ten on tuesday.

1. So much to report today. Starting with…Happy Mardi Gras!  While I missed the Huntsville Mardi Gras parade this weekend, my Krewe caused quite the kerfuffle and got themselves thrown out. Not even kidding. Read the article. (For the record, they actually were following the rules. Read the article.)

2. While my Krewe was getting the boot (they don’t call us the Krewe of Nyx for nothing), I was running the Seaside Half Marathon. I swear that “flat and fast” race was uphill both ways. Official time: 2:00:09. What I wouldn’t do to have those ten seconds of walking back.

3. On the way to the race I spent about 15 minutes on the phone with 911 as I followed a drunk going the wrong way down the highway. I was flashing my lights and honking my horn like a wild woman the entire time, trying to warn the poor people driving head on into him. It was terrifying. In the end no one was hurt and after filling out a quick police report I still made my race.

4. I think I’ve been bragging here about my friend Amy Jackson for years. One of our local news stations finally let the cat out of the bag this week about how awesome she is. Love her heart. Love her.

5. Speaking of friends, my friend Jackie sent me a link to this article that pretty much nails my thoughts on friendship these days. And for the record, Amy and Jackie both totally make that list.

6. Last week Sarah came home and told me that she did really hard math at school that day: Deuterometry. Poor little thing has her shapes and her Old Testament rules wires crossed.

7. Today Ephraim asked me to put his dirty socks in his camper. “You know, I sometimes call it my laundry basket?” It’s a hamper, buddy, a hamper.

8. Lent starts tomorrow and instead of giving something up I’m joining my friend Julie’s wellness challenge. The challenge starts tomorrow but if you hurry you can still join us!

9. My dad came over for dinner tonight, babysat my kids and did the dishes. SCORE! (Thanks Dad.)

10. Happy Mardi Gras friends! Let’s all say a silent prayer that all those souls on Bourbon Street find their way home tonight. Cheers!

snow day.

It was 65 degrees today and sunny. The kids put on shorts the minute we got home from church and they played outside with neighbs until dusk. But Spring is a fickle thing and Wednesday the high will be 33 again. And not two weeks ago we had a winter “storm”. (Which admittedly doesn’t mean much down here.)

The snow threatened for a couple of days before it actually stuck around. School was a bit gun shy after the snow mess Birmingham had a few weeks back so we ended up with three days off of school. One for each inch of snow we got I guess.;)You didn’t hear much complaining around here though…

Happy Spring Snow!

ten on tuesday.

1. My laptop battery is showing red and I’m too lazy to get up and plug it in. So whether or not this post gets published hinges on how quickly my brain can think up ten things. ready…go!

2. A friend sent me a link this week to Huntsville City School’s Virtual Volunteer Center. Wow…how did I not know this existed? Teachers basically fill out requests for needs they have (financial, time, resources) and community members can help fill them. I love this! And thanks to his hot tip I’ll be speaking to a group of third graders next week about photography thanks to the VVC. So fun!

3. If you’re not a third grader but would like to learn a bit more about photography, I think Karen Russell’s latest Photographer’s Workshop registration opened today. Check it here.

4. After a wake up call via my pastor friend Margaret regarding Sabbath (the subject of our church’s women’s retreat two weekends ago), our family has been trying to be more intentional about taking back our Sundays. We made a list of guidelines for how we would like to spend our Sundays and one of the top things on the list is enjoying God’s creation. This Sunday we headed out for a two mile hike in a gorgeous park near our house. As we crossed a sparkling creek Sarah exclaimed, “this is just like Minecraft!”. Doh.

5. But. Something about that hike (and the lack of electronics available on Sunday per our new family Sabbath guidelines) sparked some major outdoor creativity in our kiddos. They came right home and got to work on a “fort” in our backyard. It now looks like we’ve got a couple of squatters back there but I’m hoping they memories they’re making will be worth it.

6. I had two major Craigslist wins this week: a stainless oven and…wait for it…an original Nintendo complete with Mario and Duck Hunt. All for the beach house of course. Ephraim is beside himself. About this Nintendo. We spent a good chunk of time yesterday evening watching original Mario videos on YouTube. The pixelated graphics are hilarious. In fact…they’re just like Minecraft!

7. Huntsville may be in for some bad thunderstorms this week which means Spring may be just around the corner. But it also means tornado season is on its way. I dread this for many reasons but mainly because Sarah is absolutely terrified of tornadoes. I think this is a source of real anxiety for her. If anyone has any suggestions for calming a storm-weary heart I’m all ears.

8. I recently resubscribed to Cooking Light – the magazine that taught me how to cook 13 years ago. After a 7+ year hiatus I’m finally tired of all my old recipes and am ready stretch my repertoire. Although if I’m honest I’m rarely cooking from a recipe anymore. I’ve adapted a more grandmotherly style of cooking…a little of this and a little of that stirred, seasoned and sauteed until it’s done. It’s very technical and specific.

9. This week I stumbled upon the website The Work of the People. Wow. If cool churchy stuff is up your alley hold onto your hats. It’s totally up Brent’s alley and I think he loves me just a little bit more after I pointed him in that direction.

10. I’ve gotten the “you’re running on reserve battery power” warning so that’s it…I’m done! Happy Tuesday!

v-day loves.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day – a day I have mixed feelings about. As a kindergarten teacher I adored it, and as as mother I do too. I love the authentic reading and writing tasks it creates and I love seeing children express their feelings for one another. As a photographer I welcome the opportunity to photograph my kiddos together and document the love they have for one another (even if as the years pass they have to dig a little deeper to find it).

As an adult of course I welcome the opportunity to love on my own Valentine, although we’re about the least romantic couple you could ever hope to meet. Brent’s love language is acts of service and mine is words of encouragement so you’ll hear me thanking him often (my way of showing love) for the awesome job he does taking care of our cars/home/children/family (his way of showing love). But you won’t likely ever see us dining alone over a romantic Valentine’s meal with accompanying roses and chocolates and diamonds of any sort. And we’re good with that…we work.

But just like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day often do, Valentine’s Day can make me feel awkward thinking of those for whom the day is not a celebration. Whether because of loss or longing or a loveless relationship. It makes me sad that it’s not a happy day for everyone so I bristle just a little bit with all the in-your-face of it. I thought Jen Hatmaker said it best this year so I’ll just link you up to her.

***

At our house V-day isn’t really for the lovers. It’s for the loves. The big ones and the littlest one and the middle-sized one. So each year we celebrate with a candlelit family dinner. As the children have gotten older we’ve added a little pizzaz to the meal, this year asking them to dress for the occasion.

Sarah was all about it, and spent upwards of an hour in her room prepping.

Ephraim grumbled but finally won his mama’s heart by putting a velcro tie over his tie-dye tee.

And then Sarah and Brent wowed us by speaking in British/Australian accents for the entire meal.

So here’s to all you loves out there. You big ones, little ones and middle-sized ones. I hope you found yourself in a place of love yesterday.

ten on tuesday.

1. The entire family had a snow day today due to our cumulative inch of snow. Gotta love Bamerania (as Samantha affectionately calls my beloved home state)!

2. Ephraim and I put our day off to good use by finally beating Super Mario Bros. We plan to use tomorrow’s snow day to get started on conquering the secret world 9.

3. We’re on the ten day countdown to the Brett Dennen show in Nashville next weekend. I am beyond excited. BEYOND. We’re headed to the show with the Jacksons although I kind of wish I could bring Sarah along with us. Especially after I heard her bragging to a friend today about sharing a birthday with “one of my favorite singers, Brett Dennen.” Cue the seven-year old blank stare from said friend. God love her.

4. We decided to go all in with the hipster thing by booking a house via airbnb. You can’t beat the price…or the cool factor that comes with it. I think?

5. I haven’t been nearly as addicted to the Olympics this year as I normally am. But poor Bob Costas. If you need a little Olympics-related fun in your life, head to Twitter and enter “Bob Costas” into the search. Terrible. And terribly funny.

6. The Huntsville Times is featuring local love stories for Valentine’s day and I was incredibly touched by today’s story, featuring a formerly homeless couple.

7. Brent and I started season one of Friday Night Lights via Netflix today. We’re about to start episode 5 so it’s safe to say we’re hooked. In fact, I promised him this would be quick so we could get back to our fix.

8. At this rate we’ll have all 47 episodes taken care of in less than two weeks. What should we watch next?

9. The kiddos’ Valentines arrived yesterday and I think these may be my favorite yet. Each year I ask if they still want to do a photo card together and each year I hold my breath hoping this won’t be the year they say no. So far, so good. I’ll try super had to remember to post a picture once they’re delivered on Friday!

10. File this under TMI: This week Ephraim found hair on my toes. (ew.) Then he spent the next ten minutes sobbing into his pillow, convinced it meant I was getting older and was going to die. How sweet/disturbing is that?!

On that note, happy Tuesday!;)

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