Friday, March 29, 2013

helicopter hope

last weekend we did the "Easter Egg" thing, which is basically my worst nightmare. The kids have been begging to do this since I wouldn't let them go last year. So we headed out to our (usually quiet, peaceful) Cedarock Park, where literally thousands of people had gathered to watch a helicopter dump eggs from the sky, and then to watch obnoxious adults stampede each other, and children, to help their children get the most eggs.
Really? This represents Jesus. Er something. (and the eggs were EMPTY ya'll. What what???)
A few tents were set up by the church that sponsored the event, blasting Christian pop music and telling everyone about their church services. Okay, fine- that's fine. Do your thing, welcome people in. But I pray it's for the right reasons. I hope the gimmicks lead to true community and real love and tangible hope for people who might find their way through your doors because of those helicopter eggs. I really, truly hope that no one is used as a "number" or as a political pawn in the religious game of "we're right and you're wrong."
Because Jesus laughs at that. Or maybe he weeps.
The smiles of my kids, though, made it fun. Kids have a way of stamping out my cynicism and bringing light into my shriveled up heart. Because I guess a helicopter dumping eggs IS pretty cool, when you're seven :).
An introvert's worst nightmare

It was freezing. It's still freezing! But they're cute, at least. 

after getting home I went for a walk to clean my brain. From the images of that egg drop. This is the little river behind out house. 

And I thought about the new life that can come, when reminded of what Easter really means. 
Peace to you all on this Good Friday- Love wins.

When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens. -Anne Lamott 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

chickens and lights

A couple weekends ago we went to our dear friends' house. They live on a great little patch of land and recently bought chicks! They will be churning out eggs soon. Andrew is Zach's great friend in dental school, and his wife Lydia is a nurse who talked me into taking my pre-req's last year (I'm forever grateful to her for pushing me towards my dream!). They love our kids well and invited us all over to meet the chickens and have dinner. We had a grand time, and sent lantern into the sky as we said goodnight.
hangin' with the chickens, sittin' in a bunch of poo. That's how we roll. Don't worry, lot's of washing was done post-chickens! 




oh... were you wondering where Sam was? NOT near the chickens, that's where. Sammy doesn't do chickens. Or any "wild" creature for that matter. Nope. 

I can't wait to have a screened in porch like this someday! 


Almost burned down the village, but narrowly avoided the trees. 'twas pretty! 

Happy Wednesday to you...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

good news and a sad day

first for the good news.
I got in... to snooty school! It is an exciting time. I won't name snooty school, because you might feel the urge to throw tomatoes at your computer screen upon seeing the name, and I wouldn't want you to ruin your computer. Despite the snootiness, it has a seriously awesome nursing school. so I feel very happy and blessed to be able to go there. Now I await financial aid. So if the gods of scholarships are reading this, I'd love a little help there.

By the way, snooty school's prominent school color is royal blue and they have an annoyingly successful basketball team and they might have a chapel that looks like this:
So. yes. Exciting times, but hard for a person who has been raised to dislike snooty school to admit that she's really, really excited to go there. Ahem. For nursing. that's it. Maybe someday I'll wear a sweatshirt, but then I think I might get disowned by my entire extended family (except my uncle- he went there for business school).

Anyway, life is full of happy and sad, no?
Yesterday we said goodbye to a dear friend. A lady who took care of me at the dance studio for many days a week throughout my middle and high school years. She kept us going in the right direction, gave us healthy doses of discipline, and sewed our ballet costumes- all of them. I danced and rehearsed with her daughter for so many years. She fought pancreatic cancer with all her might- and lived longer than most do with that disease, because she wanted to really know her granddaughter. She was, and still is, awesome. I will miss her a lot. After her funeral last night they set off fireworks, because she loved them. They also read this poem, which completely displays Ricki's love for all people- all kinds of people. She lived a fantastic life, and she will be missed.

No Difference, by Shel Silverstein (the best of the best)
Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light.

Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same
When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

calm after the fun

We've had a crazy few weeks of partying!
first a huge family wedding... my mom's bff's daughter got married (by the way- the bride's mom, is "my" Teri- a second mother to me! and she looked HOT at the wedding- hi Teri!). She is basically another sister, another daughter to my parents, raised by her mom and my parents. So, it was a weekend full of festivities! The bride and groom had a fabulous time and felt the love, which made it perfect :).
My dad and SB... father daughter dance :)

Family picture! I'm so short... hiding behind my Mimi... Zach's keepin' it classy as usual, and my brother Kyle (beside the groom, whom we adore!!), is an ordained preacher man, officiated the wedding and did an INCREDIBLE job. He is so talented. Lives in Souther California so let me know if you want him to officiate your wedding- he makes it fun and rocks it!!! 
glasses picture! ha! 
The next weekend was what I wrote about last week- Mimi's Birthday Party!!!!
I cannot explain how amazing this weekend was!!! I absolutely loved having ALL my cousins in NC with us... what a blast! We missed my brother terribly (who is deployed) but took lots of pics to show him. Family came in from San Fran, Long Beach CA, Miami, Denver, Providence, Bostin, Blacksburg,  and right here from across NC. There was good food, toasts, poems, and great celebration! When you make it to 90 in great shape, you celebrate- right Mimi and PopPop?? :)

Here are some pictures!
Mimi and PopPop with their 4 kids 

Mimi and PopPop 

CAKE!

there were more than 100 people at this party... good thing my parents have a big ol' house (raised 6 kids there!)
Party Animal! 

pictures of Mimi

My dad reading his poem, a family tradition

we wrote new lyrics to "call me maybe" and sang "call me mimi"

a fraction of the grandkids singing call me mimi... the others are all packed in back there! 

Kyle and Sammy hangin' out

My kids and Mimi blowing out the candles! 

great grandkids singing happy birthday! 
I feel like the luckiest person alive, having such a big, fun, loud, inclusive, and kind family. We are very, very blessed. And now for a "chill" weekend :). Happy Saturday, everyone!

*all photos by Sophie, my talented sister!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

90 looks good on you!

Guess what blog readers?

This weekend we're celebrating my Mimi's 90th birthday. In case you didn't know, turning 90 is the coolest! I'm pretty sure a person must be the creme of the genetic crop to healthily and happily turn 90 (score one for me, since I am my Mimi's clone). Our Mimi is the smartest, funniest lady around, and seriously does not act or look a day over 60. Just ask her to tell you a dirty joke! Right Mimi? (she and PopPop faithfully read this blog, so I'm having fun embarrassing them right now! Hi guys!).

I have had the absolute honor and privilege to have a close relationship with my grandparents all my life. I'm a better person because of them, and my Mimi teaches me every day that balance, eating well, moving your body, and keeping humor at the center of your life makes a huge difference in how you live your days. Oh, and a good glass of red wine doesn't hurt, either :).

Mimi with her first GREAT grandchild Leah! (she now has 10 greats, and one more on the way... building her own empire, apparently!)

We are all so excited to celebrate her birthday! Her kids and grandkids and greatgrandkids will be here from all over the country to party. We can't wait to all be together! In honor of Mimi's birthday, I'm posting one of her favorite songs. My cousin Lindsay posted this on FB and it brought back the best memories of Mimi singing this to us as kids! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIMI!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March?

It's March!
Whaaaaat?
I told you my blogging streak wouldn't last!

Quick catch-up- my interview went fantastically well. I really enjoyed it... and I LOVE the faculty of this school I would like to attend... The school itself is prestigious and expensive and snooty... and I went to a rival school for undergrad, so it kind of makes my stomach hurt to think about going to Snooty School. But. BUT! Oh my gosh. I love Snooty School's School of Nursing. I love love love it. I want to go there. I do not want to pay to go there. We shall see how it all turns out... should know something by the end of March. Say a special prayer for financial aid :).

Otherwise we've been taking tests and doing homework and baking cakes and cleaning and doing laundry and playing with friends over the past week. Just the same old, miraculous, beautiful, messy routine. I love it.

My big kids' school celebrated Dr. Seuss all week, and they decorated t-shirts to wear today. I'm not at all crafty, but my kids are! So I supply them with what they need, and they have a blast. Here they are in action:







Leah's final product

Pete's final product
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!