Monday, October 18, 2010

My Lily

15 months old, she is my red-hardly-haired baby girl. She loves to sing and rock her babies. She adores her big sister and copies everything she does. She doesn't say much by way of actual words, but she "talks" up a storm. She makes a the most hilarious quacking sound whenever she seeks ducks. She LOVES to swim. She is spunky and feisty but incredibly sensitive. One little "No" can send her into the most pitiful, heart-broken, heart-breaking wail. She is fat and beautiful and precious and lovely. What was life without her?

Dear Dr. Holland,

Thank you for introducing me to George Eliot. She really spoke to my soul in college and frankly, it is wicked impressive to convince an entire generation of victorian novel readers that you're a man when you're really, a woman. Go Mary Anne. I also really like that she likes Autumn. I think we might have been friends...maybe even good ones. Rock on George.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
--George Eliot

And p.s. Dr. Holland, thanks for always making me learn new words, even foreign ones like tembo and twigga, and thanks for holding long office hours in the library and for making me read articles I would never have read otherwise, while you edited my papers before I turned them in to you. You were my first class at Davidson College, 8:30 am freshman year 100W, and you will always be one of my favorites. You, sir, are a different breed of gentleman.
Fondly, Maggie

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Story about Guido, Libido, and Dorito

About and hour and fifteen minutes outside of Orlando, Annie started to whine. Not just a little whiney, but really really really whiney. About 30 minutes later, Jonathan got inspired, or tired, or something, and so was born the story of three monsters, Guido, Libido and Dorito. And this is how it went:

Jonathan: Once upon a time, there lived three monsters: Guido, Libido, and Dorito.
Maggie: Seriously?
Jonathan: What?!
Maggie: laughing
Annie: Stop!! Note do it funny!
Jonathan: I'm not!
Maggie: still laughing, only harder
Annie: yeah! You are! What if you said, "cookie cookie cookie!?"
Jonathan and Maggie: silence
Jonathan: Okay, so Guido, Libido and Dorito were walking down the street and they all had giant wedgies! And Guido said, "Libido! Dorito! I have a wedgie! Who can help me!? Maybe Annie will help me." And Annie went over to Guido and picked his wedgie and they all picked each other's wedgies.
And then they went and got ice cream.
And Lily put her paci in her ear!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA
Annie and Maggie: silence
The End.

I think we are going to quit our day jobs and write children's books.

Playing Catch-Up...

I feel like I do these posts a lot. You know, the ones where I post about 27 different events and places and people in one post. The ones where you struggle to follow what happened when and where and with whom...
I'm sorry about that.
However, I will say, sometimes I think it's really appropriate. Our lives are crazy right now. They won't be crazy forever, and for that, I am grateful. But they are crazy right now, and that is hard. Nonetheless, I WILL miss some of the things about this hectic pace, traveling all over the world and the united states and what I will miss are the following: seeing all of the wonderful people and enjoying the beautiful places and fantastic seasons (especially Autumn in TN and GA!) I won't miss running around like a crazy person and sometimes wondering where I am and longing for home. But oh, I will miss the people and being a car ride away.
All of this to say, I feel like I do these posts a lot, because it feels like this is how I live life right now. Mostly moving, sometimes slowing down long enough to pack and unpack and do laundry, and lots of joyous visits with people we love...

First stop, MS, Joel and Baby Oli-fer's house!
Here are the girls in the bathroom closet of this charming old Atlanta house.

This was the first time we met baby Oli-fer, and he is delightful.
Annie held him maybe every 15 seconds and Oliver's mommy very graciously entrusted her first-born to the slimy, grimy, but adoring arms of my two-year old.
Lily wanted in on the action, but was a little less trust-worthy with the baby, even though she tried to be gentle. Sweet patting Baby Oli-fer...
My studly husband taking Lilsy for a walk.
Joel built this porch swing. Isn't it cool?
Back in O-town, we had a picnic with the Nolls.
We tried a photo shoot, to no avail.
Then back to baby Oli-fer's house.
Sorry, MS-Joel, we are now and forever calling your love-mansion, "Baby Oli-fer's House," with an "f". Hope that's okay...
Then up to Chattanooga for a week where we stayed some dear friends.
Little Win, below, is two weeks older than Lilsy.
And Hutchinson is three weeks older than Annie!
And I love their Mama.
Every time we are with Ash and Hutch, we leave encouraged and blessed.
And here we are at FPC, eating dinner.
Lily is wearing her dinner.
Annie is constantly in motion...
Except when she's not.
Chez Garmany.
My favorite season.
It was so much more spectacular than this. Seriously. I'm considering deleting these because they just don't do it justice.
We came home from Chatty Thurs and went out to Oviedo Friday for a 9 am photo shoot...seriously...and then a birthday brunch for Glo-baby!
Happy Birthday Glo!
Glo's birthday candle in her birthday sorbet cone...
Hey, it's Florida. There are no rules in this state.
So I guess that wasn't so long or so disjointed. My life isn't that hard after all.
Thank you Jesus.

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World

When our good friends recommended Paul Miller’s A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World and told us that it changed their lives, I couldn’t help but feel skeptical. Prayer has always eluded me. When I pray, I feel simultaneously inadequate and manipulative. My mind wanders and I spend about 45 seconds praying before I start thinking about my to do list for the day and then I leave feeling overwhelmed and guilty. In the first pages, Miller presupposes all the questions I ask and actually articulates all of my frustrations before stating: "Praying exposes how self-preoccupied we are and uncovers our doubts. It was easier on our faith not to pray.”

Oh how refreshing! Oh how honest! Oh, how very true and yet so very problematic. After conceding all of the frustrations we have all experienced when it comes to prayer, Miller turns the whole ordeal on its head and reminds us of who we really are and what prayer is really about: being in constant communion with our loving and gracious Father. He compares prayer to “dinner with a friend,” and exposes the ridiculous way we come before God with pharisaical tendencies or false humility. He exposes our cynicism and lacking faith. And he exposes our laziness and our fear.

Were it not for the many and enthusiastic recommendations to read A Praying Life, I might have missed out on this gem. It has changed the way I see prayer. It has changed the way I see myself. It has changed the way I know God. It comes with my highest recommendation and my humble appreciation to Mr. Miller for writing so honestly and so interestingly. It is a fast and practical read. It was well worth my precious time, and it will be worth yours.