Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It'll Grow

We were having a hard day today, so we did what everyone else does on hard days and we cut all our hair off.  Really, just Henry's. He asked for it (literally and figuratively) and loves his new 'do.  

Now...for Svea's bangs...

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Sister

My sister has a river of life inside of her. She was born with it.
Me? I was born with a creek. I had to outsource immediately and, lucky for me, she was very close by, just twenty months my senior.

I grew up watching and sometimes cowering under her smooth confidence and assurance in so many things that left me terribly fearful. I watched her learn to drive and thought, "I'll never be able to do it that well."
She was so sure and certain.

I watched her audition for groups and clubs and not get into some, and slide right in to her spot in others. She could take pain and joy straight to heart, and she could shake off unnecessary social drivel without it ever leaving a trace.
I wanted to be like her so much.

Six years ago, we were pregnant at the same time and began calling each other everyday. We rarely miss a day, always having news to share or concern over the perception of no news to share. 
Nothing is even worth talking about with her.

A year ago today, she delivered her son, my nephew, and he lived a few short hours. He lived fully and fiercely loved by his parents, his big sister, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, and an entire community of saints that still speak his name.
Soon after his death, my brother shared with me the Hindu belief that children choose their parents when they come into this world. I am strangely, deeply comforted by the notion that my nephew's soul chose a family that would love him so hard in the hours of his life here.

Though today has been teary and hard, we continue to celebrate him and all that he has taught our family. His earthly life was fed by the most beautiful river, one I admire daily, seeking guidance and direction.

We grow from his life every day, and my sister's river flows on, vibrant as ever.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heat and Accent

We're making progress around here.
Today, Henry helped me hammer nails. I had no idea the kid could do it, but I would hit them in a bit then hand him the hammer and he would finish the job. We got so much done as a team. Usually the afternoons are a time of struggle for us, but this afternoon was smooth sailing as we had a hammering project to do together. I need to find some more wood and nails for tomorrow...

Henry and I put together the cube set for Svea's room, then got her all organized (she was downstairs building princess castles and totally uninterested in us. Which was fine).

Then we put together the cube in his room and he filled it with his favorite things. He promptly got bored and realized that if he sat on his bed and dangled his feet from the edge and kicked forward and back, his heel would hit the iron rail perfectly to make the most annoying noise. He also realized that his Mom was so focused that she would let him make this noise over and over just so she could finish organizing his room since tomorrow is the two week anniversary of living here and for the love this chaos must end sometime.

After cubes, we made beds and got Charlie and Lola tucked in and ready for tonight. Luckily, Lola had her "Svea" pillow to share that Carter and Graham made for us. Charlie prefers the monogrammed "Henry" pillow for the summer that the Nash's gave him. (He prefers the Carter and Graham one in the colder weather. Which kid is more like a Jackson, I ask you?)

Today we also bought about 96 bottles of Gatorade, Powerade and some other brands we haven't heard of yet. We are really adjusting to the heat. And global warming, I guess. We had about 12 days of bliss and adrenaline, and yesterday, being day 13, we hit some low points. I'll chalk them up to dehydration. Hence the Powerade run today.

I know hydration, salt retention, swimming, etc. affect the ear and hearing and balance. I don't know all the inner workings of it, but I am aware of the connection.
In the past two weeks, I have been most affected by the heat (and subsequent dehydration) and my inability to decipher accents at the pace I used to.

When I went to get my new driver's license, all I had to take was a vision test. I thought she would give me a hearing test soon after since I had to keep pulling my head out of the vision thingie to look at her face and ask her to repeat her instructions. I tried to joke with her a little when it was time for the picture for the card, like, "Does my hair look okay?" and stuff.
When I asked her that, she kept looking down at her Birmingham News and said, "To me."

Like "To me it looks okay" or "To me you are a crazy deaf girl who I wish would hurry up and get away from my desk"?

I got through it, but I noticeably pause between someone's question and my answer and I'm wondering when I'll get used to the ring of it.
Maybe that's next week.

For today, the Cubes and Powerade beat the Heat and Accent issues. Miniature victories, I tell you, miniature victories.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Let The Preacher's Kid Bless The Food

This afternoon, in an outdoor picnic area, Henry yelled, "LET'S SAY A PRAYER!"

We stared at him, he started down at his food and said:
Dear God,
Remember that God is with us.
Remember that I have tattoos.
Remember God is love.

Indeed, Henry, A-men.
(and the "tattoos" refer to the nine Pirates of the Caribbean tatties applied the night before our first Sunday at the new church. Awesome.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today Felt Like Summer

We are over the hump of VBS week and the kids have loved it. They are singing the songs at home and meeting lots of new friends. But we had not done much that felt "summery" this week, so we headed to the pool this afternoon.

Here's Svea showing her size 10s:

And rough-housing with her brother...

And swimming away from Henry's splashes:

In this one, I'm not sure. Maybe Svea just gave Henry the soup-bone move and he was growling at her that it didn't hurt because he was wearing his goggles?

Who knows, but it was fun.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

First Days

We are embracing first days around here.

We are officially in our new home.
Today was officially Brian's first day at work.

We are so overwhelmed with love, gratitude, food, family, names and faces of new friends, humidity, moving boxes, transition, and the need for more magnets for the fridge. (Thank goodness the need to draw did not get lost in the move. Like our telephone and answering machine did):

All good things. Very, very good things.

We had a quick photo opp before the Early Service today, dressed in our Sunday best including Pirates of the Caribbean tattos, nike socks, cowgirl boots, clip-on ties and a seersucker coat.
You should have seen what Brian and I wore. Har.

More soon, once I find my brain in one of these boxes.
For now, we are just so glad to be here.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Staycation 2009!

As we embrace our weeks of being homeless and unemployed (gainfully, that is) we sure are having a great time.

From catching lightning bugs in our pajamas with Mimi:

To riding our bikes (Svea just got a new one - pink and purple at her request):

Then graduating to riding lawnmowers and John Deere's:

Swimming in the pool, playing with new toys, bouncing between the grandparents', eating lots, sleeping lots, laughing lots - we may do this every year.

Monday, June 01, 2009

My Mosts

1. The most surprising thing I found while packing yesterday:

An empty lemonade container (with the screw-on cap) with "Henry & Svea" written on the top found in the far back corner of the guest bathroom cabinet full of rocks from outside.

2. My most favorite recent gift:

3. The most surprising thing I heard yesterday during supper:

Henry: Waiter, bring me some more cheese please.
Looking at me in all seriousness. Are you kidding???

4. My most favorite thing we do not have to move because of blessed Freecycle Pick-ups:

5. The most favorite thing for the kids to do while I pack:

6. Their most favorite indoor activity:

7. My most favorite football scrimmage:

8. My most favorite kisses to receive: