Monday, August 24, 2009

Threats of Poop and Other Sundry Rantings on Pied Beauty

"Pied Beauty"
Gerard Manley Hopkins

GLORY be to God for dappled things,
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow,
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow and plough,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange,
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim.
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change;
Praise him.

I will be the first to admit, I have become mildly obsessed with the blogosphere. I say "mildly"without reservation; I am not addicted and I have no problem going days without checking up on my favorite reads. Nonetheless, I like to read about other people's perfect lives, perfect kids, perfect diets, perfect kitchens, perfect meals, even though I realize I have little hope of attaining these things in my own life, ever. There is something about my own inadequacy and insecurity (read, "pied beauty") that thrills me (kidding, sort of).

Despite the slightly biting tone introducing this post, I don't envy all these lovely bloggers. I love the gorgeous, juicy pictures they take of each meal (deliciously fit, the thin chef), and it really is inspiring to see the way they strive to live so healthily in day to day life. (I like to eat red vines while I read these blogs.) I like to dream about baking delicious whole wheat bread or making fluffy, puffy waffles for my family on a Saturday morning (browneyedbaker) or being ever so crafty, creative or fixy with things around the house (designfix). I could go on. I could continue writing about all the blogs I read, further exposing the pathetic but incredible ways in which I waste time each day, but I'll spare you. More than sparing you, I'll spare myself.

"I have a college degree!" I tell Jonathan. Never, by the way, NEVER did I EVER think I would utter those obnoxious words after becoming a mother. But here I am, sometimes frustrated by my life with two children under the age of two, having the same conversations every day, occasionally bitter that my kids always look cuter, cleaner and more together than I do (I LOVE my sports bra and gym shorts, seriously, they are awesome). I tell Jonathan that I could do these things if only I had time! I could take pictures and write beautiful poetry on the blogosphere and maybe even have readers who extend beyond my circle of friends. In response, he has threatened to begin a blog solely dedicated to his poop. He will blog daily about each poop and take pictures of it.

I get the message:

LIVE life, Maggie. Live it and stop trying to blog about it. Don't get me wrong, dear reader. The aforementioned blogs are inspirational and lovely. These are people who have time and have the lives to make the time, and most of all, have the passion to blog about the things that they do. You'll get no judgement here. These blogs are good things. Right things. But I think I may be having a competition with myself. I think I may be thinking so much about what a cute blog post a moment of the day would make, that I miss the moment. I think I may be a lacking the gift of multi-tasking. And while it is likely that God gave us blogs and blogs aren't bad, it is certain that God gave me my children and my husband, and they should be my focus. So instead of blogging about my perfect life...I will (occasionally) blog about my real life. This will be illustrated by fewer blog posts, because my real life often keeps me from blogging. I will blog about the coupled colors of the brinded cow--my cow is not pure milky white, it is splotchy. I will not covet other people's lives, talents or menus. And most of all, I am NOT going to call Jonathan's bluff regarding his new poop blog (because he's not one to bluff). I am taking a break. I will blog when it's convenient. I will blog the truth, not just the cute. I will tell you about the fickle and freckled things that lead me to the cross and that really, to be honest, define my daily living. And I will live, oh reader. I will Live with a capital L this less-than-perfect, lovely, god-breathed, precious, wouldn't-trade-it-for-anything, (except maybe the ability...motivation?... to grind my own wheat berries) incredible life for the time I have now. Thanks for reading my rant.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Smock!

Thank you Aunt Katie and Uncle Jason
for Annie's new ADORABLE smock!!

She loves to wear it
(and model it, as seen below)

And we're afraid to wear it for any craft projects, lest it get dirty!!
It fits wonderfully and we are so thankful for friends like y'all who love our girls and encourage them with love, prayers and gifts...but mostly love and prayers.

Y'all are so gracious to us.

We Love you!!

p.s. Katers, leave a comment and tell us where you got this precious thing!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Baby Lily's First Photo Shoot

Lily's first photo shoot was pretty uneventful. She posed sweetly on her little lamb blankie and let mommy take lots of pictures with her screen-is-broken-so-it's-difficult-to-determine-the-legitimacy-of-the-photo-what's-the-point-of-a-digital-camera-anyway-? camera a few days ago.
Here are a few of the better ones

Beautiful Lily

Smile Lily!Align Center

Love this look of wonder

Annie joined us about half way through to give Lily some camera advice

And of course, not every shot was perfect...
...but then what is?

Monday, August 03, 2009

And Have I Shown You Yet?

He gave this to me on my birthday. (June 9) I have yet to blog about it, and have only now found the perfect place for it in our home. It is, perhaps, my most favorite gift received to date. What could be more perfect? I love him. I love it. I love her. I love them.

(The young artist: Charity Rose Hill)

Staying Cool on Hot Summer Days...

What is it about children and running water? I think Annie could play with a hose for hours as long as the water kept flowing and there were a bucket or two to fill and empty. Lily and I watched for an hour one morning from the cool shade of the car port, while Annie watered plants, filled her bucket and flooded her rain boots with the hose in the front yard. Every now and again she'd walk over and water my feet to help me keep cool. What a wonderful way to spend a lazy summer day!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Nolls Move to Orlando!!!

What could me more wonderful than two (soon to be three!) new cousins just down the road! Eric and SB--thank you SO much for choosing RTS Orlando and keeping it close. It's about time we had a few from Jonathan's family to represent. Can't wait for play-dates, sugar mill pancake mornings, swim parties, strawberry picking, and trips to Black Hammock with you guys!
We love you!

Here, silly girls... silly games... confined keep them safe...

...while their parents are hard at work...

Hotlanta and the Joel-Em-Es Iversons

Oh what a glorious thing it is to marry a man with eight (EIGHT! I tell you!) brothers and sisters. I could not be more thrilled with my in-laws. Actually, that is not true. I could only be more thrilled were they to all marry spouses as wonderful and dear as the first four have married.
Last week, as in not last week but the week that was before last week (July 19-26) Jonathan, Annie, Lily, the jogging stroller, the ergo baby carrier, Lily's bassinet, a pack n play, some clothes, a whole mess of diapers, barely enough wipes, some fare from our fridge, a bag full-o-toys and I loaded into the only remaining vehicle we have after three years in FL (blast those terrible ancient/foreign/teenage drivers! "A plague on all your households!") and headed up to Atlanta the day after young James (my brother) and Rachel (his wife) married. It took us 8 1/2 hours to complete the 7 hour drive, but we arrived before midnight, greeted by our excellent host and hostess (enter, "Joel and Em Es!)

Joel and Mary Stuart (aka. "Em Es," written here phonetically to emphasize Annie's pronunciation of what is actually "MS" short for Mary Stuart) have an amazing little house on the west side of Atlanta which they open for all family, friends, vagabonds and other sundry creatures. We stayed with them for a week (that's a long time) while Jonathan took a final class to complete his course work and credit hours for the MDiv. Mary Stuart and Joel could not be more gracious with their home, food, and aunt-&-unclehood. They loved Annie like she was their own. She broke things, overfed the koi fish in their pond, ripped up plants, tore off blooms in their garden, didn't recycle thing that should clearly be recycled, spilled juice on new flee market finds, and had multiple meltdowns, all to the seemed joy and immediate forgiveness of her beloved aunt and uncle. Thank you so much, Joel and Mary Stuart, for teaching us so much about hospitality, love, grace and truly loving the outsider in your own home. Y'all live the gospel and we are all the more blessed for it. We miss you guys already!!

Much Love,

The Iverson 4

A special shout out to "Bit" (Annie still asks about you. We've told her your "boo boo" has healed by now, but she still gets a pained look of empathetic misery when she talks about it.) Maury and Justin for letting us swim in their pool, and Peter, Christy, Shea and Mims for letting us come to your birthday party and slide down the law-suit-waiting-to-happen-slip-and-slide. And thanks again Uncle Joel, for taking Annie along to Monday Night Brews