I am self-aware enough to know that this was most likely in my head yet I left still feeling a little twisted and achy--not the way one wants to feel after a yin yoga class. I got into my car to see that I had missed a call only to find the person couldn't leave a message because my voice mail box was full. I was then forced to delete messages off my phone.
One thing you need to know about me is I generally always have a minimum of 8 messages on my cell and home voice mail at all times. Why? I love to hear the voices of the people I love and being reminded of happy moments and that they think I'm pretty darn special.
What I thought was going to be a time suck turned out to be a blessing. I sat in my car for nearly 20 minutes experiencing a wide range of emotions---laughter, tears, joy and an aching to see my family and friends again.
As a result I have made a commitment to finish this post I've been working on for days now but haven't completed simply because life has gotten in the way.
My cell phone backlog reminded me how sacred my family and friends are and I don't want to let another day go by without recording beautiful moments I've had with them. If I had not had their voices and kind messages recorded on my cell phone I would have forgotten all about those particular moments in time.
I am inspired to crank the remainder of this post out never mind the two year old yelling "waaaatttccchhhh aaaaa mooooooovvvviiieeee" while tugging on my left leg (because I stated "no more movies" and he is persistent as heck. At least the littlest one is playing quietly with her frig phonics). I realize the pockets of time I relish to write are not always going to be there but memories are King and I'm willing to sacrifice to make sure they are recorded. So, here goes....
We recently returned from our 11th annual July trip down south.
Hello tall buildings, friendly peeps, and fast drivers.
The reason for the trip? In addition to another excuse to spend time with family and friends, my dad and I have run the Peachtree Road Race for ten consecutive years. Unfortunately, this year was the exception.
The day we flew in looked a little like this.
(Me laid up on a couch because I threw my back out. I still looked cute though.)
My glass was still half full. I do my best to trudge through times like this and a big cup of Joe from my favorite Atlanta brunch spot only helped make it better.
Two sips into my coffee Sissy began screaming so loudly that we became the main attraction at the restaurant. People stopped to stare and one girl even physically shuddered and said "wow!" to her brother.
Big brother seemed to notice the attention and felt obligated to add a little to the excitement so he began performing his best show-stopping acts: throwing sugar packets and silverware, running away from Mommy at breakneck speed, diving under tables, and shouting "Cuuuuuuuup! Caaaaaaaaaake!" (as if to say "give me a cupcake now! If you don't I am going to keep running around this place yelling it to you"! I have cursed the day I introduced Hunter to a cupcake numerous times but then my voice of reason reminds me it's the age and not the cupcake.)
I am embarrassed to admit that when I finally caught Hunter I walked by the family bathroom on my way back to the table and heard my daughter's barrier breaking scream. I noticed a small group of passersby rolling their eyes and making comments so I just smiled and continued to walk by as if I didn't know what was going on in that bathroom. (Besides, I was already getting enough attention for the one unruly child I had and I knew Daddy had it all under control in there.)
After we were all settled at the table Sissy started her persistent screams again. Fortunately a waitress with a kind soul dropped off some orange wedges informing us that in her thirteen years of waitressing this always stopped a baby's cries. And what do you know, it did.
The next morning at Grammy's we ventured out for another restaurant event and it looked a little like this:
(Hunter's T-shirt appropriately says, "Geared Up for Fun".)
The restaurant crayons kept magically drawing on tables, chairs and plates yet Hunter informed us that he was well aware that crayons belonged only on the paper and that is where he was keeping them.
Meanwhile, Sissy was practicing tricks with her headband including shooting it off her head and hitting a man at the table across from us.
(See innocent man in the background?)
After we had all eaten we walked outside and the sun shone a little brighter. Grammy and I loved watching Hunter do his interpretive dance to the outdoor music.
(Notice: He was not letting those crayons go.)
We later made a stop at my favorite ice cream shop.
(Yes, I look comfortable and happy. My tummy was saying "thank you" while
my back was yelling "get me the heck home".)
(She is saying, "gimme that ice cream!")
After we finished indulging in our treats we loaded up the car to head back to Grammy's for some fun.
(As you can see, these are the kind of shenanigans that we were dealing with.
I swear he knew that I could barely walk with my back so he was going to enjoy it.)
Grammy's house where the sunshine peeks through the tall trees onto a glossy front porch with a pillowed swing. It was beckoning someone to take a nap on it. I tried but them the mosquitoes got me.
My Mom has a great knack for decorating both with things new and old. She was upcycled-chic long before it was trendy.
See these Independence Day flags below? They are potted in my old baby bassinet. Cleva!Speaking of the old....Emerson used my old high chair while we were at Grammy's house. (Not to mention a dish towel since we forgot the bibs.)
Although I couldn't run in our annual race it didn't stop us from going down to be a part of it.
I was feeling a little down and out because I couldn't run but thanks to my hubby's gentle prodding, we went and I'm so glad we did.When we saw P-Pa and KiKi across the crowd, that made it all worth it!
(Hunter's face when he saw my Dad.)They stopped long enough to give hugs, say hello and take a family photo. When they took off, I'm not gonna lie--I cried. I'm a sucker for family traditions and missing out on this one for the first time in many years was hard on me. But, hey. I learned I'm a pretty solid cheerleader even as an adult.
Cutest photo EVER alert!!!!....Daddy got lots of attention for using the street-side cones as a megaphone.
(And you thought I only had two kids? I have a third and his name is Dave.)
(Atlanta's High Museum of Art with its stunning architecture.
The founder's granddaughter is my sorority sister--Betsy Carter, where are you??)
Another cutest photo ever alert!!.....
(Totally. Frame able.)
After the run we headed over to our favorite midtown spot for our annual post-run brunch.
(As you can see from the layer of sweat, Daddy was kind enough to run to the finish line to pick up my
T-shirt and then over to the restaurant. He still managed to boast 7 and change minute miles.)
It wasn't long before the pica (a.k.a. harmonica) was busted out.
And, as usual, it has a trending affect.
After brunch we headed back to Grammy's house where our friend DiCicco met up with us.
He even helped with bath time and, as a result, I'm sure he's itching to have toddlers of his own.
We love this guy!
(Sorry ladies, he's married.)
The next morning we headed over to my second family's house. (Well, they feel like my second family.)
(This is a stunningly beautiful family. They are even more gorgeous on the inside.
If I could have my kids hang around this family on a daily basis I would.)
The Tabors have the coolest pool. It's not even a pool, it's more of an oasis because you feel like you're swimming in some gorgeous watering hole in the Caribbean.Hunter has a secret fascination with Heidi. Each morning when we walk down the stairs at home, he points to her picture as we pass by and says, "Hi Heidi. Buh-bye Heidi."
After we spent a fun-filled morning with one of our most favorite families we headed back to Grammy's house hearts full where she had an ultra-cool craft waiting for the kids.
They loved this! I've never seen anything hold their attention for so long.
(I heart this little pose. So girly!)
Then, Grammy made Sissy's day by letting her play the piano with her.
(This is one of those photos I'll treasure forever.)
Once Sissy started feeling comfortable she really showed her stuff.
My mom and Dave were kind enough to keep the kids so I could do dinner with one of my lifelong best friends, J.C. Although I hadn't seen her in a long time it was as if we just picked up from yesterday. She rocks!
We sealed the night with banana-chocolate-chip cake and lattes. What's better than that?!
The only thing better than cake is sharing it with a friend. It's the relationships that make our life full and beautiful. I am blessed to have wonderful people in my life who call to remind me that I'm special and I matter.
Although I get discouraged feeling that I'm not good enough and I'm not as organized as I'd like to be, I would have never been reminded of how special I am had I not let my voice mail box overflow. I had forgotten that my Dad got tears in his eyes when he read my post about him, or what an amazing mom my brother thinks I am, or that I gave my friend Peggy a Mother's Day gift that made her feel pretty awesome and how my husband feels about life and death after going to his friend Nancy's funeral.
Sure, I know women who never have a dirty dish in the sink, baby powder on the floor or a voice mail box that overflows to full capacity and I kinda' envy them. But after experiencing that twenty minutes of cell phone clean up today, I'll take me just the way I am. Because although I've got a voice mail box that runneth over I also know I've got a tribe of amazing people that value my heart that runneth over for them and I'm more than OK with that!
"Most people go, I wish for world peace. But chaos has a place in balancing out the light and the dark in the world. I don't know if I would wish for world peace."Brendan Fraser