As I start a new chapter in life, it seems only fitting to change up my blog as well. You can now find me at LoriBailey.com. That was one of my Christmas presents from Brian – my very own domain 🙂 So, grab the feed and then head on over to check out my first post in my new home…all about the recent changes going on around here!
Busted February 26, 2008
I’m on the treadmill this morning, grooving to some high-energy tunes from my workout playlist. MmmBop (yes that one, by Hanson) comes on. Brian runs to the doorway, a look of great alarm on his face, “We own this song?!!” “Yeah, it’s happy.” My spousal approval ratings plunge.
Talked Out February 25, 2008
We just finished up our Creative Church Conference last Friday, which is pretty much the Super Bowl of my working year. It’s such a privilege to be able to interact with the thousands of church leaders who attend—my favorite part of my job. Every year it seems like I come away with one major realization and this time it was that every church has a story. And though they have similarities and overlapping circumstances with many other churches, they only realize their full potential when they come into their own and follow God’s lead for exactly who He wants them to become—just like each of us individually.
All that interaction came with a price, and since Friday afternoon I’ve had laryngitis. Too much talking + too much volume = no voice. However, there’s no better place to be with such an ailment than amidst pastors. Many of them put their arm around me and prayed for me on the spot. This was definitely the kindest group of attendees that I’ve ever experienced! And here’s a cool story…when one of the people visiting our booth realized I lost my voice, she said she works for an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who just so happens to be Reese Witherspoon’s dad. She highly recommended Mucinex, so I picked some up today and hope it helps soon.
At first, Brian and Ben were very sympathetic, but by now they find my attempts at non-verbal communication completely hilarious. Brian has not had this much good material in ages. I bang on the couch to get his attention and he looks back at me with mock shock and says, “Don’t yell at me!” And Ben has picked right up on the fun. We took a walk today and I was trying to get him to expand on a point by making a rolling action with my hands. So he quips, “You want to go over a waterfall? In a barrel? Mom I don’t think that’s a very good idea.” Such comedians. I’m left to respond with Grommit-like eye rolls.
Mostly, after a week of barely seeing my family, I’m reveling in being home with my sweeties, immersing myself in all things domestic and looking ahead to what’s next.
January January 30, 2008
Whew, it’s a little dusty around here! Our new blogging baby has been taking up lots of my time lately and I’m having such fun with it. Reading and writing about children’s literature is pure joy for me.
Other than that, we’ve enjoyed a January that doesn’t feel like it disappeared before we could blink (I guess after December it’s bound to feel more slowly paced). Here’s what’s been going on:
- I’ve been tivo-ing The Complete Jane Austen on PBS and finally got to watch the first movie over this last weekend. I was sitting there on the couch, drinking hot apple cider with a blanket over me and the cat curled up on my lap. As I remarked to Brian, “I’m glad I’m married or this would be a pretty pathetic sight – the quintessential spinster.” 😉
- As I was helping Ben with his hair last week, I said,”Ben, quit standing on your tiptoes, it’s hard for me to reach!” “Uh, mom, I’m not.”
- I taught myself how to crochet a granny square over the weekend. I aaaaalmost gave up when I got stuck and couldn’t understand the directions I had printed out. But, the internets came to the rescue! I found a YouTube video tutorial that got me over the rough part. That is the kind of thing that blows my mind when I compare life today with my grandma’s. She would have had to wait until she could get together with a friend to show her how. Anyway, I finished my first practice square last night, uneven and wobbly, but complete nonetheless. Not sure where I’m going with that newfound skill, just excited to learn something new.
- We’ve been following the political scene like crazy lately. I think the old advice to avoid talking about politics is stale. We’ve had some fascinating conversations recently in different social settings as we discuss the current scene. This is indeed a unique season with both parties in a tight primary race. Next Tuesday will be wild!
- I bought a yoga DVD for myself shortly after Christmas. I have not opened it yet. Think it will help me sitting on the shelf?
- Last weekend I tried on about 50 different pieces of clothing and came away with three. The sales were great, but it’s no kind of world for a short, pear-ish girl to find clothes – that’s why my most successful purchases are online. Yaaay for petites! I’m very excited to hear about Robin’s swimsuit solution – just might need to try that myself.
- I bought a bouquet of 10 daffodils for $2.50 on Friday – can’t beat a quarter/flower! They were so tightly closed that they looked like green sticks when I brought them home. They took their sweet time, unfolding slowly bit by bit. Two of them still aren’t even open yet. It’s a lovely reminder of a naturally slow pace.
- We dropped our Blockbuster online rental subscription and we haven’t missed it one bit. We’ve been doing family movie nights every Friday with DVDs from the library or the $1 kiosk at Kroger. We even got to watch Oceans 11, 12 and 13 in order – something that never would have happened with the unpredictable Blockbuster queue.
That’s quite enough for now! One of my goals for this new year was to get more sleep. So far I’m failing miserably. I can be just like a toddler – totally resistant to giving up the fun of waking hours, and as soon as my head hits the pillow I wonder why, oh, why did I wait so long? Bed, here I come!
Tonight January 4, 2008
Enjoying warm gingerbread and fresh whipped cream while watching the Iowa caucus together. Obama and Huckabee emerging as winners. Seems that nice guys do finish first – at least in Iowa. Of course, Ben thinks it’s because they both have 3-syllable last names – much better for victory chants.
I do believe the caucus has generated more excitement in our household than New Year’s Eve.
On the other side December 30, 2007
The Christmas tree is gone and many of the decorations are put away, but I’m still savoring this sweet holiday that we spent together: attending a truly incredible Christmas service as a family; cozy moments curled up on the couch doing things like watching It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooged, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Elf; finishing our annual reading of Rascal, catching up with family and friends with the happy arrival of Christmas cards, enjoying some of the most thoughtful and creative Christmas gifts I’ve ever received, and knowing that even without those presents, I’d be one incredibly blessed woman!
But that’s not all! In the midst of this season of giving, we debuted an idea that’s been brewing in our family for quite some time. On the day after Christmas, we launched Family Reads, a new site devoted to dependably delightful books for kids. It’s been a wonderful family project, with each of us contributing substantially. We’re posting reviews, tips, ideas and inspiration to help encourage a lifelong love of reading. Check it out, let us know what you think, and, by all means, share with your friends. The more the merrier!
December December 4, 2007
- Trying to sing along with Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Christmas song as you’re driving down the road. An adult’s voice really shouldn’t go there.
- Setting unrealistic goals, like, say, having all the Christmas shopping done and all the Christmas cards ready to send out by December 1. (It sounded reasonable in October.) Instead, I’m hoping to adopt a go-with-the-flow approach to the season, like allowing three days to get our Christmas tree up and decorated.
- Expect the Christmas lights you have carefully, artfully tucked away in the branches of your tree, while getting sticky with pine-sap, to continue working. As Brian lamented, “Why, oh why, can’t this great country of ours produce Christmas lights that work for more than an hour?” In the above-mentioned flexible spirit, the half-lit strand stayed on the tree, slightly obscured by scooting around some of the neighboring strands. Since this happens every year (and those minuscule fuses never work – they are just further trickery), I’m hoping it all adds up to some Christmas Story-esque fond memory for Ben as he gets older.
- Hanging on to old traditions that don’t work anymore. Doing an advent chain was a cherished activity for many years, but Ben finally outgrew it and we gave it up in 2006.
- Comparing yourself with anyone else’s: Christmas decorations, festive outfit, homebaked treats, artistic wrapping or post-Christmas vacation.
- Homemade eggnog latte. Heat 1/2 mugful of eggnog, generate some foam with a frother if you have one, add some strong coffee, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Delectables.
- Buying something handmade or vintage from Etsy. Waaaay more fun than fighting the crowds at the mall. Unless, of course, you find the perfect calendar that will make you smile all year long and you buy it for yourself, thereby robbing your son of the joy of picking out and purchasing your yearly wall calendar, which he discovers with dismay and you then feel terribly guilty about it. That would be on the Not Recommended list.
- Be the slacker once in a while. Don’t organize the room party. Shrug your shoulders when you forget something. Be as forgiving to yourself as you would your child. (Okay, I wrote that totally for me – we’ll see how I do 😉
- Not stepping foot in the post office this year. Order everything you need (stamps, free shipping supplies) online and then have them pick up the packages from your door. Super convenient!
- Going low-key on the Christmas decorations – wrap a few small boxes with fun paper and place them around, pour some pinecones or Christmas ornaments in a bowl or basket and add a few extra sprigs of greenery (Home Depot has a pile of free leftovers from the trees they prep for taking home).
- Christmas lights in bedrooms – unbelievably cozy.
- Remembering just why it is that we celebrate Christmas. I’ll spend many hours preparing things (our home, gifts, baked treats, packages), but I don’t want to lose sight of preparing my heart for the amazing miracle of a God who is with us.