Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Times Ahead

As you may already be aware, Reagan's Aunt Jessica is getting married on New Year's Eve.  This past weekend, the wedding season was kicked into high gear with the first of the showers.  This necessitated a trip west for Reagan, my mother, & I, which commenced Friday around noon.  Having been promoted to a front-facing car seat, Reagan was all smiles as we departed.  She enjoyed her new view so much that she refused to nap the entire trip, with the exception of about 30 minutes.

Friday night we met Aunt Jessica at Maggiano's in the NorthPark Mall for dinner.  It was delicious, & we added several boxes of leftovers to our already full Tahoe & headed to Jessica's apartment.

The euphoria of the front-facing car seat was long gone Saturday morning.  Reagan & I were both suffering from stuffy noses & were in foul moods until we got a little of our beverage of choice in us.  

I drank mine from this mug I bought Jessica a few years ago.  It combines two of her favorite things, an argyle pattern & coffee.  You can't go wrong with either. 

Warming up to the idea of a little shopping:

Being that it was game day (& we were so close to Oklahoma, which coincidentally starts with an 'O' like 'O'verrated), there was no question that Reagan would wear her uniform as we traversed the NorthPark Mall.  

We easily maneuvered the throng of Texas & Oklahoma fans, finding holes in the crowd & forging ahead, stroller & all, a blur of Graco equipment & purple & gold.    

Reagan was far too interested in the people & the sights in the mall to nap:

We ate an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  By early, I mean 5 o'clock, Mamaw & Papaw early.  Reagan got to sit in the booth with us and made a valiant attempt to use the silverware.

With the clock ticking until game time, we dashed in the Tom Thumb nearest Jessica's apartment, where I paused to take a picture of this:

We bought some decaf coffee and Claritin (for the stuffy noses), & hurried off to watch the Tigers roll.

On Sunday, we joined a plethora of Heath's friends & relatives to shower Jessica & Heath with gifts.

The gifts:

The happy couple:

You can't go wrong with ivory Fiestaware.  I adore mine:

Being chic & cool, I ordered a few things off of Jessa's Crate & Barrel registry, one of which was this nifty "coffee" mug: 

(Did you know today is international coffee day?  If you're not a coffee drinker, there's no better time to begin a delicious new addiction & join the 65% of your fellow Americans who begin their day with a hot cup of coffee).  

Once the gifts were opened & oohed & ahhed over, we ate a few cupcakes & were on the road again.  After so much forward thinking, Reagan was unable to stay awake for much of the drive home.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Greats

This week, my Papaw will turn 85.  Yesterday, he was told my Aunt Donna was bringing some pizza out for lunch.  She did, & with her came 14 other relatives, including his great grandson Will, whom he'd never met, a yellow cake with chocolate icing, and one British lab named Thomas Jefferson (we take the presidents seriously in our family . . . well, the good ones).

The plan was to meet at noon and then all drive to Papaw's at the same time.  I believe the phrase "rendezvous at noon" was used, but I won't say by whom.  I will say that the individual who used this phrase was not at the rendezvous point at noon.

Waiting . . . 

 . . . and waiting . . . 

Once all 7 cars made it to Papaw's, the party was in full swing.  When Will arrived, Papaw cried, & we all did a little too.

Undaunted by the attention their new cousin was receiving, the girls got down to business:

They took some time out to chat with Thomas Jefferson:

We sang 'Happy Birthday' and had cake:

Papaw modeled his birthday gifts:

We visited:

I spent some one on one time with Will:

And everyone fell asleep:

Papaw has seen a lot with his 85 year old eyes: the Great Depression, the beginning & end of WWII, man walking on the moon, and the birth of five children, ten grandchildren, and five great grandchildren, the youngest of whom he was able to finally lay eyes on yesterday.  Thoreau once said, None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.  Papaw continues to find things to be enthused about, musing yesterday that he would turn some heads at the council (the Council on Aging, where he often eats lunch) when he walked in wearing his new bright yellow LSU shirt he got for his birthday.  He looks good for 85; he has a head of hair many men in their 40s would envy & skinny legs I envy, but they get him where he needs to go.  We all had a wonderful day.  You're never too old for surprises or tears or yellow birthday cake with chocolate icing.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This World is Not My Home

Today Reagan is nine months old.

I sing a lot when I am alone (& I am rarely truly 'alone' now, so Reagan listens to my singing often, God bless her).  Typically it's something from the 80s or a broadway medley.  Today, I've been singing "This World is Not My Home."  This world has officially been Reagan's home for as long as I was.

As my pregnancy progressed, it became apparent I was not meant to be her permanent dwelling.  Toward the end, I couldn't sleep much at all and even my maternity clothes were getting snug.  On Thanksgiving Day, I walked into my Aunt Donna & Uncle Bryan's house wearing a red turtleneck.  Like an alarm, my bulging red belly announced my presence before I was in the room.  My cousin, Marykate, was 1 at the time; she took one look at me and, without a word, lifted her shirt to show us her belly, which, unlike mine, was proportionate to the rest of her body.  She knew my body was stretched to its limit, doing something that it was not meant to permanently endure.

A few weeks later, at my last doctor's visit before Reagan was born, Dr. Sheppard told me it was possible that my water would break from the sheer pressure of her because she was so low.  That's exactly what happened, and she passed from me into this world with relative ease.

 She's changed a lot in nine months.  She is the picture of youth and health and goodness right now.

Happy to be playing after finishing her morning bottle:

A few of her 9 month pics:

As hard as it is to believe now, Reagan was not meant for this world.  None of us were.  It's readily apparent if you spend time with an elderly person, or someone who suffers poor health, just as it was obvious to Marykate that something was amiss with my stomach.  It was time for separation.

Even when we're young and healthy, mortality whispers to us; we cut ourselves and bleed or break a bone or notice those first gray hairs.  For those for whom the following lyrics ring true, there are other reminders as well.  The filth that permeates our society is a siren signaling that our souls weren't meant to stay here forever, and praise God for that.  Separation is sometimes welcomed and sometimes difficult, but it's inevitable, and a Christian meandering through this twisted world can't help but be reminded of that daily, and welcome the sound of the angels that beckon.  I can't be here with Reagan forever anymore than I could provide her a permanent home in my belly, but I pray we will one day share an immutable home in Heaven.

This World is Not My Home, I'm just passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

They're all expecting me and that's one thing I know
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go
I know He'll take me through, though I am weak and poor
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

Just up in Glory Land we'll live eternally
The Saints on every hand are shouting victory
Their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven's shore
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord you know I have no friend like you
If Heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore


Friday, September 9, 2011

Don't Fence Me In

Reagan is desperate to be fully mobile, and her persistence means figuring out new & creative ways to keep her confined.  I am sure she's highly confused as we all encourage her to roll over, crawl, scoot, pull up, etc. while confining her with gates, straps, and buckles.

We had to lower the mattress in her crib last week.  I attempted to capture her upward motion on camera.

Playing peek-a-boo with me through the rails:

Inch . . . 

by inch . . . 

by inch . . . 

For her first Labor Day, Trey, Reagan, & I joined the four grandparents, Aunt Deni, Aunt Jessica, & Uncle Heath at my parents' house for steaks (I wish I had taken a picture of my steak, because it was a thing of beauty thanks to Chef Heath).  My parents' dog, Ethan, is not fond of anyone who diverts my mother's attention from him, nor is he too keen on Reagan's increasing vocal range, so we have to keep them separated with a gate.  Maybe when she's a little older, Reagan will stand at the gate & demand we tear down the wall that divides the objects of my mother's affection, but for now, Reagan & Ethan remain relegated to their side of the gate.

Susan & Ethan in East James Living Room:

Reagan in West James Living Room, reaching for her grandmother's toes on the other side of the gate:

Reagan pondering the need for a world with gates:

Having had enough of the division, Reagan headed for open space where she was free to roam: