Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Awakening.

I never was really a fan of Spring.

No really, I had myself convinced that I really didn't enjoy it. Fall was first-- natch, since my birthday resides squarely in the middle. It also contains my favorite colors, foods, and the beginning of school. Duh.

Winter comes next because, hello snow! And Christmas is wonderful, Christmas break is handy, New Year's is neat, and I really actually love Valentine's day too- all there.

Summer was third- real hot, but no school (a good and bad thing when I was young. Now I think... only a good thing). Lots of outside time, and just a more free feeling all around.

And then there is Spring. And for some reason as I look back, though I convinced myself that Spring was less than awesome, I always LOVED it.

I realized that this Spring is my 6th Spring away from Utah. And come on folks, Spring in Utah is really quite something. I have vivid and specific memories of the yard I grew up in blooming amidst the melting snow. Right now there are white, yellow, and bright violet crocuses blooming happily next to the waterfall about half way up the driveway. There are daffodils in great patches all through the gully and along the driveway. THAT is Spring.

(As a side note, I think of the yard, and think about how nearly each flower and tree that is there was planted by my Dad. What a special thing- what a wonderful legacy he has in that yard. And I suppose my summers full of playing and picking flowers and doing the dreaded yard work have more meaning each summer I'm away from them)

I always LOVED Spring in New York. It's like the city is waking back up from the winter sleep. There's new hope in the air. Florence too, felt this way. While the winter wasn't nearly as hard in Tuscany, there is still a real shift. I think there they begin to look forward to Olive oil Easter cake and Spring vegetables like the amazing black cabbage-- I like that as their seasons shift, their meals do too.

In Spring people are bouncier, and everywhere they wear inappropriately small amounts of clothing too soon, but they are thrilled to do it because it isn't dumping snow (though often there IS dumping snow in Spring, but it does melt).

And here in Kentucky, it is simply LOVELY. We have two magnolia trees-- one in front, one in the back yard. They are both in full bloom with bright magenta fading to light pink flowers. The birds are chirping and the grass is greening up. We have daffodils encircling our tree out front (how nice, some clever person planted them! Thank you previous 1225 B. inhabiters) and our hosta are breaking through the dirt to show their greeney faces. We've got weird little shafts of wild onion growing all over the yard, and the yard itself is actually mostly clover, which is flowering bright purple right now. We are refusing to mow til the pretty dies, then we'll begin that process. As soon as we start, we'll be mowing weekly til October, so we're holding off as long as we can.

So I guess the moral here is that with Spring comes flowers out of the dead ground. I know it is tired and we've heard it all before, but I DO feel a renewed sense of hope this Spring. And honestly, I'm not sure I lost hope, it just got bogged down in long nights, hard earth. The days are longer, and seeing the sky for more hours in the day is an important thing. God has crafted this season to be a reminder of our hope-- and how appropriate when we look towards Easter and the significance that holds.

In the end, maybe I DO like Spring. I find the season rankings greatly depend on which season I'm in, and how long I've been in it. Right now, Spring is number one!
(Though as a side note I will say Spring in Kentucky brings allergies like whoa, worse than anywhere else I've lived. But, so far, that has been true of EVERY season in KY/TN).


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Yes, as usual, a significant break in my blog (lack of) consistency.

But, I will try to catch you up this week while I'm on Spring Break, and then ideally keep up with it going forward!

I liked what whitney did on her blog with a little listy update, so here I go.

1) Last week was a LONG week for me AND Matthew. Mine included grading about 80 English 1020 papers, handing in midterms, going to a 5 hour FRG Leader training, my first "Steering committee" meeting, and a few other things. Matthew's was a bit more intense and included a 2am wake up call to deal with a soldier who committed a felony, and on Wednesday he got up at 4:30am for the day, worked through the night on his staff duty shift and continued to work until about 3:30pm the next day... a REALLY long day.

By the end of the week, we were both exhausted! Fortunately we had a restorative, though busy, weekend.

2) Friday night and Saturday morning we went to the "Inquirer's Weekend" at our church here-- learned a LOT and were left with some huge things to think about. We found it encouraging, and spiritually challenging. We are still contemplating membership and are pretty sure we'll take that step even though we don't completely agree with everything-- it is a great community!

3) We got to see Josh and Laura! They are leading a trip to Memphis right now, staying with the Castles (Joanna's mom and dad). They made a pit stop in downtown Nashville and we got to spend about 3 hours just hanging out with them! It was so wonderful to see them WITH Matthew and get to hear about their lives now, their marriage, and their thoughts on the coming months. Thanks for stopping by to see us friends!

4) The weather here has been absolutely glorious. It is a high of 79 today.. INSANITY! We had a wonderfully warm weekend and got to grill outside and have our windows open, just heavenly! Tomorrow it is supposed to get colder again, but it is still highs in the 50s, so not too bad.

5) I am the E Company FRG leader now, officially. I am still learning exactly what this means, but I am REALLY excited about it. For the next 2-3 months I won't serve in as central a capacity because the company commander (and this Matt's commander) is leaving. The FRG (Family Readiness Group) is officially the commander's program so he directs it. He will be replaced, and so the new company commander will really determine what our FRG looks like. I'm very excited! It will be good to have this time of transition, and even better because the commander's wife is also a "co-leader" for the next few months. I'll have some help and a bit easier work load while she's around and i'm still working on my semester, hooray! I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about the FRG adventures in the future.

6) We had our first military ball! It was really fun, we had a surprisingly good time. I did take the suggested hair dos to heart and tried a few of them... I ended up being pretty boring (pictures to come) but I did TRY the other options. I'm just an up-do wuss, and ended up wearing it down :)

7) HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To: Megan Smith! Jay Telford! Chanel Sohl! Leslie Cragwall! Beth Parent! And an upcoming happy birthday to mrs. Kamie Barnes!

8) School is going well. I'm using my spring break to read and get ahead a bit, but still trying to relax. I'm also doing taxes, going to the dentist, and having a few medical check ups.

9) The big news: FRANK AND VINNEY ARE GETTIN' KICKED OUT! That is, I'll be having surgery on my thyroid in May and the tumors are getting cut out (I just thought of Joey on Full house.."" Did you do the hand motions?). I'll keep you copiously posted on this venture.

10) Things are blooming here! Our tree out back is starting to burst with bright pink/purpley blossoms- it is GLORIOUS! (Pictures to come).

11) Honestly, we are blissfully happy. Work and school are at times stressful (work for him more than school) but we are really loving life and are enjoying the many blessings in our lives!

12) We are looking in to a vacation. We love Clarksville, love our house, love the area... but we are ready for a quick respite from the norm. Matthew will be leaving for some unknown period of time (fear not! Not overseas.... to cushy ol' West Point, NY) this summer and the guys are given a short block leave time. We have a few days of leave to spend and are contemplating:
a) Orlando Florida! We have wanted to go to Disney world, and we found
out Matthew can get like a 5 day pass for free and up to 5 family
members can get theirs for like 100$!!!
b) Las Vegas! This is one we probably will wait til after the summer to do.
We will keep you all posted about what we decide on, and you will all be
welcome to join us when we go!
c) Memphis/Gatlinburg/ Ashville, NC: These places are all driving distance.
If it seems like too much of a hassle we may do a driving trip to Memphis or somewhere close where we can drive and enjoy time away, but not have to pay for plane tickets.
And so! There you have it! If you have heard of any steals and deals, or you think you might want to join us (Block leave is May 22-June 7. We will be taking a trip during that time) let us know!

I think that is pretty much a good update. Of course, Dutch-a-lutch is doing well, he is a giant! (10 lbs!!!) And he is becoming an expert "goal keeper" like Matthew-- you'll have to see it to believe it :)

More soon....