Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Children Tend to Be Sticky

This morning, my niece came over and we baked cookies.  And by "baked cookies," I mean that I baked cookies and she ended up sticky-fingered and watching Spongebob reruns in the living room... Being home is good for me. :)

"Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky." ~Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

It's been a shamefully long time since I have blogged.  I'm not sure exactly why that is, either, because my life has been busy (but life is always busy) and I've had a lot of work to do (but I always have a lot of work to do).  I think that, maybe, I just haven't had much to say.  I've been a little sad.  Not over anything specific -- rather, it's been like a little shadow of discouragement has been trailing me.  And I just haven't felt like I had anything blog-worthy to say.  Quite a feat, actually, when this blog is mostly little nonsensical things anyway :)

Today is the first day of my Christmas break.  My grades were due yesterday and now -- I can breathe a little.  Hopefully, as I recharge and refresh, I will want to talk.

"Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for - I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times."  ~Kate L. Bosher

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sister B Gets Married! (part one)

Thursday Night: The Families Meet :)

video

College Girls Camping Trip

What I like about camping is you can get really dirty.  Either you're all by yourself, so no one else sees you, or everyone you're with is just as dirty as you are, so nobody cares.  
~Anonymous former Boy Scout

For the past few years, some of my best college girl friends and I have gone camping in the fall.  We love cooking over an open fire, watching the leaves fall and laughing and reminiscing about how time flies  -- somehow, years have passed but we still look the same ;)  Haha :)

Here are some of the pics from this year's camping trip:

But the place which you have selected for your camp, though never so rough and grim, begins at once to have its attractions, and becomes a very centre of civilization to you: "Home is home, be it never so homely.  ~Henry David Thoreau

 Our campsite -- beside a creek and under the falling leaves :)
 Enjoying smores -- we used regular marshmallows AND (as evidenced by the foreground) toasted-coconut marshmallows.  I am a BIG fan of the coconut addition.  Yummm.
The girls decided my smore looked the best, so we took a picture.  Apologies for the no-makeup look :P
Proving that it "wasn't that cold" by losing the sweatshirt, haha -- oh, and please note the incredible, magical and creepy-looking plastic tarp we used to cover the tent Friday night!!  It was a steady, rainy, dreary, wet Friday night, and Sarah's innate genius had prompted her to pack a huge roll of plastic (just in case, she said). We were soooo thankful for that tarp!!

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another.  
It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.  ~Henry David Thoreau

We sissy camp by choosing a campground with close bathrooms BUT we are camping cooking purists -- we cook over a fire all weekend long.  Delicious!

It always rains on tents.  Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.  ~Dave Barry

Sarah's rain boots.  Which were the Best Idea Ever and which have inspired ME to buy some rain boots for next year.  Sarah was full of genius ideas :)
Usually, Sarah and Jennifer attempt a brave and courageous trek across the creek in their bare feet, so as to prove their hardy pioneer qualities.  Usually, I cheer them on from the safety of my thick socks and practical distance from the coooold creek water.  But this year, it was so cold that even THEY didn't attempt a crossing.  This is Jennifer coming (quickly) back from a little water test.  Nope.  Not getting in THAT.
Jennifer couldn't find a pet-sitter in time, so her little basset hound Taylor came with us -- he enjoyed chasing rustling leaves and stealing hot dogs.  He is a seriously gifted thief.  
--------------------------

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."  ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gettin' My Bridesmaid On

I took a ton of fun pictures from sister B's wedding weekend -- but I've lost my camera cord thingie somewhere in my small apartment and haven't been able to upload yet.  Here are a couple of pics from my phone, though...

 One of the best parts of the wedding was being able to see some of our Boston cousins.  This is my beautiful cousin M :)

One of my dearest friends from college -- she met B when my little sister was only 8 years old :)  It was, she said, "surreal" to see B in a wedding dress.  Life moves quickly, doesn't it?

Like I said, I'm sure I'll have tons more posted soon -- but where oh where is that pesky camera cord?!  Haha

Thursday, October 13, 2011

He's Back

I couldn't tell what it was at first -- the low moaning coming from the other side of my apartment wall.  For a second, the sounds of my apartment (air, water, cars in the parking lot outside) obstructed the noise... but then, silence.  And through the silence I heard a guttural rising -- a loud but unstable crescendo squealed its way through the wall and then abruptly halted with a la-la-like screeching sound... what could it be?

He's back.  My karaoke-loving moaner.

Tonight, he is rolling in the deep.  Apparently, I had his heart and soul.

And, wait for it -- ahhh, yes.  He is also caught in a bad romance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Somebody's Getting Marrrrrrriiiiieeeeeeed (Part 2)

For my "baby" sister B, who is getting married in 3 days, grew up with this classic movie... and is now having to hear this phrase at least a billion times before Saturday.
(me and B)
Hooray for childhood sister memories, is all I'm sayin'.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn Saturday

A few months ago -- I think it was last spring -- I found this beautiful wreath idea online.

Well, when I went to Hobby Lobby today to find an autumn wreath for the front door, I was distressed -- DISTRESSED -- at the prices they were charging.  I saw wreaths for $79 and gasped out loud.  THEN I saw several for $99 and I thought I'd pass out in the aisle.  Seriously.  Who pays that?!?  So instead, I did the following:

Purchased a grapevine wreath, a wooden number "8," some silk flowers and a little bottle of gold paint.

I came home and made this:


I think it's pretty and autumnal and it took me a few minutes with a glue gun and NOT EVEN CLOSE to $79 bucks.  Haha.  Isn't the 8 cute?  I loved the fancy-ness of it.  

Here's a closer picture of it:


The Phillies play tonight, I'm baking Lauren Parks' pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, the Gamecocks are currently winning against Auburn and all is right with the world.  

How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.  ~John Burroughs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Somebody's Getting Marrrrrrriiiiieeeeeeed

Sister B is getting married a week from tomorrow.  This is her man:
He is fabulous.  We love him.
These are all the new sisters-in-law he's getting a week from tomorrow. 
(sans Sister B, the little one in the middle.)
This is one of my favorite pictures of them.  
This is the picture of them that makes my heart the most happy.
Look at the way he makes her smile :)


"To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other's hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time."  ~Clara Ortega



Friday, September 23, 2011

Finished

I finished listening to Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years today.  I was moved to tears many, many times.  I highly recommend it.  I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate it into my Intro to Literature course; I think my college students would love it, too.

"Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life.  It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it.  It’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life.  People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen...


...We have to get up off the couch and turn the television off, we have to blow up the inner-tubes and head to the river. We have to write the poem and deliver it in person. We have to pull the car off the road and hike to the top of the hill. We have to put on our suits, we have to dance at weddings."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Snapshots of My Summer

 Afternoon Starbucks brownie with my niece...
 Yogurt Mountain with the whole family (Fourth of July Weekend)
 We take up two tables -- at least. 
 Midnight swimming!
 Delicious after-church lunch fun at Papa's and Beer...
 Late afternoon sidewalk view from Trio's Cafe downtown...
 Baking cookies :)
 Helping Mom prep peaches for preserves and pie!
 Taking my niece to breakfast at -- where else? -- the Awful Waffle.  Haha -- except that it was nice and not awful at all...
 Enjoying baseball at a Greenville Drive game!
 On the way to the beach...
 The Sisters.  One week.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!
 Our view :)
 Prepping for B's bridal shower!
 Scones and sisters -- a perfect bridal shower combo :)
And now, back to our regularly scheduled school year... 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pumpkin Season

It's the first week of September, but we're not quite autumnal yet.

So today, to eagerly welcome the approaching fall, I ordered a pumpkin spice latte.  Iced.

I've gotta admit -- the iced version isn't quite as fall-ish as the hot one.  Sigh.  Come quickly, cooler weather.

"Oh how we love pumpkin season.  You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right?  Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin.... We anxiously anticipate it every year."  Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, October 2010

Friday, September 2, 2011

String Cheese and Pet Peeves

I love string cheese. Random but true.

I do NOT love:

* angsty facebook status updates.
* not being able to remember how to knit, even though sister B has shown me THREE different times.
* eating a bagel and having the cream cheese smoosh out onto my shirt.  Sigh.
* losing my dining room table to piles of student papers.  Haha.

Sister B's bridal shower is tomorrow.  Perhaps pics will follow :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful

"A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad."  ~Arnold H. Glasgow

"The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."  ~Elbert Hubbard

Lately, I've been immensely blessed by the friendships God has granted my life.  It seems that every day is another encounter with someone who encourages me, lifts me up, laughs with me, sympathizes with my piddly disappointments and rejoices in my silly small victories (like going to the gym when I say I'm going to go, haha).

Sometimes, singleness is a lonely place -- but recently, I've been overwhelmed by an avalanche of wonderful friends.   I have been reminded that I have a God who knows my needs before they're even spoken and meets those needs in extravagant ways I can't begin to anticipate.  I use the word "extravagant" because the people who are doing life with me right now are ... they're just amazing.

Sometimes amazing is defined by text messages and hilarious emails and inside jokes and not allowing miles to mean distance.  Sometimes amazing looks like coffee dates and steak cookouts and jewelry parties and sister shopping.  Sometimes amazing is hearing the yucky-ness of my life, thoughts, and heart, and still loving me unreservedly because you believe that I am, deep down, completely worthy of that love.

Last Sunday, the message was centered around the "Restoration" component of the Gospel.  One of my favorite concepts was that God is not eventually going to restore the world to Himself; He is, in fact, doing that already.  It's already begun.  He's been writing The Story (this totally reminds me of Miller's book) and I am already a part of it.  The speaker challenged us to consider beautiful, breath-catching moments in nature  -- and if they're that beautiful now, how much more so will they be when the Restoration is complete?  If you have friendships that remind you of grace and truth already -- how much more will they do so when they are completely unhindered by human selfishness and the trappings of sin?  Jim Thompson's message is linked here, if you'd like to hear more.  I can't really do it justice in a paragraph :)

I was reminded of the sermon because, in all honesty, the past week has been so full of friend-encouragement that I feel like I've tasted a little of the future Hope I've been promised in Revelation 21 and 22.  I feel more-than-thankful.  Much more.

Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.  ~Plautus

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Million Miles ... on the Elliptical

"If you have never said "Excuse me" to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time."  ~Sherri Chasin Calvo


Last night, I took my new audio-book-uploaded-to-my-ipod to the gym.  More specifically, I strapped that shuffle to my t-shirt (thanks, Dad and Mom, for that gem of a gift) and spent the most enjoyable time I have EVER had at the gym listening to the first six chapters of Donald Miller's


I think I might have just discovered how this word-nerd can enjoy cardio.  Because audio-book-ing-while-cardio-ing was exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, what I needed to get me re-excited about the gym.  I'm always wanting to read nonfiction, but I don't really enjoy physically sitting down with it as much as I relish settling in with a new novel.  However, listening to Donald Miller read his stories while I beast away on the elliptical? -- well, I can do THAT with no complaints.  

Donald Miller is a gifted writer and the book, so far, is fantastic for someone who loves writers, storytelling and stories as much as I do :)  Or, as my friend said, "it's a book about a movie that's about a book!" and really, what's not to love about that?  The only downside to the audio book so far?  I can't highlight quote-worthy passages.  And in a Miller book, there are plenty of passages to earmark.  



  



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Awww, College Freshmen

"Do you know where Professor so-and-so's classroom is? I went there yesterday but she wasn't there..."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Night

Last night, girls I love came over to my house.  I set out the fixin's for tacos and didn't make enough beef.  We ate chips and dip and laughed and I turned the ac down so people wouldn't be hot.  We tried on jewelry and gobbled up my new favorite dessert recipe: Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie...

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sopapilla-cheesecake-pie/detail.aspx

It was a lovely evening and the only thing that would have made it nicer was if ALL the girls I love could have been there :)
Happy Saturday from the gal who's heading to the movies to see HP 7.2 tonight for the -- wait for it -- 3rd time.  Accio, fun times!

Friday, August 12, 2011

hydrangeas and hopefulness

Listening to Nat.  Enjoying my gift to myself: beautiful fresh flowers. Preparing for a fun night with girlfriends.  Gratefully thanking the Lord for His faithfulness in all things.  

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" 


"Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us." ~Edward Payson Rod

"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into."  ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

Monday, August 8, 2011

August

It's August. Faculty workshops start tomorrow; classes begin next week.  My years don't exist January-December; my years are August - May.  It's a nice arrangement and I like it. 

Yesterday, as I passed under the trees near the swimming pool, I noticed all of these yellow fluttery things littering the ground.  They were fallen leaves! In August! On a 97 degree day!  I guess even in the middle of the hottest month of the year, God is still reminding me that change is coming.  I love how He does that.

I also love:
* a new storehouse of mechanical pencils and composition notebooks (back-to-school sales are fabulous)
* being back in the gym after a much-prolonged absence (this body needs some serious gym time)
* a sister mini-vacation at the beach at the end of this month (The Beach and Sisters = quite possibly the most amazing combination ever :)
* knowing this year I'll watch my first set of freshmen graduate with their college degrees
* prepping for a new semester and praying for my newest batch of students (they have no idea what they're in for with my Intro to Composition class.  <insert evil cackle here> )
* Psalm 27.  My Light and My Salvation.  Love it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Too Short

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." -- John Burroughs

Friday, July 22, 2011

Let My Girls Be Hermiones

 I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before 'thin.' And frankly, I'd rather they didn't give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermionesrather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls. Rant over.
-- J.K. Rowling

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lazy Summer

sleeping to the rhythm of when I want to, instead of when I have to

pajamas in the kitchen, smells of brewing coffee, waking up slowly

leisurely mornings of puttering and putzing and tidying and surfing

music and long showers and phone calls and wondering where the hours have gone

dreaming during the day

sunshine and air conditioning and sister time with G and movies and netflix

coffee shops and restaurants and shopping

friends and friends and friends and friends

calm days and peaceful nights

lazy
summer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Favorite Quote

"For every super-hot girl, there's some guy somewhere who's tired of putting up with her crap."

Haha :)  I love it. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Other Side of Me



The Other Side of Me
sung by Michael W. Smith
------------------------------------------------------------
If they were to write about the story of my life,
They would have to mention you with every page they'd write.
There's another side to every story told.

If I were the ocean, you would be the shore.
One without the other one would be needing something more;
we are the shadow and the light.

Always love me
Never leave me now
Now you are
the other side of me

I have known the emptiness of feeling out of touch,
and living life without you here would be living half as much.
'Cause I've a need that only you could fill.

If love was mathematical, you'd understand the sum
To the heart's equation where one and one makes one
and lonely equals me minus you.

Always love me
Never leave me now
Now you are
the other side of me

Monday, June 27, 2011

"They Keep Saying...

... the right person will come along; I think mine got hit by a truck."

(Laughed out loud in Starbucks when I read this anonymous quote.)

Dreaming of the Seashore...


For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea.
~e.e. cummings

Last Christmas, my parents bought my sisters and me a week at the beach! We don't go until August, but I can hardly wait.  I wish I could spend every summer at the seashore...

Some of my favorite recent beach memories:

Several years ago, Sister A and I took my niece to the beach for the first time.  She loved it.  Precious little one...



Last summer, my best girl friends and I went to Hilton Head for the weekend -- we had an elaborate set-up on the sand.  In retrospect, we were far too far away from the water, haha, but it was still tons of fun. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Time

...is the longest distance between two places. -- Tennessee Williams

Lord, forgive me for wasted hours and days worrying and troubling over things in the past.  Teach me to pass those empty moments to You with a cheerful heart. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dr. and Mrs.

[W]hen you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.  ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

(picture taken by Josh Parks, groomsman extraordinaire)

Congratulations to my godly, wonderful friend and his beautiful new bride.  
Love you, Dr. and Mrs. Bardoner!! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

People are Crazy. Part One.

You "love" someone.
They dump you.
You're in a relationship with someone else within weeks.
You're marrying the new guy within months.

Perhaps it's time to consider the possibility that you are NOT in love. 
You are just, well, Crazy

--------------------------------------------------

I've seen this situation happen a few times in the past year.  And not with young people; I'm watching it happen with thirty-somethings my age (aka, people-you'd-think-would-know-better) and it drives me nuts trying to figure it out.  Here are my desperately-trying-to-make-sense-of-it hypotheses.

1.  They must be in love with some kind of feeling rather than being in love with a person.

A woman who loves a man enough to want to marry him is NOT going to be ready for a new relationship within weeks of being dumped.  Because if she really loved HIM, the relationship ending doesn't change who he is as a person; it just changes his feelings for her. Healing takes time, and if you love the PERSON and not the way the person makes you feel, being dumped doesn't immediately change your heart.  You have to work at disconnecting your heart, and that takes a ton of emotional time and energy.  

If you're in love with the feeling of being in a romantic relationship, however, then you'd be able to move on pretty quickly.  Because, at the risk of sounding callous, any old guy would be able to give you the same feelings.

Loving a person = hard to disconnect. 
Loving a feeling = easy to find another guy who'll give you the same feeling.

2.  They have issues with themselves and think romance is the ultimate self-help.

The pain you feel over a broken heart will not be healed by pretending you're "over it" and quickly moving into another romance.  Sigh.  Distracting your difficult feelings by emotionally submerging them in New Feelings won't be enough to actually heal. You're just postponing working through the pain, all the while engaging someone else in the tangled confusion of your emotional ropes.

Marrying someone who is only a few months out of a serious relationship is another form of crazy, but I haven't even begun to figure out why someone would voluntarily do THAT.  Yikers.  

A good rule of thumb might be this: if people on facebook would be surprised at your quick engagement ("hey, I thought she was dating someone else -- when did she get engaged to THIS guy?") then you might be fulfilling my definition of crazy.

Here's the Difficult Truth, as I see it.

People who aren't crazy are honest with their level of woundedness.  They seek help from friends, pastors, and family to deal with the feelings of rejection and disappointment.  They are cautious for a season, allowing themselves to heal and work through the emotions that come up on a daily basis.

They don't run; they deal.

They are honest -- agonizingly honest -- about their hurt.

They wait.  THEY WAIT. 

Don't be a Crazy.





Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Flesh Won

Galatians 5:13-26

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Today I saw this truth firsthand. Sigh. So many years walking with the Lord, and I still have days like today.  When I spoke without thinking, indulged some ugly selfishness and jealousy, and desperately needed His forgiveness and grace.

Walking with Christ is being reminded of my need for Him.  Every. Single. Day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

For Every Stoplight I Didn't Make...

I'm currently sort-of, kind-of, just-a-little-bit in love with country music.  Well, maybe not all of country music -- but I definitely love certain artists and sounds.  I don't know if country music just fits as the natural soundtrack to a Southern summer or whether living below the Mason-Dixon line for seventeen years is finally catching up with me, but sounds like "This" make this girl smile :) 

Darius Rucker's "This"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some Kind of Wonderful

For me, summer is defined by flip flops and The Drifters. This might be my very favorite Drifters song -- at any rate, it's the one my Mom and I always find ourselves dancing to in her kitchen. :)




All you have to do is touch my hand
To show me you understand
And something happens to me
That's some kind of wonderful
At any time my little world seems blue
I just have to look at you
And everything seems to be
Some kind of wonderful

I know I can't express
This feeling of tenderness
There's so much I wanna say
But the right words just don't come my way
I just know when I'm in your embrace
This world is a happy place
And something happens to me
There's some kind of wonderful

I know I can't express
This feeling of tenderness
There's so much I wanna say
But the right words just don't come my way
I just know when I'm in your embrace
This world is a happy place
And something happens to me
There's some kind of wonderful

Some kind of sweet lips
Some kind of warm eyes
Some kind of soft sigh
There's only some kind of wonderful

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teeny Weeny Bikey Lady

Today, while driving home on the interstate, a biker pulled up behind me.  Actually, it was a verrrrry teeeeny tiny woman driving a big ol' motorcycle.  She was so petite that her helmeted head was at least twice as large as the rest of her.  I was captivated.  I couldn't stop watching her.  At one point, she stretched a denim-clad leg and the image of a chicken bone popped into my head :)  Haha!

What a teeny, tiny, brave beast of a woman!  And -- this is the best thing about teeny weeny bikey lady -- she used her blinkers EVERY time :) 

I'm lovin' it. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today

the room was hot.
people dressed formally, as befitting a funeral.
strangely ironic
considering his warmth and informality.
(He would have been wearing a Notre Dame golf shirt, maybe, and shorts.)

Puffy eyes.
Smiles through tears.
Crumpled tissues -- a purse full.
Notre Dame colors everywhere (his favorite).

A powerful service.
Four sons, grieving.
speaking lovingly of their father
and his love for the Father.
(He couldn't have asked for a better legacy.)
















His beautiful, peaceful Marie. 
So small to be surrounded by so many hundreds of mourners.
Her quietcalmbeauty
anchoring us.

I remembered how he shouted into the microphone that she
-- his dainty, modest, gentle wife --
was "Smokin' HOT!"
at the church Christmas dance.
(He loved her unabashedly.
Loudly, exuberantly, ridiculously, proudly.)

















And my favorite part of today
-- the slideshow of his life --
because in it,
at the very end,
I heard him laughing.
laughinglaughinglaughing
as only Rick could laugh.

Loudly, exuberantly, ridiculously, proudly.
(He was a great one for laughing.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

What I'm Learning

"The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not--Do your duty, but--Do what is not your duty. It is not your duty to go the second mile, to turn the other cheek, but Jesus says if we are His disciples we shall always do these things. There will be no spirit of--"Oh, well, I cannot do any more, I have been so misrepresented and misunderstood". . . Never look for right in the other man, but never cease to be right yourself. We are always looking for justice; the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is--Never look for justice, but never cease to live it."
— Oswald Chambers

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love Grown Greater

"The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater."
— J.R.R. Tolkien

"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 14th, 2011. Rick Velilla

Sharing goofy times at Christmas with our family combo shirts ("Velini") that Rick created.

Fourth of July fun

The Two Padres of Power

Rick takes a bow for the fireworks display :)

Rick teaches niece F to ride a bike for the first time...

Rick and sister A

Love this one -- trying to get a pic with Rick and Marie, but niece F stops eating Doritos long enough to sneak into the pic without us noticing at first! Hahahaha

One Christmas, Rick wrote us all letters and then read them out loud.  He was amazing at communicating his feelings -- he left nothing unsaid.  No regrets :)

Rick and sister B laughing it up :)

Knuckles!!  (inside joke)

The Velilla and Marini Families -- Goofy and Fabulous.

"Every man dies -- not every man really lives." -- William Ross Wallace

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

For you, Rick, there'll be no crying.
For you, Rick, the Son will be shining...

We love you, Rico.