Sunday, September 26, 2010

He's a big kid now?

If you've been reading for more than 4.3 seconds, you'll know I'm a big fan of words and, by proxy, a big fan of letters. (And if you hadn't been a big reader, there it is. Now you know!) I like to write them and receive them, and hear about them, and watch movies about them (except Letters from Juliet. That was nothing to write home about.) Anyway, my baby is turning seven years old in a few days. Seven. years. old. My baby!

Okay, Taylor's not mine. I have not been hiding secrets about birthing humans, no. But I stayed with my brother quite a bit around the time Taylor was born, and when his boy was about seven months old, I moved in for keeps. Taylor doesn't remember a time when I wasn't there; to him, my presence was not only normal, but a vital part of our family. I've spent more time in Taylor's life than any of my other actual siblings- and man oh man, I loved every second. Taylor is in first grade, and I doubt the following letter will be reading material for him, but one day, I want him to be able to read. I want him to know that he made me happy and he brought me joy and that without him, my life is missing something.

Dear T-mac,
Let me start by saying, sir, that you are one of the most awesome people I know, and I'm including grown-ups in that. You aren't afraid to speak your mind, and because of that, you've constantly got us laughing. We love that about you! It's one of the wonderful things about watching you grow up, but that doesn't mean that your growing up isn't a little bittersweet.

I remember that when I moved in, having a baby in the house was one of the best parts. See, I'm a baby person. I used to beg to be allowed to take care of you- "Can I feed him?" "Can I give him a bath?" I even wanted to change your diaper! And at night, you and I would lay down in Mom and Daddy's big bed and I would cuddle you until fell asleep (For the record, we watched General Hospital together.) And then, you got older and taking care of you was something I was almost expected to do, and sometimes, I wasn't thrilled about it. I can't tell you how many times I turned down friends during the summer because I "am watching the kids." I have to admit, I wasn't always happy to be responsible for little people and every now and then, I resented making all those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

And then I moved away. I'd calculated all of the risks: I'd miss so much, so many. But Taylor, I hadn't factored you in. You'd always been there- the little baby in the orange bean bag, the toddler nestled on my hip, the adorable three-year-old with the lisp calling me "Schlindsley," the annoying four year old jumping up and down on the bed- the sassy six-year-old rolling his eyes when I told him no cookies before dinner. And I'd always been there, too: changing your diapers, giving you baths, tucking you in, letting you have cookies before dinner. I've been to t-ball and soccer and baseball. I've watched you as the Shepherd and on the swings. It's what you knew, my presence. And suddenly, we were apart. And I couldn't come.

I'll never forget coming home. You wait at the door, almost as if you might be waiting so that you could retreat at the sight of me, because honestly, you get a little angry that I go away so often. But instead, you fling the door open and meet me in the yard. And always, the first thing you ask is how long we've got. "How long are you staying? How long until you go?" It breaks me every time that you associate me with leaving, but I know one day you'll understand, because one day you'll pack up and go, too. And then you'll know: it wasn't always fun football games and parties with friends, that independence didn't just mean freedom, but that it's heartache and regret at what's being missed, at the memories that aren't being made and the little boys who are disappointed. (That's not to say it isn't fun- you behave yourself!)

There's a song- "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart- and that's a little cliche, I know. But oh my soul, it conjures your face every single time. It says a lot, but mostly, "Be courageous and be brave. And in my heart, you'll always stay forever young." That's all I'm saying here, little boy. I want big things for you. I know you're going places and you're going to be making people laugh on your way. And much of the time, when you run by me, I am so happy that you're this wonderful person. But every now and then, I catch the eye of the little baby who would snuggle me in the rocker, or the two year old demanding to watch Shane Falco one more time, and my heart yearns for that you. I hope there's never a day when I can't go back because that boy colored my rainbow every day and the he did it again.

Basically, love, you hold a part of my heart. I've always known that, but I didn't realize how much of it you actually had until I left it with you when I came to college. I'm sorry about all of the games I've missed, all of the movies I haven't watched with you, all of the stories from first grade that I haven't heard. Don't think for a second that you don't cross my mind, because you do: I often wonder what you're doing, how much you're hating football practice, how many m's you wrote today at school. You're the light that I know will meet me when I pull into the drive, a shine that I can't wait to encounter. You love me even though I leave because you trust that I'll always come back.

And I promise- I will.

Happy Birthday, you great big kid, you.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday shenanigans

C'est le mardi, oui?

For the record, I have a long history of hating Tuesdays. I've got a whole Tuesday philosophy that I'm sure I've mentioned lots of time, especially on Tuesdays when my philosophy was proving true. My first semester of college, my counselor signed me up for a 2.5 hour evening history class. I knew without a doubt that it was on Tuesday nights before I even looked at my schedule. This semester, I'm in class on Tuesdays from 11-6 without a break. Fitting, right?

So I was recounting my distaste for most things Tuesday to my friend Coston, who was really sharing in it, and then I said, "But good things happen on Tuesdays, too!" And it's so true. I won't go into how today handed me buckets small pea-sized containers of blah (I mean, I won't mention how I lost my Biology book and my favorite yogurt); Instead, I'll tell you some good downright terrific things about today.

  • I woke up before my alarm, and
  • had a DELICIOUS bowl of banana oatmeal and then,
  • knocked out my p90x workout.
  • I was almost late for school but then I WASN'T, and 
  • I made a 100 on my French test!
  • I was able to print off my lab manual (which was in the book I lost),
  • and I finally had the pretzels I've been craving for about a week (+ an iced coffee, YUM!)
  • Lab went smoothly,
  • and we got out early!
  • Dinner with roommates and
  • a great talk with my best friend and
  • making it home in time for Parenthood and
  • French Vanilla pudding.
Top-notch material, right? Absolutely. I mean, no way can I look back at that and remember how I got caught in traffic this morning due to a detour. It was the pudding that made it, of course (and the coffee.) Moreover, I am all finished with tests for a few days and I'm basking in doing things like sitting around and watching t.v. and finishing Harry Potter. Twas a great day, and the rest of the week ain't looking too shabby either: there's attending The Well and the premiere of Grey's Anatomy and the UA v. Arkansas game (stay tuned for details from a hog roast.) 

Tell me what was fantastic about your day, and what you're looking forward to this Wednesday-Sunday. Go!

Just because and such:
September 2009

September 2010

Well, they make my days better all the time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Sorry about that.

I took a blog hiatus because it seemed more appropriate than, say, taking a sleeping hiatus. Though actually, i sort of took one of those, too. This week was monstrous. And so, blogging fell by the wayside. But I'm back!

Let me give you a brief overview, mostly because I'm proud that I made it through: two tests, an entire Photoshop book, 352 points of French homework online, a PS skills evaluation + a PS test, a French test, nursery duty, volunteer duty, small group, dinner with friends, coffee with friends, a party at my house, thrown by me, etc. It's been busy in ways that I don't like to be busy (i.e., I didn't get to watch a stinking minute of TLC, read a page of a book that wasn't school-related, or take any naps.) And I'm actually not finished yet, but I think that I'm through the worst of it, and I aced those tests, by the way. And while I kept my spirits up and my sense of humor handy, thus eliminating any panic attacks, I'm still really, really looking forward to the calm of next week.  

Anyway, a recap of all things me in the last few weeks via photos:

I know what you're thinking: What a sweet life! You're so right, friend! I mean, there are downsides to being me, certainly. I have to walk about six miles to get to class every day. I am taking lots of class and therefore my stress levels are usually up and my free time levels are way down. Additionally, I only have six freckles, something that's always kind of torn me up inside. But I have crazy awesome friends who do crazy awesome things like invite me to be dragged behind a boat and brave a thunderstorm to watch my football team beat the pants off other football teams and cram 200 people in a three bedroom apartment for a dance party (needless to say, a lot of sweating ensued, if you were dancing at least. And c'mon, there's no question about whether or not I was dancing.) (See above photos for illustrations.)

So it was a long, stressful, exhausting, demanding week, but I'd had all these great things the week before to push me through, and lots of great things waiting this weekend to pull me along, and, as it turns out, those days went by and I took those tests, and suddenly, I'm finished and I did it and I'm proud and I'm back.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Life lists

One of the reasons I'm so obsessed with blogs is because I'm so obsessed with knowing about people. (So basically, I'm nosy. ) I like to know the ins and outs of every one else's lives: tell me about how you almost hit a squirrel on your bicycle. Please, I want to hear about your encounter with that creepy, smelly guy. And please, please tell me what you ate for lunch today. (I really love to know what people eat; call me a funny little bird, but I think I'm not the only one because there are hundreds of blogs that consist of nothing but people eating, taking pictures of their meals, and showing the world. It's kind of strange but really, really addicting.) 

Anyway, like I said, writing this all out makes me sound peculiar or, at the very least, like I'm lacking a life- not true! Well, strange maybe, but I have a life nonetheless, and I'm also betting that all of these people who read blogs about people who do the same things they do, like catch the train and go to the grocery store and spill coffee on their new flip-flops, like to know about other people, too. And so I'm telling you about mine, via list post, because my goodness, who doesn't love a good list? Oh reader, I love a good list. Gives me a high of sorts. And so, onward bound, to the first Life List. You know, so that you can know me more and you can tell me about you more and we'll all get a good list out of the whole situation. Feel free to comment with your own list, if you have a particular knack for lists like I do (Is the word list starting to look a little funny to anyone?).

Five Things I do Every Single Day (That Perhaps You Don't*):

  • Eat oatmeal, an apple and frozen yogurt/drink coffee and hot tea (not all at the same time, mind you.)
  • Floss (this is an achievement I'm really proud of!)
  • Jumping jacks
  • Read
  • Watch TLC
Well, that was a little harder than I thought because while I do lots of things lots of days a week (like watch Regis and Kelly, learn French, and eat grapes) and lots of thing every day that are pretty normal every day activities that you do, too, probably (hopefully, like brushing my teeth and sleeping), there aren't many unique things that I do every, single day, but that's the list I came up with. Your turn!

*Not that my doing these things makes me better than you if you don't- I just think these may be things that make me a little different. You know, interesting enough that you'd want to read them and tell me your quirks!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The songs of September

Did anybody almost have a heart attack when they woke up yesterday and it was all SEPTEMBER and stuff? You know, your calendar had run out of days and when you flipped the page, it was WHAM! September! and you clutched your chest and wondered how could it BE? Just me? Luckily, when I walked outside the weather, at a cool 94 degrees and 69% humidity, reminded me of summer. So, no heart attacks.

But really, September is the great big banner that screams SUMMER IS OVER. Sure, school starts in August, but there are those great few weeks at the beginning when everyone's getting acclimated and reading syllabi and mapping out routines and the like. By September, all of those things have run their courses and it's time to get busy. For example, I had my first test today. That's right. It was French and I think it went okay and it's totally and completely in the back of my mind until later. But you want to know what's on my mind? (My mind, your mind, approximately 800 million fans' minds, actually.) I'll give you a hint:

FOOTBALL! The season opening of the reigning National Champions is Saturday and I HAVE A TICKET. In fact, I have a ticket to all of the home games. It's like payback to my brother for that early curfew that I hated for so long, because man, he would kill for this. (To add insult to injury, I get the package for $5 a ticket. Ha!) After the game, we will celebrate our win by vacationing at the lake because Labor Day is here! (Hey, just because September almost gave me a heart attack doesn't mean September isn't welcome! Yay, September, we like you!) 

Oh man. I may or may not survive. In a good way.

I'm really excited for September because I think that perhaps the shock (and the hot weather) of such an extreme change will wear off a bit, and my routines will naturally fall into place. In fact, that's already happening, and it's working. I can't wait for fall temps, and fall leaves, and fall smells (think pumpkin and apple pie, oh my word, yes, please!) Moreover, I have a feeling there will be more and more splendid memories made throughout September, like these from August:

I'm actually cut out of this shot, but you can imagine the fun that was happening.

Ah, reunited and taking photos to prove it.

So see, September took me by surprise. Maybe it's because I spent all summer counting down the days until this was my life again, and then once it was, I stopped counting and started living and it's going so quickly. But still, I can't wait for these 30 September days, and I am especially stoked for this first weekend. If I live through the tubing again, then I'll be back with pictures on Tuesday. Bonne weekend!