Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Best Friend's Wedding

Heather has been my best friend since we were 6 years old.  As a lady, I won't do the math for you, but just so you know, that's a "really long time."  We're coming up on our silver best-friend-iversary...I think we should have a party.

I have thousands of precious memories of growing up with Heather, but one of my favorites is what we used to do when both of our moms were around.  We would hide ourselves in the car or in a closet, or under a table...anywhere we'd fit really...ostensibly so that our mothers would separate and we'd still be left together.  We were convinced that our moms would totally forget we existed and just go about their merry way leaving us together in one hiding spot or another for a little longer.  Anything just to have a few more minutes to play together.

We're older now, but part of that instinct is still there - at least it is for me.  When I have nothing to say, I want to say it to my best friend.  When I have nowhere to be, I want to be with my best friend.  When I can't explain myself, I want wisdom from my best friend.  When I'm in crisis mode, I want encouragement from my best friend.  After all these years, I still sometimes find myself wanting to hide in a little corner with her and just pretend like the rest of the world isn't out there for a few minutes.  

When my brother was born, I told my mom to send him back because I wanted a sister.  She of course told me I'd have to get over it because he wasn't going back.  I was devastated.  I was three and a half years old, and God didn't give me the sister I had always wanted.

Three years later, when I walked into my first grade classroom for the first time, God finally gave me my sister.  He knew I couldn't make it through all of those awkward years alone.

That's how it happens.  One day, you know that there's a hole in your heart where someone special is supposed to be, and in a beautiful instant, God brings that special person into your life to fill that void.

Heather and Walker, my prayer for you is that you always recognize that there was a missing piece in your life until the two of you met.  That you always put the needs of each other in front of your own needs, and that every day you spend as Mr. & Mrs. Young is infinitely better than all of your days before this moment.  

Congratulations, my sweet friend.  I love you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Sweet Sadie!

Today, my precious baby girl is 5 years old.

She is beautiful, smart, funny, snuggly, and sweet, all packaged neatly into the most perfect little girlie girl anyone could ever hope for.  And she's mine.

Here's an interview with my big girl to commemorate her 5th birthday:

1.  What is your favorite thing about being five?
 -- I got a cupcake with a crown in it!
2.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
 -- A veterinarian.
3.  What's the most important thing in the world?
 -- People {That's my girl!!!}
4.  What is your favorite toy?
 -- My favorite toys are Barbies.
5.  What makes you smile?
 -- When people give me nice stuff when it's my birthday.
6.  What is your favorite color?
 -- PINK!
7.  If you could have one wish, what would it be?
 -- Princesses *everywhere*.
8.  What is your favorite food?
 -- Ummm...cookies.
9.  Why does God love you?
 -- Because I'm special.
10.  What makes you special?
 -- Being happy!
11.  What is your favorite book?
 -- Ballerina Princess
12.  Who do you want to be like when you grow up?
 -- Elastigirl.
13.  What should every girl have?
 -- Beautiful stuff to do and make crafts.
14.  What do you want to learn how to do this year?
 -- I wanna learn how to paint and change colors into different ones when I'm painting.
15.  What do you always say?
 -- "Yay!"

Happy Birthday, my love - you are the gift of a lifetime.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sadie & Madison - 5th Birthday Edition

Madison's 5th birthday party was yesterday - so hard to believe these girls are FIVE!  They've known each other since they were just two...

Here's a picture of them on their very first play date...

And here's a picture of them now...
I could cry.  How did they get so big??!?

Madison's party was at the ever-fabulous Sweet & Sassy...Here are some of the highlights:

Costume room!

BFF Hugs: 

Sweet girls... 

Sadie and Madison getting their nails painted...there were fifteen little girls at Madison's party - it was a blowout!   

The "fairies" on the runway: 

All of the girls hugging -- so cute! 

Fairy princess huddle: 

And I even managed to sneak in a shot with Aisha!! 

Sadie had a sleepover with Madison last night while Eric and I toured the city...
We met up at the mall today and let the girls run around for a couple more minutes - here's the result: 

Little girls are pretty much the best ever...

Philly Excursion!

Eric and I had a WHOLE NIGHT out last night...and by "whole night," I mean that Sadie was safe and sound with some friends of ours, and we got to stay downtown in a hotel!  So awesome!!!

A couple of days before our excursion, I sent my sweet husband this invitation to irresponsibility:

Glorious steak with grilled artichoke hearts...

Then we went to our hotel bar for a while to people watch.  Philly after dark...very entertaining.

Here's a (very blurry) shot of us in our room:

Rittenhouse Square is gorgeous in the morning...

So thankful for a night out with my husband...can't wait for the next one!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Food + Health

Found this on Pinterest - I don't have a good source for it...if you have one, please share so that I can appropriately cite!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Five Things You Should Do for Your Mother

Whether your mother is living or gone, whether she was a positive force in your life or not, whether you have a relationship with her or you don't, she is the single most important female in your world because she is the reason you exist.  Here are five ways you can (and should) honor her influence in your life:

1.  Thank her.  Appreciate what she has done for you.  You have a lot to be thankful for in your mother.  Some of us can think of a million reasons immediately, and others have to dig deep, but they're always there.

2.  Forgive her.  Forgive her for whatever inadequacies she may have had (or may still have) as a mother.  Remember that we're all doing the best we can and give her grace...give her the same grace that you would want extended to you.  If you can't forgive her verbally, at least give yourself the freedom of forgiving her silently.

3.  Recognize her sacrifices.  Mothers are sacrificial from the day they realize you exist as an entity within them.  If you are alive today, your mother made a sacrifice for you.  Odds are pretty good that she made hundreds (or thousands) more sacrifices for you in your lifetime -- many that you probably don't even know about.

4.  Pray for her.  My mother spent a lot of time in prayer over her children...more than we know, I'm sure. Take time to pray for your mom with gratitude, to pray for her endeavors, to pray for her health and safety, and to pray for her relationships - including her relationship with you.

5.  Respond to her legacy with your own legacy of excellence.  Remember how good it felt to hug her when you were sick as a child.  Think about how defensive she got when someone tried to hurt you physically or emotionally.  Remember how she always presented herself with confidence and grace.  Recall the way her perfume smelled before she left for work each morning.  Whatever it is that you remember fondly about your mother from childhood, meditate on those merits.  Close your eyes and envision the very best of your mother, and keep those memories close. Whether or not you are a mother, you have an obligation to pay forward the good that has been poured into you and begin pouring it into a new generation.  Take the good that your mother gave you and use it to foster good in others.


I am so thankful - SO thankful - for my mother, and so fortunate to have the relationship that I have with her.  She is the strongest woman I know.  She loves her children (and grandchildren) fiercely.  She is a fortress.  She breathes selflessness.  She is my sounding board.  She is the picture of sacrificial giving.  And she taught me how to do my very favorite thing in the universe:  be a mother.  I couldn't be more thankful, and to borrow a phrase that she often used in reference to my brother and me:  "I couldn't have gone to Heaven and picked out a more wonderful mom."

Happy Mother's Day to every mom -- Mothers of babies, mothers of grown children, mothers who lost their babies before they were born, mothers who are yet to be, single mothers, married mothers, and mothers who are just trying to make it through this very moment - today is special for all of you.  Enjoy the precious gift of motherhood.

Friday, May 11, 2012

All Alone on Mother's Day

Eric and Sadie are en route to New York as I type.  I was, of course, invited on this excursion, but since I can't take the time off work (they'll be gone until Monday visiting family), I stayed home.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself (you know...woe is me, my family is gone, here I am alone...on Mother's Day weekend), but I decided to use this as an opportunity unwind a little and *not* feel sorry for myself.  Despite the fact that I miss my family and would *much* rather be spending the weekend with them, I think that me, myself, and I are maybe (just maybe) going to enjoy this...

So far, it's been magnificent.

Tonight, I took the train home from the city.  It became real to me when I stepped off the train and realized a couple of things:
1) I don't have to cook tonight
2) I don't have to be at a preschool in 5 minutes and 37 seconds (or incur a late fee).
3) I am bound to no one for 72 hours.  Whoa.

I came home, freshened up, and got back in the car.  I did deep breathing exercises while radio, no phone.  It was like some sort of mommyish ritualistic pre-game prep session. I drove directly to a Thai restaurant - a restaurant I knew I'd never be able to drag my darlings to.  I politely requested the far table in the back in the corner in the dark...with my back to the crowd.  I ordered hot green tea with lemon.  I put on my glasses, opened my book, and sipped hot tea in the corner of a busy Thai restaurant.  Alone.  It was like the world was moving in fast forward around my little table.  Too much blur to even take notice white noise.

I ate slowly.  I ate deliberately.  I ate while reading a book.  Chicken coconut soup.  Red chicken curry.  Banana fried in coconut flour.

I was quiet save for the couple of "thank yous" I gave the fabulous servers.  The food was incredible - every bite.  After about two slow hours of eating and reading, I drove home.  I left feeling like I had accomplished something in my skin tonight.  I left sated - physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

I am currently sitting on the sofa, leaning on a stack of pillows with a snuggly blanket.  I have my book on the cocktail table in front of me.  I have a gorgeous glass of Beaujolais-Villages beside me, and I'm listening to Otis Redding wrap notes around lyrics like a present...with a bow on top.

Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in.  Then I'm shopping with every gift card in my possession, going to the grocery store for fancy ingredients, and cooking myself something ridiculous...maybe I'll listen to Otis again tomorrow night too.

After church on Sunday, I'm going for an hour long full body massage.  I might even get a facial.  I might have another glass of Beaujolais.

I might just make it through this lonely weekend after all.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Tribute to a Good Dog

My mother had to say goodbye to her best little buddy of almost 14 years yesterday.

Berkley has been a part of our family for almost half of my life.  I remember the day that we brought him home - a sweet little white ball of cotton.  We were pretty sure he had eyes somewhere under all that white fur.  He bounced like a bunny...a little Maltese-shaped bunny rabbit.  That's what he was.

He was a good, good boy.  A little friend to everyone in our family, and an obedient and loving snuggle puppy.  He was a wind-in-your-face kind of boy, and especially loved feeling the breeze from a rolled down window on a car ride.  He'd perch on the window and stick his head out with the kind of joy and abandon that only a dog can exude.  You could tell he was smiling...even under all that white fluff.

Yesterday, on the way to the doctor with her sick boy, my mother pulled out one of the car seats from the back of her nana-mobile and put it on the front passenger side.  She buckled Berkley in, and rolled the window all the way down so that he could reach.  He didn't have the energy to "perch" anymore, but he managed to lay his face on the frame of the door and let the breeze blow through his white fluff one last time.  Mom took a picture so that she could remember how he enjoyed even his last painful moments like the very good boy he has always been.

We'll miss you Berky boy.

Happy Birthday Banner

You know...just sittin' around making "Happy Birthday" banners.  Not sleeping.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Make it Last #5 - Crazy Cropped Jacket

Tulle used to have this amazing thing called the "Tulle's Day Sale."  You could go to their online store and get bajillions of articles of super-expensive clothing for $5.  It was magical.

During one Tulle's Day Sale, I bought this super funky green jacket thing.  I wore it once.  To a Lady Gaga concert (don't ask).  Here it is:


So because of the "meh" factor, I pulled the darn thing out of the closet a dozen times, but never actually wore it anywhere.  I relegated it to the donation pile a couple of weeks ago, but then I snatched it back out at (literally) the last minute because "hey, it's Tulle!"  Wonky-length jacket + scissors + sewing machine = cool cropped jacket!  

Sadie took this photo this morning on our way out.  This jacket's gonna get SO much more wear now.

Go forth, and make it last,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Swear I Didn't Teach Her That...

Sadie has turned into quite the little reader.  We alternate nights between doing a reading lesson and having her read a story to me.  She does a fabulous job until she gets sleepy, and then she just guesses at words based on one or two letters that she sees (like you and I skim).  For example the word, "marker" could be "make" in her mind once her body decides it's too tired to focus.

Tonight, she was reading the book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.  You probably read this book when you were little...
Remember it?

She was reading like a champ until she got to this page...

Let me preface by saying that the word you are about to read is never said in our house...she has no idea what it means, but I had to chronicle this moment for posterity:

I turned the page, and Sadie began in the slow lilt of an early reader...
Sadie:  "Now.  he.  f-fe-felt....felt.  Now he felt....{pause}"
Me:  Go ahead, sweetie, you can sound out this word.
Sadie:  "Now he felt...PISSED."
Me {jaw agape}:  Wait - What did you just say?
Sadie:  I said he felt pissed.
Me:  What does that mean?
Sadie:  I don't know?
Me:  I think you read the word wrong...that letter is a "q," not a "p" - can you read it again?

Close scene as Sadie successfully reads the rest of the page.  And as I successfully manage to curtail my hysteria until after she goes to bed.  Incidentally, I think the dude with the caps was pretty pissed.  I'd be pissed too if a bunch of monkeys stole my hats.

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