Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a Thanksgiving song

well, it's more about the turkey. but still.

Ella learned this at school, then Sadie promptly learned it from Ella. I love that Ella has her eyes closed through half of the song. Also, the Sadie-screech at the end? classic.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Remember Halloween? I do. Mostly because Andy and I dressed up (we haven't done that in several years). But this year it wasn't just about the girls. Oh no. We decided it was time for us to shine (well, the invitation for a costume party decided it for us, but we willingly agreed).

The party was a couple days before Halloween, but we had so much fun being an 80's rock duo (Andy named us PROM) that we dressed up again while the girls trick-or-treated.

Oh yeah, the girls. Ella was a Titans cheerleader,

and Sadie was a cowgirl.

Look at my little family. Look at my man's flowing, mulletted locks.

Every year we trick-or-treat on our cul-de-sac. This is the second year our friends, the Oakes fam, joined us.

(Amelie really REALLY wanted to be in our family pic)

After the girls got their candy, they would run away yelling, "Thank you! Happy Halloween! Happy Trick-or-Treat!"

Rock on, Halloween. Rock on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

three wishes

Sadie has three wishes. When she sees a star, she asks for these things. When asked what she wants for her (fourth) birthday, she says these things. When Santa asked what she wanted for Christmas, she sweetly requested these things.

Always these three. Always in this order.

An American Girl doll that looks like me named Kit,

a seesaw,

and a baby sister.

{so this is Sadie as a baby, but you get the idea}

The other night we finally had to break it to her that she would not, in fact, be getting a baby sister for Christmas. To not get her hopes up. That if one were coming Mommy's tummy would be really huge right now. She was pretty disappointed, but seemed to understand. And she continues asking for one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

uncle clay

Before the series (that I read and was addicted to but never really knew why) came out I would have never looked at this and automatically thought of a vampire. ahhh, pop culture.

{For those of you who have not read the literary prowess - cough, cough - a vampire whisks his human love-interest through the woods faster than the speed of light. I can't remember what this was to prove. That vampires are really fast? hmmm.}

Sadie would have no doubt, however, that Uncle Clay could easily scale the tallest tree in the Pacific Northwest (with or without her hanging on for dear life). To her, he can conquer every height. She has watched (with a mixture of delight and concern) as he has climbed oaks, maples, pines and magnolias. Every time she considers something towering above her, Sadie states that Uncle Clay can either touch it or climb it.

I think she's right.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


we've moved into big girl tooth care

this is what our dentist recommends...

Sadie can't stop flossing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


* I came across this partial post in my draft folder and am posting it 6 months later. *

The Nashville Flood. The Other Situation 2010 (the first situation being January's snowstorm). The 500 Year Flood. The Millennium Flood. These are a few names of what Nashville (and the 49 surrounding counties) have been calling what happened two weeks ago.

I am probably the last person with a blog to give an account. I do not plan to go much into the actual details and descriptions of what happened. There are countless blogs, articles, pictures, and songs that do an ample (and much superior) job.

Astoundingly, most of the country did not a.)know about it b.)know the severity of it. The city gave a collective cheer when Anderson Cooper came to cover the devastation. It's all most of us have thought about since it's happened.

Some parts of the city look as though nothing has happened.

Some parts look as if the whole block decided all at once to rip old carpet from their basements (our street).

And some parts look as if they are moving out of their houses...but instead of boxing up their belongings, they are throwing all their belongings away. ALL OF THEIR BELONGINGS.

This is where my heart is sitting right now. With those people who have nothing. This flood showed no economic favor. People with humble homes to people whose houses were filled with expensive things. They all lost everything. EVERYTHING.

This is the mantra in my brain. It's what I think about when I tuck my children in at night. What if their beds were gone? What if all their books were gone? What if their favorite blanket was gone?

And it's not like all of the things just disappeared. Families - moms, dads, children - had to come Back into their homes and physically pick up all the things that are dear to them...and throw them away. They had to sift through sludge, mud, excrement, and rats - to discard their treasures.

We had to rip up our basement floor and walls. It's annoying. My arms are sore and stiff today from scrubbing mold and dirt off of the cinder blocks. It's painful and monotonous. We will have to replace the floors and walls. It's not cheap.


We got off easy. We are being forced to go through our things and decide what to keep, throw away, or give away. DECIDE. So many people are not afforded the opportunity to decide.

So I am looking at our things with fresh eyes. Setting aside what we do not need for those who need everything. It's the least I can do. We may not have loads of money to give in the telethon. But we have our two hands. And we have stuff. STUFF. I am both disgusted by it, and grateful for it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


They tell how it was, and how time
came along, and how it happened
again and again. They tell
the slant life takes when it turns
and slashes your face as a friend.

Any wound is real. In church
a woman lets the sun find
her cheek, and we see the lesson:
there are years in that book;
there are sorrows
a choir can't reach when they sing.

Rows of children lift their faces
of promise,
places where scars will be.

-William Stafford

Thursday, September 23, 2010

reluctant Easter photo shoot - a retrospective

Easter morning was sunny and full of promise. Ella and Sadie were twirling in their Sunday dresses. We were just about to leave for church, and we wanted to take a sweet picture of them. Just one would do.

But that was not on their agenda...

At all.

Mystery sullenness had taken over.

The car was running. Out of gas, at this point.

Y'all. Come on.


(Now that the ordeal is over) I love that it took so long. And I love these pictures. My people be crazy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

a Colorado moment

There will be so (so) many more pictures from our month spent at Crooked Creek Ranch this summer, but I wanted to share these pictures now because I love them so.

I love everything about this little moment in time...

The weather.

Which inspired them to pick these outfits. And these stances.

But my heart surges every time I look at these because of my daughters. My Ella. My Sadie. My girls.

Friday, June 04, 2010

personal photographer

Suzanne is a dear friend of mine. And she's my neighbor. Therefore, we live lots of life together. She is one of the most thoughtful and intentional people I know. And {BONUS!} she often has a camera around her neck. And here's a way awesome thing about Suz {amongst her many attributes} - she actually downloads the pictures and e-mails them to you...usually within hours of taking them!

Because of Suzanne, I have moments captured that I never want to forget. And there are lots of moments.

Just in the past 6 months she has photographed my children...

at a friend's adoption homecoming...


ingesting S'mores...

bursting with pure joy on a trampoline with Drew...

posing with future-husband Will...

sharing Easter candy with Emmy...

having a fondue party (that Suz hosted)...

jumping on their red couch after the fondue party...

planting snap-peas...

being generally delicious...

and posing with beautiful, fragrant Magnolia blossoms...

here's to many more memories shared.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

my place

There is no end to work -
Work done in pleasure, grief,
Or weariness, with ease
Of skill and timeliness,
Or awkwardly or wrong,
Too hurried or too slow.
One job completed shows
Another to be done.
And so you make the farm
That must be daily made
And yearly made, or it
Will not exist. If you
Should go and not return
And none should follow you,
This clarity would be
As it never was.
But praise, in knowing this,
The Genius of the place,
Whose way forgives your own,
And will resume again
In time, if left alone.
You work always in this
Dear opening between
What was and is to be.

{Wendell Berry from The Farm}

This is a excerpt from Wendell Berry's 38 page poem/love letter/instructional manual on farming. Andrew Peterson gave it to my husband and me for Christmas two years ago, and just this morning I sat down with a cup of coffee by an open window and read it. I lingered on the words {which I am often want to do}. As always, Berry's descriptions of {his home state of Kentucky's} landscape and farming transport me to my grandparents' farm in North Carolina.

{a piece of my grandparents' farm}

This particular passage leapt out at me. Recently I have had some in-depth discussions with wonderfully brilliant writers about pursuing the glimpses of beauty {as in the Garden of Eden and the new Heaven and new Earth} that we see in our everyday lives. One poem we read referred to those moments as "glimpses", another as "wormholes."

Are we to receive those glimpses with gratitude and move on? Or do we follow those glimpses, knowing that while nothing is truly perfect here, it is not in vain to hope for {and work towards} a more beautiful stay while we're here?

This passage is a beautiful picture of our both small AND significant roles on this earth {and our relationship with this earth}. We have important work to do. But it is within God's greater work. We are just in "this dear opening between what was and is to be."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I need to join GOODREADS

seriously. If you've come within shouting distance of me {or my internet self - wait, that sounds really creepy and schizophrenic} you know that I love books. LOVE them. a lot.

My sidebar lists what I've read in the past few years {although it's far from comprehensive because we all know I do a lackluster job of updating things around here}. And I really should start a list of our favorite children's books. I've done a review or two here before, and on more than one occasion expressed my love for
Caldecott books.

Books reveal a lot about a person, don't you think? What interests them. What fascinates them. What inspires them. What they want to know more about. What phase of life they are in {i.e. mother to preschoolers}. Or what simply entertains them.

My magic bedside table is host to an astounding amount of books. Books on loan from the library, on loan from friends, on loan from my mother, or from our own collection. Some I've already read {and haven't put away}. Some I'm reading. Some I've yet to read. But they are all teetering next to me.

So because I haven't started my own Goodreads account, I'll list them here. Mainly for posterity. But perhaps this may pique your interest and put something else on your to-read list. Or perhaps this is simply fodder for book-hoarding mockery...

* The Pastures of Heaven - John Steinbeck

* The Farm - Wendell Berry

* Lord of the Flies - William Golding

* The Age of Miracles - Ellen Gilchrist

* Ahab's Wife - Sena Jeter Naslund

* Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence - Sarah Young

* Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir - Cornel West

* Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids- Kim John Payne

* Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature - Elizabeth Wilson

* The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade - William J. Bennett

* The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - Jessie Wise

* Honey For a Child's Heart - Gladys Hunt

* Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy - Louise Bates Ames

* A Child's Garden of Verses: A Classic Illustrated Edition - Robert Louis Stevenson

What's on your nightstand? Anything I should add to mine?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


this series hardly needs explanation.

old-fashioned friends

Easter morning was bright and sunny (oh, the good old days. I never would have guessed I would be skittish at the first drop of a rainstorm).

After church we all gathered at Sevier Park for a church-wide Easter Egg Hunt. I snapped a shot of Ella and her friends perusing their goods, and fell in love with the picture. Their postures, their semi-serious looks, the grassy hill, the big old house in the back - it makes me think of a Depression-era photo...

and here's what it would look like if you were rummaging through your grandmother's old box of photos and came across it...

{lovely models Ella A, Ella O, and Liv}

Monday, April 12, 2010

Singing Sadie

** update ** due popular request, I transcribed the lyrics, and put them under the video. enjoy the random. no really. Random.

I had my camera going a couple weeks ago and ended up honing in on Sadie. This makes me laugh because it is so her. The passionate singing (with a touch of toddler vibrato). And although she knows the book* by heart, she comes up with her own version (this she gets from her mother).

** hush little baby, comes to where
mama was gonna show you a hummingbird

and that evil sky is drying

and mommy show
and mommy is all turn

and mommy go in the rocking chair with you
and every day and now

I kept the ending because it's classic Sadie. She'll perform by herself for a bit, and then she gets really embarrassed and wants the attention off her immediately. {She still talks about her birthday party and getting shy when everybody looked at her and sang Happy Birthday. in December.}

* This version of Hush Little Baby is one of my very favorite books to sing with the girls.

Friday, February 12, 2010