Aug 31, 2009

Cool enough

Recent convo with a friend:

Me: "So, I totally want to have you guys over for a BBQ but we just had one, so, is it okay to ask again? I mean, are we cool enough?"

Her: "Yes, yes, have us over. It will be so, so fun. We'd be honored...of course you're cool."

Me: "Okay, okay, I really want us to raise our boys together and surround them with good values and show them community and just be supportive of one another and are you sure it's okay...?"

Good. Lumpy. Gravy. Someone tell me to shush already.

I truly love people--my beautiful, amazing friends--and want Wilder to be influenced by their examples. I want to lift and be uplifted. If I could only stop tripping over myself.

It compels me to postulate what life would look like if I stopped pestering myself.
How my relationships would develop if I deconstructed those walls of "protection." It's helped a little to think of how others are affected (I am a mercy person, and uber-empathetic toward others, yet a ringmaster on myself) when I live a handicapped existence, one moldy with fear and self deprecation.

Oh yes, I see what it does. Others miss out on a blessing.

So I pray, pray to my Creator--all of Him deserves all of me. All He is will wholly heal all of me.

And I pray that you, me, all of us, and all of them, will support one another in our quests to conquer our inner beasts, and emerge, proclaiming...

"...I am, and will forever remain, awesome."

Aug 30, 2009

Celebrating our youngster

Robot sketch by Shawn, my talented, graphic designer hot stuff husband

Wilder's generated alot of {wonderful} hubbub over this whole turning one thing.
We partied again. This time on our turf. Why not?
Anyone ever taken a floral design course?
Think it'd be cool; I enjoy morphing Dillon's finds into something artistic.

It takes a village to raise a child.

The cake turned out cute; I'll have to post pics tomorrow!

Aug 27, 2009

Slight obsession

Can an obsession be slight? Probably not. I'm okay with that.

Here's my current obsession:
The curls. Can't. Get. Over. The. Curls.
It's just too much.

Then there's the bedhead:

And this week's development:
Climbing. Wilder, may I climb with you?

Hope this week finds you well and joyous. I think of you a lot as we brink the change in seasons. Wondered how you've handled sending children (perhaps first-timers?) off to school with their squeaky clean shoes, sharpened pencils, towers of Kleenex boxes.

You do so much for your loves.
I hope you do something healing for you today.


Aug 24, 2009

We like to party. We like, we like to party.

We scurried to Chanute for an overnight gathering to celebrate Wilder's birthday. It was a smidgen of time when we could all be in Kansas, likely until Christmas. We relish these opportunities, take not a minute for granted.
You are seeing me in my pj's--we have gone to a whole new level here, ya'll.Max

I love going home. The town has changed a lot, as have I. Shawn said it best when he expressed, "it feels like we're being chased by ghosts. I see all these buildings and places, know they are familiar to me, yet I can't pinpoint those memories right now." He said this as we went to three different places at 10:00am on a Saturday looking for donuts. Donuts.
On a Saturday. Everyone out of them. Fortunately, Wal-Mart...

Momma and Daddy have the sheets soft, the fridge brimming over. This time, lots of balloons for Wilder and a pooh-bear cake.
His gifts were lined up on the piano like she used to do ours. For a moment, I am lost as I recall opening gifts of cute tanks and flipflops, devotionals. But who is this boy, opening gifts? Why does he get to use our piano? And sit on us girls' stool? Oh, yes, he's mine.

And I'm a grownup.

Regardless of what I gain or lose in a melody of grownup decisions, I will always have home.


Aug 22, 2009

Perfectly Yummy

Wilder is vibrantly embracing toddlerhood. I'm getting there.

Snapshot of his birthday: we grocery shopped, lunched with Daddy at our favorite mexican place, and caught up with my former coworkers at the Kansas Health Foundation.
All was right in the world.
Until I checked our mailbox. A card for Wilder from G'ma and G'pa Dunning read:

...when we first saw you, we couldn't believe how beautiful you were! But you are even more beautiful to us now-one year later.

...each time we see you, we are blessed just being near you...your huge smile and sweet nature makes all things better in our lives.

Good gravy.

I held it together as best I could, but, seriously?

We mustn't forget the evening's festivities. I made Wilder a rainbow cake (as featured on the Whatever blog) that we enjoyed, then passed along to Shawn's coworkers. I misordered the colors, green should have come before blue (ROYGBIV). Oops.

We didn't give Wilder a lot of cake because he still has 2 more cakes to mangle. ;-) yay, parties!
These gifts seem boring--a sippy cup and baby Nutrigrain bars? But, we'd alreay given him a bunch of goodies (couldn't wait).
Wilder, you are perfectly yummy. How blessed we've been to have you in our lives these 368 days!

Aug 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Wilder!

Today is Wilder's first birthday! Woah, that came outta nowhere. Look how little he is here:
Now he's a big boy testing out carseats!
He was one of many born that day, but for us, an artsy fartsy (clueless) couple in Ta-town, he was our awakening, our transformation. The culmination of all our right decisions in life.

One may freak knowing the capacities of a child's brain, the synapses that form and touch thousands of times a day. How a kiss, a "hurray!", fuel the growing organ that is his mind, and how the negative counterparts do just the opposite.

What a hard and mighty calling it is to parent, with rewards my heart can't pen--where I feel whole and not so whole simultaneously. Whole because Wilder makes our family. Fills my heart to overflowing. Not so whole because I yearn for wisdom and grace as I guide him. Not so whole because I need to ensure he has no doubts that we love him. I need to reiterate these words, so he knows...

You are the one and only ever you.

When I'm feeling low, I speak the above phrase (and believe it for my own person). It's from one of Wilder's books,
On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman. It is my most favorite of his (I cried the first time I read it).

My beautiful angel, Wilder Raine:

Thank you for being the blessing you are. You are so, so special, and God made you wonderfully! You can do anything in the whole, wide world that you want to do. I am proud of you and have always wanted you. Thank you for your patience as I learn to be your mommy. When you were born, so was a mother.

Happy first Birthday! I love you!

Aug 18, 2009

Common Clay with self portrait

Common Clay
Harold Symmes

The Master placed within my hand
A bit of common clay.
"Of this make thee a life," he said,
"Fashion it night and day."

"But this, O Master, is cold earth,
Insensate dust of death.
For life I need Thy living fire,
The flame of stars, the breath
Of love, of joy, of wild desire,
Those deathless dawns that light
The surgent beauty of the day,
The firmament at night."

"Have faith in common clay," said He,
"A mystic force is thine.
As thou on the world's wheel shape thy clay,
So shall it grow divine."

Get goin' now. You've got a day to tend to.

Aug 16, 2009

He is my beautiful.

Our sweetheart Wilder turns one in T minus three days.
Three days. Pray for me.

Sometimes my mom answers the phone, "Well, hi, baby girl." I noticed it tonight. Because I get it. I get her.

After Wilder has left the safe cocoon of the home we've built for him, I'll ache to hear his voice. To want to know he's okay. I'll say, "hi, Beautiful."

But you've got time, Mindy! Yes I know and am grateful for that, but if the first year has gone by this fast, tell me what am I to do about the next 17? I have a few ideas: not stress out, kiss him alot, tell him he's special, let the dishes go, play in the dirt, hold slimy things, do multiplication tables and volcano projects, show him the world.

The world may never be ready for him, but we'll get him ready for it.

And though my arms will always be held out wide for him, they cannot extend as far as he must, and deserves, to dream.

Someday, he will go.

Aug 14, 2009

C "got" me

I had an all-too brief Facebook chat with my college roommate last night. We roomed together a year, in Tulsa, OK--after that I moved to attend K-State and live with my sister (and be closah to Shawn).

"C" and I talked on the phone prior to meeting each other. We sent each other our senior photos. I thought her taste in lipstick was impeccable (frosty pink). Her hair shinier than that of a Finesse model. Meeting her was like reacquainting myself with someone I already knew. Someone who felt safe to trust me. She was with her mom when we met. She carried this black canvas back with big, red cartoon lips on it. I coveted it a little.

Back home, I'd bored a hole in the ceiling...lifting prayers that she wouldn't snore. And she didn't! But tea kettles make this whirring sound that freaked me out at first; I got used to it, though (she had one that plugged in). Go, caffeine!

I erected a Shawn shrine in our room. Poor C. Poor Shawn. No boys allowed in the dorms so he never saw the extent of it. It was bad, filling an entire corner. C never flinched. When I balled and slobbered, missing my man (good heavens, we were still kids), she was cool. I didn't have a computer, so she let me chat with Shawn on hers (we went nuts with the emoticons). And, most importantly, she gave me newfound confidence to assert and say. I was a tad more reserved in those days, not willing to step, if even delicately, on anyone's toes.

Assert. Say.


What great things. I'd found my liberation.

Aug 13, 2009

Time machine

L to R--Wilder and great G'pa, Shawn's college roomie Jeff, WildMan, Sissy, Marlboro Man

In sifting through old photos with the sole intention of deleting blurry/cruddy ones, I found myself overwhelmed at the magnitude of my experiences. Remembering those moments is a lifeline for me.

In seconds I was lost in emotion (I bet you're not surprised. I don't pretend to mask it!). The photos are woven with memories, bursting with substance of more youthful days.

What a way to wake up and smell the blessings.

Aug 11, 2009

An uncanny resemblance

Aren't genetics, and, furthermore, isn't God--fascinating?

Aug 10, 2009

Colorado, Part XIV

Wilder has the best grandparents EVER, on both sides.

When we were in Colorado (surely you can hear about our vacay one more time?) Shawn's parents watched Wilder so we could make a getaway to Estes Park and Boulder.
We stayed at the cutest B & B. When we arrived, the hostess was spraying a bear with pepper spray. Apparently the Gingerbread Bear (locals call him that due to his coloring) is almost two years old and a bit of a pest. We were just glad he gave us bragging rights. He was quite the conversation piece over our breakfast with a couple from San An, and the other from England.
We took an air-tram up to get a better view of the Estes area.
I'm not a fan of heights but I did it anyway! Who would've wanted to miss this?:
Is it ok to admit that I really want to hike every trail on every one of these mountains? So much beauty. The streams were so clear--I wanted to drink the water, swim in it, do a VO-5 hot oil hair treatment in it...
Thanks, H & K, for watching WildMan!
Lastly, below are some snapshots of the cabin/relaxation time/landscape/Estes:
This is the last thing, I promise.

The cabin was built in 1950 or 60 (I can't remember), you can imagine the array of vintage treasures it contains. It was all I could do to not take a plate set, 2 salt/peppah shaker sets, set of canisters, wall hangings, lamps...none of it was mine.

And that my friends, is torture. A very sad, sad thing.

Aug 8, 2009

My GiFi's

My pals have helped me recover from near hyperventilation attacks over Wilder's "stuff" (not wanting the bottle, fits on the changing table, ya know, those kinds of things). Our sons are very close in age--we've already discussed what it'll be like to be mothers in law...

Thanks for the grand evening at P.F. Chang's, girls. Felt like the odd woman out in my work blazer (what was I thinking? oh, yes, it's because I flipped through my new September Glamour edition for outfit ideas), but had the time of my life regardless.

You are spirited and beautiful.
Wichita better keep up.

Aug 6, 2009

Colorado, I am besotted. I betrothe myself to thee.

I'm making my way thru vacation pictures.
We live on a grand continent, yes we do! After just a day in the car (it felt like a week) we found ourselves tiny ants amongst those gigantic, seemingly aloof, mountains. Tourists in a land of dreadlocks, cargo shorts, cycling. This compels me to take similar journeys more often. If it only takes a day to get me to a place where I can learn, snoop, be befuddled, and be in awe, then, I'll do it.

Where will you go?

The sky breathed fire for us, as if stung by the brunt of humanity (her pollutants and ungratefulness so often raised as an unworthy offering) below. Nature is violent but beautiful, perhaps laced with mercy, and we are given, yet again, a sunset--to envelope our innards--to coax us toward giving.