Just checking in...

It has been a busy week with mainly work stuff and not much time for creative inspiration. We are closing the craziness tomorrow with another garage sale and packing for vacation. I'm looking forward to a good book, sand between my toes and writing lots in my new journal so hopefully I will have some good posts next week.
Oh, and lots of this sweet face. Does motherhood get more rewarding than them saying "I wuv you too" for the first time! Made my week!


A nice surprise

In addition to a lovely Friday night spent out at Wild Dunes with one of the cutest families I know celebrating one of Bert's friend's birthdays, we had little surprise on Saturday.
Bert treated his girls to a Saturday morning at the downtown farmer's market since it was one of his first Saturdays not called into work in a while. And when I say treat, he really went over the top. Anytime I suggested that maybe Loulie didn't need an icee the size of her head or maybe one less pony ride, he stopped me with "Lauren, I never get to do this. Just let me delight in being with my girls."
Okay, twist my arm. Who can argue against that?!
While we were down there, my brother in law called and within a few hours he, Aimee and my nephew, William were in Charleston treating us to dinner for a belated birthday celebration for Bert. It could not have been a nicer surprise to see these three and get to have dinner at Bert's favorite, Basil.
I'm not sure if you have had experience with many teenage boys, but in mine, not many are willing to hold their baby cousins hand while walking the streets of downtown Charleston. 
 William has a heart of gold and Loulie took full advantage. If she stole one hug, she stole ten. I'm pretty sure she will be looking up to William for life and I hope he will always be willing to humor her.


A week of performances...

I have found that it is impossible to experience anything now without viewing it through the lens of motherhood. Whether good or bad, I think there is no going back.
With the weekend starting, I decided to squeeze in a quick Piccolo Spoletto performance before the festival ends this weekend. I look forward to Spoletto all year and try to get to at least one performance each season. I dropped LB off at the Children's Museum with a sitter and hauled down Meeting Street arriving hot and winded at the Footlight Players in just enough time to find my seat. I have always enjoyed the Dance at Noon series because it allows you to see a variety of different styles and schools as well as support young artists. This year, while sitting in the cool, dark auditorium watching the high school dancers; my mind floated back to how much dance has always meant to me. There was a shorter girl in the front row who couldn't help but share her love of dance with the huge smile she was beaming. I wondered how much she practiced and whether dance was a "popular" hobby at her high school.How many Saturdays had she spent at her studio? DId her mother wait in the car or come in and watch? There was only one male in the entire company--strong and handsome, I wondered too if he caught any slack from friends for being a male dancer. And then I remembered how much I used to love performing on stage and how dance was such an outlet for me--in my teen years when everything seems difficult and then just for fun as I moved on into my twenties.
Suddenly, I felt so proud of these kids and how hard they had worked and what a big deal it must be for them to be performing in Charleston for the festival. And then, because these lenses are permanently screwed in, how proud their parents must be. And then I thought of how next year Loulie can come with me. And I wonder if she will love dance as much as I do. And before I knew it, I was all choked up and teary eyed in the cold, dark auditorium watching these kids perform.
Which is EXACTLY why I LOVE dance--because if performed well, a piece will always evoke some kind of emotion from the audience. And then a mother "woohoo"ed! And everyone cheered and one of the dancers started smiling bigger.
 I don't know if Loulie will love dance as much as her mother or even more but I can't wait to see what God places on her little heart to be passionate about. If it is not dance, then I can't wait to learn all about what she gets into. Because I can promise you this, whether dance or soccer or cross country or challenge of the gladiators; I will always be the mother obnoxiously "woohooing" in the back!
Just like I did last Wednesday...
(yes, that is me in the background along with Bert shamelessly yelling "Go Loulie WOOO.")

Dang--and now I am teary eyed again. 

Have a Happy Weekend!


New Year's Resolution Gone wrong

I would love to be showing you lush pictures of green plants and rows of sweet summer squash along with ripe cucumbers and fresh cilantro. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? Well, I got your stomachs growling and mouths watering for nothing. Why?

Because this person decided that instead of moving on to Knoxville like the other senior citizens, she would test out retirement in the lowcountry. She's been here a month and in addition to clearing out the den every night with her eye watering fluffs, burping in my face last night at dinner and shedding an extra dog into the bedroom corner; she has also eaten every last leaf out of my garden.
So what was two weeks ago a fulfillment of a new year's resolution, is now a dream of what it would have been like to save money on fresh veggies this summer and the satisfaction of hard work paid off. 
All I have to say, is thank God she is cute! Otherwise, I might have accidentally left the back gate open this morning. 
At least now while having coffee on my back porch in the morning, I can look out at a giant plat of stinky mud. So glad I cleared the area right next to my back door so that all my friends that come by can see the fruit of my efforts. 
Damn Dogs!!! 
On my way to the farmer's market,




Last Monday morning; I woke up, rolled over and looked at the clock--date and time. Then, I turned to Bert and said, "Good morning Husky Bear! Happy last week in your thirties. In a few days, we won't be in the same decade again for another 9 and a half years." Then just to add a little comfort to the situation, I assured him that no matter what, I would stand by him through anything this new decade might bring including Depends, a walker, and loss of hearing. He thanked me for my words of encouragement and then said he was going to hang himself from the shower curtain rod!

In all seriousness, Bert had a great birthday. He admitted that 40 actually felt better than 30--that having a family, a job he loves, good friends and his faith have made moving into the next decade more exciting than scary. I decided at the beginning of May that I couldn't let his 40th slide by without some kind of celebration, so Loulie and I moved out to Sullivan's last week to get ready for his party on Friday night. I CANNOT believe I didn't take any pictures, but it was a great time. A lot of friends and family were able to come celebrate. I did all the food and my aunt helped with the flowers. We had a local guy who plays at the farmers market sing--he was perfect for the occasion and I highly recommend him. My in laws relieved the baby sitter allowing us to stay out at the beach which was a gift in itself. For the first time in almost two years, we were able to stay up late and not worry about waking with a baby or having to be responsible. We closed the party down at 1:00 only to stay up talking to Bert's sister until 3:30. It has taken me at least two days to recover from the loss of sleep. I am no longer able to pounce out of bed after a weekend of fun--guess I deserve it after all my teasing of Bert getting old. 

I'm a little sad Bert's actual birthday has come and gone--it is fun doting over the person you love. In our house, you get to celebrate a week so we still have 5 more days of fun (mixed in with work). I'm so thankful that Bert asked me to marry him almost five years ago. After all the teasing, I reminded him that he keeps getting better with age. I loved Bert when we first met but had no idea when we married that he was going to be such an amazing husband and father. God truly designed the two of us to balance each others' strengths and weaknesses and I am so thankful for that. Bert works so hard for our family, is completely selfless when it comes to his girls and always has encouraging words for me when I am doubting my role as a wife and mother. He does a lot of things well but I am most proud of him for how he treats others and manages his business. We have our own business so in the past we have had some times that have gotten a little tight. There may have been some opportunities that would have allowed us more money but would have meant possibly hurting someone else's interest. Bert has always taken the high road, done the right thing, trusted the Lord and waited patiently rather than acting out of greed or impulse. I also love that when our friends talk about what they would take on a deserted island, he is always mentioned--he can fix or build anything! And as the cherry on top, Bert always puts his family before anything making Loulie and me feel pretty good. It took me a while to find someone so special and it was great to celebrate his 40 years on this earth. I love him so much and wish him many more happy (and healthy) decades (with me of course) ahead!