enjoy.
2. If you're going to watch a DVD of The New World (Colin Farrell, Christian Bale), don't start it at 10 pm like I did last night. The movie is looooong. And you just keep watching to see if something earth shattering is going to happen. But it doesn't. The scenery is pretty, Pocahontas is an interesting character...but, really, how many times can you watch her run around and still care that she's running around?
3. Everwood is brilliant television and it is a TRAVESTY that it was cancelled. BUY THE DVDS.
4. Playing with play-dough is good therapy. But please don't wear that new perfume. Come on. Gross.
5. If you have a cavity that hurts like heck, don't insist on eating sweets. Hello, it hurts!
6. Read Funny stuff.
7. If you drink tea, drink it sweet. Take note, yankees of America! (And Disneyworld. I still think it's strange that Disneyworld doesn't offer sweet tea.)
8. Which reminds me. If you're pregnant and at Disneyworld, don't ride the teacups, ok? You WILL get sick.
9. Riding bikes on that compacted sand right next to the ocean is awesome. It feels like flying.
10. Go barefoot when at all possible. It's good for the soul.
11. Housework is best done to loud music that you can sing along to, such as soundtracks to musicals or Mariah Carey.
12. If you get the chance, work at a Vacation Bible School. Kool-Aid, songs with motions, kickball, puppets - what's not to like?
13. Disney movies rock. Old school films like Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Lion King....and newer ones like Monsters Inc. and Toy Story are good.
14. When buying a house, make sure all the work is done BEFORE you move in.
15. If you have kids, read to them. They like it. Plus, it makes them smart.
16. Little Women? Love it. The book and the movie. Have Kleenex at hand.
17. Best Cereal: Smart Start, Special K / red berries, Basic4, Cocoa Pebbles, Booberry. Yum!
18. If you make your bed, your room automatically appears 85% cleaner.
19. Watch lightening bugs.
20. Make lists. They help.
21. Call your parents regularly. They love you.
22. My age! 22 that is. But not for long. Sigh. Soon 23 and then 30 and then 55 and so on.....
23. Being sarcastic to co-workers is great fun. Tell them you will do no work. Watch their eyes panic.
24. When at the movies, eat popcorn. It makes you feel like you're really at the movies.
26. Every now and then, treat yourself to a good breakfast. Eggs, bacon, biscuits. Waffles. Pancakes with strawberries. Chocolate milk.
27. Invest some time in the AMC and TCM channels. Worthwhile. Just this weekend I saw Pillowtalk with Doris Day and Rock Hudson for the first time. Classics are classics because they're quality!
28. If you run over enough curbs, that black piece underneath the front of your car will fall down and drag and then have to be pulled off. Trust me.
29. I don't get the whole Madonna thing. Really. I don't think she can sing. There. I said it. So what? So SUE ME, pop culture of the USA!!!
30. And while we're on that topic, I have to say it. Taylor Hicks? Really?
31. Those glow-in-the-dark stars are really cool until your grandparents sleep in your bed and the stars start falling off the ceiling and dinging Grandpa and Grandma in the head....
32. Avoid moving if you can. You lose stuff.
33. The CW network is a bad, bad idea.
34. Start an anti-tan campaign. Come on people, legs that haven't seen the sun in two years CAN be beautiful!!!!!! (Yes, I'm whimpering in the corner at the thought of bathing suits...)
35. Start a piggy bank for late fees at the library. It IS hard to get book back on time! It's kind of like fighting gravity or Lord Voldemorte.....(which may or may not be spelled with that e on the end, by the way.)
36. If your significant other or roommate loves to watch WWE wrestling and the like - just go ahead and break the television. All of them. You'll be doing yourself a favor.
37. Don't forget about board games! Friendly fun. (Unless there's cheating or trash talk. In which case arm yourself with darts.)
38. Goober pb&j is out of this world delicious. I'm talkin' eat out of the jar goood.
39. If you laugh while you discipline your kids, they don't actually get the point.
40. And I quote - "Alarm Clock bad Coffee good"
41. READ. For real. Just do it. It's like nutrition for your brain. Those people from school days that thought reading was dorky or dull? They were WRONG. These are the people who smash beer cans on their heads for fun. You're gonna' listen to their opinion of entertainment?
42. If you happen to like George Bush, have a stress ball near you if you read Anne Lammott's Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith. She has very obvious issues with the president, and so if you do like him....there will be grinding of teeth in annoyance.
43. George Clooney is hot. Enough said.
44. Boiled peanuts. HATE THEM SO MUCH. Especially from the jar. It's disgusting and I figure a health hazard in some real way.
45. Plant a tree. It'll take time - ok, years - but when it's taller than you are, you'll feel quite accomplished. Plus, you're contributing to oxygen, which we all like.
46. If you go to church, don't talk about the preacher or his family. You think it won't get back to him or his feelings can't be hurt? It will and they can.
47. Snap green beans or shuck corn (but watch out for the eeny green worms!). It's satisfying to take your food from raw nature.
48. Make-up is a tool used to accent, not a face mask. Be careful with that stuff. In some hands, it's a weapon of mass destruction.
49. The UNC tarheels- the only team that matters.
And finally....
50. Start a blog. Then you, too, can make long winded, pointless lists just like this one and there is no one to stop you or to complain.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

When There Are No Easy Answers

Several people in my life are facing difficult circumstances right now - the kind that causes you to wake in the middle of the night second guessing God and feeling like the warmth of your daily, happy life has been stripped away - and appropriate for today's downpour of rain - your entire body has been doused with icy water. I can't think of the right words to say or the big picture - but this song sung by Natalie Grant (written by someone else whose name escapes me) feels fitting.

Two months is too little
they let him go, they had no sudden healing
To think that providence would take a child
from his mother while she prays is appalling-
Who told us we'd be rescued,
what has changed and why should we be saved
from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
to us who have died to live
It's unfair
This is what it means
to be held, how it feels
when the sacred is torn from your life
and you survive
This is what it is
to be loved and to know
that the promise was
when everything fell,
we'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We wanna' taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow
The wise hand opens slowly
to lilies of the valley
and tomorrow
If hope is born of suffering,
if this is only the beginning
can we not wait for one hour,
watching for our Savior -
This is what it means to be held,
how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
and you survive
This is what it is
to be loved and to know
that the promise was
when everything fell,
we'd be held....