Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Nostalgia

I don't know who I was kidding. Me not get wrapped up in Royal Wedding mania? I told myself I would just catch a glimpse here and there, but that would be it.
Clearly, I was mistaken.
As I sifted through the 7 different DVR'd Royal Wedding specials from Friday, I realized maybe I had gone a little overboard. (And that was on top of the random specials from Lifetime, TLC, and Oxygen - including Princess Diana's wedding - that I had recorded earlier in the week.) But as the wedding got closer and the hype was hard to avoid, I couldn't help myself. After all, this wedding is history in the making, even if it's not American history, and evidently I didn't want to be left out. And of course, nothing disappointed - Kate was unbelievably beautiful (and super skinny...), all the pomp and pageantry was not to be outdone, and I couldn't get enough. I was actually a little sad when it was over. (Yes, I do have a life and better things to do, but it was kind of thrilling to 'witness' an event meant only for joy. I was a typical little girl, reading and fantasizing about the typical stuff of fairy tales and this is probably the closest thing to the fulfillment of such a fantasy that I'll ever witness.)
But I couldn't be just a regular person enjoying the events on my TV - no, no, I immediately delved into memories of my wedding - the preparation, how quickly we arranged everything (8 weeks), the reasoning behind why we did what we did, the specifics from the day, etc...and then my mind shifted to marriage - how almost 6 years later things are so different than I imagined on that day and wondering if William and Kate will encounter the ups and downs of marriage and of life in general. My mind ran wild, which led me to drag out my wedding box.

Our wedding was certainly no royal event (I honestly don't think I could handle that pressure) but it was undoubtedly the most special and meaningful day of my life. It upheld the two most precious things in my life - family and music. I set out from the beginning to make every item hold some sort of meaning instead of just being for show. I wore my mother's veil and my bouquet was built on her wedding Bible. We involved as much family as we could in the ceremony, and we only invited family. It was a beautiful day and I feel kind of bad that most of the momentos are in a box in a closet. I haven't even gotten all of the shower and honeymoon pictures in books, but I hope to 'digitize' some stuff very soon and get all of that done!






One last note about the Royal Wedding: The bride and groom's recessional may have been familiar to Glasgow High band members from 1996...it was William Walton's "Crown Imperial" which just happened to be our field show closer that year. Also, according to the wedding website, Walton's "Touch Her Soft Lips and Part" was included in the prelude which was our "slow piece" in '96. Lovely!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eggos for Easter

So it was set to be a 'regular' Easter with a new dress, coordinating tie for Michael, gifts for my neice and nephew and a great lunch at my parent's house.

This little guy had different plans.

While we were getting ready for church, Dozer started acting funny and I noticed he had dribbled in the floor (which is very rare) but sometimes means he drank too much, so I called for Michael to get him to take him outside. Then I realized he couldn't move much at all and Michael had to pick him up to take him out. Just a few minutes later Michael flung the door open and told me to get a vet on the phone, that he was clearly in trouble and we needed to get him somewhere very fast. I had to leave a message for a vet to call us back and by this time we had decided that with his glassy eyes, disorientation, stiff body, and trouble controlling his bodily functions that he must be having a seizure. After talking with the vet who promptly called us back, he said it was likely that he did have a seizure and told us what to watch for as he came out of it. It took a little while, but he did recover. He was very confused and scared and needed attention. So by this point, it was too late to make it to church and the vet said we needed to watch Dozer anyway. Instead, we settled in and had some Eggos for breakfast and watched a lovely church service on TV. I fought being upset about not being able to go to church, but decided that Jesus is what makes Easter perfect and he can find us in a church pew or in our home.
We still made it to my parents to eat lunch (with the dogs in tow, of course) and had a lovely afternoon in spite of the less-than-desirable stormy weather. We went ahead and put on our "Easter clothes" for pictures!



Clearly, me and my SIL had the same idea!

Dozer was feeling better by lunchtime...hoping for a bite of food!

(Btw, Dozer has a vet appointment to get checked out, so say a little prayer that this isn't an ongoing problem.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Favorite Things pt. 5

Getting my hair done.
I love being 'pampered' for 2 hours while someone else tries to make me beautiful. Ha! Even if it doesn't turn out well, I still love it. I love people messing with my hair (which is rather surprising since I endured what I considered torture for 12 years as my mom did my hair every single morning of my life. Bless her heart.) I've gone to a hair appointment with a horrible headache on more than one occasion and I always leave feeling better. The Aveda salon that did my hair on my wedding day was especially talented at this and offered scalp/neck massages that were heavenly. I especially love getting my hair done now as I love my stylist, Amy Jones at Off Broadway. She's hilarious, puts up with my specific requests, and always does such an awesome job. I think the root of this is that getting hair, nails, etc. "done" makes me feel especially girly! If I wasn't in the middle of do-it-yourself home renovations, had the money, and didn't think it would bolster me into the "totally over-the-top high maintenance" category, I would get my nails done regularly too. Ha!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Michael!

TODAY is my sweet, wonderful husband's birthday!
You're a wonderful man, Michael. I don't know what my life would be like without you!
You are my best friend and a fantastic 'father' to our furbabies.
I wouldn't want to be on this JOURNEY with anyone else.
Thank you for choosing me and for loving me at my worst. If I could give you the world (and an Indian motorcycle) I would. Instead we will celebrate TODAY and count our blessings and pray for many, many more birthdays to celebrate together.
Happy Birthday!



Be sure to go to his Facebook page or give him a call and wish him a Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Incentive

Want motivation to get your house renovations under way?

Sell your couch.

In my mind, it made sense. We need a new sofa anyway. We have too much furniture as it is. We're going to be painting, we're going to be laying flooring...it would be easier to manuever with less stuff...so the best way to jump-start the renovations was to sell furniture. Less to move, less to cover up...it made perfect sense to me.

I think I jumped the gun.

While we are doing all of those things (laying floor, etc.) the first things we have to do are actually in the powder room and kitchen. A lot of things in the kitchen specifically - painting cabinets, walls, hanging crown molding...THEN we can start on the floors. And with a husband that works six days a week, those things aren't going to happen overnight. I should also tell you that a good majority of my evenings throughout the week consist of snuggle-time with my beagle, falling asleep in front of the TV, and surfing the internet, all taking place on the comfort of my sofa.

Even while I knew the schedule of events and knew that we weren't going to replace the sofa immediately, we found a buyer for the sofa and a chair and now we're off. No turning back. But let me tell you, squished up on a 4ft. love seat with a 25lb. beagle (who is definitely confused) trying to get comfortable is not my idea of fun! Also, after the flooring, painting, etc is completed, the room is going to be completely rearranged and the removal of the sofa and a chair has completely thrown off the zen of the room. I've already spent hours trying to minimally rearrange the furniture to make it work for the meantime! Ridiculous. We do have a lot more space, and Michael and I keep telling each other and the dogs "look at all this room we have to do activities" like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Step Brothers...
So for the meantime, we're going to enjoy all our space for activities and really get moving on getting this stuff done! And I will certainly look forward to resting on my new sofa very soon...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Prodigal Problem

This may make me a “bad” Christian or at the least, a very confused one, but I can honestly say I have never fully understood the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. (See below.) Of course it was an easy concept to grasp that the younger son had strayed from his father and plundered his wealth and inheritance, then after seeing that only yielded him a life of pain, he returns to his father to be fully received with open arms and even given a grand feast to celebrate his return. I understood that part. It’s the rest of the story, about the older son, that really got to me. Here he was, following everything he was supposed to do, obeying his father, staying the course, being GOOD, and what does he get? He has to stand by and witness his frivolous, careless brother who had wandered off and fraternized with prostitutes be welcomed home with a FEAST? Are you kidding me? The older son clearly becomes resentful toward his younger brother – and I have to admit, I would be resentful too! And to make matters worse, I never understood why pastors (at least the pastors I heard speak on the Prodigal Son) always avoided speaking about the other son. I could relate the THAT guy – here I am, trudging along, trying to do my best, working hard to please God and serve others, and it’s the one who has strayed and done his own thing and lived an earthly, sinner’s life that gets the party?! I would get so hung up on the fact that the older son wasn’t rewarded for his obedience that I couldn’t focus my attention on what the whole message says. The few times I would try to ask for clarification, the main response I would get is, “the older son was receiving the love of his father all along.” And while that is true, it still didn’t make it okay in my mind that a PARTY was thrown for the younger son who was so obviously inferior. I was so confused…and then I was convicted.
Turns out, the story really is about the older son. It contains messages for the lost and the faithful alike. Sure, the return of the estranged son is a fantastic message for how lost sinners are welcomed back into the kingdom of God by the grace and mercy of a loving father. (Thus the message for the lost and estranged.) But the parable specifically emphasizes the older son’s reaction in order to teach something to the “Christians” who are plugging along at our daily walk, (thinking we are superior to those who are not carefully tending to their walk.) You see, the older son pleads his case with his father and specifically uses the words “I’ve slaved for you, never disobeyed you…” SLAVED for you. He looked at living his life for his father as drudgery, hardship, difficulty. Is that really how God wants us to look at our life as Christians – as drudgery? I would think not. The second part of the message from the father’s response to his eldest son contains a powerful message of mercy – that we as Christians walking in faith are to REJOICE when the estranged, lost, dead return to home to their Father. After all, we ALL are yet sinners and fall short of the glory of the Lord. Who are we (especially as Christians) to think we are that we are so far better than the lost souls who have strayed? What kind of Christ-like love and mercy are we showing if we live a life of drudgery and resentment just so we can get to Heaven one day and say, “But I did everything right all my life and still it was the sinners you rewarded! All that work, and still I wasn’t happy!” That, my friend, would truly be the tragedy.

The message is plain as day, and I’m quite ashamed that I’ve missed it all these years. I’ve struggled with an earthly inferiority complex most of my life, but clearly in this case, I seem to have a SUperiority complex that has caused me to sin in the worst way – by thinking I was some kind of special Christian because I (most of the time) walked the straight and narrow. Humility is a powerful force in God’s hands. No matter how close my walk with God is, I’m still a sinner and though I always thought I could exclusively side with the older brother in the story, it’s clear I too can side with the Prodigal Son as well.

The Parable of the Lost Son


11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’"