Monday, May 28, 2012

Birds & Remembering

This morning I woke up to gorgeous sunshine instead of an alarm clock, so I thought I'd start my day with a long walk while Nate golfed with the guys. I tried using the quiet time to sort out of some of the big life stuff we have going on right now, but eventually my mind wondered toward Memorial Day, toward the country in which we live, toward those who are serving or have served, toward those close to me who have served.

While turning onto a tree-lined nature trail, I was frustrated by my lack of original thoughts toward Memorial Day and veterans. Though completely genuine, I feel slightly trite when I write a thank you post on the appropriate patriotic days. As I was thinking of this, I got attacked by a bird.

I'm not even kidding. A bird swooped down with the quintessential, "CAW!" and I felt talons dig into my hair. (This will, perhaps, be the last time I wear a bright pink hair tie on a walk by trees.) My heart rate went through  the roof, and I completely freaked out at any flapping of wings or shadows crossing my path from that point on.

As I calmed down, I realized that was the first physical "attack" I've ever experienced. And why is that? Because I live in a country that has defended it's freedoms since it began. Because I'm safe because others are willing to not be. Because I am blessed by others' sacrifice.

So no matter how repetitive or unoriginal my words my be, thank you, veterans. Thank you, families who have experienced the greatest sacrifice. Thank you, courageous men and women, for believing in something worth fighting for.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Madness: Jersey Boys & My Favorite 19-month-old

Last week Nate and I took a deep breath and plunged into the craziness that is our May 2012. With three weekends of travel in three different states, I'm beginning to feel a bit like we're reliving this mess of awesomeness. But just as it was back then, each trip this May promises great celebrations and treasured time with family.

Part one of our travel trifecta consisted of celebrating Christmas once again and spending time with arguably the world's cutest toddler. I know I'm biased, but seriously...wait for the pictures. :-)

Nathan and Tara tried buying us tickets to West Side Story for Christmas, but that didn't work out. Fortunately, it did work out for all four of us to attend the musical Jersey Boys! I loved the energy of the show (despite the high level of profanity...very authentic Jersey. :-), and the music was fantastic.

Before the show Tara, Lydia, Nate, and I took a little trip to an entirely different cultural experience: Marble Day. Check out the lineup of fun-filled events!

Lydia seemed to approve of the schedule.
We started by watching the self-proclaimed Wacky Parade, which consisted of the Grand Marshall in a golf cart, a middle school band, two homemade floats made for kiddos, and a host of characters from the Renaissance Fair. Oh...and a guy on stilts. Quite the experience! Lydia seemed to like the bubbles much better.

Making bubbles means using your whole body for leverage!
We wandered to the town square to see a pet trick show, but Lydia wasn't quite able to grasp the intricacies  of watching a dog chase the treat that was in its owner's hand. Can't understand how she misunderstood that. ;-) She did understand how much fun can be had on a pile of hay.

I really love this girl. :-)
The animals were the real stars of the festival. Lydia got up close and personal to every animal cage that was on display, and every puppy we passed on the sidewalk got an air kiss. She is just the best!

Sorry, Mom. She even loves the kitties.
Most of the kids were freaked out by the monitor lizard. Lydia just smirked.
We couldn't leave until she had touched each of the lizards!
This weekend was a perfect blend of fun, adult time and delightful, giggle-filled toddler time. Thanks again for hosting us, Nathan and Tara! Can't wait for our next visit.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Little Acts of Legacy

It was nothing special--an impulse really. The dryer buzzed obnoxiously. Nate sat with a stack of work on his lap, brow furrowed intently. I opened the door, felt the warm cotton in my hands, and I was seven years old watching my mother shaking out freshly laundered towels. Her eyes danced as she draped one around me and the warmth of its hug drove out the basement chill and I smiled.

My eyes, the same blue as hers, sparkle as I take the Snuggle-fragranced t-shirt in my hands and drape it around his neck. His eyes close, his shoulders relax, and he smiles. A little act of legacy.

As I shake out the rest of our laundry, stacking the t-shirts over the back of the chair, smoothing them out as I go, smoothing them just like she does, I can't help but think about how much of her is in the little things I do each day. My mom loves through her details. She adds touches of beauty to her space in a way that seems effortless, and I keep thinking some of her magic will rub off on me as I start a home of my own.

I think of her as I find myself mindlessly mimicking her ways, and I think about what my legacy will be, what my children will remember when they're on their own. A legacy handed down through many generations of women, a legacy of warm cotton, a legacy of love built one little act at a time.