My cousin, Sarah, was in town last night on her way to Kentucky. She’s going to be a youth camp counselor for the summer. I suggested she help me knock another item off my list, so after dinner we sat in my craftroom floor and made each other some good old-fashioned friendship bracelets. I mean, cousins are the best friends of all, right?
As it turns out, Sarah hadn’t made a bracelet in YEARS (or maybe ever??)..so, I had to show her the ropes. I’m just glad she stopped at my house to spend the night, otherwise she would’ve been a camp counselor without any applicable skills…
I don’t know if I am a horrible teacher, but I’d finished mine and tied it on her wrist long before she was halfway done with the one she was making for me. I somehow failed to get a picture of the finished products, but rest assured they were amazing.
Fast forward to this afternoon…when John got home from work we decided to wash the Jeep. So, guess what other thing I crossed off my list today?
I totally lost the water fight. He who has the hose last has the last laugh…or so it seems.
Until next time, Mister….until next time…
Greta and I spent some time in the backyard today blowing bubbles. It’s one more thing I can cross off my list, and I completely forgot how entertaining bubbles are. Seriously….get yourself some bubbles and space out in the backyard while you watch them float around and eventually pop. There’s honestly something really soothing about it.
So…I’m knocking things off of my 30 by 30 list! Saturday night I spent the night at Taylor’s house. We sat on her couch and talked about life…moved a piece of furniture to another room…and eventually got around to playing this classic game:
Backstory: the “Ungame” is a tool that my mom used to start conversations with the students at her school. She is an elementary guidance counselor, so that’s not as weird as it sounds… Basically, each person takes turns drawing a card. The card either has a question on it, or it states that you may ask any other player a question or comment on anything that has already been discussed.
When I was little, we would occasionally play this as a family. I don’t think anyone gets excited about anything with the level of intensity and joy that my mom gets excited about the prospect of a night spent playing the Ungame.
A few years ago, mom bought my brother and I each our own “travel sized” version of the game…which I have been known to introduce to a group of friends after we’ve all had a few glasses of wine. The last time I played was two summers ago during a kayak weekend at my parents’ house with several friends. Good times were had by all, I’m sure.
Word to the wise: deck one is all fun and games…deck two gets serious real quick. See the questions below as evidence…
Other moments of our slumber party that shouldn’t be forgotten:
- Somehow it came up in conversation that I had never shocked my tongue with a 9 volt battery. This was not acceptable to Taylor. Apparently while I was sitting at home playing the Ungame with my family, other kids were sticking batteries to their tongues for the amusement of others. Long story short = after several minutes of me completely freaking out about it, Taylor stuck a battery to the tip of my tongue. I jumped two feet off the bed, but apparently I’m officially a cool kid now.
- The 9 volt incident began a chain of tweets between the two of us and Katy. Taylor and I were in our pjs, facing away from each other in the bed…giggling at how hilarious we were… (don’t pretend like you don’t occasionally tweet something that you think is so funny that your self esteem is boosted and you think to yourself “Nailed it!”) I think I fell asleep while Taylor was still shaking the bed with her silent laughter.
- I had a coughing fit at about 3am (allergies..boo). I didn’t want to wake Taylor up, so I tiptoed into the other room and rummaged through my purse until I found a watermelon jolly rancher to act as a pseudo coughdrop. My cough was soothed, but then I had to force myself to stay awake until it dissolved. The last thing you want to do is fall asleep with a jolly rancher in your mouth, right? One of two things will happen..either you will choke on it, or it will get wrapped up in your hair and you’ll have to get an unplanned pixie cut….
- The next morning I taught Taylor how to curl her hair..and she looked so gorgeous, I had to point out to everyone at church how beautiful her hair looked.
- I left my toothbrush on her bathroom counter, and I’ve been using John’s ever since. Ssshhhh, don’t tell him.
Earlier today I crossed off the first completed item on my “30 ways to act like a kid before 30″ list!
I finished coloring this piece of art, and I’m planning to give it away to someone…
…that someone could be YOU!
I like the way it turned out so much, I might just have to color another one for myself.
(Original “zentangle” doodle by JoArtyJo on etsy, colored in by yours truly. You didn’t think I could draw, did you?)
At the end of June I will turn 30….THIRTY. Officially an adult, right?
In lieu of the impending end to my twenties, I thought I’d jump in on the popular “30 before 30″ mini bucket-list trend. Instead of the usual things like “skydive”…”take a road trip”…etc, I’ve decided to switch it up a bit. So, ladies and gentlemen, drumroll please….
30 WAYS TO ACT LIKE A KID BEFORE I TURN 30:
- Play with bubbles
- Color someone a picture
- Fly a kite
- Skip rocks
- Tie dye something
- Pass a note to a friend
- Play hide and seek
- Dance in the rain
- Build a sandcastle
- Pick up seashells
- Make popsicles
- Ride a skateboard
- Play a game of kickball
- Have a sleepover with BFF
- Go for a picnic
- Jump rope…hopefully double dutch
- Decorate sugar cookies
- Pick wild flowers
- Eat ice cream for dinner
- Play “truth or dare”
- Start a water fight
- Jump on a trampoline
- Slip n slide
- Make a paper airplane
- Draw with sidewalk chalk
- Roller skate
- Swap friendship bracelets with someone
- Have a sack race
- Learn something from my mom
- Learn something from my dad
Who’s with me for one or more of these?? And, more importantly, does anyone have a skateboard I can borrow??
“Think of all the beauty still left around you, and be happy” -Anne Frank
I don’t talk much to anyone about the constant shifting within me. The shifting back and forth between joy and grief. I guess I find that expressing my thoughts here, on this blog, is more therapeutic than constantly talking about it with people face to face. The thought of being “that friend” that will be draining to talk to…ugh…who wants to be that?
It’s been about two months since we lost our girls. Two months…it feels like just yesterday, and somehow also feels like it was forever ago. I sometimes feel completely detached from it all. And, then the next moment the heaviness of it all sneaks up on me and smacks me in the face. It’s always when I least expect it.
I let myself feel it.
The heaviness, the sadness, the ache…
But, then I try and find a way out of that place, because life cannot be lived hunkered down in the valleys.
For every hard thing I’ve gone through, there are countless other things to be grateful for.
My life is filled with beauty.
This morning, after church, Taylor and I decided to head over to Oak Mountain. We drove up to the top of the mountain, looked out over the gorgeous city that we live in. Then, we decided to hike down to Peavine Falls…I knew there would be plenty of water flowing because of the last few days of rain. It was even raining when we began our hike, but we decided to go anyway.
We walked through the woods, in the misty weather…talking about all sorts of things and soaking in the scenery all around us. And, I was right, the falls were raging.
There’s something truly beautiful about a friendship where you never have to apologize for being sad, or scatterbrained, or “not yourself”…because by having the freedom to be any (or all) of those things is the only way you can really be “yourself”…
I took this picture of our shoes by the banks of the creek, and I can’t quit looking at it…I’m finding all sorts of symbolism in it now.
How beautiful to have a friend who will walk through life with you. Down muddy slopes, with twisted and gnarled roots, over rocky parts and on smooth paths. And, when necessary, she will take off her shoes and wade in the water with you…even though it’s cold and the rocks hurt her feet.
I love you, Taylor! Your friendship is life-giving, and I am constantly blessed by you. Thank you for spending the morning outdoors with me…it was exactly what I needed.
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” - Anne Frank
So….I will continue to lift my head up, and seek to find the beauty and the joy in life…and, when all else fails, I’ll simply go outside.
On Friday, April 26th, my sweet niece, Helen, celebrated her 5th birthday…..FIFTH!!!
I rode with my parents to Huntsville to be there for the festivities. Of the many things I’m currently thankful for, being within easy driving distance (finally!!) to my brother and his family definitely makes the list. This is the first time I’ve been able to be there for one of my niece’s birthdays.
After some tears were shed over a lost balloon, we dined on grilled lamb (per Helen’s request). Then, Lindsay and Jacob brought out their birthday cake creation: a Barbie cake, which Helen was mucho excited about! Kudos to them for making her Barbie dreams come true…
The day after her birthday, Lindsay took us all to get pedicures (and haircuts complete with pink hair and glitter for the girls!). Helen and Elizabeth mulled over a polish color decision…but, they ultimately chose pink and purple.
Happy Birthday, sweet Helen! I’m so proud of the loving, sensitive, intelligent, spunky little girl you have become. You are the perfect combination of both of your amazing parents….equal parts left and right brain. One minute you are amazing me with your vocabulary, or singing a song you just came up with..and the next you are drawing a fairy or a princess, in quiet determination.
I love you beyond my ability to express, and I hope to always be the type of aunt that you can sing with, dance with..and whisper new ideas to.
Love you, my big FIVE year old..