Monday, September 27, 2010

Chances to buy back a bit of your childhood wonder don't come around everyday.

This plate may not mean much to you. For me it is the joy of childhood. Being loved, belonging, the world being right.

My Nana had this china when I was a kid. I have eaten an untold number of Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas hams from plates that look just like these. Not the mention all the chocolate pie I have eaten off of this plate's baby brother. These dainty blue flowers bring with them a stampede of memories. My dad and Papa discussing theology and politics at the table. My brother saying "Nana, you really outdid yourself this time." and then looking anxiously around the table to see if he had used that phrase properly. My Papa giving my Aunt Debby a hard time "It's gravy night on Debby's shirt!" and Debby squealing at him and appealing to Nana, "Mom, make him stop!" We would eat and eat and eat until we were full and then we would have dessert. Nana would ask who wanted dessert and without fail Papa would say, "I don't ever remember turning it down except the one time I misunderstood the lady." When we were done my mom and Aunt Debby would fight over which one of them got to do the dishes for Nana. They both wanted to. From my childish point of view we were all unspeakably happy and this unspeakable happiness was all I knew for a long, long time.

In the years since big kid realities like disease and divorce have dismantled this happy scene. One by one those dainty blue flowered dishes all broke or were given away. Some perhaps were placed in storage and forgotten. My memories of those days were placed in storage and forgotten. New dishes replaced the old ones and my grown up reality replaced my childhood.

Until a couple of weeks ago when I was wandering aimlessly around my church garage sale. A pitcher caught my eye. Actually it was those dear blue flowers on the pitcher that caught my eye. The lady selling them must have seen it in my face...the look of seeing a long lost friend somewhere you would never have thought to look for her. She pulled the box out from under the table. A full set of the very same china my Nana had. She would sell it to me for fifty dollars. Chances to buy back a bit of your childhood wonder don't come around everyday. A quick trip to the ATM and they were mine.

Once they were home I left them on the counter like this for days. Every time I passed them feeling gleeful that they were mine to make glorious memories on with my children. Seeing my children celebrate with these loved old dishes and their big innocent eyes will be beautiful marriage of the past and present. An experience I am so thankful I will likely be able to have many times over in the coming years!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you were just wondering where the best place to get boxes is... now I feel silly!

A friend of mine recently asked me for moving advice. I moved a lot when I was a kid. I have had three major moves since I was an adult. Adults are a lot less adaptable than kids so I actually think in a way moving is harder for an adult than for a child. I feel like I have learned a few good lessons about moving the hard way and decided to share what I told my friend about them here to maybe save someone else a little trouble:
I have one big piece of advice about moving that I had to learn the hard way about three times before I finally figured it out. It may seem weird but here it is.....decide you are going to love it before you go and realize that just because you love where you came from doesn't mean you can't love where you are going. What I mean is for two of my three big moves as a grown up (one to Virginia from Oklahoma and one from one town in Virginia to another where I didn't know anyone) I was so busy thinking about the place I had come from and how awesome it was that I wouldn't let myself see all the good things around me in my new place. It was kinda like I was afraid to love the new place because I already loved the old place so much. So I spent a lot of time focusing on how much I missed the old place and no time enjoying the new place. Then after a lot of time had passed I would wake up and realize that this new place isn't bad at all and actually has a lot of good about it. I always regretted spending so much time being sad and miserable at the beginning of new place that I would eventually end up loving . Anyway so when we moved here I decided ahead of time that I was going to love it from the beginning. It didn't mean I wouldn't miss Virginia and all the memories I had there. It did mean I wouldn't set my new town up for failure by constantly comparing it to where I had come from. I would find things I liked about it right away and start enjoying them. More importantly, I would start treating it and thinking of it like home not some strange new place. Those are hard things to do for someone who is sentimental like me, but I made a decision to do it and this has by far been the best move ever. I have realized through all my moves that you can truly love more than one place with all your heart and that makes opening my heart to a new place much easier because I don't feel like I have to turn my back on other places. Places that in their own way are still very much home to me. I don't know if that makes sense but I hope so! Also, I hope that is the kind of advice you were looking for. If you were just wondering where the best place to get boxes is... now I feel silly!

One other thing I had to learn the hard way. Making new friends as an adult is a lot more challenging than it was when we were young. Adults have their own routines and ways of doing things. They aren't really worried about making new friends. They don't have to meet all new people every year in classes like kids do. So my advice for when you move is don't wait to start making friends. Jump right in. Find a church and maybe hobby or something and start meeting people. Don't wait for them to ask you over or out for dinner. You do it. The quicker you jump in and make it happen the quicker you will have friends and the quicker you have friends the quicker you will feel really at home. I didn't do this in my last move and I found it hard the entire time to make friends. I learned though from watching a few military families come in and out of town that when you are the new person the responsibility for making friends lies with you. If you put forth the effort people will happily open their hearts to you. You just have to jump in and do it. If you are shy like me that is hard but totally worth it.

One awesome thing about moving when you are our age is that you you get to take your best friends with you. Having Ron and my girls with me means home is anywhere I am!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Possibly Nothing To Dread

1. Today for lunch we had grilled cheese sandwiches. Rose had Tender Sweet Peas. She loves eating food. It is so adorable.

2. Tonight for dinner I am making "balsamic chicken with baby greens and sun-dried tomato gnocchi". It is from a recipe card I got at Publix. I adore Publix. I have long prided myself on not being a fancy pants. The first time I stepped into Publix those days were over. I love that place so much as soon as I am done grocery shopping I start thinking about the next time I can come back. It is pretty out of control!

3. I will be honest. I am dreading cold and flu season. Last year we were whammied. Here is a partial list of the illnesses we encountered: Hand Foot & Mouth Disease, mysterious purple ailment, H1N1 x 2, pneumonia, strep throat x 2, not to mention the numerous bouts with ear infections and tummy bugs. Oh yeah and pregnancy. Not an illness, but you get the idea. Anyway, so forgive me if I am already bracing myself for this year. We have all been healthy now since April. I am enjoying it but in the back of my mind the closer we get to fall I keep picturing a conveyer belt trying to pull us into sicko land. We are walking along in the opposite direction just fine right now. Still I keep thinking any day now one of us will drop off and then another and then another. And then medicate, rest, repeat until spring gets here. I know. Such a terrible, unpositive way to think. I just have that conveyer belt in my mind. We are blessed that we have never had to face any truly terrible illnesses and we are blessed that we have access to medical help when we need it and we are blessed that we all feel great right now. I am indeed thankful deeply for those things. I guess when I see that conveyor belt in my mind I will battle it away with that list of blessings. It is impossible to feel thankfulness and dread at once and I have so much to be thankful and possibly nothing to dread.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goal Post

I went on a date once in college and my date asked me what are your goals, after a pretty long silence I said, "I don't have any."

My Goals For September

1. Reach my pre-pregnancy weight.
2. Get up by 6:00 on 80% of weekday mornings.
3. Exercise at least 20 times.
4. Pray for my children everyday.
5. Brush my children's teeth at least 5 days a week. Don't judge.
6. Make an action plan for my yard.
7. Get a SC driver's license.
8. Get a library card.