This morning, I went in to wake up Olivia. I turned on Augustine's heat lamp, Olivier Twist's heat lamp, kissed her cheek, smelled her hair and asked "if I bought you yellow footie pajamas like you had when you were one, would you wear them and let me rock you?"
She laughed and asked how much longer she had to wait to get her ears pierced.
First of all, I really appreciate the outpouring of sympathy for my stolen purse. It was a pain, I still have no wallet, and they got my good lipstick. MAC Viva Glam V. It's my favorite. Gone.
Do you think they're using it? Doubtful.
They also stole a brand new skirt I found at Forever 31. It was the only skirt in the whole three level store that was appropriate for a woman with children who may need her to bend over a tie a shoe every now and then. $17.99 down the drain. Another reason why Neiman Marcus is not an option for me.
Anyway, let me make it very clear that I am so stinkin' proud of my husband and his awards and being honored and all. Seriously, the Lord was so faithful in sending them in a time when he needed encouragement. it felt a little like the Lord was giving him an unexpected high-five and I'm so thankful.
I'm also incredibly thankful for the weekend we had with dear friends. When we first moved to Dallas, my friend Kitsie, and her husband Ray, who had gone to SMU, invited Trey and I to join their supper club. We would get together once a month, cook, eat, and laugh our heads off.
Kitsie and Ray moved away but the supper club remained. Ten years later, we still get together at least once a month to fellowship, cook, eat, and still, laugh our heads off. These are dear friends and we've all committed to walk through life together through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes, the ugly refers to, but is not limited to, my hair.
We're all beginning to hit our 40's and, when we do, it's cause for celebration.
Last weekend, we celebrated Drew's.
We had chocolate cake - extremely important. Forty candles, not so much.
And Drew and Carrie organized a weekend at Possum Kingdom Lake, just West-ish of here. Oh, who am I kidding, I have no idea where it is, I was just glad to be headed somewhere without children for 24 hours.
We had lunch, the guys played golf, and we partook in some serious jaw-aerobics.
As a treat before dinner, he took the whole gang out for a ride around the lake. The weather was beautiful, we had great conversation, wine and yummy appetizers, and again, did I mention no kids?
Here are all the girls on the bow. How long do you think it took me to memorize the bow vs. the stern? Nope, longer.
And finally, after the boat ride, we all went to dinner and we were delighted when Ron joined us. He had some good Denver stories and we loved hearing about the larger-than-life relationship between the two men.
Finally, we toasted Drew, laughed some more, and just enjoyed the rare time away with friends. And no kids.
Not very long ago, U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins came to Covenant and spoke about poetry and delighted us by reading some of his. It was awesome. He's a great writer and hilarious and all my kids, even Sadie, were practically falling out of their seats as he read his works.
One of our favorites was "The Lanyard" and here's a little piece of it.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Yesterday, I had a Lanyard kind of day.
Kind of. With maybe some creative license.
He got an award from the mayor.
A giant block of crystal too heavy to hold.
An honor for service and leadership. From the city. And the Mayor. His new BFF.
In front of other people, he was applauded, and congratulated.
They clapped. And fed him a nice breakfast.
There were probably cloth napkins.
Then, he got another award.
Same day, count with me - that's two.
From the school district for being their 2010 Partner of the Year.
The Superintendent handed it to him. In front of others. More clapping.
And more cloth napkins, nice salad, probably chicken, and green beans almondine.
Definitely green beans almondine.
No bacon. But, still.
Trey got two awards in one day.
He had to wear a suit.
A tie, and a suit.
He almost always spills - but he didn't.
He looked handsome. And they clapped for him.
And I, who birthed four children and sometimes clean up dog poop.
Got my car broken into.
Perhaps it was the purse I left inside.
Like I live in Mayberry.
He had people shake his hand, and I have to go get a new drivers license.
It was a pretty decent picture.
I had on red lip gloss.
I can't pull that off anymore.
Odds are, this one will be less cute because, remember, the four children.
Plus two teenagers - one whom has prom this weekend.
Dark circles are inevitable.
And at the DPS office, let's be honest, they're not photographers.
Definitely no Barbara Walters lens.
And no photoshop.
He had his picture made by photographers.
There were probably candles on the tables.
Candles make everyone look better.
I have a car full of glass and no purse.
They didn't take the trash, just the purse.
Apparently, it stood out.
I can't find it most days.
But they could.
They also found a way to empty our checking account.
Perhaps they look like me.
With red lip gloss.
He had people wanting to meet him.
I had Sam, telling me to move my car so the new mentors that were coming for training wouldn't be scared off.
I did. Because, I mean, look at him.
So he has two new awards in his office.
They don't even have fingerprints on them.
I have a broken window, no purse, and very little cash.
And a car full of water.
Because, of course, last night.
On our way to the event Saturday, I picked up Sydney and Jonicia. They're friends of my girls' and the younger sister of Darius' best friend Bull.
They wouldn't call each other best friends, they might instead refer to one another as "my homeboy" or "my homeskillet". Actually, I've never heard either one of them say "homeskillet" but it's a hood synonym for friend and I thought it was funny.
Anyway, as soon as my car door opened, I was mobbed by thousands (exaggeration) of other children wanting to come along.
Ricky was one of them. "Oh, he's only two but he can TOTALLY take care of himself!" Said his grandmother who literally couldn't shove him in my car fast enough. As we were pulling away, she said something like, "Now, if her starts pulling on his ding-dong, he has to 'use it' and you'd better find him a place
cause he'll just go right where he's standin'."
"Use-it" is another one of my very favorite hood terms. "Oh, Mrs. Hill, I gotta use it!" Pure awesomeness. Try saying it to friends and co-workers today.
This morning, I was clearing pictures off of my phone because my kids tend to take useless photos of random nothingness.
Actually, that one is pretty funny. When we were going to Colorado to spend Christmas with Trey's family, we stopped into a Walmart and saw these giant, adult-size footie pajamas. I begged to get them because, you know, hilarious, but Trey thought we might have a few other places we could use $40 and besides, he gets cranky when his feet are hot.
Anyway, as I was scrolling through the pictures, I found this.
At the grand opening of the West Dallas Field of Dreams, with the Mayor and everyone else watching, Ricky dropped his drawers and used-it. It was like a christening of sorts.
And you'd better believe we caught that one on film.
Last June, I wrote about the groundbreaking for the new sports complex Mercy Street, along with several business and church partners, was building on a 20-acre property in West Dallas.
This is what it looked like that day.
Saturday afternoon, those partners, along with families and kids from the community and Dallas' Mayor came out to celebrate the official opening of West Dallas' Field of Dreams.
It is the first-ever regulation ball field in West Dallas and is really beautiful.
I kinda wanted to move into these dugouts because, I mean, look at them. There's a place for everything.
The major financial contributors will be honored with these bricks and stone bases that will be laid permanently after the completion of a brick campaign. Guess what my kids were begging for the rest of the day? Bricks.
Maybe we'll get them one that says, "Hill kids. Because what we lack in cleanliness, we make up for in volume."
Here's Trey talking to the Mayor who came out to throw out the first pitch. They're looking kinda chummy and it really irritates me.
Thursday morning, after sitting for the better part of eternity in a courtroom trying to take care of a speeding ticket, I texted Trey and said, "I just wrote the City of Dallas a nice little check." Translation, Mayor Leppert and his people were getting the funds I had set aside for a new pair of metallic flat sandals.
Translation, translation, "I should slow down."
Trey immediately texted me back, "I just got off the phone with Mayor Leppert. We're now BFF's and, along with throwing out the first pitch Saturday, he's giving me a couple of awards and blah, blah, blah."
Trey neither used the phrase 'BFF' or 'blah, blah, blah'. I added that for effect.
Ok, actually, we were really blessed he came. He's a dear man and spoke very graciously about Mercy Street, the community, and Trey. He also got a lot of mud all over his very nice shoes and didn't care a bit which is an attitude I probably would not have had if I had been wearing new metallic flat sandals.
Tim Lott from the Dallas Housing Authority who helped Mercy Street obtain the land was thrilled to see the completed field.
I don't really know who all these children are, I just know they all, along with my children, piled into my car to the event thereby violating dozens of driving laws and explaining why I spend so much time in traffic court.
The players and volunteer coaches were over the moon at the thought of playing on this beautiful new field.
Trey also went to Pinkston High School several months ago and told the baseball coach that they would like for the Varsity team to use the field for their practices and home games. The coaches, couldn't believe it. They've never had a home field! The coach said they've had more kids tryout for the varsity team this year than ever before.
There was a great clip on the Saturday evening news about the whole event. You can watch it here.
This was Phase 1 of the plans for the West Dallas sports complex. Future plans include soccer/football fields, a softball field, and perhaps a drivers safety road course for those in the community who might need a refresher course.
It s an excellent resource on the topic of suffering in the lives of Believers.
And, this morning, I have the benefit of applying what I learned earlier as I sit in a courtroom, taking care of a speeding ticket, and enduring the over zealous application of cologne and perfume by my fellow defendants.
Perhaps it's not exactly the kind of suffering Piper was talking about, but it's making me feel better all the same.
We had our first ever Crawfish Boil the other night and it was a blast. Although I've eaten my fair share of the little critters, I'd never actually cooked the things myself. The guys at our local seafood market were more than patient and told me all their secrets.
Did you know you have to cook them alive? No dead ones go into the pot so Sadie and Olivia sorted them for me.
And then Olivia dissected a dead one just for fun 'cause, you know, we don't have enough gross stuff in our house already.
I added sausage because they told me to and I have 'fear of man' issues. I was glad I did because, when Dea and Darius told me they were clearly out on the whole crawfish thing, I coaxed them back to the table with the sausage.
Monkey, on the other hand, couldn't get enough. I love this kid. He's a hot-mess with a scar from a stab wound and the ability to run the 40 in a time that even impresses my husband who ran a little track in high school and college himself.
In high school, Trey raced against Michael Johnson...and won. Seriously. All true.
Thankfully, he married me to offset that whole speed/athletic thing. I'm a giver that way.
Here's Jakeem digging in. He kept using words like 'nasty' and ' SO NASTY' when we first poured those bad boys on my table but, after trying one, he couldn't stop. Little booger.
All the kids had a great time eating the crawfish and, because they takes so stinkin' long to eat, we had some of the best conversations around our kitchen table. The boil may or may not have removed some of the finish from the wood but it was all worth it.
If you've never tried it, now's your time. Crawfish are in high season and it's the only thing that will temporarily overpower the almost constant lingering smell of bacon.
Before I announce the winner, I need to clarify something from yesterday's post. Our ball python, Oliver Twist, was found not dead but alive and well, and extremely hungry living under Olivia's bed. When we fed him, after his three week "staycation", he grabbed that little 'previously frozen' mouse and downed it in a record three minutes.
And with that last sentence, this blog has officially veered in a direction I, as the author, never intended, and you, as a reader, did not deserve.
Next, I have a Bible to give away. The random integer is...
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Making the winner: Jenny!!! I don't know if she's 'from the block' or not but she's certainly the winner of a great new Bible!
I'll email you to get your info. so I can ship it out to you a.s.a.p.
From around the world, we have received words of encouragement, and prayer on the loss of our snake, Oliver Twist.
Maybe not the world, maybe just the DFW Metroplex but, still.
My friend Carey told me that, "A roach in your house is, like, the end of the world but a lost snake is just business as usual." It's true. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.
Friday night, three weeks after he'd gone missing, Olivia found him curled up in the bottom of the tub that holds all her American Girl Doll clothes. It's a fact we may not share with the persnickety Felicity, although I'm not sure it would bother Elizabeth in the least. She's got a pretty good sense of humor.
And here marks yet another time when I assign personalities to inanimate objects. I blame it on the children.
On another weekend note, we ate like fiends this weekend. Friday night, dinner with our brother-in-law, Joey, who was in town from San Antonio, Trey's parents, and all our minions, I mean kids.
We ate at our family's favorite Mexican dive, Herrera's. It's not pretty, or fancy, and our waiter couldn't grasp Joey's need for jalapeno's in portions fit for a giant but instead kept bringing them in emasculating little plastic cups, but we love it, and are willing to overlook it's faults for their famous bean soup and queso.
Saturday night, Trey and I went out to officially celebrate our anniversary. There was more food and I think, at some point during our meal, I may have said, "If I eat one more bit, I may implode."
In this picture, I've cropped out the dog, the children, Monkey trying to teach my boys to dance like Michael Jackson, and some boys playing basketball with Dea and Darius. Otherwise, it was a totally peaceful shot.
Speaking of imploding, Sunday morning, we got up before dawn, woke the children, and headed out to watch the final moments of a Dallas icon.
Texas Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys for 39 years, was being imploded and we had no intention of missing. Dea and Darius opted out because, 1. it was 6 a.m., and 2. they knew they could watch it on YouTube at a more reasonable hour. Party poopers.
Just as we got to the top of the overpass, right in front of the Stadium, traffic came to a dead stop. A parking lot really. And, despite the police's best efforts to keep people in their cars, everyone was on the road, watching the show from a really great vantage point - like these hooligans right here.
I felt sorry for this sweet woman who was "parked" next to us. She'd just gotten off work and all she wanted was go home and get in her bed. She had no choice but to participate in the ceremonies.
There were fireworks just before the blast.
And finally, Texas Stadium was imploded forever.
And it was right about now that I wished I'd put the larger lens on my camera.
If I had, I might have gotten a shot like this one.
Hindsight, people, hindsight.
And finally, Sunday, Trey and I went to the beautiful wedding of a friend. Trey got several compliments on his sport coat which he bought at Sam's Club, a fact he's pretty proud of. The many compliments initiated a friendly conversation between the two of as as to which is classier, Sam's Club or Walmart. You might be saying to yourself, "Hmm. Isn't that an oxymoron?" and, if so, Trey would cheerfully be willing to debate the life out of you until you succumb to his Sam's Club brainwashing.
Well, as long as we've still got that spark...
They served peach cobbler which officially makes it the best wedding I've ever been to in my entire life.
My mother-in-law described someone the other day as a "lover of God's word." What a beautiful description. The Word of God is His love letter to his people and where else can we find all that is "necessary for life and godliness" but there? I long to love his Word above all else.
Just before Christmas, I bought myself a new Bible. The one I'd had since before Trey and I were married was huge and heavy, had barely survived two puppies, and my children had torn out half of 2 Chronicles.
It was O.K. though, because I have that book memorized.
Anyway, I bought a new, smaller Bible that I could carry around with me without the need for a backpack or wagon. Shortly after I made my purchase, however, the lovely people at Zondervan sent me this to review and enjoy at my leisure.
Freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities.
Yeah, I don't has it.
Thankfully, that's the whole point of this Bible. Carpools don't stop, projects are due, and noses are always runny but even in our busyness as moms, we need the Word more than anything - even Diet Coke. It's true. That's why they are introducing this edition. The Busy Mom's Bible is an NIV translation bible with the addition of one-minute "Thought Starters", five-minute "Reflect and Pray" devotions, or ten-minute mini "Studies" to help you navigate God's Word. It's leather-bound in pink and brown and weighs far less than a small child which is great because we're already carrying those around.
And, since I have a brand new Bible, I'm sharing this one with one of you!
Just post a comment and you'll be entered to win. I'll announce the winners next Tuesday, April 13th.
Fifteen years ago, today - on a beautiful overlook in Mexico, surrounded by family and friends - Trey and I said, "I do."
Six children, four dogs, two cats, two snakes, five gerbils, three fish, one bearded dragon, two cities, three houses, hundreds of burnt suppers, and an unmistakable call to serve the poor together...
...he's still the one.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. *Make each other laugh."
Romans 12:19-21, *plus my own addition
He sent me a picture of this car this morning...
I love him. But, I'm hoping it's not my anniversary gift.