Thursday, May 26, 2011

Books. Too much, too many.

Just look at my room. This is absolutely pitiful.

My family is heading up to Virginia next weekend, to help me and Andrew begin moving our things into our new home (!), and my organized self decided to start packing today. What is the easiest thing to pack up? Books! I have a couple hundred books, double-stacked on three shelves, one shelf entirely dedicated to children's liteature. Everyone knows: I love books.

The problem? I love books. In the last hour, I have packed up my shelf of children's books, and stood, staring, at each of the other book shelves in my room. At each book I picked up to begin packing, I paused, thinking. What if I want to read this book? What if Lindsay wants to read it while she's here? What if I need it? So, I put it back on the shelf. J.K. Rowling, Hopkins, Eudora Welty, Annie Dillard, Brian Jacques, Kate DeCamillo, John Steinback... still sitting there, no closer to Virginia. Because I might need them.

Good grief.

Can I please have this room? I'll never move again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

a few wedding pictures

Told you I'd keep you updated! These pictures were taken by my aunt, Martha Faires (who, incidentally is a Bryan College alum and a pretty cool artist. You can check out her website here.), so the photo credit all goes to her. She emailed these to us today.

Andrew and me (we were both in the wedding)

They drove off in Keith's 1972 (I think) Toyota Land Cruiser

cutting the cheesecake

And my personal favorite:

Don't they look wonderful?

Wedding Weekend: Update

I returned from Dayton, Tennessee last night with terrible allergies and a new sister-in-law.

Keith and Rachel were married Saturday, May 21, 2011, and it was a beautiful day.

Shamefully, I didn't take a single picture -- but in my defense, I was in the wedding.

I will keep you updated as they begin to surface.

(33 days until it's my turn... )

Monday, May 16, 2011

Love Lessons: a continual work in progress

As my brother is getting married this Saturday, and I am getting married 40 days from now, our family is in a bit of a tizzy right now. We have a stack of lists on the dining room table, all vaguely overlapping in content (to pack, to do here, to do there . . .), and my mother and I are constantly throwing out thoughts into the conversation that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. Needless to say, my brain is whirring. I'm shocked no one can hear it. I swear you could feel it vibrate if you put youur hand on my forehead.

In church yesterday, I was the complete opposite of focused. Nothing like. A thousand swirling wedding thoughts/plans/ideas (from Keith's and from mine), coupled with two nights of less than enough sleep. In the brief interlude between the piano's prelude and the choral introit, our moment to gather our thoughts and focus on worship, I was completely fuddled. God, I prayed, you know I'm not at all thinking about worshipping you. I don't even really want to be here now. I don't feel like singing or listening or even trying to pay attention. How can you be at all pleased in me today?

A crazy thought came into my mind. Crazy in its simplicity, its complete and embarassing obviousness to my foolish mind: Loving God is not about feeling like it. Just as learning to love Andrew is not about only acting on the love I feel, loving God is about choosing to act loving when (perhaps especially when) I don't feel like it. Huh. Like Lewis explains in The Screwtape Letters, we should be one who can look into the universe from which all trace of our God seems to have vanished -- and still obey.

Jesus doesn't say feel loving towards God with all your heart; he says "love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

silly summer rhyme

When the world becomes a droning, throbbing, whirling cage of sound,
which at nightfall swaps cicadas for the crickets on the ground;
When eighty is the morning cool and ninety is the shade
where dandelions shake their manes between the green grass-blades;
When smooth, browning skin is mottled with a hundred itching bites
from lying wait to watch the stars on humid, sweaty nights;
When afternoons are broken by a common, rumbling rain
of storms that roll to wax and rage, but swiftly, gently wane;
When your elbow drips sweet juices from the ripe peach in your mouth--
Welcome friend, to summer in the south.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Days left...

of scooping ice cream: 3

until Keith and Rachel's wedding: 12

until my wedding: 47

Bring it on.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Um... 50 days!

Today marks 50 days until Andrew gives me his last name. (and only 15 days for Keith and Rachel!)

This process has been much more difficult that I anticipated -- not in the actual decision-making/invitation-addressing/centerpiece-making kind of way, but in the mental and emotional anticipation and stamina. I am prone to finding excuses in my situation for my reactions; I think, oh, this would be so much easier if Andrew weren't so far away. But really, my attitude is my resposibility, regardless of how easy or difficult my current state may be.

My worries are beginning to overwhelm my joy. Reader, this is not okay. I'm finding myself increasingly preoccupied with with worrying about the well-being of my guests, and the number of them. I mean, I'm throwing a huge party; I want my guests to have fun! But I'm worrying about it, stressing about it, wondering if they will enjoy themselves -- all of this worry is usurping my joy at the reason for this party: I am marrying my best friend.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"One hundred and Five, North Tower"

Deep breaths.

I just finished A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Who says literature doesn't matter?

Is it not strange how one of the bloodiest and most frightening periods of human history should have produced two of the most moving pieces of classic literature? Out of the carnage of the French Revolution come Hugo's Les Miserables, and this masterpiece by Dickens. Dickens portrays this period in shuddering bleakness, beginning with the misery of the French people at the hands of their aristocratic oppressors. This is a view we are familiar with; it is the sympathy with the underdog, the pitiable Fantine and the revolutionary Marius that we love to suffer with, rise with. And Dickens, like Hugo, chooses to write the light of redemption against the darkness of sin and bitterness.

Dickens, it would seem, understands redemption -- in terms of the gospel, and its power to change people. Of the wretched Sydney Carton, at the character's introduction, Dickens writes,

     "Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away."

It seems the ultimate irony, to write of redemption against the writhing horror of the French Revolution. And yet, what better backdrop for grace than the deepest picture of man's depravity? Dickens understands.

...Oh! I so want to talk about it! But I'm afraid that you, like me a few days ago, haven't read this book! And I really don't want to spoil the beauty of the story for you.

Suffice to say, I urge you to read it. And for those who wonder what purpose there is to books, I must remind of the words of Tennyson, from his poem "The Poet":

. . . And in her raiment’s hem was traced in flame
     WISDOM, a name to shake
All evil dreams of power–a sacred name.
         And when she spake,

Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
     And as the lightning to the thunder
Which follows it, riving the spirit of man,
         Making earth wonder,

So was their meaning to her words. No sword
     Of wrath her right arm whirl’d,
But one poor poet’s scroll, and with his word
         She shook the world.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Remember the days when young brides-to-be spent their time on putting together a trousseau, instead of planning seating charts or paying student loans?

I wish those days were still here.

The Coveted Dress of the Day:

Star of the Show Dress
Image: Modcloth.
Buy this dress here.