Friday, December 31, 2010

there it goes...

2010.
what a crazy, hard, amazing, merciful, butt-kicking, miraculous year.
every day is a miracle, every breath we take... every moment we have with our dear friends and family... all a gift, to be viewed as such.
2010, I humbly bow to you, and 2011, I ask for mercy, as usual.
It will be an adventure... that's a guarantee :).
Happy New Year, everyone! May you enjoy peace, joy, and love.

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. -T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

well hello there

I will be buried in paint and cleaning for the next eternity, along with my husband, apparently. Trying to sneak in some fun with the kids, too! Realtor comes TOMORROW... ACK... hoping she doesn't walk in and say "Ummm, no. this place is a wreck, and everyone will hate it." I did, indeed, have a dream that this happened. AAAAACK!

Breathing deeply...

also, you should see my new haircut from my incredibly talented sister-in-law, Lorin. It's fancy and fun and new :).






I hope you're all staying sane out there! It's the great holiday clean-up of 2010... dun dun dun...

Monday, December 27, 2010

historic white christmas...


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Ours started with Sam wanting nothing to do with anything... (note his block of being in the picture... he's my sleeper, and was NOT happy that his siblings woke him up to see what Santa brought!)

He did a little warming up with daddy on the couch...
and then decided to be happy about Christmas :).


Leah was excited about her new hair accessories, and Pete got the one thing he asked for... a peppermint paddy! (it's the little things in life... and don't worry, he received more than just a piece of candy.)
"santa" had to throw in a little fun...
you know those books where you have to search for certain items among the sea of crazy? that's what the coffee table looked like when all was said and done (find the butterfinger)...

We continued our lovely Christmas by watching the snow fall all day... a total of 6 inches! first time NC has seen a measurable snow since 1969 on Christmas day... and a new record! It was miraculous to watch the heavy, huge flakes fall as we dined with our dear families and celebrated the holiday. The next day was perfect for sledding and playing in the snow!





there's nothing more hopeful and refreshing than a white Christmas... wishing you peace this week!

Friday, December 24, 2010

a weary world rejoices

Merry Christmas to all... and to all a good night... LOVE and LIGHT from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

holiday fail.

today I need that mercy we've spoken of.

I just do not have it all together. I don't have all my Christmas cards out. I'm only baking for the neighbors this year... no time for anyone else. I fear the gifts I've purchased for family members will be measly, not enough, on our tight budget, and that people will be disappointed. And yet I can't find another dime to spend... the last one went to Zach's tuition.

My cheer seems to be missing this week... the stress of packing up half the house to put in on the market in a few short weeks has overcome me. The walls are now bare, ready for painting. I'm tired. I've had a lot of work... worked today, will work tomorrow {dragging my annoyed kids along with me, feeling guilty that i have to}.

What can I give? What can I do? I can give my gratitude for even having jobs that help pay bills. I can celebrate my marriage, my kids, my extended family, their health, our health. And, my baby brother got home from a long deployment with the Army, just in time to be with his sweet wife for Christmas. I can adjust my attitude and give thanks.

I still feel like a failure. I didn't get it all done this year and I didn't just laugh about it as I usually do. I'm wallowing. But maybe we can all wallow together, and celebrate anyway. I think this little guy who was born in a manger 2000 years ago didn't come for the perfect ones. I'm pretty sure he came to show me {the haggard old pissed off tired mommy} love, in a weak form, in the middle of the night, in a dog bowl. Someone who loves everyone? Is it true? I don't really know. I sure hope so.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shenanigans!

My blond-headed child... he defines "shenanigans!"
First, he discovered plastic wrap...




Then he decided that coats are completely unnecessary, but one can never have too many scarves... (he's dancing below... action shot of dancing with scarves...)

He's nuts!
This is what happens when school's out...
but I must admit that I don't mind it. This week. Ask me how I feel about it next week... may have an entirely different opinion :).




Monday, December 20, 2010

Flashback: 2008

This was our first Christmas Picture with Sammy home! He's so little and cute... oh how fast they grow! And let's talk about me for just a sec... I'm kinda diggin' the hair. I usually hate it when I get the urge to chop it off, but then I look back at pics and it's pretty cute I think. Maybe too preppy? Contemplating another short cut...

Actually, check out this video. (a) it's a great song by JJ Heller, one of my fav singers. Disclosure: I usually dislike "Christian" musicians. I think they can be way lame. I know, that is very mean of me, I admit it. And I ask those lame artists to forgive me. Every so often, though, a little gem shines through... a genuine singer/songwriter without a big agenda, other than to be raw. Okay, so that being said, you will most likely enjoy this song, even if you're not religious. onto (b)... her hair. Do you think I could pull that off? Remember this is a major life decision people. I LOVE it on her. Very cute/modern/not-too-preppy. Check it out:

Okay so now you've seen a great song and a great haircut. Nice combo! Onto THIS year's Christmas picture! (well, one of them. This was taken by my very talented 13 year old sister Sophie! Didn't she do a great job??) So yes... look how big my kids are! And, more importantly, how long my hair is! Anyway, I'm accepting advice once again. Not as important as the dental school decision, but almost :).


Have a lovely day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Concert

two weeks ago, my darling daughter wrote adorable invitations to her "Christmas Concert," and delivered them to our neighbors. She wrote that a concert would be given on her very own front lawn, at 12 noon on Saturday. She declared that the songs were her very own creations! After delivering the invitations, she ran home to write her songs. Five, to be exact. (Because Taylor Swift writes her own songs, you know, so my daughter has high standards... no existing songs would be sung :).

The neighbors gathered just as it began to snow, and Leah bravely delivered her sweet, a capella concert. It. Was. Adorable.





(ps- don't we have the kindest neighbors? we do :).

I sincerely hope you have a lovely weekend! Christmas is here!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blowin' in the Wind

My daughter (1st grade) came home singing this yesterday.
She learned it in music class.
I LOVE her school :).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

epic.


When you find out you have to put your house up for sale, something strange happens. Purging, of epic proportions. I should've taken pictures. But holy cow, we just brought a whole latta stuff to goodwill. (which warms my heart every time we drop stuff off...). And, we passed along baby and toddler clothes/gear to FOUR different families in our community.
which is great... but leads to the question... why the HECK did we still have all that stuff?
Cleaning out is AMAZING. love it.
Also, this is a common scene around here... thought you may want to see it:
Zach cooking (an man in the kitchen, where he should be (teehee!)), and Pete serenading him. Cute.
So just in case you wanted to buy our house, I wanted to let you know it is awesome. And we're making it even awesomer, just for you.
And my back hurts from crawling through the attic for two days straight.
Happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

cheer

{we really have 5 stockings... have to move the middle one so that it doesn't catch fire. yikes.}

{Home Alone viewing, 2010}

we are letting our breath out, just a bit.
eye surgeries done.
Zach got into school, a dream come true! Decision made.
time to enjoy for awhile.
just... be.

Action figure Jesus (the one from China who "parts the red sea," according to the package (!! pure awesome hilarity!!) is back atop our tree... we're classy this year with a twisty tie instead of duct tape.

And these babies delight our senses...
and visions of working at Trader Joe's next year dance in my head...
(wouldn't that be amazing??? I might actually try to do that...)

Hoping your days are merry...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the color still makes me queasy, but...

We were not tarheel born or tarheel bred (we are demon deacons at heart!)... but when we die, we'll at least be partially tarheel dead! (that was an ode to the Carolina chant, for those of you who are confused ;).

I cannot even tell you how much thought, prayer, consideration, and conversations went into this really hard decision, but ultimately we feel called to CHAPEL HILL! Zach is THRILLED... that's where he wants to be... and so the journey begins!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brick


My dear friend coffeemom often refers to receiving "bricks" from heaven. You know, loud clear messages from the Big Guy (or Lady, as I often like to clarify :)).

We got one. A big fat one. And it's exciting, y'all. A decision has been made. Waiting on a few more bits of info and we'll reveal the news. We DO have that "peace that surpasses all understanding" that we were (not so) patiently waiting for. Most importantly, my husband feels that he's making the best decision for his education path, and that is priceless. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers and advice and good karma!!!!!

Also, Leah and I got hair cuts, which is somehow just as important. We love our haircuts around here.

we need a crystal ball.

Two Insane Adults Seeking Advice.

We are in such a dilemma. And I can't even exercise to get rid of the stress (due to the healing eyeball). OH MY GOSH. Sometimes, when given a choice, life becomes a bit more complicated.

Here's how we thought it would play out. We thought that Zach would get in to one dental school. Bam, decision made. Go where we got in. Easy breezy. And the Universe cackles! Oh silly, ignorant Zach and Becca! Life is so not that orderly! Here, let me give you a challenge! Oye...

Will you be our crystal ball for a moment? feel free to give advice. Let me give you the scenarios:

1) East Carolina University. Inaugural class of the brand-new school of dental medicine. Completely fresh approach on how to teach/train dentists- very "hands-on" to train general dentists. School started to address the needs of rural areas/underserved areas of NC. In a small(ish), eastern NC town. Not glitzy. public schools (for our kids) not quite as good as near the capital city of NC, but certainly not bad. No prestige yet. "ginny pig" class. waaaay low cost of living, and could live within walking/biking distance of the school and actually afford a house. tons of individual attention from professors, and this class is made up if 50 students (as opposed to 80), so more of a community feel, less competitive. but, no prestige, and many people questioning why on earth we would go to a school that is just now starting when Zach got into the best of the best, ranked in the top 5 nationally...

2)... which is UNC Chapel Hill. Arguably the best school in the nation. Huge, remarkable honor to get in. Especially in the first round of admissions. Traditional, mostly-in-the-classroom academic work (not as "hands on" as ECU). Trains students for a specialty (as of now Zach doesn't want to specialize). Housing in Chapel Hill HUGELY expensive... we'd have to live 20-30 minutes away to afford having our family together in one house. Much less family time as it is academically strenuous and much commuting involved. Everything more expensive. Great public schools. Much glitzier, sophisticated town (ha, like we'll have time/money to enjoy it...). Closer to family. People would think we were completely nuts to turn it down and take a risk on ECU... and yet, no one we've talked to had to do this with three kids in tow...

So this is our dilemma. See why we're going nuts? It's a humongous, life-altering decision... and we are 100% torn. Do we give up the BEST school to go to a brand new school? We have so many variables... many more than someone straight out of undergrad... We're flopping all over the place like fish in a boat... words of wisdom, anyone???

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. George Eliot

Saturday, December 4, 2010

wonderland






we live in a place where this is rare
snow before christmas?
well, i declare!
lights are hung
festivities have begun
blessings abound...
beauty is found

Friday, December 3, 2010

whew!

Thanks for your surgery prayers and happy thoughts... this surgery went far, far better than the last... no allergic reactions and the pain is minimal! amazing how different this has been.

Aaaaanyway, I told you on Wednesday that Zach got into ECU for dental school, which is totally incredible. He also got into one of the best schools in the nation, UNC Chapel Hill. WOW. We are so, so blessed to be able to choose where he will go to school. It's also a very, very tough decision because the schools are incredibly different, and obviously we have many more factors to consider (3 really important, live, breathing factors too), so... wow. Either way, Zach will be a dentist at the end of four years. It's just hard to know what to do... so many conversations with many wise people will be taking place over the next month... Ultimately, I want Zach to go where he will learn best and feel the most empowered on his career path. We'll keep you posted!

And, to all my Hanukkah celebrating dear ones... my friend shared this on facebook... Happy Hanukkah! May you all be blessed with little and big miracles!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

incredible piles of awesomeness.


You guys.
This is incredible.
Remember this post?
We got some news, yall! SOME BIG NEWS!!!!!
my husband got into dental school! we really will be traveling... most likely to East Carolina University, near the coast of NC!
time to put the house on the market (after we work our tails off to get it ready... yikes...)!!!
And, just to add to the excitement, I get to have more eye surgery tomorrow, so this little blog may be quiet for a few days... hopefully I'll heal quickly this time...
Surgery will be easier to handle knowing that our crazy hard work has paid off... woohooo!
Thanks for all your love and support during this process... we still need lots of where that came from!
Time to celebrate :).