Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Not-So Best

Marriage. The upside is constant companionship. Someone is ALWAYS on your team. You spend all your days and nights with your best friend... who is also hot. See? Like I said. Upside. The downside is that they see you when you are at your not-so best.

Matt has seen me at my not-best for while now. Pregnancy wasn't easy. I didn't glow. I bloated, and swelled. Then after pregnancy there were hormones. Breastfeeding. Sleep deprivation where I roamed the house like some sort of puffy faced banshee crying, "My body is actually leaking..." (*see breastfeeding). Then I got sick with this thing, this thing that is taking over our lives. He saw me lay on the floor of an emergency room in my own vomit and tried his best to pull up the backside of my pajama pants so no one would see my butt crack.

Like I said, he's seen me at my not-best for a long time.

But he loves me. He loves our girl. He still looks at me like I'm the skinny, perky, energetic 19 year old he fell in love with. I think God blessed him with rose-colored-Liz-goggles, because I'm so not that girl right now.

I think back to one of our first dates, when it was all beginning, the date he freaked out and accidentally threw a spider on me (that particular story will be in the book,). It makes me laugh every single time. Come to think of it, I've seen him at his not-best too. But that's ok. That's marriage. We should have put that in our vows:

"In sickness and in health. Come hell, highwater, butts hanging out of pants in ER's and spider throwing."

To say that I'm thankful would be the understatement of the century.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Out For a Bit

I'm feeling a bit like this paper crane my sister made.
Not quite able to get up off the ground.
The vertigo is back.
Now they think it might be migraines.
I'm pretty low.
I can't take care of Jane.
But on the upside my parents are taking me home with them.
I always love to be home.
Especially when my dad says stuff like, "Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then."
I have no idea what that means, but I love it.

So say a prayer for me. I don't want to hang around here and be a gloomy gus. I love you all and will be back as soon as I can. Until then I'm going to google "blind hog and acorn."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Nest

Our bedroom is starting to feel like a nest. All three of us sleep in a row. It's nice.

And here's that halibut and risotto I was telling you about. Yum.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Silver Linings of Working Moms, Daycare, & Beano

(* It was 6:30 a.m when Matt snapped this pic. I love it)

Everyone told me how guilty I would feel being a working mom.

But the thing is, that's the wrong word. I don't feel guilty. I'd feel guilty if I quit my job and the bank foreclosed on our house. But I do feel sadness.

Jane adjusted to daycare without a hitch. She loves the nursery teacher and loves watching the other babies. The hair on the back of her head is rubbing off because she turns back and forth, back and forth all day watching. She's not sad one bit. She's the happiest baby I've ever seen.

But I do feel sad at work. At first it was paralyzing. But now I've accepted it. I've accepted that she's going to have lots of colds and fevers (and so will I). I've accepted that someone else will rock her and change her diaper during the day. It's just how life must be right now. But you know something? There are always bright glistening silver linings. I just have to peer out from under my umbrella and look for them.

Silver lining #1: Mornings.

At approximately 6 a.m. Jane's eyes open.

She stretches in her pink swaddler like a tiny burrito.

Then she toots.

Really loudly.

This wakes her father and me up with a start. Then we peer into her bassinet (yes she's still in our room, it's way easier) and she grins at us. A gigantic toothless gummy grin. And then she toots again. Then I changer her diaper and she grins at me and tries to talk. Then Matt fixes her bottle and I feed her. The three of us hang out and watch reruns of Boy Meets World until it's time to get ready to leave. It's golden. It really is. I don't know of anyone else who loves 6 a.m. as much as we do.

Silver lining #2: Evenings.

As soon as work is over I'm out the door like a shot.

Like a gigantic female Speedy Gonzales.

I pick her up.

And as I load her into the backseat she grins.

It's like, "Oh, hey mom. What's up?"

And then she stretches.

And toots again.

Toots are like bookends for the day.

And then she laughs at herself.

She's her father's daughter already.

Before I had Jane the whole workweek was a blur of after dinner tv and waiting for the weekend. Not now. Every night is special. Jane and I cuddle and talk to Matt while he cooks. We rock. We sing. I feel like I'm squeezing a days worth of love into a few hours... but it is the most exhilarating way to wrap up a day.

Silver lining #3: Food

Jane and I get home.

Matt is in the kitchen cooking something fabulous.

I peer over his shoulder.

He's slicing cucumbers.

I remind him, "I need some Beano, those give me gas."

He nods. He remembers vividly.

"Maybe they have baby Beano?" he asks.

And then Jane grins at him.

She knows we're just kidding.

She knows we love her tiny baby toots.

I always loved that Matt cooked, but never more so than now. Honestly, if it were up to me we'd eat .99 cent burritos from Taco Bell every night. But not Matt. Last night he fixed halibut and risotto. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

But to wrap this long-winded post up, being a working mom is survive-able. It really is. Being a working mom makes me love all the things that I might have taken for granted. I love the poopy diapers (Jane always gives me her biggest happiest grins when I'm cleaning those). I love wiping boogers out of her nose. I love every second, even holding her on my hip while I sort her clothes and lecture, "Seriously? You're three months old... how are you losing socks already?"

So yeah.

The silver linings.

They're always there.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tables, Who Need Them? (The Robot Buffet)

Oooh ladies. I'm loving my former breakfast nook turned work space. Granted, it feels weird to not have a table.It's one of those things in life you're not supposed to do, like no white shoes after labor day. It's probably a huge design faux pas. But wow is it functional. We always eat at the dining table anyway. I did laundry last night and had space galore to operate in.

Anybody else out there with a washer/dryer closet in the kitchen? It really makes for a crowded mess when Matt is cooking and I'm skipping and jumping over mounds of clothes. This helps so much.

My tiny little galley kitchen has doubled in size. Now I just need a spanky new rug. And maybe some red and white striped curtains.

*Thanks to Apartment Therapy for featuring this! It's always a mixed bag of blessings. On the one hand it's a big compliment (and the google adsense counter goes *caching*). But then there's the comments. Whew. Apartment Therapy commenters can be lethal. But the robot one cracked me up. I now refer to him as my little Robot Buffet, or Rob for short.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cracked & A Noah Update

I cracked one of my favorite bowls.

You guys know how I feel about my orange tree bowls.

When it happened I clutched my pearls and screamed.

I'm the guilty party.

Darned soapy hands.

I've ruined it's value, but that's ok.

I wasn't selling them anyway.

"From my cold dead hands!"

Any "super-glue-pottery" experts out there?

*NOAH Update*

Thank you for all the sweet prayers sent up for Noah. The doctors are very optimistic that they can cure his eye disease!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good Times

Yummy crab dinner. Very good.

Good conversation that mostly consists of spit bubbles and the word "goo."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Old Friends, New Prayers

The bad thing about Facebook is that old college pictures come back to haunt you. They also remind you of how skinny you used to be. See those jeans I'm wearing? I couldn't pull those up to my knees now.

But the good thing about Facebook is that it allows us to reconnect with old friends. The gal in the middle is Mindy. She was my college roommate. I loved living with her. She used to wake me up in the morning by yelling "BOOBS" for no reason.

After not talking to her for years, we found each other on Facebook. Mindy has three precious little boys. This is where the prayers part comes in.

This is her youngest baby, Noah. He was born premature and is such a little fighter. Right now he's waiting on surgery to hopefully keep his retinas from detaching. Please pray for Noah. Please pray for Mindy. She and her husband Mike have been carrying such a heavy load for so long.

I love you Mindy.

China Loot

Becca came back from China with lots of loot. She brought back too much actually. She doled out presents from a suit case just like Santa from his sack and I thought to myself, "I'm not sure we all deserve this stuff!"

Either way, it's some awesome loot. Like this little cicada ring made out of jade. She gave me a whole lesson on jade and it's varying qualities. Did you know that the pale almost lavender kind is super valuable? Just a fun fact.

Jane got some China baby shoes.

And I got another big jade cicada, this time a necklace.

And a bracelet made in a Buddhist temple.

Now I know what the phrase "Christmas in July" really means.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Lull, Good Friends

We've come to that part of the summer here in the south where we start elbowing each other and saying, "Hey? Wait. Did I say I LIKED warm weather? Maybe I was wrong."

The locusts buzz constantly. The neighborhood air conditioners hum to the max. Grass is wilting. And let me tell you, it's a long road to October when the heat breaks.

But there's a part of me (the non-sweaty part) that still loves it. It reminds me of being young and free. It reminds me of the city pool and nights spent on my best friend's trampoline, watching the stars and talking about boys. It's been a long time since I had a carefree summer, but the memories are still there. And still sweet. I miss you Carrie and Jared.

But in the mean time our grass is really wilty.

A big thanks to my friends who have tried so hard to encourage me during these tough times. My talented blog-friend just around the corner, Jerusalem, left a couple of "motherhood" books on my front porch along with a very sweet note. I appreciate it more than she knows. I also appreciate all the texts, emails, phone calls, food, and prayers. I appreciate that I have friends who keep me from hiding in my house and becoming a hermit. It's a good, good thing. I love you all.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Party Time

Jane is spending the weekend partying with Aunt Becca and (soon-to-be) Uncle Jon. I'll be there to, but clearly I'm no longer the main attraction. Hopefully there will be good food, Harry Potter, and sleep. See you all Monday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Happening

Updated answers to questions:
1. Is this you on the cover?
I wish. But let's just pretend it is.
2. Will it be available on ebook?

Remember that book I wrote? Here's the cover! AND it's already available for pre-order here. And here. And here. Please ignore the temporary cover on the websites. It comes out in October. I can still hardly believe it's really happening. But it is, it's happening.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Have Sisters, Will Travel

This is my youngest sister Rachel. She is traveling in Europe this summer with her cute hubby Shane. She's been doing mission work, eating lots of Belgium chocolate and posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. This is my middle sister Rebecca, who taught English in China this last year and met the love of her life, Jon (who just so happens to hail from Arkansas too). They are getting married next month and then returning to China for another year. *sniff*

And while my little sisters have circled the globe, I stayed home and made this. Totally worth it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aqua It Is

Remember this guy?

I decided to go with aqua instead of white. Now before anybody says it, yes, I got rid of the table and chairs in the breakfast nook. It was too crowded. We never sat there. I needed more storage in a big way. Plus, I just wanted to paint something. :)

But wait! An empty breakfast nook with a shelf on one side and a buffet on the other? I know, it makes no sense. But it's prettier to look at, trust me. Even better, we have a place to serve food.
Or stack laundry, or bottles. The best thing is the storage underneath.

Plus, now there's a cute globe in the kitchen.

See? I told you it was a good distraction. Plus the red knobs are my favorite. Although, when Jane gets bigger and we go on our baby-proof-athon those bottom knobs will have to come off so she can't pilfer the china.

Happy buffet. Happy aqua. Happy kitchen. Happy me.

Project Details:

*Knobs: Anthropologie knock-offs found at Hobby Lobby. Check it out, they have a lot of cool ones.

*Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Waterfall. I warn you, it looks different depending on the lighting. (No voc for baby.)

*Buffet: Local antique mall (Midtown) on sale for $200. But I sold the table and chairs, so this project was basically free (my favorite kind).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Even though I've done my fair share of grousing about my inner ear crapola (Didn't you know that was a word? Crapola: the feminine form of crap.), I got a dose of perspective today. This is the lovely Cherry Menlove. I've been reading her blog forever. She's an adorable homemaker in England with an adorable husband, an adorable set of twins, adorable garden, adorable house, everything adorable. Recently, her husband was diagnosed with cancer (you can read here). Perspective folks. It's all about perspective.

If you have time, hop over and leave her some encouragement. And prayers. A girl can never be too many prayers.

Distraction Is Good Therapy

I find that no matter where I am in life, painting furniture is good therapy. Granted, painting furniture combined with damaged inner ear nerves can result in a lot of drips. And perhaps an elbow accidentally dipped into the paint can. But still. Distraction is good therapy. There's no sense sitting around contemplating woes when a paint brush needs wielding. My advice? When painting with dizziness wear clothes you don't care about. And do it sitting down. And be prepared to clean your elbow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Three Times, No Charm

Taking group photos is an ordeal, especially when it comes to family. Why? Because there are always certain folks who refuse to behave. In our family, those certain folks happen to be male.

Exhibit 1: On the back row you can clearly see my Uncle David acting out. This is called his "Pangburn Man" impression. It's a long story. And then there's my beloved, front and center, looking lovely as ever.

Exhibit 2: We were almost there. Almost. Except for the back row again. My dad and uncles (the tall dudes) were doing something involving butt pinching. Yep. I said it. Pinching.

Exhibit 3: This was our last and final picture, the one that will eventually go on all our walls. Years from now our descendants will look at this, ponder Matt's "happy face" and wonder, "Huh? Was great-grandfather Matt OK, you know, in the head?" And maybe if blogs are still in existence someone will read this and say, "Yeah, he was OK. He just wouldn't behave."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mom and Dad's Back Porch

I always feel better on Mom and Dad's back porch.

I'm not sure if it's Mom's ever growing collection of plants...

... or the forest or the swings...

... or the smooth river rocks they bring home from walks.

Actually, I think what I love most is that Mom and Dad are just a few feet away. The older I get, the more I love going home. I never used to get homesick, but I do now. I think home is the one place you can get closest to childhood, a place where adult worries never plagued. I love my parents back porch. I loved my childhood. I love my parents.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And On A Happier Note...

Jane got to meet her Aunt Becca for the first time. Of course Jane was enthralled with her Aunt Becca's curly mane.
And Aunt Becca fell instantly in love, except when she helped change Jane's diaper and yelled, "What the heck! Why is it green?"

Seeing them together, two of the great loves of my life, made all of the gloom and doom of the past two weeks sweep away. I love you Aunt Becca. I love you Jane. I love that God put us all on the same continent, even if it's just for a few months.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Million Thanks

I wanted to drop in and do a quick post before Jane and I start the nightly "please please please go to sleep" routine (I really can't complain, the little monkey sleeps around six or seven hours a night now). Thank you for your kind words. Thank you most of all for your prayers. Today was a better day, and things are looking up. God is good. I love you all.

Humble? Not So Much.

I cried very hard in the shower today. I cried to God.

And then I realized that maybe there's a lesson I'm supposed to learn in all this. Scratch that. There IS a lesson I'm supposed to learn in all this.

I'm a plucky gal. I pride myself on resourcefulness. I pride myself on my ability to work my hands to the bones. To write books. Run this blog. Freelance articles. Hold a full time job. Be a mom. Be a wife. I, I, I. Me, Me, Me.

And as I cried in the shower, I realized I haven't been very humble. I've seen myself as the glue holding my little gingerbread house life together. But I'm not. God is. And apparently humility hasn't been my strong suit.

Because you know what? I can't make this vertigo go away. I can't heal myself so I can care for my child, drive my car, and resume my job. I can't take away the sickening depression that fills my stomach knowing that Jane spends every day in daycare. I can't even make myself stand upright in the shower. I can't do any of this. But apparently I thought I could.

And as I pressed my face against the pink tiles in our shower, eyeing mildew that needs cleaning, I realized God intended me to know it. He intended that I remember He is the one who holds it all together. He gives and takes away. He has the final say. And so I have to learn humility. I thought this was a good first step: announcing my inability to be my own god in front the world. Humble. It's the hardest thing I'll ever do. But I have to. I want to learn the lesson. I want to serve God. I want to live the life He has planned for me... even if it hurts.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Smiling When You Don't Feel Like It

Guys, I'm having a tough time. I've been diagnosed with a vestibular nueritus. The good news? It's not permanant. The bad news? It can take weeks, sometimes months to get over. The nerves in my inner ear are damaged, thus the vertigo/fun-house state of life.

I'm missing lots of work. Our finances are a wreck. But the worst part is I feel like I can't be a mom. I sway and stumble too much to be left alone with Jane. It breaks my heart. I'm crying a lot. It ain't pretty. So if you can remember to say a prayer for our family today, please do. I can use it. And until this passes, I'm going to do my darndest to keep smiling, even when I don't feel like it. God is good all the time.