Wednesday, May 25, 2011

defend this

...bitches! (i secretly love to say this word. a lot)

i'm not sure where to even begin with this post. today is a day that we have long awaited. like a birthday or wedding day or trip or first day on the job. you get what i'm saying. today is a big day.

i can remember where we were when we decided adam would go to graduate school for his master's in english. we were taking a walk down colony road near where we used to live. i remember thinking and probably saying, "we'll never have the money for grad school, so if it's something you want to do, let's do it." and he did. he applied, got in and we moved up by UNCC. things were going really well those first 2 years. he got a position as a graduate assistant and was making all A's. what he was studying blew my idea of what a degree in english was. more theory than book reports. let's put it that way.

our first "disruption" happened in the spring of 2009 when we found out we were pregnant with Charis. this was a complete surprise. (duh, of course we know how it works, we just weren't "trying") adam's course work was coming to an end and he had decided to keep teaching as an adjunct at uncc. we decided to move from uncc since he was done with classes and find a place closer to our community in charlotte (proper). we found a great house to rent in a great location. i kept working full time. adam was teaching and at some point began working on his Master's Thesis. there were so many stages...write a proposal, submit it, get feedback, make adjustments, submit again, and eventually get started on the real deal.

i think we were hoping he'd get the thesis done and graduate by the time Charis came (winter 2009). when that didn't happen we had the next spring in our sights. i learned a lot about what it takes to write a thesis. and not just any thesis, THIS thesis. lots and lots and lots of revisions. i think he turned in his first chapters up to 10 times before he could move on to his second. maddening.

our second "disruption" came in the late spring of 2010 when i was diagnosed with breast cancer. between adjusting to life with a new baby and dealing with this crazy news, the thesis was clearly not a priority. but he always was working on it. once we settled into this new phase of life and my treatment, he plowed away at this masterpiece. he was hoping he could get it done by winter 2010, but his advisor wanted him to do some more revisions. ugh. side note--at some point around june i learned a little about how adam writes. he thinks first. it's clearly very different than how i write. for me, this was a turning point in how i viewed this thesis. it wasn't just some thing he could whip is smart and thorough and requires a bunch of thought and time and revisions. i think this was so good for me to learn.

the last 4-6 months have been filled with making the final touches on this paper. adam finally nailed down a date for his "Thesis Defense" with his thesis committee (3 of his former professors at uncc) and he was hard at work fine tuning. his last meeting with his advisor was encouraging. i especially love that he told adam that "this is a very smart thesis." hell yeah it is!! there were very precise requirements on how to format the document. we had to find 100% cotton paper for it to be printed on. he picked his title and probably something dapper to wear. he drove to the university earlier today. at 2pm he walked into a room to face Tony, Cy, & Ron to "defend" his Thesis. and he passed! so very exciting.

for us, today is a big day. and we will be sure to celebrate.
and now the one question NEVER to ask me again, "when is Adam done with his thesis?"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

girl meets world

at first i thought it was fred savage that i am resembling now, but it's actually his little brother, ben

the post chemo hair is thicker and curlier...a picture really can't capture the chaos that is now my new hair

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


*excuse the explicit language in this post.

i was called a fuckhead on the road the other day. i was driving up to one of those intersections where there is a main road and a side road. i was on the side road wanting to turn left on the main road. the right light went straight and the left lane was a turning lane. there were 3 cars in the right as i drove to a stop at the light. i heard a honk but figured it was someone else. the light turned green and i approached the intersection. as i did a black Cadillac came up on my right (maybe the 3rd car in the right lane), slowed down, honked, yelled "fuckhead" at me, and flipped me off as he drove through the intersection. i was focusing on turning when i could while being completely dumbstruck by what just happened. my first thought was "wow, what just happened." then my next thought was, "someone had a rough day." then i briefly thought, "i hope he gets in a wreck." then i came to my senses and thought maybe i should pray for the dude. i mean, he was so mad. i feel sorry for the guy.

i never understand how someone can get so mad. did he think i made my own lane as i drove past him on the left to my position at the light? did i get to close to his black caddie? did he have a bad day at work? did his wife just leave him? was he coming from a doctor's appointment where he just heard bad news? is he just a grumpy old man? i don't know the answer to any of these questions. what i do know is that i didn't do anything to elicit the name "fuckhead." although now that i've typed it 3 times it is growing on me. i drove home stunned and feeling really sorry for the guy. i'm just thinking life is too short. and maybe he was is too short for me not to yell "fuckhead" to this lady in the subaru. maybe? nah, that's a bit much.

be kind to other drivers today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

garage sale season

i LOVE a bargain. i wouldn't say i'm a shopper, i mostly shop out of boredom. clearly not a wise thing. but i've been going to garage sales since i was a kid. i love waking up early and checking out other people's trash (& treasures). the jackpot is when you hit a neighborhood sale. anyway. yesterday i went out just to get out, not looking for anything in particular. i found some retro earrings for 50 cents and a lawn mower toy for 1 buck in the neighborhood sale. they had lots of good things but nothing i really needed. then on my way home i saw a a pulled up to the house, i thought, "i've hit the jackpot." upon further discovery it was a mess. one woman commented, "it looks like they cleaned out their closets and dumped everything for us to go through." it made me laugh out loud. even with the mess they had great being this step 2 coaster that was on my garage sale list. (i know the pic is super small but that's all i could get)

and i got it for 5 bucks. yes, 5 bucks. you may be wondering what the retail price is...$109.99. i also found a pair of barely worn rainbows for 4 bucks. and a small see & say for 50 cents. i was so excited. that is what i love...when i am really looking for something and i find it, and find it cheap.

Monday, May 9, 2011

ONE and a HALF

is it annoying that i start every "charis update" with I CANNOT BELIEVE....this time it's that she is ONE and a HALF or 18 months since we are still aging in months. the sass and feistiness have kicked into high gear. she is a friggin blast these days. so stinkin cute. sometimes she reminds me of a giant gummy bear and i just want to squeeze her. we are staying busy for sure and i'm trying to soak it all up and in. i have to admit that it's hard at times. i mean, taking a step back and getting perspective it's not, but in the moment it can be. plus i've just been emotional with how wacky our lives are. i am extremely thankful to have Charis in the midst of all this "long suffering" with my health, job stuff, and financial uncertainty. there has been a moment or two where i've just wanted to sit and cry. maybe i'm not cut out for this. maybe i am. i think God knew/knows what he's doing, so i'll trust him.

she loves her purchase ever..thankyou consignment sale

- Charis is still a great eater and she's also at the age where she actually looks at things before she puts them in her mouth and maybe if it looks different she'll slam her mouth shut, lean back and nod her head "no." after a couple tries she'll sometimes give in and eat. or she'll eat something a few times then all of sudden is over it. she had risotto w/ spinach and asparagus recently and loved it. of course by the 2nd or 3rd time (okay, maybe i'm guilty of wearing things out) she realized she was eating something green and spit the asparagus out. ho hum. the other day's lunch was a smorgus-borg with curried chick peas, chickenless chicken nuggets, black beans and rice and a smoothie. i'm always amazed with her appetite.

enjoying the farmer's market

- She is talking a lot. recently she said butterfly but it sounds more like "fuffafy" and is so stinkin cute. i got her some new pjs with butterflies on them so she's saying it a lot. when she wakes up she almost always says, "mommy...daddy...bugilickaloogow..." it's hilarious. she is even putting words together (before you judge me as that obnoxious mom, by no means is she talking in sentences or doing anything out of the ordinary...i think i'm just amazed at how she is making connections. perhaps that is why i was a child development's fascinating). she'll put "swing" and "wee" together b/c we say weeeeeeeeeeee when we swing. she puts "car" and "ride" together b/c she loves loves loves to take rides in her car. she says "nigh nigh" at bed time and nap time, or when she wakes up and throws her dollie and blankets out of the crib. so, she is talking in equal parts real words and jibberish.

making faces

- we celebrated our 2nd Easter with her and this year she was way more aware of the easter basket and the toys in it. we also had our first egg hunt which was fun for about 5 eggs. but it was fun to see her "hunt" for just a bit. then she played in the sand table for a while. which i was surprised about b/c she doesn't usually like her hands dirty. Easter is hands down my favorite holiday...admittedly b/c of the baskets & candy but mostly b/c at a young age i really seemed to get the importance of Jesus' death and resurrection. as i've gotten older i understand even more what this means for me and love to see it lived out in creation too.

playing in the sand table

she found an what?!

- we went to my dad's for easter which means we got to go swimming. let me re-phrase that, Adam and Charis went swimming. she LOVED it and had no fear. adam put her under some and she'd come out saying peek-a-boo. i'm excited about getting in the pool with her some this summer too. i think we'll really have to watch her b/c she was walking up to the edge like it was no big deal. we went back to my dad's on Saturday and Charis was itching to get in the pool even with the water being so cold. we put her on the steps and soon she was venturing out (as far as she could with us holding onto her). so my brother, uncle john, got in with her and she was loving it, naked and all. when we got her out and dressed she was walking up to the edge and would have walked right in if we weren't holding onto her. can't wait to go back to the pool and see what she does when someone is in the pool for her to walk to. crazy girl, i love it.

loves the pool...she might be a fish

- peek-a-boo is a favorite game. but she says something like "bee boo."

she wanted to wear my headlamp

- potty i've decided to get serious about the potty in june when i'm done working. but i have to admit that she likes to use her potty a lot. recently she pointed to her diaper and said "poo poo" so i took off her (dry) diaper and sat her on the potty where she proceeded to got it, poo poo. a lot of the times she just tells us she has pee pee already in her diaper. but i'm noticing she's staying dryer for longer and goes pee pee or poo poo most every time she sits on the potty. she also really enjoys flushing the big potty. we are waiting for the day when she puts dollie or something else in it. i thought kids were afraid of the flushing. so, we'll keep you posted on if she's in "big girl undies" next month. oh, i've been debating about saying "undies" or "panties." i think panties has become such a sexualized term. things that make you go hmmmmmmm. and for the first time today, she pooed on the floor. nice. happy mother's day to me.

easter basket goodies...toy bus is her favorite

- we've been able to hang out with my twin nieces lately. they are now 6 months old and the cutest twins EVER. they are so beautiful. my sister is amazing...i don't know how she does it. i almost had a breakdown and it wasn't even that bad. i mean, charis did try to bop them on the head while i tried to fee them. and they get each other is crying, you get her calmed down then the other starts and you get the idea. we have fun with them. it's fun to think about what it'll be like having them grow up so close together in age and geography. i'm pretty excited about that.

i mean--those eyes, lips, cheeks....they are scrumpteous

- she loves going to school and child watch at the Y. i am so glad. and it does feel great to hear the teachers enjoy her. today at the Y they made a tile with her handprint on it for mother's day. so sweet.

she slept with a toy watch on her wrist

- she loves to put things over her head. probably not always good things. like strings and ribbons. recently the trash bag was cinched and she put the tie around her head. she also put one of our duffels around her head and walked around. it's pretty cute and semi-dangerous. but that's how we roll.

probably not the safest thing to do

- i'm thinking a lot about the words i use to describe her. when i write this i know you are going to think i'm crazy, but i spend a lot of time thinking about story. so i think we are playing a big part in the "writing" of her story. the words we use to describe her will have the potential to shape her. yet i'm also aware that these words really do describe her. i know i can over think it, but i don't want to be careless or even ignorant about my affect on her as she grows. all that to say, we are seeing how strong-willed she is and that she does have a bit of sass and lots of feistyness to her personality. it's like at times she knows what she wants and won't back down til she gets it. really?! this can happen at 18 months?! sometimes i get so hellbent on something, like saying please, and she just won't do it. she is also extremely sweet and lovey. i have to admit that she's even a little independent. i'm trying to learn how to not make these words her identity but to nurture them in ways that will dignify her as she grows. i'll let you know how that goes in 13 years. :)

- she loves to give hugs and kisses. her teachers at school tell me that she and desiree are always hugging each other. i have a friend with a daughter who is 8 months older and she would tell me how good it is when she hugged her back for the first time. and it is such a sweet and yummy feeling. adam and i have always cherished the times she'd lay her head on our shoulder. now she hugs and that is like crack.

this really shows how much her hair is growing

i love being her mama. it's challenging and so fun. i still can't believe i'm a mom. and i'm learning that God has entrusted this gift to me. she makes me think a lot. i'm being challenged a bunch...about motherhood, story and God. it's pretty amazing.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Hi, I’m Amy and I’m hoarder. “hi amy.”

My desire is stronger than my motivation, but I have some serious spring-cleaning to do. In the 5 years we’ve been married this is the first place we’ve lived with an attic and I am ashamed at how much crap we’ve saved/accumulated/stored up there. I would love to live a minimalist lifestyle but I am also very sentimental. I hold onto things “just in case.” And for nostalgia. My goal is to clean out the attic and really get rid of the stuff. It’s just stuff. If it turns out I need 20 frames I can go buy a new one or the many vases I’ve saved from our wedding.

This past weekend I climbed up to the attic to see what’s going on up there and start sorting to purge. It’s a strange process and I know it gets messy before it gets clean. I came across a bin marked “Amy’s old stuff.” This stuff has been through lots of moves and I’m surprised it’s made it this long. First there is a yellow pillow with my name cross-stitched on the front and my 2 baby blankets. Keeping those. Then there is a shoebox of stuff. A few old wallets. My mom’s pearl necklace she wore in her senior picture. My recorder from 5th grade. My disc man that I got for Christmas in 1993 or 1994. My old stamp & coin collection. My Glamour Shots proofs from 8th grade. And the worst thing I found was a stack of movie & concert ticket stubs dating back to 1991. That is 20 years!! Movie tickets. What the heck! I mean-if I’ve held onto them this long I should keep them, right? Wrong! I had to throw them away. And I have to admit I’ve wanted to dig them out of the trash a few times. Why? I’m not really sure. I’m sure a counselor could unpack that for me. But I had proof that movies used to cost $3.50 and $4.25 and $5. The good ole days. I have to admit that I did hold onto a few concert tickets, namely Tom Petty, which was my first ever concert in 1991 that I went to with my youth group. And Lenny Kravitz in 1993, which was my first solo concert. I did throw away the Charlotte Hornets Stay in School Jam ticket though. I have my limits.

I just need to shed the stuff. I know that is going to feel really good. And hopefully make us a few extra bucks at our summer garage sale.