Friday, September 30, 2011

Home Sweet Midwest

Last week we took a quick, last minute trip home. We'd decided not to take a vacation this year but a few weeks ago talked about taking a few days to at least visit home. We thought we'd be making the trip in October, but found out the week before last that we could go last week. So basically, we found out one week, left the next.

It's always good to go home.


We spent some time with both of our families and finally got to take Addie apple picking, which she loved. The day was dreary but we enjoyed it and brought a pumpkin back, too. Now I need to figure out what we'll do with some of these apples - streusel? Pie? Cake?

It always feels like a whirlwind and here we are, back in Wewa, back to life as we know it. We'll have a couple of busy, fun months ahead of us and before we know it we'll be back home for Christmas. Hard to believe it will be so soon!

I am so thankful we were able to make a trip home.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

So long, Summer

I hope my pining for fall hasn't been too tiresome. I write about it on here and mention it from time to time on Facebook, hoping and wishing for cooler temperatures, looking for excuses to burn candles and make soup. Thanks for indulging me!

As of last week, fall is upon us. The calendar tells us this when the elements might show otherwise. The good news is that it is on it's way, no matter when it decides to show up.

There's part of me, aside from the soup making and candle burning, that isn't sad to see summer go. I could say that this summer was a little hard for me.

This summer we spent a lot of time inside. It was hot outside...miserable. I felt a little confined.

This summer I was discouraged, disappointed in people and the lack of commitment shown in certain areas.

This summer I took some time to think about these feelings, where they were coming from, if they were right and what I needed to do to make some changes.

I still feel some frustration and disappointment but I feel that even though I may not be able to fix the situations, I can figure out how I'm going to deal with them. I'm better about asking myself if the frustrations I am feeling are legitimate, or are they Melissa frustrations? If they are simply my frustrations then I need to figure out what I need to do about my position. If they are legitimate frustrations, there may be nothing I can really do to change things, but I realize I am responsible for my reactions.

Of course the summer wasn't all bad. Addie may not yet be in school, but there is still something freeing about summer, even a super hot one.

I am thankful for learning and growing, even in the face of not-so-comfortable situations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekend recovery

It's Tuesday night and I'm just now maybe feeling recovered from the weekend.

We helped with a friend's wedding at church, which was within a couple of hours of a visitation for Wewa's mayor, who passed away last week. Wedding reception in one room, viewing in the next.

Sunday was Pastor Appreciation Day, which included a lunch after our morning service and was followed not long after by the mayor's funeral.

Lots of setting up, tearing down, setting up, tearing down. 

Thankfully, part of Pastor Appreciation Day was the cancellation of our Sunday evening service. And, and an unofficial day off for Sabian on Monday, probably due to the craziness of the weekend. I was grateful for both.

We appreciate our church and all they do for us. Pastor Appreciation is always humbling. We are grateful for their provision and generosity.

Sunday evening I fully expected we would hang out and relax around the house, but when Sabian got home we headed for the beach.


 Since a pastor's work is never done, Sabian still did some work on his "unofficial" day off on Monday, but we managed to squeeze in lunch out together.
Busy weekend, but a good one. Along with catching our breath we're taking care of normal weekly things this week, made it to the library for a new stack of books, I'm looking forward to dinner with a friend later on this week and also preparing for our yard sale this Saturday. I'm really praying we sell, sell, sell! Included in the sale is our couch and a couple of other larger items I hope we can say goodbye to so that we don't have to pack them up and figure out where to store them until we can try to get rid of them again. At least the weather forecast is showing no rain and 87 degrees (for now!).

I am thankful for the relaxing tail end of our weekend.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

That seems to be the question of the day as we remember September 11, 2001.

I was at my desk, in my office building in downtown St. Louis, working away at my computer. It was a typical Tuesday morning. My friend Rita walked over to my desk, like she had many times before, and said that something had happened to one of the the World Trade Center buildings. Details were still sketchy at that point.

I turned on my radio to try to listen to what was going on. I remember not really knowing what to think. Shortly after the news broke and the realization of what was happening started to sink in, our building was evacuated and we were sent home for the day. I was told it was because of our proximity to the federal buildings downtown.

Absent was the giddy feeling that usually comes with being able to leave work early. As we left and some of us made the long trek to the parking lot where we parked our cars, the city seemed eerily quiet.

As I drove home, it was a beautiful sunny day. I called my friend, Debralee, who was living in New York City at the time, but was sent to her voicemail. I left her a message, hoping and praying she was okay. (I later heard from her - she was okay, but could see the plumes of smoke from the WTC buildings from where she lived.) I also called my friend Melina, who lived in Los Angeles. She and some friends were headed out of the city to a friend's, just as a precaution.

I made it home and spent most of the day watching the news coverage on television. At some point I had to turn it off, but felt guilty that I had the liberty to turn it off and walk away, while others suffered and lost so much.

On these anniversaries I think of those who died and those who lost loved ones, but in church this morning my mind turned to those who orchestrated and carried out this horrible attack, and to those who still work against the United States. I thought about the hatred and bitterness in their hearts and I prayed for them. I pray that their hearts would be dealt with, that they would see the destruction these feelings wreak on so many, including themselves.

Our pastor preached a great remembrance sermon this morning. One of the things he said went along the lines of, "We've gone back to a September 10 mentality. We need to get back to the mentality of September 12."

I hope we always remember and that we continue to pray for our nation, its leaders and the people in it.

I am thankful that I am an American and I am thankful for our forgiving God.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Picture perfect

I'm sure you all could repeat after me..."We have a busy weekend ahead." If you can't repeat it, consider yourself fortunate to have the opportunity to take the weekend at your own pace. Ours started yesterday and is full speed ahead.

This is why I'm so glad we had this morning, just the three of us, and two glorious hours at the beach. It was the kind of beach day that reminded me of why we started visiting Florida in the fall months. I could have stayed out there all day. The water was calm (even a little chilly) and clear, the sun was warm, the breeze was refreshing and it was...awesome.

We spied a lot of fish and more pelicans than normal hanging around. Usually we see them flying overhead but today there were always at least four riding the waves with us. As soon as we hit the sand we saw dolphins, which is always cool, but later on we saw even more, closer to shore and actually jumping out of the water to eat. I've seen plenty of dolphins in my beach days but I've never seen them actually jump out of the water. It was a good day for us, bad day to be a fish.

With this awesome weather, I think I'd still be out there, even now at almost 11 p.m.

This morning was the calm before the storm. I am thankful for our two peaceful hours at the beach on this beautiful day!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I'm excited to be trying Blogger's app on my iPod Touch. If you know me, you might know I like gadgets. This is a good one.

A photo from today and then this "test" is over, as it has been a long day and we'll be diving headlong into a loooong weekend.

Pigtails and a bow in Addie's hair today! Just doesn't happen every day but it's so cute when it does.

So thankful for such awesome weather this week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Soup for dinner!

My iGoogle page is telling me it is 80 degrees in Wewa. 80 degrees. Right now, this is heaven for me. It's not yet cool enough to throw my windows wide open, but today I certainly don't miss the wall of humidity that normally smacks me in the face as I walk out of the door.

Addie and I spent some time outside earlier today. Unheard of in recent months. This morning, as soon as I felt the cool breeze, I knew what was for dinner...soup. Easy, cozy and good. 

This change in the weather (at least for today - don't get me wrong, I'm trying not to even believe it will be like this tomorrow) is a nice cap to the long weekend. I already wrote of my night alone at the start of the weekend, which was wonderful, and the rest of the weekend was great, too. Saturday we worked so we could get it out of the way - Sabian closed the pool and we all cleaned up the yard. Sunday we were able to spend some time with our college students who were home for the long weekend and Monday we went out for lunch and perused what was left of the Border's store at Pier Park, which will soon be closing.

 I had a whole blog post milling around in my head and now it is lost.

So, for now...I am thankful for this weather!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday night football

Should I admit it?

Dare I confess it?

I am not a football fan.

Admitting such a thing in the south might just get me kicked out, but being the daring, live-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person that I am, I'll say it again...I don't like football.

I'm not against all sports, but football just doesn't interest me. To be fair, maybe I should clarify. I do like going to college football games, maybe even professional, but that's because I enjoy the energy and excitement of the crowd. But I guess that's not really liking's tolerating the game for the other fun stuff.

Either way, tonight marks the start of Wewa High School's football season. For me, tonight football means a night at home...alone. Sabian took Addie, who will love being at the game and having the opportunity to run around and see "the people", as she calls them. If I want a taste of the game I can simply step into my backyard. From there I can see the glow of the lights from the stadium, hear the music and play-by-play over the loud speaker(given by our pastor) and hear the band playing at half time. That's enough football for me.

Instead, here at home the dishwasher is running, I'm doing a little organizing and weeding out for our yard sale in a couple of weeks (hooray!) and Amelie is playing in the DVD player.

This brings back memories. As much as I will be so glad to hug my sweaty, sweet girl and kiss my husband when they walk in the door, I really don't mind being alone. I'm just one of those people who needs a moment. When I was working full-time Sabian learned that when I came home from working all day, I just needed a few minutes to myself. Not too long, just enough before we launched into sharing our days and spending the evening with one another. 

Even on trips with friends, missions trips, choir tours in youth - all of these trips growing up, at some point during the week I'd need a little time, just to myself. I love my parents, but when I moved out of my house, I really enjoyed the time on my own. I moved out while Sabian and I were dating and knew that I would marry him, so my time to live on my own wasn't long, but I am glad for the experience.

I love Addie, love that I can be home with her (challenging at times, but grateful for it!), but her nap times are welcome opportunities for me to refresh my brain, get things done, get in a devotion, move at my own pace.

I get it that life changes - kids mean less of your own time, marriage means much time with your spouse. I know the importance of spending time with people, pouring into relationships. It just makes me even more grateful for my Melissa moments. 

The only thing that might make this time a little sweeter would be an ice cream sundae, but I filled my ice cream quota for the day already. On the other end of the spectrum, in just a bit I'll be meeting up with Jillian Michaels for the first time. You'd think I'd want to maintain the peacefulness I am currently enjoying but I feel I must be a little responsible, too.

For now, while French music fills the living room and I get a few things straightened up, I can be thankful for my husband and my daughter and look forward to them being home soon.

Slurping the rest of her ice cream quota at DQ.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sweet September

According to Facebook, on this day last year my status message said something about ushering in September and hoping for cooler temperatures. Well, it is September but the cooler temps are many days away.

On the other hand, Addie is bringing in the fall months with a runny nose. I'm praying it is short-lived and is nothing more than a little congestion. Please, no ear infections! My sweet girl.

My husband started the month off right.

Flowers (these were part of my wedding bouquet):

And lunch and a milkshake from Chick-fil-A. The lunch I knew about, the shake was a surprise.

So far, September isn't so bad. That is, as long as Addie's runny nose doesn't get worse.

Last night in our youth service we split the guys and girls into two groups. Usually on the last Wednesday night of the month we separate into small groups but this Wednesday we had just enough workers to split into guys and girls. We were discussing Matthew 5:38-48. In this portion of scripture the Bible is instructing us how to deal with our enemies, when someone does us wrong and how to be more proactive in how we deal with those who come against us. We talked about revenge and what an "eye for an eye" really means and we discussed all that drama that the kids are always talking about is going around.

This lesson is a great reminder for teenagers, but a good one for me, too. As I was talking with the girls, and even before while I was studying our notes, I wasn't feeling as though I was dealing with current issues of this nature, but it is always good to read how clearly scripture commands us to deal with certain situations. And, the foundation of this lesson is that it takes a heart change to be able to do what we're being commanded. I can't forgive someone in my own power. I can't love my enemy and extend grace because Melissa can do it - I can only do it when my heart is right and when God gives me the power to do so.

This is true on so many levels. So many things are beyond me. I can't do it on my own. I'm not expected to. If I could do it on my own, then why did Christ die for me?

It's a daily process. A process that includes prayer, Bible study and striving to be more like Him. And He loves me, in spite of me.

I am thankful for this grace! I am also thankful for my thoughtful husband. I hope soon to be thankful for one less runny nose in our house.