Posts tagged ‘Life is Daily’

September 20, 2010

September Listography | Day Twenty


things I do every morning when time is not a factor
  1.  wake with no alarm
  2.  choke down 3 tablets of medication with a swig of tepid water left over from the night before
  3.  gag a little on the tepid water
  4.  lie in bed cursing the daylight
  5.  give in to the body’s natural rhythm and make a quick pit stop
  6.  return to bed with hopes of blocking out the cursed daylight
  7.  groan at the realization that I can’t get back to sleep
  8.  check text messages and send out a couple
  9.  pull out electronic Phase 10 and begin the Classic version with 4 players
10.  stare blankly at screen while my brain attempts to understand what’s required to play the game
11.  turn game on and try again
12.  continue texting conversations in between hands of Phase 10
13.  curse game for not letting me win
14.  rejoice when I come from behind
15.  realize that I’m finally awake and make first attempt to crawl out of bed
16.  realize I’m still lying in bed and first attempt was unsuccessful
17.  kick sheets away and drag myself from bed when sun shining through curtains finally heats up the room
18.  curse the blasted heat
19.  put on glasses and take first look in mirror
20.  curse the mirror… and my glasses… and my hair
21.  wrangle hair into tiny little bundle from where it formerly stood straight up on my head, Bride-of-Frankenstein-style
22.  stumble toward kitchen and pour mug of orange juice mixed with second round of morning meds
23.  collapse into living room chair and attempt to begin the day
24.  wonder if I can stand myself without a shower in order to stay in pajamas all day
25.  realize I will be employed again one day and pajama days will no longer be possible
26.  rejoice at the small blessing of this period with no daily demands and praise God for the job that He is preparing down the pike
27.  log onto Facebook to rejoice in the blessings of others
28.  finally look toward the day ahead

morning cuppa

Note: I don’t really curse all that much, but there are lots of grumbles and groans where cursing once existed. And the occasional grunt, as well.

My Listography was inspired by the site of the same name and by list-maker extraordinaire Andrea at hulaseventy


August 28, 2010

a happy accident

cinema steps
cinema steps descending to the foremost rows, just after being reminded by a young blazered employee that “it is illegal to take photos inside a movie theater”

August 13, 2010

lakeside celebration

A week ago our only girl celebrated her Sweet Sixteen with a weekend party at the lake. Because she’s amazing like this, Kiwi asked that her family come on Friday night for a beachside celebration, and then she had her two best friends stay overnight in a cabin so they could continue the party on Saturday with another group of friends who would join them. I’ll admit that my first thought was, “Lake? In August? When the temperatures have been over 100 for weeks and I don’t ever go into the water? You must be joking.” Soon after that selfish thought I realized there was hardly anything that could keep me away from the girl’s celebration. She’d been dreaming and talking about sixteen for as long as any of us can remember, so I just couldn’t disappoint her by not showing up. Not this girl. Not when family truly means so much to her. So I stuffed down my dislike of summer and headed out with the rest of our side of the fam to join in the celebration of our only princess — the original Princess of Quite a Lot.
God knew exactly what we all needed on this night, and He brought a short shower during the late afternoon that took the temperatures down almost twenty degrees… or so it felt. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I was and how great an impact this one shift had on my demeanor. As soon as we got to the lake, I headed straight down to the water’s edge. A rarity, for sure!
By the time we arrived the waters were calm and pleasantly warm, and the sun was hiding well behind the clouds. There was even a nice breeze coming off the lake. Serenity was the word that immediately came to mind. And since it was a private beach, we had it almost entirely to ourselves.


I couldn’t resist the urge to put my toes into the slick, squishy sand. But only so far as I could still see the bottom. Two steps beyond the edge was murky and dark green, camouflaging all the little creatures who lie in wait. I don’t go there.

water's edge

Of course, D has to be held back from jumping in headlong. He’s a water-lover, but on this night his mom “forgot” (insert sarcastic tone of older brother here) their swim trunks so they were only allowed to play at the edge of the lake.

a bit of rolling tide

Of course, turn your back for one instant and off he goes!

D at play

At one point I looked down the beach and saw every single male skipping rocks into the water. It must be a guy thing.

rock skip

The dry sand of the beach was deep and loose and a perfect temperature for walking barefoot. Plus, there were various ephemera left behind by previous visitors that are perfect to spark the imagination of children.

perfect spot for D

Of course, that only works if the water holds no allure. Which is never the case for the youngest boy. All night I marveled at how deep we sank into the sand at just the very outer edge of the water. Walking in it was exactly how I imagine quicksand must feel!

D and J in the sinking sand

When the birthday girl came back to the beach to join us, both her cousins ran to her. It’s never happened quite that way before, and it’s a great reminder just how quickly they’re all growing up. A bittersweet reminder, but something to hold onto, nonetheless.


Moments later we turned to see D standing knee-deep in the water, bent forward at the waist, with his head submerged upside-down. He probably would’ve gone all the way under had we not shouted for him to get out. It really didn’t faze him. He was quite proud to have found a way to feel truly wet.

silly cousins

As the party began to pick up again, we headed back up the hill to the picnic area. D ran up the stone trail first and shouted back to me, “Follow my path!” He stopped twice along the way up to look back and repeat the instruction, making sure that I was coming along well and didn’t need any help.

follow my path

Before we left the beach, though, I had to get one last shot of that amazing sky. I said a little prayer of thanks, as well, for the clouds that shielded the blazing sun and also kept the storms at bay.

shaded sun

The party got into full swing after that, and we enjoyed grilled hot dogs and good conversation. I was thankful that there were no harsh words or hurt feelings on this night, but instead there was lots of laughter and chatting among two sides of a family that had been joined by marriage. And there were presents, too, of course! I’m pretty sure this t-shirt from my sister was Kiwi’s favorite gift that night. How a girl born in 1994 could be such an 80s music fan is still a bit of a mystery to me, but it also makes her unique among her peers. I love that it gives us aunts something to share with her. [Note: The Bret Michaels thing is all on the youngest aunt. That’s something we’ll never share. :-p]

fave b-day gift of the night

I was especially pleased to catch a small moment of the girl and her dad, and even more pleased that they both smiled for the shot. Believe it or not, this is one of their best!

daughter and father

As we hung out and celebrated being together, we were able to see the sun setting through the trees. For just about five minutes we all watched in awe as it dipped lower and lower on the horizon and displayed the most amazing colors across the water. In those final few moments both of my sisters and I headed to the clearing with cameras in hand, knowing we would all regret it if that moment wasn’t captured. It’s scenes like this that remind me how awesome our God truly is and how amazing it is that He creates these moments just for our pleasure. Glory be!


The subsequent darkness made for a perfect cake lighting moment. I’m not sure how Kiwi ended up lighting her own candles but it made for a fantastic photo! Of course, the wind had kicked up a bit by then and she spent as much time re-lighting them as she did doing it the first time. No one really seemed to mind (except Kiwi, of course). The cake itself was a custom design by the birthday girl. She wanted fondant instead of regular icing, and she wanted zebra stripes. The ideal cake was a bit too pricey but her mom found a great alternative that kept the spirit of the cake intact and look exactly like Kiwi herself. Plus, the inner cake was marbled and tasted really, really good. So in the end, it was the most perfect cake for the most perfect of birthdays (so far).

birthday candles

During the rest of the evening we just fellowshipped together. We could see rain on the opposite side of the lake and being the country folk that we are (whether I like to admit it or not), the lightning show in the sky was too much to resist. The majority of us headed back to the water’s edge to ooh and ahh at the incredible (natural) light show. I found a solitary spot on the rocks at the top of the hill and set my camera on high sensitivity in hopes of catching one of those amazing bolts of electricity. I never did, but after holding down the shutter button for a series of 100+ photos, I finally managed to catch a single moment when the storm lit up the entire sky. Despite the grainy quality, I think this photo is the one I’m most proud of from the evening.

lightning in the clouds

Then again, this last one of the birthday girl is pretty special too. You can see her two best friends on the opposite side of the table, and our girl’s face is filled with joy. It wasn’t a spontaneous moment — this is the result of a hair toss and bright smile over the shoulder that she was demonstrating as her intended “hello” to a college guy who was due to show up in just moments — but the lack of spontaneity makes it all the better. This is Kiwi’s personality. This is her true smile and her dramatic flair and her contagious joy. This is the woman she is becoming more and more each day. What you see in this photo is her true laugh, and that’s better than anything else I saw all night.

birthday joy

June 26, 2010

Five Senses: June 20-25, 2010

Taking a page out of my girl Cerella‘s book, I’m collecting my thoughts from this week and filtering them through the senses. It’s such a unique way to capture a single week of life. Thanks, C!
seeing new life smelling tangy sweet touching the screen
A single young dove keeping watch on my balcony, and an unhatched egg in the nearby nest. There are always two baby dove born at one time. For two years I’ve been watching pair after pair grow and leave the nest. But this time there is only one who will venture out. I wonder if he feels the absence?
The distinctive ::ping:: of metal bats while watching the College World Series. I love baseball with a passion that easily rivals my love of movies and television, and college ball is by far the most enjoyable. The players play for love of the game, with heart and joy that is sometimes lost at a big league level. The CWS brings the best of the best together, and the joy for fans isn’t always about who wins but about seeing great baseball every day. Now, that’s not to say I don’t have a favorite this year. So let me just say, Go Tigers!
The tangy sweet (thanks for the phrase, Cerella!) aroma of balsamic vinegar sprinkled on fresh bruschetta — half of my lunch from the Italian restaurant on the first floor of our downtown office building. I begin to smell the beginnings of the lunch menu around ten each morning, but I force myself not to partake often so that each dining experience is delectable. And Mama Emilia’s bruschetta is delectable. Thick, handmade bread topped with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, sprinkled with the vinegar and topped with shredded parmesan and a few sprigs of fresh basil. Even though the bread begins to get a little mushy from the liquids, letting the bruschetta sit for a short time allows the flavors to meld together, and each bite is remarkable. But it all begins with the fragrance of that balsamic vinegar.
Burgers and cheese fries at Fuddrucker’s to celebrate Father’s Day with my parents. It’s always nice to just get away together to share a meal with just the two of them, and it’s especially nice when none of us has a schedule to keep. We just sat for a while and caught up, talking and laughing and enjoying a leisurely meal. I treasure these times most of all. And the burger was pretty good, too!
The screen of my phone on numerous texting sessions throughout the week. First on Sunday night with Cerella while both of us were enjoying the return of Leverage on our respective TVs in Philadelphia and Texas, then again on Friday afternoon as we both took work breaks at the same time. In the middle of the week with my friend Meredith as we attempted to make plans for a movie night around her unexpected trip back home for a funeral and my unexpected day of dizzy. And then with my dad as we watched TCU come back to win an elimination game in the College World Series. These impromptu conversations are definitely one of the greatest joys of each day.

Five Senses is a regular weekly series by my best good friend, Cerella D. Sechrist, who borrowed the idea from Abby Powell Thompson and Shari Altman.

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