Thursday, October 29, 2009

I spy

I spy a plump little boy with a grin enough to catch a fish for breakfast who giggles whenever I tell him how much his grandma's love him. This is how it goes......(in high pitched, annoying, mommy voice)..."Brooks, you know who loves you soooooooooooo(getting higher and higher) much?????? Do you know who loves you sooooooo-ooooo much? (Then as I come up to his chins to gobble on them I say) Your grAndma's (really high voice) do! Both of them. They love you sooooooooooooo-ooooooo much! And then he gives me this response:


I also spy spiders. Ewww.
Supposedly Halloween on the Bluff is something not to be missed. As I walked up and down the Bluff (Bluff drive on Isle of Hope) a few weeks ago I noticed creepy things and ghosts lurking in every corner and it had just barely turned October! Well now that Halloween is truly upon us the goblins have really come out to play. Halloween isn't a joke around here and I can imagine the candy selection will match the house decor and therefore will be over the top. Unfortunately (but fortunately because we'll be hitting the mountains with dear friends) we'll be missing the festivities this year but we will be bringing out the "clown" that I birthed 5 months ago. That's right - Brooks will be entertaining us all weekend in his colorful clown attire which doubles as pajamas -how perfect is that! I only wish we would be stuffing his plastic pumpkin full of goodies so I could help him devour his stash.

Let's see how alert you are this morning. How many spiders do you spy lurking around this house on the bluff? Answer below. Don't cheat.

Happy Halloween y'all. I count 14 including the huge spider on the tree and 2 that you only see about half the body. I wouldn't mind being infested with spiders if I had this porch to merrily gaze over the marsh everyday. Would you?

Monday, October 26, 2009


True story. Brad walked in the door from an afternoon run just as my grocery shopping companion, aka the 5 month old, and I were putting away the groceries and starting a new recipe - some sort of shrimp pasta thing. Brad picked up the little guy and went into our dark living room to...well, "live."

Me to Brad (from the kitchen as the shrimp was simmering): Your son is a kleptomaniac.

Brad to me (from the living room where he and Brooks were living): Why is our son a f*%$ing maniac?

*Note: he didn't say the real dirty word, he was truly saying "f-ing" but either version sounded quite silly coming out of his fairly clean mouth.

Me (with a raised eyebrow): Because he tried to steal a candy bar in Publix. Hes a kleptomaniac.

Brad to me (walking into the kitchen to clear this up): Why are you saying that?

Me: Saying what? That Brooks is a kleptomaniac?

Brad (with a look that signified that he figured out what I was really saying but was still quite perplexed that a 5 month old could have sticky fingers in a store): Oh, I could have sworn you were calling him an something else.

Me with a giggle: Some days are worse than others but he is never that bad! Anyway, as I go to get Brooks out of the baby bjourn and into the car after our grocery shopping trip I noticed a candy bar in his hand. He grabbed a candy bar I guess as I was paying and walked (or was carried) right out the door with the thing.

Father Brad: Well, that's the 2nd time then. (Reminding me of the first episode last week when we strolled him out of a local outdoor store with a shiny key chain hidden under his elbow).

Not to worry....I returned the candy bar immediately and in turn brought a smile to many a disgruntled grocery store employee and I plan to return the keychain as soon as I am downtown tomorrow. Seriously though....what do you do when your not-walking, not-talking baby sneakily grabs any item in his sight and stuffs it into his pocket only to be found later by his innocent mama? Which reminds me of a similar story when I was growing up and one of my siblings (or it could have possibly been memory fails me when it points to my own faults) decided to "play" with the plastic eggs that were a part of the Easter display at the local Bealls store in Brandon, Florida. I just remember getting home and having to explain to mother dear why there were plastic colored eggs in our pockets. "We wanted them," we exclaimed. Ooops. Kids do the darndest things!

Needless to say, the little guy is getting his hands on everything (hence the picture in yesterday's post) and he is awed by the tiniest shiny object or reflecting surface. I know this seems obvious but it still is odd to me that each day I could love him more than the day before. Just when I think my heart can feel no more love - the next day comes and I walk in the nursery to the most oval, joyful little smile and my heart grows just a little more. I think I am going to like 5 months. He is truly fascinated by everything. The best entertainment is his curiosity regarding Amos. He follows Amos as he runs his morning laps in the yard and he just smiles and giggles at him the whole time as if in his own way he is cheering him on. I am convinced they talk to each other and share the same sentiments about their crazy mom and dad. Oh, my heart is bursting just writing about him. I am so grateful, too, that this move has truly allowed me to live in the moment and soak up every minute with the little guy. I am praying that prayer again that I once mentioned...."to not miss it." Thank you, God, for allowing me to be in the moment each day and enjoy each giggle, smile, and curious gaze. Now if only I could stop him from stealing.....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our first weekend here = success

We've had a pretty perfect weekend here in SouthEast Georgia. I am delighted to report this because I think both Brad and I were a little anxious about our first full weekend in our new city. We both have agreed that much of our reasoning behind this move was the ability to truly prioritize our family of 3. We knew there would be little distractions and we would almost be forced to get to know each other again and to develop the characteristics of our family that we often dream about. Ironically, the first few weeks here have done just the opposite than planned mostly because we have traveled so much and have yet to actually spend time here with no agenda. So, I was a little anxious to see how this whole weekend would play out and if our "reason behind the move" would actually cause us to sit still a little. Well, we didn't sit still but we have certainly done everything together. Brad, I know, was feeling a little anxiety because he felt like he had to have the perfect restaurant and the perfect babysitter along with the perfect weather for our first weekend here in order to get even a half smile out of me. Well, folks, I am smiling big right now...I am not as tough as he thinks.
Friday night we went to celebrate Brooks' 5th month with a margarita and some cheese dip. I have quiet a fixation for Mexican food or anything close - tex mex, taco bell...whatever....I love some chips and salsa! Brooks behaved nicely on his birthday and we enjoyed checking out our neighborhood Mexican spot. True, it is no Taqueria and there are really no similarities but it is a mile from our house and we can find out anything about the neighborhood that we would want to know from all the faithfuls that are seen there nightly.

*the picture below shows you my husbands brilliance and infatuation with his iphone. Why not watch baby einstein while waiting for your burrito?
Yesterday we ventured to the Home Depot together and walked each and every aisle. As Brad commented correctly, I never would have done this with him in Atlanta. But in Slow-vanna, with not a thing to do, I was thrilled to explore our local do-it-yourself megastore with my groom. We ended the day with a pretty sweet date. We have had a babysitter 3 times in our 2.5 weeks here and that is 3 times more than we did in Atlanta (not including Nana Nise who is more like Brooks' second mama when we are there). We trekked the 20 minutes to Tybee Island in order to eat some typical seafood and watch a sunset. I still can't believe we live near water and even seeing it doesn't make it real (maybe once I get my toes wet it will hit me) but I love that we do! After our yummy dinner we headed to the Bohemian, Savannah's newest hotel and home of the lone (as far as I know) rooftop bar in the city. We both felt like we were 22 again with out a responsibility in the world. It's funny how just a night like that can truly make you forget about the 18 pound dependent human snoozing at home in his crib. Oh, and just because you can in Savannah, we purposely didn't finish our drinks and walked right out the door with them as we ended our night strolling the tree-lined squares back to our car. It was a pretty perfect evening thanks to Brad, my trip advisor, personal travel agent, and muy guapo date all-in-one.

Today we tried a new church and afterward we ran into an old sorority sister of mine who married a fraternity brother of Brad's. This was pretty perfect timing as we both were a little blue going into the weekend from not knowing anyone or seeing anyone familiar in nearly a month now. After church we went on a short turned HUGE walk in order to explore our neighboring isand. 6.7 miles and two blisters later we came back to the dock to take in the perfectly warm yet cool temperatures and our first real sunshine (and slight sunburn) in a while. This was truly one of the most beautiful and peaceful walks my little fast-walkin feet have experienced. Happy feelings were certainly stirring throughout our mini marathon and I just let them stir. It felt so good to truly enjoy the day, our new city, and our family of 3. As one can probably easily tell - this has been a hard transition especially for me so a genuine smile today was a much needed treat for both Brad and I!

I digress...Brooks likes beer. Yes, that's how I'll end this. Brooks is fascinated with his dad's beer bottle and therefore Brad is using them to lure him to roll from his belly to his back. Now only if he could reward him with a sip, he said, that would be funny.

*Don't turn us in...he doesn't really get a sip or atleast he didn't as far as I know. Who knows what Brad does to soothe this baby? Is it the shape of the bottle that so intrigues him or is it the shiny color? Who am I fooling....he probably already has some clue that the stuff tastes good and will cause his mama many sleepless nights worrying so his interest is sparked.

So,much to our surprise we not only survived our first weekend here by oursleves, we embraced it and truly felt like a family - a real, live, American family. God knows what we need right when we need it and this weekend is proof of that....I am very grateful.

Added bonus for special Sunday readers:
Because Brooks makes me laugh - I hope this makes you laugh, too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I had to jump off the sofa for this

If you recall back when I was in baby la-la land and I would have fallen for any baby product that anyone even mentioned in passing we ordered the baby bath pod. Well, as I was attempting to rest and let Brad take care of all of the night time responsibilities tonight I heard him getting all excited in the bathroom. When you hear hoops and hollers from the bathroom you gotta run to see the commotion. I thought maybe Brooks had used the toilet or something. No, much better! He was bathing in his long forgotten baby bath pod! He loves bath time anytime but I think this just made things much more exciting.

A rolling, giggling baby....the best cure

Okay, hand me the bumper sticker. My child is better than your honor student. And better than your Schnauzer. I couldn't be more pleased with the little ball of giggles today. I officially have a low grade fever and I don't think I have turned my head more than an inch each direction since Sunday. Admittedly, I used these symptoms to get a pretty awesome and lengthy back rub from Brad Sunday night but now I'm not playing.....I can't move! So, what do you do with a 5 month old in a new town when mama can't get off the couch?
You do what every good mama would do...You put your baby on the play mat in front of the Ellen show and let him be entertained. 40 minutes into the show I look down to check on the giggle monster and he had flipped from his back to his tummy and was peering up at the television as if Ellen was talking right to him. I know in a month these little moves won't seem so challenging but for our lazy baby - any movement deserves an applause! (Yes, you witnessed him conquering the belly to back roll on camera a few weeks ago but he has yet to attempt that again since that one stellar day of tricks).

So, I've got my camera ready just in case he decides it's time to enter the world of turning consistently. And by the looks of this little bug in my body - he may be spending lots of time on the play mat in the floor next to me the next few days.

Question for you...My one friend here gave me the name of a primary care physician. She also told me he lives at the end of my cul-de-sac. Are you thinking what I am thinking? It's probably not the sweetest way to introduce myself by showing up with a thermometer in my mouth? Oh well, I guess I'll get Amos to babysit tomorrow while I go to meet my neighbor at his office. The adventures in new town continue.....I know, God, you have been trying to teach me to rely on other people for many years now and this just may be the perfect way to break me....especially if it requires relying on not only my husband (that's easy) but the few people we have met here???? Please pray the little guy doesn't catch this thing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Adventures in babysitting

I love this old classic movie! Don't you? Lately I feel like I am 15 again rummaging through someones food pantry once the kids are to bed to find the perfect snack that maybe I wouldn't find in the pantry at home. It sure was easy back them to "play" house with another persons kids, in another persons home. Babysitting was my life during my lovely teen years. I was quite the business woman at a young age - learning just how to maximize my potential by babysitting multiple neighborhood kids at the same time. I called it Mothers morning Out. I would probably now call it illegal. Nonetheless, I've funded my dreams on that first golden business!

It's true though...I feel like I am just baby sitting for someone else's life most of the time or playing house on many days here in Savannah. Last week our new, quite gorgeous washer and dryer were delivered. They make just enough noise to not make the house feel so lonely and like I said they are a pretty pair as far as electronics are concerned.
My new washer and dryer Even as I load our stinky clothes in there (mostly Brooks' covered in slobber) I still feel like they aren't my clothes and this isn't my life. I am just babysitting and soon I'll go home to talk on the phone until 2 in the morning and watch rerun episodes of Full House. I know, you are thinking..."honey, it can't get anymore have a child and a dog and a husband and you just had to buy your first appliance." Well, I know this but I am just going to keep living in my make believe makes it much more fun that way!
If I were to describe to you my surroundings as I write this post you would think I was making things up......67 degrees, no clouds, sun peering through the tall pines in the backyard, high tide, slender white bird on the dock, Amos dancing like a girl in the grass, and me in my bikini with a margarita as I type on the computer. (Maybe a joke about the last part....maybe???)But that's just a glimpse of our days in Savannah when Brad is at work (and of course when it is not raining which is pretty comon these days no matter where you live in the South.) The scenery is always so perfect whether I am doing the laundry or playing on the floor with Brooks or walking out to get the mail. I can't tell you how different this feels than our last season in the capital city. Here, I jump when my new friend, the washer, beeps because her cycle is complete. That is what I have to look forward to in my day. I don't say this negatively at all...sure, it gets lonely but I can't tell you how quiet my heart is....very little to be anxious double-booking anything, no rain checks because I am running late to meet someone....just a whole bunch of calm. Hence, the reason I have red marks up and down my arms from pinching them to make sure I haven't fallen asleep into a peaceful dream. Oh, there is certainly good and bad to this season but today I am enjoying the good. I've written several hand written letters, made dinner already, cleaned the kitchen (don't you love the smell of Mrs. Meyers house cleaning products? I am infatuated and therefore tend to wipe the counter every time I walk by), had 3 parties with my washer and dryer and thus every article of clothing is fresh and clean. I have also cleaned up trash out of my yard twice as today is trash day but we don't have the big cans yet so some neighborhood animal keeps messing with me and my trash. Grrrrrrr.......That would go in the "bad" category. We've also strolled through the yard and sat on the dock talking to the fish and I've read part of a book. It's amazing what can be done around the abode when there is nowhere I know to go and no one to meet. Like I said, there is both positive and negative feelings surrounding this new found empty schedule but right now I am enjoying the added freedom in my adventures in babysitting!

Last week in our happy boredom we decided to try some rice cereal with Mr. Brooks. I've created a monster! Now he watches everything I eat (making me realize, too, how often I like a snack!) and he smacks his mouth open if he sees anything that might come into vision. I was really planning on waiting to start any solid foods but last week I was looking for something new and thought I would experiment with my baby. Best place to start right?PhotobucketPhotobucket

We also had a surprise guest babysitter last Friday! It was such a treat to spend the day with one of my most beloved friends, Dr. Ashley. This is another positive...I am now 3 hours closer to 2 of my favorite girls "playing" house in Charleston.Ashley comes to visit

Lastly, I just need to show you this picture. It doesn't get anymore make believe than this....yesterday, after Brad and I tried a local church service we pulled out of the "visitor" parking spot to find this family on their way home from church. I never would have known there is a place in the great US of A where families bike home from church on a Sunday. I could bet there was an apple pie waiting on the window seal for them, too, as they pulled up to their house. Pinch me!
Family riding home after church

And just because this is we are enjoying the dock despite the chilly weather. More adventures to report on coming soon.....a chilly morningSunday a.m. on the dock

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quote me on this

I was riding down the road here in Savannah that reminds me of a coastal's twisty and turvy and about every 1/2 mile you get a sweet glimpse of the part of my new town that I love and I had this thought that hung around for a few minutes. I took in every drop of this peaceful thought with a silver spoon. My thought went like this (and yes, you can quote me on this) "I like Savannah right now. (Gulp) I like the trees and the winding street that leads to our neck of the woods. I like that everything from the store fronts to the people to the mail lady seem several steps slower and I actually like it right now."

That's all for now. I just needed to share my real joy for my town today as I was still feeling these peculiar feelings. Oh, it feels soooo good to feel a happy thought in my new town! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Oh, and to add to my momentary bliss I came home to two hand written letters in my mailbox. Count them, one, two! 2!!!! I had TWO letters in my mailbox. AND a package. Granted, I know what is in the package as it is an item that my mama was mailing to me but still - A PACKAGE ON A DOORSTEP...a real live DOORSTEP! I never had this experience in the condo as I had to go pick up my packages at the UPS store. It is worth living out of town to get mail from my friends back home. Anywho, happiness lives in this house right now and I am loving it...except Brooks does not feel happiness right now and he is letting me know. Ta ta..............

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dear best friend,

My new weather man told me accurately this morning that there was a 90% chance of rain for today for coastal Georgia. Fortunately for me when I turned my eyes to 11 o'clock on the weather map there is Atlanta covered in rain too. I know this is terrible for me to wear a half smile when I see rain in the mother city but it atleast means that I wouldn't be missing out on much were I there so that makes the rain here a little more tolerable. Except here - I sit in the dark because we have 4 lamps trying to light 2800 square feet and our washer and dryer has yet to be installed so I have not a pair of clean socks to even wear if I were to get out of the house. Oh, and AT&T doesn't like our move either and thus extends us little to no service except for in one corner in the dining room. Therefore, Brooks and I have made it a quiet- pajama day in the dark. We have made the most of it though....

We finally made it through the last of the boxes and I sorted the boo-coos of shoes that followed me here. We've also read through all of the books on one of Brooks' bookshelves and played with everything that can be considered a toy - including a silver spoon and my hairbrush. We've eaten two of the four cupcakes (that I swore I wouldn't eat) that Brad brought home for our anniversary yesterday. We've also practiced our next trick...sitting up. No success today. See below.

I've been anxiously awaiting these 10 minutes in my day when I get to talk to my BFF. Yes, mighty blog, you are my "bestest" at the moment. You are here whenever I need you. You live in Atlanta and Savannah and somehow make me feel closer to home. You don't tell me to hurry up and start loving my new just let me be so thank you. I know soon I will need to replace you with real friends that can meet me for lunch and talk about the Ellen show with me but for now I am so grateful to have an adult to talk to for atleast 10 minutes in my day. I am so happy that you are here even if I am still in my pajamas and I love that I don't get lost in my car when I try to find you. Oh, best are a true comfort right now in these first weeks. I owe you....

You'd be proud of us. Lastnight we did make it out on our town. Though we have met very few people here I did make sure to ask for babysitters right away. So Brad and I had our first dinner in downtown Savannah. We ate at Sapphire Grill in the corner, round booth. They treated us like we were movie stars. Either that or my husband begged them to please make this night impeccable because he fears his wife is next in line for the Cymbalta commercials. Whatever the reason - the night was quiet and romantic and pretty perfect. Savannah at night is a romantic little town so I was grateful to get out of my mommy clothes and eat some yummy seafood - straight from the nearby sea and hold onto my lovers arm as we strolled the streets. Thank you for all of the anniversary well wishes yesterday. Though I didn't actually get the phone calls until we were downtown lastnight (due to the situation above) I enjoyed every single message and we both felt so loved!

*Note the greasy hair in the above picture. I decided to do kickboxing in my living room 45 minutes before the babysitter came. I must tell you - we have found a use for the 1970's mirror with chandeliers thing in the is now my personal workout studio. Trust me, this is quite entertaining for the whole family.

That's all for now. Talk to you soon, bestest friend,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Bagwell's are 2!!!

Two years ago today I was waking up to the most perfect morning a bride could ever have ordered. Her groom was off being a boy with her brothers and his chosen men...playing golf, eating soul food in Athens, and anticipating a lady in white later that evening. Her parents and parents-to-be were mingling over a home cooked breakfast at the Inn nearly an hour from the craziness of city life. The air was no warmer than 60 degrees and the many farm animals across the way were all making their morning noises. And I was the bride that morning, enjoying my favorite time with my favorite people (who happened to be the "maids" of the day) over coffee and a warm muffin. You would have thought we had nowhere to be that day. I'm not kidding, every detail of that day was perfect...yes, even the overflowing septic tank as somehow that added to the story of the day. The fall flowers were in their prime and the sky was the most pristine blue. Truly everything that day sang of God's glory.

Two years later I awakened to a fresh pot of coffee, a perfect hand written note from the boy that said yes to me that day, and a book that I had been coveting for my coffee table (though we promised no gifts this year!) I've put a few more items in their spots and the melodies from my ipod this morning sing again of God's glory and goodness. Oh, and the baby is asleep which just adds to these few perfect morning hours. I am grateful today for the mystery of marriage. At times I feel like I get it and I fully understand the intricacies of this sacred union....and just when I do some terrible little thing inside of me forgets that there are 2 people in this thing or my pride takes over and once again I am left wondering just how all of this works. I know one thing for certain and that is that in Christ all things hold together. When things are falling apart in our household it is only because I eliminate Christ from the center of our marriage or worse, I look for Brad to be my savior. It is when I am needy and clingy and I forget that Christ is the only one who can fill my needs that things crumble. Unfortunately, this happens too often. Fortunately, I married someone who knows that I am going to do this and who knows that the things that come out aren't always the best representation of me. Somehow he sees the best and doesn't choose to dwell on my not so sweet traits. This is that refreshing taste of agape or unconditional love. I am grateful that he sees my heart, my passion, and the me that God created above my weaknesses, my pride, and the "me" that the world has molded.

It was such a rejuvenating weekend as we witnessed my brother say "I do" to his beautiful bride. The preacher reminded us that apart from Christ in a marriage - there really is no marriage....rather, two people just trying their hardest to hold it together. Happy 2 year anniversary, Mr. Brad! Thank you for putting up with me and continuing to dream with me.....It seems hard to dream when there is a little guy around and added responsibilities but I am so thankful that you don't let that stop you! Cheers to a fun 3rd year! 3's a charm.........

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A few firsts for the day....

Brooks had his first ride in his pimp-mobile. This thing is like a fully loaded Cadillac or something. It sort of swallows him right now but atleast he was stylish (especially in his pj's because his nanny was too lazy to change him.)

Okay, hold onto your seats and maybe mute the volume because the woman with the camera is quiet annoying but you've got to see this little video. I know in the human scale of things this doesn't compare to riding a bike without training wheels or your first high school football game or graduating from college but this was a HUGE step for our little chunker. He is the laziest baby, well, let's say most "laidback" baby (sounds better) that you have ever seen. He has shown zero interest in exploring the world of mobility until today! After our morning walk Brooks was on fire and he attempted his first few roll overs with no slight help from me at all. My little heart is just swelling with pride as I type out world, here he comes! (And I admit, getting to be home to witness things such as this make me very grateful that I am at home, without a paycheck, and without anything else to distract me. Brooks sure can make me love anywhere that I live! Thank you, little man.)

Let's see that one more time, Mr. Brooks...(p.s. - the videowoman is a little more annoying in this one.)

If you live on Isle of Hope you must

1) Have a canine companion. I have yet to meet anyone in my explorations who doesn't have a dog. There are dogs in every yard and in every car that passes by and in every golf cart. See #2.
2) Drive around the island in your personally decorated golf cart. There should be enough room for your dog to ride too.
3)Wear bug spray at all times. As our sweet neighbor told us last night - if you think it is a pretty day then it is a buggy day even if you can't see them. Hence the name, "no-see-ums" or Sandgnats (Gosh, that seems weird to spell "gnat" with a "g". I wonder what people would think of me if I told them I was tired of these dang sand-"g"-nats.) I thought the sandgnats were just the minor league baseball team here but now I know and have felt that they are also the main inhabitant on the island.
4)Go on a walk down Bluff Drive. In our 4 days here we have taken enough walks to count on both hands.
5)Be comfortable in the dark. See previous post. No street lights. This will be the last thing to grow on me but I'll get there.
6)Not like anything to do with Atlanta. I have yet to have a conversation with someone here who doesn't comment after I tell them where I moved from. "Oh good for you...away from the traffic, the rain, the flooding, the people, the heat, the peaches, the roads, the cars, the bad schools, the trees, the birds..." You name it and my new neighbors have a reason to not like the big city. Oh Atlanta, I vow to NEVER turn on you! I miss your lights and your plethora of lunching spots and your cars and your exhaust and your roads named Peachtree something..and of course, your amazing constituents who make up my dear friends!
7)Have lived on Isle of Hope for 20 years or more and never have thought of moving anywhere else. I don't say that with any sarcasm - I think it's a neat little idea....raising a family in the same place with the same neighbors and such. Everyone here seems to deeply love our 2 mile Island (though if you ask me - it's not an island but a mass of land bound by water on three sides. I forget my geographical vocab but wouldn't that be a peninsula?) and therefore, everyone keeps close eye on the neighborhood.
8)Have a boat named Miss "Something" and make great use of the investment. Brad and I hope to meet all of these people and allow them to show us on our new place by water rather than by road.
9)Have a riding lawn mower. Brad promises he is going to take care of the yard. Check back with me next week....Brad is amazing but I just don't see this happening.
10)Not mind deer in your yard. They are everywhere!!! This gets Amos so excited in the afternoons. He runs up and down the back of the house chasing them through the window.
11)Have a very Southern name (which I do) and a perfectly slow, Southern accent (which I happen to love)
12)Get used to the heat. And this I am not.....It was just turning into the perfect fall weather as we left Atlanta and now we have jumped right back into summer. Brooks and I do plan to go to the beach today so I guess life isn't too bad.

We'll add to this list as we become more accustomed to our little Isle called Hope. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lessons learned this week

I have been fooling myself for nearly 6 years now. Had I to write a bio of myself for a feature on women in the South I would have told you that I "crave adventure and love meeting new people." At one time I really did. Over the last several years though I had become complacent. I had become a vibrant little flower in my very predictable garden. Uproot me even for a move within the same state and, really, I crumble to pieces and cling to everything familiar. Luckily, Brad married me because he saw that spark of adventure and zeal in me that had started to wain and here we are in Savannah, uprooted. A sweet mentor of mine told me several weeks ago before "D-Day" that I would bloom where I was planted. Among the boxes and lack of directions and the fact that not one person here knows my name - I find this hard to believe but I do know that in God's timing I will bloom again wherever I am planted.

In my first 72 hours here I have learned some enlightening (and some startling) things about me.

First, it isn't about me. This move isn't just about me and my confusion in a new town. It is about our marriage and the foundation that will be built - I am confident of this. It is also about the random neighbor I will meet down the street and her battle with cancer. It is about my mom and her heart, too, and the life God has for her as a new grandmother. And it is about God's story for our lives, thankfully. I do have to say this to myself throughout the day to remind me that there are others involved here...not just me. There are no words for Brad's composure while handling me in this season of transition. He is patient and understanding. He is positive even when I am not and he constantly reminds me that we are a part of a bigger story. I am so grateful he puts up with me and reminds me of who I am in Christ, a new creation, with purpose beyond just myself. Lesson taken.

After things were somewhat in their respective places Sunday night Brad and I lay in bed and did what I think he hates most - began a deep conversation just as he is on the brink of sleep. As I lay there in my bed, with my favorite sheets looking at the mirror that I love that has always been in our room I commented that it's not about the things. The last 2 months I have gone from boutique to boutique in Atlanta looking for the perfect things to make my new house feel like a home. I even bought a self-titled sign that reads HOME in a bright-cheery yellow and at the time I could picture the perfect nook to place my new purchase with a purpose. We added 2 tables, a man-leather chair, a "Pelham blue" sofa and several end-tables to our belongings all in the name of comfort for our new house. But as I lay there Sunday night I felt the weight of my deception. It really isn't about the things. I know this deep down but that night I really felt it. All the perfect little things in their perfect places could not make this place instantly comfort me. I missed people and there is no couch or table that can replace that sense of comfort. I felt my lesson in my heart that night and I am more grateful today for the friends and family and roots that make up true "comfort."

Carrying on....There is tremendous value in being a wife and mother. Even though I have written on this over and over since the "'bug" joined our family - I am now forced to embrace this as my motto. Here I literally have nothing else to invest myself in yet but my family. There is not one person that is expecting me anywhere in the forseeable future in my new town. My days are only filled with Brooks, Amos, and Brad with two naps of quiet time in between. It is noble that I stop what I am doing when Brad walks in the door to greet him. It is honorable that Brooks and I lay on the floor and read books about trucks and boats even if he just sees the colors. I'm having to write this so I believe it because it sure is hard. It's okay that I spent the whole day just cleaning the silverware and dishes from the move. I am going to have to keep coming back to this lesson because this has been a constant struggle....finding value when there is no paycheck to affirm that value. There is a huge, toothless, baby smile though and that feels much more rewarding than any 1st of the month paycheck.

I am writing this one just so I remember it in the future for our next house. I like street lights! As the night nears here I get a little queezy in my stomach. I am not yet comfortable in the pitch dark. The lesson here is the grass isn't always greener. I used to complain to Brad (as if he could fix it) that the lights in Buckhead were always on...always shining in our room at night. Well, on our little Island called Hope there are no lights at night! I actually think I will get used to it but goodness, I hadn't realized how much I actually like those bright lights and the constant noise. It's almost fitting though that here there is literally nothing to distract us at night. I know this will lend way to lots of good conversation and many relaxing dinners on the dock.

Thank you, God, for continuing to mold me even daily. I feel Your presence here and I need Your presence here. I am starting to bloom ever so slowly.

Off to do my first driving in this new place....this will be interesting!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Home is

where I hang my hat only if it is also where my heart is...
I hate to begin this post with a bundle of cliches but I am certainly feeling the truth behind these little sayings this week. We are sitting in our 'home' and everything looks pretty normal. Amos is exhausted from a day of running through his football field-sized yard. Brad is sitting in his new man chair that he bought last month in order to make our house feel "homey." Brooks is snoozing in his footed Kissy Kissy (my favorite baby pjs) pajamas and I am watching So you think you can dance - about the only show on television that I plan around. Our house is 70% unpacked but needs lots of TLC and luckily I have no one here ringing my phone so I have plenty of time to tend to the house. So I am definitely hanging my hat here but I am not really sure where my heart is vacationing this week. I think once I can find my toothpaste and my new red cowboy boots then Brooks and I will get out more and get to explore our new digs then my heart will have returned. So, for now, don't worry. Our house here is what I would label AMAZING with a few funny quirks. More on that in a moment. Brad and I are enjoying playing "family." He comes home for lunch everyday and we walk to the real live mailbox to get the mail together (we had just a wall of mailboxes in the condo). We travel this weekend to Augusta for my brothers wedding and I couldn't be more thrilled for him and his new bride to be (and selfishly, to see my family all together again!) I've met the pastor of the local Methodist Church by accidentally ending up in his back yard while trying to find a walking route. I've met Baxter the local fluffy dog that greets me every time I walk by the Bluff (more on this too at some point). Today he even followed Amos, Brooks, and I on our hour long walk. The neighbors across the street say they have already heard about us...yikes...and they'll be by to visit too (which means I should probably get out of my pajamas before 4pm!) Oh, and last night we either had an early Halloween "ghosting" or someone knocked on our window at midnight. This turned into Brad stomping through the yard in his boots with revolver in tow just in case and a quick visit from the police. Seriously, don't worry about us - we are fiiiiiii-----iiiiii---n-e! Please come visit us soon. We have a guest bedroom ready even if I can't find my toothpaste. Here is a taste of our new "home" and a few photos of the voyage south. We miss you Atlanta, but we're doing okay here on the water!

Brooks and Brad take a stroll to the dock to check out the tide. We saw a stingray Sunday night. Yes, in our back yard!

The nursery has been my focus the first 2 days. You'd think we'd focus on a room that someone will actually enjoy but Brooks' room is the easiest and I love it! Brad hung the pictures tonight too so I'll show an update later.

SOS. This room needs a talented eye. This will be the main room with the tv but it is just straight out of 1982. Since we are renting we can't paint the walls and knock down the yucky stuff so someone help!!! And as you would expect - Brad with a cold drink. Brooks swingin. Amos lounging.

Our kitchen that I love. I tried my hardest to fill up all of the drawers and cabinets and couldn't! My cutting board even got it's own drawer and there was still leftover space. Oh, the space makes me melt!

Reward offered for some suggestions with this space. These book shelf type things are in the main-wooded-1982 room. Where would you put things and what would you put in these things. Yes, that is a mirror to the left.

Brad and I made it to my 10 year reunion the night before we left town. We felt like we were school kids again...out on the town with a babysitter at home. Woo hoo!

Brooks first Marietta football game. He's a blue devil born and a blue devil bred....

Brooks and I had to clean up the condo, our first home, before we turned over the keys. He is such a little busy bee - can't you tell?

Don't you just want to kiss his little cheeks until they fall off?

This was our 3rd stop in the only 3.5 hour drive to Savannah. Brooks wasn't into the car ride. I think this Cracker Barrel will be a favorite spot in our route back and forth.

Lastly, don't you love a man in a white shirt and a tie stomping on packing paper while he is home for lunch? What an all-around guy! I know I'm lucky...