Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yesterday ...

I walked in 98 degree heat with God-only-knows humidity. Despite the sweat, I needed the conversation and exercise.

I got a compliment on a recent story from the least-expected person possible. And I believe it was sincere because he initiated the conversation.

I heard a story -- although it's definitely not the first -- that made me think: Even when we (as people in general) get the thing/situation/baby for which we have hoped and prayed, there will still be challenges. I wonder, in advance, how to make those part of the joy.

I hit a wall that interrupted my go-with-the-flow, give-up-control attitude I was working toward. Set backs are rough, especially when someone else is involved. It all just wears me out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

cars, a soccer player, a movie and another baseball game

I drove this the first part of the weekend. But this is more in our price range.

So Friday afternoon my car wouldn't start, then it eventually did. The whole thing involved some smoke and a burning smell. Apparently the air compressor was the problem. Fixing it would cost $1,400 ... My car is worth barely more than that, and that's considering it has a working air conditioner.

THIS WEEKEND I did some things I really enjoy: ate Mexican food, played Rook, slept in, went to see a movie, went to a baseball game. I even surprisingly enjoyed watching the U.S.-Italy World Cup game. Man, it was rough. Blood and all. I especially enjoyed watching him. (Carlos Bocanegra is the one on the left.)

Jaclyn and I went to see "Lake House." I was intrigued by how the movie would work ... Well, I don't know that it did. I really liked the characters and spent much of the movie wishing I hadn't gotten my hair cut last week. (I loved Sandra Bullock's hairdo.) If anyone else has seen it, please, offer your thoughts. I really wanted to like it, really, I did, and parts I did ... but the living two years apart but falling in love wasn't working for me.

Then SUNDAY Greg and I went to the third of four Cardinals games we have tickets for this summer. Cardinals 4, Rockies 1. Minus the 40-minute rain delay, it was a perfect baseball day. A slight breeze and sunny. Plus our seats are just beneath the awning so we never really got wet.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wait, it's June ...

Seriously, what's up with a head cold in this perfect weather? Don't these annoyances -- achy body, burning eyes, congested head, runny nose, sore throat -- belong in the winter months?

OK, I've gotta go. I hear my couch calling my name.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Here she is ...

As a cowgirl:

And as a typical 2 1/2-year-old:

(OK, I wrote her name as inspiration for her to draw on the concrete.)

She's a great opening to the weekend trip to Lexington and Louisville. We left Friday afternoon and got to Lexington in time to have dinner at Donato's with Jodi. Later that night we went to visit Laura and Dave and their precious 16-month-old Gillian. We stayed with them in Versailles that night then went back into Lexington early Saturday afternoon for Corbitt's shower. This was a celebration for yet another miracle baby in my circle of friends in Lexington. It was mostly good times but some emotions from my situation caught up with me. I'm glad I was surrounded by a couple of friends who understood where I was at that moment.

Then we met Katie for dinner at Jalepenos and then dessert at Graeters. Yummmmm ... on both counts. Then it was off to Louisville, which brings us to where I started. Mom had conveniently volunteered to babysit so Kevin and Laine could go out Saturday night, but Milla was asleep when we got there Saturday night. Oh, but she wastes no time. We were up at 6:45 a.m. playing with our dear niece whose weekend sleeping schedule is as consistent as her weekday one. (At what age do kids learn weekends are for sleeping in?!) Later that afternoon I had a perfectly grilled steak (thanks Greg!) and other elements to a much-appreciated homecooked meal.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

With nowhere to go ...

One of the most satisfying feelings to me is when I except a night to be typical and it surprises me -- in a good way. Each Wednesday night we get together with a group of friends from church. Turns out most of us are friends from college. Some of us wandered elsewhere and came back to Murray while others have been here since settling their lives. Either way, our paths crossed again.

Sometimes our group has a plan -- studying a book or something -- but what we're really good at is fellowshiping. We can tell stories and laugh without hesitation.

So, anyway, last night was this expected pleasure. I laughed -- a lot. We hung out at our house for awhile before we helped Cate move into her new house. Then we decided Dairy Queen was in order. At DQ, we just sat at this picnic table and laughed and told more stories. Bryan pointed out that it was like college, and we were all just there with no real place to go.

I've been thinking about this. College is this in-between world, stuck somewhere between being a kid and being an adult. Now we're so-called adults and enjoying life with nowhere to go is so rare for me these days. The irony of the whole thing is I've been trying to learn about rest and that whole one-day-at-a-time idea, and I got a hands-on lesson when I was least expecting it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

a party, huh?

Irony at the baseball field: A kid wearing a shirt that says, "The party has arrived" barely said one word during the whole game.

Monday, June 5, 2006

"Be still ..."

A second consecutive weekend at home ... Really, right now, I couldn't be more thankful. I know it sounds silly. But I needed to rest. Now, I didn't get as much sleep this weekend as last, but I still feel I got some rest. To me, rest is really a break from routine. It's a time to refresh my soul with simple things that give me joy.

FRIDAY night before I went back to work, Greg and I went to see "The Break-Up." It made me laugh. Some of the interaction between the characters was so typical that Greg and I found ourselves nugging each other in a way that we both were wondering if we had said those exact lines. (If you've seen the movie, remember the argument about how she wanted him to want to wish the dishes ... I'm certain I've said almost the same thing to Greg. Although, it very possibly could have been about mowing the lane or picking up the house in general!) Plus the movie just made me laugh.

Gary (Vince Vaughn): Fine, I'll help you do the dishes.
Brooke (Jennifer Aniston): Now that's not what I want.
Gary: You just said that you want me to help you do the dishes.
Brooke: I want you to WANT to do the dishes.
Gary: Why, would I WANT to do dishes?

I had to work briefly SATURDAY morning, covering an event on campus. Then I went to Greg's baseball game. Watching him coach those kids makes me look forward to the day that we have a kid of our own. We did a few things at a house we're getting ready to sell. (I saw "we" meaning this corporation of us and Greg's parents ... a real estate venture I'm slowly understading.) Then I enjoyed the sun — which was slightly more comfortable than last week's high 90s yet all the same summery — while I read "The Last Juror." Then I moved to the shade and finished reading it.

Let me just say again, "The Last Juror" seemed to be written for me! I loved it.

So, anyway, we went out to the in-laws for dinner on SATURDAY night. Well, we got out there and my mother-in-law completely met my desire for squash and onions. I was craving these fresh vegetables. Well, we were getting ready to eat when I realized I didn't have my insulin ... Now, I could have eaten the baked chicken, squash and onions, and green beans. But I couldn't have included the mashed potatoes, biscuits and peach cobbler in my meal without my insulin.

More than anything I was just frustrated with my forgetfulness. But I drove back (Did I mention they live about 20 minutes south of Murray just a bit into Tennessee?!) and heard a couple good songs on the radio and calmed my attitude. Then I enjoyed my dinner, including two helpings of squash and onions. Oh, and Greg and I also enjoyed a couple Rook wins over his parents.

After church SUNDAY, we went with with a couple friends to swim. Our friend Cate is "pool sitting" for a co-worker on vacation, so we took advantage. The only problem was the overcast sky. Then finally the sun came out. I spent a great deal of time daydreaming about having a pool in my backyard. Really, having one of those comfortable floats in a pool all my own with a book in hand ... Totally a perfect summer-day dream.

I made jumbalaya tonight for dinner. It's a great recipe I'm slowly perfecting. It even has eggplant in it, which takes just an ounce of bravery for me to eat. I have to admit that I really like cutting the eggplant. It's this strange combination of foamy and firm ... Interesting food that adds something I can't explain to the jumbalaya.

So back to that resting thing. It's interesting I've been thinking about it lately, mostly recognizing my need for it. Yes, a need.

I have no idea why I continue to be amazed at such things, but the sermon at church was about the importance of silence and listening to God. Seriously, why am I amazed that the creator of the universe knows what I need to hear. I've told Greg some lately that I just need to slow down. The idea I took away from church is that my life is noisy. I'm not sure that I can change everything. In fact, I know I can't. But I can have a new attitude that takes time — even a few minutes at a time — to be thankful, to be restful.

For much of my life, one of my favorite verses from the Bible is: "Be still and know that I am God." That verse actually wasn't among those referenced in the sermon, but it was in my head. In principle, listening is simple. But in theory, noise drowns out of the ability to hear truths. Thing is, God speaks from the inside out.