Monday, December 20, 2010

Sugar plum fairies

I received an early Christmas present.
I know that it's after Christmas already, but this happened before Christmas.

Jim took me to see the Nutcracker Ballet. It was a surprise. I love surprises! I told him I wouldn't check his email. I wouldn't even look up the address of the map to Friday night's location he left at home.

Anyway... I had so much fun! He knows I'm incredibly thankful for his thoughtfulness (weeks ago, I barely mentioned that I had never seen it and would like to one day) and enjoyed (almost) every second of the evening. However, we both agree that we possibly don't enjoy "the arts" to the extent that other persons do. I shall tell of one of those persons shortly.

It was in a large old theater, similar to the Alabama Theater. Everything from jeans to strapless evening gowns were present. We took our seats and read our programs, as neither one of us knew the story. There's a party, everyone dances, the magic uncle shows up, gives out gifts, everyone dances, Fritz and Clara are happy, everyone goes home, Clara falls asleep on the couch with her new doll and dreams, the Mouse King dances (aka fights) with the Nutcrackers army and is killed, Clara falls in love with the Prince, everyone dances including the Sugar Plum Fairy, Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, Little Bakers, and Candy Canes. Clara is made queen amidst more dancing.... then she wakes up. The End. Easy enough.

While we were reading, I overheard the young man next to me tell his other neighbor that his wife was in the ballet. How sweet and supportive, I thought. Ballet probably isn't his favorite thing to watch but he is here for her.

Au contraire.

The room went dark and the music began. The supportive husband immediately began directing the music and humming. Off key. Apparently, he hadn't read the Classical Music Book of Rules for the Enthusiastic Listener. It says and I quote, "The only circumstance upon which one may hum along with the workings of the great musical writers shall only be when one is alone." Duh. The curtain was raised and he stopped directing and humming. I guess he figured the sound system did not need his assistance anymore.

Okay, everyone is dancing and the costumes were fun. We don't think Fritz glanced in the mirror before he pranced out due to a very swarthy swab of makeup on his right cheek. Anyway, the uncle comes and brings out a life-sized dancing soldier. This guy's robot moves were amazing.... but he was wearing pantyhose. I knew that that is what male ballerinas wear but it's still rather horrifying. I felt like I should apologize to Jim for even watching. Moving on.
She gets the doll and everyone dances some more. Party's over and the guests go home and Clara falls asleep and falls in love with her now pantyhose-wearing-Nutcracker-prince.

Now this is where you start losing the storyline. Because now, everyone is just dancing. They aren't having a party, they didn't receive a nutcracker doll, they aren't doing magic tricks.... they're just dancing. And let me say that I am not trying to disregard the incredible physical hardships that a ballerina must undergo to be able to do some of the moves they were doing. I know it must be very hard. I just didn't appreciate them as much as my neighbor. He highly appreciated them. The crowd clapped at the end of every dance. HE clapped whenever he felt like it, whispering loudly, "Oh, that is hard!" or, "She is incredible!" or, "Amazing job!" Okay, dude, you know a lot about ballet. We know. Please be quiet.

Then his cellphone went off. Forever and a day it rang and he didn't move for it. It was only when I looked under my seat to make sure someone's phone hadn't slid under it that he realized, "Oh! That's my phone ringing! I thought that it sounded familiar!"

More and more dancing.

When it was over, Jim helped me into my coat and we escaped the pressing mob and breathed the cold outdoor air gladly. As we walked back to the truck we laughed together, knowing that many people would criticize us for our shallow view of the work of art we just witnessed. We also laughed with relief over the realization that neither one of us liked ballet as much as that young man.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a vile one

Jim discovered that I don't turn on Christmas music every time I get in the car. Due to this discovery, he has knighted one particular Christmas song as my own.

You guessed it.

I, apparently, have garlic in my soul, termites in my smile, and a heart that is full of unwashed socks.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remembering with common sense

Remarks by President Ronald Reagan
Veterans Day National Ceremony
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
November 11, 1985

PRESIDENT REAGAN: Secretary Weinberger, Harry Walters, Robert Medairos, reverend clergy, ladies and gentlemen, a few moments ago I placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and as I stepped back and stood during the moment of silence that followed, I said a small prayer. And it occurred to me that each of my predecessors has had a similar moment, and I wondered if our prayers weren't very much the same, if not identical.

We celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, the armistice that began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. And I wonder, in fact, if all Americans' prayers aren't the same as those I mentioned a moment ago. The timing of this holiday is quite deliberate in terms of historical fact but somehow it always seems quite fitting to me that this day comes deep in autumn when the colors are muted and the days seem to invite contemplation.

We are gathered at the National Cemetery, which provides a final resting place for the heroes who have defended our country since the Civil War. This amphitheater, this place for speeches, is more central to this cemetery than it first might seem apparent, for all we can ever do for our heroes is remember them and remember what they did -- and memories are transmitted through words.

Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we're never quite good enough to them-not really; we can't be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it's a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember.

It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.

There's always someone who is remembering for us. No matter what time of year it is or what time of day, there are always people who come to this cemetery, leave a flag or a flower or a little rock on a headstone. And they stop and bow their heads and communicate what they wished to communicate. They say, "Hello, Johnny," or "Hello, Bob. We still think of you. You're still with us. We never got over you, and we pray for you still, and we'll see you again. We'll all meet again." In a way, they represent us, these relatives and friends, and they speak for us as they walk among the headstones and remember. It's not so hard to summon memory, but it's hard to recapture meaning.

And the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong. Weakness, after all, is a temptation -- it tempts the pugnacious to assert themselves -- but strength is a declaration that cannot be misunderstood. Strength is a condition that declares actions have consequences. Strength is a prudent warning to the belligerent that aggression need not go unanswered.

Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth; without them, we're little more than the crust of a continent. Peace also fails when we forget to bring to the bargaining table God’s first intellectual gift to man: common sense. Common sense gives us a realistic knowledge of human beings and how they think, how they live in the world, what motivates them. Common sense tells us that man has magic in him, but also clay. Common sense can tell the difference between right and wrong. Common sense forgives error, but it always recognizes it to be error first.

We endanger the peace and confuse all issues when we obscure the truth; when we refuse to name an act for what it is; when we refuse to see the obvious and seek safety in Almighty. Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds. Peace is imperiled when we forget to try for agreements and settlements and treaties; when we forget to hold out our hands and strive; when we forget that God gave us talents to use in securing the ends He desires. Peace fails when we forget that agreements, once made, cannot be broken without a price.

Each new day carries within it the potential for breakthroughs, for progress. Each new day bursts with possibilities. And so, hope is realistic and despair a pointless little sin. And peace fails when we forget to pray to the source of all peace and life and happiness. I think sometimes of General Matthew Ridgeway, who, the night before D-day, tossed sleepless on his cot and talked to the Lord and listened for the promise that God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

We're surrounded today by the dead of our wars. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them and what they did and why they had to be brave for us. All we can do is try to see that other young men never have to join them. Today, as never before, we must pledge to remember the things that will continue the peace. Today, as never before, we must pray for God's help in broadening and deepening the peace we enjoy. Let us pray for freedom and justice and a more stable world. And let us make a compact today with the dead, a promise in the words for which General Ridgeway listened, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

In memory of those who gave the last full measure of devotion, may our efforts to achieve lasting peace gain strength. And through whatever coincidence or accident of timing, I tell you that a week from now when I am some thousands of miles away, believe me, the memory and the importance of this day will be in the forefront of my mind and in my heart.

Thank you. God bless you all, and God bless America.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It was pretty schweet

Tomorrow is our one month anniversary.
Earlier last week Jim asked me if I wanted to go on a picnic. Yes please and thank you.

Saturday morning, he stepped out on our deck and made a phone call. Afterwards he said that we would need to leave by 11:30 to go to the picnic. He wouldn't tell me where. Well, I love surprises. Seriously, I do. Not scary surprises. Real ones.

So, I got ready, asked him if my shoes were appropriate, and climbed into the truck. A little later we pulled up to...

the airport.

I sat there for a second. "You're taking me flying?! Really?!"
He just grinned.
"Are we having a picnic in the air?"
"Um.... I don't know. Maybe."
Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Cue theme song.

So, my husband gave me an aerial view of my new home and its surroundings. Basically, he blew all other dates out of the water.

He taught me a little tiny piece of flying a
plane knowledge. Air speed, the wet compass, vertical speed, flying with instruments only,
using the rudders in the turns.... he even let me fly it. After 2 minutes I was exhausted (I was, apparently, using my whole upper body to grip the "wheel") and gladly relinquished "control." He then headed to our destination.

Dauphin Island! I mean, the plane ride already had me amazed but we were going to have a picnic on the beach?! I really think my brain had a very minor implosion at that moment.

Anyway.... it was an incredible day. My pilot husband landed on the tiny little strip with nary a jolt to his bride's head. We grabbed our bag and blanket and set off in the direction that we hoped was the beach. Duh Amy, you were on an island. Every direction is the beach. Oh yeah. Darn.
We walked out onto the cool sand. Sand that was so dry it didn't stick to your feet. The beach was completely empty except for one other couple and the occasional clean-up crew. We spread out.... and the first seagull landed. She proceeded to keep all of the other seagulls away. Thanks. Still no food for you, though.

It was an absolutely incredible day spent with my best friend. We ate PBJs and chocolate cake. I chased the seagulls while he tried to nap. He took off without a problem despite the direct crosswind. You know, part of me feels all bomb-diggety because I'm using all of these terms... but I'm really afraid I'm not using them correctly. He stalled the plane three times in a row (purposely) on the way home and my stomach was introduced to my uvula. My headset was green and the mouth piece barely worked. I had to chew on it just right before Jim could hear me. And if that even registered on the "Complaints of the Day" radar.... it would be the only one.
Dear husband,
I love you. I cannot wait until our 2 month anniversary.
Love, your wife

P.S. I kidd

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I bet Martin Luther would have fled.

Saturday night I went on base where Jim was on duty and watched the Auburn game with him. Number one I wanted to see him. Number two to escape the Barbarian horde. Some of you call them trick-or-treaters.

Sunday evening rolled around. Fifth Sunday so no evening church. We were on his computer, trying to fix my blog. I suggested we go somewhere. We continued to sit. The house got darker and darker and we had not gotten up to turn on any lights.

Amy - "Well, I think that will work."
Jim - "Are you satisfied?"
Amy - "Yes, thank y (ding dong!) ..... what?!"
Jim, looks confused, then his eyes widen - "It's a trick-or-treater! We forgot to get out of the house!"
Amy, hissing - "Quick, close the computer or they'll see the light!"
Jim - "Slowly. If they see the light go out fast, they'll know we're here!"

We didn't make a sound. We slowly clicked the laptop shut... and crept to the front door and peered into the foyer. There were a lot of Barbarians traipsing around on our road. "Maybe they'll think we aren't home?," I asked. "Maybe," he said, "Maybe, they'll tell everyone else that too. Oh no! The garage door is wide open! They'll know we're here!" "No. No... maybe they'll just think we are idiotic people who leave our house wide open to the world."
They continued to walk around, waving their plastic bags. It was apparent that it was hard to walk with such garb. Parents kept up with their kids by creeping alongside the yards in their cars, flashers on, obviously embarrassed they allow their children to do this. We saw several teenagers not dressed up at all, but still asking for candy. Lame.
"We're trapped like rats," Jim said. "Hey! Do you still want to go somewhere?"
"Yes. Definitely."
"Let's do it. Get a sweatshirt."
Getting ready to go takes longer in a pitch black house. But we managed... with occasional short bursts of on-off light activity.
We crawled into our garage, slipped into the truck, and fled. And it's a good thing too. Their reinforcements were trudging up the hill towards our subdivision.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What it's like

Hello. I am still alive.... I've just been undergoing some changes.

For one thing: I am now married. For real. This translates into several things:
a) I have a new name. It's rather strange to get used to
b) My home is now with him
c) I am no longer a virgin. I know, I know... your parents might not let you hang out with me anymore
d) There isn't a d. But four points look so much more intellectual than three

For another thing: I am in charge of cooking. No more sous chefing for me. I am in charge of menus, grocery lists, timing, knowing if the pork is done or not, and figuring out a gas stove.

C. I am learning how to sleep with someone else. I mean sleep. It's kind of hard. He keeps talking in his sleep and hitting me. I, suddenly, have to pee at 2:40. What's with that? I have never had to pee in the middle of the night and before we got married, he never hit me!

4. I am so overwhelmed by the generosity of people right now (translation: AUGGGGHHH!!! THANK YOU NOTES FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!!!).

E. I have a husband. What?! Get out of town! No, for real. Allow me to talk about him. The man has become my spiritual leader. He is always asking me if I have spent time with God today and encouraging me to do so if I haven't. He'll just up and out of the blue ask if there is anything
about which he could pray for me. He loves sitting down and just talking about something he has realized, or something that he's been dwelling on, or something that he heard that day. And he loves to talk with me. Not TO me. WITH me. His utter delight at conversation warms my heart. He is actually the one who makes me stop what I'm doing and just talk. Last night he wouldn't let me get up to help him clean the dishes because he wanted me to keep talking. I guess chores do distract me from verbalizing my feelings.
Jim is affectionate in public. Some of you know that this was not an easy adjustment for me. I was like, "Don't hug me! We're in the grocery store!" or, "No. No kiss. We're right outside our friends' house!" But now... I'm learning to love it! It's so.... so.... territorial doesn't seem the right word, but there is a protection that I feel when he kisses me. I can almost hear him saying to everyone around us, "This is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone." It's quite a tingly feeling. I love him so.

And last but not least, I have a new home. Meaning I am being allowed to consider curtains, clocks, wall hangings, and a few new pieces of furniture! But first, I have to finish unpacking.

Friday, October 8, 2010

[ ... ]

To my family:

Family, according to Noah Webster in 1828 meant "The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders."

Oh, Noah. You know family means so much more than that.

This can't be long. It's THE WORK DAY, after all.

I just wanted to say that I love each and everyone one of you and am going to miss this home. The chaos of dinnertime. The impossibility to sleep in when your bedroom is under the kitchen. Being woken up with a chore list (well.... I don't know if I'll miss THAT). And I'll stop now before I ramble.

I can't say anything else, precious ones. My fingers are just sitting on the keyboard as my emotions well over in my eyes. I hope my love is silently understood... because making it audible is impossible right now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

socks after marriage? Nah.

Anna: "Amy, when you get married, can I have your socks?"
Me: "People, I'm getting married. I'm not dying."

Jim, after I told him: "Just admit it. Your family sees me as the Grim Reaper."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Messed up. Again.

I am currently reading through I Kings. I mean, not currently, because currently I'm typing this blog.

Anyway... I keep getting cracked up at the author. Whoever he was. I've heard Isaiah, Jeremiah, even Elijah. But around chapter 14, this phrase starts showing up: "Now the rest of the acts of ____ and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?" Again and again. I can just picture the man of God, sitting there, scratching away and going, "Wait! I've already told this! I am not writing it AGAIN!" Of course, anyone would get tired of writing about the kings of Israel and Judah. Almost every single one of them, "walked in the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, like the heart of his father David." This is the pattern of humans. Thank goodness for God's promise to never destroy the earth again until His return.... because honestly, we are so incredibly forgetful of His love for and promises to and protection of us, we deserve to be erased about every decade or so.
I am one of them. I am a sinner just like everyone else. I am angry at Him when I am disappointed or hurt and I forget Him when things go my way. I commit the same sins again and again and again... and again and again He reminds me of who He is and that His plan is entirely different but so, so much better if I would just hold His hand. If I would just listen for that still, quiet voice that says, "Why are you here, Amy?" Because I want to be in charge, Jesus. Just hang on. I've got this.
And hours, days, weeks later I find that I am bleeding and so utterly lost in a thicket of thorns and... guess what? He is still there. He reaches down and He bathes my face and says, "Come. Follow Me." And when I do.... I still bleed. But I am no longer alone or lost. For now anyway. In a few days, I'll probably wander off again.
It is so frustrating. Frustrating and embarrassing. I have realized that I often just dwell on what an idiot I am, how I have no right to ask for forgiveness, how I just know that Christ doesn't want me anymore. My almost husband has been pushing me to not do this. And part of me rebelled because I thought I was using the "Get Out of Jail Free Card" with God. Just ask for forgiveness and move on. Don't think about your sin. He loves you forever. Jim has told me that no, not that. To be more and more aware of the wickedness of our sin is to grow closer to Christ. But, we can't humanize Him. He isn't human. Just because I couldn't forgive someone for the same thing again and again doesn't me He can't. His forgiveness knows no bounds. He is not confined by His emotions of getting even. He does not keep an account.

"He loves me now as much as He did when first He inscribed my name in His eternal book of election. He has not repented of His choice. He has not blotted out one of His chosen; there are no erasures in that book; all whose names are written in it are safe forever." - Charles Spurgeon

P.S. Another funny moment. When Elijah is standing on the mountain in I Kings 19 and he witnesses the strong wind destroying the mountain, then the earthquake, then the fire... and God was not in any of them. Then... a gentle wind? Elijah wraps his face in a mantle because he knows he is about to talk to God. And the voice says, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Elijah responds with, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
I'm sorry, but the picture of him standing there, with a cloak wrapped around his head saying these things is humorous to me. "Augh auf bin vurry zeluhs fah t' Lawd... an augh canna breeve."

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Okay, my multi-musicianed-musing friends,

I need a song. The song that will play when I come into the church. Something that will sound good played with a piano. I also have a violinist and celloist (?) available. Send me ideas! My mom said I need to decide this week and I have no idea!


Monday, August 9, 2010

So much for stress free

Last night, Mom walked into the kitchen where Ryan and I were. She had a sign taped to her chest.

It said: ".... after the wedding."

She said, "This is now my answer to all of your questions."

It was pretty funny.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Good" food?

My Mom's catscan was last week....

For those of you who didn't know, she opted to not do chemo and go on a diet. A very radical diet with a ton of supplements (enzymes that wage war with cancer cells like Eomer with the Urak Hai). I mean radical. Only raw food for a month. No meat. No bread. No pasta or cheese. And absolutely, positively NO SUGAR.

And my Mom did it. She continued to cook the "good" food for us and ate salads, smoothies, and drank the juice that had been in solid form just that morning. Our refrigerator overflowed with goodness: Avocados, radishes, okra, sprouts, blueberries, strawberries, fresh pineapple, mango, lemons, celery, carrots, red and yellow and green bell pepper.... wonderful, colorful foods!
She took her food with her when we ate out. She cooked a fourth of July meal with barbequed chicken, baked beans with brown sugar, potatoe salad, chips, dips, multiple desserts.... and ate her salad. It was an amazing show of character and will.

A lot of people didn't understand that she was fighting cancer with food. How can you? If it's that "easy" why does chemo even exist?

Well.... to tell you the truth, our idea of health is crap. Really. You see, God created our bodies to take care of themselves. We're here to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, remember? It's hard to glorify Him when we're having a hard time breathing or we're too fat to get off of the couch. We have an amazing ability to heal, to fight, and to endure a lot of stuff.... IF we are supplying the armory. But we don't. We opt for healthy by not putting cheese on our burger. We drink diet Cokes and think that our bodies will appreciate it. We fry everything!! in oils that have been so chemically messed with our bodies don't know how to break it down, thus storing these extra deposits anywhere they can find a spot. God put what we need to live in the foods that grow naturally. It's all there! Vitamins, enzymes, natural flora, tastiness.... He saw that it was all good and wanted us to enjoy it. HIS food is in a format that the human body knows how to handle. It can break everything down and use all of it... it's amazing!

And Mom's catscan? The mass has reduced in size by 50%. It doubled the month before the diet... and now it's halfway gone! Her oncologist was laughing on the phone when he told her. "The radiologist wants to know what in the world you are doing.... because it's working!"

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Honey, the mustache?

Did I blog about UP? The Pixar movie that turned me into a blubbering mess in the first ten minutes? No? Yes?


Well. I watched Toy Story 3 last Saturday. And I .... uh.... cried. Yes. Once again, over a cartoon. It was sad though. I mean.... Andy.... grown up.... not playing.... attic or trash?.... I won't spoil it, but I cried.

Pixar is seriously doing an amazing job with making movies for families. A plot with great development of characters, pretty clear lines between good and bad guys, excellent animation, lessons to be learned, the hero falling then picking himself back up.... all the while dialogue that adults enjoy without being inappropriate.

Some of the great lines:
Molly just threw her Barbie into the donation box -
Jessie - "Oh. Poor Barbie."
Ham - "I get the Corvette!"

Mr. Potatoe Head - "It was horrible! They threw me in a box with sand and Lincoln Logs!"
Ham - "I don't think those were Lincoln Logs."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trials of a maid of honor

So, my best friend since I was five years old is married. Sunday it happened and now she's his. As the wedding coordinator waved for me to go, I glanced back and looked at Mr. Steve, fighting tears. He winked at me and I walked in. You know how people say their life flashes before their eyes in a dangerous situation? I'm not comparing this to a moment of that kind of intensity, but a flood of moments came to mind as I walked to my station, clutching my daisies. I was thinking of when she accidently burped in my ear when she was trying to tell me a secret. I remembered the multiple clubs we formed and Alisa was ALWAYS the president. Our love of old movies and the dismay of braces. Our crush on the same guy. The tape we made that had two songs on it: 'My Girl' again and again and again and.... 'Space Jam.' Weird, I know. Her lack of knowledge (care?) about time ('Angela! Your Dad is at the front door beeping his horn! Let's GO!' "Hey, Amy? C'mere! Which CDs do you want to take and listen to?"). High school, driver's license, college, brothers.... sleepovers. Disney themed birthday parties. Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop. Barbies when everyone said we were too old for them. Jamming three adult bodies into a two-man tent. Alisa and Angela insisting on turning on flashlights and lighting up said tent when they heard something outside, while I wanted everything dark so IT couldn't see us. Garfield. Shirley Temple. Vowing to move to the mountains where the wild ponies live and let our children grow up in the wind and rain.

The crowd stood and she walked in and I realized that I would never get a lot of that back. I know, I know.... I'm being dramatic. Never, Amy? Really? Well.... yeah. He is her priority now, as he should be. Yes, I'm still the best friend. Yes, we will still spend the night with each other sooner or later. BUT... she's a wife. She has different concentrations, different goals, new dreams. And I am looking forward to watching that development! But... I'm still a little sad. Don't shoot me.

I was also nervous about my assignments. At the dress rehearsal the day before the pastor had been very specific about when I should arrange her train, how I should hand him the ring, to pass off my bouquet before taking hers, arrange the train again, don't drop the ring, take my bouquet back, and of course, don't lock my knees.
I was so nervous. In the prepatorium, as we smoothed, glossed, and arranged, I was trying to decide how to hold Jason's ring. Slide it on my thumb? Put it behind my own engagement ring?Hold it against the stems? Clutch it in my sweaty palm? I finally decided that my middle finger was small enough for it to be pulled off of, yet large enough that it wouldn't just slide down, unbeknown to me until it clanked loudly on the wooden floor.
I was nervous, remember? And my hands were clammy. I went to the bathroom one last time and thought that I had better check to make sure it would slide off as easily as I thought it would.

Oh no. Oh... no. No, no, no, no, no! Come off! Please, come off! Please COME OFF NOW!

Shoooooooooom! PING! The ring shot off of my finger and ricocheted off the concrete block wall and into a corner, nearly ringing the waste basket. My sweet brother-in-law later informed me that titanium, if dropped at the perfect angle with the perfect velocity, can shatter. Well, apparently, these two slams didn't quite match the needed numbers to get a pile of dust. I picked it up with my now cold hands, searched for a scratch, thanked God when there wasn't one, and slipped it onto my little finger. That finger remained curled in a death grip in my palm until the pastor stretched out his hand. I didn't drop it. I'm pretty sure I smiled with relief when I turned it over. And I don't think I arranged her train every time I was supposed to.

I was exhausted.

And I didn't even lock my knees.

Friday, June 11, 2010

i am glistening

Well.... I was going to post a sweet blog of my best friend of 20 years who is getting married in two days, BUT, as Porter from the Sandlot said:

"This pop ain't workin' Benny! I'm bakin' like a toasted cheeser! It's so hot here!"

I'm going swimming.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And I've only been barefoot for a month

You know it's time for a pedicure when you step on a tack and don't even bleed because the barb didn't even make it through a callous.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

He is still good, even though I am scared

Dear friends,

I am trying to recruit a prayer army. My mother needs it.

For those of you who didn't know, Mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma 18 years ago. After only a couple of chemo treatments, she found out she was pregnant. The doctors said chemo and pregnancy could not occur at the same time so she started the much milder treatment. The cancer disappeared. And Asa was born in July 1992, perfectly normal.... although sometimes I wonder if a chemo treatment did make it to his brain.

In March, we learned that it was back. My mom had a 4 cm tumor pressing against her gallbladder and her lymph nodes were swollen many times beyond their normal size. The doctors started her on a mild, no side effects treatment, hoping that it would work. Her back pain disappeared and we were very hopeful.

Her catscan was yesterday. Her lymph nodes have gone back to normal size, praise the Lord. The tumor, however, has gone from 4 cm to 7cm. The doctor voiced the fear that it might be large-cell, which means aggressive and fast growing. A needle biopsy is scheduled for Monday (Why Monday? Why use words like aggressive and fast growing then delay the test for four days?), with results by Tuesday. If it is what they think it is, chemo will be started. It will probably last for six months. Which means my mother could very well be sick all summer long. And lose her hair. Which is probably one of the most humbling aspects of cancer, especially for girls.

Please pray. Pray not only for healing, but for quiet hearts on our part. That we will draw our strength from God and not from those around us. That we will point to Him with our words and actions.

And after those holy words, I'll confess my selfishness. Pray for me, that I will accept whatever this will change regarding wedding plans. I have been trying not to obsess over what I want... but with the possibility of major changes looming, I find myself clutching onto my desires. It's so stupid.

Thank you so much for the notes and prayers you have already sent our way. They are encouraging to her. And though God already knows how this will play out, we have to pray, see, because He commanded us to. So get on it.

P.S. And don't tell me you've been praying when you haven't.
P.P.S. I love y'all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

out of control registering

But Jim, we NEED a pineapple slicer.

And an avocado peeler.

And a mini grater that would be perfect for a Barbie.

And Irish coffee mugs. Do they come in pints?

Monday, May 10, 2010

I will never allow my countrymen to go into these schools

At the dinner table:

Dad: What is George Wallace famous for?
Ryan: Oh. Wait.

Friday, April 23, 2010

This is the second one in the past week

And so begin the pre-wedding nightmares:

The doors open... I'm walking into the church. Don't cry, don't cry. And don't look at Dad. As much as he cried at Alisa's, you know looking at him will make you cry. Okay... just sneak a peek. Why hasn't the music started? Why are we walking into silence? And Dad isn't crying at all! In fact, he looks bored! Where is the music?!!

Why are you waiting for me at the end of the aisle? You aren't Jim! I told you, no, I wouldn't go out with you! What is going on? Time out! TIME OUT!!

Home for a reception.... and decorating hasn't even started. Oh, it's been put off until tomorrow. Okay. For some reason, I'm perfectly okay with this. Get up the next morning to a foot of snow. Which, in typical Alabama form, quickly melts. The ground is a big muddy, slushy mess. But the show must go on! Why is the grocery store parking lot fair pulling into the driveway? Hi, Amy! We heard you wanted an outdoor reception so we brought our hastily put-up ferris wheel, wheel-and-spin, and funnel cakes. And vomit bags. This is going to be so much fun!

..... and WAKE UP.

Things to do:
1) Sigh with relief
2) Consider eloping

Saturday, April 17, 2010

quote unquote

Alisa, after meeting Jillian Michaels on a DVD:
"How am I supposed to do a 30 day shred when I need a 30 day recovery?!"

Asa, when we were turning into a gas station:
"Their gas is $2.69... to the ninth power. Whoa. Do these people realize how much they're paying?!"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

hey. This is fun.

I went wedding dress shopping yesterday. As I stepped up onto that box and looked into the triage of mirrors, I thought, "Is this really me?" Why yes. Yes, it is. Playing the most looked-forward to game of dress-up ever. I am going to enjoy it.

There are rules to this game:

1) Don't be obnoxious towards the ones who came with you. They are holding the dresses for you to step into, zipping, lacing, tying, squeezing.... they don't have a place to sit down, they walk with you to the mirror, they go back with you to the dressing room. Don't wear them out. Watch the clock.

2) Be thankful to your the store assistant. She is running her legs off, lugging those fifty pound bags dresses back and forth, all the time remaing pleasant and trying to please you.

3) Don't always believe said store assistant. She will ooh and aah and at the slightest raise of one of your own eyebrows, the tiniest comment about the poofiness of the skirt and she will back down with a, "You know, I agree! This skirt is just too big for YOU. The other one was much more elegant."

4) "This one compliments your figure," is different from, "This one really shows your figure."
I learned this when another future bride received the second comment. Yes. Her figure was definitely showing.

5) Refrain from making comments to other shoppers unless they are sweet. Don't say anthing like, "It's a great dress.... if you don't want anyone to look at your face," or, "You know, if I had what looks like an airbrush tattoo of 'Believe' across my arm in yellow and green and red, I wouldn't choose a strapless."

6) Try not to let your mouth fall open when you see the price tag. Your jaw socket may become unhinged and this will hurt.

7) Don't hog the platform. Yes, this is a day you have looked forward to for years. But, she's been looking forward to it to.

8) Don't bring males. It's just awkward.

9) Don't trust your sense of balance as you are standing on one foot while trying to weave the other into a mass of tulle/silk/lace/taffeta. Pride comes before a fall and you might find yourself entangled and falling towards the wall. Thank goodness the dressing room is tiny and it wasn't faraway.

10) Theme songs from movies such as "Gone with the Wind," "Pride and Prejudice," "Sound of Music," and "Enchanted," add comic relief if you sing them when emerging in a dress that fits one of said movies.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I wanted to be a country vet

James gave me All Creatures Great and Small for "Valentines Day." I put it in quotation marks because it wasn't really for that day. But people seem confused if I tell them he just gave me a book for absolutely no other reason than he wanted to give me something. It was close to the red hearted day, so there.

For those of you who haven't read James Herriot's adventures in country vetland in the Yorkshire Dale hills.... you should. In my mind, he is the best nonfiction storyteller ever.

1) Of farmers with dead cows trying to convince the insurance company that it was lightning:
" I had heard Siegfriend tell of one old chap who had called him out to verify a lightning death. The long scorch marks on the carcass were absolutely classical and Siegfriend, viewing them, had been almost lyrical. 'Beautiful, Charlie, beautiful, I've never seen more typical marks. But there's just on thing.' He put an arm round the old man's shoulder. 'What a pity you let the candle grease fall on the skin.'
The old man looked closer and thumped a fist into his palm. 'Dang it, you're right, maister! Ah've mucked t'job up. And ah took pains ower it an' all - been on for dang near an hour!' He walked away muttering. He showed no embarrassment, only disgust at his own technological shortcomings. "

2) Of being called out after the farmer had tried his own treatment:
"He had been with us for over a year but it was an uncomfortable relationship because Siegfriend had offended him deeply on his very first visit. It was to a moribund horse, and Mr. Sidlow, describing the treatment to date, announced that he had been pushing raw onions up the horse's rectum; he couldn't understand why is was so uneasy on its legs. Siegfriend had pointed out that if he were to insert a raw onion in Mr. Sidlow's rectum, he, Mr. Sidlow, would undoubtedly be uneasy on his legs."

3) Of shouted phrases that made the author laugh:
"The milker was an old man and he was having trouble. He was sitting well into the cow, his cloth-capped head buried in her flank, the bucket gripped tightly between his knees, but the stool kept rocking about as the cow fidgeted and weaved. Twice she kicked the bucket over and she had an additional little trick of anointing her tail with particularly liquid feces then lashing the old man across the face with it.
Finally, he could stand it no longer. Leaping to his feet he dealt a puny blow at the cow's craggy back and emitted an exasperated shout.
'Stand still, thou shittin' awd bovril!' "

Good stories. Yes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

With all my heart, yes

So.... not only does he love me, he wants me to be his wife.

He says he owes me fourteen kids and two oreos.

The ring is beautiful. He picked it out by himself.

But more importantly, Jim's heart's desire is Christ... and then me.

I am so glad I'm not first.

So, hold fast to Christ. And if I may be so bold.... please pray for us.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Dear dress,
If I were you, I would be sold too.



Saturday, February 27, 2010

So far so good

Hey, ambulance drivers can be good-looking. Don't laugh at her female tendencies. I would love to meet this child.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

reporting off

I am beginning to realize that no matter what kind of day you have had on a hospital floor, when it is time for the shift change.... everything happens. Room 222, who hasn't pooped since his third birthday, suddenly develops explosive diarrhea. Someone's heart stops beating (how dare they?). Maintenance cannot figure out how to make the fire alarms go off so the big, swinging doors keep opening and shutting automatically while we have to go around and shut all patient doors. After shutting said doors, Ms. 289 beings to shriek, "OPEN MY DOOR! OPEN MY DOOR!" So, very professionally we explain to her that no, we can't open her door. Ring ring. This is Amy. Oh, he just yanked his IV from his arm? ... and he wants his IV pain medicine? Of course.

Five minutes before reporting off:
"Hey Mrs. Hoffleman (please know I made that up), what's up?"
"I need you to change my bag."
"Wow. Already? I just changed it.... let me see.... um... there really isn't that much in there."
"I know. But I wanted you to change it one more time before you leave for the night, since you do such a good job."
Yay. Just like Christmas.

Monday, February 22, 2010

but i don't need to

I made supper tonight.

Mom - "Amy, if you ever need to impress a boy.... don't make cornbread."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

i will

I know, I know... I haven't blogged in a while. Okay, over a month.
The truth is, I haven't been doing much of anything. People keep telling me, "You've worked hard! You deserve a break." I gladly believed that excuse for a while. Well, it's been 6 months since I've graduated and 4 since I've passed the NCLEX. Time to wake up. The Sabbatical is over, Amy. Just last week I asked Mom and Dad to come up with things they would like for me to do, i.e. large projects, school duties with Asa and Anna, books to read.... whatever. I've been lounging for 6 months and it has reached the shaming point. My piano skills are digging holes, my time with God is short, my time with my littls sister is reluctant, I'm not fixing our room, I'm not reading good books, I'm not stretching my mind, I'm not taking over meals ... yuck.

So.... with a lot of effort, this sloth is going to get her rear in gear and it's going to start by getting up in the morning. Yeah, I've worked three 13 hour shifts in a row. I'm young. I'll survive. So, pray for me please. Seriously. Because my days have not glorified Christ recently.

1) I need a schedule
2) I need a budget
3) I need to take over meals big time
4) I need to love Anna
5) I need to tackle hard books (Narnia is not hard... this will be tough)
6) I want to get in shape, seriously
7) These are not in order of importance because I want to grow closer to Jesus

And I just realized that if I'm really as tired as I say I am and am going to get up up up in the morning, then I need to go to bed. Now.
Good night.

P.S. The boy loves me. He told me so.