May 28, 2010

Party time

Below are some photos from Lindon's graduation party last Saturday. It was such a joy to have so many people we love so dearly all together in one place. And it was fun to see kids running around our yard, which rarely sees this much action. I am particularly grateful to the family members and friends who helped with the details of the party, keeping food refilled and making sure things ran smoothly so I could [try to] relax and enjoy the afternoon. 

The view from the deck
The view from below

Sara and Miles
Those puffy eyes scream "I laid in my crib for 2 hours, but refused to take a nap!"

The Fowler cousins
 These three boys have the same middle name, Smith. It was the first time they have all been photographed together.

May 26, 2010

The Arsenic Hour

Recently a friend told me that her mother calls the time between 5 and 6 pm the arsenic hour. Because as her mother explained, "you want to give everyone in your family arsenic and take some yourself, too." And to that morbid assessment I say, absolutely!

It seems that somewhere around 5:17 my otherwise very pleasant baby begins to resemble a gremlin. Whiny, clingy, needy - he demands the most from me just when I want to chill for a few minutes. But I have a new ally to get us all through the arsenic hour. My makeup mirror. Apparently Levi is quite amused by admiring his cute countenance. I can buy myself a few minutes of hands-free time by sticking the mirror just out of his grasp.

Cheap trick? Yes.

But it's worth it to eek out a few more smiles from the monkey and get a few more moments of peace.

Update coming soon

Is it tacky to update one's blog with a post that simply says an update is coming soon? If so, then today I am tacky.

As I have previously mentioned, last weekend was full of wonderful, memorable activities. As such, the "weekend" actually was a week of spending time with family and friends. Now all of our loved ones who came in to town to see Lindon graduate have left, and we have realized that our St. Louis friends are similarly leaving. For good.

So there is much going on. We took countless photos this weekend of graduation celebration, party celebration, and baptism celebration. I promise to post more soon.

May 13, 2010

Keeping Perspective

Four years ago, Lindon and I were in a holding pattern. Having applied to Covenant Seminary, we were waiting to find out if Lindon had been accepted and if our time in Montgomery was coming to a close. The answers we were received a few days later were yes, and yes.

Tomorrow Lindon's time at Covenant Seminary will come to a close. He will take his last final and be done with seminary.* Circumspection eludes me as I try desperately to prepare for the onslaught of events that will bombard me in the next 10 days. Good events, all of them. But since I am alone on a quiet, rainy evening, it seemed appropriate to reflect as best I can on the past four years.


Ok, my brain hurts too much to really think about this. But once again we are in a holding pattern, waiting and watching to see where we might go next. It's hard to stay put until then. But we will wait, and watch, and reflect, and probably cry. This has been such a rich time in our lives. So many reasons to be thankful.


*Some of you smart alecs might be thinking, "Unless he doesn't pass his classes - then he won't be done." But I am going to go ahead and assume my husband will pass. Call me charitable, but I am assuming he's going to pass.

May 11, 2010

Weekend in Review (Spoiler Alert: It was Awesome)

Last weekend was great. Monday, you came way too quickly. And now it's Tuesday, and this post is still in the works.

Part of what made this past weekend so much fun was getting the chance to do some things that I had wanted to do for a while. Photos will be forthcoming, I promise.

First, Lindon and I finally did something with those pitiful dirt beds around our back sidewalk. When Lindon built the deck last summer and re-routed the sidewalk, he created these wonderful areas for some lovely plants. Unfortunately, we did not get around to planting anything there on account of, you know, being really pregnant and not up for major gardening endeavors. For weeks I have combed through magazines and sought advice on what to plant in these beds, and on Friday I finally trekked to Home Depot to pick out my foliage. Saturday morning, our beds got a major makeover, and it was so fun (albeit kind of chilly). Gardening had no place in my childhood, so tasks like this still make my heart quake with fear. But slowly I have learned that it can be done, and I won't necessarily kill anything that blooms. So exciting.

Friday night we also watched "The Blind Side," finally. Great movie. So inspiring.

After planting all of our plants Saturday morning, Lindon and I went on a date Saturday afternoon. While our friend Julie watched Levi at home, we hung out with pigeons on the wing of a plane. Then we walked through a school bus suspended atop an 11-story building, slid down a 10-story slide, and climbed through re-bar slinky tunnels. Yes, we went to City Museum.

Ever since moving to St. Louis we had heard about City Museum and been told we needed to go. Finally, we got around to it, and it was pretty incredible. It takes a lot to get Lindon to expressed unrestrained enthusiasm about an activity. But when we saw the giant caverns, countless crawl spaces, and limitless opportunities for fun, Lindon looked at me and said, "This is awesome!"  Today I am still sore from all the crawling, sliding, climbing, and exploring we did. My knees are also bruised from our adventures, but if you live in St. Louis or are traveling through St. Louis, I recommend City Museum.

And with all that fun we were absolutely exhausted Saturday night. Then came Sunday: my first real Mother's Day. Until Sunday Mother's Day had always been a fairly distant holiday. It was hard to get excited about it because it did not apply to me. Not anymore!

We celebrated by getting barbecue for lunch (a perfect way to mark virtually any milestone in my life), napping, and playing on the deck. While I did not get a handmade card from my son or any other homemade gift, Levi showed his enthusiasm for his mother thusly:

A sweet, happy, hilarious, healthy child is quite possibly the best gift I could get. That and an awesome husband. Too cheesy? Sorry, but it's true.

May 4, 2010

Songs that Make Me Smile: The Gods Love Nubia (And Compelling Evidence of my Dorkiness)

If you were had perused through my paltry music collection during my high school days, you would have found that roughly 67% of the CD's in my possession were soundtracks to musicals. If I had not already convinced you of my dorkiness, that last sentence no doubt sealed the deal.

Truly, I struggled to reign in my nerd tendencies (and by "struggle," I mean I did nothing), so not only did I participate in musicals and listen to musical soundtracks, I secretly wished that life really was a musical. What could be better than everyone in a room spontaneously bursting into song and elaborately choreographed dance?

This ridiculous dream continued into college and became particularly problematic during my last semester when the abysmal food provider at my venerable alma mater introduced French Vanilla tea to its existing selection. When you've had so little of interest in the way of food offerings, you love tea, and you are easy to please, French Vanilla tea can be very exciting. For me, it was thrilling, so thrilling that I spotted a pale yellow French Vanilla tea envelope, I would exclaim to myself, "I've got the golden ticket!!" After a few exhilarating discoveries I began imagining the entire cafeteria bursting into song as we danced on top of the tables, and the entire extravaganza would end with everyone breaking out their jazz hands while I triumphantly held my tea bag in the air.

If you just vomited a little after reading the above story, I don't blame you.

Given my love for musicals, it makes sense that a few show stoppers would appear on any playlist of songs that make me smile. And naturally they would be songs about enslaved, culturally oppressed, polytheistic Africans. Totally logical, right? Right.

Yes, my love for musicals took on a new form my senior year of high school when I saw Aida on Broadway. It was still a relatively new show then and still had the majority of the original cast, including the amazing Heather Headley. When she belted out "The Gods Love Nubia" at the end of the first act, I nearly cried. During the intermission I bolted to the lobby to buy the soundtrack.

At that moment, "The Gods Love Nubia" became my banner song on no-good days. Sun refuse to shine? Time for some Aida. Feel as though no one will ever hire someone with a bachelor's degree in English and Communication? Heather Headley will ease my worried mind. Fear that all of your friends are probably having some super great party and have forgotten to invite you because you're so forgettable? The gods love Nubia, so it will be alright.

Fear not: over time this song has lost some of its anesthetic qualities for me. When I hear it now, I chuckle, thinking of how often I played it to make all my problems go away for 4 minutes. It's still an incredible song, but now hearing it offers a different kind of hope. It stands as a reminder that a dork like me can function in society without breaking out into song or dancing on tables. Ta da!!