Monday, November 16, 2015

Learning How to Love

(Thankin' Kindly the Mr. Watson for the pics of Bella and me. We're unleashing the natural photographer in him yet.)

It must be a mystery to her, as must many things in her tiny life be. It seems taught, but, other times soft and limp. Then, moving out of the stream, there is nothing at all. Her face glistens with pearl like drops, her lashes dark and wet and mouth half open, I see plain as day, she's mesmerized.  Her hand outstretched upward, fingers slowly turning and intwining with watery threads. Deep blue eyes gaze quietly up at the spout and do not see the tears of her mama. Watching her, I'm thinking of how soon these precious few moments will be only a memory. In imagining her at 2 years old, or 10 or 16, I almost see her as a different person. Sure, I know I'll grow in love for her each day, as I have done, but a Mother's Love, I'm finding is as mysterious as it is beautiful; for as I'm reveling in the ways she's grown and developed, there is a certain grief in knowing that time slips away quickly and she will never be the same as she is today. Each day brings change, and while I'm curious as to what she will be, my heart clings to what she is now. There are so many beautiful moments of witnessing her experiencing the world around her. The golden warmth of sunshine, the shower, the ability to hold things, and now the way she's beginning to sit up a little on her own. I wonder how this much joy is possible? The truth is, there is room for elements of sadness in even the most beautiful and joyful times. That's not a bad thing, I don't think. For me, those two things - sweet and sad - seem to mark some of the most endearing and important marks of my life…graduation, Anne going to college (I cried lots), times around the table of the Grey Submarine, holding hands with all the family as we pray, then the eating,  story telling and laughter…walking down the dirt path from the little white church as I hold onto the arm of daddy, who was saying with tears in his eyes and on his cheeks, "It's been one of my chiefest joys to have raised you and had you in our family, darlin…" Then, leaving his arm to take that of my soon to be husband, there, under the trees and bright sky that July day last year…and our baby. Meeting her, living life with her, and learning her. Learning that when grey haired ladies with canes and deep lines in their faces stop me in the store to gaze wistfully at her and tell me, "It is wonderful…wonderful…treasure this time," that they are missing their babies, and that their empty hearts and arms were as full at one time as mine are now.

 She loves her daddy. Looooves him. She gets the giddiest grin when he comes around, and that lovey look in her eyes. It makes me giddy too.

 I married the jackpot. Sorry, girls. I mean, He washes her diapers, rubs my feet
 and brings me hot tea in bed. 
 Nuff said. 
Directly after this photo she was scooped up and smothered with kisses.  
 This girl is a Water Baby. All things water is her game. And showers konk her out. 
 Besides the fact of her sitting here in his lap, absorbed in his reading these adorable editions of the classics, (thanks to Jesse Latimer) my next favorite thing is her night cap. 

Darling baby, all I can do is love you now as much as I know how. 
Reckon I'm still finding out how much that is. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My November Raves and Faves

What? Don't be silly - I adore October, always have, always will and I've told you that before. Probably in part, because of all the wonderful sweet things it hasn't brought yet - such as Thanksgiving and turkeys and Christmas and so much family in little rooms that your heart - like the room - seems likely to bust out the ceiling. (Bust out isn't correct, but it's ever so much more effective.)

… And the thing about October is that it never will  contain all the swell gaieties of November and December's festive events. It holds only the anticipation and hope of them. You see, it's a dear old month, October, and I guess I haven't figured out all the reasons I love it so much - have you? If so, tell me some of them.  But anyhow, since October is safely out of earshot, I'll tell you that November is a sweet thing too - a perfect darling, full of crisp days and preparations to travel, thoughts of what to pack, how to pack concisely and - PRESENTS! It's a secret, maybe and a delicious weakness of mine to give presents…it's one of my absolute favorite things. But I was saying that November really has been a jolly thing, and has already presented some things that made my heart swell. Shall I tell you a few? Well, then.

My sister for 10 days - a gift from God. I'm seeing how precious time is. And that to give someone the gift of time is a sacrifice and investment incredibly valuable.  We are opposite in so many ways, AG and I,  physically and mentally, and it's been a growing experience to spend time together as adults to see in which ways we differ and how we're alike and instead of wishing for what the other has (which I have been guilty of ever since I was little), encouraging each other in the various strengths we find. She is a peace maker, an encourager and a motivator. Only when AG comes do JB and I find ourselves - almost magically - eating fried egg over spinach and cheese and nuts for breakfast. Or sautéed kale, peanut butter and hot sauce. Yes - I'm not making it up. And the amazingly odd thing is - it's good!
 She helped me get my house and mind and eating in order, made lots of Good Girl Moonshine and got me up early to see the sunrise on a chilly morning. I'm thankful for the pal I've had through all my life, and for the blessing my sister is to me and all she meets.

Waaaaay Back when, I started calling AG "Pamela", because at the time it was an inside joke referring to one of those laughable Hallmark movies that your mother would have stashed in a closet, called "Pamela's Prayer". I'd call her that, she'd laugh and say "nooooo!" and I'd laugh and laugh. (Mean, I know). But over the years it's grown to be a term of affection, and AG is "Pam Lov"  to me, more often than not. (not love, but Lov, like Russians. And I don't know how that happened. It just did. ) So when attempting to decide on an aunt name for her, I couldn't quite reconcile to "Anty Anne". But Aunt Pam slipped out as easy as cream. And so there you have it. Bella Rose has AG for her Aunt Pam.

** Another note on AG is when we drove away from delivering her to the airport, JB said slowly,
"Does having AG here ever tend to….step on your toes? As far as how productive she is, how well she eats and how consistently she exercises?"
Then followed a 2 hour discussion on how to improve our own quality of life by getting following some principles and helping each other be accountable. (A good conversation. Maybe I'll post on that soon.)

Well, next on my November Happy  List would be my paintings…I simply adore these, nor can I express how much I do. Several minutes into a daze, I'll realize I've been sitting or standing there, gawking at them. And who is the artist? My talented, sweet amazing cousin, Rebekah Machiavello. She is 17(?) and a true artist. Brilliant. She made these for the baby's room…But I may steal them and keep them in my room where I can look at them all the time!

Whatever you do, don't think the photos do these justice. These paintings change with the light, and look different when far away and when close up you find things you hadn't seen before - and vice versa. Come to my house, and I assure you, you'll be entranced by these. 

One of Rebekah's Trademarks to her paintings is that, when you hold the back up to the light you can see a SECRET PAINTING! It's a novel idea by a brilliant artist. 

The first time I remember watching her brush her long glossy hair in the bathroom of the Grey Submarine I was mesmerized, and intimidated to death. But since that time, Rachel Guess has grown to be one of my dearest friends and I've spent weeks at her house where she and I would jog around the dreamy little town of Blue Mountain, drink coffee early in the morning and go to water aerobics where she teaches a beastly Aqua Fit class…We'd sit on a quilt in the sunshine and eat pizza she just whipped up, or stay up late watching "Foyle's War", listen to James Taylor cd's,  have long chats in the kitchen about life and marriage and art or science - Really whatever I wanted to talk about, she could delve into it. In my head (and in my journal) I'd be furiously scribbling notes on elegance, womanliness, determination and creativity from watching her. She is one of my closest examples and pals.

 She sent me a scrumptious card and this tea. Doesn't it make you happy too?

Dew On The Window. Doesn't that look like Fall? 

 Dawn faithfully writes me, and each letter is full of home goodness, her artless wit and her evolving handwriting. She inspires me to write letters - but also to loyalty. She's one of the most loyal souls around. And imaginative. Yes - word. She has more imagination than all of nine kids combined, I suspect. 

JB was in Boyscouts…AHH…And He was. Aaaaadorable. 

 And then there's this happy little trio, which still blows my mind. I'm married. MARRIED.

 And have a baby….A BABY. (Thanks, AG for the photos!)

This is our (dear sis I really love you, but we think we're late to the airport now) look. Still, it does me good to document little bits of life like this adorably cheesy shot. 
Oh, and my comfy tunic? That would be a gift from Pam Lov. 

Enjoy Your November!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Little Saturday Happy

Today I'm thankful for many things. For my sister getting me up early to sit on the porch with her, wrapped in blankets, drinking (STRONG) coffee and watching a dark morning unfold into gold hues and scarlet and blue. Many things fill up my head - dashing around trying to get themselves in order, but the overarching themes of today is one of gladness to be alive, thankfulness and relief. Relief that we have hope in this life - and most importantly, when this life is gone and The Other Life takes true effect. How many people are searching? How many struggle with fear of eternity or uncertainty of there being one? Yet, how wonderful, too, when the truth is learned and loved and taken hold of…It sheds abroad that light of hope in our lives, so that all is touched by it. Just like the sun of this morning, it illuminates the world in a sparkling gold. 
And because of Truth and the God who loves me, 
There is hope and peace for today, 
and for the rest of our lives,
no matter what. 

Also, this pair gladdens me like nothing else. She loves her daddy, and her daddy loves his Baby Girl.

Happy Saturday, Y'all.