Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!


Lemme tell you a little bit about my dad.

First of all, I blame him for why I am so picky about my fellers. He set the standard for how I expect to be treated. My entire life I have watched him wake up every morning and go to work to provide for his family, all the while expressing undying love and faithful devotion to my mom. So the bar is pretty high for the dude in my life.

Plus he has always brought all of his girls Godiva chocolates on special occasions.

Truth is, I have a spectacular set of parents. I could write pages about both of them, but this year in particular I'm noticing how each one is spectacular to me in their own way.


This year has been pretty tough on Isabella. She was confused and pretty mad at me. She took the divorce in stride, but I saw her mourn the loss of her normalcy, and the questions and intuitive comments have been more than a little off-putting. I worried a lot about her having that stable day-to-day father figure that is so important in a little girl's life.



I shouldn't have worried though, because my dad immediately stepped up to the plate and has been there every day. Offering all those important little things a girl needs from her dad. Morning cartoons, snuggles, sneaking her off to buy bags full of candy, playing outside, important life lessons...



He also grills the perfect steak.





This is what I wake up to most Saturday mornings.


Through all of the upheaval and tumultuous instability of the past year, he has been steady as an oak for us. Offering advice, words of wisdom, love and support. Taking care of us, providing for us, and encouraging me to keep my head up and plow through school.

In short, being the perfect example of a true southern gentleman.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An ode to Nutella


Sweet Nutella, there aren't enough words to say,
How you complete me in so many ways.

Even though you kind of resemble baby doodie,
You're off the hook, 'cause you sooth me when I'm PMS'ing and moody.

I often like you best piled on my strawberries,
If they offered a Nutella spa treatment, I'd have nary a hairy.

Sometimes I struggle getting my toddler to eat,
But spread on bread, you turn this struggle into a feat.

Oh, the places your sweet bounty can be spread...
I'd best stop thinking such foodie thoughts in my head.

More often than not I eat you straight out of the can,
Sometimes I think you're better than a man.

You're only rival indeed may be bacon,
Put the two of you together, and sweet foodie love we be makin'

I eat you on a spoon, on toast, on my waffles,
You give me a chocolate mustache 'til I look like John Stossel.

I would continue spouting my love and adoration,
But all of these foodie thoughts is causing hungry agitation.

So alas, I leave to procure a sweet snack,
But fret not my Nutella, for I will be back.




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homesteadin'


After spending eleven days with her dad, Isabella was very eager to get home to her crops. This farmstead comes to a screeching halt without her diligent overseeing. One of her favorite evening past times is assisting Lovie and Granddaddy in the gardens. At precisely this time last year, we excitedly collected caterpillars and put them in jars to document their phenomenal metamorphosis. No one was more excited than I, when we woke up one morning and watched them unfold their wet little velvet wings. It amazes me every single time.

This year we're leaving them in their natural habitat, but Isabella was quick to point out each specimen :)


She made my soul grin real big when she came out of her room sporting her ''work boots'' She clunked downstairs as fast as she could, snatched a popsicle (girls got her priorities, after all) and went outside to supervise the watering. She struck a few poses for me.

She's a ham.

I heard tell it's a hereditary trait, but I'm not a ham at all. Only on days that end in 'Y'


Melons! I biologically researched the soil, constructed the trellis, and planted the melons myself.

Really, I did.

Okay, fine. Sike.

But I did sit on the porch and offer moral support while my mom cursed her way through the building of the trellis skeleton. That's got to count for something. And I did read an article in the bathroom about the chemistry of soil.

On second thought, maybe you didn't want to know that.

Help me! I'm an over-sharer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday sweet gal 'O mine.

This is Isabella last year on her third birthday. Notice the chubby toddler cheeks?



Boom.

This was taken Monday evening on her fourth birthday. I wept a little when I compared the two photos...how is that she can look so much more grown up in just one short year?!

Currently she is very much into the movie Cars, anything crafty, twinkle-toes shoes, going to the movies, working in the garden, hosting Olivia tea parties, playing her drum set and reading. She writes her name, reads small words, counts everything and enjoys sitting and studying her books.

She is so much fun right now. She has developed her own personality and is as quick as a whip. She is extremely independent (can't imagine where she got that from) I love this kid, girl after my own heart. She is my child through and through, from the tips of that red-head personality to the bottom of that stubborn spirit.

Sometimes I'll be watching that gangly body just pummeling through the yard...then she falls, nothing but a tangle of bony arms and legs, I'll hold my breath waiting for the tears, but nope! She jumps right up and keeps on pummeling, grinning and yelling ''I'm okay!'' That is my girl.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The part where I ramble on about stuff.

Change, something that used to be a four letter word in my little book of life, has now become the very soil that my soul takes root in. I used to balk at anything unfamiliar, solidly planting my feet in the ground and resisting any type of movement, no matter how simple the notion. My mind was made up, and if it was different…if it was change, then by golly, it was the enemy. I faithfully adhered to this set of principles until recently, when I was jolted into the realization that for the first time in my short-ish life, I think I might know exactly who I am, and I wouldn’t be that person, were it not for enduring a scary little bit of change.

Now, I’m not na├»ve, I know not all change is good change. There are indeed some horrible types of change, but I was even resisting the good change, so scared of the unfamiliar that I allowed it to hinder my growth. I think it’s easy to slip into this mindset, at least it’s easy for me. Losing sight of the big picture, and holding on tight to what is instead daring to consider what could be.

But I am so grateful for change, for the ability to realize that maybe if you don’t like your current situation, or who you have become as a result of it…it doesn’t have to be permanent…you can change.

It was fear of change that had kept me in its steel grip of misery for years. Until one day when I realized, I just plain ole didn’t like who I was. I was bitter, full of self-pity, weak in mind and in spirit. Always ready to place blame and feel sorry for myself and the situation I was in, but never doing tiddly-winks about it. Gosh I thought, this is ugly…I’m ugly. My first instinct was to wallow even more, because after all, that was what I was good at…but then I realized if I was ever going to like myself again, I had to break that cycle. I had to change. It took little sprouts of other types of change, dotted throughout my life, to season me and strengthen me for a task that I never would have been able to endure a year ago. I dwelled upon those, mustering up any type of strength I could from them. Then I rolled up my sleeves…because if there is anything I know about change, it is that it’s seldom ever clean.

Today I feel as though a slow and sometimes painful transformation has taken place, and through change, that horrid ‘’was’’ that I hated so much, has been shaped into an ‘’am’’ that I feel pretty darned confident about, leading me to believe that suffering and humbling, cleansed by brief respites of joy, must truly be life’s most effective character shapers.

Through all of this change that has taken place for me the past year, through all of these life lessons that I won’t soon forget, I have been formed into a better version of myself. A happier version, a more confident version, a savvy girl…someone I like and someone I would want to be friends with.

Whenever I feel that old bitter hand of fear trying to grope at my spirit again…I shoo it away, give it the finger and I move on.