Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Blur-thday Annamarie

My sweet girl turned eleven today, and I'm afraid I have reached a new low in birthday photo-taking. One of Karen Russell's children also had a birthday this week, and I am sure that next year my pictures are going to look as good as hers, after I take her photography class which starts Monday. I may also have to move to a place where it is possible to be outdoors in March using natural light, but we'll worry about that before Annamarie turns twelve. We are having friends over for dinner, cake, and ice cream on Sunday, so I will try harder then. Annamarie said several times today, "Look at me--I am the birthday QUEEN!"

Naturally, the best photo was of the cupcakes she took to share with her class. Her teacher sent her on an errand to the office, and her classmates hid under their desks and jumped out yelling "Happy Birthday" when she returned. It thrilled her and was so sweet of Mr. Smith to make it a fun day for Annamarie.

Annamarie chose Outback for her birthday dinner, where the waitress kindly assisted us in taking more blurry photos. We missed Thomas, who is coming home this weekend and will be here for Sunday's celebration. (There will be at least 12 people and it occurred to me today that I don't own 12 forks, knives, plates, or glasses. Hmmm.)

We concluded the evening by finishing a school project that is due tomorrow. It's the biggest project Annamarie has ever done, and we were doubtful at first about whether she would be able to handle it. We needn't have worried...she did get a good bit of help from us, but she is very proud of her garbage truck! (The assignment was to create a community helper vehicle 15-30 cm long and 8-15 cm high, with at least one element of symmetry, two simple machines, 3-dimensional, using only a list of approved materials. Her truck is made from a Diet Coke box, a pasta box, and prescription bottle caps for wheels.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I worked on this post all night

Well it did take all night for the video to upload. It's a song from the musical the children performed at church yesterday, A Tale of Three Trees. The moral of the story is that God has bigger plans for us than we can imagine, and the kids did a great job. Annamarie is the last toy soldier on the left. Ron and I could not figure out how toy soldiers fit into the story, but they were cute.

Here's my happy little tree. (All the kids were trees, and some had second roles.) She's a bit grainy because I used my "little" camera. (ha ha...grain? wood? Never mind.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unexpected Blessings

The removal of my thyroid on Saturday went very smoothly, and I came home on Sunday morning feeling surprisingly good. (The highly unflattering photo above was taken by Ron with my iPhone, just before I went into surgery. Keeping it real. I can't imagine who would look good in one of those caps.) Yesterday Annamarie and I actually ran an errand or two, but I spent most of today curled up in bed with a book and my very solicitous dog, feeling very swollen and sore.

This experience has left me feeling very blessed for so many reasons. I am very thankful for the diligence of my primary care physician, who caught my cancer so early that it was simple to treat, and also for the skilled, caring, funny surgeon who operated on me. I am grateful for my parents who, despite my mom being in serious pain herself from a bad knee, came up to stay with Annamarie so that Ron could be with me at the hospital. I am grateful for and humbled by the generosity of friends who have called and brought meals and flowers and who have prayed for and with me. I am thankful for my husband who is taking good care of me and letting me milk the sympathy card just a little, and for my daughter who is so willing to serve as my nurse. And of course I am grateful most of all to God, from whom all these good things come.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just a little acrylic album for a friend with a new grandbaby. I made it very simple and left most of the pages blank so that she can add photos. I had a blast using both my Slice and my new Bind-It-All on this.

I had some scraps from that project and another layout lying on my desk and thought they looked pretty together, so I whipped this one up. I love these colors so much. (The papers are Heidi Swapp and Making Memories.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'm too sexy for my blog

Actually, I am way, way too boring for my blog. Don't get me wrong, LIFE IS GOOD, but gracious it is dull to write about. My friend Sandy, with whom I ordinarily spend a lot of time during the week, has gone off to New Zealand for three months to witness the birth of her granddaughter. The baby arrived on Wednesday and she is gorgeous and perfect, so I don't understand why Sandy can't just come on back now, because I need some shopping and scrapping and lunching.

I have done some productive things with all my new-found free time, so it's not all bad. I repainted my hallway today. DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN with the boring?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

You will find me curled up at the foot of the bed

That is MY silky pillowcase that that spoiled rotten dog is sleeping on so comfortably. My mom's hair stylist, Miss Kay, told me that sleeping on a satin pillowcase would keep my hair from getting tangled at night, which reminds me that I never told you about my very long visit to Miss Kay's salon.

My mother's Christmas present to me was a haircut and color at Kay's Kreations, which is in a tiny town outside Charlotte, NC. You would never believe that a little crossroads like Stanfield would have so many hair styling options, but right across the road there is Wyndola's Beauty Shop, and just a little bit farther down sits Elaine's Hillside Cut & Curl. Now, you probably won't be surprised to hear that I am not a woman who is comfortable with being primped and pampered. I generally wait until even the dog is commenting on my gray roots and then run down to Hair Cuttery, not the really busy one near the university or the one that is nearest to my house but where the ladies become very bitter when you interrupt their socializing to ask for a haircut, but the nice professional one up near the Target. Of course my experiences there haven't been entirely without incident, but generally they do a pretty good job with a minimum of fuss.

Miss Kay has been doing my mom's hair for more than 15 years, and I had never met her but Annamarie had, once when she was spending the weekend with Grammy. She came home from the salon with one of those disembodied heads used to store a wig (she was going through a wig fascination and had a couple of cheap ones at home) and she immediately proceeded to give this severed head a makeover using Sharpies. It was a very dramatic look, more Saturday-night-at-the-club and less Sunday-morning-at-worship. For months Ron or Thomas or I would round a corner in the house and let out a startled little shriek at the scary woman staring at us from under her disheveled hair. She finally "disappeared" one evening.

Anyway, Miss Kay and her stylists could not have been any sweeter, and the salon was lovely, but the whole experience felt exactly like being at Truvy's beauty salon in Steel Magnolias. I was there, no kidding, for four hours. It does take forever to foil my very thick hair, but not literally FOREVER. It was a fabulous opportunity for people-watching on a busy Saturday, though, which is one of my favorite activities. One of the stylists (they all had fabulous hair...I am always wary of salons where the hairdressers have bad hair) was talking about how glad she was that Christmas was past, because ever since Thanksgiving her nerves had been tore slam up. I had to agree.

Miss Kay gave me the best highlights I have ever had, and I just may wait to get them redone when I am down visiting Mama'n'em around Easter, even though I will be way overdue by then. This time I will bring a snack and some sudokus.