Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Muse

At six in the morning, Greg leaves for work and Diesel thinks we should start our day then too. I've tried ignoring him, cuddling with him, and ultimately surrendering to his will to prevent mischief making. But Tuesday morning there was a breakthrough. Sort of. Good news? He laid back down. Bad news? It was on Greg's side of the bed. A bed in which he was not actually permitted. I choose my battles. One more point for Diesel. Wednesday morning, he once again refused to join Greg in the gym and slept through the workout. But when the front door latched, signaling Greg left for work, Diesel jumped up onto the bed, rolled around happily for a moment and then curled up and went back to sleep. It's amazing what he can remember and patiently anticipate. By Thursday morning, Greg tricked him by opening and closing the front door before walking back into the bedroom. Diesel was not only already curled up on the bed, but he did not seem at all bothered by being caught. We're getting soft. And Friday? He didn't even pretend he was curling up on the chair when Greg brought him in from a potty break. He jumped right up onto the bed and made himself comfortable. Apparently we have a dog on our bed in the mornings now.

If only he was resting instead of recharging.

His behavior stresses him exactly

I call this "reluctant compliance." Technically, he did sit.

He believes it is his job to expose loop holes. He is quite skilled. 

The deck apron had to be enclosed because someone was racing under it, getting stuck and cut in the process. He was pretty ticked off as we worked to eliminate his fun. 

He was put inside so we could finish in peace. He pulled down a curtain panel and knocked over the trash while he waited on us to come to our senses. 

A sweet friend of Kate's has been breaking into the world of photography. She has had several gigs with the high school and some friends have requested her work as well. I asked if she had any interest in a large family gathered for an hour; the only hour we were able to achieve while Lauren was in town for a wedding. Grace agreed to help me repeat my favorite family session from four years ago. I can't wait to see what she captured. But my advice, always my advice to anyone shooting a family, follow the muse. Follow the one with the energy. Others will gravitate to that character and that is where the best interactions will take place. Looking at my camera roll, it's easy to see who brings the energy to my house these days. Welcome to the family Diesel, you exhausting knucklehead. 

Little man was in a wedding this weekend. His mom was too. I only have photographic evidence of the cutest guy there. 

Speaking of muses, while Lauren was in town, we did get a bit of time beyond the breakfast hour to see our favorite little man. The entire family wasn't able to gather around the spontaneity of those moments so we took them for what they were and simply enjoyed being with him.

Erin's official title with CCAP Across The Map is International Initiatives Lead but she is constantly cross-leading programs within the organization. Makenna and I joined her on the latest fundraising event, a virtual 5k. Erin started her new position with UofL Monday as a case worker for an underserved group of people in healthcare. Leaving the primary care office was tough. She loved that job and the people she worked with but this stepping stone takes her closer to her long-term goal of serving the broader community in healthcare leadership. It goes without saying how proud of her we remain. 

Makenna realized without much fanfare that the therapy side of serving children with special needs was not a good fit. She simply disagrees with the methods applied. She adored the people she was privileged to learn alongside; however, it solidified her decision to remain in education. She landed her first teaching job at a local elementary school and can not be more excited. She has honestly been running a pull-out program for the last two years but didn't have the title. This will be her classroom and she is thrilled. We can't wait to personalize it with her.

I kept an eye on a friend's house this week while they vacationed in Florida. Diesel loved running around the yard without a leash and Kate accompanied me one time to relax in the hammock before she went to work. We contemplated a fence for our yard but Diesel has demonstrated his ability to jump the six foot privacy fence in our friend's yard. We are saving a fortune by not investing in the unwanted fence, but have a lot more training to do before the beast is free to roam our yard unattached. P.S. I love this backyard. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022


My sleepover buddy always needed three stuffed friends, bedtime stories and preferred we share my half of the bed. I loved every single night. 


A pudding treat failed to set up with almond milk substituted for traditional milk so it was pretty messy. No one minded. The shower that followed wasn't objected to either. We enjoyed evening swims, morning walks, board games, playtime at the park and daily dinosaur surprises together. This was the best long weekend in a very long time. This little guy brings me so much joy. 

Roaring like a dinosaur. 

He was devestated when this little frog got away. He was certain this was his new pet named of all things, "Michael Scott."

He cried himself to sleep Monday night, upset we were leaving before he woke Tuesday. It made for a difficult night of sleep for one very attached Mimi. Knowing they were going to be following us back up to Indiana in a few days for a wedding only slightly softened the sadness. We have one hour planned as a family of ten on Sunday and I am going to love every crazy second of it.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Mr. Beast (the sandwich and the dog)

Ty has begged for a Mr. Beast hot chicken sandwich for about a year now. I just discovered a location we could use after watching the app all this time. So I surprised the boy. He was delighted.

PS. His honest review a few hours later, "I like the chicken sandwich from McDonald's better." For a twenty dollar savings, I am relieved.  But now he knows.

We added a cat door to our laundry room so the cat would be the only one with access to his food. I sat in the laundry room and called him in to show him he was safe. We gathered quite a bit of attention in there. Smile.

Our little momma sat with her babies near their nest this weekend as they gathered the courage to take flight. I was captivated watching them over the course of two days. I was worried they were too exposed out there but throughout the week, they visited our yard and our neighbor's as a family. The amount of joy this little bird brought me this spring borders on ridiculous. It's the little things.

Sunday I laughed when we sat down together at church. It appeared we coordinated our outfits and given how much time we all spend together, decided it was a good time to snap a quick photo of the people we call our local family. Of course, we handed my phone to some squirrelly photographers and ended up with a ton of selfies and one shot of the intended subject. I of course, love this.

We celebrated all four of them on Sunday afternoon with giant pulled pork nachos. They all have new jobs this month and every one of them is serving the community in their chosen role. I have been thinking a lot about this lately as there are those who believe we must be in the church if the doors are open in order to serve. I'd like to respectfully counter that theory. If we are always in the church, the only ones we are serving are ourselves. These young adults are all in positions to care for underprivileged or otherwise underserved and their hearts are fuller than their bank accounts. I am likely biased, but I think they have the right idea. 

She asked me to wake her early so we could spend time together before my trip. It's the thought that counts. I love her and her sincere request to just be together as much as possible. She is pretty special and even as a teen, she actually still likes me.

We took Kendra and went out for an afternoon of fun. Kendra waived bowling so I stepped in to play with Ty, who loves the game. Once we wrapped up, they headed out to explore lazer tag and bumper cars while I planted myself strategically to keep a distant eye on them. Each time he locked eyes with me, he smiled with a shy wave and I couldn't help but wonder how many more of those I will get. He isn't so little anymore, the boy I didn't know I needed until his surprise arrival almost thirteen years ago. I'm so glad God had better plans than me. Wait! Did I say bowling? That was a golf score. Just ask my son. 

Diesel, the Beast, broke a lamp jumping at a window because a truck he didn't recognize was out back. The blinds were broken in a previous attempt to rid our yard of a vicious bunny. The cat is still in quarantine. To train him not to put his mouth on us when playing or getting too wound up, we have held him down until he calms into a submissive state. So now he puts his mouth around our arms or hands and then throws himself down, waiting on us to hold him there; as if this is all part of the game. Sigh. He is a hot mess. However, he is super smart, has made incredible strides in training and hasn't yet met a person he doesn't like. This season will be worth the stress in the long run. This is what we are telling ourselves anyway. 

Thursday, Ty and I made the trek to Augusta to spend the weekend with our favorite four year old. He has excitedly planned a lot of fun activities to occupy our time together while his parents celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary on Fripp Island near Hilton Head. Three hours after they left though, they started texting requests I bring the boys and join them on vacation. I get it but I'm selfishly enjoying my time with Austin so they are just going to have to figure out how to have fun without him.