Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Beginning of Summer

I saw a promotion by Ransomed Heart Ministry ( John Eldredge's ministry)where if you promised to read and blog about his new book about marriage, entitled "Love and War", that they would send you a free copy of the book. I was all "sign me up!" but when I signed up, they then informed me that the promotion was over. Wah. I'm a day late and a free book short. But I had to leave my blog address and check a box letting them know if I wanted any other promotional info in the future ( YES, PLEASE), and it made me think..."Hmmm... are they going to come over here and check out my blog to see if I am worthy of investment?" And that made me think I should be more faithful in updating, no matter how mundane the posts.

So - here's the latest from our world.

As most of you probably know from Facebook, we were on vacation last week in Savannah. I was a little nervous b/c the weather forecast showed thunderstorms for EVERY single day we were there, and there were a few scattered showers, but my fears of a hotel-bound vacation did not come true. We were able to do everything we had wanted. Huzzah! We went to Tybee Island and enjoyed the beach a couple times, went on a dolphin cruise, and explored the city on foot. We did a LOT of walking and LOVED it. Last time we were here, it was December of 08, and we didn't have a real chance to explore and take pictures to our hearts content, which we did this time. Wandering the quiet streets and squares, especially in the evening, enjoying the giant oak trees hung with Spanish moss and the beautiful architecture of the city, I could feel that my beauty hunger was being fed...and at the same time, making me more hungry. That's the thing about steeping yourself in beautiful surroundings - it makes you want more. It's like scratching a bad case of poison ivy on your arms - it feels so good, and yet, the more you scratch, the more you need to scratch. As I read in the book I got for my birthday ( Captivating - by John and Stasi Eldredge), "Every experience of beauty points to eternity." - Hans Urs von Balthasar

My parents have moved back north. I miss them. Aiden keeps asking where Grampa and Grandma M. are and saying he wants to hug them. We plan on going up this fall for a visit, and I know the time will fly between now and then, but still, September seems like a long time away right now.

That's it for now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reflections on my 32nd

My birthday was last week. I turned 32. It sounds middle-aged and boring. Hmmph. I can't wait til next year - 33 is a much better number. But I digress; it was a great day, nonetheless. I was going to blog about it and then I got really busy and lost inspiration, blah, blah, blah. But a few little things happened that I want to remember for the ages, and plus, I also heard that Aunt Gladys recently fell and sprained her ankle, so I thought I would seize the day and write this out, partly for posterity, and partly for Aunt G, so she'll have something to read when she checks my blog.

On my birthday's morning walk, Aiden and I saw a turtle on the sidewalk, and I LOVE turtles. We stopped and conversed with it for a while. When we got home, I saw a long, black snake slithering off into the bushes in front of my house. I surprised myself and actually chased it - or tried to - just to see where it went, not from an overflowing love of all God's creatures ( sorry, the other Claire Pass - who DOES have an overflowing love of all God's creatures) but just from morbid curiosity. But it eluded me.

Then I got a call from a total stranger, wishing me a happy birthday. Well, really it was one of Brad's co-workers and I found it quite charming. There is some sort of tale, no doubt, behind this, but the details are fuzzy in my brain at this point.

One of the highlights of the day was a birthday lunch in the park where many friends gathered and shared superior vittles and gave me gifts and made me feel special. There was a playground right next to the picnic tables so all the kids could play, and I have to confess that for a few minutes, my attention was distracted from Aiden and I lost track of him. I suddenly couldn't find him anywhere. Dread in my stomach. And then, I remembered him ranting on about wanting to see the train, which was in another part of the park... and so I zoomed over there, and yelled his name, and sure enough, he was all alone, on the train. Oh my heart. Shudder, wilt, dissolve. Thankyou, God, and guardian angels, for keeping him safe.

Round about here, I got a text from Nicole who was with Philip. To understand this part, I must backtrack into last year or thereabouts. I had made a birthday page for Philip's Dynavox, with options of phrases like, "Did you get any cool gifts?" "How old are you now?" and "You're over the hill!" and then there's a button that is a recording of me singing Happy Birthday. ( At one point, there was a version of me singing it in my silly voice, but then that got really annoying when you heard it played seventeen times in a row. Well, really, it was annoying the second or third time. Also, fun fact to know and tell: Philip laughed so hard while I was recording it, that I had to go into another room to record. ) Anyway...somehow, Philip had realized in recent days that my birthday was coming up. So Nicole texted me that Philip was using the Happy Birthday song button and then clicking on my name. I thought that was so sweet.

(He also has been delighting in telling me that I'm "over the hill." Ha! My own creation comes back to bite me! )

Then I went to work and Philip serenaded me with my own voice, several times. I thought it was slightly amusing that I was singing Happy Birthday to myself from some point in time in the distant past.

And then after a trip to Lowe's with Philip, I went home and Brad took me out to dinner - while Aiden had a visit with Conner - thanks, Kristi!- at a marvelous Italian restaurant. Oh, their stuffed mushrooms are magnificent. Pretty much everything there is magnificent - all fresh, all made right there. The only slight shadow cast upon it was the super-annoying conversation from a couple of other diners whose inane, egotistical, abominational babble we could not help but overhear...( really, if you had been there, you would no doubt have wanted to wring their collective necks too, because they just epitomized what is sending this country, nay humanity in general, to heck in a handbasket!) but Brad did his level best to drown them out by telling me interesting work related stories. I shouldn't have ranted about those buffoonish diners, because I don't really want to remember them for the ages, and I really felt a little bad that I didn't feel more compassionate towards them - but I DO want to remember the fact that Brad was in total silent agreement with me about the situation the entire time (we did not utter one word about it until we were out of there but it was like there was an unspoken exchange between us of, "Oh my word." "Yeah, I know! What is with them?" "Make it stop, please!" "Can I go give them a spanking?" Okay. I just made that last one up and I don't really know who was who in that imagined conversation) and he was so nice to keep up a steady stream of talking to distract me...which is slightly unusual, because the other times we've gone to that restaurant, we are generally hushed into a blissful, reverent near-coma by the ecstasy of the fabulous food. So I recognized and appreciated his sacrifice.

We did our best to convince Aiden that it was MAMA'S birthday, NOT Uncle Brown's
( it seems that Nate's birthday made the initial birthday impression in his brain. Nate is now inextricably entwined with Aiden's own version of the Happy Birthday Song, which is not unlike some sort of martial Soviet anthem in its unique tune). I think we were partially successful in this because at one point, he did utter the words" Happy Birthday, Mama" in consecutive order, but I think it is going to take a long time to fully eradicate Uncle Brown from Aiden's association with birthdays. And just as he has disassociated the two, it will be March 1st ... and time to sing to Nate again ... which will throw Aiden into hopeless confusion once more. And Diabolous will rejoice. ( Sorry - I just got carried away by the spirit of Ethel Barrett there.) (And if you don't know who she is, just google her. You're at a computer right now anyway. What's stopping you? Yes, go down this rabbit trail. She's interesting.)( I love parentheses.) ( And ellipses....)

So anyway- for an un-interesting age, it was kind of an interesting day.

By the way - our vacation is fast approaching. Can't wait. May has truly lived up to its eye popping reputation for craziness again. I was right in my prediction. And what busy-ness I didn't have, I received by Facebook osmosis from others. So, I'm in need of a good vacation. Even if it rains the entire time ( which it is forecasted to do), we will have a GREAT time. ( Please pray that we will have good weather!)