Archives for July 2006

When Bloggity Worlds Collide

I’ve been pretty upfront about the fact that I didn’t start a blog to meet people. I started a blog to document our lives for Alex so that one day he’ll be able to look back and have a sense of who his daddy and I are as people, not just as parents, and I started a blog to try to keep in touch a little bit better with the friends I’ve had for years and years. But new friends? Not a goal. Honestly, the possibility of that never entered my mind.

But back in the spring I did an online Bible study that Lauren organized, which meant that suddenly there were about 25 other blogs I was visiting. So over the course of ten weeks, I learned a good bit about the people participating. And I developed a relationship with several of them. Granted, it’s not EXACTLY like it happens in real life, but you do get a sense of who you could hang out with, and who you could confide in, and who looks at life from a similar perspective. And before you know it, people feel like friends. Not “online friends” or “those people on the internet” – but friends.

Color me surprised.

A couple of months ago, I got an email from Robin that said, bascially, “Hey, what if we took a trip to Savannah to go to Paula Deen’s restaurant?” She mentioned some of the logistics that would be involved, and then: “Are you scared?”

To which I replied: “I ain’t skeered.” I mean, I AM from Mississippi. Them there Texas gals don’t skeer us one iota. They make THINK that their hair is bigger, but they’ve got nothin’ on us. Trust me. When I was a freshman in college, my bangs had their own zip code.

So we started to plan.

Turns out, Addie‘s coming. Flying here from “Missourah,” as my mama says. Theresa, too. She’s flying from Arizona to Texas, then riding with Robin from Texas to Alabama. Lori is driving down from Ohio. Then the five of us are getting in my car, and we’re driving to Savannah. And going to Paula Deen’s restaurant. And, I imagine, talking incessantly. I’m dying to hear Addie sing, so I’m going to, you know, make her.

But more than anything I’m looking forward to just VISITING – getting the stories behind the stories that we read on each other’s blogs. The neatest thing is that all the preliminaries are out of the way…so we can jump straight into the deep end of the conversational waters. And I love that.

All that to say: I’ll be a little scarce ’round these parts for the next couple of days. Because I’m going to Savannah with my stranger-friends. Only they’re really not strangers at all…I know their hearts, even if I’ve never seen their faces in person. And the fun starts in about 6 hours.

So if you think about it, please pray for our safe travel. Robin, Theresa and Lori have a LOT of driving in front of them for the next three or four days…and I’m driving everybody from here to Savannah. So you might want to also pray for my visitors’ nerves.

I’ve actually gone back and forth about taking my laptop with me…D. has teased me about how the girls and I will end up riding around looking for a wi-fi hotspot so that we can “liveblog” our trip. But I’m thinking that I’m going to leave the computer at home…I don’t want to be so busy writing about the trip that I forget to enjoy it. And I think that, between the five of us, you’ll get to hear alllll the details when we get home.

See y’all in a few!

I Think That Squealing Sound Coming From The Pipes Was A Warning

One of the highlights of Alex’s young life is to get to take a bath in his mama and daddy’s tub – what he calls “the big tub.” And for the last couple of weeks, he’s been in a “big tub” kind of mood, wanting me to fill it up with piles of bubbles and loads of toys so that he can sit in there until he resembles a 40 inch, lily-white prune. I’ve been happy to oblige him.

Last night after I washed his hair and saw that the tub was full enough, I tried to cut off the water. But no matter how hard I turned the knobs, I couldn’t get the water to stop. I’d get it down to a trickle, but I couldn’t cut it off completely. So, I did what any self-respecting Southern woman would do: I shrugged my shoulders, figured it couldn’t run forever, and told Alex to enjoy it. He said, “It’s like raindrops, Mama?” And I said, “That’s exactly right, buddy. Raindrops.”

I mean, if the child is entertained….

Anyway, after Alex went to sleep I casually mentioned to D. that by the way I hadn’t been able to turn off the water in our bathroom, and let me just tell y’all: he could. not. stand. it. Dripping water? In HIS house? Oh no ma’am.

NO MA’AM.

So while I continued to sit right here, just a clickety-click-clicking on the keyboard, D. started marching back and forth from his tool box in the laundry room to the bathroom to the basement to the bathroom to the laundry room – he had to have this wrench or this screwdriver or this contraption made from the finest amalgamated metal so that he could Stop The Dripping Water, because how in the world could he ever go to sleep knowing that there was water dripping? For the love of pete, HOW?

And about 10 minutes into our little home repair extravaganza, I heard the words no wife wants to hear when her husband is trying to fix something:

“HEY! I NEED YOU IN HERE! I’M GOING TO NEED YOUR HELP!”

Those are never, ever good words. Especially when expressed with a sense of urgency.

They were necessary words, as it turned out, because I walked in the bathroom to find that Old Faithful had apparently migrated from Wyoming and taken up residence right here in Alabama – beneath our very bathroom, in fact.

Water. EVERYWHERE.

D. quickly asked me if I’d press down on what used to be one of the knobs on the tub to try to hold back the geyser while he ran to the basement to cut off the water altogether. And after about 2 seconds of fulfilling my assigned task, I realized that what he should have asked was, “Hey. Will you please place your hands on this piece of metal that boasts Ginsu knife-like sharpness and then lean on it with all of your weight in the hopes of stopping the water that is rushing through our pipes with the force of all nature? Would you do that for me, bride of mine?”

Fortunately he got the water turned off, and I was initally pretty relieved, but then the realization that the water was turned off meant that I suddenly had to use the bathroom like I had never needed to use the bathroom before. But, um, what to do?

Well, if you’re me, you figure you’ll call a plumber in the morning. And then you head back to the computer and finish answering emails. Just a portrait of concern, I was. The epitome of it, really.

But if you’re D., you embark on A Mission to Conquer The Faucet, Part Deux. And sure enough, he found some o-ring thingamajig in some dark corner of his toolbox, was able to put the cold water knob back together, and do you know what? He fixed it. He DID.

Now I’m not sure if y’all have ever taken the time to really observe a man when he tackles a challenging home repair without having to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and ask for assistance, but I am fairly certain that my husband’s chest expanded to two inches beyond its normal size. And I believe he may have pounded said chest with his fists. And I’m quite certain that I heard him growl.

About thirty minutes after our waterlogged ordeal, I told D. that I was very glad that he was here when it happened, because if I had been alone I would have just shut off the water and climbed in the car and headed to a hotel.

He grinned at me and said, “So WHERE exactly would you go in this house to cut off all the water?”

And without missing a beat I oh-so-sassily said, “Down to your office. Behind that little door on the wall.”

He was noticeably impressed that I knew this critical piece of information.

But what he doesn’t know is that the only reason I had the foggiest idea where to turn off the water is because about an hour before, when he was trying to plug up our personal Old Faithful, he very plainly said, “I’m glad all I have to do to turn off the water is to go down to my office since the valve is behind that little door on the wall” [emphasis mine, of course].

Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue.

The menfolk come in pretty handy, don’t they?

Prayer Request Update

Most of y’all know that my friend Lea Margaret’s little boy had open heart surgery today. Here’s the update from her:

“Mac had his surgery today. He is doing great for a little fellow who has just had open heart surgery. The doctor said that he did great in the O.R. They did not have to give him any blood, which we were glad about, they just circulated his own blood and they only had to stop his heart for about 8 minutes. There was only 1 hole (for a time we thought there might be 2), and it was about 1/2” in size. We got to see him at 6:30 for about 15 minutes. When we got back from supper he was awake and the first thing that he said to us, in this sweet, little weak voice was, “I did it!” What a trooper!

C. and I are staying with him tonight in ICU. He will probably go to a room in the morning.

Thank you for your continuous prayers for Mac. We appreciate it so very much.”

I don’t know about y’all, but everytime I think about Mac, who is 2 1/2, saying, “I did it!” – the tears flow. So precious.

I’ll post any additional updates in the comments.

Keep praying!

It’s A Bloggy Tour Of Homes, Y’all!

The 1st Annual (and by “Annual,” I mean “Only”) BooMama Blog Tour of Homes is going to be Friday, July 28th. And if you’re thinking HUH? WHA? NUH-UH!, let me explain.

About a week ago, in this post, I confessed that I find it impossible to read someone’s blog without picturing her house. And in the comments, Shannon and Carol were all, “Hey, why don’t you organize some sort of home tour and host it here?”

To which I said, “Um, okay!”

Because while I am incapable of an original thought, I am TOTALLY capable of following instructions. Plus, I’ve been trying to think of a way to help direct some “traffic” to some of the newer blogs I’m reading, and if we have enough people participate, this should definitely do that.

So here’s the plan.

First, you’ll have to get the word out on your blogs. Feel free to use the button at the top of this post; just load it as a small image because the resolution isn’t great (hey. I tried). And make sure you link to this specific post, or people will end up going straight to the main page and wondering what in the world a blog open house has to do with my latest lengthy post on “Project Runway.” Or potty training. Or how I love Jesus.

You just never know around here.

Second, participating bloggers will display five pictures (or more, if you want) of their homes on Friday, July 28th. I’ll set up one of those Mr. Linky dealies here so that everyone can be listed in one central location.

Third – and this is the most important part – this exercise (should we call it a “blogtacular”?) has two purposes: 1) to give people some insight into the “real world” of the bloggers they read and 2) to demonstrate grateful hearts for our homes – whether said home is 50 or 5,000 square feet. God gets all the glory regardless. Can I get an “Amen”?

So here are some guidelines:

1) I think it’s a good idea to refrain from large, sweeping shots of your house’s exterior. You never know who’s reading, and too many identifying features probably isn’t wise. Especially if your house numbers are involved. Since I don’t want anyone to be victimized by a Ring of Thieves, I think it would be neat if everyone’s first picture was a shot of their front door. And if there are numbers on your door, then you can either blur them in Photoshop or take your chances with the Ring of Thieves. :-)

2) Second photo = show us where you blog. Show us where the magic happens. The BLOGGY magic happens. My word.

3) Third photo = your main living area. Show us the place where your family hangs out.

4) Fourth photo = your kitchen. It is, after all, the heart of the home. And we’re not going to compare countertop upgrades or somesuch nonsense…just show us where you prepare meals for your family. Or where you unpack fast food bags for your family. Whichever the case may be.

5) Fifth photo = your choice. Could be a bedroom, or a playroom, or a favorite spot outside.

And you can post more pics if you like…but five seems like a good number because those things I listed are pretty standard. I for one could not post a picture of my butler’s pantry with a wet bar, because you could look high and low and never find those things in my house. :-)

So, it looks like you have about two weeks to get your house like you like it. But for what it’s worth, I can pretty much promise you that you’ll see toys in the floor in my pictures – because that’s how we live around here. A spotless house lasts about .483 seconds. In other words, don’t be afraid to show us the real deal.

I decided to make this a one-day “event” as opposed to something ongoing because there are so many rotating memes right now; I didn’t really want to start another one. And since Jules’ Everyday Things is on Fridays, you could tie that meme into this one and spotlight one of your favorite everyday items in your house.

Spread the word, y’all! And remember, this extraordinarily detailed information will give you something to post one day when you’re struggling with writer’s block. SERVING THE PEOPLE AS ALWAYS, I am.

And seriously: humble gratitude for what God has graciously provided…that’s what we’re after. And if there’s a neat story about how you found your home or how long you’ve been there or how God moved mountains so you could get there – by all means share.

As my mother-in-law would say, “This is going to be MORE! FUN!”

Let me know – in the comments or via email – if you have any questions. And if you’re interested in participating, let me know that in the comments, too – I’ll email you the button code to make it easier for you to use it.

The Day That Summer Prevailed

Today Alex’s friend G. is hanging out with us, and I think I would be fine if he stayed forever. It has been, for lack of a better word, delightful. Classic Summer Day.

Lauren has written lately about how difficult it can be when there are kids in your house who haven’t been taught the same things as your own children. Like manners. And respect. And consideration for other people. I can’t even imagine what the last couple of weeks have been like for her, with not one but TWO guests who have pushed the limits of her hospitality. I can see, even now with our three year old, that “company” becomes much harder to navigate when two households have vastly different rules or parenting “philosophies.” And I shudder, just a little bit, when I think of what we’ll have to wade through when Alex gets older.

But today, with G. here, I have just been so grateful. He’s only 3 1/2, but he has great manners. He’s respectful. Doesn’t whine. Isn’t sneaky. Doesn’t push boundaries. He’s just a typical little boy who wants to play with cars and wrestle a little and run outside. And we’re fans of all those things around here.

After lunch I took the boys to the park even though it’s around 145 in the shade (maybe a slight exaggeration, but OH MY it’s hotter than blue blazes). For forty minutes they ran and climbed and took turns down the slide and ran some more. They walked across the picnic table benches like they were on a plank bridge above a river, and they laughed. And giggled. And laughed some more. Then they drank about 30 ounces of water in a single gulp. And started all over again.

Afterwards we went to Dairy Queen to cool off with some ice cream. And as Alex and G. sat on the same side of the booth, hair plastered to their hot little foreheads, I couldn’t help but notice how they carried on like a couple of 70 year old men sitting outside a general store. They talked about TV shows (“G., do YOU like “The Backyardigans”?), what they do for fun (“Alex, do you like to go to the library and get books?”), and the boxing match that was on the television inside DQ. Just a couple of little guys, shooting the breeze. I could’ve listened to them all day.

When we were driving back home, the boys did a rousing duet of “God’s Way Is The Best Way” from a favorite Veggie Tales CD (it’s all the rage now with the toddler set, you know), and they tried to outdo each other in terms of politeness (“YOU take a turn!” “I’m all done – now YOU take a turn!”), and while I know that behavior probably won’t hold when they’re, say, thirteen and having to share an XBox, it was encouraging to see that the beginning of a foundation is there. That there’s something to build on.

Right now they’re upstairs, supposedly resting but actually sitting on Alex’s bed playing with cars (SHHHH – I’m not supposed to know that – they think they have me fooled). Just a second ago I heard G. say, “I LOVE YOU, ALEX!” and Alex reply, “OH! I love YOU, G.!” And while two little boys can make much mischief, and while heaven knows they can make a mess, they also make me feel very blessed indeed.

I think that today has been the very essence of summer. And I think I’ll get back to enjoying it right now.

(By the way. Those two little boys who are “resting” upstairs? I just heard G. ask Alex if he wanted to smell his feet. Apparently Alex did, because he started giggling uncontrollably.)

Ahhhhh. Life is good.

Prayer Requests

Hey y’all –

Paulette asked me yesterday if I’d direct your attention to this prayer request. Please read the info on Paulette’s blog and keep this family in your prayers.

And also, please remember that Lea Margaret’s little boy’s re-scheduled surgery is tomorrow. I know their family will appreciate your prayers again.

Thanks, everybody!