Sunday, March 29, 2009

Aunt Kat

In my mind, my sister will always be 8 years old. I guess that's because that's how old she was when I moved out of the house and went off to college. I can still see my sister crying and chasing after my car on the day I left. Heart-wrenching.

In reality, my sister isn't 8 years old anymore. Today is her 20th birthday. 20 years old. I can't believe it. The fact that she's 20 really just reminds me that on my next birthday I'll be 30. How is she 20?

She was born on March 28, 1989. It was a Tuesday, and it was raining. She was born in Texarkana, where we lived at the time. To celebrate her arrival, I did several cartwheels and other gymnastics stunts in the lobby of the hospital. I added it to the growing list of places I'd done my gymnastics tricks. My granddad had a funny way of saying, "Kelly, why don't you give us a little cartwheel?" And like any granddaughter that adored her granddad, I'd always oblige. Did you know I've done cartwheels in the Nieman Marcus department store in Dallas? I don't think the security guards were too pleased with me...

It's an interesting thing, being 9+ years older than my sister. We've spent a whole lot of energy just getting to each other over the years. She's in Texas. I'm in Kentucky. I feel like I've missed out on a lot of her life, just because we haven't lived in the same town for more than 12 years now. But I don't know that I'd trade it. Oh yes, I'd give ANYTHING to live closer to my sister and to have attended more of her drill team competitions and dance recitals. But I love that's she's 20 and I'm 29. I think our age difference has made for a very special, very unique relationship. I've changed her diapers. I've watched countless hours of Barney the Dinosaur with her (Kat, don't out me on this one, please!). I helped her learn her first dance recital dance... I've watched her grow from a tiny little baby, into a strong, talented, beautiful woman-- who is full of insight, wisdom, and love-- and who always offers an important perspective on life, faith, and politics. I try to offer my big-sisterly advice from time to time. But really she doesn't need it. She is forever teaching me.

I am proud of my sister, and I am honored to cal her 'friend'. Truly. She's a wonderful sister and a wonderful sister-in-law to Billy, and she's a fabulous aunt to her nieces and nephew.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Kat! You are loved!

P.S. Come see me this summer!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A conversation

Yesterday I arrived at church and sat behind my friend, Joe* (name has been changed to protect his identity). Joe is in his 70s, and is a jovial, fun-loving grandpa kind of guy. Below is a snapshot of our awesome conversation from yesterday.

Joe: Kelly, you know, I went on YouTube the other day to look at that video of Eisley eating those avocados. That was real funny!

Me: Yeah, she didn't quite like those avocados. I'm glad we were able to capture it on video.

Joe: Well then I got to looking at other stuff on YouTube. You know. I just can't believe the stuff that's on there. I mean, I can type just about anything in there that I want and find something! I've found videos of music groups I haven't thought of in years. And guess what. I typed in "People falling down", and you wouldn't believe the videos that came up! I watched this guy falling out of a boat and another guy falling down the stairs! I just laughed and laughed.

Me: Yeah, you can find just about anything on YouTube.

Joe: Kelly, I usually go to bed at 9:30 every night. The other night I was on YouTube just looking up stuff and all of a sudden I realized it was midnight! The whole house had been shut down and the lights were off, and everyone went to bed without me! I hadn't even noticed!

Me: Joe! You got sucked into the black hole that is YouTube! Watch out!

Joe: The internet would be a great thing without all of that bad stuff that's out there. You have to be REAL careful with what you type. Someone told me the other day they were looking up something about the White House and a pornographic site came up!!!

Me: Yeah, Joe, you have to be sure to type whitehouse.GOV and NOT anything else. It can get risky.

So I told Joe some of my favorite YouTube classics to check out next time he was on. This conversation was a real bright spot to my morning. I wish that somehow I could convey tone and inflection a little better. If I could, I know you would for sure be laughing as hysterically as I do everytime I think about my conversation with Joe.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandmom Diana!

Today I feel like the worst daughter-in-law in the world! Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday, and when I talked to her on the phone yesterday, I didn't even acknowledge it! I had been thinking all week about her actually, knowing that March 19th is her special day. But I never made it to the store to get a card, and I never made it to the phone myself on the 19th, to wish her a happy birthday. And because Eisley can't drive or read or write for herself, she did not receive birthday greetings from her one and only grandchild. I don't know what happened! I am usually quite organized about these things. So, Diana-- I'm sorry! We love you.

I so appreciate my mother-in-law, and I hope that you all have as terrific a mother-in-law as Diana. She is kind and supportive and wonderful and gracious. She is so encouraging to me, and I am grateful that the Lord has allowed me to share life with her. She is 100% in support of my call to pursue full-time ministry--even though that meant leaving Texas with her son (and now her grandchild of course lives here, too!) to move to Kentucky for 4 years, while I attend seminary. I know that she prays for me every day and for that I am grateful. She has accepted me as her own daughter-- and I feel just as much as "one of the kids" as her own two children, Billy and Bryan. And Diana is of course, the one that introduced to me the concept of "birthweek". So Diana, I hope you'll accept this blog shout-out, as a continuation of your birthweek celebration.

She is a wonderful grandmom to Eisley, and I've included a picture of them together, below. So... happy belated birthday, Diana! We can't wait for you to get here for Easter!

* A special note-- I have a WONDERFUL family, and someday I hope to provide more family shout-outs like this to the rest of you. I just wish I were more organized about it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Angel

This is just a sneak preview of one of the photos from our photo shoot this weekend with my treasured friend Carissa Martin, of Written in Black & White Photography. Carissa is truly talented and I am honored to call her "friend". Carissa, her husband Scott, and their daughter Evelyn live in Omaha, NE so we don't get to see them too often. They used to live just one street over from us here in Wilmore. Scott got a great job teaching at Boys Town , so they moved.

This past weekend, we got to spend some time with them. St. Louis, MO is about halfway for each of us, so we met there and had a weekend of fun. It was good for my soul.

I can't show you ALL the photos from the shoot... I myself don't have all of them yet, but Carissa was gracious enough to send me a few before the rest of them have made it through the editing process. I also plan to have some of them printed to give to Eisley's grandparents and great-grandparents for Easter. So you'll just have to patiently wait to see the rest. But I couldn't resist sharing just this one photo with you, Eisley's adoring fans.

The past couple of weeks have been very big for Eisley, our forever-busy little girl. Just 2 days after she turned 7 months old, she took off crawling-- she's incredibly fast by now, and has no trouble getting to where she wants to go. I am forever chasing her around the house, keeping her out of trouble. I am convinced that for the months she was immobile, she scoped out all of the dangerous places in our house, took note of them, and made plans to head straight there once she learned to crawl. She's a spunky little one-- she knows what she wants and doesn't let anything stop her from getting it. In fact, yesterday at school she reached up and pulled a package of peanut butter crackers out of her teacher's hands. She pulled so hard that she ripped the packaging open!

And yesterday. Yesterday, Eisley started pulling herself up to standing. She's been working on this for a few days, and has SORT of done it before, but yesterday I'd say is the day she started intentionally doing it, and doing it with ease.

She seems to be moving through all these physical milestones much too quickly for me, and I wish I could make it slow down. It is so much fun to watch her grow and learn new things, but it happens so quickly, that it seems there's never a moment to just enjoy it. I'm trying to, though. Every new stage is more fun than the last.

I love my little wild woman. She barely sits still, so I love this sweet photo of her. She may not sit still long enough for me to just behold her-- but this sweet photo comes close to that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Love Found Me moment

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. - Ephesians 3:20-21

I am praising God today for another Love Found Me moment. You know, those moments where God comes to find you and you know without a doubt that it is him.

Today God moved. I am a grateful recipient of his grace today, and I am reminded of the very big love that he has for me. I am reminded that he knows my name and I am reminded of how much he cares.

I am sure you are wondering what is going on-- and maybe the past week's events is a story I'll put down in writing at some point.

But mostly I just want to share with you how great God is. Over the past week, there have been many prayers prayed on my behalf by others, and many prayers prayed by me, for a financial situation relating to my schooling to be resolved.

Those prayers were answered, only they were not answered at all like I anticipated. It is so much better than what I was praying for! Which is why I referenced the Scripture above. God has provided for me today in a way far greater than I knew to even ask for-- in a way far better than I would have imagined.

I am grateful that Love continues to find me.

Past Few Weeks

Eisley has been dealing with ear infections off and on since February. It's miserable. She's miserable and we are tired-- so we are miserable, too. Here's a recap of our journey (so far):

February 2nd-- Eisley is sniffly and coughing, and generally not feeling well
February 3rd -- First visit to the doctor. Doc says it's just a cold, that the cough is just her trying to clear out the drainage caused by the cold. Nothing to worry too much about
February 4th -- Another visit to the doctor-- this time for the already scheduled 6 month check-up; She weighed 15 pounds and 10 ounces at this check up
February 13th -- Sniffles and cough still not gone. Third trip to the doctor this month. Cold has led to double ear infection
February 13th -- Begin prescription of amoxicillin
February 23rd (ish) -- Worst night Ever. Eisley is up all night, crying/screaming, tugging at her ears. Running fever, etc. This is also the last day she is on her antibiotic
February 24th -- 4th Visit to Doctor (3rd for ears). Ears have not gotten better. Amoxicillin was ineffective. Double ear infection still there!
February 24th-- Eisley gets a mega antibiotic shot-- rocefin, plus begins Round 2 of antibiotics -- this time she is put on Omnicef
February 26th -- Worst diaper rash I have ever seen in my whole life appears, as a result of this antibiotic; Doc calls in prescription diaper rash cream.
March 5th -- Eisley finishes up antibiotic, obviously feels better, back to her normal self, sleeping again at night; Mom & Dad are overJOYED!
March 5th-- To celebrate feeling better, Eisley crawls for the first time- she's SUPER fast and totally into EVERYTHING!!! On her first day of crawling, she went straight for the electrical outlets. She also pulled the baby gate down on herself (I told you she was fast)... TWICE!
March 6th-- Took Eisley to the doctor's office (5th time this month) for a recheck on her ears, to make sure she's back to healthy; We got a good report! Ears looked great. Whew.
March 6th -- My mom arrived in Kentucky for a visit
March 9th-- Eisley did not sleep well at night. Uh oh. This is the first sign that she's not feeling well. I hoped I was imagining things.
March 10th -- Mom's last day of visit; Eisley runs a fever AGAIN and starts tugging at her ears... AGAIN.
March 10th -- Grabbed last appointment of the day at Pediatrician's office (6th visit this month), after dropping my mom off at the airport; Ear infections are back!! Got prescription for 3rd antibiotic-- Augmenten. Preparing for a recurrence of the horrible diaper rash, etc.

As of now, Eisle seems to be feeling better. Her sniffles are gone, and we're hoping the ear infection are, too. We go back next week for another recheck of the ears.

I asked the doctor at what point we get to have the discussion about whether we do tubes or not. We're not having that conversation quite yet. Cold season is almost over, at which point she'd not likely get another ear infection. We're watching to see what happens.

In the meantime, I'm sure our health insurance is hating us right about now. Six visits to the doctor in 6 weeks, including 3 prescriptions and a shot... that's a lot of money!

Here are a couple of pictres of our sweet girl from last week. Isn't she cute?

Bathtime is fun

Playing with her favorite toy puppy (who she does not love as much as her real puppy, Riley)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why I don't listen to the radio.

I very rarely listen to the radio. The other day, however, my iPod battery died (not sure why I am SO bad at remembering to charge it). I turned on the radio to see what was on. And I was reminded yet again why I don't listen to the radio. It's because I have to stumble on songs like this. Interestingly, the second I heard the opening lyric, I knew it was probably a Kid Rock song. Boo. I am not a fan. Here are the lyrics to the song I heard yesterday. It's a Kid Rock original.

I got my Cat Scratch Fever eight-track
My best friend's in a gun rack
I'm a lowlife
I owe everybody money
I think racist jokes are funny
I'm a lowlife
I got a dirty mind, a gutter mouth
I'm makin' time, I'm goin' out
With your wife

Cuz I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife

I got kids I never seen
And their momma's seventeen
I'm a lowlife
I take strippers out to breakfast
You can add that to my checklist
I'm a lowlife
Ahh the landlord called the rent is due
I spent it all on a Kiss tattoo
I Rock n Roll all night

Cuz I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
Livin' the highlife

I'm watchin' porno on the TV
Wonderin' why she'd ever leave me
I'm a lowlife
The object of my affection
Asked the police for protection
I'm a lowlife
The romance is gone, I'm doin' fine
Me and your mom had a real good time
Just last night

Cuz I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife

I make black music for the white man
Keep cocaine upon my nightstand
I'm a lowlife
Ain't never hung out in the Catskills
But I've been to jail in Nashville
I'm a lowlife
I've got a dirty mind, a gutter mouth
I'm makin' time, I'm goin' out
With your wife

I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
Livin' the highlife

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


*Note: this is a particularly pointless post. I am well aware of that fact.

When the television show "Friends" debuted in 1994, I was 14 and my parents thought that Friends was slightly inappropriate for me to watch... something about Joey the man-whore and Ross' ex-wife being a lesbian. So the Friends craze began and I was not on board.

It wasn't until Season 7 when The One with the Holiday Armadillo aired sometime around the holidays while I was at my aunt & uncle's house. I can still remember the day. I was watching with my fabulous Aunt D and I don't think I had laughed as hard as I did at that episode, ever before in my life. No joke. I became an instant fan, and made it a point to catch up on all previous seasons.

Somewhere in the middle of Season 9, Billy and I were married and had the pleasure of living across the street from my cousin & friend, Christin, and her husband Spencer. They were (and are) total Friends fans. We spent every Thursday night together watching Friends and laughing, and okay-- crying when the last episode aired. Man, those were good times. As a side note, we more recently got together every Thursday night with friends to watch The Office (hat tip to Jeremiah & Lindsay for introducing us to the joy that is The Office), but somewhere in Season 4, we all got pregnant or adopted babies, and now our kids' 7:30 p.m. bedtimes don't allow us the freedom we once had to watch TV together.

Anyway. Many of you who know me, know that I could probably hear any quote from The Office and tell you what episode it is from. I could tell you all the stories and sub-plots that go on in that episode. And you'll know that I also try to make time to watch at least one episode of The Office every day. Call me crazy. I just like to laugh, and The Office never fails to make that happen.

But just recently, my daily TV time has been given to Friends. I only own one season myself (so sad), but recently borrowed another season from a friend of mine, that owns all 10 seasons on DVD. Plus, it still comes on in syndication on TBS and a couple of other channels, and whenever possible, I usually tune in. Turns out, it's still hilarious and STILL makes me laugh. My first love is still The Office. And when I watch my daily episode of Friends, I sort of feel like I'm cheating on Michael Scott and the whole crew of The Office.

But I LOVE it. So, if there are any Friends fans out there-- tell me your favorite episodes! I've compiled a list of my top 10. However, these 10 are in no particular order. They are just my 10 favorite episodes:

1. The One with the Holiday Armadillo, Season 7
2. The One with Chandler in a Box, Season 4
3. The One Where Eddie Won't Go, Season 2
4. The One Where Ross Got High, Season 6
5. The One with Unagi, Season 6
6. The One with All the Resolutions, Season 5
7. The One with Joey's Fridge, Season 6
8. The One with the Nap Partners, Season 7
9. The One with The Rumor, Season 8
10. The One with Princess Consuela, Season 10