Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alles liebi zum Geburtstag, Grossbape!

Liebe Grossbape,
Ich wuensche dir en grossartige Tag mit viel Sunneschie und Fun! Alles liebi zum Geburtstag!
De Gus
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cover Boy

My friend Sara took this awesome shot of Gus at our church. Yep, that's the kind of church community we belong to, where the nursery volunteers are also talented photographers. Sara is starting a photography business, doing portraits and weddings, check out her portfolio here.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

A right of passage

(Gus and Daddy after our return from the hospital...that's blood and drool on Gus' hoodie...and he was still not sure if things were going to be OK again)
It wasn't Friday the 13th (missed that by one day) and it wasn't Gus' 18-month-birthday (that's Saturday). It was a quiet unassuming Thursday morning...our little friend Ellie had come over for a visit and all three of us were out in the backyard, doing chores...I can't say I was distracted, or not looking. In fact, I looked straight at Gus and all I can say is that my brain didn't register what I was seeing until it was too late...Gus had alrady stuck his left middle finger into the empty can in the recycling tub that I had set down for only a moment...unfortunately the lid was still attached and the edges sharp...as I lept to my feet and grabbed the can, Gus pulled his finger out...slicing his fingertip...

After that I have a couple of minutes I don't remember...somehow I must have grabbed a papertowel, dialed Jacob on the cell and assured Ellie that everything was going to be alright...all the while Gus screamed and the blood flowed...and I held him and tried to soothe him.

I have not been prepared for this. In fact, I have been in denial about this. No child of mine will ever encounter harm and I will never not know how to make a bubu go away...on the third papertowel and with Gus seemingly unconvinced that the pain would ever go away, I felt helpless as I stared at all the blood coming out of my little toddler...how much would there be?

Well, today things are OK again (see that little bandaid, that's all that's left, and Gus has barely noticed it, no stitches, no apparent discomfort) and I'm feeling a bit wiser and calmer. We survived the ER, we rested and read books and and I searched and sorted through my memory and second guessed all my decisions that led up to the accident. The pizza we had the night before, the can of pineapple chunks, I decided to garnish with, my habit of not removing the entire lid. The fact that the can sat in the sink in the morning and I washed it out and added it to the recycling bin. I don't know what made me set the bin down, likely something else caught my eye and needed attention. I remember watching Gus inspecting the milk carton....then everything went into a tailspin...

There is no meaning in assigning guilt, but there is always a chance to examine and learn. I'm so grateful Gus is OK and I'm determined to remove all lids and never leave the recycling bin out of my sight again...
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My twirling tree

It happened overnight, and I think I was the first to see it this morning as I headed out at dawn to meet my running buddies. My favorite tree in the neighboorhood is budding...I love, love this tree (actually I love it so much, I should try to look up what kind of a tree it is. It looks like a mix between a weeping willow and a Chinese Cherry, which I'm sure it is not.)

....it reminds me of a tutu skirt, all pink, volumonously gauzy and umbrella shaped, a bit crooked and fragile, but beautiful nevertheless. It stands proud on my neighbor's lawn meaning I have the best view of it right out my office nook window...did I mention I love this tree?

I'm going to twirl under it, just as soon as Gus is done napping...
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Showered in beauty

Check out my cousin-in-law's blog for more beautiful pictures of Sara's bridal shower last Saturday... Here

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A summer day in March

Afternoon temperatures in the 70s, a perfect excuse to break out the bucket, fill it with water, lock the backyard gate and take all clothes - except sunhat - off and slather on some sunscreen. A toddler's idea of heaven, takes shape...complete with a late afternoon snack of peanut butter right off Daddy's knife.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Where the springs are

Transylvania County prides itself in being the Land of Waterfalls (having the highest concentration of waterfalls per acre in the U.S., I think) and this one, called Triple Falls for having three levels at perfect pleasing angles, is by far one of the most pictoresque and therefore popular with photographers of all calibers...our friends, Heather and Rion, took this photo of us on a recent hike. There were rumors of inches (!!!) of snow on the ground in Dupont State Park so we had to investigate...I love everything about this shot.

Seeing this (just a couple of days later as the sun revs up to 70 degrees outside) makes me appreciate where we live all the more...sometimes in the deepest depth of winter, I don't particularly care for Western North Carolina. Snow seems pointless, the cold is bone chilling and days filled with rain can easily fray already brittle nerves.

But then there are majestic deciduous forests - acres of them - water tumbling prettily over cliffs wherever you look, icycles and melancholy fog and miles of idyllic hiking trails at your feet.

It's beautiful here, even if you can't ski it.

A red balloon, and a horse

Gus' favorites these days - other than books - are a red balloon (I'm worried about it's longevity, but it's been holding up to rough play)...
And the stickhorse that Uncle Tim got him. The horse makes him giggle and sometimes he even rides it. most of the time he likes to take it for a walk....

Yup...the ballon always makes him smile, even when his nose is so crusty, maybe I should put that camera down and get a wipe once in a while...
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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our 12 steps to true love

...note that I'm not saying to a happy marriage, happy in my mind is highly overrated and worse yet, not well defined in the American culture. Marriage is just the legal form of true love and true love isn't happy all the time. Personally, I strive for contentment, for joyousness, for a laugh here and there, but also for a no-nonsense partnership and just simply another set of eyes, brains and hands. Jacob and I work hard to keep it real every day.
The reason I'm vowing you all with my 12 steps to true love is that our sweet little cousin, Sara Virginia is getting ready to get hitched to handsome Will in April.

Yesterday was her bridal shower - I hosted!!! - and we're all to come up with a wish, a prayer or a piece of advice for her. Since I've been married for all ages (3 years in a little more than a month!) I feel well seasoned to impart all the wisdom, Jacob and I have gathered along the way:

One - Keep love in your heart, each other in your mind and God in your heart

Two - Go to bed angry, you want to be well rested to settle the argument in the morning!

Three - Don't call it compromise, and feel defeated, square your shoulders and call it an adventure instead.

Four - When it gets tense, take a deep breath and avoid sentences starting with "you always..."

Five - Apologize. Immediately, sincerely and without qualifications. It's what smart married people do.
Six - Do something together. It seems so simple, but it often gets sacrified first.

Seven - Never, ever, ever spend more than $50 without accounting to each other!

Eight - Go for a drive, make a bonfire, or take a walk; good conversation always follows.

Nine - Give each other room for sole pursuits and passions. Two is a crowd to some.

Ten - Don't be nosy, be interested, even if you could care less.

Eleven - Remember who has your back when things get crappy and let a little gripe go.

Twelve - Love is not static, it changes with the weather, the years, the moods, the circumstances; value it in all its shades, forms and ways.

Bonus - "Love is as much how you feel, as it is what you do." (I heard that last piece on NPR this weekend and I thought it very appropriate for this occasion.)
I wish you wedded bliss, Sara

Breaking News: Ed's 1!

As the former jounalist that I - still - am, I can't pass up this chance to a great scoop (sorry Leah, I know you guys are busy having fun, while I peck away here)!

(and a happy 1st year of parenthood to the proud parents, good job, you guys!)

We love you all!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A shower to shine

All the china you could want straight from Alabama.
Tomorrow is the big day, at least in my mind, as I am hosting a bridal shower for my cousin-in-law Sara, who is getting married in April. Thanks to my mother-in-law and my grand-meme-in-law, I got all the fine china, punch bowls and dainty party serving ware anyone could ask for (pastry tree, check). The weather forecast promises sun and spring temperatures, so my hope is that we get to settle in on our big porch and use the very part of this pld house that was meant for parties (it's like an outdoor ballroom, if you ask me).

But today Gus and I rolled up our sleeves and worked hard (sometimes in concert, sometimes not). We scrubbed, vaccumed, dusted, wiped and cooked. It's 7:20 now and I'm happy with the results...an early run tomorrow, a shower and some makeup and a bit of flower arranging and we're ready to shower one sweet little bride with lots of presents and well wishes...

Unpacking the breakables, very carefully, while Gus gets dirty in the backyard.

My breakfast casserole, recipe courtesy of my mother-in-law, Cindy. I hope it'll bake up just the way she promised it will.

Gus helps with the compostables.
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A shower to shine

A broken coffeemaker caraffe and the not-guilty-at-all offender in the background in temporary custody of the laundryroom...I let him back out once I had swept twice...we found a replacement at the local thrift store. Whew...

The streetsweeper went by just as I mopped my kitchen floor, I thought I needed to get a picture...I swear I didn't call the city, but I'm very happy that the curb will look nice now...

My new lemon-ciffon colored wonder of a vacuum cleaner (another German-speaking genius of a household appliance and my early birthday present from my parents). It cleans hardwood, carpets, tile hardily and gives upholstery a gentle scrubbing, it even dusts andstands on its own and has the smarted powercord feed I've ever seen. Gus loves to ride it and I love that it is so quiet I can vaccum even when he is asleep. If you want one go to www.mieleusa.com

OK I got to go and sit on my couch now.

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