Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Mississippi Length List

Yesterday afternoon was our day off and we had an appointment scheduled at 3 pm for a house appraiser to come by to look over our home. (We’re refinancing our mortgage.)   Steve had a list of things that needed to be done that was longer than the Mississippi and he and I were full of big plans to work as an amazingly awesome and efficient team and get every last thing crossed off that list by the time the appraiser arrived.

Unfortunately, our wonderful plan did not work quite as expected since I started feeling bad on Thursday and woke up Friday with a full fledged cased of the Flu and Cold Yuckies. Steve gallantly put me back to bed to rest and said that he would take care of the Mississippi Length List on his own. 

I dosed off and on between misery and wakefulness and sleep, feeling really bad that I wasn’t able to help Steve with the list of projects. I finally drifted off and slept until about 12:30 when I was awakened by the Mississippi List Doer himself, appearing through the bedroom door.  He was clad in his grubbiest work clothes and I knew he was up to his neck in fix-its and lawn work and repairs.

But you know what?  In the midst of all that grubby busyness, he had taken the time to go into the kitchen and make lunch.  For me—his miserable, aching, groaning, non-helping wife.

Chicken noodle soup, crackers, a grilled cheese, sparkling orange juice, grapes, and an oatmeal raisin cookie made up the menu.  And even though the picture I snapped didn’t turn out so great, the meal was especially wonderful since it was garnished with tenderness and served with a side dish of love. 

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I am blessed.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Revisit: Words

Everyone once in a while, I like to revisit some of my writings from the Caringbridge site and today just happens to be a revisiting day. 

Originally posted on November 27, 2009

At our Thanksgiving meal yesterday, Steve went around the table and said something that he appreciated about each person who was present. He started with me and among other things, referred to my love for words; he then smoothly transitioned that same thought into what he had to say about Sarah.

He continued around the table to his parents and to Nathan, prayed over the meal and we all started to eat—well we all started to eat, that is, except for Nathan.  He suddenly got up from the table and disappeared into the kitchen.  When he returned, he went over to Steve and handed him a Post-It note that said, "Dad, when you went around the table, you forgot to say anything about Sarah."   (Nathan hadn't understood that Steve had moved on from me to Sarah when he was talking about the love for words we both have.)

Steve quietly explained to Nathan what he had done and Nathan, looking a little sheepish and a lot relieved, sat down and enthusiastically started into his Thanksgiving feast. Neither of them realized that Sarah had overheard their conversation.

When dinner was over, I saw Sarah searching all over the kitchen and the dining room for something.  When I asked her what she was doing, she said she really wanted to find the Post-It note that Nathan had written.  She eventually gave up her search and went and asked Nathan where it was; he told her he had crumpled it up and put it in his pocket. She got quiet for a moment and then looked up at him--her brother and her hero--and said, "Nathan, those words were special to me. I want to save that piece of paper."

And so he handed his little sister the rumpled piece of paper from his pocket filled with written words and unspoken love. As she took it and tucked it away in a place reserved for precious things, my mama heart rejoiced as I saw several things to treasure on that sweet Thanksgiving evening:

  • I saw a husband and father speak words that affirmed his family.
  • I saw a son write words to make sure his sister hadn't been overlooked.
  • I saw the same son use words to point out his dad’s perceived oversight in a respectful, low key manner instead of blurting it out in front of everyone.
  • I saw a daughter use words to let her brother know that she treasured the words he had written about her.

I was reminded again of why I love words so much.

Profound.  Affirming.  Powerful.  Simple.   Words.

And to close, a few pictures worth many thousand words.










Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Tired. Happy. Married. In Love.

Hello and welcome to another Wedding Wednesday!   Judging by the comments I get, you all love Wedding Wednesdays as much as I do so let’s get started.

One of the special things about the wedding ceremony was that Nathan and Meagan invited their dads to come forward to do a special reading and prayer.    (I mean, what good is it to have dads who are both ordained ministers if you’re not going to put them to work, right?) 

Here are Frank and Steve, waiting for their part to come.

steve frank edit

It was such a sweet, sweet moment.


(The two people in the middle are John—Meagan’s brother-in-law—and Amanda, who co-officiated the ceremony.)

wedding talk edit


Can you tell the bride is a wee bit happy at the official husband and wife pronouncement?  Believe me when I say that her enthusiasm produced a big chuckle from the congregation.

end of weding edit

There will be more ceremony pictures coming soon . . . but now?  A few photos from the honeymoon.

The last night on the ship.  Don’t they look like they’ve been married for years and years?  They’re just so right for each other.


I loved the fact that some of the pictures Nathan and Meagan took  on their honeymoon highlighted the wonderful service people who don’t usually get a lot of attention.  It’s wonderful that they both look through eyes that don’t separate people by wealth or reputation or station in life; they just love people in general.  These pictures (with Meagan’s accompanying captions from Facebook) really illustrate that.

“This was our waiter; he was so good at his job.” 

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“This was our house keeper. He was so nice and always had a different animal on our bed at night made out of towels.”


“This lady was so sweet and she helped me in choosing a purse so I asked to take a picture with her.”


“So we thought they were kidding when they said we could have a limo ride back to the ship but they weren't. This was a taxi!”


In the next two pictures, they were waiting for a show to start on the ship and decided to entertain themselves by doing “opposite faces.”  (Can you imagine how wonderfully crazygoofy their kids are going to be?) 



A few more to close with . . .



Here they are arriving home.  Tired.  Happy.  Married. In love. 


Let me just mention before I close that Nathan recently got a promotion to shift leader at Chick-Fil-A which means he has been given a whole lot more responsibility including having keys to the safe.  Way to go, Nate!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Going Home Shoes

I wrote yesterday about taking pictures of Steve and Sarah near this pier.
I wasn’t the only one taking photos that day.
Here is a bride on the same sand bar that Steve and Sarah were dancing on a few minutes later.

I’m hoping the wedding was already over so that sitting in a (white) dress in (brown) sand would not ruin anything important!
As we enjoyed walking the pier (and as I enjoyed taking pictures of the picture taker below) we ran across this cheery fellow . . .
. . . who found an equally cheery friend.
I loved looking at the twilight on the water. So simply beautiful.
Jeanette’s Pier has lovely, antique-looking lamp posts all along the walkway as well as windmills?  turbines?  Not sure what they are but they are really, really . . .
. . .  tall.
The pier is a fishermen’s hangout, as you can probably tell by the sun framed within this confluence of poles and lines.
Steve and Sarah perused the informational stuff (we’re all compulsive readers) while I took a few pictures.  (Yes, I admit it.  I’m a compulsive photographer.)
Alternate view of the pier.
View of a lovely lady looking at the pier.
More views of said lovely lady.
Picnik collage sarah two
And one last look before . . .

. . . putting on my going home shoes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dancing. Daughter. Dad.

Saturday night, Steve, Sarah and I took advantage of the most gorgeous weather ever known to mankind and took a little trip to the beach, or more specifically to Jeanette’s Pier, a local landmark that’s been a part of the Outer Banks for many decades.

After walking along the pier itself for a while, I told my accompanying Smith crewmates that I wanted to get down closer to the water for some closer-to-the-water pictures. And since I needed some closer-to-the-water photography models, I volunteered Steve and Sarah.  (Yes, I know. How very nice of me.)
I asked them to (pretty please) walk out to the little sand bar near the pier and “do something.”
They were not at first overly inspired.
Steve is saying, “WHAT do you want us to do?”
They stood together in mutual forlorn angst, gazing piteously at their task master photographer, silently begging for deliverance from the fate that had befallen them and stranded them together on a sand bar in the middle of (almost) nowhere.

But then?
Inspiration struck. Steve decided that they could do a little dad and daughter dancey thing.

And so they did dance.


After the dance had run its course, they basked happily in the aftermath of the wackiness they had created before discussing other photo worthy activities upon which they could embark so that the photo-happy woman in their life would stop nagging them to “do something.”

And yet another picture-worthy plan was born.
They decided that they would run.
Or at least jog.
Plus, they had to goof off a little mid-run.  (Can you tell Sarah has some of her brother’s impishness in her veins?)

What a sweet thing to see a dad and daughter enjoy each other’s company so much.   Their joy together made a beautiful day all the more lovely.

And speaking of lovely,  let me close with one last photo--a new favorite picture of my very favorite (and quite lovely) daughter.